May 31 - First Asset Funds Inc. is pleased to announce the closing today of the initial public offering of Preferred Shares and Class A Shares of Global 45 Split Corp. (the "Company") for gross proceeds of $17 million in respect of the Preferred Shares, and $25.5 million in respect of the Class A Shares. The shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange ("TSX") under the symbols GFV.PR.A for the Preferred Shares and GFV for the Class A Shares. The Company has granted the agents for the offering an overallotment option to acquire additional shares which is exercisable at any time up to June 30, 2004.
The Company will invest primarily in a portfolio comprised of common shares of the five largest companies by market capitalization in the world in each of the following nine industry sectors: Basic Materials, Communications, Consumer-Cyclical, Consumer Non-Cyclical, Energy, Financials, Industrial, Technology and Utilities. In order to be included in the portfolio, each of the 45 companies in the portfolio must have a long-term local currency credit rating of at least A- from Standard & Poor's Rating Services, or a comparable rating from an equivalent rating agency.
The Company's investment objectives with respect to the Preferred Shares are: (i) to provide holders with fixed cumulative preferential quarterly cash distributions in the amount of $0.13125 per Preferred Share to yield 5.25% per annum on the original issue price of $10 per Preferred Share, and (ii) on or about September 30, 2011, pay to holders the original issue price per Preferred Share. The Preferred Shares have been provisionally rated Pfd-2 by Dominion Bond Rating Service Limited. The Company's investment objectives with respect to the Class A Shares are: (i) to provide holders with regular monthly cash distributions targeted to be $0.10 per Class A Share to yield 8% per annum on the original issue price of $15 per Class A Share, and (ii) on or about September 30, 2011, pay to holders the original issue price per Class A Share.
Portfolio management services will be performed by Principal Global Investors, LLC, a diversified asset management organization with expertise in equities, fixed income and real estate investments, as well as specialized overlay and advisory services. Principal Global Investors, LLC, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, had approximately US$122 billion in assets under management as at March 31, 2004. First Asset Funds Inc., the manager of the Company, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of First Asset Management Inc. ("First Asset"). First Asset is an integrated wealth management company that has acquired top tier investment management firms in Canada, rapidly growing to become a leading Canadian asset management company with approximately $25 billion in assets under management or administration as at March 31, 2004.
The syndicate of agents for this offering was led by CIBC World Markets Inc., RBC Dominion Securities Inc. and TD Securities Inc., and included BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc., National Bank Financial Inc., Scotia Capital Inc., HSBC Securities (Canada) Inc., Canaccord Capital Corporation, Desjardins Securities Inc., Dundee Securities Corporation, First Associates Investments Inc. and Wellington West Capital Inc.
For further information, please contact Tanya Carey, Investor Relations, First Asset Funds Inc. at 1-877-642-1289.