Toronto, November 10, 2005 - First Asset Funds Inc. is pleased to announce that First Asset/BlackRock North American Dividend AchieversTM Trust (the "Trust") has filed and has received a receipt from the securities regulators of all the Canadian provinces for the final prospectus for its offering of up to 10 million units ($100 million). The offering is scheduled to close on or about November 30, 2005. The subscription price per unit is $10, with a minimum initial investment of $1,000. The Toronto Stock Exchange ("TSX") has conditionally approved the listing of the units (BDA.UN), subject to fulfillment by the Fund of the requirements of the TSX.
The Trust will be actively managed by BlackRock Financial Management Inc. ("BlackRock") with the objective of providing Unitholders with monthly cash distributions of 6% per year and to maximize total returns. The Trust's portfolio will consist primarily of common stocks selected from a universe of Canadian and U.S. issuers known as "Dividend AchieversTM" as compiled by Mergent®, Inc., a leading provider of global business and financial information on publicly traded companies. "Dividend AchieversTM" are those companies that have a long track record (10 years in the case of U.S. companies and 5 years for Canadian companies) of consecutively increasing their annual regular cash dividends. No leverage will be used in the management of the Trust.
BlackRock is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BlackRock Inc., one of the largest publicly traded investment management firms in the United States, with approximately US$428 billion of assets under management (at September 30, 2005), including over US$2 billion in Dividend AchieversTM- based portfolios (www.blackrock.com).
First Asset Funds Inc., the manager of the Trust, is an indirect wholly-owned affiliate of Affiliated Managers Group, Inc. ("AMG"). AMG is a U.S. based asset management holding company with equity investments in a diverse group of mid-sized investment management firms throughout North America and Europe. AMG is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "AMG" (www.amg.com).
The syndicate of agents for this offering, which is being led by RBC Capital Markets and CIBC World Markets Inc., includes National Bank Financial Inc., Scotia Capital Inc., TD Securities Inc., HSBC Securities (Canada) Inc., Blackmont Capital Inc., Canaccord Capital Corporation, Desjardins Securities Inc., Dundee Securities Corporation, Raymond James Ltd., Research Capital Corporation and Wellington West Capital Inc.
Dividend AchieversTM is a trademark of Mergent, Inc. and has been licensed for use by the Trust. The product is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by Mergent and Mergent makes no representation regarding the advisability of investing in the Trust.
For further information, please contact Tanya Carey (Investor Relations) at First Asset Funds Inc. at (416) 642-1289 or 1-877-642-1289, or visit www.firstassetfunds.com.