TORONTO, June 30, 2006 - First Asset Funds Inc. is pleased to announce the closing today of the initial public offering of 1.5 million Capital Units and 1.5 million Preferred Securities of Split REIT Opportunity Trust (the "Trust"). The Trust has granted the agents for the offering an over-allotment option to acquire additional units exercisable at any time during the next 30 days. The Capital Units and the Preferred Securities are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange ("TSX") under the symbols SOT.UN and SOT.PR.A, respectively.
The Trust has been created to provide investors with exposure to a portfolio (the "Portfolio") of securities of real estate investment trusts ("REITs") which First Asset Investment Management Inc., believes offer the best opportunity for stable monthly cash distributions and for capital appreciation from growth in the real estate sector and from consolidation and privatization activity in the REIT market.
The Trust's investment objectives with respect to the Preferred Securities are: (a) to provide, in priority to any distributions on Capital Units, fixed quarterly interest payments equal to 5.75% per annum on the $10 principal amount; and (b) to repay $10.00, on or about December 31, 2011, in priority to any return on the Capital Units. The Preferred Securities have been provisionally rated Pfd-2 (low) by Dominion Bond Rating Service Limited.
The Trust's investment objectives with respect to the Capital Units are: (a) to pay tax efficient monthly distributions based on the distributions that the Trust receives on the Portfolio, and (b) to provide the opportunity to participate in the performance of the Portfolio on a leveraged basis and to benefit from any increase in the distributions paid by REITs held in the Portfolio. The initial Indicative Distribution Amount on the Capital Units is anticipated to be 6.25%.
First Asset Funds Inc., the manager of the Fund, 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".
The syndicate of agents for this offering was led by CIBC World Markets Inc. and National Bank Financial Inc. and included BMO Nesbitt Burns 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, Wellington West Capital Inc. and Berkshire Securities Inc.
For further information, please call Robert MacNiven, Investor Relations, First Asset Funds Inc. at 416-642-1289 or 1-877-642-1289 or visit www.firstassetfunds.com.