TORONTO, November 16, 2006 - First Asset Funds Inc. is pleased to announce the closing today of the initial public offering of 4.5 million Capital Units and 4.5 million Preferred Securities of Utility Split Trust (the "Trust"), for gross proceeds of $112.5 million. 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 UST.UN and UST.PR.A, respectively.
Utility Split Trust has been created to provide investors with exposure to a diversified investment in securities of utility issuers, utilizing the split security structure, on a low cost basis. First Asset Investment Management Inc., investment advisor to the Trust, intends to invest in a diversified portfolio of utility issuers that offer the best opportunity for stable monthly cash distributions or dividends, and for capital appreciation. Utility issuers include, among others, corporations or income trusts that generate, transmit and/or distribute electricity, water and/or natural gas, including, corporations or income trusts that supply the raw materials required for the generation of electricity.
The investment objectives with respect to the Preferred Securities are: (a) to provide securityholders, in priority to any distributions on Capital Units, fixed quarterly interest payments equal to 6.0% per annum on the $10.00 principal amount; and (b) to repay to securityholders, on or about December 31, 2011 in priority to any return to holders of Capital Units, the original subscription price of $10.00.
The investment objectives with respect to the Capital Units are: (a) to pay tax efficient monthly distributions, initially expected to represent a yield of 7.25% per annum on the initial purchase price, based on the dividends and distributions that the Trust receives on the portfolio, and (b) to provide unitholders with the opportunity to participate in the performance of the portfolio on a leveraged basis and to benefit from any increase in the dividends or distributions paid by utility issuers held in the portfolio.
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., Canaccord Capital Corporation, Raymond James Ltd., Blackmont Capital Inc., Dundee Securities Corporation, Berkshire Securities Inc., Desjardins Securities Inc., Research Capital Corporation and Wellington West Capital Inc.
For further information, please call Rob MacNiven, Investor Relations, First Asset Funds Inc. at 416-642-1289 or 1-877-642-1289 or visit www.firstassetfunds.com.