March 17, 2004 - First Asset Funds Inc. is pleased to announce the closing today of the initial public offering of the two series of units of Preferred Securities Limited Duration Fund for gross proceeds of CDN $125 million in respect of the Series A units, and US $35 million in respect of the Series B units. The Fund's units are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols PLD.UN for the Series A units and PLD.U for the Series B units. The Fund has granted the agents for the offering an over-allotment option to acquire additional units of the Trust exercisable at any time up to April 16, 2004.
The Fund's investment objectives are to: (i) provide unitholders with a stable stream of tax efficient monthly distributions consisting of capital gains and returns of capital; (ii) limit the interest rate sensitivity of the net asset value of each series of units by seeking to reduce the effective duration of the fixed interest rate securities to which the Fund is exposed to a maximum of five years; and (iii) preserve and enhance the net asset value of each series of units in order to return at least the original subscription price of the units to unitholders on or about January 31, 2014, the Fund's scheduled termination date.
The portfolio of preferred securities will be managed by Stamford, Connecticut based Spectrum Asset Management, Inc., one of the leading U.S. managers of investment grade preferred securities portfolios, with approximately US $11 billion in assets under management. The firm is an affiliate of Principal Global Investors, a diversified asset management organization. Principal Global Investors is a member of the Principal Financial Group® and manages approximately US $118.5 billion in assets primarily for retirement plans and other institutional clients.
First Asset Funds Inc., the Fund's manager, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of First Asset Management Inc., an integrated wealth management company that has acquired top tier investment management firms in Canada, and which has over CDN $22.5 billion in assets under management or administration.
The syndicate of agents for this offering was led by CIBC World Markets Inc. and TD Securities Inc., and included BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc., RBC Dominion Securities 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., Raymond James Ltd. and Wellington West Capital Inc.
For further information, please contact Tanya Carey, Investor Relations, First Asset Funds Inc. at 1-877-642-1289.