March 31, 2004 - First Asset Funds Inc. is pleased to announce that a preliminary prospectus for Global 45 Split Corp. (the "Company") has been filed with the securities regulatory authorities of all the Canadian provinces for an initial public offering of Preferred Shares and Class A Shares of the Company.
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 Afrom 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 of $10 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 of $15 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$118.5 billion in assets under management as at December 31, 2003.
First Asset Funds Inc., the manager of the Fund, 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 $24 billion in assets under management or administration as at February 29, 2004.
The syndicate of agents for this offering is being led by CIBC World Markets Inc., RBC Dominion Securities Inc. and TD Securities Inc., and includes 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 Jeff Labenski, Investor Relations, First Asset Funds Inc. at 1-877-642-1289.