VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwire) -- 12/14/12 -- Working Opportunity Fund (EVCC) Ltd. (the "Fund") provided updates on previously announced developments concerning two of the Fund's portfolio companies and the extension of the closing of Venture Series sales and redemptions until April 30, 2013. These portfolio developments consist of the conclusion of litigation affecting a significant portfolio holding and advanced negotiations towards a potential sale of one of the Fund's largest portfolio positions at a significant increase to the Fund's carrying value.
The legal dispute involving one of the Fund's portfolio companies was settled out of court in the portfolio company's favour, resulting in an increase in the value of the shares held by the Fund in the portfolio company. The Fund has sold some of its position in the portfolio company.
Negotiations on the potential sale of a portfolio company representing one of the Fund's largest portfolio holdings are proceeding favourably, however it is unlikely that the transaction will complete during 2012 (the "Portfolio Development"). The Fund continues to believe that a successful transaction could result in an increase of approximately 20% in the Fund's Venture Series share values. Given the potential impact of the Portfolio Development on the Fund's liquidity and net asset value and the uncertainty regarding whether and when the transaction will complete, the Board of Directors of the Fund has determined that it is in the best interests of the Fund's shareholders to extend the closure of sales and redemptions of Venture Series shares to allow events surrounding this potential sale transaction to unfold. It is expected that redemptions will be closed until April 30, 2013, as permitted under the Fund's Articles, although the Board may elect to extend the closure or resume sales and redemptions at an earlier date if the potential sale transaction is concluded prior to April 30, 2013.
The Fund continues to experience significant liquidity pressure due to constrained exit markets in 2011 and 2012, a challenging capital raising climate and ongoing share redemptions. Closing Venture Series sales and redemptions in November was based on a decision to continue to hold the liquid portfolio holding pending conclusion of the Portfolio Developments, as the Fund worked to maximize the value of its holdings and ease liquidity pressures. These same factors continue to inform the Board's decision on the extension of the closure of the Venture Series sales and redemptions to April 30, 2013.
With the extension of the closure of Venture Series share sales, shareholders with switch rights still may not switch one series of Venture Series shares for another. The extension of the closure affects only new purchases, switches and redemptions of the Fund's Venture Series shares and does not affect the Fund's Commercialization Shares, sales of which are scheduled to resume in January 2013, offering eligible investors in British Columbia tax credits and a dividend policy that calls for the payment of $2.50 per share of dividends over three years.
The Board of Directors of the Fund believes the extension of the closure of sales and redemptions of Venture Series shares is in the best interests of all shareholders given the range of possible outcomes that may flow from the remaining Portfolio Development and related impact on the Fund's liquidity and net asset value. Nick Worhaug, a Director of the Fund, commented, "We believe that it is prudent to extend the closure of sales and redemptions of Venture Series shares at this time to allow the potential sale transaction to advance to a conclusion. The Fund is continuing to work hard to maximize the value of its portfolio companies for its shareholders."
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