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."
The Fund will make further announcements as material events surrounding the Portfolio Development unfold. There can be no assurance that the Portfolio Development will result in enhanced liquidity or will ultimately result in positive outcomes for the Fund. There can also be no assurance that the Fund will resume weekly Venture Series share sales or redemptions. These outcomes are subject to risks and uncertainties. See "Forward Looking Statements" below.
About GrowthWorks(i) (www.growthworks.ca): GrowthWorks managed funds provide investment capital for Canadian companies and tax-advantaged investment opportunities for Canadian investors through the Working Opportunity Fund (EVCC) Ltd., GrowthWorks Atlantic Venture Fund Ltd., GrowthWorks Commercialization Fund Ltd. and GrowthWorks Canadian Fund Ltd. GrowthWorks identifies, analyzes and structures investments in companies with high growth potential. Particular emphasis is placed on IT, Life Sciences and Cleantech sectors. Building on more than 19 years of investment expertise, GrowthWorks is a leader in Canadian venture capital management. GrowthWorks is a registered trademark of GrowthWorks Capital Ltd.
Forward Looking Statements: This press release contains forward looking statements about future possible transactions in the Fund's portfolio, the possible resumption of the Venture Series share redemptions and sales and the impact of the Portfolio Development on Fund's net asset value and cash position. These statements are based on beliefs and assumptions of management of the Fund at the time the statements are made, including beliefs and assumptions about the portfolio company affected by the Portfolio Development, future market conditions and future levels of divestment activity and Venture Series redemption requests. These beliefs and assumptions are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties, including risks and uncertainties associated with volatility of market conditions and, in turn, the climate for divestment activity, outcomes of negotiations surrounding the sale of portfolio companies, other factors affecting the performance of portfolio companies, valuations of portfolio companies, financing needs of portfolio companies and the availability of capital to satisfy such financing needs and other risks and uncertainties disclosed in the Fund's most recently filed prospectus and other regulatory filings posted on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. These risks and uncertainties may cause actual results, events or developments to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Unless required by law, neither the Fund nor its manager assumes any obligation to update any forward-looking statements or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or other factors.
(i) GrowthWorks refers to GrowthWorks Ltd. and: GrowthWorks Capital Ltd., manager of the Working Opportunity Fund (EVCC) Ltd.; GrowthWorks WV Management Ltd., manager of GrowthWorks Canadian Fund Ltd. and GrowthWorks Commercialization Fund Ltd.; and GrowthWorks Atlantic Ltd., manager of GrowthWorks Atlantic Venture Fund Ltd.
Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with investment fund purchases. Please read the Fund's prospectus before investing. Investment funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. Dividends on Commercialization Series shares are not guaranteed.
GrowthWorks Capital Ltd.
President & CEO
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