VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 20, 2012) - Working Opportunity Fund (EVCC) Ltd. (the "Fund") announced today that it has approved a temporary extension of the repayment of a secured note held by the Fund and has approved a temporary extension of the Fund's credit facility.
Extension of Canadian Fund Secured Note Repayment
The Fund has also approved a temporary extension of the repayment of the $9.5 million principal amount secured note issued by GrowthWorks Canadian Fund Ltd. ("Canadian Fund") to the Fund from December 20, 2012 to December 31, 2012.
This principal amount was advanced by two series of the Fund to Canadian Fund over the period of July 2011 to December 2011. Until March 28, 2012, the secured note earned simple interest of 12% per annum on amounts advanced. Since making the investment, a total of $2.1 million in interest was accrued to December 20, 2012. The secured note was originally due to mature on March 31, 2012. On March 28, 2012, the maturity date of the secured note was extended to May 15, 2012 and interest on the secured note was increased to 22% in order to match the interest and charges payable by the Fund on the credit facility described below. The two series also received an aggregate extension fee of $225,000. On May 14, 2012, the terms of the secured noted were further amended to provide for an extension of the maturity date to December 20, 2012 and to include a repayment provision whereby the Fund will receive 50% of all net divestment proceeds received by Canadian Fund above an initial $5 million. As a venture capital fund, the Canadian Fund relies on favourable M&A and IPO market conditions for full value exit opportunities. The maturity date of the secured note has been extended to December 31, 2012 allow Canadian Fund more time to work on completing some near term divestment opportunities.
Commenting on the extension, David Levi, noted, "We believe that the Canadian Fund is very close to completing some important divestment opportunities and we feel confident that the Fund will soon be receiving a healthy return on its secured note investment."
The Fund and BCC Lending Services (an affiliate of Beedie Capital Partners) have agreed to extend repayment of the $10 million credit facility (the "Facility") to June 30, 2013.
As the originally offered shares of the Fund, the Venture Series is continuing a natural progression for a maturing venture capital portfolio by mainly focusing on follow-on investments and developing and closing-out exit opportunities. However, ongoing concerns about economic instability and resulting high levels of market volatility continued to dampen activity in the IPO and M&A markets and continued to impair the ability of venture investors to exit positions in 2011 and 2012. The resulting slowing of divestment activity combined with the challenging capital raising climate for conventional retail venture capital funds caused the Manager of the Fund and the Fund to conclude that there could be pressure on the Fund's capital resources during peak periods of share redemptions. Accordingly, in December 2011, the Fund secured a credit facility to enhance operating and financial flexibility for the Fund's Venture Series. Repayment of the Facility was originally due December 31, 2012. As announced on December 14, 2012, 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. As such, the Fund and BCC Lending Services have agreed to extend repayment until June 30, 2013. The extension of the Facility will give the Fund flexibility to meet its operating commitments and to address the inter-series payable owing by Venture Series to Commercialization Series.
Commenting on the Facility, David Levi, CEO of the Fund, stated: "It's important that we continue to back our investments that hold the promise of high value exits. This facility provides a bridge to a potential sale that could result in approximately 20% increase in net asset value of the Fund."
All other material terms and conditions of the Facility, including interest, fees and security remain unchanged for the extension period. The Fund's obligations under the Facility agreements are secured, including by a fixed charge over all assets of the Fund and/or sale proceeds derived from assets of the Fund. As the Facility provides greater capital resources for the Venture Series, all charges and costs associated with the Facility are allocated to outstanding Venture Series shares. Commercialization Series shares will not incur any charges related to the Facility or the extension of the Facility. The Venture Series shares continue to be off redemption and off sale as set out in the Fund's press release dated December 14, 2012.
Forward-looking Statements Warning: This press release contains forward-looking statements that are not based on historical or current fact, including statements about the Facility, the product offerings of the Fund and the prospects of, and expectations for divesting and generating returns from, investments in the Fund's Venture Series venture portfolio. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements as a result of numerous known and unknown risks affecting the Fund and portfolio companies, including risks inherent with investments in emerging businesses with unproven technologies or products or limited sales, market and economic risks that may significantly limit divestment opportunities, proceeds realized from divestments and sources of capital for portfolio companies, levels of Class A Share redemptions within the Fund, which in turn may impact the availability of the Fund to undertake follow-on investments, and other risks referenced in the Fund's public disclosure record. In addition, as much of the Fund's assets are illiquid venture capital investments that may not be readily sold at prevailing carrying values, enforcement of security interests under the Facility could result in sales of venture assets of the Venture Series and/or the Commercialization Series at values lower than prevailing carrying values, which would result in portfolio losses. Many of these risks are beyond the control of the Fund, its manager and the Fund's portfolio companies. Neither the Fund nor its manager assumes any obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements made in this release.
About GrowthWorks* (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.
About Beedie Capital Partners (www.beediecapital.com) Beedie Capital Partners ("BCP") is the in-house capital arm of the Beedie Group of Companies (www.beediegroup.ca) with a 60+ year history in real estate development and management, as now the largest industrial landlord in British Columbia. BCP is investing the Group's own capital into non-real estate related areas, primarily in the form of debt or equity. The focus of BCP is to invest directly into small to mid-market growth and expansion stage companies, and/or funds that support such companies, where both our capital and expertise can help serve as a catalyst for growth.
*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.