CI Financial shareholders vote to continue shareholder protection plan

TSX Symbol: CIX

TORONTO, May 27, 2011 /CNW/ - CI Financial Corp. ("CI") announced today that its shareholders have voted by an overwhelming and sufficient margin to continue the company's shareholder protection plan until its natural expiry date of 2014.

Over 99% of the shareholders who have voted, accounting for more than 90% of shares voted by proxies to date, are in favour of continuing CI's Shareholder Rights Plan. This issue has galvanized CI's shareholders, resulting in a record voting turnout by proxy.

This strong show of support came in the face of a challenge to the Shareholder Rights Plan from the Bank of Nova Scotia, which owns approximately 36% of CI shares, and the Toronto Stock Exchange. In response to a complaint by the Bank of Nova Scotia, the TSX decided in April to force CI to submit the resolution to continue the Plan to a vote of all shareholders, including the bank. According to the terms of the Plan, the bank is not considered an independent shareholder entitled to vote on the Plan's continuation. On Thursday, the Ontario Securities Commission set aside the TSX decision.

"CI has maintained from the beginning that winning the vote on the Plan was a foregone conclusion, even with the Bank of Nova Scotia voting against it," said Stephen A. MacPhail, CI President and Chief Executive Officer. "However, we appealed to the OSC because the principle at stake was critical to confidence in our capital markets, good corporate governance and simple common sense."

The OSC panel found that the TSX did not have jurisdiction over a vote to ratify the continuance of a plan that had already been approved by CI shareholders, including the bank, and accepted by the TSX in 2008.

William T. Holland, CI's Executive Chairman, noted that this issue has cost CI considerable time and money. "As CI Chairman, I implore the Board of Directors of Bank of Nova Scotia to stop endorsing a pattern of behaviour by the bank's senior executives that results in a wilful waste of corporate assets," he said.

CI's Shareholder Rights Plan was approved by shareholders in 2008 and, under the terms of the plan, independent shareholders must ratify its continuance after three years. That resolution is to be ratified at CI's annual and special meeting of shareholders on June 1, 2011.

CI's Shareholder Rights Plan does not prevent a takeover of CI but ensures that any change of control transaction is conducted in a manner that is fair and in the best interests of all shareholders. The Plan's objective is that all shareholders be offered an opportunity to tender their shares and receive a premium in the event of a change of control. Therefore, the Plan prevents a "creeping takeover" of CI or a transfer of control in which only certain shareholders are paid a premium for their shares.

CI Financial Corp. (TSX: CIX) is an independent, Canadian-owned wealth management company with approximately $99.0 billion in assets as of April 30, 2011. CI offers a broad range of investment products and services, including an industry-leading selection of investment funds, and is on the Web at www.ci.com/cix.

SOURCE CI Financial Corp.

For further information:

Stephen A. MacPhail
President and Chief Executive Officer
CI Financial Corp.
(416) 364-1145


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