TORONTO, Oct. 29, 2015 /CNW/ - Aston Hill Financial Inc. ("Aston Hill" or the "Company") announces that holders of its 6% convertible unsecured subordinated debentures due July 31, 2016 (the "Debentures") approved the previously announced amendments to the Debentures (the "Amendments") at a special meeting held today. The resolution approving the Amendments was passed by 93% of the votes cast in person or by proxy at the meeting. As a result, the trust indenture dated July 27, 2011 governing the Debentures (the "Indenture") will be amended to extend the maturity date of the Debentures from July 31, 2016 to January 31, 2019, reduce the conversion price from $2.55 per share to $0.65 per share, increase the interest rate from 6.00% to 6.50% per annum effective November 16, 2015, and other than with respect to the previously announced partial redemption (the "Partial Redemption"), restrict the Company from exercising its right to redeem any Debentures until July 31, 2017.
Completion of Corporate Reorganization
The approval of the Amendments is an important component of the Company's recapitalization initiatives, which formed part of the broader corporate reorganization. With these initiatives complete, the Company can focus on executing its strategic business plan and increasing marketing and sales efforts, including its strategies specifically focused on Ben Cheng1, as he will begin managing investment funds exclusively for Aston Hill as of November 2, 2015.
"2015 has likely been the most significant year in our company's history," said Chief Executive Officer (Interim), Peter Anderson. "The on-going investments we have made to create an expansive retail distribution platform and complete changes in our internal infrastructure give us the opportunity to drive meaningful profitability and growth in our proprietary products. Combined with the recent senior management changes, corporate reorganization, and cost cutting initiatives, I, along with the Aston Hill team, feel the Company is in a solid position to achieve this growth. The approval of the Amendments shows that our supporters agree."
The Company cites several initiatives forming part of its broader corporate restructuring completed throughout 2015, including:
- Non-renewal of the sub-advisory agreement with IA Clarington, allowing for Ben Cheng to manage funds for Aston Hill exclusively for the first time beginning as of November 2, 2015. See "New Fund Launch".
- Completion of a non-brokered private placement of approximately $6 million at $0.45/share and a premium to the then current stock price.
- Continued cost cutting initiatives and focus on managing the Company's cost structure, including the Partial Redemption of $6 million Debentures.
- Completion of the consolidation of corporate functions from the Calgary office to the Toronto office, which is expected to save over $2 million per year.
- Closure of the Calgary office and transition to a new executive team all based in Toronto.
- Peter Anderson joining the firm as Interim CEO, taking an active role in the direction and growth of Aston Hill in the Company's continued effort to expand its in-house liquid alternative products. Mr. Anderson's career includes serving as President and Chief Executive Officer of CI Investments as well as Chief Investment Officer of CI Financial Inc. for over 15 years.
- Clearly defining its product line-up, which is focused on liquid alternative funds, including the upcoming November 2015 launch of a new mutual fund, the Aston Hill High Income Fund.
New Fund Launch
Effective November 2, Mr. Cheng will begin managing the new Aston Hill High Income Fund, to which he will combine his 25 years of income-focused investing experience with the use of liquid alternative strategies – including options and shorting, within regulatory limitations – to provide downside protection and generate additional income. Additionally, Mr. Cheng will join as co-manager on the Aston Hill Global Growth & Income Fund alongside current portfolio manager, Vivian Lo.
Partial Redemption of Debentures
Concurrent with the Amendments, the Company will proceed with the Partial Redemption of an aggregate principal amount of $6 million Debentures on a pro rata basis on November 16, 2015 in accordance with the terms of the Indenture. Upon redemption, Aston Hill will pay holders of the Debentures $1,000 plus accrued and unpaid interest thereon up to, but excluding, the redemption date for each $1,000 principal amount of Debentures redeemed. There are currently approximately $40 million principal amount of Debentures outstanding, to be reduced to approximately $34 million principal amount following the Partial Redemption. The Debentures trade on the TSX under the symbol "AHF.DB" and following the effective date of the Amendments and the Partial Redemption will trade under the symbol "AFH.DB.A".
Further information regarding the Amendments and the Partial Redemption, which remain subject to TSX approval, is available in the Company's management information circular dated July 29, 2015, which is available on SEDAR.
Aston Hill Financial Inc. (TSX: AHF) is a diversified asset management company with a suite of retail mutual funds, closed end funds, hedge funds and segregated institutional funds. Aston Hill Financial has offices in Toronto and Halifax.
1Ben Cheng does not act as a portfolio manager for the investment funds named in this document. See www.astonhill.ca for details.
Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the prospectus before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated.
This news release contains certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of such statements under applicable securities law. Forward-looking statements are frequently characterized by words such as "plan", "continue", "expect", "project", "intend", "believe", "anticipate", "estimate", "may", "will", "potential", "proposed" and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions "may" or "will" occur. These statements are only predictions. Various assumptions were used in drawing the conclusions or making the projections contained in the forward-looking statements throughout this news release. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made, and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements.
SOURCE Aston Hill Financial Inc.
For further information: Please contact: Peter Anderson, Chief Executive Officer (Interim), Aston Hill Financial Inc., (416) 583-2300, [email protected]; Derek Slemko, Chief Financial Officer (Interim), Aston Hill Financial Inc., (416) 583-2300, [email protected]