Franklin Templeton Investments Proposes Three Mutual Fund Mergers

TORONTO, May 20, 2016 /CNW/ - Franklin Templeton Investments Corp. today announced proposed mergers for two Franklin Bissett funds and one Templeton fund, to occur after the close of business on or around August 12, 2016, subject to shareholder approval.

The proposed mergers include:

Terminating Fund:

Continuing Fund:

Franklin Bissett Strategic Income Fund

Franklin Bissett Monthly Income and Growth Fund

Franklin Bissett Strategic Income Corporate Class

Franklin Bissett Monthly Income and Growth Fund

Templeton BRIC Corporate Class

Templeton Emerging Markets Fund


Each continuing fund has a more flexible and diversified mandate than its corresponding terminating fund, providing Canadian investors with broader opportunities within the same asset class.

The proposed mergers will be voted on at special meetings of investors to be held on or around August 5, 2016, in Toronto. A joint management information circular providing a full description of the merger considerations and rationale will be sent to investors in mid-July 2016.

If the mergers are approved, investors in the terminating funds will have their holdings transferred to the continuing fund on a series-by-series, dollar-for-dollar basis on or around the close of business on August 12, 2016. Investors who wish to redeem their holdings or switch to a different fund ahead of this transfer must do so by August 11, 2016.

Each continuing fund has a management expense ratio (MER) that is lower than the corresponding terminating fund.

Franklin Bissett Strategic Income Fund and Franklin Bissett Strategic Income Corporate Class mergers

Since the dissolution of the Canadian income trust market at the end of 2010, the high dividend paying equities universe has narrowed substantially and now mostly comprises energy and financial companies. This, in turn, has narrowed the opportunity set for the terminating funds and contributed to increased volatility. The continuing fund provides exposure to a broader opportunity set (including geographically and sector diversified equity and fixed income), employing different strategies for income and growth to help reduce performance volatility.

Templeton BRIC Corporate Class merger

In the early 2000s, the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) were some of the largest and most visible emerging economies, and the terminating fund provided investors with a "short-cut" to investing in emerging markets. More recently, however, the BRIC economies have underperformed the broader emerging market asset class with higher volatility, while the emerging markets investment universe has continued to expand. The continuing fund provides exposure to a wider opportunity set, offering a more balanced and comprehensive approach to emerging markets investing.

Associated costs

All costs and expenses associated with the mergers, including the costs of the meetings, will be borne by the manager and will not be charged to the funds. No commission or other fee will be charged to investors for exchanges from the terminating funds into the continuing funds or another Franklin Templeton fund*.

*Exception: Given the limited number of Series R and Series S investors in Franklin Bissett Strategic Income Corporate Class (terminating fund), Series R and Series S will not be added to the Franklin Bissett Monthly Income and Growth Fund (continuing fund). These investors will be remapped to Series O and Series F in Franklin Bissett Monthly Income and Growth Fund, which pays out monthly distributions comprising income and/or capital gains. Investors will also have the option to make a tax-deferred switch to another corporate class fund prior to the merger date.

Investors are encouraged to speak with their financial advisor about these changes and review their options. For account information, Franklin Templeton's client services team can be reached between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET at 1.800.387.0830 (toll-free).

About Franklin Templeton Investments
Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE: BEN] is a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton Investments. Franklin Templeton Investments provides global and domestic investment management to retail, institutional and sovereign wealth clients in over 180 countries. Through specialized teams, the company has expertise across all asset classes—including equity, fixed income, alternative and custom solutions. The company's more than 600 investment professionals are supported by its integrated, worldwide team of risk management professionals and global trading desk network. With offices in 35 countries, the California–based company has more than 65 years of investment experience and over US$747 billion (over C$936 billion) in assets under management as of April 30, 2016.

For more information, please visit or connect with Franklin Templeton on Twitter (@FTI_Global) and read the Beyond Bulls & Bears blog featuring perspectives from Franklin Templeton investment professionals around the world.

Copyright © 2016. Franklin Templeton Investments. All rights reserved.

SOURCE Franklin Templeton Investments Corp.

For further information: Franklin Templeton Investments Corp., Corporate Communications: Amie Lauder (416) 957-6560,


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