Invitation to annual general meeting of shareholders on 6 June 2011 - proposal to transform SPG stock into units of a sustainable investment fund

(PresseBox) ( Zürich, )
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- Fundamental strategic examination of the investment strategy and investment vehicle per se

- Proposal to the general assembly: Transformation of SPG stock into units of the innovative Globalance Sokrates Fund

- Transformation to take place in three stages, presumably through end-2011

The Board of Directors of SPG is no longer satisfied with the price development of SPG shares, especially since the financial crisis witnessed in late 2008. Intermittently, the stock price has traded at what for SPG is an unusually deep discount of roughly 15% to the actual net asset value of the investments. Owing to this unsatisfactory situation, the Board of Directors proactively conducted a fundamental strategic analysis in recent months.

Strategic analysis and new invitation to tender

Within the framework of this in-depth analysis, the Board of Directors scrutinised the investment company’s strategy, investment advice and the investment vehicle per se. The goal of the examination was to reinforce the degree of innovation and future-orientation on a global scale. The results of this analysis led to the conclusion that a fundamental change should be made to the investment strategy as well as the actual investment vehicle. Subsequently, the Board invited the existing asset manager and three banks specialised in sustainable investments to tender an offer. The offers received were weighed against each other in a multi-level process and an appropriate, future-oriented decision was taken.

New investment vehicle, and Globalance Bank as new asset manager

Conditioned on the approval of shareholders at the annual general meeting, the Board of Directors has resolved to transform the shares of SPG into units of a Luxembourg investment fund and entrust Globalance Bank Ltd. with the management of this fund. Globalance Bank’s proposal convinced the Board especially in terms of the requisite degree of innovation, future viability and shareholder-oriented implementation of its investment approach. Globalance Bank is an independent Swiss private bank that specialises exclusively in sustainable investments across all asset classes (www.globalance-bank.com).

Innovative investment strategy of the new Globalance Sokrates Fund

The transaction being proposed to shareholders foresees the transformation of SPG stock into units of the Globalance Sokrates Fund. On behalf of this fund, Globalance Bank carefully selects and establishes positions in the world’s most interesting sustainable investment products. The selection process resolutely disregards any proprietary products of Globalance Bank. In the quest for long-term wealth accumulation, tremendous significance is attached to the dynamic adjustment of asset allocations. Accordingly, the fund invests in a time/situation-dependent and dynamically weighted combination of different asset classes (liquidity, equities, bonds, real estate, commodities and alternative investments).

This new approach is advantageous for investors in three ways:

- The dynamic adjustment of asset class weightings enables risk to be managed prudently in response to the latest assessment of the markets

- In contrast to SPG, the investment themes are not static – rather, they are continuously examined and actively optimised in response to their future potential and current valuation

- A portfolio that spans all asset classes stabilises its risk/return profile and broadens its diversification

Prof. Dr. Ernst A. Brugger, Chairman of the Board of SPG: “With this proposal, the unsatisfactory discount problem for shareholders will be solved. We are convinced that this new investment strategy represents an innovative, sustainable and shareholder-friendly solution for SPG.”

Timetable for the transformation

The transition will take place in three stages. In this connection, SPG shareholders will automatically receive units of the Globalance Sokrates Fund, the number of which shall correspond to the monetary value determined at each of the three stages. The procedure will be conducted as follows:

1. Distribution of reserves from capital contributions of SPG, presumably as at 4 July 2011 – corresponds approximately to CHF 88.- per SPG bearer share

2. Par value reduction, presumably at the end of August 2011 – corresponds approximately to CHF 62.- per SPG bearer share

3. Final distribution, presumably in the fourth quarter of 2011 following the successful liquidation of SPG’s private equity investments

The complete agenda for the annual general meeting on 06 June 2011 and further information on Globalance Sokrates Fund can be accessed at http://www.sustainable.ch
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