VANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 27, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- (TSXV: PTF) Pender Growth Fund Inc. (the “Company”) today announced its financial and operational results for the three months ended March 31, 2022.
Financial Highlights (Unaudited)
Net loss was $51,821,705 for the three months ended March 31, 2022 (March 31, 2021 – Net income $137,400) primarily the result of negative investment performance in the quarter.
Net loss per Share for the three months ended March 31, 2022 was $6.81 (March 31, 2021 – Net income per share $0.02).
Shareholders’ equity per Class C common share (“Share”) was $19.29 as at March 31, 2022 (December 31, 2021 – $26.08).
The Company’s total shareholders’ equity was $146.5 million as at March 31, 2022, a decrease from December 31, 2021 ($198.6 million) primarily resulting from a decline in market prices of public company shares during the quarter.
Shares outstanding were 7,595,229, a decrease from December 31, 2021 (7,616,529) as a result of share repurchases under the Company’s Normal Course Issuer Bid (“NCIB”), which was renewed on February 14, 2022.
At March 31, 2022, 75.8% of the investment portfolio is made up of private companies and 24.2% of public companies. However, taken together with the Company’s indirect exposure to public companies through its investment in Pender Private Investments Inc. (“PPI”), and Pender Private Debt Opportunities Fund I Limited partnership (“PPDF”), public companies make up 90.5% of the Company’s holdings.
Management Expense Ratio (“MER”) excluding performance fees was 1.95% for the quarter ended March 31, 2022, down from 3.16% over the same period in the prior period.
The Company’s portfolio is materially concentrated in the shares of one publicly listed Portfolio Company, Copperleaf Technologies Inc. (“Copperleaf”), considering both its direct investment and its indirect investment through its holding of shares of PPI. At December 31, 2021, the closing price of Copperleaf was $23.85 per share. At March 31, 2022, the closing price of Copperleaf was $16.18 per share, which reduced the Company’s unrealized gain on the holding, and the Company’s shareholders’ equity decreased by $6.79 per share in the first quarter of 2022, to $19.29 per share. The value of the Company’s direct and indirect holdings of Copperleaf was $120,632,216 at March 31, 2022, which is 82.4% of the Company’s total shareholders’ equity. At May 27, 2022, the closing price of Copperleaf was $8.16 per share. There can be no assurance that the Company will be able to realize the value of this investment.
The war between Russia and Ukraine, the COVID-19 global health pandemic and the move by central banks to taper monetary and fiscal stimulus and raise interest rates to control inflation led to concerns regarding the outlook for economic growth and created volatility in equities as these developments were digested and added uncertainty. We believe that the Company continues to be well-positioned today to pursue its investment objectives despite current market volatility and valuations in micro and small cap stocks in North America.
As always, this quarter we worked closely with our private portfolio companies and certain of our public portfolio companies.
Significant Equity Investments & Recent Developments
Pender Private Investments Inc.
At March 31, 2022, the Company held approximately 97% of the Legacy Shares of PPI, formerly the Working Opportunity Fund (EVCC) Ltd. (“WOF”). These shares were acquired in May 2021 from shareholders of WOF (“Exiting Shareholders”) under the previously announced transaction (the “WOF” Transaction”).
The Exiting Shareholders had a limited and conditional right to an additional cash payment from the Company based on a percentage share of the net gains over carrying values at the effective date of the WOF Transaction from divestment activity in the Venture Series portfolio before May 18, 2022. Because there was no letter of intent, term sheet or binding agreement for a divestment entered into after November 18, 2021 and before February 18, 2022, the final period during which an additional exit payment could have been triggered, the right to any additional cash payment has ceased and the exit venture shares were redeemed automatically in May 2022.
Copperleaf Technologies Inc.
At March 31, 2022, the Company held 10.9% of Copperleaf’s issued and outstanding shares, both directly and through its investment in PPI. The value of the Company’s direct and indirect holdings of Copperleaf was $120,632,216 at March 31, 2022, which is 82.4% of the Company’s total shareholders’ equity.
We continued to acquire shares of the Company in the market under our NCIB because we believe the shares are trading at a discount to their intrinsic value. On February 14, 2022, the Company launched a new NCIB, under which the Company may purchase a maximum of 678,839 shares, or 10% of the Company’s public float on launch date, during the one year period ending February 13, 2023.
We encourage you to refer to the Company’s MD&A and quarterly unaudited financial statements for March 31, 2022, the annual audited financial statements for the year-ended December 31, 2021, as well as other disclosures available under the Company’s profile at www.sedar.com for additional information.
About the Company
Pender Growth Fund Inc is an investment firm. Its investment objective is to achieve long-term capital growth. The Company utilizes its small capital base and long-term horizon to invest in unique situations, primarily small cap, special situations, and illiquid public and private companies. The firm invests in public and private companies based primarily in Canada and the U.S., principally in the technology sector. It trades on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol “PTF” and posts its Reporting NAV on its website, generally within five business days of each month end.
Please visit www.pendergrowthfund.com.
For further information, please contact:
Pender Growth Fund Inc.
Toll Free: (866) 377-4743
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
This news release may contain forward-looking statements (within the meaning of applicable securities laws) relating to the business of the Company and the environment in which it operates. Forward-looking statements are identified by words such as “believe”, “anticipate”, “project”, “expect”, “intend”, “plan”, “will”, “may”, “estimate” and other similar expressions. These statements are based on the Company's expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections and include, without limitation, statements regarding the Company’s decreased portfolio risk and future investment opportunities. The forward-looking statements in this news release are based on certain assumptions; they are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties that are difficult to control or predict. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the factors discussed under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company's annual information form available at www.sedar.com. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate as actual outcomes and results may differ materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements. Readers, therefore, should not place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements. Further, these forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release and, except as expressly required by applicable law, the Company assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.