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Swiss Helvetia Fund to launch tender offer, pay dividend

The Swiss Helvetia Fund Inc. said Aug. 23 that it will launch a tender offer to buy up to 65% of its outstanding shares and pay a dividend to shareholders.

The board of directors approved the tender offer for the shares at a cash price equivalent to 98% of the net asset value per share. The fund may also purchase additional shares, not exceeding 2% of its outstanding shares, without any changes to the tender offer.

Before proceeding with the tender offer, the fund said, it will dispose of a significant part of its portfolio securities and distribute substantially all of its realized capital gains to shareholders at an estimated $4.91 per share or 36% of the fund's net assets, to be paid in newly issued shares.

Shareholders can receive cash instead of stock, but the total cash amount will be limited to 20% of the aggregate distribution. The number of shares to be issued will be based on a price equivalent to the volume weighted average price of the fund's shares on the New York Stock Exchange.

Any other distributions and a previously announced share buyback program have been suspended, the fund said.

The tender offer will be completed during the fourth quarter. In June, shareholders approved a nonbinding proposal recommending that the board of directors approve a tender offer for at least 50% of the fund's outstanding shares.