Well, the news is coming thick and fast out of Wilson Asset Management (WAM) on the ASX this week. Yesterday, we covered the ASX debut of WAM's newest Listed Investment Company (LIC), WAM Strategic Value Ltd (ASX: WAR). Today, we got some more dramatic news out of WAM. This time surrounding WAM Global Ltd (ASX: WGB).
WAM Global is one of WAM's newer LICs, only hitting the ASX back in 2018. It was a first for the fund manager, considering WAM Global would be the first Wilson LIC to focus on companies outside the ASX (hence the name).
Since its ASX IPO back in June 2018, WAM Global has gone on to deliver an average performance of 12.1% per annum since. This includes some healthy dividend growth as well. WAM Global shares today offer a fully franked trailing yield of 3.5%.
WAM's ASX wedding bells toll
Well today, it seems WAM Global is set to grow even larger. In an ASX announcement this morning, WAM Global told investors it has entered into a scheme with Templeton Global Growth Fund Ltd (ASX: TGG). This will allow the two funds to merge. Under the scheme, all Templeton shareholders will receive WAM Global shares and options. Shareholders can also choose to have their shares bought back by WAM for a cash consideration if the scrip offer isn't appealing.
The exact cash/scrip numerations have yet to be determined. But WAM Global has stated that the scrip offer will be "calculated by reference to the relative NTA [net tangible assets] per share after tax, but before deferred taxes of WAM Global and TGG". The cash offer, should investors choose to take it, will consist of shareholders receiving "cash equal to the NTA per [Templeton] share after all current and deferred taxes and associated transaction costs".
Until the review of an "independent expert" over the deal, Templeton Global Growth Fund's board has given their initial approval. They have told investors that they intend to vote in favour of the merger.
WAM Global founder and chair Geoff Wilson stated the following:
The WAM Global Board of Directors believe that the Scheme will be beneficial to both companies and result in a superior merged entity leveraging Wilson Asset Management's proven investment strategy. We look forward to welcoming TGG shareholders to the Wilson Asset Management family as we continue to grow WAM Global.
WAM Global estimates that if all goes to plan, the merger can be implemented by the end of October 2021.
What would a combined LIC look like?
As we touched on earlier, WAM Global invests in companies mostly outside the ASX and Australia. Its current portfolio (as of 31 May 2021) is weighted 56.4% to US companies, 10.4% to German companies and 7.5% to British shares, amongst others. Some of WAM's top holdings at the current time include Chinese giant Tencent Holdings ADR (OTCMKTS: TCEHY). As well as payments behemoth Visa Inc (NYSE: V) and gaming titan Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA).
Meanwhile, Templeton Global Growth's top holdings (also as of May) include JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (OTCMKTS: SSNLF), American Express Company (NYSE: AXP) and Taiwan Semiconductor Mfg. Co. Ltd. (NYSE: TSM). Templeton is also weighted heavily to the USA, which has a 36.9% weighting in the fund. Other significant geographical exposures come from Britain, Germany, Japan and South Korea.