SQN Secured Income Fund plc
(LSE: SSIF) (the "Company" or "SSIF")
The Board of SQN Secured Income Fund plc (LSE: SSIF), a specialist secured lending income generating investment trust, is pleased to provide an update on the Company's continuation vote due to be held this year.
As notified on 23 January, the Company's net asset value at the end of December 2019 was £50m which was below the £250m targeted when management of the Company's portfolio was assumed by SQN Asset Management Limited ("SQN"). Therefore, as required by the Company's Articles of Association, shareholders will be given the opportunity to decide on the Company's future by way of a continuation vote ("Continuation Vote").
Whilst the Board had planned to convene the Continuation Vote in Q1 2020, these plans were interrupted by the spread of Covid-19 which has since developed into a global pandemic with widespread lock downs. Consequently, the Board has resolved to convene a general meeting (the "General Meeting") to hold the Continuation Vote on 19th June 2020. The notice convening that General Meeting will be issued in mid/late May.
This decision has been taken after much debate as there are practical considerations to consider. The Board wants to ensure all shareholders have the opportunity to attend the General Meeting if possible, and to be fully consulted in advance of the General Meeting. Holding the General Meeting in June will, hopefully, allow for this.
Further, the Board thinks it prudent to wait until the outcome of the SQN Asset Finance Income Fund ("AFIF") investment manager review has concluded before consulting with shareholders and holding the General Meeting. The outcome of the review will almost certainly affect SSIF's current investment manager, SQN, albeit it should be noted that the AFIF management team is not the team that manages SSIF. The outcome of this review is expected by the end of this month.
In addition, the Board wishes to obtain a clearer view on the impact of Covid-19 on SSIF's portfolio before making any recommendation to shareholders. This applies to both the legacy portfolio and the more recent loans which SQN has originated and which, to date, are all performing in line with expectations with no missed payments.
The Board has been considering a wide range of options in relation to the Company's future. The economic stability of the assets and the preservation of capital and income is at the forefront of the Board's deliberations when reviewing these options, particularly given the current economic climate. Consequently, as previously announced, SSIF will not be advancing any new loans to new borrowers between now and the General Meeting.
Ken Hillen, Chairman of the Company, commented: "This short delay will hopefully allow for some clarity to be obtained on which the Board can make appropriate recommendations to shareholders, who in turn will have the opportunity to make an informed decision about the future of the Company."
For further information please contact:
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SQN Asset Management Limited
tel: +44 1932 575 888
William Marle / Giles Rolls
tel: +44 20 7220 0500
Kepler Partners LLP
Hugh van Cutsem
tel: +44 20 3384 8790
Charles Ryland/Henry Wilson
tel: +44 20 7466 5000
Notes to Editor
The Company aims to provide shareholders with attractive risk-adjusted returns, principally in the form of regular, sustainable dividends, through investment predominantly in a range of secured loans and other secured loan-based instruments originated through a variety of channels and diversified by way of asset class, geography and duration.
The Company's Investment Managers are SQN Capital Management, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and its subsidiary, SQN Asset Management Limited. The principal responsible for managing the portfolio is Dawn Kendall.
This announcement contains Inside Information as defined under the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No. 596/2014.
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