SAN FRANCISCO - January 13, 2010
Wells Fargo Funds Management, LLC, the advisor to the Wells Fargo Advantage Funds®, and its affiliate Evergreen Investment Management Company, LLC, the advisor to the Evergreen Funds, have announced plans to streamline and strengthen their mutual fund product offerings. The plans include a series of fund mergers, reorganizations, and liquidations which, following approval by fund shareholders, will result in a Wells Fargo Advantage Funds family offering 128 mutual funds, variable trust funds, and Wells Fargo Managed Account CoreBuilder® Shares, representing what we believe to be the best investment management talent from both firms.
“Uniting these two mutual fund families gives us a tremendous opportunity to better serve our clients by offering a powerful array of products that takes advantage of the strengths of both organizations,” said Karla Rabusch, president of Wells Fargo Advantage Funds. "We are thrilled with the quality, breadth and depth of the investment options that will be available to investors.”
The proposals are designed to both eliminate product overlap and reduce costs to shareholders, while making the resulting product lineup compelling, comprehensive, and easy to navigate. The proposals include the following:
- 27 Evergreen Funds will be reorganized into new Wells Fargo Advantage Funds;
- 53 mutual funds from both fund families will merge; and
- Four Evergreen Funds and one Wells Fargo Advantage Fund will be liquidated.
These proposals have been unanimously approved by the Wells Fargo Advantage Funds and Evergreen Funds Boards of Trustees.
“Our goal has always been to offer investors access to the independent thinking of best-in-class asset managers with time-tested investment strategies,” said Andrew Owen, head of Wells Fargo Funds Management’s Marketing, Investments and Product group. “These actions enhance the overall quality of our investment offerings, while preserving the agility of our multi-boutique investment model.”
Following the fund mergers and reorganizations, Wells Fargo Funds Management will serve as investment advisor to all of the funds. Evergreen portfolio managers will continue to run Funds as part of Wells Capital Management, the institutional “multi-boutique” asset management firm within Wells Fargo’s Asset Management Group, which serves as subadvisor to many Wells Fargo Advantage Funds. Wells Capital Management is one of 17 distinct investment firms that Wells Fargo Funds Management currently engages to subadvise investment products across a variety of asset classes and styles, including equity, fixed-income, asset allocation, and money market.
“We recognize the importance of continuity for investors and are committed to ensuring a seamless integration experience throughout this process,” said Rabusch. “Our top priority remains our dedication to skillfully guiding clients through the investment terrain to help them reach their financial objectives.”
Following is a more comprehensive overview of the announced proposals. More information can be found at www.wellsfargo.com/advantagefunds or www.evergreeninvestments.com.
Twenty-seven Evergreen Funds will each be reorganized into a new Wells Fargo Advantage Fund. These reorganizations are subject to shareholder approval and other closing conditions. In most cases, these reorganized funds will continue to receive investment advisory services from their current investment teams under Wells Capital Management. If the reorganizations are approved and the other closing conditions are met, the reorganizations are expected to occur in July 2010.
|Current Evergreen Fund||New Wells Fargo Advantage Fund Name|
In an effort to achieve possible economies of scale and to eliminate redundancies among fund offerings, the following merger proposals of funds with similar investment objectives and strategies will be put before shareholders of the merging funds in a proxy solicitation. The table below highlights which surviving fund will acquire the merging fund(s). The merger proposals are subject to shareholder approval and other conditions; if approved and other conditions are met, these mergers are expected to occur in July 2010.
|Merging (or Target) Fund(s)||Acquiring Wells Fargo Advantage Fund|
- This fund will be newly created in order to receive the assets of the Target Fund upon completion of the merger.
- The Wells Fargo Advantage Mid Cap Disciplined Fund will be renamed the Wells Fargo Advantage Special Mid Cap Value Fund following the merger and is expected to make certain changes to its principal investments at that time.
- The Wells Fargo Advantage International Core Fund will be renamed the Wells Fargo Advantage International Equity Fund following the merger and is expected to make certain changes to its principal investments at that time.
- For the planned merger of the Wells Fargo Advantage Overland Express Sweep FundSM, shareholder approval is not required and will not be sought.
- The Wells Fargo Advantage VT International Core Fund will be renamed the Wells Fargo Advantage VT International Equity Fund following the merger and is expected to make certain changes to its principal investments at that time.
- The Wells Fargo Advantage VT Small/Mid Cap Value Fund will be renamed the Wells Fargo Advantage VT Small Cap Value Fund on or about May 1, 2010 and is expected to make certain changes to its investment objective and strategies at that time.
The Boards of Trustees of the Wells Fargo Advantage Funds and the Evergreen Funds also approved the liquidation of their respective funds listed below:
- Evergreen Golden Mid Cap Core Fund
- Evergreen VA Diversified Capital Builder Fund
- Evergreen VA Diversified Income Builder Fund
- Evergreen VA High Income Fund
- Wells Fargo Advantage VT Money Market Fund
These proposals were based on the consideration that the funds’ small sizes make it unlikely that a shareholder would benefit from the lower expense ratios that larger funds may experience.
The Wells Fargo Advantage VT Money Market Fund was closed to new insurance companies as of December 31, 2009. As of January 29, 2010, shares of all four Evergreen Funds will no longer be available for purchase by new shareholders. The Evergreen Golden Mid Cap Core Fund will be liquidated on March 26, 2010. The four other funds will be liquidated on April 30, 2010.
The Wells Fargo Advantage Funds Board of Trustees has approved a proposal to replace Wells Capital Management with Metropolitan West Capital Management, LLC as the subadvisor to the Wells Fargo Advantage Small Cap Disciplined Fund. The Fund will be renamed the Wells Fargo Advantage Intrinsic Small Cap Value Fund.
About Wells Fargo Funds Management
Wells Fargo Funds Management, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC), provides investment advisory and administrative services for Wells Fargo Advantage Funds. Other affiliates of Wells Fargo & Company provide subadvisory and other services for the Funds. The Funds are distributed by Wells Fargo Funds Distributor, LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC, an affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. The organization manages more than $179.1 billion in portfolio assets under management (as of December 31, 2009). The Wells Fargo Advantage Funds are a registered trademark of Wells Fargo Funds Management, LLC. For more information on Wells Fargo Advantage Funds, please visit http://www.wellsfargo.com/advantagefunds.
About Evergreen Investments
Evergreen Investments is one of the brand names under which Wells Fargo & Company conducts its investment management business. Evergreen Investments strives to meet client investment objectives through disciplined, teambased asset management and through a broad range of investment products. The organization manages more than $67.2 billion in portfolio assets under management (as of December 31, 2009). Evergreen mutual funds are distributed by Wells Fargo Funds Distributor, LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC, an affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. Evergreen InvestmentsSM is a service mark of Evergreen Investment Management Company, LLC. For more information on Evergreen Investments, please visit www.evergreeninvestments.com.
Additional Information and Where to Find it
The foregoing is not an offer to sell, nor a solicitation of an offer to buy, shares of any investment company, nor is it a solicitation of any proxy.
In connection with the proposed shell reorganizations and mergers, the acquirer will file a prospectus/proxy statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All shareholders are advised to read the prospectus/proxy statement in its entirety when it becomes available, because it will contain important information regarding the acquirer, the target, the transaction, fees, expenses, risk considerations, the persons soliciting proxies in connection with the transaction and the interests of these persons in the transaction and related matters. Target intends to mail the prospectus/proxy statement to its shareholders once it is declared effective by the Commission. Shareholders may obtain a free copy of the prospectus/proxy statement when available and other documents filed by the acquirer with the Commission at the Commission’s web site at http://www.sec.gov. Free copies of the prospectus/proxy statement, once available, may also be obtained by directing a request via mail, phone or email to acquirer, Wells Fargo Advantage Funds, P.O. Box 8266, Boston MA, 02266-8266, 1-800-222-8222, or at www.wellsfargo.com/advantagefunds or by directing a request via mail or fax to target, Evergreen Funds, 200 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA, 02116, 1-800-343-2898, or at www.evergreeninvestments.com. The target and the acquirer also file annual and semi-annual reports and other information with the Commission. You may read and copy any reports, statements, or other information filed by the target or the acquirer at the Commission’s public reference rooms at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C., 20549-0213. Please call the Commission at 1-800- SEC-0330 for further information on the public reference room. Filings made with the Commission by either the target or the acquirer are also available to the public from commercial document-retrieval services and at the Web site maintained by the Commission at http://www.sec.gov.
Participants in the Solicitation
The acquirer, the target and their respective directors, executive officers, and certain members of their management and other employees may be soliciting proxies from shareholders in favor of the transaction and other related matters. Information concerning persons who may be considered participants in the solicitation of the target’s shareholders under the rules of the Commission will be set forth in prospectus/proxy statement when it is filed with the Commission.
Stock fund values fluctuate in response to the activities of individual companies and general market and economic conditions. Bond fund values fluctuate in response to the financial condition of individual issuers, general market and economic conditions, and changes in interest rates. In general, when interest rates rise, bond fund values fall and investors may lose principal value. Some funds, including nondiversified funds and funds investing in foreign investments, high-yield bonds, small and mid cap stocks, and/or more volatile segments of the economy, entail additional risk and may not be appropriate for all investors. Consult a Fund's prospectus for additional information on these and other risks.
A portion of the municipal Funds’ income may be subject to federal, state, and/or local income taxes or the alternative minimum tax (AMT). Any capital gains distributions may be taxable. The U.S. government guarantee applies to certain underlying securities and not to shares of the Funds.
An investment in a money market fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. Although the Fund seeks to preserve the value of your investment at $1.00 per share, it is possible to lose money by investing in a money market fund.
Carefully consider a fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses before investing. For a current prospectus, containing this and other information, visit www.evergreeninvestments.com for Evergreen Funds and www.wellsfargo.com/advantagefunds for Wells Fargo Advantage Funds. Read the prospectus carefully before investing.
For the Variable Trust Funds, please refer to the prospectus provided by your participating insurance company for detailed information describing the separate accounts, including information regarding surrender charges, mortality and expense risk fees, and other charges that may be assessed by the participating insurance companies.
CoreBuilder Shares are a series of investment options within the separately managed accounts advised or subadvised by Wells Fargo Funds Management, LLC. The shares are fee-waived mutual funds that enable certain separately managed account investors to achieve greater diversification than smaller managed accounts might otherwise achieve.
Evergreen Investment Management Company, LLC, is a subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Company and is an affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company’s broker/dealer subsidiaries. Evergreen mutual funds are distributed by Evergreen Investment Services, Inc. Evergreen InvestmentsSM is a service mark of Evergreen Investment Management Company, LLC.
Effective 1-4-10, Evergreen mutual funds are distributed by Wells Fargo Funds Distributor, LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC, an affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.
Wells Fargo Funds Management, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Company, provides investment advisory and administrative services for Wells Fargo Managed Account Services and Wells Fargo Advantage Funds®. Other affiliates of Wells Fargo & Company provide subadvisory and other services for the Funds. The Funds are distributed by Wells Fargo Funds Distributor, LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC, an affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. 120039 01-10
Not FDIC Insured / May Lose Value / No Bank Guarantee