New Issue: PRM SplitShare, 5-Year, 5%

Harvest Portfolios Group Inc. has announced:

that Big Pharma Split Corp. (the “Company”) has completed its initial public offering (the “Offering”) of 1,360,000 Preferred Shares and 1,360,000 Class A Shares for aggregate gross proceeds of $34 million. The Company has granted the Agents (as defined below) an over-allotment option, exercisable for a period of 30 days from today’s date, to purchase up to an additional 204,000 Preferred Shares and up to an additional 204,000 Class A Shares. The Class A Shares and the Preferred Shares will commence trading today on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols “PRM” and “PRM.PR.A”, respectively.

The Company will invest in an initially equally-weighted portfolio (the “Portfolio”) of ten issuers comprised of equity securities selected by Harvest from a universe of pharmaceutical issuers that at the time of investment and immediately following each semi-annual reconstitution and rebalancing: (i) are listed on a North American exchange; (ii) pay a dividend; and (iii) have options in respect of its equity securities that, in the opinion of Harvest, are sufficiently liquid to permit Harvest to write options in respect of such securities (the “Investable Universe”). The Portfolio will be comprised primarily of the largest (as determined by market capitalization calculated in US$) pharmaceutical issuers in the Investable Universe. In order to seek to generate additional returns, Harvest may write call options each month in respect to some or all of the equity securities in the Portfolio.

The investment objectives for the Preferred Shares are to provide their holders with fixed cumulative preferential quarterly cash distributions in the amount of $0.125 per Preferred Share ($0.50 per annum or 5.0% per annum on the $10.00 issue price) until December 31, 2022 (the “Maturity Date”) and to return of the original issue price to holders on the Maturity Date.

The investment objectives for the Class A Shares are to provide their holders with regular monthly cash distributions targeted to be $0.1031 per Class A Share ($1.2372 per annum or 8.25% per annum on the $15.00 issue price) and with the opportunity for growth in net asset value per Class A Share.

Harvest is the manager, portfolio manager and promoter of the Company.

The syndicate of agents for the Offering is being co-led by BMO Capital Markets, CIBC Capital Markets and Scotiabank and also includes National Bank Financial Inc., Canaccord Genuity Corp., GMP Securities L.P., Raymond James Ltd., Desjardins Securities Inc., Echelon Wealth Partners Inc., Industrial Alliance Securities Inc., Mackie Research Capital Corporation and PI Financial Corp. (collectively, the “Agents”).

For additional information: Please visit, e-mail or call toll free 1-866-998-8298.

The SplitShare Corporation has its own web-page.

The preferred shares have been rated Pfd-3(high) by DBRS:

The Class A Share distributions are subject to the asset coverage test, which does not permit any distributions to holders of the Class A Shares if the net asset value (NAV) of the Company falls below $15.00 or if the dividends of the Preferred Shares are in arrears.

Based on current asset coverage of 2.4 times (x), the net asset value of the Company would have to fall by approximately 57.5% for the holders of the Preferred Shares to be in a loss position. The initial dividend coverage ratio is 0.4x. To supplement Portfolio income, the manager will engage in call option writing.

On maturity, the holders of the Preferred Shares will be entitled to the value of the Portfolio up to the face value of the Preferred Shares and any accrued but unpaid dividends in priority to the holders of the Class A Shares.
The credit quality of the Portfolio is strong, though it is concentrated in the health-care sector. Nevertheless, the underlying companies from the indicative Portfolio have a consistent dividend paying history. The Company’s NAV may be sensitive to volatility of prices of the Portfolio securities as well as changes in the dividend policies of the underlying companies and the health-care industry-specific risks. In assigning the Pfd-3 (high) rating, DBRS has taken into account (1) the level of downside protection available to holders of the Preferred Shares, (2) the Portfolio quality, (3) potential foreign-exchange risk because the income received on the Portfolio will not be hedged and (4) stated distributions to the Class A Shares.

This issue will not be tracked by HIMIPref™ as it is too small to allow for reasonable expectations of efficient tradability. But here’s hoping they build it up!

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