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Pender Growth Fund Announces Annual Results and Provides Company Updates

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Pender Growth Fund Inc.
Pender Growth Fund Inc.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- (TSXV: PTF) Pender Growth Fund Inc. (the “Company”) today announced its financial and operational results for the year ended December 31, 2021.

Financial Highlights

  • Net income was $152,096,772 for the year ended December 31, 2021 (December 31, 2020 – $14,475,473) primarily the result of positive investment performance during the year.

  • Shareholders’ equity per Class C common share (“Share”) was $26.08 as at December 31, 2021 (December 31, 2020 – $6.11).

  • Net income per Share for the year ended December 31, 2021 was $19.90 (December 31, 2020 – $1.84).

  • The Company’s total shareholders’ equity was $198.6 million as at December 31, 2021, an increase from December 31, 2020 ($47.3 million) primarily as a result of positive investment performance.

  • Shares outstanding were 7,616,529, a decrease from December 31, 2020 (7,740,129) as a result of share repurchases under the Company’s Normal Course Issuer Bid (“NCIB”), which was renewed on February 14, 2022.

  • At December 31, 2021, 73.3% of the investment portfolio is made up of private companies and 26.7% of public companies. However, taken together with the Company’s indirect exposure to public companies through its investment in Pender Private Investments Inc. (“PPI”), public companies make up 95.6% of the Company’s holdings.

  • Management Expense Ratio (“MER”) excluding performance fees was 2.29% for the year ended December 31, 2021, down from 3.20% in 2020.

PERFORMANCE

(Based on Shareholders’ Equity)

3 Month

1 Year

3 Year

5 Year

Since Inception

Class C

183.4%

326.4%

84.1%

42.9%

32.3%

The Company’s portfolio is highly concentrated in the shares of one publicly listed Portfolio Company, Copperleaf Technologies Inc. (“Copperleaf”), considering both its direct investment and its indirect investment through its holding of shares of PPI. At December 31, 2021, the closing price of Copperleaf was $23.85 per share, the financial statements included a significant unrealized gain relating to that holding and the Company’s total shareholders’ equity was $26.08. This unrealized gain is the largest contributor to the increase in the Company’s total shareholders’ equity in the year ended December 31, 2021. There can be no assurance that the Company will be able to complete divestments of Copperleaf or any other individual Portfolio Company generally and/or complete an orderly realization of value (at current values or otherwise). For example, at March 31, 2021, the closing price of the shares of Copperleaf was $16.18, the unrealized gain on the holding was reduced, and the Company’s shareholders’ equity decreased by $6.81 per share to $19.27 per share.

Portfolio Highlights

We believe that the Company is well-positioned today to pursue its investment objectives in the context of current market volatility and valuations in micro and small cap stocks in North America.

During the year, we continued to be active in public markets where we saw what we believed to be strong opportunities both in longer-term compounders and potentially shorter-term close the discount situations. With the continued strength in small cap markets, we have been decreasing some positions and continue to work on new opportunities to deploy capital at attractive rates of return.

As always, this year we worked closely with our private portfolio companies and certain of our public portfolio companies. We are pleased to see private technology companies from within our portfolio flourish and build value, including having the opportunity to go public.

In particular, Copperleaf Technologies Inc., a portfolio company we own both directly and indirectly through our investment in PPI, listed on the TSX at $15.00 per share under the symbol “CPLF” in early October.

Significant Equity Investments & Recent Developments

Pender Private Investments Inc.

At December 31, 2021, the Company held approximately 97% of the Legacy Shares of PPI, formerly the Working Opportunity Fund (EVCC) Ltd. (“WOF”). These shares were acquired in May 2021 from shareholders of WOF (“Exiting Shareholders”) under the previously announced transaction (the “WOF” Transaction”).

PPI is required to redeem Legacy Shares, on a pro rata basis at NAV, upon its receipt of cash proceeds from the sale of any of its portfolio investments. During the year PPI received cash proceeds for its divestment of Redlen Technologies Inc. and Teradici Corporation and redeemed approximately 58.49% of Legacy Shares on a pro rata basis. In October, the Company received a total of $63,197,947 on redemption of 9.8 million of the Legacy Shares it held. This redemption triggered a requirement for the Company to pay an additional cash payment of $21,136,513, or $1.2661 per share, to the Exiting Shareholders and the Company made that payment effective October 13, 2021.

Copperleaf Technologies Inc.

At December 31, 2021, the Company held 10.9% of Copperleaf’s issued and outstanding shares, both directly and through its investment in PPI. On October 7, 2021, Copperleaf’s common shares began trading on the TSX under the symbol “CPLF”. The company raised $161.1 million at $15.00 per common share. The Copperleaf shares held by the Company are subject to a 180 day lock up period. There is no guarantee that the value of the Copperleaf shares will be realized after the expiration of the lock up period.

Other Highlights

We continued to acquire shares of the Company in the market under our NCIB because we believe the shares are trading at a discount to their intrinsic value. On February 14, 2022, the Company launched a new NCIB, under which the Company may purchase a maximum of 678,839 shares, or 10% of the Company’s public float on launch date, during the period ending February 13, 2023.

We encourage you to refer to the Company’s MD&A and annual audited financial statements for the year-ended December 31, 2021, and other disclosures available under the Company’s profile at www.sedar.com for additional information.

About the Company
Pender Growth Fund Inc is an investment firm. Its investment objective is to achieve long-term capital growth. The Company utilizes its small capital base and long-term horizon to invest in unique situations, primarily small cap, special situations, and illiquid public and private companies. The firm invests in public and private companies based primarily in Canada and the U.S., principally in the technology sector. It trades on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol “PTF” and posts its Reporting NAV on its website, generally within five business days of each month end.

Please visit www.pendergrowthfund.com.

For further information, please contact:

Tony Rautava
Corporate Secretary
Pender Growth Fund Inc.
(604) 653-9625
Toll Free: (866) 377-4743
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Forward-Looking Information

This news release may contain forward-looking statements (within the meaning of applicable securities laws) relating to the business of the Company and the environment in which it operates. Forward-looking statements are identified by words such as “believe”, “anticipate”, “project”, “expect”, “intend”, “plan”, “will”, “may”, “estimate” and other similar expressions. These statements are based on the Company's expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections and include, without limitation, statements regarding the Company’s decreased portfolio risk and future investment opportunities. The forward-looking statements in this news release are based on certain assumptions; they are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties that are difficult to control or predict. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the factors discussed under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company's annual information form available at www.sedar.com. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate as actual outcomes and results may differ materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements. Readers, therefore, should not place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements. Further, these forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release and, except as expressly required by applicable law, the Company assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.