SOURCE: Ellsworth Fund Ltd.

January 20, 2015 16:30 ET

Ellsworth Fund Ltd. Declares Quarterly Dividend, Changes Fund Name, and Reports on Share Repurchase Program Activity

MORRISTOWN, NJ--(Marketwired - Jan 20, 2015) - The Board of Trustees of Ellsworth Fund Ltd. (NYSE MKT: ECF) announced today that it had declared a dividend of 10.75 cents ($0.1075) per share. The dividend is payable on February 26, 2015 to shareholders of record on February 12, 2015. Based on our current estimates, the Fund anticipates that approximately $0.0962 per share of the dividend will be paid from accumulated net investment income, and approximately $0.0113 per share will represent a return of capital. These estimates and the sources of the Fund's dividends and distributions are determined at the time of declaration. However dividends and distributions are subject to re-characterization for tax purposes after the end of the fiscal year. A non-taxable return of capital, if any, cannot be determined until after the end of the Fund's fiscal year. Shareholders with taxable accounts will receive written notification regarding the components and tax treatment of distributions via Form 1099-DIV.

As previously reported, the Fund has adopted a minimum distribution policy pursuant to which it will distribute to its shareholders each fiscal year (ending September 30) an aggregate amount of money which equals or exceeds 5% of the average of the closing prices of Fund shares on the last trading day of each month in such fiscal year. Such distributions will be made from undistributed investment income or realized capital gains, but may also include the return of capital. The minimum distribution policy will be subject to regular review by the Board of Trustees and may be terminated prospectively at any time.

The average of the closing prices of Fund shares on the last trading day of each month thus far in fiscal year 2015 is approximately $8.59. If such average were to remain at such amount throughout the remainder of fiscal year 2015 (which, of course, cannot be assured), then the Fund would distribute to shareholders not less than $0.43 per share during 2015 pursuant to the minimum distribution policy.

NAME CHANGE

Effective immediately the Board of Trustees of the Fund also announced that the name of the Fund has been changed to "Ellsworth Growth and Income Fund Ltd." The name change reflects the evolution of the Fund's portfolio from one consisting almost exclusively of convertible securities to one consisting of convertible and equity securities. The evolution of the Fund's investment strategy is not only consistent with the charter and mandate of the Fund but also offers the chance for increased growth and income for Fund shareholders. This opportunity results from the higher income obtainable from an increasing proportion of dividend paying equity securities in the portfolio and also as a result of the increased possibility of obtaining capital gains on the equities purchased. The Trustees believe the name change is consistent with the Fund's current investment objectives and strategy which they believe to be in the best interests of shareholders.

SHARE REPURCHASE REPORT

In accordance with the revised share repurchase program adopted by its Board of Trustees (up to 7% of the Fund's outstanding shares or approximately 920,000 shares), the Fund began making open market purchases of its shares in December 2014. As of January 16, 2015, the Fund had repurchased 93,788 shares in the open market pursuant to the repurchase program at an aggregate cost of $799,487, or approximately $8.54 per share. The weighted average discount of the purchase prices of such transactions to the net asset values of the shares on the corresponding purchase date was approximately 15.77%. Purchases pursuant to the repurchase program have been made in accordance with the limitations of Rule 10b-18 promulgated under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The extent to which the Fund repurchases its shares and the timing of such repurchases depends on market conditions and other considerations as determined by the Fund's management team, and in accordance with the limitations of Rule 10b-18.

Ellsworth Growth and Income Fund Ltd. operates as a closed-end, diversified management investment company and invests in convertible and equity securities, with the objectives of providing income and the potential for capital appreciation, which objectives the Fund considers to be relatively equal, over the long-term, due to the nature of the securities in which it invests. Fund shares trade on the NYSE MKT Exchange under the ticker symbol ECF.

Cusip# 289 074 106

Contact Information

  • For further information please contact:
    Gary I. Levine
    Chief Financial Officer
    Ph. (973) 631-1177
    fax (973) 631-9893