VenGrowth Asset Management Inc.

VenGrowth Asset Management Inc.
First Asset

First Asset

June 24, 2009 10:41 ET

VenGrowth Signs Definitive Agreement to Sell Criterion Investments to First Asset

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 24, 2009) - VenGrowth Asset Management ("VenGrowth") and First Asset Capital Corp. ("First Asset") are pleased to announce that they have executed a definitive purchase and sale agreement whereby First Asset will acquire the mutual fund business of Criterion Investments ("Criterion"). First Asset will also retain a number of key employees, including Ian McPherson, President of Criterion.

The completion of the transaction, which is currently scheduled to occur on or about July 31, 2009, remains subject to certain conditions, including the approval of the unitholders of the funds, regulatory and third party approvals and other customary closing conditions. A meeting of unitholders has been scheduled for July 28, 2009.

Criterion has been at the forefront of unique investment strategies for Canadian retail investors in recent years, launching Canada's first global water infrastructure fund, first global clean energy fund and first family of currency-hedged funds. Criterion's investment philosophy is to offer investment solutions that can add value to portfolios in the form of thematic trends, portfolio risk mitigation or sought-after investment management talent.

Criterion will continue this tradition with First Asset, a provider of innovative, tax-effective investment vehicles including TSX-listed investment funds, mutual funds, principal-protected notes and flow-through limited partnerships.

"We look forward to building on the foundation that Ian McPherson and his team have laid by maintaining the Criterion brand, continuing to offer the existing line-up of funds and adding to the line-up through First Asset's internal investment management expertise and through its deep relationships with a variety of top tier external investment management companies globally," said Barry Gordon, President and CEO, First Asset.

"We are delighted to have agreed to terms that will enable Criterion to join a company of First Asset's reputation and expertise," said David Ferguson, VenGrowth Managing General Partner. "This will allow VenGrowth to dedicate itself fully to its private equity business while still participating in the future success of Criterion and First Asset through a minority equity interest resulting from the transaction."

About VenGrowth

VenGrowth is a premier Canadian private equity firm. Since 1982, VenGrowth has invested over $1.3 billion in almost 200 North American companies, working alongside business owners to maximize potential. VenGrowth manages assets on behalf of over 150,000 individual investors as well as leading pension funds, banks, insurance companies and family foundations. VenGrowth's offices are located in Toronto (Corporate Headquarters), Ottawa and Montreal. For more information, please visit

About First Asset

First Asset is a Canadian wealth management company that offers a diverse range of investment products including exchange listed investment funds, mutual funds, principal-protected notes and flow-through limited partnerships, covering a variety of domestic and global mandates.

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