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In connection with the previously announced approval by shareholders of First Trust Strategic High Income Fund (NYSE: FHI) and First Trust Strategic High Income Fund III (NYSE: FHO) of the reorganizations of each of FHI and FHO into First Trust Strategic High Income Fund II (NYSE: FHY) and the approval by shareholders of FHY of the issuance of additional common shares of FHY in connection with the reorganizations, First Trust Advisors L.P. (“FTA”) announces today that each of FHI and FHO has declared its final distribution and FHY has declared a special distribution payable on September 29, 2011 to shareholders of record as of September 26, 2011. The ex-dividend date is expected to be September 22, 2011. The distribution information for each Fund appears below.
First Trust Strategic High Income Fund (FHI):Distribution per share: $0.123
First Trust Strategic High Income Fund II (FHY):Distribution per share: $0.075
First Trust Strategic High Income Fund III (FHO):Distribution per share: $0.098
The distributions will be paid entirely in cash, with no option for dividend reinvestment. It is anticipated that the distributions will primarily consist of undistributed net investment income. In order to comply with distribution requirements under the tax code, each Fund is distributing all of its net investment income prior to the consummation of the reorganizations. The final determination of the source and tax status of all distributions paid in 2011 will be made after the end of 2011.
Pursuant to the reorganizations, FHY will acquire all of the assets and liabilities of FHI and FHO in separate tax-free transactions for common shares of FHY. Each reorganization is expected to occur based on the relative net asset values of FHY, FHI and FHO as of September 30, 2011.
As previously announced, the Board of Trustees of FHY has also approved a 1-for-3 reverse stock split, which is expected to be completed upon the consummation of the reorganizations. The reverse stock split will result in every three outstanding shares being converted into one share, thereby reducing the number of FHY shares outstanding below the number outstanding prior to the reorganizations. Once the reverse stock split is complete, each FHY shareholder’s account will reflect fewer shares with a higher net asset value and market price per share. It is anticipated that FHY’s shares will trade on a reverse split-adjusted basis under the same ticker symbol, FHY, and a new CUSIP number, 337353304, effective upon the closing of the reorganizations and reverse stock split. FHY will issue a press release announcing the closing of the reorganizations and the reverse stock split, which are anticipated to be effective as of the opening of business of the New York Stock Exchange on October 3, 2011, subject to all regulatory requirements and customary closing conditions being satisfied.