, March 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Boards of Directors of The Zweig Fund, Inc. (NYSE: ZF) and The Zweig Total Return Fund, Inc. (NYSE: ZTR) today announced that each has approved a set of actions intended to enhance shareholder value. These actions resulted from a comprehensive assessment of the funds and their competitive positioning in the current market environment.
The boards have authorized the following for each fund: Open-market stock repurchases; a reverse stock split; enhancements to the investment strategies and policies; and changes in the distribution rate and the advisory agreements. These measures are being taken as part of ongoing efforts to address each fund's current discount to its net asset value (NAV), provide greater investment flexibility, increase each fund's earned yield, and provide a reasonable distribution rate.
Open-Market Stock Repurchase Program
Each board authorized a stock repurchase program that allows its respective fund to repurchase up to 5 percent of its outstanding shares. The intent of the repurchase program, which extends through
March 31, 2015
, is to narrow each fund's discount to its NAV. The repurchase authorization allows each fund to acquire its own shares in the open market at a discount to NAV. There is no assurance that either fund will purchase shares at any specific discount levels or in any specific amounts; that a fund's market price or discount will improve; or that the plan will enhance shareholder value over the long-term. Each fund's repurchase activity will be disclosed in its shareholder report for the relevant fiscal period.
Reverse Stock Split
The boards approved a 1-for-4 reverse stock split of the issued and outstanding shares of each fund, with an effective date that will be determined and announced separately. As a result of the reverse stock split, one new share will be issued for every four currently outstanding shares. Shareholders will be paid cash for any fractional shares that may result from the reverse split. Each shareholder will hold the same percentage of the fund's outstanding common stock immediately following the reverse stock split as held immediately prior to the split, subject to adjustments for the intended cash repurchase of fractional shares resulting from the transaction.