Franklin Templeton Announces Changes to LibertyShares ETF Offerings

From Franklin Resources, Inc.
contact Pholida Barclay
Telephone (212) 632-3204

San Mateo, CA, February 19, 2020 – Franklin Templeton today announced it will close and liquidate Franklin Liberty International Opportunities ETF (FLIO).  The liquidation is anticipated to occur on or about March 23, 2020. The firm regularly reviews its investment offerings, ensuring products remain competitive and positioned to meet the evolving needs of investors.

Franklin Templeton’s ETF platform, LibertyShares, is one of the fastest growing ETF platforms in the US, with over $4.5 billion assets under management as of January 31, 2020. Following the liquidation, Franklin Templeton’s US LibertyShares ETF platform will comprise  40 ETFs spanning all assets classes and offered through active, smart beta, and passive investment styles. Notably, Franklin Templeton plans to continue expanding its ETF lineup in 2020.

Key dates for the closure include:

  • February 20, 2020: Final day the Fund will accept creation orders from authorized participants
  • March 16, 2020: Final day Fund shares will trade on NYSE Arca, Inc. (NYSE Arca)
  • March 17, 2020: Listing removed from NYSE Arca prior to market open
  • March 23, 2020: Liquidation date with proceeds of liquidation sent to shareholders

When the Fund is in the process of liquidating its portfolio, which is anticipated to commence prior to March 17, 2020, the Fund will hold cash and securities that may not be consistent with the Fund’s investment goal and strategies.

Shareholders may sell their shares of the Fund on NYSE Arca until the market close on March 16, 2020 and may incur the usual and customary brokerage commissions associated with the sale of Fund shares. The Fund’s shares will no longer trade on NYSE Arca after market close on March 16, 2020, and the shares will be subsequently delisted. At the time the liquidation of the Fund is complete, shares of the Fund will be individually redeemed. Shareholders who do not sell their shares of the Fund before market close on March 16, 2020 will receive cash equal to the amount of the net asset value of their shares, which will include any capital gains and dividends, on or about March 23, 2020.

For those shareholders with taxable accounts and for Federal, state and local income tax purposes: (a) any liquidation proceeds paid to such shareholder should generally be treated as received by such shareholder in exchange for the shareholder’s shares and the shareholder will therefore generally recognize a taxable gain or loss; and (b) in connection with the liquidation, the Fund may declare taxable distributions of its income and/or capital gain. Shareholders should consult their tax advisers regarding the effect of the Fund’s liquidation in light of their individual circumstances. .

For more information, please see the Fund’s prospectus or visit franklintempleton.com/etfs. Visit Franklin LibertyShares’ Capital Markets Corner for insights on ETF investing and follow Franklin LibertyShares on Twitter: @libertyshares.

Important Information about the Fund

All investments involve risks, including possible loss of principal. Stock prices fluctuate, sometimes rapidly and dramatically, due to factors affecting individual companies, particular industries or sectors, or general market conditions. Special risks are associated with foreign investing, including currency fluctuations, economic instability and political developments; investments in emerging markets involve heightened risks related to the same factors. Investments in developing markets involve heightened risks related to the same factors, in addition to those associated with their relatively small size and lesser liquidity. To the extent the fund focuses on particular countries, regions, industries, sectors or types of investment from time to time, it may be subject to greater risks or adverse developments in such areas of focus than a fund that invests in a wider variety of countries, regions, industries or sectors or investments. Smaller- and midsize-company stocks have historically experienced more price volatility than larger-company stocks, especially over the short term. Investments in derivatives involve costs and create economic leverage, which may result in significant volatility and cause the fund to participate in losses (as well as gains) that significantly exceed the fund's initial investment. These and other risks are discussed in the fund's prospectus.

ETFs trade like stocks, fluctuate in market value and may trade at prices above or below the ETF’s net asset value. Brokerage commissions and ETF expenses will reduce returns.

ETF shares may be bought or sold throughout the day at their market price, not their Net Asset Value (NAV), on the exchange on which they are listed. Shares of ETFs are tradable on secondary markets and may trade either at a premium or a discount to their NAV on the secondary market.

Investors should carefully consider a fund’s investment goals, risks, charges and expenses before investing. To obtain a summary prospectus and/or prospectus, which contains this and other information, talk to your financial advisor, call us at (800) DIAL BEN/342-5236 or visit franklintempleton.com. Please carefully read a prospectus before you invest or send money.

About Franklin Templeton

The funds’ principal underwriter is Franklin Templeton Distributors, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN] is a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton. Franklin Templeton’s goal is to deliver better outcomes by providing global and domestic investment management to retail, institutional and sovereign wealth clients in over 170 countries. Through specialized teams, the company has expertise across all asset classes—including equity, fixed income, alternative and custom solutions. The company’s more than 600 investment professionals are supported by its integrated, worldwide team of risk management professionals and global trading desk network. With offices in more than 30 countries, the California-based company has more than 70 years of investment experience and over $688 billion in assets under management as of January 31, 2020. For more information, please visit franklintempleton.com.

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