Franklin Universal Trust Announces Open-Market Share Repurchase Program and Dividend Increase
|From:||Franklin Advisers, Inc.|
|Contact:||Franklin Templeton Fund Information|
San Mateo, CA, January 19, 2006 -- Franklin Universal Trust (the “Fund”) (NYSE:FT), a closed-end investment company, announced today that the Board of Directors of the Fund has authorized management to implement an open-market share repurchase program pursuant to which the Fund may purchase, from time to time, up to 10% of the Fund’s common stock, in open-market transactions, at the discretion of management.
The Board’s recent action gives management flexibility to engage in a share repurchase program in efforts to address the Fund’s discount to net asset value. The amount and timing of the repurchases will be at the discretion of the Fund’s management and will take into account various factors, including market conditions, cash on hand and the availability of other attractive investments. Any repurchases made under this program would be made on a national securities exchange at the prevailing market price, subject to exchange requirements and volume, timing and other limitations under Federal securities laws.
In addition, the Fund announced today an increase in the monthly dividend from 3.5 cents to 3.8 cents per share, payable February 15, 2006, to shareholders of record on January 31, 2006. This represents an increase of 8.6% for shareholders.
The Fund is designed for investors seeking to provide high, current income consistent with preservation of capital. Its secondary objective is growth of income through dividend increases and capital appreciation. The Fund’s investment manager is Franklin Advisers, Inc., and Christopher Molumphy and Glenn Voyles are the Fund’s portfolio managers. The Fund had total net assets in excess of $192 million as of November 30, 2005.
Franklin Advisers, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN], a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton Investments. Franklin Templeton Investments provides global and domestic investment management solutions managed by its Franklin, Templeton, Mutual Series and Fiduciary Trust investment teams. The San Mateo, CA-based company has more than 50 years of investment experience and over $464 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2005. For more information, please call 1-800/DIAL BEN® or visit franklintempleton.com.