In The News

Portland announces agreement to sell AIC holding to Manulife

August 12, 2009

BURLINGTON, ONTARIO – Portland Holdings, a privately held investment company founded by Michael Lee-Chin that owns a collection of diversified businesses operating in sectors that include media, tourism, health care, telecommunications and financial services, today announced that it has agreed to sell the Canadian retail investment fund business of its AIC holding to Manulife Financial, subject to regulatory and securityholder approval.

“Companies around the globe have clearly entered a period of transformation and this is no different for the mutual fund business where consolidation continues.” said Michael Lee-Chin, Chairman of Portland Holdings “By combining with Manulife, AIC can fully leverage the extraordinary strength and depth of a world-class financial services organization. I believe this combined entity will become a formidable player within the Canadian wealth management landscape.”

Portland’s relationship with Manulife dates back to 2007, when Manulife acquired Berkshire Investment Group, another Portland Holdings company. “I have always had enormous respect for Manulife and this was only enhanced after the Berkshire business combination,” said Mr. Lee-Chin. “Manulife has proven to be an outstanding steward of that business and, in my opinion, the company’s scope and brand have contributed to the creation of a pre-eminent independent advisor platform in the country. I am confident that Manulife can accomplish the same success with AIC.”

Upon completion of the agreement, expected to close by September 25, 2009, Manulife Mutual Funds would manage all AIC Funds in Canada, however AIC Investment Services Inc. will remain as sub-advisor to the following Funds:

  • AIC Advantage Fund
  • AIC Advantage Fund II
  • AIC American Advantage Fund
  • AIC Global Advantage Fund
  • AIC Diversified Canada Fund
  • AIC Canadian Focused Fund
  • AIC Advantage II Corporate Class
  • AIC American Advantage Corporate Class
  • AIC Global Advantage Corporate Class
  • AIC Diversified Canada Corporate Class
  • AIC Canadian Focused Corporate Class
  • AIC Diversified Canada Segregated Fund (75% & 100% Guarantee)

Upon completion of the transaction with Manulife, AIC Investment Services Inc. is expected to commence operations under a new name. The new company will be a Portland Holdings company.

AIC was acquired by Portland Holdings founder Michael Lee-Chin in 1987. At that time AIC had less than $1 million in assets under management. Under Mr. Lee-Chin’s stewardship, AIC grew to become one of Canada’s largest privately held mutual fund companies with assets under management of almost $4 billion.

“As an investor and a businessman, I have always remained attune to market opportunities, and now was an opportune time to sell AIC’s retail investment fund business,” said Mr. Lee-Chin. “Moreover, the agreement provides a new foundation for investment advisory services and that opportunity is of prime interest to Portland.” The transaction allows Mr. Lee-Chin to refocus his efforts on his unique investing philosophy by retaining management, as sub-advisor, of approximately $2 billion of AIC’s assets under management.

Headquartered in Canada, Portland Holdings owns a collection of diversified businesses operating in sectors that include media, tourism, health care, telecommunications and financial services. This portfolio had its origins in 1987.

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Terri Oswald
Media Relations
(905) 331-4242, ext. 4345
1-888-710-4242, ext. 4345