Delaware to Focus Mutual Fund Line-Up, With Some Smaller Funds Dropped Through Liquidation or Proposed Mergers

Apr 23, 2001, 01:00 ET from Delaware Investments

    PHILADELPHIA, April 23 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- Delaware
 Investments today announced plans calling for the elimination through
 liquidation or mergers of 14 of its retail mutual funds during 2001. The
 announcement came during a recent meeting of the Funds' Board of Trustees
 where the proposed plans were approved. The mergers are contingent on
 shareholder approval.
     In all, the plans call for 11 of the funds to hold shareholder meetings to
 vote on whether to merge the fund into other funds with similar objectives and
 policies. In addition, three funds will be liquidated. "Delaware's goal is to
 provide superior investment management in major asset classes," said Karina J.
 Istvan, Delaware's senior vice president/retail product management.  "One way
 to achieve that goal is to focus our efforts on the types of funds that people
 want to invest in, ensuring that we have a roster of funds that meet broad
 investing needs," she said.
     "In every case, these are funds that never attracted enough assets to
 achieve any strong economies of scale," Istvan said, "and that made it
 difficult for us to manage these Funds to the benefit of our shareholders."
 She said the shareholder meetings and liquidations will take place over the
 next several months after thorough communication to the funds' shareholders
 and financial intermediaries who have an interest in the funds.
     If shareholders approve all of the mergers, Delaware's lineup will be
 trimmed to 49 open-end retail mutual funds: The proposed mergers are for the
 following funds:
 
     Single-State Municipal Bond Funds: Shareholders will be asked to consider
 merging the Tax-Free Iowa, Tax- Free Kansas, Tax-Free North Dakota, Tax-Free
 New Mexico and Tax-Free Wisconsin, the Tax-Free New Jersey and the Montana
 Municipal Bond funds into the Delaware Tax-Free USA Fund;
 
     Government Bond Funds: Shareholders will be asked to consider merging the
 Delaware U.S. Government Securities Fund into the Delaware American Government
 Bond Fund;
 
     Blend Funds: Shareholders will be asked to consider merging the Delaware
 Tax-Efficient Equity Fund and the Delaware Blue Chip Fund into the Delaware
 Devon Fund; and
 
     International Funds: Shareholders will be asked to consider merging the
 Delaware Overseas Equity Fund into the Delaware International Equity Fund.
 
     The funds that will be liquidated are Delaware Global Equity, Delaware
 Global Bond and Delaware New Pacific Funds.
     With the announcement of the plans, Delaware becomes one of several mutual
 fund management firms that is trimming its roster of funds. "It's a trend that
 is likely to continue," Istvan said. "There are many mutual fund companies
 that offer too many funds. They are finding, as we did, that they want to
 focus on doing what they do well, because good performance attracts assets."
     She explained that the reduction does not mean that Delaware is out of the
 business of creating new funds in targeted areas.  "If we see an opportunity
 to strengthen our fund lineup by introducing a fund that takes advantage of
 our investing strengths and that we feel will be popular with investors, we
 will bring that fund to the marketplace."
     She cited Delaware American Services Fund, which opened to the public on
 March 1, as an example of a fund that both takes advantage of the firm's
 investment management expertise and that is designed to attract new investors.
 The fund invests in financial, business and consumer services sectors.
     If you are a shareholder of record May 30, 2001 in one or more of the
 funds that are being considered for merger, you will receive proxy material in
 early June that will provide information about your voting rights. Please read
 the proxy carefully when you receive it. You can also request that a copy of
 the proxy materials be sent to you free of charge by writing to: Delaware
 Investments, Attn: Account Services, 1818 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA
 19103-3682, or by calling 1-800-523-1918.
     For more information about any Delaware Investments mutual funds,
 including charges and expenses, please obtain a prospectus from Delaware
 Investments at 1-800-523-1918 or call your financial adviser.  Please read the
 prospectus carefully before you invest or send money.
 
     Delaware Investments is a diversified asset management organization with
 approximately $87.5 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2001.
 Delaware Investments provides investment products and services to individual
 investors through a broad line of mutual funds, retirement plan services and
 other investment products; and to institutional investors, primarily private
 and public pension funds, foundations, endowment funds, banks and insurance
 companies.
 
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                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X25586418
 
 

SOURCE Delaware Investments
    PHILADELPHIA, April 23 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- Delaware
 Investments today announced plans calling for the elimination through
 liquidation or mergers of 14 of its retail mutual funds during 2001. The
 announcement came during a recent meeting of the Funds' Board of Trustees
 where the proposed plans were approved. The mergers are contingent on
 shareholder approval.
     In all, the plans call for 11 of the funds to hold shareholder meetings to
 vote on whether to merge the fund into other funds with similar objectives and
 policies. In addition, three funds will be liquidated. "Delaware's goal is to
 provide superior investment management in major asset classes," said Karina J.
 Istvan, Delaware's senior vice president/retail product management.  "One way
 to achieve that goal is to focus our efforts on the types of funds that people
 want to invest in, ensuring that we have a roster of funds that meet broad
 investing needs," she said.
     "In every case, these are funds that never attracted enough assets to
 achieve any strong economies of scale," Istvan said, "and that made it
 difficult for us to manage these Funds to the benefit of our shareholders."
 She said the shareholder meetings and liquidations will take place over the
 next several months after thorough communication to the funds' shareholders
 and financial intermediaries who have an interest in the funds.
     If shareholders approve all of the mergers, Delaware's lineup will be
 trimmed to 49 open-end retail mutual funds: The proposed mergers are for the
 following funds:
 
     Single-State Municipal Bond Funds: Shareholders will be asked to consider
 merging the Tax-Free Iowa, Tax- Free Kansas, Tax-Free North Dakota, Tax-Free
 New Mexico and Tax-Free Wisconsin, the Tax-Free New Jersey and the Montana
 Municipal Bond funds into the Delaware Tax-Free USA Fund;
 
     Government Bond Funds: Shareholders will be asked to consider merging the
 Delaware U.S. Government Securities Fund into the Delaware American Government
 Bond Fund;
 
     Blend Funds: Shareholders will be asked to consider merging the Delaware
 Tax-Efficient Equity Fund and the Delaware Blue Chip Fund into the Delaware
 Devon Fund; and
 
     International Funds: Shareholders will be asked to consider merging the
 Delaware Overseas Equity Fund into the Delaware International Equity Fund.
 
     The funds that will be liquidated are Delaware Global Equity, Delaware
 Global Bond and Delaware New Pacific Funds.
     With the announcement of the plans, Delaware becomes one of several mutual
 fund management firms that is trimming its roster of funds. "It's a trend that
 is likely to continue," Istvan said. "There are many mutual fund companies
 that offer too many funds. They are finding, as we did, that they want to
 focus on doing what they do well, because good performance attracts assets."
     She explained that the reduction does not mean that Delaware is out of the
 business of creating new funds in targeted areas.  "If we see an opportunity
 to strengthen our fund lineup by introducing a fund that takes advantage of
 our investing strengths and that we feel will be popular with investors, we
 will bring that fund to the marketplace."
     She cited Delaware American Services Fund, which opened to the public on
 March 1, as an example of a fund that both takes advantage of the firm's
 investment management expertise and that is designed to attract new investors.
 The fund invests in financial, business and consumer services sectors.
     If you are a shareholder of record May 30, 2001 in one or more of the
 funds that are being considered for merger, you will receive proxy material in
 early June that will provide information about your voting rights. Please read
 the proxy carefully when you receive it. You can also request that a copy of
 the proxy materials be sent to you free of charge by writing to: Delaware
 Investments, Attn: Account Services, 1818 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA
 19103-3682, or by calling 1-800-523-1918.
     For more information about any Delaware Investments mutual funds,
 including charges and expenses, please obtain a prospectus from Delaware
 Investments at 1-800-523-1918 or call your financial adviser.  Please read the
 prospectus carefully before you invest or send money.
 
     Delaware Investments is a diversified asset management organization with
 approximately $87.5 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2001.
 Delaware Investments provides investment products and services to individual
 investors through a broad line of mutual funds, retirement plan services and
 other investment products; and to institutional investors, primarily private
 and public pension funds, foundations, endowment funds, banks and insurance
 companies.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X25586418
 
 SOURCE  Delaware Investments