Merrill Lynch & Co.
responded swiftly to the wishes of vocal shareholder Karpus Investment Management
and will convert one of its closed-end funds into a traditional mutual fund with similar objectives, smoothing the way for the upcoming closing of the BlackRock
Vocal Karpus, the largest shareholder of The Europe Fund Inc.
, recently asked the fund's board to do something about a trading price that's languished below NAV, reported Dow Jones Newswires
. A lifeboat provision allows funds to convert from closed- to open-ended under such circumstances, and Karpus has previously demanded that funds from Scudder
All shareholders will now be asked to approve a reorganization of The Europe Fund into the open-ended Merrill Lynch Eurofund
, before the passage of new advisory agreements with BlackRock. Karpus investment strategist Cody Bartlett
confirmed that Merrill likely averted a proxy contest to the advisory agreement by addressing Karpus' concerns.
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