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Monday, November 03, 2008

GAMCO Gobbles a Micro-Cap Fund

News summary by MFWire's editors

The Bjurman, Barry Micro-Cap Growth Fund will soon be no more. On Monday Bjurman revealed that the fund will be combined with the GAMCO Westwood Mighty Mites Fund, pending shareholder approval. (GAMCO's Teton Advisors will manage the Bjurman, Barry fund on November 28, until the merger is approved.)

Company Press Release

LOS ANGELES, Nov 03, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Bjurman, Barry Funds announced today that it has entered into a letter of intent with GAMCO Investors, Inc. for the reorganization of the Bjurman, Barry Micro-Cap Growth Fund (the "Fund") into the GAMCO Westwood Mighty MitesSM Fund, a series of the GAMCO Westwood Funds. The letter of intent, approved by the Independent Trustees of The Bjurman, Barry Funds, contemplates that GAMCO Investors' subsidiary Teton Advisors, Inc., the investment adviser of the Mighty Mites Fund, will act as interim investment adviser to the Fund from November 28, 2008, for a period of up to 150 days until the reorganization is approved by the Fund's shareholders.

The Fund's current investment advisory agreement with Bjurman, Barry & Associates ("Bjurman, Barry") terminates on November 28, 2008, and by mutual agreement of the parties is not being renewed. "The Fund's independent trustees conducted a search to identify the best candidates to replace Bjurman, Barry," noted Michael D. LeRoy, Chairman of a Special Committee of the Board of Trustees appointed to consider alternatives for the Fund. "We concentrated our efforts on firms that we believed had demonstrated superior performance in managing assets in the micro-cap stock space. After due diligence and consideration, the independent trustees concluded that combining with the Mighty Mites Fund was the best choice for the Fund."

Mr. LeRoy indicated that during the interim period the Fund's advisory fee and expense cap will remain at their current levels (1.00% and 1.80% of the Fund's average daily net assets, respectively). He noted that the proposed reorganization would be tax-free to investors in the Fund, and that Teton Advisors would bear the expenses of the reorganization. He also noted that the proposed interim advisory and reorganization arrangements are subject to final approval by the Fund's board of trustees at a meeting to be held on November 12, 2008, after review of the final forms of related agreements and various other matters the board is required to consider in connection with such matters.

Nicholas F. Galluccio, the chief executive officer of Teton Advisors, Inc., said, "We are delighted to have been chosen to take on the investment management responsibility for this Fund."

Mr. LeRoy said "The Independent Trustees of the Fund appreciate Bjurman, Barry's efforts in managing the Fund over the last 11-1/2 years." G. Andrew Bjurman, Chief Executive Officer of Bjurman, Barry, noted "We look forward to continuing to implement our long-term investment strategies for our other clients and to exploring future mutual fund opportunities with other interested parties and partners."

About the Bjurman, Barry Micro-Cap Growth Fund

The Bjurman, Barry Micro-Cap Growth Fund (Ticker: BMCFX) is a diversified series of The Bjurman, Barry Funds, an open-end investment company with shares offered for sale in the United States. The Fund's objective is to seek capital appreciation through investments in the common stocks of companies with market capitalizations generally between $30 million and $300 million at the time of investment. More information about the Fund is available at www.bjurmanbarry.com.

About the GAMCO Westwood Mighty MitesSM Fund

The Mighty Mites Fund seeks to provide long-term capital appreciation by investing primarily in micro-capitalization equity securities. The Mighty Mites Fund primarily invests in common stocks of companies that have market capitalizations of $300 million or less at the time of its initial investment. The Mighty Mites Fund attempts to identify undervalued companies that, among other things, have above average sales and earnings growth prospects. It has been managed by a team led by Mario J. Gabelli since its inception in 1998.

GAMCO Investors, Inc., through its subsidiaries, manages private advisory accounts (GAMCO Asset Management Inc.), mutual funds and closed-end funds (Gabelli Funds, LLC), and partnerships and offshore funds (Gabelli Securities, Inc.). As of June 30, 2008, GAMCO had approximately $28.3 billion in assets under management.

Bjurman, Barry & Associates, formerly George D. Bjurman & Associates, was founded in Los Angeles, California in 1970. Investment management is the sole purpose and activity of the firm. Since inception, Bjurman, Barry & Associates has specialized in the management of investment portfolios for corporate pension and profit sharing plans, jointly trusteed and union pension plans, states and municipalities, foundations, endowment funds, and individuals. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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