RYE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Board of Trustees of Bancroft Fund Ltd. (NYSE American: BCV) (the “Fund”) declared a $0.29 per share cash distribution payable on March 24, 2020 to common shareholders of record on March 17, 2020. The $0.29 first quarter 2020 distribution is a 16% increase from $0.25 in the same period last year and brings the 2020 minimum annual distribution to $1.16 per share. The increase follows on the strength of the Fund’s market return in 2019, which increased 50%.
The Fund intends to pay the greater of either an annual distribution of 5% of funds trailing 12-month average month-end market price or an amount that meets the minimum distribution requirement of the Internal Revenue Code for regulated investment companies. Each quarter, the Board of Trustees reviews the amount of any potential distribution from the income, realized capital gain, or capital available.
The Board of Trustees will continue to monitor the Fund’s distribution level, taking into consideration the Fund’s net asset value and the financial market environment. If necessary, the Fund pays an adjusting distribution in December, which includes any additional income and net realized capital gains in excess of the quarterly distributions. The Fund’s distribution policy is subject to modification or termination by the Board of Trustees at any time, and there can be no guarantee that the policy will continue. The distribution rate should not be considered the dividend yield or total return on an investment in the Fund.
All or part of the distribution may be treated as long-term capital gain or qualified dividend income (or a combination of both) for individuals, each subject to the maximum federal income tax rate for long term capital gains, which is currently 20% in taxable accounts for individuals (or less depending on an individual’s tax bracket). In addition, certain U.S. shareholders who are individuals, estates or trusts and with income that exceeds certain thresholds will be required to pay a 3.8% Medicare surcharge on their "net investment income", which includes dividends received from the Fund and capital gains from the sale or other disposition of shares of the Fund.
If the Fund does not generate sufficient earnings (dividends and interest income, less expenses, and realized net capital gain) equal to or in excess of the aggregate distributions paid by the Fund in a given year, then the amount distributed in excess of the Fund’s earnings would be deemed a return of capital. Since this would be considered a return of a portion of a share-holder’s original investment, it is generally not taxable and would be treated as a reduction in the shareholder’s cost basis.
Long-term capital gains, qualified dividend income, ordinary income and return of capital, if any, will be allocated on a pro-rata basis to all distributions to common shareholders for the year. Based on the accounting records of the Fund currently available, the current distribution paid in 2020 to common shareholders with respect to the Fund’s fiscal year ending October 31, 2020 would include approximately 4% from net investment income and 96% from net capital gains on a book basis.
The information herein, does not represent information for tax reporting purposes. The estimated components of each distribution are updated and provided to shareholders of record in a notice accompanying the distribution and are available on our website. The final determination of the sources of all distributions in 2020 will be made after year end and can vary from the quarterly estimates. Shareholders should not draw any conclusions about the Fund’s investment performance from the amount of the current distribution. All individual shareholders with taxable accounts will receive written notification regarding the components and tax treatment for all 2020 distributions in early 2021 via Form 1099-DIV.
Returns represent past performance and do not guarantee future results. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data quoted. Investment return and principal value will fluctuate so, upon redemption, shares may be worth more or less than their original cost.
Investors should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses of the Fund before investing. More information regarding the Fund’s distribution policy and other information is available by calling 800-GABELLI (800-422-3554) or visiting www.gabelli.com.
About Bancroft Fund Ltd.
Bancroft Fund Ltd. is a diversified, closed-end management investment company with $179 million in total net assets. BCV invests primarily in convertible securities with the objectives of providing income and the potential for capital appreciation, objectives the Fund considers to be relatively equal over the long term due to the nature of the securities in which it invests. The Fund is managed by Gabelli Funds, LLC, a subsidiary of GAMCO Investors, Inc. (NYSE:GBL).
About GAMCO Investors
GAMCO Investors, Inc., through its subsidiaries, manages private advisory accounts (GAMCO Asset Management Inc.), mutual funds and closed-end funds (Gabelli Funds, LLC). As of December 31, 2019, GAMCO Investors had $36.5 billion in assets under management.