Not All Berger Bidders Are Satisfied
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Friday, December 13, 2002

Not All Berger Bidders Are Satisfied

As the dust settles from the announcement of the Berger Trustee's decision to move asset to Janus there are reports that at least one of the bidders for the assets is less than satisfied. Brian Barish, president of Cambiar Investors of Kansas City, told the Denver Post that the board did not seem to fully-consider his firm's bid.

"It did not seem like our proposal received a great deal of time," Barish told the paper. "We submitted a fairly basic proposal. If Berger and Janus and the board of those funds wanted more specifics, we would've been happy to supply them. We, at no point, were asked to supply any."

Katie Cattanach, vice chair of the Berger board of trustees, said that the board received more than 20 proposals from other mutual fund firms hoping to take over the Berger assets and that Janus did come out on top after a "thorough" review process.

"We looked at cost factors, strategic fit and long-term performance, and Janus hit the mark on every one," Cattanach said. "Although it may have appeared that Janus would be the obvious choice, we did not go into the process assuming that Janus would be the choice," she added.

Meanwhile, Janus continued to march forward with it plans. This morning Mark Whiston, CEO-designate, said it will further tweak its fund lineup by reopening four funds that had been closed to investors and merging another two funds early in 2003. Janus had also revealed yesterday that it will also launch two new funds on December 31.

Whiston will formally take the CEO slot at Janus when Stilwell is reorganized at the end of the year. Starting on January 2, Stilwell shares will become Janus and trade under the "JNS" ticker on the New York Stock Exchange.

Janus will reopen the flagship Janus fund, the Janus Worldwide fund, Janus Global Technology fund and Janus Global Life Sciences fund, said Whiston. He added that the firm plans to merge Janus 2 into the Janus fund on February 28, 2003. Janus 2 was originally launched after the fund closed the Janus fund in 2000.

The other merged fund will be Janus Special Situations fund which will be folded into Strategic Value at the end of February.

"We're reopening these funds because our portfolio managers are finding greater investment opportunities today than they did when we closed the funds in 2000," Whiston said in a statement. "And because the funds' asset bases are smaller than they were two years ago, the additional cash will help the portfolio managers take advantage of those opportunities."

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