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Fauchier aims to raise GBP 100m for Absolute Return Trust Limited

London-based Fauchier Partners is aiming to raise an additional GBP100 million for the Absolute Return Trust fund of hedge funds via a shares placement.

The placing and offer for subscription of up to 100 million C Shares at 100p per share is being handled by JPMorgan Cazenove Limited. The offer, which has been driven by new and existing shareholder demand, opened on 2 May and closes to applications at 3pm on 18 May 2006.

Over the period from launch to 28 February 2006 the unaudited Net Asset Value per Share of the Absolute Return Trust had increased from 98.37 pence per Share to 106.68 pence per Share, representing an increase of 8.45 per cent. (net of all expenses).

As at 27 April 2006 (the latest practicable date prior to the publication of the Prospectus) Absolute Return Trust Limited had 66,000,000 Shares in issue and a market capitalisation of GBP72.93 million. As at the same date, the aggregate unaudited net assets of the Company (in Sterling terms) were GBP70.41 million.

As at 27 April 2006 (the latest practicable date prior to the publication of the Prospectus) substantially all of the fund's assets were invested in a diversified portfolio of 29 hedge funds across 11 hedge fund strategies.

The primary rationale for the raising of additional capital is to grow the size of the fund's asset base, which is expected to improve its expense ratio and investor base, and to increase the liquidity of its shares in the secondary market.

The fund's investment objective from inception has been to achieve an annual target return of three month Sterling LIBOR plus five per cent over a rolling five year period, coupled with low volatility. In seeking to achieve the objective, capital preservation is a priority.

In pursuing the investment objective, Fauchier Partners Management Ltd. invests in a diversified portfolio of hedge funds. There are no limits to the size of hedge funds in which the fund of hedge funds may invest and these hedge funds may be closed or open-ended. As at 28 February 2006, the Fauchier Partners group had in excess of USD 4.0 billion of funds under management or advice.

Expected timetable

Offer for Subscription opens   2 May 2006 
Latest time and date for applications under the Offer*  3.00 p.m. on 18 May 2006 
Latest time and date for commitments under the Placing*   3.00 p.m. on 19 May 2006 
Latest time and date for receipt of Forms of Proxy for the Extraordinary General Meeting of the Company   11.00 a.m. on 20 May 2006 
Extraordinary General Meeting of the Company 11.00 a.m. on 22 May 2006 
Admission of the C Shares to the Official List   25 May 2006 
Dealings in C Shares commence   25 May 2006 
Crediting of CREST stock accounts in respect of the C Shares   25 May 2006 
Share certificates in respect of the C Shares despatched  Week commencing 30 May 2006  

 * On the basis of the issue being fully subscribed

Anthony Brooke/Alex Dolbey 020 7009 9100
Fauchier Partners

Angus Gordon Lennox
JPMorgan Cazenove Limited 020 7588 2828

This announcement is not for distribution directly or indirectly in or into the United States, Canada, Australia or Japan. This announcement does not constitute an offer to sell or issue or the solicitation of an offer to buy or acquire C shares in the capital of Absolute Return Trust Limited in the United States, Canada, Australia or Japan or any jurisdiction in which such an offer or solicitation is unlawful. The C shares in Absolute Return Trust Limited referred to in this announcement have not been and will not be registered under the Securities Act and may not be offered or sold within the United States absent registration or an exemption from registration. No public offering of securities will be made in the United States, Canada, Australia, or Japan.

The price of shares and the income from them may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the full amount invested on disposal of the shares. 

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