Launch appears near for Nashville Area ETF

Cracker Barrel, LP, CHS would be top holdings

An investment vehicle focused solely on Middle Tennessee stocks appears to be close to launching after getting some regulatory approvals and filing an updated prospectus dated July 26.

The latest filing from LocalShares — which is led by Beth Courtney of Seigenthaler Public Relations, local entrepreneurs Mike Shmerling and Jim Phillips of XMi, and Relevance Capital Managing Partner Cameron Newton — is the first to include the exchange on which it plans it to trade (NYSE Arca) and its proposed ticker symbol (NASH). The new prospectus comes about a month after the Securities and Exchange Commission approved LocalShares' requests for several rules exemptions governing the process of issuing shares and operating the exchange-traded fund, to be called Nashville Area ETF.

The ETF — its backers filed their initial papers last fall but were unable to comment for this story because they're in a regulatory quiet period — plans to invest in a basket of Nashville-area stocks with a market cap of at least $100 million and average daily trading volumes of 50,000 shares or more. That basket currently includes 23 stocks ranging from Acadia Healthcare to Dollar General to Ryman Hospitality Properties. The latest prospectus shows that Cracker Barrel (7.4 percent), Louisiana-Pacific (6.8 percent) and Community Health Systems (6.4 percent) would be the ETF's largest holdings were it to launch today.

Total annual expenses for the ETF would be 0.49 percent, which includes a 16 basis point fee waiver. Local firm Decker Wealth Management, which manages about $95 million in almost 300 accounts, will run the fund on a daily basis.