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Section 1: 424B5 (PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT)

Prospectus Supplement
Table of Contents

Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(5)
File No. 333-218419

 

This preliminary prospectus supplement relates to an effective registration statement under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, but is not complete and may be changed. This preliminary prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus are not an offer to sell these securities and are not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.

 

 

Prospectus Supplement

(To prospectus dated June 12, 2017)

   Subject to Completion, Dated October 2, 2019

 

6,000,000 Shares

 

 

LOGO

City Office REIT, Inc.

Common Stock

We are offering 6,000,000 shares of our common stock, par value $0.01 per share, in this offering pursuant to this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus.

Our common stock is listed on The New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) under the symbol “CIO.” The last reported sale price of our common stock on the NYSE on October 1, 2019 was $14.26 per share.

We elected to be taxed as a real estate investment trust for federal income tax purposes (“REIT”) commencing with our taxable year ended December 31, 2014. Shares of our common stock are subject to limitations on ownership and transfer that are primarily intended to assist us in qualifying as a REIT. Our charter generally prohibits any person from actually, beneficially or constructively owning more than 9.8% in value or number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of the outstanding shares of our common stock or more than 9.8% in value of the aggregate outstanding shares of all classes and series of our stock. See “Description of Stock—Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer” in the accompanying prospectus.

Investing in our common stock involves risk. See “Risk Factors” beginning on page S-6 of this prospectus supplement, on page 2 of the accompanying prospectus, on page 6 of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018 and in our periodic reports and other information we file from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, for a discussion of risks you should consider before deciding to invest in our common stock.

Neither the SEC nor any state or other securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

We are selling to the underwriters the shares of common stock at a price of $        per share, resulting in aggregate net proceeds to us of approximately $        million before expenses. The underwriters propose to offer the shares of common stock for sale from time to time in one or more transactions (which may include block transactions), in negotiated transactions or otherwise, or a combination of those methods of sale at market prices prevailing at the time of sale, at prices related to such prevailing market prices or at negotiated prices, subject to receipt and acceptance by the underwriters and subject to the underwriters’ right to reject any order in whole or in part. Delivery of the shares of common stock is expected to be made on or about October     , 2019.

We have granted the underwriters an option to purchase up to an additional 900,000 shares of common stock from us on the same terms and conditions set forth above within 30 days of the date of this prospectus supplement.

 

 

BMO Capital Markets   Raymond James   RBC Capital Markets

 

 

The date of this prospectus supplement is October     , 2019


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Prospectus Supplement

 

ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT AND THE PROSPECTUS

     S-ii  

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     S-ii  

PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT SUMMARY

     S-1  

THE OFFERING

     S-5  

RISK FACTORS

     S-6  

USE OF PROCEEDS

     S-9  

CAPITALIZATION

     S-10  

ADDITIONAL MATERIAL FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS

     S-11  

UNDERWRITING (CONFLICTS OF INTEREST)

     S-12  

LEGAL MATTERS

     S-16  

EXPERTS

     S-16  

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

     S-16  

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE

     S-17  

Prospectus

 

ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS

     ii  

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE OF INFORMATION FILED WITH THE SEC

     iii  

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

     iv  

CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     v  

CITY OFFICE REIT, INC.

     1  

RISK FACTORS

     2  

COMPUTATION OF RATIO OF EARNINGS TO FIXED CHARGES

     3  

USE OF PROCEEDS

     4  

DESCRIPTION OF STOCK

     5  

DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES

     13  

DESCRIPTION OF WARRANTS

     24  

DESCRIPTION OF UNITS

     26  

LEGAL OWNERSHIP OF SECURITIES

     27  

CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF MARYLAND LAW AND OF OUR CHARTER AND BYLAWS

     30  

DESCRIPTION OF THE PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT OF CITY OFFICE REIT OPERATING PARTNERSHIP, L.P.

     37  

MATERIAL FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS

     52  

PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

     80  

LEGAL MATTERS

     82  

EXPERTS

     82  

 

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ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT AND THE PROSPECTUS

This document is in two parts. The first part is this prospectus supplement, which describes the specific terms of this offering and also adds to and updates information contained in the accompanying prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference. The second part, the accompanying prospectus, gives more general information, some of which may not apply to this offering.

To the extent the information contained in this prospectus supplement differs or varies from the information contained in the accompanying prospectus or documents incorporated by reference, the information in this prospectus supplement will supersede such information. In addition, any statement in a filing we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) that adds to, updates or changes information contained in an earlier filing we made with the SEC shall be deemed to modify and supersede such information in the earlier filing.

This prospectus supplement does not contain all of the information that is important to you. You should read the accompanying prospectus as well as the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. See “Where You Can Find More Information” and “Incorporation By Reference” in this prospectus supplement and “Incorporation By Reference of Information Filed with the SEC” and “Where You Can Find More Information” in the accompanying prospectus. Unless the context suggests otherwise, references in this prospectus supplement to “City Office,” “company,” “we,” “us” and “our” are to City Office REIT, Inc., a Maryland corporation, together with our consolidated subsidiaries, including City Office REIT Operating Partnership, L.P., a Maryland limited partnership of which we are the sole general partner and through which we conduct substantially all of our business (our “operating partnership”), except where it is clear from the context that the term only means the issuer of the shares of common stock in this offering.

You should rely only on the information contained in or incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus or any applicable free writing prospectus. We have not, and the underwriters have not, authorized any other person to provide you with different or additional information. If anyone provides you with different or additional information, you should not rely on it. This prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus do not constitute an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to purchase, any securities in any jurisdiction where it is unlawful to make such offer or solicitation. You should assume that the information appearing in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus, any applicable free writing prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference herein or therein is accurate only as of their respective dates or on the date or dates which are specified in these documents. Our business, financial condition, liquidity, results of operations and prospects may have changed since those dates. If any statement in one of these documents is inconsistent with a statement in another document having a later date, e.g., a document incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus, the statement in the document having the later date modifies or supersedes the earlier statement.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus and the documents that we incorporate by reference in each contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (set forth in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act). Also, documents we subsequently file with the SEC and incorporate by reference will contain forward-looking statements. In particular, statements relating to our liquidity and

 

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capital resources, portfolio performance, acquisition and disposition activity and results of operations contain forward-looking statements. Furthermore, all of the statements regarding future financial or operating performance or expectations, or anticipated market conditions and demographics are forward-looking statements. We are including this cautionary statement to make applicable, and take advantage of, the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 for any such forward-looking statements. We caution investors that any forward-looking statements presented in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus and the documents that we incorporate by reference in each are based on management’s beliefs and assumptions made by, and information currently available to, management. When used, the words “anticipate,” “believe,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “estimate,” “project,” “should,” “will,” “result” and similar expressions that do not relate solely to historical matters are intended to identify forward-looking statements. You can also identify forward-looking statements by discussions of strategy, plans or intentions.

Forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions and may be affected by known and unknown risks, trends, uncertainties and factors that are beyond our control. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those anticipated, estimated or projected. We do not guarantee that the transactions and events described will happen as described (or that they will happen at all).

Some of the risks and uncertainties that may cause our actual results, performance, liquidity or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by forward-looking statements include, among others, the following:

 

   

adverse economic or real estate developments in the office sector or the markets in which we operate;

 

   

changes in local, regional, national and international economic conditions;

 

   

our inability to compete effectively;

 

   

our inability to collect rent from tenants or renew tenants’ leases on attractive terms, if at all;

 

   

demand for and market acceptance of our properties for rental purposes;

 

   

defaults on or non-renewal of leases by tenants;

 

   

increased interest rates and any resulting increase in financing or operating costs;

 

   

decreased rental rates or increased vacancy rates;

 

   

our failure to obtain necessary financing or access the capital markets on favorable terms or at all;

 

   

changes in the availability of acquisition opportunities;

 

   

availability of qualified personnel;

 

   

our inability to successfully complete real estate acquisitions or dispositions on the terms we expect, or at all;

 

   

our failure to successfully operate acquired properties and operations;

 

   

changes in our business, financing or investment strategy;

 

   

our failure to generate sufficient cash flows to service our outstanding indebtedness;

 

   

environmental uncertainties and risks related to adverse weather conditions and natural disasters;

 

   

our failure to maintain our qualification as a REIT;

 

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government approvals, actions and initiatives, including the need for compliance with environmental requirements;

 

   

outcome of claims and litigation involving or affecting us;

 

   

unfamiliarity with new markets in which we may acquire properties;

 

   

financial market fluctuations;

 

   

changes in real estate, taxation and zoning laws and other legislation and government activity and changes to real property tax rates and the taxation of REITs in general;

 

   

uncertainty regarding the Company’s obligations under its floating rate debt instruments upon discontinuation of LIBOR;

 

   

a material increase in institutional ownership of real estate in secondary markets that could result in, among others, compression of cap rates and fewer acquisition opportunities being available to us; and

 

   

other factors described in our news releases and filings with SEC, including but not limited to those described in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018 under the heading “Risk Factors” and in our subsequent reports filed with the SEC.

While forward-looking statements reflect our good faith beliefs, they are not guarantees of future performance. We disclaim any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. For a further discussion of these and other factors that could impact our future results, performance, liquidity or transactions, see the section entitled “Risk Factors” herein, in the accompanying prospectus and in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, as updated by our subsequent filings with the SEC and incorporated by reference herein.

 

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PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT SUMMARY

This summary highlights information contained elsewhere or incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. This summary is not complete and does not contain all of the information that you should consider before investing in our common stock. We urge you to read this entire prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference herein and therein carefully, including the financial statements and notes to those financial statements incorporated by reference herein and therein. Please read “Risk Factors” for more information about important risks that you should consider before investing in our common stock.

Unless otherwise indicated, the information contained in this prospectus supplement is as of June 30, 2019 and assumes that (1) 6,000,000 shares of our common stock are sold at a price of $        per share and (2) the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares is not exercised.

City Office REIT, Inc.

We are an internally-managed Maryland corporation focused on acquiring, owning and operating high-quality office properties located in “18-hour cities” in the Southern and Western United States. Our target markets possess a number of attractive demographic and employment characteristics that we believe will lead to capital appreciation and growth in rental income at our properties. Our senior management team has extensive industry relationships and a proven track record in executing this strategy, which we believe provides a competitive advantage to our stockholders.

We believe that our target markets offer the opportunity for attractive risk-adjusted returns due to the following characteristics: favorable economic growth trends, growing populations with above average employment growth forecasts, a large number of government offices, large international, national and regional employers across diversified industries, low-cost centers for business operations, proximity to large universities and increasing office occupancy rates. We also believe that new construction of office properties has been generally limited in many of our markets since 2008 because rental rates in these markets have not supported significant new development. Within our target markets, we focus primarily on Class A and B properties with a purchase price between $25 million and $100 million and expected capitalization rates generally above seven percent. We believe that we have a competitive advantage in acquiring these properties in our target markets because of our local relationships, prior transaction experience and reduced competition from large institutional investors that generally have focused on transactions over $100 million or on properties in gateway markets such as Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Our senior management team has extensive experience in real estate markets and is made up of James Farrar, our chief executive officer, Gregory Tylee, our president and chief operating officer, and Anthony Maretic, our chief financial officer, each with over 20 years of experience. We internally asset manage our properties but use local firms for property management and leasing in our markets to benefit from their local market knowledge, efficient operations and existing infrastructure.

At June 30, 2019, we owned 65 office buildings with a total of approximately 5.7 million square feet of net rentable area (“NRA”) in the metropolitan areas of Dallas, Denver, Orlando, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, Seattle and Tampa. We believe that our properties are high quality assets that provide excellent access to transportation options, are located near affluent neighborhoods, contain extensive amenities and are well-maintained. We also believe that our properties have a stable and diverse tenant base, including federal and state governmental agencies and national and regional businesses. As of June 30, 2019, our portfolio was approximately 93.4% occupied. Our properties also



 

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have a stable, long-term tenancy profile and our occupied and committed leases have staggered expirations and a weighted average remaining lease term to maturity of 4.5 years at June 30, 2019. The majority of our leases are full service gross leases pursuant to which our tenants reimburse us for operating expenses, property taxes and insurance in excess of a base amount. This structure helps insulate us from increases in certain operating expenses and provides a more predictable cash flow. Our leases typically include rent escalation provisions designed to provide annual growth in our rental income.

We elected to be taxed as a REIT commencing with our taxable year ended December 31, 2014. We intend to continue to operate in a manner that will allow us to qualify as a REIT. We are structured as an umbrella partnership REIT, which means that we conduct substantially all of our business through our operating partnership, for which we serve as the sole general partner.

Recent Developments

Recent Acquisition

In September 2019, we completed the acquisition of 7601 DTC, a six-story office building comprised of approximately 191,000 square feet located in Denver, Colorado. The purchase price was $48.8 million, exclusive of closing costs, which we funded with borrowings under our unsecured credit facility (our “Unsecured Credit Facility”). The property was 95% leased at close with a weighted average lease term remaining of 7.5 years, when giving effect to committed leases. The tenancy is anchored by an investment grade corporate tenant and a large public company. 7601 DTC is a Class A building built in 1997 with high-end finishes, large flexible floorplates and unobstructed views. The property is located directly adjacent to another property in our portfolio, which we expect will be integrated with 7601 DTC to create a 380,000 square foot campus with shared amenities and leasing flexibility.

Acquisition Pipeline

We are currently reviewing over $750 million of potential property acquisitions that meet our preliminary investment criteria. These well-situated properties are located in strong submarkets of high growth metropolitan markets, including our current markets and other markets with similar geographic and demographic characteristics. In addition, these properties are generally characterized as possessing high credit tenancy, below market in-place rents, acquisition prices below replacement cost and the potential to enhance value through active management.

However, we have not completed our due diligence or entered into letters of intent or binding agreements to acquire these properties. Furthermore, any acquisition would also need to satisfy a number of additional conditions and approvals. As a result, we do not deem any of these potential acquisitions probable as of the date of this prospectus supplement and there can be no assurance that we will enter into agreements to acquire, or complete the acquisition of, any of the properties currently under consideration.

We believe that our proven track record of closing acquisitions and strong ties to the brokerage community help us acquire target properties at attractive valuations. Furthermore, we believe we can create additional value through prudent management strategies such as implementing cosmetic improvements that “reposition” a property at a higher quality level, by completing capital investments that lower operating costs and by actively reviewing the tenant mix to strengthen the rent roll and enhance cash flow. Finally, we believe that our lower leverage targets and diversified debt capital relationships, including with banks and insurance companies, favorably position us to move quickly and efficiently in marketed sale transactions.



 

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Dispositions

We have entered into an agreement for the sale of our Logan Tower property in Denver, Colorado at a sale price of $12.5 million, exclusive of closing costs. The disposition is anticipated to close in the fourth quarter of 2019.

We have entered into an agreement for the sale of a land parcel at our Circle Point property in Denver Colorado at a sale price of $6.5 million, exclusive of closing costs. The disposition is anticipated to close in the first quarter of 2020.

These potential dispositions remain subject to various conditions and there can be no assurance that we will sell either of these properties on the terms or timing we expect, if at all.

Issuance of Shares through our ATM Program

During the third quarter of 2019, we issued 8,000,000 shares of common stock through our “at the market” offering program (or our “ATM program”) at an average issuance price of $13.32 per share for total gross proceeds of approximately $106.5 million, or approximately $105.0 million in net proceeds after paying selling commissions to the sales managers. We used the net proceeds from the issuance for the repayment of amounts outstanding under our Unsecured Credit Facility, including amounts incurred in connection with the acquisition of 7601 DTC.

Modifications to Property Loans Generating Interest Cost Savings

During the third quarter of 2019, we modified loan agreements at four of our properties, which is expected to generate an initial annualized interest cost savings of approximately $0.8 million per year.

In August 2019, the $17.1 million loan secured by our Carillon Point property in Tampa, Florida was modified to, among other terms, reduce the interest rate on the loan from 3.50% to 3.10%.

In August 2019, the $30.9 million loan secured by our FRP Collection property in Orlando, Florida was modified to, among other terms, reduce the interest rate on the loan from 3.85% to 3.10%.

In August 2019, the $22.4 million loan secured by our Greenwood Blvd property in Orlando, Florida was modified to, among other terms, reduce the interest rate on the loan from 4.60% to 3.15%.

In September 2019, the $18.0 million loan secured by our Central Fairwinds property in Orlando, Florida was modified to, among other terms, reduce the interest rate on the loan from 4.00% to 3.15%.

Amendment to Unsecured Credit Facility and Swap Agreement

In September 2019, we executed a third amendment to our Unsecured Credit Facility. The amendment increases the commitment under that facility from $250 million to $300 million by issuing a new tranche of term loan commitments in the principal amount of $50 million. The five-year term loan matures in September 2024 and bears interest at a rate of LIBOR plus a spread of 1.25% to 2.15%, depending on our consolidated leverage ratio.

In August 2019, we entered into an interest rate swap agreement for a notional amount of $50.0 million effective September 2019. The five-year swap agreement terminates in September 2024. Pursuant to this agreement, we will pay a fixed rate of approximately 1.27% of the notional amount annually, payable monthly, and receive floating rate 30-day LIBOR payments.



 

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The net effect of these two transactions is to convert $50 million of our floating rate Unsecured Credit Facility debt to attractively-priced, fixed rate debt for a period of five years. Based on our expected consolidated leverage ratio immediately following this offering, the initial expected fixed rate is 2.52%.

Third Quarter 2019 Dividend

On September 16, 2019, we announced that our board of directors authorized a quarterly dividend of $0.235 per share of common stock for the third quarter of 2019. The dividend will be payable on October 25, 2019 to all stockholders and operating partnership unitholders of record as of the close of business on October 11, 2019. Investors in this offering who hold such shares through the close of business on October 11, 2019 will be eligible to receive this dividend.

Corporate Information

We are a Maryland corporation. Our principal executive offices are located at 666 Burrard Street, Suite 3210, Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 2X8. Our telephone number is (604) 806-3366. We also maintain a website at www.cityofficereit.com. Information on, or accessible through, our website is not a part of, and is not incorporated into, this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus or the registration statement of which they form a part.



 

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THE OFFERING

 

Common stock offered by us

6,000,000 shares (plus up to an additional 900,000 shares of our common stock if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares)

 

Common stock to be outstanding after this offering (1)

53,647,063 shares                                                                                    

 

Common stock and common units to be outstanding after this offering (1)

53,647,064 shares and common units                                                                                                                                                                         

 

Use of proceeds

We estimate that the net proceeds of this offering, after deducting the estimated offering expenses, will be approximately $        million ($        million if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares). We intend to use the net proceeds of this offering to repay approximately $43.3 million outstanding under our Unsecured Credit Facility and the remainder for general working capital purposes, including funding future acquisitions, capital expenditures and investments.

 

Risk factors

Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully read and consider the information set forth under the heading “Risk Factors” beginning on page S-6 of this prospectus supplement, on page 2 of the accompanying prospectus and beginning on page 6 of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018 before investing in our common stock.

 

NYSE symbol

CIO

 

(1)

Except as otherwise indicated, all information in this prospectus supplement is based on 47,647,063 shares of common stock outstanding on October 1, 2019 and assumes no exercise by the underwriters of their option to purchase up to an additional 900,000 shares and excludes shares of common stock issuable upon the vesting of outstanding restricted stock units and shares of common stock reserved for future issuance under our equity incentive plan.



 

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RISK FACTORS

Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. In addition to the other information in this prospectus supplement, you should carefully consider the following risks, the risks described in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, as well as the other information and data set forth in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference herein and therein before making an investment decision with respect to our common stock. The occurrence of any of the following risks could materially and adversely affect our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations and our ability to make cash distributions to our stockholders, which could cause you to lose all or a part of your investment in our common stock. Some statements in this prospectus supplement, including statements in the following risk factors, constitute forward-looking statements. See “Forward-Looking Statements.”

Risks Related to this Offering

The market price and trading volume of our common stock may be volatile following this offering.

The per share trading price of our common stock may be volatile. In addition, the trading volume of our common stock may fluctuate and cause significant price variations to occur. If the per share trading price of our common stock declines significantly, you may be unable to resell your shares at or above the purchase price. We cannot assure you that the per share trading price of our common stock will not fluctuate or decline significantly in the future.

Some of the factors that could negatively affect our share price or result in fluctuations in the price or trading volume of our common stock include:

 

   

actual or anticipated variations in our quarterly operating results or dividends;

 

   

changes in our funds from operations or earnings estimates;

 

   

publication of research reports about us or the real estate industry;

 

   

increases in market interest rates that lead purchasers of our common stock to demand or expect a higher dividend yield or lead to increases in our borrowing costs;

 

   

changes in market valuations of similar companies;

 

   

adverse market reaction to any additional debt we incur in the future;

 

   

additions or departures of key management personnel;

 

   

actions by institutional stockholders;

 

   

speculation in the press or investment community;

 

   

the realization of any of the other risk factors presented in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus or our reports filed with the SEC incorporated by reference herein or therein;

 

   

the extent of investor interest in our securities;

 

   

the general reputation of REITs and the attractiveness of our equity securities in comparison to other equity securities, including securities issued by other real estate-based companies;

 

   

our underlying asset value;

 

   

investor confidence in the stock and bond markets, generally;

 

   

changes in tax laws;

 

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future equity issuances;

 

   

failure to meet earnings estimates;

 

   

failure to maintain our qualification as a REIT;

 

   

litigation or threatened litigation, which may divert our management’s time and attention, require us to pay damages and expenses or restrict the operation of our business;

 

   

general market and economic conditions;

 

   

our issuance of debt or additional preferred equity securities; and

 

   

our financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

In the past, securities class action litigation has often been instituted against companies following periods of volatility in the price of their common stock. This type of litigation could result in substantial costs and divert our management’s attention and resources, which could have an adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and our ability to pay distributions on, and the per share trading price of, our common stock.

Market interest rates may have an effect on the per share trading price of our common stock.

One of the factors that influences the price of our common stock is the dividend yield on our common stock (i.e., our annualized dividend as a percentage of the price of our common stock) relative to market interest rates. An increase in market interest rates, which are currently at low levels relative to historical rates, may lead prospective purchasers of our common stock to expect a higher dividend yield and higher interest rates would likely increase our borrowing costs and potentially decrease funds available for distribution. Thus, higher market interest rates could cause the market price of our common stock to decrease.

The number of shares of our common stock available for future issuance or sale could adversely affect the per share trading price of our common stock.

We cannot predict whether future issuances or sales of shares of our common stock or the availability of shares for resale in the open market will decrease the per share trading price of our common stock. The issuance of substantial numbers of shares of our common stock in the public market, or the perception that such issuances might occur, could adversely affect the per share trading price of our common stock.

The exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares, the vesting of any restricted stock units granted to directors, executive officers and other employees under our equity incentive plan, the issuance of our common stock or common units in connection with future property, portfolio or business acquisitions and other issuances of our common stock could have an adverse effect on the per share trading price of our common stock, and the use of common units or shares of our common stock as equity compensation may adversely affect the terms upon which we may be able to obtain additional capital through the sale of equity securities. In addition, future issuances of our common stock may be dilutive to existing stockholders.

 

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Acquired properties may be located in new markets where we may face risks associated with investing in an unfamiliar market.

We may acquire properties in markets that are new to us. When we acquire properties located in new markets, we may face risks associated with a lack of market knowledge or understanding of the local economy, forging new business relationships in the area and unfamiliarity with local government and permitting procedures. We work to mitigate such risks through extensive diligence and research and associations with experienced service providers. However, there can be no guarantee that all such risks will be eliminated.

 

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USE OF PROCEEDS

As required by the partnership agreement of our operating partnership, as amended, we will contribute all of the net proceeds of any sales of our common stock offered by this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus to our operating partnership in exchange for units of common partnership interest in the operating partnership which have economic terms substantially equivalent to the common stock.

We estimate that the net proceeds of this offering, after deducting estimated offering expenses, will be approximately $        million ($        million if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares). We intend to use the net proceeds of this offering to repay approximately $43.3 million outstanding under our Unsecured Credit Facility and the remainder for general working capital purposes, including funding future acquisitions, capital expenditures and investments.

Pending application of the net proceeds, we intend to invest the net proceeds from this offering in interest-bearing accounts and short-term, interest-bearing securities in a manner that is consistent with our qualification as a REIT. These investments are expected to provide a lower net return than we will seek to achieve from our investment in office properties.

Banking affiliates of BMO Capital Markets Corp., Raymond James & Associates, Inc. and RBC Capital Markets, LLC are lenders under our Unsecured Credit Facility. To the extent we use the net proceeds of this offering to reduce existing or future indebtedness under our Unsecured Credit Facility, these banking affiliates of BMO Capital Markets Corp., Raymond James & Associates, Inc. and RBC Capital Markets, LLC would receive their pro rata portion of any amount that is repaid under our Unsecured Credit Facility with the proceeds of this offering. See “Underwriting (Conflicts of Interest).”

 

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CAPITALIZATION

The following table presents our cash and cash equivalents and our capitalization as of June 30, 2019: (i) on an actual basis; (ii) on a pro forma basis to give the effect to (x) our acquisition of 7601 DTC, (y) the sale by us of 8,000,000 shares of common stock under our ATM program, and (z) the repayment of amounts borrowed under our Unsecured Credit Facility, in each case subsequent to June 30, 2019 and as described in “Prospectus Supplement Summary—Recent Developments” above; and (iii) on a pro forma as adjusted basis to give effect both to the transactions described in the preceding clause (ii) and to the sale by us of 6,000,000 shares of common stock in this offering, after deducting the estimated expenses of this offering payable by us, but without giving effect to the expected use of the net proceeds from this offering as described under “Use of Proceeds.” The information set forth below should be read in conjunction with the section captioned “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our financial statements and related notes in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018 and our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the three months ended March 31, 2019 and June 30, 2019, which are incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus.

 

     As of June 30, 2019
(Unaudited)
 
     Actual     Pro
Forma
    Pro Forma as
adjusted (1)(2)
 
     (dollars in thousands)  

Cash and cash equivalents

   $ 11,581     $ 11,581     $                

Total Debt

     709,670       653,464    

Equity:

      

6.625% Series A Preferred Stock, $0.01 par value per share; 5,600,000 shares authorized, 4,480,000 shares issued and outstanding (aggregate liquidation preference of $112,000) on an actual, pro forma and pro forma as adjusted basis, respectively

     112,000       112,000    

Common stock, $0.01 par value per share; 100,000,000 shares authorized, 39,647,063, 47,647,063 and 53,647,063 shares issued and outstanding on an actual, pro forma and pro forma as adjusted basis, respectively (2)

     396       476    

Additional paid-in capital

     377,937       482,813    

Accumulated deficit

     (114,565     (114,565  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total Stockholders’ Equity

     375,768       480,724    

Noncontrolling interests in properties

     1,030       1,030    
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total Equity

     376,798       481,754    
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total Capitalization

   $ 1,086,468     $ 1,135,218     $    
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

(1)

Does not include up to 900,000 shares of common stock that may be issued upon exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares.

(2)

Excludes shares of common stock issuable upon vesting of outstanding restricted stock units and shares of common stock reserved for future issuance under our equity incentive plan.

 

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ADDITIONAL MATERIAL FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS

The following is a summary of certain additional material federal income tax considerations with respect to the ownership of our securities. This summary supplements and should be read together with “Material Federal Income Tax Considerations” in the prospectus dated June 12, 2017 and filed as part of our registration statement on Form S-3 (No. 333-218419).

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

The tax law informally titled the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”) made many significant changes to the federal income tax laws applicable to businesses and their owners, including REITs and their stockholders, and may lessen the relative competitive advantage of operating as a REIT rather than as a C corporation. Pursuant to this legislation, as of January 1, 2018, (1) the federal income tax rate applicable to corporations is reduced to 21%, (2) the highest marginal individual income tax rate is reduced to 37% (through taxable years ending in 2025), (3) the corporate alternative minimum tax is repealed, and (4) the backup withholding rate for U.S. stockholders is reduced to 24%. In addition, individuals, estates and trusts may deduct up to 20% of certain pass-through income, including ordinary REIT dividends that are not “capital gain dividends” or “qualified dividend income,” subject to certain limitations. For taxpayers qualifying for the full deduction, the effective maximum tax rate on ordinary REIT dividends would be 29.6% (through taxable years ending in 2025). The maximum rate of withholding with respect to our distributions to non-U.S. stockholders that are treated as attributable to gains from the sale or exchange of U.S. real property interests is also reduced from 35% to 21%. The deduction of net interest expense is limited for all businesses; provided that certain businesses, including real estate businesses, may elect not to be subject to such limitations and instead to depreciate their real property related assets over longer depreciable lives. To the extent that any of our TRSs or any other TRS we form has interest expense that exceeds its interest income, the net interest expense limitation could potentially apply to such TRS. The reduced corporate tax rate will apply to our TRSs and any other TRS we form.

We urge you to consult your tax advisors regarding the impact of this legislation on the purchase, ownership and sale of our stock.

Distribution Requirements

We may satisfy the 90% distribution test with taxable distributions of our stock or debt securities. The IRS has issued a revenue procedure authorizing publicly offered REITs to treat certain distributions that are paid partly in cash and partly in stock as dividends that would satisfy the REIT annual distribution requirement and qualify for the dividends paid deduction for federal income tax purposes. We have no current intention to make a taxable dividend payable in our stock.

Taxation of Non-U.S. Stockholders—Qualified Foreign Pension Funds

REIT distributions received by a “qualified foreign pension fund” that are exempt from FIRPTA withholding may still be subject to regular U.S. withholding tax.

Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act

The IRS has issued proposed regulations, on which taxpayers may rely, that exclude gross proceeds from the sale or other disposition of our stock from the application of the withholding tax imposed under FATCA and related administrative guidance.

 

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UNDERWRITING (CONFLICTS OF INTEREST)

We have entered into an underwriting agreement with BMO Capital Markets Corp., as representative of the underwriters named below, with respect to the shares subject to this offering. Subject to the terms and conditions in the underwriting agreement, we have agreed to sell to the underwriters, and each underwriter has, severally and not jointly, agreed to purchase from us on a firm commitment basis, the respective number of shares of our common stock opposite its name in the table below:

 

Underwriter    Number of Shares  

BMO Capital Markets Corp.

  

Raymond James & Associates, Inc.

  

RBC Capital Markets, LLC

  
  

 

 

 

Total

     6,000,000  
  

 

 

 

The underwriting agreement provides that the obligation of the underwriters to purchase all of the shares being offered to the public is subject to approval of legal matters by counsel and the satisfaction of other conditions. These conditions include, among others, the continued accuracy of representations and warranties made by us in the underwriting agreement, delivery of legal opinions and the absence of any material changes in our assets, business or prospects after the date of this prospectus supplement. The underwriters are obligated to purchase all of our shares in this offering if they purchase any of our shares other than those shares covered by the option to purchase additional shares described below.

The underwriters have agreed to purchase the shares of common stock from us at a price of $        per share, which will result in net proceeds to us, after deducting estimated expenses related to this offering, of approximately $        million assuming no exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares granted to the underwriters, and $        million assuming full exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares.

The underwriters propose to offer the common shares offered hereby from time to time for sale in one or more transactions to purchasers directly or through agents, or through brokers in brokerage transactions on the NYSE, in the over-the-counter market, through negotiated transactions or otherwise at market prices prevailing at the time of sale, at prices related to prevailing market prices or at negotiated prices, subject to receipt of acceptance by them and subject to their right to reject any order in whole or in part. The underwriters may effect such transactions by selling the common shares to or through dealers and such dealers may receive compensation in the form of discounts, concessions or commissions from the underwriters and/or purchasers of common shares for whom they may act as agents or to whom they may sell as principal. The difference between the price at which the underwriters purchase shares and the price at which the underwriters resell such shares may be deemed underwriting compensation.

We have granted to the underwriters an option, exercisable not later than 30 days after the date of this prospectus supplement, to purchase up to 900,000 additional shares of common stock at the same price per share set forth on the cover of this prospectus supplement. To the extent that the underwriters exercise this option, each of the underwriters will become obligated, subject to certain conditions, to purchase approximately the same percentage of these additional shares of common stock as the number of shares of common stock to be purchased by it in the above table bears to the total number of shares of common stock offered by this prospectus supplement. We will be obligated to sell these additional shares of common stock to the underwriters to the extent the option is exercised. If any additional shares of common stock are purchased, the underwriters will offer the additional shares on the same terms as those on which the shares are being offered.

 

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Our common stock is listed on the NYSE under the symbol “CIO.”

We estimate that our total expenses of this offering will be approximately $300,000.

Lock-Up Agreements

Subject to certain limited exceptions, we and all of our directors and executive officers (the “Lock-Up Parties”) have agreed that, without the prior written consent of BMO Capital Markets Corp., we will not, during the period ending 60 days after the date of this prospectus supplement (i) offer, pledge, sell, contract to sell, sell any option or contract to purchase, purchase any option or contract to sell, grant any option, right or warrant to purchase, or otherwise transfer or dispose of any shares of common stock or any securities convertible into or exercisable or exchangeable for common stock (collectively, the “Lock-Up Securities”), or exercise any right with respect to the registration of any of the Lock-Up Securities, request or demand that the Company file any registration statement in connection therewith, under the Securities Act or (ii) enter into any swap or any other agreement or any transaction that transfers, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, the economic consequence of ownership of the Lock-Up Securities, whether any such swap or transaction described in clause (i) or (ii) above is to be settled by delivery of the Lock-Up Securities or such other securities, in cash or otherwise.

With certain conditions, the restrictions contained in the preceding paragraph will not apply to shares transferred as a bona fide gift or gifts, shares transferred to any trust for the direct or indirect benefit of the applicable Lock-Up Party or the immediate family of such Lock-Up Party, shares or common units issuable under our existing equity incentive plan, common units issued in conjunction with our bona fide acquisition of properties (so long as such issuances represent in the aggregate no more than 5% of our then issued and outstanding shares of common stock and common units), the filing of a shelf registration statement registering the offer of Lock-Up Securities or the filing of a prospectus supplement offering Lock-Up Securities pursuant to an “at the market” offering program (provided that, in either case, no sales are made during the period ending 60 days after the date of this prospectus supplement), shares transferred as a distribution to limited partners or stockholders of the affected shareholder or shares transferred to the applicable Lock-Up Party affiliates or to any investment fund or other entity controlled or managed by the such Lock-Up Party, but only so long as (1) BMO Capital Markets Corp. receives a signed lock-up agreement for the balance of the lockup period from each donee, trustee, distributee, or transferee, as the case may be, (2) any such transfer shall not involve a disposition for value, (3) such transfers are not required to be reported with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Form 4 in accordance with Section 16 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and (4) the applicable Lock-Up Party does not otherwise voluntarily effect any public filing or report regarding such transfers.

In addition, notwithstanding the foregoing, the Lock-Up Parties may transfer shares of common stock and/or common units currently held by such Lock-Up Parties to us in accordance with the underwriting agreement, and the Lock-Up Parties may sell shares of common stock purchased by such Lock-Up Party on the open market following this offering if and only if (i) such sales are not required to be reported in any public report or filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or otherwise and (ii) the affected shareholder does not otherwise voluntarily effect any public filing or report regarding such sales.

BMO Capital Markets Corp., in its sole discretion, may release the common stock and other securities subject to the lock-up restrictions described above in whole or in part at any time with or without notice.

 

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Stabilization

Until the distribution of the securities offered by this prospectus supplement is completed, rules of the SEC may limit the ability of the underwriters to bid for and to purchase our common stock. As an exception to these rules, the underwriters may engage in transactions effected in accordance with Regulation M under the Exchange Act that are intended to stabilize, maintain or otherwise affect the price of our common stock. The underwriters may engage in over-allotment sales, syndicate covering transactions, stabilizing transactions and penalty bids in accordance with Regulation M.

 

   

Stabilizing transactions permit bids or purchases for the purpose of pegging, fixing or maintaining the price of the common stock, so long as stabilizing bids do not exceed a specified maximum.

 

   

Over-allotment sales are sales by the underwriters of securities in excess of the number of securities the underwriters are obligated to purchase, which creates a short position. The short position may be either a covered short position or a naked short position. In a covered short position, the number of shares of common stock over-allotted by the underwriters is not greater than the number of shares of common stock that they may purchase in the over-allotment option. In a naked short position, the number of shares of common stock involved is greater than the number of shares in the over-allotment option. The underwriters may close out any covered short position by either exercising their over-allotment option or purchasing our common stock in the open market.

 

   

Covering transactions involve the purchase of securities in the open market after the distribution has been completed in order to cover short positions. In determining the source of securities to close out the short position, the underwriters will consider, among other things, the price of securities available for purchase in the open market as compared to the price at which they may purchase securities through the over-allotment option. If the underwriters sell more common stock than could be covered by the over-allotment option, creating a naked short position, the position can only be closed out by buying securities in the open market. A naked short position is more likely to be created if the underwriters are concerned that there could be downward pressure on the price of the securities in the open market after pricing that could adversely affect investors who purchase shares in this offering.

 

   

Penalty bids permit the underwriters to reclaim a selling concession from a selected dealer when the securities originally sold by the selected dealer are purchased in a stabilizing or syndicate covering transaction.

These stabilizing transactions, covering transactions and penalty bids may have the effect of raising or maintaining the market price of our securities or preventing or retarding a decline in the market price of our common stock. As a result, the price of our securities may be higher than the price that might otherwise exist in the open market.

Neither we nor the underwriters make any representation or prediction as to the effect that the transactions described above may have on the prices of our securities. These transactions may occur on any trading market. If any of these transactions are commenced, they may be discontinued without notice at any time.

Electronic Prospectus

This prospectus supplement may be made available in electronic format on Internet sites or through other online services maintained by the underwriters or their affiliates. In those cases, prospective investors may view offering terms online and may be allowed to place orders online. Other than this prospectus supplement in electronic format, any information on the underwriters’ or their

 

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affiliates’ websites and any information contained in any other website maintained by the underwriters or any affiliate of the underwriters is not part of this prospectus supplement or the registration statement of which this prospectus supplement forms a part, has not been approved and/or endorsed by us or the underwriters and should not be relied upon by investors.

Relationships; Conflicts of Interest

Certain of the underwriters and their affiliates have provided in the past to us and our affiliates and may provide from time to time in the future certain commercial banking, financial advisory, investment banking and other services for us and such affiliates in the ordinary course of their business, for which they have received and may continue to receive customary fees and commissions. In addition, from time to time, certain of the underwriters and their affiliates may effect transactions for their own account or the account of customers, and hold on behalf of themselves or their customers, long or short positions in our debt or equity securities or loans, and may do so in the future. Banking affiliates of BMO Capital Markets Corp., Raymond James & Associates, Inc. and RBC Capital Markets, LLC are lenders under our Unsecured Credit Facility. To the extent we use the net proceeds of this offering to reduce existing or future indebtedness under our Unsecured Credit Facility, these banking affiliates of BMO Capital Markets Corp., Raymond James & Associates, Inc. and RBC Capital Markets, LLC would receive their pro rata portion of any amount that is repaid under our Unsecured Credit Facility with the proceeds of this offering.

Offering Restrictions

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, this prospectus supplement is being distributed only to, and is directed only at, persons who are “qualified investors ” (as defined in the Prospectus Directive ) who are (i) persons having professional experience in matters relating to investments falling within Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005 (the “Order”), or (ii) high net worth entities falling within Article 49(2)(a) to (d) of the Order, or (iii) persons to whom it would otherwise be lawful to distribute it, all such persons together being referred to as “Relevant Persons”. In the United Kingdom, the shares are only available to, and any invitation, offer or agreement to subscribe, purchase or otherwise acquire such shares will be engaged in only with, Relevant Persons. Any person in the United Kingdom that is not a Relevant Person should not act or rely on this prospectus supplement or its contents.

 

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LEGAL MATTERS

Certain legal matters relating to this offering will be passed upon for us by Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. Ballard Spahr LLP will issue an opinion to us regarding certain matters of Maryland law, including the validity of the common stock offered hereby. Certain legal matters relating to this offering will be passed upon for the underwriters by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.

EXPERTS

The consolidated and combined financial statements and Schedule III of City Office REIT, Inc. as of December 31, 2018 and 2017, and for each of the years in the three-year period ended December 31, 2018, have been incorporated by reference herein and in the registration statement in reliance upon the report of KPMG LLP, independent registered public accounting firm, incorporated by reference herein, and upon the authority of said firm as experts in accounting and auditing.

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

We have an effective registration statement on Form S-3 on file with the SEC. In addition, we file annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. Our filings with the SEC are also available to the public through the SEC’s internet website at www.sec.gov.

 

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INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE

The SEC allows us to “incorporate by reference” the information we file with the SEC, which means that we can disclose important information to you by referring to those documents. The information incorporated by reference is an important part of this prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement. Any statement contained in a document which is incorporated by reference into this prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement is automatically updated and superseded if information contained in this prospectus or any accompanying prospectus supplement, or information that we later file with the SEC, modifies or replaces this information. We incorporate by reference the following documents we filed with the SEC:

 

   

our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, filed with the SEC on February 27, 2019;

 

   

the information specifically incorporated by reference into our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018 from our Definitive Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A, filed with the SEC on March 20, 2019;

 

   

our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2019 and June 30, 2019, filed with the SEC on May 6, 2019 and August 1, 2019, respectively;

 

   

our Current Reports on Form 8-K, filed with the SEC on March 11, 2019, May 6, 2019 and October 2, 2019;

 

   

the description of our common stock contained in our Registration Statement on Form 8-A filed with the SEC on April 8, 2014; and

 

   

all documents filed by us with the SEC pursuant to Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act after the date of this prospectus supplement and prior to the termination of the offering of the underlying securities.

To the extent that any information contained in any current report on Form 8-K, or any exhibit thereto, was furnished to, rather than filed with, the SEC, such information or exhibit is specifically not incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus.

We will provide without charge to each person, including any beneficial owner, to whom this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus is delivered, on written or oral request of that person, a copy of any or all of the documents we are incorporating by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, other than exhibits to those documents unless those exhibits are specifically incorporated by reference into those documents. A written request should be addressed to City Office REIT, Inc., 666 Burrard Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6C 2X8.

 

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PROSPECTUS

$500,000,000

 

LOGO

City Office REIT, Inc.

Common Stock

Preferred Stock

Debt Securities

Warrants

Units

 

 

We may offer, issue and sell from time to time, together or separately, the securities described in this prospectus, at an aggregate public offering price that will not exceed $500,000,000.

We will provide the specific terms of any securities we may offer in supplements to this prospectus. You should read this prospectus and any applicable prospectus supplement carefully before you invest. This prospectus may not be used to offer and sell any securities unless accompanied by a prospectus supplement describing the amount of securities being offered and terms of the offering of those securities. We may offer and sell these securities to or through one or more underwriters, dealers or agents, or directly to purchasers on a continuous or delayed basis. We reserve the sole right to accept, and together with any underwriters, dealers and agents, reserve the right to reject, in whole or in part, any proposed purchase of securities. The names of any underwriters, dealers or agents involved in the sale of any securities, the specific manner in which they may be offered and any applicable commissions or discounts will be set forth in the prospectus supplement covering the sales of those securities.

We elected to be taxed as a real estate investment trust for federal income tax purposes (“REIT”) commencing with our taxable year ended December 31, 2014. Shares of our common stock are subject to limitations on ownership and transfer that are primarily intended to assist us in qualifying as a REIT. Our charter generally prohibits any person from actually, beneficially or constructively owning more than 9.8% in value or number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of the outstanding shares of our common stock or more than 9.8% in value of the aggregate outstanding shares of all classes and series of our stock. See the section entitled “Description of Stock—Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer” included in this prospectus.

Our common stock is listed on The New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) under the symbol “CIO.” Our 6.625% Series A Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, or Series A Preferred Stock, is listed on the NYSE under the symbol “CIO PRA.” We have not yet determined whether any of the other securities that may be offered by this prospectus will be listed on any exchange, inter-dealer quotation system or over-the-counter system. If we decide to seek a listing for any of those securities, that decision will be disclosed in a prospectus supplement.

 

 

Investing in our securities involves risks. Before making a decision to invest in our securities, you should carefully consider the risks described under the section entitled “Risk Factors” included in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and other documents filed by us with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including any risks described in any accompanying prospectus supplement.

 

 

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any other regulatory body has approved or disapproved of these securities or passed upon the adequacy or accuracy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

 

The date of this prospectus is June 12, 2017


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

     PAGE  

ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS

     ii  

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE OF INFORMATION FILED WITH THE SEC

     iii  

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

     iv  

CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     v  

CITY OFFICE REIT, INC.

     1  

RISK FACTORS

     2  

COMPUTATION OF RATIO OF EARNINGS TO FIXED CHARGES

     3  

USE OF PROCEEDS

     4  

DESCRIPTION OF STOCK

     5  

DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES

     13  

DESCRIPTION OF WARRANTS

     24  

DESCRIPTION OF UNITS

     26  

LEGAL OWNERSHIP OF SECURITIES

     27  

CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF MARYLAND LAW AND OF OUR CHARTER AND BYLAWS

     30  

DESCRIPTION OF THE PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT OF CITY OFFICE REIT OPERATING PARTNERSHIP, L.P.

     37  

MATERIAL FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS

     52  

PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

     80  

LEGAL MATTERS

     82  

EXPERTS

     82  

Unless the context otherwise requires, references in this prospectus to “City Office,” “company,” “we,” “us” and “our” are to City Office REIT, Inc., a Maryland corporation, together with our consolidated subsidiaries, including City Office REIT Operating Partnership, L.P., a Maryland limited partnership of which we are the sole general partner and through which we conduct substantially all of our business (“our operating partnership”).

You should rely only on the information contained in or incorporated by reference into this prospectus or any accompanying prospectus supplement. We have not authorized anyone to provide you with different information. If anyone provides you with different or inconsistent information, you should not rely on it. You should assume that the information contained in this prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement, as well as information that we have previously filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, and incorporated by reference, is accurate only as of the date of the applicable document. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since those dates.

The distribution of this prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement and the offering of our securities in certain jurisdictions may be restricted by law. If you possess this prospectus or any accompanying prospectus supplement, you should find out about and observe these restrictions. This prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement are not an offer to sell our securities and are not soliciting an offer to buy our securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted or where the person making the offer or sale is not qualified to do so or to any person to whom it is not permitted to make such offer or sale. See “Plan of Distribution” in this prospectus.

 

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ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS

This prospectus is part of a “shelf” registration statement that we have filed with the SEC. By using a shelf registration statement, we may sell, at any time and from time to time, in one or more offerings, any combination of the securities described in this prospectus. The exhibits to our registration statement and documents incorporated by reference herein and therein contain the full text of certain contracts and other important documents that we have summarized in this prospectus or that we may summarize in a prospectus supplement. Since these summaries may not contain all the information that you may find important in deciding whether to purchase the securities we offer, you should review the full text of these documents. The registration statement, the exhibits and other documents can be obtained from the SEC as indicated under the sections entitled “Where You Can Find More Information” and “Incorporation by Reference of Information Filed with the SEC.”

This prospectus only provides you with a general description of the securities we may offer, which is not meant to be a complete description of each security. Each time we sell securities, we will provide a prospectus supplement that contains specific information about the terms of those securities. The prospectus supplement may also add, update or change information contained in this prospectus. If there is any inconsistency between the information in this prospectus and any prospectus supplement, you should rely on the information in such prospectus supplement. You should read carefully both this prospectus and any prospectus supplement together with the additional information described under the sections entitled “Where You Can Find More Information” and “Incorporation by Reference of Information Filed with the SEC.”

 

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INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE OF INFORMATION FILED WITH THE SEC

The SEC allows us to “incorporate by reference” the information we file with the SEC, which means that we can disclose important information to you by referring to those documents. The information incorporated by reference is an important part of this prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement. Any statement contained in a document which is incorporated by reference into this prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement is automatically updated and superseded if information contained in this prospectus or any accompanying prospectus supplement, or information that we later file with the SEC, modifies or replaces this information. We incorporate by reference the following documents we filed with the SEC:

 

   

our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, filed with the SEC on March 3, 2017;

 

   

the information specifically incorporated by reference into our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016 from our Definitive Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A, filed with the SEC on March 22, 2017;

 

   

our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2017, filed with the SEC on May 5, 2017;

 

   

our Current Reports on Form 8-K or Form 8-K/A, filed with the SEC on August  8, 2014, October 2, 2014, December  3, 2014, May 5, 2015, July  20, 2015, November 3, 2015, September 20, 2016, January 9, 2017, January  12, 2017, March  2, 2017 (two filings), March  14, 2017 and May 5, 2017;

 

   

the description of our common stock contained in our Registration Statement on Form 8-A filed with the SEC on April 8, 2014; and

 

   

the description of our Series A Preferred Stock contained in our Registration Statement on Form 8-A filed with the SEC on September 30, 2016.

We are also incorporating by reference additional documents that we file with the SEC pursuant to Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act: (i) after the date of the initial registration statement of which this prospectus is a part and prior to effectiveness of the registration statement and (ii) after the date of this prospectus and prior to the termination of the offering of the securities described in this prospectus. We are not, however, incorporating by reference any documents or portions thereof, whether specifically listed above or filed in the future, that are not deemed “filed” with the SEC, including any information furnished pursuant to Items 2.02 or 7.01 of Form 8-K or certain exhibits furnished pursuant to Item 9.01 of Form 8-K.

To receive a free copy of any of the documents incorporated by reference into this prospectus, including exhibits, if they are specifically incorporated by reference into the documents, call us at 1-604-806-3366 or submit a written request to City Office REIT, Inc., 1075 West Georgia Street, Suite 2010, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6E 3C9, Attention: Investor Relations.

 

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WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

We file annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. You may read and copy any document we file with the SEC at the SEC’s public reference room at 100 F Street, N.E. Room 1580, Washington, D.C. 20549. Please call the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330 for further information about the public reference room. The SEC also maintains a website that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information regarding registrants that file electronically with the SEC at http://www.sec.gov. In addition, we maintain a website that contains information about us at http://www.cityofficereit.com. The information found on, or otherwise accessible through, our website is not incorporated by reference into, and does not form a part of, this prospectus or any accompanying prospectus supplement or any other report or document we file with or furnish to the SEC.

We have filed with the SEC a registration statement on Form S-3, of which this prospectus is a part, including exhibits, schedules and amendments filed with, or incorporated by reference into, the registration statement, under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, with respect to the securities registered hereby. This prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement do not contain all of the information set forth in the registration statement and exhibits and schedules to the registration statement. For further information with respect to our company and the securities registered hereby, reference is made to the registration statement, including the exhibits to the registration statement. Statements contained in this prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement as to the contents of any contract or other document referred to in, or incorporated by reference into, this prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement are not necessarily complete and, where such contract or other document is an exhibit to the registration statement, each statement is qualified in all respects by the exhibit to which the reference relates. Copies of the registration statement, including the exhibits and schedules to the registration statement, may be examined at the SEC’s public reference room. Copies of all or a portion of the registration statement can be obtained from the public reference room of the SEC upon payment of prescribed fees. The registration statement of which this prospectus is a part is also available to you on the SEC’s website.

 

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CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

When used in this prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement, including the documents that we have incorporated by reference, in future filings with the SEC or in press releases or other written or oral communications, statements which are not historical in nature, including those containing words such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “plan,” “continue,” “intend,” “should,” “may” or similar expressions, are intended to identify “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act and, as such, may involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions. These forward-looking statements relate to matters such as our industry, business strategy, goals and expectations concerning our market position, future operations, margins, profitability, capital expenditures, financial condition, liquidity, capital resources, cash flows, results of operations and other financial and operating information. Statements regarding the following subjects are forward-looking by their nature:

 

   

adverse economic or real estate developments in the office sector or the markets in which we operate;

 

   

changes in local, regional, national and international economic conditions;

 

   

our inability to compete effectively;

 

   

our inability to collect rent from tenants or renew tenants’ leases on attractive terms, if at all;

 

   

demand for and market acceptance of our properties for rental purposes;

 

   

defaults on or non-renewal of leases by tenants;

 

   

increased interest rates and any resulting increase in financing or operating costs;

 

   

decreased rental rates or increased vacancy rates;

 

   

our failure to obtain necessary financing or access the capital markets on favorable terms or at all;

 

   

changes in the availability of acquisition opportunities;

 

   

availability of qualified personnel;

 

   

our inability to successfully complete real estate acquisitions;

 

   

our failure to successfully operate acquired properties and operations;

 

   

changes in our business strategy;

 

   

our failure to generate sufficient cash flows to service our outstanding indebtedness;

 

   

environmental uncertainties and risks related to adverse weather conditions and natural disasters;

 

   

our failure to maintain our status as a REIT;

 

   

government approvals, actions and initiatives, including the need for compliance with environmental requirements;

 

   

outcome of claims and litigation involving or affecting us;

 

   

financial market fluctuations; and

 

   

changes in real estate, taxation and zoning laws and other legislation and government activity and changes to real property tax rates and the taxation of REITs in general.

The forward-looking statements are based on our beliefs, assumptions and expectations of our future performance, taking into account all information available to us at the time the forward-looking statements are made. These beliefs, assumptions and expectations can change as a result of many possible events or factors, not all of which are known to us. If a change occurs, our business, prospects, financial condition, liquidity and results of operations may vary materially from those expressed in our forward-looking statements. You should carefully

 

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consider this risk when you make an investment decision concerning our securities. Additionally, the following factors could cause actual results to vary from our forward-looking statements:

 

   

the factors discussed in this prospectus and any prospectus supplement, including those set forth under the section titled “Risk Factors,” and the sections captioned “Risk Factors” in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and other documents that we file with the SEC;

 

   

general volatility of the capital markets and the market prices of our listed securities;

 

   

performance of our industry in general;

 

   

changes in our business or investment strategy;

 

   

availability, terms and deployment of capital;

 

   

availability of and our ability to attract and retain qualified personnel;

 

   

our leverage levels;

 

   

our capital expenditures;

 

   

changes in our industry and the markets in which we operate, interest rates or the general U.S. or international economy;

 

   

our ability to maintain our qualification as a REIT; and

 

   

the degree and nature of our competition.

All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made. New risks and uncertainties arise over time and it is not possible to predict those events or how they may affect us. Except as required by law, we are not obligated to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

 

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CITY OFFICE REIT, INC.

We are an internally-managed Maryland corporation focused on acquiring, owning and operating high-quality office properties located primarily in metropolitan areas in the Southern and Western United States. Our target markets possess a number of attractive demographic and employment characteristics that we believe will lead to capital appreciation and growth in rental income at our properties. Our senior management team has extensive industry relationships and a proven track record in executing this strategy, which we believe provides a competitive advantage to our shareholders.

We elected to be taxed as a REIT commencing with our taxable year ended December 31, 2014. We intend to continue to operate in a manner that will allow us to qualify as a REIT. We are structured as an umbrella partnership REIT (“UPREIT”), which means that we conduct substantially all of our business through our operating partnership, for which we serve as the sole general partner.

 

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RISK FACTORS

Before purchasing any securities offered by this prospectus, you should carefully consider the risk factors incorporated by reference into this prospectus from our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, the risks, uncertainties and additional information set forth in our SEC reports on Forms 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K and in the other documents incorporated by reference into this prospectus, and any risks described in any accompanying prospectus supplement. For a description of these reports and documents, and information about where you can find them, see “Where You Can Find More Information” and “Incorporation by Reference of Information Filed with the SEC.” Additional risks not presently known or that are currently deemed immaterial could also materially and adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations, business and prospects.

 

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COMPUTATION OF RATIO OF EARNINGS TO FIXED CHARGES AND PREFERRED STOCK DIVIDENDS

The following table sets forth our consolidated ratios of earnings to fixed charges and of earnings to combined fixed charges and preferred stock dividends for the periods indicated.

 

     City Office REIT, Inc.      City Office REIT, Inc. Predecessor  
     Three
Months
Ended
March 31,
2017
     Year
ended
December 31,
2016
     Year
ended
December 31,
2015
     Period
from April 21,
2014 to
December 31,
2014
     Period
from
January 1,
2014 to
April 20,
2014
     Year
ended
December 31,
2013
     Year
ended
December 31,
2012
 

Ratio of Earnings to Combined Fixed Charges and Preferred Stock Dividends

     0.50        0.92        0.32        0.05        0.33        0.22        0.49  

The computation of earnings to fixed charges indicates that earnings were inadequate to cover fixed charges on the basis of our historical financial statements by approximately $3,144,000 for the three months ended March 31, 2017, $1,405,000 for the year ended December 31, 2016, $7,667,000 for the year ended December 31, 2015 and $6,855,000 for the period from April 21, 2014 to December 31, 2014, and City Office REIT, Inc. Predecessor’s historical financial statements by approximately $2,530,000 for the period from January 1, 2014 to April 20, 2014, and $4,177,000 and $1,882,000 for the years ended December 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively.

For each period, we computed the ratios by dividing earnings by fixed charges. For purposes of calculating the ratios, “earnings” consist of income (loss) from continuing operations before equity in income from unconsolidated ventures plus fixed charges, less capitalized interest and dividends on preferred stock, and “fixed charges” consist of interest expense, dividends on preferred stock, capitalized interest and rental expense at computed interest factor (the amounts of which represent those portions of rent expense that are reasonable approximations of interest costs).

We refer to the entities that owned the historical interests in the AmberGlen, Central Fairwinds, City Center, Cherry Creek, Corporate Parkway and Washington Group Plaza properties, which were the initial properties contributed to us in our formation transactions, as the “City Office REIT, Inc. Predecessor.”

 

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USE OF PROCEEDS

Unless we indicate otherwise in the applicable prospectus supplement, we intend to contribute the net proceeds from any sale of the securities pursuant to this prospectus to our operating partnership. Our operating partnership will subsequently use the net proceeds received from us to potentially acquire or develop additional properties and for general corporate purposes, which may include payment of dividends, capital expenditures for improvements to the properties in our portfolio, and the repayment of existing indebtedness. Pending application of cash proceeds, we will invest the net proceeds in interest-bearing accounts, money market accounts and interest-bearing securities in a manner that is consistent with our intention to maintain our qualification for taxation as a REIT. Such investments may include, for example, government and government agency certificates, government bonds, certificates of deposit, interest-bearing bank deposits, money market accounts and mortgage loan participations. Further details regarding the use of the net proceeds from the sale of a specific series or class of the securities will be set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF STOCK

The following summary describes certain provisions of Maryland law and the material terms of our charter and our bylaws. Because the following is only a summary, it does not contain all of the information that may be important to you. This description is not complete and is subject to, and is qualified in its entirety by reference to, our charter and our bylaws, copies of which are filed as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part, and applicable law.

Please note that, with respect to any of our shares held in book-entry form through The Depository Trust Company or any other share depository, the depository or its nominee will be the sole registered and legal owner of those shares, and references in this prospectus to any “stockholder” or “holder” of those shares means only the depository or its nominee. Persons who hold beneficial interests in our shares through a depository will not be registered or legal owners of those shares and will not be recognized as such for any purpose. For example, only the depository or its nominee will be entitled to vote the shares held through it, and any dividends or other distributions to be paid, and any notices to be given, in respect of those shares will be paid or given only to the depository or its nominee. Owners of beneficial interests in those shares will have to look solely to the depository with respect to any benefits of share ownership, and any rights that they may have with respect to those shares will be governed by the rules of the depository, which are subject to change from time to time. We have no responsibility for those rules or their application to any interests held through the depository. See “Legal Ownership of Securities” for more information.

General

Our charter provides that we may issue up to 100,000,000 shares of common stock, $0.01 par value per share, and up to 100,000,000 shares of preferred stock, $0.01 par value per share, of which 4,600,000 shares have been classified and designated as Series A Preferred Stock. Our charter authorizes our board of directors, with the approval of a majority of the entire board of directors and without any action by our stockholders, to amend our charter to increase or decrease the aggregate number of authorized shares of stock or the number of authorized shares of any class or series of our stock. As of May 30, 2017, 30,257,448 shares of our common stock were issued and outstanding, not including the 310,750 restricted stock units granted to our directors, executive officers and employees under the Equity Incentive Plan, and 4,480,000 shares of Series A Preferred Stock were issued and outstanding.

Under the Maryland General Corporation Law (the “MGCL”), stockholders generally are not personally liable for our debts or obligations solely as a result of their status as stockholders.

Common Stock

Subject to the preferential rights of any other class or series of our stock and to the provisions of our charter regarding the restrictions on ownership and transfer of our stock, holders of shares of our common stock are entitled to receive dividends and other distributions on such shares if, as, and when authorized by our board of directors, out of assets legally available therefor and declared by us and to share ratably in the assets of our company legally available for distribution to our stockholders in the event of our liquidation, dissolution or winding up after payment or establishment of reserves for all known debts and liabilities of our company.

Subject to the provisions of our charter regarding the restrictions on ownership and transfer of our stock and except as may otherwise be specified in the terms of any class or series of our common stock, each outstanding share of our common stock entitles the holder to one vote on all matters submitted to a vote of stockholders, including the election of directors, and, except as provided with respect to any other class or series of stock, the holders of shares of common stock will possess the exclusive voting power. There is no cumulative voting in the election of our directors. Directors are elected by a majority of all of the votes cast in the election of directors, on

 

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a per director basis; provided, however, that in a contested election (i.e., where the number of nominees exceeds the number of directors to be elected at such meeting), the directors will be elected by a plurality of the votes cast in person or by proxy at a meeting at which a quorum is present.

Holders of shares of our common stock have no preference, conversion, exchange, sinking fund or redemption rights, and have no preemptive rights to subscribe for any securities of our company. The common stock we may offer from time to time under this prospectus, when issued in exchange for the consideration therefor, will be duly authorized, fully paid and nonassessable. Our charter provides that holders of our common stock generally have no appraisal rights unless our board of directors determines prospectively that appraisal rights will apply to one or more transactions in which holders of our common stock would otherwise be entitled to exercise appraisal rights. Subject to the provisions of our charter regarding the restrictions on ownership and transfer of our stock, holders of our common stock will have equal dividend, liquidation and other rights.

Under the MGCL, a Maryland corporation generally cannot dissolve, amend its charter, merge, consolidate, convert, sell all or substantially all of its assets or engage in a statutory share exchange unless declared advisable by its board of directors and approved by the affirmative vote of stockholders entitled to cast at least two-thirds of all of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter unless a lesser percentage (but not less than a majority of all of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter) is set forth in the corporation’s charter. Our charter provides for approval of any of these matters by the affirmative vote of stockholders entitled to cast a majority of the votes entitled to be cast on such matters, except that the affirmative vote of stockholders entitled to cast at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast generally in the election of directors is required to remove a director (and such removal must be for cause) and the affirmative vote of stockholders entitled to cast at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast on such matter is required to amend the provisions of our charter relating to the removal of directors, the restrictions on ownership and transfer of our stock and the vote required to amend such provisions. Maryland law also permits a Maryland corporation to transfer all or substantially all of its assets without the approval of the stockholders of the corporation to an entity if all of the equity interests of the entity are owned, directly or indirectly, by the corporation. Because our operating assets may be held by our operating partnership or its subsidiaries, these subsidiaries may be able to merge or transfer all or substantially all of their assets to the operating partnership or other subsidiary without the approval of our stockholders.

Our charter authorizes our board of directors to reclassify any unissued shares of our common stock into other classes or series of stock, to establish the designation and number of shares of each class or series and to set, subject to the provisions of our charter relating to the restrictions on ownership and transfer of our stock, the preferences, conversion and other rights, voting powers, restrictions, limitations as to dividends and other distributions, qualifications and terms and conditions of redemption of each such class or series.

Preferred Stock

Our board of directors may authorize the issuance of preferred stock in one or more classes or series and may classify any unissued shares of preferred stock and reclassify any previously classified but unissued shares of preferred stock into one or more classes or series (including additional shares of Series A Preferred Stock) and determine, with respect to any such class or series, the rights, preferences, privileges and restrictions of the preferred stock of that class or series, including:

 

   

distribution rights;

 

   

conversion rights;

 

   

voting rights;

 

   

redemption rights and terms of redemptions; and

 

   

liquidation preferences.

 

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The preferred stock we may offer from time to time under this prospectus, when issued in exchange for the consideration therefor, will be duly authorized, fully paid and nonassessable, and holders of preferred stock will not have any preemptive rights.

The issuance of preferred stock could have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change in control or other transaction that might involve a premium price for our common stock or otherwise be in the best interests of our stockholders. In addition, any preferred stock that we issue could rank senior to our common stock with respect to the rights upon liquidation and the payment of distributions, in which case we could not pay any distributions on our common stock until full distributions have been paid with respect to such preferred stock.

The preferences, conversion or other rights, voting powers, restrictions, limitations as to dividends, qualifications or terms or conditions of redemption of each class or series of preferred stock will be set forth in articles supplementary to our charter relating to the class or series. We will describe the specific terms of the particular series of preferred stock in the prospectus supplement relating to that series, which terms may include:

 

   

the designation and par value of the preferred stock;

 

   

the voting rights, if any, of the preferred stock;

 

   

the number of shares of preferred stock offered, the liquidation preference per share of preferred stock and the offering price of the preferred stock;

 

   

the distribution rate(s), period(s) and payment date(s) or method(s) of calculation applicable to the preferred stock;

 

   

whether distributions will be cumulative or non-cumulative and, if cumulative, the date(s) from which distributions on the preferred stock will cumulate;

 

   

the procedures for any auction and remarketing for the preferred stock, if applicable;

 

   

the provision for a sinking fund, if any, for the preferred stock;

 

   

the provision for, and any restriction on, redemption, if applicable, of the preferred stock;

 

   

the provision for, and any restriction on, repurchase, if applicable, of the preferred stock;

 

   

the terms and provisions, if any, upon which the preferred stock will be convertible into common stock, including the conversion price (or manner or calculation) and conversion period;

 

   

the terms under which the rights of the preferred stock may be modified, if applicable;

 

   

the relative ranking and preferences of the preferred stock as to distribution rights and rights upon the liquidation, dissolution or winding up of our affairs;

 

   

any limitation on issuance of any other series of preferred stock, including any series of preferred stock ranking senior to or on parity with the series of preferred stock as to distribution rights and rights upon the liquidation, dissolution or winding up of our affairs;

 

   

any listing of the preferred stock on any securities exchange;

 

   

if appropriate, a discussion of any additional material federal income tax considerations applicable to the preferred stock;

 

   

information with respect to book-entry procedures, if applicable;

 

   

in addition to those restrictions described below, any other restrictions on the ownership and transfer of the preferred stock; and

 

   

any additional rights, preferences, privileges or restrictions of the preferred stock.

 

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Series A Preferred Stock

The Series A Preferred Stock generally provides for the following rights, preferences and obligations:

 

   

Dividend Rights. The shares of Series A Preferred Stock accrue a cumulative cash dividend at an annual rate of 6.625% on the $25.00 per share liquidation preference, equivalent to a fixed annual amount of $1.65625 per share per year.

 

   

Liquidation Rights. Upon any voluntary or involuntary liquidation, dissolution or winding up of our company, the holders of Series A Preferred Stock will be entitled to receive a liquidation preference of $25.00 per share, plus an amount equal to all accrued and unpaid dividends to the date of payment, before any payment or distribution will be made to holders of any shares of junior stock, including our common stock.

 

   

Redemption Provisions. The shares of Series A Preferred Stock are not redeemable prior to October 4, 2021, except in certain limited circumstances. On and after October 4, 2021, the shares of Series A Preferred Stock may be redeemed for cash at our option, in whole or in part, at any time and from time to time upon not less than 30 days’ nor more than 60 days’ written notice, at a redemption price equal to $25.00 per share plus an amount equal to all accrued and unpaid dividends to and including the date fixed for redemption, except in certain limited circumstances. The Series A Preferred Stock has no stated maturity and is not subject to any sinking fund or mandatory redemption provisions.

 

   

Voting Rights. Holders of Series A Preferred Stock generally have no voting rights. Whenever dividends on the Series A Preferred Stock shall be in arrears for six or more quarterly periods, whether or not consecutive, the number of directors then constituting the board of directors shall be increased by two, if not already increased by reason of similar types of provisions with respect to another series of Parity Stock (as defined below), and the holders of Series A Preferred Stock (voting together as a single class with the holders of all other series of preferred stock ranking on a parity with the Series A Preferred Stock as to dividends or upon liquidation (“Parity Stock”), upon which like voting rights have been conferred and are exercisable) will be entitled to vote for the election of a total of two directors, if not already elected by the holders of Parity Stock by reason of similar types of provisions with respect to preferred stock directors, at a special meeting of the stockholders called by the holders of record of at least 33% of the Series A Preferred Stock or the holders of 33% of any other series of Parity Stock so in arrears (unless such request is received less than 90 days before the date fixed for the next annual or special meeting of stockholders), and at each subsequent annual meeting until all dividends accrued on such shares of Series A Preferred Stock for the past dividend periods shall have been paid in full. In addition, the issuance of shares of senior stock or certain changes to the terms of the Series A Preferred Stock that would be materially adverse to the rights of holders of Series A Preferred Stock cannot be made without the affirmative vote of holders of at least two-thirds of the outstanding shares of Series A Preferred Stock voting separately as a single class.

 

   

Conversion and Preemptive Rights. Except in connection with certain changes in control of our company, shares of Series A Preferred Stock are not convertible or exchangeable for any of our other securities or property. Holders of our Series A Preferred Stock have no preemptive rights to subscribe for any securities of our company.

For additional information regarding our Series A Preferred Stock, see our Registration Statement on Form 8-A filed with the SEC on September 30, 2016. See “Where You Can Obtain More Information.”

Power to Increase or Decrease Authorized Shares of Common Stock and Issue Additional Shares of Common and Preferred Stock

We believe that the power of our board of directors to amend our charter to increase or decrease the aggregate number of authorized shares of stock, to authorize us to issue additional authorized but unissued shares

 

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of our common stock or preferred stock and to classify or reclassify unissued shares of our common stock or preferred stock and thereafter to authorize us to issue such classified or reclassified shares of stock will provide us with increased flexibility in structuring possible future financings and acquisitions and in meeting other needs that might arise. The additional classes or series, as well as the additional authorized shares of common stock, will be available for issuance without further action by our stockholders, unless such action is required by applicable law, the terms of any class or series of preferred stock we may issue in the future or the rules of any stock exchange or automated quotation system on which our securities may be listed or traded. Our board of directors could authorize us to issue a class or series of stock that could, depending upon the terms of the particular class or series, delay, defer or prevent a transaction or a change of control of our company that might involve a premium price for holders of our common stock or that our common stockholders otherwise believe to be in their best interests. See “Certain Provisions of Maryland Law and of Our Charter and Bylaws—Anti-Takeover Effect of Certain Provisions of Maryland Law and Our Charter and Bylaws.”

Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer

In order for us to qualify as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code, our stock must be beneficially owned by 100 or more persons during at least 335 days of a taxable year of 12 months (other than the first year for which an election to be a REIT has been made) or during a proportionate part of a shorter taxable year. Also, not more than 50% of the value of the outstanding shares of stock (after taking into account options to acquire shares of stock) may be owned, directly, indirectly or through attribution, by five or fewer individuals (for this purpose, the term “individual” includes certain entities such as a supplemental unemployment compensation benefit trust and a private foundation or a portion of a trust permanently set aside or used exclusively for charitable purposes, among others) at any time during the last half of a taxable year (other than the first year for which an election to be a REIT has been made). Finally, in certain circumstances we could be treated as being related to one or more of our tenants if we own, directly or indirectly, an interest in a tenant that exceeds the limits provided in Section 856(d)(2)(B) of the Code. If such a relationship were deemed to exist, any rents we receive from the related tenant would not be treated as rents from real property and could adversely affect our ability to qualify as a REIT.

Our charter contains restrictions on the ownership and transfer of our stock that are intended to assist us in complying with these requirements and qualifying as a REIT, among other purposes. The relevant sections of our charter provide that, subject to the exceptions described below, no person or entity may beneficially own, or be deemed to own by virtue of the applicable constructive ownership provisions of the Code, more than 9.8% (in value or in number of shares, whichever is more restrictive) of the outstanding shares of our common stock, or 9.8% (in value) of the aggregate of the outstanding shares of all classes and series of our stock. We refer to each of these restrictions as an “ownership limit” and collectively as the “ownership limits.” A person or entity that would have acquired actual, beneficial or constructive ownership of our stock but for the application of the ownership limits or any of the other restrictions on ownership and transfer of our stock discussed below is referred to as a “prohibited owner.”

The constructive ownership rules under the Code are complex and may cause stock owned actually, beneficially or constructively by a group of related individuals and/or entities to be owned beneficially or constructively by one individual or entity. As a result, the acquisition of less than 9.8% in value or in number of shares (whichever is more restrictive) of the outstanding shares of our common stock, or less than 9.8% in value of the outstanding shares of all classes and series of our stock (or the acquisition by an individual or entity of an interest in an entity that owns, actually, beneficially or constructively, shares of our stock) could, nevertheless, cause that individual or entity, or another individual or entity, to own beneficially or constructively in excess of 9.8% in value or in number of shares (whichever is more restrictive) of our stock and in violation of the applicable ownership limit.

 

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Our board of directors may, in its sole and absolute discretion, prospectively or retroactively, waive either or both of the ownership limits with respect to a particular stockholder or establish a different limit on ownership (the “excepted holder limit”) if it determines that:

 

   

no person’s beneficial or constructive ownership of our stock would result in our being “closely held” within the meaning of Section 856(h) of the Code (without regard to whether the ownership interest is held during the last half of a taxable year) or otherwise cause us to fail to qualify as a REIT; and

 

   

such stockholder does not and will not own, actually or constructively, an interest in a tenant of ours (or a tenant of any entity controlled or owned in whole or in part by us) that would cause us to own, actually or constructively, more than a 9.8% interest (as set forth in Section 856(d)(2)(B) of the Code) in such tenant (or our board of directors determines that revenue derived from such tenant will not affect our ability to qualify as a REIT).

As a condition of our waiver, our board of directors may require an opinion of counsel or an Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, ruling satisfactory to our board of directors in its sole and absolute discretion in order to determine or ensure our status as a REIT or such representations and/or undertakings from the person requesting the waiver as our board of directors may require in its sole and absolute discretion to make the determinations above. Notwithstanding the receipt of any ruling or opinion, our board of directors may impose such conditions or restrictions as it deems appropriate in connection with granting such an exception.

In connection with a waiver of an ownership limit or at any other time, our board of directors may increase or decrease one or both of the ownership limits, except that a decreased ownership limit will not be effective for any person whose actual, beneficial or constructive ownership of our stock exceeds the decreased ownership limit at the time of the decrease until the person’s actual, beneficial or constructive ownership of our stock equals or falls below the decreased ownership limit, although any further acquisition of our stock will violate the decreased ownership limit. Our board of directors may not increase or decrease any ownership limit if the new ownership limit would allow five or fewer persons to beneficially own more than 49% in value of our outstanding stock or otherwise cause us to fail to qualify as a REIT.

Our charter provisions further prohibit any transfer (as defined therein) that would result in:

 

   

any person beneficially or constructively owning shares of our stock if such ownership would result in our being “closely held” under Section 856(h) of the Code (without regard to whether the ownership interest is held during the last half of a taxable year) or otherwise cause us to fail to qualify as a REIT (including, but not limited to, beneficial or constructive ownership that would result in us, actually or constructively, owning an interest in a tenant that exceeds the limits provided in Section 856(d)(2)(B) of the Code); and

 

   

shares of our stock being beneficially owned by fewer than 100 persons (determined without reference to any rules of attribution), subject to the exception described below.

Any person who acquires or attempts or intends to acquire beneficial or constructive ownership of shares of our stock that will or may violate the ownership limits or any of the other restrictions on ownership and transfer of our stock described above must give written notice immediately to us or, in the case of a proposed or attempted transaction, provide us at least 15 days prior notice, and provide us with such other information as we may request in order to determine the effect of such transfer on our status as a REIT.

The ownership limits and other restrictions on ownership and transfer of our stock described above will not apply if our board of directors determines that it is no longer in our best interest to attempt to qualify, or to continue to qualify, as a REIT or that compliance is no longer required in order for us to qualify as a REIT.

Pursuant to our charter, if any purported transfer of our stock or any other event would otherwise result in any person violating the ownership limits or such other limit established by our board of directors, or would

 

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result in us being “closely held” within the meaning of Section 856(h) of the Code (without regard to whether the ownership interest is held during the last half of a taxable year) or otherwise failing to qualify as a REIT, then the number of shares causing the violation (rounded up to the nearest whole share) will be automatically transferred to, and held by, a trust for the exclusive benefit of one or more charitable organizations selected by us. Our charter provides that the prohibited owner will not benefit economically from ownership of any shares of our stock held in trust and will have no rights to distributions and no rights to vote or other rights attributable to the shares of our stock held by the trustee. The automatic transfer will be effective as of the close of business on the business day prior to the date of the violative transfer or other event that results in the transfer to the trust. Any dividend or other distribution paid to the prohibited owner, prior to our discovery that the shares had been automatically transferred to a trust as described above, must be repaid to the trustee upon demand. Our charter provides that if the transfer to the trust as described above is not automatically effective, for any reason, to prevent violation of the applicable ownership limit or our being “closely held” (without regard to whether the ownership interest is held during the last half of a taxable year) or otherwise failing to qualify as a REIT, then the transfer of the number of shares that otherwise would cause any person to violate the above restrictions will be void and of no force or effect and the intended transferee will acquire no rights in the shares. In addition, our charter provides that if any transfer of our stock would result in shares of our stock being beneficially owned by fewer than 100 persons (determined without reference to any rules of attribution), then any such purported transfer will be void and of no force or effect and the intended transferee will acquire no rights in the shares, provided that our board of directors may waive this provision if, in its opinion, such a transfer would not adversely affect our ability to qualify as a REIT.

Our charter provides that shares of our stock transferred to the trustee are deemed offered for sale to us, or our designee, at a price per share equal to the lesser of (1) the price paid by the prohibited owner for the shares (or, if the prohibited owner did not give value in connection with the transfer or other event that resulted in the transfer to the trust (e.g., a gift, devise or other such transaction), the last sales price reported on the NYSE on the day of the transfer or other event that resulted in the transfer of such shares to the trust) and (2) the market price on the date we, or our designee, accepts such offer. We will reduce the amount payable to the trust by the amount of dividends and distributions paid to the prohibited owner and owed by the prohibited owner to the trustee. We will pay the amount of such reduction to the trustee for the benefit of the charitable beneficiary. We have the right to accept such offer until the trustee has sold the shares of our stock held in the trust. Upon a sale to us, the interest of the charitable beneficiary in the shares sold terminates and the trustee must distribute the net proceeds of the sale to the prohibited owner. Any dividends or other distributions held by the trustee with respect to such stock will be paid to the charitable beneficiary.

If we do not buy the shares, the trustee must, within 20 days of receiving notice from us of the transfer of shares to the trust, sell the shares to a person or persons, designated by the trustee, who could own the shares without violating the ownership limits or other restrictions on ownership and transfer of our stock. Upon such sale, the trustee must distribute to the prohibited owner an amount equal to the lesser of (1) the price paid by the prohibited owner for the shares (or, if the prohibited owner did not give value in connection with the transfer or other event that resulted in the transfer to the trust (e.g., a gift, devise or other such transaction), the last sales price reported on the NYSE on the day of the event that resulted in the transfer of such shares to the trust) and (2) the sales proceeds (net of commissions and other expenses of sale) received by the trustee for the shares. The trustee will reduce the amount payable to the prohibited owner by the amount of dividends and other distributions paid to the prohibited owner and owed by the prohibited owner to the trustee. Any net sales proceeds in excess of the amount payable to the prohibited owner will be immediately paid to the charitable beneficiary, together with any dividends or other distributions thereon. In addition, if, prior to discovery by us that shares of our stock have been transferred to the trustee, such shares of stock are sold by a prohibited owner, then our charter provides that such shares shall be deemed to have been sold on behalf of the trust and, to the extent that the prohibited owner received an amount for or in respect of such shares that exceeds the amount that such prohibited owner was entitled to receive, such excess amount shall be paid to the trustee upon demand.

 

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The trustee will be designated by us and will be unaffiliated with us and with any prohibited owner. Prior to the sale of any shares by the trust, the trustee will receive, in trust for the beneficiary, all dividends and other distributions paid by us with respect to such shares, and may exercise all voting rights with respect to such shares for the exclusive benefit of the charitable beneficiary.

Subject to Maryland law, effective as of the date that the shares have been transferred to the trust, our charter provides that the trustee shall have the authority, at the trustee’s sole discretion:

 

   

to rescind as void any vote cast by a prohibited owner prior to our discovery that the shares have been transferred to the trust; and

 

   

to recast the vote in accordance with the desires of the trustee acting for the benefit of the beneficiary of the trust.

However, if we have already taken irreversible corporate action, then the trustee may not rescind and recast the vote.

If our board of directors or a committee thereof determines in good faith that a proposed transfer or other event has taken place that violates the restrictions on ownership and transfer of our stock set forth in our charter, our board of directors or such committee may take such action as it deems advisable in its sole discretion to refuse to give effect to or to prevent such transfer, including, but not limited to, causing the company to redeem shares of stock, refusing to give effect to the transfer on our books or instituting proceedings to enjoin the transfer.

Every owner of 5% or more (or such lower percentage as required by the Code or the Treasury Regulations promulgated thereunder) of the outstanding shares of our stock, within 30 days after the end of each taxable year, must give written notice to us stating the name and address of such owner, the number of shares of each class and series of our stock that the owner beneficially owns and a description of the manner in which the shares are held. Each such owner also must provide us with any additional information that we request in order to determine the effect, if any, of the person’s beneficial ownership on our status as a REIT and to ensure compliance with the ownership limits. In addition, any person that is a beneficial owner or constructive owner of shares of our stock and any person (including the stockholder of record) who is holding shares of our stock for a beneficial owner or constructive owner must, on request, disclose to us in writing such information as we may request in good faith in order to determine our status as a REIT and comply with the requirements of any taxing authority or governmental authority or determine such compliance and to ensure compliance with the ownership limits.

Our charter provides that each purchaser of our capital stock that purchases such stock from us or any underwriter, placement agent or initial purchaser that participates in a public offering, a private placement or other private offering of such stock will be deemed to have represented, warranted and agreed that its purchase and holding of such stock will not constitute or result in (i) a non-exempt prohibited transaction under Section 406 of ERISA or Section 4975 of the Code or (ii) a violation of any applicable other federal, state, local, non-U.S. or other laws or regulations that contain one or more provisions that are substantially similar to the provisions of Title I of ERISA or Section 4975 of the Code.

Any certificates representing shares of our stock will bear a legend referring to the restrictions on ownership and transfer of our stock described above.

These restrictions on ownership and transfer could delay, defer or prevent a transaction or a change of control of our company that might involve a premium price for our common stock that our stockholders otherwise believe to be in their best interest.

Transfer Agent and Registrar

The transfer agent and registrar for our common stock and Series A Preferred Stock is American Stock Transfer and Trust Company, LLC.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES

General

The debt securities offered by this prospectus will be our direct unsecured general obligations. This prospectus describes certain general terms of the debt securities which may be offered through this prospectus. In the following discussion, we refer to any of our direct unsecured general obligations as the “Debt Securities.” When we offer to sell a particular series of Debt Securities, we will describe the specific terms of that series in a prospectus supplement or any free writing prospectus. The Debt Securities will be issued under an open-ended Indenture (for Debt Securities) between us and a trustee to be elected by us at or about the time we offer our Debt Securities. The form of open-ended Indenture (for Debt Securities) is incorporated by reference into the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part and is filed as an exhibit to the registration statement. In this prospectus we refer to the Indenture (for Debt Securities) as the “Debt Securities Indenture.” We refer to the trustee under any Debt Securities Indenture as the “Debt Securities Trustee.”

The prospectus supplement or any free writing prospectus applicable to a particular series of Debt Securities may state that a particular series of Debt Securities will be our subordinated obligations. The form of Debt Securities Indenture referred to above includes optional provisions (designated by brackets (“[    ]”)) that we would expect to appear in a separate indenture for subordinated debt securities in the event we issue subordinated debt securities. In the following discussion, we refer to any of our subordinated obligations as the “Subordinated Debt Securities.” Unless the applicable prospectus supplement or any free writing prospectus provides otherwise, we will use a separate Debt Securities Indenture for any Subordinated Debt Securities that we may issue. Our Debt Securities Indenture will be qualified under the Trust Indenture Act of 1939, as amended (the “Trust Indenture Act”), and you should refer to the Trust Indenture Act for the provisions that apply to the Debt Securities.

We have summarized selected provisions of the Debt Securities Indenture below. Each Debt Securities Indenture will be independent of any other Debt Securities Indenture unless otherwise stated in a prospectus supplement or any free writing prospectus. The summary that follows is not complete and is subject to, and qualified in its entirety by reference to, the provisions of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture. You should consult the applicable Debt Securities, Debt Securities Indenture, any supplemental indentures, officers’ certificates and other related documents for more complete information on the Debt Securities. These documents appear as exhibits to, or are incorporated by reference into, the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part, or will appear as exhibits to other documents that we will file with the SEC, which will be incorporated by reference into this prospectus. In the summary below, we have included references to applicable section numbers of the Debt Securities Indenture so that you can easily locate these provisions.

Ranking

Our Debt Securities that are not designated Subordinated Debt Securities will be effectively subordinated to all secured indebtedness that we have outstanding from time to time to the extent of the value of the collateral securing such secured indebtedness. Our Debt Securities that are designated Subordinated Debt Securities will be subordinate to all outstanding secured indebtedness as well as Debt Securities that are not designated Subordinated Debt Securities. The Debt Securities Indenture does not limit the amount of secured indebtedness that we may issue or incur.

We conduct substantially all of our operations, and make substantially all of our investments, through our operating partnership and its subsidiaries. Our ability to meet our financial obligations with respect to any future Debt Securities, and cash needs generally, is dependent on our operating cash flow, our ability to access various sources of short- and long-term liquidity, including our bank facilities, the capital markets and distributions from our subsidiaries. Holders of our Debt Securities will effectively have a junior position to claims of creditors of our subsidiaries, including trade creditors, debt holders, secured creditors, taxing authorities and guarantee holders.

 

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Provisions of a Particular Series

The Debt Securities may from time to time be issued in one or more series. You should consult the prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus relating to any particular series of Debt Securities for the following information:

 

   

the title of the Debt Securities;

 

   

any limit on aggregate principal amount of the Debt Securities or the series of which they are a part;

 

   

the date(s), or method for determining the date(s), on which the principal of the Debt Securities will be payable;

 

   

the rate, including the method of determination if applicable, at which the Debt Securities will bear interest, if any, and

 

   

the date from which any interest will accrue;

 

   

the dates on which we will pay interest;

 

   

our ability to defer interest payments and any related restrictions during any interest deferral period; and

 

   

the record date for any interest payable on any interest payment date;

 

   

the place where:

 

   

the principal of, premium, if any, and interest on the Debt Securities will be payable;

 

   

you may register transfer of the Debt Securities;

 

   

you may exchange the Debt Securities; and

 

   

you may serve notices and demands upon us regarding the Debt Securities;

 

   

the security registrar for the Debt Securities and whether the principal of the Debt Securities is payable without presentment or surrender of them;

 

   

the terms and conditions upon which we may elect to redeem any Debt Securities, including any replacement capital or similar covenants limiting our ability to redeem any Subordinated Debt Securities;

 

   

the denominations in which we may issue Debt Securities, if other than $1,000 and integral multiples of $1,000;

 

   

the terms and conditions upon which the Debt Securities must be redeemed or purchased due to our obligations pursuant to any sinking fund or other mandatory redemption or tender provisions, or at the holder’s option, including any applicable exceptions to notice requirements;

 

   

the currency, if other than United States currency, in which payments on the Debt Securities will be payable;

 

   

the terms according to which elections can be made by us or the holder regarding payments on the Debt Securities in currency other than the currency in which the Debt Securities are stated to be payable;

 

   

if payments are to be made on the Debt Securities in securities or other property, the type and amount of the securities and other property or the method by which the amount shall be determined;

 

   

the manner in which we will determine any amounts payable on the Debt Securities that are to be determined with reference to an index or other fact or event ascertainable outside the applicable indenture;

 

   

if other than the entire principal amount, the portion of the principal amount of the Debt Securities payable upon declaration of acceleration of their maturity;

 

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any addition to the events of default applicable to any Debt Securities and any additions to our covenants for the benefit of the holders of the Debt Securities;

 

   

the terms applicable to any rights to convert Debt Securities into or exchange them for other of our securities or those of any other entity;

 

   

whether we are issuing Debt Securities as global securities, and if so,

 

   

any limitations on transfer or exchange rights or the right to obtain the registration of transfer;

 

   

any limitations on the right to obtain definitive certificates for the Debt Securities; and

 

   

any other matters incidental to the Debt Securities;

 

   

whether we are issuing the Debt Securities as bearer securities;

 

   

any limitations on transfer or exchange of Debt Securities or the right to obtain registration of their transfer, and the terms and amount of any service charge required for registration of transfer or exchange;

 

   

any exceptions to the provisions governing payments due on legal holidays, or any variations in the definition of business day with respect to the Debt Securities;

 

   

any collateral security, assurance, guarantee or other credit enhancement applicable to the Debt Securities;

 

   

any other terms of the Debt Securities not in conflict with the provisions of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture; and

 

   

the material federal income tax consequences applicable to the Debt Securities.

For more information, see Section 3.01 of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture.

Debt Securities may be sold at a substantial discount below their principal amount. You should consult the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus for a description of certain material federal income tax considerations that may apply to Debt Securities sold at an original issue discount or denominated in a currency other than dollars.

Unless the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus states otherwise, the covenants contained in the applicable indenture will not afford holders of Debt Securities protection in the event we have a change in control or are involved in a highly-leveraged transaction.

Subordination

The applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus may provide that a series of Debt Securities will be Subordinated Debt Securities, subordinate and junior in right of payment to all of our Senior Indebtedness, as defined below. If so, we will issue these securities under a separate Debt Securities Indenture for Subordinated Debt Securities. In this prospectus we refer to each such Debt Securities Indenture for Subordinated Debt Securities as the “Subordinated Debt Securities Indenture.” For more information, see Article XV of the form of Debt Securities Indenture.

Unless the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus states otherwise, no payment of principal of, including redemption and sinking fund payments, or any premium or interest on, the Subordinated Debt Securities may be made if:

 

   

there occur certain acts of bankruptcy, insolvency, liquidation, dissolution or other winding up of our company;

 

   

any Senior Indebtedness is not paid when due;

 

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any applicable grace period with respect to other defaults with respect to any Senior Indebtedness has ended, the default has not been cured or waived and the maturity of such Senior Indebtedness has been accelerated because of the default; or

 

   

the maturity of the Subordinated Debt Securities of any series has been accelerated because of a default and Senior Indebtedness is then outstanding.

Upon any distribution of our assets to creditors upon any dissolution, winding-up, liquidation or reorganization, whether voluntary or involuntary or in bankruptcy, insolvency, receivership or other proceedings, all principal of, and any premium and interest due or to become due on, all outstanding Senior Indebtedness must be paid in full before the holders of the Subordinated Debt Securities are entitled to payment. For more information, see Section 15.02 of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture. The rights of the holders of the Subordinated Debt Securities will be subrogated to the rights of the holders of Senior Indebtedness to receive payments or distributions applicable to Senior Indebtedness until all amounts owing on the Subordinated Debt Securities are paid in full. For more information, see Section 15.04 of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture.

Unless the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus states otherwise, the term “Senior Indebtedness” means all obligations (other than non-recourse obligations and the indebtedness issued under the Subordinated Debt Securities Indenture) of, or guaranteed or assumed by, us:

 

   

for borrowed money (including both senior and subordinated indebtedness for borrowed money, but excluding the Subordinated Debt Securities);

 

   

for the payment of money relating to any lease that is capitalized on our consolidated balance sheet in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles; or

 

   

indebtedness evidenced by bonds, debentures, notes or other similar instruments.

In the case of any such indebtedness or obligations, Senior Indebtedness includes amendments, renewals, extensions, modifications and refundings, whether existing as of the date of the Subordinated Debt Securities Indenture or subsequently incurred by us.

The Subordinated Debt Securities Indenture does not limit the aggregate amount of Senior Indebtedness that we may issue.

Form, Exchange and Transfer

Unless the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus states otherwise, we will issue Debt Securities only in fully registered form without coupons and in denominations of $1,000 and integral multiples of that amount. For more information, see Sections 2.01 and 3.02 of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture.

Holders may present Debt Securities for exchange or for registration of transfer, duly endorsed or accompanied by a duly executed instrument of transfer, at the office of the security registrar or at the office of any transfer agent we may designate. Exchanges and transfers are subject to the terms of the applicable indenture and applicable limitations for global securities. We may designate ourselves the security registrar.

No charge will be made for any registration of transfer or exchange of Debt Securities, but we may require payment of a sum sufficient to cover any tax or other governmental charge that the holder must pay in connection with the transaction. Any transfer or exchange will become effective upon the security registrar or transfer agent, as the case may be, being satisfied with the documents of title and identity of the person making the request. For more information, see Section 3.05 of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture.

The applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus will state the name of any transfer agent, in addition to the security registrar initially designated by us, for any Debt Securities. We may at any time designate

 

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additional transfer agents or withdraw the designation of any transfer agent or make a change in the office through which any transfer agent acts. We must, however, maintain a transfer agent in each place of payment for the Debt Securities of each series. For more information, see Section 6.02 of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture.

We will not be required to:

 

   

issue, register the transfer of, or exchange any Debt Securities or any tranche of any Debt Securities during a period beginning at the opening of business 15 days before the day of mailing of a notice of redemption of any Debt Securities called for redemption and ending at the close of business on the day of mailing; or

 

   

register the transfer of, or exchange any Debt Securities selected for redemption except the unredeemed portion of any Debt Securities being partially redeemed.

For more information, see Section 3.05 of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture.

Payment and Paying Agents

Unless the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus states otherwise, we will pay interest on a Debt Security on any interest payment date to the person in whose name the Debt Security is registered at the close of business on the regular record date for the interest payment. For more information, see Section 3.07 of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture.

Unless the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus provides otherwise, we will pay principal and any premium and interest on Debt Securities at the office of the paying agent whom we will designate for this purpose. Unless the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus states otherwise, the corporate trust office of the Debt Securities Trustee in New York City will be designated as our sole paying agent for payments with respect to Debt Securities of each series. Any other paying agents initially designated by us for the Debt Securities of a particular series will be named in the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus. We may at any time add or delete paying agents or change the office through which any paying agent acts. We must, however, maintain a paying agent in each place of payment for the Debt Securities of a particular series. For more information, see Section 6.02 of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture.

All money we pay to a paying agent for the payment of the principal and any premium or interest on any Debt Security that remains unclaimed at the end of two years after payment is due will be repaid to us. After that date, the holder of that Debt Security shall be deemed an unsecured general creditor and may look only to us for these payments. For more information, see Section 6.03 of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture.

Redemption

You should consult the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus for any terms regarding optional or mandatory redemption of Debt Securities. Except for any provisions in the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus regarding Debt Securities redeemable at the holder’s option, Debt Securities may be redeemed only upon notice by mail not less than 30 nor more than 60 days prior to the redemption date. Further, if less than all of the Debt Securities of a series, or any tranche of a series, are to be redeemed, the Debt Securities to be redeemed will be selected by the method provided for the particular series. In the absence of a selection provision, the Debt Securities Trustee will select a fair and appropriate method of selection. For more information, see Sections 4.03 and 4.04 of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture.

A notice of redemption we provide may state:

 

   

that redemption is conditioned upon receipt by the paying agent on or before the redemption date of money sufficient to pay the principal of and any premium and interest on the Debt Securities; and

 

   

that if the money has not been received, the notice will be ineffective and we will not be required to redeem the Debt Securities.

 

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For more information, see Section 4.04 of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture.

Consolidation, Merger and Sale of Assets

We may not consolidate with or merge into any other person, nor may we transfer or lease substantially all of our assets and property to any other person, unless:

 

   

the corporation formed by the consolidation or into which we are merged, or the person that acquires by conveyance or transfer, or that leases, substantially all of our property and assets:

 

   

is organized and validly existing under the laws of any domestic jurisdiction; and

 

   

expressly assumes by supplemental indenture our obligations on the Debt Securities and under the applicable indentures;

 

   

immediately after giving effect to the transaction, no event of default, and no event that would become an event of default, has occurred and is continuing; and

 

   

we have delivered to the Debt Securities Trustee an officer’s certificate and opinion of counsel as provided in the applicable indentures.

For more information, see Section 11.01 of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture.

Events of Default

Unless the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus states otherwise, “event of default” under the applicable indenture with respect to Debt Securities of any series means any of the following:

 

   

failure to pay any interest due on any Debt Security of that series within 30 days after it becomes due;

 

   

failure to pay principal or premium, if any, when due on any Debt Security of that series;

 

   

failure to make any required sinking fund payment on any Debt Securities of that series;

 

   

breach of or failure to perform any other covenant or warranty in the applicable indenture with respect to Debt Securities of that series for 60 days (subject to extension under certain circumstances for another 120 days) after we receive notice from the Debt Securities Trustee, or we and the Debt Securities Trustee receive notice from the holders of at least 33% in principal amount of the Debt Securities of that series outstanding under the applicable indenture according to the provisions of the applicable indenture;

 

   

certain events of bankruptcy, insolvency or reorganization; or

 

   

any other event of default set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus.

For more information, see Section 8.01 of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture.

An event of default with respect to a particular series of Debt Securities does not necessarily constitute an event of default with respect to the Debt Securities of any other series issued under the applicable indenture.

If an event of default with respect to a particular series of Debt Securities occurs and is continuing, either the Debt Securities Trustee or the holders of at least 33% in principal amount of the outstanding Debt Securities of that series may declare the principal amount of all of the Debt Securities of that series to be due and payable immediately. If the Debt Securities of that series are discount securities or similar Debt Securities, only the portion of the principal amount as specified in the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus may be immediately due and payable. If an event of default occurs and is continuing with respect to all series of Debt Securities issued under a Debt Securities Indenture, including all events of default relating to bankruptcy, insolvency or reorganization, the Debt Securities Trustee or the holders of at least 33% in principal amount of the outstanding Debt Securities of all series issued under that Debt Securities Indenture, considered together, may declare an acceleration of the principal amount of all series of Debt Securities issued under that Debt Securities Indenture. There is no automatic acceleration, even in the event of our bankruptcy or insolvency.

 

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The applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus may provide, with respect to a series of Debt Securities to which a credit enhancement is applicable, that the provider of the credit enhancement may, if a default has occurred and is continuing with respect to the series, have all or any part of the rights with respect to remedies that would otherwise have been exercisable by the holder of that series.

At any time after a declaration of acceleration with respect to the Debt Securities of a particular series, and before a judgment or decree for payment of the money due has been obtained, the event of default giving rise to the declaration of acceleration will, without further action, be deemed to have been waived, and the declaration and its consequences will be deemed to have been rescinded and annulled, if:

 

   

we have paid or deposited with the Debt Securities Trustee a sum sufficient to pay:

 

   

all overdue interest on all Debt Securities of the particular series;

 

   

the principal of and any premium on any Debt Securities of that series that have become due otherwise than by the declaration of acceleration and any interest at the rate prescribed in the Debt Securities;

 

   

interest upon overdue interest at the rate prescribed in the Debt Securities, to the extent payment is lawful; and

 

   

all amounts due to the Debt Securities Trustee under the applicable indenture; and

 

   

any other event of default with respect to the Debt Securities of the particular series, other than the failure to pay the principal of the Debt Securities of that series that has become due solely by the declaration of acceleration, has been cured or waived as provided in the applicable indenture.

For more information, see Section 8.02 of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture.

The applicable Debt Securities Indenture includes provisions as to the duties of the Debt Securities Trustee in case an event of default occurs and is continuing. Consistent with these provisions, the Debt Securities Trustee will be under no obligation to exercise any of its rights or powers at the request or direction of any of the holders unless those holders have offered to the Debt Securities Trustee reasonable indemnity against the costs, expenses and liabilities that may be incurred by it in compliance with such request or direction. For more information, see Section 9.03 of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture. Subject to these provisions for indemnification, the holders of a majority in principal amount of the outstanding Debt Securities of any series may direct the time, method and place of conducting any proceeding for any remedy available to the Debt Securities Trustee, or exercising any trust or power conferred on the Debt Securities Trustee, with respect to the Debt Securities of that series. For more information, see Section 8.12 of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture.

No holder of Debt Securities may institute any proceeding regarding the applicable indenture, or for the appointment of a receiver or a trustee, or for any other remedy under the applicable indenture unless:

 

   

the holder has previously given to the Debt Securities Trustee written notice of a continuing event of default of that particular series;

 

   

the holders of a majority in principal amount of the outstanding Debt Securities of all series with respect to which an event of default is continuing have made a written request to the Debt Securities Trustee, and have offered reasonable indemnity to the Debt Securities Trustee, to institute the proceeding as trustee; and

 

   

the Debt Securities Trustee has failed to institute the proceeding, and has not received from the holders of a majority in principal amount of the outstanding Debt Securities of that series a direction inconsistent with the request, within 60 days after notice, request and offer of reasonable indemnity.

 

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For more information, see Section 8.07 of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture.

The preceding limitations do not apply, however, to a suit instituted by a holder of a Debt Security for the enforcement of payment of the principal of or any premium or interest on the Debt Securities on or after the applicable due date stated in the Debt Securities. For more information, see Section 8.08 of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture.

We must furnish annually to the Debt Securities Trustee a statement by an appropriate officer as to that officer’s knowledge of our compliance with all conditions and covenants under each of the indentures for Debt Securities. Our compliance is to be determined without regard to any grace period or notice requirement under the respective indenture. For more information, see Section 6.06 of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture.

Modification and Waiver

We and the Debt Securities Trustee, without the consent of the holders of the Debt Securities, may enter into one or more supplemental indentures for any of the following purposes:

 

   

to evidence the assumption by any permitted successor of our covenants in the applicable indenture and the Debt Securities;

 

   

to add one or more covenants or other provisions for the benefit of the holders of outstanding Debt Securities or to surrender any right or power conferred upon us by the applicable indenture;

 

   

to add any additional events of default;

 

   

to change or eliminate any provision of the applicable indenture or add any new provision to it, but if this action would adversely affect the interests of the holders of any particular series of Debt Securities in any material respect, the action will not become effective with respect to that series while any Debt Securities of that series remain outstanding under the applicable indenture;

 

   

to provide collateral security for the Debt Securities;

 

   

to establish the form or terms of Debt Securities according to the provisions of the applicable indenture;

 

   

to evidence the acceptance of appointment of a successor Debt Securities Trustee under the applicable indenture with respect to one or more series of the Debt Securities and to add to or change any of the provisions of the applicable indenture as necessary to provide for trust administration under the applicable indenture by more than one trustee;

 

   

to provide for the procedures required to permit the use of a non-certificated system of registration for any series of Debt Securities;

 

   

to change any place where:

 

   

the principal of and any premium and interest on any Debt Securities are payable;

 

   

any Debt Securities may be surrendered for registration of transfer or exchange; or

 

   

notices and demands to or upon us regarding Debt Securities and the applicable indentures may be served; or

 

   

to cure any ambiguity or inconsistency, but only by means of changes or additions that will not adversely affect the interests of the holders of Debt Securities of any series in any material respect.

For more information, see Section 12.01 of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture.

 

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The holders of at least a majority in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding Debt Securities of any series may waive:

 

   

compliance by us with certain provisions of the applicable indenture (see Section 6.07 of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture); and

 

   

any past default under the applicable indenture, except a default in the payment of principal, premium, or interest and certain covenants and provisions of the applicable indenture that cannot be modified or amended without consent of the holder of each outstanding Debt Security of the series affected (see Section 8.13 of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture).

The Trust Indenture Act may be amended after the date of the applicable indenture to require changes to the indenture. In this event, the indenture will be deemed to have been amended so as to effect the changes, and we and the Debt Securities Trustee may, without the consent of any holders, enter into one or more supplemental indentures to evidence or effect the amendment. For more information, see Section 12.01 of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture.

Except as provided in this section, the consent of the holders of a majority in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding Debt Securities issued pursuant to a Debt Securities Indenture, considered as one class, is required to change in any manner the applicable indenture pursuant to one or more supplemental indentures. If less than all of the series of Debt Securities outstanding under a Debt Securities Indenture are directly affected by a proposed supplemental indenture, however, only the consent of the holders of a majority in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding Debt Securities of all series directly affected, considered as one class, will be required. Furthermore, if the Debt Securities of any series have been issued in more than one tranche and if the proposed supplemental indenture directly affects the rights of the holders of one or more, but not all, tranches, only the consent of the holders of a majority in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding Debt Securities of all tranches directly affected, considered as one class, will be required. In addition, an amendment or modification:

 

   

may not, without the consent of the holder of each outstanding Debt Security affected:

 

   

change the maturity of the principal of, or any installment of principal of or interest on, any Debt Securities;

 

   

reduce the principal amount or the rate of interest, or the amount of any installment of interest, or change the method of calculating the rate of interest;

 

   

reduce any premium payable upon the redemption of the Debt Securities;

 

   

reduce the amount of the principal of any Debt Security originally issued at a discount from the stated principal amount that would be due and payable upon a declaration of acceleration of maturity;

 

   

change the currency or other property in which a Debt Security or premium or interest on a Debt Security is payable; or

 

   

impair the right to institute suit for the enforcement of any payment on or after the stated maturity, or in the case of redemption, on or after the redemption date, of any Debt Securities;

 

   

may not reduce the percentage of principal amount requirement for consent of the holders for any supplemental indenture, or for any waiver of compliance with any provision of or any default under the applicable indenture, or reduce the requirements for quorum or voting, without the consent of the holder of each outstanding Debt Security of each series or tranche affected; and

 

   

may not modify provisions of the applicable indenture relating to supplemental indentures, waivers of certain covenants and waivers of past defaults with respect to the Debt Securities of any series, or any tranche of a series, without the consent of the holder of each outstanding Debt Security affected.

 

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A supplemental indenture will be deemed not to affect the rights under the applicable indenture of the holders of any series or tranche of the Debt Securities if the supplemental indenture:

 

   

changes or eliminates any covenant or other provision of the applicable indenture expressly included solely for the benefit of one or more other particular series of Debt Securities or tranches thereof; or

 

   

modifies the rights of the holders of Debt Securities of any other series or tranches with respect to any covenant or other provision.

For more information, see Section 12.02 of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture.

If we solicit from holders of the Debt Securities any type of action, we may, at our option by board resolution, fix in advance a record date for the determination of the holders entitled to vote on the action. We shall have no obligation, however, to do so. If we fix a record date, the action may be taken before or after the record date, but only the holders of record at the close of business on the record date shall be deemed to be holders for the purposes of determining whether holders of the requisite proportion of the outstanding Debt Securities have authorized the action. For that purpose, the outstanding Debt Securities shall be computed as of the record date. Any holder action shall bind every future holder of the same security and the holder of every security issued upon the registration of transfer of or in exchange for or in lieu of the security in respect of anything done or permitted by the Debt Securities Trustee or us in reliance on that action, whether or not notation of the action is made upon the security. For more information, see Section 1.04 of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture.

Defeasance

Unless the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus provides otherwise, any Debt Security, or portion of the principal amount of a Debt Security, will be deemed to have been paid for purposes of the applicable indenture, and, at our election, our entire indebtedness in respect of the Debt Security, or portion thereof, will be deemed to have been satisfied and discharged, if we have irrevocably deposited with the Debt Securities Trustee or any paying agent other than us, in trust money, certain eligible obligations, as defined in the applicable indenture, or a combination of the two, sufficient to pay principal of and any premium and interest due and to become due on the Debt Security or portion thereof and we deliver to the Debt Securities Trustee an opinion of counsel to the effect that the holders of the notes of such series will not recognize income, gain or loss for federal income tax purposes as a result of our defeasance. That opinion must further state that these holders will be subject to federal income tax on the same amounts, in the same manner and at the same times as would have been the case if our defeasance had not occurred. For more information, see Section 7.01 of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture. For this purpose, unless the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus provides otherwise, eligible obligations include direct obligations of, or obligations unconditionally guaranteed by, the United States, entitled to the benefit of full faith and credit of the United States, and certificates, depositary receipts or other instruments that evidence a direct ownership interest in those obligations or in any specific interest or principal payments due in respect of those obligations.

Resignation, Removal of Debt Securities Trustee; Appointment of Successor

The Debt Securities Trustee may resign at any time by giving written notice to us or may be removed at any time by an action of the holders of a majority in principal amount of outstanding Debt Securities delivered to the Debt Securities Trustee and us. No resignation or removal of the Debt Securities Trustee and no appointment of a successor trustee will become effective until a successor trustee accepts appointment in accordance with the requirements of the applicable indenture. So long as no event of default or event that would become an event of default has occurred and is continuing, and except with respect to a Debt Securities Trustee appointed by an action of the holders, if we have delivered to the Debt Securities Trustee a resolution of our board of trustees appointing a successor trustee and the successor trustee has accepted the appointment in accordance with the terms of the applicable indenture, the Debt Securities Trustee will be deemed to have resigned and the successor

 

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trustee will be deemed to have been appointed as trustee in accordance with the applicable indenture. For more information, see Section 9.10 of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture.

Notices

We will give notices to holders of Debt Securities by mail to their addresses as they appear in the Debt Security Register. For more information, see Section 1.06 of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture.

Title

The Debt Securities Trustee and its agents, and we and our agents, may treat the person in whose name a Debt Security is registered as the absolute owner of that Debt Security, whether or not that Debt Security may be overdue, for the purpose of making payment and for all other purposes. For more information, see Section 3.08 of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture.

Governing Law

The Debt Securities Indentures and the Debt Securities, including any Subordinated Debt Securities Indentures and Subordinated Debt Securities, will be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of New York. For more information, see Section 1.12 of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF WARRANTS

We may issue warrants for the purchase of common stock or preferred stock and may issue warrants independently or together with common stock or preferred stock or attached to or separate from such securities. We will issue each series of warrants under a separate warrant agreement between us and a bank or trust company as warrant agent, as specified in the applicable prospectus supplement. The following description of the terms of the warrants is only a summary. This description is subject to, and qualified in its entirety by reference to, the provisions of the applicable warrant agreement.

The warrant agent will act solely as our agent in connection with the warrants and will not act for or on behalf of warrant holders. The following sets forth certain general terms and provisions of the warrants that may be offered under this registration statement. Further terms of the warrants and the applicable warrant agreement will be set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement.

Equity Warrants

The applicable prospectus supplement will describe the terms of the warrants to purchase common stock or preferred stock, or equity warrants, in respect of which this prospectus is being delivered, including, where applicable, the following:

 

   

the title of the equity warrants;

 

   

the aggregate number of the equity warrants outstanding;

 

   

the price or prices at which the equity warrants will be issued;

 

   

the type and number of securities purchasable upon exercise of the equity warrants;

 

   

the date, if any, on and after which the equity warrants and the related securities will be separately transferable;

 

   

the price at which each security purchasable upon exercise of the equity warrants may be purchased;

 

   

the provisions, if any, for changes to or adjustments in the exercise price;

 

   

the date on which the right to exercise the equity warrants shall commence and the date on which such right shall expire;

 

   

the minimum or maximum amount of equity warrants that may be exercised at any one time;

 

   

information with respect to book-entry procedures, if any;

 

   

any anti-dilution protection;

 

   

a discussion of certain federal income tax considerations applicable to the equity warrants; and

 

   

any other terms of the equity warrants, including terms, procedures and limitations relating to the transferability, exercise and exchange of such warrants.

Equity warrant certificates will be exchangeable for new equity warrant certificates of different denominations and warrants may be exercised at the corporate trust office of the warrant agent or any other office indicated in the applicable prospectus supplement. Prior to the exercise of their equity warrants, holders of equity warrants will not have any of the rights of holders of the securities purchasable upon such exercise or to any dividend payments or voting rights as to which holders of the depositary shares, common stock or preferred stock purchasable upon such exercise may be entitled.

Except as provided in the applicable prospectus supplement, the exercise price and the number of shares of common stock or shares of preferred stock purchasable upon the exercise of each equity warrant will be subject

 

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to adjustment in certain events, including the issuance of a stock dividend to the holders of the underlying common stock or preferred stock or a stock split, reverse stock split, combination, subdivision or reclassification of the underlying common stock or preferred stock, as the case may be. In lieu of adjusting the number of shares purchasable upon exercise of each equity warrant, we may elect to adjust the number of equity warrants. Unless otherwise provided in the applicable prospectus supplement, no adjustments in the number of shares purchasable upon exercise of the equity warrants will be required until all cumulative adjustments require an adjustment of at least 1% thereof. We may, at our option, reduce the exercise price at any time. No fractional shares will be issued upon exercise of equity warrants, but we will pay the cash value of any fractional shares otherwise issuable. Notwithstanding the foregoing, except as otherwise provided in the applicable prospectus supplement, in case of any consolidation, merger or sale or conveyance of our property as an entirety or substantially as an entirety, the holder of each outstanding equity warrant will have the right to the kind and amount of shares of stock and other securities and property, including cash, receivable by a holder of the number of depositary shares, shares of common stock or shares of preferred stock into which each equity warrant was exercisable immediately prior to the particular triggering event.

Exercise of Warrants

Each warrant will entitle the holder to purchase for cash such number of shares of common stock or shares of preferred stock, at such exercise price as shall, in each case, be set forth in, or be determinable as set forth in, the applicable prospectus supplement relating to the warrants offered thereby. Unless otherwise specified in the applicable prospectus supplement, warrants may be exercised at any time up to 5:00 p.m. New York City time on the expiration date set forth in applicable prospectus supplement. After 5:00 p.m. New York City time on the expiration date, unexercised warrants will be void.

Warrants may be exercised as set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement relating to the warrants. Upon receipt of payment and the warrant certificate properly completed and duly executed at the corporate trust office of the warrant agent or any other office indicated in the applicable prospectus supplement, we will, as soon as practicable, forward the securities purchasable upon such exercise. If less than all of the warrants that are represented by such warrant certificate are exercised, a new warrant certificate will be issued for the remaining amount of warrants.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF UNITS

We may issue units consisting of two or more other constituent securities. These units may be issuable as, and for a specified period of time may be transferable as, a single security only, rather than as the separate constituent securities comprising such units. Each series of units will be issued under a separate unit agreement to be entered into by our company and a unit agent specified in the applicable prospectus supplement. The statements made in this section relating to the units are summaries only. These summaries are not complete and are subject to, and qualified in their entirety by reference to, the provisions of the applicable unit agreement. When we issue units, we will provide the specific terms of the units in a prospectus supplement. To the extent the information contained in the prospectus supplement differs from this summary description, you should rely on the information in the prospectus supplement.

When we issue units, we will provide in a prospectus supplement the following terms of the units being issued:

 

   

the title of any series of units;

 

   

identification and description of the separate constituent securities comprising the units;

 

   

the price or prices at which the units will be issued;

 

   

the date, if any, on and after which the constituent securities comprising the units will be separately transferable;

 

   

information with respect to any book-entry procedures;

 

   

a discussion of certain federal income tax considerations applicable to the units; and

 

   

any other terms of the units and their constituent securities.

 

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LEGAL OWNERSHIP OF SECURITIES

We can issue securities in registered form or in the form of one or more global securities. We describe global securities in greater detail below. We refer to those persons who have securities registered in their own names on the books that we or any applicable trustee maintain for this purpose as the “holders” of those securities. These persons are the legal holders of the securities. We refer to those persons who, indirectly through others, own beneficial interests in securities that are not registered in their own names, as “indirect holders” of those securities. As we discuss below, indirect holders are not legal holders, and investors in securities issued in book-entry form or in street name will be indirect holders.

Book-Entry Holders

We may issue securities in book-entry form only, as we will specify in the prospectus supplement pursuant to which securities are issued. This means securities may be represented by one or more global securities registered in the name of a financial institution that holds them as depositary on behalf of other financial institutions that participate in the depositary’s book-entry system. These participating institutions, which are referred to as participants, in turn, hold beneficial interests in the securities on behalf of themselves or their customers.

Only the person in whose name a security is registered is recognized as the holder of that security. Securities issued in global form will be registered in the name of the depositary or its participants. Consequently, for securities issued in global form, we will recognize only the depositary as the holder of the securities, and we will make all payments on the securities to the depositary. The depositary passes along the payments it receives to its participants, which in turn pass the payments along to their customers who are the beneficial owners. The depositary and its participants do so under agreements they have made with one another or with their customers; they are not obligated to do so under the terms of the securities.

As a result, investors in a book-entry security will not own securities directly. Instead, they will own beneficial interests in a global security, through a bank, broker or other financial institution that participates in the depositary’s book-entry system or holds an interest through a participant. As long as the securities are issued in global form, investors will be indirect holders, and not holders, of the securities.

Street Name Holders

We may terminate a global security or issue securities in non-global form. In these cases, investors may choose to hold their securities in their own names or in “street name.” Securities held by an investor in street name would be registered in the name of a bank, broker or other financial institution that the investor chooses, and the investor would hold only a beneficial interest in those securities through an account he or she maintains at that institution.

For securities held in street name, we will recognize only the intermediary banks, brokers and other financial institutions in whose names the securities are registered as the holders of those securities, and we will make all payments on those securities to them. These institutions pass along the payments they receive to their customers who are the beneficial owners, but only because they agree to do so in their customer agreements or because they are legally required to do so. Investors who hold securities in street name will be indirect holders, not holders, of those securities.

Legal Holders

Our obligations run only to the legal holders of the securities. We do not have obligations to investors who hold beneficial interests in global securities, in street name or by any other indirect means. This will be the case whether an investor chooses to be an indirect holder of a security or has no choice because we are issuing the

 

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securities only in global form. For example, once we make a payment or give a notice to the holder, we have no further responsibility for the payment or notice even if that holder is required, under agreements with depositary participants or customers or by law, to pass it along to the indirect holders but does not do so. Whether and how the holders contact the indirect holders is up to the holders.

Special Considerations for Indirect Holders

If you hold securities through a bank, broker or other financial institution, either in book-entry form or in street name, you should check with your own institution to find out:

 

   

how it handles securities payments and notices;

 

   

whether it imposes fees or charges;

 

   

how it would handle a request for the holders’ consent, if ever required;

 

   

whether and how you can instruct it to send you securities registered in your own name so you can be a holder, if that is permitted in the future;

 

   

how it would exercise rights under the securities if there were a default or other event triggering the need for holders to act to protect their interests; and

 

   

if the securities are in book-entry form, how the depositary’s rules and procedures will affect these matters.

Global Securities

A global security is a security held by a depositary that represents one or any other number of individual securities. Generally, all securities represented by the same global securities will have the same terms.

Each security issued in book-entry form will be represented by a global security that we deposit with and register in the name of a financial institution or its nominee that we select. The financial institution that we select for this purpose is called the depositary. Unless we specify otherwise in a particular accompanying prospectus supplement, The Depository Trust Company, New York, New York, or DTC, will be the depositary for all securities issued in book-entry form.

A global security may not be transferred to or registered in the name of anyone other than the depositary, its nominee or a successor depositary, unless special termination situations arise. We describe those situations below under “—Special Situations When a Global Security Will Be Terminated.” As a result of these arrangements, the depositary, or its nominee, will be the sole registered owner and holder of all securities represented by a global security, and investors will be permitted to own only beneficial interests in a global security. Beneficial interests must be held by means of an account with a broker, bank or other financial institution that in turn has an account with the depositary or with another institution that does. Thus, an investor whose security is represented by a global security will not be a holder of the security, but only an indirect holder of a beneficial interest in the global security.

If the prospectus supplement for a particular security indicates that the security will be issued in global form only, then the security will be represented by a global security at all times unless and until the global security is terminated. If termination occurs, we may issue the securities through another book-entry clearing system or decide that the securities may no longer be held through any book-entry clearing system.

Special Considerations for Global Securities

As an indirect holder, an investor’s rights relating to a global security will be governed by the account rules of the investor’s financial institution and of the depositary, as well as general laws relating to securities transfers. We do not recognize an indirect holder as a holder of securities and instead deal only with the depositary that holds the global security.

 

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If securities are issued only in the form of a global security, an investor should be aware of the following:

 

   

an investor cannot cause the securities to be registered in his or her name, and cannot obtain non-global certificates for his or her interest in the securities, except in the special situations we describe below;

 

   

an investor will be an indirect holder and must look to his or her own bank or broker for payments on the securities and protection of his or her legal rights relating to the securities, as described above;

 

   

an investor may not be able to sell interests in the securities to some insurance companies and to other institutions that are required by law to own their securities in non-book-entry form;

 

   

an investor may not be able to pledge his or her interest in a global security in circumstances where certificates representing the securities must be delivered to the lender or other beneficiary of the pledge in order for the pledge to be effective;

 

   

the depositary’s policies, which may change from time to time, will govern payments, transfers, exchanges and other matters relating to an investor’s interest in a global security. We and any applicable trustee have no responsibility for any aspect of the depositary’s actions or for its records of ownership interests in a global security. We and the trustee also do not supervise the depositary in any way;

 

   

the depositary may, and we understand that DTC will, require that those who purchase and sell interests in a global security within its book-entry system use immediately available funds, and your broker or bank may require you to do so as well; and

 

   

financial institutions that participate in the depositary’s book-entry system, and through which an investor holds its interest in a global security, may also have their own policies affecting payments, notices and other matters relating to the securities. There may be more than one financial intermediary in the chain of ownership for an investor. We do not monitor and are not responsible for the actions of any of those intermediaries.

Special Situations when a Global Security will be Terminated

In a few special situations described below, the global security will terminate and interests in it will be exchanged for physical certificates representing those interests. After that exchange, the choice of whether to hold securities directly or in street name will be up to the investor. Investors must consult their own banks or brokers to find out how to have their interests in securities transferred to their own name, so that they will be direct holders. We have described the rights of holders and street name investors above.

The global security will terminate when any of the following special situations occur:

 

   

if the depositary notifies us that it is unwilling, unable or no longer qualified to continue as depositary for that global security and we do not appoint another institution to act as depositary within 90 days;

 

   

if we notify any applicable trustee that we wish to terminate that global security; or

 

   

if an event of default has occurred with regard to securities represented by that global security and has not been cured or waived.

The prospectus supplement may also list additional situations for terminating a global security that would apply only to the particular series of securities covered by the prospectus supplement. When a global security terminates, the depositary, and not we or any applicable trustee, is responsible for deciding the names of the institutions that will be the initial direct holders.

 

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CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF MARYLAND LAW AND OF OUR CHARTER AND BYLAWS

The following summary describes certain provisions of Maryland law and the material terms of our charter and our bylaws. Because the following is only a summary, it does not contain all of the information that may be important to you. This description is not complete and is subject to, and is qualified in its entirety by reference to, our charter and our bylaws, copies of which are filed as exhibits to this registration statement, and applicable law.

Our Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors currently consists of seven directors. Our charter and bylaws provide that the number of directors of our company may be established, increased or decreased by our board of directors, but may not be less than the minimum number required under the MGCL (which is one), nor, unless our bylaws are amended, more than 15. Our charter provides that, at such time as we have a class of securities registered under the Exchange Act and at least three independent directors, which we currently have, we are subject to a provision of Maryland law requiring that, subject to the rights of holders of one or more classes or series of preferred stock, any vacancy may be filled only by a majority of the remaining directors, even if the remaining directors do not constitute a quorum, and any director elected to fill a vacancy will serve for the full term of the directorship in which such vacancy occurred and until his or her successor is duly elected and qualifies.

Each member of our board of directors is elected by our stockholders to serve until the next annual meeting of stockholders and until his or her successor is duly elected and qualifies. Holders of shares of our common stock will have no right to cumulative voting in the election of directors, and directors will be elected by a majority of the votes cast in the election of directors, on a per director basis; provided, however, that in a contested election, the directors will be elected by a plurality of the votes cast in person or by proxy at a meeting at which a quorum is present.

Removal of Directors

Our charter provides that, subject to the rights of holders of one or more classes or series of preferred stock to elect or remove one or more directors, a director may be removed only for cause (as defined in our charter) and only by the affirmative vote of holders of shares entitled to cast at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast generally in the election of directors. This provision, when coupled with the exclusive power of our board of directors to fill vacant directorships, may preclude stockholders from removing incumbent directors, except for cause and by a substantial affirmative vote and from filling the vacancies created by such removal with their own nominees.

Business Combinations

Under the MGCL, certain “business combinations” (including a merger, consolidation, share exchange or, in circumstances specified in the statute, an asset transfer or issuance or reclassification of equity securities) between a Maryland corporation and an interested stockholder (i.e., any person (other than the corporation or any subsidiary) who beneficially owns 10% or more of the voting power of the corporation’s outstanding voting stock after the date on which the corporation had 100 or more beneficial owners of its stock, or an affiliate or associate of the corporation who, at any time within the two-year period immediately prior to the date in question, was the beneficial owner of 10% or more of the voting power of the then outstanding stock of the corporation after the date on which the corporation had 100 or more beneficial owners of its stock) or an affiliate of an interested stockholder are prohibited for five years after the most recent date on which the interested stockholder becomes an interested stockholder. Thereafter, any such business combination between the Maryland corporation and an interested stockholder generally must be recommended by our board of directors of such corporation and approved by the affirmative vote of at least (1) 80% of the votes entitled to be cast by holders of outstanding shares of voting stock of the corporation and (2) two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast by holders

 

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of voting stock of the corporation other than shares held by the interested stockholder with whom (or with whose affiliate) the business combination is to be effected, or held by an affiliate or associate of the interested stockholder, unless, among other conditions, the corporation’s common stockholders receive a minimum price (as defined in the MGCL) for their shares and the consideration is received in cash or in the same form as previously paid by the interested stockholder for its shares. A person is not an interested stockholder under the statute if the board of directors approved in advance the transaction by which the person otherwise would have become an interested stockholder. Our board of directors may provide that its approval is subject to compliance, at or after the time of approval, with any terms and conditions determined by it.

The MGCL permits various exemptions from its provisions, including business combinations that are exempted by the board of directors prior to the time that the interested stockholder became an interested stockholder. As permitted by the MGCL, our board of directors has adopted a resolution exempting any business combination between us and any other person from the provisions of this statute, provided that the business combination is first approved by our board of directors (including a majority of directors who are not affiliates or associates of such persons). However, our board of directors may repeal or modify this resolution at any time in the future, in which case the relevant provisions of this statute will become applicable to business combinations between us and interested stockholders.

Control Share Acquisitions

The MGCL provides that holders of “control shares” (as defined below) of a Maryland corporation acquired in a “control share acquisition” (as defined below) have no voting rights with respect to those shares, except to the extent approved by the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast by stockholders entitled to vote generally in the election of directors, excluding votes cast by (1) the person who makes or proposes to make a control share acquisition, (2) any officer of the corporation or (3) any employee of the corporation who is also a director of the corporation. “Control shares” are voting shares of stock which, if aggregated with all other such shares of stock previously acquired by the acquirer or in respect of which the acquirer is able to exercise or direct the exercise of voting power (except solely by virtue of a revocable proxy), would entitle the acquirer to exercise voting power in electing directors within one of the following ranges of voting power: (1) one-tenth or more but less than one-third, (2) one-third or more but less than a majority or (3) a majority or more of all voting power. Control shares do not include shares the acquiring person is then entitled to vote as a result of having previously obtained stockholder approval. A “control share acquisition” means the acquisition of issued and outstanding control shares, subject to certain exceptions.

A person who has made or proposes to make a control share acquisition, upon satisfaction of certain conditions (including an undertaking to pay expenses), may compel the board of directors to call a special meeting of stockholders to be held within 50 days of demand to consider the voting rights of the shares. If no request for a meeting is made, the corporation may itself present the question at any stockholders meeting.

If voting rights are not approved at the meeting or if the acquiring person does not deliver an acquiring person statement as required by the statute, then, subject to certain conditions and limitations, the corporation may redeem any or all of the control shares (except those for which voting rights have previously been approved) for fair value determined, without regard to the absence of voting rights for the control shares, as of the date of the last control share acquisition by the acquirer or of any meeting of stockholders at which the voting rights of such shares are considered and not approved. If voting rights for control shares are approved at a stockholders’ meeting and the acquirer becomes entitled to vote a majority of the shares entitled to vote, all other stockholders may exercise appraisal rights. The fair value of the shares as determined for purposes of such appraisal rights may not be less than the highest price per share paid by the acquirer in the control share acquisition.

The control share acquisition statute does not apply to, among other things, (1) shares acquired in a merger, consolidation or share exchange if the corporation is a party to the transaction or (2) acquisitions approved or exempted by the charter or bylaws of the corporation.

 

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Our bylaws contain a provision exempting from the control share acquisition statute any acquisition by any person of shares of our stock. We may opt in to the control share acquisition statute in the future by amending our bylaws, but only if such amendment is first approved by the affirmative vote of at least a majority of the votes cast on the matter by our stockholders entitled to vote generally in the election of directors.

Subtitle 8

Subtitle 8 of Title 3 of the MGCL, which is commonly referred to as the Maryland Unsolicited Takeover Act, permits a Maryland corporation with a class of equity securities registered under the Exchange Act and at least three independent directors to elect to be subject, by provision in its charter or bylaws or a resolution of its board of directors, without stockholder approval, and notwithstanding any contrary provision in the charter or bylaws, to any or all of five provisions of the MGCL which provide, respectively, that:

 

   

the corporation’s board of directors will be divided into three classes;

 

   

the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast in the election of directors generally is required to remove a director;

 

   

the number of directors may be fixed only by vote of the directors;

 

   

a vacancy on its board of directors must be filled only by the remaining directors and that directors elected to fill a vacancy will serve for the remainder of the full term of the class of directors in which the vacancy occurred; and

 

   

the request of stockholders entitled to cast at least a majority of all the votes entitled to be cast at the meeting is required for stockholders to require the calling of a special meeting of stockholders.

We have elected by a provision in our charter to be subject to the provisions of the Maryland Unsolicited Takeover Act relating to the filling of vacancies on our board of directors. In addition, without our having elected to be subject to the Maryland Unsolicited Takeover Act, our charter and bylaws already (1) require the affirmative vote of holders of shares entitled to cast at least two-thirds of all the votes entitled to be cast generally in the election of directors to remove a director from our board of directors, (2) vest in our board of directors the exclusive power to fix the number of directors and (3) require, unless called by our chairman, our president, chief executive officer or our board of directors, the request of stockholders entitled to cast not less than a majority of all the votes entitled to be cast at the meeting to call a special meeting. We do not have a classified board and our board of directors has adopted a resolution prohibiting us from electing to be subject to the classified board provisions of the Maryland Unsolicited Takeover Act unless such election is first approved by the affirmative vote of at least a majority of the votes cast on the matter by our stockholders entitled to vote generally in the election of directors.

Meetings of Stockholders

Pursuant to our bylaws, an annual meeting of our stockholders for the purpose of the election of directors and the transaction of any business will be held on a date and at the time and place set by our board of directors. Each of our directors is elected by our stockholders to serve until the next annual meeting and until his or her successor is duly elected and qualifies under Maryland law. In addition, our chairman, our president, chief executive officer or our board of directors may call a special meeting of our stockholders. Subject to the provisions of our bylaws, a special meeting of our stockholders to act on any matter that may properly be considered by our stockholders will also be called by our secretary upon the written request of stockholders entitled to cast a majority of all the votes entitled to be cast at the meeting on such matter, accompanied by the information required by our bylaws. Our secretary will inform the requesting stockholders of the reasonably estimated cost of preparing and mailing the notice of meeting (including our proxy materials), and the requesting stockholder must pay such estimated cost before our secretary may prepare and mail the notice of the special meeting.

 

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Amendments to Our Charter and Bylaws

Under the MGCL, a Maryland corporation generally cannot amend its charter unless approved by the affirmative vote of stockholders entitled to cast at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter unless a lesser percentage (but not less than a majority of all of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter) is set forth in the corporation’s charter. Except for certain amendments related to the removal of directors, the restrictions on ownership and transfer of our stock and the vote required to amend those provisions (which must be declared advisable by our board of directors and approved by the affirmative vote of stockholders entitled to cast not less than two-thirds of all the votes entitled to be cast on the matter), our charter generally may be amended only if the amendment is declared advisable by our board of directors and approved by the affirmative vote of stockholders entitled to cast a majority of all of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter. Our board of directors, with the approval of a majority of the entire board, and without any action by our stockholders, may also amend our charter to increase or decrease the aggregate number of shares of stock or the number of shares of stock of any class or series we are authorized to issue.

Our board of directors has the power to adopt, alter or repeal any provision of our bylaws and to make new bylaws, subject to any provision of our bylaws expressly requiring approval thereof by our stockholders. In addition, stockholders have the right to adopt, alter or repeal any provision of our bylaws, and make new bylaws, upon the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the votes entitled to be cast on such proposal, all in accordance with our bylaws. The provision in our bylaws opting out of the control share acquisition statute can only be amended if such amendment is first approved by the requisite vote of our stockholders.

Extraordinary Transactions

Under the MGCL, a Maryland corporation generally cannot dissolve, merge, consolidate, convert, sell all or substantially all of its assets, engage in a statutory share exchange or engage in similar transactions outside the ordinary course of business unless approved by the affirmative vote of stockholders entitled to cast at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter unless a lesser percentage (but not less than a majority of all of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter) is set forth in the corporation’s charter. As permitted by the MGCL, our charter provides that any of these actions may be approved by the affirmative vote of stockholders entitled to cast a majority of all of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter. Many of our operating assets will be held by our subsidiaries, and these subsidiaries may be able to merge or sell all or substantially all of their assets without the approval of our stockholders.

Appraisal Rights

Our charter provides that our stockholders generally will not be entitled to exercise statutory appraisal rights.

Dissolution

Our dissolution must be declared advisable by a majority of our entire board of directors and approved by the affirmative vote of stockholders entitled to cast a majority of all of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter.

Advance Notice of Director Nominations and New Business

Our bylaws provide that, with respect to an annual meeting of stockholders, nominations of individuals for election to our board of directors and the proposal of other business to be considered by our stockholders at an annual meeting of stockholders may be made only (1) pursuant to our notice of the meeting, (2) by or at the direction of our board of directors or (3) by a stockholder who was a stockholder of record both at the time of giving of notice and at the time of the meeting, who is entitled to vote at the meeting on the election of the individual so nominated or such other business and who has complied with the advance notice procedures set forth in our bylaws, including a requirement to provide certain information about the stockholder and its affiliates and the nominee or business proposal, as applicable.

 

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With respect to special meetings of stockholders, only the business specified in our notice of meeting may be brought before the meeting. Nominations of individuals for election to our board of directors may be made at a special meeting of stockholders at which directors are to be elected only (1) by or at the direction of our board of directors or (2) provided that the special meeting has been properly called in accordance with our bylaws for the purpose of electing directors, by a stockholder who is a stockholder of record both at the time of giving of notice and at the time of the meeting, who is entitled to vote at the meeting on the election of each individual so nominated and who has complied with the advance notice provisions set forth in our bylaws, including a requirement to provide certain information about the stockholder and its affiliates and the nominee.

Anti-Takeover Effect of Certain Provisions of Maryland Law and Our Charter and Bylaws

Our charter and bylaws and Maryland law contain provisions that may delay, defer or prevent a change in control or other transaction that might involve a premium price for our common stock or otherwise be in the best interests of our stockholders, including:

 

   

supermajority vote and cause requirements for removal of directors;

 

   

requirement that stockholders holding at least a majority of our outstanding common stock must act together to make a written request before our stockholders can require us to call a special meeting of stockholders;

 

   

provisions that vacancies on our board of directors may be filled only by the remaining directors for the full term of the directorship in which the vacancy occurred;

 

   

the power of our board of directors, without stockholder approval, to increase or decrease the aggregate number of authorized shares of stock or the number of shares of any class or series of stock or to reclassify our stock;

 

   

the power of our board of directors to cause us to issue additional shares of stock of any class or series and to fix the terms of one or more classes or series of stock without stockholder approval;

 

   

the restrictions on ownership and transfer of our stock; and

 

   

advance notice requirements for director nominations and stockholder proposals.

Likewise, if the resolution opting out of the business combination provisions of the MGCL was repealed, or if the business combination is not approved by our board of directors, or if we opted in to any of the other provisions of the Maryland Unsolicited Takeover Act, these provisions of the MGCL could have similar anti-takeover effects.

Limitation of Liability and Indemnification of Directors and Officers

Maryland law permits a Maryland corporation to include in its charter a provision limiting the liability of its directors and officers to the corporation and its stockholders for money damages, except for liability resulting from (1) actual receipt of an improper benefit or profit in money, property or services or (2) active and deliberate dishonesty that is established by a final judgment and is material to the cause of action. Our charter contains a provision that eliminates such liability to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law.

Our charter and bylaws provide for indemnification of our officers and directors against liabilities to the maximum extent permitted by the MGCL, as amended from time to time.

The MGCL requires a corporation (unless its charter provides otherwise, which our charter does not) to indemnify a director or officer who has been successful, on the merits or otherwise, in the defense of any proceeding, or any claim, issue or matter in any proceeding, to which he or she is made, or threatened to be made, a party by reason of his or her service in that capacity. The MGCL permits a corporation to indemnify its

 

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present and former directors and officers, among others, against judgments, penalties, fines, settlements and reasonable expenses actually incurred by them in connection with any proceeding to which they may be made, or threatened to be made, a party by reason of their service in those or other capacities unless it is established that:

 

   

the act or omission of the director or officer was material to the matter giving rise to the proceeding and (1) was committed in bad faith or (2) was the result of active and deliberate dishonesty;

 

   

the director or officer actually received an improper personal benefit in money, property or services; or

 

   

in the case of any criminal proceeding, the director or officer had reasonable cause to believe that the act or omission was unlawful.

However, under the MGCL, a Maryland corporation may not indemnify a director or officer who has been adjudged to be liable to the corporation in a suit by or in the right of the corporation or on the basis that personal benefit was improperly received, unless in either case a court orders indemnification if it determines that the director or officer is fairly and reasonably entitled to indemnification, and then only for expenses. In addition, the MGCL permits a Maryland corporation to advance reasonable expenses to a director or officer upon its receipt of:

 

   

a written affirmation by the director or officer of his or her good faith belief that he or she has met the standard of conduct necessary for indemnification by the corporation; and

 

   

a written undertaking by the director or officer or on the director’s or officer’s behalf to repay the amount paid or reimbursed by the corporation if it is ultimately determined that the director or officer did not meet the standard of conduct.

Our charter authorizes us, and our bylaws obligate us, to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law in effect from time to time, to indemnify and, without requiring a preliminary determination of the ultimate entitlement to indemnification, pay or reimburse reasonable expenses in advance of final disposition of a proceeding to:

 

   

any present or former director or officer of our company who is made, or threatened to be made, a party to or witness in the proceeding by reason of his or her service in that capacity; or

 

   

any individual who, while a director or officer of our company and at our request, serves or has served as a director, officer, partner, trustee, member or manager of another corporation, real estate investment trust, limited liability company, partnership, joint venture, trust, employee benefit plan or other enterprise and who is made, or threatened to be made, a party to or witness in the proceeding by reason of his or her service in that capacity.

Our charter and bylaws also permit us to indemnify and advance expenses to any individual who served our predecessor in any of the capacities described above and to any employee or agent of our company or our predecessor.

We have entered into indemnification agreements with each of our directors and executive officers that provide for indemnification and advance of expenses to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law.

Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer

Subject to certain exceptions, our charter provides that no person or entity may actually or beneficially own, or be deemed to own by virtue of the applicable constructive ownership provisions of the Code, more than 9.8% (in value or number of shares, whichever is more restrictive) of the outstanding shares of our common stock or more than 9.8% in value of the aggregate outstanding shares of all classes and series of our stock. For a fuller description of this and other restrictions on ownership and transfer of our stock, see “Description of Stock—Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer.”

 

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REIT Qualification

Our charter provides that our board of directors may revoke or otherwise terminate our REIT election, without approval of our stockholders, if it determines that it is no longer in our best interests to continue to qualify as a REIT.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF THE PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT OF CITY OFFICE REIT OPERATING PARTNERSHIP, L.P.

A summary of the material terms and provisions of the Amended and Restated Agreement of Limited Partnership of City Office REIT Operating Partnership, L.P., as amended, is set forth below. This summary is not complete and is subject to and qualified in its entirety by reference to the applicable provisions of Maryland law and the partnership agreement. For more detail, please refer to the partnership agreement itself, a copy of which is filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. See “Where You Can Find More Information.”

General

Substantially all of our assets are held by, and substantially all of our operations are conducted through, our operating partnership, either directly or through its subsidiaries. We are the sole general partner of our operating partnership. Our operating partnership is also authorized to issue a class of units of partnership interest under our Equity Incentive Plan designated as LTIP Units having the terms described below and is authorized to issue additional partnership interests in one or more additional classes, or one or more series of any of such classes, with such designations, preferences, conversion and other rights, voting powers, restrictions, limitations as to distributions, qualifications and terms and conditions of redemption (including, without limitation, terms that may be senior or otherwise entitled to preference over existing units) as we may determine, in our sole and absolute discretion, without the approval of any limited partner or any other person. The common units are not listed on any exchange and are not quoted on any national market system.

The partnership agreement of our operating partnership, as amended (the “partnership agreement”), authorizes the issuance of up to 4,600,000 6.625% Series A Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Units (the “Series A Preferred Units”). The Series A Preferred Units have economic terms that mirror the terms of the Series A Preferred Stock and rank, as to distributions and upon liquidation, senior to the common units.

Provisions in the partnership agreement may delay or make more difficult unsolicited acquisitions of us or changes in our control. These provisions could discourage third parties from making proposals involving an unsolicited acquisition of us or change of our control, although some stockholders might consider such proposals, if made, desirable. These provisions also make it more difficult for third parties to alter the management structure of our operating partnership without the concurrence of our board of directors. These provisions include, among others:

 

   

redemption rights of limited partners and assignees of common units;

 

   

transfer restrictions on common units and other partnership interests;

 

   

a requirement that we may not be removed as the general partner of our operating partnership without our consent;

 

   

our ability in some cases to amend the partnership agreement and to cause our operating partnership to issue preferred partnership interests in our operating partnership with terms that we may determine, in either case, without the approval or consent of any limited partner; and

 

   

the right of the limited partners to consent to certain transfers of our general partnership interest (whether by sale, disposition, statutory merger or consolidation, liquidation or otherwise).

Purpose, Business and Management

Our operating partnership was formed for the purpose of conducting any business, enterprise or activity permitted by or under the Maryland Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act (the “Act”). Our operating partnership may (i) conduct the business of ownership, construction, reconstruction, development, redevelopment, alteration, improvement, maintenance, operation, sale, leasing, transfer, encumbrance,

 

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conveyance and exchange of any assets or properties of our operating partnership, (ii) acquire and invest in any securities or loans relating to any assets or properties of the operating partnership, (iii) enter into any partnership, joint venture, business trust arrangement, limited liability company or other similar arrangement to engage in any business permitted by or under the Act, and may own interests in any other entity engaged in any business permitted by or under the Act, subject to any consent rights set forth in our partnership agreement, (iv) conduct the business of providing property and asset management and brokerage services, whether directly or through one or more partnerships, joint ventures, subsidiaries, business trusts, limited liability companies or similar arrangements, and (v) do anything necessary or incidental to the foregoing.

In general, our board of directors manages the business and affairs of our operating partnership by directing its business and affairs, in our capacity as the sole general partner of our operating partnership. Except as otherwise expressly provided in the partnership agreement and subject to the rights of holders of any class or series of partnership interest, all management powers over the business and affairs of our operating partnership are exclusively vested in us, in our capacity as the sole general partner of our operating partnership. No limited partner, in its capacity as a limited partner, has any right to participate in or exercise management power over our operating partnership’s business, transact any business in our operating partnership’s name or sign documents for or otherwise bind our operating partnership. We may not be removed as the general partner of our operating partnership, with or without cause, without our consent, which we may give or withhold in our sole and absolute discretion. In addition to the powers granted to us under applicable law or any provision of the partnership agreement, but subject to certain rights of holders of common units or any other class or series of partnership interest, we, in our capacity as the general partner of our operating partnership, have the full and exclusive power and authority to do or authorize all things to conduct the business and affairs of our operating partnership, to exercise or direct the exercise of all of the powers of our operating partnership and the general partner of our operating partnership under Maryland law and the partnership agreement and to effectuate the purposes of our operating partnership, without the approval or consent of any limited partner. We may authorize our operating partnership to incur debt and enter into credit, guarantee, financing or refinancing arrangements for any purpose, including, without limitation, in connection with any acquisition of properties, on such terms as we determine to be appropriate, and to acquire or dispose of any, all or substantially all of its assets (including goodwill), dissolve, merge, consolidate, convert, reorganize or otherwise combine with another entity, without the approval or consent of any limited partner. With limited exceptions, we may execute, deliver and perform agreements and transactions on behalf of our operating partnership without the approval or consent of any limited partner.

Restrictions on General Partner’s Authority

The partnership agreement prohibits us, in our capacity as general partner, from taking any action that would make it impossible to carry out the ordinary business of our operating partnership or performing any act that would subject a limited partner to liability as a general partner in any jurisdiction or any other liability, except as provided under the partnership agreement or under the Act. We may not, without the prior consent of the partners of our operating partnership (including us), amend, modify or terminate the partnership agreement, except for certain amendments that we may approve without the approval or consent of any limited partner, described in “—Amendment of the Partnership Agreement,” and certain amendments described below that require the approval of each affected partner. Certain amendments to the partnership agreement also require the consent of limited partners holding LTIP Units, as described in “—LTIP Units—Voting Rights.” We may not, in our capacity as the general partner of our operating partnership, without the consent of a majority in interest of the limited partners (excluding us and any limited partner 50% or more of whose equity is owned, directly or indirectly, by us):

 

   

take any action in contravention of an express provision or limitation of the partnership agreement;

 

   

transfer all or any portion of our general partner interest in our operating partnership or admit any person as a successor general partner, subject to the exceptions described in “—Transfers and Withdrawals–Restrictions on Transfers by the General Partner;” or

 

   

voluntarily withdraw as the general partner.

 

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Without the consent of each affected limited partner or in connection with a transfer of all of our interests in our partnership in connection with a merger, consolidation or other combination of our assets with another entity, a sale of all or substantially all of our assets or a reclassification, recapitalization or change in our outstanding stock permitted without the consent of the limited partners as described in “—Transfers and Withdrawals—Restrictions on Transfers by the General Partner,” or a Permitted Termination Transaction (as defined below in “Transfers and Withdrawals—Restrictions on Transfers by the General Partner”), we may not enter into any contract, mortgage, loan or other agreement that expressly prohibits or restricts us or our operating partnership from performing our or its specific obligations in connection with a redemption of units or expressly prohibits or restricts a limited partner from exercising its redemption rights in full. In addition to any approval or consent required by any other provision of the partnership agreement, we may not, without the consent of each affected partner, amend the partnership agreement or take any other action that would:

 

   

convert a limited partner interest into a general partner interest (other than as a result of our acquisition of that interest);

 

   

adversely modify in any material respect the limited liability of a limited partner;

 

   

alter the rights of any partner to receive the distributions to which such partner is entitled, or alter the allocations specified in the partnership agreement, except to the extent permitted by the partnership agreement, including in connection with the creation or issuance of any new class or series of partnership interest or to effect or facilitate a Permitted Termination Transaction;

 

   

alter or modify the redemption rights of holders of common units or the related definitions specified in the partnership agreement (except as permitted under the partnership agreement to effect or facilitate a Permitted Termination Transaction);

 

   

alter or modify the provisions governing the transfer of our general partner interest in our operating partnership (except as permitted under the partnership agreement to effect or facilitate a Permitted Termination Transaction);

 

   

remove certain provisions of the partnership agreement relating to the requirements for us to qualify as a REIT or permitting us to avoid paying tax under Sections 857 or 4981 of the Code; or

 

   

amend the provisions of the partnership agreement requiring the consent of each affected partner before taking any of the actions described above (except as permitted under the partnership agreement to effect or facilitate a Permitted Termination Transaction).

Additional Limited Partners

We may cause our operating partnership to issue additional units in one or more classes or series or other partnership interests and to admit additional limited partners to our operating partnership from time to time, on such terms and conditions and for such capital contributions as we may establish in our sole and absolute discretion, without the approval or consent of any limited partner, including:

 

   

upon the conversion, redemption or exchange of any debt, units or other partnership interests or securities issued by our operating partnership;

 

   

for less than fair market value;

 

   

for no consideration;

 

   

in connection with any merger of any other entity into our operating partnership; or

 

   

upon the contribution of property or assets to our operating partnership.

The net capital contribution need not be equal for all limited partners. Each person admitted as an additional limited partner must make certain representations to each other partner relating to, among other matters, such person’s ownership of any tenant of us or our operating partnership. No person may be admitted as an additional

 

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limited partner without our consent, which we may give or withhold in our sole and absolute discretion, and no approval or consent of any limited partner is required in connection with the admission of any additional limited partner.

The partnership agreement authorizes our operating partnership to issue common units and LTIP Units and such other units as we may determine in our sole and absolute discretion. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, we may specify, as to any such class or series of partnership interest, the allocations of items of partnership income, gain, loss, deduction and credit to each such class or series of partnership interest.

Ability to Engage in Other Businesses; Conflicts of Interest

The partnership agreement provides that we may not conduct any business other than in connection with the ownership, acquisition and disposition of partnership interests, the management of the business and affairs of our operating partnership, our operation as a reporting company with a class (or classes) of securities registered under the Exchange Act, our operations as a REIT, the offering, sale, syndication, private placement or public offering of stock, bonds, securities or other interests, financing or refinancing of any type related to our operating partnership or its assets or activities and such activities as are incidental to those activities discussed above. In general, we must contribute any assets or funds that we acquire to our operating partnership in exchange for additional partnership interests. We may, however, in our sole and absolute discretion, from time to time hold or acquire assets in our own name or otherwise other than through our operating partnership so long as we take commercially reasonable measures to ensure that the economic benefits and burdens of such property are otherwise vested in our operating partnership.

The limited partners of our operating partnership expressly agree that we are acting for the benefit of the operating partnership, the limited partners of our operating partnership and our stockholders collectively. We are under no obligation to give priority to the separate interests of the limited partners in deciding whether to cause our operating partnership to take or decline to take any actions. If there is a conflict between the interests of us or our stockholders, on the one hand, and the limited partners of our operating partnership, on the other, the partnership agreement provides that any action or failure to act by us that gives priority to the separate interests of our stockholders or us that does not result in a violation of the contractual rights of the limited partners of our operating partnership under the partnership agreement will not violate the duty of loyalty that we owe to our operating partnership and its partners.

Distributions

Our operating partnership will distribute such amounts, at such times, as we may in our sole and absolute discretion determine:

 

   

first, with respect to any partnership interests that are entitled to any preference in distribution, in accordance with the rights of the holders of such class(es) of partnership interest, and, within each such class, among the holders of such class pro rata in proportion to their respective percentage interests of such class; and

 

   

second, with respect to any partnership interests that are not entitled to any preference in distribution, including the common units and, except as described below under “—Special Allocations and Liquidating Distributions on LTIP Units” with respect to liquidating distributions and as may be provided in any incentive award plan or any applicable award agreement, the LTIP Units, in accordance with the rights of the holders of such class(es) of partnership interest, and, within each such class, among the holders of each such class, pro rata in proportion to their respective percentage interests of such class.

Distributions payable with respect to any units that were not outstanding during the entire quarterly period in respect of which a distribution is made, other than units issued to us in connection with the issuance of shares of our common stock, will be prorated based on the portion of the period that such units were outstanding.

 

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Allocations

Except for the special allocations to holders of LTIP Units described below under “—Special Allocations and Liquidating Distributions on LTIP Units,” and subject to the rights of the holders of any other class or series of partnership interest, net income or net loss of our operating partnership will generally be allocated to us, as the general partner, and to the limited partners in accordance with the partners’ respective percentage ownership of the aggregate outstanding common units and LTIP Units. Allocations to holders of a class or series of partnership interest will generally be made proportionately to all such holders in respect of such class or series. However, in some cases gain or loss may be disproportionately allocated to partners who have contributed appreciated property or guaranteed debt of our operating partnership. The allocations described above are subject to special rules relating to depreciation deductions and to compliance with the provisions of Sections 704(b) and 704(c) of the Code and the associated Treasury Regulations.

Special Allocations and Liquidating Distributions on LTIP Units

A partner’s initial capital account balance is equal to the amount the partner paid (or contributed to our operating partnership) for its units and is subject to subsequent adjustments, including as the result of allocations of the partner’s share of income or loss of our operating partnership. Because a holder of LTIP Units generally will not pay for the LTIP Units, the initial capital account balance attributable to such LTIP Units will be zero. However, the partnership agreement provides that holders of LTIP Units will receive special allocations of income in the event of a sale or “hypothetical sale” of the assets of our operating partnership, prior to the allocation of income to us or other holders of common units with respect to our or their common units. Such income will be allocated to holders of LTIP Units to the extent necessary to cause the capital account of a holder of LTIP Units to be economically equivalent to our company’s capital account with respect to an equal number of common units. The term “hypothetical sale” does not refer to an actual sale of our operating partnership’s assets, but refers to certain adjustments to the value of our operating partnership’s assets and the partners’ capital account balances, determined as if there had been a sale of such assets at their fair market value, as required by applicable Treasury Regulations. A hypothetical sale generally will occur upon (i) the acquisition of an interest or an additional interest in the operating partnership by any new or existing partner in exchange for more than a de minimis capital contribution; (ii) the distribution by the operating partnership to a partner of more than a de minimis amount of property or money as consideration for an interest in the operating partnership; and (iii) the grant of an interest in the operating partnership (including an LTIP Unit) as consideration for the provision of services to or for the benefit of the operating partnership. Further, we may delay or accelerate allocations to holders of LTIP Units, or adjust the allocation of income or loss among the holders of LTIP Units, so that, for the year during which each LTIP Unit’s distribution participation date falls, the ratio of the income and loss allocated to the LTIP Unit to the total amounts distributed with respect to each such LTIP Unit is more nearly equal to the ratio of the income and loss allocated to our company’s common units to the amounts distributed to our company with respect to its common units. Because distributions upon liquidation of our operating partnership will be made in accordance with the partners’ respective capital account balances, not numbers of units, LTIP Units will not have full parity with common units with respect to liquidating distributions until the special allocations of income to the holders of LTIP Units in the event of a sale or “hypothetical sale” of our operating partnership’s assets causes the capital account of a holder of LTIP Units to be economically equivalent to our capital account with respect to an equal number of common units. To the extent that there is not sufficient income to allocate to an LTIP unitholder’s capital account to cause such capital account to become economically equivalent to our capital account with respect to an equal number of common units, or if such a sale or “hypothetical sale” does not occur, the holder’s LTIP Units will not achieve parity with common units with respect to liquidating distributions.

Borrowing by Our Operating Partnership

We may cause our operating partnership to borrow money and to issue and guarantee debt as we deem necessary for the conduct of the activities of our operating partnership. Such debt may be secured, among other things, by mortgages, deeds of trust, liens or encumbrances on the properties of our operating partnership.

 

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Reimbursements of Expenses; Transactions with General Partner and its Affiliates

We will not receive any compensation for our services as the general partner of our operating partnership. We have the same right to distributions as other holders of common units. In addition, our operating partnership must reimburse us for all amounts expended by us in connection with our operating partnership’s business, including expenses relating to the management and operation of, or for the benefit of, our operating partnership, compensation of officers and employees, including payments under future compensation plans that may provide for stock units, or phantom stock, pursuant to which our employees or employees of our operating partnership will receive payments based upon dividends on or the value of our common stock, director fees and expenses, any expenses (other than the purchase price) incurred by us in connection with the redemption or repurchase of shares of our stock, all of our costs and expenses of or in connection with our operation as a reporting company (including, without limitation, costs of filings with the SEC) and reports and other distributions to our stockholders and any government agencies, all of our costs and expenses in connection with our operation as a REIT, and all of our costs and expenses in connection with the offering, sale, syndication, private placement or public offering of stock, bonds, securities or other interests and financing or refinancing of any type related to our operating partnership or its assets or activities. Any reimbursement will be reduced by the amount of any interest we earn on funds we hold on behalf of our operating partnership.

We and our affiliates may sell, transfer or convey any properties to, or purchase any property from, our operating partnership on such terms as we may determine in our sole and absolute discretion.

Exculpation and Indemnification of General Partner

The partnership agreement provides that we will not be liable to our operating partnership or any partner for any action or omission taken in our capacity as general partner, for the debts or liabilities of our operating partnership or for the obligations of our operating partnership under the partnership agreement, except for liability for our fraud, willful misconduct or gross negligence, pursuant to any express indemnity we may give to our operating partnership or in connection with a redemption as described in “—Redemption Rights of Limited Partners.” The partnership agreement also provides that any obligation or liability in our capacity as the general partner of our operating partnership that may arise at any time under the partnership agreement or any other instrument, transaction or undertaking contemplated by the partnership agreement will be satisfied, if at all, out of our assets or the assets of our operating partnership only, and no such obligation or liability will be personally binding upon any of our directors, stockholders, officers, employees or agents, regardless of whether such obligation or liability is in the nature of contract, tort or otherwise, and none of our directors or officers will be directly liable or accountable in damages or otherwise to the partnership, any partner or any assignee of a partner for losses sustained, liabilities incurred or benefits not derived as a result of errors in judgment or mistakes of fact or law or of any act or omission or by reason of their service as such. We, as the general partner of our operating partnership, are not responsible for any misconduct or negligence on the part of our employees or agents, provided that we appoint such employees or agents in good faith. We, as the general partner of our operating partnership, may consult with legal counsel, accountants and other consultants and advisors, and any action that we take or omit to take in reliance upon the opinion of such persons, as to matters which we reasonably believe to be within their professional or expert competence, will be conclusively presumed to have been done or omitted in good faith and in accordance with such opinion.

In addition, the partnership agreement requires our operating partnership to indemnify us, our directors and officers, officers of our operating partnership and any other person designated by us against any and all losses, claims, damages, liabilities (whether joint or several), expenses (including, without limitation, attorneys’ fees and other legal fees and expenses), judgments, fines, settlements and other amounts arising from any and all claims, demands, actions, suits or proceedings, whether civil, criminal, administrative or investigative, that relate to the operations of our operating partnership, unless (i) an act or omission of the person was material to the matter giving rise to the action and either was committed in bad faith or was the result of active and deliberate dishonesty, (ii) in the case of a criminal proceeding, the person had reasonable cause to believe the act or

 

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omission was unlawful or (iii) such person actually received an improper personal benefit in violation or breach of any provision of the partnership agreement. Our operating partnership must also pay or reimburse the reasonable expenses of any such person in advance of a final disposition of the proceeding upon its receipt of a written affirmation of the person’s good faith belief that the standard of conduct necessary for indemnification has been met and a written undertaking by or on behalf of the person to repay any amounts paid or advanced if it is ultimately determined that the person did not meet the standard of conduct for indemnification. Our operating partnership is not required to indemnify or advance funds to any person with respect to any action initiated by the person seeking indemnification without our approval (except for any proceeding brought to enforce such person’s right to indemnification under the partnership agreement) or if the person is found to be liable to our operating partnership on any portion of any claim in the action.

Business Combinations of Our Operating Partnership

Subject to the limitations on the transfer of our interest in our operating partnership described in “–Transfers and Withdrawals—Restrictions on Transfers by the General Partner,” we generally have the exclusive power to cause our operating partnership to merge, reorganize, consolidate, sell all or substantially all of its assets or otherwise combine its assets with another entity. However, in connection with the acquisition of properties from persons to whom our operating partnership issues units or other partnership interests as part of the purchase price, in order to preserve such persons’ tax deferral, our operating partnership may contractually agree, in general, not to sell or otherwise transfer the properties for a specified period of time, or in some instances, not to sell or otherwise transfer the properties without compensating the sellers of the properties for their loss of the tax deferral.

Redemption Rights of Limited Partners

Each limited partner and assignee of a limited partner has the right, subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the partnership agreement, to require our operating partnership to redeem all or a portion of the common units held by such limited partner or assignee in exchange for a cash amount per common unit equal to the value of one share of our common stock, determined in accordance with and subject to adjustment under the partnership agreement. Our operating partnership’s obligation to redeem common units does not arise and is not binding against our operating partnership until the sixth business day after we receive the holder’s notice of redemption or, if earlier, the day we notify the holder seeking redemption that we have declined to acquire some or all of the common units tendered for redemption. If we do not elect to acquire the common units tendered for redemption in exchange for shares of our common stock (as described below), our operating partnership must deliver the cash redemption amount, subject to certain exceptions, on or before the first business day of the month that is at least 60 calendar days after we receive the holder’s notice of redemption. Among other limitations, a limited partner or assignee may not require our operating partnership to redeem its common units if the exchange of such units for shares of our common stock would cause any person to violate the restrictions on ownership and transfer of our stock.

On or before the close of business on the fifth business day after a holder of common units gives notice of redemption to us, we may, in our sole and absolute discretion but subject to the restrictions on the ownership and transfer of our stock set forth in our charter and described in “Description of Stock—Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer,” elect to acquire some or all of the common units tendered for redemption from the tendering party in exchange for shares of our common stock, based on an exchange ratio of one share of common stock for each common unit, subject to adjustment as provided in the partnership agreement. The general partner may elect to delay the redemption date for up to an additional 60 business days to the extent required for the general partner to cause the issuance of additional shares of our common stock. The holder of the common units tendered for redemption must provide certain information, certifications or affidavits, representations, investment letters, opinions and other instruments to ensure compliance with the restrictions on ownership and transfer of our stock set forth in our charter and the Securities Act. The partnership agreement does not require us to register, qualify or list any shares of common stock issued in exchange for common units with the SEC, with any state securities

 

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commissioner, department or agency, under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act or with any stock exchange. Shares of our common stock issued in exchange for common units pursuant to the partnership agreement may contain legends regarding restrictions under the Securities Act and applicable state securities laws.

Transfers and Withdrawals

Restrictions on Transfers by Limited Partners

Until the expiration of 12 months after the date on which a limited partner first acquires a partnership interest, a limited partner generally may not, directly or indirectly, transfer all or any portion of its partnership interest without our consent, which we may give or withhold in our sole and absolute discretion, except for certain permitted transfers to certain affiliates, family members and charities, and certain pledges of partnership interests to lending institutions in connection with bona fide loans.

After the expiration of 12 months after the date on which a limited partner first acquires a partnership interest, the limited partner will have the right to transfer all or any portion of its partnership interest without our consent to any person that is an “accredited investor,” within the meaning set forth in Rule 501 promulgated under the Securities Act, upon ten business days prior notice to us, subject to the satisfaction of conditions specified in the partnership agreement, including minimum transfer requirements and our right of first refusal. Unless waived by us, in our sole and absolute discretion, a transferring limited partner must also deliver an opinion of counsel reasonably satisfactory to us that the proposed transfer may be effected without registration under the Securities Act, and will not otherwise violate any state securities laws or regulations applicable to our operating partnership or the partnership interest proposed to be transferred. We may exercise our right of first refusal in connection with a proposed transfer by a limited partner within ten business days of our receipt of notice of the proposed transfer, which must include the identity and address of the proposed transferee and the amount and type of consideration proposed to be paid for the partnership interest. We may deliver all or any portion of any cash consideration proposed to be paid for a partnership interest that we acquire pursuant to our right of first refusal in the form of a note payable to the transferring limited partner not more than 180 days after our purchase of such partnership interest.

Any transferee of a limited partner’s partnership interest must assume by operation of law or express agreement all of the obligations of the transferring limited partner under the partnership agreement with respect to the transferred interest, and no transfer (other than a transfer pursuant to a statutory merger or consolidation in which the obligations and liabilities of the transferring limited partner are assumed by a successor corporation by operation of law) will relieve the transferring limited partner of its obligations under the partnership agreement without our consent, which we may give or withhold in our sole and absolute discretion.

We may take any action we determine in our sole and absolute discretion to prevent our operating partnership from being taxable as a corporation for federal income tax purposes. No transfer by a limited partner of its partnership interest, including any redemption or any acquisition of partnership interests by us or by our operating partnership or conversion of LTIP Units into common units, may be made to or by any person without our consent, which we may give or withhold in our sole and absolute discretion, if the transfer could:

 

   

result in our operating partnership being treated as an association taxable as a corporation for federal income tax purposes;

 

   

result in a termination of our operating partnership under Section 708 of the Code;

 

   

be treated as effectuated through an “established securities market” or a “secondary market” (or the substantial equivalent thereof) within the meaning of Section 7704 of the Code and the Treasury Regulations promulgated thereunder;

 

   

result in our operating partnership being unable to qualify for at least one of the “safe harbors” set forth in Section 7704 of the Code and the Treasury Regulations thereunder; or

 

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based on the advice of counsel to us or our operating partnership, adversely affect our ability to continue to qualify as a REIT or subject us to any additional taxes under Sections 857 or 4981 of the Code.

Admission of Substituted Limited Partners

No limited partner has the right to substitute a transferee as a limited partner in its place. A transferee of a partnership interest of a limited partner may be admitted as a substituted limited partner only with our consent, which we may give or withhold in our sole and absolute discretion, and only if the transferee accepts all of the obligations of a limited partner under the partnership and executes such instruments as we may require to evidence such acceptance and to effect the assignee’s admission as a limited partner. Any assignee of a partnership interest that is not admitted as a limited partner will be entitled to only the rights of an assignee of a limited partnership interest under the partnership agreement and the Act, including the right to receive distributions from our operating partnership and the share of net income, net losses and other items of income, gain, loss, deduction and credit of our operating partnership attributable to the partnership interest held by the assignee and the rights to transfer and redemption of the partnership interest provided in the partnership agreement, but will not be deemed to be a limited partner or holder of a partnership interest for any other purpose under the partnership agreement or the Act, and will not be entitled to consent to or vote on any matter presented to the limited partners for approval. The right to consent or vote, to the extent provided in the partnership agreement or under the Act, will remain with the transferring limited partner.

Restrictions on Transfers by the General Partner

Pursuant to the partnership agreement of our operating partnership, except as described below, we may not transfer all or any portion of our partnership interest without the consent of a majority in interest of the limited partners (excluding any limited partner 50% or more of whose equity is owned, directly or indirectly, by us). We generally may, without such consent of the limited partners, transfer all of our partnership interest in connection with a Termination Transaction, as defined herein, if the requirements discussed below are satisfied. A “Termination Transaction” means:

 

   

a merger, consolidation or other combination of our or our operating partnership’s assets with another entity;

 

   

a sale of all or substantially all of our or our operating partnership’s assets not in the ordinary course of its business; or

 

   

a reclassification, recapitalization or change of our outstanding shares of common stock or other outstanding equity interests.

The consent of the limited partners to a Termination Transaction is not required (such Termination Transactions, “Permitted Termination Transactions”) if either:

(i) in connection with the Termination Transaction, each common unit is entitled to receive the “transaction consideration,” defined as the fair market value, at the time of the Termination Transaction, of an amount of cash, securities or other property equal to the product of:

 

   

the adjustment factor, as defined in the partnership agreement; and

 

   

the greatest amount of cash, securities or other property paid to the holder of one share of our common stock (subject to adjustment in accordance with the partnership agreement) in consideration of such share in connection with the Termination Transaction;

provided that, if, in connection with the Termination Transaction, a purchase, tender or exchange offer is made to and accepted by the holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of our common stock, the transaction

 

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consideration will refer to the fair market value of the greatest amount of cash, securities or other property which such holder would have received had it exercised its redemption right and received shares of our common stock in exchange for its common units immediately prior to the expiration of such purchase, tender or exchange offer and had accepted such purchase, tender or exchange offer; or

(ii) all of the following conditions are met: (a) substantially all of the assets directly or indirectly owned by the surviving entity prior to the announcement of the Termination Transaction are, immediately after the Termination Transaction, owned directly or indirectly by our operating partnership or another limited partnership or limited liability company which is the survivor of a merger, consolidation or combination of assets with our operating partnership, which we refer to as the “surviving partnership,” (b) the surviving partnership is classified as a partnership for federal income tax purposes; (c) the limited partners that held common units immediately prior to the consummation of such Termination Transaction own a percentage interest of the surviving partnership based on the relative fair market value of the net assets of our operating partnership and the other net assets of the surviving partnership immediately prior to the consummation of such transaction; (d) the rights of such limited partners with respect to the surviving partnership are at least as favorable as those of limited partners prior to the consummation of such transaction and as those applicable to any other limited partners or non-managing members of the surviving partnership; and (e) such rights include:

 

  (i)

the right to redeem their interests in the surviving partnership for the transaction consideration referred to above; or

 

  (ii)

the right to redeem their interests in the surviving partnership for cash on terms substantially equivalent to those in effect with respect to the common units immediately prior to the consummation of such transaction or, if the ultimate controlling person of the surviving partnership has publicly traded common equity securities, such common equity securities.

We may also transfer all (but not less than all) of our interest in our operating partnership to an affiliate of ours without the consent of any limited partner, subject to the rights of holders of any class or series of partnership interest.

In addition, any transferee of our interest in our operating partnership must be admitted as a general partner of our operating partnership; assume, by operation of law or express agreement, all of our obligations as general partner under the partnership agreement; accept all of the terms and conditions of the partnership agreement; and execute such instruments as may be necessary to effectuate the transferee’s admission as a general partner.

In addition, we may not engage in a Termination Transaction effected as a short-form merger without a stockholder vote pursuant to Section 3-106 of the MGCL, unless we have previously obtained the consent of the limited partners with respect to such transaction.

Restrictions on Transfers by Any Partner

Any transfer or purported transfer of a partnership interest other than in accordance with the partnership agreement will be void. Partnership interests may be transferred only on the first day of a fiscal quarter, and no partnership interest may be transferred to any lender under certain nonrecourse loans to us or our operating partnership, in either case, unless we otherwise consent, which we may give or withhold in our sole and absolute discretion. No transfer of any partnership interest, including in connection with any redemption or acquisition of units by us or by our operating partnership or any conversion of LTIP Units into common units, may be made:

 

   

to a person or entity that lacks the legal right, power or capacity to own the partnership interest;

 

   

in violation of applicable law;

 

   

without our consent, which we may give or withhold in our sole and absolute discretion, of any component portion of a partnership interest, such as a partner’s capital account or rights to distributions, separate and apart from all other components of the partner’s interest in our operating partnership;

 

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if the proposed transfer could cause us or any of our affiliates to fail to comply with the requirements under the Code for qualifying as a REIT or as a “qualified REIT subsidiary” (within the meaning of Section 856(i)(2) of the Code);

 

   

without our consent, which we may give or withhold in our sole and absolute discretion, if the proposed transfer could, based on the advice of counsel to us or our operating partnership, cause a termination of our operating partnership for federal or state income tax purposes (other than as a result of the redemption or acquisition by us of all units held by limited partners);

 

   

if the proposed transfer could, based on the advice of legal counsel to us or our operating partnership, cause our operating partnership to cease to be classified as a partnership for federal income tax purposes (other than as a result of the redemption or acquisition by us of all units held by all limited partners);

 

   

if the proposed transfer would cause our operating partnership to become, with respect to any employee benefit plan subject to Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended, or ERISA, a “party-in-interest” for purposes of ERISA or a “disqualified person” as defined in Section 4975(c) of the Code;

 

   

if the proposed transfer could, based on the advice of counsel to us or our operating partnership, cause any portion of the assets of our operating partnership to constitute assets of any employee benefit plan pursuant to applicable regulations of the United States Department of Labor;

 

   

if the proposed transfer requires the registration of the partnership interest under any applicable federal or state securities laws;

 

   

without our consent, which we may give or withhold in our sole and absolute discretion, if the proposed transfer could (1) be treated as effectuated through an “established securities market” or a “secondary market” (or the substantial equivalent thereof) within the meaning of Section 7704 of the Code and the Treasury Regulations promulgated thereunder, (2) cause our operating partnership to become a “publicly traded partnership,” as that term is defined in Sections 469(k)(2) or 7704(b) of the Code, or (3) cause our operating partnership to fail to qualify for at least one of the “safe harbors” within the meaning of Section 7704 of the Code and the Treasury Regulations thereunder;

 

   

if the proposed transfer would cause our operating partnership (as opposed to us) to become a reporting company under the Exchange Act; or

 

   

if the proposed transfer subjects our operating partnership to regulation under the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Investment Advisors Act of 1940 or ERISA, each as amended.

Notwithstanding the above, limited partners may pledge their interests in our operating partnership to one or more banks or lending institutions (which are not affiliates of the pledging limited partner). The transfer of such partnership units pursuant to the lender’s or financial institution’s enforcement of its remedies under the applicable financing documents is permitted by the partnership agreement.

Withdrawal of Partners

We may not voluntarily withdraw as the general partner of our operating partnership without the consent of a majority in interest of the limited partners (excluding us and any limited partner 50% or more of whose equity is owned, directly or indirectly, by us), other than upon the transfer of our entire interest in our operating partnership and the admission of our successor as a general partner of our operating partnership. A limited partner may withdraw from our operating partnership only as a result of a transfer of the limited partner’s entire partnership interest in accordance with the partnership agreement and the admission of the limited partner’s successor as a limited partner of our operating partnership or as a result of the redemption or acquisition by us of the limited partner’s entire partnership interest.

 

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Amendment of the Partnership Agreement

Except as described below and amendments requiring the consent of each affected partner described in “—Restrictions on General Partner’s Authority,” amendments to the partnership agreement must be approved by us and a majority in interest of the partners entitled to vote thereon, including us and our subsidiaries. Amendments to the partnership agreement may be proposed only by us or by limited partners holding 25% or more of the partnership interests held by limited partners. Following such a proposal, we must submit any proposed amendment that requires the consent, approval or vote of any partners to the partners entitled to vote on the amendment for approval and seek the consent of such partners to the amendment.

We may, without the approval or consent of any limited partner or any other person but subject to the rights of holders of any additional class or series of partnership interest, amend the partnership agreement as may be required to facilitate or implement any of the following purposes:

 

   

to add to our obligations as general partner or surrender any right or power granted to us or any of our affiliates for the benefit of the limited partners;

 

   

to reflect the admission, substitution or withdrawal of partners, the transfer of any partnership interest, the termination of our operating partnership in accordance with the partnership agreement or the adjustment of the number of outstanding LTIP Units, or a subdivision or combination of outstanding LTIP Units, to maintain a one-for-one conversion and economic equivalence between LTIP Units and common units;

 

   

to reflect a change that is of an inconsequential nature or does not adversely affect the limited partners in any material respect, or to cure any ambiguity, correct or supplement any provision in the partnership agreement that is not inconsistent with law or with other provisions of the partnership agreement, or make other changes with respect to matters arising under the partnership agreement that will not be inconsistent with law or with the provisions of the partnership agreement;

 

   

to set forth or amend the designations, preferences, conversion and other rights, voting powers, restrictions, limitations as to distributions, qualifications and terms and conditions of redemption of the holders of any additional classes or series of partnership interest;

 

   

to satisfy any requirements, conditions or guidelines contained in any order, directive, opinion, ruling or regulation of a federal or state agency or contained in federal or state law;

 

   

to reflect such changes as are reasonably necessary for us to qualify as a REIT or satisfy the requirements for us to qualify as a REIT or to reflect the transfer of all or any part of a partnership interest among us and any entity that is disregarded with respect to us for federal income tax purposes;

 

   

to modify the manner in which items of net income or net loss are allocated or the manner in which capital accounts are adjusted, computed, or maintained (but in each case only to the extent provided by the partnership agreement and permitted by applicable law);

 

   

to reflect the issuance of additional partnership interests;

 

   

to implement certain procedures in connection with any equity incentive plan we may adopt;

 

   

to reflect any other modification to the partnership agreement as is reasonably necessary for the business or operations of us or our operating partnership and that does not require the consent of each affected partner as described in “—Restrictions on General Partner’s Authority;” and

 

   

to effect or facilitate a Permitted Termination Transaction, including modification of the redemption rights of holders of common units to provide that the holders of interests in the surviving entity will have the rights described in “—Transfers and Withdrawals—Restrictions on Transfers by the General Partner” after a Permitted Termination Transaction.

Certain amendments to the partnership agreement must be approved by limited partners holding LTIP Units, as described in “—LTIP Units—Voting Rights.”

 

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Procedures for Actions and Consents of Partners

Meetings of partners may be called only by us, to transact any business that we determine. Notice of any meeting and the nature of the business to be transacted at the meeting must be given to all partners entitled to act at the meeting not less than seven days nor more than 60 days before the date of the meeting. Unless approval by a different number or proportion of the partners is required by the partnership agreement, the affirmative vote of the partners holding a majority of the outstanding partnership interests held by partners entitled to act on any proposal is sufficient to approve the proposal at a meeting of the partners. Partners may vote in person or by proxy. Each meeting of partners will be conducted by us or any other person we appoint, pursuant to rules for the conduct of the meeting determined by the person conducting the meeting. Whenever the vote, approval or consent of partners is permitted or required under the partnership agreement, such vote, approval or consent may be given at a meeting of partners, and any action requiring the approval or consent of any partner or group of partners or that is otherwise required or permitted to be taken at a meeting of the partners may be taken without a meeting if a consent in writing or by electronic transmission setting forth the action so taken, approved or consented to is given by partners whose affirmative vote would be sufficient to approve such action or provide such approval or consent at a meeting of the partners. If we seek partner approval of or consent to any matter in writing or by electronic transmission, we may require a response within a reasonable specified time, but not less than 15 days, and failure to respond in such time period will constitute a partner’s consent consistent with our recommendation, if any, with respect to the matter.

Dissolution

Our operating partnership will dissolve, and its affairs will be wound up, upon the first to occur of any of the following:

 

   

the removal or withdrawal of the last remaining general partner in accordance with the partnership agreement, the withdrawal of the last remaining general partner in violation of the partnership agreement or the involuntary withdrawal of the last remaining general partner as a result of such general partner’s death, adjudication of incompetency, dissolution or other termination of legal existence or the occurrence of certain events relating to the bankruptcy or insolvency of such general partner unless, within 90 days after any such withdrawal, a majority in interest of the remaining partners agree in writing, in their sole and absolute discretion, to continue our operating partnership and to the appointment, effective as of the date of such withdrawal, of a successor general partner;

 

   

an election to dissolve our operating partnership made by us in our sole and absolute discretion, with or without the consent of a majority in interest of the partners;

 

   

the entry of a decree of judicial dissolution of our operating partnership pursuant to the Act; or

 

   

the redemption or other acquisition by us or our operating partnership of all of the outstanding partnership interests other than partnership interests held by us.

Upon dissolution, we or, if there is no remaining general partner, a liquidator will proceed to liquidate the assets of our operating partnership and apply the proceeds from such liquidation in the order of priority set forth in the partnership agreement and among holders of partnership interests in accordance with their capital account balances.

LTIP Units

Our operating partnership is authorized to issue a class of units of partnership interest designated as “LTIP Units.” We may cause our operating partnership to issue LTIP Units to persons who provide services to or for the benefit of our operating partnership for such consideration or for no consideration as we may determine to be appropriate, and we may admit such persons as limited partners of our operating partnership, without the approval or consent of any limited partner. Further, we may cause our operating partnership to issue LTIP Units

 

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in one or more classes or series, with such terms as we may determine, without the approval or consent of any limited partner. LTIP Units may be subject to vesting, forfeiture and restrictions on transfer and receipt of distributions pursuant to the terms of any applicable equity-based plan and the terms of any award agreement relating to the issuance of the LTIP Units.

Conversion Rights

Vested LTIP Units are convertible at the option of each limited partner and some assignees of limited partners (in each case, that hold vested LTIP Units) into common units, upon notice to us and our operating partnership, to the extent that the capital account balance of the LTIP unitholder with respect to all of his or her LTIP Units is at least equal to our capital account balance with respect to an equal number of common units. We may cause our operating partnership to convert vested LTIP Units eligible for conversion into an equal number of common units at any time, upon at least 10 and not more than 60 days’ notice to the holder of the LTIP Units.

If we or our operating partnership is party to a transaction, including a merger, consolidation, sale of all or substantially all of our assets or other business combination, as a result of which common units are exchanged for or converted into the right, or holders of common units are otherwise entitled, to receive cash, securities or other property (or any combination thereof), we must cause our operating partnership to convert any vested LTIP Units then eligible for conversion into common units immediately before the transaction, taking into account any special allocations of income that would be made as a result of the transaction. Our operating partnership must use commercially reasonable efforts to cause each limited partner (other than a party to such a transaction or an affiliate of such a party) holding LTIP Units that will be converted into common units in such a transaction to be afforded the right to receive the same kind and amount of cash, securities and other property (or any combination thereof) for such common units that each holder of common units receives in the transaction. If holders of common units have the opportunity to elect the form or type of consideration to be received in any such transaction, we must give prompt written notice to each limited partner holding LTIP Units of such opportunity and use commercially reasonable efforts to allow limited partners holding LTIP Units the opportunity to make such elections with respect to the common units that each such limited partner will receive upon conversion of his or her LTIP Units. If an LTIP unitholder fails to make such an election, he or she will receive the same kind and amount of consideration that a holder of common units would receive if such holder failed to make such an election. Subject to the terms of an applicable incentive award plan and/or award agreement, our operating partnership must also use commercially reasonable efforts to enter into an agreement with the successor or purchasing entity in any such transaction for the benefit of the limited partners holding LTIP Units, enabling the limited partners holding LTIP Units that remain outstanding after such a transaction to convert their LTIP Units into securities as comparable as reasonably possible under the circumstances to common units and preserving as far as reasonably possible under the circumstances the distribution, special allocation, conversion, and other rights set forth in the partnership agreement for the benefit of the LTIP unitholders.

Any conversion of LTIP Units into common units will be effective as of the close of business on the effective date of the conversion.

Transfer

Unless an applicable equity-based plan or the terms of an award agreement specify additional restrictions on transfer of LTIP Units, LTIP Units are transferable to the same extent as common units, as described above in “—Transfers and Withdrawals.”

Voting Rights

Limited partners holding LTIP Units are entitled to vote together as a class with limited partners holding common units on all matters on which limited partners holding common units are entitled to vote or consent, and may cast one vote for each LTIP Unit so held.

 

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Adjustment of LTIP Units

If our operating partnership takes certain actions, including making a distribution of units on all outstanding common units, combining or subdividing the outstanding common units into a different number of common units or reclassifying the outstanding common units, we must adjust the number of outstanding LTIP Units or subdivide or combine outstanding LTIP Units to maintain a one-for-one conversion ratio and economic equivalence between common units and LTIP Units.

 

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MATERIAL FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS

This section summarizes the material federal income tax considerations that you, as a securityholder, may consider relevant. Hunton & Williams LLP has acted as our counsel, has reviewed this summary, and is of the opinion that the discussion contained herein is accurate in all material respects. Because this section is a summary, it does not address all aspects of taxation that may be relevant to particular securityholders in light of their personal investment or tax circumstances, or to certain types of securityholders that are subject to special treatment under the federal income tax laws, such as:

 

   

insurance companies;

 

   

tax-exempt organizations (except to the limited extent discussed in “—Taxation of Tax-Exempt Stockholders” below);

 

   

financial institutions or broker-dealers;

 

   

non-U.S. individuals and foreign corporations (except to the limited extent discussed in “—Taxation of Non-U.S. Stockholders” below);

 

   

U.S. expatriates;

 

   

persons who mark-to-market our securities;

 

   

subchapter S corporations;

 

   

U.S. stockholders (as defined below) whose functional currency is not the U.S. dollar;

 

   

regulated investment companies and REITs;

 

   

trusts and estates;

 

   

holders who receive our securities through the exercise of employee stock options or otherwise as compensation;

 

   

persons holding our securities as part of a “straddle,” “hedge,” “conversion transaction,” “synthetic security” or other integrated investment;

 

   

persons subject to the alternative minimum tax provisions of the Code; and

 

   

persons holding our securities through a partnership or similar pass-through entity.

This summary assumes that securityholders hold our securities as capital assets for federal income tax purposes, which generally means property held for investment.

The statements in this section are not intended to be, and should not be construed as, tax advice. The statements in this section are based on the Code, current, temporary and proposed Treasury regulations, the legislative history of the Code, current administrative interpretations and practices of the IRS, and court decisions. The reference to IRS interpretations and practices includes the IRS practices and policies endorsed in private letter rulings, which are not binding on the IRS except with respect to the taxpayer that receives the ruling. In each case, these sources are relied upon as they exist on the date of this summary. Future legislation, Treasury regulations, administrative interpretations and court decisions could change current law or adversely affect existing interpretations of current law on which the information in this section is based. Any such change could apply retroactively. We have not received any rulings from the IRS concerning our qualification as a REIT. Accordingly, even if there is no change in the applicable law, no assurance can be provided that the statements made in the following discussion, which do not bind the IRS or the courts, will not be challenged by the IRS or will be sustained by a court if so challenged.

WE URGE YOU TO CONSULT YOUR TAX ADVISOR REGARDING THE SPECIFIC TAX CONSEQUENCES TO YOU OF THE PURCHASE, OWNERSHIP AND SALE OF OUR SECURITIES

 

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AND OF OUR ELECTION TO BE TAXED AS A REIT. SPECIFICALLY, YOU SHOULD CONSULT YOUR TAX ADVISOR REGARDING THE FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL, FOREIGN, AND OTHER TAX CONSEQUENCES OF SUCH PURCHASE, OWNERSHIP, SALE AND ELECTION, AND REGARDING POTENTIAL CHANGES IN APPLICABLE TAX LAWS.

Taxation of our Company

We elected to be taxed as a REIT for federal income tax purposes commencing with our taxable year ended December 31, 2014. We believe that, commencing with such taxable year, we have been organized and have operated in such a manner as to qualify for taxation as a REIT under the Code, and we intend to continue to operate in such a manner, but no assurances can be given that we will operate in a manner so as to qualify or remain qualified as a REIT. This section discusses the laws governing the federal income tax treatment of a REIT and its stockholders. These laws are highly technical and complex.

In the opinion of Hunton & Williams LLP, we qualified to be taxed as a REIT for our taxable years ended December 31, 2014 through December 31, 2016, and our current and proposed method of operations will enable us to continue to satisfy the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT under the federal income tax laws for our taxable year ending December 31, 2017 and subsequent taxable years. Investors should be aware that Hunton & Williams LLP’s opinion is based upon customary assumptions, will be conditioned upon certain representations made by us as to factual matters, including representations regarding the nature of our assets and the conduct of our business, is not binding upon the IRS or any court, and speaks as of the date issued. In addition, Hunton & Williams LLP’s opinion will be based on existing federal income tax law governing qualification as a REIT, which is subject to change either prospectively or retroactively. Moreover, our qualification and taxation as a REIT will depend upon our ability to meet on a continuing basis, through actual annual and quarterly operating results, certain qualification tests set forth in the federal income tax laws. Those qualification tests involve the percentage of income that we earn from specified sources, the percentage of our assets that falls within specified categories, the diversity of our capital stock ownership, and the percentage of our earnings that we distribute. Hunton & Williams LLP will not review our compliance with those tests on a continuing basis. Accordingly, no assurance can be given that our actual results of operations for any particular taxable year will satisfy such requirements. Hunton & Williams LLP’s opinion does not foreclose the possibility that we may have to use one or more of the REIT savings provisions described below, which would require us to pay an excise or penalty tax (which could be material), in order for us to maintain our REIT qualification. For a discussion of the tax consequences of our failure to qualify as a REIT, see “—Failure to Qualify.”

If we qualify as a REIT, we generally will not be subject to federal income tax on the taxable income that we distribute to our stockholders. The benefit of that tax treatment is that it avoids the “double taxation,” or taxation at both the corporate and stockholder levels, that generally results from owning stock in a corporation. However, we will be subject to federal tax in the following circumstances:

 

   

We will pay federal income tax on any taxable income, including undistributed net capital gain, that we do not distribute to stockholders during, or within a specified time period after, the calendar year in which the income is earned.

 

   

We may be subject to the “alternative minimum tax” on any items of tax preference including any deductions of net operating losses.

 

   

We will pay income tax at the highest corporate rate on:

 

   

net income from the sale or other disposition of property acquired through foreclosure (“foreclosure property”) that we hold primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business, and

 

   

other non-qualifying income from foreclosure property.

 

   

We will pay a 100% tax on net income from sales or other dispositions of property, other than foreclosure property, that we hold primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business.

 

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If we fail to satisfy one or both of the 75% gross income test or the 95% gross income test, as described below under “—Gross Income Tests,” and nonetheless continue to qualify as a REIT because we meet other requirements, we will pay a 100% tax on:

 

   

the gross income attributable to the greater of the amount by which we fail the 75% gross income test or the 95% gross income test, in either case, multiplied by

 

   

a fraction intended to reflect our profitability.

 

   

If we fail to distribute during a calendar year at least the sum of (i) 85% of our REIT ordinary income for the year, (ii) 95% of our REIT capital gain net income for the year, and (iii) any undistributed taxable income required to be distributed from earlier periods, we will pay a 4% nondeductible excise tax on the excess of the required distribution over the amount we actually distribute.

 

   

We may elect to retain and pay income tax on our net long-term capital gain. In that case, a stockholder would be taxed on its proportionate share of our undistributed long-term capital gain (to the extent that we made a timely designation of such gain to the stockholders) and would receive a credit or refund for its proportionate share of the tax we paid.

 

   

We will be subject to a 100% excise tax on transactions with any taxable REIT subsidiary (“TRS”) that are not conducted on an arm’s-length basis.

 

   

If we fail any of the asset tests, other than a de minimis failure of the 5% asset test, the 10% vote test or 10% value test, as described below under “—Asset Tests,” as long as the failure was due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect, we file a description of each asset that caused such failure with the IRS, and we dispose of the assets causing the failure or otherwise comply with the asset tests within six months after the last day of the quarter in which we identify such failure, we will pay a tax equal to the greater of $50,000 or the highest federal income tax rate then applicable to U.S. corporations (currently 35%) on the net income from the non-qualifying assets during the period in which we failed to satisfy the asset tests.

 

   

If we fail to satisfy one or more requirements for REIT qualification, other than the gross income tests and the asset tests, and such failure is due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect, we will be required to pay a penalty of $50,000 for each such failure.

 

   

If we acquire any asset from a C corporation, or a corporation that generally is subject to full corporate-level tax, in a merger or other transaction in which we acquire a basis in the asset that is determined by reference either to the C corporation’s basis in the asset or to another asset, we will pay tax at the highest regular corporate rate applicable if we recognize gain on the sale or disposition of the asset during the up to 10-year period after we acquire the asset provided no election is made for the transaction to be taxable on a current basis. The amount of gain on which we will pay tax is the lesser of:

 

   

the amount of gain that we recognize at the time of the sale or disposition, and

 

   

the amount of gain that we would have recognized if we had sold the asset at the time we acquired it.

 

   

We may be required to pay monetary penalties to the IRS in certain circumstances, including if we fail to meet record-keeping requirements intended to monitor our compliance with rules relating to the composition of a REIT’s stockholders, as described below in “—Recordkeeping Requirements.”

 

   

The earnings of our lower-tier entities that are subchapter C corporations, including any of our TRSs and any other TRSs we form in the future, will be subject to federal corporate income tax.

In addition, notwithstanding our qualification as a REIT, we also may have to pay certain state and local income taxes because not all states and localities treat REITs in the same manner that they are treated for federal income tax purposes. Moreover, as further described below, our TRSs and any other TRSs we form the future will be subject to federal, state and local corporate income tax on their taxable income.

 

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Requirements for Qualification

A REIT is a corporation, trust, or association that meets each of the following requirements:

 

  1.

It is managed by one or more trustees or directors.

 

  2.

Its beneficial ownership is evidenced by transferable shares, or by transferable certificates of beneficial interest.

 

  3.

It would be taxable as a domestic corporation, but for the REIT provisions of the federal income tax laws.

 

  4.

It is neither a financial institution nor an insurance company subject to special provisions of the federal income tax laws.

 

  5.

At least 100 persons are beneficial owners of its shares or ownership certificates.

 

  6.

Not more than 50% in value of its outstanding shares or ownership certificates is owned, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer individuals, which the Code defines to include certain entities, during the last half of any taxable year.

 

  7.

It elects to be a REIT, or has made such election for a previous taxable year, and satisfies all relevant filing and other administrative requirements established by the IRS that must be met to elect and maintain REIT status.

 

  8.

It meets certain other qualification tests, described below, regarding the nature of its income and assets and the amount of its distributions to stockholders.

 

  9.

It uses a calendar year for federal income tax purposes and complies with the recordkeeping requirements of the federal income tax laws.

We must meet requirements 1 through 4, 7, 8 and 9 during our entire taxable year and must meet requirement 5 during at least 335 days of a taxable year of 12 months, or during a proportionate part of a taxable year of less than 12 months. Requirements 5 and 6 applied to us beginning with our 2015 taxable year. If we comply with all the requirements for ascertaining the ownership of our outstanding stock in a taxable year and have no reason to know that we violated requirement 6, we will be deemed to have satisfied requirement 6 for that taxable year. For purposes of determining stock ownership under requirement 6, an “individual” generally includes a supplemental unemployment compensation benefits plan, a private foundation, or a portion of a trust permanently set aside or used exclusively for charitable purposes. An “individual,” however, generally does not include a trust that is a qualified employee pension or profit sharing trust under the federal income tax laws, and beneficiaries of such a trust will be treated as holding our stock in proportion to their actuarial interests in the trust for purposes of requirement 6.

Our charter provides restrictions regarding the transfer and ownership of shares of our capital stock. See “Description of Stock — Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer.” We believe that we have issued sufficient stock with sufficient diversity of ownership to allow us to satisfy requirements 5 and 6 above. The restrictions in our charter are intended (among other things) to assist us in continuing to satisfy requirements 5 and 6 above. These restrictions, however, may not ensure that we will, in all cases, be able to satisfy such share ownership requirements. If we fail to satisfy these share ownership requirements, our qualification as a REIT may terminate.

Qualified REIT Subsidiaries. A corporation that is a “qualified REIT subsidiary” is not treated as a corporation separate from its parent REIT. All assets, liabilities, and items of income, deduction, and credit of a “qualified REIT subsidiary” are treated as assets, liabilities, and items of income, deduction, and credit of the REIT. A “qualified REIT subsidiary” is a corporation, other than a TRS, all of the stock of which is owned by the REIT. Thus, in applying the requirements described herein, any “qualified REIT subsidiary” that we own will be ignored, and all assets, liabilities, and items of income, deduction, and credit of such subsidiary will be treated as our assets, liabilities, and items of income, deduction, and credit.

 

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Other Disregarded Entities and Partnerships. An unincorporated domestic entity, such as a limited liability company that has a single owner for federal income tax purposes, generally is not treated as an entity separate from its owner for federal income tax purposes. An unincorporated domestic entity with two or more owners is generally treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes. In the case of a REIT that is a partner in a partnership that has other partners, the REIT is treated as owning its proportionate share of the assets of the partnership and as earning its allocable share of the gross income of the partnership for purposes of the applicable REIT qualification tests. Our proportionate share for purposes of the 10% value test (see “—Asset Tests”) is based on our proportionate interest in the equity interests and certain debt securities issued by the partnership. For all of the other asset and income tests, our proportionate share is based on our proportionate interest in the capital interests in the partnership. Our proportionate share of the assets, liabilities, and items of income of any partnership, joint venture, or limited liability company that is treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes in which we acquire an equity interest, directly or indirectly, are treated as our assets and gross income for purposes of applying the various REIT qualification requirements.

We have control of our operating partnership and intend to control any subsidiary partnerships and limited liability companies, and we intend to operate them in a manner consistent with the requirements for our qualification as a REIT. We may from time to time be a limited partner or non-managing member in some of our partnerships and limited liability companies. If a partnership or limited liability company in which we own an interest takes or expects to take actions that could jeopardize our status as a REIT or require us to pay tax, we may be forced to dispose of our interest in such entity. In addition, it is possible that a partnership or limited liability company could take an action which could cause us to fail a gross income or asset test, and that we would not become aware of such action in time to dispose of our interest in the partnership or limited liability company or take other corrective action on a timely basis. In that case, we could fail to qualify as a REIT unless we were entitled to relief, as described below.

Taxable REIT Subsidiaries. A REIT may own up to 100% of the shares of one or more TRSs. A TRS is a fully taxable corporation that may earn income that would not be qualifying income if earned directly by the parent REIT. The subsidiary and the REIT must jointly elect to treat the subsidiary as a TRS. A corporation (other than a REIT) of which a TRS directly or indirectly owns more than 35% of the voting power or value of the outstanding securities will automatically be treated as a TRS. We are not treated as holding the assets of a TRS or as receiving any income that the TRS earns. Rather, the stock issued by a TRS to us is an asset in our hands, and we treat the distributions paid to us from such TRS, if any, as dividend income to the extent of the TRS’s current and accumulated earnings and profits. This treatment may affect our compliance with the gross income and asset tests. Because we do not include the assets and income of TRSs in determining our compliance with the REIT requirements, we may use such entities to undertake indirectly activities that the REIT rules might otherwise preclude us from doing directly or through pass-through subsidiaries. Overall, no more than 25% (20% for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017) of the value of a REIT’s assets may consist of stock or securities of one or more TRSs. A TRS generally may not directly or indirectly operate or manage any health care facilities or lodging facilities or provide rights to any brand name under which any health care facility or lodging facility is operated.

A TRS pays income tax at regular corporate rates on any income that it earns. In addition, the TRS rules limit the deductibility of interest paid or accrued by a TRS to its parent REIT to assure that the TRS is subject to an appropriate level of corporate taxation. Further, the rules impose a 100% excise tax on transactions between a TRS and its parent REIT or the REIT’s tenants that are not conducted on an arm’s-length basis.

Rent that we receive from a TRS will qualify as “rents from real property” as long as (1) at least 90% of the leased space in the property is leased to persons other than TRSs and related-party tenants, and (2) the amount paid by the TRS to rent space at the property is substantially comparable to rents paid by other tenants of the property for comparable space, as described in further detail below under “—Gross Income Tests — Rents from Real Property.” If we lease space to a TRS in the future, we will seek to comply with these requirements. We have elected to treat several of our general partners in our property-owning entities as TRSs. Such TRSs are subject to corporate income tax on their taxable income. We may elect to treat other entities as TRSs in the future.

 

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Gross Income Tests

We must satisfy two gross income tests annually to maintain our qualification as a REIT. First, at least 75% of our gross income for each taxable year must consist of defined types of income that we derive, directly or indirectly, from investments relating to real property or mortgages on real property or qualified temporary investment income. Qualifying income for purposes of that 75% gross income test generally includes:

 

   

rents from real property;

 

   

interest on debt secured by mortgages on real property, or on interests in real property;

 

   

dividends or other distributions on, and gain from the sale of, shares in other REITs;

 

   

gain from the sale of real estate assets;

 

   

income and gain derived from foreclosure property; and

 

   

income derived from the temporary investment of new capital that is attributable to the issuance of our stock or a public offering of our debt with a maturity date of at least five years and that we receive during the one-year period beginning on the date on which we received such new capital.

Although a debt instrument issued by a “publicly offered REIT” (i.e., a REIT that is required to file annual and periodic reports with the SEC under the Exchange Act) is treated as a “real estate asset” for the asset tests for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2015, neither the gain from the sale of such debt instruments nor interest on such debt instruments is treated as qualifying income for the 75% gross income test unless the debt instrument is secured by real property or an interest in real property.

Second, in general, at least 95% of our gross income for each taxable year must consist of income that is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, other types of interest and dividends, gain from the sale or disposition of stock or securities, or any combination of these. Gross income from our sale of property that we hold primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business is excluded from both the numerator and the denominator in both gross income tests. In addition, income and gain from “hedging transactions” (as defined in “—Hedging Transactions”) that we enter into to hedge indebtedness incurred or to be incurred to acquire or carry real estate assets and that are clearly and timely identified as such will be excluded from both the numerator and the denominator for purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests. In addition, certain foreign currency gains will be excluded from gross income for purposes of one or both of the gross income tests. See “– Foreign Currency Gain.” Finally, gross income attributable to cancellation of indebtedness income will be excluded from both the numerator and denominator for purposes of both of the gross income tests. The following paragraphs discuss the specific application of the gross income tests to us.

Rents from Real Property. Rent that we receive from our real property will qualify as “rents from real property,” which is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests, only if the following conditions are met:

 

   

First, the rent must not be based, in whole or in part, on the income or profits of any person, but may be based on a fixed percentage or percentages of receipts or sales.

 

   

Second, neither we nor a direct or indirect owner of 10% or more of our stock may own, actually or constructively, 10% or more of a tenant from whom we receive rent, other than a TRS.

 

   

Third, if the rent attributable to personal property leased in connection with a lease of real property is 15% or less of the total rent received under the lease, then the rent attributable to personal property will qualify as rents from real property. However, if the 15% threshold is exceeded, the rent attributable to personal property will not qualify as rents from real property.

 

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Fourth, we generally must not operate or manage our real property or furnish or render services to our tenants, other than through an “independent contractor” who is adequately compensated and from whom we do not derive revenue. Furthermore, we may own up to 100% of the stock of a TRS which may provide customary and noncustomary services to our tenants without tainting our rental income for the related properties. However, we need not provide services through an “independent contractor” or a TRS, but instead may provide services directly to our tenants, if the services are “usually or customarily rendered” in connection with the rental of space for occupancy only and are not considered to be provided for the tenants’ convenience. In addition, we may provide a minimal amount of “noncustomary” services to the tenants of a property, other than through an independent contractor or a TRS, as long as our income from the services (valued at not less than 150% of our direct cost of performing such services) does not exceed 1% of our income from the related property.

As described above, in order for the rent that we receive to constitute “rents from real property,” several other requirements must be satisfied. First, rent must not be based in whole or in part on the income or profits of any person. Percentage rent, however, will qualify as “rents from real property” if it is based on percentages of receipts or sales and the percentages:

 

   

are fixed at the time the leases are entered into;

 

   

are not renegotiated during the term of the leases in a manner that has the effect of basing rent on income or profits; and

 

   

conform with normal business practice.

More generally, rent will not qualify as “rents from real property” if, considering the leases and all the surrounding circumstances, the arrangement does not conform with normal business practice, but is in reality used as a means of basing the rent on income or profits.

Second, if we own, actually or constructively, 10% or more (measured by voting power or fair market value) of the stock of a corporate lessee, or 10% or more of the assets or net profits of any non-corporate lessee (each a “related party tenant”), other than a TRS, any income we receive from the lessee will be non-qualifying income for purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests. The constructive ownership rules generally provide that, if 10% or more in value of our stock is owned, directly or indirectly, by or for any person, we are considered as owning the shares owned, directly or indirectly, by or for such person. We believe that all of our properties are and will be leased to third parties that do not constitute related party tenants. In addition, our charter prohibits transfers of our stock that would cause us to own actually or constructively, 10% or more of the ownership interests in any non-TRS lessee. Based on the foregoing, we should never own, actually or constructively, 10% or more of any lessee other than a TRS. However, because the constructive ownership rules are broad and it is not possible to monitor continually direct and indirect transfers of our stock, no absolute assurance can be given that such transfers or other events of which we have no knowledge will not cause us to own constructively 10% or more of a lessee (or a subtenant, in which case only rent attributable to the subtenant is disqualified) other than a TRS at some future date.

As described above, we may own up to 100% of the shares of one or more TRSs. Under an exception to the related-party tenant rule described in the preceding paragraph, rent that we receive from a TRS will qualify as “rents from real property” as long as (i) at least 90% of the leased space in the property is leased to persons other than TRSs and related-party tenants, and (ii) the amount paid by the TRS to rent space at the property is substantially comparable to rents paid by other tenants of the property for comparable space. The “substantially comparable” requirement must be satisfied when the lease is entered into, when it is extended, and when the lease is modified, if the modification increases the rent paid by the TRS. If the requirement that at least 90% of the leased space in the related property is rented to unrelated tenants is met when a lease is entered into, extended, or modified, such requirement will continue to be met as long as there is no increase in the space leased to any TRS or related party tenant. Any increased rent attributable to a modification of a lease with a TRS

 

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in which we own directly or indirectly more than 50% of the voting power or value of the stock (a “controlled TRS”) will not be treated as “rents from real property.” If in the future we receive rent from a TRS, we will seek to comply with this exception.

Third, the rent attributable to the personal property leased in connection with the lease of a property must not be greater than 15% of the total rent received under the lease. The rent attributable to the personal property contained in a property is the amount that bears the same ratio to total rent for the taxable year as the average of the fair market values of the personal property at the beginning and at the end of the taxable year bears to the average of the aggregate fair market values of both the real and personal property contained in the property at the beginning and at the end of such taxable year (the “personal property ratio”). With respect to each of our leases, we believe either that the personal property ratio is less than 15% or that any rent attributable to excess personal property, when taken together with all of our other non-qualifying income, will not jeopardize our ability to qualify as a REIT. There can be no assurance, however, that the IRS would not challenge our calculation of a personal property ratio, or that a court would not uphold such assertion. If such a challenge were successfully asserted, we could fail to satisfy the 75% or 95% gross income test and thus potentially lose our REIT status.

Fourth, except as described below, we cannot furnish or render noncustomary services to the tenants of our properties, or manage or operate our properties, other than through an independent contractor who is adequately compensated and from whom we do not derive or receive any income. However, we need not provide services through an “independent contractor,” but instead may provide services directly to our tenants, if the services are “usually or customarily rendered” in connection with the rental of space for occupancy only and are not considered to be provided for the tenants’ convenience. In addition, we may provide a minimal amount of “noncustomary” services to the tenants of a property, other than through an independent contractor, as long as our income from the services (valued at not less than 150% of our direct cost for performing such services) does not exceed 1% of our income from the related property. Finally, we may own up to 100% of the shares of one or more TRSs, which may provide noncustomary services to our tenants without tainting our rents from the related properties. One of our TRSs provides noncustomary services at one of our properties. We believe that we do not perform any services other than customary ones for our lessees, other than services that are provided through independent contractors or TRSs.

If a portion of the rent that we receive from a property does not qualify as “rents from real property” because the rent attributable to personal property exceeds 15% of the total rent for a taxable year, the portion of the rent that is attributable to personal property will not be qualifying income for purposes of either the 75% or 95% gross income test. Thus, if such rent attributable to personal property, plus any other income that is non-qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test, during a taxable year exceeds 5% of our gross income during the year, we would lose our REIT qualification. If, however, the rent from a particular property does not qualify as “rents from real property” because either (i) the rent is considered based on the income or profits of the related lessee, (ii) the lessee either is a related party tenant or fails to qualify for the exceptions to the related party tenant rule for qualifying TRSs or (iii) we furnish noncustomary services to the tenants of the property, or manage or operate the property, other than through a qualifying independent contractor or a TRS, none of the rent from that property would qualify as “rents from real property.” In that case, we might lose our REIT qualification because we would be unable to satisfy either the 75% or 95% gross income test. In addition to the rent, the lessees are required to pay certain additional charges. To the extent that such additional charges represent either (i) reimbursements of amounts that we are obligated to pay to third parties, such as a lessee’s proportionate share of a property’s operational or capital expenses, or (ii) penalties for nonpayment or late payment of such amounts, such charges generally will qualify as “rents from real property.” To the extent such additional charges represent penalties for nonpayment or late payment of such amounts, such charges should qualify as “rents from real property.” However, to the extent that late charges do not qualify as “rents from real property,” they instead will be treated as interest that qualifies for the 95% gross income test. We believe that our leases are structured in a manner that will enable us to continue satisfy the REIT gross income tests.

 

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Interest. The term “interest” generally does not include any amount received or accrued, directly or indirectly, if the determination of such amount depends in whole or in part on the income or profits of any person. However, interest generally includes the following:

 

   

an amount that is based on a fixed percentage or percentages of receipts or sales; and

 

   

an amount that is based on the income or profits of a debtor, as long as the debtor derives substantially all of its income from the real property securing the debt from leasing substantially all of its interest in the property, and only to the extent that the amounts received by the debtor would be qualifying “rents from real property” if received directly by a REIT.

Interest on debt secured by a mortgage on real property or on interests in real property, including, for this purpose, discount points, prepayment penalties, loan assumption fees, and late payment charges that are not compensation for services, generally is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test. However, if a loan is secured by real property and other property and the highest principal amount of a loan outstanding during a taxable year exceeds the fair market value of the real property securing the loan as of the date the REIT agreed to originate or acquire the loan or on the date the REIT modifies the loan (if the modification is treated as “significant” for federal income tax purposes), a portion of the interest income from such loan will not be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, but will be qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test. The portion of the interest income that will not be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test will be equal to the portion of the principal amount of the loan that is not secured by real property — that is, the amount by which the loan exceeds the value of the real estate that is security for the loan. For purposes of this paragraph, however, we do not need to redetermine the fair market value of the real property securing a loan in connection with a loan modification that is occasioned by a borrower default or made at a time when we reasonably believe that the modification to the loan will substantially reduce a significant risk of default on the original loan. In addition, for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2015, in the case of a loan that is secured by both real property and personal property, if the fair market value of such personal property does not exceed 15% of the total fair market value of all such property securing the loan, then the personal property securing the loan will be treated as real property for purposes of determining whether the interest on such loan is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test.

If a loan contains a provision that entitles a REIT to a percentage of the borrower’s gain upon the sale of the real property securing the loan or a percentage of the appreciation in the property’s value as of a specific date, income attributable to that loan provision will be treated as gain from the sale of the property securing the loan, which generally is qualifying income for purposes of both gross income tests assuming the loan is held for investment.

Dividends. Our share of any dividends received from any corporation (including any TRS, but excluding any REIT) in which we own an equity interest will qualify for purposes of the 95% gross income test but not for purposes of the 75% gross income test. Our share of any dividends received from any other REIT in which we own an equity interest, if any, will be qualifying income for purposes of both gross income tests.

Fee Income. We may receive various fees. Fee income will generally not be treated as qualifying income for purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests. Any fees earned by a TRS are not included for purposes of the gross income tests. We do not expect such amounts, if any, to be significant, and, in any event, to negatively impact our compliance with REIT gross income tests.

Prohibited Transactions. A REIT will incur a 100% tax on the net income (including foreign currency gain) derived from any sale or other disposition of property, other than foreclosure property, that the REIT holds primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business. We believe that none of our assets are held primarily for sale to customers and that a sale of any of our assets will not be in the ordinary course of our business. Whether a REIT holds an asset “primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business” depends, however, on the facts and circumstances in effect from time to time, including those related to

 

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a particular asset. A safe harbor to the characterization of the sale of property by a REIT as a prohibited transaction and the 100% prohibited transaction tax is available if the following requirements are met:

 

   

the REIT has held the property for not less than two years;

 

   

the aggregate expenditures made by the REIT, or any partner of the REIT, during the two-year period preceding the date of the sale that are includable in the basis of the property do not exceed 30% of the selling price of the property;

 

   

either (i) during the year in question, the REIT did not make more than seven sales of property other than foreclosure property or sales to which Section 1031 or 1033 of the Code applies, (ii) the aggregate adjusted bases of all such properties sold by the REIT during the year did not exceed 10% of the aggregate bases of all of the assets of the REIT at the beginning of the year, (iii) the aggregate fair market value of all such properties sold by the REIT during the year did not exceed 10% of the aggregate fair market value of all of the assets of the REIT at the beginning of the year, (iv) with respect to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2015, (a) the aggregate adjusted bases of all such properties sold by the REIT during the year did not exceed 20% of the aggregate adjusted bases of all property of the REIT at the beginning of the year and (b) the 3-year average percentage of properties sold by the REIT compared to all the REIT’s properties (measured by adjusted bases) taking into account the current and two prior years did not exceed 10%, or (v) with respect to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2015, (a) the aggregate fair market value of all such properties sold by the REIT during the year did not exceed 20% of the aggregate fair market value of all property of the REIT at the beginning of the year and (b) the 3-year average percentage of properties sold by the REIT compared to all the REIT’s properties (measured by fair market value) taking into account the current and two prior years did not exceed 10%;

 

   

in the case of property not acquired through foreclosure or lease termination, the REIT has held the property for at least two years for the production of rental income; and

 

   

if the REIT has made more than seven sales of non-foreclosure property during the taxable year, substantially all of the marketing and development expenditures with respect to the property were made through an independent contractor from whom the REIT derives no income or, with respect to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2015, a TRS.

We will attempt to comply with the terms of the safe-harbor provisions in the federal income tax laws prescribing when an asset sale will not be characterized as a prohibited transaction. We cannot assure you, however, that we can comply with the safe-harbor provisions or that we will avoid owning property that may be characterized as property that we hold “primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business.” The 100% tax will not apply to gains from the sale of property that is held through a TRS or other taxable corporation, although such income will be taxed to the corporation at regular corporate income tax rates.

Foreclosure Property. We will be subject to tax at the maximum corporate rate on any income from foreclosure property, which includes certain foreign currency gains and related deductions, other than income that otherwise would be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, less expenses directly connected with the production of that income. However, gross income from foreclosure property will qualify under the 75% and 95% gross income tests. Foreclosure property is any real property, including interests in real property, and any personal property incident to such real property:

 

   

that is acquired by a REIT as the result of the REIT having bid on such property at foreclosure, or having otherwise reduced such property to ownership or possession by agreement or process of law, after there was a default or default was imminent on a lease of such property or on indebtedness that such property secured;

 

   

for which the related loan was acquired by the REIT at a time when the default was not imminent or anticipated; and

 

   

for which the REIT makes a proper election to treat the property as foreclosure property.

 

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A REIT will not be considered to have foreclosed on a property where the REIT takes control of the property as a mortgagee-in-possession and cannot receive any profit or sustain any loss except as a creditor of the mortgagor. Property generally ceases to be foreclosure property at the end of the third taxable year (or, with respect to qualified health care property, the second taxable year) following the taxable year in which the REIT acquired the property, or longer if an extension is granted by the Secretary of the Treasury. However, this grace period terminates and foreclosure property ceases to be foreclosure property on the first day:

 

   

on which a lease is entered into for the property that, by its terms, will give rise to income that does not qualify for purposes of the 75% gross income test, or any amount is received or accrued, directly or indirectly, pursuant to a lease entered into on or after such day that will give rise to income that does not qualify for purposes of the 75% gross income test;

 

   

on which any construction takes place on the property, other than completion of a building or any other improvement, where more than 10% of the construction was completed before default became imminent; or

 

   

which is more than 90 days after the day on which the REIT acquired the property and the property is used in a trade or business which is conducted by the REIT, other than through an independent contractor from whom the REIT itself does not derive or receive any income, or, with respect to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2015, a TRS.

Hedging Transactions. From time to time, we may enter into hedging transactions with respect to one or more of our assets or liabilities. Our hedging activities may include entering into interest rate swaps, caps, and floors, options to purchase such items, and futures and forward contracts. Income and gain from “hedging transactions” will be excluded from gross income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests provided we satisfy the identification requirements discussed below. A “hedging transaction” means (i) any transaction entered into in the normal course of our or our operating partnership’s trade or business primarily to manage the risk of interest rate, price changes, or currency fluctuations with respect to borrowings made or to be made, or ordinary obligations incurred or to be incurred, to acquire or carry real estate assets, (ii) any transaction entered into primarily to manage the risk of currency fluctuations with respect to any item of income or gain that would be qualifying income under the 75% or 95% gross income test (or any property which generates such income or gain), or (iii) any transaction entered into after December 31, 2015 to “offset” a transaction described in (i) or (ii) if a portion of the hedged indebtedness is extinguished or the related property is disposed of. We are required to clearly identify any such hedging transaction before the close of the day on which it was acquired, originated, or entered into and to satisfy other identification requirements. We intend to structure any hedging transactions in a manner that does not jeopardize our qualification as a REIT.

Foreign Currency Gain. Certain foreign currency gains will be excluded from gross income for purposes of one or both of the gross income tests. “Real estate foreign exchange gain” will be excluded from gross income for purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests. Real estate foreign exchange gain generally includes foreign currency gain attributable to any item of income or gain that is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, foreign currency gain attributable to the acquisition or ownership of (or becoming or being the obligor under) obligations secured by mortgages on real property or an interest in real property and certain foreign currency gain attributable to certain “qualified business units” of a REIT that would satisfy the 75% gross income test and 75% asset test (discussed below) on a stand-alone basis. “Passive foreign exchange gain” will be excluded from gross income for purposes of the 95% gross income test. Passive foreign exchange gain generally includes real estate foreign exchange gain as described above, and also includes foreign currency gain attributable to any item of income or gain that is qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test and foreign currency gain attributable to the acquisition or ownership of (or becoming or being the obligor under) obligations. These exclusions for real estate foreign exchange gain and passive foreign exchange gain do not apply to foreign currency gain derived from dealing, or engaging in substantial and regular trading, in securities. Such gain is treated as non-qualifying income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests.

 

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Failure to Satisfy Gross Income Tests. We may have gross income that fails to constitute qualifying income for purposes of one or both of the gross income tests. Taking into account our anticipated sources of non-qualifying income, however, we expect that our aggregate gross income will allow us to continue to satisfy the 75% and 95% gross income tests applicable to REITs. If we fail to satisfy one or both of the gross income tests for any taxable year, we nevertheless may qualify as a REIT for that year if we qualify for relief under certain provisions of the federal income tax laws. Those relief provisions are available if:

 

   

our failure to meet those tests is due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect; and

 

   

following such failure for any taxable year, we file a schedule of the sources of our income in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.

We cannot predict, however, whether in all circumstances we would qualify for the relief provisions. In addition, as discussed above in “—Taxation of Our Company,” even if the relief provisions apply, we would incur a 100% tax on the gross income attributable to the greater of the amount by which we fail the 75% gross income test or the 95% gross income test multiplied, in either case, by a fraction intended to reflect our profitability.

Asset Tests

To qualify as a REIT, we also must satisfy the following asset tests at the end of each quarter of each taxable year.

First, at least 75% of the value of our total assets must consist of:

 

   

cash or cash items, including certain receivables and, in certain circumstances, foreign currencies;

 

   

government securities;

 

   

interests in real property, including leaseholds and options to acquire real property and leaseholds, and, for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2015, personal property to the extent such personal property is leased in connection with real property and rents attributable to such personal property are treated as “rents from real property”;

 

   

interests in mortgage loans secured by real property;

 

   

stock in other REITs and debt instruments issued by “publicly offered REITs”; and

 

   

investments in stock or debt instruments during the one-year period following our receipt of new capital that we raise through equity offerings or public offerings of debt with at least a five-year term.

Second, of our investments not included in the 75% asset class, the value of our interest in any one issuer’s securities (other than a TRS) may not exceed 5% of the value of our total assets, or the 5% asset test.

Third, of our investments not included in the 75% asset class, we may not own more than 10% of the voting power of any one issuer’s outstanding securities or 10% of the value of any one issuer’s outstanding securities, or the 10% vote test or 10% value test, respectively.

Fourth, no more than 25% (20% for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017) of the value of our total assets may consist of the securities of one or more TRSs.

Fifth, no more than 25% of the value of our total assets may consist of the securities of TRSs and other non-TRS taxable subsidiaries and other assets that are not qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% asset test, or the 25% securities test.

Sixth, no more than 25% of the value of our total assets may consist of debt instruments issued by “publicly offered REITs” to the extent such debt instruments are not secured by real property or interests in real property.

 

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For purposes of the 5% asset test, the 10% vote test and the 10% value test, the term “securities” does not include shares in another REIT, debt of “publicly offered REITs,” equity or debt securities of a qualified REIT subsidiary or TRS, mortgage loans that constitute real estate assets, or equity interests in a partnership. The term “securities,” however, generally includes debt securities issued by a partnership or another REIT (other than a “publicly offered REIT”), except that for purposes of the 10% value test, the term “securities” does not include:

 

   

“Straight debt” securities, which is defined as a written unconditional promise to pay on demand or on a specified date a sum certain in money if (i) the debt is not convertible, directly or indirectly, into equity, and (ii) the interest rate and interest payment dates are not contingent on profits, the borrower’s discretion, or similar factors. “Straight debt” securities do not include any securities issued by a partnership or a corporation in which we or any controlled TRS (i.e., a TRS in which we own directly or indirectly more than 50% of the voting power or value of the stock) hold non-”straight debt” securities that have an aggregate value of more than 1% of the issuer’s outstanding securities. However, “straight debt” securities include debt subject to the following contingencies:

 

   

a contingency relating to the time of payment of interest or principal, as long as either (i) there is no change to the effective yield of the debt obligation, other than a change to the annual yield that does not exceed the greater of 0.25% or 5% of the annual yield, or (ii) neither the aggregate issue price nor the aggregate face amount of the issuer’s debt obligations held by us exceeds $1 million and no more than 12 months of unaccrued interest on the debt obligations can be required to be prepaid; and

 

   

a contingency relating to the time or amount of payment upon a default or prepayment of a debt obligation, as long as the contingency is consistent with customary commercial practice.

 

   

Any loan to an individual or an estate;

 

   

Any “section 467 rental agreement,” other than an agreement with a related party tenant;

 

   

Any obligation to pay “rents from real property”;

 

   

Certain securities issued by governmental entities;

 

   

Any security issued by a REIT;

 

   

Any debt instrument issued by an entity treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes in which we are a partner to the extent of our proportionate interest in the equity and debt securities of the partnership; and

 

   

Any debt instrument issued by an entity treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes not described in the preceding bullet points if at least 75% of the partnership’s gross income, excluding income from prohibited transactions, is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test described above in “—Gross Income Tests.”

For purposes of the 10% value test, our proportionate share of the assets of a partnership is our proportionate interest in any securities issued by the partnership, without regard to the securities described in the last two bullet points above.

In general, under the applicable Treasury Regulations, if a loan is secured by real property and other property and the highest principal amount of the loan outstanding during a taxable year exceeds the fair market value of the real property securing the loan as of: (1) the date we agreed to acquire or originate the loan; or (2) in the event of a significant modification, the date we modified the loan, then a portion of the interest income from such a loan will not be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, but will be qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test. Although the law is not entirely clear, a portion of the loan will also likely be a non-qualifying asset for purposes of the 75% asset test. The non-qualifying portion of such a loan would be subject to, among other requirements, the 10% vote or value test. IRS Revenue Procedure 2014-51 provides a safe harbor under which the IRS has stated that it will not challenge a REIT’s treatment of a loan as

 

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being, in part, a qualifying real estate asset in an amount equal to the lesser of (1) the fair market value of the loan on the relevant quarterly REIT asset testing date or (2) the greater of (a) the fair market value of the real property securing the loan on the relevant quarterly REIT testing date or (b) the fair market value of the real property securing the loan on the date the REIT committed to originate or acquire the loan. It is unclear how the safe harbor in Revenue Procedure 2014-51 is affected by the subsequent legislative changes regarding the treatment of loans secured by both real property and personal property where the fair market value of the personal property does not exceed 15% of the sum of the fair market values of the real property and personal property securing the loan. We intend to invest in mortgage loans, if any, in a manner that will enable us to continue to satisfy the asset and gross income test requirements.

We will monitor the status of our assets for purposes of the various asset tests and will manage our portfolio in order to comply at all times with such tests. However, there is no assurance that we will not inadvertently fail to comply with such tests. If we fail to satisfy the asset tests at the end of a calendar quarter, we will not lose our REIT qualification if:

 

   

we satisfied the asset tests at the end of the preceding calendar quarter; and

 

   

the discrepancy between the value of our assets and the asset test requirements arose from changes in the market values of our assets and was not wholly or partly caused by the acquisition of one or more non-qualifying assets.

If we did not satisfy the condition described in the second item, above, we still could avoid disqualification by eliminating any discrepancy within 30 days after the close of the calendar quarter in which it arose.

If we violate the 5% asset test, the 10% vote test or the 10% value test described above, we will not lose our REIT qualification if (i) the failure is de minimis (up to the lesser of 1% of our assets or $10 million) and (ii) we dispose of assets causing the failure or otherwise comply with the asset tests within six months after the last day of the quarter in which we identify such failure. If we fail any of the asset tests (other than de minimis failures described in the preceding sentence), as long as the failure was due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect, we will not lose our REIT qualification if we (i) dispose of assets causing the failure or otherwise comply with the asset tests within six months after the last day of the quarter in which we identify the failure, (ii) we file a description of each asset causing the failure with the IRS and (iii) pay a tax equal to the greater of $50,000 or 35% of the net income from the assets causing the failure during the period in which we failed to satisfy the asset tests.

We believe that the assets that we hold, and that we will acquire in the future, will allow us to satisfy the foregoing asset test requirements. However, we do not typically obtain independent appraisals to support our conclusions as to the value of our assets. Moreover, the values of some assets may not be susceptible to a precise determination. As a result, there can be no assurance that the IRS will not contend that our ownership of certain assets violates one or more of the asset tests applicable to REITs.

Distribution Requirements

Each taxable year, we must distribute dividends, other than capital gain dividends and deemed distributions of retained capital gain, to our stockholders in an aggregate amount at least equal to:

 

   

the sum of

 

   

90% of our “REIT taxable income,” computed without regard to the dividends paid deduction and our net capital gain or loss, and

 

   

90% of our after-tax net income, if any, from foreclosure property, minus

 

   

the sum of certain items of non-cash income.

 

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We must pay such distributions in the taxable year to which they relate, or in the following taxable year if either (i) we declare the distribution before we timely file our federal income tax return for the year and pay the distribution on or before the first regular dividend payment date after such declaration or (ii) we declare the distribution in October, November or December of the taxable year, payable to stockholders of record on a specified day in any such month, and we actually pay the dividend before the end of January of the following year. The distributions under clause (i) are taxable to the stockholders in the year in which paid, and the distributions in clause (ii) are treated as paid on December 31st of the prior taxable year. In both instances, these distributions relate to our prior taxable year for purposes of the 90% distribution requirement.

Further, with respect to our 2014 taxable year, in order for our distributions to be counted as satisfying the annual distribution requirement for REITs and to provide us with the REIT-level tax deduction, such distributions must not have been “preferential dividends.” A dividend is not a preferential dividend if that distribution is (i) pro rata among all outstanding shares within a particular class of stock and (ii) in accordance with the preferences among different classes of stock as set forth in our charter. However, for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2014, the preferential dividend rule does not apply to “publicly offered REITs.” Thus, so long as we continue to qualify as a “publicly offered REIT,” the preferential dividend rule will not apply to our 2015 and subsequent taxable years.

We will pay federal income tax on taxable income, including net capital gain, that we do not distribute to stockholders. Furthermore, if we fail to distribute during a calendar year, or by the end of January following the calendar year in the case of distributions with declaration and record dates falling in the last three months of the calendar year, at least the sum of:

 

   

85% of our REIT ordinary income for such year,

 

   

95% of our REIT capital gain income for such year, and

 

   

any undistributed taxable income from prior periods,

we will incur a 4% nondeductible excise tax on the excess of such required distribution over the amounts we actually distribute.

We may elect to retain and pay income tax on the net long-term capital gain we receive in a taxable year. If we so elect, we will be treated as having distributed any such retained amount for purposes of the 4% nondeductible excise tax described above. We intend to make timely distributions sufficient to satisfy the annual distribution requirements and to avoid corporate income tax and the 4% nondeductible excise tax.

It is possible that, from time to time, we may experience timing differences between the actual receipt of income and actual payment of deductible expenses and the inclusion of that income and deduction of such expenses in arriving at our REIT taxable income. For example, we may not deduct recognized capital losses from our “REIT taxable income.” Further, it is possible that, from time to time, we may be allocated a share of net capital gain attributable to the sale of depreciated property that exceeds our allocable share of cash attributable to that sale. As a result of the foregoing, we may have less cash than is necessary to distribute taxable income sufficient to avoid corporate income tax and the excise tax imposed on certain undistributed income or even to meet the 90% distribution requirement. In such a situation, we may need to borrow funds or, if possible, pay taxable dividends of our capital stock or debt securities.

We may satisfy the 90% distribution test with taxable distributions of our stock or debt securities. The IRS has issued private letter rulings to other REITs treating certain distributions that are paid partly in cash and partly in stock as dividends that would satisfy the REIT annual distribution requirement and qualify for the dividends paid deduction for federal income tax purposes. Those rulings may be relied upon only by taxpayers to whom they were issued, but we could request a similar ruling from the IRS. In addition, the IRS previously issued a revenue procedure authorizing publicly traded REITs to make elective cash/stock dividends, but that revenue

 

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procedure has expired. Accordingly, it is unclear whether and to what extent we will be able to make taxable dividends payable in cash and stock. We have no current intention to make a taxable dividend payable in our stock.

Under certain circumstances, we may be able to correct a failure to meet the distribution requirement for a year by paying “deficiency dividends” to our stockholders in a later year. We may include such deficiency dividends in our deduction for dividends paid for the earlier year. Although we may be able to avoid income tax on amounts distributed as deficiency dividends, we will be required to pay interest to the IRS based upon the amount of any deduction we take for deficiency dividends.

Recordkeeping Requirements

To avoid a monetary penalty, we must request on an annual basis information from our stockholders designed to disclose the actual ownership of our outstanding stock. We have complied and intend to continue to comply with these requirements.

Failure to Qualify

If we fail to satisfy one or more requirements for REIT qualification, other than the gross income tests and the asset tests, we could avoid disqualification if our failure is due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect and we pay a penalty of $50,000 for each such failure. In addition, there are relief provisions for a failure of the gross income tests and asset tests, as described in “—Gross Income Tests” and “—Asset Tests.”

If we fail to qualify as a REIT in any taxable year, and no relief provision applies, we would be subject to federal income tax and any applicable alternative minimum tax on our taxable income at regular corporate rates. In calculating our taxable income in a year in which we fail to qualify as a REIT, we would not be able to deduct amounts paid out to stockholders. In fact, we would not be required to distribute any amounts to stockholders in that year. In such event, to the extent of our current and accumulated earnings and profits, distributions to stockholders generally would be taxable as ordinary income. Subject to certain limitations of the federal income tax laws, corporate stockholders may be eligible for the dividends received deduction and stockholders taxed at individual rates may be eligible for the reduced federal income tax rate of up to 20% on such dividends. Unless we qualified for relief under specific statutory provisions, we also would be disqualified from taxation as a REIT for the four taxable years following the year during which we ceased to qualify as a REIT. We cannot predict whether in all circumstances we would qualify for such statutory relief.

Taxation of Taxable U.S. Stockholders

As used herein, the term “U.S. stockholder” means a beneficial owner of our capital stock that for federal income tax purposes is:

 

   

a citizen or resident of the United States;

 

   

a corporation (including an entity treated as a corporation for federal income tax purposes) created or organized in or under the laws of the United States, any of its states or the District of Columbia;

 

   

an estate whose income is subject to federal income taxation regardless of its source; or

 

   

any trust if (i) a U.S. court is able to exercise primary supervision over the administration of such trust and one or more U.S. persons have the authority to control all substantial decisions of the trust or (ii) it has a valid election in place to be treated as a U.S. person.

If a partnership, entity or arrangement treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes holds our capital stock, the federal income tax treatment of a partner in the partnership will generally depend on the status of the partner and the activities of the partnership. If you are a partner in a partnership holding our capital stock, you should consult your tax advisor regarding the consequences of the ownership and disposition of our capital stock by the partnership.

 

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As long as we qualify as a REIT, a taxable U.S. stockholder must generally take into account as ordinary income distributions made out of our current or accumulated earnings and profits that we do not designate as capital gain dividends or retained long-term capital gain. For purposes of determining whether a distribution is made out of our current or accumulated earnings and profits, our earnings and profits will be allocated first to our preferred stock dividends and then to our common stock dividends. Our dividends will not qualify for the dividends received deduction generally available to corporations. In addition, dividends paid to a U.S. stockholder generally will not qualify for the 20% tax rate for “qualified dividend income.” The maximum tax rate for qualified dividend income received by U.S. stockholders taxed at individual rates is currently 20%. The maximum tax rate on qualified dividend income is lower than the maximum tax rate on ordinary income, which is currently 39.6%. Qualified dividend income generally includes dividends paid by domestic C corporations and certain qualified foreign corporations to U.S. stockholders that are taxed at individual rates. Because we are not generally subject to federal income tax on the portion of our REIT taxable income distributed to our stockholders (See —”Taxation of Our Company” above), our dividends generally will not be eligible for the 20% rate on qualified dividend income. As a result, our ordinary REIT dividends generally will be taxed at the higher tax rate applicable to ordinary income. However, the 20% tax rate for qualified dividend income will apply to our ordinary REIT dividends (i) attributable to dividends received by us from non-REIT corporations during the taxable year, such as a TRS, and (ii) to the extent attributable to income upon which we have paid corporate income tax (e.g., to the extent that we distribute less than 100% of our taxable income). In general, to qualify for the reduced tax rate on qualified dividend income, a stockholder must hold our capital stock for more than 60 days during the 121 day period beginning on the date that is 60 days before the date on which our capital stock becomes ex-dividend. Individuals, estates or trusts whose income exceeds certain thresholds will be subject to an additional 3.8% Medicare tax on dividends received from us.

A U.S. stockholder generally will take into account as long-term capital gain any distributions that we designate as capital gain dividends without regard to the period for which the U.S. stockholder has held our stock. We generally will designate our capital gain dividends as either 20% or 25% rate distributions. See “—Capital Gains and Losses.” A corporate U.S. stockholder, however, may be required to treat up to 20% of certain capital gain dividends as ordinary income.

We may elect to retain and pay income tax on the net long-term capital gain that we receive in a taxable year. In that case, to the extent that we designate such amount in a timely notice to such stockholder, a U.S. stockholder would be taxed on its proportionate share of our undistributed long-term capital gain. The U.S. stockholder would receive a credit for its proportionate share of the tax we paid. The U.S. stockholder would increase the basis in its stock by the amount of its proportionate share of our undistributed long-term capital gain, minus its share of the tax we paid.

A U.S. stockholder will not incur tax on a distribution in excess of our current and accumulated earnings and profits if the distribution does not exceed the adjusted basis of the U.S. stockholder in the shares of capital stock on which the distribution was paid. Instead, the distribution will reduce the adjusted basis of such stock. A U.S. stockholder will recognize a distribution in excess of both our current and accumulated earnings and profits and the U.S. stockholder’s adjusted basis in his or her stock as long-term capital gain, or short-term capital gain if the shares of stock have been held for one year or less, assuming the shares of stock are a capital asset in the hands of the U.S. stockholder. In addition, if we declare a distribution in October, November, or December of any year that is payable to a U.S. stockholder of record on a specified date in any such month, such distribution shall be treated as both paid by us and received by the U.S. stockholder on December 31 of such year, provided that we actually pay the distribution during January of the following calendar year.

U.S. stockholders may not include in their individual income tax returns any of our net operating losses or capital losses. Instead, these losses are generally carried over by us for potential offset against our future income. Taxable distributions from us and gain from the disposition of our capital stock will not be treated as passive activity income and, therefore, U.S. stockholders generally will not be able to apply any “passive activity losses,” such as losses from certain types of limited partnerships in which the U.S. stockholder is a limited partner,

 

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against such income. In addition, taxable distributions from us and gain from the disposition of our capital stock generally will be treated as investment income for purposes of the investment interest limitations. We will notify U.S. stockholders after the close of our taxable year as to the portions of the distributions attributable to that year that constitute ordinary income, return of capital and capital gain.

Taxation of U.S. Stockholders on the Disposition of Capital Stock

A U.S. stockholder who is not a dealer in securities must generally treat any gain or loss realized upon a taxable disposition of our stock as long-term capital gain or loss if the U.S. stockholder has held our stock for more than one year and otherwise as short-term capital gain or loss. In general, a U.S. stockholder will realize gain or loss in an amount equal to the difference between the sum of the fair market value of any property and the amount of cash received in such disposition and the U.S. stockholder’s adjusted tax basis. A stockholder’s adjusted tax basis generally will equal the U.S. stockholder’s acquisition cost, increased by the excess of net capital gains deemed distributed to the U.S. stockholder (discussed above) less tax deemed paid on such gains and reduced by any returns of capital. However, a U.S. stockholder must treat any loss upon a sale or exchange of stock held by such stockholder for six months or less as a long-term capital loss to the extent of capital gain dividends and any other actual or deemed distributions from us that such U.S. stockholder treats as long-term capital gain. All or a portion of any loss that a U.S. stockholder realizes upon a taxable disposition of shares of our stock may be disallowed if the U.S. stockholder purchases other stock within 30 days before or after the disposition.

Taxation of U.S. Stockholders on a Conversion of Preferred Stock

Except as provided below, (i) a U.S. stockholder generally will not recognize gain or loss upon the conversion of preferred stock into our common stock, and (ii) a U.S. stockholder’s basis and holding period in our common stock received upon conversion generally will be the same as those of the converted preferred stock (but the basis will be reduced by the portion of adjusted tax basis allocated to any fractional share exchanged for cash). Any of our shares of common stock received in a conversion that are attributable to accumulated and unpaid dividends on the converted preferred stock will be treated as a distribution that is potentially taxable as a dividend. Cash received upon conversion in lieu of a fractional share generally will be treated as a payment in a taxable exchange for such fractional share, and gain or loss will be recognized on the receipt of cash in an amount equal to the difference between the amount of cash received and the adjusted tax basis allocable to the fractional share deemed exchanged. This gain or loss will be long-term capital gain or loss if the U.S. stockholder has held the preferred stock for more than one year at the time of conversion. U.S. stockholders are urged to consult with their tax advisors regarding the federal income tax consequences of any transaction by which such holder exchanges shares of our common stock received on a conversion of preferred stock for cash or other property.

Taxation of U.S. Stockholders on a Redemption of Preferred Stock

A redemption of preferred stock will be treated under Section 302 of the Code as a distribution that is taxable as dividend income (to the extent of our current or accumulated earnings and profits), unless the redemption satisfies certain tests set forth in Section 302(b) of the Code enabling the redemption to be treated as a sale of the preferred stock (in which case the redemption will be treated in the same manner as a sale described above in “—Taxation of U.S. Stockholders on the Disposition of Capital Stock”). The redemption will satisfy such tests if it (i) is “substantially disproportionate” with respect to the U.S. stockholder’s interest in our stock, (ii) results in a “complete termination” of the U.S. stockholder’s interest in all of our classes of stock or (iii) is “not essentially equivalent to a dividend” with respect to the stockholder, all within the meaning of Section 302(b) of the Code. In determining whether any of these tests have been met, stock considered to be owned by the holder by reason of certain constructive ownership rules set forth in the Code, as well as stock actually owned, generally must be taken into account. Because the determination as to whether any of the three alternative tests of Section 302(b) of the Code described above will be satisfied with respect to any particular

 

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U.S. stockholder of preferred stock depends upon the facts and circumstances at the time that the determination must be made, prospective investors are urged to consult their tax advisors to determine such tax treatment. If a redemption of preferred stock does not meet any of the three tests described above, the redemption proceeds will be taxable as a dividend, as described above in “—Taxation of Taxable U.S. Stockholders.” In that case, a U.S. stockholder’s adjusted tax basis in the redeemed preferred stock will be transferred to such U.S. stockholder’s remaining share holdings in us. If the U.S. stockholder does not retain any of our stock, such basis could be transferred to a related person that holds our stock or it may be lost.

Under proposed Treasury regulations, if any portion of the amount received by a U.S. stockholder on a redemption of any class of our preferred stock is treated as a distribution with respect to our stock but not as a taxable dividend, then such portion will be allocated to all shares of stock of the redeemed class held by the redeemed stockholder just before the redemption on a pro-rata, share-by-share, basis. The amount applied to each share of stock will first reduce the redeemed U.S. stockholder’s basis in that share and any excess after the basis is reduced to zero will result in taxable gain. If the redeemed stockholder has different bases in its shares of stock, then the amount allocated could reduce some of the basis in certain shares of stock while reducing all the basis and giving rise to taxable gain in others. Thus, the redeemed U.S. stockholder could have gain even if such U.S. stockholder’s basis in all its shares of stock of the redeemed class exceeded such portion.

The proposed Treasury regulations permit the transfer of basis in the redeemed shares of preferred stock to the redeemed U.S. stockholder’s remaining, unredeemed shares of preferred stock of the same class (if any), but not to any other class of stock held (directly or indirectly) by the redeemed U.S. stockholder. Instead, any unrecovered basis in the redeemed shares of preferred stock would be treated as a deferred loss to be recognized when certain conditions are satisfied. The proposed Treasury regulations would be effective for transactions that occur after the date the regulations are published as final Treasury regulations. There can, however, be no assurance as to whether, when and in what particular form such proposed Treasury regulations will ultimately be finalized.

Capital Gains and Losses

A taxpayer generally must hold a capital asset for more than one year for gain or loss derived from its sale or exchange to be treated as long-term capital gain or loss. The highest marginal individual income tax rate currently is 39.6%. The maximum tax rate on long-term capital gain applicable to taxpayers taxed at individual rates is 20% for sales and exchanges of assets held for more than one year. The maximum tax rate on long-term capital gain from the sale or exchange of “Section 1250 property,” or depreciable real property, is 25%, which applies to the lesser of the total amount of the gain or the accumulated depreciation on the Section 1250 property. In addition, individuals, trusts and estates whose income exceeds certain thresholds are also subject to a 3.8% Medicare tax on gain from the sale of our stock.

With respect to distributions that we designate as capital gain dividends and any retained capital gain that we are deemed to distribute, we generally may designate whether such a distribution is taxable to U.S. stockholders taxed at individual rates currently at a 20% or 25% rate. Thus, the tax rate differential between capital gain and ordinary income for those taxpayers may be significant. In addition, the characterization of income as capital gain or ordinary income may affect the deductibility of capital losses. A non-corporate taxpayer may deduct capital losses not offset by capital gains against its ordinary income only up to a maximum annual amount of $3,000. A non-corporate taxpayer may carry forward unused capital losses indefinitely. A corporate taxpayer must pay tax on its net capital gain at ordinary corporate rates. A corporate taxpayer may deduct capital losses only to the extent of capital gains, with unused losses being carried back three years and forward five years.

FATCA Withholding

Under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, a U.S. withholding tax at a 30% rate will be imposed on dividends paid to certain U.S. stockholders who own our shares through foreign accounts or foreign

 

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intermediaries if certain disclosure requirements related to U.S. accounts or ownership are not satisfied. In addition, if those disclosure requirements are not satisfied, a U.S. withholding tax at a 30% rate will be imposed, for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2018, on proceeds from the sale of our capital stock received by U.S. stockholders who own our capital stock through foreign accounts or foreign intermediaries. We will not pay any additional amounts in respect of any amounts withheld.

Taxation of Tax-Exempt Stockholders

Tax-exempt entities, including qualified employee pension and profit sharing trusts and individual retirement accounts, generally are exempt from federal income taxation. However, they are subject to taxation on their unrelated business taxable income (“UBTI”). Although many investments in real estate generate UBTI, the IRS has issued a ruling that dividend distributions from a REIT to an exempt employee pension trust do not constitute UBTI. Based on that ruling, amounts that we distribute to tax-exempt stockholders generally should not constitute UBTI. However, if a tax-exempt stockholder were to finance (or be deemed to finance) its acquisition of capital stock with debt, a portion of the income that it receives from us would constitute UBTI pursuant to the “debt-financed property” rules. Moreover, social clubs, voluntary employee benefit associations, supplemental unemployment benefit trusts and qualified group legal services plans that are exempt from taxation under special provisions of the federal income tax laws are subject to different UBTI rules, which generally will require them to characterize distributions that they receive from us as UBTI. Finally, in certain circumstances, a qualified employee pension or profit sharing trust that owns more than 10% of our capital stock must treat a percentage of the dividends that it receives from us as UBTI. Such percentage is equal to the gross income we derive from an unrelated trade or business, determined as if we were a pension trust, divided by our total gross income for the year in which we pay the dividends. That rule applies to a pension trust holding more than 10% of our capital stock only if:

 

   

the percentage of our dividends that the tax-exempt trust must treat as UBTI is at least 5%;

 

   

we qualify as a REIT by reason of the modification of the rule requiring that no more than 50% of our capital stock be owned by five or fewer individuals that allows the beneficiaries of the pension trust to be treated as holding our capital stock in proportion to their actuarial interests in the pension trust; and

 

   

either:

 

   

one pension trust owns more than 25% of the value of our capital stock; or

 

   

a group of pension trusts individually holding more than 10% of the value of our capital stock collectively owns more than 50% of the value of our capital stock.

Taxation of Non-U.S. Stockholders

The term “non-U.S. stockholder” means a beneficial owner of our capital stock that is not a U.S. stockholder, a partnership (or entity treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes) or a tax-exempt stockholder. The rules governing federal income taxation of nonresident alien individuals, foreign corporations, foreign partnerships, and other foreign stockholders are complex. This section is only a summary of such rules. We urge non-U.S. stockholders to consult their tax advisors to determine the impact of federal, state, and local income tax laws on the purchase, ownership and sale of our capital stock, including any reporting requirements.

Distributions

A non-U.S. stockholder that receives a distribution that is not attributable to gain from our sale or exchange of a “United States real property interest” (“USRPI”), as defined below, and that we do not designate as a capital gain dividend or retained capital gain will recognize ordinary income to the extent that we pay such distribution out of our current or accumulated earnings and profits. A withholding tax equal to 30% of the gross amount of

 

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the distribution ordinarily will apply to such distribution unless an applicable tax treaty reduces or eliminates the tax. However, if a distribution is treated as effectively connected with the non-U.S. stockholder’s conduct of a U.S. trade or business, the non-U.S. stockholder generally will be subject to federal income tax on the distribution at graduated rates, in the same manner as U.S. stockholders are taxed with respect to such distribution, and a non-U.S. stockholder that is a corporation also may be subject to the 30% branch profits tax with respect to that distribution. We plan to withhold U.S. income tax at the rate of 30% on the gross amount of any such distribution paid to a non-U.S. stockholder unless either:

 

   

a lower treaty rate applies and the non-U.S. stockholder files an IRS Form W-8BEN or W-8BEN-E, as applicable, evidencing eligibility for that reduced rate with us;

 

   

the non-U.S. stockholder files an IRS Form W-8ECI with us claiming that the distribution is effectively connected income; or

 

   

the distribution is treated as attributable to a sale of a USRPI under FIRPTA (discussed below).

A non-U.S. stockholder will not incur tax on a distribution in excess of our current and accumulated earnings and profits if the excess portion of such distribution does not exceed the adjusted basis of the non-U.S. stockholder in the shares of capital stock on which the distribution was paid. Instead, the excess portion of such distribution will reduce the adjusted basis of such stock. A non-U.S. stockholder will be subject to tax on a distribution that exceeds both our current and accumulated earnings and profits and the adjusted basis of its capital stock, if the non-U.S. stockholder otherwise would be subject to tax on gain from the sale or disposition of its capital stock, as described below. We may be required to withhold 15% of any distribution that exceeds our current and accumulated earnings and profits. Consequently, although we intend to withhold at a rate of 30% on the entire amount of any distribution, to the extent that we do not do so, we may withhold at a rate of 15% on any portion of a distribution not subject to withholding at a rate of 30%. Because we generally cannot determine at the time we make a distribution whether the distribution will exceed our current and accumulated earnings and profits, we normally will withhold tax on the entire amount of any distribution at the same rate as we would withhold on a dividend. However, a non-U.S. stockholder may claim a refund of amounts that we withhold if we later determine that a distribution in fact exceeded our current and accumulated earnings and profits.

For any year in which we qualify as a REIT, a non-U.S. stockholder may incur tax on distributions that are attributable to gain from our sale or exchange of a USRPI under the Foreign Investment in Real Property Act of 1980 (“FIRPTA”). A USRPI includes certain interests in real property and stock in corporations at least 50% of whose assets consist of interests in real property. Under FIRPTA, subject to the exceptions discussed below, a non-U.S. stockholder is taxed on distributions attributable to gain from sales of USRPIs as if such gain were effectively connected with a U.S. business of the non-U.S. stockholder. A non-U.S. stockholder thus would be taxed on such a distribution at the normal capital gains rates applicable to U.S. stockholders, subject to applicable alternative minimum tax and a special alternative minimum tax in the case of a nonresident alien individual. A non-U.S. corporate stockholder not entitled to treaty relief or exemption also may be subject to the 30% branch profits tax on such a distribution.

Capital gain distributions to the holders of shares of a class of our capital stock that are attributable to our sale of real property will be treated as ordinary dividends rather than as gain from the sale of a USRPI, as long as (i) (a) such class of capital stock is treated as being “regularly traded” on an established securities market in the United States, and (b) the non-U.S. stockholder did not own more than 10% of such class of capital stock at any time during the one-year period preceding the distribution or (ii) the non-U.S. stockholder was treated as a “qualified shareholder” or “qualified foreign pension fund,” as discussed below. As a result, non-U.S. stockholders generally will be subject to withholding tax on such capital gain distributions in the same manner as they are subject to withholding tax on ordinary dividends. We believe that our common stock and Series A Preferred Stock are regularly traded on an established securities market in the United States. If a class of our capital stock is not regularly traded on an established securities market in the United States or the non-U.S. stockholder owned more than 10% of the applicable class of our capital stock at any time during the one-year

 

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period preceding the distribution, capital gain distributions that are attributable to our sale of real property would be subject to tax under FIRPTA, as described in the preceding paragraph. In such case, we must withhold 35% of any distribution that we could designate as a capital gain dividend. A non-U.S. stockholder may receive a credit against its tax liability for the amount we withhold. Moreover, if a non-U.S. stockholder disposes of shares of our capital stock during the 30-day period preceding a dividend payment, and such non-U.S. stockholder (or a person related to such non-U.S. stockholder) acquires or enters into a contract or option to acquire that capital stock within 61 days of the first day of the 30-day period described above, and any portion of such dividend payment would, but for the disposition, be treated as a USRPI capital gain to such non-U.S. stockholder, then such non-U.S. stockholder shall be treated as having USRPI capital gain in an amount that, but for the disposition, would have been treated as USRPI capital gain.

Although the law is not clear on the matter, it appears that amounts we designate as retained capital gains in respect of our capital stock held by U.S. stockholders generally should be treated with respect to non-U.S. stockholders in the same manner as actual distributions by us of capital gain dividends. Under this approach, a non-U.S. stockholder would be able to offset as a credit against its federal income tax liability resulting from its proportionate share of the tax paid by us on such retained capital gains, and to receive from the IRS a refund to the extent of the non-U.S. stockholder’s proportionate share of such tax paid by us exceeds its actual federal income tax liability, provided that the non-U.S. stockholder furnishes required information to the IRS on a timely basis.

Dispositions

Non-U.S. stockholders could incur tax under FIRPTA with respect to gain realized upon a disposition of our capital stock if we are a United States real property holding corporation during a specified testing period. If at least 50% of a REIT’s assets are USRPIs, then the REIT will be a United States real property holding corporation. We believe that we are and will continue to be a United States real property holding corporation based on our investment strategy. However, despite our status as a United States real property holding corporation, a non-U.S. stockholder generally would not incur tax under FIRPTA on gain from the sale of our capital stock if we are a “domestically controlled qualified investment entity.” A domestically controlled qualified investment entity includes a REIT in which, at all times during a specified testing period, less than 50% in value of its shares are held directly or indirectly by non-U.S. stockholders. We cannot assure you that this test will be met. If a class of our capital stock is regularly traded on an established securities market, an additional exception to the tax under FIRPTA will be available with respect to that class of our capital stock, even if we do not qualify as a domestically controlled qualified investment entity at the time the non-U.S. stockholder sells shares of that class of our capital stock. Under that exception, the gain from such a sale by such a non-U.S. stockholder will not be subject to tax under FIRPTA if:

 

   

that class of our capital stock is treated as being regularly traded under applicable Treasury Regulations on an established securities market; and

 

   

the non-U.S. stockholder owned, actually or constructively, 10% or less of that class of our capital stock at all times during a specified testing period.

As noted above, we believe our common stock and Series A Preferred Stock are regularly traded on an established securities market.

If the gain on the sale of shares of our capital stock were taxed under FIRPTA, a non-U.S. stockholder would be taxed on that gain in the same manner as U.S. stockholders, subject to applicable alternative minimum tax and a special alternative minimum tax in the case of nonresident alien individuals. Furthermore, a non-U.S. stockholder generally will incur tax on gain not subject to FIRPTA if:

 

   

the gain is effectively connected with the non-U.S. stockholder’s U.S. trade or business, in which case the non-U.S. stockholder will be subject to the same treatment as U.S. stockholders with respect to such gain; or

 

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the non-U.S. stockholder is a nonresident alien individual who was present in the United States for 183 days or more during the taxable year and has a “tax home” in the United States, in which case the non-U.S. stockholder will incur a 30% tax on his or her capital gains.

Qualified Shareholders

Subject to the exception discussed below, any distribution to a “qualified shareholder” who holds REIT stock directly or indirectly (through one or more partnerships) will not be subject to U.S. income taxation under FIRPTA and thus will not be subject to the special FIRPTA withholding rules. While a “qualified shareholder” generally will not be subject to FIRPTA withholding on REIT distributions, the portion of REIT distributions attributable to certain investors in a “qualified shareholder” (i.e., non-U.S. persons who hold interests in the “qualified shareholder” (other than interests solely as a creditor), and directly or indirectly hold more than 10% of the stock of such REIT (whether or not by reason of the investor’s ownership in the “qualified shareholder”)) may be subject to FIRPTA withholding. REIT distributions received by a “qualified shareholder” that are exempt from FIRPTA withholding may still be subject to regular U.S. withholding tax.

In addition, a sale of shares of our capital stock by a “qualified shareholder” who holds such shares directly or indirectly (through one or more partnerships) generally will not be subject to U.S. income taxation under FIRPTA. As with distributions, certain investors in a “qualified shareholder” (i.e., non-U.S. persons who hold interests in the “qualified shareholder” (other than interests solely as a creditor), and directly or indirectly hold more than 10% of the stock of such REIT (whether or not by reason of the investor’s ownership in the “qualified shareholder”)) may be subject to U.S. income taxation and FIRPTA withholding on a sale of our shares.

A “qualified shareholder” is a foreign person that (i) either is eligible for the benefits of a comprehensive income tax treaty which includes an exchange of information program and whose principal class of interests is listed and regularly traded on one or more recognized stock exchanges (as defined in such comprehensive income tax treaty), or is a foreign partnership that is created or organized under foreign law as a limited partnership in a jurisdiction that has an agreement for the exchange of information with respect to taxes with the United States and has a class of limited partnership units representing greater than 50% of the value of all the partnership units that is regularly traded on the NYSE or the Nasdaq Stock Market, (ii) is a qualified collective investment vehicle (defined below), and (iii) maintains records on the identity of each person who, at any time during the foreign person’s taxable year, is the direct owner of 5% or more of the class of interests or units (as applicable) described in (i), above.

A qualified collective investment vehicle is a foreign person that (i) would be eligible for a reduced rate of withholding under the comprehensive income tax treaty described above, even if such entity holds more than 10% of the stock of such REIT, (ii) is publicly traded, is treated as a partnership under the Code, is a withholding foreign partnership, and would be treated as a “United States real property holding corporation” if it were a domestic corporation, or (iii) is designated as such by the Secretary of the Treasury and is either (a) fiscally transparent within the meaning of Section 894 of the Code, or (b) required to include dividends in its gross income, but is entitled to a deduction for distributions to its investors.

Qualified Foreign Pension Funds

Any distribution to a “qualified foreign pension fund” (or an entity all of the interests of which are held by a “qualified foreign pension fund”) who holds REIT stock directly or indirectly (through one or more partnerships) will not be subject to U.S. income taxation under FIRPTA and thus will not be subject to the special FIRPTA withholding rules. In addition, a sale of shares of our capital stock by a “qualified foreign pension fund” that holds such shares directly or indirectly (through one or more partnerships) will not be subject to U.S. income taxation under FIRPTA.

A qualified foreign pension fund is any trust, corporation, or other organization or arrangement (i) which is created or organized under the law of a country other than the United States, (ii) which is established to provide

 

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retirement or pension benefits to participants or beneficiaries that are current or former employees (or persons designated by such employees) of one or more employers in consideration for services rendered, (iii) which does not have a single participant or beneficiary with a right to more than 5% of its assets or income, (iv) which is subject to government regulation and provides annual information reporting about its beneficiaries to the relevant tax authorities in the country in which it is established or operates, and (v) with respect to which, under the laws of the country in which it is established or operates, (a) contributions to such organization or arrangement that would otherwise be subject to tax under such laws are deductible or excluded from the gross income of such entity or taxed at a reduced rate, or (b) taxation of any investment income of such organization or arrangement is deferred or such income is taxed at a reduced rate.

Conversion of Preferred Stock

The conversion of our preferred stock into our common stock may be a taxable exchange for a non-U.S. stockholder if our preferred stock constitutes a USRPI. Even if our preferred stock constitutes a USRPI, provided our common stock also constitutes a USRPI, a non-U.S. stockholder generally will not recognize gain or loss upon a conversion of preferred stock into our common stock so long as certain FIRPTA-related reporting requirements are satisfied. If our preferred stock constitutes a USRPI and such requirements are not satisfied, however, a conversion will be treated as a taxable exchange of preferred stock for our common stock. Such a deemed taxable exchange will be subject to tax under FIRPTA at the rate of tax, including any applicable capital gains rates, that would apply to a U.S. stockholder of the same type (e.g., a corporate or a non-corporate stockholder, as the case may be) on the excess, if any, of the fair market value of such non-U.S. stockholder’s common stock received over such non-U.S. stockholder’s adjusted basis in its preferred stock. Collection of such tax will be enforced by a refundable withholding tax at a rate of 15% of the value of the common stock.

Non-U.S. stockholders are urged to consult with their tax advisors regarding the federal income tax consequences of any transaction by which such non-U.S. stockholder exchanges shares of our common stock received on a conversion of preferred stock for cash or other property.

Redemption of Preferred Stock

For a discussion of the treatment of a redemption of preferred stock, see “Taxation of Taxable U.S. Stock Holders–Taxation of U.S. Stockholders on a Redemption of Preferred Stock.”

FATCA Withholding

Under FATCA, a U.S. withholding tax at a 30% rate will be imposed on dividends paid on our capital stock received by certain non-U.S. stockholders if certain disclosure requirements related to U.S. accounts or ownership are not satisfied. In addition, if those disclosure requirements are not satisfied, a U.S. withholding tax at a 30% rate will be imposed, for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2018, on proceeds from the sale of our capital stock received by certain non-U.S. stockholders. If payment of withholding taxes is required, non-U.S. stockholders that are otherwise eligible for an exemption from, or reduction of, U.S. withholding taxes with respect of such dividends and proceeds will be required to seek a refund from the IRS to obtain the benefit of such exemption or reduction. We will not pay any additional amounts in respect of any amounts withheld.

Information Reporting Requirements and Withholding

We will report to our stockholders and to the IRS the amount of distributions we pay during each calendar year, and the amount of tax we withhold, if any. Under the backup withholding rules, a stockholder may be subject to backup withholding, at a rate of 28%, with respect to distributions unless the stockholder:

 

   

is a corporation or qualifies for certain other exempt categories and, when required, demonstrates this fact; or

 

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provides a taxpayer identification number, certifies as to no loss of exemption from backup withholding, and otherwise complies with the applicable requirements of the backup withholding rules.

A stockholder who does not provide us with its correct taxpayer identification number may also be subject to penalties imposed by the IRS. Any amount paid as backup withholding will be creditable against the stockholder’s income tax liability. In addition, we may be required to withhold a portion of capital gain distributions to any stockholders who fail to certify their non-foreign status to us.

Backup withholding will generally not apply to payments of dividends made by us or our paying agents, in their capacities as such, to a non-U.S. stockholder provided that the non-U.S. stockholder furnishes to us or our paying agent the required certification as to its non-U.S. status, such as providing a valid IRS Form W-8BEN, W-8BEN-E or W-8ECI, or certain other requirements are met. Notwithstanding the foregoing, backup withholding may apply if either we or our paying agent has actual knowledge, or reason to know, that the holder is a U.S. person that is not an exempt recipient. Payments of the proceeds from a disposition or a redemption effected outside the U.S. by a non-U.S. stockholder made by or through a foreign office of a broker generally will not be subject to information reporting or backup withholding. However, information reporting (but not backup withholding) generally will apply to such a payment if the broker has certain connections with the U.S. unless the broker has documentary evidence in its records that the beneficial owner is a non-U.S. stockholder and specified conditions are met or an exemption is otherwise established. Payment of the proceeds from a disposition by a non-U.S. stockholder of stock made by or through the U.S. office of a broker is generally subject to information reporting and backup withholding unless the non-U.S. stockholder certifies under penalties of perjury that it is not a U.S. person and satisfies certain other requirements, or otherwise establishes an exemption from information reporting and backup withholding.

Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Any amounts withheld under the backup withholding rules may be refunded or credited against the stockholder’s federal income tax liability if certain required information is furnished to the IRS. Stockholders should consult their tax advisors regarding application of backup withholding to them and the availability of, and procedure for obtaining an exemption from, backup withholding.

Other Tax Consequences

Tax Aspects of Our Investments in Our Operating Partnership and Subsidiary Partnerships

The following discussion summarizes certain federal income tax considerations applicable to our direct or indirect investments in our operating partnership and any subsidiary partnerships or limited liability companies that we form or acquire (each individually a “Partnership” and, collectively, the “Partnerships”). The discussion does not cover state or local tax laws or any federal tax laws other than income tax laws.

Classification as Partnerships. We will be entitled to include in our income our distributive share of each Partnership’s income and to deduct our distributive share of each Partnership’s losses only if such Partnership is classified for federal income tax purposes as a partnership (or an entity that is disregarded for federal income tax purposes if the entity is treated as having only one owner for federal income tax purposes) rather than as a corporation or an association taxable as a corporation. An unincorporated entity with at least two owners or members will be classified as a partnership, rather than as a corporation, for federal income tax purposes if it:

 

   

is treated as a partnership under the Treasury Regulations relating to entity classification (the “check-the-box regulations”); and

 

   

is not a “publicly-traded partnership.”

Under the check-the-box regulations, an unincorporated entity with at least two owners or members may elect to be classified either as an association taxable as a corporation or as a partnership. If such an entity is a U.S. entity and fails to make an election, it generally will be treated as a partnership (or an entity that is

 

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disregarded for federal income tax purposes if the entity is treated as having only one owner for federal income tax purposes) for federal income tax purposes. Our operating partnership intends to be classified as a partnership for federal income tax purposes and will not elect to be treated as an association taxable as a corporation under the check-the-box regulations.

A publicly-traded partnership is a partnership whose interests are traded on an established securities market or are readily tradable on a secondary market or the substantial equivalent thereof. A publicly-traded partnership will not, however, be treated as a corporation for any taxable year if, for each taxable year beginning after December 31, 1987 in which it was classified as a publicly-traded partnership, 90% or more of the partnership’s gross income for such year consists of certain passive-type income, including real property rents, gains from the sale or other disposition of real property, interest, and dividends (the “90% passive income exception”). Treasury Regulations (the “PTP regulations”) provide limited safe harbors from the definition of a publicly-traded partnership. Pursuant to one of those safe harbors (the “private placement exclusion”), interests in a partnership will not be treated as readily tradable on a secondary market or the substantial equivalent thereof if (i) all interests in the partnership were issued in a transaction or transactions that were not required to be registered under the Securities Act and (ii) the partnership does not have more than 100 partners at any time during the partnership’s taxable year. In determining the number of partners in a partnership, a person owning an interest in a partnership, grantor trust, or S corporation that owns an interest in the partnership is treated as a partner in such partnership only if (i) substantially all of the value of the owner’s interest in the entity is attributable to the entity’s direct or indirect interest in the partnership and (ii) a principal purpose of the use of the entity is to permit the partnership to satisfy the 100-partner limitation. We believe our operating partnership has qualified and will continue to qualify for the private placement exclusion. We expect that any other Partnership that we form in the future will qualify for the private placement exclusion. Our operating partnership’s partnership agreement contains provisions enabling its general partner to take such steps as are necessary or appropriate to prevent the issuance and transfers of interests in our operating partnership from causing our operating partnership to be treated as a publicly traded partnership under the PTP regulations.

We have not requested, and do not intend to request, a ruling from the IRS that our operating partnership will be classified as a partnership for federal income tax purposes. If for any reason our operating partnership were taxable as a corporation, rather than as a partnership, for federal income tax purposes, we likely would not be able to qualify as a REIT unless we qualified for certain relief provisions. See “—Gross Income Tests” and “—Asset Tests.” In addition, any change in a Partnership’s status for tax purposes might be treated as a taxable event, in which case we might incur tax liability without any related cash distribution. See “—Distribution Requirements.” Further, items of income and deduction of such Partnership would not pass through to its partners, and its partners would be treated as stockholders for tax purposes. Consequently, such Partnership would be required to pay income tax at corporate rates on its net income, and distributions to its partners would constitute dividends that would not be deductible in computing such Partnership’s taxable income.

Income Taxation of the Partnerships and their Partners

Partners, Not the Partnerships, Subject to Tax. A partnership is not a taxable entity for federal income tax purposes. Rather, we are required to take into account our allocable share of each Partnership’s income, gains, losses, deductions, and credits for any taxable year of such Partnership ending within or with our taxable year, without regard to whether we have received or will receive any distribution from such Partnership. For taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017, however, the tax liability for adjustments to a Partnership’s tax returns made as a result of an audit by the IRS will be imposed on the Partnership itself in certain circumstances absent an election to the contrary.

Partnership Allocations. Although a partnership agreement generally will determine the allocation of income and losses among partners, such allocations will be disregarded for tax purposes if they do not comply with the provisions of the federal income tax laws governing partnership allocations. If an allocation is not recognized for federal income tax purposes, the item subject to the allocation will be reallocated in accordance

 

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with the partners’ interests in the partnership, which will be determined by taking into account all of the facts and circumstances relating to the economic arrangement of the partners with respect to such item. Each Partnership’s allocations of taxable income, gain, and loss are intended to comply with the requirements of the federal income tax laws governing partnership allocations.

Tax Allocations With Respect to Partnership Properties. Income, gain, loss, and deduction attributable to appreciated or depreciated property that is contributed to a partnership in exchange for an interest in the partnership must be allocated in a manner such that the contributing partner is charged with, or benefits from, respectively, the unrealized gain or unrealized loss associated with the property at the time of the contribution. In the case of a contribution of property, the amount of the unrealized gain or unrealized loss (“built-in gain” or “built-in loss”) is generally equal to the difference between the fair market value of the contributed property at the time of contribution and the adjusted tax basis of such property at the time of contribution (a “book-tax difference”). Any property purchased for cash initially will have an adjusted tax basis equal to its fair market value, resulting in no book-tax difference. In connection with our initial public offering, we acquired a significant portion of our portfolio in exchange for interests in our operating partnership, which resulted in book-tax differences. Furthermore, our operating partnership may admit partners in the future in exchange for a contribution of property, which will result in book-tax differences.

Allocations with respect to book-tax differences are solely for federal income tax purposes and do not affect the book capital accounts or other economic or legal arrangements among the partners. The U.S. Treasury Department has issued regulations requiring partnerships to use a “reasonable method” for allocating items with respect to which there is a book-tax difference and outlining several reasonable allocation methods. Under certain available methods, the carryover basis in the hands of our operating partnership of properties contributed to us would cause us to be allocated lower amounts of depreciation deductions for tax purposes than would be allocated to us if all our properties were to have a tax basis equal to their fair market value at the time of contribution. We use the “traditional” method for the book-tax difference caused by the contribution of our initial portfolio to our operating partnership in connection with our initial public offering. The “traditional” method is generally the method that will result in the least favorable tax results for us. We have not yet decided what method will be used to account for book-tax differences caused by our operating partnership admitting partners in the future in exchange for contributions of property.

Sale of a Partnership’s Property

Generally, any gain realized by a Partnership on the sale of property held by the Partnership for more than one year will be long-term capital gain, except for any portion of such gain that is treated as depreciation or cost recovery recapture. Under Section 704(c) of the Code, any gain or loss recognized by a Partnership on the disposition of contributed properties will be allocated first to the partners of the Partnership who contributed such properties to the extent of their built-in gain or loss on those properties for federal income tax purposes. The partners’ built-in gain or loss on such contributed properties will equal the difference between the partners’ proportionate share of the book value of those properties and the partners’ tax basis allocable to those properties at the time of the contribution as reduced for any decrease in the “book-tax difference.” See “— Income Taxation of the Partnerships and Their Partners — Tax Allocations With Respect to Partnership Properties.” Any remaining gain or loss recognized by the Partnership on the disposition of the contributed properties, and any gain or loss recognized by the Partnership on the disposition of the other properties, will be allocated among the partners in accordance with their respective percentage interests in the Partnership.

Our share of any gain realized by a Partnership on the sale of any property held by the Partnership as inventory or other property held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of the Partnership’s trade or business will be treated as income from a prohibited transaction that is subject to a 100% penalty tax. Such prohibited transaction income also may have an adverse effect upon our ability to satisfy the income tests for REIT status. See “—Gross Income Tests.” We do not presently intend to acquire or hold or to allow any Partnership to acquire or hold any property that represents inventory or other property held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of our or such Partnership’s trade or business.

 

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Legislative or Other Actions Affecting REITs

The present federal income tax treatment of REITs may be modified, possibly with retroactive effect, by legislative, judicial, or administrative action at any time. The REIT rules are constantly under review by persons involved in the legislative process and by the IRS and the U.S. Treasury Department which may result in statutory changes as well as revisions to regulations and interpretations. In addition, as a result of the recent change in presidential administrations, there may be significant reform of the Code, including significant changes to the taxation of both business entities and individuals. There is a substantial lack of clarity around both the timing and the details of any such tax reform and the impact of any potential tax reform on an investment in us. We cannot assure our securityholders that any such changes will not adversely affect the taxation of us or our stockholders. Prospective investors are urged to consult with their tax advisors regarding the effect of potential changes to the federal tax laws on an investment in our securities.

State and Local Taxes

We and/or you may be subject to taxation by various states and localities, including those in which we or a securityholder transacts business, owns property or resides. The state and local tax treatment may differ from the federal income tax treatment described above. Consequently, you should consult your tax advisors regarding the effect of state and local tax laws upon an investment in our securities.

 

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PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

We may sell the securities being offered by this prospectus in one or more of the following ways from time to time:

 

   

through agents to the public or to investors;

 

   

to underwriters or dealers for resale to the public or to investors;

 

   

directly to agents;

 

   

in “at the market” offerings, within the meaning of Rule 415 of the Securities Act, to or through a market maker or into an existing trading market on an exchange or otherwise;

 

   

directly to investors;

 

   

through a combination of any of these methods of sale; or

 

   

in any manner, as provided in the prospectus supplement accompanying the offering.

We may also effect a distribution of the securities offered by this prospectus through the issuance of derivative securities, including without limitation, warrants, forward delivery contracts and the writing of options. In addition, the manner in which we may sell some or all of the securities covered by this prospectus includes, without limitation, through:

 

   

a block trade in which a broker-dealer will attempt to sell as agent, but may position or resell a portion of the block, as principal, in order to facilitate the transaction;

 

   

purchases by a broker-dealer, as principal, and resale by the broker-dealer for its account;

 

   

ordinary brokerage transactions and transactions in which a broker solicits purchasers; or

 

   

privately negotiated transactions.

Subject to maintaining our qualification as a REIT, we may also enter into hedging transactions. For example, we may:

 

   

enter into transactions with a broker-dealer or affiliate thereof in connection with which such broker-dealer or affiliate will engage in short sales of securities offered pursuant to this prospectus, in which case such broker-dealer or affiliate may use securities issued pursuant to this prospectus to close out its short positions;

 

   

sell securities short and redeliver such shares to close out our short positions;

 

   

enter into option or other types of transactions that require us to deliver securities to a broker-dealer or an affiliate thereof, who will then resell or transfer securities under this prospectus; or

 

   

loan or pledge securities to a broker-dealer or an affiliate thereof, who may sell the loaned securities or, in an event of default in the case of a pledge, sell the pledged securities pursuant to this prospectus.

We will set forth in a prospectus supplement the terms of the offering of securities, including:

 

   

the name or names of any agents or underwriters;

 

   

the purchase price of the securities being offered and the proceeds we will receive from the sale;

 

   

the terms of the securities offered;

 

   

any over-allotment options under which underwriters or agents may purchase or place additional securities;

 

   

any agency fees or underwriting discounts and other items constituting agents’ or underwriters’ compensation;

 

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any public offering price;

 

   

any discounts or concessions allowed or reallowed or paid to dealers; and

 

   

any securities exchanges on which such securities may be listed.

Agents

We may designate agents who agree to use their reasonable efforts to solicit purchases for the period of their appointment or to sell the securities being offered hereby on a continuing basis, unless otherwise provided in a prospectus supplement.

We may from time to time engage a broker-dealer to act as our offering agent for one or more offerings of our securities. If we reach agreement with an offering agent with respect to a specific offering, including the number of securities and any minimum price below which sales may not be made, then the offering agent will try to sell such securities on the agreed terms. The offering agent could make sales in privately negotiated transactions and/or any other method permitted by law, including sales deemed to be an “at the market” offering as defined in Rule 415 promulgated under the Securities Act, including sales made directly on the NYSE, or sales made to or through a market maker other than on an exchange. The offering agent will be deemed to be an “underwriter” within the meaning of the Securities Act, with respect to any sales effected through an “at the market” offering.

Underwriters

If we use underwriters for a sale of securities, the underwriters will acquire the securities, and may resell the securities in one or more transactions, including negotiated transactions, at a fixed public offering price or at varying prices determined at the time of sale. The obligations of the underwriters to purchase the securities will be subject to the conditions set forth in the applicable underwriting agreement. We may change from time to time any public offering price and any discounts or concessions the underwriters allow or reallow or pay to dealers. We may use underwriters with whom we have a material relationship. We will describe in the prospectus supplement naming the underwriter the nature of any such relationship.

Institutional Purchasers

We may authorize underwriters, dealers or agents to solicit certain institutional investors, approved by us, to purchase our securities on a delayed delivery basis or pursuant to delayed delivery contracts provided for payment and delivery on a specified future date. These institutions may include commercial and savings banks, insurance companies, pension funds, investment companies and educational and charitable institutions. We will describe in the prospectus supplement details of any such arrangement, including the offering price and applicable sales commissions payable on such solicitations.

Direct Sales

We may also sell securities directly to one or more purchasers without using underwriters or agents. Underwriters, dealers and agents that participate in the distribution of the securities may be underwriters as defined in the Securities Act and any discounts or commissions they receive from us and any profit on their resale of the securities may be treated as underwriting discounts and commissions under the Securities Act. We will identify in the applicable prospectus supplement any underwriters, dealers or agents and will describe their compensation. We may have agreements with the underwriters, dealers and agents to indemnify them against specified civil liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act. Underwriters, dealers and agents may engage in transactions with or perform services for us in the ordinary course of their businesses from time to time.

 

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Underwriting Compensation

Any underwriting compensation paid by us to underwriters, dealers or agents in connection with the offering of securities, and any discounts, concessions or commissions allowed by underwriters to participating dealers, will be set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement. Dealers and agents participating in the distribution of the securities may be deemed to be underwriters, and any discounts and commissions received by them and any profit realized by them on resale of the securities may be deemed to be underwriting discounts and commissions under the Securities Act. Underwriters, dealers and agents may be entitled, under agreements entered into with us and our operating partnership, to indemnification against and contribution toward civil liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act. We will describe any indemnification agreement in the applicable prospectus supplement.

Trading Markets and Listing of Securities

Unless otherwise specified in the applicable prospectus supplement, each class or series of securities covered by this prospectus will be a new issue with no established trading market, other than our common stock, which is listed on the NYSE. We may elect to list any other class or series of securities on any exchange, but we are not obligated to do so. It is possible that one or more underwriters may make a market in a class or series of securities, but the underwriters will not be obligated to do so and may discontinue any market making at any time without notice. We cannot give any assurance as to the liquidity of the trading market for any of the securities.

Stabilization Activities

In accordance with Regulation M under the Exchange Act, underwriters may engage in over-allotment, stabilizing or short covering transactions or penalty bids in connection with an offering of our securities. Over-allotment transactions involve sales in excess of the offering size, which create a short position. Stabilizing transactions permit bids to purchase the underlying security so long as the stabilizing bids do not exceed a specified maximum price. Short covering transactions involve purchases of the securities in the open market after the distribution is completed to cover short positions. Penalty bids permit the underwriters to reclaim a selling concession from a dealer when the securities originally sold by the dealer are purchased in a covering transaction to cover short positions. Those activities may cause the price of the securities to be higher than they would otherwise be. If commenced, the underwriters may discontinue any of the activities at any time.

LEGAL MATTERS

Certain legal matters in connection with the offering of securities covered by this prospectus will be passed upon for us by Hunton & Williams LLP and, with respect to certain matters of Maryland law, Ballard Spahr LLP.

EXPERTS

The consolidated and combined financial statements and Schedule III of City Office REIT, Inc. as of December 31, 2016 and 2015, and for each of the years in the three-year period ended December 31, 2016, have been incorporated by reference herein and in the registration statement in reliance upon the report of KPMG LLP, independent registered public accounting firm, incorporated by reference herein, and upon the authority of said firm as experts in accounting and auditing.

The statements of revenues and certain expenses of Plaza 25, Lake Vista Pointe and FRP Ingenuity Drive for the year ended December 31, 2013, Superior Pointe, DTC Crossroads, 190 Office Center and Intellicenter for the year ended December 31, 2014 and FRP Collection, Park Tower and SanTan Corporate Center for the year ended December 31, 2015 have been incorporated by reference herein and in the registration statement in reliance upon the report of KPMG LLP, independent registered public accounting firm, incorporated by reference herein, and upon the authority of said firm as experts in accounting and auditing.

 

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6,000,000 Shares

City Office REIT, Inc.

Common Stock

 

LOGO

 

 

PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT

 

 

BMO Capital Markets

Raymond James

RBC Capital Markets

October     , 2019

 

 

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