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Section 1: S-3 (FORM S-3)

Form S-3
Table of Contents

As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 29, 2019

Registration No. 333-            

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

FORM S-3

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

 

 

Westlake Chemical Partners LP

 

 

 

Delaware   32-0436529

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

2801 Post Oak Boulevard, Suite 600

Houston, Texas 77056

(713) 585-2900

(Name, address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of agent for service)

 

 

L. Benjamin Ederington

Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary

2801 Post Oak Boulevard, Suite 600

Houston, Texas 77056

(713) 585-2900

(Name, address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of agent for service)

 

 

Copies to:

E. Ramey Layne

Vinson & Elkins L.L.P.

1001 Fannin Street, Suite 2500

Houston, Texas 77002

(713) 758-2222

 

 

Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public: From time to time after the effective date of this registration statement.

If the only securities being registered on this Form are being offered pursuant to dividend or interest reinvestment plans, please check the following box:  ☐

If any of the securities being registered on this Form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, other than securities offered only in connection with dividend or interest reinvestment plans, check the following box:  ☒

If this Form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, please check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ☐

If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ☐

If this Form is a registration statement pursuant to General Instruction I.D. or a post-effective amendment thereto that shall become effective upon filing with the Commission pursuant to Rule 462(e) under the Securities Act, check the following box.  ☐

If this Form is a post-effective amendment to a registration statement filed pursuant to General Instruction I.D. filed to register additional securities or additional classes of securities pursuant to Rule 413(b) under the Securities Act, check the following box.  ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer      Accelerated filer  
Non-accelerated filer      Smaller reporting company  
     Emerging growth company  

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act.  ☐

 

 

CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE

 

 

Title of Securities

to be Registered(1)

 

Amount

to be

Registered

 

Proposed

Maximum

Offering Price

per Unit

 

Proposed

Maximum

Aggregate

Offering Price

 

Amount of

Registration Fee

Common units representing limited partner interests

  2,940,818(1)   $ 22.52(2)   $ 66,227,222   $ 8,207

 

 

(1)

Pursuant to Rule 416(a) under the Securities Act, the number of common units being registered on behalf of the selling unitholders shall be adjusted to include any additional common units that may become issuable as a result of any distribution, split, combination or similar transaction.

(2)

Estimated solely for the purpose of calculating the registration fee pursuant to Rule 457(c) under the Securities Act on the basis of the average of the high and low sale prices of the common units on March 25, 2019, as reported on the New York Stock Exchange.

 

 

Each registrant hereby amends the Registration Statement on such date or dates as may be necessary to delay its effective date until the registrants shall file a further amendment which specifically states that this Registration Statement shall thereafter become effective in accordance with Section 8(a) of the Securities Act or until the Registration Statement shall become effective on such date as the Securities and Exchange Commission, acting pursuant to said Section 8(a) of the Securities Act, may determine.

 

 

 


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The information in this prospectus is not complete and may be changed. Securities may not be sold pursuant to this prospectus until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities, and it is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.

 

Subject to completion, dated March 29, 2019

PROSPECTUS

 

 

LOGO

Westlake Chemical Partners LP

2,940,818 Common Units Representing Limited Partner Interests

Offered by the Selling Unitholders

 

 

The common units representing limited partner interests in Westlake Chemical Partners LP (“common units”) may be offered from time to time, in one or more offerings, by the selling unitholders named in this prospectus. We will not receive any proceeds from the sale of these common units by the selling unitholders.

The selling unitholders may offer and sell these common units in amounts, at prices and on terms to be determined by market conditions and other factors at the time of the offering. This prospectus provides you with only a general description of these common units and the manner in which the selling unitholders will offer these common units. Any prospectus supplement may also add, update or change information contained in this prospectus.

Our common units are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) under the symbol “WLKP.” The last reported sales price of our common units on the NYSE on March 28, 2019 was $22.59 per unit. We will provide information in the related prospectus supplement for the trading market, if any, for any other securities that may be offered.

 

 

Investing in our common units involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the risks relating to investing in our common units and each of the other risk factors described under “Risk Factors” on page 2 of this prospectus before you make an investment in our common units.

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of the common units or determined if this prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

 

The date of this prospectus is                 , 2019.


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS

     ii  

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

     iii  

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     iv  

WHO WE ARE

     1  

RISK FACTORS

     2  

USE OF PROCEEDS

     3  

DESCRIPTION OF COMMON UNITS

     4  

MATERIAL U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSEQUENCES

     5  

PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

     21  

SELLING UNITHOLDERS

     22  

LEGAL MATTERS

     24  

EXPERTS

     24  

 

 

In making your investment decision, you should rely only on the information contained in this prospectus, any prospectus supplement and the documents we have incorporated by reference in this prospectus. We have not authorized anyone else to give you different information. We are not offering the securities in any state where the offer is not permitted. You should not assume that the information in this prospectus or any prospectus supplement is accurate as of any date other than the date on the front of such documents. We will disclose any material changes in our affairs in an amendment to this prospectus, a prospectus supplement or a future filing with the SEC incorporated by reference in this prospectus.

 

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ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS

This prospectus is part of a registration statement that we have filed with the SEC using a “shelf” registration process. Under this shelf registration process, the selling unitholders may from time to time offer and sell up to 2,940,818 of our common units. This prospectus provides you with a general description of the common units that are registered hereunder that may be offered by the selling unitholders. More specific terms of any common units that the selling unitholders offer may be provided in a prospectus supplement that describes, among other things, the specific amounts and prices of the securities being offered and the terms of the offering. A prospectus supplement may also add to, update or change information in this prospectus. Before you invest in our common units, you should carefully read this prospectus, any prospectus supplement, the additional information described under “Where You Can Find More Information,” and any additional information that you may need to make your investment decision.

To the extent information in this prospectus is inconsistent with the information contained in a prospectus supplement, you should rely on the information in the prospectus supplement. The information in this prospectus is accurate as of its date. Additional information, including our financial statements and the notes thereto, is incorporated in this prospectus by reference to our reports filed with the SEC and is accurate as of the date stated in such report.

 

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WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

We file annual, quarterly and other reports and other information with the SEC. Our filings with the SEC are available at the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov, which contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC. You can also obtain information about us at the offices of the New York Stock Exchange, 20 Broad Street, New York, New York 10005, or on our website at http://www.wlkpartners.com. Information on our website or any other website is not incorporated by reference into this prospectus and does not constitute a part of this prospectus unless specifically so designated and filed with the SEC.

We “incorporate by reference” information into this prospectus, which means that we disclose important information to you by referring you to another document filed separately with the SEC. The information incorporated by reference is deemed to be part of this prospectus, except for any information superseded by information contained expressly in this prospectus, and the information that we file later with the SEC will automatically supersede this information. You should not assume that the information in this prospectus is current as of any date other than the date on the front page of this prospectus.

We incorporate by reference the documents listed below and any future filings we make with the SEC under Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”) (excluding any information furnished and not filed with the SEC), including all such documents that we may file with the SEC after the date on which the registration statement that includes this prospectus was initially filed with the SEC and prior to the effectiveness of this registration statement, are incorporated by reference in this prospectus until the termination of all offerings under this registration statement:

 

   

Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018 filed on March 1, 2019;

 

   

Current Reports on Form 8-K filed on March 27, 2019 and March 29, 2019; and

 

   

the description of our common units in our Registration Statement on Form 8-A (Registration No. 001-36567) filed on July 24, 2014.

You may request a copy of any document incorporated by reference to this prospectus, at no cost, by writing or calling us at the following:

Westlake Chemical Partners LP

2801 Post Oak Boulevard, Suite 600

Houston, Texas 77056

(713) 585-2900

You should rely only on the information contained in, or incorporated by reference into, this prospectus or any prospectus supplement. We have not authorized anyone else to provide you with any information. We are not making an offer of these securities in any state where the offer is not permitted. You should not assume that the information incorporated by reference or provided in this prospectus or any prospectus supplement is accurate as of any date other than its respective date.

 

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CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

Certain of the statements included in or incorporated by reference into this prospectus or any accompanying prospectus supplement are forward-looking statements. All such statements, other than statements of historical facts, that address activities, events or developments that we expect, project, believe or anticipate will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements regarding our plans, strategies, prospects and expectations concerning our business, results of operations and financial conditions. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as “believes,” “intends,” “may,” “should,” “could,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “will” or comparable terminology, or by discussions of strategies or trends. These forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations and beliefs concerning future developments and their potential effect on us. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot give any assurances that these expectations will prove to be correct. All comments concerning our expectations for future revenues and operating results are based on our forecasts for our existing operations and do not include the potential impact of any future acquisitions. Our forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties (some of which are beyond our control) and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from our historical experience and our present expectations or projections. Known material factors that could cause our actual results to differ from those in these forward-looking statements are described below and in “Risk Factors” in this prospectus or any prospectus supplement. Forward-looking statements relate to matters such as:

 

   

the amount of ethane that we are able to process, which could be adversely affected by, among other things, operating difficulties;

 

   

the volume of ethylene that we are able to sell;

 

   

the price at which we are able to sell ethylene;

 

   

industry market outlook, including prices and margins in third-party ethylene and co-products sales;

 

   

the parties to whom we will sell ethylene and on what basis;

 

   

volumes of ethylene that Westlake (as defined below) may purchase, in addition to the minimum commitment under our Ethylene Sales Agreement with Westlake;

 

   

timing, funding and results of capital projects;

 

   

our intended minimum quarterly distributions and the manner of making such distributions;

 

   

our ability to meet our liquidity needs;

 

   

timing of and amount of capital expenditures;

 

   

the At-the-Market program of the Partnership (as defined below) and the use of any net proceeds from any sales under that program;

 

   

potential loans from Westlake to OpCo (as defined below) to fund OpCo’s expansion capital expenditures in the future;

 

   

expected mitigation of exposure to commodity price fluctuations;

 

   

turnaround activities and the variability of OpCo’s cash flow;

 

   

compliance with present and future environmental regulations and costs associated with environmentally related penalties, capital expenditures, remedial actions and proceedings, including any new laws, regulations or treaties that may come into force to limit or control carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions or to address other issues of climate change;

 

   

effects of pending legal proceedings; and

 

   

other factors discussed below, in “Risk Factors” and in “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” included in our most recent Annual Report on

 

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Form 10-K and our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, in our current reports on Form 8-K, and elsewhere in our other public filings and press releases, in each case that are incorporated by reference herein.

Many of these factors are beyond our ability to control or predict. Any of the factors, or a combination of these factors, could materially affect our future results of operations and the ultimate accuracy of the forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of our future performance, and our actual results and future developments may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Management cautions against putting undue reliance on forward-looking statements or projecting any future results based on such statements or present or prior earnings levels. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this prospectus or, in the case of forward-looking statements contained in any document incorporated by reference, the date of such document, and we expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to update these statements after the date they are made to reflect any change in our expectations or beliefs, any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any forward-looking statement is based or otherwise. All forward-looking statements included in this prospectus, any prospectus supplement and the documents we incorporate by reference herein and therein are expressly qualified in their entirety by these cautionary statements.

 

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WHO WE ARE

Unless otherwise indicated, references in this prospectus to “we,” “our,” “us” or like terms refer to Westlake Chemical Partners LP (“Westlake Chemical Partners” or the “Partnership”), Westlake Chemical OpCo LP (“OpCo”) and Westlake Chemical OpCo GP LLC (“OpCo GP”). References to “Westlake” refer to Westlake Chemical Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries other than the Partnership, OpCo GP and OpCo. Unless the context otherwise requires, references to our “board of directors” or our “directors” refer to the board of directors of our general partner, Westlake Chemical Partners GP LLC, and such board’s directors, respectively.

Overview

We are a Delaware limited partnership formed by Westlake in March 2014 to operate, acquire and develop ethylene production facilities and related assets. Currently, our sole revenue generating asset is our 22.8% limited partner interest in OpCo, a limited partnership formed by Westlake and us in anticipation of our initial public offering in August 2014 to own and operate a natural gas liquids processing business. We control OpCo through our ownership of its general partner. Westlake owns the remaining 77.2% limited partner interest in OpCo as well as a significant interest in us through its ownership of our general partner, 40.1% of our limited partner units (consisting of 14,122,230 common units) and our incentive distribution rights. OpCo’s assets include (1) two ethylene production facilities at Westlake’s Lake Charles, Louisiana site; (2) one ethylene production facility at Westlake’s Calvert City, Kentucky site; and (3) a 200-mile common carrier ethylene pipeline that runs from Mont Belvieu, Texas to Westlake’s Longview, Texas facility.

Our principal executive offices are located at 2801 Post Oak Boulevard, Suite 600, Houston, Texas 77056, and our telephone number is (713) 585-2900.

 

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RISK FACTORS

An investment in our common units involves a significant degree of risk. Before you invest in our common units, you should carefully consider the risk factors and all of the other information included in this prospectus and any prospectus supplement, and the documents we have incorporated by reference, including those in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K as updated by our quarterly and other reports and documents we file with the SEC after the date of this prospectus, in evaluating an investment in our common units. If any of these risks were actually to occur, our business, financial condition or results of operations could be materially adversely affected. In that case, our ability to make distributions to our unitholders may be reduced. When we offer and sell any common units pursuant to a prospectus supplement, we may include additional risk factors relevant to such common units in the prospectus supplement. Also, please read “Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.”

 

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USE OF PROCEEDS

We will not receive any of the proceeds from the sale of common units by the selling unitholders.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF COMMON UNITS

Please see our registration statement on Form 8-A (File No. 001-36567) filed on July 24, 2014 (together with any amendments thereto and the other documents incorporated by reference therein), which is incorporated by reference herein, for a description of our common units, our cash distribution policy and our partnership agreement.

 

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MATERIAL U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSEQUENCES

This section summarizes the material U.S. federal income tax consequences that may be relevant to prospective unitholders and is based upon current provisions of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), existing and proposed U.S. Treasury regulations thereunder (the “Treasury Regulations”), and current administrative rulings and court decisions, all of which are subject to change. Changes in these authorities may cause the federal income tax consequences to a prospective unitholder to vary substantially from those described below, possibly on a retroactive basis.

Legal conclusions contained in this section, unless otherwise noted, are the opinion of Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. and are based on the accuracy of representations made by us to them for this purpose. However, this section does not address all federal income tax matters that may affect us or our unitholders, such as the application of the alternative minimum tax. This section also does not address local taxes, state taxes, non-U.S. taxes, or other taxes that may be applicable, except to the limited extent that such tax considerations are addressed below under “—State, Local and Other Tax Considerations.” Furthermore, this section focuses on unitholders who are individual citizens or residents of the United States (for federal income tax purposes), who have the U.S. dollar as their functional currency, who use the calendar year as their taxable year, who purchase common units in this offering, who do not materially participate in the conduct of our business activities and who hold such common units as capital assets (typically, property that is held for investment). This section has limited applicability to corporations (including other entities treated as corporations for federal income tax purposes), partnerships (including other entities treated as partnerships for federal income tax purposes), estates, trusts, non-resident aliens or other unitholders subject to specialized tax treatment, such as tax-exempt entities, non-U.S. persons, individual retirement accounts (“IRAs”), employee benefit plans, real estate investment trusts or mutual funds.

Accordingly, we encourage each prospective unitholder to consult the unitholder’s own tax advisor in analyzing the federal, state, local and non-U.S. tax consequences that are particular to that unitholder resulting from ownership or disposition of our common units and potential changes in applicable tax laws.

We have requested and obtained a favorable private letter ruling from the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) to the effect that the production, transportation, storage and marketing of ethylene and its co-products will constitute “qualifying income” within the meaning of Section 7704 of the Code. However, no ruling has been or will be requested from the IRS regarding our classification as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Instead, we are relying on the opinions and advice of Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. with respect to the matters described herein. An opinion of counsel represents only that counsel’s best legal judgment and does not bind the IRS or a court. Accordingly, the opinions and statements made herein may not be sustained by a court if contested by the IRS. Any such contest of the matters described herein may materially and adversely impact the market for our common units and the prices at which our common units trade. In addition, our costs of any contest with the IRS will be borne indirectly by our unitholders and our general partner because the costs will reduce our cash available for distribution. Furthermore, the tax consequences of an investment in us may be significantly modified by future legislative or administrative changes or court decisions, which may be retroactively applied.

For the reasons described below, Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. has not rendered an opinion with respect to the following federal income tax issues:

 

   

the treatment of a unitholder whose common units are the subject of a securities loan (e.g., a loan to a short seller to cover a short sale of common units) (please read “—Tax Consequences of Unit Ownership—Treatment of Securities Loans”);

 

   

whether our monthly convention for allocating taxable income and losses is permitted by existing Treasury Regulations (please read “—Disposition of Common Units—Allocations Between Transferors and Transferees”);

 

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whether our method for taking into account Section 743 adjustments is sustainable in certain cases (please read “—Tax Consequences of Unit Ownership—Section 754 Election” and “—Uniformity of Common Units”) and

 

   

whether our use of simplifying conventions for making adjustments to “book” basis and relevant allocations is permitted by existing Treasury Regulations (please read “—Tax Consequences of Unit Ownership—Allocation of Income, Gain, Loss and Deduction” and “—Uniformity of Units”).

Taxation of the Partnership

Partnership Status

We are treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes and, therefore, subject to the discussion below under “—Administrative Matters—Information Returns and Audit Procedures”, generally will not be liable for entity-level federal income taxes. Instead, as described below, each of our unitholders will take into account its respective share of our items of income, gain, loss and deduction in computing its federal income tax liability as if the unitholder had earned such income directly, even if we make no cash distributions to the unitholder. Distributions we make to a unitholder will not give rise to income or gain taxable to such unitholder, unless the amount of cash distributed exceeds the unitholder’s adjusted tax basis in its common units. Please read “—Tax Consequences of Unit Ownership—Treatment of Distributions” and “—Disposition of Common Units”).

Section 7704 of the Code generally provides that publicly-traded partnerships will be treated as corporations for federal income tax purposes. However, if 90% or more of a partnership’s gross income for every taxable year it is publicly-traded consists of “qualifying income,” the partnership may continue to be treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes (the “Qualifying Income Exception”). Qualifying income includes, (i) interest, (ii) dividends, (iii) real property rents within the meaning of Section 856(d) of the Code, as modified by Section 7704(d)(3) of the Code, (iv) gains from the sale or other disposition of real property, (v) income and gains derived from the exploration, development, mining or production, processing, refining, transportation (including pipelines transporting gas, oil, or products thereof) or the marketing of any “mineral or natural resource,” and (vi) gains from the sale or other disposition of capital assets (or property described in Section 1231(b) of the Code) held for the production of income that otherwise constitutes qualifying income. We estimate that less than 5.0% of our current gross income is not qualifying income; however, this estimate could change from time to time.

We have requested and obtained a favorable private letter ruling from the IRS, which has been confirmed by recent Treasury Regulations, to the effect that the production, transportation, storage and marketing of ethylene and its co-products will constitute “qualifying income” within the meaning of Section 7704 of the Code. However, no ruling has been or will be requested from the IRS regarding our classification as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Instead we have relied on the opinion of Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. that, based upon the Code, existing Treasury Regulations, published revenue rulings and court decisions and representations described below, Westlake Chemical Partners LP and each of our partnership and limited liability company operating subsidiaries will be classified as a partnerships or disregarded as an entity separate from us for federal income tax purposes.

Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. is of the opinion that we will be treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes and each of our partnership and limited liability company operating subsidiaries will be treated as a partnership or will be disregarded as an entity separate from us. In rendering its opinion, Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. has relied on factual representations made by us and our general partner, including, without limitation:

(a) Neither we nor any of our partnership or limited liability company operating subsidiaries has elected or will elect to be treated as a corporation for federal income tax purposes; and

(b) For each taxable year since and including the year of our initial public offering, more than 90% of our gross income has been and will be income of a character that Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. has opined is

 

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“qualifying income” within the meaning of Section 7704(d) of the Code, including income earned pursuant to processes described in our private letter ruling.

We believe that these representations are true and will be true in the future.

If we fail to meet the Qualifying Income Exception, other than a failure that is determined by the IRS to be inadvertent and that is cured within a reasonable time after discovery (in which case the IRS may also require us to make adjustments with respect to our unitholders or pay other amounts), we will be treated as transferring all of our assets, subject to all of our liabilities, to a newly formed corporation, on the first day of the year in which we fail to meet the Qualifying Income Exception in return for stock in that corporation and then as distributing that stock to our unitholders in liquidation of their interests in us. This deemed contribution and liquidation should not result in the recognition of taxable income by our unitholders or us so long as the aggregate amount of our liabilities does not exceed the adjusted tax basis of our assets. Thereafter, we would be treated as an association taxable as a corporation for federal income tax purposes.

The present U.S. federal income tax treatment of publicly traded partnerships, including us, or an investment in our common units may be modified by administrative or legislative action or judicial interpretation at any time. From time to time, members of the U.S. Congress have proposed and considered substantive changes to the existing federal income tax laws that would affect publicly-traded partnerships. One such legislative proposal would have eliminated the Qualifying Income Exception upon which we rely for our treatment as a partnership for federal income tax purposes.

Notwithstanding that Treasury Regulations and our private letter ruling treat our income from the production, transportation, storage and marketing of ethylene and its co-products as “qualifying income,” there can be no assurance that there will not be further changes to the Treasury Department’s interpretation of the qualifying income rules in a manner that could impact our ability to qualify as a partnership in the future.

It is possible that a change in law could affect us and may be applied retroactively. Any such changes could negatively impact the value of an investment in our common units. If for any reason we are taxable as a corporation in any taxable year, our items of income, gain, loss and deduction would be taken into account by us in determining the amount of our liability for federal income tax, rather than being passed through to our unitholders. Our partnership agreement provides that if a law is enacted or existing law is modified or interpreted in a manner that subjects us to taxation as a corporation or otherwise subjects us to entity-level taxation for federal, state or local income tax purposes, the minimum quarterly distribution amount and the target distribution amounts may be adjusted to reflect the impact of that law on us.

At the state level, several states have been evaluating ways to subject partnerships to entity-level taxation through the imposition of state income, franchise, or other forms of taxation. Imposition of a similar tax on us in the jurisdictions in which we operate or in other jurisdictions to which we may expand could substantially reduce our cash available for distribution to our unitholders.

Our taxation as a corporation would materially reduce the cash available for distribution to unitholders and thus would likely substantially reduce the value of our common units. Any distribution made to a unitholder at a time when we are treated as a corporation would be (i) a taxable dividend to the extent of our current or accumulated earnings and profits, then (ii) a nontaxable return of capital to the extent of the unitholder’s adjusted tax basis in its common units (determined separately for each unit), and thereafter (iii) taxable capital gain.

The remainder of this discussion is based on the opinion of Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. that we will be treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes.

 

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Tax Consequences of Unit Ownership

Limited Partner Status

Unitholders of the Partnership who are admitted as limited partners of the partnership will be treated as partners of the Partnership for federal income tax purposes. In addition, unitholders whose common units are held in street name or by a nominee and who have the right to direct the nominee in the exercise of all substantive rights attendant to the ownership of their common units will be treated as partners of the Partnership for federal income tax purposes.

For a discussion related to the risks of losing partner status as a result of securities loans, please read “—Treatment of Securities Loans.” Unitholders who are not treated as partners in us as described above are urged to consult their own tax advisors with respect to the tax consequences applicable to them under their particular circumstances.

Flow-Through of Taxable Income

Subject to the discussion below under “—Entity-Level Collections of Unitholder Taxes” and “—Administrative Matters—Information Returns and Audit Procedures”, and, with respect to payments we may be required to make on behalf of our unitholders, we will not pay any federal income tax. Rather, each unitholder will be required to report on its federal income tax return each year its share of our income, gains, losses and deductions for our taxable year or years ending with or within its taxable year. Consequently, we may allocate income to a unitholder even if that unitholder has not received a cash distribution.

Basis of Common Units

A unitholder’s tax basis in its common units initially will be the amount paid or treated as paid for those common units increased by the unitholder’s initial allocable share of our liabilities. That basis generally will be (i) increased by the unitholder’s share of our income and any increases in such unitholder’s share of our liabilities, and (ii) decreased, but not below zero, by the amount of all distributions to the unitholder, the unitholder’s share of our losses, any decreases in its share of our liabilities, and the amount of any excess business interest allocated to the unitholder. The IRS has ruled that a partner who acquires interests in a partnership in separate transactions must combine those interests and maintain a single adjusted tax basis for all of those interests.

Treatment of Distributions

Distributions made by us to a unitholder generally will not be taxable to the unitholder, unless such distributions are of cash or marketable securities that are treated as cash and exceed the unitholder’s tax basis in its common units, in which case the unitholder generally will recognize gain taxable in the manner described below under “—Disposition of Common Units.”

Any reduction in a unitholder’s share of our “nonrecourse liabilities” (liabilities for which no partner bears the economic risk of loss) will be treated as a distribution by us of cash to that unitholder. A decrease in a unitholder’s percentage interest in us because of our issuance of additional common units may decrease such unitholder’s share of our nonrecourse liabilities. For purposes of the foregoing, a unitholder’s share of our nonrecourse liabilities generally will be based upon such unitholder’s share of the unrealized appreciation (or depreciation) in our assets, to the extent thereof, with any excess nonrecourse liabilities allocated based on the unitholder’s share of our profits. Please read “—Disposition of Common Units.”

A non-pro rata distribution of money or property (including a deemed distribution as a result of the reallocation of our nonrecourse liabilities described above) may cause a unitholder to recognize ordinary income if the distribution reduces the unitholder’s share of our “unrealized receivables,” including depreciation recapture

 

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and substantially appreciated “inventory items,” both as defined in Section 751 of the Code (“Section 751 Assets”). To the extent of such reduction, the unitholder would be deemed to receive its proportionate share of the Section 751 Assets and exchange such assets with us in return for a portion of the non-pro rata distribution. This deemed exchange will generally result in the unitholder’s recognition of ordinary income in an amount equal to the excess of (1) the non-pro rata portion of that distribution over (2) the unitholder’s tax basis (typically zero) in the Section 751 Assets deemed to be relinquished in the exchange.

Limitations on Deductibility of Losses

A unitholder may not be entitled to deduct the full amount of loss we allocate to it because its share of our losses will be limited to the lesser of (i) the unitholder’s adjusted tax basis in its common units, and (ii) in the case of a unitholder that is an individual, estate, trust or certain types of closely-held corporations, the amount for which the unitholder is considered to be “at risk” with respect to our activities. A unitholder will be at risk to the extent of its adjusted tax basis in its common units, reduced by (1) any portion of that basis attributable to the unitholder’s share of our nonrecourse liabilities, (2) any portion of that basis representing amounts otherwise protected against loss because of a guarantee, stop loss agreement or similar arrangement, and (3) any amount of money the unitholder borrows to acquire or hold its common units, if the lender of those borrowed funds owns an interest in us, is related to another unitholder or can look only to the common units for repayment. A unitholder subject to the at risk limitation must recapture losses deducted in previous years to the extent that distributions (including distributions deemed to result from a reduction in a unitholder’s share of nonrecourse liabilities) cause the unitholder’s at risk amount to be less than zero at the end of any taxable year.

Losses disallowed to a unitholder or recaptured as a result of the basis or at risk limitations will carry forward and will be allowable as a deduction in a later year to the extent that the unitholder’s adjusted tax basis or at risk amount, whichever is the limiting factor, is subsequently increased. Upon a taxable disposition of our common units, any gain recognized by a unitholder can be offset by losses that were previously suspended by the at risk limitation but not losses suspended by the basis limitation. Any loss previously suspended by the at risk limitation in excess of that gain can no longer be used, and will not be available to offset a unitholder’s salary or active business income.

In addition to the basis and at risk limitations, passive activity loss limitations limit the deductibility of losses incurred by individuals, estates, trusts, some closely-held corporations and personal service corporations from “passive activities” (generally, trade or business activities in which the taxpayer does not materially participate). The passive loss limitations are applied separately with respect to each publicly-traded partnership. Consequently, any passive losses we generate will be available to offset only passive income generated by us. Passive losses that exceed a unitholder’s share of the passive income we generate may be deducted in full when a unitholder disposes of all of its common units in a fully taxable transaction with an unrelated party. The passive activity loss rules are applied after other applicable limitations on deductions, including the at risk and basis limitations.

For taxpayers other than corporations in taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2026, an “excess business loss” limitation further limits the deductibility of losses by such taxpayers. An excess business loss is the excess (if any) of a taxpayer’s aggregate deductions for the taxable year that are attributable to the trades or businesses of such taxpayer (determined without regard to the excess business loss limitation) over the aggregate gross income or gain of such taxpayer for the taxable year that is attributable to such trades or businesses plus a threshold amount. The threshold amount is equal to $250,000 or $500,000 for taxpayers filing a joint return. Disallowed excess business losses are treated as a net operating loss carryover to the following tax year. Any losses we generate that are allocated to a unitholder and not otherwise limited by the basis, at risk, or passive loss limitations will be included in the determination of such unitholder’s aggregate trade or business deductions. Consequently, any losses we generate that are not otherwise limited will only be available to offset a unitholder’s other trade or business income plus an amount of non-trade or business income equal to the applicable threshold amount. Thus, except to the extent of the threshold amount, our losses that are

 

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not otherwise limited may not offset a unitholder’s non-trade or business income (such as salaries, fees, interest, dividends and capital gains). This excess business loss limitation will be applied after the passive activity loss limitation.

Limitations on Interest Deductions

In general, we are entitled to a deduction for interest paid or accrued on indebtedness properly allocable to our trade or business during our taxable year. However, our deduction for this “business interest” is limited to the sum of our business interest income and 30% of our “adjusted taxable income.” For the purposes of this limitation, our adjusted taxable income is computed without regard to any business interest or business interest income, and in the case of taxable years beginning before January 1, 2022, any deduction allowable for depreciation, amortization, or depletion to the extent such depreciation, amortization, or depletion is not capitalized into cost of goods sold with respect to inventory. This limitation is first applied at the partnership level and any deduction for business interest is taken into account in determining our non-separately stated taxable income or loss. Then, in applying this business interest limitation at the partner level, the adjusted taxable income of each of our unitholders is determined without regard to such unitholder’s distributive share of any of our items of income, gain, deduction, or loss and is increased by such unitholder’s distributive share of our excess taxable income, which is generally equal to the excess of 30% of our adjusted taxable income over the amount of our deduction for business interest for a taxable year.

To the extent our deduction for business interest is not limited, we will allocate the full amount of our deduction for business interest among our unitholders in accordance with their percentage interests in us. To the extent our deduction for business interest is limited, the amount of any disallowed deduction for business interest will also be allocated to each unitholder in accordance with their percentage interest in us, but such amount of “excess business interest” will not be currently deductible. Subject to certain limitations and adjustments to a unitholder’s basis in its common units, this excess business interest may be carried forward and deducted by a unitholder in a future taxable year.

In addition to this limitation on the deductibility of a partnership’s business interest, the deductibility of a non-corporate taxpayer’s “investment interest expense” is generally limited to the amount of that taxpayer’s “net investment income.” Investment interest expense includes:

 

   

interest on indebtedness allocable to property held for investment;

 

   

interest expense allocated against portfolio income; and

 

   

the portion of interest expense incurred to purchase or carry an interest in a passive activity to the extent allocable against portfolio income.

The computation of a unitholder’s investment interest expense will take into account interest on any margin account borrowing or other loan incurred to purchase or carry a unit. Net investment income includes gross income from property held for investment and amounts treated as portfolio income under the passive loss rules, less deductible expenses, other than interest, directly connected with the production of investment income. Net investment income does not include qualified dividend income (if applicable) or gains attributable to the disposition of property held for investment. A unitholder’s share of a publicly-traded partnership’s portfolio income and, according to the IRS, net passive income will be treated as investment income for purposes of the investment interest expense limitation.

Entity-Level Collections of Unitholder Taxes

If we are required or elect under applicable law to pay any federal, state, local or non-U.S. tax on behalf of any current or former unitholder or our general partner, our partnership agreement authorizes us to treat the payment as a distribution of cash to the relevant unitholder or general partner. Where the tax is payable on behalf

 

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of all unitholders or we cannot determine the specific unitholder on whose behalf the tax is payable, our partnership agreement authorizes us to treat the payment as a distribution to all current unitholders. We are authorized to amend our partnership agreement in the manner necessary to maintain uniformity of intrinsic tax characteristics of common units and to adjust later distributions, so that after giving effect to these distributions, the priority and characterization of distributions otherwise applicable under our partnership agreement is maintained as nearly as is practicable. Payments by us as described above could give rise to an overpayment of tax on behalf of a unitholder, in which event the unitholder may be entitled to claim a refund of the overpayment amount. Please read “—Administrative Matters—Information Returns and Audit Procedures”. Each unitholder is urged to consult its tax advisor to determine the consequences to them of any tax payment we make on its behalf.

Allocation of Income, Gain, Loss and Deduction

In general, if we have a net profit, our items of income, gain, loss and deduction will be allocated amongst our unitholders and our general partner in accordance with their percentage interests in us. If distributions are made in respect of the incentive distribution rights, gross income will be allocated to the recipients to the extent of such distributions. In addition, for any taxable year ending on or before December 31, 2020, holders of common units may be allocated additional gross operating income; provided that no such special allocation shall be made to the extent a purchaser of common units in this offering would be allocated an amount of U.S. federal taxable income on the common units purchased in this offering with respect to such taxable year that would exceed 20% of the cash distributed on the common units purchased in this offering with respect to such year.

Specified items of our income, gain, loss and deduction will be allocated under Section 704(c) of the Code (or the principles of Section 704(c) of the Code) to account for any difference between the adjusted tax basis and fair market value of our assets at the time such assets are contributed to us and at the time of any subsequent offering of our common units (a “Book-Tax Disparity”). As a result, the federal income tax burden associated with any Book-Tax Disparity immediately prior to an offering will be borne by our partners holding interests in us prior to such offering. In addition, items of recapture income will be specially allocated to the extent possible (subject to the limitations described above) to the unitholder who was allocated the deduction giving rise to that recapture income in order to minimize the recognition of ordinary income by other unitholders.

It may not be administratively feasible to make the relevant adjustments to “book” basis and the relevant Section 704(c) allocations separately each time we issue units, particularly in the case of small or frequent unit issuances. If that is the case, we may use simplifying conventions to make those adjustments and allocations, which may include the aggregation of certain issuances of units. Our counsel, Vinson & Elkins, L.L.P., is unable to opine as to the validity of such conventions.

An allocation of items of our income, gain, loss or deduction, other than an allocation required by the Code to eliminate a Book-Tax Disparity, will be given effect for federal income tax purposes in determining a unitholder’s share of an item of income, gain, loss or deduction only if the allocation has “substantial economic effect.” In any other case, a unitholder’s share of an item will be determined on the basis of the unitholder’s interest in us, which will be determined by taking into account all the facts and circumstances, including (i) the unitholder’s relative contributions to us, (ii) the interests of all the partners in profits and losses, (iii) the interest of all the partners in cash flow and (iv) the rights of all the partners to distributions of capital upon liquidation. Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. is of the opinion that, with the exception of the issues described in “—Section 754 Election” and “—Disposition of Common Units—Allocations Between Transferors and Transferees,” allocations of income, gain, loss or deduction under our partnership agreement will be given effect for federal income tax purposes.

Treatment of Securities Loans

A unitholder whose common units are the subject of a securities loan (for example, a loan to a “short seller” to cover a short sale of common units) may be treated as having disposed of those common units. If so, such

 

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unitholder would no longer be treated for tax purposes as a partner with respect to those common units during the period of the loan and may recognize gain or loss as a result of such deemed disposition. As a result, during this period (i) any of our income, gain, loss or deduction allocated to those common units would not be reportable by the lending unitholder, and (ii) any cash distributions received by the lending unitholder as to those common units may be treated as ordinary taxable income.

Due to a lack of controlling authority, Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. has not rendered an opinion regarding the tax treatment of a unitholder that enters into a securities loan with respect to its common units. A unitholder desiring to assure its status as a partner and avoid the risk of income recognition from a loan of its common units is urged to modify any applicable brokerage account agreements to prohibit its brokers from borrowing and lending its common units. The IRS has announced that it is studying issues relating to the tax treatment of short sales of partnership interests. Please read “—Disposition of Common Units—Recognition of Gain or Loss.”

Tax Rates

Under current law, the highest marginal federal income tax rates for individuals applicable to ordinary income and long-term capital gains (generally, gains from the sale or exchange of certain investment assets held for more than one year) are 37% and 20%, respectively. These rates are subject to change by new legislation at any time.

In addition, a 3.8% net investment income tax applies to certain net investment income earned by individuals, estates, and trusts. For these purposes, net investment income generally includes a unitholder’s allocable share of our income and gain realized by a unitholder from a sale of common units. In the case of an individual, the tax will be imposed on the lesser of (i) the unitholder’s net investment income from all investments, or (ii) the amount by which the unitholder’s modified adjusted gross income exceeds $250,000 (if the unitholder is married and filing jointly or a surviving spouse), $125,000 (if the unitholder is married and filing separately) or $200,000 (if the unitholder is unmarried or in any other case). In the case of an estate or trust, the tax will be imposed on the lesser of (i) undistributed net investment income, or (ii) the excess adjusted gross income over the dollar amount at which the highest income tax bracket applicable to an estate or trust begins.

For taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017 and ending on or before December 31, 2025, an individual unitholder is entitled to a deduction equal to 20% of his or her allocable share of our “qualified business income.” For purposes of this deduction, our “qualified business income” is equal to the sum of:

 

   

the net amount of our U.S. items of income, gain, deduction, and loss to the extent such items are included or allowed in the determination of taxable income for the year, excluding, however, certain specified types of passive investment income (such as capital gains and dividends) and certain payments made to the unitholder for services rendered to the Partnership; and

 

   

any gain recognized upon a disposition of our common units to the extent such gain is attributable to Section 751 Assets, such as depreciation recapture and our “inventory items,” and is thus treated as ordinary income under Section 751 of the Code.

Section 754 Election

We have made the election permitted by Section 754 of the Code that permits us to adjust the tax basis in each of our assets as to specific purchasers of our common units under Section 743(b) of the Code to reflect the unit purchase price upon subsequent purchases of common units. That election is irrevocable without the consent of the IRS. The Section 743(b) adjustment separately applies to a unitholder who purchases common units from another unitholder based upon the values and adjusted tax basis of each of our assets at the time of the relevant unit purchase, and the adjustment will reflect the purchase price paid. The Section 743(b) adjustment does not apply to a person who purchases common units directly from us. For purposes of this discussion, a unitholder’s

 

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basis in our assets will be considered to have two components: (1) its share of the tax basis in our assets as to all unitholders and (2) its Section 743(b) adjustment to that tax basis (which may be positive or negative).

Under our partnership agreement, we are authorized to take a position to preserve the uniformity of common units even if that position is not consistent with applicable Treasury Regulations. A literal application of Treasury Regulations governing a Section 743(b) adjustment attributable to properties depreciable under Section 167 of the Code may give rise to differences in the taxation of unitholders purchasing common units from us and unitholders purchasing from other unitholders. If we have any such properties, we intend to adopt methods employed by other publicly traded partnerships to preserve the uniformity of common units, even if inconsistent with existing Treasury Regulations, and Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. has not opined on the validity of this approach. Please read “—Uniformity of Common Units.”

The IRS may challenge the positions we adopt with respect to depreciating or amortizing the Section 743(b) adjustment to preserve the uniformity of common units due to the lack of controlling authority. Because a unitholder’s adjusted tax basis for its common units is reduced by its share of our items of deduction or loss, any position we take that understates deductions will overstate a unitholder’s tax basis in its common units, and may cause the unitholder to understate gain or overstate loss on any sale of such common units. Please read “—Disposition of Common Units—Recognition of Gain or Loss.” If a challenge to such treatment were sustained, the gain from the sale of common units may be increased without the benefit of additional deductions.

The calculations involved in the Section 754 election are complex and are made on the basis of assumptions as to the value of our assets and other matters. The IRS could seek to reallocate some or all of any Section 743(b) adjustment we allocated to our assets subject to depreciation to goodwill or nondepreciable assets. Goodwill, as an intangible asset, is generally amortizable over a longer period of time or under a less accelerated method than our tangible assets. We cannot assure any unitholder that the determinations we make will not be successfully challenged by the IRS or that the resulting deductions will not be reduced or disallowed altogether. Should the IRS require a different tax basis adjustment to be made, and should, in our opinion, the expense of compliance exceed the benefit of the election, we may seek permission from the IRS to revoke our Section 754 election. If permission is granted, a subsequent purchaser of common units may be allocated more income than it would have been allocated had the election not been revoked.

Tax Treatment of Operations

Accounting Method and Taxable Year

We use the year ending December 31 as our taxable year and the accrual method of accounting for federal income tax purposes. Each unitholder will be required to include in its tax return its share of our income, gain, loss and deduction for each taxable year ending within or with its taxable year. In addition, a unitholder who has a taxable year ending on a date other than December 31 and who disposes of all of its common units following the close of our taxable year but before the close of its taxable year must include its share of our income, gain, loss and deduction in income for its taxable year, with the result that it will be required to include in income for its taxable year its share of more than twelve months of our income, gain, loss and deduction. Please read “—Disposition of Common Units—Allocations Between Transferors and Transferees.”

Tax Basis, Depreciation and Amortization

The tax basis of each of our assets will be used for purposes of computing depreciation and cost recovery deductions and, ultimately, gain or loss on the disposition of these assets. If we dispose of depreciable property by sale, foreclosure or otherwise, all or a portion of any gain, determined by reference to the amount of depreciation deductions previously taken, may be subject to the recapture rules and taxed as ordinary income rather than capital gain. Similarly, a unitholder who has taken cost recovery or depreciation deductions with respect to property we own will likely be required to recapture some or all of those deductions as ordinary income upon a sale of its interest in us. Please read “—Tax Consequences of Unit Ownership—Allocation of Income, Gain, Loss and Deduction” and “—Disposition of Common Units—Recognition of Gain or Loss.”

 

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The costs we incur in offering and selling our common units (called “syndication expenses”) must be capitalized and cannot be deducted currently, ratably or upon our termination. While there are uncertainties regarding the classification of certain costs as organization expenses, which may be amortized by us, and as syndication expenses, which may not be amortized by us, the underwriting discounts and commissions we incur will be treated as syndication expenses. Please read “Disposition of Common Units—Recognition of Gain or Loss.”

We are allowed a first-year bonus depreciation deduction equal to 100% of the adjusted basis of certain depreciable property acquired and placed in service after September 27, 2017 and before January 1, 2023. For property placed in service during subsequent years, the deduction is phased down by 20% per year until December 31, 2026. This depreciation deduction applies to both new and used property. However, use of the deduction with respect to used property is subject to certain anti-abuse restrictions, including the requirement that the property be acquired from an unrelated party. We can elect to forgo the depreciation bonus and use the alternative depreciation system for any class of property for a taxable year. Under a transition rule, we can also elect to apply a 50% bonus depreciation deduction instead of the 100% deduction for our first taxable year ending after September 27, 2017.

Valuation and Tax Basis of Each of Our Properties

The federal income tax consequences of the ownership and disposition of common units will depend in part on our estimates of the relative fair market values and the tax basis of each of our assets. Although we may from time to time consult with professional appraisers regarding valuation matters, we will make many of the relative fair market value estimates ourselves. These estimates and determinations of tax basis are subject to challenge and will not be binding on the IRS or the courts. If the estimates of fair market value or tax basis are later found to be incorrect, the character and amount of items of income, gain, loss or deduction previously reported by a unitholder could change, and such unitholder could be required to adjust its tax liability for prior years and incur interest and penalties with respect to those adjustments.

Disposition of Common Units

Recognition of Gain or Loss

A unitholder will be required to recognize gain or loss on a sale or exchange of a unit equal to the difference, if any, between the unitholder’s amount realized and the adjusted tax basis in the unit sold. A unitholder’s amount realized generally will equal the sum of the cash and the fair market value of other property it receives plus its share of our nonrecourse liabilities with respect to the unit sold or exchanged. Because the amount realized includes a unitholder’s share of our nonrecourse liabilities, the gain recognized on the sale or exchange of a unit could result in a tax liability in excess of any cash received from such sale or exchange.

Except as noted below, gain or loss recognized by a unitholder on the sale or exchange of a unit held for more than one year generally will be taxable as long-term capital gain or loss. However, gain or loss recognized on the disposition of common units will be separately computed and taxed as ordinary income or loss under Section 751 of the Code to the extent attributable to Section 751 Assets, such as depreciation recapture and our “inventory items,” regardless of whether such inventory item has substantially appreciated in value. Ordinary income attributable to Section 751 Assets may exceed net taxable gain realized on the sale or exchange of a unit and may be recognized even if there is a net taxable loss realized on the sale or exchange of a unit. Thus, a unitholder may recognize both ordinary income and capital gain or loss upon a sale or exchange of a unit. Net capital loss may offset capital gains and, in the case of individuals, up to $3,000 of ordinary income per year.

For purposes of calculating gain or loss on the sale or exchange of a unit, the unitholder’s adjusted tax basis will be adjusted by its allocable share of our income or loss in respect of its unit for the year of the sale. Furthermore, as described above, the IRS has ruled that a partner who acquires interests in a partnership in

 

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separate transactions must combine those interests and maintain a single adjusted tax basis for all those interests. Upon a sale or other disposition of less than all of those interests, a portion of that tax basis must be allocated to the interests sold using an “equitable apportionment” method, which generally means that the tax basis allocated to the interest sold equals an amount that bears the same relation to the partner’s tax basis in its entire interest in the partnership as the value of the interest sold bears to the value of the partner’s entire interest in the partnership.

Treasury Regulations under Section 1223 of the Code allow a selling unitholder who can identify common units transferred with an ascertainable holding period to elect to use the actual holding period of the common units transferred. Thus, according to the ruling discussed in the paragraph above, a unitholder will be unable to select high or low basis common units to sell or exchange as would be the case with corporate stock, but, according to the Treasury Regulations, such unitholder may designate specific common units sold for purposes of determining the holding period of the common units transferred. A unitholder electing to use the actual holding period of any unit transferred must consistently use that identification method for all subsequent sales or exchanges of our common units. A unitholder considering the purchase of additional common units or a sale or exchange of common units purchased in separate transactions is urged to consult its tax advisor as to the possible consequences of this ruling and application of the Treasury Regulations.

Specific provisions of the Code affect the taxation of some financial products and securities, including partnership interests, by treating a taxpayer as having sold an “appreciated” financial position, including a partnership interest with respect to which gain would be recognized if it were sold, assigned or terminated at its fair market value, in the event the taxpayer or a related person enters into:

 

   

a short sale;

 

   

an offsetting notional principal contract; or

 

   

a futures or forward contract with respect to the partnership interest or substantially identical property.

Moreover, if a taxpayer has previously entered into a short sale, an offsetting notional principal contract or a futures or forward contract with respect to the partnership interest, the taxpayer will be treated as having sold that position if the taxpayer or a related person then acquires the partnership interest or substantially identical property. The Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to issue Treasury Regulations that treat a taxpayer that enters into transactions or positions that have substantially the same effect as the preceding transactions as having constructively sold the financial position. Please read “—Tax Consequences of Unit Ownership—Treatment of Securities Loans.”

Allocations Between Transferors and Transferees

In general, our taxable income or loss will be determined annually, will be prorated on a monthly basis and will be subsequently apportioned among the unitholders in proportion to the number of common units owned by each of them as of the opening of the applicable exchange on the first business day of the month (the “Allocation Date”). Nevertheless, we allocate certain deductions for depreciation of capital additions based upon the date the underlying property is placed in service, and gain or loss realized on a sale or other disposition of our assets or, in the discretion of the general partner, any other extraordinary item of income, gain, loss or deduction will be allocated among the unitholders on the Allocation Date in the month in which such income, gain, loss or deduction is recognized. As a result, a unitholder transferring common units may be allocated income, gain, loss and deduction realized after the date of transfer.

Although simplifying conventions are contemplated by the Code and most publicly traded partnerships use similar simplifying conventions, existing Treasury Regulations do not specifically authorize the use of the proration method we have adopted. Accordingly, Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. is unable to opine on the validity of this method of allocating income and deductions between transferee and transferor unitholders. If the IRS determines that this method is not allowed under the Treasury Regulations our taxable income or losses could be reallocated

 

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among our unitholders. Under our partnership agreement, we are authorized to revise our method of allocation between transferee and transferor unitholders, as well as among unitholders whose interests vary during a taxable year, to conform to a method permitted under the Treasury Regulations.

A unitholder who disposes of common units prior to the record date set for a cash distribution for that quarter will be allocated items of our income, gain, loss and deduction attributable to the month of disposition (and any other month during the quarter to which such cash distribution relates and the holder held common units on the first day of such month) but will not be entitled to receive a cash distribution for that period.

Notification Requirements

A unitholder who sells or exchanges any of its common units is generally required to notify us in writing of that transaction within 30 days after the transaction (or, if earlier, January 15 of the year following the transaction in the case of a seller). Upon receiving such notifications, we are required to notify the IRS of the transaction and to furnish specified information to the transferor and transferee. Failure to notify us of a transfer of common units may, in some cases, lead to the imposition of penalties. However, these reporting requirements do not apply to a sale by an individual who is a citizen of the United States and who effects the sale or exchange through a broker who will satisfy such requirements.

Uniformity of Common Units

Because we cannot match transferors and transferees of common units and for other reasons, we must maintain uniformity of the economic and tax characteristics of the common units to a purchaser of these common units. As a result of the need to preserve uniformity, we may be unable to completely comply with a number of federal income tax requirements. Any non-uniformity could have a negative impact on the value of our common units. Please read “—Tax Consequences of Unit Ownership—Section 754 Election.”

Our partnership agreement permits our general partner to take positions in filing our tax returns that preserve the uniformity of our common units. These positions may include reducing the depreciation, amortization or loss deductions to which a unitholder would otherwise be entitled or reporting a slower amortization of Section 743(b) adjustments for some unitholders than that to which they would otherwise be entitled. Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. is unable to opine as to the validity of such filing positions.

A unitholder’s adjusted tax basis in common units is reduced by its share of our deductions (whether or not such deductions were claimed on an individual income tax return) so that any position that we take that understates deductions will overstate the unitholder’s basis in its common units, and may cause the unitholder to understate gain or overstate loss on any sale of such common units. Please read “—Disposition of Common Units—Recognition of Gain or Loss” and “—Tax Consequences of Unit Ownership—Section 754 Election” above. The IRS may challenge one or more of any positions we take to preserve the uniformity of our common units. If such a challenge were sustained, the uniformity of common units might be affected, and, under some circumstances, the gain from the sale of our common units might be increased without the benefit of additional deductions.

In addition, as described above at “—Tax Consequences of Unit Ownership—Allocation of Income, Gain, Loss and Deduction,” if we aggregate multiple issuances of units for purposes of making adjustments to “book” basis and related tax allocations, we will treat each of our units as having the same capital account balance, regardless of the price actually paid by each purchaser of units in the aggregated offerings. Our counsel, Vinson & Elkins L.L.P., is unable to opine as to the validity of such an approach. We do not expect the number of affected units, or the differences between the purchase price of a unit and the initial capital account balance assigned to the unit, to be material, and we do not expect this convention to have a material effect upon the trading of our units.

 

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Tax-Exempt Organizations and Other Investors

Ownership of our common units by employee benefit plans and other tax-exempt organizations, as well as by non-resident alien individuals, non-U.S. corporations and other non-U.S. persons (collectively, “Non-U.S. Unitholders”) raises issues unique to those investors and, as described below, may have substantial adverse tax consequences to them. Each prospective unitholder that is a tax-exempt entity or a Non-U.S. Unitholder should consult its tax advisors before investing in our common units.

Employee benefit plans and most other tax-exempt organizations, including IRAs and other retirement plans, are subject to federal income tax on unrelated business taxable income. Virtually all of our income will be unrelated business taxable income and will be taxable to a tax-exempt unitholder. Tax-exempt unitholders with more than one unrelated trade or business (including by attribution from the Partnership to the extent it is engaged in one or more unrelated trade or business) are required to separately compute their unrelated business taxable income with respect to each unrelated trade or business (including for purposes of determining any net operating loss deduction). As a result, it may not be possible for tax-exempt unitholders to utilize losses from an investment in the Partnership to offset unrelated business taxable income from another unrelated trade or business and vice versa.

Non-U.S. Unitholders are taxed by the United States on income effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business (“effectively connected income”) and on certain types of U.S.-source non-effectively connected income (such as dividends), unless exempted or further limited by an income tax treaty. Each Non-U.S. Unitholder will be considered to be engaged in business in the United States because of its ownership of our common units. Furthermore, Non-U.S. Unitholders will be deemed to conduct such activities through a permanent establishment in the United States within the meaning of an applicable tax treaty. Consequently, each Non-U.S. Unitholder will be required to file federal tax returns to report its share of our income, gain, loss or deduction and pay federal income tax on its share of our net income or gain. Moreover, under rules applicable to publicly-traded partnerships, distributions to Non-U.S. Unitholders are subject to withholding at the highest applicable effective tax rate. Each Non-U.S. Unitholder must obtain a taxpayer identification number from the IRS and submit that number to our transfer agent on a Form W-8BEN or W-8BEN-E (or other applicable or successor form) in order to obtain credit for these withholding taxes.

In addition, if a Non-U.S. Unitholder is classified as a non-U.S. corporation, it will be treated as engaged in a United States trade or business and may be subject to the U.S. branch profits tax at a rate of 30%, in addition to regular U.S. federal income tax, on its share of our income and gain as adjusted for changes in the foreign corporation’s “U.S. net equity” to the extent reflected in the corporation’s earnings and profits. That tax may be reduced or eliminated by an income tax treaty between the United States and the country in which the foreign corporate unitholder is a “qualified resident.” In addition, this type of unitholder is subject to special information reporting requirements under Section 6038C of the Code.

A Non-U.S. Unitholder who sells or otherwise disposes of a unit will be subject to U.S. federal income tax on gain realized from the sale or disposition of that unit to the extent the gain is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business of the Non-U.S. Unitholder. Gain realized by a Non-U.S. Unitholder from the sale of its interest in a partnership that is engaged in a trade or business in the United States will be considered to be “effectively connected” with a U.S. trade or business to the extent that gain that would be recognized upon a sale by the partnership of all of its assets would be “effectively connected” with a U.S. trade or business. Thus, all of a Non-U.S. Unitholder’s gain from the sale or other disposition of our common units would be treated as effectively connected with a unitholder’s indirect U.S. trade or business constituted by its investment in us and would be subject to U.S. federal income tax. As a result of the effectively connected income rules described above, the exclusion from U.S. taxation under the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act for gain from the sale of partnership common units regularly traded on an established securities market will not prevent a Non-U.S. Unitholder from being subject to U.S. federal income tax on gain from the sale or disposition of its common units to the extent such gain is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business. We expect all of the gain from the sale or disposition of our common units to be treated as effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business.

 

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Moreover, the transferee of an interest in a partnership that is engaged in a U.S. trade or business is generally required to withhold 10% of the amount realized by the transferor unless the transferor certifies that it is not a foreign person, and we are required to deduct and withhold from the transferee amounts that should have been withheld by the transferees but were not withheld. Because the “amount realized” includes a partner’s share of the partnership’s liabilities, 10% of the amount realized could exceed the total cash purchase price for the common units. For this and other reasons, the IRS has suspended the application of this withholding rule to open market transfers of interest in publicly traded partnerships, pending promulgation of regulations that address the amount to be withheld, the reporting necessary to determine such amount and the appropriate party to withhold such amounts, but it is not clear if or when such regulations will be issued.

Administrative Matters

Information Returns and Audit Procedures

We intend to furnish to each unitholder, within 90 days after the close of each taxable year, specific tax information, including a Schedule K-1, which describes its share of our income, gain, loss and deduction for our preceding taxable year. In preparing this information, which will not be reviewed by counsel, we will take various accounting and reporting positions, some of which have been mentioned earlier, to determine each unitholder’s share of income, gain, loss and deduction. We cannot assure our unitholders that those positions will yield a result that conforms to all of the requirements of the Code, Treasury Regulations or administrative interpretations of the IRS.

The IRS may audit our federal income tax information returns. Neither we nor Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. can assure prospective unitholders that the IRS will not successfully challenge the positions we adopt, and such a challenge could adversely affect the value of our common units. Adjustments resulting from an IRS audit may require each unitholder to adjust a prior year’s tax liability, and may result in an audit of the unitholder’s own return. Any audit of a unitholder’s return could result in adjustments unrelated to our returns.

Publicly-traded partnerships are treated as entities separate from their owners for purposes of federal income tax audits, judicial review of administrative adjustments by the IRS and tax settlement proceedings. The tax treatment of partnership items of income, gain, loss and deduction are determined in a partnership proceeding rather than in separate proceedings for each of the partners. Pursuant to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017, if the IRS makes audit adjustments to our income tax returns, it may assess and collect any taxes (including any applicable penalties and interest) resulting from such audit adjustment directly from us, unless we elect to have our general partner, unitholders and former unitholders take any audit adjustment into account in accordance with their interests in us during the taxable year under audit. Similarly, for such taxable years, if the IRS makes audit adjustments to income tax returns filed by an entity in which we are a member or partner, it may assess and collect any taxes (including penalties and interest) resulting from such audit adjustment directly from such entity.

Generally, we expect to elect to have our general partner, unitholders and former unitholders take any such audit adjustment into account in accordance with their interests in us during the taxable year under audit, but there can be no assurance that such election will be effective in all circumstances. If we are unable or if it is not economical to have our general partner, unitholders and former unitholders take such audit adjustment into account in accordance with their interests in us during the taxable year under audit, our then current unitholders may bear some or all of the tax liability resulting from such audit adjustment, even if such unitholders did not own our common units during the taxable year under audit. If, as a result of any such audit adjustment, we are required to make payments of taxes, penalties or interest, our cash available for distribution to our unitholders might be substantially reduced. These rules are not applicable for taxable years beginning on or prior to December 31, 2017. Congress has proposed changes to the Bipartisan Budget Act, and we anticipate that amendments may be made. Accordingly, the manner in which these rules may apply to us in the future is uncertain.

 

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Additionally, pursuant to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, the Code will no longer require that we designate a Tax Matters Partner. Instead, for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017, we will be required to designate a partner, or other person, with a substantial presence in the United States as the partnership representative (“Partnership Representative”). The Partnership Representative will have the sole authority to act on our behalf for purposes of, among other things, federal income tax audits and judicial review of administrative adjustments by the IRS. If we do not make such a designation, the IRS can select any person as the Partnership Representative. We currently anticipate that we will designate our general partner as the Partnership Representative. Further, any actions taken by us or by the Partnership Representative on our behalf with respect to, among other things, federal income tax audits and judicial review of administrative adjustments by the IRS, will be binding on us and all of our unitholders.

Additional Withholding Requirements

Withholding taxes may apply to certain types of payments made to “foreign financial institutions” (as specially defined in the Code) and certain other non-U.S. entities. Specifically, a 30% withholding tax may be imposed on interest, dividends and other fixed or determinable annual or periodic gains, profits and income from sources within the United States (“FDAP Income”), or gross proceeds from the sale or other disposition of any property of a type which can produce interest or dividends from sources within the United States (“Gross Proceeds”) paid to a foreign financial institution or to a “non-financial foreign entity” (as specially defined in the Code), unless (i) the foreign financial institution undertakes certain diligence and reporting, (ii) the non-financial foreign entity either certifies it does not have any substantial U.S. owners or furnishes identifying information regarding each substantial U.S. owner or (iii) the foreign financial institution or non-financial foreign entity otherwise qualifies for an exemption from these rules. If the payee is a foreign financial institution and is subject to the diligence and reporting requirements in clause (i) above, it must enter into an agreement with the U.S. Department of the Treasury requiring, among other things, that it undertake to identify accounts held by certain U.S. persons or U.S.-owned foreign entities, annually report certain information about such accounts, and withhold 30% on payments to noncompliant foreign financial institutions and certain other account holders. Foreign financial institutions located in jurisdictions that have an intergovernmental agreement with the United States governing these requirements may be subject to different rules.

Generally these rules apply to current payments of FDAP Income and will apply to payments of relevant Gross Proceeds made on or after January 1, 2019. Thus, to the extent we have FDAP Income or we have Gross Proceeds on or after January 1, 2019 that are not treated as effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business (please read “—Tax-Exempt Organizations and Other Investors”), a unitholder that is a foreign financial institution or certain other non-U.S. entity, or a person that holds its common units through such foreign entities, may be subject to withholding on distributions they receive from us, or its distributive share of our income, pursuant to the rules described above.

Each prospective unitholder should consult its own tax advisors regarding the potential application of these withholding provisions to its investment in our common units.

Nominee Reporting

Persons who hold an interest in us as a nominee for another person are required to furnish to us:

 

   

the name, address and taxpayer identification number of the beneficial owner and the nominee;

 

   

a statement regarding whether the beneficial owner is:

 

   

a non-U.S. person;

 

   

a non-U.S. government, an international organization or any wholly-owned agency or instrumentality of either of the foregoing; or

 

   

a tax-exempt entity;

 

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the amount and description of common units held, acquired or transferred for the beneficial owner; and

 

   

specific information including the dates of acquisitions and transfers, means of acquisitions and transfers, and acquisition cost for purchases, as well as the amount of net proceeds from sales.

Each broker and financial institution is required to furnish additional information, including whether such broker or financial institution is a U.S. person and specific information on any common units such broker or financial institution acquires, holds or transfers for its own account. A penalty per failure, with a significant maximum penalty per calendar year, is imposed by the Code for failure to report that information to us. The nominee is required to supply the beneficial owner of our common units with the information furnished to us.

Accuracy-Related Penalties

Certain penalties may be imposed as a result of an underpayment of tax that is attributable to one or more specified causes, including negligence or disregard of rules or regulations, substantial understatements of income tax and substantial valuation misstatements. No penalty will be imposed, however, for any portion of an underpayment if it is shown that there was a reasonable cause for the underpayment of that portion and that the taxpayer acted in good faith regarding the underpayment of that portion. We do not anticipate that any accuracy-related penalties will be assessed against us.

State, Local and Other Tax Considerations

In addition to federal income taxes, unitholders may be subject to other taxes, including state and local income taxes, unincorporated business taxes and estate, inheritance or intangibles taxes that may be imposed by the various jurisdictions in which we conduct business or own property now or in the future or in which the unitholder is a resident. We conduct business or own property in Kentucky, Louisiana, and Texas; Kentucky and Louisiana currently impose an income tax on individuals, corporations and other entities. As we make acquisitions or expand our business, we may own property or conduct business in additional states that impose a personal income tax. Although an analysis of those various taxes is not presented here, each prospective unitholder should consider the potential impact of such taxes on its investment in us.

A unitholder may be required to file income tax returns and pay income taxes in some or all of the jurisdictions in which we do business or own property, though such unitholder may not be required to file a return and pay taxes in certain jurisdictions because its income from such jurisdictions falls below the jurisdiction’s filing and payment requirement. Further, a unitholder may be subject to penalties for a failure to comply with any filing or payment requirement applicable to such unitholder. Some of the jurisdictions may require us, or we may elect, to withhold a percentage of income from amounts to be distributed to a unitholder who is not a resident of the jurisdiction. Withholding, the amount of which may be greater or less than a particular unitholder’s income tax liability to the jurisdiction, generally does not relieve a nonresident unitholder from the obligation to file an income tax return.

IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF EACH UNITHOLDER TO INVESTIGATE THE LEGAL AND TAX CONSEQUENCES, UNDER THE LAWS OF PERTINENT JURISDICTIONS, OF HIS INVESTMENT IN US. WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT EACH PROSPECTIVE UNITHOLDER CONSULT, AND DEPEND UPON, ITS OWN TAX COUNSEL OR OTHER ADVISOR WITH REGARD TO THOSE MATTERS. FURTHER, IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF EACH UNITHOLDER TO FILE ALL STATE, LOCAL AND NON-U.S., AS WELL AS U.S. FEDERAL TAX RETURNS THAT MAY BE REQUIRED OF IT. VINSON & ELKINS L.L.P. HAS NOT RENDERED AN OPINION ON THE STATE, LOCAL, ALTERNATIVE MINIMUM TAX OR NON-U.S. TAX CONSEQUENCES OF AN INVESTMENT IN US.

 

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PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

As of the date of this prospectus, we have not been advised by the selling unitholders as to any plan of distribution. The selling unitholders may choose not to sell any of the common units. The selling unitholders may sell the common units offered pursuant to this prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement directly, through agents or to or through underwriters, brokers or dealers, in privately negotiated transactions, in a combination of any such methods of disposition, and through any other method permitted pursuant to applicable law. The selling unitholders may distribute the common units offered pursuant to this prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement from time to time in one or more transactions at: a fixed price; market prices prevailing at the time of sale; prices related to prevailing market prices; varying prices determined at the time of sale; or negotiated prices. The selling unitholders may make sales of our common units on the NYSE or otherwise at prices and under terms prevailing at the time of sale, or at prices related to the then-current market price, at fixed prices, or in privately negotiated transactions.

In connection with sales of the common units under this prospectus, the selling unitholders may enter into hedging transactions with broker-dealers, who may in turn engage in short sales of the common units in the course of hedging the positions they assume. The selling unitholders also may engage in short sales, short sales against the box, puts and calls and other transactions in common units, or derivatives thereof, and may sell and deliver their common units in connection therewith, or loan or pledge the common units to broker-dealers that in turn may sell them.

In addition, the selling unitholders may from time to time sell common units in compliance with Rule 144 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (“Securities Act”), if available, or pursuant to other available exemptions from the registration requirements under the Securities Act, rather than pursuant to this prospectus. The selling unitholders may be required by the securities laws of certain states to offer and sell the common units only through registered or licensed brokers or dealers.

As of the date of this prospectus, neither we nor any selling unitholder has engaged any underwriter, broker, dealer or agent in connection with the distribution of common units pursuant to this prospectus by the selling unitholders. To the extent required, the number of common units to be sold, the purchase price, the name of any applicable agent, broker, dealer or underwriter and any applicable commissions with respect to a particular offer will be set forth in a prospectus supplement. The aggregate net proceeds to the selling unitholders from the sale of their common units offered hereby will be the sale price of those shares, less any commissions, if any, and other expenses of issuance and distribution not borne by us.

We will pay the costs and expenses related to the registration and offering of the common units offered hereby. We will not pay any underwriting fees, discounts and selling commissions (and similar fees or arrangements associated therewith) and transfer taxes allocable to each selling unitholder’s sale of its common units; these expenses will be paid by the selling unitholders.

The selling unitholders may agree to indemnify any underwriter, broker-dealer or agent that participates in transactions involving sales of the common units against certain liabilities, including liabilities arising under the Securities Act. We have agreed to indemnify the selling unitholders against certain liabilities to which they may become subject in connection with the sale of the common units owned by the selling unitholders and registered under this prospectus, including liabilities arising under the Securities Act. We may indemnify underwriters, brokers, dealers and agents against specific liabilities to which they may become subject in connection with the sale of the common units owned by the selling unitholders and registered under this prospectus, including liabilities under the Securities Act.

Because the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) views our common units as interests in a direct participation program, any offering of common units under the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part will be made in compliance with Rule 2310 of the FINRA Conduct Rules.

 

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SELLING UNITHOLDERS

This prospectus covers the offering for resale, from time to time, in one or more offerings, of up to an aggregate of 2,940,818 common units owned by the selling unitholders. These common units were issued to the selling unitholders on March 29, 2019 in a private placement transaction exempt from the registration requirements of the Securities Act under Section 4(a)(2) thereof pursuant to that certain Common Unit Purchase Agreement dated March 26, 2019, by and among Westlake Chemical Partners LP and the purchasers party thereto. It is our understanding that each selling unitholder acquired these common units in the ordinary course of business and at the time of such acquisition did not have any arrangement or understanding with any person to distribute these common units.

The selling unitholders may sell all, some or none of the common units covered by this prospectus. Please read “Plan of Distribution.” We will bear all costs, expenses and fees in connection with the registration of the common units offered by this prospectus. Brokerage commissions and similar selling expenses, if any, attributable to the sale of the common units will be borne by the selling unitholders.

The following table sets forth information relating to the selling unitholders as of March 29, 2019, based on information supplied to us by the selling unitholders on or prior to that date. We have not sought to verify such information. Information concerning the selling unitholders may change over time, and if necessary, we will supplement this prospectus accordingly. The selling unitholders may at any time hold or acquire common units in addition to those offered by this prospectus and may have acquired additional common units since the date on which the information reflected herein was provided to us. In addition, the selling unitholders may have sold, transferred or otherwise disposed of some or all of their common units since the date on which the information reflected herein was provided to us and may in the future sell, transfer or otherwise dispose of some or all of its common units in private placement transactions exempt from or not subject to the registration requirements of the Securities Act. Because the selling unitholders are not obligated to sell the offered common units, we cannot state with certainty the amount of our common units that the selling unitholders will hold upon consummation of any such sales.

 

Selling Unitholder

   Common Units Beneficially
Owned Prior to

Completion of Offering(1)
    Common Units Beneficially
Owned After the
Completion of Offering(1)
 
   Number      Percentage     Number      Percentage  

TTWFGP LLC(2)

     15,524,099        44.1     14,122,230        40.1

Tortoise Funds(3)(6)

     700,934        2.0     —          —    

Salient Funds(4)

     530,103        1.5     29,003        *  

Clearbridge Tactical Dividend Income Fund(5)(6)

     273,759        *       137,090        *  

LMP Capital and Income Fund(5)(6)

     305,246        *       255,000        *  

HITE Hedge LP

     54,000        *       —          —    

HITE Hedge QP LP

     46,000        *       —          —    

FS Energy Total Return Fund(6)

     50,000        *       —          —    

 

*

Less than 1%.

(1)

Percentage is based on 35,188,189 common units outstanding on March 29, 2019 and assumes that the selling unitholders dispose of all the common units covered by this prospectus and do not acquire beneficial ownership of any additional common units.

(2)

The selling unitholder is managed by two trusts for the benefit of members of the Chao Family (the “Chao Family”), including Albert Chao and James Chao, each of whom serve on the board of directors of our general partner. WPT LLC (“WPT”) owns 14,122,230 common units. The selling unitholder is the general partner of TTWF LP, which owns 71.6% of Westlake Chemical Corporation, which owns 100% of Westlake Olefins LLC, which owns 100% of Westlake Chemical Investments, Inc., which owns 100% of Westlake Polymers LLC, which owns 100% of WPT. The selling unitholder may be deemed to indirectly own the common units held by such entities but disclaims beneficial ownership of such units in excess of its pecuniary interest therein.

 

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(3)

The Tortoise Funds include Tortoise Energy Infrastructure Corporation, Tortoise Midstream Energy Fund, Inc., Tortoise Pipeline & Energy Fund, Inc., Tortoise Power and Energy Infrastructure Fund, Inc., Tortoise MLP & Pipeline Fund, and Tortoise Direct Opportunities Fund II, LP.

(4)

The Salient Funds include Salient MLP Fund, L.P., Salient MLP & Midstream Income Fund, L.P., Salient MLP & Energy Infrastructure Fund, Salient Midstream & MLP Fund (collectively, the “Salient MLP Funds”) and the State of Utah, School and Institutional Trust Funds, Instrumentality of the State of Utah. Salient Capital Advisors, LLC serves as the investment manager of the Salient Funds. Representatives of each of the Salient MLP Funds have advised us that such fund is an affiliate of a U.S. registered broker-dealer; however, each of the Salient MLP Funds acquired the common units in the ordinary course of business and, at the time of the acquisition, had no agreements or understandings, directly or indirectly, with any party to distribute the common units held by such funds.

(5)

ClearBridge Investments, LLC, the discretionary investment adviser for each of ClearBridge Tactical Dividend Income Fund and LMP Capital Income Fund Inc. (collectively, the “ClearBridge Funds”), has sole voting power and investment control over the common units held by the ClearBridge Funds.

(6)

Representatives of the selling unitholder have advised us that the selling unitholder is an affiliate of a U.S. registered broker-dealer; however, the selling unitholder acquired the common units in the ordinary course of business and, at the time of the acquisition, had no agreements or understandings, directly or indirectly, with any party to distribute the common units held by such selling unitholder.

 

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LEGAL MATTERS

The validity of the issuance of, and the material federal income tax considerations regarding, the securities offered hereby will be passed upon for us by Vinson & Elkins L.L.P., Houston, Texas. Additional legal matters may be passed on for us, or any underwriters, dealers or agents, by counsel we will name in the applicable prospectus supplement.

EXPERTS

The financial statements and management’s assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting (which is included in Management’s Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting) incorporated in this Prospectus by reference to the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018 have been so incorporated in reliance on the report of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, given on the authority of said firm as experts in auditing and accounting.

 

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PART II

INFORMATION NOT REQUIRED IN THE PROSPECTUS

 

Item 14.

Other Expenses of Issuance and Distribution.

Set forth below are the expenses (other than underwriting discounts and commissions) expected to be incurred in connection with the issuance and distribution of the common units registered hereby. With the exception of the SEC registration fee, the amounts set forth below are estimates.

 

SEC registration fee

   $ 8,027  

Legal fees and expenses

     50,000  

Accounting fees and expenses

     20,500  

Listing fees

     15,000  

Miscellaneous

     6,473  
  

 

 

 

Total

   $ 100,000  
  

 

 

 

 

Item 15.

Indemnification of Directors and Officers.

Westlake Chemical Partners LP

Under our partnership agreement, in most circumstances, we will indemnify the following persons, to the fullest extent permitted by law, from and against all losses, claims, damages or similar events:

 

   

our general partner;

 

   

any departing general partner;

 

   

any person who is or was an affiliate of our general partner or any departing general partner;

 

   

any person who is or was a manager, managing member, general partner, director, officer, fiduciary or trustee of our partnership, our subsidiaries, our general partner, any departing general partner or any of their affiliates;

 

   

any person who is or was serving as a manager, managing member, general partner, officer, employee, agent, fiduciary or trustee of another person owning a fiduciary duty to us or our subsidiaries;

 

   

any person who controls our general partner or any departing general partner; and

 

   

any person designated by our general partner.

Any indemnification under these provisions will only be out of our assets. Unless our general partner otherwise agrees, it will not be personally liable for, or have any obligations to contribute or lend funds or assets to us to enable us to effectuate indemnification. We may purchase insurance against liabilities asserted against and expenses incurred by persons for our activities, regardless of whether we would have the power to indemnify the person against liabilities under our partnership agreement.

 

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Item 16.

Exhibits.

Unless otherwise indicated below as being incorporated by reference to another filing of the Partnership with the SEC, each of the following exhibits is filed herewith:

 

Exhibit
Number

  

Description

  3.1    Certificate of Limited Partnership of Westlake Chemical Partners LP (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.1 to Westlake Chemical Partners LP’s Registration Statement on Form S-1 (File No. 333-195551), filed on April 29, 2014).
  3.2    First Amended and Restated Agreement of Limited Partnership of Westlake Chemical Partners LP (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.1 to Westlake Chemical Partners LP’s Current Report on Form 8-K (File No. 001-36567) filed on August 8, 2014).
  3.3    Amendment No.  1 to the First Amended and Restated Agreement of Limited Partnership of Westlake Chemical Partners LP dated as of November 16, 2017 (incorporated by Reference to Exhibit 3.1 to Westlake Chemical Partners LP’s Current Report on Form 8-K, filed on November 16, 2017, File No. 01-36567).
  3.4    Amendment No.  2 to the First Amended and Restated Agreement of Limited Partnership of Westlake Chemical Partners LP (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.1 to Westlake Chemical Partners LP’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed on July 30, 2018 (File No. 01-36567)).
  4.1    Registration Rights Agreement, by and among Westlake Chemical Partners LP and the persons named therein (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 4.1 to Westlake Chemical Partners LP’s Current Report on Form 8-K (File No. 001-36567), filed on March 29, 2019).
  5.1    Opinion of Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. as to the legality of the common units being registered.
  8.1    Opinion of Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. relating to tax matters.
23.1    Consent of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm.
23.2    Consent of Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. (contained in Exhibits 5.1 and 8.1).
24.1    Powers of Attorney (contained on signature pages).

 

Item 17.

Undertakings.

 

  (a)

The undersigned registrant hereby undertakes:

 

  (1)

To file, during any period in which offers or sales are being made, a post-effective amendment to this registration statement:

 

  (i)

To include any prospectus required by Section 10(a)(3) of the Securities Act;

 

  (ii)

To reflect in the prospectus any facts or events arising after the effective date of the registration statement (or the most recent post-effective amendment thereof) which, individually or in the aggregate, represent a fundamental change in the information set forth in the registration statement. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any increase or decrease in volume of securities offered (if the total dollar value of securities offered would not exceed that which was registered) and any deviation from the low or high end of the estimated maximum offering range may be reflected in the form of prospectus filed with the SEC pursuant to Rule 424(b) if, in the aggregate, the changes in volume and price represent no more than a 20 percent change in the maximum aggregate offering price set forth in the “Calculation of Registration Fee” table in the effective registration statement; and

 

  (iii)

To include any material information with respect to the plan of distribution not previously disclosed in the registration statement or any material change to such information in the registration statement;

 

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provided, however, that paragraphs (i), (ii) and (iii) above do not apply if the information required to be included in a post-effective amendment by those paragraphs is contained in reports filed with or furnished to the SEC by the registrant pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act that are incorporated by reference in the registration statement, or is contained in a form of prospectus filed pursuant to Rule 424(b) that is part of the registration statement.

 

  (2)

That, for the purpose of determining any liability under the Securities Act, each such post-effective amendment shall be deemed to be a new registration statement relating to the securities offered therein, and the offering of such securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering thereof.

 

  (3)

To remove from registration by means of a post-effective amendment any of the securities being registered which remain unsold at the termination of the offering.

 

  (4)

That, for the purpose of determining liability under the Securities Act to any purchaser:

 

  (i)

Each prospectus filed by the registrant pursuant to Rule 424(b)(3) shall be deemed to be part of the registration statement as of the date the filed prospectus was deemed part of and included in the registration statement; and

 

  (ii)

Each prospectus required to be filed pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2), (b)(5) or (b)(7) as part of a registration statement in reliance on Rule 430B relating to an offering made pursuant to Rule 415(a)(1)(i), (vii) or (x) for the purpose of providing the information required by Section 10(a) of the Securities Act shall be deemed to be part of and included in the registration statement as of the earlier of the date such form of prospectus is first used after effectiveness or the date of the first contract of sale of securities in the offering described in the prospectus. As provided in Rule 430B, for liability purposes of the issuer and any person that is at that date an underwriter, such date shall be deemed to be a new effective date of the registration statement relating to the securities in the registration statement to which the prospectus relates, and the offering of such securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering thereof. Provided, however, that no statement made in a registration statement or prospectus that is part of the registration statement or made in a document incorporated or deemed incorporated by reference into the registration statement or prospectus that is part of the registration statement will, as to a purchaser with a time of contract of sale prior to such effective date, supersede or modify any statement that was made in the registration statement or prospectus that was part of the registration statement or made in any such document immediately prior to such effective date.

 

  (5)

That, for the purpose of determining liability of the registrant under the Securities Act to any purchaser in the initial distribution of the securities, the undersigned registrant undertakes that in a primary offering of securities of the undersigned registrant pursuant to this registration statement, regardless of the underwriting method used to sell the securities to the purchaser, if the securities are offered or sold to such purchaser by means of any of the following communications, the undersigned registrant will be a seller to the purchaser and will be considered to offer or sell such securities to such purchaser:

 

  (i)

Any preliminary prospectus or prospectus of the undersigned registrant relating to the offering required to be filed pursuant to Rule 424;

 

  (ii)

Any free writing prospectus relating to the offering prepared by or on behalf of the undersigned registrant or used or referred to by the undersigned registrant;

 

  (iii)

The portion of any other free writing prospectus relating to the offering containing material information about the undersigned registrant or its securities provided by or on behalf of the undersigned registrant; and

 

  (iv)

Any other communication that is an offer in the offering made by the undersigned registrant to the purchaser.

 

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  (b)

The undersigned registrant hereby undertakes that, for purposes of determining any liability under the Securities Act, each filing of the registrant’s annual report pursuant to Section 13(a) or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act (and, where applicable, each filing of an employee benefit plan’s annual report pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act) that is incorporated by reference in the registration statement shall be deemed to be a new registration statement relating to the securities offered therein, and the offering of such securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering thereof.

 

  (c)

Insofar as indemnification for liabilities arising under the Securities Act may be permitted to directors, officers and controlling persons of the registrant pursuant to the foregoing provisions, or otherwise, the registrant has been advised that in the opinion of the SEC such indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act and is, therefore, unenforceable. In the event that a claim for indemnification against such liabilities (other than the payment by the registrant of expenses incurred or paid by a director, officer or controlling person of the registrant in the successful defense of any action, suit or proceeding) is asserted by such director, officer or controlling person in connection with the securities being registered, the registrant will, unless in the opinion of its counsel the matter has been settled by controlling precedent, submit to a court of appropriate jurisdiction the question whether such indemnification by it is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act and will be governed by the final adjudication of such issue.

 

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SIGNATURES

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, the registrant certifies that it has reasonable grounds to believe that it meets all of the requirements for filing on Form S-3 and has duly caused this registration statement to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized, in the City of Houston, State of Texas on March 29, 2019.

 

WESTLAKE CHEMICAL PARTNERS LP
By:    

Westlake Chemical Partners GP LLC,

its general partner

  By:  

/s/ Albert Chao

  Name:   Albert Chao
  Title:   President, Chief Executive Officer and Director

POWER OF ATTORNEY

KNOW ALL PERSONS BY THESE PRESENTS, that each person whose signature appears below constitutes and appoints Albert Chao, M. Steven Bender and L. Benjamin Ederington, and each of them, any of whom may act without joinder of the others, as his or her lawful attorneys-in-fact and agents, with full power of substitution and resubstitution, for him and in his name, place and stead, in any and all capacities, to sign any and all amendments (including post-effective amendments) to this registration statement, and to file the same, with all exhibits thereto and other documents in connection therewith, with the Securities and Exchange Commission, granting unto such attorneys-in-fact and agents, and each of them, full power and authority to do and perform each and every act and thing requisite and necessary to be done in and about the premises as fully to all intents and purposes as he or she might or could do in person, hereby ratifying and confirming all said attorneys-in-fact and agents, and each of them, or the substitute or substitutes of any of them, may lawfully do or cause to be done by virtue hereof.

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, this registration statement has been signed by the following persons in the capacities indicated on March 29, 2019.

 

Name

  

Title

/s/ Albert Chao

Albert Chao

  

President, Chief Executive Officer and Director

(Principal Executive Officer)

/s/ James Chao

James Chao

   Chairman of the Board of Directors

/s/ M. Steven Bender

M. Steven Bender

  

Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Director

(Principal Financial Officer)

/s/ George J. Mangieri

George J. Mangieri

  

Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer

(Principal Accounting Officer)

/s/ L. Benjamin Ederington

L. Benjamin Ederington

   Vice President, General Counsel, Secretary and Director

 

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Name

  

Title

 

/s/ Max Lukens

Max Lukens

  

 

Director

/s/ David Lumpkins

David Lumpkins

   Director

/s/ Angela Minas

Angela Minas

   Director

 

II-6

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Section 2: EX-5.1 (EX-5.1)

EX-5.1

Exhibit 5.1

 

LOGO

March 29, 2019

Westlake Chemical Partners LP

2800 Post Oak Boulevard, Suite 600

Houston, Texas 77056

Ladies and Gentlemen:

We have acted as counsel for Westlake Chemical Partners LP, a Delaware limited partnership (the “Partnership”), in connection with the preparation of a registration statement on Form S-3 (the “Registration Statement”) filed on or about the date hereof with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) by the Partnership under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), with respect to the offer and resale, from time to time, pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act, by the unitholders named as the Selling Unitholders in the Registration Statement, of up to 2,940,818 issued and outstanding common units representing limited partner interests in the Partnership (the “Common Units”).

In rendering the opinions set forth below, we have examined (i) the Registration Statement (ii) the First Amended and Restated Agreement of Limited Partnership of the Partnership, dated as of August 4, 2014, as amended, (iii) the Certificate of Limited Partnership of the Partnership, dated as of March 14, 2014, filed with the Secretary of State of Delaware, (iv) the First Amended and Restated Limited Liability Company Agreement of Westlake Chemical Partners GP LLC, a Delaware limited liability company and the general partner of the Partnership (the “General Partner”), dated as of August 4, 2014, (v) the Certificate of Formation of the General Partner, dated as of March 14, 2014, filed with the Secretary of State of Delaware, (vi) certain resolutions adopted by the Board of Directors of the General Partner relating to the Registration Statement, and (vii) such other certificates and documents as we have deemed necessary or appropriate for purposes of the opinions hereafter expressed. In addition, we have reviewed such questions of law as we considered necessary or appropriate. As to matters of fact relevant to the opinions expressed below, and as to factual matters arising in connection with our review of partnership and limited liability company documents, records and other documents and writings, we have relied upon certificates and other communications of officers and employees of the General Partner, without further investigation as to the facts set forth therein.

In connection with rendering the opinions set forth below, we have assumed that:

(i) all information contained in all documents reviewed by us is true and correct;

(ii) all signatures on all documents examined by us are genuine and the signatories to such documents have the requisite capacity;

 

Vinson & Elkins LLP  Attorneys at Law

Austin  Beijing  Dallas  Dubai  Hong Kong  Houston  London

New York  Richmond  Riyadh  San Francisco  Tokyo  Washington

  

1001 Fannin Street, Suite 2500

Houston, TX 77002-6760

Tel  +1.713.758.2222  Fax  +1.713.758.2346  velaw.com


LOGO    March 29, 2019    Page 2

 

(iii) all documents submitted to us as originals are authentic and complete and all documents submitted to us as copies conform to the originals of those documents;

(iv) each certificate from governmental officials reviewed by us is accurate, complete and authentic, and all official public records are accurate and complete; and

(v) the Registration Statement, and any amendments thereto (including post-effective amendments), will have become effective and comply with all applicable laws.

Based upon and subject to the foregoing, and subject to the qualifications and limitations set forth herein, we are of the opinion that the Common Units are duly authorized, validly issued, fully paid (to the extent required under the Partnership Agreement) and nonassessable (except as such nonassessability may be affected by Section 17-607 or 17-804 of the Delaware Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act (“DRULPA”).

The opinions expressed herein are qualified in the following respects:

(i) This opinion is limited in all respects to the DRULPA, the Delaware Limitd Liability Company Act and the Constitution of the State of Delaware, as interpreted by the courts of the State of Delaware, and the federal laws of the United States of America (including all applicable statutory provisions and reported judicial decisions interpreting those laws), and we are expressing no opinion as to the applicability or effect of the laws of any other jurisdiction; and

(ii) We express no opinion as to any matters other than as expressly set forth above, and no opinion on any other matter may be inferred or implied herefrom. The opinions expressed herein are given as of the date hereof, and we undertake no, and hereby disclaim any, obligation to advise you of any change in any matter set forth herein.

We hereby consent to the filing of this opinion as an exhibit to the Registration Statement and to the reference to our firm under the caption “Legal Matters” in the prospectus forming part of the Registration Statement. By giving such consent, we do not admit that we are within the category of persons whose consent is required under Section 7 of the Securities Act or the rules and regulations of the Commission issued thereunder.

Very truly yours,

/s/ Vinson & Elkins L.L.P.

Vinson & Elkins L.L.P.

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Section 3: EX-8.1 (EX-8.1)

EX-8.1

Exhibit 8.1

 

LOGO

March 29, 2019

Westlake Chemical Partners LP

2801 Post Oak Boulevard, Suite 600

Houston, Texas 77056

RE:    Westlake Chemical Partners LP Registration Statement on Form S-3

Ladies and Gentlemen:

We have acted as counsel for Westlake Chemical Partners LP, a Delaware limited partnership (the “Partnership”), with respect to certain legal matters in connection with the preparation of a Prospectus dated on or about the date hereof (the “Prospectus”), forming part of the Registration Statement on Form S-3 (the “Registration Statement”), to which this opinion is an exhibit. The Registration Statement relates to the registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), of units representing limited partner interests in the Partnership.

This opinion is based on various facts and assumptions, and is conditioned upon certain representations made by the Partnership as to factual matters through a certificate of an officer of the Partnership (the “Officer’s Certificate”). In addition, this opinion is based upon the factual representations of the Partnership concerning its business, properties and governing documents as set forth in the Registration Statement.

In our capacity as counsel to the Partnership, we have made such legal and factual examinations and inquiries, including an examination of originals or copies certified or otherwise identified to our satisfaction of such documents, corporate records and other instruments, as we have deemed necessary or appropriate for purposes of this opinion. In our examination, we have assumed the authenticity of all documents submitted to us as originals, the genuineness of all signatures thereon, the legal capacity of natural persons executing such documents and the conformity to authentic original documents of all documents submitted to us as copies. For the purpose of our opinion, we have not made an independent investigation or audit of the facts set forth in the above-referenced documents or in the Officer’s Certificate. In addition, in rendering this opinion we have assumed the truth and accuracy of all representations and statements made to us which are qualified as to knowledge or belief, without regard to such qualification.

We hereby confirm that all statements of legal conclusions contained in the discussion in the Registration Statement under the caption “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences” constitute the opinion of Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. with respect to the matters set forth therein as of the effective date of the Registration Statement, subject to the assumptions, qualifications, and limitations set forth therein.

 

Vinson & Elkins LLP  Attorneys at Law

Austin  Beijing  Dallas  Dubai  Hong Kong  Houston  London

New York  Richmond  Riyadh  San Francisco  Tokyo  Washington

  

1001 Fannin Street, Suite 2500

Houston, TX 77002-6760

Tel  +1.713.758.2222  Fax  +1.713.758.2346  velaw.com


LOGO

This opinion is based on various statutory provisions, regulations promulgated thereunder and interpretations thereof by the Internal Revenue Service and the courts having jurisdiction over such matters, all of which are subject to change either prospectively or retroactively. Also, any variation or difference in the facts from those set forth in the representations described above, including in the Registration Statement and the Officer’s Certificate, may affect the conclusions stated herein.

No opinion is expressed as to any matter not discussed in the Registration Statement under the caption “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences.” We are opining herein only as to the federal income tax matters described above, and we express no opinion with respect to the applicability to, or the effect on, any transaction of other federal laws, foreign laws, the laws of any state or any other jurisdiction or as to any matters of municipal law or the laws of any other local agencies within any state.

This opinion is rendered to you as of the effective date of the Registration Statement, and we undertake no obligation to update this opinion subsequent to the date hereof. This opinion is furnished to you and may be relied on by you in connection with the transactions set forth in the Registration Statement. In addition, this opinion may be relied on by persons entitled to rely on it pursuant to applicable provisions of federal securities law, including persons purchasing units pursuant to the Registration Statement. However, this opinion may not be relied upon for any other purpose or furnished to, assigned to, quoted to or relied upon by any other person, firm or other entity, for any purpose, without our prior written consent.

We hereby consent to the filing of this opinion of counsel as an exhibit to the Registration Statement and the use of our name in the Registration Statement. In giving such consent, we do not admit that we are within the category of persons whose consent is required under Section 7 of the Securities Act.

Very truly yours,

/s/ VINSON & ELKINS L.L.P.

Vinson & Elkins L.L.P.

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Section 4: EX-23.1 (EX-23.1)

EX-23.1

Exhibit 23.1

CONSENT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

We hereby consent to the incorporation by reference in this Registration Statement on Form S-3 of Westlake Chemical Partners LP of our report dated March 1, 2019 relating to the financial statements and the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, which appears in Westlake Chemical Partners LP’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018. We also consent to the reference to us under the heading “Experts” in such Registration Statement.

/s/ PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Houston, Texas

March 29, 2019

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