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Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(5)
Registration No. 333-262424

 

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

 

SUBJECT TO COMPLETION, DATED MAY 16, 2022

PRELIMINARY PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT

(To Prospectus Dated January 31, 2022)

100,000,000 Shares

 

LOGO

Annaly Capital Management, Inc.

Common Stock

 

 

We are offering for sale 100,000,000 shares of our common stock, par value $0.01 per share, or our common stock. Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, or the NYSE, under the symbol “NLY.” The last reported sale price of our common stock on the NYSE on May 13, 2022 was $6.74 per share.

There are restrictions on transfer and ownership of our common stock intended to, among other purposes, preserve our qualification as a real estate investment trust, or REIT. See “Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer” in the accompanying prospectus.

 

 

Investing in our common stock involves risks. You should carefully consider the risks described under the caption “Risk Factors” beginning on page S-7 of this prospectus supplement and included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021 and as updated by our subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, which are incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement.

 

     Per Share      Total(1)  

Initial price to public

   $                    $                

Underwriting discount(2)

   $        $    

Proceeds, before expenses, to Annaly

   $        $    

 

(1)

Assumes no exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares.

(2)

In addition, the underwriters may receive from purchasers of the shares normal brokerage commissions in amounts agreed upon with such purchasers.

We have granted the underwriters the option to purchase a maximum of 15,000,000 additional shares of common stock on the same terms and conditions set forth above within 30 days of the date of this prospectus supplement.

Delivery of the shares of common stock is expected to be made on or about May     , 2022.

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus to which it relates is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

 

Joint Book-Running Managers

 

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC   Barclays   BofA Securities   J.P. Morgan
RBC Capital Markets   UBS Investment Bank   Wells Fargo Securities

Co-Managers

 

Loop Capital Markets   Roberts & Ryan

 

The date of this prospectus supplement is May    , 2022


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Prospectus Supplement

 

ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT AND THE PROSPECTUS

     S-1  

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

     S-2  

A WARNING ABOUT FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     S-3  

SUMMARY

     S-4  

THE OFFERING

     S-5  

RISK FACTORS

     S-7  

USE OF PROCEEDS

     S-8  

UNDERWRITING

     S-9  

LEGAL MATTERS

     S-12  

EXPERTS

     S-12  

INCORPORATION OF CERTAIN DOCUMENTS BY REFERENCE

     S-12  

Prospectus

 

ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS

     1  

A WARNING ABOUT FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     2  

ABOUT ANNALY CAPITAL MANAGEMENT, INC.

     3  

RISK FACTORS

     4  

USE OF PROCEEDS

     5  

DESCRIPTION OF EQUITY SECURITIES

     6  

DESCRIPTION OF WARRANTS

     9  

DESCRIPTION OF RIGHTS TO PURCHASE OUR SECURITIES

     10  

DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES

     11  

DESCRIPTION OF PURCHASE CONTRACTS

     26  

DESCRIPTION OF UNITS

     27  

RESTRICTIONS ON OWNERSHIP AND TRANSFER

     28  

CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF MARYLAND LAW AND OF OUR CHARTER AND BYLAWS

     30  

MATERIAL U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS

     35  

PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

     64  

EXPERTS

     66  

LEGAL MATTERS

     66  

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT US

     66  

INCORPORATION OF CERTAIN DOCUMENTS BY REFERENCE

     67  

You should rely only on the information contained or incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus or any applicable free writing prospectus. We have not, and the underwriters have not, authorized anyone to provide you with different information.

We are not, and the underwriters are not, making an offer of the shares of common stock covered by this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus in any jurisdiction where the offer is not permitted. You should assume that the information appearing in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus, any applicable free writing prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference herein or therein is accurate only as of their respective dates or on the date or dates which are specified in these documents. Our business, financial condition, liquidity, results of operations and prospects may have changed since those dates.


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ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT AND THE PROSPECTUS

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

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

This prospectus supplement does not contain all of the information that is important to you. You should read the accompanying prospectus as well as the documents incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. See “Where You Can Find More Information” in this prospectus supplement and in the accompanying prospectus. Unless otherwise indicated or unless the context requires otherwise, references to “Annaly,” “we,” “our” and “us” in this prospectus supplement mean Annaly Capital Management, Inc., a Maryland corporation, and all entities owned by us except where it is made clear that the term means only the parent company. The term “you” refers to a prospective investor.

 

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WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

We have filed a registration statement on Form S-3 with the SEC in connection with this offering. In addition, we file annual, quarterly, and current reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. Our SEC filings are available to you, free of charge, on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. We also maintain an internet site where you can find additional information. The address of our internet site is http://www.annaly.com. All internet site addresses provided in this prospectus supplement and accompanying prospectus are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be hyperlinks. In addition, the information on our internet site is not a part of, and is not incorporated or deemed to be incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement or accompanying prospectus. Accordingly, no information in our or any of these other internet site addresses is included herein or incorporated or deemed to be incorporated by reference herein.

 

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A WARNING ABOUT FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

Certain statements contained in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, and the information incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus and certain statements contained in our future filings with the SEC, in our press releases or in our other public or stockholder communications contain or incorporate by reference certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are based on various assumptions (some of which are beyond our control) and may be identified by reference to a future period or periods or by the use of forward-looking terminology, such as “may,” “will,” “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “continue,” or similar terms or variations on those terms or the negative of those terms. Actual results could differ materially from those set forth in forward-looking statements due to a variety of factors, including, but not limited to:

 

   

risks and uncertainties related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including as related to adverse economic conditions on real estate-related assets and financing conditions (and our outlook for our business in light of these conditions, which is uncertain);

 

   

changes in interest rates;

 

   

changes in the yield curve;

 

   

changes in prepayment rates;

 

   

the availability of mortgage-backed securities, or MBS, and other securities for purchase;

 

   

the availability of financing and, if available, the terms of any financing;

 

   

changes in the market value of our assets;

 

   

changes in business conditions and the general economy;

 

   

operational risks or risk management failures by us or critical third parties, including cybersecurity incidents;

 

   

our ability to grow our residential credit business;

 

   

the sale of our middle market lending portfolio;

 

   

credit risks related to our investments in credit risk transfer securities, residential MBS and related residential mortgage credit assets, commercial real estate assets and corporate debt;

 

   

risks related to investments in mortgage servicing rights;

 

   

our ability to consummate any contemplated investment opportunities;

 

   

changes in government regulations or policy affecting our business;

 

   

our ability to maintain our qualification as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes; and

 

   

our ability to maintain our exemption from registration under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended.

The forward-looking statements are based on our beliefs, assumptions and expectations of our future performance, taking into account all information currently available to us. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. These beliefs, assumptions and expectations can change as a result of many possible events or factors, not all of which are known to us. For a discussion of the risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see “Risk Factors” in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus, our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and our subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. We do not undertake, and specifically disclaim any obligation, to publicly release the result of any revisions which may be made to any forward-looking statements to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events or circumstances after the date of such statements.

 

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SUMMARY

The following summary highlights information contained elsewhere or incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. It may not contain all of the information that is important to you. Before making a decision to invest in our common stock, you should read carefully this entire prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, including the risks set forth under the caption “Risk Factors” in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus, our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and our subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, which are incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. This summary is qualified in its entirety by the more detailed information and financial statements, including the notes thereto, appearing elsewhere or incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. Unless otherwise indicated, the information in this prospectus supplement assumes that the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares is not exercised.

Overview

Our Company

We are a leading diversified capital manager with investment strategies across mortgage finance. Our principal business objective is to generate net income for distribution to our stockholders and optimize our returns through prudent management of our diversified investment strategies. We are an internally-managed Maryland corporation founded in 1997 that has elected to be taxed as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

We use our capital coupled with borrowed funds to invest primarily in real estate related investments, earning the spread between the yield on our assets and the cost of our borrowing and hedging activities. Our activities focus on capital preservation and income generation through proactive portfolio management, supported by a conservative liquidity and leverage posture. Our operating platform reflects our investments in systems, infrastructure and personnel. Our technology investments have led to the development of proprietary portfolio analytics, financial and capital allocation modeling, and other risk and reporting tools, which coupled with cutting-edge digital transformation applications, support the diversification and operating efficiency of our business. Our operating platform supports our investments in MBS issued or guaranteed by a federally chartered corporation, or Agency, such as the Federal National Mortgage Association or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, or an agency of the U.S. Government, such as the Government National Mortgage Association, or Agency MBS, mortgage servicing rights and residential credit assets (including residential mortgage loans). We believe the diversity of our investment alternatives provides us the flexibility to adapt to changes in market conditions and to take advantage of potential opportunities.

Corporate Information

Our principal executive offices are located at 1211 Avenue of Americas, New York, New York 10036. Our telephone number is (212) 696-0100. Our website is http://www.annaly.com. The contents of our website are not a part of this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus. Our common stock is listed on the NYSE under the symbol “NLY.”

 

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THE OFFERING

The following is a brief summary of certain terms of this offering. For a more complete description of the terms of our common stock, see “Description of Equity Securities” in the accompanying prospectus.

 

Issuer

Annaly Capital Management, Inc., a Maryland corporation

 

Common stock offered

100,000,000 shares of common stock, par value $0.01 per share (plus up to an additional 15,000,000 shares of common stock that we will issue and sell in the event the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares)

 

Common stock outstanding immediately prior to this offering

1,461,021,233 shares

 

Common stock outstanding upon completion of this offering 1

1,561,021,233 shares (1,576,021,233 shares if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares in full)

 

Restrictions on ownership and transfer

Our charter contains restrictions on the number of shares of our capital stock that a person may own that are intended to assist us in maintaining our qualification as a REIT. Among other things, our charter provides that, subject to exceptions, no person may beneficially or constructively own shares of any class of our capital stock in excess of 9.8% in value or number of our outstanding shares of such class of capital stock. In addition, our charter, subject to exceptions, prohibits, among other things, any person from beneficially owning our shares of capital stock to the extent that such ownership of shares would result in us failing to qualify as a REIT. For more information about these restrictions, see “Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer” in the accompanying prospectus.

 

Use of proceeds

We intend to use the net proceeds of this offering to acquire targeted assets under our capital allocation policy, which may include further diversification of our investments in Agency assets as well as residential credit assets. These investments include, without limitation, Agency MBS pools, to-be-announced forward contracts, mortgage servicing rights and residential credit assets (including residential mortgage loans). We also intend to use the net proceeds of this offering for general corporate purposes, including, without limitation, to pay down obligations and other working capital items. See “Use of Proceeds” in this prospectus supplement.

 

Distribution policy

We have announced and paid our first quarter 2022 common stock cash dividend of $0.22 per common share. This dividend was paid on April 29, 2022, to common stockholders of record on March 31, 2022. We intend to continue to pay quarterly dividends and to make

 

1 

Excludes shares of common stock issuable upon vesting of deferred stock units, restricted stock awards and performance stock awards granted under our equity incentive plan.

 

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distributions to our stockholders in amounts such that all or substantially all of our taxable income in each year (subject to certain adjustments) is distributed.

 

Material U.S. federal income tax considerations

For a discussion of the material U.S. federal income tax considerations relating to purchasing, owning and disposing of our common stock, see “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations” in the accompanying prospectus.

 

Risk factors

Investing in our common stock involves risks. See “Risk Factors” in this prospectus supplement and the risk factors included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021 and as updated by our subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.

 

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RISK FACTORS

Investing in our common stock involves risk. Please see the risks described below in addition to the risk factors included in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, our subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and other information that we file from time to time with the SEC. Such risks are not the only risks we face. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to us or that we currently deem to be immaterial may also materially adversely affect us and the market value of our common stock. These risks could affect our business, financial condition, liquidity, results of operations, prospects, and the market value of our common stock. In such a case, you may lose all or part of your original investment. You should consider carefully the risks described below and in our reports, as well as other information and data set forth in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference herein and therein before making an investment decision with respect to our common stock.

The market price of our common stock could be substantially affected by various factors.

Stock markets have experienced significant price and volume fluctuations. As a result, the market price of our common stock could be similarly volatile. The market price of our common stock will depend on many factors, which may change from time to time, including:

 

   

prevailing interest rates, increases in which may have an adverse effect on the market price of our common stock;

 

   

trading prices of securities issued by REITs and other similar companies;

 

   

general economic and financial market conditions;

 

   

government action or regulation;

 

   

our financial condition, performance and prospects and those of our competitors;

 

   

changes in financial estimates or recommendations by securities analysts with respect to us, our competitors or our industry;

 

   

our issuance of additional shares of our common stock or securities convertible into, or exchangeable or exercisable for, shares of our common stock; and

 

   

actual or anticipated variations in our quarterly operating results and those of our competitors.

As a result of these and other factors, investors who purchase shares of our common stock in this offering may experience a decrease, which could be substantial and rapid, in the market price of our common stock, including decreases unrelated to our operating performance or prospects.

 

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USE OF PROCEEDS

We estimate that the net proceeds of this offering to us will be approximately $             million (or approximately $             million if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares in full) before estimated offering expenses payable by us.

We intend to use the net proceeds of this offering to acquire targeted assets under our capital allocation policy, which may include further diversification of our investments in Agency assets as well as residential credit assets. These investments include, without limitation, Agency MBS pools, to-be-announced forward contracts, mortgage servicing rights and residential credit assets (including residential mortgage loans). We also intend to use the net proceeds of this offering for general corporate purposes, including, without limitation, to pay down obligations and other working capital items.

Pending these uses, we intend to maintain the net proceeds of this offering in interest-bearing, short-term, marketable investment grade securities or (interest or non-interest bearing) checking (or escrow) accounts or money market accounts that are consistent with our intention to maintain our qualification as a REIT. These investments may include, for example, government securities other than Agency MBS, certificates of deposit and interest-bearing bank deposits. These investments are expected to provide a lower net return than we will seek to achieve from our targeted assets.

 

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UNDERWRITING

Subject to the terms and conditions stated in the underwriting agreement dated the date of this prospectus supplement, each underwriter named below, for whom Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC is acting as representative, has severally agreed to purchase, and we have agreed to sell to that underwriter, the number of shares of our common stock set forth opposite that underwriter’s name.

 

Underwriters

   Number of
Shares
 

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC

  

Barclays Capital Inc.

  

BofA Securities, Inc.

  

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC

  

RBC Capital Markets, LLC

  

UBS Securities LLC

  

Wells Fargo Securities, LLC

  

Loop Capital Markets LLC

  

Roberts & Ryan Investments, Inc.

  

Total

     100,000,000  

The underwriting agreement provides that the obligations of the underwriters to purchase the shares included in this offering are subject to approval of legal matters by counsel and to other conditions. The underwriters are obligated to purchase all the shares (other than those covered by the option to purchase additional shares described below) if they purchase any of the shares.

We have granted to the underwriters an option, exercisable for 30 days from the date of this prospectus supplement, to purchase up to 15,000,000 additional shares at the same price per share set forth on the cover of this prospectus supplement. To the extent the option is exercised, each underwriter must purchase a number of additional shares approximately proportionate to that underwriter’s initial purchase commitment. Any shares issued or sold under the option will be issued and sold on the same terms and conditions as the other shares that are the subject of this offering.

The following table shows the per share and total underwriting discounts and commissions to be paid to the underwriters by the company. Such amounts are shown assuming both no exercise and full exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase 15,000,000 additional shares.

 

     Paid by the Company  
     No Exercise      Full Exercise  

Per Share

   $                        $                    

Total

   $        $    

Pursuant to certain “Lock-Up” agreements, we and our executive officers and directors have agreed, subject to certain exceptions, not to sell, offer, contract to sell, pledge, register, grant any option to purchase or otherwise dispose of, directly or indirectly, any shares of capital stock, or any securities convertible into, or exercisable, exchangeable or redeemable for shares of capital stock without the prior written consent of the representative for a period of 30 days after the date of this prospectus supplement, subject to certain exceptions, including sales made pursuant to our separate Distribution Agency Agreements, each dated August 6, 2020, each as amended on August 6, 2021, or the filing of a shelf registration statement due to the expiration of our existing shelf registration statement on January 31, 2025.

We estimate that our total expenses incurred in connection with this offering will be approximately $300,000.

The common stock is listed on the NYSE under the symbol “NLY.”

 

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In connection with the offering, the underwriters may purchase and sell shares of common stock in the open market. These transactions may include short sales, stabilizing transactions and purchases to cover positions created by short sales. Short sales involve the sale by the underwriters of a greater number of shares than they are required to purchase in the offering, and a short position represents the amount of such sales that have not been covered by subsequent purchase. A “covered short position” is a short position that is not greater than the amount of additional shares for which the underwriter’s option described above may be exercised. The underwriters may cover any covered short position by either exercising its option to purchase additional shares or purchasing shares in the open market. In determining the source of shares to cover the covered short position, the underwriters will consider, among other things, the price of shares available for purchase in the open market as compared to the price at which they may purchase additional shares pursuant to the option described above. “Naked” short sales are any short sales that create a short position greater than the amount of additional shares for which the option described above may be exercised. The underwriters must cover any such naked short position by purchasing shares in the open market. A naked short position is more likely to be created if the underwriters are concerned that there may be downward pressure on the price of the common stock in the open market after pricing that could adversely affect investors who purchase in the offering. Stabilizing transactions consist of various bids for or purchases of common stock made by the underwriters in the open market prior to the completion of the offering.

Purchases to cover a short position and stabilizing transactions, as well as other purchases by the underwriters for their own accounts, may have the effect of preventing or retarding a decline in the market price of the company’s stock, and may stabilize, maintain or otherwise affect the market price of the common stock. As a result, the price of the common stock may be higher than the price that otherwise might exist in the open market. The underwriters are not required to engage in these activities and may end any of these activities at any time. These transactions may be effected on NYSE, in the over-the-counter market or otherwise.

In connection with the offering, the underwriters may distribute prospectuses by electronic means, such as e-mail.

Certain underwriters or their affiliates have performed, and in the future may perform, commercial banking, investment banking and advisory services for us in the ordinary course of their business for which they have received, and in the future are expected to receive, customary fees. Some of the underwriters or their affiliates have engaged in, and may in the future engage in, investment banking and other commercial dealings in the ordinary course of business with our affiliates. They have received, or may in the future receive, customary fees and commissions for these transactions. In addition, in the ordinary course of its business activities, each underwriter and its affiliates may make or hold a broad array of investments and actively traded debt and equity securities (or related derivative securities) and financial instruments (including bank loans) for their own account and for the accounts of their customers. Such investments and securities activities may involve securities and/or instruments of ours or our affiliates. Each underwriter and its affiliates may also make investment recommendations and/or publish or express independent research views in respect of such securities or financial instruments and may hold, or recommend to clients that they acquire, long and/or short positions in such securities and instruments.

We have agreed to indemnify the several underwriters against certain liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or to contribute to payments the underwriters may be required to make because of any of those liabilities.

Notice to Prospective Investors in Canada

The shares may be sold in Canada only to purchasers purchasing, or deemed to be purchasing, as principal that are accredited investors, as defined in National Instrument 45-106 Prospectus Exemptions or subsection 73.3(1) of the Securities Act (Ontario), and are permitted clients, as defined in National Instrument 31-103 Registration Requirements, Exemptions and Ongoing Registrant Obligations. Any resale of the shares must be made in accordance with an exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to, the prospectus requirements of applicable securities laws.

 

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Securities legislation in certain provinces or territories of Canada may provide a purchaser with remedies for rescission or damages if this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus (including any amendment thereto) contains a misrepresentation, provided that the remedies for rescission or damages are exercised by the purchaser within the time limit prescribed by the securities legislation of the purchaser’s province or territory. The purchaser should refer to any applicable provisions of the securities legislation of the purchaser’s province or territory for particulars of these rights or consult with a legal advisor.

Pursuant to section 3A.3 of National Instrument 33-105 Underwriting Conflicts (NI 33-105), the underwriters are not required to comply with the disclosure requirements of NI 33-105 regarding underwriter conflicts of interest in connection with this offering.

 

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LEGAL MATTERS

Certain legal matters in connection with this offering will be passed upon for us by Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP and, with respect to certain matters of Maryland law, Venable LLP. Certain legal matters will be passed upon for the underwriters by Ropes  & Gray LLP.

EXPERTS

The consolidated financial statements appearing in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021, and the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2021, have been audited by Ernst & Young LLP, independent registered public accounting firm, as set forth in the reports thereon included therein, and incorporated herein by reference. Such financial statements are, and audited financial statements to be included in subsequently filed documents will be, incorporated herein in reliance upon the reports of Ernst & Young LLP pertaining to such financial statements and the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of the respective dates, to the extent covered by consents filed with the SEC, given on the authority of such firm as experts in accounting and auditing.

INCORPORATION OF CERTAIN DOCUMENTS BY REFERENCE

We are incorporating by reference certain information that we file with the SEC, which means that we are disclosing important information to you by referring you to another document filed separately with the SEC. The information incorporated by reference is an important part of this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, and the information that we subsequently file with the SEC will automatically update and supersede information in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus and in our other filings with the SEC. We have filed the documents listed below with the SEC (File No. 001-13447) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, and these documents are incorporated herein by reference. We are not, however, incorporating by reference any documents or portions thereof, whether specifically listed below or filed in the future, that are not deemed “filed” with the SEC, including without limitation any information furnished pursuant to Items 2.02 or 7.01 of Form 8-K (except that the information contained under Item 8.01 in our Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on April 25, 2022 is deemed incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus).

 

   

Our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021, filed with the SEC on February 18, 2022;

 

   

Our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended March 31, 2022, filed with the SEC on May 4, 2022;

 

   

The information specifically incorporated by reference into our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021 from our Definitive Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A filed with the SEC on April 6, 2022;

 

   

Our Current Reports on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on January 3, 2022, January  31, 2022, February  9, 2022, February  10, 2022, February  14, 2022, April  25, 2022 (Item 8.01 only) and April 27, 2022; and

 

   

The description of our common stock, par value $0.01 per share, included in our Registration Statement on Form 8-A, filed with the SEC on October 6, 1997.

All documents we file with the SEC pursuant to Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act after the date of this prospectus supplement and before the termination of the offering of the securities to which this prospectus supplement relates (other than information in such documents that is not deemed to be filed) shall be deemed to be incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus and to be part hereof from the date of filing of those documents.

 

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Any statement contained in a document that is incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus is automatically updated and superseded to the extent that a statement contained in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus or in any other document that we file with the SEC, and which is also incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, modifies or replaces that statement.

You may obtain copies of these documents at no cost by writing or telephoning us at the following address:

Investor Relations

Annaly Capital Management, Inc.

1211 Avenue of the Americas

New York, New York 10036

Telephone: 1-888-8ANNALY

 

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PROSPECTUS

 

 

LOGO

Annaly Capital Management, Inc.

Common Stock, Preferred Stock, Warrants, Stockholder Rights, Debt Securities, Purchase Contracts and Units

 

 

By this prospectus, we may offer, from time to time,

 

   

shares of our common stock or preferred stock;

 

   

warrants to purchase shares of our common stock or preferred stock;

 

   

rights issuable to our stockholders to purchase shares of our common stock or preferred stock, to purchase warrants exercisable for shares of our common stock or preferred stock, or to purchase units consisting of two or more of the foregoing;

 

   

debt securities, which may consist of debentures, notes, or other types of debt;

 

   

purchase contracts obligating holders to purchase from or sell to us, or us to sell to or purchase from holders, at a future date, certain securities described in the prospectus; and

 

   

units consisting of two or more of the foregoing.

We will provide specific terms of each issuance of these securities in supplements to this prospectus. In addition, selling security holders may sell these securities, from time to time, on terms described in the applicable prospectus supplement. You should read this prospectus and any supplement carefully before you decide to invest.

The New York Stock Exchange lists our common stock under the symbol “NLY”, our 6.95% Series F Fixed-to-Floating Rate Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock under the symbol “NLY.F”, our 6.50% Series G Fixed-to-Floating Rate Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock under the symbol “NLY.G” and our 6.75% Series I Fixed-to-Floating Rate Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock under the symbol “NLY.I”.

To assist us in continuing to qualify as a real estate investment trust (“REIT”) for federal income tax purposes, no person may own more than 9.8%, in number of shares or value, of the outstanding shares of any class of our common stock or our preferred stock, unless our Board of Directors (the “Board”) waives this limitation.

 

 

Investing in these securities involves risks. You should carefully consider the information referred to under the heading “Risk Factors” beginning on page 4 of this prospectus.

We, or the selling security holders, may sell these securities to or through underwriters, dealers or agents, or directly to investors.

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

The date of this prospectus is January 31, 2022.


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS

     1  

A WARNING ABOUT FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     2  

ABOUT ANNALY CAPITAL MANAGEMENT, INC.

     3  

RISK FACTORS

     4  

USE OF PROCEEDS

     5  

DESCRIPTION OF EQUITY SECURITIES

     6  

DESCRIPTION OF WARRANTS

     9  

DESCRIPTION OF RIGHTS TO PURCHASE OUR SECURITIES

     10  

DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES

     11  

DESCRIPTION OF PURCHASE CONTRACTS

     26  

DESCRIPTION OF UNITS

     27  

RESTRICTIONS ON OWNERSHIP AND TRANSFER

     28  

CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF MARYLAND LAW AND OF OUR CHARTER AND BYLAWS

     30  

MATERIAL U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS

     35  

PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

     64  

EXPERTS

     66  

LEGAL MATTERS

     66  

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT US

     66  

INCORPORATION OF CERTAIN DOCUMENTS BY REFERENCE

     67  


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ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS

This prospectus is part of a registration statement that we filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) using a “shelf” registration process. Under this shelf registration process, we may offer and sell the securities described in this prospectus in one or more offerings. This prospectus provides you with a general description of the securities we may offer. Each time we offer to sell securities, we will provide a supplement to this prospectus that will contain specific information about the terms of that offering. The prospectus supplement may also add, update or change information contained in this prospectus. It is important for you to consider the information contained in this prospectus and any prospectus supplement together with additional information described under the heading “Where You Can Find More Information About Us.”

You should rely only on the information contained in or incorporated by reference into or set forth in this prospectus or the applicable prospectus supplement. We have not authorized any other person to provide you with additional or different information. If anyone provides you with different or inconsistent information, you should not rely on it. We are not making an offer to sell these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted. The information in this prospectus, the applicable prospectus supplement or any other offering material is accurate only as of the date such information is presented. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since such dates.

 

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A WARNING ABOUT FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

Certain statements contained in this prospectus, any prospectus supplement and any other offering material, and the information incorporated by reference into this prospectus, any prospectus supplement and/or any other offering material, and certain statements contained in our future filings with the SEC, in our press releases or in our other public or stockholder communications may not be based on historical facts and are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (“Securities Act”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“Exchange Act”). Forward-looking statements, which are based on various assumptions (some of which are beyond our control), may be identified by reference to a future period or periods or by the use of forward-looking terminology, such as “may,” “will,” “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “continue,” “should,” “intend,” “estimate,” “plan,” “would” or similar terms, variations on those terms or the negative of those terms. Actual results could differ materially from those set forth in forward-looking statements due to a variety of factors, including, but not limited to:

 

   

risks and uncertainties related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including as related to adverse economic conditions on real estate-related assets and financing conditions (and our outlook for our business in light of these conditions);

 

   

changes in interest rates;

 

   

changes in the yield curve;

 

   

changes in prepayment rates;

 

   

the availability of mortgage-backed securities and other securities for purchase;

 

   

the availability of financing and, if available,

 

   

the terms of any financing;

 

   

changes in the market value of our assets;

 

   

changes in business conditions and the general economy;

 

   

our ability to grow our residential credit business;

 

   

our ability to grow our middle market lending business; credit risks related to our investments in credit risk transfer securities, residential mortgage-backed securities and related residential mortgage credit assets and corporate debt;

 

   

risks related to investments in mortgage servicing rights (“MSRs”);

 

   

our ability to consummate any contemplated investment opportunities;

 

   

changes in government regulations or policy affecting our business;

 

   

our ability to maintain our qualification as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes; and

 

   

our ability to maintain our exemption from registration under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended.

These forward-looking statements are based on our beliefs, assumptions and expectations of our future performance, taking into account all information currently available to us. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. These beliefs, assumptions and expectations can change as a result of many possible events or factors, not all of which are known to us. Some of these factors are described under the caption “About Annaly Capital Management, Inc.” in this prospectus and under the caption “Risk Factors” in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020 and our subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, which are incorporated by reference into this prospectus. If a change occurs, our business, financial condition, liquidity and results of operations and prospects may vary materially from those expressed in our forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made. New risks and uncertainties arise from time to time, and it is impossible for us to predict those events or how they may affect us. Except as required by law, we are not obligated to, and do not intend to, update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

 

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ABOUT ANNALY CAPITAL MANAGEMENT, INC.

We are a leading diversified capital manager with investment strategies across mortgage finance and corporate middle market lending. Our principal business objective is to generate net income for distribution to our stockholders and optimize our returns through prudent management of our diversified investment strategies. We are an internally-managed Maryland corporation founded in 1997 that has elected to be taxed as a REIT.

We use our capital coupled with borrowed funds to invest primarily in real estate related investments, earning the spread between the yield on our assets and the cost of our borrowings and hedging activities. Our three investment groups are primarily comprised of the following:

 

Investment Groups

  

Description

Annaly Agency Group    Invests in Agency mortgage-backed securities (“MBS”) collateralized by residential mortgages which are guaranteed by Federal National Mortgage Association, Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation or Government National Mortgage Association and complementary investments within the Agency market, including MSR and Agency commercial mortgage-backed securities.
Annaly Residential Credit Group    Invests primarily in non-Agency residential whole loans and securitized products within the residential and commercial markets.
Annaly Middle Market Lending Group    Provides financing to private equity backed middle market businesses, focusing primarily on senior debt within select industries.

To ensure we continue to qualify as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes, no person may own more than 9.8%, in number of shares or value, of the outstanding shares of any class of our common stock or our preferred stock, unless our Board waives this limitation.

Stock Listing

The New York Stock Exchange lists our common stock under the symbol “NLY”, our 6.95% Series F Fixed-to-Floating Rate Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock under the symbol “NLY.F”, our 6.50% Series G Fixed-to-Floating Rate Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock under the symbol “NLY.G” and our 6.75% Series I Fixed-to-Floating Rate Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock under the symbol “NLY.I”.

Principal Executive Offices and Telephone Number

Our principal executive offices are located at 1211 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10036. Our telephone number is (212) 696-0100. Our website is http://www.annaly.com. The contents of our website are not a part of, and are not incorporated by reference into, this prospectus or any accompanying prospectus supplement.

 

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RISK FACTORS

Investing in our securities involves risks. You should carefully consider the risks described under “Risk Factors” in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, as well as any other information contained or incorporated by reference into this prospectus or in any prospectus supplement hereto before making a decision to invest in our securities. See “Where You Can Find More Information About Us,” below.

 

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USE OF PROCEEDS

We intend to use the net proceeds from the sale of the securities offered by this prospectus to acquire targeted assets under our capital allocation policy, which may include further diversification of our investments in Agency assets as well as residential and corporate credit assets. These investments include, without limitation, residential credit assets (including residential mortgage loans), middle market corporate debt, Agency MBS pools, to-be-announced forward contracts, adjustable-rate mortgages and MSRs. We also intend to use the net proceeds of this offering for general corporate purposes, including, without limitation, to pay down obligations and other working capital items.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF EQUITY SECURITIES

General

Our charter provides that the total number of shares of stock of all classes which we have the authority to issue is three billion (3,000,000,000) shares of capital stock, $0.01 par value per share. These shares of capital stock consist of 2,936,500,000 shares of common stock, $0.01 par value per share, 28,800,000 shares of 6.95% Series F Fixed-to-Floating Rate Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, $0.01 par value per share (“Series F Preferred Stock”), 17,000,000 shares of 6.50% Series G Fixed-to-Floating Rate Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, $0.01 par value per share (“Series G Preferred Stock”) and 17,700,000 shares of 6.75% Series I Fixed-to-Floating Rate Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, $0.01 par value per share (“Series I Preferred Stock”).

Our Board may classify and reclassify any unissued shares of capital stock by setting or changing in any one or more respects the preferences, conversion or other rights, voting powers, restrictions, limitations as to dividends and other distributions, qualifications or terms or conditions of redemption of such shares of stock. As of December 31, 2021, we had 1,459,736,258 shares of common stock outstanding. In addition, as of December 31, 2021, we had 28,800,000 shares of Series F Preferred Stock outstanding, 17,000,000 shares of Series G Preferred Stock outstanding and 17,700,000 shares of Series I Preferred Stock outstanding.

All shares of common stock offered hereby will be duly authorized, fully paid and nonassessable. Our Board, with the approval of a majority of the entire board and without any action on the part of our stockholders, may amend our charter from time to time to increase or decrease the aggregate number of shares of stock or the number of shares of stock of any class or series that we have authority to issue. Under Maryland law, our stockholders generally are not personally liable for our debts and obligations solely as a result of their status as stockholders.

Voting

Subject to our charter restrictions on ownership and transfer of our stock and the terms of any other class or series of our stock, each outstanding share of our common stock entitles the holder thereof to one vote on all matters submitted to a vote of stockholders, including the election of directors. Cumulative voting in the election of directors is not permitted. Each nominee for director shall be elected by a majority of the votes cast. A majority of the votes cast means the affirmative vote of a majority of the total votes cast “for” and “against” such nominee. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a nominee for director shall be elected by a plurality of the votes cast if the number of nominees exceeds the number of directors to be elected. If an incumbent director fails to receive the required vote for re-election, under our current bylaws our Board is required to publicly disclose whether it has requested and accepted the resignation of such director and, if applicable, its decision regarding any tendered resignation and its rationale.

Our bylaws provide that annual meetings of our stockholders will be held each calendar year on the date and at the time and place set by our Board, and special meetings may be called by our Board, the Chairman of our Board or our Chief Executive Officer. Additionally, our Secretary is required to call a meeting of stockholders upon the written request of stockholders entitled to cast not less than a majority of the votes that all stockholders are entitled to cast at the meeting. Our charter may be amended in accordance with its terms and Maryland law.

Dividends; Liquidation; Other Rights

Common stockholders are entitled to receive dividends if and when authorized by our Board and declared by us out of legally available funds. The right of common stockholders to receive dividends is subordinate to the rights of preferred stockholders or other senior stockholders. If we liquidate, dissolve or wind-up, our common stockholders will share ratably in all of our assets remaining after the payment of all of our liabilities and the

 

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payment of all liquidation and other preference amounts to preferred stockholders and other senior stockholders. Common stockholders have no preemptive or other subscription rights, and there are no conversion rights, or redemption or sinking fund provisions, relating to the shares of common stock.

Classification or Reclassification of Common Stock or Preferred Stock

Our charter authorizes our Board to reclassify any unissued shares of stock into other classes or series of shares, to establish the number of shares in each class or series and to set the preferences, conversion and other rights, voting powers, restrictions, limitations, and restrictions on ownership, limitations as to dividends or other distributions, qualifications, and terms or conditions of redemption for each class or series.

Preferred Stock

The following description sets forth general terms and provisions of the preferred stock to which any prospectus supplement may relate. The statements below describing the preferred stock are in all respects subject to and qualified in their entirety by reference to our charter, our bylaws and any articles supplementary filed with the State Department of Assessments and Taxation of Maryland designating terms of a class or series of preferred stock. The preferred stock, when issued, will be validly issued, fully paid, and non-assessable. Because our Board has the power to establish the preferences, powers and rights of each class or series of preferred stock, our Board may afford the holders of any class or series of preferred stock preferences, powers and rights, voting or otherwise, senior to the rights of common stockholders.

The rights, voting powers, restrictions, limitations, and restrictions on ownership, limitations as to dividends or other distributions, qualifications, and terms or conditions of redemption of each class or series of preferred stock will be fixed by the articles supplementary relating to the class or series. A prospectus supplement, relating to each class or series, will specify the terms of the preferred stock including, without limitation, the following:

 

   

the title and stated value of the preferred stock;

 

   

the voting rights of the preferred stock, if applicable;

 

   

the preemptive rights of the preferred stock, if applicable;

 

   

the restrictions on alienability of the preferred stock, if applicable;

 

   

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

 

   

liability to further calls or assessment of the preferred stock, if applicable;

 

   

the dividend rate(s), period(s) and payment date(s) or method(s) of calculation applicable to the preferred stock (including fixed and floating rates, as applicable);

 

   

the date from which dividends on the preferred stock will accumulate, if applicable;

 

   

the procedures for any auction and remarketing for the preferred stock;

 

   

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

 

   

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

 

   

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

 

   

any listing of the preferred stock on any securities exchange;

 

   

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

 

   

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

 

   

any other specific terms, preferences, rights, limitations or restrictions of the preferred stock;

 

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a discussion of material U.S. federal income tax considerations applicable to the preferred stock;

 

   

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

 

   

any limitation on issuance of any class or series of preferred stock ranking senior to or on a parity with the class or series of preferred stock as to dividend rights and rights upon the liquidation, dissolution or winding-up of our affairs; and

 

   

any limitations on direct or beneficial ownership and restrictions on transfer of the preferred stock, in each case as may be appropriate to preserve our qualification as a REIT.

Transfer Agent and Registrar

Computershare Inc., 480 Washington Blvd., 27th Floor, Jersey City, New Jersey 07310-1900, is the transfer agent and registrar for our stock. Its website is www.computershare.com and its telephone number is (800) 301-5234.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF WARRANTS

This section describes the general terms and provisions of the warrants that we may offer by this prospectus. The applicable prospectus supplement will describe the specific terms of the warrants then offered, and the terms and provisions described in this section will apply only to the extent not superseded by the terms of the applicable prospectus supplement.

We may issue warrants for the purchase of common stock or preferred stock, respectively referred to as common stock warrants and preferred stock warrants. Warrants may be issued independently or together with any other securities offered by this prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement and may be attached to or separate from such other securities. Each issuance of the warrants will be issued under a separate securities warrant agreement to be entered into by us and a bank or trust company, as securities warrant agent, all as set forth in the prospectus supplement relating to the particular issue of offered warrants. Each issue of warrants will be evidenced by securities warrant certificates. The securities warrant agent will act solely as an agent of ours in connection with the securities warrant certificates and will not assume any obligation or relationship of agency or trust for or with any holder of securities warrant certificates or beneficial owners of warrants.

If we offer warrants pursuant to this prospectus in the future, the applicable prospectus supplement will describe the terms of such warrants including, but not limited to, the following, where applicable:

 

   

the offering price;

 

   

the aggregate number of shares purchasable upon exercise of such warrants, and in the case of warrants for preferred stock, the designation, aggregate number, and terms of the class or series of preferred stock purchasable upon exercise of such warrants;

 

   

the designation and terms of the securities with which such warrants are being offered, if any, and the number of such warrants being offered with each such security;

 

   

the date on and after which such warrants and any related securities will be transferable separately;

 

   

the number of shares of preferred stock or shares of common stock purchasable upon exercise of each of such warrants and the price at which such number of shares of preferred stock or common stock may be purchased upon such exercise;

 

   

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

 

   

U.S. federal income tax considerations; and

 

   

any other material terms of such warrants.

Holders of future warrants, if any, will not be entitled by virtue of being such holders, to vote, to consent, to receive dividends, to receive notice with respect to any meeting of stockholders for the election of our directors or any other matter, or to exercise any rights whatsoever as our stockholders.

If warrants for the purchase of preferred stock are offered, the applicable prospectus supplement will also describe the terms of the preferred stock into which the warrants are exercisable as described under “Description of Equity Securities—Preferred Stock.”

 

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DESCRIPTION OF RIGHTS TO PURCHASE OUR SECURITIES

This section describes the general terms and provisions of the rights to purchase certain of our securities that we may issue to holders of our securities by this prospectus. The applicable prospectus supplement will describe the specific terms of the rights then issued, and the terms and provisions described in this section will apply only to the extent not superseded by the terms of the applicable prospectus supplement.

We may issue, as a dividend at no cost, to holders of record of our securities or any class or series thereof on the applicable record date, rights to purchase shares of our common stock or preferred stock, to purchase warrants exercisable for shares of our common stock or preferred stock, or to purchase units consisting of two or more of the foregoing. In this prospectus, we refer to such rights as “stockholder rights.” If stockholder rights are so issued to existing holders of securities, each stockholder right will entitle the registered holder thereof to purchase the securities issuable upon exercise of the rights pursuant to the terms set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement.

If stockholder rights are issued, the applicable prospectus supplement will describe the terms of such stockholder rights including, but not limited to, the following, where applicable:

 

   

record date;

 

   

subscription price;

 

   

subscription agent;

 

   

aggregate number of shares of preferred stock, shares of common stock, warrants, or units purchasable upon exercise of such stockholder rights and in the case of stockholder rights for preferred stock or warrants exercisable for preferred stock, the designation, aggregate number, and terms of the class or series of preferred stock purchasable upon exercise of such stockholder rights or warrants;

 

   

the date on which the right to exercise such stockholder rights shall commence and the expiration date on which such right shall expire;

 

   

U.S. federal income tax considerations; and

 

   

other material terms of such stockholder rights.

In addition to the terms of the stockholder rights and the securities issuable upon exercise thereof, the prospectus supplement may describe, for a holder of such stockholder rights who validly exercises all stockholder rights issued to such holder, how to subscribe for unsubscribed securities, issuable pursuant to unexercised stockholder rights issued to other holders, to the extent such stockholder rights have not been exercised.

Holders of stockholder rights will not be entitled by virtue of being such holders, to vote, to consent, to receive dividends, to receive notice with respect to any meeting of stockholders for the election of our directors or any other matter, or to exercise any rights whatsoever as our stockholders, except to the extent described in the related prospectus supplement.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES

The following description of debt securities describes general terms and provisions of a series of debt securities to which any prospectus supplement may relate. When we offer to sell a series of debt securities, we will describe the specific terms of the series in the applicable prospectus supplement. If any particular terms of the debt securities of that series or the indenture described in a prospectus supplement differ from any of the terms described in this prospectus, then the terms described in the applicable prospectus supplement will supersede the terms described in this prospectus.

We may issue our debt securities either separately, or together with, or upon the conversion or exercise of or in exchange for, other securities described in this prospectus. The debt securities will be our unsubordinated and, unless otherwise expressly stated in the applicable prospectus supplement, unsecured obligations and may be issued in one or more series. If so indicated in the applicable prospectus supplement, we may issue debt securities that are secured by specified collateral.

The debt securities will be issued under one or more indentures, each to be entered into by us and a trustee. The trustee shall be Wells Fargo Bank, National Association or such other trustee as may be named in the applicable prospectus supplement. Unless otherwise expressly stated in the applicable prospectus supplement, we may issue both secured and unsecured debt securities under the same indenture. Unless otherwise expressly stated or the context otherwise requires, references in this section to the “indenture” and the “trustee” refer to the applicable indenture pursuant to which any particular series of debt securities is issued and to the trustee under that indenture. The terms of any series of debt securities will be those specified in or pursuant to the applicable indenture and in the certificates evidencing that series of debt securities and those made part of the indenture by the Trust Indenture Act of 1939, as amended, or the “Trust Indenture Act of 1939.”

The following summary of selected provisions of the indenture is not complete, and the summary of selected terms of a particular series of debt securities in the applicable prospectus supplement also will not be complete. You should review the indenture, the form of any applicable supplemental indenture and the form of certificate evidencing the applicable debt securities, which forms have been or will be filed as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part or as exhibits to documents which have been or will be incorporated by reference into this prospectus. To obtain a copy of the indenture, the form of any such supplemental indenture or the form of certificate for any debt securities, see “Where You Can Find More Information About Us” in this prospectus. The following summary and the summary in the applicable prospectus supplement are qualified in their entirety by reference to all of the provisions of the applicable indenture, any supplemental indenture and the certificates evidencing the applicable debt securities, which provisions, including defined terms, are incorporated by reference into this prospectus.

Capitalized terms used in this section and not defined have the meanings assigned to those terms in the indenture. Unless otherwise expressly stated or the context otherwise requires, references in this section to “Annaly,” “we,” “our company,” “us” and “our” and other similar references mean Annaly Capital Management, Inc., excluding its subsidiaries.

General

The debt securities may be issued from time to time in one or more series. We can issue an unlimited amount of debt securities under the indenture. The indenture provides that debt securities of any series may be issued up to the aggregate principal amount that may be authorized from time to time by us. Please read the applicable prospectus supplement relating to the series of debt securities being offered for specific terms including, but not limited to, the following, where applicable:

 

   

the title of the series of debt securities;

 

   

any limit on the aggregate principal amount of debt securities of the series;

 

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the price or prices at which debt securities of the series will be issued;

 

   

the person to whom any interest on a debt security of the series shall be payable, if other than the person in whose name that debt security is registered on the applicable record date;

 

   

the date or dates on which we will pay the principal of and premium, if any, on debt securities of the series, or the method or methods, if any, used to determine those dates;

 

   

the rate or rates, which may be fixed or variable, at which debt securities of the series will bear interest, if any, or the method or methods, if any, used to determine those rates;

 

   

the basis used to calculate interest, if any, on the debt securities of the series if other than a 360-day year of twelve 30-day months;

 

   

the date or dates, if any, from which interest on the debt securities of the series will begin to accrue, or the method or methods, if any, used to determine those dates;

 

   

the dates on which the interest, if any, on the debt securities of the series will be payable and the record dates for the payment of interest;

 

   

the place or places where amounts due on the debt securities of the series will be payable and where the debt securities of the series may be surrendered for registration of transfer and exchange, if other than the corporate trust office of the applicable trustee;

 

   

the terms and conditions, if any, upon which we may, at our option, redeem debt securities of the series;

 

   

the terms and conditions, if any, upon which we will repurchase or repay debt securities of the series at the option of the holders of debt securities of the series;

 

   

the terms of any sinking fund or analogous provision;

 

   

if other than U.S. dollars, the currency in which the purchase price for the debt securities of the series will be payable, the currency in which payments on the debt securities of the series will be payable, and the ability, if any, of us or the holders of debt securities of the series to have payments made in any other currency or currencies;

 

   

with respect to debt securities of the series, any addition of any covenant or Event of Default, or the modification or deletion of any covenant or Event of Default;

 

   

whether the debt securities of the series are to be issuable, in whole or in part, in bearer form (“bearer debt securities”);

 

   

whether any debt securities of the series will be issued in temporary or permanent global form (“global debt securities”) and, if so, the identity of the depositary for the global debt securities if other than The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”);

 

   

if and under what circumstances we will pay additional amounts (“Additional Amounts”) on the debt securities of the series in respect of specified taxes, assessments or other governmental charges and, if so, whether we will have the option to redeem the debt securities of the series rather than pay the Additional Amounts;

 

   

the manner in which, or the person to whom, any interest on any bearer debt security of the series will be payable, if other than upon presentation and surrender of the coupons relating to the bearer debt security;

 

   

the extent to which, or the manner in which, any interest payable on a temporary global debt security will be paid, if other than in the manner provided in the indenture;

 

   

the portion of the principal amount of the debt securities of the series which will be payable upon acceleration if other than the full principal amount;

 

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the authorized denominations in which the debt securities of the series will be issued, if other than denominations of $1,000 and any integral multiples of $1,000, in the case of debt securities in registered form (“registered debt securities”) or $5,000, in the case of bearer debt securities;

 

   

the terms, if any, upon which debt securities of the series may be convertible into or exchangeable for other securities or property;

 

   

if the amount of payments on the debt securities of the series may be determined with reference to an index, formula or other method or methods and the method used to determine those amounts;

 

   

if the debt securities of the series will be secured by any collateral and, if so, a general description of the collateral and of some of the terms of any related security, pledge or other agreements;

 

   

any listing of the debt securities on any securities exchange; and

 

   

any other terms of the debt securities of the series (whether or not such other terms are consistent or inconsistent with any other terms of the indenture).

As used in this prospectus and any prospectus supplement relating to the offering of debt securities of any series, references to the principal of and premium, if any, and interest, if any, on the debt securities of the series include the payment of Additional Amounts, if any, required by the debt securities of the series to be paid in that context.

We may issue debt securities at a discount from, or at a premium to, their stated principal amount. A prospectus supplement may describe U.S. federal income tax considerations and other special considerations applicable to a debt security issued with original issue discount or at a premium.

If the principal of, premium, if any, or interest, if any, with regard to any series of debt securities is payable in a foreign currency, then in the prospectus supplement relating to those debt securities, we will describe any restrictions on currency conversions, tax considerations or other material restrictions with respect to that issue of debt securities.

The terms of the debt securities of any series may differ from the terms of the debt securities of any other series, and the terms of particular debt securities within any series may differ from each other. Unless otherwise expressly provided in the prospectus supplement relating to any series of debt securities, we may, without the consent of the holders of the debt securities of any series, reopen an existing series of debt securities and issue additional debt securities of that series.

Unless otherwise described in a prospectus supplement relating to any series of debt securities and except to the limited extent set forth below under “—Merger, Consolidation and Transfer of Assets,” the indenture does not contain any provisions that would limit our ability or the ability of any of our subsidiaries to incur indebtedness or other liabilities or that would afford holders of debt securities protection in the event of a business combination, takeover, recapitalization or highly leveraged or similar transaction involving us. Accordingly, we and our subsidiaries may in the future enter into transactions that could increase the amount of our consolidated indebtedness and other liabilities or otherwise adversely affect our capital structure or credit rating without the consent of the holders of the debt securities of any series.

Registration, Transfer and Payment

Unless otherwise indicated in the applicable prospectus supplement, each series of debt securities will be issued in registered form only, without coupons. The indenture, however, provides that we may also issue a series of debt securities in bearer form only, or in both registered and bearer form.

Unless otherwise indicated in the applicable prospectus supplement, registered debt securities will be issued in denominations of $1,000 or any integral multiples of $1,000, and bearer debt securities will be issued in denominations of $5,000.

 

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Unless otherwise indicated in the applicable prospectus supplement, the debt securities will be payable and may be surrendered for registration of transfer or exchange and, if applicable, for conversion into or exchange for other securities or property, at an office or agency maintained by us in the United States. However, we, at our option, may make payments of interest on any registered debt security by check mailed to the address of the person entitled to receive that payment or by wire transfer to an account maintained by the payee with a bank located in the United States. Unless otherwise indicated in the applicable prospectus supplement, no service charge shall be made for any registration of transfer or exchange, redemption or repayment of debt securities, or for any conversion or exchange of debt securities for other securities or property, but we may require payment of a sum sufficient to cover any tax or other governmental charge that may be imposed in connection with such transaction.

Unless otherwise indicated in the applicable prospectus supplement, payment of principal, premium, if any, and interest, if any, on bearer debt securities will be made, subject to any applicable laws and regulations, at an office or agency outside the United States. Unless otherwise indicated in the applicable prospectus supplement, payment of interest due on bearer debt securities on any interest payment date will be made only against surrender of the coupon relating to that interest payment date. Unless otherwise indicated in the applicable prospectus supplement, no payment of principal, premium, if any, or interest, if any, with respect to any bearer debt security will be made at any office or agency in the United States or by check mailed to any address in the United States or by wire transfer to an account maintained with a bank located in the United States. However, if any bearer debt securities are payable in U.S. dollars, payments on those bearer securities may be made at the corporate trust office of the relevant trustee or at any office or agency designated by us in the United States if, but only if, payment of the full amount due on the bearer debt securities for principal, premium, if any, or interest, if any, at all offices outside of the United States maintained for that purpose by us is illegal or effectively precluded by exchange controls or similar restrictions.

Unless otherwise indicated in the applicable prospectus supplement, we will not be required to:

 

   

issue, register the transfer of or exchange debt securities of any series during a period beginning at the opening of business 15 days before any selection of debt securities of that series of like tenor and terms to be redeemed and ending at the close of business on the day of that selection;

 

   

register the transfer of or exchange any registered debt security, or portion of any registered debt security, selected for redemption, except the unredeemed portion of any registered debt security being redeemed in part;

 

   

exchange any bearer debt security selected for redemption, except to exchange a bearer debt security for a registered debt security of that series of like tenor and terms that is simultaneously surrendered for redemption; or

 

   

issue, register the transfer of or exchange a debt security that has been surrendered for repayment at the option of the holder, except the portion, if any, of the debt security not to be repaid.

Book-Entry Debt Securities

The securities depositary will be The Depository Trust Company, New York, NY, known as DTC, unless otherwise identified in the prospectus supplement relating to the securities. If DTC is the depositary for an issuance of securities, the issuance will be issued as fully-registered securities registered in the name of Cede & Co. (DTC’s partnership nominee) or such other name as may be requested by an authorized representative of DTC. One fully registered security certificate will be issued for each issue of securities, each in the aggregate principal amount of such issue, and will be deposited with DTC. If, however, the aggregate amount of any issue exceeds $500 million, one certificate will be issued with respect to each $500 million of issue and an additional certificate will be issued with respect to any remaining amount of such issue.

DTC has advised us that it is a limited-purpose trust company organized under the New York Banking Law, a “banking organization” within the meaning of the New York Banking Law, a member of the Federal Reserve

 

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System, a “clearing corporation” within the meaning of the New York Uniform Commercial Code, and a “clearing agency” registered under Section 17A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. DTC holds and provides asset servicing for issues of U.S. and non-U.S. equity issues, corporate and municipal debt issues, and money market instruments that its direct participants deposit with DTC. Direct participants include both U.S. and non-U.S. securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations, and certain other organizations. Access to the DTC system is also available to others such as both U.S. and non-U.S. securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, and clearing corporations that clear through or maintain a custodial relationship with a direct participant, either directly or indirectly (“indirect participants”).

Purchases of the securities under the DTC system must be made by or through direct participants, which will receive a credit for the securities on DTC’s records. The ownership interest of each actual purchaser of each security, the beneficial owner, is in turn to be recorded on the direct and indirect participants’ records. Beneficial owners will not receive written confirmation from DTC of their purchase. A beneficial owner, however, is expected to receive written confirmations providing details of the transaction, as well as periodic statements of its holdings, from the direct or indirect participant through which the beneficial owner entered into the transaction. Transfers of ownership interests in the securities are to be accomplished by entries made on the books of direct and indirect participants acting on behalf of beneficial owners. Beneficial owners will not receive certificates representing their ownership interests in the securities, except if the use of the book-entry system for the securities is discontinued. The deposit of global securities with DTC and their registration in the name of Cede& Co., or such other nominee, as the case may be, do not effect any change in beneficial ownership. DTC has no knowledge of the actual beneficial owners of the global securities; DTC’s records reflect only the identity of the direct participants to whose accounts global securities are credited, which may or may not be the beneficial owners. The direct participants and indirect participants will remain responsible for keeping account of their holdings on behalf of their customers.

Conveyance of notices and other communications by DTC to direct participants, by direct participants to indirect participants and by direct participants and indirect participants to beneficial owners will be governed by arrangements among them, subject to any statutory or regulatory requirements as may be in effect from time to time.

To the extent any issuance of securities is redeemable, we will send redemption notices to DTC. If less than all of the securities within an issue are being redeemed, DTC’s practice is to determine by lot the amount of the interest of each direct participant in such issue to be redeemed. The applicable prospectus supplement for an issuance of securities will indicate whether such issue is redeemable.

None of DTC, Cede & Co., or any other DTC nominee will consent or vote with respect to the securities unless authorized by a direct participant in accordance with DTC’s MMI procedures. Under its usual procedures, DTC mails an omnibus proxy to us as soon as possible after the record date. The omnibus proxy assigns Cede & Co.’s consenting or voting rights to those direct participants to whose accounts the securities are credited on the record date (identified in a listing attached to the omnibus proxy).

A beneficial owner must give any required notice of its election to have its securities repurchased through the participant through which it holds its beneficial interest in the security to the applicable trustee or tender agent. The beneficial owner shall effect delivery of its securities by causing the direct participant to transfer its interest in the securities on DTC’s records. The requirement for physical delivery of securities in connection with an optional tender or a mandatory purchase will be deemed satisfied when the ownership rights in the securities are transferred by the direct participant on DTC’s records and followed by a book-entry credit of tendered securities to the applicable trustee or agent’s DTC account.

Redemption proceeds, distributions, and dividend payments on the global securities will be made to Cede & Co., or such other nominee as may be requested by an authorized representative of DTC. DTC’s practice is to credit direct participants’ accounts, upon DTC’s receipt of funds and corresponding detail information from the

 

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issuer or agent, on the payable date in accordance with their respective holdings shown on DTC’s records. Payments by participants to beneficial owners will be governed by standing instructions and customary practices, as in the case of securities held for the accounts of customers in bearer form or registered in “street name.” These payments will be the responsibility of such participant and not DTC, Annaly or any agent thereof, subject to any statutory or regulatory requirements as may be in effect from time to time. Payment of redemption proceeds, distributions, and dividend payments to Cede & Co. (or such other nominee as may be requested by an authorized representative of DTC) will be the responsibility of Annaly or its respective agent. Disbursement of such payments to direct participants will be the responsibility of DTC, and disbursement of such payments to beneficial owners will be the responsibility of direct participants and indirect participants. None of Annaly, any trustee or agent, or the registrar for the securities will have any responsibility or liability for any aspect of the records relating to or payments made on account of beneficial ownership interests of the global security or global securities for any series of securities or for maintaining, supervising or reviewing any records relating to such beneficial interests.

DTC may discontinue providing its services as depositary with respect to any securities at any time by giving reasonable notice to the issuer or its agent. Under such circumstances, in the event that a successor depositary is not obtained, security certificates will be printed and delivered to DTC. In addition, an issuer may decide to discontinue use of the system of book-entry-only transfers through DTC (or a successor securities depositary). In that event, security certificates are required to be printed and delivered.

If so stated in the relevant prospectus supplement, beneficial owners may elect to hold interests in the securities through either Clearstream Banking S.A., known as “Clearstream, Luxembourg,” or through Euroclear Bank S.A./N.V., as operator of the Euroclear System, or “Euroclear” (in Europe), either directly if they are participants of such systems or indirectly through organizations that are participants in such systems. Clearstream, Luxembourg and Euroclear will hold interests on behalf of their participants through customers’ securities accounts in Clearstream, Luxembourg’s and Euroclear’s names on the books of their U.S. depositaries, which in turn will hold such interests in customers’ securities accounts in the U.S. depositaries’ names on the books of DTC.

Euroclear and Clearstream, Luxembourg each hold securities for their customers and facilitate the clearance and settlement of securities transactions by electronic book-entry transfer between their respective account holders (each such account holder, a “participant” and collectively, the “participants”). Euroclear and Clearstream, Luxembourg provide various services, including safekeeping, administration, clearance and settlement of internationally traded securities and securities lending and borrowing. Euroclear and Clearstream, Luxembourg also deal with domestic securities markets in several countries through established depositary and custodial relationships. Euroclear and Clearstream, Luxembourg have established an electronic bridge between their two systems across which their respective participants may settle trades with each other. Euroclear is incorporated under the laws of Belgium, and Clearstream, Luxembourg is incorporated under the laws of Luxembourg.

Euroclear and Clearstream, Luxembourg customers are world-wide financial institutions, including underwriters, securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, and clearing corporations. Indirect access to Euroclear and Clearstream, Luxembourg is available to other institutions that clear through or maintain a custodial relationship with a participant of either system. The address of Euroclear is Euroclear Bank S.A./N.V., 1 Boulevard du Roi Albert II, B-1210 Brussels and the address of Clearstream, Luxembourg is Clearstream Banking, 42 Avenue JF Kennedy, L-1855, Luxembourg.

If DTC is the depositary for a global security, Euroclear and Clearstream, Luxembourg may hold interests in the global security as participants in DTC.

The laws of some jurisdictions may require that purchasers of securities take physical delivery of those securities in definitive form. Accordingly, the ability to transfer interests in the securities represented by a global

 

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security to those persons may be limited. In addition, because DTC can act only on behalf of its participants, who in turn act on behalf of persons who hold interests through participants, the ability of a person having an interest in securities represented by a global security to pledge or transfer such interest to persons or entities that do not participate in DTC’s system, or otherwise to take actions in respect of such interest, may be affected by the lack of a physical definitive security in respect of such interest.

Neither we nor the principal paying agent will have any responsibility or liability for any aspect of the records relating to, or payments made on account of, securities by DTC, Clearstream, Luxembourg, or Euroclear, or for maintaining, supervising or reviewing any records of those organizations relating to the securities.

Redemption and Repurchase

The debt securities of any series may be redeemable at our option or may be subject to mandatory redemption by us as required by a sinking fund or otherwise. In addition, the debt securities of any series may be subject to repurchase or repayment by us at the option of the holders. The applicable prospectus supplement will describe the terms, the times and the prices regarding any optional or mandatory redemption by us or any repurchase or repayment at the option of the holders of any series of debt securities, if any.

Conversion and Exchange

The terms, if any, on which debt securities of any series are convertible into or exchangeable for our common shares or any other securities or property will be set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement. Such terms may include provisions for conversion or exchange, either mandatory, at the option of the holders or at our option. Unless otherwise expressly stated in the applicable prospectus supplement or the context otherwise requires, references in this prospectus and any prospectus supplement to the conversion or exchange of debt securities of any series for other securities or property shall be deemed not to refer to or include any exchange of any debt securities of a series for other debt securities of the same series.

Secured Debt Securities

The debt securities of any series may be secured by collateral. The applicable prospectus supplement will describe any such collateral and the terms of such secured debt securities.

Merger, Consolidation and Transfer of Assets

The indenture provides that we will not, in any transaction or series of related transactions, consolidate with, or sell, lease or convey all or substantially all of our property and assets to, or merge with or into, any person unless:

 

   

either (1) we shall be the continuing person (in the case of a merger) or (2) the successor person (if other than us) formed by or resulting from the consolidation or merger, or which shall have received the transfer of assets, shall be an entity organized and existing under the laws of the United States, any state thereof or the District of Columbia and shall expressly assume the due and punctual payment of the principal of, premium, if any, and interest, if any, on all the debt securities outstanding under the indenture and the due and punctual performance and observance of all covenants and conditions in such outstanding debt securities and the indenture to be performed or satisfied by us (including, without limitation, the obligation to convert or exchange any debt securities that are convertible into or exchangeable for other securities or property in accordance with the provisions of such debt securities and the indenture) by a supplemental indenture reasonably satisfactory in form to the trustee;

 

   

immediately after giving effect to the transaction described above, no Event of Default under the indenture, and no event which, after notice or lapse of time or both would become an Event of Default under the indenture, shall have occurred and be continuing; and

 

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the trustee shall have received the officers’ certificate and opinion of counsel called for by the indenture.

In the case of any such consolidation, sale, lease, conveyance or merger in which we are not the continuing entity and upon execution and delivery by the successor person of the supplemental indenture described above, such successor person shall succeed to, and be substituted for, us and may exercise every right and power of ours under the indenture with the same effect as if such successor person had been named as us therein, and we shall be automatically released and discharged from all obligations and covenants under the indenture and the debt securities issued under that indenture.

Events of Default

Unless otherwise specified in the applicable prospectus supplement, an Event of Default with respect to the debt securities of any series is defined in the indenture as being:

 

  (1)

default in payment of any interest, if any, on, or any Additional Amounts, if any, payable in respect of any interest, if any, on, any of the debt securities of that series when due, and continuance of such default for a period of 30 days;

 

  (2)

default in payment of any principal of or premium, if any, on, or any Additional Amounts, if any, payable in respect of any principal of or premium, if any, on, any of the debt securities of that series when due (whether at maturity, upon redemption, upon repayment or repurchase at the option of the holder or otherwise and whether payable in cash, our common shares or other securities or property);

 

  (3)

default in the deposit of any sinking fund payment or payment under any analogous provision when due with respect to any of the debt securities of that series;

 

  (4)

default in the delivery when due of any securities, cash or other property (including, without limitation, any of our common shares) when required to be delivered upon conversion of any convertible debt security of that series or upon the exchange of any debt security of that series which is exchangeable for our common shares or other securities or property (other than an exchange of debt securities of that series for other debt securities of the same series);

 

  (5)

default in the performance, or breach, of any other covenant or warranty applicable to us in the indenture or in any debt security of that series other than a covenant or warranty included in the indenture solely for the benefit of a series of debt securities other than that series, and continuance of that default or breach (without that default or breach having been cured or waived in accordance with the indenture) for a period of 90 days after notice to us by the trustee or the holders of not less than 25% in aggregate principal amount of the debt securities of that series then outstanding;

 

  (6)

default after the expiration of any applicable grace period in the payment of principal when due, or resulting in acceleration of, other indebtedness (other than Non-recourse Debt, as defined below) of us or any Significant Subsidiary of ours for borrowed money where the aggregate principal amount with respect to which the default or acceleration has occurred exceeds $100 million and such indebtedness has not been discharged, or such default in payment or acceleration has not been cured or rescinded, prior to written notice of acceleration of the debt securities of that series;

 

  (7)

failure by us or any of our Subsidiaries to pay final judgments or decrees entered by a court or courts of competent jurisdiction aggregating in excess of $100 million, which judgments are not paid, discharged or stayed for a period of 30 calendar days after such judgments become final and non-appealable;

 

  (8)

specified events of bankruptcy, insolvency or reorganization with respect to us or any Significant Subsidiary of ours; or

 

  (9)

any other Event of Default established for the debt securities of that series.

No Event of Default with respect to any particular series of debt securities necessarily constitutes an Event of Default with respect to any other series of debt securities. The indenture provides that, within 90 days after the

 

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occurrence of any default with respect to the debt securities of any series, the trustee will mail to all holders of the debt securities of that series notice of that default if known to the trustee, unless that default has been cured or waived. However, the indenture provides that the trustee may withhold notice of a default with respect to the debt securities of that series, except a default in payment of principal, premium, if any, interest, if any, Additional Amounts, if any, or sinking fund payments, if any, if the trustee considers it in the best interests of the holders to do so. As used in this paragraph, the term “default” means any event which is, or after notice or lapse of time or both would become, an Event of Default with respect to the debt securities of any series.

The indenture provides that if an Event of Default (other than an Event of Default specified in clause (8) of the second preceding paragraph with respect to us) occurs and is continuing with respect to any series of debt securities, either the trustee or the holders of at least 25% in principal amount of the debt securities of that series then outstanding may declare the principal of, or if debt securities of that series are original issue discount securities, such lesser amount as may be specified in the terms of that series of debt securities, and accrued and unpaid interest, if any, on all the debt securities of that series to be due and payable immediately. The indenture also provides that if an Event of Default specified in clause (8) of the second preceding paragraph with respect to us occurs with respect to any series of debt securities, then the principal of, or if debt securities of that series are original issue discount securities, such lesser amount as may be specified in the terms of that series of debt securities, and accrued and unpaid interest, if any, on all the debt securities of that series will automatically become and be immediately due and payable without any declaration or other action on the part of the trustee or any holder of the debt securities of that series. However, upon specified conditions, the holders of a majority in principal amount of the debt securities of a series then outstanding may rescind and annul an acceleration of the debt securities of that series and its consequences. For purposes of clarity, references to an Event of Default specified in clause (8) of the second preceding paragraph with respect to us shall not include any Event of Default specified in clause (8) of the second preceding paragraph with respect to any Significant Subsidiary of ours.

Subject to the provisions of the Trust Indenture Act of 1939 requiring the trustee, during the continuance of an Event of Default under the indenture, to act with the requisite standard of care, the trustee is under no obligation to exercise any of its rights or powers under the indenture at the request or direction of any of the holders of debt securities of any series unless those holders have offered the trustee indemnity reasonably satisfactory to the trustee against the costs, fees and expenses and liabilities that might be incurred in compliance with such request or direction. Subject to the foregoing, holders of a majority in principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of any series issued under the indenture have the right to direct the time, method and place of conducting any proceeding for any remedy available to the trustee under the indenture with respect to that series. The indenture requires the annual filing by us with the trustee of a certificate that states whether or not we are in default under the terms of the indenture.

No holder of any debt securities of any series shall have any right to institute any proceeding, judicial or otherwise, with respect to the indenture, or for the appointment of a receiver or trustee, or for any other remedy under the indenture, unless:

 

   

such holder has previously given written notice to the trustee of a continuing Event of Default with respect to the debt securities of such series;

 

   

the holders of not less than 25% in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of such series shall have made written request to the trustee to institute proceedings in respect of such Event of Default in its own name as trustee under the indenture;

 

   

such holder or holders have offered to the trustee indemnity reasonably satisfactory to the trustee against the costs, fees and expenses and liabilities which might be incurred in compliance with such request;

 

   

the trustee for 60 days after its receipt of such notice, request and offer of indemnity has failed to institute any such proceeding; and

 

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no direction inconsistent with such written request has been given to the trustee during such 60 day period by the holders of a majority in principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of such series.

Notwithstanding any other provision of the indenture, the holder of a debt security will have the right, which is absolute and unconditional, to receive payment of the principal of and premium, if any, and interest, if any, on that debt security on the respective due dates for those payments and, in the case of any debt security that is convertible into or exchangeable for other securities or property, to convert or exchange, as the case may be, that debt security in accordance with its terms, and to institute suit for the enforcement of those payments and any right to effect such conversion or exchange, and this right shall not be impaired without the consent of the holder.

Modification, Waivers and Meetings

The indenture permits us and the trustee, with the consent of the holders of a majority in principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of each series issued under the indenture and affected by a modification or amendment, to modify or amend any of the provisions of the indenture or of the debt securities of the applicable series or the rights of the holders of the debt securities of that series under the indenture. However, the consent of the holder of each debt security affected will be required for any modification or amendment that, among other things:

 

   

changes the stated maturity of the principal of, or premium, if any, or any installment of interest, if any, on or any Additional Amounts, if any, with respect to any debt securities issued under the indenture;

 

   

reduces the principal of or any premium on any debt securities, reduces the rate of interest on any debt securities or reduces the price payable upon the redemption of any debt securities, whether such redemption is mandatory or at our option, or upon the repurchase of any debt securities at the option of the holder, or reduces any Additional Amounts with respect to any debt securities, or change our obligation to pay Additional Amounts;

 

   

reduces the amount of principal of any original issue discount securities that would be due and payable upon an acceleration of the maturity thereof;

 

   

adversely affects any right of repayment or repurchase of any debt securities at the option of any holder;

 

   

changes any place where, or the currency in which, debt securities are payable;

 

   

impairs the holder’s right to institute suit to enforce the payment of any debt securities on or after their stated maturity or, in the case of any debt securities that are convertible into or exchangeable for other securities or property, to institute suit to enforce the right to convert or exchange such debt securities in accordance with their terms;

 

   

makes any change that adversely affects the right, if any, to convert or exchange any debt securities for other securities or property;

 

   

reduces the percentage of debt securities of any series issued under the indenture whose holders must consent to any modification or amendment or any waiver of compliance with specific provisions of such indenture or specified defaults under the indenture and their consequences; or

 

   

reduces the requirements for a quorum or voting at a meeting of holders of the applicable debt securities.

The indenture also contains provisions permitting us and the trustee, without the consent of the holders of any debt securities issued under the indenture, to modify or amend the indenture, among other things:

 

   

to evidence the succession of another person to us and the assumption by that successor of our covenants contained in the indenture and in the debt securities;

 

   

to add to our covenants for the benefit of the holders of all or any series of debt securities issued under the indenture or to surrender any right or power conferred upon us with respect to all or any series of debt securities issued under the indenture;

 

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to add to or change any provisions of the indenture to facilitate the issuance of bearer securities;

 

   

to establish the form or terms of debt securities of any series and any related coupons, including, without limitation, conversion and exchange provisions applicable to debt securities which are convertible into or exchangeable for other securities or property, and to establish any provisions with respect to any security or other collateral for such debt securities, and to make any deletions from or additions or changes to the indenture in connection with any of the matters referred to in this bullet point so long as those deletions, additions and changes are not applicable to any other series of debt securities then outstanding;

 

   

to evidence and provide for the acceptance of the appointment of a successor trustee in respect of the debt securities of one or more series;

 

   

to cure any ambiguity or correct or supplement any provision in such indenture which may be defective or inconsistent with other provisions in the indenture, or to make any other provisions with respect to matters or questions arising under the indenture, which shall not adversely affect the interests of the holders of the debt securities of any series then outstanding in any material respect;

 

   

to add any additional Events of Default with respect to all or any series of debt securities;

 

   

to supplement any of the provisions of the indenture to permit or facilitate defeasance, covenant defeasance and/or satisfaction and discharge of any series of debt securities, provided that such action shall not adversely affect the interests of any holder of a debt security of such series or any other debt security in any material respect;

 

   

to secure or, if applicable, to provide additional security for all or any debt securities issued under the indenture and to provide for any and all matters relating thereto, and to provide for the release of any collateral as security for all or any debt securities in accordance with the terms of the indenture;

 

   

to add to or change or eliminate any provision of the indenture as is necessary or desirable in accordance with any amendment to the Trust Indenture Act;

 

   

to make any change to the indenture, or any supplemental indenture, or any debt securities to conform the terms thereof to any provision of the description of a series of any debt securities in any prospectus (including this prospectus), prospectus supplement, offering memorandum or similar offering document used in connection with the initial offering or sale of any debt securities to the extent that such provision in such description was intended to be a substantially verbatim recitation of a provision of the indenture or debt securities;

 

   

in the case of any series of debt securities which are convertible into or exchangeable for our common shares or other securities or property, to provide for the conversion or exchange rights of those debt securities in the event of any reclassification or change of our common shares or any of our other securities into which such debt securities are convertible or for which such debt securities are exchangeable or any similar transaction if expressly required by the terms of that series of debt securities; or

 

   

to amend or supplement any provision contained in the indenture or in any debt securities, provided that such amendment or supplement does not apply to any outstanding debt securities issued prior to the date of such supplemental indenture and entitled to the benefits of such provisions.

The holders of a majority in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of any series may waive our compliance with the provisions described above under “—Merger, Consolidation and Transfer of Assets” and certain other provisions of the indenture and, if specified in the prospectus supplement relating to such series of debt securities, any additional covenants applicable to the debt securities of such series. The holders of a majority in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of any series may, on behalf of all holders of debt securities of that series, waive any past default under the indenture with respect to debt securities of that series and its consequences, except a default in the payment of the principal of, or

 

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premium, if any, or interest, if any, on debt securities of that series or, in the case of any debt securities which are convertible into or exchangeable for other securities or property, a default in any such conversion or exchange, or a default in respect of a covenant or provision that cannot be modified or amended without the consent of the holder of each outstanding debt security of the affected series.

The indenture contains provisions for convening meetings of the holders of a series of debt securities if (and only if) debt securities of such series are issued or issuable, in whole or in part, in the form of bearer debt securities. A meeting may be called at any time by the trustee, and also upon our request or the request of holders of at least 33 1/3% in principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of a series. Notice of a meeting must be given in accordance with the provisions of the indenture. Except for any consent that must be given by the holder of each outstanding debt security affected in the manner described above, any resolution presented at a meeting or adjourned meeting duly reconvened at which a quorum, as described below, is present may be adopted by the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority in principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of that series. However, any resolution with respect to any request, demand, authorization, direction, notice, consent, waiver or other action for which the indenture provides may be made, given or taken by the holders of a specified percentage, which is less or more than a majority, in principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of a series may be adopted at a meeting or adjourned meeting duly reconvened at which a quorum is present by the affirmative vote of the holders of that specified percentage in principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of that series. Any resolution passed or decision taken at any meeting of holders of debt securities of any series duly held in accordance with the indenture will be binding on all holders of debt securities of that series and the related coupons, if any. The quorum at any meeting called to adopt a resolution, and at any reconvened meeting, will be persons entitled to vote a majority in principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of a series, or, if any action is to be taken at a meeting with respect to any request, demand, authorization, direction, notice, consent, waiver or other action for which the indenture provides may be given by holders of a greater percentage in principal amount of outstanding debt securities of a series, the persons entitled to vote at such greater percentage in principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of such series.

Discharge, Defeasance and Covenant Defeasance

Unless otherwise provided in the applicable prospectus supplement, upon our direction, the indenture shall cease to be of further effect with respect to any series of debt securities issued under the indenture specified by us, subject to the survival of specified provisions of the indenture (including the obligation to pay Additional Amounts to the extent described below and the obligation, if applicable, to exchange or convert debt securities of that series into other securities or property in accordance with their terms) when:

 

   

either

 

  (A)

all outstanding debt securities of that series and, in the case of bearer securities, all related coupons, have been delivered to the trustee for cancellation, subject to exceptions, or

 

  (B)

all debt securities of that series and, if applicable, any related coupons have become due and payable or will become due and payable at their stated maturity within one year or are to be called for redemption within one year and we have deposited with the trustee, in trust, funds in U.S. dollars or in the foreign currency in which the debt securities of that series are payable in an amount sufficient to pay the entire indebtedness on the debt securities of that series in respect of principal, premium, if any, and interest, if any (and, to the extent that (x) the debt securities of that series provide for the payment of Additional Amounts upon the occurrence of specified events of taxation, assessment or governmental charge with respect to payments on the debt securities and (y) the amount of any Additional Amounts which are or will be payable is at the time of deposit reasonably determinable by us, in the exercise of our sole and absolute discretion, those Additional Amounts) to the date of such deposit, if the debt securities of that series have become due and payable, or to the maturity or redemption date of the debt securities of that series, as the case may be;

 

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we have paid all other sums payable under the indenture with respect to the debt securities of that series; and

 

   

the trustee has received an officers’ certificate and an opinion of counsel called for by the indenture.

Unless otherwise provided in the applicable prospectus supplement, we may elect with respect to any series of debt securities either:

 

   

defease and be discharged from all of our obligations with respect to that series of debt securities (“defeasance”), except for:

 

  (1)

the obligation to pay Additional Amounts, if any, upon the occurrence of specified events of taxation, assessment or governmental charge with respect to payments on that series of debt securities to the extent (and only to the extent) that those Additional Amounts exceed the amount deposited in respect of those Additional Amounts as provided below,

 

  (2)

the obligation, if applicable, to exchange or convert debt securities of that series into other securities or property in accordance with their terms, and

 

  (3)

certain other limited obligations; or

 

   

to be released from our obligations with respect to the debt securities of such series under such covenants as may be specified in the applicable prospectus supplement, and any omission to comply with those obligations shall not constitute a default or an Event of Default with respect to that series of debt securities (“covenant defeasance”), in either case upon the irrevocable deposit with the trustee, or other qualifying trustee, in trust for that purpose, of an amount in U.S. dollars or in the foreign currency in which those debt securities are payable at stated maturity or, if applicable, upon redemption, and/or Government Obligations which through the payment of principal and interest in accordance with their terms will provide money, in an amount sufficient to pay the principal of and any premium and any interest on (and, to the extent that (x) the debt securities of that series provide for the payment of Additional Amounts and (y) the amount of the Additional Amounts which are or will be payable is at the time of deposit reasonably determinable by us, in the exercise of our sole and absolute discretion, the Additional Amounts with respect to) that series of debt securities, and any mandatory sinking fund or analogous payments on that series of debt securities, on the due dates for those payments.

The defeasance or covenant defeasance described above shall only be effective if, among other things:

 

   

it shall not result in a breach or violation of, or constitute a default under, the indenture;

 

   

in the case of defeasance, we shall have delivered to the trustee an opinion of independent counsel reasonably acceptable to the trustee confirming that (A) we have received from or there has been published by the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) a ruling or (B) since the date of the indenture there has been a change in applicable U.S. federal income tax law, in either case to the effect that, and based on this ruling or change the opinion of counsel shall confirm that, the holders and beneficial owners of the debt securities of the applicable series will not recognize income, gain or loss for U.S. federal income tax purposes as a result of the defeasance and will be subject to U.S. federal income tax on the same amounts, in the same manner and at the same times as would have been the case if the defeasance had not occurred;

 

   

in the case of defeasance, we shall provide money in an amount sufficient in the written opinion of a nationally recognized firm of independent public accountants to pay the principal of, premium, if any, and each installment of interest on the debt securities;

 

   

in the case of covenant defeasance, we shall have delivered to the trustee an opinion of independent counsel reasonably acceptable to the trustee to the effect that the holders and beneficial owners of the debt securities of the applicable series will not recognize income, gain or loss for U.S. federal income tax purposes as a result of the covenant defeasance and will be subject to U.S. federal income tax on the same amounts, in the same manner and at the same times as would have been the case if the covenant defeasance had not occurred;

 

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if the cash and Government Obligations deposited are sufficient to pay the outstanding debt securities of that series provided those debt securities are redeemed on a particular redemption date, we shall have given the trustee irrevocable instructions to redeem those debt securities on that date; and

 

   

no Event of Default or event which with notice or lapse of time or both would become an Event of Default with respect to debt securities of that series shall have occurred and be continuing on the date of the deposit into trust; and, solely in the case of defeasance, no Event of Default arising from specified events of bankruptcy, insolvency or reorganization with respect to us or event which with notice or lapse of time or both would become such an Event of Default with respect to us shall have occurred and be continuing during the period through and including the 91st day after the date of the deposit into trust.

The applicable prospectus supplement may further describe the provisions, if any, permitting or restricting satisfaction and discharge, defeasance or covenant defeasance with respect to the debt securities of a particular series.

Definitions

As used in the indenture, the following terms have the meanings specified below:

The term “Corporation” includes corporations, partnerships, associations, limited liability companies and other companies and business trusts. The term “corporation” means a corporation and does not include partnerships, associations, limited liability companies or other companies or business trusts.

“Non-recourse Debt” means any indebtedness the terms of which provide that the claim for repayment of such indebtedness by the holder thereof is limited solely to a claim against the property or assets (including, without limitation, securities or interests in securities) that secure such indebtedness; provided, however, that any obligations or liabilities of the debtor or obligor or any other person solely for indemnities, covenants or breaches of warranties, representations or covenants or similar matters in respect of any indebtedness will not prevent such indebtedness from constituting Non-recourse Debt.

‘Person” or “person” means any individual, Corporation, joint venture, joint-stock company, trust, unincorporated organization or government or any agency or political subdivision thereof.

“Significant Subsidiary” means, as of any date of determination, a Subsidiary of ours that would constitute a “significant subsidiary” as such term is defined under Rule 1-02(w) of Regulation S-X of the Securities and Exchange Commission as in effect on the date of the indenture.

“Subsidiary” means, with respect to any Person, (i) any corporation, association or other business entity of which more than 50% of the total voting power of shares of capital stock or other equity interests entitled (without regard to the occurrence of any contingency) to vote in the election of directors, managers or trustees thereof is at the time owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by such Person or one or more of the other Subsidiaries of such Person (or a combination thereof) and (ii) any partnership (a) the sole general partner or managing general partner of which is such Person or a Subsidiary of such Person or (b) the only general partners of which are such Person or one or more Subsidiaries of such Person (or any combination thereof).

Governing Law

The indenture and the debt securities will be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of New York, without regard to conflicts of laws principles thereof.

The Trust Indenture Act of 1939 limits the rights of a trustee, if the trustee becomes a creditor of us, to obtain payment of claims or to realize on property received by it in respect of those claims, as security or

 

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otherwise. Any trustee is permitted to engage in other transactions with us and our subsidiaries from time to time. However, if a trustee acquires any conflicting interest, it must eliminate the conflict upon the occurrence of an Event of Default under the applicable indenture or resign as trustee.

Wells Fargo Bank, National Association may act as trustee under one or more of the indentures. Wells Fargo Bank, National Association provides commercial banking services to us in the ordinary course of business.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF PURCHASE CONTRACTS

We may issue purchase contracts, including contracts obligating holders to purchase from or sell to us, and for us to sell to or purchase from the holders, any of the following securities, or any combination thereof, at a future date or dates:

 

   

a specified principal amount of debt securities;

 

   

a specified number of shares of common stock or preferred stock;

 

   

securities of an entity not affiliated with us, a basket of those securities, an index or indices of those securities or any combination of the above;

 

   

currencies;

 

   

commodities; or

 

   

other property.

The applicable prospectus supplement will describe the specific terms of the purchase contracts and purchase units. The following description and any description of the purchase contracts in the applicable prospectus supplement may not be complete and is subject to and qualified in its entirety by reference to the terms and provisions of the applicable purchase contract. A form of the purchase contract reflecting the particular terms and provisions of a series of offered purchase contracts will be filed with the SEC in connection with the offering and incorporated by reference into this prospectus.

The price of our debt securities, price per share of our common stock or our preferred stock or the price of securities of an entity not affiliated with us, a basket of those securities, an index or indices of those securities or any combination of the above, currencies or commodities, as applicable, may be fixed at the time the purchase contracts are issued or may be determined by reference to a specific formula contained in such purchase contracts. The purchase contracts may be issued separately or as part of units, including units consisting of a combination of a purchase contract obligating the holder to purchase shares of common stock or preferred stock and debt securities or debt obligations of third parties, which may secure the holders’ obligations to purchase the common stock or preferred stock under the purchase contracts.

The applicable prospectus supplement will describe the terms of the purchase contracts offered pursuant to it, including, but not limited to, one or more of the following:

 

   

whether the purchase contracts obligate the holder to purchase or sell, or both purchase and sell, our debt securities, common stock or preferred stock or securities of an entity not affiliated with us, a basket of those securities, an index or indices of those securities or any combination of the above, currencies or commodities, as applicable, and the nature and amount of each of those securities or method of determining those amounts;

 

   

the amounts payable under the purchase contract or the formula by which such amount will be determined;

 

   

whether the purchase contracts are to be prepaid or not and whether the purchase contracts will be issued in fully registered or global form;

 

   

whether the purchase contracts are to be settled by delivery, or by reference or linkage to the value, performance or level of our common stock, our preferred stock, such securities of an entity not affiliated with us, a basket of such securities, an index or indices of such securities or any combination of the above, currencies or commodities;

 

   

any acceleration, cancellation, termination or other provisions relating to the settlement of the purchase contracts; and

 

   

U.S. federal income tax considerations relevant to the purchase contracts.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF UNITS

We may issue units consisting of two or more other constituent securities. These units may be issuable as, and for a specified period of time may be transferable only as a single security, rather than as the separate constituent securities comprising such units. The statements made in this section relating to the units are summaries only. These summaries are not complete. When we issue units, we will provide the specific terms of the units in a prospectus supplement. To the extent the information contained in the prospectus supplement differs from this summary description, you should rely on the information in the prospectus supplement.

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

 

   

the title of any series of units;

 

   

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

 

   

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

 

   

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

 

   

information with respect to any book-entry procedures;

 

   

a discussion of any material or special U.S. federal income tax consequences applicable to an investment in the units; and

 

   

any other terms of the units and their constituent securities.

 

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RESTRICTIONS ON OWNERSHIP AND TRANSFER

To assist us in qualifying as a REIT, among other purposes, our charter prohibits anyone from acquiring or holding, directly or constructively, ownership of 9.8% or more, in number of shares or value, of any class of our outstanding capital stock. We refer to this restriction as the “9.8% ownership limit.” For this purpose, the term “ownership” generally means either direct ownership or constructive ownership in accordance with the constructive ownership provisions of Section 544 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), as modified in Section 856(h) of the Code.

The constructive ownership provisions of Section 544 of the Code generally (a) attribute ownership of securities owned by a corporation, partnership, estate or trust proportionately to its stockholders, partners or beneficiaries; (b) attribute ownership of securities owned by family members to other members of the same family; and (c) set forth rules for attributing securities constructively owned by one person to another person. To determine whether a person holds or would hold capital stock in excess of the 9.8% ownership limit, a person will be treated as owning not only shares of capital stock actually owned, but also any shares of capital stock attributed to that person under the attribution rules described above. Accordingly, a person who individually owns less than 9.8% of the outstanding shares of any class of our outstanding capital stock may nevertheless be in violation of the 9.8% ownership limit.

Any transfer of shares of capital stock that would cause us to be disqualified as a REIT or that would (a) create a direct or constructive ownership of shares of capital stock in excess of the 9.8% ownership limit, (b) result in the shares of capital stock being beneficially owned (within the meaning of Section 856(a) of the Code) by fewer than 100 persons (determined without reference to any rules of attribution) or (c) result in us being “closely held” within the meaning of Section 856(h) of the Code, will be null and void, and the intended transferee (the “purported transferee”) will acquire no rights to those shares. These restrictions on transferability and ownership will not apply if our Board determines that it is no longer in our best interests to attempt to, or to continue to, qualify as a REIT.

Any purported transfer of shares of capital stock that would result in a purported transferee owning (directly or constructively) shares of capital stock in excess of the 9.8% ownership limit due to the unenforceability of the transfer restrictions described above will constitute “excess securities.” Excess securities will be transferred by operation of law to the trustee of a trust that we will establish for the exclusive benefit of a charitable organization or charitable organizations (the “charitable beneficiary”), until such time as the trustee of the trust retransfers the excess securities. The trustee will be a banking institution designated by us that is not affiliated with the purported transferee or us. While the excess securities are held in trust, the purported transferee will not be entitled to vote or to share in any dividends or other distributions with respect to the securities. Subject to the 9.8% ownership limit, excess securities may be transferred by the trust to any person (if such transfer would not result in excess securities). Upon such a transfer, the purported transferee shall receive a price for such excess securities equal to the lesser of (i) the price per share such purported transferee paid in the transfer that resulted in the excess securities (or, if the purported transferee did not give value for such excess securities (such as through a gift, devise or other transaction), a price per share equal to the Market Price (as defined in our charter) for the excess securities on the date of the purported transfer that resulted in the excess securities), or (ii) the price per share for the excess securities received by the trust from the sale or other disposition of the excess securities to the new owner, at which point the excess securities will automatically cease to be excess securities.

Upon a purported transfer of excess securities, the purported transferee will cease to be entitled to distributions, voting rights and other benefits with respect to the shares of capital stock except the right to payment of the purchase price for the shares of capital stock on the retransfer of securities as provided above. Any dividend or distribution paid to a purported transferee on excess securities prior to our discovery that shares of capital stock have been transferred in violation of our charter, shall be paid to the trust for the exclusive benefit of the charitable beneficiary. If any of the transfer restrictions in our charter are determined to be void, invalid or unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction, then the purported transferee of any excess

 

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securities may be deemed, at our option, to have acted as an agent on our behalf in acquiring the excess securities and to hold the excess securities on our behalf. All certificates representing shares of capital stock will bear a legend referring to the restrictions described above.

Any person who acquires shares in violation of our charter, or any person who is a purported transferee, such that excess securities results, must immediately give written notice or, in the event of a proposed or attempted transfer that would be void as set forth above, give at least 15 days’ prior written notice to us of such event and shall provide us such other information as we may request in order to determine the effect, if any, of the transfer on our qualification as a REIT. In addition, every record owner of more than 5.0% of the number or value of our outstanding shares of capital stock must send us an annual written notice by January 30 stating the name and address of the record owner, the number of shares beneficially owned and describing how the shares are held. Further, each beneficial owner and each person (including the stockholder of record) who is holding stock for a beneficial owner is required to disclose to us such information with respect to the direct and constructive ownership of shares as we may reasonably request in order to comply with the REIT provisions of the Code, to comply with the requirements of any taxing authority or governmental agency or to determine any such compliance.

Notwithstanding the above, our Board may increase or decrease the 9.8% ownership limit unless, after giving effect to any increased ownership limit, five or fewer persons could beneficially own, in the aggregate, more than 50% in value of the shares of our capital stock then outstanding. In addition, to the extent consistent with the REIT provisions of the Code, our Board may, upon receipt of a ruling from the IRS or an opinion of our tax advisor or other documents or evidence satisfactory to our Board and upon such other conditions as our Board may direct, waive the 9.8% ownership limit for a purchaser of our stock.

The provisions described above may inhibit market activity and may delay, defer or prevent a change in control or other transaction and the resulting opportunity for the holders of our capital stock to receive a premium for their shares that might otherwise exist in the absence of such provisions. Such provisions also may make us an unsuitable investment vehicle for any person seeking to obtain ownership of more than 9.8%, in number of shares or value, of the outstanding shares of any class or series of our capital stock.

 

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CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF MARYLAND LAW AND OF OUR CHARTER AND BYLAWS

We have summarized certain terms and provisions of our charter and bylaws and the Maryland General Corporation Law (the “MGCL”). This summary is not complete and is qualified by the provisions of our charter and bylaws and the MGCL. See “Where You Can Find More Information About Us.” For restrictions on ownership and transfer of our capital stock contained in our charter, see “Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer.”

Number of Directors; Vacancies and Removal of Directors

Our charter and bylaws provide that the number of directors we have may be established only by our Board of directors and may not be fewer than the minimum number required by the MGCL. Pursuant to our bylaws, the number of directors may not be more than 15. Beginning at the annual meeting of our stockholders held in 2021, our board ceased to be divided into classes and all directors are elected to serve until the next annual meeting of stockholders following their election and until their successors are duly elected and qualify. Our bylaws also provide that, except in the case of a vacancy, a majority of our Board must (i) meet the independence requirements under the rules and regulations of the New York Stock Exchange as in effect from time to time and (ii) not be an officer, member or employee of us.

Our bylaws provide that any vacancy on our Board for any cause other than an increase in the number of directors may be filled by a majority of the remaining directors; provided, however, that, pursuant to Maryland law, stockholders will have the concurrent power to elect a director to fill a vacancy resulting from the removal of a director by a vote of the stockholders. Any vacancy on our Board created by an increase in the number of directors may be filled by a majority of the entire Board. Pursuant to the MGCL and our charter, a director may be removed at any time, with or without cause, upon the affirmative vote of a majority of the votes entitled to be cast in the election of directors.

Limitation of Liability and Indemnification of Directors and Officers

The MGCL permits the charter of a Maryland corporation to include a provision limiting the liability of its directors and officers to the corporation and its stockholders for money damages, except to the extent that (1) it is proved that the person actually received an improper benefit or profit in money, property or services; or (2) a judgment or other final adjudication adverse to the person is entered in a proceeding based on a finding that the person’s action, or failure to act, was the result of active and deliberate dishonesty and was material to the cause of action adjudicated in the proceeding. Our charter provides for elimination of the liability of our directors and officers to us or our stockholders for money damages to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law from time to time.

The MGCL requires us (unless our charter were to provide otherwise, which it does not) to indemnify a director or officer who has been successful, on the merits or otherwise, in the defense of any proceeding to which he or she is made a party to by reason of his or her service in that capacity. The MGCL permits us to indemnify our present and former directors and officers, among others, against judgments, penalties, fines, settlements and reasonable expenses actually incurred by them in connection with any proceeding to or in which they may be made or threatened to be made a party or witness by reason of their service in those or certain other capacities unless it is established that:

 

   

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

 

   

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

 

   

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

 

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The MGCL prohibits us from indemnifying a director or officer who has been adjudged liable in a suit by us or on our behalf or in which the director or officer was adjudged liable on the basis that a personal benefit was improperly received. A court may order indemnification if it determines that the director or officer is fairly and reasonably entitled to indemnification, even though the director or officer did not meet the prescribed standard of conduct or was adjudged liable on the basis that a personal benefit was improperly received; however, indemnification for an adverse judgment in a suit by us or on our behalf, or for a judgment of liability on the basis that a personal benefit was improperly received, is limited to expenses.

In addition, the MGCL permits us to advance reasonable expenses to a director or officer upon our receipt of (a) a written affirmation by the director or officer of his or her good faith belief that he or she has met the standard of conduct necessary for indemnification and (b) a written undertaking by him or her or on his or her behalf to repay the amount paid or reimbursed if it is ultimately determined that the standard of conduct was not met.

To the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law, our charter and bylaws obligate us to indemnify any individual who is made or threatened to be made a party to or witness in a proceeding by reason of his or her service:

 

   

as a director or officer of us; or

 

   

while a director or officer of us and at our request, as a director, officer, trustee, member, manager or partner of another corporation, real estate investment trust, limited liability company, partnership, joint venture, trust, employee benefit plan or other enterprise,

in each case, from and against any claim or liability to which he or she may become subject or that he or she may incur by reason of his or her service in any of these capacities, and to pay or reimburse his or her reasonable expenses in advance of final disposition of a proceeding. The rights to indemnification and advance of expenses provided by our charter and bylaws vest immediately upon an individual’s election as a director or officer. Our charter and bylaws also permit us, with the approval of our Board, to indemnify and advance expenses to any individual who served any of our predecessors in any of the capacities described above and any employee or agent of ours or any of our predecessors.

Exclusive Forum

Our bylaws provide that unless we consents in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Maryland, or if that court does not have jurisdiction, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, Baltimore Division, will be the sole and exclusive forum for (1) any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, (2) any action asserting a claim of breach of any duty owed by any director or officer or other employee of ours to us or our stockholders, (3) any action asserting a claim against us or any director or officer or other employee of ours arising pursuant to any provision of the MGCL or the our charter or our bylaws, or (4) any other action asserting a claim against us or any director or officer or other employee of ours that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine.

Maryland Business Combination Act

The MGCL establishes special requirements for “business combinations” between a Maryland corporation and “interested stockholders” unless exemptions are applicable. An interested stockholder is defined as (i) any person who beneficially owns 10% or more of the voting power of a corporation’s then outstanding voting stock or (ii) an affiliate or associate of the corporation who, at any time within the two-year period immediately before the date in question, was the beneficial owner of 10% or more of the voting power of the corporation’s then outstanding voting stock. Among other things, the law prohibits for a period of five years a merger and other similar transactions between a corporation and an interested stockholder unless the corporation’s board of directors approves the transaction prior to the party becoming an interested stockholder. The five-year period

 

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runs from the most recent date on which the interested stockholder became an interested stockholder. The law also requires a supermajority stockholder vote for such transactions after the end of the five-year period. This means that the transaction must be approved by at least:

 

   

80% of the votes entitled to be cast by holders of outstanding voting shares; and

 

   

two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast by holders of outstanding voting shares other than shares held by the interested stockholder or an affiliate or associate of the interested stockholder with whom the business combination is to be effected.

These super-majority vote requirements do not apply if the corporation’s common stockholders receive a minimum price, as defined under the MGCL, for their shares in the form of cash or other consideration in the same form as previously paid by the interested stockholder for its shares.

The MGCL permits various exemptions from its provisions, including business combinations that are exempted by our Board before the time that the interested stockholder becomes an interested stockholder. Pursuant to the MGCL, we have elected not to be governed by the Maryland business combination statute. We made this election by opting out of this statute in our charter. If, however, we amend our charter to opt back in to the statute, subject to stockholder approval, the business combination statute could have the effect of discouraging offers to acquire us and of increasing the difficulty of consummating any such offers, even if our acquisition would be in our stockholders’ best interests.

Maryland Control Share Acquisition Act

Maryland law provides that “control shares” of a Maryland corporation acquired in a “control share acquisition” have no voting rights except to the extent approved by a vote of the other stockholders. Two-thirds of the shares eligible to vote must vote in favor of granting the “control shares” voting rights. Shares held by (i) the person who has made or proposes to make such acquisition, (ii) any officer of the corporation and (iii) any employee of the corporation who is also a director of the corporation are not eligible to vote. “Control shares” are shares of stock that, taken together with all other shares of stock the acquirer previously acquired, would entitle the acquirer to exercise voting power in electing directors within one of the following ranges of voting power:

 

   

one-tenth or more but less than one-third of all voting power;

 

   

one-third or more but less than a majority of all voting power; or

 

   

a majority or more of all voting power.

Control shares do not include shares of stock the acquiring person is entitled to vote as a result of having previously obtained stockholder approval. A “control share acquisition” means the acquisition of control shares, subject to certain exceptions.

If a person who has made (or proposes to make) a control share acquisition satisfies certain conditions (including agreeing to pay expenses and making an “acquiring person statement” as described in the MGCL), he or she may compel our Board to call a special meeting of stockholders to consider the voting rights of the shares. If such a person makes no request for a meeting, we have the option to present the question at any stockholders’ meeting.

If voting rights are not approved at a meeting of stockholders, then, subject to certain conditions and limitations, we may redeem any or all of the control shares (except those for which voting rights have previously been approved) for fair value. We will determine the fair value of the shares, without regard to the absence of voting rights, as of the date of either:

 

   

the last control share acquisition; or

 

   

if we hold a meeting where stockholders consider and do not approve voting rights of the control shares, as of the date of such meeting.

 

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If voting rights for control shares are approved at a stockholders’ meeting and the acquirer becomes entitled to vote a majority of the shares of stock entitled to vote, all other stockholders may obtain rights as objecting stockholders and, thereunder, exercise appraisal rights. This means that you would be able to force us to redeem your stock for fair value. Under Maryland law, the fair value may not be less than the highest price per share paid in the control share acquisition. Furthermore, certain limitations otherwise applicable to the exercise of dissenters’ rights would not apply in the context of a control share acquisition. The control share acquisition statute would not apply to shares acquired in a merger, consolidation or share exchange if we were a party to the transaction. The control share acquisition statute could have the effect of discouraging offers to acquire us and of increasing the difficulty of consummating any such offers, even if our acquisition would be in our stockholders’ best interests.

Amendment to Charter and Bylaws

Except as provided in the MGCL, amendments to our charter must be advised by our Board and approved by the affirmative vote of our stockholders entitled to cast a majority of all of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter. Our bylaws may be amended by our Board or by the affirmative vote of our stockholders entitled to cast a majority of all of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter.

Subtitle 8

Subtitle 8 of Title 3 of the MGCL permits a Maryland corporation with a class of equity securities registered under the Exchange Act and at least three independent directors to elect, by provision in its charter or bylaws or a resolution of its board of directors and notwithstanding any contrary provision in the charter or bylaws, to be subject to any or all of the following five provisions:

 

   

a classified board;

 

   

a two-thirds vote requirement for removing a director;

 

   

a requirement that the number of directors be fixed only by vote of the directors;

 

   

a requirement that a vacancy on the board be filled only by a vote of the remaining directors (whether or not they constitute a quorum) and for the remainder of the full term of the class of directors in which the vacancy occurred and until a successor is elected and qualifies; or

 

   

a majority requirement for the calling of a special meeting of stockholders.

Although we have not specifically elected to be subject to any of the provisions of Subtitle 8, through provisions in our bylaws unrelated to Subtitle 8, we (1) require, unless called by the chairman of our Board, our chief executive officer, our president or our board of directors, the request of stockholders entitled to cast not less than a majority of all the votes entitled to be cast at the meeting to call a special meeting of stockholders, and (2) allow a majority of our Board to fix the number of directors without stockholder approval.

Meetings of Stockholders

Under our bylaws and pursuant to Maryland law, annual meetings of stockholders will be held each year at a date and at the time and place determined by our Board. Special meetings of stockholders may be called by our Board, the chairman of our Board, our president or our chief executive officer. Additionally, subject to the provisions of our bylaws, special meetings of the stockholders to act on any matter must be called by our secretary upon the written request of stockholders entitled to cast not less than a majority of all the votes entitled to be cast on such matter at such meeting who have requested the special meeting in accordance with the procedures set forth in, and provided the information and certifications required by, our bylaws. Only matters set forth in the notice of the special meeting may be considered and acted upon at such a meeting. Our secretary will inform the requesting stockholders of the reasonably estimated cost of preparing and delivering the notice of meeting (including our proxy materials), and the requesting stockholder or stockholders must pay such estimated cost before our secretary may prepare and deliver the notice of the special meeting.

 

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Advance Notice of Director Nominations and New Business

Our bylaws provide that:

 

   

with respect to an annual meeting of stockholders, nominations of individuals for election to our board of directors and the proposal of business to be considered by stockholders at the annual meeting may be made only:

 

   

pursuant to our notice of the meeting;

 

   

by or at the direction of our Board; or

 

   

by a stockholder who was a stockholder of record at the record date set by our Board for the meeting, at the time of giving of the notice of the meeting and at the time of the annual meeting (and any postponement or adjustment thereof), who is entitled to vote at the meeting in the election of each individual so nominated or on such other business and who has complied with the advance notice procedures set forth in, and provided the information and certifications required by, our bylaws; and

 

   

with respect to special meetings of stockholders, only the business specified in our notice of meeting may be brought before the special meeting of stockholders, and nominations of individuals for election to our Board may be made only:

 

   

by or at the direction of our Board;

 

   

by a stockholder that has requested a special meeting be called for the purpose of electing directors in compliance with our bylaws; or

 

   

provided that the meeting has been called in accordance with our bylaws for the purpose of electing directors, by a stockholder who is a stockholder of record at the record date set by our Board for the meeting, at the time of giving of the notice required by our bylaws and at the time of the meeting (and any postponement or adjustment thereof), who is entitled to vote at the meeting in the election of each individual so nominated and who has complied with the advance notice provisions set forth in, and provided the information and certifications required by, our bylaws.

The purpose of requiring stockholders to give advance notice of nominations and other proposals is to afford our Board and our stockholders the opportunity to consider the qualifications of the proposed nominees or the advisability of the other proposals and, to the extent considered necessary by our Board, to inform stockholders and make recommendations regarding the nominations or other proposals. Although our bylaws do not give our Board the power to disapprove timely stockholder nominations and proposals, our bylaws may have the effect of precluding a contest for the election of directors or proposals for other action if the proper procedures are not followed, and of discouraging or deterring a third party from conducting a solicitation of proxies to elect its own slate of directors to our Board or to approve its own proposal.

 

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MATERIAL U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS

The following summary describes material U.S. federal income tax considerations relating to the ownership of our capital stock as of the date hereof by U.S. holders and non-U.S. holders, each as defined below. Except where noted, this summary deals only with shares of our capital stock held as capital assets for U.S. federal income tax purposes and does not deal with special situations, such as those of dealers in securities or currencies, financial institutions, regulated investment companies, tax-exempt entities (except as described in “—Taxation of Tax-Exempt Holders of Our Capital Stock” below), insurance companies, persons holding our capital stock as a part of a hedging, integrated, conversion or constructive sale transaction or a straddle, traders in securities that elect to use a mark-to-market method of accounting for their securities holdings, persons liable for alternative minimum tax, investors in pass-through entities, or U.S. holders of our capital stock whose “functional currency” is not the U.S. dollar. Furthermore, the discussion below is based upon the provisions of the Code and regulations, rulings and judicial decisions thereunder as of the date hereof, and such authorities may be repealed, revoked or modified, possibly with retroactive effect, so as to result in U.S. federal income tax consequences different from those discussed below.

You should consult your tax advisors concerning the U.S. federal income tax consequences in light of your particular situation as well as consequences arising under the laws of any other taxing jurisdiction.

Our Taxation as a REIT

We elected to be taxed as a REIT under the U.S. federal income tax laws beginning with our taxable year ended December 31, 1997. We believe that we have operated in a manner qualifying us as a REIT since our election and intend to continue to so operate. In the opinion of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, we qualified to be taxed as a REIT under the U.S. federal income tax laws for our taxable years ended December 31, 2018 through December 31, 2021, and our organization and current and proposed method of operation will enable us to continue to qualify as a REIT for our taxable year ending December 31, 2022 and in the future. You should be aware that Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP’s opinion is based on existing U.S. federal income tax law governing qualification as a REIT, which is subject to change, possibly on a retroactive basis, is not binding on the IRS or any court, and speaks as of the date issued. In addition, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP’s opinion is based on customary assumptions and is conditioned upon certain representations made by us as to factual matters, including representations regarding the nature of our assets and the future conduct of our business, all of which are described in the opinion. Moreover, our continued qualification and taxation as a REIT depends on our ability to meet, on a continuing basis, through actual operating results, certain qualification tests in the U.S. federal income tax laws. Those qualification tests involve the percentage of our income that we earn from specified sources, the percentages of our assets that fall within specified categories, the diversity of our share ownership and the percentage of our earnings that we distribute. While Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP has reviewed those matters in connection with the foregoing opinion, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP will not review our compliance with those tests on a continuing basis. Accordingly, given the complex nature of the rules governing REITs, the ongoing importance of factual determinations, including the potential tax treatment of the investments we make, and the possibility of future changes in our circumstances, no assurance can be given that the actual results of our operations for any particular taxable year will satisfy such requirements. In addition, we will be required to make estimates of, or otherwise determine the value of, our assets and the collateral for our assets, and the values of some assets may not be susceptible to a precise determination. There can be no assurance that the IRS would not challenge our valuations or valuation estimates of our assets or collateral. Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP’s opinion does not foreclose the possibility that we may have to use one or more of the REIT savings provisions described below, which could require us to pay an excise or penalty tax (which could be material) to maintain our REIT qualification. For a discussion of the tax consequences of our failure to qualify as a REIT, see “—Failure to Qualify,” below.

The sections of the Code and the corresponding regulations that govern the U.S. federal income tax treatment of a REIT and its stockholders are highly technical and complex. The following discussion is qualified

 

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in its entirety by the applicable Code provisions, rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, and administrative interpretations thereof. In any year in which we qualify for taxation as a REIT, we generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on that portion of our net taxable income that we distribute currently to our stockholders, although taxable income generated by domestic taxable REIT subsidiaries, if any, will be subject to regular corporate income tax. Our stockholders generally will be taxed on dividends that they receive at ordinary income rates unless such dividends are designated by us as capital gain dividends. Distributions we make are not eligible for the dividends received deduction for corporations. We expect that ordinary dividends paid by us generally will not be eligible for the reduced rates that generally apply to distributions by non-REIT C corporations to certain U.S. individuals, trusts and estates.

We are generally not subject to U.S. corporate income tax on income that we distribute currently to stockholders, but we will be subject to U.S. federal tax as follows:

 

   

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

 

   

If we have net income from “prohibited transactions,” which are, in general, sales or other dispositions of property held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business, other than foreclosure property, such income will be subject to a 100% tax.

 

   

If we elect to treat property that we acquire in connection with a foreclosure of a mortgage loan or from certain leasehold terminations as “foreclosure property,” we may thereby avoid (a) the 100% tax on gain from a resale of that property (if the sale would otherwise constitute a prohibited transaction) and (b) the inclusion of any income from such property not qualifying for purposes of the REIT gross income tests discussed below, but the income from the sale or operation of the property may be subject to U.S. corporate income tax at the highest applicable rate.

 

   

If due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect we fail to satisfy either the 75% gross income test or the 95% gross income test discussed below, but nonetheless maintain our qualification as a REIT because other requirements are met, we will be subject to a 100% tax on the greater of the amount by which we fail the 75% gross income test or the 95% gross income test, multiplied in either case by a fraction intended to reflect our profitability.

 

   

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

 

   

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

 

   

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

 

   

If we fail to distribute during each calendar year at least the sum of:

 

   

85% of our ordinary income for such calendar year;

 

   

95% of our capital gain net income for such calendar year; and

 

 

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any undistributed taxable income from prior taxable years,

we will pay a 4% nondeductible excise tax on the excess of the required distribution over the amount we actually distributed, plus any retained amounts on which income tax has been paid at the corporate level.

 

   

We may elect to retain and pay income tax on our net long-term capital gain. In that case, a U.S. holder would include its proportionate share of our undistributed long-term capital gain (to the extent we make a timely designation of such gain to the holder) in its income, and would receive a credit or a refund for its proportionate share of the tax we paid.

 

   

We will be subject to a 100% excise tax on transactions between us and a taxable REIT subsidiary that are not conducted on an arm’s length basis.

 

   

If we acquire any appreciated asset from a non-REIT C corporation in a carry-over basis transaction, we could be liable for tax with respect to “built-in gain” in that asset if we recognize gain on the sale or disposition of the asset during the 5-year period after we acquire the asset. Built-in gain is the amount by which an asset’s fair market value exceeds its adjusted tax basis at the time we acquire the asset.

 

   

With respect to an interest in a taxable mortgage pool or a residual interest in a real estate mortgage investment conduit, or REMIC, the ownership of which is attributed to us or to a REIT in which we own an interest, although the law on the matter is unclear as to the ownership of an interest in a taxable mortgage pool, we may be taxable at the highest corporate rate on the amount of any excess inclusion income for the taxable year allocable to the percentage of our stock that is held in record name by “disqualified organizations.” To the extent that we own a REMIC residual interest or a taxable mortgage pool through a taxable REIT subsidiary, we will not be subject to this tax. A “disqualified organization” includes:

 

   

the U.S.;

 

   

any state or political subdivision of the U.S.;

 

   

any foreign government;

 

   

any international organization;

 

   

any agency or instrumentality of any of the foregoing;

 

   

any other tax-exempt organization, other than a farmer’s cooperative described in

 

   

section 521 of the Code, that is exempt both from income taxation and from taxation under the unrelated business taxable income provisions of the Code; and

 

   

any rural electrical or telephone cooperative.

We do not currently intend to hold REMIC residual interests or engage in financing or other activities that would result in the allocation of excess inclusion to our shareholders. See “—Taxable Mortgage Pools and Excess Inclusion Income.”

In addition, notwithstanding our status as a REIT, we may also have to pay certain state and local income taxes, because not all states and localities treat REITs in the same manner that they are treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Moreover, as further described below, any domestic taxable REIT subsidiary in which we own an interest will be subject to U.S. federal corporate income tax on its net income. In addition, we may be subject to a variety of taxes other than U.S. federal income tax, including state and local franchise, property and other taxes and foreign taxes. We could also be subject to tax in situations and on transactions not presently contemplated.

 

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Requirements for Qualification as a REIT. The Code defines a REIT as a corporation, trust or association:

 

  (1)

that is managed by one or more trustees or directors;

 

  (2)

the beneficial ownership of which is evidenced by transferable shares, or by transferable certificates of beneficial interest;

 

  (3)

that would be taxable as a domestic corporation, but for sections 856 through 859 of the Code;

 

  (4)

that is neither a financial institution nor an insurance company subject to certain provisions of the Code;

 

  (5)

the beneficial ownership of which is held by 100 or more persons;

 

  (6)

of which not more than 50% in value of the outstanding shares are owned, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer individuals (as defined in the Code to include certain entities) after applying certain attribution rules;

 

  (7)

that makes an election to be a REIT for the current taxable year or has made such an election for a previous taxable year, which has not been terminated or revoked;

 

  (8)

that meets other tests, described below, regarding the nature of its income and assets and the distribution of its income;

 

  (9)

that uses the calendar year as its taxable year; and

(10) that has no earnings and profits from any non-REIT taxable year at the close of any taxable year.

Conditions (1), (2), (3), (4), (8), and (9) must be met during the entire taxable year. Condition (5) must be met during at least 335 days of a taxable year of 12 months, or during a proportionate part of a taxable year of less than 12 months other than the first taxable year for which an election to become a REIT is made. Condition (6) must be met during the last half of each taxable year but neither conditions (5) nor (6) apply to the first taxable year for which an election to become a REIT is made. For purposes of determining the stock ownership requirement described in condition (6) above, an “individual” generally includes a supplemental unemployment compensation benefits plan, a private foundation, or a portion of a trust permanently set aside or used exclusively for charitable purposes. An “individual,” however, generally does not include a trust that is a qualified employee pension or profit sharing trust under the U.S. federal income tax laws, and beneficiaries of such a trust will be treated as holding our shares in proportion to their actuarial interests in the trust for purposes of the requirement described in condition (6) above. We believe that we have maintained and will maintain sufficient diversity of ownership to allow us to continue to satisfy conditions (5) and (6) above. In addition, our charter contains restrictions regarding the ownership and transfer of our stock that are intended to assist us in continuing to satisfy the share ownership requirements described in conditions (5) and (6) above. These restrictions, however, may not ensure that we will be able to satisfy these share ownership requirements. If we fail to satisfy these share ownership requirements, we will fail to qualify as a REIT.

If we comply with regulatory rules pursuant to which we are required to send annual letters to holders of our stock requesting information regarding the actual ownership of our stock (as discussed below), and we do not know, or exercising reasonable diligence would not have known, whether we failed to meet condition (6) above, we will be treated as having met the requirement.

To monitor compliance with the share ownership requirements described in conditions (5) and (6) above, we generally are required to maintain records regarding the actual ownership of our stock. To do so, we must demand written statements each year from the record holders of significant percentages of our stock pursuant to which the record holders must disclose the actual owners of the shares (i.e., the persons required to include our dividends in their gross income). We must maintain a list of those persons failing or refusing to comply with this demand as part of our records. We could be subject to monetary penalties if we fail to comply with these record-keeping requirements. If you fail or refuse to comply with the demands, you will be required by U.S. Treasury

 

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regulations to submit a statement with your tax return disclosing your actual ownership of our stock and other information. In addition, we must satisfy all relevant filing and other administrative requirements established by the IRS to elect and maintain REIT status, use a calendar year for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and comply with the record keeping requirements of the Code and regulations promulgated thereunder. We intend to continue to comply with these requirements.

Disregarded Entities and Partnerships. An unincorporated domestic entity, such as a partnership or limited liability company, that has a single owner for U.S. federal income tax purposes generally is not treated as an entity separate from its parent for U.S. federal income tax purposes. An unincorporated domestic entity with two or more owners for U.S. federal income tax purposes generally is treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes. In the case of a REIT that is a partner in an entity that is treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes, U.S. Treasury regulations provide that the REIT is deemed to own its proportionate share of the partnership’s assets and to earn its proportionate share of the partnership’s gross income based on its pro rata share of capital interests in the partnership for purposes of the asset and gross income tests applicable to REITs, as described below. However, solely for purposes of the 10% value test, described below (see “—Asset Tests”), the determination of a REIT’s interest in partnership assets will be based on the REIT’s proportionate interest in any securities issued by the partnership, excluding for these purposes, certain excluded securities as described in the Code. In addition, the assets and gross income of the partnership generally are deemed to retain the same character in the hands of the REIT. Thus, our proportionate share of the assets and items of income of partnerships in which we own an equity interest is treated as assets and items of income of our company for purposes of applying the REIT requirements described below. Consequently, to the extent that we directly or indirectly hold a preferred or other equity interest in a partnership or limited liability company, the partnership’s or limited liability company’s assets and operations may affect our ability to qualify as a REIT, even though we may have no control or only limited influence over the partnership.

Qualified REIT Subsidiaries. If a REIT owns a corporate subsidiary that is a “qualified REIT subsidiary,” the separate existence of that subsidiary is disregarded for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Generally, a qualified REIT subsidiary is a corporation, other than a taxable REIT subsidiary, all of the stock of which is owned directly or indirectly by the REIT. All assets, liabilities and items of income, deduction and credit of the qualified REIT subsidiary will be treated as assets, liabilities and items of income, deduction and credit of the REIT itself. A qualified REIT subsidiary is not subject to U.S. federal corporate income taxation, although it may be subject to state and local taxation in some states.

In the event that a qualified REIT subsidiary or disregarded subsidiary ceases to be wholly owned by us (for example, if any equity interest in the subsidiary is acquired by a person other than us or another disregarded subsidiary of us), the subsidiary’s separate existence would no longer be disregarded for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Instead, it would have multiple owners and would be treated as either a partnership or a taxable corporation. Such an event could, depending on the circumstances, adversely affect our ability to satisfy the various asset and gross income tests applicable to REITs, including the requirement that REITs generally may not own, directly or indirectly, more than 10% of the value or voting power of the outstanding securities of another corporation. See “—Asset Tests” and “—Income Tests.”

Taxable REIT Subsidiaries. A taxable REIT subsidiary is an entity that is taxable as a corporation in which we directly or indirectly own stock and that elects with us to be treated as a taxable REIT subsidiary. In addition, if a taxable REIT subsidiary owns, directly or indirectly, securities representing 35% or more of the vote or value of a subsidiary corporation, that subsidiary will also be treated as a taxable REIT subsidiary. However, an entity will not qualify as a taxable REIT subsidiary if it directly or indirectly operates or manages a lodging or health care facility or, generally, provides to another person, under a franchise, license or otherwise, rights to any brand name under which any lodging facility or health care facility is operated. We generally may not own more than 10%, as measured by voting power or value, of the securities of a corporation that is not a qualified REIT subsidiary or a REIT unless we and such corporation elect to treat such corporation as a taxable REIT subsidiary. Overall, no more than 20% of the value of a REIT’s assets may consist of stock or securities of one or more taxable REIT subsidiaries.

 

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Income earned by a taxable REIT subsidiary is not attributable to the REIT. As a result, income that might not be qualifying income for purposes of the income tests applicable to REITs could be earned by a taxable REIT subsidiary without affecting our status as a REIT. Our domestic taxable REIT subsidiaries will be fully subject to corporate income tax on their taxable income.

Several provisions of the Code regarding the arrangements between a REIT and its taxable REIT subsidiaries ensure that a taxable REIT subsidiary will be subject to an appropriate level of U.S. federal income taxation. For example, a taxable REIT subsidiary is limited in its ability to deduct interest payments made to affiliated REITs. In addition, we would be obligated to pay a 100% penalty tax on some payments that we receive from, or on certain expenses deducted by, a taxable REIT subsidiary if the IRS were to assert successfully that the economic arrangements between us and a taxable REIT subsidiary are not comparable to similar arrangements among unrelated parties. Any income earned by a taxable REIT subsidiary that is attributable to services provided to us, or on our behalf to any of our tenants, that is less than the amounts that would have been charged based upon arm’s length negotiations, will also be subject to a 100% penalty tax. We intend to scrutinize all of our transactions with any of our subsidiaries that are treated as a taxable REIT subsidiary in an effort to ensure that we do not become subject to this penalty tax; however, we cannot assure you that we will be successful in avoiding this penalty tax.

Ownership of Subsidiary REITs. We own 100% of the common shares of a subsidiary REIT. Our subsidiary REIT is also subject to the same various REIT qualification requirements and other limitations described herein that are applicable to us. We believe that our subsidiary REIT is organized and has operated and will continue to operate in a manner to permit it to qualify for taxation as a REIT for federal income tax purposes from and after the effective date of its REIT election. However, if a subsidiary REIT of ours were to fail to qualify as a REIT, then (1) the subsidiary REIT would become subject to regular U.S. corporate income tax, as described herein, see “—Failure to Qualify” below, and (2) our ownership of shares in such subsidiary REIT would cease to be a qualifying real estate asset for purposes of the 75% asset test and would become subject to the 5% asset test, the 10% vote test, and the 10% value test generally applicable to our ownership in corporations other than REITs, qualified REIT subsidiaries and TRSs. See “—Asset Tests” below. If our subsidiary REIT were to fail to qualify as a REIT, it is possible that we would not meet the 10% vote test and the 10% value test with respect to our indirect interest in such entity, in which event we would fail to qualify as a REIT unless we could avail ourselves of certain relief provisions. While we believe that our subsidiary REIT has qualified as a REIT under the Code, we may join the subsidiary REIT in filing a “protective” TRS election with respect to the subsidiary REIT. We cannot assure you that such “protective” TRS election would be effective to avoid adverse consequences to us. Moreover, even if the “protective” election were to be effective, the subsidiary REIT would be subject to regular corporate income tax, and we cannot assure you that we would not fail to satisfy the requirement that not more than 20% of the value of our total assets may be represented by the securities of one or more TRSs, as well as the requirement that taxable income from our TRSs plus other nonqualifying gross income not exceed 25% of our total gross income.

Taxable Mortgage Pools and Excess Inclusion Income. An entity, or a portion of an entity, that does not elect to be treated as a REMIC may be classified as a taxable mortgage pool, or TMP, under the Code if:

 

   

substantially all of its assets consist of debt obligations or interests in debt obligations;

 

   

more than 50% of those debt obligations are real estate mortgages or interests in real estate mortgages as of specified testing dates;

 

   

the entity has issued debt obligations (liabilities) that have two or more maturities; and

 

   

the payments required to be made by the entity on its debt obligations “bear a relationship” to the payments to be received by the entity on the debt obligations that it holds as assets.

Under the U.S. Treasury regulations, if less than 80% of the assets of an entity (or a portion of an entity) consists of debt obligations, these debt obligations are considered not to comprise “substantially all” of its assets, and therefore the entity would not be treated as a taxable mortgage pool.

 

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A TMP generally is treated as a taxable corporation and it cannot file a consolidated U.S. federal income tax return with any other corporation. If, however, a REIT owns 100% of the equity interests in a TMP, then the TMP is a qualified REIT subsidiary and, as such, ignored as an entity separate from the REIT, but a portion of the REIT’s income will be treated as excess inclusion income and a portion of the dividends the REIT pays to U.S. holders will be considered to be excess inclusion income.

Section 860E(c) of the Code defines the term “excess inclusion” with respect to a residual interest in a REMIC. The IRS has yet to issue guidance on the computation of excess inclusion income on equity interests in a TMP held by a REIT. Generally, however, excess inclusion income with respect to our investment in any TMP and any taxable year will equal the excess of (i) the amount of income we accrue on our investment in the TMP over (ii) the amount of income we would have accrued if our investment were a debt instrument having an issue price equal to the fair market value of our investment on the day we acquired it and a yield to maturity equal to 120% of the long-term applicable federal rate in effect on the date we acquired our interest. The term “applicable federal rate” refers to rates that are based on weighted average yields for U.S. Treasury securities and are published monthly by the IRS for use in various tax calculations. If we undertake securitization transactions that are TMPs, the amount of excess inclusion income we recognize in any taxable year could represent a significant portion of our total taxable income for that year.

Although we intend to structure our securitization and financing transactions so that we will not recognize any excess inclusion income, we cannot assure you that we will always be successful in this regard. If, notwithstanding our intent, we recognized excess inclusion income, then under guidance issued by the IRS we would be required to allocate the excess inclusion income proportionately among the dividends we pay to our stockholders and we must notify our stockholders of the portion of our dividends that represents excess inclusion income. The portion of any dividend you receive that is treated as excess inclusion income is subject to special rules. First, your taxable income can never be less than the sum of your excess inclusion income for the year; excess inclusion income cannot be offset with net operating losses or other allowable deductions. Second, if you are a tax-exempt organization and your excess inclusion income is subject to the unrelated business income tax, then the excess inclusion portion of any dividend you receive will be treated as unrelated business taxable income. Third, dividends paid to Non-U.S. holders who hold stock for investment and not in connection with a trade or business conducted in the U.S. will be subject to U.S. federal withholding tax without regard to any reduction in rate otherwise allowed by any applicable income tax treaty.

If we recognize excess inclusion income, and one or more disqualified organizations are record holders of shares of capital stock, we will be taxable at the highest federal corporate income tax rate on the portion of any excess inclusion income equal to the percentage of our stock that is held by disqualified organizations. In such circumstances, we may reduce the amount of our distributions to a disqualified organization whose stock ownership gave rise to the tax. To the extent that our capital stock owned by disqualified organizations is held by a broker/dealer or other nominee, the broker/dealer or other nominee would be liable for a tax at the highest corporate tax rate on the portion of our excess inclusion income allocable to our capital stock held by the broker/dealer or other nominee on behalf of the disqualified organizations.

We do not currently intend to hold REMIC residual interests or engage in financing or other activities that would result in the allocation of excess inclusion to our shareholders.

Tax-exempt investors, non-U.S. investors and taxpayers with net operating losses should carefully consider the tax consequences described above and are urged to consult their tax advisors in connection with their decision to invest in our capital stock.

 

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Income Tests

To qualify as a REIT, we must satisfy two gross income requirements, each of which is applied on an annual basis. First, at least 75% of our gross income for each taxable year generally must be derived directly or indirectly from:

 

   

rents from real property;

 

   

interest on debt secured by mortgages on real property or on interests in real property and interest on debt secured by a mortgage on real property and personal property if the fair market value of such personal property does not exceed 15% of the total fair market value of all such property, and interest on qualified mezzanine loans;

 

   

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

 

   

gain from the sale of real estate assets;

 

   

abatements and refunds of taxes on real property;

 

   

income and gain derived from foreclosure property (as described below);

 

   

amounts (other than amounts the determination of which depends in whole or in part on the income or profits of any person) received or accrued as consideration for entering into agreements (i) to make loans secured by mortgages on real property or on interests in real property or (ii) to purchase or lease real property (including interests in real property and interests in mortgages on real property);

 

   

income derived from a REMIC in proportion to the real estate assets held by the REMIC, unless at least 95% of the REMIC’s assets are real estate assets, in which case all of the income derived from the REMIC; and

 

   

interest or dividend income from investments in stock or debt instruments attributable to the temporary investment of new capital during the one-year period following our receipt of new capital that we raise through equity offerings or public offerings of debt obligations with at least a five-year term.

Although a debt instrument issued by a “publicly offered REIT” (i.e., a REIT that is required to file annual and periodic reports with the SEC under the Exchange Act) is treated as a “real estate asset” for the asset tests, the interest income and gain from the sale of such debt instruments is not treated as qualifying income for the 75% gross income test unless the debt instrument is secured by real property or an interest in real property.

Second, at least 95% of our gross income for each taxable year must be derived from sources that qualify for purposes of the 75% gross income test, and from (i) dividends, (ii) interest and (iii) gain from the sale or disposition of stock or securities.

Gross income from the following sources is excluded from both the numerator and the denominator in both gross income tests:

 

   

gain from a sale of property that we hold primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business;

 

   

income and gain from hedging transactions that we enter into to hedge indebtedness incurred or to be incurred to acquire or carry real estate assets and that are clearly and timely identified as such;

 

   

certain foreign currency gains; and

 

   

cancellation of indebtedness income.

We will monitor the amount of our non-qualifying income and we will seek to manage our portfolio to comply at all times with the gross income tests. The following paragraphs discuss some of the specific applications of the gross income tests to us.

 

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Interest. The term “interest,” as defined for purposes of both gross income tests, generally excludes any amount that is based in whole or in part on the income or profits of any person, however, it generally includes the following: (i) an amount that is received or accrued based on a fixed percentage or percentages of receipts or sales, and (ii) an amount that is based on the income or profits of a debtor, as long as the debtor derives substantially all of its income from the real property securing the debt by leasing substantially all of its interest in the property, and only to the extent that the amounts received by the debtor would be qualifying “rents from real property” if received directly by a REIT. We do not expect that any of our loans will be based in whole or in part on the income or profits of any person.

If a loan contains a provision that entitles a REIT to a percentage of the borrower’s gain upon the sale of the real property securing the loan or a percentage of the appreciation in the property’s value as of a specific date, income attributable to that loan provision will be treated as gain from the sale of the property securing the loan, which generally is qualifying income for purposes of both gross income tests, provided that the property is not inventory or dealer property in the hands of the borrower or the REIT.

Interest on debt secured by mortgages on real property or on interests in real property, including, for this purpose, market discount, original issue discount, prepayment penalties, loan assumption fees, and late payment charges that are not compensation for services, generally is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test. If a loan is secured by real property and other property and the highest principal amount of a loan outstanding during a taxable year exceeds the fair market value of the real property (including, for loans secured by real property and personal property where the fair market value of the personal property is less than 15% of the total fair market value of all such property, such personal property) securing the loan as of the date (i) we agreed to originate or acquire the loan or (ii) as discussed below, in the event of a “significant modification,” the date we modified the loan, a portion of the interest income from such loan will not be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test but will be qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test. However, in the case of a loan that is secured by both real property and personal property, if the fair market value of such personal property does not exceed 15% of the total fair market value of all property securing the loan, then the personal property securing the loan will be treated as real property for purposes of determining whether the interest on such loan is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test. If apportionment is required, the percentage of the interest income that will not be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test will be equal to the percentage of the principal amount of the loan that is not secured by real property—that is, the amount by which the loan exceeds the value of the real estate that is security for the loan.

We expect that the MBS in which we invest generally will be treated either as interests in a grantor trust or as interests in a REMIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes and that all interest income from such MBS will be qualifying income for the 95% gross income test. In the case of MBS treated as interests in grantor trusts, we would be treated as owning an undivided beneficial ownership interest in the mortgage loans held by the grantor trust. The interest on such mortgage loans would be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test to the extent that the obligation is secured by real property, as discussed above. In the case of MBS treated as interests in a REMIC, income derived from REMIC interests generally will be treated as qualifying income for purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests. If less than 95% of the assets of the REMIC are real estate assets, however, then only a proportionate part of our interest in the REMIC and income derived from the interest will qualify for purposes of the 75% gross income test. In addition, some REMIC securitizations include imbedded interest swap or cap contracts or other derivative instruments that potentially could produce non-qualifying income for the holder of the related REMIC securities.

We purchase and sell Agency MBS through to-be-announced forward contracts, or TBAs, and recognize income or gains from the disposition of those TBAs, through dollar roll transactions or otherwise. While there is no direct authority with respect to the qualification of income or gains from dispositions of TBAs as gains from the sale of real property (including interests in real property and interests in mortgages on real property) or other qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, we treat income and gains from our TBAs as qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, based on an opinion of prior tax counsel

 

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substantially to the effect for purposes of the 75% REIT gross income test, any gain recognized by us in connection with the settlement of our TBAs should be treated as gain from the sale or disposition of an interest in mortgages on real property. If the IRS were to successfully challenge the opinion of counsel, we could be subject to a penalty tax or we could fail to remain qualified as a REIT if a sufficient portion of our income consists of income or gains from the disposition of TBAs.

We own interests in mezzanine loans, which are loans secured by equity interests in an entity that directly or indirectly owns real property, rather than by a direct mortgage of the real property. In Revenue Procedure 2003-65, the IRS established a safe harbor under which loans secured by a first priority security interest in the ownership interests in a partnership or limited liability company owning real property will be treated as real estate assets for purposes of the REIT asset tests described below, and interest derived from those loans will be treated as qualifying income for both the 75% and 95% gross income tests, provided several requirements are satisfied. Although the Revenue Procedure provides a safe harbor on which taxpayers may rely, it does not prescribe rules of substantive tax law. Moreover, our mezzanine loans may not meet all of the requirements for reliance on the safe harbor. To the extent any mezzanine loans that we acquire do not qualify for the safe harbor described above, the interest income from the loans will be qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test, but there is a risk that such interest income will not be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test. We believe we have invested, and intend to continue to invest, in mezzanine loans in a manner that will enable us to continue to satisfy the REIT gross income and asset tests.

We may modify the terms of our mortgage or mezzanine loans. Under the Code, if the terms of a loan are modified in a manner constituting a “significant modification,” such modification triggers a deemed exchange of the original loan for the modified loan. IRS Revenue Procedure 2014-51 provides a safe harbor pursuant to which we will not be required to redetermine the fair market value of the real property securing a loan for purposes of the gross income and asset tests in connection with a loan modification that is (i) occasioned by a borrower default or (ii) made at a time when we reasonably believe that the modification to the loan will substantially reduce a significant risk of default on the original loan. To the extent we significantly modify loans in a manner that does not qualify for that safe harbor, we will be required to redetermine the value of the real property securing the loan at the time it was significantly modified, which could result in a portion of the interest income on the loan being treated as nonqualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test. In determining the value of the real property securing such a loan, we generally will not obtain third-party appraisals but rather will rely on internal valuations.

The interest, original issue discount, and market discount income that we will receive from our mortgage-related assets generally will be qualifying income for purposes of both gross income tests. Some of our investments, such as the investments we acquire through our middle market lending activities, will not be secured by mortgages on real property or interests in real property. Our interest income from those investments will be qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test, but not the 75% gross income test.

We have entered, and intend to enter, into financing arrangements that are structured as sale and repurchase agreements pursuant to which we would nominally sell certain of our assets to a counterparty and simultaneously enter into an agreement to repurchase these assets at a later date in exchange for a purchase price. Economically, these agreements are financings that are secured by the assets sold pursuant thereto. We believe that we would be treated for REIT asset and income test purposes as the owner of the assets that are the subject of any such sale and repurchase agreement notwithstanding that such agreements may transfer record ownership of the assets to the counterparty during the term of the agreement. It is possible, however, that the IRS could assert that we did not own the assets during the term of the sale and repurchase agreement, in which case we could fail to qualify as a REIT.

Hedging Transactions. We may enter into hedging transactions with respect to one or more of our assets or liabilities. Hedging transactions could take a variety of forms, including interest rate swap agreements, interest rate cap agreements, options, futures contracts, forward rate agreements or similar financial instruments. Except

 

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to the extent provided by U.S. Treasury regulations, any income from a hedging transaction we enter into (i) in the normal course of our business primarily to manage risk of interest rate or price changes or currency fluctuations with respect to borrowings made or to be made, or ordinary obligations incurred or to be incurred, to acquire or carry real estate assets, which is clearly identified as specified in U.S. Treasury regulations before the close of the day on which it was acquired, originated or entered into, including gain from the sale or disposition of such a transaction, (ii) primarily to manage risk of currency fluctuations with respect to any item of income or gain that would be qualifying income under the 75% or 95% gross income tests that is clearly identified as such before the close of the day on which it was acquired, originated or entered into and satisfies other identification requirements, or (iii) in connection with the effective termination of certain hedging transactions described above, will not constitute gross income for purposes of the 75% or 95% gross income tests. To the extent that we enter into other types of hedging transactions, the income from those transactions is likely to be treated as non-qualifying income for purposes of both of the 75% and 95% gross income tests. We intend to structure any hedging transactions in a manner that does not jeopardize our qualification as a REIT.

We may conduct some or all of our hedging activities through a taxable REIT subsidiary or other corporate entity, the income of which may be subject to U.S. federal income tax, rather than by participating in the arrangements directly or through pass-through subsidiaries. No assurance can be given, however, that our hedging activities will not give rise to income that does not qualify for purposes of either or both of the REIT gross income tests, or that our hedging activities will not adversely affect our ability to satisfy the REIT qualification requirements.

Even if the income from our hedging transactions is excluded from gross income for purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests, such income and any loss will be taken into account in determining our REIT taxable income and our distribution requirement. If the IRS disagrees with our calculation of the amount or timing of recognition of gain or loss with respect to our hedging transactions, our distribution requirement could increase, which could require that we correct any shortfall in distributions by paying deficiency dividends to our stockholders in a later year.

Fee Income. We may earn income from fees in certain circumstances. Fee income generally will be qualifying income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests if it is received in consideration for entering into an agreement to make a loan secured by real property and the fees are not determined by income and profits. Other fees generally are not qualifying income for purposes of either gross income test, and thus cannot exceed 5% of our annual gross income. We may conduct some or all of our fee-generating activities through a taxable REIT subsidiary or other corporate entity, the income from which may be subject to U.S. federal income tax. Any fees earned by a taxable REIT subsidiary will not be included in our gross income for purposes of the gross income tests.

Rents from Real Property. To the extent that we own or acquire real property or an interest therein, rents we receive will qualify as “rents from real property” in satisfying the gross income requirements for a REIT described above only if several conditions are met. These conditions relate to the identity of the tenant, the computation of the rent payable, and the nature of the property leased. First, the amount of rent must not be based in whole or in part on the income or profits of any person. However, an amount received or accrued generally will not be excluded from rents from real property solely by reason of being based on a fixed percentage or percentages of receipts or sales. Second, rents we receive from a “related party tenant” will not qualify as rents from real property in satisfying the gross income tests unless the tenant is a taxable REIT subsidiary at least 90% of the property is leased to unrelated tenants, the rent paid by the taxable REIT subsidiary is substantially comparable to the rent paid by the unrelated tenants for comparable space and the rent is not attributable to an increase in rent due to a modification of a lease with a “controlled taxable REIT subsidiary” (i.e., a taxable REIT subsidiary in which we own directly or indirectly more than 50% of the voting power or value of the stock). A tenant is a related party tenant if the REIT, or an actual or constructive owner of 10% or more of the REIT, actually or constructively owns 10% or more of the tenant. Third, if rent attributable to personal property leased in connection with a lease of real property is greater than 15% of the total rent received under the lease, then the

 

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portion of rent attributable to the personal property will not qualify as rents from real property. Finally, for rents to qualify as “rents from real property” for purposes of the gross income tests, we are only allowed to provide services that are both usually or “customarily rendered” in connection with the rental of real property and not otherwise considered “rendered to the occupant.” We may, however, render services to our tenants through an “independent contractor” who is adequately compensated and from whom we do not derive revenue. We may also own a taxable REIT subsidiary which provides non-customary services to tenants without tainting our rental income from the related properties.

Even if a REIT furnishes or renders services that are non-customary with respect to a property, if the greater of (i) the amounts received or accrued, directly or indirectly, or deemed received by the REIT with respect to such services, or (ii) 150% of our direct cost in furnishing or rendering the services during a taxable year is not more than 1% of all amounts received or accrued, directly or indirectly by the REIT with respect to the property during the same taxable year, then only the amounts with respect to such non-customary services are not treated as rent for purposes of the REIT gross income tests.

Prohibited Transactions Tax. A REIT will incur a 100% tax on the net income derived from any sale or other disposition of property, other than foreclosure property, that the REIT holds primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business. Any such income will be excluded from the application of the 75% and 95% gross income tests. Whether a REIT holds an asset primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business depends, however, on the facts and circumstances in effect from time to time, including those related to a particular asset. Nevertheless, we generally intend to conduct our operations so that no asset that we own will be treated as, or as having been, held for sale to customers, and that a sale of any such asset will not be treated as having been in the ordinary course of our business. We cannot assure you that we will comply with certain safe harbor provisions or that we will avoid owning property that may be characterized as property that we hold primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business. The 100% tax will not apply to gains from the sale of property that is held through a taxable REIT subsidiary or other taxable corporation, although such income will be subject to tax in the hands of the corporation at regular corporate income tax rates.

Foreclosure Property. Foreclosure property is any real property, including interests in real property, and any personal property incident to such real property:

 

   

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

 

   

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

 

   

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

However, a REIT will not be considered to have foreclosed on a property where the REIT takes control of the property as a mortgagee-in-possession and cannot receive any profit or sustain any loss except as a creditor of the mortgagor.

Property generally ceases to be foreclosure property at the end of the third taxable year following the taxable year in which the REIT acquired the property, or longer if an extension is granted by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury. This grace period terminates and foreclosure property ceases to be foreclosure property on the first day:

 

   

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

 

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

 

   

which is more than 90 days after the day on which the REIT acquired the property and the property is used in a trade or business that is conducted by the REIT, other than through an independent contractor from whom the REIT itself does not derive or receive any income or a taxable REIT subsidiary.

We will be subject to tax at the maximum corporate rate on any net income (including foreign currency gain) from foreclosure property, other than income that otherwise would be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, less expenses directly connected with the production of that income. However, gross income from foreclosure property, including gain from the sale of foreclosure property held for sale in the ordinary course of a trade or business, will qualify for purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests.

We may have the option to foreclose on mortgage loans when a borrower is in default. The foregoing rules could affect a decision by us to foreclose on a particular mortgage loan and could affect whether we choose to foreclose with regard to a particular mortgage loan.

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

Dividends. Our dividend income from stock in any corporation (other than any REIT) and from any taxable REIT subsidiary will be qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test, but not the 75% gross income test. If we own stock in other REITs, the dividends that we receive from those REITs and our gain on the sale of the stock in those REITs will be qualifying income for purposes of both gross income tests. However, if a REIT in which we own stock fails to qualify as a REIT in any year, our income from such REIT would be qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test, but not the 75% gross income test.

Phantom income. Due to the nature of the assets in which we will invest, we may be required to recognize taxable income from certain assets in advance of our receipt of cash flow from or proceeds from disposition of such assets, and may be required to report taxable income that exceeds the economic income ultimately realized on such assets.

We may acquire debt instruments or MBS in the secondary market for less than their face amount. The amount of such discount generally will be treated as “market discount” for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Accrued market discount is reported as income when, and to the extent that, any payment of principal of the debt instrument is made, unless we elect to include accrued market discount in income as it accrues. Principal payments on certain loans are made monthly, and consequently accrued market discount may have to be included in income each month as if the debt instrument were assured of ultimately being collected in full. If we collect less on the debt instrument than our purchase price plus the market discount we had previously reported as income, we may not be able to benefit from any offsetting loss deductions.

 

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Some of the loans and debt securities that we acquire may have been issued with original issue discount. In general, we will be required to accrue original issue discount based on the constant yield to maturity of the debt securities, and to treat it as taxable income in accordance with applicable U.S. federal income tax rules even though such yield may exceed cash payments, if any, received on such debt instrument.

We generally will be required to take certain amounts in income no later than the time such amounts are reflected on certain financial statements. The application of this rule may require the accrual of income with respect to our debt instruments or MBS, such as original issue discount, earlier than would be the case under the general tax rules, although the precise application of this rule is unclear at this time. To the extent that this rule requires the accrual of income earlier than under the general tax rules, it could increase our phantom income, which may make it more likely that we could be required to borrow funds or take other action to satisfy the REIT distribution requirements for the taxable year in which this phantom income is recognized. We currently do not expect that this rule will have a material impact on the timing of accrual of our income or on the amount of our distribution requirement. We will consider the potential effects of phantom income on our taxable stockholders in managing our investments.

We may agree to modify the terms of distressed and other loans we hold. These modifications may be considered “significant modifications” for U.S. federal income tax purposes that give rise to a deemed debt-for-debt exchange upon which we may recognize taxable income or gain without a corresponding receipt of cash.

In addition, in the event that any debt instruments or debt securities acquired by us are delinquent as to mandatory principal and interest payments, or in the event payments with respect to a particular debt instrument are not made when due, we may nonetheless be required to continue to recognize the unpaid interest as taxable income. Similarly, we may be required to accrue interest income with respect to subordinated MBS at the stated rate regardless of whether corresponding cash payments are received.

Finally, we may be required under the terms of indebtedness that we incur to use cash received from interest payments to make principal payments on that indebtedness, with the effect of recognizing income but not having a corresponding amount of cash available for distribution to our stockholders.

As a result of each of these potential timing differences between income recognition or expense deduction and cash receipts or disbursements, there is a significant risk that we may have substantial taxable income in excess of cash available for distribution. In that event, we may need to borrow funds or take other action to satisfy the REIT distribution requirements for the taxable year in which this “phantom income” is recognized. See “—Annual Distribution Requirements Applicable to REITs.”

Failure to Satisfy Gross Income Tests. If we fail to satisfy one or both of the 75% and 95% gross income tests for any taxable year, we may nevertheless qualify as a REIT for that year if we are entitled to relief under the Code. Generally, those relief provisions will be available if our failure to meet the tests is due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect, and we attach a schedule of the sources of our income to our U.S. federal income tax return. It is not possible, however, to state whether in all circumstances we would be entitled to the benefit of these relief provisions. For example, if we fail to satisfy the gross income tests because nonqualifying income that we intentionally recognize exceeds the limits on nonqualifying income, the IRS could conclude that the failure to satisfy the tests was not due to reasonable cause. If these relief provisions are inapplicable to a particular set of circumstances, we will fail to qualify as a REIT. Even if these relief provisions apply, a penalty tax would be imposed based on the amount of nonqualifying income. See “—Our Taxation as a REIT” and “—Failure to Qualify.”

Asset Tests

To maintain our qualification as a REIT, we must also satisfy the following asset tests at the close of each quarter of our taxable year.

 

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At least 75% of the value of our total assets must be represented by the following (or, the 75% asset test, and the assets listed below, the 75% asset class):

 

   

interests in real property, including leaseholds and options to acquire real property and leaseholds, and personal property to the extent such personal property is leased in connection with real property and rents attributable to such personal property are treated as “rents from real property” as a result of such rents not exceeding 15% of the total rent attributable to personal property and real property under such lease;

 

   

interests in mortgages on real property;

 

   

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

 

   

cash and cash items;

 

   

government securities;

 

   

investments in stock or debt instruments attributable to the temporary investment of new capital during the one-year period following our receipt of new capital that we raise through equity offerings or public offerings of debt obligations with at least a five-year term; and

 

   

regular or residual interests in a REMIC. However, if less than 95% of the assets of a REMIC consist of assets that are qualifying real estate-related assets under the U.S. federal income tax laws, determined as if we held such assets directly, we will be treated as holding directly our proportionate share of the assets of such REMIC.

 

   

Not more than 25% of our total assets may be represented by securities, other than those in the 75% asset class.

 

   

Except for securities in taxable REIT subsidiaries and the securities in the 75% asset class, the value of any one issuer’s securities owned by us may not exceed 5% of the value of our total assets (or, the 5% asset test).

 

   

Except for securities in taxable REIT subsidiaries and the securities in the 75% asset class, we may not own more than 10% of any one issuer’s outstanding voting securities (or, the 10% vote test).

 

   

Except for securities of taxable REIT subsidiaries and the securities in the 75% asset class, we may not own more than 10% of the total value of the outstanding securities of any one issuer, other than securities that qualify for the “straight debt” exception discussed below (or, 10% value test).

 

   

Not more than 20% of the value of our total assets may be represented by the securities of one or more taxable REIT subsidiaries.

 

   

Not more than 25% of the value of our total assets may be represented by debt instruments of “publicly offered” REITs that are not secured by real property or interests in real property.

For purposes of the 5% asset test, the 10% vote test, and the 10% value test, the term “securities” does not include stock in another REIT, debt of “publicly offered REITs,” equity or debt securities of a qualified REIT subsidiary or a taxable REIT subsidiary, mortgage loans or MBS that constitute real estate assets, or equity interests in a partnership. The term “securities”, however, generally includes debt securities issued by a partnership or another REIT (other than a “publicly offered REIT”), except that, for purposes of the 10% value test, the term “securities” does not include “straight debt” under a safe harbor. Debt will meet the “straight debt” safe harbor if the debt is a written unconditional promise to pay on demand or on a specified date a sum certain in money, the debt is not convertible, directly or indirectly, into stock, and the interest rate and the interest payment dates of the debt are not contingent on the profits, the borrower’s discretion or similar factors. In the case of an issuer that is a corporation or a partnership, securities that otherwise would be considered straight debt will not be so considered if we, and any of our “controlled taxable REIT subsidiaries” as defined in the Code, hold any securities of the corporate or partnership issuer that (a) are not straight debt or other excluded securities (prior to

 

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the application of this rule), and (b) have an aggregate value greater than 1% of the issuer’s outstanding securities (including, for the purposes of a partnership issuer, our interest as a partner in the partnership). “Straight debt” securities may include debt subject to the following contingencies:

 

   

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

 

   

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

In addition, the following instruments will not be taken into account for purposes of the 10% value test: (i) a REIT’s interest as a partner in a partnership; (ii) any debt instrument issued by a partnership (other than straight debt or any other excluded security) will not be considered a security issued by the partnership if at least 75% of the partnership’s gross income is derived from sources that would qualify for the 75% REIT gross income test; (iii) any debt instrument issued by a partnership (other than straight debt or any other excluded security) will not be to the extent of the REIT’s interest as a partner in the partnership; (iv) any loan to an individual or an estate; (v) any “section 467 rental agreement,” other than an agreement with a related party tenant; (vi) any obligation to pay “rents from real property”; (vii) certain securities issued by governmental entities that are not dependent in whole or in part on the profits of (or payments made by) a non-governmental entity; and (viii) any security (including debt securities) issued by another REIT. For purposes of the 10% value test, our proportionate share of the assets of a partnership is our proportionate interest in any securities issued by the partnership, without regard to the securities described clause (i) and (ii) in the preceding sentence.

For purposes of the 75% asset test, mortgage loans generally will qualify as real estate assets to the extent that they are secured by real property. Where a mortgage covers both real property and other property, an apportionment may be required in the same manner as described under “—Income Tests—Interest.” IRS Revenue Procedure 2014-51 provides a safe harbor under which the IRS has stated that it will not challenge a REIT’s treatment of a loan as being, in part, a qualifying real estate asset in an amount equal to the lesser of (i) the fair market value of the loan on the relevant quarterly REIT asset testing date or (ii) the greater of (a) the fair market value of the real property securing the loan on the relevant quarterly REIT asset testing date or (b) the fair market value of the real property securing the loan on the date the REIT committed to originate or acquire the loan. It is unclear how the safe harbor in Revenue Procedure 2014-51 is affected by the subsequent legislative changes regarding the treatment of loans secured by both real property and personal property where the fair market value of the personal property does not exceed 15% of the sum of the fair market values of the real property and personal property securing the loan.

As described above, Revenue Procedure 2003-65 provides a safe harbor pursuant to which certain mezzanine loans secured by a first priority security interest in ownership interests in a partnership or limited liability company will be treated as qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% asset test (and therefore, are not subject to the 5% asset test and the 10% vote test or 10% value test). See “—Income Tests.” We believe our mezzanine loans should be treated as qualifying assets for the 75% asset test or should be excluded from the definition of securities for purposes of the 10% vote or 10% value test. To the extent we originate or acquire mezzanine loans, we intend to do so only to the extent such loans will not cause us to fail the asset tests described above.

We expect that our investments in MBS generally will be treated as interests in a grantor trust or as interests in a REMIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes. In the case of MBS treated as interests in grantor trusts, we would be treated as owning an undivided beneficial ownership interest in the mortgage loans held by the grantor trust. In the case of MBS treated as an interest in a REMIC, such interests generally will qualify as real estate assets, and income derived from REMIC interests generally will be treated as qualifying income for purposes of

 

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the REIT income tests described above. If less than 95% of the assets of a REMIC are real estate assets, however, then only a proportionate part of our interest in the REMIC and income derived from the interest qualifies for purposes of the REIT asset and income tests. We purchase and sell Agency MBS through TBAs. While there is no direct authority with respect to the qualification of TBAs as real estate assets or U.S. Government securities for purposes of the 75% asset test, we treat our TBAs as qualifying assets for purposes of the REIT asset tests, based on an opinion of prior tax counsel substantially to the effect that for purposes of the REIT asset tests, our ownership of a TBA should be treated as ownership of real estate assets. If the IRS were to successfully challenge the opinion of counsel, we could be subject to a penalty tax or we could fail to remain qualified as a REIT if a sufficient portion of our assets consists of TBAs.

We believe that most of the assets that we hold and those we expect to hold will be qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% asset test. However, our investment in other asset-backed securities, bank loans and other instruments that are not secured by mortgages on real property will not be qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% asset test.

We will monitor the status of our assets for purposes of the various asset tests and will seek to manage our portfolio to comply at all times with such tests. There can be no assurances, however, that we will be successful in this effort. In this regard, to determine our compliance with these requirements, we will need to estimate the value of the real estate securing our mortgage loans at various times. In addition, we will be required to value our investment in our other assets to ensure compliance with the asset tests. Although we will seek to be prudent in making these estimates, no independent appraisals will be obtained to support our conclusions as to the value of our assets and securities, or in many cases, the real estate collateral for the senior loans and mezzanine loans that we hold. Moreover, values of some assets may not be susceptible to a precise determination. As a result, there can be no assurances that the IRS may not disagree with these determinations and assert that a different value is applicable, in which case we may not satisfy the 75% and the other asset tests.

We will not lose our REIT status for a de minimis failure to meet the 5% or 10% asset requirements if the failure is due to ownership of assets the total value of which does not exceed the lesser of 1% of the total value of our assets or $10 million. If we fail to satisfy any of the asset requirements for a particular tax quarter, we may still qualify as a REIT if we (1) identify the failure on a separate schedule, (2) the failure is due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect, (3) the assets causing the failure are disposed of within six months of the last day of the quarter in which the failure occurred and (4) we pay a tax computed as the greater of either $50,000 or the net income generated by the assets causing the failure multiplied by the highest corporate income tax rate.

After initially meeting the asset tests after the close of any quarter, we will not lose our status as a REIT if we fail to satisfy the asset tests at the end of a later quarter solely by reason of changes in the relative values of our assets. However, an acquisition of property by a REIT requires the REIT to revalue all of its assets. If the failure to satisfy the asset tests results from an increase in the value of our assets after the acquisition of securities or other property during a quarter, the failure can be cured by eliminating the discrepancy within 30 days after the close of that quarter. We intend to maintain adequate records of the value of our assets to ensure compliance with the asset tests and to take any available action within 30 days after the close of any quarter as may be required to cure any noncompliance with the asset tests. We cannot ensure that these steps always will be successful. If we fail to cure the noncompliance with the asset tests within this 30-day period, we could fail to qualify as a REIT.

Annual Distribution Requirements Applicable to REITs

To qualify as a REIT, we generally must distribute dividends (other than capital gain dividends) to our stockholders in an amount at least equal to:

 

   

the sum of (i) 90% of our REIT taxable income, computed without regard to the dividends paid deduction and our net capital gain and (ii) 90% of our after-tax net income, if any, from foreclosure property; minus

 

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the excess of the sum of specified items of non-cash income (including original issue discount on our senior loans and mezzanine loans) over 5% of our REIT taxable income, computed without regard to the dividends paid deduction and our net capital gain.

Distributions generally must be made during the taxable year to which they relate. Distributions may be made in the following year in two circumstances. First, if we declare a dividend in October, November or December of any year with a record date in one of these months and pay the dividend on or before January 31 of the following year, we will be treated as having paid the dividend on December 31 of the year in which the dividend was declared. Second, distributions may be made in the following year if the dividends are declared before we timely file our tax return for the year and if made before the first regular dividend payment made after such declaration. These distributions are taxable to our stockholders in the year in which paid, even though the distributions relate to our prior taxable year for purposes of the 90% distribution requirement. To the extent that we do not distribute all of our net capital gain or we distribute at least 90%, but less than 100% of our REIT taxable income, as adjusted, we will be subject to tax on the undistributed amount at regular corporate tax rates.

If we cease to be a “publicly offered REIT,” then in order for distributions to be counted as satisfying the annual distribution requirements for REITs, and to provide us with a REIT-level tax deduction, the distributions must not be treated as “preferential dividends.” A dividend is not a preferential dividend if the distribution is (i) pro-rata among all outstanding shares of stock within a particular class, and (ii) in accordance with the preferences among different classes of stock as set forth in our organizational documents.

If we fail to distribute during a calendar year (or, in the case of distributions with declaration and record dates falling in the last three months of the calendar year, by the end of January following such calendar year) at least the sum of (i) 85% of our ordinary income for such year, (ii) 95% of our capital gain net income for such year and (iii) any undistributed taxable income from prior years, we will be subject to a 4% excise tax on the excess of such required distribution over the sum of (x) the amounts actually distributed (taking into account excess distributions from prior years) and (y) the amounts of income retained on which we have paid corporate income tax.

We may elect to retain rather than distribute all or a portion of our net capital gains and pay the tax on the gains. In that case, we may elect to have our stockholders include their proportionate share of the undistributed net capital gains in income as long-term capital gains and receive a credit for their share of the tax paid by us. For purposes of the 4% excise tax described above, any retained amounts for which we elect this treatment would be treated as having been distributed.

We intend to make timely distributions sufficient to satisfy the distribution requirements. However, due to the nature of the assets in which we will invest, we may be required to recognize taxable income from those assets in advance of our receipt of cash flow on or proceeds from disposition of such assets. For instance, we may be required to accrue interest and discount income on mortgage loans, MBS, and other types of debt securities or interests in debt securities before we receive any payments of interest or principal on such assets. See “—Income Tests—Phantom Income.” Moreover, in certain instances we may be required to accrue taxable income that we may not actually recognize as economic income. For example, if we own a residual equity position in a mortgage loan securitization, we may recognize taxable income that we will never actually receive due to losses sustained on the underlying mortgage loans. Although those losses would be deductible for tax purposes, they would likely occur in a year subsequent to the year in which we recognized the taxable income.

Although several types of non-cash income are excluded in determining the annual distribution requirement, we will incur corporate income tax and the 4% nondeductible excise tax with respect to those non-cash income items if we do not distribute those items on a current basis. As a result of the foregoing, we may not have sufficient cash to distribute all of our taxable income and thereby avoid corporate income tax and the excise tax imposed on certain undistributed income. In such a situation, we may need to borrow funds or issue additional common stock or preferred stock.

 

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

Under some circumstances, we may be able to rectify a failure to meet the distribution requirement for a year by paying deficiency dividends to stockholders in a later year, which may be included in our deduction for dividends paid for the earlier year. Thus, we may be able to avoid being taxed on amounts distributed as deficiency dividends. However, we will be required to pay interest based upon the amount of any deduction taken for deficiency dividends.

Recordkeeping Requirements

We must maintain certain records in order to maintain our qualification as a REIT. In addition, to avoid a monetary penalty, we must request on an annual basis information from our stockholders designed to disclose the actual ownership of our outstanding stock. We intend to continue to comply with these requirements. A stockholder that fails or refuses to comply with such request is required by the Treasury Regulations to submit a statement with its tax return disclosing the actual ownership of our stock and other information.

Failure to Qualify

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

If we fail to qualify for taxation as a REIT in any taxable year and the relief provisions do not apply, we will be subject to tax on our taxable income at regular corporate rates. This would significantly reduce both our cash available for distribution to our stockholders and our earnings. If we fail to qualify as a REIT, we will not be required to make any distributions to stockholders and any distributions that are made will not be deductible by us. Moreover, all distributions to stockholders would be taxable as dividends to the extent of our current and accumulated earnings and profits, whether or not attributable to capital gains of ours. Subject to certain limitations of the Code, corporate distributees may be eligible for the dividends received deduction with respect to those distributions, and individual, trust and estate distributees may be eligible for reduced income tax rates on such dividends. Unless we are entitled to relief under specific statutory provisions, we also will be disqualified from taxation as a REIT for the four taxable years following the year during which we ceased to qualify as a REIT. We cannot predict whether in all circumstances we would qualify for such statutory relief.

Taxation of U.S. Holders of Our Capital Stock

U.S. Holder. As used in the remainder of this discussion, the term “U.S. holder” means a beneficial owner of our capital stock that is for U.S. federal income tax purposes:

 

   

a citizen or resident of the U.S.;

 

   

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

 

   

an estate the income of which is subject to U.S. federal income taxation regardless of its source; or

 

   

a trust if it (a) is subject to the primary supervision of a court within the U.S. and one or more U.S. persons have the authority to control all substantial decisions of the trust or (b) has a valid election in effect under applicable U.S. Treasury regulations to be treated as a U.S. person.

 

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If a partnership (including an entity or an arrangement treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes) holds our capital stock, the tax treatment of a partner generally will depend upon the status of the partner and the activities of the partnership. If you are a partner of a partnership holding our capital stock, you should consult your advisors. A “non-U.S. holder” is a beneficial owner of our capital stock that is neither a U.S. holder nor a partnership (including an entity or an arrangement treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes).

Distributions Generally. As long as we qualify as a REIT, distributions made to taxable U.S. holders of our capital stock out of current or accumulated earnings and profits that are not designated as capital gain dividends or retained long-term capital gains will be taken into account by them as ordinary income taxable at ordinary income tax rates and will not qualify for the reduced capital gains rates that currently generally apply to distributions by non-REIT C corporations to certain non-corporate U.S. holders. In determining the extent to which a distribution constitutes a dividend for tax purposes, our earnings and profits will be allocated first to distributions with respect to our preferred stock and then to our common stock. Corporate stockholders will not be eligible for the dividends received deduction with respect to these distributions.

For taxable years beginning before January 1, 2026, individuals, trusts and estates may be able to deduct a portion of certain pass-through income, including ordinary REIT dividends that are not “capital gain dividends” or “qualified dividend income,” subject to certain limitations (the “pass-through deduction”). To qualify for the pass-through deduction, the stockholder receiving such dividend must hold the dividend-paying REIT shares for at least 46 days (taking into account certain special holding period rules) of the 91-day period beginning 45 days before the shares become ex-dividend, and cannot be under an obligation to make related payments with respect to a position in substantially similar or related property.

Distributions in excess of both current and accumulated earnings and profits will not be taxable to a U.S. holder to the extent that the distributions do not exceed the adjusted basis of the holder’s stock. Rather, such distributions will reduce the adjusted basis of the stock. To the extent that distributions exceed the adjusted basis of a U.S. holder’s stock, the distributions will be taxable as capital gains. A U.S. holder’s initial tax basis in a share of our capital stock is, in general, equal to the amount paid per share.

Distributions generally will be taxable, if at all, in the year of the distribution. However, if we declare a dividend in October, November or December of any year with a record date in one of these months and pay the dividend on or before January 31 of the following year, we will be treated as having paid the dividend, and the stockholder will be treated as having received the dividend, on December 31 of the year in which the dividend was declared.

Capital Gain Dividends. We may elect to designate distributions of our net capital gain as “capital gain dividends.” Capital gain dividends are taxed to U.S. holders of our stock as gain from the sale or exchange of a capital asset held for more than one year. This tax treatment applies regardless of the period during which the U.S. holders have held their stock. If we designate any portion of a dividend as a capital gain dividend, the amount that will be taxable to the stockholder as capital gain will be indicated to U.S. holders on IRS Form 1099-DIV. Corporate U.S. holders, however, may be required to treat a portion of capital gain dividends as ordinary income. Capital gain dividends are not eligible for the dividends-received deduction for corporations.

Instead of paying capital gain dividends, we may elect to require U.S. holders to include our undistributed net capital gains in their income. If we make such an election, U.S. holders (i) will include in their income as long-term capital gains their proportionate share of such undistributed capital gains and (ii) will be deemed to have paid their proportionate share of the tax paid by us on such undistributed capital gains and thereby receive a credit or refund for such amount. A U.S. holder of our capital stock will increase the basis in its shares of our capital stock by the difference between the amount of capital gain included in its income and the amount of tax it is deemed to have paid. Our earnings and profits will be adjusted appropriately.

 

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We must classify portions of our designated capital gain dividend into the following categories:

 

   

a 20% gain distribution, which would be taxable to non-corporate U.S. holders of our stock at a rate of up to 20%; or

 

   

an unrecaptured section 1250 gain distribution, which would be taxable to non-corporate U.S. holders of our stock at a maximum rate of 25%.

The IRS currently requires that distributions made to different classes of stock be composed proportionately of dividends of a particular type.

Passive Activity Loss and Investment Interest Limitation. Distributions and gain from the disposition of our capital stock will not be treated as passive activity income, and therefore U.S. holders will not be able to apply any “passive activity losses” against such income. Taxable distributions from us and gain from the disposition of our stock generally will be treated as investment income for purposes of the investment income limitation on the deduction of the investment interest.

Other Tax Considerations. U.S. holders of our capital stock may not include in their individual income tax returns any of our net operating losses or capital losses. Our operating or capital losses would be carried over by us for potential offset against future income, subject to applicable limitations.

Sales of Our Capital Stock. Upon any taxable sale or other disposition of our capital stock, a U.S. holder of our capital stock will recognize gain or loss for U.S. federal income tax purposes on the disposition of our capital stock in an amount equal to the difference between:

 

   

the amount of cash and the fair market value of any property received on such disposition; and

 

   

the U.S. holder’s adjusted basis in such REIT stock for tax purposes.

Gain or loss will be capital gain or loss. The applicable tax rate will depend on the holder’s holding period in the asset (generally, if an asset has been held for more than one year it will produce long-term capital gain) and the holder’s tax bracket.

A holder’s adjusted tax basis generally will equal the U.S. holder’s acquisition cost, increased by the excess of net capital gains deemed distributed to the U.S. holder less tax deemed paid by it and reduced by any return of capital distribution. The applicable tax rate will depend on the holder’s holding period in the asset (generally, if an asset has been held for more than one year it will produce long-term capital gain) and the holder’s tax bracket. All or a portion of any loss that a U.S. holder realizes upon a taxable disposition of our capital stock may be disallowed if the U.S. holder purchases our capital stock within 30 days before or after the disposition.

Medicare Tax. Certain U.S. holders, including individuals and estates and trusts, are subject to an additional tax on all or a portion of their “net investment income,” which includes net gain from a sale or exchange of our capital stock and income from dividends paid on our capital stock. U.S. holders are urged to consult their tax advisors regarding the net investment income tax.

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

 

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owned, generally must be taken into account. Because the determination as to whether any of the three alternative tests of section 302(b) of the Code described above will be satisfied with respect to any particular U.S. holder of preferred stock depends upon the facts and circumstances at the time that the determination must be made, prospective investors are urged to consult their tax advisors to determine such tax treatment. If a redemption of preferred stock does not meet any of the three tests described above, the redemption proceeds will be taxable as a dividend, as described above in “—Taxation of U.S. Holders of our Capital Stock.” In that case, a U.S. holder’s adjusted tax basis in the redeemed preferred stock will be transferred to such U.S. holder’s remaining stockholdings in our company. If the U.S. holder does not retain any of our stock, such basis could be transferred to a related person that holds our stock or it may be lost.

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

Taxation of Non-U.S. Holders of Our Capital Stock

The rules governing U.S. federal income taxation of non-U.S. holders are complex. This section is only a summary of such rules. We urge non-U.S. holders to consult their tax advisors to determine the impact of federal, state and local income tax laws on ownership of our capital stock, including any reporting requirements.

For most foreign investors, investment in a REIT that invests principally in mortgage loans and MBS is not the most tax-efficient way to acquire and manage, through our subsidiaries, such assets. That is because receiving distributions of income derived from such assets in the form of REIT dividends subjects most foreign investors to withholding taxes that direct investment in those asset classes, and the direct receipt of interest and principal payments, with respect to them, would not. The principal exceptions are foreign sovereigns and their agencies and instrumentalities, which may be exempt from withholding taxes on REIT dividends under the Code, and certain foreign pension funds or similar entities able to claim an exemption from withholding taxes on REIT dividends under the terms of a bilateral tax treaty between their country of residence and the U.S.

Distributions. Distributions by us to a non-U.S. holder of our capital stock that are neither attributable to gain from sales or exchanges by us of “U.S. real property interests” nor designated by us as capital gains dividends will be treated as dividends of ordinary income to the extent that they are made out of our current or accumulated earnings and profits. These distributions ordinarily will be subject to U.S. federal income tax on a gross basis at a rate of 30%, or a lower rate as permitted under an applicable income tax treaty, unless the dividends are treated as effectively connected with the conduct by the non-U.S. holder of a U.S. trade or business. Under some treaties, however, lower rates generally applicable to dividends do not apply to dividends from REITs. Further, reduced treaty rates are not available to the extent the income allocated to the non-U.S. holder is excess inclusion income. Although we do not expect to recognize any excess inclusion income, if we did recognize excess inclusion income that exceeds our undistributed REIT taxable income in a particular year, it would be allocated to our stockholders. See “—Our Taxation as a REIT—Taxable Mortgage Pools.” Dividends that are effectively connected with a trade or business will be subject to tax on a net basis, that is, after allowance

 

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for deductions, at graduated rates, in the same manner as U.S. holders are taxed with respect to these dividends, and are generally not subject to withholding. Applicable certification and disclosure requirements must be satisfied to be exempt from withholding under the effectively connected income exception. Any dividends received by a corporate non-U.S. holder that is engaged in a U.S. trade or business also may be subject to an additional branch profits tax at a 30% rate, or a lower applicable treaty rate. We expect to withhold U.S. income tax at the rate of 30% on any dividend distributions, not designated as (or deemed to be) capital gain dividends, made to a non-U.S. holder unless:

 

   

a lower treaty rate applies and the non-U.S. holder files an IRS Form W-8BEN or IRS Form W-8BEN-E, as applicable (or any applicable successor form), with us evidencing eligibility for that reduced rate is filed with us; or

 

   

the non-U.S. holder files an IRS Form W-8ECI (or any applicable successor form) with us claiming that the distribution is income effectively connected with the non-U.S. holder’s trade or business.

Distributions in excess of our current or accumulated earnings and profits that do not exceed the adjusted basis of the non-U.S. holder in our capital stock will reduce the non-U.S. holder’s adjusted basis in our capital stock and will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax. Distributions in excess of current and accumulated earnings and profits that do exceed the adjusted basis of the non-U.S. holder in our capital stock will be treated as gain from the sale of its stock, the tax treatment of which is described below. See “—Taxation of Non-U.S. Holders of Our Capital Stock—Sales of Our Capital Stock.” Because we generally cannot determine at the time we make a distribution whether or not the distribution will exceed our current and accumulated earnings and profits, we normally will withhold tax on the entire amount of any distribution at the same rate as we would withhold on a dividend.

We would be required to withhold at the applicable rate under the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 (or, FIRPTA) on any distribution to a non-U.S. holder in excess of our current and accumulated earnings and profits if our capital stock constitutes a U.S. real property interest with respect to such non-U.S. holder, as described below under “—Sales of Our Capital Stock.” This withholding would apply even if a lower treaty rate applies or the non-U.S. holder is not liable for tax on the receipt of that distribution. However, a non-U.S. holder may seek a refund of these amounts from the IRS if the non-U.S. holder’s U.S. tax liability with respect to the distribution is less than the amount withheld.

Distributions to a non-U.S. holder that are designated by us at the time of the distribution as capital gain dividends, other than those arising from the disposition of a U.S. real property interest, generally should not be subject to U.S. federal income taxation unless:

 

   

the investment in our capital stock is effectively connected with the non-U.S. holder’s trade or business, in which case the non-U.S. holder will be subject to the same treatment as U.S. holders with respect to any gain, except that a holder that is a foreign corporation also may be subject to the 30% branch profits tax, as discussed above; or

 

   

the non-U.S. holder is a nonresident alien individual who is present in the U.S. for 183 days or more during the taxable year and has a “tax home” in the U.S., in which case the nonresident alien individual will be subject to a 30% tax on the individual’s capital gains.

Under FIRPTA, distributions to certain non-U.S. holders that are attributable to gain from sales or exchanges by us of U.S. real property interests, whether or not designated as a capital gain dividend, will cause such non-U.S. holders to be treated as recognizing gain that is income effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business. Such non-U.S. holders will be taxed on this gain at the same rates applicable to U.S. holders, subject to a special alternative minimum tax in the case of nonresident alien individuals. Also, this gain may be subject to a 30% (or lower applicable treaty rate) branch profits tax in the hands of a non-U.S. holder that is a corporation. Unless the non-U.S. holder is a “qualified shareholder” or a “qualified foreign pension fund” (each as defined below), we will be required to withhold and remit to the IRS the applicable FIRPTA withholding percentage of any distributions to non-U.S. holders that are designated as capital gain dividends, or, if greater, such percentage

 

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of the amount of a distribution that could have been designated as a capital gain dividend, whether or not attributable to sales of U.S. real property interests. Distributions can be designated as capital gains to the extent of our net capital gain for the taxable year of the distribution. The amount withheld, which for individual non-U.S. holders may exceed the actual tax liability, is creditable against the non-U.S. holder’s U.S. federal income tax liability.

However, the FIRPTA withholding tax will not apply to any capital gain dividend with respect to any class of our stock which is regularly traded on an established securities market located in the U.S. if the non-U.S. stockholder did not own more than 10% of such class of stock at any time during the one-year period ending on the date of such dividend. Instead, any capital gain dividend to such holder will be treated as a distribution of ordinary income subject to the rules discussed above under “—Distributions.” Also, the branch profits tax will not apply to such a distribution.

Sales of Our Capital Stock. Gain recognized by a non-U.S. holder upon the sale or exchange of our capital stock generally would not be subject to U.S. taxation unless:

 

   

the investment in our capital stock is effectively connected with the non-U.S. holder’s U.S. trade or business, in which case the non-U.S. holder will be subject to the same treatment as domestic holders with respect to any gain;

 

   

the non-U.S. holder is a nonresident alien individual who is present in the U.S. for 183 days or more during the taxable year and has a tax home in the U.S., in which case the nonresident alien individual will be subject to a 30% tax on the individual’s net capital gains for the taxable year; or

 

   

the non-U.S. holder is not a “qualified shareholder” or a “qualified foreign pension fund” and our capital stock constitutes a U.S. real property interest within the meaning of FIRPTA, as described below.

Our capital stock will not constitute a U.S. real property interest if we either are not a U.S. real property holding corporation or we are a domestically-controlled REIT. Whether we are a U.S. real property holding corporation will depend upon whether the fair market value of U.S. real property interests owned by us equals or exceeds 50% of the fair market value of these interests, any interests in real estate outside of the U.S., and our other trade and business assets. The term “U.S. real property interests” generally does not include mortgage loans or MBS. Even if we are a U.S. real property holding corporation, the disposition of our capital stock will not be subject to FIRPTA if we are a domestically-controlled REIT. Generally, a REIT is domestically controlled if, at all times during a specified testing period, less than 50% of the value of its shares is held directly or indirectly by non-U.S. persons.

Because our capital stock will be publicly traded, no assurance can be given that we are or will be a domestically-controlled REIT. Even if we were a U.S. real property holding corporation and were not a domestically-controlled REIT, a sale of capital stock by a non-U.S. holder would nevertheless not be subject to taxation under FIRPTA as a sale of a U.S. real property interest if:

 

   

the applicable class or series of our capital stock were “regularly traded” on an established securities market within the meaning of applicable U.S. Treasury regulations; and

 

   

the non-U.S. holder did not actually, or constructively under specified attribution rules under the Code, own more than 10% of the applicable class or series of our capital stock at any time during the shorter of the five-year period preceding the disposition or the holder’s holding period.

We believe that our common stock, Series F Preferred Stock, Series G Preferred Stock, and Series I Preferred Stock are currently treated as being regularly traded on an established securities market. If gain on the sale or exchange of our capital stock were subject to taxation under FIRPTA, the non-U.S. holder would be subject to regular U.S. income tax with respect to any gain in the same manner as a taxable U.S. holder, subject to any applicable alternative minimum tax and special alternative minimum tax in the case of nonresident alien individuals. In such case, the purchaser of capital stock may be required to withhold at the applicable FIRPTA withholding rate on the purchase price and remit this amount to the IRS.

 

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

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

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

A qualified collective investment vehicle is a foreign person that (i) would be eligible for a reduced rate of withholding under the comprehensive income tax treaty described above, even if such entity holds more than 10% of the applicable class or series of the stock of such REIT, (ii) is publicly traded, is treated as a partnership under the Code, is a withholding foreign partnership, and would be treated as a “United States real property holding corporation” if it were a domestic corporation, or (iii) is designated as such by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury and is either (a) fiscally transparent within the meaning of section 894 of the Code, or (b) required to include dividends in its gross income, but is entitled to a deduction for distributions to its investors.

Qualified Foreign Pension Funds. Any distribution to a “qualified foreign pension fund” (or an entity all of the interests of which are held by a “qualified foreign pension fund”) who holds REIT stock directly or indirectly (through one or more partnerships) will not be subject to U.S. federal income taxation under FIRPTA and thus will not be subject to special withholding rules under FIRPTA. REIT distributions received by a “qualified foreign pension fund” that are exempt from FIRPTA withholding may still be subject to regular U.S. withholding tax. In addition, a sale of our stock by a “qualified foreign pension fund” that holds such stock directly or indirectly (through one or more partnerships) will not be subject to U.S. federal income taxation under FIRPTA.

A “qualified foreign pension fund” is any trust, corporation, or other organization or arrangement (i) which is created or organized under the law of a country other than the United States, (ii) which is established by such country or an employer to provide retirement or pension benefits to participants or beneficiaries that are current or former employees (or persons designated by such employees) of one or more employers in consideration for services rendered, (iii) which does not have a single participant or beneficiary with a right to more than 5% of its assets or income, (iv) which is subject to government regulation and with respect to which annual information

 

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reporting about its beneficiaries is provided or otherwise available to the relevant tax authorities in the country in which it is established or operates, and (v) with respect to which, under the laws of the country in which it is established or operates, (a) contributions to such organization or arrangement that would otherwise be subject to tax under such laws are deductible or excluded from the gross income of such entity or taxed at a reduced rate, or (b) taxation of any investment income of such organization or arrangement is deferred or such income is taxed at a reduced rate.

Conversion of Preferred Stock. The conversion of our preferred stock into our common stock may be a taxable exchange for a non-U.S. holder if our preferred stock constitutes a U.S. real property interest. Even if our preferred stock constitutes a U.S. real property interest, provided our common stock also constitutes a U.S. real property interest, a non-U.S. holder generally will not recognize gain or loss upon a conversion of preferred stock into our common stock so long as certain FIRPTA-related reporting requirements are satisfied. If our preferred stock constitutes a U.S. real property interest and such requirements are not satisfied, however, a conversion will be treated as a taxable exchange of preferred stock for our common stock. Such a deemed taxable exchange will be subject to tax under FIRPTA at the rate of tax, including any applicable capital gains rates, that would apply to a U.S. holder of the same type (e.g., a corporate or a non-corporate stockholder, as the case may be) on the excess, if any, of the fair market value of such non-U.S. holder’s common stock received over such non-U.S. holder’s adjusted basis in its preferred stock. Collection of such tax will be enforced by a refundable withholding tax at the applicable FIRPTA withholding rate on the value of the common stock.

Any shares of common stock received in a conversion that are attributable to accumulated and unpaid dividends on the converted preferred stock will be treated as a distribution that is potentially taxable as a dividend as described under “—Taxation of U.S. Holders of Our Capital Stock” above. Cash received upon conversion in lieu of a fractional share of common stock generally will be treated as a payment in a taxable exchange for such fractional share as described under “—Taxation of Non-U.S. Holders of Our Capital Stock” above.

Non-U.S. holders are urged to consult with their tax advisors regarding the U.S. federal income tax consequences of any transaction by which such non-U.S. holder exchanges shares of our common stock received on a conversion of preferred stock for cash or other property.

Redemption of Preferred Stock. As described under “Taxation of U.S. Holders of Our Capital Stock—Redemption of Preferred Stock” above, a redemption that satisfies certain tests set forth in section 302(b) of the Code will be treated as a taxable exchange and a redemption that does not satisfy certain tests under section 302(b) of the Code will be treated as a distribution that is taxable as dividend income (to the extent of our current or accumulated earnings and profits). For a more detailed discussion of the treatment of a redemption of preferred stock, see “Taxation of U.S. Holders of our Capital Stock—Redemption of Preferred Stock.”

Non-U.S. holders are urged to consult with their tax advisors regarding the U.S. federal income tax consequences of any transaction by which such non-U.S. holder redeems our preferred stock.

FATCA Withholding. Under sections 1471 through 1474 of the Code (such sections commonly referred to as “FATCA”), a U.S. withholding tax at a 30% rate will be imposed on dividends paid on our capital stock received by certain non-U.S. holders if certain disclosure requirements related to U.S. accounts or ownership are not satisfied. If payment of withholding taxes is required, non-U.S. holders that are otherwise eligible for an exemption from, or reduction of, U.S. withholding taxes with respect of such dividends and proceeds will be required to seek a refund from the IRS to obtain the benefit of such exemption or reduction. We will not pay any additional amounts in respect of any amounts withheld.

Taxation of Tax-Exempt Holders of Our Capital Stock

Provided that a tax-exempt holder has not held its capital stock as “debt-financed property” within the meaning of the Code, the dividend and interest income from us generally will not be unrelated business taxable

 

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income, referred to as UBTI, to a tax-exempt holder. Similarly, income from the sale of our capital stock will not constitute UBTI unless the tax-exempt holder has held its capital stock as debt-financed property within the meaning of the Code. Although we do not expect to recognize any excess inclusion income, to the extent that we, or a part of us, or a disregarded subsidiary of ours, is a taxable mortgage pool, a portion of the dividends paid to a tax-exempt stockholders that is allocable to excess inclusion income may be subject to tax as UBTI. See “—Our Taxation as a REIT—Taxable Mortgage Pools.”

Notwithstanding the above, however, social clubs, voluntary employee benefit associations, supplemental unemployment benefit trusts and qualified group legal services plans that are exempt from taxation under special provisions of the U.S. federal income tax laws are subject to different UBTI rules, which generally will require them to characterize distributions that they receive from us as UBTI. Moreover, a portion of the dividends paid by a “pension-held REIT” are treated as UBTI as to any trust which is described in section 401(a) of the Code, is tax-exempt under section 501(a) of the Code, and holds more than 10%, by value, of the interests in the REIT. Tax-exempt pension funds that are described in section 401(a) of the Code are referred to below as “pension trusts.”

A REIT is a “pension-held REIT” if it meets the following two tests:

 

   

it would not have qualified as a REIT but for section 856(h)(3) of the Code, which provides that stock owned by pension trusts will be treated, for purposes of determining whether the REIT is closely held, as owned by the beneficiaries of the trust rather than by the trust itself; and

 

   

either (i) at least one pension trust holds more than 25% of the value of the interests in the REIT, or (ii) a group of pension trusts each individually holding more than 10% of the value of the REIT’s stock, collectively owns more than 50% of the value of the REIT’s stock.

The percentage of any REIT dividend from a “pension-held REIT” that is treated as UBTI is equal to the ratio of the UBTI earned by the REIT, treating the REIT as if it were a pension trust and therefore subject to tax on UBTI, to the total gross income of the REIT. An exception applies where the percentage is less than 5% for any year, in which case none of the dividends would be treated as UBTI. The provisions requiring pension trusts to treat a portion of REIT distributions as UBTI will not apply if the REIT is not a “pension-held REIT” (for example, if the REIT is able to satisfy the “not closely held requirement” without relying on the “look through” exception with respect to pension trusts). Our 9.8% ownership limit may make it less likely that a pension trust would hold more than 25% of the value of our capital stock or that a group of pension trusts each holding more than 10% of the value of our capital stock would hold more than 50% of the value of our capital stock. No assurance can be given, however, that we will not be a “pension-held REIT” because of ownership waivers or otherwise.

Backup Withholding Tax and Information Reporting

U.S. Holders of Our Capital Stock. In general, information-reporting requirements will apply to payments of dividends and interest on and payments of the proceeds of the sale of our capital stock held by U.S. holders, unless an exception applies. The payor is required to withhold tax on such payments if (i) the payee fails to furnish a taxpayer identification number, or TIN, to the payor or to establish an exemption from backup withholding, or (ii) the IRS notifies the payor that the TIN furnished by the payee is incorrect. In addition, a payor of the dividends or interest on our capital stock is required to withhold tax if (i) there has been a notified payee under-reporting with respect to interest, dividends or original issue discount described in section 3406(c) of the Code, or (ii) there has been a failure of the payee to certify under the penalty of perjury that the payee is not subject to backup withholding under the Code. A U.S. holder that does not provide us with a correct TIN may also be subject to penalties imposed by the IRS. In addition, we may be required to withhold a portion of capital gain distributions to any U.S. holders who fail to certify their U.S. status to us. Some U.S. holders of our capital stock, including corporations, may be exempt from backup withholding. Any amounts withheld under the backup withholding rules from a payment to a stockholder will be allowed as a credit against the

 

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stockholder’s U.S. federal income tax and may entitle the stockholder to a refund, provided that the required information is furnished to the IRS. The payor will be required to furnish annually to the IRS and to holders of our capital stock information relating to the amount of dividends paid on our capital stock, and that information reporting may also apply to payments of proceeds from the sale of our capital stock. Some holders, including corporations, financial institutions and certain tax-exempt organizations, are generally not subject to information reporting.

Non-U.S. Holders of Our Capital Stock. Generally, information reporting will apply to payments of interest and dividends on our capital stock, and backup withholding described above for a U.S. holder will apply, unless the payee certifies that it is not a U.S. person or otherwise establishes an exemption.

The payment of the proceeds from the disposition of our capital stock to or through the U.S. office of a U.S. or foreign broker will be subject to information reporting and backup withholding as described above for U.S. holders unless the non-U.S. holder satisfies the requirements necessary to be an exempt non-U.S. holder or otherwise qualifies for an exemption. The proceeds of a disposition by a non-U.S. holder of our capital stock to or through a foreign office of a broker generally will not be subject to information reporting or backup withholding. However, if the broker is a U.S. person, a controlled foreign corporation for U.S. tax purposes, a foreign person 50% or more of whose gross income from all sources for specified periods is from activities that are effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business, a foreign partnership if partners who hold more than 50% of the interest in the partnership are U.S. persons, or a foreign partnership that is engaged in the conduct of a trade or business in the U.S., then information reporting generally will apply as though the payment was made through a U.S. office of a U.S. or foreign broker.

Applicable U.S. Treasury regulations provide presumptions regarding the status of a holder of our capital stock when payments to such holder cannot be reliably associated with appropriate documentation provided to the payer. Because the application of these U.S. Treasury regulations varies depending on the stockholder’s particular circumstances, you are advised to consult your tax advisor regarding the information reporting requirements applicable to you.

Additional Withholding Requirement. Under FATCA, a 30% U.S. federal withholding tax will apply to dividends that we pay to certain foreign entities if such entities do not satisfy disclosure requirements related to U.S. accounts or ownership. Foreign entities must provide documentation evidencing compliance with or an exemption from FATCA, typically provided on IRS Form W-8BEN-E, to avoid this withholding tax. If a payment is both subject to withholding under FATCA and subject to withholding tax discussed above, the withholding under FATCA may be credited against, and therefore reduce, such other withholding tax. Non-U.S. holders and U.S. holders holding through foreign accounts or intermediaries should consult their tax advisors to determine the applicability of FATCA in light of their individual circumstances.

Legislative or Other Actions Affecting REITs

The present U.S. federal income tax treatment of REITs may be modified, possibly with retroactive effect, by legislative, judicial, or administrative action at any time. The REIT rules are constantly under review by persons involved in the legislative process and by the IRS and the U.S. Treasury Department which may result in statutory changes as well as revisions to regulations and interpretations. In addition, several proposals have been made that would make substantial changes to the federal income tax laws generally. We cannot predict whether any of these changes will become law. We cannot predict the long-term effect of any future law changes on REITs and their stockholders. Prospective investors are urged to consult with their tax advisors regarding the effect of potential changes to the federal tax laws on an investment in our capital stock.

State and Local Taxes

We and our stockholders may be subject to state or local taxation in various state or local jurisdictions, including those in which we or they transact business or reside. Our state and local tax treatment and that of our

 

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stockholders may not conform to the U.S. federal income tax treatment discussed above. Consequently, prospective stockholders should consult their tax advisors regarding the effect of state and local tax laws on an investment in our capital stock.

Tax Shelter Reporting

If a stockholder recognizes a loss with respect to stock of $2 million or more for an individual stockholder or $10 million or more for a corporate stockholder, the stockholder must file a disclosure statement with the IRS on Form 8886. Direct stockholders of portfolio securities are in many cases exempt from this reporting requirement, but stockholders of a REIT currently are not exempt from this requirement. The fact that a loss is reportable under these regulations does not affect the legal determination of whether the taxpayer’s treatment of the loss is proper. Stockholders should consult their tax advisors to determine the applicability of these regulations in light of their individual circumstances.

 

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PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

We may sell the securities offered pursuant to this prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplements to or through one or more underwriters or dealers, or we may sell the securities to investors directly or through agents. Each prospectus supplement, to the extent applicable, will describe the number and terms of the securities to which such prospectus supplement relates, the name or names of any underwriters or agents with whom we have entered into arrangements with respect to the sale of such securities, the public offering or purchase price of such securities, the net proceeds we will receive from such sale and any discounts or concessions allowed or re-allowed or paid to dealers. Any underwriter or agent involved in the offer and sale of the securities will be named in the applicable prospectus supplement. We may sell securities directly to investors on our own behalf in those jurisdictions where we are authorized to do so.

Underwriters may offer and sell the securities at a fixed price or prices, which may be changed, at market prices prevailing at the time of sale, at prices related to the prevailing market prices or at negotiated prices. We also may, from time to time, authorize dealers or agents to offer and sell these securities upon such terms and conditions as may be set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement. In connection with the sale of any of these securities, underwriters may receive compensation from us in the form of underwriting discounts or commissions and may also receive commissions from purchasers of the securities for whom they may act as agent. Underwriters may sell the securities to or through dealers, and such dealers may receive compensation in the form of discounts, concessions or commissions from the underwriters or commissions from the purchasers for which they may act as agents.

Shares may also be sold in one or more of the following transactions: (a) block transactions (which may involve crosses) in which a broker-dealer may sell all or a portion of the shares as agent but may position and resell all or a portion of the block as principal to facilitate the transaction; (b) purchases by a broker-dealer as principal and resale by the broker-dealer for its own account pursuant to a prospectus supplement; (c) a special offering, an exchange distribution or a secondary distribution in accordance with applicable New York Stock Exchange or other stock exchange rules; (d) ordinary brokerage transactions and transactions in which a broker-dealer solicits purchasers; (e) sales “at the market” to or through a market maker or into an existing trading market, on an exchange or otherwise, for shares; and (f) sales in other ways not involving market makers or established trading markets, including direct sales to purchasers. Broker-dealers may also receive compensation from purchasers of the shares, which is not expected to exceed that customary in the types of transactions involved.

Any underwriting compensation paid by us to underwriters or agents in connection with the offering of these securities, and any discounts or concessions or commissions allowed by underwriters to participating dealers, will be set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement. Dealers and agents participating in the distribution of the securities may be deemed to be underwriters, and any discounts and commissions received by them and any profit realized by them on resale of the securities may be deemed to be underwriting discounts and commissions.

Underwriters, dealers and agents may be entitled, under agreements entered into with us, to indemnification against and contribution toward certain civil liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act. Unless otherwise set forth in the accompanying prospectus supplement, the obligations of any underwriters to purchase any of these securities will be subject to certain conditions precedent.

In connection with the offering of the securities hereby, certain underwriters, and selling group members and their respective affiliates, may engage in transactions that stabilize, maintain or otherwise affect the market price of the applicable securities. These transactions may include stabilization transactions effected in accordance with Rule 104 of Regulation M promulgated by the SEC pursuant to which these persons may bid for or purchase securities for the purpose of stabilizing their market price.

 

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The underwriters in an offering of securities may also create a “short position” for their account by selling more securities in connection with the offering than they are committed to purchase from us. In that case, the underwriters could cover all or a portion of the short position by either purchasing securities in the open market following completion of the offering of these securities or by exercising any over-allotment option granted to them by us. In addition, the managing underwriter may impose “penalty bids” under contractual arrangements with other underwriters, which means that they can reclaim from an underwriter (or any selling group member participating in the offering) for the account of the other underwriters, the selling concession for the securities that are distributed in the offering but subsequently purchased for the account of the underwriters in the open market. Any of the transactions described in this paragraph, or comparable transactions that are described in any accompanying prospectus supplement, may result in the maintenance of the price of the securities at a level above that which might otherwise prevail in the open market. None of the transactions described in this paragraph or in an accompanying prospectus supplement are required to be taken by any underwriters and, if they are undertaken, may be discontinued at any time.

Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “NLY”, our Series F Preferred Stock under the symbol “NLY.F”, our Series G Preferred Stock under the symbol “NLY.G” and our Series I Preferred Stock under the symbol “NLY.I”. Except for our common stock or as otherwise described in the applicable prospectus supplement, all other securities offered hereby will be new issues of securities with no established trading market and may or may not be listed on a national securities exchange. Any underwriters or agents to or through which securities are sold by us may make a market in the securities, but these underwriters or agents will not be obligated to do so and any of them may discontinue any market making at any time without notice. No assurance can be given as to the liquidity of or trading market for any securities sold by us.

Underwriters, dealers and agents may engage in transactions with, or perform services for, us and our affiliates in the ordinary course of business. Underwriters have from time to time in the past provided, and may from time to time in the future provide, investment banking services to us for which they have in the past received, and may in the future receive, customary fees.

 

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EXPERTS

The consolidated financial statements incorporated in this prospectus by reference from the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K, and the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting have been audited by Ernst & Young LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, as stated in their report, which is incorporated herein by reference. Such consolidated financial statements have been so incorporated in reliance upon the report of such firm given upon their authority as experts in accounting and auditing.

LEGAL MATTERS

The validity of the securities offered hereby is being passed upon for us by Venable LLP. The opinion of counsel described under the heading “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations” is being rendered by Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. This opinion is subject to various assumptions and is based on current tax law.

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT US

We file annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. The SEC maintains an Internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC. The address of that site is http://www.sec.gov. Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “NLY”, our Series F Preferred Stock under the symbol “NLY.F”, our Series G Preferred Stock under the symbol “NLY.G” and our Series I Preferred Stock under the symbol “NLY.I”. All such reports, proxy statements and other information filed by us with the New York Stock Exchange may be inspected at the New York Stock Exchange’s offices at 20 Broad Street, New York, New York 10005. Finally, we also maintain an Internet site where you can find additional information. The address of our Internet site is http://www.annaly.com. All internet addresses provided in this prospectus or in any accompanying prospectus supplement are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be hyperlinks. In addition, the information on our internet site is not a part of, and is not incorporated or deemed to be incorporated by reference into, this prospectus or any accompanying prospectus supplement or other offering materials. Accordingly, no information in our or any of these other internet addresses is included herein or incorporated or deemed to be incorporated by reference herein.

We have filed a registration statement, of which this prospectus is a part, covering the securities offered hereby. As allowed by SEC rules, this prospectus does not contain all of the information set forth in the registration statement and the exhibits, financial statements and schedules thereto. We refer you to the registration statement, the exhibits, financial statements and schedules thereto for further information. This prospectus is qualified in its entirety by such other information.

 

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INCORPORATION OF CERTAIN DOCUMENTS BY REFERENCE

The SEC allows us to “incorporate by reference” information into this prospectus, which means that we can 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 in this prospectus. We have filed the documents listed below with the SEC (File No. 1-13447) under the Exchange Act, and these documents are incorporated herein by reference:

 

   

Our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020 filed on February 19, 2021;

 

   

The information specifically incorporated by reference into our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020 from our Definitive Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A, filed with the SEC on April 7, 2021;

 

   

Our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2021 filed on May 7, 2021;

 

   

Our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2021 filed on August 6, 2021;

 

   

Our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2021 filed on November 5, 2021;

 

   

Our Current Reports on Form 8-K filed on January 5, 2021, March  22, 2021, March  25, 2021, May  19, 2021, August  6, 2021, October  27, 2021, December  14, 2021 and January 3, 2022 (other than documents or portions of those documents not deemed to be filed);

 

   

Description of our common stock included in our Registration Statement on Form 8-A, filed on October 6, 1997;

 

   

Description of our 6.95% Series F Fixed-to-Floating Rate Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock included in our Registration Statement on Form 8-A, filed July 27, 2017;

 

   

Description of our 6.50% Series G Fixed-to-Floating Rate Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock included in our Registration Statement on Form 8-A, filed January 10, 2018; and

 

   

Description of our 6.750% Series I Fixed-to-Floating Rate Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock included in our Registration Statement on Form 8-A, filed June 26, 2019.

All documents we file pursuant to Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act after the date of this prospectus and prior to the termination of the offering of the securities to which this prospectus relates (other than information in such documents that is furnished and not deemed to be filed) shall be deemed to be incorporated by reference into this prospectus and to be part hereof from the date of filing of those documents. All documents we file pursuant to Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act after the date of the initial registration statement that contains this prospectus and prior to the effectiveness of the registration statement shall be deemed to be incorporated by reference into this prospectus and to be part hereof from the date of filing those documents.

Any statement contained in this prospectus or in a document incorporated by reference shall be deemed to be modified or superseded for all purposes to the extent that a statement contained in this prospectus or in any other document that is also incorporated by reference modifies or supersedes that statement.

We will provide to each person, including any beneficial owner, to whom a copy of this prospectus is delivered, a copy of any or all of the information that has been incorporated by reference into this prospectus but not delivered with this prospectus (other than the exhibits to such documents which are not specifically incorporated by reference herein); we will provide this information at no cost to the requester upon written or oral request to Investor Relations, Annaly Capital Management, Inc., 1211 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10036, telephone number (888) 8ANNALY.

 

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100,000,000 Shares

LOGO

Common Stock

 

 

PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT

May     , 2022

 

 

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC

Barclays

BofA Securities

J.P. Morgan

RBC Capital Markets

UBS Investment Bank

Wells Fargo Securities

Loop Capital Markets

Roberts & Ryan

 

 

 

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