As filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on November 7, 2023

Registration No. 333-271026

 

 

 

U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM N-14

 

REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

 

Pre-Effective Amendment No. 1 x
   
Post-Effective Amendment No.      ¨
(Check appropriate box or boxes)  

 

Virtus Stone Harbor Emerging Markets Income Fund
(formerly known as Stone Harbor Emerging Markets Income Fund)

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Charter)

 

101 Munson Street

Greenfield, MA 01301-9683

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

 

(866) 270-7788

(Registrant’s Telephone Number, Including Area Code)

 

Jennifer Fromm, Esq.

Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, Counsel and Secretary for Registrant

One Financial Plaza

Hartford, CT 06103-2608

(Name and Address of Agent for Service)

 

Copies to:

Mark D. Perlow, Esq.

Dechert LLP

One Bush Street, Suite 1600

San Francisco, CA 94104

 

Approximate date of proposed public offering: As soon as practicable after the effective date of this Registration Statement.

 

The Registrant hereby amends this registration statement on such date or dates as may be necessary to delay its effective date until the Registrant shall file a further amendment which specifically states that this registration statement shall thereafter become effective in accordance with Section 8(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 or until this registration statement shall become effective on such date as the Securities and Exchange Commission, acting pursuant to said Section 8(a), may determine.

 

 

 

 

 

 
VIRTUS STONE HARBOR EMERGING MARKETS TOTAL INCOME FUND
101 Munson Street
Greenfield, MA 01301-9683
(866) 270-7788
Dear Shareholder:
November 7, 2023
You are receiving this Information Statement/Prospectus because you own shares in Virtus Stone Harbor Emerging Markets Total Income Fund (the “Acquired Fund”). The Board of Trustees of the Acquired Fund has approved the reorganization of the Acquired Fund with and into Virtus Stone Harbor Emerging Markets Income Fund (the “Acquiring Fund” and, together with the Acquired Fund, the “Funds”). Each Fund is a closed-end management investment company. Each Fund’s investment adviser is Virtus Alternative Investment Advisers, Inc. and subadviser is Stone Harbor Investment Partners, an operating division of Virtus Fixed Income Advisers, LLC.
The reorganization of the Acquired Fund with and into the Acquiring Fund will occur pursuant to an Agreement and Plan of Reorganization providing for the transfer of all of the assets of the Acquired Fund to the Acquiring Fund in exchange solely for newly issued common shares of beneficial interest of the Acquiring Fund, the assumption by the Acquiring Fund of the liabilities of the Acquired Fund, the distribution of common shares of beneficial interest of the Acquiring Fund to the shareholders of the Acquired Fund, and complete liquidation of the Acquired Fund (the “Reorganization”).
The Reorganization is subject to certain conditions, including the separate approval of the shareholders of the Acquiring Fund of the issuance of additional common shares of beneficial interest of the Acquiring Fund in connection with the Reorganization. The shareholders of the Acquiring Fund approved the issuance of shares in connection with the Reorganization on May 22, 2023. The Reorganization is expected to occur after the close of business on or about December 15, 2023.
The Reorganization is expected to be treated as a tax-free reorganization for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
The Reorganization does not require approval of the shareholders of the Acquired Fund, and you are not being asked to vote. We do, however, ask that you carefully review the enclosed Information Statement/Prospectus, which contains information about the Acquiring Fund and the Reorganization.
Sincerely,
George R. Aylward
President, Chief Executive Officer and Trustee,
Virtus Stone Harbor Emerging Markets Total Income Fund
 

 
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
The following is a summary of more complete information appearing later in the attached Information Statement/Prospectus or incorporated by reference into the Information Statement/Prospectus. You should carefully read the entire Information Statement/Prospectus, including the Agreement and Plan of Reorganization, which is attached as Appendix A thereto, because it contains details that are not in the Questions and Answers.
Q:
Why am I receiving an Information Statement/Prospectus?
A:
You are receiving an Information Statement/Prospectus because you own shares of Virtus Stone Harbor Emerging Markets Total Income Fund (the “Acquired Fund”). The Board of Trustees of the Acquired Fund (the “Acquired Fund Board”) has approved the reorganization of the Acquired Fund with and into Virtus Stone Harbor Emerging Markets Income Fund (the “Acquiring Fund” and, together with the Acquired Fund, the “Funds”).
The reorganization of the Acquired Fund with and into the Acquiring Fund will occur pursuant to an Agreement and Plan of Reorganization providing for the transfer of all of the assets of the Acquired Fund to the Acquiring Fund in exchange solely for newly issued common shares of beneficial interest of the Acquiring Fund, the assumption by the Acquiring Fund of the liabilities of the Acquired Fund, the distribution of common shares of beneficial interest of the Acquiring Fund to the shareholders of the Acquired Fund and complete liquidation of the Acquired Fund (the “Reorganization”).
The Reorganization is subject to certain conditions, including the separate approval of the shareholders of the Acquiring Fund of the issuance of additional common shares of beneficial interest of the Acquiring Fund in connection with the Reorganization. The shareholders of the Acquiring Fund approved the issuance of shares in connection with the Reorganization on May 22, 2023. The Reorganization is expected to occur after the close of business on or about December 15, 2023.
The Acquiring Fund will be the accounting and performance survivor of the Reorganization. The Acquiring Fund as it will exist after the Reorganization is referred to as the “Combined Fund.”
Q:
Why did the Board of Trustees of the Acquired Fund approve the Reorganization?
A:
The Acquired Fund Board of Trustees determined that the Reorganization is in the best interests of the shareholders of the Acquired Fund and the interests of the existing shareholders of the Acquired Fund will not be diluted as a result of the Reorganization. The Acquired Fund Board considered other options potentially available to the Acquired Fund, including maintaining the status quo, modifications, or liquidating the Acquired Fund, and determined to approve the Reorganization.
Please see “Background and Reasons for the Proposed Reorganization” in the Information Statement/Prospectus for additional information on the Acquired Fund Board’s considerations relating to the Reorganization.
Q:
Am I being asked to vote on the Reorganization?
A:
No. Shareholders of the Acquired Fund are not required to approve the Reorganization under state or federal law, the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”), or the organizational documents governing the Acquired Fund. We are not asking you for a proxy, and you are requested not to send us a proxy.
Q:
How do the Funds compare?
A:
The Funds are substantially similar. Each Fund’s investment adviser is Virtus Alternative Investment Advisers, Inc. (the “Adviser” or “VAIA”). Each Fund’s investment subadviser is Stone Harbor Investment Partners (“Stone Harbor”), an operating division of Virtus Fixed Income Advisers, LLC (“VFIA”), an affiliate of VAIA. The Acquired Fund’s portfolio management team primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Acquired Fund’s portfolio consists of the same portfolio managers who comprise the Acquiring Fund’s portfolio management team primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Acquiring Fund. The Funds’ current portfolio management team will be primarily
 
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responsible for the day-to-day management of the Combined Fund’s portfolio. The Acquired Fund and the Acquiring Fund have the same investment objective and similar principal investment strategies, principal risks, and investment restrictions and policies.
Each Fund is a closed-end management investment company registered under the 1940 Act. Each Fund is organized as a Massachusetts business trust. The Acquired Fund and Acquiring Fund are both non-diversified management investment companies. A non-diversified fund is not limited by the 1940 Act with regard to the percentage of its assets that may be invested in the securities of a single issuer. Consequently, the securities of a particular issuer or a small number of issuers may constitute a significant portion of the fund’s investment portfolio. Each Fund’s common shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Each Fund may use leverage to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act. As of May 31, 2023, the Acquired Fund had 23% aggregate financial leverage from reverse repurchase agreements as a percentage of its total managed assets. As of the same date, the Acquiring Fund had 27% aggregate financial leverage from the issuance of reverse repurchase agreements as a percentage of its total managed assets. The Acquiring Fund uses leverage primarily in the form of the issuance of reverse repurchase agreements. The Combined Fund anticipates using leverage similarly to the Acquiring Fund’s use thereof.
Each Fund intends to make monthly distributions to its shareholders.
Each Fund is governed by a Board of Trustees (each, a “Board”). The Board of the Acquired Fund has twelve Trustees, eleven of whom are not “interested persons” of the Acquired Fund (as defined in the 1940 Act) (the “Independent Trustees”). The Board of the Acquiring Fund consists of the same Trustees, including Independent Trustees, as the Acquired Fund.
Each Fund’s Amended and Restated Agreement and Declaration of Trust (the “Declaration of Trust”) and Second Amended and Restated Bylaws (the “Bylaws”) are materially similar.
Please see “Comparison of the Funds” in the Information Statement/Prospectus for additional information.
Q:
How will the fees and expenses of the Combined Fund compare to those of the Acquired Fund?
A:
The contractual advisory fee of the Acquired Fund is 1.00% of the Fund’s Managed Assets, as defined below. The contractual advisory fee of the Acquiring Fund is, and the Combined Fund will be, 1.00% of the Fund’s Managed Assets provided that the advisory fee does not exceed 1.50% of the Acquiring Fund’s net assets. Managed Assets are the average daily value of the fund’s total assets, including any assets attributable to any leverage used, minus the fund’s accrued liabilities, other than the fund liabilities incurred for any leverage.
The management fees for the Acquired Fund, Acquiring Fund and pro forma for the Combined Fund will vary based on the extent to which the Fund borrows for investment purposes. As a result, the advisory fee, as a percentage of net assets, can differ due to the amount of borrowings. The management fees for the Acquired Fund, Acquiring Fund and pro forma for the Combined Fund, based on the Funds’ average daily net assets, assuming the Reorganization was consummated on May 31, 2023, are 1.25%, 1.28%, and 1.28%.
Following the consummation of the Reorganization, the pro forma total annual operating expense ratio of the Combined Fund is expected to be lower than the total annual operating expense ratio of the Acquired Fund. For the Acquired Fund and Acquiring Fund, VAIA has contractually agreed to limit each Fund’s annual operating expenses other than the management fee, subject to certain exclusions, so that such expenses do not exceed, on an annualized basis, 0.70% and 0.58%, respectively, of average daily net assets through April 10, 2025. Exclusions from the expense limitation include investment advisory fees, interest, any other fees or expenses relating to financial leverage, preferred shares (such as dividends on preferred shares, auction agent fees and commissions and rating agency fees) or borrowing (such as interest, commitment, amendment and renewal expenses on credit or redemption facilities), taxes, extraordinary, unusual or infrequently occurring expenses (such as litigation), costs related to share offerings, brokerage commissions, expenses incurred in connection with any merger or
 
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reorganization, underlying fund expenses and dividend expenses, if any (each expressed as a percentage of average daily net assets attributable to common shares). The total annual operating expenses (including interest on borrowings) for the Acquired Fund and pro forma for the Combined Fund are 3.11%, and 3.10%, respectively. Pro forma combined fees and expenses are estimated in good faith and are hypothetical. There can be no assurance that future expenses will not increase or that any estimated expense savings will be realized.
Please see “Fees and Expenses Table” and “Management of the Funds” in the Information Statement/Prospectus for additional information.
Q:
How will the Reorganization be effected?
A:
The Acquired Fund will transfer all of its assets to the Acquiring Fund in exchange for common shares of the Acquiring Fund, and the assumption by the Acquiring Fund of all the liabilities of the Acquired Fund. Following the Reorganization, the Acquired Fund will be dissolved and terminated in accordance with its Declaration of Trust and Bylaws and the 1940 Act.
You will become a shareholder of the Acquiring Fund. Holders of common shares of the Acquired Fund will receive newly issued common shares of the Acquiring Fund, par value $0.001 per share, the aggregate net asset value (not the market value) of which will equal the aggregate net asset value (not the market value) of the common shares of the Acquired Fund you held immediately prior to the Reorganization (although shareholders will receive cash for fractional shares). Although the Reorganization will result in no dilution of the net asset value of Acquiring Fund common shares or dilution of the net asset value of Acquired Fund common shares, as a result of the Reorganization, a shareholder of either of the Funds will hold a reduced percentage of ownership in the Combined Fund than the shareholder did in the Acquired Fund or the Acquiring Fund prior to the Reorganization.
The Reorganization will be accounted for under the asset acquisition method of accounting under ASC 805-50. Under ASC 805-50-25-2, the entity that receives the net assets initially recognizes the assets and liabilities transferred at the date of transfer (i.e., the fair value of the assets acquired). Under ASC 805-50-30-3, the cost of a group of assets acquired in an asset acquisition is allocated to individual assets acquired or liabilities assumed based on their relative fair values and does not give rise to goodwill. There is no anticipated day one gain or loss. Any direct transaction costs associated with the transfer of the assets will be capitalized as a component of the costs of the assets acquired allocated on relative fair value basis.
Q:
At what prices have common shares of the Acquired Fund and common shares of the Acquiring Fund historically traded?
A:
Common shares of each Fund have from time to time traded differently from their net asset values. As of October 24, 2023, the Acquired Fund common shares were trading at a 6.95% discount to its net asset value and the Acquiring Fund common shares were trading at a 3.28% discount to its net asset value. There can be no assurance that, after the Reorganization, common shares of the Combined Fund will trade at, above or below net asset value. The market value of the common shares of the Combined Fund may be more or less than the market value of either the common shares of the Acquired Fund or the common shares of the Acquiring Fund prior to the Reorganization.
Please see “Share Price Data” in the Information Statement/Prospectus for additional information.
Q:
Will the Reorganization impact Fund distributions to shareholders?
A:
The Acquired Fund and the Acquiring Fund currently pay a monthly distribution of $0.07 per share and $0.06 per share, respectively. The Combined Fund expects to pay a monthly distribution of $0.06 per share, which is the same as the monthly distribution of the Acquiring Fund and less than the monthly distribution of the Acquired Fund.
Based on each Fund’s NAV as of August 31, 2023, the exchange ratio at which common shares of the Acquired Fund would have converted to common shares of the Combined Fund is 1.19 (i.e., assuming
 
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the Reorganization was consummated following the market close on August 31, 2023, an Acquired Fund shareholder would have received 1.19 shares of the Combined Fund for each Acquired Fund share held).
Prior to the closing of the Reorganization, the Acquired Fund expects to declare a distribution of all of its net investment income and net capital gains, if any. All or a portion of such distribution may be taxable to the Acquired Fund’s shareholders for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
The Combined Fund intends to make its first distribution to shareholders in the month immediately following the Reorganization. In addition, the Combined Fund expects to follow the same frequency of payments as each Fund and make monthly distributions to shareholders.
Q:
Who will manage the Combined Fund’s portfolio?
A:
The Combined Fund will be managed by VAIA and Stone Harbor, each Fund’s current adviser and subadviser, respectively. The Acquired Fund’s current portfolio management team will be primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Combined Fund’s portfolio. The Acquired Fund’s portfolio management team primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Acquired Fund’s portfolio consists of the same portfolio managers who comprise the Acquiring Fund’s portfolio management team primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Acquiring Fund.
Q:
Will there be any significant portfolio transitioning in connection with the Reorganization?
A:
It is anticipated that there will be no significant portfolio transitioning in connection with the Reorganization. Accordingly, there are expected to be no transaction costs (including brokerage commissions, transaction charges and related fees) associated with the Reorganization. To the extent there are any transaction costs, these will be borne by the Acquired Fund with respect to any portfolio transitioning conducted before the Reorganization and borne by the Combined Fund with respect to any portfolio transitioning conducted after the Reorganization.
As of November 30, 2022, the Acquired Fund had a short-term capital loss carryforward of approximately $41,883,000 and a long-term capital loss carryforward of $44,496,000. After the Reorganization, the capital losses will not expire but there may be a per year limit on the amount of the Acquired Fund’s pre-Reorganization capital losses that can be used to offset future post-Reorganization capital gains. Please see “Material Federal Income Tax Consequences of the Reorganization” in the Information Statement/Prospectus for additional information.
Q:
Will I have to pay any sales load or commission in connection with the Reorganization?
A:
No. You will pay no sales load or commission in connection with the Reorganization.
Q:
Who will pay for the costs associated with the Reorganization?
A:
Each Fund will bear expenses incurred in connection with the Reorganization on a pro rata basis calculated as a percentage of each Funds’ relative net assets. The expenses of the Reorganization are estimated to be $450,000. If the Reorganization is not consummated, then the officers of the Acquired Fund and Acquiring Fund, or an affiliate, based on the reasons for not consummating the transaction, will agree on a reasonable allocation of expenses.
Q:
Is the Reorganization expected to be taxable to shareholders of the Acquired Fund?
A:
No. The Reorganization is intended to be treated as a tax-free reorganization for U.S. federal income tax purposes. As a condition to the closing of the Reorganization that the Acquired Fund and the Acquiring Fund each receive an opinion from Dechert LLP, dated as of the Closing Date, regarding the characterization of the Reorganization as a “reorganization” within the meaning of Section 368(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). If the Reorganization qualifies for tax-free treatment, Acquired Fund shareholders will recognize no gain or loss for U.S. federal income tax purposes upon the exchange of Acquired Fund shares for Acquiring Fund shares pursuant to the Reorganization (except with respect to cash received in lieu of fractional shares, if any). Prior to the closing of the Reorganization, the Acquired Fund expects to declare a distribution of all of its previously
 
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undistributed net investment income and net capital gains, if any. All or a portion of such distribution may be taxable to the Acquired Fund’s shareholders for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Please see “Material Federal Income Tax Consequences of the Reorganization” in the Information Statement/Prospectus for additional information.
Q:
Why is no Acquired Fund shareholder action necessary?
A:
No Acquired Fund shareholder action is necessary because the Reorganization satisfies the requisite conditions of Rule 17a-8 under the 1940 Act, and, in accordance with the Acquired Fund’s Declaration of Trust and applicable Massachusetts state and U.S. federal law, the Reorganization may be effected without the approval of shareholders of the Acquired Fund.
Q:
Whom do I contact for further information?
A:
If you have any questions regarding the Reorganization, please call (866) 270-7788.
 
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INFORMATION STATEMENT FOR
VIRTUS STONE HARBOR EMERGING MARKETS TOTAL INCOME FUND
101 Munson Street
Greenfield, MA 01301-9683
(866) 270-7788
PROSPECTUS FOR
VIRTUS STONE HARBOR EMERGING MARKETS INCOME FUND
101 Munson Street
Greenfield, MA 01301-9683
(866) 270-7788
November 7, 2023
This Information Statement/Prospectus is furnished to you as a common shareholder of the Virtus Stone Harbor Emerging Markets Total Income Fund (the “Acquired Fund”), a Massachusetts business trust and a closed-end management investment company registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). The reorganization of the Acquired Fund with and into Virtus Stone Harbor Emerging Markets Income Fund (the “Acquiring Fund” and each, a “Fund” and together, the “Funds”) will occur pursuant to an Agreement and Plan of Reorganization (the “Plan”) providing for the transfer of all of the assets of the Acquired Fund to the Acquiring Fund in exchange solely for newly issued common shares of beneficial interest of the Acquiring Fund, the assumption by the Acquiring Fund of the liabilities of the Acquired Fund, the distribution of the common shares of beneficial interest of the Acquiring Fund to the shareholders of the Acquired Fund, and complete liquidation of the Acquired Fund (the “Reorganization”). The Acquiring Fund as it will exist after the Reorganization is referred to as the “Combined Fund.”
The Acquired Fund and the Acquiring Fund have the same investment objective and similar principal investment strategies, principal risks, and investment restrictions and policies. Each Fund seeks to maximize total return. Each Fund is a closed-end management investment company registered under the 1940 Act, and each Fund’s common shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”).
The Reorganization is subject to certain conditions, including the separate approval of the shareholders of the Acquiring Fund of the issuance of additional common shares of beneficial interest of the Acquiring Fund in connection with the Reorganization. The shareholders of the Acquiring Fund approved the issuance of shares in connection with the Reorganization on May 22, 2023.
In connection with the Reorganization, you will become a shareholder of the Acquiring Fund. Holders of common shares of the Acquired Fund will receive newly issued common shares of the Acquiring Fund, par value $0.001 per share, the aggregate net asset value (not the market value) of which will equal the aggregate net asset value (not the market value) of the common shares of the Acquired Fund you held immediately prior to the Reorganization (although shareholders will receive cash for fractional shares).
THIS INFORMATION STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY, AND YOU DO NOT NEED TO DO ANYTHING IN RESPONSE TO RECEIVING IT.
WE ARE NOT ASKING YOU FOR A PROXY, AND YOU ARE NOT REQUESTED TO SEND US A PROXY.
For federal income tax purposes, the Reorganization is intended to be structured as a tax-free reorganization.
The Funds are substantially similar. Each Fund’s investment adviser is Virtus Alternative Investment Advisers, Inc. (the “Adviser” or “VAIA”). Each Fund’s investment subadviser is the Stone Harbor Investment Partners (“Stone Harbor”), an operating division of Virtus Fixed Income Advisers, LLC (“VFIA”), an affiliate of VAIA. The Acquired Fund’s portfolio management team primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Acquired Fund’s portfolio consists of the same portfolio managers who comprise the
 

 
Acquiring Fund’s portfolio management team primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Acquiring Fund. The Funds’ current portfolio management team will be primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Combined Fund’s portfolio.
Each Fund is governed by a Board of Trustees (each, a “Board”). The Board of the Acquired Fund has twelve Trustees, eleven of whom are not “interested persons” of the Acquired Fund (as defined in the 1940 Act) (the “Independent Trustees”). The Board of the Acquiring Fund consists of the same Trustees, including Independent Trustees, as the Acquired Fund.
Each Fund’s Amended and Restated Agreement and Declaration of Trust (“Declaration of Trust”) and Second Amended and Restated Bylaws (“Bylaws”) are materially similar.
The common shares of the Acquiring Fund (“Shares” and the holders of such Shares, “Shareholders”) are listed on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “EDF” and will continue to be so listed following the Reorganization. The common shares of the Acquired Fund are listed on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “EDI” and will be delisted from the NYSE following the Reorganization. Shareholder reports, proxy statements and other information concerning Funds can be inspected at the NYSE.
The following documents have been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and are incorporated into this Information Statement/Prospectus by reference:

the Statement of Additional Information, dated November 7, 2023, relating to this Information Statement/Prospectus;

the Annual Report to shareholders of the Acquired Fund for the fiscal period ended November 30, 2022 (Investment Company Act File No. 811-22716; Accession Number 0001193125-23-025626);

the Semiannual Report to shareholders of the Acquired Fund for the fiscal period ended May 31, 2023 (Investment Company Act File No. 811-22716; Accession Number 0001193125-23-204824);

the Annual Report to shareholders of the Acquiring Fund for the fiscal period ended November 30, 2022 (Investment Company Act File No. 811-22473; Accession Number 0001193125-23-025618); and

the Semiannual Report to shareholders of the Acquiring Fund for the fiscal period ended May 31, 2023 (Investment Company Act File No. 811-22473; Accession Number 0001193125-23-204816).
Additional copies of the foregoing and any more recent reports filed after the date hereof for the Funds may be obtained without charge:
By Phone:
(866) 270-7788
By Mail:
Virtus Funds
c/o Computershare Investor Services
P.O. Box 43078
Providence, RI 02940-3078
By Internet:
www.Virtus.com
The Funds are subject to the informational requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”), as amended, and, in accordance therewith, file reports, proxy statements, proxy materials and other information with the SEC. You also may view or obtain the foregoing documents from the SEC:
By e-mail:
publicinfo@sec.gov (duplicating fee required)
By Internet:
www.sec.gov
By Mail:
100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549
This Information Statement/Prospectus serves as a prospectus of the Acquiring Fund. This Information Statement/Prospectus sets forth concisely the information that shareholders of the Acquired Fund should know about the Reorganization. Please read it carefully and retain it for future reference. No person has been authorized to give any information or make any representation not contained in this Information Statement/Prospectus and, if so given or made, such information or representation must not be relied upon as
 
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having been authorized. This Information Statement/Prospectus does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities in any jurisdiction in which, or to any person to whom, it is unlawful to make such offer or solicitation.
THE SEC HAS NOT APPROVED OR DISAPPROVED THESE SECURITIES OR PASSED UPON THE ADEQUACY OF THIS INFORMATION STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS. ANY REPRESENTATION TO THE CONTRARY IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE.
 
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
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A-1
B-1
 
IV

 
SUMMARY
Synopsis
The Board of Trustees of each Fund (each, a “Board”), including the Trustees who are not interested persons of the Fund, as defined in the 1940 Act (“Independent Trustees”), has approved the Agreement and Plan of Reorganization (the “Plan”). The reorganization of the Virtus Stone Harbor Emerging Markets Total Income Fund (the “Acquired Fund”) with and into Virtus Stone Harbor Emerging Markets Income Fund (the “Acquiring Fund” and each, a “Fund” and together, the “Funds”) will occur pursuant to the Plan (the “Reorganization”). The Acquiring Fund as it will exist after the Reorganization is referred to as the “Combined Fund.”
Subject to shareholder approval of the issuance of Acquiring Fund common shares by the shareholders of the Acquiring Fund, the Plan provides for:

the transfer of all of the assets of the Acquired Fund to the Acquiring Fund, in exchange solely for shares of the Acquiring Fund;

the assumption by the Acquiring Fund of the liabilities of the Acquired Fund;

the distribution of common shares of the Acquiring Fund to the shareholders of the Acquired Fund; and

the complete liquidation of the Acquired Fund.
The shareholders of the Acquiring Fund approved the issuance of shares in connection with the Reorganization on May 22, 2023. It is expected that the Reorganization will occur after the close of business on or about December 15, 2023. The Reorganization was originally expected to occur on or about August 4, 2023 but was delayed due to restrictions on the transfer of certain securities held by the Acquired Fund, which restrictions no longer apply.
The aggregate net asset value (not the market value) of Acquiring Fund common shares received by the shareholders of the Acquired Fund in the Reorganization will equal the aggregate net asset value (not the market value) of the Acquired Fund common shares held immediately prior to the Reorganization (although shareholders will receive cash for fractional shares). The market value of the common shares of the Combined Fund may be more or less than the market value of either the common shares of the Acquired Fund or the common shares of the Acquiring Fund prior to the Reorganization.
Based on each Fund’s NAV as of August 31, 2023, the exchange ratio at which common shares of the Acquired Fund would have converted to common shares of the Combined Fund is 1.19 (i.e., assuming the Reorganization was consummated following the market close on August 31, 2023, an Acquired Fund shareholder would have received 1.19 shares of the Combined Fund for each Acquired Fund share held).
It is anticipated that there will be no significant portfolio transitioning in connection with the Reorganization. Accordingly, there are expected to be no transaction costs (including brokerage commissions, transaction charges and related fees) associated with the Reorganization. However, to the extent there are any transaction costs, these will be borne by the Acquired Fund with respect to any portfolio transitioning conducted before the Reorganization and borne by the Combined Fund with respect to any portfolio transitioning conducted after the Reorganization.
The Funds are substantially similar. Each Fund’s investment adviser is Virtus Alternative Investment Advisers, Inc. (the “Adviser” or “VAIA”). Each Fund’s investment subadviser is Stone Harbor Investment Partners (“Stone Harbor”), an operating division of Virtus Fixed Income Advisers, LLC, an affiliate of VAIA. The Acquired Fund’s portfolio management team primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Acquired Fund’s portfolio consists of the same portfolio managers who comprise the Acquiring Fund’s portfolio management team primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Acquiring Fund. The Funds’ current portfolio management team will be primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Combined Fund’s portfolio. The Acquired Fund and the Acquiring Fund have the same investment objective and similar principal investment strategies, principal risks, and investment restrictions and policies.
 
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Each Fund is governed by a Board of Trustees. The Board of the Acquired Fund has twelve Trustees, eleven of whom are Independent Trustees. The Board of the Acquiring Fund consists of the same Trustees, including Independent Trustees, as the Acquired Fund.
Each Fund’s Amended and Restated Agreement and Declaration of Trust (“Declaration of Trust”) and Second Amended and Restated Bylaws (“Bylaws”) are materially similar.
Each Fund is a closed-end management investment company registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). Each Fund is a Massachusetts business trust. The Acquired Fund and Acquiring Fund are both non-diversified management investment companies. A non-diversified fund is not limited by the 1940 Act with regard to the percentage of its assets that may be invested in the securities of a single issuer. Consequently, the securities of a particular issuer or a small number of issuers may constitute a significant portion of the fund’s investment portfolio. Each Fund’s common shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
There risks of the Acquiring Fund and the risks of the Acquired Fund are similar, although the Acquired Fund is subject to certain additional principal risks to which the Acquiring Fund is not subject. The principal risks of each Fund are summarized in the “Principal Risks” section below.
Both Funds are subject to the following principal risks: non-diversification, management, market volatility, foreign investing, emerging market investing, currency rate, sovereign debt obligations, credit, interest rate, derivatives, counterparty, high yield fixed income securities, leverage, closed-end fund, and no guarantee that the Fund will meet its investment objective. The Acquired Fund is also subject to the following principal risks: equity securities, preferred stocks, and exchange traded funds (“ETFs”) and other mutual funds. In addition to those risks, the Reorganization poses risk that there is no guarantee that the anticipated benefits of the Reorganization will occur, the Reorganization could have a negative impact on the market price of the Acquiring Fund’s shares following the Reorganization and, to the extent the Acquiring Fund is trading at a premium, the Reorganization may cause the premium to lessen from current levels.
Each Fund may use leverage to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act. As of May 31, 2023, the Acquired Fund had 23% aggregate financial leverage from reverse repurchase agreements as a percentage of its total managed assets. As of the same date, the Acquiring Fund had 27% aggregate financial leverage from reverse repurchase agreements as a percentage of its total managed assets. The Combined Fund anticipates using leverage similarly to the Acquiring Fund’s use thereof.
Each Fund makes monthly distributions to its shareholders. Prior to the closing of the Reorganization, the Acquired Fund expects to declare a distribution of all of its net investment income and net capital gains, if any. All or a portion of such distribution may be taxable to the Acquired Fund’s shareholders for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
For federal income tax purposes, the Reorganization is intended to be structured as a tax-free transaction.
Background and Reasons for the Reorganization
The Funds have the same investment objective in that both Funds seek to maximize total return. The Reorganization will allow shareholders of the Acquired Fund to own a fund that is identical in style, and with a greater amount of assets. The Reorganization could create better efficiencies for the portfolio management team and perhaps lower expenses for the Acquiring Fund, which could benefit shareholders of the Acquired Fund.
At an in-person meeting held on March 1, 2023, the Acquired Fund Board, including a majority of the Independent Trustees, considered and approved the Reorganization as set forth in the Plan. They determined that the Reorganization was in the best interests of the Acquired Fund and its shareholders, and that the interests of existing shareholders of the Acquired Fund will not be diluted as a result of the transactions contemplated by the Reorganization.
Before approving the Plan, the Board evaluated information provided with respect to the management of the Funds and reviewed various factors about the Funds and the proposed Reorganization. The Trustees
 
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noted that the Acquiring Fund has the same investment objective and similar investment strategies to the Acquired Fund. They further noted that the Combined Fund’s pro forma fund operating expenses (excluding the costs of the Reorganization) were expected to be the lower than those for the Acquired Fund.
The Trustees considered the relative asset size of each Fund, including the benefits of investing in a fund with a higher combined level of assets for current shareholders of the Acquired Fund. In addition, the Trustees considered, among other things:

the terms and conditions of the Reorganization;

other alternatives, including maintaining the status quo, modifications, or liquidating the Acquired Fund;

the fact that the Reorganization will not result in the dilution of shareholders’ interests;

the fact that the Acquired Fund and the Acquiring Fund have the same investment objective and similar principal investment strategies;

the fact that the Reorganization will reduce the number of closed-end funds offering similar investment strategies in the market and will reduce the number of similar funds managed by VAIA;

the explanation from the Funds’ management that alternatives to the Reorganization had been considered, including modifications to the Funds, liquidation of one or both Funds, and maintaining the status quo;

the fact that the Funds will share the expenses incurred in connection with the Reorganization pro rata based on assets under management;

the potential for the increase in assets to provide greater secondary market liquidity for the Combined Fund’s shares;

the benefits to shareholders, including from operating efficiencies, which may be achieved from combining the Funds;

the fact that the Acquiring Fund will assume all of the liabilities of the Acquired Fund; and

the fact that the Reorganization is expected to be a tax-free transaction for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
During their consideration of the Reorganization, the Independent Trustees consulted with their independent legal counsel, as appropriate.
After consideration of the factors noted above, together with other factors and information considered to be relevant, and recognizing that there can be no assurance that any operating efficiencies or other benefits will in fact be realized, the Acquired Fund Board concluded that the proposed Reorganization will be in the best interests of the Acquired Fund and its shareholders and approved the Plan.
The determination of the Acquired Fund Board and the Acquiring Fund Board was made on the basis of each Trustee’s business judgment after consideration of all of the factors taken as a whole with respect to the Acquired Fund and the Acquiring Fund, respectively, and their shareholders, although individual Trustees may have placed different weight and assigned different degrees of materiality to various factors.
 
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COMPARISON OF THE FUNDS
Investment Objectives
The investment objective of the Acquired Fund and the Acquiring Fund are the same in that both Funds seek to maximize total return (although the investment objective of the Acquired Fund, unlike that of the Acquiring Fund, specifically refers to investment in emerging markets securities). The investment objectives of both the Acquired Fund and the Acquiring Fund are non-fundamental, which means that each may be changed by vote of the respective Fund’s Board and without shareholder approval, upon 60 days’ notice to shareholders. The investment objectives of each Fund are as follows:
Acquired Fund
Acquiring Fund
The Fund’s investment objective is to maximize total return, which consists of income and capital appreciation from investments in emerging markets securities. The Fund’s investment objective is to maximize total return, which consists of income on its investments and capital appreciation.
Principal Investment Strategies
The Acquired Fund and Acquiring Fund are non-diversified management investment companies. The principal investment strategies of the Funds are similar, although there are some differences. These differences include the following:

The Acquired Fund, unlike the Acquiring Fund, normally expects to invest up to 20% of its total assets in Emerging Markets Equity (as defined below), which it expects will consist primarily of single country and regional ETFs.

The Acquired Fund may invest up to 25% of its total assets in a single country, while the Acquiring Fund intends to invest less than 50% of its assets in a single country.

While both Funds engage in leveraging through Borrowings (as defined below), the principal investment strategies for the Acquiring Fund specifically contemplate the use of leverage through issuance of preferred shares. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Acquiring Fund does not have preferred shares outstanding at this time.
The principal investment strategies of each Fund are as follows:
Acquired Fund
Acquiring Fund
The Fund normally will invest at least 80% of its net assets (plus any borrowings for investment purposes) in Emerging Markets Debt (the “80% policy”). “Emerging Markets Debt” includes fixed income securities and other instruments (including derivatives) that are economically tied to emerging market countries, that are denominated in the predominant currency of the local market of an emerging market country or whose performance is linked or otherwise related to those countries’ markets, currencies, economies or ability to repay loans. A security or instrument is economically tied to an emerging market country if it is principally traded on the country’s securities markets or if the issuer is organized or principally operates in the country, derives a majority of its income from its operations within the country or has a majority of its assets within the country. The Fund normally will invest at least 80% of its net assets (plus any borrowings for investment purposes) in Emerging Markets Securities (the “80% policy”). “Emerging Markets Securities” include fixed income securities and other instruments (including derivatives) that are economically tied to emerging market countries, that are denominated in the predominant currency of the local market of an emerging market country or whose performance is linked to those countries’ markets, currencies, economies or ability to repay loans. A security or instrument is economically tied to an emerging market country if it is principally traded on the country’s securities markets or if the issuer is organized or principally operates in the country, derives a majority of its income from its operations within the country or has a majority of its assets within the country.
 
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Acquired Fund
Acquiring Fund
The Fund normally expects to invest up to 20% of its total assets in Emerging Markets Equity. “Emerging Markets Equity” includes securities issued by either single country or regional ETFs, common stocks, preferred stocks, other equity securities and other instruments (including derivatives) that are economically tied to the equity markets of emerging market countries, that are denominated in the predominant currency of the local market of an emerging market country or whose performance is linked or otherwise related to those countries’ markets, currencies, or economies. Emerging Markets Securities may be denominated in non-U.S. currencies or the U.S. dollar. The Fund considers emerging market countries as those countries identified by the World Bank Group as being “low income economies” or which are included in a J.P. Morgan emerging market bond index. It is anticipated that the Fund will focus most of its investments in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and the developing countries of Europe. The Fund’s investments may include, among other things, sovereign debt obligations, corporate debt securities, structured notes, convertible securities, securities issued by supranational organizations, floating rate commercial loans, securitized loan participations, restricted securities, non-U.S. currencies, currency forward contracts and other foreign currency transactions, and derivatives related to or referencing these types of securities and instruments. The Fund may use derivatives to a significant extent for hedging, investment or leverage purposes. Although Emerging Markets Securities may include any derivative or other instrument that provides the Fund exposure to emerging markets, the Fund currently expects that its derivatives transactions or instruments will consist primarily of the following instruments and transactions: credit linked notes, foreign currency forward contracts, credit default swaps, interest rate swaps, total return swaps on individual securities and groups or indices of securities, and interest rate futures contracts and options. The Fund may use these instruments for hedging purposes, for leverage or otherwise to gain, or reduce, long or short exposure to emerging securities markets (for example, credit linked notes may be used to gain exposure to certain emerging markets fixed income securities). Emerging Markets Securities may be denominated in non-U.S. currencies or the U.S. dollar.
The Fund considers emerging market countries as those countries identified by the World Bank Group as being “low income economies” or which are included in a J.P. Morgan emerging market bond index. It is anticipated that the Fund will focus most of its investments in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and the developing countries of Europe. The Fund’s investments may include, among other things, sovereign debt obligations, corporate debt securities, structured notes, convertible securities, securities issued by supranational organizations, floating rate commercial loans, securitized loan participations, restricted securities, non-U.S. currencies, currency
The Fund seeks income and capital appreciation through country selection, sector selection, security selection and currency selection. In selecting Emerging Markets Securities for investment, the Fund’s subadviser will apply a market risk analysis contemplating the assessment of various factors, such as liquidity, volatility, tax implications, interest rate sensitivity, counterparty risks, economic factors, currency exchange rates and technical market considerations.
The Fund may invest, without limitation, in debt securities that are rated below investment grade by a nationally recognized statistical rating organization or unrated securities that are deemed to be of
 
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Acquired Fund
Acquiring Fund
forward contracts and other foreign currency transactions, and derivatives related to or referencing these types of securities and instruments. The Fund may use derivatives to a significant extent for hedging, investment, interest rate, or duration management or leverage purposes. Although Emerging Markets Securities may include any derivative or other instrument that provides the Fund exposure to emerging markets, the Fund currently expects that its derivatives transactions will consist primarily of the following instruments and transactions: credit linked notes, foreign currency forward contracts, credit default swaps, interest rate swaps, total return swaps on individual securities and groups or indices of securities, and interest rate futures contracts and options. The Fund may use these instruments for hedging purposes, for leverage or otherwise to gain, or reduce, long or short exposure to emerging securities markets (for example, credit linked notes may be used to gain exposure to certain emerging markets fixed income securities).
The Fund may invest up to 25% of its total assets in a single country.
The Fund seeks income and capital appreciation through country selection, sector selection, security selection and currency selection. In selecting emerging securities market for investment, the Fund’s subadviser will apply a market risk analysis contemplating the assessment of various factors, such as liquidity, volatility, tax implications, interest rate sensitivity, counterparty risks, economic factors, currency exchange rates and technical market considerations.
The Fund may invest, without limitation, in debt securities that are rated below investment grade by a nationally recognized statistical rating organization or unrated securities that are deemed to be of comparable quality by the Fund’s subadviser, including distressed and defaulted securities. Debt securities rated below investment grade are commonly known as “high yield” or “junk bonds” and are regarded as predominantly speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal in accordance with the terms of the obligations and involve major risk exposure to adverse conditions.
comparable quality by the Fund’s subadviser, including defaulted securities. Debt securities rated below investment grade are commonly known as “junk bonds” and are regarded as predominantly speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal in accordance with the terms of the obligations and involve major risk exposure to adverse conditions.
The Fund’s holdings may range in maturity from overnight to 30 years or more. The Fund’s subadviser does not manage the Fund to have a specific average maturity or duration. The Fund may also invest in currencies, money market and short-term debt securities and cash equivalents, warrants, structured investments or other derivatives, which may be used to maintain exposure of at least 80% of its net assets (plus borrowings for investment purposes) to Emerging Markets Securities. Under certain limited circumstances, the Fund may obtain substantially all of its investment exposure to Emerging Markets Securities through the use of derivatives.
The Fund intends to invest less than 50% of its assets in a single country.
The Fund’s holdings may range in maturity from overnight to 30 years or more. The Investment Manager does not manage the Fund to have a In addition, the Fund may invest the remainder of its assets in securities which will not be used to achieve the Fund’s 80% policy, such as shares of
 
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Acquired Fund
Acquiring Fund
specific average maturity or duration. The Fund may also invest in currencies, money market and short-term debt securities and cash equivalents, warrants, structured investments or other derivatives, which may be used to maintain exposure of at least 80% of its net assets (plus borrowings for investment purposes) to Emerging Markets Debt. Under certain limited circumstances, the Fund may obtain a substantial part of its investment exposure to Emerging Markets Securities through the use of derivatives.
The Fund normally expects to invest up to 20% of its total assets in Emerging Markets Equity, which the Fund expects will consist primarily of single country and regional ETFs. The ETFs in which the Fund expects to invest will generally invest in, or track indices related to, equity securities. Emerging Markets Equity may also include other types of equity from time to time, including, but not limited to, common stock, preferred stocks, securities that have not been registered for public sale in the U.S. or relevant non-U.S. jurisdiction, including without limitation securities eligible for purchase and sale pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act, or relevant provisions of applicable non-U.S. law, and other securities issued in private placements. The Fund may invest in issuers with any market capitalization, including small and medium market capitalization issuers.
In addition, the Fund may invest the remainder of its total assets in securities and other instruments (including derivatives) which will not be used to achieve the Fund’s 80% policy, including, without limitation, shares of open- and closed-end investment companies, common stocks, bonds and convertible securities of non-emerging market issuers.
The Fund’s investment objective and 80% policy are non-fundamental, and may be changed without shareholder approval; however, shareholders will be notified in writing of any material changes to the investment objective or the 80% policy at least 60 days prior to any change.
The Fund may borrow from banks and other financial institutions and may also borrow additional funds through reverse repurchase agreements or the issuance of debt securities (collectively, “Borrowings”). Under normal market conditions, the Fund intends to leverage the Fund by engaging in Borrowings. The aggregate amount of the Fund’s Borrowings will generally not exceed
open- and closed-end investment companies, common stocks, bonds and convertible securities.
The Fund’s investment objective and 80% policy are non-fundamental, and may be changed without shareholder approval; however, shareholders will be notified in writing of any material changes to the investment objective or the 80% policy at least 60 days prior to any change.
The Fund may borrow from banks and other financial institutions and may also borrow additional funds through reverse repurchase agreements or the issuance of debt securities (collectively, “Borrowings”). Under normal market conditions, the Fund intends to leverage the Fund by engaging in Borrowings and/or issuing preferred shares. The aggregate amount of the Fund’s Borrowings and the liquidation value of any preferred shares will generally not exceed 3313% of the Fund’s Managed Assets (as defined below) measured immediately after the transaction giving rise to the leverage. The Fund may also enter into other transactions that are not subject to this 3313% threshold but that may give rise to a form of leverage including, among others, credit default swaps and other derivatives transactions, loans of portfolio securities and when-issued, delayed delivery or forward commitment transactions. Managed Assets are the average daily value of the fund’s total assets, including any assets attributable to any leverage used, minus the fund’s accrued liabilities, other than the fund liabilities incurred for any leverage.
 
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Acquired Fund
Acquiring Fund
3313% of the Fund’s Managed Assets (as defined below) measured immediately after the transaction giving rise to the leverage. The Fund may also enter into other transactions that are not subject to this 3313% threshold but that may give rise to a form of leverage including, among others, credit default swaps and other derivatives transactions, loans of portfolio securities and when-issued, delayed delivery or forward commitment transactions. Managed Assets are the average daily value of the fund’s total assets, including any assets attributable to any leverage used, minus the fund’s accrued liabilities, other than the fund liabilities incurred for any leverage.
When the subadviser anticipates unusual market or other conditions, a Fund may temporarily depart from its principal investment strategies as a defensive measure. To the extent that a Fund invests defensively, it likely will not achieve its investment objective. Please see “Appendix B — Information about the Funds” in the Information Statement/Prospectus for additional information on the Funds’ permitted investments.
Distribution Information
The Acquired Fund and the Acquiring Fund currently pay a monthly distribution of $0.07 per share and $0.06 per share, respectively. The Combined Fund will pay a monthly distribution of $0.06 per share, which is the same as the monthly distribution of the Acquiring Fund and less than the monthly distribution of the Acquired Fund.
Please see “Description of Common Shares to be Issued by the Acquiring Fund; Comparison to the Acquired Fund” below for additional information.
Leverage
The Funds may use leverage to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act. The Funds’ strategies relating to its use of leverage may not be successful, and the Funds’ use of leverage will cause the Funds’ NAV to be more volatile than it would otherwise be. There can be no guarantee that the Funds will leverage their assets or, to the extent the Funds utilize leverage, what percentage of their assets such leverage will represent.
As of May 31, 2023, the Acquired Fund and Acquiring Fund had aggregate financial leverage from reverse repurchase agreements as a percentage of their total managed assets as follows:
Leverage
Ratio
Acquired Fund
23%
Acquiring Fund
27%
If the Reorganization had occurred on May 31, 2023, the leverage ratio for the Combined Fund would have been 27%.
Fees and Expenses Table
Below is a comparison of the fees and expenses of the Funds before and after the Reorganization. The pro forma information for the Combined Fund is as of May 31, 2023 and does not include the costs of the Reorganization. Pro forma combined fees and expenses are estimated in good faith and are hypothetical.
It is important to note that following the Reorganization, shareholders of the Acquired Fund will be subject to the actual fees and expenses of the Acquiring Fund, which may not be the same as the pro forma combined fees and expenses. Future fees and expenses may be greater or lesser than those indicated below.
 
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Acquired
Fund
Acquiring
Fund
Pro Forma
Combined
Fund(1)
Shareholder Transaction Expenses
Maximum Sales Load (as a percentage of the offering price) imposed on purchases of common shares
None None None
Dividend Reinvestment and Cash Purchase Plan Fees
None None None
Annual Total Expenses (as a percentage of average net assets attributable to common shares)
Management Fees(2)
1.25% 1.28% 1.28%
Administration Fees(2)
0.12% 0.13% 0.13%
Other Expenses(3)
0.42% 0.32% 0.24%
Interest Payments on Borrowed Funds
1.32% 1.48% 1.45%
Total Annual Operating Expenses
3.11% 3.21% 3.10%
(1)
There is no guarantee that actual expenses will be the same as those shown in the table. Pro Forma numbers are estimated as if the Reorganization had been completed as of May 31, 2023 and do not include the estimated costs of the Reorganization. The estimated expense of the Reorganization are $184,000 or 37 basis points for the Acquiring Fund and $266,000 or 37 basis points for the Acquired Fund, totaling $450,000.
(2)
The contractual management fee and administration fee are asset based fees calculated using the average daily managed assets of each Fund. The calculation reflects the use of leverage of each Fund during the period.
(3)
Other Expenses are based on estimated amounts for the current fiscal year.
Expense Example
The following example illustrates the expenses that a shareholder would pay on a $1,000 investment that is held for the time periods provided in the table. The examples assume that all dividends and other distributions are reinvested and that Total Annual Operating Expenses remain the same. The example set forth below assumes shares of each Fund were owned as of the completion of the Reorganization and uses a 5% annual rate of return as mandated by the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) regulations. The examples should not be considered a representation of future expenses. Actual expenses may be greater or lesser than those shown.
1 Year
3 Years
5 Years
10 Years
Acquired Fund
$ 31 $ 96 $ 163 $ 342
Acquiring Fund
$ 32 $ 99 $ 168 $ 351
Pro Forma Combined Fund
$ 31 $ 96 $ 163 $ 341
Principal Risks
The principal risks of the Funds are similar, although the Acquired Fund is subject to certain additional principal risks to which the Acquiring Fund is not subject. The shared principal risks of the Acquired Fund and Acquiring Fund are summarized below. For the purpose of this section, “the Fund” refers to each Fund.
Non-Diversification:   As a non-diversified investment company, the Fund is not limited in the proportion of assets that it may invest in the securities of any one issuer. If the Fund takes concentrated positions in a small number of issuers, the Fund may be more susceptible to the risks associated with those issuers, or to a single economic, political, regulatory or other event affecting those issuers.
Management:   The Fund is subject to management risk because it is an actively managed investment portfolio. The subadviser ‘s judgments about the attractiveness and potential appreciation of an investment
 
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may prove to be inaccurate and may not produce the desired results. The subadviser will apply its investment techniques and risk analyses in making investment decisions for the Fund, but there is no guarantee that its decisions will produce the intended result.
Market Volatility:   The value of the securities in which the Fund invests may go up or down in response to the prospects of individual issuers and/or general economic conditions. Such price changes may be temporary or may last for extended periods. Local, regional, or global events such as war (e.g., Russia’s invasion of Ukraine), acts of terrorism, the spread of infectious illness (e.g., COVID-19 pandemic) or other public health issues, recessions, or other events could have a significant impact on the Fund and its investments, including hampering the ability of the Fund’s portfolio managers to invest the Fund’s assets as intended.
Foreign Investing:   Investing in securities of non-U.S. companies involves special risks and considerations not typically associated with investing in U.S. companies, and the values of non-U.S. securities may be more volatile than those of U.S. securities. The values of non-U.S. securities are subject to economic and political developments in countries and regions where the issuers operate or are domiciled, or where the securities are traded, such as changes in economic or monetary policies, and to changes in currency exchange rates. Values may also be affected by restrictions on receiving the investment proceeds from a non-U.S. country.
In general, less information is publicly available about non-U.S. companies than about U.S. companies. Non-U.S. companies are generally not subject to the same accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards as are U.S. companies. Certain foreign issuers classified as passive foreign investment companies may be subject to additional taxation risk.
Emerging Markets Investing:   The risks of foreign investments are generally greater in countries whose markets are still developing than they are in more developed markets. Emerging market countries typically have economic and political systems that are less fully developed, and can be expected to be less stable than those of more developed countries. For example, the economies of such countries can be subject to rapid and unpredictable rates of inflation or deflation. Since these markets are often small, they may be more likely to suffer sharp and frequent price changes or long-term price depression because of adverse publicity, investor perceptions or the actions of a few large investors. They may also have policies that restrict investment by foreigners, or that prevent foreign investors from withdrawing their money at will. Certain emerging markets may also face other significant internal or external risks, including the imposition of sanctions, the risk of war and civil unrest. For all of these reasons, investments in emerging markets may be considered speculative. To the extent that the Fund invests a significant portion of its assets in a particular emerging market, the Fund will be more vulnerable to financial, economic, political and other developments in that country, and conditions that negatively impact that country will have a greater impact on the Fund as compared with a fund that does not have its holdings concentrated in a particular country.
Sanctions:   The imposition of sanctions, exchange controls (including repatriation restrictions), confiscation of assets and property, trade restrictions (including tariffs) and other government restrictions by the U.S. or other governments, or from problems in registration, settlement or custody, may result in losses. The type and severity of sanctions and other similar measures, including counter sanctions and other retaliatory actions, that may be imposed could vary broadly in scope, and their impact is impossible to predict. For example, the imposition of sanctions and other similar measures could, among other things, cause a decline in the value and/or liquidity of securities issued by the sanctioned country or companies located in or economically tied to the sanctioned country and increase market volatility and disruption in the sanctioned country and throughout the world. Sanctions and other similar measures could limit or prevent the Fund from buying and selling securities (in the sanctioned country and other markets), significantly delay or prevent the settlement of securities transactions, and significantly impact the Fund’s liquidity and performance.
Currency Rate:   Because the foreign securities in which the Fund invests generally trade in currencies other than the U.S. dollar, changes in currency exchange rates will affect the Fund’s net asset value, the value of dividends and interest earned, and gains and losses realized on the sale of securities. Because the value of the Fund’s shares is calculated in U.S. dollars, it is possible for the Fund to lose money by investing in a foreign security if the local currency of a foreign market depreciates against the U.S. dollar, even if the local
 
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currency value of the Fund’s holdings goes up. Generally, a strong U.S. dollar relative to such other currencies will adversely affect the value of the Fund’s holdings in foreign securities.
Sovereign Debt Obligations:   When the Fund invests in debt instruments issued by a government outside the U.S., the Fund is exposed to the risks that: (a) the governmental entity that controls the repayment of government debt may not be willing or able to repay the principal and/or to pay the interest when it becomes due, due to factors such as political considerations, the relative size of the governmental entity’s debt position in relation to the economy, cash flow problems, insufficient foreign currency reserves, the failure to put in place economic reforms required by the International Monetary Fund or other multilateral agencies, and/or other national economic factors; (b) the issuing government may default on its debt instruments, which may require holders of such securities to participate in debt rescheduling; and (c) there is no legal or bankruptcy process by which defaulted government debt may be collected in whole or in part.
Credit:   There is a risk that the issuer of a debt instrument will fail to pay interest or principal in a timely manner, or that negative perceptions of the issuer’s ability to make such payments will cause the price of the instrument to decline. Debt instruments rated below investment-grade are especially susceptible to this risk.
Interest Rate:   The values of debt instruments usually rise and fall in response to changes in interest rates. Declining interest rates generally increase the value of existing debt instruments, and rising interest rates generally decrease the value of existing debt instruments. Changes in a debt instrument’s value usually will not affect the amount of interest income paid to the Fund, but will affect the value of the Fund’s shares. Interest rate risk is generally greater for investments with longer maturities. It is difficult to predict the pace at which central banks or monetary authorities may change interest rates or the timing, frequency, or magnitude of such changes. Any such changes could be sudden and could expose debt markets to significant volatility and reduced liquidity for investments.
Certain instruments pay interest at variable or floating rates. Variable rate instruments reset at specified intervals, while floating rate instruments reset whenever there is a change in a specified index rate. In most cases, these reset provisions reduce the effect of changes in market interest rates on the value of the instrument. However, some instruments do not track the underlying index directly, but reset based on formulas that can produce an effect similar to leveraging; others may also provide for interest payments that vary inversely with market rates. The market prices of these instruments may fluctuate significantly when interest rates change.
Some investments give the issuer the option to call or redeem an investment before its maturity date. If an issuer calls or redeems an investment during a time of declining interest rates, the Fund might have to reinvest the proceeds in an investment offering a lower yield, and therefore it might not benefit from any increase in value as a result of declining interest rates.
Derivatives:   Derivative are contracts whose value is derived from the value of an underlying asset, index or rate, including futures, options, non-deliverable forwards, forward foreign currency exchange contracts and swap agreements. The Fund may use derivatives to hedge against factors that affect the value of its investments, such as interest rates and foreign currency exchange rates. The Fund may also utilize derivatives as part of its overall investment technique to gain or lessen exposure to various securities, markets, volatility, dividend payments and currencies.
Derivatives typically involve greater risks than traditional investments. It is generally more difficult to ascertain the risk of, and to properly value, derivative contracts. Many derivatives, and particularly those that are privately negotiated, are complex and often valued subjectively. Improper valuations can result in increased cash payment requirements to counterparties or a loss of value to the Fund. The prices of derivatives may move in unexpected ways, especially in abnormal market conditions. Derivatives are usually less liquid than traditional securities and are subject to counterparty risk (the risk that the other party to the contract will default or otherwise not be able to perform its contractual obligations). In addition, some derivatives transactions may involve potentially unlimited losses.
Derivative contracts entered into for hedging purposes may also subject the Fund to losses if the contracts do not correlate with the assets, indexes or rates they were designed to hedge. Gains and losses
 
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derived from hedging transactions are, therefore, more dependent upon the subadviser’s ability to correctly predict the movement of the underlying asset prices, indexes or rates.
As an investment company registered with the SEC, the Fund is subject to Rule 18f-4 under the 1940 Act, which applies to the Fund’s use of derivative investments and certain financing transactions (e.g., reverse repurchase agreements). Among other things, Rule 18f-4 requires a fund to apply a value-at-risk based limit to its use of certain derivative instruments and financing transactions and to adopt and implement a derivatives risk management program. The application of Rule 18f-4 to the Fund could restrict the Fund’s ability to utilize derivative investments and financing transactions and prevent the Fund from implementing its principal investment strategies as described herein, which may result in changes to the Fund’s principal investment strategies and could adversely affect the Fund’s performance and its ability to achieve its investment objective. Governments, agencies and/or other regulatory bodies may further adopt or change laws or regulations that could adversely affect the Fund’s ability to invest in derivatives as the Fund’s subadviser intends.
There are also special tax rules applicable to certain types of derivatives, which could affect the amount, timing and character of the Fund’s income or loss and hence of its distributions to shareholders by causing holding period adjustments, converting short-term capital losses into long-term capital losses, and accelerating the Fund’s income or deferring its losses. The Fund’s use of derivatives may also increase the amount of taxes payable by shareholders or the resources required by the Fund or its adviser and/or subadviser to comply with particular regulatory requirements.
Reverse Repurchase Agreements Risk:   Reverse repurchase agreements are transactions in which the Fund sells a security and simultaneously commits to repurchase that security from the buyer, such as a bank or broker-dealer, at an agreed-upon price on an agreed-upon future date. The resale price in a reverse repurchase agreement reflects a market rate of interest that is not related to the coupon rate or maturity of the sold security. For certain demand agreements, there is no agreed-upon repurchase date and interest payments are calculated daily, often based upon the prevailing overnight repurchase rate.
Generally, a reverse repurchase agreement enables the Fund to recover for the term of the reverse repurchase agreement all or most of the cash invested in the portfolio securities sold and to keep the interest income associated with those portfolio securities. Such transactions are only advantageous if the interest cost to the Fund of the reverse repurchase transaction is less than the cost of obtaining the cash otherwise. In addition, interest costs on the money received in a reverse repurchase agreement may exceed the return received on the investments made by the Fund with those monies. Using reverse repurchase agreements to earn additional income involves the risk that the interest earned on the invested proceeds is less than the expense of the reverse repurchase agreement transaction.
A Fund will enter into reverse repurchase agreements only with parties that the Fund’s subadviser deems creditworthy, but such investments are still subject to the risks of leverage discussed above.
Reverse repurchase agreements are generally subject to the provisions of Rule 18f-4.
Counterparty:   When the Fund engages in investment techniques in which it relies on another party to consummate the transaction, the Fund is subject to the risk of default by the other party. To the extent that the Fund enters into multiple transactions with a single or limited number of counterparties, the Fund will be subject to increased levels of counterparty risk.
High Yield Fixed Income Securities:   Securities rated below the four highest rating categories of a nationally recognized statistical rating organization, may be known as “high-yield” securities and commonly referred to as “junk bonds.” The highest of the ratings among these nationally recognized statistical rating organizations is used to determine the security’s classification. Such securities entail greater price volatility and credit and interest rate risk than investment-grade securities. Analysis of the creditworthiness of high-yield/high-risk issuers is more complex than for higher-rated securities, making it more difficult for the Fund’s subadviser to accurately predict risk. There is a greater risk with high-yield/high-risk fixed income securities that an issuer will not be able to make principal and interest payments when due. If the Fund pursues missed payments, there is a risk that the Fund’s expenses could increase. In addition, lower-rated
 
12

 
securities may not trade as often and may be less liquid than higher-rated securities, especially during periods of economic uncertainty or change. As a result of all of these factors, these bonds are generally considered to be speculative.
Leverage:   Although the Fund presently intends to utilize leverage, there can be no assurance that the Fund will do so, or that, if utilized, it will be successful during any period in which it is employed. The use of leverage by the Fund would result in more risk to the Fund’s shareholders than if leverage had not been used and can magnify the effect of any losses. If the income and gains earned on securities to which the Fund has exposure through the use of leverage are greater than the Fund’s costs of borrowing, the costs of derivatives transactions used to generate leverage the Fund’s returns will be greater than if leverage had not been used. Conversely, if the income and gains from those securities do not cover the payments due in connection with the leverage used, the return will be less than if the economic leverage had not been used. The expenses of a borrowing program and/or of a derivatives transaction will be borne by shareholders and, consequently, will result in a reduction of the NAV of the Fund’s common shares. During periods in which the Fund is using leverage, the fees paid by the Fund for investment advisory and administrative services will be higher than if the Fund did not use leverage, as such fees will be calculated on the basis of the Fund’s managed assets, which includes assets attributable to borrowings.
Closed-End Fund:   Closed-end funds may trade at a discount or premium from their net asset values, which may affect whether an investor will realize gains or losses. They may also employ leverage, which may increase volatility.
No Guarantee:   There is no guarantee that the Fund will meet its objective.
The Acquired Fund is also subject to the following principal risks to which the Acquiring Fund is not subject:
Equity Securities:   Generally, prices of equity securities are more volatile than those of fixed income investments. The prices of equity securities will rise and fall in response to a number of different factors. In particular, equity securities will respond to events that affect entire financial markets or industries (such as changes in inflation or consumer demand) and to events that affect particular issuers (such as news about the success or failure of a new product). Equity securities also are subject to “stock market risk,” meaning that stock prices in general may decline over short or extended periods of time. When the value of the stocks held by the Acquired Fund goes down, the net asset value of the Acquired Fund’s shares will be affected.
Issuer Risk:   The value of a security may decline for a number of reasons that directly relate to the issuer, such as management performance, financial leverage and reduced demand for the issuer’s goods or services as well as the historical and prospective earnings of the issuer and the value of its assets.
Preferred Stocks:   Preferred stocks may provide a higher dividend rate than the interest yield on debt instruments of the same issuer, but are subject to greater risk of fluctuation in market value and greater risk of non-receipt of income. Unlike interest on debt instruments, dividends on preferred stocks must be declared by the issuer’s board of directors before becoming payable. Preferred stocks are in many ways like perpetual debt instruments, providing a stream of income but without stated maturity date. Because they often lack a fixed maturity or redemption date, preferred stocks are likely to fluctuate substantially in price when interest rates change. Such fluctuations generally are comparable to or exceed those of long-term government or corporate bonds (those with maturities of fifteen to thirty years). Preferred stocks have claims on assets and earnings of the issuer which are subordinate to the claims of all creditors but senior to the claims of common stockholders. A preferred stock rating differs from a bond rating because it applies to an equity issue which is intrinsically different from, and subordinated to, a debt issue. Preferred stock ratings generally represent an assessment of the capacity and willingness of an issuer to pay preferred stock dividends and any applicable sinking fund obligations. Preferred stock also may be subject to optional or mandatory redemption provisions, and may be significantly less liquid than many other securities, such as U.S. Government securities, corporate debt or common stock.
ETFs and Other Mutual Funds:   Through its investments in ETFs and/or other mutual funds (each, an “underlying fund”), the Acquired Fund is exposed to not only to the risks of the underlying funds’ investments but also to certain additional risks. Assets invested in ETFs and/or other mutual funds incur a layering of expenses, including operating costs, advisory fees and administrative fees that you, as a shareholder in the
 
13

 
Acquired Fund, indirectly bear. Such fees and expenses may exceed the fees and expenses the Acquired Fund would have incurred if it invested in the underlying fund’s assets directly. To the extent that the expense ratio of an underlying fund changes, the weighted average operating expenses borne by the Acquired Fund may increase or decrease. An underlying fund may change its investment objective or policies without the approval of the Acquired Fund, and the Acquired Fund might be forced to withdraw its investment from the underlying fund at a time that is unfavorable to the Acquired Fund.
ETFs invest in a portfolio of securities designed to track a particular market segment or index. The risks associated with investing in ETFs generally reflect the risks of owning shares of the underlying securities the ETF is designed to track, although lack of liquidity in an ETF could result in its value being more volatile than the underlying portfolio of securities. Shares of ETFs trade on a securities exchange and may trade at, above, or below their net asset value.
Investment Restrictions and Policies
The Funds’ fundamental investment restrictions and policies are the same. For the purpose of this section, “the Fund” as used below refers to each Fund.
The following investment restrictions of the Fund are designated as fundamental policies and as such cannot be changed without the approval of the holders of a majority of the Fund’s outstanding common shares, which, as used in the Statement of Additional Information, means the lesser of (a) 67% of the shares of the Fund present or represented by proxy at a meeting if the holders of more than 50% of the outstanding shares are present or represented at the meeting or (b) more than 50% of outstanding shares of the Fund. As a matter of fundamental policy, the Fund may not:
(1)   Purchase any security (other than U.S. government securities) if, as a result, more than 25% of the Fund’s total assets (taken at current value) would be invested in any one industry. For purposes of this restriction, telephone, gas and electric public utilities are each regarded as separate industries, finance companies whose financing activities are related primarily to the activities of their parent companies are classified in the industry of their parents, and each non-U.S. country’s government (together with subdivisions thereof) will be considered to be a separate industry. For purposes of this restriction with regard to bank obligations, bank obligations are considered to be one industry, and asset-backed securities are not considered to be bank obligations;
(2)   Make short sales of securities or maintain a short position, except that the Fund may make any short sales or maintain any short positions where the short sales or short positions would not constitute “senior securities” under the 1940 Act;
(3)   Borrow money, except to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act;
(4)   Make loans, except that the Fund may purchase or hold debt instruments in accordance with its investment objectives (“objective” in the case of the Acquired Fund) and policies; provided however, this restriction does not apply to repurchase agreements or loans of portfolio securities;
(5)   Act as an underwriter of securities of other issuers except that, in the disposition of portfolio securities, it may be deemed to be an underwriter under the federal securities laws;
(6)   Purchase or sell real estate, although the Fund may purchase securities of issuers which deal in real estate, securities which are secured by interests in real estate, and securities which represent interests in real estate, and the Fund may acquire and dispose of real estate or interests in real estate acquired through the exercise of its rights as a holder of debt obligations secured by real estate or interests therein;
(7)   Purchase or sell commodities, except that the Fund may purchase and sell futures contracts and options, may enter into foreign exchange contracts and may enter into swap agreements and other financial transactions not requiring the delivery of physical commodities; or
(8)   Issue senior securities, except for permitted borrowings, the issuance of preferred shares or as otherwise permitted under the 1940 Act.
 
14

 
Restrictions (2) and (8) shall be interpreted based upon no-action letters and other pronouncements of the staff of the SEC. Under current pronouncements, certain Fund positions are excluded from the definition of “senior security” so long as the Funds maintains adequate cover, segregation of assets or otherwise.
Whenever an investment policy or investment restriction set forth in the Prospectus or Statement of Additional Information states a maximum or minimum percentage of assets that may be invested in any security or other assets or describes a policy regarding quality standards, such percentage limitation or standard shall be determined immediately after and as a result of the Fund’s acquisition of such security or asset. Accordingly, any later increase or decrease resulting from a change in values or assets, from other circumstances, or from any subsequent rating change made by a rating service (or as determined by Stone Harbor if the security is not rated by a rating agency) will not compel the Fund to dispose of such security or other asset. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Fund must always be in compliance with the borrowing policies set forth above.
Under the 1940 Act, a “senior security” does not include any promissory note or evidence of indebtedness where such loan is for temporary purposes only and in an amount not exceeding 5% of the value of the total assets of the issuer at the time the loan is made. A loan is presumed to be for temporary purposes if it is repaid within sixty days and is not extended or renewed.
The Fund would be deemed to “concentrate” its investments in a particular industry if it invested more than 25% of its total assets in that industry. The Fund’s industry concentration policy does not preclude it from focusing investments in issuers in a group of related industrial sectors (such as different types of utilities). The Fund interprets its industry concentration policy to apply to direct investments in the securities of issuers in a particular industry, as defined by the Fund. For purposes of this restriction, each non-U.S. country’s government is considered to be a separate industry. Currency positions are not considered to be an investment in a foreign government for industry concentration purposes. Securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities are not subject to the Fund’s industry concentration restrictions. Similarly, municipal bonds issued by states, municipalities and other political subdivisions, agencies, authorities and instrumentalities of states and multi-state agencies and authorities are not subject to the Funds’ industry concentration restrictions.
To the extent the Fund covers its commitment under a reverse repurchase agreement, credit default swap or other derivative instrument (such as credit linked notes, interest rate swaps, total return swaps on indices and individual securities, foreign currency forward contracts, credit default swaps and interest rate futures contracts and options) by the segregation or designation on the records of the Fund of liquid assets equal in value to the amount of the Fund’s commitment, such instrument will not be considered a “senior security” for purposes of the asset coverage requirements otherwise applicable to borrowings by the Fund.
If the Fund determines to issue Preferred Shares, it intends to apply for ratings for such Preferred Shares from Moody’s Investor Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”), S&P Global Ratings (“S&P”) and/or Fitch Ratings (“Fitch”). In order to obtain and maintain such required ratings, the Fund may be required to comply with investment quality, and other guidelines established by Moody’s, S&P and/or Fitch. Such guidelines will likely be more restrictive than the restrictions set forth above. The Fund does not anticipate that any such guidelines would have a material adverse effect on common shareholders or its ability to achieve its investment objective. No minimum rating is required for the issuance of preferred shares by the Fund. Moody’s, S&P and Fitch receive fees in connection with their ratings issuances.
Rights of Fund Shareholders
The Acquired Fund was organized as a Massachusetts business trust under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on May 25, 2012. The Acquiring Fund was organized as a Massachusetts business trust under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on September 10, 2010. Each Fund is also governed by its own Declaration of Trust and Bylaws.
There are no material differences between the rights of shareholders of the Acquired Fund and the Acquiring Fund.
 
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MANAGEMENT OF THE FUNDS
The Boards of the Funds
The Boards of the Acquiring Fund and the Acquired Fund are responsible for the overall supervision of the respective Fund, including establishing each Fund’s policies and general supervision and review of their investment activities, and performs the various duties imposed on Trustees by the 1940 Act and under Massachusetts law. Each Fund is governed by a Board. The Board of the Acquired Fund has twelve Trustees, eleven of whom are Independent Trustees. The Board of the Acquiring Fund consists of the same Trustees, including Independent Trustees, as the Acquired Fund.
The Adviser and Subadviser of the Funds
VAIA is the investment adviser to the funds and is located at One Financial Plaza, Hartford, CT 06103. VAIA, an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Virtus Investment Partners, Inc., a publicly traded multi-manager asset management business, acts as the investment adviser to open- and closed-end funds totaling approximately $988 million in assets under management as of December 31, 2022.
VFIA, an affiliate of VAIA, has its principal office at One Financial Plaza, Hartford, CT 06103. VFIA operates through its division, Stone Harbor, in subadvising the Funds. Stone Harbor is located at 31 West 52nd Street, 16th Floor, New York, New York 10019. As of December 31, 2022, the three divisions that make up VFIA managed approximately $33.1 billion in aggregate assets under management.
Stone Harbor Investment Partners, LLC, which merged with and into VFIA on July 1, 2022, and the former portfolio management team of which now operates as the Stone Harbor division of VFIA, was established in 2006. As of December 31, 2022, the Stone Harbor division of VFIA managed approximately $10.8 billion in assets under management.
The contractual advisory fee of the Acquired Fund is 1.00% of the Fund’s Managed Assets. The contractual advisory fee of the Acquiring Fund is 1.00% of the Fund’s Managed Assets provided that the advisory fee does not exceed 1.50% of the Acquiring Fund’s net assets.
The management fees for the Acquired Fund and Acquiring Fund will vary based on the extent to which the Fund borrows for investment purposes. As a result, the advisory fee, as a percentage of net assets, can differ due to the amount of borrowings. The management fees for the Acquired Fund and Acquiring Fund for the period ended May 31, 2023 as a percentage of net assets were 1.25% and 1.28%, respectively.
The Adviser has contractually agreed to limit the Acquired Fund’s annual operating expenses other than the management fees, subject to the following exclusions, so that such expenses do not exceed, on an annualized basis, 0.70% of average daily net assets through April 10, 2025. Following the contractual period, the Adviser may discontinue these expense reimbursement arrangements at any time. The reimbursements are accrued daily and received monthly. The exclusions include investment advisory fees, interest, any other fees or expenses relating to financial leverage, preferred shares (such as dividends on preferred shares, auction agent fees and commissions and rating agency fees) or borrowing (such as interest, commitment, amendment and renewal expenses on credit or redemption facilities), taxes, extraordinary, unusual or infrequently occurring expenses (such as litigation), costs related to share offerings, brokerage commissions, expenses incurred in connection with any merger or reorganization, underlying fund expenses and dividend expenses, if any (each expressed as a percentage of average daily net assets attributable to common shares).
The Adviser has contractually agreed to limit the Acquiring Fund’s annual operating expenses other than the management fees, subject to the following exclusions, so that such expenses do not exceed, on an annualized basis, 0.58% of average daily net assets through April 10, 2025. Following the contractual period, the Adviser may discontinue these expense reimbursement arrangements at any time. The reimbursements are accrued daily and received monthly. The exclusions include investment advisory fees, interest, any other fees or expenses relating to financial leverage, preferred shares (such as dividends on preferred shares, auction agent fees and commissions and rating agency fees) or borrowing (such as interest, commitment, amendment and renewal expenses on credit or redemption facilities), taxes, extraordinary, unusual or infrequently occurring expenses (such as litigation), costs related to share offerings, brokerage commissions,
 
16

 
expenses incurred in connection with any merger or reorganization, underlying fund expenses and dividend expenses, if any (each expressed as a percentage of average daily net assets attributable to common shares).
Under certain conditions, VAIA may recapture operating expenses reimbursed or fees waived under these arrangements within three years after the date on which such amounts were incurred or waived. Each Fund must pay its ordinary operating expenses before VAIA is entitled to any reimbursement and must remain in compliance with any applicable expense limitations or, if none, the expense limitation in effect at the time of the waiver or reimbursement. During the year ended November 30, 2022, VAIA recaptured $37 and $30 in expenses previously waived for the Acquired Fund and Acquiring Fund, respectively.
A discussion regarding the basis for the Board approving the investment advisory and subadvisory agreements for each Fund is available in the Fund’s semiannual shareholder report for the period ended May 31, 2022.
Portfolio Management of the Funds
The following individuals are jointly and primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Funds’ portfolios.
Peter J. Wilby, CFA (since 2010 for the Acquiring Fund and 2012 for the Acquired Fund)
Mr. Wilby serves as Co-Chief Investment Officer and a Portfolio Manager of Stone Harbor. Prior to joining the predecessor to Stone Harbor in April 2006, Chief Investment Officer — North American Fixed Income and senior portfolio manager responsible for directing investment policy and strategy for all emerging markets and high yield fixed income portfolios at Citigroup Asset Management; Joined Citigroup or its predecessor firms in 1989.
James E. Craige, CFA (since 2010 for the Acquiring Fund and 2012 for the Acquired Fund)
Mr. Craige serves as Co-Chief Investment Officer and a Portfolio Manager of Stone Harbor. Prior to joining the predecessor to Stone Harbor in April 2006, Managing Director and Senior Portfolio Manager for emerging markets debt portfolios at Salomon Brothers Asset Management Inc.; Joined Salomon Brothers Asset Management Inc. in 1992.
Kumaran Damodaran, PhD (since 2015 for the Acquiring Fund and the Acquired Fund)
Mr. Damodaran serves as a Portfolio Manager of Stone Harbor. Prior to joining the predecessor to Stone Harbor in September 2015, Lead Emerging Markets Macro Portfolio Manager for GLG Partners from 2012 to 2015. From 2008 to 2012, Executive Vice President and Emerging Markets Portfolio Manager at PIMCO. Prior to PIMCO, Senior Vice President and Trader in Latin American Local Market Rate Derivatives at Lehman Brothers for over five years.
Stuart Sclater-Booth (since 2017 for the Acquiring Fund and the Acquired Fund)
Mr. Sclater-Booth serves as a Portfolio Manager of Stone Harbor. Prior to joining the predecessor to Stone Harbor in June 2014, Managing Director and head of Emerging Markets Debt strategy for Goldman Sachs from August 2009-2010 and June 2011-June 2014; Executive Director — Global Head of Emerging Markets Macro Strategy, Executive Directors — Emerging Markets Proprietary Trading, Vice President, Head of Trade Strategy for JP Morgan Chase Securities from March 1998-March 2009 and August 2010-June 2011.
David A. Oliver, CFA (since 2010 for the Acquiring Fund and 2012 for the Acquired Fund)
Mr. Oliver serves as a Portfolio Manager of Stone Harbor. Prior to joining the predecessor to Stone Harbor in June 2008, Managing Director in emerging market sales and trading at Citigroup; Joined Citigroup in 1986.
The Statement of Additional Information relating to this Information Statement provides additional information about the portfolio managers, including their compensation structure, other accounts managed and ownership of shares of the Acquiring Fund.
 
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Other Service Providers
The other service providers for the Funds are identical and will be the service providers to the Combined Fund. The other service providers for the Funds are as follows:
Administrator
Virtus Fund Services, LLC
Custodian
The Bank of New York Mellon
Transfer Agent, Dividend Disbursing Agent and Registrar
Computershare Trust Company, N.A.
Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
Fund Counsel
Dechert LLP
Capitalization
The table below set forth the capitalization of the Acquired Fund and the Acquiring Fund as of May 31, 2023, and the pro forma capitalization of the Combined Fund as if the Reorganization had occurred on that date.
Acquired
Fund
Acquiring Fund
Adjustments
Pro Forma
Combined Fund
Net Assets
$ 47,430,395 $ 68,675,118 (450,000)(1) $ 115,655,513
Common Shares Outstanding
10,019,162 17,232,116 1,882,180 $ 29,133,457
Net Asset Value Per Share
$ 4.73 $ 3.99 $ 3.97
(1)
The expenses of the Reorganization are estimated to be $450,000.
 
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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE COMMON SHARES OF THE FUNDS
Description of Common Shares to be Issued by the Acquiring Fund; Comparison to the Acquired Fund
General.   Each Fund is an unincorporated voluntary association with transferable shares of beneficial interest (commonly referred to as a “Massachusetts business trust”) established under the laws of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts by its Declaration of Trust. Each Declaration of Trust provides that the Trustees of the Fund may authorize separate classes of shares of beneficial interest.
The Acquired Fund and the Acquiring Fund each offer one class of shares. As a general matter, with respect to the Acquiring Fund and the Acquired Fund, the shares have equal voting rights and equal rights with respect to the payment of dividends and the distribution of assets upon dissolution, liquidation or winding up of the affairs of their respective Fund and have no preemptive, conversion or exchange rights or rights to cumulative voting. Holders of whole shares of each Fund are entitled to one vote per share on any matter on which the shares are entitled to vote, while each fractional share is entitled to a proportional fractional vote.
The Acquiring Fund’s Declaration of Trust authorizes an unlimited number of shares. If the Reorganization is consummated, the Acquiring Fund will issue common shares to the shareholders of common shares of the Acquired Fund based on the relative per share net asset value of the Acquiring Fund and the net asset value of the assets of the Acquired Fund, in each case as of the date of the Reorganization. The Acquiring Fund shares, when issued, will be fully paid and non-assessable and have no preemptive, conversion or exchange rights or rights to cumulative voting.
Preferred Shares and Other Securities.   Currently, neither the Acquiring Fund nor the Acquired Fund have issued preferred shares. As of the date of this Information Statement/Prospectus, the Acquiring Fund does not currently intend to issue preferred shares in the 12 months following the Reorganization. For the purpose of this section, “the Fund” refers to each Fund.
The Declaration of Trust of the Fund provides that the Board may, subject to the Fund’s investment policies and restrictions and the requirements of the 1940 Act, authorize and cause the Fund to issue securities of the Fund having such par value and such preferences, voting powers, terms of redemption, if any, and special or relative rights or privileges (including conversion rights, if any) as the Board may determine, without the approval of shareholders.
Under the 1940 Act, the Fund is not permitted to issue preferred shares unless immediately after such issuance the market value of the total assets of the Fund’s portfolio is at least 200% of the liquidation value of the outstanding preferred shares (i.e., such liquidation value may not exceed 50% of the Fund’s average daily total assets). In addition, the Fund is not permitted to declare any cash dividend or other distribution on its common shares unless, at the time of such declaration, the preferred shares of the Fund have an asset coverage of at least 200% after deducting the amount of such dividend or other distribution, as the case may be. Although the Fund does not currently intend to issue preferred shares, if preferred shares are issued, the Fund intends, to the extent possible, to purchase or redeem preferred shares, from time to time, to maintain coverage of any preferred shares of at least 300%. If the Fund issues preferred shares, the holders of the preferred shares will elect two of the Trustees of the Fund. In the event the Fund failed to pay dividends on its preferred shares for two years, holders of preferred shares would be entitled to elect a majority of the Trustees until the dividends are paid.
In the event of any voluntary or involuntary liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the Acquiring Fund, the terms of any preferred shares may entitle the holders of preferred shares to receive a preferential liquidating distribution (expected to equal the original purchase price per share plus redemption premium, if any, together with accrued and unpaid dividends, whether or not earned or declared and on a cumulative basis) before any distribution of assets is made to shareholders. After payment of the full amount of the liquidating distribution to which they are entitled, the preferred shareholders would not be entitled to any further participation in any distribution of assets by the Acquiring Fund.
Distributions.   For the purpose of this section, “the Fund” refers to each Fund.
 
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The Fund intends to make a level dividend distribution each month to common shareholders after deduction of interest on any outstanding Borrowings or dividend on any outstanding preferred shares. The level dividend rate may be modified by the Board from time to time and will be based upon the past and projected performance and expenses of the Fund. The Fund will also make a distribution during or with respect to each calendar year (which may be combined with a regular monthly distribution), which will generally include any net investment income and net realized capital gain for the year not otherwise distributed.
If the total distributions made in any calendar year exceed the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits, as determined for U.S. federal income tax purposes, such excess distributed amount would be a tax-free return of capital to the extent of the adjusted tax basis in the common shares. After such adjusted tax basis is reduced to zero, the distribution would constitute capital gain (assuming the shares are held as capital assets). In general terms, a return of capital would involve a situation in which a Fund distribution (or a portion thereof) represents a return of a portion of the common shareholder’s investment, rather than net income or capital gains generated from his or her investment during a particular period. Although return of capital distributions may not be taxable, such distributions would reduce the basis of a shareholder’s common shares and therefore may increase a shareholder’s tax liability for capital gains upon a sale of common shares.
The Fund’s distribution policy may, under certain circumstances, have certain adverse consequences to the Fund and its shareholders because it may result in a return of capital resulting in less of a shareholder’s assets being invested in the Fund and, over time, increase the Fund’s expense ratio. The distribution policy also may cause the Fund to sell a security at a time it would not otherwise do so in order to manage the distribution of income and gain.
The level dividend distribution described above is intended to result in the payment of approximately the same amount or percentage to common shareholders each month. Section 19(a) of the 1940 Act and Rule 19a-1 thereunder require the Fund to provide a written statement accompanying any such payment that adequately discloses its source or sources. Thus, if the source of the dividend or other distribution were the original capital contribution of the common shareholder, and the payment amounted to a return of capital, the Fund would be required to provide written disclosure to that effect. Nevertheless, persons who periodically receive the payment of a dividend or other distribution may be under the impression that they are receiving net profits when they are not. Common shareholders should read any written disclosure provided pursuant to Section 19(a) and Rule 19a-1 carefully, and should not assume that the source of any distribution from the Fund is net income or net profit. In addition, in cases in which the Fund would return capital to common shareholders, such distribution may bear on the Fund’s ability to maintain its asset coverage requirements and to pay the dividends on any preferred shares that the Fund may issue.
Outstanding Shares as of August 31, 2023
Outstanding Common
Shares
Acquired Fund
10,034,240
Acquiring Fund
17,307,524
Purchase and Sale
Each Fund’s common shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”). The common shares of the Acquiring Fund are listed on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “EDF” and will continue to be so listed following the Reorganization. The common shares of the Acquired Fund are listed on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “EDI” and will be delisted from the NYSE following the Reorganization.
Purchase and sale procedures for the common shares of each of the Funds are identical. Investors typically purchase and sell common shares of the Funds through a registered broker-dealer on the NYSE, thereby incurring a brokerage commission set by the broker-dealer. Alternatively, investors may purchase or sell common shares of the Funds through privately negotiated transactions with existing shareholders.
 
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Share Price Data
The following table sets forth the quarterly high and low closing share price for each Fund’s common shares on the NYSE and the corresponding NAV and discount or premium to NAV for the corresponding day for the last two full fiscal years of each Fund and the current fiscal year to date.
Acquiring Fund
Market Price ($)
Net Asset Value ($)
Premium/(discount) to
net asset value
Quarterly Period Ended
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
August 2023
4.95 4.00 4.39 3.99 13.81% -3.10%
May 2023
5.03 3.97 4.42 3.93 16.47% -0.49%
February 2023
5.51 4.07 4.74 4.19 20.84% -3.55%
November 2022
4.44 3.49 4.17 3.53 7.79% -11.47%
August 2022
5.74 4.15 5.09 3.63 21.65% 0.88%
May 2022
6.63 5.10 5.70 4.88 18.60% 1.58%
February 2022
6.84 6.00 6.53 5.64 9.60% -0.49%
November 2021
8.40 6.63 7.27 6.24 17.60% 3.82%
August 2021
8.73 8.09 7.36 6.96 22.13% 15.53%
May 2021
8.92 8.00 7.17 6.65 30.09% 12.99%
February 2021
8.90 7.57 7.39 7.01 24.13% 6.92%
November 2020
7.45 6.24 7.23 6.50 5.23% -5.27%
Acquired Fund
Market Price ($)
Net Asset Value ($)
Premium/(discount) to
net asset value
Quarterly Period Ended
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
August 2023
5.78 4.55 5.22 4.74 12.67% -5.82%
May 2023
5.79 4.53 5.21 4.67 16.81% -4.23%
February 2023
6.42 4.56 5.58 4.97 18.23% -8.98%
November 2022
4.90 3.77 4.96 4.21 2.47% -14.71%
August 2022
6.32 4.89 6.02 4.34 18.57% -4.75%
May 2022
7.35 5.61 6.73 5.78 13.47% -5.19%
February 2022
8.09 7.07 7.74 6.69 9.05% -1.68%
November 2021
9.24 7.52 8.58 7.41 8.42% 0.65%
August 2021
9.68 8.88 8.65 8.23 15.93% 4.46%
May 2021
9.23 8.48 8.43 7.80 16.33% 1.56%
February 2021
9.56 8.45 8.62 8.20 11.81% 1.56%
November 2020
8.56 6.96 8.30 7.50 4.54% -7.69%
As of October 24, 2023, the net asset value per common share of the Acquired Fund was $4.75, and the market price per common share was $4.42, representing a discount to net asset value of 6.95%, and the net asset value per common share of the Acquiring Fund was $3.96 and the market price per common share was $3.83, representing a discount to net asset value of 3.28%. Common shares of each Fund have historically traded at both a premium and a discount to net asset value. It is not possible to state whether Combined Fund shares will trade at a discount or premium to NAV or what the extent of any such discount or premium might be.
 
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Performance Information
The performance table below illustrates the past performance of an investment in shares of the Acquired Fund and Acquiring Fund by setting forth the average total returns for the Acquired Fund and Acquiring Fund for the fiscal years ended November 30, 2022. A Fund’s past performance does not necessarily indicate how its shares will perform in the future.
Average Annual Total Return on Net Asset Value
Average Annual Total Return on Market Value
1 Year
5 Years
10 Years
1 Year
5 Years
10 Years
Acquired Fund
-22.55% -7.78% -3.27% -25.23% -8.02% -3.55%
Acquiring Fund
-22.31% -7.61% -2.28% -25.98% -9.58% -3.26%
Total return on market value is calculated assuming a purchase of common shares on the opening of the first day and sale on the closing of the last day of each period reported. Dividends and distributions are assumed, for purposes of this calculation, to be reinvested at prices obtained under the Fund’s Automatic Dividend Reinvestment Plan. Brokerage commissions that a shareholder may pay are not reflected. Total return on market value does not reflect the deduction of taxes that a shareholder may pay on fund distributions or the sale of fund shares. Total return on net asset value uses the same methodology, but with use of net asset value for the beginning and ending values.
CALCULATION OF NET ASSET VALUE
The following is a description of the procedures used by the Acquiring Fund in valuing its assets. The Board has adopted valuation policy and approved procedures for determining the value of investments of the Fund. Pursuant to the valuation policy and Rule 2a-5 under the 1940 Act, the Board has designated the Adviser as its “valuation designee” for fair value determinations. The Fund calculates a share price for its shares. The share price (net asset value or “NAV”) is based on the net assets of the Fund and the number of outstanding shares. In general, the Fund calculates a share price by:

adding the values of all securities and other assets of the Fund;

subtracting liabilities; and

dividing the result by the total number of outstanding shares.
Assets:   Equity securities are valued at the official closing price (typically last sale) on the exchange on which the securities are primarily traded, or, if no closing price is available, at the last bid price. Shares of other investment companies are valued at such companies’ NAVs. Debt instruments, including restricted securities, are valued based on evaluated quotations received from independent pricing services or from dealers who make markets in such securities. Other assets, such as accrued interest, accrued dividends and cash are also included in determining the Fund’s NAV. As required, some securities and assets are valued at fair value as determined by the Adviser.
Net Asset Value (NAV):   Accrued expenses and liabilities are deducted from the assets of the Fund. The resulting amount is then divided by the number of shares outstanding to produce the NAV per share. The NAV per share of the Fund is determined as of the close of regular trading (generally 4:00 PM Eastern Time) on days when the NYSE is open for trading. The Fund will not calculate its NAV on days when the NYSE is closed for trading. If the Fund holds securities that are traded on foreign exchanges that trade on weekends or other holidays when the Fund does not price their shares, the NAV of the Fund’s shares may change on days when shareholders will not be able to purchase or redeem the Fund’s shares.
The procedures used by the Acquired Fund to calculate its NAV are the same as those used by the Acquiring Fund.
DIVIDEND REINVESTMENT PLAN
The Acquiring Fund’s dividend reinvestment plan, described below, will be the dividend reinvestment plan of the Combined Fund.
 
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Unless the registered owner of common shares elects to receive cash by contacting Computershare Trust Company, N.A. (the “Plan Administrator”), all dividends declared on common shares will be automatically reinvested by the Plan Administrator for shareholders in the Fund’s Automatic Dividend Reinvestment Plan (the “Dividend Reinvestment Plan”), in additional common shares. Common shareholders who elect not to participate in the Dividend Reinvestment Plan will receive all dividends and other distributions in cash paid by check mailed directly to the shareholder of record (or, if the common shares are held in street or other nominee name, then to such nominee) by the Plan Administrator as dividend disbursing agent. Participation in the Dividend Reinvestment Plan is completely voluntary and may be terminated or resumed at any time without penalty by notice if received and processed by the Plan Administrator prior to the dividend record date; otherwise such termination or resumption will be effective with respect to any subsequently declared dividend or other distribution. Such notice will be effective with respect to a particular dividend or other distribution (together, a “Dividend”). Some brokers may automatically elect to receive cash on behalf of common shareholders and may re-invest that cash in additional common shares, which may result in a higher cost to such shareholders as compared to shareholders who participate in the Dividend Reinvestment Plan.
The Plan Administrator will open an account for each common shareholder under the Dividend Reinvestment Plan in the same name in which such common shareholder’s common shares are registered. Whenever the Fund declares a Dividend payable in cash, non-participants in the Dividend Reinvestment Plan will receive cash and participants in the Dividend Reinvestment Plan will receive the equivalent in common shares. The common shares will be acquired by the Plan Administrator for the participants’ accounts, depending upon the circumstances described below, either (i) through receipt of additional unissued but authorized common shares from the Fund (“Newly Issued Common Shares”) or (ii) by purchase of outstanding common shares on the open market (“Open-Market Purchases”) on the NYSE or elsewhere. If, on the payment date for any Dividend, the closing market price plus estimated brokerage commissions per common share is equal to or greater than the NAV per common share, the Plan Administrator will invest the Dividend amount in Newly Issued Common Shares on behalf of the participants. The number of Newly Issued Common Shares to be credited to each participant’s account will be determined by dividing the dollar amount of the Dividend by the NAV per common share on the payment date; provided that, if the NAV is less than or equal to 95% of the closing market value on the payment date, the dollar amount of the Dividend will be divided by 95% of the closing market price per common share on the payment date. If, on the payment date for any Dividend, the NAV per common share is greater than the closing market value plus estimated brokerage commissions, the Plan Administrator will invest the Dividend amount in common shares acquired on behalf of the participants in Open-Market Purchases.
In the event of a market discount on the payment date for any Dividend, the Plan Administrator will have until the last business day before the next date on which the common shares trade on an “ex-dividend” basis or 30 days after the payment date for such Dividend, whichever is sooner (the “Last Purchase Date”), to invest the Dividend amount in common shares acquired in Open-Market Purchases. It is contemplated that the Fund will pay monthly income Dividends. If, before the Plan Administrator has completed its Open-Market Purchases, the market price per common share exceeds the NAV per common share, the average per common share purchase price paid by the Plan Administrator may exceed the NAV of the common shares, resulting in the acquisition of fewer common shares than if the Dividend had been paid in Newly Issued Common Shares on the Dividend payment date. Because of the foregoing difficulty with respect to Open-Market Purchases, the Dividend Reinvestment Plan provides that if the Plan Administrator is unable to invest the full Dividend amount in Open-Market Purchases during the purchase period or if the market discount shifts to a market premium during the purchase period, the Plan Administrator may cease making Open-Market Purchases and may invest the uninvested portion of the Dividend amount in Newly Issued Common Shares at the NAV per common share at the close of business on the Last Purchase Date provided that, if the NAV is less than or equal to 95% of the then current market price per common share, the dollar amount of the Dividend will be divided by 95% of the market price on the payment date for purposes of determining the number of shares issuable under the Dividend Reinvestment Plan.
The Plan Administrator maintains all shareholders’ accounts in the Dividend Reinvestment Plan and furnishes written confirmation of all transactions in the accounts, including information needed by shareholders for tax records. Common shares in the account of each Plan participant will be held by the
 
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Plan Administrator on behalf of the Dividend Reinvestment Plan participant, and each shareholder proxy will include those shares purchased or received pursuant to the Dividend Reinvestment Plan. The Plan Administrator will forward all proxy solicitation materials to participants and vote proxies for shares held under the Dividend Reinvestment Plan in accordance with the instructions of the participants.
In the case of common shareholders such as banks, brokers or nominees which hold shares for others who are the beneficial owners, the Plan Administrator will administer the Dividend Reinvestment Plan on the basis of the number of common shares certified from time to time by the record shareholder’s name and held for the account of beneficial owners who participate in the Dividend Reinvestment Plan.
There will be no brokerage charges with respect to common shares issued directly by the Fund. However, each participant will pay a pro rata share of brokerage commissions incurred in connection with Open-Market Purchases. The automatic reinvestment of Dividends will not relieve participants of any federal, state or local income tax that may be payable (or required to be withheld) on such Dividends. Participants that request a sale of common shares through the Plan Administrator are subject to brokerage commissions.
The Fund reserves the right to amend or terminate the Dividend Reinvestment Plan. There is no direct service charge to participants with regard to purchases in the Dividend Reinvestment Plan; however, the Fund reserves the right to amend the Dividend Reinvestment Plan to include a service charge payable by the participants.
All correspondence or questions concerning the Dividend Reinvestment Plan should be directed to the Plan Administrator at 1-866-270-7788.
The Acquiring Fund’s Dividend Reinvestment Plan is the same as that of the Acquired Fund.
CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE ACQUIRING FUND’S DECLARATION OF TRUST
The Acquiring Fund’s Declaration of Trust and the Bylaws include provisions that could limit the ability of other entities or persons to acquire control of the Fund or to convert the Fund to open-end status.
The Acquiring Fund’s Trustees are divided into three classes. At each annual meeting of shareholders, the term of one class expires and each Trustee elected to that class holds office for a term of three years. The classification of the Board in this manner could delay for an additional year the replacement of a majority of the Board. In addition, the Acquiring Fund’s Declaration of Trust provides that a Trustee may be removed only for cause and only (i) by action of at least 75% of the outstanding shares of the classes or series of shares entitled to vote for the election of such Trustee, or (ii) by at least 75% of the remaining Trustees.
The Acquiring Fund’s Declaration of Trust grants special approval rights with respect to certain matters to members of the Board who qualify as “Continuing Trustees,” which means Trustees who either (i) have been members of the Board for a period of at least thirty-six months, or since the commencement of the Fund’s operations, if less than thirty-six months, or (ii) were nominated to serve as members of the Board by a majority of the Continuing Trustees then members of the Board.
The Acquiring Fund’s Declaration of Trust requires the affirmative vote or consent of at least 75% of the Trustees and holders of at least 75% of the Fund’s common shares to authorize certain Fund transactions not in the ordinary course of business, including a merger or consolidation, issuance or transfer by the Fund of the Fund’s shares, except as may be pursuant to a public offering, the Fund’s dividend reinvestment plan or upon exercise of any stock subscription rights, a sale, transfer or other disposition of Fund assets, or any shareholder proposal regarding specific investment decisions, unless the transaction is authorized by both a majority of the Trustees and 75% of the Continuing Trustees, in which case no shareholder authorization would be required by the Acquiring Fund’s Declaration of Trust, but may be required in certain cases under the 1940 Act.
The Acquiring Fund’s Declaration of Trust also requires the affirmative vote or consent of holders of at least 75% of the Fund’s common shares entitled to vote on the matter to authorize a conversion of the Fund from a closed-end to an open-end investment company, unless the conversion is authorized by both a
 
24

 
majority of the Trustees and 75% of the Continuing Trustees, in which case shareholders would have only the minimum voting rights required by the 1940 Act with respect to the conversion. Also, the Acquiring Fund’s Declaration of Trust provides that the Fund may be terminated at any time by vote or consent of at least 75% of the Fund’s shares or, alternatively, by vote or consent of both a majority of the Trustees and 75% of the Continuing Trustees.
The Trustees may from time to time grant other voting rights to shareholders with respect to these and other matters in the Bylaws, certain of which are required by the 1940 Act.
The overall effect of these provisions is to render more difficult the accomplishment of a merger or the assumption of control by a third party. These provisions also provide, however, the advantage of potentially requiring persons seeking control of the Acquiring Fund to negotiate with its management regarding the price to be paid and facilitating the continuity of the Fund’s investment objective and policies. The provisions of the Acquiring Fund’s Declaration of Trust and Bylaws described above could have the effect of discouraging a third party from seeking to obtain control of the Acquiring Fund in a tender offer or similar transaction. The Board has considered the foregoing anti-takeover provisions and concluded that they are in the best interests of the Acquiring Fund and its shareholders.
The foregoing is intended only as a summary and is qualified in its entirety by reference to the full text of the Acquiring Fund’s Declaration of Trust and the Bylaws, both of which are on file with the SEC.
Under Massachusetts law, shareholders could, in certain circumstances, be held personally liable for the obligations of the Acquiring Fund. However, the Acquiring Fund’s Declaration of Trust contains an express disclaimer of shareholder liability for debts or obligations of the Fund and requires that notice of such limited liability be given in each agreement, obligation or instrument entered into or executed by the Fund or the Trustees. The Acquiring Fund’s Declaration of Trust further provides for indemnification out of the assets and property of the Fund for all loss and expense of any shareholder held personally liable for the obligations of the Fund. Thus, the risk of a shareholder incurring financial loss on account of shareholder liability is limited to circumstances in which the Acquiring Fund would be unable to meet its obligations. The Acquiring Fund believes that the likelihood of such circumstances is remote.
The Acquired Fund’s Declaration of Trust and Bylaws contain materially the same provisions as those of the Acquiring Fund.
REPURCHASE OF COMMON SHARES; POTENTIAL CONVERSION TO OPEN-END FUND
Each Fund is a closed-end investment company and as such common shareholders do not have the right to cause the Fund to redeem their common shares. Instead, the common shares trade in the open market at a price that is a function of several factors, including dividend levels, NAV, call protection, portfolio credit quality, relative demand for and supply of such shares in the market, general market and economic conditions, conditions affecting individual issuers and other factors. Shares of a closed-end investment company may frequently trade at prices lower than NAV. To the extent permitted under applicable law, the Board reserves the right to purchase its common shares on the open market at any time. For example, the Board regularly monitors the relationship between the market price and NAV of the common shares. If the common shares were to trade at a substantial discount to NAV for an extended period of time, the Board may consider the repurchase of its common shares on the open market or in private transactions, the making of a tender offer for such shares, or the conversion of the Fund to an open-end investment company. The Fund cannot assure you that the Board will decide to take or propose any of these actions, or that share repurchases or tender offers will actually reduce market discount.
If a Fund were to convert to an open-end company, it would be required to redeem all preferred shares and other preferred shares then outstanding (requiring in turn that it liquidate a portion of its investment portfolio), and the common shares would no longer be listed on the NYSE. In addition, the Fund may have to close out any credit default swaps that it had written. In contrast to a closed-end investment company, shareholders of an open-end investment company may require the company to redeem their shares at any time (except in certain circumstances as authorized by or under the 1940 Act) at their NAV, less any redemption charge that is in effect at the time of redemption. In addition, if the Fund were to convert to an open-end company, it would not be able to invest more than 15% of its net assets in illiquid investments, which may
 
25

 
necessitate a substantial repositioning of the Fund’s investment portfolio, which may in turn generate substantial transaction costs, which would be borne by common shareholders, and may adversely affect the Fund’s performance and common share dividends.
Before deciding whether to take any action to convert a Fund to an open-end investment company, the Board would consider all relevant factors, including the extent and duration of the discount, the liquidity of the Fund’s portfolio, the effect of any action that might be taken on the Fund or its shareholders, and market considerations. Based on these considerations, even if the Fund’s common shares should trade at a discount, the Board may determine that, in the interest of the Fund and its shareholders, no action should be taken.
APPRAISAL RIGHTS
Shareholders of the Acquired Fund and the Acquiring Fund do not have appraisal rights in connection with the proposed transactions.
 
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FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
The Acquired Fund
The Financial Highlights table is intended to help you understand the Acquired Fund’s financial performance for the periods shown. Certain information reflects the financial results for a single Acquired Fund share. The total returns in the table represent the rate an investor would have earned or lost on an investment in the Acquired Fund (assuming reinvestment of all dividends and/or distributions, if applicable). The information for the periods shown has been audited by Deloitte & Touche LLP, the Acquired Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm, unless identified as unaudited. Financial statements for the fiscal year ended November 30, 2022, and the Report of the Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm thereon appear in the Acquired Fund’s Annual Report for the fiscal year ended November 30, 2022, which is available upon request. Unaudited financial statements for the fiscal period ended May 31, 2023 appear in the Acquired Fund’s Semiannual Report for the fiscal period ended May 31, 2023, which is available upon request.
Six Months
Ended May 31,
2023
(Unaudited)
Year Ended November 30,
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
PER SHARE DATA:
Net asset value, beginning of period
$ 4.95 $ 7.41 $ 8.15 $ 10.07 $ 11.30 $ 15.22
Income (loss) from investment operations:
Net investment income (loss)(1)
0.27 0.62 0.71 0.75 0.93 1.13
Net realized and unrealized gain (loss)
(0.07) (2.24) (0.56) (1.35) (0.35) (3.24)
Total from investment operations
0.20 (1.62) 0.15 (0.60) 0.58 (2.11)
Dividends and Distributions to Shareholders:
Net investment income .
(0.42) (0.13) (0.68) (0.21) (0.48) (0.17)
Return of capital
(0.71) (0.21) (1.11) (1.33) (1.64)
Total dividends and distributions to shareholders
(0.42) (0.84) (0.89) (1.32) (1.81) (1.81)
Net asset value, end of period
$ 4.73 $ 4.95 $ 7.41 $ 8.15 $ 10.07 $ 11.30
Market value, end of period
$ 4.53 $ 4.83 $ 7.52 $ 8.52 $ 11.57 $ 11.34
Total return, net asset value(2)(3) 3.90% (22.55)% 1.17% (4.68)% 5.02% (14.98)%
Total return, market value(2)(3)
1.93% (25.23)% (1.96)% (13.34)% 19.13% (12.99)%
RATIOS/SUPPLEMENTAL DATA:
Ratio of total expenses after interest expense to
average net assets(4)(5)
3.32% 2.96% 2.47% 2.69% 2.02% 3.11%
Ratio of net investment income (loss) to average net assets(4)
10.93% 10.55% 8.64% 9.29% 8.40% 8.35%
Portfolio turnover rate(2)
42% 38% 53% 124% 89% 118%
Net assets, end of period (000’s)
$ 47,433 $ 49,376 $ 73,622 $ 80,459 $ 98,555 $ 109,657
Borrowings, end of period (000’s)
$ 13,957 $ 18,390 $ 30,434 $ 31,000 $ 6,000 $ 54,343
Asset coverage, per $1,000 of borrowings(6)
$ 4,399 $ 3,685 $ 3,419 $ 3,565 $ 16,906 $ 3,018
(1)
Calculated using average shares outstanding.
(2)
Not annualized for periods less than one year.
(3)
Total return on market value is calculated assuming a purchase of common shares on the opening of the first day and sale on the closing of the last day of each period reported. Dividends and distributions are assumed, for purposes of this calculation, to be reinvested at prices obtained under the Fund’s Automatic Reinvestment and Cash Purchase Plan. Total return on market value is not annualized for periods of less than one year. Brokerage commissions that a shareholder may pay are not reflected. Total
 
27

 
return on market value does not reflect the deduction of taxes that a shareholder may pay on fund distributions or the sale of fund shares. Total return on net asset value uses the same methodology, but with use of net asset value for the beginning, ending and reinvestment values.
(4)
Annualized for periods less than one year.
(5)
Ratio of total expenses before interest expense to average net assets was 2.00% for the six months ended May 31, 2023, and 2.12%, 2.07%, 2.09%, 1.67% and 1.97% for the years ended November 30, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, and 2018 respectively.
(6)
Represents value of net assets plus the borrowings at the end of period divided by the borrowings at the end of the period multiplied by $1,000.
The Acquiring Fund
The Financial Highlights table is intended to help you understand the Acquiring Fund’s financial performance for the periods shown. Certain information reflects the financial results for a single Acquiring Fund share. The total returns in the table represent the rate an investor would have earned or lost on an investment in the Acquiring Fund (assuming reinvestment of all dividends and/or distributions, if applicable). The information for the periods shown has been audited by Deloitte & Touche LLP, the Acquiring Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm, unless identified as unaudited. Financial statements for the fiscal year ended November 30, 2022, and the Report of the Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm thereon appear in the Acquiring Fund’s Annual Report for the fiscal year ended November 30, 2022, which is available upon request. Unaudited financial statements for the fiscal period ended May 31, 2023 appear in the Acquiring Fund’s Semiannual Report for the fiscal period ended May 31, 2023, which is available upon request.
Six Months
Ended May 31,
2023
(Unaudited)
Year Ended November 30,
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
PER SHARE DATA:
Net asset value, beginning of period
$ 4.17 $ 6.24 $ 7.04 $ 8.91 $ 10.58 $ 14.67
Income (loss) from investment operations:
Net investment income (loss)(1)
0.23 0.52 0.60 0.64 0.89 1.13
Net realized and unrealized gain (loss)
(0.05) (1.87) (0.52) (1.08) (0.40) (3.06)
Total from investment operations
0.18 (1.35) 0.08 (0.44) 0.49 (1.93)
Dividends and Distributions to Shareholders:
Net investment income
(0.36) (0.09) (0.57) (0.28) (0.76) (0.42)
Return of capital
(0.63) (0.31) (1.15) (1.40) (1.74)
Total dividends and distributions to shareholders
(0.36) (0.72) (0.88) (1.43) (2.16) (2.16)
Net asset value, end of period
$ 3.99 $ 4.17 $ 6.24 $ 7.04 $ 8.91 $ 10.58
Market value, end of period
$ 4.00 $ 4.24 $ 6.65 $ 7.40 $ 13.18 $ 12.05
Total return, net asset value(2)(3)
4.15% (22.31)% 0.36% (3.32)% 4.45% (14.51)%
Total return, market value(2)(3)
2.44% (25.98)% 0.66% (32.92)% 29.86% (6.89)%
RATIOS/SUPPLEMENTAL DATA:
Ratio of total expenses after interest expense to average net assets(4)(5)
3.43% 2.95% 2.37% 2.56% 1.97% 2.96%
Ratio of net investment income (loss) to average net assets(4)
11.00% 10.55% 8.57% 9.04% 8.88% 8.76%
Portfolio turnover rate(2)
39% 37% 47% 127% 107% 130%
Net assets, end of period (000’s)
$ 68,674 $ 71,293 $ 105,134 $ 117,235 $ 146,213 $ 170,992
Borrowings, end of period (000’s)
$ 24,767 $ 28,600 $ 45,481 $ 46,000 $ 8,976 $ 85,000
Asset coverage, per $1,000 of
borrowings(6)
$ 3,773 $ 3,493 $ 3,312 $ 3,545 $ 17,290 $ 3,019
 
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(1)
Calculated using average shares outstanding.
(2)
Not annualized for periods less than one year.
(3)
Total return on market value is calculated assuming a purchase of common shares on the opening of the first day and sale on the closing of the last day of each period reported. Dividends and distributions are assumed, for purposes of this calculation, to be reinvested at prices obtained under the Fund’s Automatic Reinvestment and Cash Purchase Plan. Total return on market value is not annualized for periods of less than one year. Brokerage commissions that a shareholder may pay are not reflected. Total return on market value does not reflect the deduction of taxes that a shareholder may pay on fund distributions or the sale of fund shares. Total return on net asset value uses the same methodology, but with use of net asset value for the beginning, ending and reinvestment values.
(4)
Annualized for periods less than one year.
(5)
Ratio of total expenses before interest expense to average net assets was 1.94% for the six months ended May 31, 2023, and 2.03%, 1.96%, 1.99%, 1.59% and 1.88% for the years ended November 30, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively.
(6)
Represents value of net assets plus the borrowings at the end of the period divided by the borrowings at the end of the period multiplied by $1,000.
 
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TERMS OF THE AGREEMENT AND PLAN OF REORGANIZATION
The following is a summary of the significant terms of the Plan and is qualified in its entirety by reference to the Plan (a form of which is attached as Appendix A to this Information Statement/Prospectus).
The Plan provides that all of the assets of the Acquired Fund will be acquired by the Acquiring Fund in exchange for Acquiring Fund shares and the assumption by the Acquiring Fund of all of the liabilities of the Acquired Fund after the close of business on or about December 15, 2023, or such other date as may be agreed upon by the parties (the “Closing Date”). Prior to the Closing Date, the Acquired Fund will endeavor to discharge all of its known liabilities and obligations.
The Acquired Fund will operate its business in the ordinary course until the Closing Date except as contemplated by the Plan, including the declaration and payment of customary dividends and distributions, and any other distribution that may be advisable. At or prior to the Closing Date, the Acquired Fund will declare and pay a distribution or distributions that, together with all previous distributions, shall have the effect of distributing to its shareholders (i) all of its investment company taxable income and all of its net realized capital gains, if any, for the period from the close of its last fiscal year to 4:00 p.m. Eastern time on the Closing Date; and (ii) any undistributed investment company taxable income and net realized capital gains from any period to the extent not otherwise already distributed.
The number of shares of the Acquiring Fund to be received by the shareholders of the Acquired Fund will be determined by dividing the value of the net assets of the Acquired Fund by the net asset value of a share of the Acquiring Fund (with cash in lieu of fractional shares). These value computations will take place as of immediately after the close of business on the NYSE and after the declaration of any dividends at or prior to the Closing Date (the “Valuation Date”). The net asset value of the Acquiring Fund Shares shall be the net asset value per share computed as of the Valuation Date, using the valuation procedures of the Acquiring Fund.
Virtus Fund Services, LLC (“Virtus Fund Services”), the administrator for both Funds, will compute the value of each Fund’s respective portfolio of securities. The method of valuation employed will be consistent with the procedures set forth in the Prospectus and Statement of Additional Information of the Acquiring Fund, Rule 22c-1 under the 1940 Act, and with the interpretations of that Rule by the SEC’s Division of Investment Management. The method of valuation employed will also be subject to confirmation by each Fund’s respective independent registered public accounting firm upon reasonable request of the other Fund.
Immediately after the transfer of its assets to the Acquiring Fund, the Acquired Fund will liquidate and distribute pro rata to its shareholders as of the close of business on the Closing Date the shares of the Acquiring Fund received by the Acquired Fund. The liquidation and distribution will be accomplished by the establishment of accounts in the names of the Acquired Fund’s shareholders on the share records of the Acquiring Fund or its transfer agent. The aggregate net asset value of Acquiring Fund shares to be credited to Acquired Fund shareholders will be equal to the aggregate net asset value of the Acquired Fund shares owned by such shareholders on the Closing Date. Cash for fractional shares will be paid to the Acquired Fund’s shareholders via check or electronic transfer. All issued and outstanding shares of the Acquired Fund will simultaneously be canceled on the books of the Acquired Fund. After these distributions and the winding up of its affairs, the Acquired Fund will completely liquidate.
The consummation of the Reorganization is subject to the conditions set forth in the Plan, including accuracy of various representations and warranties, and receipt of an opinion of counsel. The Plan may be terminated (a) by the mutual agreement of the Funds; (b) by either the Acquiring Fund or the Acquired Fund if the Reorganization has not occurred on or before February 4, 2024, unless such date is extended by mutual agreement of the Acquiring Fund and the Acquired Fund; or (c) by either party if the other party materially breaches its obligations under the Plan or made a material and intentional misrepresentation in the Plan or in connection with the Plan.
If the Reorganization is not consummated, then the officers of the Acquired Fund and Acquiring Fund, or an affiliate, based on the reasons for not consummating the transaction, will agree on a reasonable allocation of expenses.
 
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If the Reorganization is not consummated, the Board will consider other possible courses of action in the best interests of the Acquired Fund and its shareholders, such as maintaining the status quo, modifications, or liquidating the Acquired Fund.
 
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MATERIAL FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSEQUENCES OF THE REORGANIZATION
The following discussion summarizes certain material U.S. federal income tax consequences of the Reorganization, including an investment in Acquiring Fund shares, that are applicable to you as an Acquired Fund shareholder. It is based on the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), applicable U.S. Treasury regulations, judicial authority and administrative rulings and practice, all as of the date of this Information Statement/Prospectus and all of which are subject to change, including changes with retroactive effect. The discussion below does not address any state, local or foreign tax consequences of the Reorganization. Your tax treatment may vary depending upon your particular situation. You also may be subject to special rules not discussed below if you are a certain kind of Acquired Fund shareholder, including, but not limited to: an insurance company; a tax-exempt organization; a financial institution or broker-dealer; a person who is neither a citizen nor resident of the United States or entity that is not organized under the laws of the United States or a political subdivision thereof; a holder of Acquired Fund shares as part of a hedge, straddle or conversion transaction; a person or entity that does not hold Acquired Fund shares as a capital asset at the time of the Reorganization; or an entity taxable as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes (or a holder of interests in such a partnership).
For purposes of this discussion, a “U.S. shareholder” is a beneficial owner of Acquiring Fund shares who is for U.S. federal income tax purposes: (1) a citizen or individual resident of the United States; (2) a corporation, or other entity treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes, created or organized in or under the laws of the United States or any state thereof or the District of Columbia; (3) a trust, if a court within the United States has primary supervision over its administration and one or more U.S. persons have the authority to control all of its substantial decisions, or the trust has a valid election in effect under applicable U.S. Treasury regulations to be treated as a U.S. person; or (4) an estate the income of which is subject to U.S. federal income taxation regardless of its source. A “non-U.S. shareholder” is a beneficial owner of Acquiring Fund shares who is for U.S. federal income tax purposes a person other than: (1) a U.S. shareholder and (2) a partnership.
The Acquiring Fund has not requested, and will not request, an advance ruling from the Internal Revenue Service, or the IRS, as to the U.S. federal income tax consequences of the Reorganization or any related transactions. The IRS could adopt positions contrary to those discussed below and such positions could be sustained. You are urged to consult with your own tax advisors and financial planners as to the particular tax consequences of the Reorganization to you, including the applicability and effect of any state, local or foreign laws and the effect of possible changes in applicable tax laws.
Tax Consequences of the Reorganization
It is a condition to the closing of the Reorganization that the Acquired Fund and the Acquiring Fund each receive an opinion from Dechert LLP, dated as of the Closing Date, regarding the characterization of the Reorganization as a “reorganization” within the meaning of Section 368(a) of the Code. The opinion of Dechert LLP will be based on U.S. federal income tax law in effect on the Closing Date. In rendering its opinion, Dechert LLP will also rely upon certain representations made by the Acquired Fund and the Acquiring Fund and upon customary assumptions, including, among other things, that the Reorganization will be consummated in accordance with the Plan and other operative documents and as described herein. It is possible that the IRS could disagree with counsel’s opinion. An opinion of counsel is not binding on the IRS or any court. If the Reorganization was not to qualify as a reorganization under the Code, the tax consequences could materially and adversely differ from those described herein.
As a reorganization, the U.S. federal income tax consequences of the Reorganization can be summarized as follows:

The transfer of the Acquired Fund’s assets in exchange solely for Acquiring Fund shares and the assumption by the Acquiring Fund of stated liabilities of the Acquired Fund followed by the distribution by the Acquired Fund of Acquiring Fund shares to the Acquired Fund shareholders in exchange for their Acquired Fund shares in liquidation of the Acquired Fund pursuant to and in accordance with the terms of the Plan will constitute a “reorganization” within the meaning of Section 368(a)(1) of the Code;
 
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No gain or loss will be recognized by the Acquiring Fund upon the receipt of the Acquired Fund assets solely in exchange for the Acquiring Fund shares and the assumption by the Acquiring Fund of the stated liabilities of the Acquired Fund;

No gain or loss will be recognized by the Acquired Fund upon the transfer of the Acquired Fund assets to the Acquiring Fund in exchange solely for Acquiring Fund shares and the assumption by the Acquiring Fund of the stated liabilities or upon the distribution of the Acquiring Fund shares to the Acquired Fund shareholders in exchange for their Acquired Fund shares, except that the Acquired Fund may be required to recognize gain or loss with respect to contracts described in Section 1256(b) of the Code or stock in a passive foreign investment company, as defined in Section 1297(a) of the Code;

No gain or loss will be recognized by the Acquired Fund shareholders upon the exchange of the Acquired Fund shares for Acquiring Fund shares (except with respect to cash received in lieu of fractional shares);

The aggregate tax basis for the Acquiring Fund shares received by each Acquired Fund shareholder pursuant to the Reorganization will be the same as the aggregate tax basis of the Acquired Fund shares held by each such Acquired Fund shareholder immediately prior to the Reorganization (reduced by any amount of tax basis allocable to fractional shares for which cash is received);

The holding period of the Acquiring Fund shares to be received by each Acquired Fund shareholder will include the period during which the Acquired Fund shares surrendered in exchange therefor were held (provided such Acquired Fund shares were held as capital assets on the date of the Reorganization);

The tax basis of the Acquired Fund assets acquired by the Acquiring Fund will be the same as the tax basis of such assets to the Acquired Fund in exchange therefor; and

The holding period of the Acquired Fund assets in the hands of the Acquiring Fund will include the period during which those assets were held by the Acquired Fund (except where the investment activities of the Acquiring Fund have the effect of reducing or eliminating such periods with respect to an Acquired Fund asset).
Notwithstanding the foregoing, no opinion will be expressed as to the tax consequences of the Reorganization on contracts or securities on which gain or loss is recognized upon the transfer of an asset regardless of whether such transfer would otherwise be a nonrecognition transaction under the Code. If the Reorganization were consummated but the IRS or the courts were to determine that the Reorganization did not qualify as a tax-free reorganization under the Code, and thus was taxable, the Acquired Fund would recognize gain or loss on the transfer of its assets to the Acquiring Fund, and each shareholder of the Acquired Fund that held shares in a taxable account would recognize a taxable gain or loss equal to the difference between its tax basis in its Acquired Fund shares and the fair market value of the shares of the Acquiring Fund it received.
Capital Loss Carryforwards
As of the end of the last fiscal year, the Acquired Fund had approximately $86.4 million of capital loss carryforwards, and the Acquiring Fund had approximately $128.8 million of capital loss carryforwards. The Acquiring Fund’s ability to carry forward and use either Fund’s pre-Reorganization capital losses may be limited. In addition, the loss limitation rules of Sections 382, 383 and 384 of the Code may apply. Either Fund’s “pre-acquisition losses” ​(including capital loss carryforwards, net current-year capital losses, and unrealized losses that exceed certain thresholds) cannot be used to offset unrealized gains in another Fund that are “built in” ​(unrealized) at the time of the Reorganization and that exceed certain thresholds (“non-de minimis built-in gains”) for five calendar years. Further, a portion of a Fund’s pre-acquisition losses may become subject to an annual limitation on the amount that may be used to offset future gain. Any remaining pre-acquisition losses will offset capital gains realized after the Reorganization and this will reduce subsequent capital gain distributions to a broader group of shareholders than would have been the case absent such Reorganization. Therefore, in certain circumstances, shareholders of a Fund, upon receipt of capital gain distributions, may be subject to tax sooner, or incur more taxes as a result of the transactions that would take place as part of the Reorganization, than they would have had the Reorganization not occurred.
 
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The impact of the rules described above will depend on the relative sizes of, and the losses and gains (both realized and unrealized) in, each of the Acquired Fund and the Acquiring Fund at the time of the Reorganization and thus cannot be calculated precisely at this time. As of the date of this Information Statement/Prospectus, it is expected that a portion of the Acquired Fund’s pre-acquisition losses may become subject to an annual limitation on the amount that may be used by the Acquiring Fund in any particular taxable year to offset realized gains.
Cash in lieu of Fractional Shares
If an Acquired Fund shareholder receives cash in lieu of a fractional share of Acquiring Fund, the Acquired Fund shareholder will be treated as having received the fractional share of Acquiring Fund pursuant to the Reorganization and then as having sold that fractional share of Acquiring Fund for cash. As a result, each such Acquired Fund shareholder generally will recognize gain or loss equal to the difference between the amount of cash received and the tax basis in his, her or its fractional share of Acquiring Fund. This gain or loss generally will be a capital gain or loss and will be long-term capital gain or loss if, as of the date of Reorganization, the holding period for the shares (including the holding period of Acquired Fund surrendered therefor) is greater than one year. The deductibility of capital losses is subject to limitations. You should consult your tax advisor about your specific tax situation.
Distribution of Income and Gains
The Acquired Fund’s tax year is expected to end as a result of the Reorganization. The Acquired Fund generally will be required to declare to its shareholders of record one or more distributions of all of its previously undistributed net investment income and net realized capital gain (if any), including capital gain realized on any securities disposed of in connection with the Reorganization, in order to maintain its treatment as a regulated investment company under Subchapter M of the Code during its tax year ending with the date of the Reorganization and to eliminate any U.S. federal income tax on its taxable income in respect of such tax year.
Moreover, if the Acquiring Fund has net investment income or net realized capital gain, but has not distributed such income or gain prior to the Reorganization and you acquire shares of the Acquiring Fund in the Reorganization, a portion of your subsequent distributions from the Acquiring Fund may, in effect, be a taxable return of part of your investment. Similarly, if you acquire Acquiring Fund shares in the Reorganization when the Acquiring Fund holds appreciated securities, you may receive a taxable return of part of your investment if and when the Acquiring Fund sells the appreciated securities and distributes the realized gain.
U.S. Federal Income Taxation of an Investment in Acquiring Fund Shares
The following discussion summarizes the U.S. federal income taxation of an investment in Acquiring Fund shares by shareholders of the Acquired Fund as a result of the Reorganization. This discussion is not intended as a substitute for careful tax planning. You should consult your tax advisor about your specific tax situation.
The Acquiring Fund has elected to be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and intends to qualify annually, as a regulated investment company (“RIC”) under Subchapter M of the Code. As a RIC, the Acquiring Fund generally will not be subject to corporate-level U.S. federal income taxes on any ordinary income or capital gains that it distributes as dividends to shareholders. To qualify as a RIC in any tax year, the Acquiring Fund must, among other things, satisfy both a source of income test and asset diversification tests. The Acquiring Fund will satisfy these tests if (i) at least 90% of the Acquiring Fund’s gross income for such tax year consists of dividends; interest; payments with respect to certain securities loans; gains from the sale or other disposition of shares, securities or foreign currencies; other income (including, but not limited to, gains from options, futures or forward contracts) derived with respect to its business of investing in such shares, securities or currencies; and net income derived from interests in “qualified publicly-traded partnerships” ​(such income, “Qualifying RIC Income”); and (ii) the Acquiring Fund’s holdings are diversified so that, at the end of each quarter of such tax year, (a) at least 50% of the value of the Acquiring Fund’s total assets is represented by cash and cash equivalents, securities of other RICs, U.S. government securities and other securities, with such other securities limited, in respect of any one issuer, to an amount not
 
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greater than 5% of the value of the Acquiring Fund’s total assets and not greater than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer and (b) not more than 25% of the value of the Acquiring Fund’s total assets is invested (x) in securities (other than U.S. government securities or securities of other RICs) of any one issuer or of two or more issuers that the Acquiring Fund controls and that are engaged in the same, similar or related trades or businesses or (y) in the securities of one or more “qualified publicly-traded partnerships.” The Acquiring Fund’s share of income derived from a partnership other than a “qualified publicly-traded partnership” will be treated as Qualifying RIC Income only to the extent that such income would have constituted Qualifying RIC Income if derived directly by the Acquiring Fund. A “qualified publicly-traded partnership” is generally defined as an entity that is treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes if (1) interests in such entity are traded on an established securities market or are readily tradable on a secondary market or the substantial equivalent thereof and (2) less than 90% of its gross income for the relevant tax year consists of Qualifying RIC Income. The Code provides that the Treasury Department may by regulation exclude from Qualifying RIC Income foreign currency gains that are not directly related to the RIC’s principal business of investing in shares or securities (or options and futures with respect to shares or securities). The Acquiring Fund anticipates that, in general, its foreign currency gains will be directly related to its principal business of investing in shares and securities.
In addition, to maintain RIC tax treatment, the Acquiring Fund must distribute on a timely basis with respect to each tax year dividends of an amount at least equal to 90% of the sum of its “investment company taxable income” and its net tax-exempt interest income, determined without regard to any deduction for dividends paid, to shareholders (the “90% distribution requirement”). If the Acquiring Fund qualifies as a RIC and satisfies the 90% distribution requirement, the Acquiring Fund generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on its “investment company taxable income” and net capital gains (that is, the excess of net long-term capital gains over net short-term capital losses) that it distributes as dividends to shareholders (including amounts that are reinvested pursuant to a dividend reinvestment program). In general, a RIC’s “investment company taxable income” for any tax year is its taxable income, determined without regard to net capital gains and with certain other adjustments. The Acquiring Fund intends to distribute all or substantially all of its “investment company taxable income,” net tax-exempt interest income (if any) and net capital gains on an annual basis. Any taxable income, including any net capital gains, that the Acquiring Fund does not distribute in a timely manner, will be subject to U.S. federal income tax at regular corporate rates.
The Acquiring Fund is generally permitted to carry forward a net capital loss in any taxable year to offset its own capital gains, if any. These amounts are available to be carried forward to offset future capital gains to the extent permitted by the Code and applicable tax regulations. Any such loss carryforwards will retain their character as short-term or long-term. In the event that the Acquiring Fund were to experience an ownership change as defined under the Code, the capital loss carryforwards and other favorable tax attributes of the Acquiring Fund, if any, may be subject to limitation.
In determining its net capital gain, including in also connection with determining the amount available to support a capital gain dividend, its taxable income and its earnings and profits, the Acquiring Fund generally may also elect to treat part or all of any post-October capital loss (defined as any net capital loss attributable to the portion, if any, of the taxable year after October 31 or, if there is no such loss, the net long-term capital loss or net short-term capital loss attributable to any such portion of the taxable year) or late-year ordinary loss (generally, the sum of its (i) net ordinary loss, if any, from the sale, exchange or other taxable disposition of property, attributable to the portion, if any, of the taxable year after October 31, and its (ii) other net ordinary loss, if any, attributable to the portion, if any, of the taxable year after December 31) as if incurred in the succeeding taxable year.
If the Acquiring Fund retains any net capital gains for reinvestment, it may elect to treat such capital gains as having been distributed to shareholders. If the Acquiring Fund makes such an election, each shareholder will be required to report its share of such undistributed net capital gains as long-term capital gain and will be entitled to claim its share of the U.S. federal income taxes paid by the Acquiring Fund on such undistributed net capital gains as a credit against its own U.S. federal income tax liability, if any, and to claim a refund on a properly-filed U.S. federal income tax return to the extent that the credit exceeds such liability. In addition, each shareholder will be entitled to increase the adjusted tax basis of its shares by the
 
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difference between its share of such undistributed net capital gain and the related credit. There can be no assurance that the Acquiring Fund will make this election if it retains all or a portion of its net capital gain for a tax year.
As a RIC, the Acquiring Fund will be, subject to a nondeductible 4% federal excise tax on certain undistributed amounts for each calendar year (the “4% excise tax”). To avoid the 4% excise tax, the Acquiring Fund must distribute in respect of each calendar year dividends of an amount at least equal to the sum of (1) 98% of its ordinary taxable income (taking into account certain deferrals and elections) for the calendar year, (2) 98.2% of its capital gain net income (adjusted for certain ordinary losses) generally for the one-year period ending on October 31 of the calendar year and (3) any ordinary income and capital gains for previous calendar years that were not distributed during those calendar years. For purposes of determining whether the Acquiring Fund has met this distribution requirement, the Acquiring Fund will be deemed to have distributed any income or gains previously subject to U.S. federal income tax. Furthermore, any distribution declared by the Acquiring Fund in October, November or December of any calendar year, payable to shareholders, of record on a specified date in such a month and actually paid during January of the following calendar year, will be treated for tax purposes as if it had been paid on December 31 of the calendar year in which the distribution was declared. The Acquiring Fund generally intends to avoid the imposition of the 4% excise tax, but there can be no assurance in this regard.
If the Acquiring Fund fails to qualify as a RIC or fails to satisfy the 90% distribution requirement in respect of any tax year, the Acquiring Fund would be subject to U.S. federal income tax at regular corporate rates on its taxable income, including its net capital gains, even if such income were distributed, and all distributions out of earnings and profits would be taxed as ordinary dividend income. Such distributions generally would be eligible for the dividends-received deduction in the case of certain corporate shareholders and may be eligible to be qualified dividend income in the case of certain non-corporate shareholders. In addition, the Acquiring Fund could be required to recognize unrealized gains, pay taxes and make distributions (any of which could be subject to interest charges) before re-qualifying for taxation as a RIC. If the Acquiring Fund fails to satisfy either the income test or asset diversification test described above, in certain cases, however, the Acquiring Fund may be able to avoid losing its status as a RIC by timely providing notice of such failure to the IRS, curing such failure and possibly paying an additional tax or penalty.
Some of the investments that the Acquiring Fund is expected to make, such as investments in debt instruments having market discount and/or treated as issued with OID, may cause the Acquiring Fund to recognize income or gain for U.S. federal income tax purposes prior to the receipt of any corresponding cash or other property. As a result, the Acquiring Fund may have difficulty meeting the 90% distribution requirement necessary to maintain RIC tax treatment. Because this income will be included in the Acquiring Fund’s investment company taxable income for the tax year it is accrued, the Acquiring Fund may be required to make a distribution to shareholders to meet the distribution requirements described above, even though the Acquiring Fund will not have received any corresponding cash or property. The Acquiring Fund may be required to borrow money, dispose of other securities or forgo new investment opportunities for this purpose.
There may be uncertainty as to the appropriate treatment of certain of the Acquiring Fund’s investments for U.S. federal income tax purposes. In particular, the Acquiring Fund expects to invest a portion of its net assets in below investment grade instruments, trust preferred securities and convertible securities. U.S. federal income tax rules with respect to such instruments are not entirely clear about issues such as whether and to what extent the Acquiring Fund should recognize interest, OID or market discount, when and to what extent deductions may be taken for bad debts or worthless instruments, how payments received on obligations in default should be allocated between principal and income and whether exchanges of debt obligations in a bankruptcy or workout context are taxable. Although the Acquiring Fund will seek to address these and other issues, to the extent necessary, in connection with the Acquiring Fund’s general intention to distribute sufficient income to qualify, and maintain its qualification to be subject to tax as a RIC and to minimize the risk that it becomes subject to U.S. federal income or excise tax, no assurances can be given that the Acquiring Fund will not be adversely affected as a result of such issues.
Income received by the Acquiring Fund from sources outside the United States may be subject to withholding and other taxes imposed by such countries, thereby reducing income available to the Acquiring Fund. Tax conventions between certain countries and the United States may reduce or eliminate such
 
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taxes. The Acquiring Fund generally intends to conduct its investment activities to minimize the impact of foreign taxation, but there is no guarantee that the Acquiring Fund will be successful in this regard. If more than 50% of the value of the Acquiring Fund’s total assets at the close of its tax year consists of securities of foreign corporations, the Acquiring Fund will be eligible to elect to “pass-through” to the Acquiring Fund the foreign source amount of income deemed earned and the respective amount of foreign taxes paid by the Acquiring Fund. If the Acquiring Fund so elects, each shareholder would be required to include in gross income, even though not actually received, each shareholder’s pro rata share of the foreign taxes paid or deemed paid by the Acquiring Fund, but would be treated as having paid its pro rata share of such foreign taxes and would therefore be allowed to either deduct such amount in computing taxable income or use such amount as a foreign tax credit against federal income tax (but not both), in each case subject to various limitations.
The Acquiring Fund may invest in shares of foreign companies that are classified under the Code as passive foreign investment companies (“PFICs”). In general, a foreign company is considered a PFIC if at least 50% of its assets constitute investment-type assets or 75% or more of its gross income is investment-type income. In general under the PFIC rules, an “excess distribution” received with respect to PFIC shares is treated as having been realized ratably over the period during which the Acquiring Fund held the PFIC shares. The Acquiring Fund generally will be subject to tax on the portion, if any, of the excess distribution that is allocated to the Acquiring Fund’s holding period in prior tax years (and an interest factor will be added to the tax, as if the tax had actually been payable in such prior tax years) even though the Acquiring Fund distributes the corresponding income to shareholders. Excess distributions include any gain from the sale of PFIC shares as well as certain distributions and other income with respect to a PFIC. All excess distributions are taxable as ordinary income.
The Acquiring Fund may be eligible to elect alternative tax treatment with respect to PFIC shares. Under one such election (i.e., a “QEF” election), the Acquiring Fund generally would be required to include in its gross income its share of the earnings of a PFIC on a current basis, regardless of whether any distributions are received from the PFIC. If this election is made, the special rules, discussed above, relating to the taxation of excess distributions, would not apply. Alternatively, the Acquiring Fund may be able to elect to mark its PFIC shares to market, resulting in any unrealized gains at the Acquiring Fund’s tax year end being treated as though they were recognized and reported as ordinary income. Any mark-to-market losses and any loss from an actual disposition of the PFIC shares would be deductible as ordinary losses to the extent of any net mark-to-market gains included in income in prior tax years with respect to shares in the same PFIC.
Because the application of the PFIC rules may affect, among other things, the character of gains, the amount of gain or loss and the timing of the recognition of income, gain or loss with respect to PFIC shares, as well as subject the Acquiring Fund itself to tax on certain income from PFIC shares, the amount that must be distributed to Acquiring Fund shareholders, and which will be recognized by Acquiring Fund shareholders as ordinary income or long-term capital gain, may be increased or decreased substantially as compared to a fund that did not invest in PFIC shares. Note that distributions from a PFIC are not eligible for the reduced rate of tax on distributions of “qualified dividend income” as discussed below.
Some of the Structured Products in which the Acquiring Fund invests may be PFICs, which are generally subject to the tax consequences described above. Investment in certain equity interests of Structured Products that are subject to treatment as PFICs for U.S. federal income tax purposes may cause the Acquiring Fund to recognize income in a tax year in excess of the Acquiring Fund’s distributions from such Structured Products, PFICs and the Acquiring Fund’s proceeds from sales or other dispositions of equity interests in other Structured Products and other PFICs during that tax year. As a result, the Acquiring Fund generally would be required to distribute such income to satisfy the distribution requirements applicable to RICs. Treasury regulations generally would treat the Acquiring Fund’s income inclusion with respect to a PFIC with respect to which the Acquiring Fund has made a QEF election as Qualifying RIC Income either if (A) there is a current distribution out of the earnings and profits of the PFIC that are attributable to such income inclusion or (ii) such inclusion is derived with respect to the Acquiring Fund’s business of investing in stock, securities, or currencies.
If the Acquiring Fund holds more than 10% of the interests treated as equity for U.S. federal income tax purposes in a foreign corporation that is treated as a controlled foreign corporation (“CFC”), including
 
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equity tranche investments and certain debt tranche investments in a Structured Product treated as CFC, the Acquiring Fund may be treated as receiving a deemed distribution (taxable as ordinary income) each tax year from such foreign corporation of an amount equal to the Acquiring Fund’s pro rata share of the foreign corporation’s earnings for such tax year (including both ordinary earnings and capital gains), whether or not the corporation makes an actual distribution to the Acquiring Fund during such tax year. This deemed distribution is required to be included in the income of certain U.S. shareholders of a CFC, such as the Acquiring Fund. The Acquiring Fund is generally required to distribute such income in order to satisfy the distribution requirements applicable to RICs, even to the extent the Acquiring Fund’s income from a CFC exceeds the distributions from the CFC and the Acquiring Fund’s proceeds from the sales or other dispositions of CFC stock during that tax year. In general, a foreign corporation will be treated as a CFC for U.S. federal income tax purposes if more than 50% of the shares of the foreign corporation, measured by reference to combined voting power or value, is owned (directly, indirectly or by attribution) by U.S. shareholders. A “U.S. shareholder,” for this purpose, is any U.S. person that possesses (actually or constructively) 10% or more of the combined voting power or value of all classes of shares of a corporation. Treasury regulations generally would treat the Acquiring Fund’s income inclusion with respect to a CFC as Qualifying RIC Income either if (A) there is a distribution out of the earnings and profits of the CFC that are attributable to such income inclusion or (ii) such inclusion is derived with respect to the Acquiring Fund’s business of investing in stock, securities, or currencies.
The functional currency of the Acquiring Fund, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, is the U.S. dollar. Gains or losses attributable to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates that occur between the time the Acquiring Fund accrues interest income or other receivables or accrues expenses or other liabilities denominated in a foreign currency and the time the Acquiring Fund actually collects such receivables or pays such liabilities generally are respectively characterized as ordinary income or ordinary loss for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Similarly, on the sale of other disposition of certain investments, including debt securities, certain forward contracts, as well as other derivative financial instruments, denominated in a foreign currency, gains or losses attributable to fluctuations in the value of foreign currency between the date of acquisition of the security or contract and the date of disposition also are generally treated as ordinary gain or loss. These gains and losses, referred to under the Code as “section 988” gains and losses, may increase or decrease the amount of the Acquiring Fund’s investment company taxable income subject to distribution to Acquiring Fund shareholders as ordinary income. For example, fluctuations in exchange rates may increase the amount of income that the Acquiring Fund must distribute to qualify for tax treatment as a RIC and to prevent application of an excise tax on undistributed income. Alternatively, fluctuations in exchange rates may decrease or eliminate income available for distribution. If section 988 losses exceed other investment company taxable income during a tax year, the Acquiring Fund would not be able to distribute amounts considered dividends for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and any distributions during a tax year made by the Acquiring Fund before such losses were recognized would be re-characterized as a return of capital to Acquiring Fund shareholders for U.S. federal income tax purposes, rather than as ordinary dividend income, and would reduce each Acquiring Fund shareholder’s tax basis in Acquiring Fund shares.
If the Acquiring Fund utilizes leverage through the issuance of preferred shares or borrowings, it will be prohibited from declaring a distribution or dividend if it would fail the applicable asset coverage test(s) under the 1940 Act after the payment of such distribution or dividend. In addition, certain covenants in credit facilities or indentures may impose greater restrictions on the Acquiring Fund’s ability to declare and pay dividends on Acquiring Fund shares. Limits on the Acquiring Fund’s ability to pay dividends on Acquiring Fund shares may prevent the Acquiring Fund from meeting the distribution requirements described above and, as a result, may affect the Acquiring Fund’s ability to be subject to tax as a RIC or subject the Acquiring Fund to income tax or undistributed income or the 4% excise tax. The Acquiring Fund endeavors to avoid restrictions on its ability to make distribution payments. If the Acquiring Fund is precluded from making distributions on Acquiring Fund shares because of any applicable asset coverage requirements, the terms of preferred shares (if any) may provide that any amounts so precluded from being distributed, but required to be distributed by the Acquiring Fund to enable the Acquiring Fund to satisfy the distribution requirements that would enable the Acquiring Fund to be subject to tax as a RIC, will be paid to the holders of preferred shares as a special distribution. This distribution can be expected to decrease the amount that holders of preferred shares would be entitled to receive upon repurchase or liquidation of such preferred shares.
 
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Certain of the Acquiring Fund’s investments are expected to be subject to special U.S. federal income tax provisions that may, among other things, (1) disallow, suspend or otherwise limit the allowance of certain losses or deductions, (2) convert lower-taxed long-term capital gains into higher-taxed short-term capital gains or ordinary income, (3) convert an ordinary loss or a deduction into a capital loss, the deductibility of which is more limited, (4) adversely affect when a purchase or sale of shares or securities is deemed to occur, (5) adversely alter the intended characterization of certain complex financial transactions, (6) cause the Acquiring Fund to recognize income or gain without a corresponding receipt of cash, (7) treat dividends that would otherwise constitute qualified dividend income as non-qualified dividend income, (8) treat dividends that would otherwise be eligible for the corporate dividends received deduction as ineligible for such treatment and (9) produce income that will not constitute Qualifying RIC Income. The application of these rules could cause the Acquiring Fund to be subject to U.S. federal income tax or the 4% excise tax and, under certain circumstances, could affect the Acquiring Fund’s status as a RIC. The Acquiring Fund monitors its investments and may make certain tax elections to mitigate the effect of these provisions.
The remainder of this discussion assumes that the Acquiring Fund has qualified and maintain its qualification as a RIC and has satisfied the distribution requirements described above.
TAXATION OF U.S. SHAREHOLDERS
This subsection applies to U.S. shareholders only. Persons who are not U.S. shareholders should refer to “Taxation of Non-U.S. shareholders,” below.
Distributions
Distributions of the Acquiring Fund’s ordinary income and net short-term capital gains will, except as described below with respect to distributions of “qualified dividend income,” generally be taxable to shareholders as ordinary income to the extent such distributions are paid out of the Acquiring Fund’s current or accumulated earnings and profits, as determined for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Properly reported distributions (or deemed distributions, as described above), if any, of net capital gains will be taxable as long-term capital gains, regardless of the length of time a shareholder has owned shares. The ultimate tax characterization of the Acquiring Fund’s distributions made in a tax year cannot be determined until after the end of the tax year. As a result, the Acquiring Fund may make total distributions during a tax year in an amount that exceeds the current and accumulated earnings and profits of the Acquiring Fund. A distribution of an amount in excess of the Acquiring Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits will be treated by a shareholder as a return of capital that will be applied against and reduce the shareholder’s tax basis in its shares. To the extent that the amount of any such distribution exceeds the shareholder’s tax basis in its shares, the excess will be treated as gain from a sale or exchange of shares. Distributions will be treated in the manner described above regardless of whether such distributions are paid in cash or invested in additional shares. Generally, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, a shareholder receiving shares under a dividend reinvestment program will be treated as having received a distribution equal to the amount of cash that could have been received instead.
A return of capital to shareholders is a return of a portion of their original investment in the Acquiring Fund, thereby reducing the tax basis of their investment. As a result of such reduction in tax basis, shareholders may be subject to tax in connection with the sale of Acquiring Fund shares, even if such shares are sold at a loss relative to the shareholder’s original investment.
It is expected that a substantial portion of the Acquiring Fund’s income will consist of ordinary income. For example, interest and OID derived by the Acquiring Fund characterized as ordinary income for U.S. federal income tax purposes. In addition, gain derived by the Acquiring Fund from the disposition of debt instruments with “market discount” ​(generally, securities with a fixed maturity date of more than one year from the date of issuance acquired by the Acquiring Fund at a price below the lesser of their stated redemption price at maturity or accreted value, in the case of securities with OID) will be characterized as ordinary income for U.S. federal income tax purposes to the extent of the market discount that has accrued, as determined for U.S. federal income tax purposes, at the time of such disposition, unless the Acquiring Fund makes an election to accrue market discount on a current basis. In addition, certain of the Acquiring Fund’s investments will be subject to other special U.S. federal income tax provisions that may affect the character, increase the amount and/or accelerate the timing of distributions to shareholders.
 
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Properly reported distributions made by the Acquiring Fund to a corporate shareholder will qualify for the dividends-received deduction only to the extent that the distributions are attributable to qualifying dividends received by the Acquiring Fund. In addition, any portion of the Acquiring Fund’s dividends otherwise qualifying for the dividends-received deduction will be disallowed or reduced if the corporate shareholder fails to satisfy certain requirements, including a holding period requirement, with respect to its shares. Properly reported distributions made by the Acquiring Fund to an individual or other non-corporate shareholder will be treated as “qualified dividend income” to such shareholder to the extent of the Acquiring Fund’s “qualified dividend income” and generally will be taxed at long-term capital gain rates, provided the shareholder satisfies the applicable holding period and other requirements. “Qualified dividend income” generally includes dividends from domestic corporations and dividends from foreign corporations that meet certain specified criteria. Given the Acquiring Fund’s investment strategy, it is not expected that a significant portion of the distributions made by the Acquiring Fund will be eligible for the dividends-received deduction or the reduced rates applicable to “qualified dividend income.”
Certain distributions reported by the Acquiring Fund as Section 163(j) interest dividends may be treated as interest income by shareholders for purposes of the tax rules applicable to interest expense limitations under Section 163(j) of the Code. Such treatment by the shareholder is generally subject to holding period requirements and other potential limitations, although the holding period requirements are generally not applicable to dividends declared by money market funds and certain other funds that declare dividends daily and pay such dividends on a monthly or more frequent basis. The amount that the Acquiring Fund is eligible to report as a Section 163(j) dividend for a tax year is generally limited to the excess of the Acquiring Fund’s business interest income over the sum of the Acquiring Fund’s (i) business interest expense and (ii) other deductions properly allocable to the Acquiring Fund’s business interest income.
The Acquiring Fund will be treated as a “publicly offered regulated investment company” ​(within the meaning of Section 67 of the Code) if either (i) shares of the Acquiring Fund are held by at least 500 persons at all times during a taxable year, (ii) shares of the Acquiring Fund are treated as regularly traded on an established securities market or (iii) shares of the Acquiring Fund are continuously offered pursuant to a public offering (within the meaning of section 4 of the 1933 Act). If the Acquiring Fund is not treated as a publicly offered RIC for any calendar year, for purposes of computing the taxable income of shareholders that are individuals, trusts or estates, (i) the Acquiring Fund’s earnings will be computed without taking into account such shareholders’ allocable shares of the management fees paid to the Acquiring Fund’s investment adviser and certain of the Acquiring Fund’s other expenses, (ii) each such shareholder will be treated as having received or accrued a dividend from the Acquiring Fund in the amount of such shareholder’s allocable share of these fees and expenses for the calendar year, (iii) each such shareholder will be treated as having paid or incurred such shareholder’s allocable share of these fees and expenses for the calendar year, and (iv) each such shareholder’s allocable share of these fees and expenses will be treated as miscellaneous itemized deductions by such shareholder. Miscellaneous itemized deductions are not deductible for taxable years that begin before January 1, 2026, and thereafter generally (i) will be deductible only to the extent that they exceed 2% of the adjusted gross income of the taxpayer, (ii) will not be deductible for purposes of the alternative minimum tax, and (iii) will be subject to the overall limitation on itemized deductions under Section 68 of the Code. If a person acquires shares shortly before the record date of a distribution, the price of the shares may include the value of the distribution, and the person will be subject to tax on the distribution even though economically it may represent a return of his, her or its investment in such shares.
Distributions paid by the Acquiring Fund generally will be treated as received by a shareholder at the time the distribution is made. However, the Acquiring Fund may, under certain circumstances, elect to treat a distribution that is paid during the following tax year as if it had been paid during the tax year in which the income or gains supporting the distribution was earned. If the Acquiring Fund makes such an election, the shareholder will still be treated as receiving the distribution in the tax year in which the distribution is received. In this instance, however, any distribution declared by the Acquiring Fund in October, November or December of any calendar year, payable to shareholders of record on a specified date in such a month and actually paid during January of the following calendar year, will be treated for tax purposes as if it had been received by shareholders on December 31 of the calendar year in which the distribution was declared.
Shareholders will be notified annually, as promptly as practicable after the end of each calendar year, as to the U.S. federal tax status of distributions, and shareholders receiving distributions in the form of additional shares will receive a report as to the NAV of those shares.
 
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The IRS requires that a RIC that has two or more classes of stock allocate to each class proportionate amounts of each type of its income (such as ordinary income, capital gains and dividends qualifying for the dividends-received deduction) based upon the percentage of total dividends paid to each class for the tax year. Accordingly, if the Acquiring Fund issues preferred shares, the Acquiring Fund will allocate capital gain dividends and dividends qualifying for the dividends-received deduction, if any, between its common shares and shares of preferred stock in proportion to the total dividends paid to each class with respect to such tax year.
Sale or exchange of shares
The repurchase or transfer of shares (including in connection with termination of the Acquiring Fund) may result in a taxable gain or loss to the tendering shareholder. Different tax consequences may apply for tendering and non-tendering shareholders in connection with a repurchase offer. For example, if a shareholder does not tender all of his or her shares, such repurchase may be treated as a dividend (as opposed to a sale or exchange) for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and may result in deemed distributions to non-tendering shareholders. On the other hand, shareholders holding shares as capital assets who tender all of their shares (including shares deemed owned by shareholders under constructive ownership rules) will be treated as having sold their shares and generally will recognize capital gain or loss. The amount of the gain or loss will be equal to the difference between the amount received for the shares and the shareholder’s adjusted tax basis in the relevant shares. Such gain or loss generally will be a long-term capital gain or loss if the shareholder has held such shares as capital assets for more than one year. Otherwise, the gain or loss will be treated as short-term capital gain or loss.
Losses realized by a shareholder on the sale or exchange of shares held as capital assets for six months or less will be treated as long-term capital losses to the extent of any distribution of long-term capital gains received (or deemed received, as discussed above) with respect to such shares. In addition, no loss will be allowed on a sale or other disposition of shares if the shareholder acquires (including through reinvestment of distributions or otherwise) shares, or enters into a contract or option to acquire shares, within 30 days before or after any disposition of such shares at a loss. In such a case, the basis of the shares acquired will be adjusted to reflect the disallowed loss.
Under current law, net capital gains recognized by non-corporate shareholders are generally subject to U.S. federal income tax at lower rates than the rates applicable to ordinary income. Corporate shareholders currently are subject to U.S. federal income tax on net capital gain at the same rate as ordinary income. Non-corporate shareholders with net capital losses for a tax year (i.e., capital losses in excess of capital gains) generally may deduct up to $3,000 of such losses against their ordinary income each tax year. Any net capital losses of a non-corporate shareholder in excess of $3,000 generally may be carried forward and used in subsequent tax years as provided in the Code. Corporate shareholders generally may not deduct any net capital losses for a tax year, but may carry back such losses for three tax years or carry forward such losses for five tax years.
Medicare tax
An additional 3.8% Medicare tax is imposed on certain net investment income (including ordinary dividends and capital gain distributions received from the Acquiring Fund and net gains from repurchases or other taxable dispositions of shares) of U.S. individuals, estates and trusts to the extent that such person’s “modified adjusted gross income” ​(in the case of an individual) or “adjusted gross income” ​(in the case of an estate or trust) exceeds certain threshold amounts. U.S. persons that are individuals, estates or trusts are urged to consult their tax advisors regarding the applicability of this tax to their income and gains in respect of their investment in the Acquiring Fund.
Certain reporting requirements
Under U.S. Treasury regulations, if a shareholder recognizes losses with respect to shares of $2 million or more for an individual shareholder or $10 million or more for a corporate shareholder, the shareholder must file with the IRS a disclosure statement on IRS Form 8886. Direct shareholders of portfolio securities are in many cases excepted from this reporting requirement, but under current guidance, shareholders of a RIC are not excepted. Future guidance may extend the current exception from this reporting requirement
 
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to shareholders of most or all RICs. 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. Shareholders should consult their tax advisors to determine the applicability of these regulations in light of their individual circumstances.
Information returns will be filed with the IRS in connection with payments on shares and the proceeds from a sale or other disposition of shares. Reporting of adjusted cost basis information is required for covered securities, which generally include shares of a RIC acquired after January 1, 2012, to the IRS and to taxpayers. Shareholders should contact their Financial Intermediaries with respect to reporting of cost basis and available elections for their accounts.
Backup withholding and information reporting
A shareholder will be subject to backup withholding on all such payments if it fails to provide the payor with its correct taxpayer identification number (generally, in the case of a U.S. resident shareholder, on an IRS Form W-9) and to make required certifications or otherwise establish an exemption from backup withholding. Corporate shareholders and certain other shareholders generally are exempt from backup withholding. Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Any amounts withheld as backup withholding may be credited against the applicable shareholder’s U.S. federal income tax liability, provided the required information is timely furnished to the IRS.
TAXATION OF NON-U.S. SHAREHOLDERS
This subsection applies to non-U.S. shareholders only. Persons who are U.S. shareholders should refer to “Taxation of U.S. shareholders,” above.
Whether an investment in the Acquiring Fund is appropriate for a non-U.S. shareholder will depend upon that investor’s particular circumstances. An investment in the Acquiring Fund by a non-U.S. shareholder may have adverse tax consequences. Non-U.S. shareholders should consult their tax advisors before investing in shares.
The U.S. federal income taxation of a non-U.S. shareholder depends on whether the income that the shareholder derives from the Acquiring Fund is “effectively connected” with a U.S. trade or business carried on by the shareholder.
If the income that a non-U.S. shareholder derives from the Acquiring Fund is not “effectively connected” with a U.S. trade or business carried on by such non-U.S. shareholder, distributions of “investment company taxable income” ​(including any deemed distributions with respect to a repurchase offer) will generally be subject to a U.S. federal withholding tax at a rate of 30% (or a lower rate provided under an applicable treaty). Alternatively, if the income that a non-U.S. shareholder derives from the Acquiring Fund is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business of the non-U.S. shareholder, the Acquiring Fund will not be required to withhold U.S. federal tax if the non-U.S. shareholder complies with applicable certification and disclosure requirements, although such income will be subject to U.S. federal income tax in the manner described below and at the rates applicable to U.S. shareholders. Backup withholding will not, however, be applied to payments that have been subject to this 30% withholding tax applicable to non-U.S. shareholders.
A non-U.S. shareholder whose income from the Acquiring Fund is not “effectively connected” with a U.S. trade or business will generally be exempt from U.S. federal income tax on capital gains distributions, any amounts retained by the Acquiring Fund that are designated as undistributed capital gains and any gains realized upon the sale or exchange of shares. If, however, such a non-U.S. shareholder is a nonresident alien individual and is physically present in the United States for 183 days or more during the tax year and meets certain other requirements such capital gains distributions, undistributed capital gains and gains from the sale or exchange of shares will be subject to a 30% U.S. tax.
Furthermore, properly reported distributions by the Acquiring Fund and received by non-U.S. shareholders are generally exempt from U.S. federal withholding tax when they (a) are paid by the Acquiring Fund in respect of the Acquiring Fund’s “qualified net interest income” ​(i.e., the Acquiring Fund’s U.S. source interest income, subject to certain exceptions, reduced by expenses that are allocable to such income), or (b) are paid by the Acquiring Fund in connection with the Acquiring Fund’s “qualified short-term
 
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capital gains” ​(generally, the excess of the Acquiring Fund’s net short-term capital gains over the Acquiring Fund’s long-term capital losses for such tax year). However, depending on the circumstances, the Acquiring Fund may designate all, some or none of the Acquiring Fund’s potentially eligible distributions as derived from such qualified net interest income or from such qualified short-term capital gains, and a portion of such distributions (e.g., derived from interest from non-U.S. sources or any foreign currency gains) would be ineligible for this potential exemption from withholding. Moreover, in the case of shares held through an intermediary, the intermediary may have withheld amounts even if the Acquiring Fund reported all or a portion of a distribution as exempt from U.S. federal withholding tax. To qualify for this exemption from withholding, a non-U.S. shareholder must comply with applicable certification requirements relating to its non-U.S. tax residency status (including, in general, furnishing an IRS Form W-8BEN, IRS Form W-8BEN-E, IRS Form W-8ECI, IRS Form W-8IMY or IRS Form W-8EXP, or an acceptable substitute or successor form). There can be no assurance as to what portion, if any, of the Acquiring Fund’s distributions would qualify for favorable treatment as qualified net interest income or qualified short-term capital gains. An investment in the shares by a non-U.S. shareholder may have adverse tax consequences as compared to a direct investment in the assets in which the Acquiring Fund will invest.
If the income from the Acquiring Fund is “effectively connected” with a U.S. trade or business carried on by a non-U.S. shareholder, any distributions of “investment company taxable income,” capital gains distributions, amounts retained by the Acquiring Fund that are designated as undistributed capital gains and any gains realized upon the sale or exchange of shares will be subject to U.S. income tax, on a net income basis, in the same manner, and at the rates applicable to, U.S. shareholders. If such a non-U.S. shareholder is a corporation, it may also be subject to the U.S. branch profits tax.
A non-U.S. shareholder other than a corporation may be subject to backup withholding on net capital gains distributions that are otherwise exempt from withholding tax or on distributions that would otherwise be taxable at a reduced treaty rate if such shareholder does not certify its non-U.S. status under penalties of perjury or otherwise establish an exemption.
If the Acquiring Fund distributes net capital gains in the form of deemed rather than actual distributions, a non-U.S. shareholder will be entitled to a U.S. federal income tax credit or tax refund equal to the shareholder’s allocable share of the tax the Acquiring Fund pays on the capital gains deemed to have been distributed. To obtain the refund, the non-U.S. shareholder must obtain a U.S. taxpayer identification number and file a federal income tax return even if the non-U.S. shareholder would not otherwise be required to obtain a U.S. taxpayer identification number or file a federal income tax return.
Under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act provisions of the Code, withholding of U.S. tax (at a 30% rate) is required on payments of taxable dividends made to certain non-U.S. entities that fail to comply (or be deemed compliant) with extensive reporting and withholding requirements in the Code designed to inform the U.S. Department of the Treasury of U.S.-owned foreign investment accounts.
Shareholders may be requested to provide additional information to the Acquiring Fund to enable the Acquiring Fund to determine whether withholding is required.
The tax consequences to a non-U.S. shareholder entitled to claim the benefits of an applicable tax treaty may differ from those described herein. Non-U.S. shareholders are advised to consult their tax advisors with respect to the particular tax consequences to them of an investment in the Acquiring Fund, including the potential application of the U.S. estate tax.
OTHER TAXES
Shareholders may be subject to state, local and non-U.S. taxes applicable to their investment in the Acquiring Fund. In those states or localities, entity-level tax treatment and the treatment of distributions made to shareholders under those jurisdictions’ tax laws may differ from the treatment under the Code. Accordingly, an investment in shares may have tax consequences for shareholders that are different from those of a direct investment in the Acquiring Fund’s portfolio investments. Shareholders are advised to consult their tax advisors with respect to the particular tax consequences to them of an investment in the Acquiring Fund.
 
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OTHER INFORMATION
Householding
Please note that only one copy of shareholder documents, including annual or semiannual reports and proxy materials, may be delivered to two or more shareholders of the Acquired Fund who share an address, unless the Acquired Fund has received instructions to the contrary. This practice is commonly called “householding” and it is intended to reduce expenses and eliminate duplicate mailings of shareholder documents. Mailings of your shareholder documents may be householded indefinitely unless you instruct the Acquired Fund otherwise. To request a separate copy of any shareholder document, or for instructions as to how to request a separate copy of these documents or as to how to request a single copy if multiple copies of these documents are received, shareholders should contact the Acquired Fund at the address and phone number set forth above.
Shareholder Communications
Shareholders of a Fund who wish to send communications to the Board of Trustees of the Fund should send them c/o the Fund’s Secretary, One Financial Plaza, Hartford, CT 06103-2608.
 
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SHAREHOLDER INFORMATION
As of October 31, 2023, no single shareholder or “group” ​(as that term is used in Section 13(d) of the Exchange Act) beneficially owned more than 5% of either Fund’s outstanding common shares, except as described in the following table. A control person is one who owns, either directly or indirectly, more than 25% of the voting securities of a Fund or acknowledges the existence of control. A party that controls a Fund may be able to significantly affect the outcome of any item presented to shareholders for approval. This information is based on, among other sources, publicly available Schedule 13D and 13G disclosures filed with the SEC.
The Acquiring Fund
Shareholder Name and Address
Class of Shares
Share
Holdings
Percentage
Owned
Estimated Pro Forma
Percentage of
Ownership of
Combined Fund
Morgan Stanley
1585 Broadway
New York, New York 10036
Common Shares
1,161,270(1) 6.70% 4.30%
(1)
Based on June 30, 2023 Section 13 filing.
Security Ownership of Management
As of October 24, 2023, the officers and trustees of the Acquired Fund, in the aggregate, owned less than 1% of the outstanding shares of the Acquired Fund. As of October 24, 2023, the officers and trustees of the Acquiring Fund, in the aggregate, owned less than 1% of the outstanding shares of the Acquiring Fund.
 
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APPENDIX A
AGREEMENT AND PLAN OF REORGANIZATION
THIS AGREEMENT AND PLAN OF REORGANIZATION (the “Agreement”) is made as of this 23rd day of May, 2023, by and between Virtus Stone Harbor Emerging Markets Total Income Fund, a Massachusetts business trust (the “Acquired Fund”), and Virtus Stone Harbor Emerging Markets Income Fund, a Massachusetts business trust (the “Acquiring Fund” and, together with the Acquired Fund, the “Funds”), each with its principal place of business at 101 Munson Street, Greenfield, Massachusetts 01301.
This Agreement is intended to be and is adopted as a plan of reorganization and liquidation within the meaning of Section 368(a)(1) of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). The reorganization (the “Reorganization”) will consist of the transfer of all of the assets of the Acquired Fund to the Acquiring Fund in exchange solely for voting shares of beneficial interest of the Acquiring Fund (the “Acquiring Fund Shares”), the assumption by the Acquiring Fund of all liabilities of the Acquired Fund, and the distribution of the Acquiring Fund Shares to the shareholders of the Acquired Fund in complete liquidation of the Acquired Fund as provided herein, all upon the terms and conditions hereinafter set forth in this Agreement.
Each of the Acquired Fund and the Acquiring Fund is a closed-end, registered investment company of the management type. The Acquired Fund owns securities that generally are assets of the character in which the Acquiring Fund is permitted to invest.
The Board of Trustees of the Acquiring Fund, including a majority of the Trustees who are not “interested persons” of the Acquiring Fund, as defined in the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”), has determined, with respect to the Acquiring Fund, that the exchange of all of the assets of the Acquired Fund for Acquiring Fund Shares and the assumption of all liabilities of the Acquired Fund by the Acquiring Fund is in the best interests of the Acquiring Fund and its shareholders, and that the interests of the existing shareholders of the Acquiring Fund would not be diluted as a result of this transaction.
The Board of Trustees of the Acquired Fund, including a majority of the Trustees who are not “interested persons” of the Acquired Fund, as defined in the 1940 Act, has also determined, with respect to the Acquired Fund, that the exchange of all of the assets of the Acquired Fund for Acquiring Fund Shares and the assumption of all liabilities of the Acquired Fund by the Acquiring Fund is in the best interests of the Acquired Fund and its shareholders and that the interests of the existing shareholders of the Acquired Fund would not be diluted as a result of this transaction.
NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the premises and of the covenants and agreements hereinafter set forth, the parties hereto covenant and agree as follows:
1.   TRANSACTION
1.1   Subject to the terms and conditions set forth herein and on the basis of the representations and warranties contained herein, the Acquired Fund agrees to transfer all of the Acquired Fund’s assets, as set forth in paragraph 1.2, to the Acquiring Fund, and the Acquiring Fund agrees in exchange therefor: (i) to deliver to the Acquired Fund the number of Acquiring Fund Shares, determined by dividing the value of the Acquired Fund’s net assets, computed in the manner and as of the time and date set forth in paragraph 2.1, by the net asset value of one Acquiring Fund Share, computed in the manner and as of the time and date set forth in paragraph 2.2; and (ii) to assume all liabilities of the Acquired Fund, as set forth in paragraph 1.3. Such transactions shall take place at the closing provided for in paragraph 3.1 (the “Closing Date”).
1.2   The assets of the Acquired Fund to be acquired by the Acquiring Fund shall consist of all assets and property, including, without limitation, all cash, securities, commodities and futures interests and dividends or interests receivable, that are owned by the Acquired Fund, and any deferred or prepaid expenses shown as an asset on the books of the Acquired Fund, on the Closing Date (collectively, the “Assets”).
1.3   The Acquired Fund will endeavor to discharge or accrue for all of its known liabilities and obligations prior to the Closing Date consistent with its obligation to continue to pursue its investment objective and strategies in accordance with the terms of its prospectus. The Acquiring Fund shall also assume
 
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all of the liabilities of the Acquired Fund, whether accrued or contingent, known or unknown, existing at the Valuation Date, as defined in paragraph 2.1 (collectively, “Liabilities”).
1.4   Immediately after the transfer of Assets provided for in paragraph 1.1, the Acquired Fund will distribute to the Acquired Fund’s shareholders of record, determined as of immediately after the close of business on the Closing Date (the “Acquired Fund Shareholders”), on a pro rata basis, the Acquiring Fund Shares received by the Acquired Fund pursuant to paragraph 1.1, and will completely liquidate. Such distribution and liquidation will be accomplished, with respect to the Acquired Fund’s shares, by the transfer of the Acquiring Fund Shares then credited to the account of the Acquired Fund on the books of the Acquiring Fund to open accounts on the share records of the Acquiring Fund in the names of the Acquired Fund Shareholders. The aggregate net asset value of Acquiring Fund Shares to be so credited to Acquired Fund Shareholders shall be equal to the aggregate net asset value of the Acquired Fund shares owned by such shareholders on the Closing Date. No fractional shares of Acquiring Fund Shares will be issued to Acquired Fund Shareholders. Acquired Fund Shareholders who would otherwise have been entitled to receive fractional shares of Acquiring Fund Common Shares will receive a cash payment in lieu thereof. All issued and outstanding shares of the Acquired Fund will simultaneously be canceled on the books of the Acquired Fund.
1.5   Ownership of Acquiring Fund Shares will be shown on the books of the Acquiring Fund or its Transfer Agent, as defined in paragraph 3.3.
1.6   Any reporting responsibility of the Acquired Fund including, but not limited to, the responsibility for filing of regulatory reports, tax returns, or other documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”), any state securities commission, and any federal, state or local tax authorities or any other relevant regulatory authority, is and shall remain the responsibility of the Acquired Fund.
2.   VALUATION
2.1   The value of the Assets shall be the value computed as of immediately after the close of business of the New York Stock Exchange and after the declaration of any dividends at or prior to the Closing Date (such time and date being hereinafter called the “Valuation Date”), using the valuation procedures of the Acquired Fund.
2.2   The net asset value of the Acquiring Fund Shares shall be the net asset value per share computed as of the Valuation Date, using the valuation procedures of the Acquiring Fund.
2.3   The number of Acquiring Fund Shares to be issued in exchange for the Acquired Fund’s Assets shall be determined by dividing the value of the net assets with respect to the shares of the Acquired Fund determined using the same valuation procedures referred to in paragraph 2.1, by the net asset value of an Acquiring Fund Share, determined in accordance with paragraph 2.2.
2.4   Virtus Fund Services, LLC (“VFS”) shall make all computations of value, in its capacity as administrator for the Funds.
2.5   All computations of value hereunder shall be made in accordance with each Fund’s regular practice and the requirements of the 1940 Act, and shall be subject to confirmation by each Fund’s respective independent registered public accounting firm upon reasonable request of the other Fund.
3.   CLOSING AND CLOSING DATE
3.1   The Closing Date shall be August 4, 2023, or such other date as the parties may agree. All acts taking place at the closing of the transaction (the “Closing”) shall be deemed to take place simultaneously as of immediately after the close of business on the Closing Date unless otherwise agreed to by the parties. The close of business on the Closing Date shall be as of 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time. The Closing shall be held at the offices of VFS or at such other time and/or place as the parties may agree.
3.2   The Acquired Fund shall direct The Bank of New York Mellon, as custodian for the Acquired Fund (the “Custodian”), to deliver, on the next business day after the Closing, a certificate of an authorized
 
A-2

 
officer stating that the Assets shall have been delivered in proper form to the Acquiring Fund. The Acquired Fund shall have delivered to the Acquiring Fund a certificate executed in the Acquired Fund’s name by its Treasurer or Assistant Treasurer, in a form reasonably satisfactory to the Acquiring Fund, and dated as of the Closing Date, to the effect that all necessary taxes in connection with the delivery of the Assets, including all applicable federal and state stock transfer stamps, if any, have been paid or provision for payment has been made. The Acquired Fund’s portfolio securities represented by a certificate or other written instrument shall be presented by the Custodian as custodian for both Funds, from the Acquired Fund to the Acquiring Fund for examination no later than on the next business day following the Closing Date, and shall be transferred and delivered by the Acquired Fund on the next business day following the Closing Date for the account of the Acquiring Fund duly endorsed in proper form for transfer in such condition as to constitute good delivery thereof. The Custodian shall deliver as of the Closing Date by book entry, in accordance with the customary practices of such depositories and the Custodian, the Acquired Fund’s portfolio securities and instruments deposited with a “securities depository”, as defined in Rule 17f-4 under the 1940 Act. The cash to be transferred by the Acquired Fund shall be delivered by wire transfer of federal funds on the Closing Date.
3.3   The Acquired Fund shall direct Computershare Trust Company, N.A. in its capacity as transfer agent for the Acquired Fund (the “Transfer Agent”) to deliver on the next business day following the Closing, a certificate of an authorized officer stating that its records contain the names and addresses of the Acquired Fund Shareholders, and the number and percentage ownership of outstanding shares owned by each such shareholder immediately prior to the Closing. The Acquiring Fund shall issue and deliver a confirmation evidencing the Acquiring Fund Shares to be credited on the Closing Date to the Secretary of the Acquired Fund, or provide evidence satisfactory to the Acquired Fund that such Acquiring Fund Shares have been credited to the Acquired Fund’s account on the books of the Acquiring Fund. At the Closing each party shall deliver to the other such bills of sale, checks, assignments, share certificates, if any, receipts or other documents as such other party or its counsel may reasonably request.
3.4   In the event that on the Valuation Date (a) the New York Stock Exchange or another primary trading market for portfolio securities of the Acquiring Fund or the Acquired Fund shall be closed to trading or trading thereupon shall be restricted, or (b) trading or the reporting of trading on such Exchange or elsewhere shall be disrupted so that accurate appraisal of the value of the net assets of the Acquired Fund or the Acquiring Fund is impracticable, the Closing Date shall be postponed until the first Friday after the day when trading shall have been fully resumed and reporting shall have been restored.
4.   REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTIES
4.1   The Acquired Fund represents and warrants as follows:
(a)   The Acquired Fund is a Massachusetts business trust duly organized, validly existing and in good standing under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with power under its Declaration of Trust (the “Trust Instrument”) to own all of its assets and to carry on its business as it is now being conducted;
(b)   The Acquired Fund is registered with the Commission as a closed-end management investment company under the 1940 Act, and the registration of shares of the Acquired Fund under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (“1933 Act”), is in full force and effect;
(c)   No consent, approval, authorization, or order of any court or governmental authority is required for the consummation by the Acquired Fund of the transactions contemplated herein, except such as have been obtained under the 1933 Act, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “1934 Act”) and the 1940 Act and such as may be required by state securities laws;
(d)   The current prospectus, statement of additional information, shareholder reports, marketing and other related materials of the Acquired Fund and each prospectus and statement of additional information of the Acquired Fund used at all times prior to the date of this Agreement conforms or conformed at the time of its use in all material respects to the applicable requirements of the 1933 Act and the 1940 Act and the rules and regulations of the Commission thereunder, and does not or did not at the time of its use include any untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state any material fact
 
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required to be stated therein or necessary to make the statements therein, in light of the circumstances under which they were made, not materially misleading;
(e)   On the Closing Date, the Acquired Fund will have good and marketable title to the Assets and full right, power, and authority to sell, assign, transfer and deliver such Assets hereunder free of any liens or other encumbrances, and upon delivery and payment for such Assets, the Acquiring Fund will acquire good and marketable title thereto, subject to no restrictions on the full transfer thereof, including such restrictions as might arise under the 1933 Act, other than as disclosed to the Acquiring Fund;
(f)   The Acquired Fund is not engaged currently, and the execution, delivery and performance of this Agreement will not result, in (i) a material violation of the Acquired Fund’s Trust Instrument or of any agreement, indenture, instrument, contract, lease or other undertaking to which the Acquired Fund is a party or by which it is bound, or (ii) the acceleration of any obligation, or the imposition of any penalty, under any agreement, indenture, instrument, contract, lease, judgment or decree to which the Acquired Fund is a party or by which it is bound;
(g)   All material contracts or other commitments of the Acquired Fund (other than this Agreement and certain investment contracts, including options, futures and forward contracts) will terminate without liability or obligation to the Acquired Fund on or prior to the Closing Date;
(h)   Except as otherwise disclosed in writing to and accepted by the Acquiring Fund, no litigation or administrative proceeding or investigation of or before any court or governmental body is presently pending or, to its knowledge, threatened against the Acquired Fund or any of its properties or assets that, if adversely determined, would materially and adversely affect its financial condition or the conduct of its business. The Acquired Fund knows of no facts which might form the basis for the institution of such proceedings and is not a party to or subject to the provisions of any order, decree or judgment of any court or governmental body which materially and adversely affects its business or its ability to consummate the transactions herein contemplated;
(i)   The audited Statement of Assets and Liabilities, Statements of Operations and Changes in Net Assets, and Schedule of Investments of the Acquired Fund at November 30, 2022 are in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) consistently applied, and such statements (copies of which have been furnished to the Acquiring Fund) present fairly, in all material respects, the financial condition of the Acquired Fund as of such date in accordance with GAAP, and there are no known contingent liabilities of the Acquired Fund required to be reflected on a balance sheet (including the notes thereto) in accordance with GAAP as of such date not disclosed therein;
(j)   Since November 30, 2022, there has not been any material adverse change in the Acquired Fund’s financial condition, assets, liabilities or business, other than changes occurring in the ordinary course of business, or any incurrence by the Acquired Fund of indebtedness maturing more than one year from the date such indebtedness was incurred, except as otherwise disclosed to and accepted by the Acquiring Fund. For the purposes of this subparagraph (j), a decline in net asset value per share of the Acquired Fund due to declines in market values of securities in the Acquired Fund’s portfolio or the discharge of Acquired Fund liabilities shall not constitute a material adverse change;
(k)   On the Closing Date, all Federal and other tax returns, dividend reporting forms, and other tax-related reports of the Acquired Fund required by law to have been filed by such date (including any extensions) shall have been filed and are or will be correct in all material respects, and all Federal and other taxes shown as due or required to be shown as due on said returns and reports shall have been paid or provision shall have been made for the payment thereof, and to the best of the Acquired Fund’s knowledge, no such return is currently under audit and no assessment has been asserted with respect to such returns;
(l)   For each taxable year of its operation (including the year ending on the Closing Date), the Acquired Fund has met (or will meet) the requirements of Subchapter M of the Code for qualification as a regulated investment company, has been (or will be) eligible to and has computed (or will compute) its Federal income tax under Section 852 of the Code, and will have distributed all of its investment company taxable income and net capital gain (as defined in the Code) that has accrued through the
 
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Closing Date, and before the Closing Date will have declared dividends sufficient to distribute all of its investment company taxable income and net capital gain for the period ending on the Closing Date;
(m)   All issued and outstanding shares of the Acquired Fund are, and on the Closing Date will be, duly and validly issued and outstanding, fully paid and non-assessable (recognizing that, under Massachusetts law, it is theoretically possible that shareholders of the Acquired Fund could under certain circumstances, be held personally liable for obligations of the Acquired Fund) and have been offered and sold in every state and the District of Columbia in compliance in all material respects with applicable registration requirements of the 1933 Act and state securities laws. All of the issued and outstanding shares of the Acquired Fund will, at the time of Closing, be held by the persons and in the amounts set forth in the records of the Transfer Agent, on behalf of the Acquired Fund, as provided in paragraph 3.3. The Acquired Fund does not have outstanding any options, warrants or other rights to subscribe for or purchase any of the shares of the Acquired Fund, nor is there outstanding any security convertible into any of the Acquired Fund shares;
(n)   The execution, delivery and performance of this Agreement will have been duly authorized prior to the Closing Date by all necessary action, if any, on the part of the Board of Trustees of the Acquired Fund, and this Agreement will constitute a valid and binding obligation of the Acquired Fund, enforceable in accordance with its terms, subject, as to enforcement, to bankruptcy, insolvency, reorganization, moratorium and other laws relating to or affecting creditors’ rights and to general equity principles; and
(o)   The information to be furnished by the Acquired Fund for use in registration statements, proxy materials and other documents filed or to be filed with any Federal, state or local regulatory authority (including the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), which may be necessary in connection with the transactions contemplated hereby, shall be accurate and complete in all material respects and shall comply in all material respects with Federal securities and other laws and regulations thereunder applicable thereto.
4.2   Except as has been fully disclosed to the Acquired Fund in a written instrument executed by an officer of the Acquiring Fund, the Acquiring Fund represents and warrants as follows:
(a)   The Acquiring Fund is a Massachusetts business trust duly organized, validly existing and in good standing under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with power under its Trust Instrument to own all of its assets and to carry on its business as it is now being conducted;
(b)   The Acquiring Fund is registered with the Commission as a closed-end management investment company under the 1940 Act and the registration of shares of the Acquiring Fund under the 1933 Act, is in full force and effect;
(c)   No consent, approval, authorization, or order of any court or governmental authority is required for the consummation by the Acquiring Fund of the transactions contemplated herein, except such as have been obtained under the 1933 Act, the 1934 Act and the 1940 Act and such as may be required by state securities laws;
(d)   The Information Statement/Prospectus of the Acquiring Fund initially filed with the Commission on March 31, 2023 on Form N-14 which will become effective prior to the Closing Date, conforms and, as of its effective date and the Closing Date, will conform in all material respects to the applicable requirements of the 1933 Act and the 1940 Act and the rules and regulations of the Commission thereunder and does not and, as of its effective date and the Closing Date, will not include any untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state any material fact required to be stated therein or necessary to make the statements therein, in light of the circumstances under which they were made, not materially misleading;
(e)   The Acquiring Fund is not engaged currently, and the execution, delivery and performance of this Agreement will not result, in (i) a material violation of the Acquiring Fund’s Trust Instrument or of any agreement, indenture, instrument, contract, lease or other undertaking to which the Acquiring Fund is a party or by which it is bound, or (ii) the acceleration of any obligation, or the imposition
 
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of any penalty, under any agreement, indenture, instrument, contract, lease, judgment or decree to which the Acquiring Fund is a party or by which it is bound;
(f)   Except as otherwise disclosed in writing to and accepted by the Acquired Fund, no litigation or administrative proceeding or investigation of or before any court or governmental body is presently pending or, to its knowledge, threatened against the Acquiring Fund, or any of the Acquiring Fund’s properties or assets that, if adversely determined, would materially and adversely affect the Acquiring Fund’s financial condition or the conduct of the Acquiring Fund’s business. The Acquiring Fund knows of no facts which might form the basis for the institution of such proceedings and is not a party to or subject to the provisions of any order, decree or judgment of any court or governmental body which materially and adversely affects the Acquiring Fund’s business or the Acquiring Fund’s ability to consummate the transactions herein contemplated;
(g)   On the Closing Date, the Acquiring Fund will have good and marketable title to its assets;
(h)   The audited financial statements of the Acquiring Fund at November 30, 2022 are in accordance with GAAP consistently applied, and such statements (copies of which have been furnished to the Acquired Fund) fairly reflect the financial condition of the Acquiring Fund as of such date, and there are no known contingent liabilities of the Acquiring Fund as of such date not disclosed therein;
(i)   Since November 30, 2022, there has not been any material adverse change in the Acquiring Fund’s financial condition, assets, liabilities, or business other than changes occurring in the ordinary course of business, or any incurrence by the Acquiring Fund of indebtedness maturing more than one year from the date such indebtedness was incurred, except as otherwise disclosed to and accepted by the Acquired Fund. For the purposes of this subparagraph (i), a decline in the net asset value of the Acquiring Fund shall not constitute a material adverse change;
(j)   On the Closing Date, all Federal and other tax returns, dividend reporting forms, and other tax-related reports of the Acquiring Fund required by law to have been filed by such date (including any extensions) shall have been filed and are or will be correct in all material respects, and all Federal and other taxes shown as due or required to be shown as due on said returns and reports shall have been paid or provision shall have been made for the payment thereof, and to the best of the Acquiring Fund’s knowledge no such return is currently under audit and no assessment has been asserted with respect to such returns;
(k)   For each taxable year of its operation (including through the end of the year in which the Reorganization occurs), the Acquiring Fund has met (or will meet) the requirements of Subchapter M of the Code for qualification and treatment as a regulated investment company, has been (or will be) eligible to and has computed (or will compute) its Federal income tax under Section 852 of the Code, and has distributed (or will distribute) in each such year all of its investment company taxable income and net realized capital gains;
(l)   All issued and outstanding Acquiring Fund Shares are, and on the Closing Date will be, duly and validly issued and outstanding, fully paid and non-assessable (recognizing that, under Massachusetts law, it is theoretically possible that shareholders of the Acquiring Fund could, under certain circumstances, be held personally liable for obligations of the Acquiring Fund) and have been offered and sold in every state and the District of Columbia in compliance in all material respects with applicable registration requirements of the 1933 Act. The Acquiring Fund does not have outstanding any options, warrants or other rights to subscribe for or purchase any Acquiring Fund Shares, nor is there outstanding any security convertible into any Acquiring Fund Shares;
(m)   The execution, delivery and performance of this Agreement will have been fully authorized prior to the Closing Date by all necessary action, if any, on the part of the Trustees of the Acquiring Fund and this Agreement will constitute a valid and binding obligation of the Acquiring Fund, enforceable in accordance with its terms, subject, as to enforcement, to bankruptcy, insolvency, reorganization, moratorium and other laws relating to or affecting creditors’ rights and to general equity principles;
 
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(n)   Acquiring Fund Shares to be issued and delivered to the Acquired Fund, for the account of the Acquired Fund Shareholders, pursuant to the terms of this Agreement, will on the Closing Date have been duly authorized and, when so issued and delivered, will be duly and validly issued Acquiring Fund Shares, and will be fully paid and non-assessable (recognizing that, under Massachusetts law, it is theoretically possible that shareholders of the Acquiring Fund could, under certain circumstances, be held personally liable for obligations of the Acquiring Fund);
(o)   The information to be furnished by the Acquiring Fund for use in the registration statements, proxy materials and other documents that may be necessary in connection with the transactions contemplated hereby shall be accurate and complete in all material respects and shall comply in all material respects with Federal securities and other laws and regulations applicable thereto; and
(p)   The Information Statement/Prospectus, insofar as it relates to the Acquiring Fund and the Acquiring Fund Shares, will, through the date of the meeting of shareholders of the Acquired Fund and Acquiring Fund contemplated therein and at the Closing Date (i) not contain any untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state a material fact required to be stated therein or necessary to make the statements therein, in light of the circumstances under which such statements were made, not materially misleading, and (ii) comply in all material respects with the provisions of the 1933 Act, the 1934 Act, and the 1940 Act and the rules and regulations thereunder; provided, however, that the representations and warranties of this subparagraph (p) shall not apply to statements in or omissions from the Joint Proxy Statement/Prospectus made in reliance upon and in conformity with information that was furnished by the Acquired Fund for use therein.
(q)   The Acquiring Fund agrees to use all reasonable efforts to obtain the approvals and authorizations required by the 1933 Act, the 1940 Act and such of the state blue sky or securities laws as may be necessary in order to continue its operations after the Closing Date.
5.   COVENANTS OF THE ACQUIRED FUND
5.1   The Acquired Fund will operate its business in the ordinary course between the date hereof and the Closing Date except as contemplated by this Agreement, it being understood that such ordinary course of business will include the declaration and payment of customary dividends and distributions, and any other distribution that may be advisable.
5.2   If necessary, the Acquired Fund will call a meeting of the shareholders of the Acquired Fund to consider and act upon this Agreement and to take all other actions necessary to obtain approval of the transactions contemplated herein.
5.3   The Acquired Fund covenants that the Acquiring Fund Shares to be issued hereunder are not being acquired for the purpose of making any distribution thereof, other than in accordance with the terms of this Agreement.
5.4   The Acquired Fund shall assist the Acquiring Fund in obtaining such information as the Acquiring Fund reasonably requests concerning the holders of the Acquired Fund’s shares.
5.5   Subject to the provisions of this Agreement, the Acquired Fund will take, or cause to be taken, all action, and do or cause to be done, all things reasonably necessary, proper or advisable to consummate and make effective the transactions contemplated by this Agreement.
5.6   The Acquired Fund will provide the Acquiring Fund with information regarding the Acquired Fund, reasonably necessary for the preparation of an information statement/prospectus on Form N-14 (the “Information Statement/Prospectus”), in compliance with the 1934 Act and the 1940 Act in connection with the meeting of shareholders of the Acquired Fund to consider and vote upon this Agreement and the transactions contemplated herein.
5.7   As soon as is reasonably practicable after the Closing, the Acquired Fund will make a liquidating distribution to its shareholders consisting of the Acquiring Fund Shares received at the Closing.
5.8   The Acquired Fund shall use its reasonable best efforts to fulfill or obtain the fulfillment of the conditions precedent to effect the transactions contemplated by this Agreement as promptly as practicable.
 
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5.9   The Acquired Fund covenants that it will, from time to time, as and when reasonably requested by the Acquiring Fund, execute and deliver or cause to be executed and delivered all such assignments and other instruments, and will take or cause to be taken such further action as the Acquiring Fund, may reasonably deem necessary or desirable in order to vest in and confirm (a) the Acquired Fund’s title to and possession of the Acquiring Fund Shares to be delivered hereunder, and (b) the Acquiring Fund’s title to and possession of all the assets, and to carry out the intent and purpose of this Agreement.
6.   COVENANTS OF THE ACQUIRING FUND
6.1   The Acquiring Fund will operate its business in the ordinary course between the date hereof and the Closing Date except as contemplated by this Agreement.
6.2   The Acquiring Fund will call a meeting of the shareholders of the Acquiring Fund to consider and vote upon the issuance of the Acquiring Fund Shares and to take all other actions necessary to obtain approval of the transactions contemplated herein.
6.3   Subject to the provisions of this Agreement, the Acquiring Fund will take, or cause to be taken, all action, and do or cause to be done, all things reasonably necessary, proper or advisable to consummate and make effective the transactions contemplated by this Agreement.
6.4   The Acquiring Fund shall use its reasonable best efforts to fulfill or obtain the fulfillment of the conditions precedent to effect the transactions contemplated by this Agreement as promptly as practicable.
6.5   The Information Statement/Prospectus which the Acquiring Fund shall have prepared and filed for the registration under the 1933 Act of the Acquiring Fund Shares to be distributed to the Acquired Fund Shareholders pursuant hereto, shall have become effective under the 1933 Act and no stop orders suspending the effectiveness thereof shall have been issued and, to the knowledge of the parties thereto, no investigation or proceeding for that purpose shall have been instituted or be pending, threatened or contemplated under the 1933 Act.
6.6   The Acquiring Fund will use all reasonable efforts to obtain the approvals and authorizations required by the 1933 Act, the 1940 Act and such of the state blue sky or securities laws as may be necessary in order to continue its operations after the Closing Date.
7.   CONDITIONS PRECEDENT TO OBLIGATIONS OF THE ACQUIRED FUND
The obligations of the Acquired Fund to consummate the transactions provided for herein shall be subject, at the Acquired Fund’s election, to the performance by the Acquiring Fund, of all the obligations to be performed by it hereunder on or before the Closing Date, and, in addition thereto, the following further conditions:
7.1   All representations and warranties of the Acquiring Fund contained in this Agreement shall be true and correct in all material respects as of the date hereof and, except as they may be affected by the transactions contemplated by this Agreement, as of the Closing Date, with the same force and effect as if made on and as of the Closing Date;
7.2   The Acquiring Fund shall have performed all of the covenants and complied with all of the provisions required by this Agreement to be performed or complied with by the Acquiring Fund on or before the Closing Date;
7.3   The Acquiring Fund shall have delivered to the Acquired Fund a certificate executed in the Acquiring Fund’s name by its President or Vice President, and its Treasurer or Assistant Treasurer, in a form reasonably satisfactory to the Acquired Fund, and dated as of the Closing Date, to the effect that the representations and warranties of the Acquiring Fund made in this Agreement are true and correct at and as of the Closing Date, except as they may be affected by the transactions contemplated by this Agreement and as to such other matters as the Acquired Fund shall reasonably request; and
7.4   The Acquired Fund and the Acquiring Fund shall have agreed on the number of Acquiring Fund Shares to be issued in connection with the Reorganization after such number has been calculated in accordance with paragraph 2.3.
 
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8.   CONDITIONS PRECEDENT TO OBLIGATIONS OF THE ACQUIRING FUND
The obligations of the Acquiring Fund to consummate the transactions provided for herein shall be subject, at the Acquiring Fund’s election, to the performance by the Acquired Fund of all of the obligations to be performed by it hereunder on or before the Closing Date and, in addition thereto, the following further conditions:
8.1   All representations and warranties of the Acquired Fund contained in this Agreement shall be true and correct in all material respects as of the date hereof and, except as they may be affected by the transactions contemplated by this Agreement, as of the Closing Date, with the same force and effect as if made on and as of the Closing Date;
8.2   The Acquired Fund shall have delivered to the Acquiring Fund a statement of the Acquired Fund’s assets and liabilities, as of the Closing Date, certified by the Treasurer of the Acquired Fund;
8.3.   The Acquired Fund shall have performed all of the covenants and complied with all of the provisions required by this Agreement to be performed or complied with by the Acquired Fund on or before the Closing Date;
8.4   The Acquired Fund shall have declared and paid a distribution or distributions prior to the Closing Date that, together with all previous distributions, shall have the effect of distributing to its shareholders (i) all of its investment company taxable income and all of its net realized capital gains, if any, for the period from the close of its last fiscal year to 4:00 p.m. Eastern time on the Closing Date; and (ii) any undistributed investment company taxable income and net realized capital gains from any period to the extent not otherwise already distributed;
8.5   The Acquired Fund shall have delivered to the Acquiring Fund a certificate executed in the Acquired Fund’s name by its President or Vice President, and its Treasurer or Assistant Treasurer, in a form reasonably satisfactory to the Acquiring Fund, and dated as of the Closing Date, to the effect that the representations and warranties of the Acquired Fund made in this Agreement are true and correct at and as of the Closing Date, except as they may be affected by the transactions contemplated by this Agreement and as to such other matters as the Acquiring Fund shall reasonably request; and
8.6   The Acquired Fund and the Acquiring Fund shall have agreed on the number of Acquiring Fund Shares to be issued in connection with the Reorganization after such number has been calculated in accordance with paragraph 2.3.
9.   FURTHER CONDITIONS PRECEDENT TO OBLIGATIONS OF THE ACQUIRING FUND AND THE ACQUIRED FUND
If any of the conditions set forth below have not been satisfied on or before the Closing Date with respect to either the Acquired Fund or the Acquiring Fund, the other party to this Agreement shall, at its option, not be required to consummate the transactions contemplated by this Agreement:
9.1   This Agreement and the transactions contemplated herein shall have been approved by the requisite vote of the holders of the outstanding shares of the Acquired Fund and the Acquiring Fund, as necessary, in accordance with each Fund’s Trust Instrument, applicable Massachusetts law, the 1940 Act, and applicable exchange rules. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, neither the Acquired Fund nor the Acquiring Fund may waive the conditions set forth in this paragraph 9.1;
9.2   On the Closing Date no action, suit or other proceeding shall be pending or, to the knowledge of either Fund, threatened before any court or governmental agency in which it is sought to restrain or prohibit, or obtain damages or other relief in connection with, this Agreement or the transactions contemplated herein;
9.3   All consents of other parties and all other consents, orders and permits of Federal, state and local regulatory authorities deemed necessary by either Fund to permit consummation, in all material respects, of the transactions contemplated hereby shall have been obtained, except where failure to obtain any such
 
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consent, order or permit would not involve a risk of a material adverse effect on the assets or properties of the Acquiring Fund or the Acquired Fund, provided that either party hereto may for itself waive any of such conditions;
9.4   The Information Statement/Prospectus shall have become effective under the 1933 Act and no stop orders suspending the effectiveness thereof shall have been issued and, to the best knowledge of the parties hereto, no investigation or proceeding for that purpose shall have been instituted or be pending, threatened or contemplated under the 1933 Act; and
9.5   The Funds shall have received the opinion of Dechert LLP (“Tax Counsel”), addressed to the Funds substantially to the effect that, based upon certain facts, assumptions, and representations, for federal income tax purposes:
(a)   The acquisition by the Acquiring Fund of the Assets in exchange solely for the Acquiring Fund Shares and the assumption of the Liabilities by the Acquiring Fund followed by the distribution of Acquiring Fund Shares to the Acquired Fund Shareholders in exchange for their Acquired Fund shares in complete liquidation and termination of the Acquired Fund will constitute a tax-free reorganization under Section 368(a) of the Code;
(b)   The Acquired Fund will not recognize gain or loss upon the transfer of the Assets to Acquiring Fund in exchange solely for the Acquiring Fund Shares and the assumption of the Liabilities by the Acquiring Fund, except that the Acquired Fund may be required to recognize gain or loss with respect to contracts described in Section 1256(b) of the Code or stock in a passive foreign investment company, as defined in Section 1297(a) of the Code;
(c)   The Acquired Fund will not recognize gain or loss upon the distribution to the Acquired Fund Shareholders of the Acquiring Fund Shares received by the Acquired Fund in the Reorganization;
(d)   The Acquiring Fund will recognize no gain or loss upon receiving the Assets in exchange solely for the issuance of the Acquiring Fund Shares and the assumption of the Liabilities;
(e)   The Acquiring Fund’s adjusted tax basis of the Assets received by the Acquiring Fund in the Reorganization will be the same as the adjusted tax basis of those Assets in the hands of the Acquired Fund immediately before the Reorganization;
(f)   The Acquiring Fund’s holding period of the Assets received by the Acquiring Fund in the Reorganization will include the period during which those Assets were held by the Acquired Fund (except where investment activities of the Acquiring Fund have the effect of reducing or eliminating a holding period with respect to an Asset);
(g)   The Acquired Fund Shareholders will recognize no gain or loss upon receiving Acquiring Fund Shares solely in exchange for their Acquired Fund shares (except with respect to cash received in lieu of fractional shares);
(h)   An Acquired Fund Shareholder’s aggregate tax basis of the Acquiring Fund Shares received by the Acquired Fund Shareholder in the Reorganization will be the same as the aggregate tax basis of the Acquired Fund shares surrendered by the Acquired Fund Shareholder in exchange therefor (reduced by any amount of tax basis allocable to fractional shares for which cash is received).
(i)   An Acquired Fund Shareholder’s holding period of the Acquiring Fund Shares received by the Acquired Fund Shareholder in the Reorganization will include the period during which the Acquired Fund shares surrendered in exchange therefor were held by the Acquired Fund Shareholder, provided that the Acquired Fund Shareholder held such Acquired Fund shares as a capital asset on the date of Reorganization.
The delivery of such opinion is conditioned upon receipt of representations Tax Counsel shall request of each Fund. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, the Funds may not waive the condition set forth in this paragraph 9.5.
 
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10.   BROKERAGE FEES AND EXPENSES
10.1   Each of the Acquired Fund and the Acquiring Fund represents and warrants that there are no brokers or finders entitled to receive any payments in connection with the transactions provided for herein.
10.2   The expenses relating to the proposed Reorganization will be shared between the Acquired Fund and Acquiring Fund. The costs of the Reorganization shall include, but not be limited to, costs associated with obtaining any necessary order of exemption from the 1940 Act, preparation of the Information Statement/Prospectus, printing and distributing the Acquiring Fund’s prospectus/proxy statement or information statement, legal fees, accounting fees, and securities registration fees. Notwithstanding any of the foregoing, expenses will in any event be paid by the party directly incurring such expenses if and to the extent that the payment by another person of such expenses would result in the disqualification of such party as a “regulated investment company” within the meaning of Section 851 of the Code.
10.3   In the event the transactions contemplated by this Agreement are not consummated, then the officers of the Acquired Fund and Acquiring Fund, or an affiliate, shall, based on the reasons for not consummating the transaction, agree on a reasonable allocation of expenses.
11.   ENTIRE AGREEMENT; SURVIVAL OF WARRANTIES
11.1   Neither the Acquiring Fund nor the Acquired Fund has made any representation, warranty or covenant not set forth herein; this Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties.
11.2   The representations, warranties and covenants contained in this Agreement or in any document delivered pursuant hereto or in connection herewith shall not survive the consummation of the transactions contemplated hereunder. The covenants to be performed after the Closing shall survive the Closing.
12.   TERMINATION
This Agreement may be terminated and the transactions contemplated hereby may be abandoned by either party by (i) mutual agreement of the parties, or (ii) by either party if the Closing shall not have occurred on or before February 4, 2024 unless such date is extended by mutual agreement of the parties, or (iii) by either party if the other party shall have materially breached its obligations under this Agreement or made a material and intentional misrepresentation herein or in connection herewith. In the event of any such termination, this Agreement shall become void and there shall be no liability hereunder on the part of any party or their respective Trustees or officers, except for any such material breach or intentional misrepresentation, as to each of which all remedies at law or in equity of the party adversely affected shall survive.
13.   WAIVER
The Acquiring Fund and the Acquired Fund, after consultation with their respective counsel and by mutual consent of each of their Board of Trustees, may waive any condition to their respective obligations hereunder, except the conditions set forth in paragraphs 9.1 and 9.5.
14.   AMENDMENTS
This Agreement may be amended, modified or supplemented in such manner as may be deemed necessary or advisable and mutually agreed upon in writing by the authorized officers of each of the Acquiring Fund and the Acquired Fund; provided, however, that following the meeting of the shareholders, if necessary, of the Acquired Fund or the Acquiring Fund called pursuant to this Agreement, no such amendment may have the effect of changing the provisions for determining the number of Acquiring Fund Shares to be issued to Acquired Fund Shareholders under this Agreement to the detriment of such shareholders without their further approval.
15.   NOTICES
Any notice, report, statement or demand required or permitted by any provisions of this Agreement shall be in writing and shall be given by facsimile, personal service or prepaid or certified mail addressed to the receiving party in care of Virtus Fund Services, LLC, One Financial Plaza, Hartford, CT 06103, Attn: Counsel.
 
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16.   HEADINGS; COUNTERPARTS; GOVERNING LAW; ASSIGNMENT; LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
16.1   The Article and paragraph headings contained in this Agreement are for reference purposes only and shall not affect in any way the meaning or interpretation of this Agreement.
16.2   This Agreement may be executed in any number of counterparts, each of which shall be deemed an original.
16.3   This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts without regard to its principles of conflicts of laws.
16.4   This Agreement shall bind and inure to the benefit of the parties hereto and their respective successors and assigns, but no assignment or transfer hereof or of any rights or obligations hereunder shall be made by any party without the written consent of the other party. Nothing herein expressed or implied is intended or shall be construed to confer upon or give any person, firm or corporation, other than the parties hereto and their respective successors and assigns, any rights or remedies under or by reason of this Agreement.
16.5   It is expressly agreed that the obligations of the respective parties hereunder shall not be binding upon any of the Trustees, shareholders, nominees, officers, agents, or employees of each such party personally, but shall bind only the property of the respective party, as provided in each Trust Instrument. The execution and delivery by such officers of the respective parties shall not be deemed to have been made by any of them individually or to impose any liability on any of them personally, but shall bind only the property of the each such party as provided in each Trust Instrument.
17.   INDEMNIFICATION
17.1   The Acquiring Fund agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Acquired Fund, and its Trustees, officers, employees and agents (the “Acquired Fund Indemnified Parties”), from and against any and all losses, claims, damages, liabilities or expenses (including, without limitation, the payment of reasonable legal fees and reasonable costs of investigation) to which the Acquired Fund Indemnified Parties may become subject, insofar as such loss, claim, damage, liability or expense (or actions with respect thereto) arises out of or is based on (a) any breach by the Acquiring Fund of any of its representations, warranties, covenants or agreements set forth in this Agreement or (b) any act, error, omission, neglect, misstatement, materially misleading statement, breach of duty or other act wrongfully done or attempted to be committed by the Acquiring Fund or the members of the Acquiring Fund’s Board of Trustees or its officers prior to the Closing Date, provided that this indemnification shall not apply to the extent such loss, claim, damage, liability or expense (or actions with respect thereto) shall be due to any negligent, intentional or fraudulent act, omission or error of the Acquired Fund or its respective Trustees, officers, employees or agents.
17.2   The Acquired Fund agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Acquiring Fund, and its Trustees, officers, employees and agents (the “Acquiring Fund Indemnified Parties”) from and against any and all losses, claims, damages, liabilities or expenses (including, without limitation, the payment of reasonable legal fees and reasonable costs of investigation) to which the Acquiring Fund Indemnified Parties may become subject, insofar as such loss, claim, damage, liability or expense (or actions with respect thereto) arises out of or is based on (a) any breach by the Acquired Fund of any of its representations, warranties, covenants or agreements set forth in this Agreement or (b) any act, error, omission, neglect, misstatement, materially misleading statement, breach of duty or other act wrongfully done or attempted to be committed by the Acquired Fund or the members of the Acquired Fund’s Board of Trustees or its officers prior to the Closing Date, provided that this indemnification shall not apply to the extent such loss, claim, damage, liability or expense (or actions with respect thereto) shall be due to any negligent, intentional or fraudulent act, omission or error of the Acquiring Fund or its respective Trustees, officers, employees or agents.
[Signature page follows]
 
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IN WITNESS WHEREOF, each of the parties hereto has caused this Agreement to be executed by its President, Vice President or Treasurer all as of the date first written above.
VIRTUS STONE HARBOR EMERGING MARKETS INCOME FUND
By:
Name:
W. Patrick Bradley
Title:
Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
VIRTUS STONE HARBOR EMERGING MARKETS TOTAL INCOME FUND
By:
Name:
Richard W. Smirl
Title:
Executive Vice President
 
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APPENDIX B
INFORMATION ABOUT THE FUNDS
For the purpose of this section, “the Fund” refers to each Fund.
Portfolio Composition
The Fund’s permitted investments include, but are not limited to:
Sovereign Debt Obligations.   Sovereign debt obligations are obligations of governmental issuers in foreign developed and emerging market countries (“Sovereign Debt Obligations”). Sovereign Debt Obligations include, but are not limited to, (i) debt securities issued or guaranteed by governments, government agencies or instrumentalities and political subdivisions, (ii) debt securities issued by government owned, controlled or sponsored entities and supranational government entities, (iii) interests in entities organized and operated for the purposes of restructuring the investment characteristics of instruments issued by any of the above issuers or (iv) participation in loans between governments and financial institutions. Supranational entities include international organizations that are organized or supported by one or more government entities to promote economic reconstruction or development and by international banking institutions and related governmental agencies. As a holder of Sovereign Debt Obligations, the Fund may be requested to participate in the rescheduling of such debt and to extend further loans to governmental entities. In addition, there are generally no bankruptcy proceedings similar to those in the United States by which defaulted Sovereign Debt Obligations may be collected. Investing in foreign securities involves special risks and considerations not typically associated with investing in U.S. securities.
High Yield Securities.   The Fund may invest without limit in debt securities that are rated below investment grade (below Baa by Moody’s Investor Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”) or below BBB by either S&P Global Ratings (“S&P”) or Fitch Ratings (“Fitch”)) or unrated but judged by the investment subadviser, Stone Harbor Investment Partners (“Stone Harbor”), to be of comparable quality (“Non-Investment Grade Bonds”). Non-Investment Grade Bonds are commonly referred to as “high yield” securities or “junk bonds.” Non-Investment Grade Bonds involve a greater degree of risk (in particular, a greater risk of default) than, and special risks in addition to the risks associated with, investment grade debt obligations. While offering a greater potential opportunity for capital appreciation and higher yields, Non-Investment Grade Bonds typically entail greater potential price volatility and may be less liquid than higher-rated securities. Non-Investment Grade Bonds may be regarded as predominantly speculative with respect to the issuer’s continuing ability to make timely principal and interest payments. They also may be more susceptible to real or perceived adverse economic and competitive industry conditions than higher-rated securities. Debt securities in the lowest investment grade category also may be considered to possess some speculative characteristics by one or more ratings agencies.
The market values of Non-Investment Grade Bonds tend to reflect individual developments of the issuer to a greater extent than do higher-quality securities, which tend to react mainly to fluctuations in the general level of interest rates. In addition, lower-quality debt securities tend to be more sensitive to general economic conditions. Certain emerging market governments that issue Non-Investment Grade Bonds in which the Fund may invest are among the largest debtors to commercial banks, foreign governments and supranational organizations, such as the World Bank, and may not be able or willing to make principal and/or interest payments as they come due.
Corporate Debt Securities.   The Fund may invest in debt securities of non-governmental issuers. Like all debt securities, corporate debt securities generally represent an issuer’s obligation to repay to the investor (or lender) the amount borrowed plus interest over a specified time period. A typical corporate bond specifies a fixed date when the amount borrowed (principal) is due in full, known as the maturity date, and specifies dates when periodic interest (coupon) payments will be made over the life of the security.
Corporate debt securities come in many varieties and may differ in the way that interest is calculated, the amount and frequency of payments, the type of collateral, if any, and the presence of special features (e.g., conversion rights). The Fund’s investments in corporate debt securities may include, but are not limited to, senior, junior, secured and unsecured bonds, notes and other debt securities, and may be fixed rate, floating rate, zero coupon and inflation linked, among other things. The Fund may invest in convertible
 
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bonds and warrant structures, which are fixed income securities with imbedded warrants that are exercisable into other debt or equity securities.
Bonds.   The Fund may invest in a wide variety of bonds of varying maturities issued by U.S. and foreign corporations and other business entities, governments and municipalities and other issuers. Bonds are fixed or variable/floating-rate debt obligations, including bills, notes, debentures, money market instruments and similar instruments and securities. Bonds generally are used by corporations as well as governments and other issuers to borrow money from investors. The issuer pays the investor a fixed or variable rate of interest and normally must repay the amount borrowed on or before maturity. Some bonds are “perpetual” in that they have no maturity date.
Currency.   The Fund may engage in foreign currency exchange transactions in connection with its investments in emerging markets securities. The Fund will conduct its foreign currency exchange transactions either on a spot (i.e., cash) basis at the spot rate prevailing in the foreign currency exchange market or in the derivatives markets, including through entering into forward, futures or options contracts to purchase or sell foreign currencies. Additional instruments that provide exposure to currencies include, but are not limited to, currency swap contracts, currency futures contracts and options on such futures contracts, purchasing put or call options on currencies in U.S. or foreign markets and other currency derivatives.
Loan Participations and Assignments.   The Fund may invest in fixed and floating rate loans arranged through private negotiations between an issuer and one or more financial institutions. The Fund’s investments in loans may be in the form of participations in loans or assignments of all or a portion of loans from third parties. The Fund’s investment in participations typically will result in the Fund having a contractual relationship only with the lender and not with the borrower. The Fund will have the right to receive payments of principal, interest and any fees to which it is entitled only from the lender selling the participation and only upon receipt by the lender of the payments from the borrower.
The purchaser of an assignment acquires direct rights against the borrower on the loan. Because assignments are arranged through private negotiations between potential assignees and potential assignors, however, the rights and obligations so acquired may differ from, and be more limited than, those held by the assigning lender. The assignability of certain loans, especially with respect to Sovereign Debt Obligations, is restricted by the governing documentation as to the nature of the assignee such that the only way in which the Fund may acquire an interest in such a loan is through a participation and not through an assignment.
Forward Foreign Currency Exchange Contracts.   The Fund may enter into forward foreign currency exchange contracts (“forward contracts”) for purposes of gaining exposure to the currency of an emerging markets or other foreign country or as a hedge against fluctuations in future foreign currency exchange rates. A forward contract involves an obligation to purchase or sell a specific currency at a future date, which may be any fixed number of days from the date of the contract agreed upon by the parties, at a price set at the time of the contract. These contracts are traded in the interbank market conducted directly between currency traders (usually large, commercial and investment banks) and their customers. A non-deliverable currency forward contract is a short-term forward contract on a foreign currency where the profit and loss is the difference between a specified exchange rate and the spot rate at the time of settlement.
At times, the Fund may enter into “cross-currency” hedging transactions involving currencies other than those in which securities are held or proposed to be purchased are denominated.
By entering into a forward contract for the purchase or sale, for a fixed amount of dollars or other currency, of the amount of foreign currency involved in an underlying security transaction, the Fund may be able to protect itself against a possible loss resulting from an adverse change in the relationship between the U.S. dollar and the currency which is being used for the security transaction.
Although the Fund values its assets daily in terms of U.S. dollars, it does not intend to actually convert its holdings of foreign currencies into U.S. dollars on a daily basis. It will, however, do so with respect to a portion of the Fund’s assets from time to time, and investors should be aware of the costs of currency conversion. Although foreign currency exchange dealers typically do not charge a fee for conversion, they do realize a profit based on the spread between the prices at which they are buying and selling various currencies. Thus, a dealer may offer to sell a foreign currency to the Fund at one rate, while offering a lesser rate of exchange should the Fund desire to resell that currency to the dealer.
 
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The Fund may be limited in its ability to enter into hedging transactions involving forward contracts by the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”) requirements relating to qualification as a regulated investment company.
Forward contracts may limit gains on portfolio securities that could otherwise be realized had they not been utilized and could result in losses. The contracts also may increase the Fund’s volatility and may involve a significant amount of risk relative to the investment of cash.
Options.   A put option gives the purchaser of the option, upon payment of a premium, the right to sell, and the writer of the option the obligation to buy, the underlying security, commodity, index or other instrument at the exercise price. The Fund’s purchase of a put option on a security might be designed to protect its holdings in the underlying instrument (or, in some cases, a similar instrument) against a substantial decline in the market value by giving the Fund the right to sell such instrument at the option exercise price. A call option, upon payment of a premium, gives the purchaser of the option the right to buy, and the seller the obligation to sell, the underlying instrument at the exercise price. The Fund’s purchase of a call option on a security, financial future contract, index or other instrument might be intended to protect the Fund against an increase in the price of the underlying instrument that it intends to purchase in the future by fixing the price at which it may purchase such instrument. An American style put or call option may be exercised at any time during the option exercise period while a European style put or call option may be exercised only upon expiration. A Bermudan style put or call may be exercised on fixed dates occurring during the term of the option. Put options and call options typically have similar structural characteristics and operational mechanics regardless of the underlying instrument on which they are purchased or sold.
Futures Contracts.   The Fund may enter into contracts for the purchase or sale for future delivery of securities or foreign currencies, or contracts based on financial indices, including any stock index or index of government or other securities. A futures contract purchaser incurs an obligation to take delivery of a specified amount of the security, currency or other asset underlying the contract at a specified time in the future for a specified price. A seller of a futures contract incurs an obligation to deliver the specified amount of the underlying security, currency or other asset at a specified time in return for an agreed upon price. The purchase of a futures contract enables the Fund, during the term of the contract, to lock in a price at which it may purchase a security, currency or other asset and protect against a rise in prices pending purchase. The sale of a futures contract enables the Fund to lock in a price at which it may sell a security, currency or other asset and protect against declines pending sale.
Although most futures contracts call for actual delivery or acceptance of the underlying security, currency or other asset, the contracts usually are closed out before the settlement date without the making or taking of delivery. Index futures contracts provide for the delivery of an amount of cash equal to a specified dollar amount times the difference between the index value at the open or close of the last trading day of the contract and the futures contract price. A futures contract sale is closed out by effecting a futures contract purchase for the same aggregate amount of the specific type of security, currency or other asset and the same delivery date. If the sale price exceeds the offsetting purchase price, the seller would be paid the difference and would realize a gain. If the offsetting purchase price exceeds the sale price, the seller would pay the difference and would realize a loss. Similarly, a futures contract purchase is closed out by effecting a futures contract sale for the same aggregate amount of the specific type of security, currency or other asset and the same delivery date. If the offsetting sale price exceeds the purchase price, the purchaser would realize a gain, whereas if the purchase price exceeds the offsetting sale price, the purchaser would realize a loss. There is no assurance that the Fund will be able to enter into a closing transaction.
Currently, securities index futures contracts can be purchased with respect to several indices on various exchanges. Differences in the securities included in the indices may result in differences in correlation of the futures contracts with movements in the value of the securities being hedged. The Fund also may invest in foreign stock index futures contracts traded outside the United States which involve additional risks, including fluctuations in foreign exchange rates, foreign currency exchange controls, political and economic instability, differences in financial reporting and securities regulation and trading, and foreign taxation issues.
In addition, the Fund may enter into financial futures contracts or purchase or sell put and call options on futures contracts as a hedge against anticipated interest rate or debt market changes, to gain exposure to a market, for duration management or for risk management purposes. Futures contracts are generally
 
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bought and sold on the exchanges where they are listed with payment of initial and variation margin as described below. The purchase of a financial futures contract creates a firm obligation by the Fund, as purchaser, to take delivery from the seller the specific type of financial instrument called for in the contract at a specific future time for a specified price (or, with respect to index futures contracts and Eurodollar instruments, the net cash amount). The sale of a futures contract creates a firm obligation by the Fund, as seller, to deliver to the buyer the specific type of financial instrument called for in the contract at a specific future time for a specified price (or, with respect to index futures contracts and Eurodollar instruments, the net cash amount). Options on futures contracts are similar to options on securities except that an option on a futures contract gives the purchaser the right in return for the premium paid to assume a position in a futures contract and obligates the seller to assume the opposite position.
Futures Contracts Strategies.   When a significant market advance is anticipated, the purchase of a futures contract by the Fund affords a hedge against not participating in the advance at a time when the Fund is otherwise fully invested. Such purchase of a futures contract would serve as a temporary substitute for the purchase of individual securities, which may be purchased in an orderly fashion once the market has stabilized. As individual securities are purchased, an equivalent amount of futures contracts could be terminated by offsetting sales. The Fund may sell futures contracts in anticipation of or in a general market decline that may adversely affect the market value of the Fund’s securities. To the extent that the value of the Fund’s portfolio of securities changes in correlation with the value of the underlying security or index, the sale of futures contracts would substantially reduce the risk to the Fund of a market decline and, by so doing, provides an alternative to the liquidation of securities positions in the Fund. Ordinarily transaction costs associated with futures contracts transactions are lower than transaction costs that would be incurred in the purchase and sale of the underlying securities.
Typically, maintaining a futures contract or selling an option on a futures contract requires the Fund to deposit with a financial intermediary as security for its obligations an amount of cash or other specified assets (initial margin), which initially is typically 1% to 10% of the face amount of the contract (but may be higher in some circumstances). Additional cash or assets (variation margin) may be required to be deposited thereafter on a daily basis as the mark to market value of the contract fluctuates. The purchase of options on financial futures contracts involves payment of a premium for the option without any further obligation on the part of the Fund. If the Fund exercises an option on a futures contract it will be obligated to post initial margin (and potential subsequent variation margin) for the resulting futures contract position just as it would for any position. Futures contracts and options on futures contracts are generally settled by entering into an offsetting transaction but there can be no assurance that the position can be offset prior to settlement at an advantageous price nor that delivery will occur.
Because the initial margin required to maintain a futures contract is a fraction of the face value of the contract, the value of the contract can be much higher or lower than the value of the Fund’s assets used to take the position. The Fund may therefore use futures as form of leverage and may be exposed to the associated risks.
There currently are limited futures markets for certain currencies of emerging market countries, securities and indexes and the nature of the strategies adopted by Stone Harbor and the extent to which those strategies are used will depend on the development of those markets. To the extent the Fund engages in transactions in options and futures, the Fund will normally transact in options and futures that are traded on a recognized securities or futures exchange, including non-U.S. exchanges. Moreover, when the Fund purchases a futures contract or a call option thereon or writes a put option thereon, an amount of cash or high quality, liquid securities, including U.S. government securities, will be designated on the Fund’s records or deposited in a segregated account with the Fund’s custodian so that the amount so designated or segregated, plus the amount of initial and variation margin held in the account of its broker, equals the market value of the futures contract.
Structured Products.   The Fund may invest a portion of its assets in structured investments, structured notes and other types of similarly structured products consistent with the Fund’s investment objective and policies. Generally, structured investments are interests in entities organized and operated for the purpose of restructuring the investment characteristics of underlying investment interests or securities. These investment entities may be structured as trusts or other types of pooled investment vehicles. This type of structuring generally involves the deposit with or purchase by an entity of the underlying investments and
 
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the issuance by that entity of one or more classes of securities backed by, or representing interests in, the underlying investments or referencing an indicator related to such investments. The cash flow or rate of return on the underlying investments may be apportioned among the newly issued securities to create different investment characteristics, such as varying maturities, credit quality, payment priorities and interest rate provisions.
Structured notes are derivative securities for which the amount of principal repayment and/or interest payments is based on the movement of one or more “factors.” These factors may include, but are not limited to, currency exchange rates, interest rates (such as the prime lending rate or London Interbank Offered Rate), referenced bonds and stock indices. Some of these factors may or may not correlate to the total rate of return on one or more underlying instruments referenced in such notes. In some cases, the impact of the movements of these factors may increase or decrease through the use of multipliers or deflators.
The cash flow or rate of return on a structured investment may be determined by applying a multiplier to the rate of total return on the underlying investments or referenced indicator. Application of a multiplier is comparable to the use of financial leverage, a speculative technique. Leverage magnifies the potential for gain and the risk of loss. As a result, a relatively small decline in the value of the underlying investments or referenced indicator could result in a relatively large loss in the value of a structured product.
Swaps.   The Fund may enter into swap transactions, such as interest rate swaps, cross currency swaps, total return swaps, and options on swaps, caps, floors or collars. A swap is a derivative in the form of an agreement to exchange the return generated by one instrument for the return generated by another instrument. The payment streams are often calculated by reference to a specified index and agreed upon notional amount. The term “specified index” may include currencies, interest rates, prices, total return on interest rate indices, debt indices, stock indices and commodity indices (as well as amounts derived from arithmetic operations on these indices). For example, the Fund may agree to swap the return generated by a debt index for the return generated by a second debt index. Such swaps may involve initial and final exchanges that correspond to the agreed upon national amount.
The swaps in which the Fund may engage also include rate caps, floors, collars and other combinations of options, forwards, swaps and/or futures under which one party pays a single or periodic fixed amount(s) (or premium), and the other party pays periodic amounts based on the movement of a specified index. The swap market has grown substantially in recent years with a large number of banks and investment banking firms acting both as principals and as agents utilizing standardized swap documentation. Caps, floors and collars are more recent innovations for which standardized documentation has not yet been fully developed and, accordingly, they are less liquid than swaps.
The Fund will usually enter into swaps on a net basis, i.e., the two payment streams are netted out in a cash settlement on the payment date or dates specified in the instrument, with the Fund receiving or paying, as the case may be, only the net amount of the two payments. The Fund’s obligations under a swap agreement will generally be accrued daily (offset against any amounts owing to the Fund) and any accrued but unpaid net amounts owed to a swap counterparty will be covered by the designation of cash or liquid securities in an amount equal to the Fund’s net obligations under the swap. These transactions are not subject to the Fund’s borrowing restrictions. The Fund bears the risk of loss of the amount expected to be received under a swap agreement in the event of the default or bankruptcy of a swap agreement counterparty.
The Fund will engage in any swap transactions in a manner consistent with its intention to qualify as a regulated investment company under the Code.
Options on Swaps.   The Fund may engage in options on swaps for hedging purposes to manage and mitigate the credit and interest rate risks. A swap option (sometimes called a “swaption”) is a contract that gives a counterparty the right (but not the obligation) to enter into a new swap agreement or to shorten, extend, cancel or otherwise modify an existing swap agreement at some designated future time on specified terms. The Fund may write (sell) and purchase put and call swap options. The use of swap options involves risks, including, among others, that (i) the changes in the market value of securities held by the Fund and in the swap options relating to those securities may not be proportionate, which could result in an imperfect hedge leaving the Fund economically over or under exposed to such securities, (ii) there may not be a liquid market to sell a swap option, which could result in difficulty closing a position, (iii) swap options can
 
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magnify the extent of losses incurred due to changes in the market value of the securities to which they relate, and (iv) counterparty risk.
Credit Default Swaps.   The Fund may enter into credit default swap contracts for hedging purposes or to add investment exposure to certain securities or markets to the Fund. As the seller in a credit default swap contract, the Fund would be required to pay the par (or other agreed-upon) value of a referenced debt obligation to the counterparty in the event of a default by a third party, such as an emerging market corporate issuer, on the debt obligation. In return, the Fund would receive from the counterparty a periodic stream of payments over the term of the contract provided that no event of default has occurred. If no default occurs, the Fund would keep the stream of payments and would have no payment obligations. As the seller, the Fund would effectively add leverage to its portfolio because, in addition to its total assets, the Fund would be subject to investment exposure to the reference instrument in the amount of the notional amount of the swap.
The Fund may also purchase credit default swap contracts in order to hedge against the risk of default of debt securities held in its portfolio, in which case the Fund would function as the counterparty referenced in the preceding paragraph. This would involve the risk that the investment may expire worthless and would generate income only in the event of an actual default by the issuer of the underlying obligation (as opposed to a credit downgrade or other indication of financial instability). It would also involve credit risk that the seller may fail to satisfy its payment obligations to the Fund in the event of a default.
If the Fund sells credit protection through a credit default swap, although the Fund may not be required to pay the par (or other agreed upon) value of the referenced debt instrument absent a default of the underlying debt obligation, a credit downgrade or other indication of financial distress with respect to the reference issuer may cause the value of the credit default swap to decrease, causing a loss to the Fund, and may also require the Fund to deposit additional margin with the counterparty, possibly requiring it to sell other assets at disadvantageous times or prices.
The market for credit default swaps has become more volatile recently as the creditworthiness of certain counterparties has been questioned and/or downgraded. If a counterparty’s credit becomes significantly impaired, multiple requests for collateral posting in a short period of time could increase the risk that the Fund may not receive adequate collateral. Credit default swaps are not currently traded on any securities exchange. The Fund generally may exit its obligations under a credit default swap only by terminating the contract and paying applicable breakage fees, or by entering into an offsetting credit default swap position, which may cause the Fund to incur more losses.
Credit-Linked Notes.   The Fund may invest in credit-linked notes, which are types of derivative instruments. A credit linked note is a synthetic obligation between two or more parties where the payment of principal and/or interest is based on the performance of some obligation (a reference obligation, such as an underlying emerging market bond). The Fund will typically be a purchaser of credit linked notes, in that it will pay the counterparty a sum of money in exchange for the right to payments corresponding to interest and principal payments actually made by the issuer of the reference obligation. In addition to credit risk and other risks of the reference obligations and interest rate risk, a purchaser of a credit linked note is subject to counterparty risk.
Leverage.   The Fund may use leverage through borrowings and possibly through issuing preferred shares, in an aggregate amount of up to 33 1/3% of the Fund’s total assets immediately after such transactions. The Fund may also engage in other transactions that result in leverage, such as credit default swaps and other derivatives, but are not subject to this restriction.
Zero Coupon Bonds.   Certain debt securities purchased by the Fund may take the form of zero coupon bonds. A zero coupon bond is a bond that does not pay interest either for the entire life of the obligation or for an initial period after the issuance of the obligation. When held to its maturity, its return comes from the difference between the purchase price and its maturity value. A zero coupon bond is normally issued and traded at a discount from face value. Zero coupon bonds allow an issuer to avoid or delay the need to generate cash to meet current interest payments and, as a result, may involve greater credit risk than bonds that pay interest currently or in cash. The Fund would be required to distribute the income on any of these instruments as it accrues, even though the Fund will not receive all of the income on a current basis
 
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or in cash. Thus, the Fund may have to sell other investments, including when it may not be advisable to do so, to make income distributions to its common shareholders.
Yankee Dollar Obligations, Eurobonds, Global Bonds.   Certain debt securities purchased by the Fund may take the forms of Yankee dollar obligations, eurobonds or global bonds. Yankee dollar obligations are dollar-denominated obligations issued in the U.S. capital markets by foreign issuers, such as corporations and banks. A eurobond is a bond issued in a currency other than the currency of the country or market in which it is issued. Global bonds are bonds that can be offered within multiple markets simultaneously. Unlike eurobonds, global bonds can be issued in the local currency of the country of issuance.
Brady Bonds.   The Fund may invest in Brady bonds, which are securities created through the exchange of existing commercial bank loans to sovereign entities for new obligations in connection with a debt restructuring. Investments in Brady bonds may be viewed as speculative. Brady bonds acquired by the Fund may be subject to restructuring arrangements or to requests for new credit, which may cause the Fund to realize a loss of interest or principal on any of its portfolio holdings.
Repurchase Agreements.   The Fund may engage in repurchase agreements with broker-dealers, banks and other financial institutions to earn incremental income on temporarily available cash which would otherwise be uninvested. A repurchase agreement is a short-term investment in which the purchaser (i.e., the Fund) acquires ownership of a security and the seller agrees to repurchase the obligation at a future time and set price, thereby determining the yield during the holding period. Repurchase agreements involve risks in the event of default by the other party. The Fund may enter into repurchase agreements with broker-dealers, banks and other financial institutions deemed to be creditworthy by Stone Harbor. Repurchase agreements maturing in more than seven days may be considered illiquid.
Repurchase agreements are fully collateralized by the underlying securities. The Fund pays for such securities only upon physical delivery or evidence of book entry transfer to the account of a custodian or bank acting as agent. The seller under a repurchase agreement will be required to maintain the value of the underlying securities marked-to-market daily at not less than the repurchase price. The underlying securities (normally securities of emerging market countries, the U.S. government and their agencies or instrumentalities) may have maturity dates exceeding one year.
Reverse Repurchase Agreements.   The Fund may generate leverage by entering into reverse repurchase agreements, under which the Fund sells portfolio securities to financial institutions such as banks and broker-dealers and agrees to repurchase them at a particular date and price. Such agreements, which are in effect collateralized borrowings by the Fund, are considered to be senior securities under Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”) unless the Fund designates on its books and records an amount of assets equal to the amount of the Fund’s obligations under the reverse repurchase agreements.
When-Issued and Delayed Delivery Securities.   The Fund may purchase and sell securities on a “when-issued” or “delayed delivery” basis whereby the Fund buys or sells a security with payment and delivery taking place in the future. The payment obligation and the interest rate are fixed at the time the Fund enters into the commitment. No income accrues to the Fund on securities in connection with such transactions prior to the date the Fund actually takes delivery of such securities. These transactions are subject to market risk as the value or yield of a security at delivery may be more or less than the purchase price or the yield generally available on securities when delivery occurs. In addition, the Fund is subject to counterparty risk because it relies on the buyer or seller, as the case may be, to consummate the transaction, and failure by the other party to complete the transaction may result in the Fund missing the opportunity of obtaining a price or yield considered to be advantageous. An increase in the percentage of the Fund’s assets committed to the purchase of securities on a when issued or delayed delivery basis may increase the volatility of the Fund’s net asset value (“NAV”).
Asset-Backed Securities.   Asset-backed securities are interests in pools of debt securities backed by various types of loans such as credit card, auto and home equity loans. Payment of principal and interest may be guaranteed up to certain amounts and for certain time periods by a letter of credit issued by a financial institution unaffiliated with the entities issuing the securities. These securities involve prepayment risk as well as risk that the underlying debt securities will default.
 
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Private Placements and Restricted Securities.   The Fund may invest in securities which are subject to restrictions on resale because they have not been registered under the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”), or which are otherwise not readily marketable. These securities are generally referred to as private placements or restricted securities. Limitations on the resale of these securities may have an adverse effect on their marketability, and may prevent the Fund from disposing of them promptly at reasonable prices. The Fund may have to bear the expense of registering the securities for resale and the risk of substantial delays in effecting the registration.
Rule 144A permits the Fund to sell certain restricted securities to qualified institutional buyers without limitation. However, investing in Rule 144A securities could have the effect of increasing the level of Fund illiquidity to the extent the Fund, at a particular point in time, may be unable to find qualified institutional buyers interested in purchasing such securities.
Short Sales.   A short sale is a transaction in which the Fund sells an instrument that it does not own in anticipation that the market price will decline. The Fund may use short sales for investment purposes or for hedging and risk management purposes. The Fund may also take short positions with respect to the performance of securities, indexes, interest rates, currencies and other assets or markets through the use of derivative or forward instruments. When the Fund engages in a short sale of a security, it must borrow the security sold short and deliver it to the counterparty. The Fund may have to pay a fee to borrow particular securities and would often be obligated to pay over any payments received on such borrowed securities. The Fund’s obligation to replace the borrowed security will be secured by collateral deposited with the lender, which is usually a broker-dealer, and/or with the Fund’s custodian. The Fund may not receive any payments (including interest) on its collateral. Short sales expose the Fund to the risk that it will be required to cover its short position at a time when the securities have appreciated in value, thus resulting in a loss to the Fund. The Fund may engage in so-called “naked” short sales when it does not own or have the immediate right to acquire the security sold short at no additional cost, in which case the Fund’s losses theoretically could be unlimited. If the price of the security sold short increases between the time of the short sale and the time that the Fund replaces the borrowed security, the Fund will incur a loss; conversely, if the price declines, the Fund will realize a gain. Any gain will be decreased, and any loss increased, by the transaction costs described above. The successful use of short selling may be adversely affected by imperfect correlation between movements in the price of the security sold short and securities being hedged if the short sale is being used for hedging purposes. The Fund may engage in short selling to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act and the rules and interpretations thereunder and other federal securities laws. If the Fund engages in short selling in foreign (non-U.S.) jurisdictions, the Fund will do so only to the extent permitted by the laws and regulations of such jurisdiction. The Fund will not make a short sale if, after giving effect to such sale, the market value of all securities sold short by the Fund exceeds 25% of the value of its total assets.
Convertible Securities.   Convertible securities are generally issued as bonds or shares preferred stock that, at the holder’s option, may be exchanged for a fixed number of the issuer’s common shares or other equity securities.
In addition to traditional convertible securities, the Fund may invest in “exchangeable” and “synthetic” convertible securities. The Fund may also invest in traditional convertible securities whose conversion values are based on the common stock of the issuer of the convertible security. “Synthetic” and “exchangeable” convertible securities are preferred stocks or debt obligations of an issuer which are combined with an equity component whose conversion value is based on the value of the common stock of a different issuer or a particular benchmark (which may include a foreign issuer or basket of foreign stocks, or a company whose stock is not yet publicly traded). In many cases, “synthetic” and “exchangeable” convertible securities are not convertible prior to maturity, at which time the value of the security is paid in cash by the issuer.
Money Market Instruments.   Money market instruments are high quality short-term debt securities. Money market instruments in which the Fund may invest may include obligations of governments, government agencies, banks, corporations and special purpose entities including time deposits and certificates of deposit, and repurchase agreements relating to these obligations. Certain money market instruments may be denominated in foreign currencies.
Common Stock.   Common stock generally represents an ownership or equity interest in an issuer, without preference over any other class of securities, including such issuer’s debt securities, preferred stock
 
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and other senior equity securities. Common stocks are entitled to the income and increase in the value of the assets and business of the issuer after all its debt obligations and obligations to preferred stockholders are satisfied. Common stocks generally have voting rights. Common stocks fluctuate in price in response to many factors including historical and prospective earnings of the issuer, the value of its assets, general economic conditions, interest rates, investor perceptions and market liquidity. They may or may not pay dividends, as some issuers reinvest all of their profits back into their businesses, while others pay out some of their profits to stockholders as dividends.
Preferred Stock.   Preferred stock, like common stock, represents an equity ownership in an issuer. Generally, preferred stock has a priority of claim over common stock in dividend payments and upon liquidation of the issuer. Unlike common stock, preferred stock does not usually have voting rights. Preferred stock in some instances is convertible into common stock.
Although they are equity securities, preferred stocks have characteristics of both debt and common stock. Like debt, their promised income is contractually fixed. Like common stock, they do not have rights to precipitate bankruptcy proceedings or collection activities in the event of missed payments. Other equity characteristics are their subordinated position in an issuer’s capital structure and that their quality and value are heavily dependent on the profitability of the issuer rather than on any legal claims to specific assets or cash flows.
Distributions on preferred stock are declared by the board of directors of the issuer and may be subject to deferral, and thus may not be automatically payable. Income payments on preferred stocks may be cumulative, causing dividends and distributions to accrue even if not declared by the board or otherwise made payable, or non-cumulative, so that skipped dividends and distributions do not continue to accrue. There is no assurance that dividends on preferred stocks in which the Fund invests will be declared or otherwise made payable. The Fund is permitted to invest in non-cumulative preferred stock, although Stone Harbor will consider, among other factors, the non-cumulative nature in making any decision to purchase or sell such securities on behalf of the Fund.
Inflation Linked Bonds.   Inflation linked bonds are government-issued debt securities that offer an investor inflationary protection, by linking yields to the inflation rate.
Warrants.   Warrants give holders the right, but not the obligation, to buy common stock or fixed income securities of an issuer at a given price, usually higher than the market price at the time of issuance, during a specified period. Warrants are usually freely transferable. The risk of investing in a warrant is that the warrant may expire prior to the market value of the underlying security exceeding the price fixed by the warrant.
In particular, the Fund may seek to gain exposure to emerging markets securities through warrants, the return on which is linked to one or more securities of issuers located in emerging market countries. Purchasing warrants would entitle the Fund, upon exercise of the warrant, to receive any appreciation in the market price of its securities over approximately the market price at the time of purchase. Warrants are exercisable over specified periods.
Unrated Securities.   The Fund may purchase unrated securities (which are not rated by a rating agency) if Stone Harbor determines that the securities are of comparable quality to rated securities that the Fund may purchase. Unrated securities may be less liquid than comparable rated securities and involve the risk that Virtus Alternative Investment Advisers, Inc. (the “Adviser”) may not accurately evaluate the security’s comparative credit rating. Analysis of the creditworthiness of issuers of high yield securities may be more complex than for issuers of higher-quality debt obligations. The Fund’s success in achieving its investment objective may depend more heavily on Stone Harbor’s credit analysis to the extent that the Fund invests in below investment grade quality and unrated securities.
Collateralized Debt Obligations.   The Fund may invest in collateralized debt obligations (“CDOs”), which include collateralized bond obligations (“CBOs”), collateralized loan obligations (“CLOs”) and other similarly structured securities. CBOs and CLOs are types of asset-backed securities. A CBO is a trust which is backed by a diversified pool of high risk, below investment grade fixed income securities. A CLO is a trust typically collateralized by a pool of loans, which may include, among others, domestic and foreign senior secured loans, senior unsecured loans and subordinate corporate loans, including loans that may be
 
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rated below investment grade or equivalent unrated loans. CDOs may charge management fees and administrative expenses. For both CBOs and CLOs, the cash flows from the trust are split into two or more portions, called tranches, varying in risk and yield. The riskiest portion is the “equity” tranche which bears the bulk of defaults from the bonds or loans in the trust and serves to protect the other, more senior tranches from default. Since it is partially protected from defaults, a senior tranche from a CBO trust or CLO trust typically has higher ratings and lower yields than the underlying securities, and can be rated investment grade. Despite the protection from the equity tranche, CBO or CLO tranches can experience substantial losses due to actual defaults, increased sensitivity to defaults due to collateral default and disappearance of protecting tranches, market anticipation of defaults and aversion to CBO or CLO securities as a class. The risks of an investment in a CDO depend largely on the type of the collateral securities and the class of the CDO in which the Fund invests. Normally, CBOs, CLOs and other CDOs are privately offered and sold, and thus are not registered under the securities laws. As a result, investments in CDOs may be characterized by the Fund as illiquid securities; however, an active dealer market may exist for CDOs allowing a CDO to qualify under Rule 144A under the Securities Act. CDOs carry additional risks including, but not limited to: (i) the possibility that distributions from collateral securities will not be adequate to make interest or other payments; (ii) the quality of the collateral may decline in value or default; (iii) the Fund may invest in CDO securities that are subordinate to other classes; and (iv) the complex structure of the security may not be fully understood at the time of investment and may produce disputes with the issuer or unexpected investment results.
Commercial Paper.   Commercial paper represents short-term unsecured promissory notes issued in bearer form by corporations such as banks or bank holding companies and finance companies. The rate of return on commercial paper may be linked or indexed to the level of exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and a foreign currency or currencies.
U.S. Government Securities.   U.S. Government securities are obligations of and, in certain cases, guaranteed by, the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities. The U.S. Government does not guarantee the NAV of the Funds’ shares. Some U.S. Government securities, such as Treasury bills, notes and bonds, and securities guaranteed by the Government National Mortgage Association, are supported by the full faith and credit of the United States; others, such as those of the Federal Home Loan Banks, are supported by the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Department of the Treasury (the “U.S. Treasury”); others, such as those of the Federal National Mortgage Association , are supported by the discretionary authority of the U.S. Government to purchase the agency’s obligations; and still others, such as those of the Student Loan Marketing Association, are supported only by the credit of the instrumentality. U.S. Government securities may include zero coupon securities, which do not distribute interest on a current basis and tend to be subject to greater risk than interest-paying securities of similar maturities.
Zero-Coupon Bonds, Step-Ups and Payment-In-Kind Securities.   Zero-coupon bonds pay interest only at maturity rather than at intervals during the life of the security. Like zero-coupon bonds, “step up” bonds pay no interest initially but eventually begin to pay a coupon rate prior to maturity, which rate may increase at stated intervals during the life of the security. Payment-in-kind securities (“PIKs”) are debt obligations that pay “interest” in the form of other debt obligations, instead of in cash. Each of these instruments is normally issued and traded at a deep discount from face value. Zero-coupon bonds, step-ups and PIKs allow an issuer to avoid or delay the need to generate cash to meet current interest payments and, as a result, may involve greater credit risk than bonds that pay interest currently or in cash. The Fund would be required to distribute the income on these instruments as it accrues, even though the Fund will not receive the income on a current basis or in cash. Thus, the Fund may have to sell other investments, including when it may not be advisable to do so, to make income distributions to its shareholders.
Inflation-Indexed Bonds.   Inflation-indexed bonds (other than municipal inflation-indexed bonds and certain corporate inflation-indexed bonds) are fixed income securities the principal value of which is periodically adjusted according to the rate of inflation. If the index measuring inflation falls, the principal value of inflation-indexed bonds (other than municipal inflation-indexed bonds and certain corporate inflation-indexed bonds) will be adjusted downward, and consequently the interest payable on these securities (calculated with respect to a smaller principal amount) will be reduced. Repayment of the original bond principal upon maturity (as adjusted for inflation) is guaranteed in the case of U.S. Treasury inflation- indexed bonds. For bonds that do not provide a similar guarantee, the adjusted principal value of the bond
 
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repaid at maturity may be less than the original principal. With regard to certain corporate inflation-indexed bonds, the inflation adjustment is reflected in the semi-annual coupon payment. As a result, the principal value of such corporate inflation-indexed bonds does not adjust according to the rate of inflation.
The value of inflation-indexed bonds is expected to change in response to changes in real interest rates. Real interest rates are tied to the relationship between nominal interest rates and the rate of inflation. If nominal interest rates increase at a faster rate than inflation, real interest rates may rise, leading to a decrease in value of inflation-indexed bonds. Any increase in the principal amount of an inflation-indexed bond will be considered taxable ordinary income, even though investors do not receive their principal until maturity.
Variable- and Floating-Rate Securities.   Variable- and floating-rate instruments are instruments that pay interest at rates that adjust whenever a specified interest rate (the “reference rate”) changes and/or that reset on predetermined dates (such as the last day of a month or calendar quarter). In addition to floating-rate loans, variable- and floating-rate instruments may include, without limitation, instruments such as catastrophe and other event-linked bonds, bank capital securities, unsecured bank loans, corporate bonds, money market instruments and certain types of mortgage-backed and other asset-backed securities. Due to their variable- or floating-rate features, these instruments will generally pay higher levels of income in a rising interest rate environment and lower levels of income as interest rates decline. For the same reason, the market value of a variable- or floating-rate instrument is generally expected to have less sensitivity to fluctuations in market interest rates than a fixed-rate instrument, although the value of a variable- or floating-rate instrument may nonetheless decline as interest rates rise and due to other factors, such as changes in credit quality or because of an imperfect correlation between the securities interest rate adjustment mechanism and the level of interest rates generally.
The Fund also may engage in credit spread trades. A credit spread trade is an investment position relating to a difference in the prices or interest rates of two bonds or other securities, in which the value of the investment position is determined by changes in the difference between the prices or interest rates, as the case may be, of the respective securities. The Fund may also invest in inverse floating-rate debt instruments (“inverse floaters”), which are floating rate instruments whose coupon rate moves in the opposite direction from the change in the reference rate. An inverse floater may exhibit greater price volatility than a fixed-rate obligation of similar credit quality.
Hybrid Instruments.   A hybrid instrument is a type of potentially high-risk derivative that combines a traditional stock, bond or commodity with an option or forward contract. Generally, the principal amount, amount payable upon maturity or redemption, or interest rate of a hybrid is tied (positively or negatively) to the price of some commodity, currency or securities index or another interest rate or some other economic factor (each a “benchmark”). The interest rate or (unlike most fixed income securities) the principal amount payable at maturity of a hybrid security may be increased or decreased, depending on changes in the value of the benchmark. An example of a hybrid could be a bond issued by an oil company that pays a small base level of interest with additional interest that accrues in correlation to the extent to which oil prices exceed a certain predetermined level. Such a hybrid instrument would be a combination of a bond and a call option on oil.
Hybrids can be used as an efficient means of pursuing a variety of investment goals, including currency hedging, duration management and increased total return. Hybrids may not bear interest or pay dividends. The value of a hybrid or its interest rate may be a multiple of a benchmark and, as a result, may be leveraged and move (up or down) more steeply and rapidly than the benchmark. These benchmarks may be sensitive to economic and political events, such as commodity shortages and currency devaluations, which cannot be readily foreseen by the purchaser of a hybrid. Under certain conditions, the redemption value of a hybrid could be zero. Thus, an investment in a hybrid may entail significant market risks that are not associated with a similar investment in a traditional, U.S. dollar-denominated bond that has a fixed principal amount and pays a fixed rate or floating rate of interest. The purchase of hybrids also exposes the Fund to the credit risk of the issuer of the hybrids. These risks may cause significant fluctuations in the NAV of the Fund’s common shares if the Fund invests in hybrid instruments.
Certain hybrid instruments may provide exposure to the commodities markets. These are derivative securities with one or more commodity-linked components that have payment features similar to commodity futures contracts, commodity options or similar instruments. Commodity-linked hybrid instruments may
 
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