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KKR Real Estate Finance Trust (KREF)

Filed: 7 Jan 22, 5:22pm

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Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(5)
Registration No. 333-261854
CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE
Title of Each Class of
Securities to be Registered
Amount
to be
Registered(3)
Maximum Offering Price
Per Share
Maximum
Aggregate
Offering Price(3)
Amount of
Registration
Fee(1)(2)
6.50% Series A Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock
5,060,000
$25.00
$126,500,000
$11,727
(1)
Calculated in accordance with Rule 457(r) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). This “Calculation of Registration Fee” table shall be deemed to update the “Calculation of Registration Fee” table in the registrant’s Registration Statement on Form S-3 (File No. 333-261854) in accordance with Rules 456(b) and 457(r) under the Securities Act.
(2)
Pursuant to Rule 467(p) under the Securities Act, the full amount of the currently due filing fee is offset against the filing fee previously paid by the registrant in connection with its Registration Statement on Form S-3 (File No. 333-229043) filed on December 27, 2018 and associated with unsold securities thereunder.
(3)
Includes an additional 660,000 shares of 6.50% Series A Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock that the underwriters have the option to purchase.

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Prospectus Supplement
(To Prospectus dated December 22, 2021)

KKR Real Estate Finance Trust Inc.
4,400,000 Shares
6.50% Series A Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock
KKR Real Estate Finance Trust Inc. is offering 4,400,000 shares of our 6.50% Series A Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock (the “Series A Preferred Stock” or the “Shares”). The shares offered hereby will form a single series with all outstanding Series A Preferred Stock originally issued on April 16, 2021. The shares offered hereby will have the same CUSIP number as the outstanding Series A Preferred Stock and will trade interchangeably with the previously issued Series A Preferred Stock on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) upon settlement and approval for listing thereon. As of the date of this prospectus supplement, there were 6,900,000 shares of Series A Preferred Stock outstanding. References to the “shares offered hereby” refer to the shares of Series A Preferred Stock offered hereby, and references to the “Series A Preferred Stock” refer to both the outstanding shares of Series A Preferred Stock and the shares offered hereby.
When, as, and if authorized by our board of directors and declared by us, dividends on the Series A Preferred Stock will be payable quarterly in arrears on or about March 15, June 15, September 15, and December 15 of each year at a rate per annum equal to 6.50% per annum of the $25.00 liquidation preference. Dividends on the Shares are cumulative. The first dividend on the shares offered hereby will be paid on March 15, 2022 and will cover the period from and including December 15, 2021 to, but not including, March 15, 2022.
At any time or from time to time on or after April 16, 2026, we may, at our option, redeem the Series A Preferred Stock, in whole or in part, at a price of $25.00 per share of Series A Preferred Stock plus accrued and unpaid dividends (whether or not declared), if any. See “Description of Series A Preferred Stock—Redemption.” If a Change of Control Event (defined herein) occurs, we may, at our option, redeem the Series A Preferred Stock, in whole or in part, within 120 days after the first date on which such Change of Control occurred by paying $25.00 per share of Series A Preferred Stock, plus any accrued and unpaid dividends (whether or not declared) to, but not including, the date of redemption. To the extent we exercise our redemption right relating to the Series A Preferred Stock, the holders of Series A Preferred Stock will not be permitted to exercise the conversion right described below in respect of their Shares called for redemption. See “Description of Series A Preferred Stock—Special Optional Redemption.” The Series A Preferred Stock has no maturity date and will remain outstanding indefinitely unless redeemed by us or converted in connection with a Change of Control by the holders of Series A Preferred Stock.
Beginning on April 16, 2022, upon the occurrence of a Change of Control, each holder of Series A Preferred Stock will have the right (subject to our right to redeem the Series A Preferred Stock in whole or in part, as described above, prior to the Change of Control Conversion Date (as defined herein)) to convert some or all of the Series A Preferred Stock held by such holder on the Change of Control Conversion Date into a number of shares of our common stock per share of Series A Preferred Stock to be converted equal to the lesser of:

the quotient obtained by dividing (i) the sum of the $25.00 liquidation preference plus the amount of any accrued and unpaid dividends (whether or not declared) to, but not including, the Change of Control Conversion Date (unless the Change of Control Conversion Date is after a record date for a Series A Preferred Stock dividend payment and prior to the corresponding Series A Preferred Stock dividend payment date, in which case no additional amount for such accrued and unpaid dividend will be included in this sum) by (ii) the Common Stock Price (as defined herein); and

2.6427, subject to certain adjustments;
subject, in each case, to provisions for the receipt of alternative consideration as described in this prospectus supplement.
The Shares will rank senior to our common stock and any class or series of our capital stock expressly designated as ranking junior to the Series A Preferred Stock as to distribution rights and rights upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, equally with any class or series of our capital stock expressly designated as ranking on parity with the Series A Preferred Stock as to dividend rights and rights upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, and junior to any class or series of our capital stock expressly designated as ranking senior to the Series A Preferred Stock as to dividend rights and rights upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up. See “Description of Series A Preferred Stock—Ranking.” The Shares will not have any voting rights, except as set forth under “Description of Series A Preferred Stock—Voting Rights.”
You should carefully consider the risk factors referred to in the sections titled “Risk Factors” beginning on page S-8 of this prospectus supplement, page 2 in the accompanying prospectus and under “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K, for the year ended December 31, 2020, incorporated by reference herein, before investing in our Series A Preferred Stock.
We are a Maryland corporation and we conduct our operations as a real estate investment trust (“REIT”) for federal income tax purposes while operating our business in a manner that allows us to maintain an exclusion from registration under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, (the “Investment Company Act”). The Series A Preferred Stock is subject to certain restrictions on ownership designed to, among other things, preserve our qualification as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes. See “Description of Series A Preferred Stock—Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer” in this prospectus supplement.
Our Series A Preferred Stock is listed on the NYSE under the symbol “KREF PRA” and the last reported sale price of our Series A Preferred Stock on the NYSE on January 5, 2022 was $25.30 per share. Our common stock is traded on the NYSE under the symbol “KREF.”
Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus supplement or the related prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
 
Per Share
Total
Public offering price(1)
$25.00
$110,000,000
Underwriting discounts and commissions
$0.7875
$3,465,000
Proceeds to us before expenses(1)(2)
$24.2125
$106,535,000
(1)
Plus an amount equal to the dividends that accrued from and including December 15 to, but excluding, the settlement date for the shares offered hereby.
(2)
Assumes no exercise of the underwriters’ over-allotment option described below.
We have granted the underwriters the option to purchase, exercisable within 30 days of the date of this prospectus supplement, up to 660,000 shares of additional Series A Preferred Stock on the same terms and conditions set forth above, solely to cover over-allotments.
The underwriters expect that the shares offered hereby will be delivered to purchasers in global form through the book-entry delivery system of The Depository Trust Company on or about January 13, 2022.
Joint Book-Running Managers
Raymond James
KKR
Prospectus Supplement dated January 6 , 2022.


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ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT
This document has two parts, a prospectus supplement and an accompanying prospectus, dated December 22, 2021. This prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus are part of a registration statement that we filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC” or “Commission”), utilizing the SEC’s “shelf” registration process. This prospectus supplement, which describes certain matters relating to us and the specific terms of this offering of shares of Series A Preferred Stock, adds to and updates information contained in the accompanying prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference herein. Generally, when we refer to this prospectus, we are referring to both parts of this document combined. To the extent there is a conflict between the information contained in this prospectus supplement, on the one hand, and the information contained in the accompanying prospectus or in any document incorporated by reference that was filed with the SEC before the date of this prospectus supplement, on the other hand, you should rely on the information in this prospectus supplement. If any statement in one of these documents is inconsistent with a statement in another document having a later date (for example, a document incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement or in the accompanying prospectus after the date of this prospectus supplement) the statement in the document having the later date modifies or supersedes the earlier statement.
Before you invest in our Series A Preferred Stock, you should read the registration statement of which this document forms a part and this document, including the documents incorporated by reference herein that are described under the headings “Where You Can Find More Information” and “Incorporation by Reference.”
The distribution of this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus and the offering of the Series A Preferred Stock in certain jurisdictions may be restricted by law. Neither we nor the underwriters are making an offer of the Series A Preferred Stock in any jurisdiction where the offer is not permitted. Persons who come into possession of this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus should inform themselves about and observe any such restrictions. This prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus do not constitute, and may not be used in connection with, an offer or solicitation by anyone in any jurisdiction in which such offer or solicitation is not authorized or in which the person making such offer or solicitation is not qualified to do so or to any person to whom it is unlawful to make such offer or solicitation.
We are responsible for the information contained in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus, any related free writing prospectus issued by us and the documents incorporated or deemed incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. We have not, and the underwriters have not, authorized anyone to provide you with different information, and neither we nor the underwriters take responsibility for any other information that others may give you. This prospectus supplement may be used only where it is legal to sell the Series A Preferred Stock offered hereby. You should assume that the information in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus, any related free writing prospectus or any document incorporated or deemed incorporated herein by reference is accurate only as of the date on the front cover of those respective documents. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since such dates.
You should not consider any information in this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus to be investment, legal or tax advice. You should consult your own counsel, accountant and other advisors for legal, tax, business, financial and related advice regarding the purchase of the Series A Preferred Stock. Neither we nor the underwriters are making any representation to you regarding the legality of an investment in the Series A Preferred Stock by you under applicable investment or similar laws.
Except where the context requires otherwise, references in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus to “KREF,” the “Company,” “we,” “us,” and “our” refer to KKR Real Estate Finance Trust Inc., a Maryland corporation, and its subsidiaries; “Manager” refers to KKR Real Estate Finance Manager LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, our external manager; and “KKR” refers to KKR & Co. Inc., a Delaware corporation, and its subsidiaries. References in this prospectus supplement to “2020 10-K” refer to our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, filed on February 16, 2021.
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MARKET AND OTHER INDUSTRY DATA
This prospectus supplement includes and incorporates by reference market and other industry data and estimates that are based on our management’s knowledge and experience in the markets in which we operate. The sources of such data generally state that the information they provide has been obtained from sources they believe to be reliable, but we have not investigated or verified the accuracy and completeness of such information. Our own estimates are based on information obtained from our and our affiliates’ experience in the markets in which we operate and from other contacts in these markets. We are responsible for all of the disclosure contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement, and we believe our estimates to be accurate as of the date of this prospectus supplement, such other date stated in this prospectus supplement or such date as of the document incorporated herein. However, this information may prove to be inaccurate because of the method by which we obtained some of the data for the estimates or because this information cannot always be verified with complete certainty due to the limits on the availability and reliability of raw data, the voluntary nature of the data gathering process and other limitations and uncertainties. As a result, you should be aware that market and other industry data included and incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement, and estimates and beliefs based on that data, may not be reliable.
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PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT SUMMARY
This summary highlights certain significant aspects of our business. This is a summary of information contained elsewhere in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus and incorporated by reference herein, is not complete and does not contain all of the information that you should consider before making your investment decision. You should carefully read the entire prospectus supplement, including the information presented under the sections entitled “Risk Factors” and “Forward-Looking Statements” and the accompanying prospectus, the documents incorporated by reference herein or therein and the consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, before making an investment decision. This summary contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties.
Our Company
KREF is a real estate finance company that focuses primarily on originating and acquiring senior loans secured by commercial real estate (“CRE”) assets. Our investment strategy is to originate or acquire senior loans collateralized by institutional-quality CRE assets that are owned and operated by experienced and well-capitalized sponsors and located in liquid markets with strong underlying fundamentals. Our target assets also include mezzanine loans, preferred equity and other debt-oriented instruments with these characteristics. Our investment objective is capital preservation and the generation of attractive risk-adjusted returns for our stockholders over the long term, primarily through dividends.
We had a common equity book value of $1,062.1 million as of September 30, 2021 and established a portfolio of diversified investments, consisting primarily of performing senior loans, mezzanine and real estate corporate loans, and indirectly-owned commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS”) B-Pieces through an equity-method investment, which had a total outstanding principal of $5,513.7 million.
We elected to be treated as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes commencing with our taxable year ended December 31, 2014 and believe that we have operated and expect to continue to operate so as to qualify as a REIT. So long as we qualify as a REIT, we generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on net taxable income that we distribute annually to our stockholders. We and our subsidiaries also currently conduct, and intend to continue to conduct, our operations so that we are not required to register as an investment company under the Investment Company Act.
KKR Real Estate Finance Trust Inc. was incorporated in Maryland on October 2, 2014. Our principal executive offices are located at 30 Hudson Yards, Suite 7500, New York, New York 10001, and our telephone number is (212) 750-8300. Our website is www.KKRreit.com. The information on or otherwise accessible through our website does not constitute a part of this prospectus.
Our Manager and KKR
We are externally managed by our Manager, an indirect subsidiary of KKR, a leading global investment firm with a 45-year history of leadership, innovation and investment excellence. KKR manages multiple alternative asset classes including private equity, credit and real assets, with strategic manager partnerships that manage hedge funds. KKR is listed on the NYSE (NYSE: KKR) and reported $459 billion of assets under management (“AUM”) as of September 30, 2021. KKR’s “One-Firm” culture encourages collaboration and leveraging resources and relationships across KKR to help find creative solutions for clients seeking capital and strategic partnerships. We believe our Manager's relationship with KKR and its differentiated global investment management platform provides us with significant advantages in sourcing, evaluating, underwriting and managing our investments.
In connection with the performance of its duties, our Manager benefits from the resources, relationships and expertise of KKR's real estate group (“KKR Real Estate”), which provides equity and debt capital across a variety of real estate sectors and strategies. Established in 2011 under the leadership of Ralph F. Rosenberg, Global Head of KKR Real Estate and Chairman of our board of directors, KKR Real Estate had approximately $36 billion of AUM as of September 30, 2021. Mr. Rosenberg, who has over 30 years of real estate equity and debt transactions experience, is supported at KKR Real Estate by a team of over 100 dedicated professionals across 11 offices globally. We believe that KKR Real Estate's global relationships with property owners, managers, lenders, brokers and advisors and real-time knowledge derived from its broadly diversified real estate
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holdings provide our Manager with access to sourcing channels as well as operational and strategic insights to help our Manager evaluate and monitor individual investment opportunities. Additionally, our Manager leverages the proprietary information available to us through KKR’s global investment platforms to conduct thorough underwriting and due diligence and develop a deeper understanding of the opportunities, risks and challenges of the investments that we review. Further, our Manager benefits from KKR Capital Markets, a subsidiary of KKR, comprised of a team of over 60 investment professionals that advise KKR’s investment teams and portfolio companies on executing equity and debt capital markets solutions.
Our Manager is led by an experienced team of senior real estate investment professionals, including Matthew A. Salem, our Chief Executive Officer, and W. Patrick Mattson, our President and Chief Operating Officer, who each has over 20 years of CRE experience. Our Manager's senior leadership team is supported by approximately 50 other investment professionals with significant expertise in executing our investment strategy. Our Manager's investment committee, which is comprised of Messrs. Rosenberg, Christen Lee, Head of KKR’s Real Estate Americas and Vice Chairman of our board of directors, Salem, Mattson, Roger Morales, Head of KKR’s Real Estate Acquisitions Americas, Justin Pattner, Head of KKR’s Real Estate Equity Americas, Billy Butcher, Chief Operating Officer of KKR’s Global Real Estate, and Ms. Jenny Box, Co-Head of KKR’s Special Situations Americas, advises and consults with our Manager and its investment professionals with respect to our investment strategy, portfolio construction, financing and investment guidelines and risk management and approves all of our investments.
Recent Developments
New Originations
During the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2021, the Company originated and funded $1.8 billion and $1.5 billion, respectively, relating to 18 floating-rate, senior loans. The 18 senior loans have a weighted average appraised loan-to-value and coupon of 68% and L+3.0%, respectively. 64% of fourth quarter originations were multifamily, and 18%, 14% and 4% were office, life science and hospitality, respectively.
Lloyd Center Asset
During the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2021, the Company took title to one defaulted senior retail loan with an outstanding principal balance and net carrying value of $109.6 million and $69.3 million, respectively. The property was recognized on the Company’s balance sheet at its estimated fair value of $75.5 million. Accordingly, in the fourth quarter, the Company will recognize a $6.2 million GAAP gain from the reversal of the allowance for credit losses and will recognize a $34.1 million write-off through distributable earnings.
Term Loan Add-On
During the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2021, the Company completed the repricing of its $297.8 million existing Term Loan B and a $52.2 million add-on, for an aggregate principal amount of $350.0 million due September 2027 (“New Term Loan B”), which was issued at par. The New Term Loan B bears interest at LIBOR plus 350 basis points (“bps”) and is subject to a LIBOR floor of 50 bps.
Common Stock Offering
During November 2021, the Company issued and sold 5,547,361 shares of its common stock to the public at a net price to the Company of $21.76 per share pursuant to an underwriting agreement, dated October 27, 2021, by and among the Company, the Manager and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, as representatives to the several underwriters, including pursuant to the partial exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares. The Company is utilizing the net proceeds from the offering of approximately $120.4 million to acquire its assets in a manner consistent with its investment strategies and investment guidelines and for general corporate purposes.
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THE OFFERING
Issuer
KKR Real Estate Finance Trust Inc.
Securities offered by us
4,400,000 shares of Series A Preferred Stock (plus up to an additional 660,000 shares of Series A Preferred Stock that we may issue and sell upon the exercise of the underwriters’ over-allotment option). A total of 6,900,000 shares of Series A Preferred Stock are currently outstanding and the shares offered hereby will constitute a single series of preferred stock with the outstanding shares for all purposes. We reserve the right to reopen this series and issue additional shares of Series A Preferred Stock either through public or private sales at any time.
Ranking
The Series A Preferred Stock with respect to dividend rights and rights upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, ranks:

senior to our common stock and any class or series of our capital stock expressly designated as ranking junior to the Series A Preferred Stock as to dividend rights and rights upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up (“Junior Stock”);

on parity with any class or series of our capital stock expressly designated as ranking on parity with the Series A Preferred Stock as to dividend rights and rights upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up (the “Parity Stock”); and

junior to any class or series of our capital stock expressly designated as ranking senior to the Series A Preferred Stock as to dividend rights and rights upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up.
For purposes of this prospectus supplement, the term “capital stock” does not include convertible or exchangeable debt securities, including convertible or exchangeable debt securities that rank senior to the Series A Preferred Stock prior to conversion or exchange.
Dividends
Holders of shares of Series A Preferred Stock will be entitled to receive cumulative cash dividends on the Series A Preferred Stock at the rate of 6.50% per annum of the $25.00 per share liquidation preference, which is equivalent to $1.625 per annum per share. Dividends on the Series A Preferred Stock will be payable quarterly in arrears on or about the 15th day of March, June, September and December of each year. The first dividend on the shares offered hereby will be paid on March 15, 2022 and will cover the period from and including December 15, 2021 to, but not including, March 15, 2022.
Liquidation Preference
In the event of our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, the holders of shares of the Series A Preferred Stock will be entitled to be paid out of our assets
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legally available for distribution to our stockholders a liquidation preference in cash or property, at fair market value as determined by our board of directors, of $25.00 per share, plus any accrued and unpaid dividends (whether or not declared) to, but not including, the date of the payment. Holders of shares of Series A Preferred Stock will be entitled to receive this liquidating distribution before we distribute any assets to holders of shares of our common stock and any other class or series of Junior Stock.
No Maturity
The Series A Preferred Stock has no maturity date, and we are not required to redeem the Series A Preferred Stock. In addition, we are not required to set aside assets to redeem the Series A Preferred Stock. Accordingly, the shares of Series A Preferred Stock will remain outstanding indefinitely unless we decide to redeem them or, under circumstances where the holders of shares of Series A Preferred Stock have a conversion right, such holders decide to convert their shares.
Optional Redemption
We may not redeem the Series A Preferred Stock prior to April 16, 2026, except as described below under “Special Optional Redemption” and in limited circumstances relating to maintaining our qualification as a REIT. On and after April 16, 2026, we may, at our option, redeem the Series A Preferred Stock, in whole, at any time, or in part, from time to time, by paying $25.00 per share, plus any accrued and unpaid dividends (whether or not declared) to, but not including, the date of redemption (other than any dividend with a record date before the applicable redemption date and a payment date after the applicable redemption date, which will be paid on the payment date notwithstanding prior redemption of such shares).
Special Optional Redemption
In the event of a Change of Control (as defined below), we may, at our option, exercise our special optional redemption right to redeem the Series A Preferred Stock, in whole or in part, within 120 days after the first date on which such Change of Control occurred by paying $25.00 per share, plus any accrued and unpaid dividends (whether or not declared) to, but not including, the date of redemption (other than any dividend with a record date before the applicable redemption date and a payment date after the applicable redemption date, which will be paid on the payment date notwithstanding prior redemption of such shares). To the extent that we exercise our redemption right relating to the shares of Series A Preferred Stock, the holders of Series A Preferred Stock will not be permitted to exercise the conversion right described below in respect of their shares called for redemption.
A “Change of Control” is when, after the original issuance of the Series A Preferred Stock, the following have occurred and are continuing:
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the acquisition by any person, including any syndicate or group deemed to be a “person” under Section 13(d)(3) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), other than certain permitted holders, of beneficial ownership, directly or indirectly, through a purchase, merger or other acquisition transaction or series of purchases, mergers or other acquisition transactions of shares of our capital stock entitling that person to exercise more than 50% of the total voting power of all shares of our capital stock entitled to vote generally in elections of directors (except that such person will be deemed to have beneficial ownership of all securities that such person has the right to acquire, whether such right is currently exercisable or is exercisable only upon the occurrence of a subsequent condition); and

following the closing of any transaction referred to in the bullet point above, neither we nor the acquiring or surviving entity has a class of common securities (or ADRs representing such common securities) listed on the NYSE, the NYSE American or NASDAQ, or listed or quoted on an exchange or quotation system that is a successor to the NYSE, the NYSE American or NASDAQ.
Change in Control Conversion Rights
Except to the extent that we have elected to exercise our optional redemption right or our special optional redemption right by providing a notice of redemption prior to the Change of Control Conversion Date, beginning on April 16, 2022 upon the occurrence of a Change of Control, each holder of shares of Series A Preferred Stock will have the right to convert some or all of the Series A Preferred Stock held by such holder on the Change of Control Conversion Date into a number of shares of our common stock per share of Series A Preferred Stock to be converted equal to the lesser of:

the quotient obtained by dividing (i) the sum of the $25.00 liquidation preference plus the amount of any accrued and unpaid dividends (whether or not declared) to, but not including, the Change of Control Conversion Date (unless the Change of Control Conversion Date is after a record date for a Series A Preferred Stock dividend payment and prior to the corresponding Series A Preferred Stock dividend payment date, in which case no additional amount for such accrued and unpaid dividend will be included in this sum) by (ii) the Common Stock Price; and

2.6427, or the Share Cap, subject to certain adjustments;
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subject, in each case, to provisions for the receipt of alternative consideration upon conversion as described in this prospectus supplement.
If we have provided a redemption notice with respect to some or all of the Series A Preferred Stock, holders of any shares of Series A Preferred Stock that we have called for redemption will not be permitted to exercise their Change of Control Conversion Right in respect of any of their shares of Series A Preferred Stock that have been called for redemption, and any Series A Preferred Stock subsequently called for redemption that has been tendered for conversion will be redeemed on the applicable date of redemption instead of converted on the Change of Control Conversion Date.
For definitions of “Change of Control Conversion Right,” “Change of Control Conversion Date” and “Common Stock Price” and for a description of the adjustments and provisions for the receipt of alternative consideration that may be applicable to the Change of Control Conversion Right, see “Description of Series A Preferred Stock— Redemption—Conversion Rights.”
Except as provided above in connection with a Change of Control, the Series A Preferred Stock is not convertible into or exchangeable for any other securities or property.
Voting Rights
Holders of shares of Series A Preferred Stock generally will have no voting rights. However, if we do not pay dividends on the Series A Preferred Stock for six quarterly periods, whether or not consecutive, the holders of shares of Series A Preferred Stock, voting together as a single class with the holders of shares of our Parity Stock having similar voting rights that are exercisable, will be entitled to vote for the election of two additional directors to serve on our board of directors until we pay all dividends which we owe on the Series A Preferred Stock. The affirmative vote of the holders of at least two-thirds of the outstanding shares of Series A Preferred Stock, voting together as a single class with the holders of any other class or series of our preferred stock upon which like voting rights have been conferred and are exercisable, is required for us to authorize, create or increase the number of shares of any class or series of our capital stock expressly designated as ranking senior to the Series A Preferred Stock as to distribution rights and rights upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up. In addition, the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the outstanding shares of Series A Preferred Stock (voting as a separate class) is required to amend our charter (including the Articles Supplementary setting forth the terms of the Series A Preferred Stock) in a manner that materially and adversely affects the rights of the holders
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of shares of Series A Preferred Stock, subject to certain exceptions. See the section entitled “Description of Series A Preferred Stock—Voting Rights.”
Among other things, we may, without any vote of the holders of shares of Series A Preferred Stock, issue additional shares of Series A Preferred Stock and we may authorize and issue additional shares of any class or series of our Junior Stock or our Parity Stock.
Ownership and transfer restrictions
To assist us in complying with the limitations on the concentration of ownership of a REIT imposed by the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), among other purposes, our charter, including the Articles Supplementary setting forth the terms of the Series A Preferred Stock, generally prohibits, among other prohibitions, any person from beneficially or constructively owning in excess of 9.8% in value or number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of the outstanding shares of any class or series of our capital stock, including the Series A Preferred Stock, unless such person receives an exemption from our board of directors. See “Description of Series A Preferred Stock—Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer.”
Use of proceeds
We plan to use the net proceeds we will receive from the sale of the shares offered hereby, after deducting commissions and offering expenses payable by us, to acquire our target assets in a manner consistent with our investment strategies and investment guidelines described in the 2020 10-K incorporated by reference herein and for general corporate purposes. See “Business—Our Investment Strategy,” “—Our Target Assets” and “—Investment Guidelines” in our 2020 10-K incorporated by reference herein.
Settlement Date
Delivery of the shares offered hereby will be made against payment therefor on or about January 13, 2022.
Listing and Trading Symbol
The Series A Preferred Stock is listed on the NYSE under the symbol “KREF PRA.”
Transfer Agent
The transfer agent for the Series A Preferred Stock is American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC.
Risk Factors
Investing in the Series A Preferred Stock involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully read and consider the information set forth under the heading “Risk Factors” beginning on page S-8 of this prospectus supplement, and under the heading “Item 1a. Risk Factors” in our 2020 10-K with the other information included elsewhere in this prospectus supplement and the documents incorporated by reference herein before making a decision to invest in the Series A Preferred Stock.
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RISK FACTORS
An investment in shares of our Series A Preferred Stock involves a significant degree of risk. You should carefully consider the following risk factors and all of the other information included in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus and the documents we have incorporated by reference herein, including the risk factors identified or described in the 2020 10-K, before acquiring our Series A Preferred Stock. Each of the risks described in these documents and below could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations or liquidity and are not the only ones we face. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us, or that we currently deem immaterial, may also materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations or liquidity. The trading price of shares of our Series A Preferred Stock could decline due to the materialization of any of these risks, and you may lose all or part of your investment.
Risks Related to this Offering and Ownership of the Series A Preferred Stock
As a holder of Series A Preferred Stock, you will have extremely limited voting rights.
Your voting rights as a holder of Series A Preferred Stock will be limited. Our shares of common stock are the only class of our securities that carry full voting rights. Voting rights for holders of Series A Preferred Stock exist primarily with respect to the ability to elect, together with holders of our Parity Stock having similar voting rights that are exercisable two additional directors to our board of directors in the event that six quarterly dividends (whether or not consecutive) payable on the Series A Preferred Stock are in arrears, and with respect to voting on amendments to our charter, including the Articles Supplementary setting forth the terms of the Series A Preferred Stock, that materially and adversely affect the rights of the holders of Series A Preferred Stock or the creation or issuance of additional classes or series of our capital stock expressly designated as ranking senior to the Series A Preferred Stock as to dividend rights and rights upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up. Other than the limited circumstances described in this prospectus supplement, holders of Series A Preferred Stock will not have any voting rights. See “Description of Series A Preferred Stock—Voting Rights.”
The market price and trading volume of the Series A Preferred Stock may fluctuate significantly and be volatile due to numerous circumstances beyond our control.
The Series A Preferred Stock is listed on the NYSE but may trade at prices lower than the public offering price, and the market price of the Series A Preferred Stock would depend on many factors, including, but not limited to:
prevailing interest rates;
the market for similar securities;
general economic and financial market conditions;
our issuance, as well as the issuance by our subsidiaries, of additional preferred equity or debt securities; and
our financial condition, cash flows, liquidity, results of operations, funds from operations and prospects.
The trading prices of common and preferred equity securities issued by REITs and other real estate companies historically have been affected by changes in market interest rates. One of the factors that may influence the market price of the Series A Preferred Stock is the annual yield from dividends on the Series A Preferred Stock as compared to yields on other financial instruments. An increase in market interest rates may lead prospective purchasers of the Series A Preferred Stock to demand a higher annual yield, which could reduce the market price of the Series A Preferred Stock.
Future offerings of debt securities or shares of our capital stock, including future offerings of traded or non-traded preferred stock, expressly designated as ranking senior to the Series A Preferred Stock as to dividend rights and rights upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up may adversely affect the market price of the Series A Preferred Stock.
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Our cash available for dividends may not be sufficient to pay dividends on the Series A Preferred Stock at expected levels, and we cannot assure you of our ability to pay dividends in the future. We may use borrowed funds or funds from other sources to pay dividends, which may adversely impact our operations.
We intend to pay regular quarterly dividends to holders of our Series A Preferred Stock. Dividends declared by us will be authorized by our board of directors in its sole discretion out of assets legally available for distribution and will depend upon a number of factors, including our earnings, our financial condition, the requirements for qualification as a REIT, restrictions under applicable law, our need to comply with the terms of our existing financing arrangements, the capital requirements of our company and other factors as our board of directors may deem relevant from time to time. We may have to fund dividends from working capital, borrow to provide funds for such dividends, use proceeds of this offering or other similar offerings or sell assets to the extent dividends exceed earnings or cash flows from operations. Funding dividends from working capital would restrict our operations. If we are required to sell assets to fund dividends, such asset sales may occur at a time or in a manner that is not consistent with our disposition strategy. If we borrow to fund dividends, our leverage ratios and future interest costs would increase, thereby reducing our earnings and cash available for distribution from what they otherwise would have been. We may not be able to pay dividends in the future. In addition, some of our distributions may be considered a return of capital for income tax purposes. If we decide to make distributions in excess of our current and accumulated earnings and profits, such distributions would generally be considered a return of capital for U.S. federal income tax purposes to the extent of the holder’s adjusted tax basis in their shares. A return of capital is not taxable, but it has the effect of reducing the holder’s adjusted tax basis in its investment. If distributions exceed the adjusted tax basis of a holder’s shares, they will be treated as gain from the sale or exchange of such stock.
Our ability to pay dividends is limited by the requirements of Maryland law.
Our ability to pay dividends on the Series A Preferred Stock is limited by the laws of Maryland. Under Maryland law, a Maryland corporation generally may not make a distribution if, after giving effect to the distribution, the corporation would not be able to pay its debts as they become due in the usual course of business, or the corporation’s total assets would be less than the sum of its total liabilities plus, unless the corporation’s charter provides otherwise, the amount that would be needed, if the corporation were dissolved at the time of the distribution, to satisfy the preferential rights upon dissolution of stockholders whose preferential rights are superior to those receiving the distribution. Accordingly, we generally may not make a distribution on the Series A Preferred Stock if, after giving effect to the distribution, we would not be able to pay our debts as they become due in the usual course of business or our total assets would be less than the sum of our total liabilities plus, unless the terms of such class or series of stock provide otherwise, the amount that would be needed to satisfy the preferential rights upon dissolution of the holders of shares of any class or series of stock then outstanding, if any, with preferential rights upon dissolution senior to those of the Series A Preferred Stock.
You may not be permitted to exercise conversion rights upon a Change of Control. If exercisable, the Change of Control conversion feature of the Series A Preferred Stock may not adequately compensate you, and the Change of Control conversion and redemption features of the Series A Preferred Stock may make it more difficult for a party to take over our company or discourage a party from taking over our company.
Beginning on April 16, 2022, upon the occurrence of a Change of Control, holders of Series A Preferred Stock will have the right to convert some or all of their Series A Preferred Stock into our common stock (or equivalent value of alternative consideration). Notwithstanding that we generally may not redeem the Series A Preferred Stock prior to April 16, 2026, we have a special optional redemption right to redeem the Series A Preferred Stock in the event of a Change of Control, and holders of Series A Preferred Stock will not have the right to convert any shares that we have elected to redeem prior to the Change of Control Conversion Date. See “Description of Series A Preferred Stock—Redemption—Conversion Rights” and “Description of Series A Preferred Stock—Redemption.” Upon such a conversion, the holders will be limited to a maximum number of shares of our common stock equal to the Share Cap multiplied by the number of Series A Preferred Stock converted. If the Common Stock Price (as defined in “Description of Series A Preferred Stock—Redemption—Conversion Rights”) is less than $9.46 (which is 50% of the per-share closing sale price of our common stock on April 8, 2021), subject to adjustment, each holder will receive a maximum of 2.6427 shares of our common stock per share of Series A Preferred Stock, which may result in a holder receiving value that is less than the liquidation preference of the Series A Preferred Stock. In addition, those features of the
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Series A Preferred Stock may have the effect of inhibiting a third party from making an acquisition proposal for our company or of delaying, deferring or preventing a change of control of our company under circumstances that otherwise could provide the holders of our common stock and Series A Preferred Stock with the opportunity to realize a premium over the then-current market price or that stockholders may otherwise believe is in their best interest.
Our charter and the Articles Supplementary contain restrictions upon ownership and transfer of the Series A Preferred Stock and our common stock, which may impair the ability of holders to convert Series A Preferred Stock into our common stock upon a Change of Control.
The Articles Supplementary setting forth the terms of the Series A Preferred Stock provide that the ownership limitations described below apply to ownership of shares of Series A Preferred Stock pursuant to Article VI of our charter. Our charter contains restrictions on ownership and transfer of our capital stock intended to assist us in maintaining our qualification as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes. For example, to assist us in qualifying as a REIT, our charter prohibits anyone from owning, or being deemed to own by virtue of the applicable beneficial or constructive ownership provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, more than 9.8% in value or number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of the outstanding shares of any class or series of our capital stock, including our Series A Preferred Stock, unless such person receives an exemption from our board of directors. See “Description of Series A Preferred Stock—Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer” in this prospectus supplement. You should consider these ownership limitations prior to your purchase of the Series A Preferred Stock. In addition, the Articles Supplementary provide that, notwithstanding any other provision of the Series A Preferred Stock, no holder of shares of Series A Preferred Stock will be entitled to convert such shares of Series A Preferred Stock for shares of our common stock to the extent that receipt of such common stock would cause such holder (or any other person) to exceed the share ownership limits contained in our charter and the Articles Supplementary setting forth the terms of the Series A Preferred Stock, unless we provide an exemption from this limitation for such holder, which may limit your ability to convert the Series A Preferred Stock into our common stock upon a Change of Control. The restrictions could also have anti-takeover effects and could reduce the possibility that a third party will attempt to acquire control of us, which could adversely affect the market price of the Series A Preferred Stock.
The Series A Preferred Stock is subordinate to our existing and future debt, and your interests could be diluted by the issuance of additional shares of preferred stock and by other transactions.
The Series A Preferred Stock rank junior to all of our existing and future indebtedness, any classes and series of our capital stock expressly designated as ranking senior to the Series A Preferred Stock as to dividend rights and rights upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, and other non-equity claims on us and our assets available to satisfy claims against us, including claims in bankruptcy, liquidation or similar proceedings. Our charter currently authorizes the issuance of up to 50,000,000 shares of preferred stock, $0.01 par value per share, in one or more classes or series, of which 6,900,000 shares of Series A Preferred Stock are outstanding. Our board of directors has the authority, without further action by the stockholders, to amend our charter to increase the number of authorized preferred stock and to authorize us to issue shares of preferred stock in one or more series and to fix the number of shares, preferences, conversion or other rights, voting powers, restrictions, limitations as to dividends or other distributions, qualifications and terms and conditions of redemption applicable to each such series of preferred stock. Our board of directors may, without notice to or the consent of holders of Series A Preferred Stock, authorize the issuance and sale of additional shares of Series A Preferred Stock and authorize and issue additional shares of Junior Stock or Parity Stock from time to time. The issuance of additional shares of Series A Preferred Stock or additional shares of Parity Stock would dilute the interests of the holders of Series A Preferred Stock, and the issuance of shares of any class or series of our capital stock expressly designated as ranking senior to the Series A Preferred Stock as to dividend rights and rights upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up (with the requisite vote of holders of Series A Preferred Stock and other classes of our Parity Stock as described in this prospectus supplement) or the incurrence of additional indebtedness could affect our ability to pay dividends on, redeem or pay the liquidation preference on the Series A Preferred Stock. Other than the conversion right afforded to holders of Series A Preferred Stock that may become exercisable in connection with certain changes of control as described in this prospectus supplement under the heading “Description of Series A Preferred Stock—Redemption—Conversion Rights,” none of the provisions relating to the Series A Preferred Stock contain any terms relating to or limiting our indebtedness or affording the holders of Series A Preferred Stock protection in the event of a highly leveraged or other
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transaction, including a merger or the sale, lease or conveyance of all or substantially all our assets, that might adversely affect the holders of Series A Preferred Stock, so long as the rights of the holders of Series A Preferred Stock are not materially and adversely affected.
If our common stock is delisted, your ability to transfer or sell your Series A Preferred Stock may be limited and the market value of the Series A Preferred Stock will be materially adversely affected.
Other than in connection with certain change of control transactions, the Series A Preferred Stock does not contain provisions that protect you if our common stock is delisted from the NYSE. Since the Series A Preferred Stock has no stated maturity date, you may be forced to hold your Series A Preferred Stock and receive stated dividends on the shares when, as and if authorized by our board of directors and declared by us with no assurance as to ever receiving the liquidation preference. In addition, if our common stock is delisted, it is likely that the Series A Preferred Stock will be delisted, which will limit your ability to transfer or sell your Series A Preferred Stock and could have a material adverse effect on the market value of the Series A Preferred Stock.
The amount of your liquidation preference is fixed and you will have no right to receive any greater payment.
The payment due to holders of the Series A Preferred Stock upon liquidation is fixed at the liquidation preference of $25.00 per share of Series A Preferred Stock, plus any accumulated and unpaid dividends thereon to, but not including, the date of payment. If, in the case of our liquidation, there are remaining assets to be distributed after payment of this amount, you will have no right to receive or to participate in these amounts. In addition, if the market price of your share of Series A Preferred Stock is greater than the liquidation preference, you will have no right to receive the market price from us upon our liquidation.
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FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus contain and incorporate by reference “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act, which reflect our current views with respect to, among other things, our operations and financial performance. You can identify these forward-looking statements by the use of words such as “believe,” “expect,” “potential,” “continue,” “may,” “should,” “seek,” “predict,” “intend,” “will,” “plan,” “estimate,” “anticipate” or “could,” the negative version of these words, other comparable words or other statements that do not relate strictly to historical or factual matters. By their nature, forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, are not statements of historical fact or guarantees of future performance, and are subject to risks, uncertainties, assumptions or changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict or quantify. Our expectations, beliefs and projections are expressed in good faith and we believe there is a reasonable basis for them. However, there can be no assurance that management’s expectations, beliefs and projections will result or be achieved and actual results may vary materially from what is expressed in or indicated by the forward-looking statements.
There are a number of risks, uncertainties and other important factors that make an investment in us speculative or risky and that could cause our actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in, or incorporated by reference in, this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. Such risks, uncertainties and other important factors include, among others, the risks, uncertainties and factors set forth under the section entitled “Risk Factors” in the 2020 10-K, which is incorporated by reference herein, and the following risks, uncertainties and factors:
the severity and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic;
potential risks and uncertainties relating to the ultimate geographic spread of COVID-19;
actions that may be taken by governmental authorities to contain the COVID-19 outbreak or to treat its impact;
the potential negative impacts of COVID-19 on the global economy and the impacts of COVID-19 on the Company’s financial condition and business operations;
adverse developments in the availability of desirable investment opportunities whether they are due to competition, regulation or otherwise;
the general political, economic and competitive conditions in the United States and in any foreign jurisdictions in which we invest;
the level and volatility of prevailing interest rates and credit spreads;
adverse changes in the real estate and real estate capital markets;
difficulty or delays in redeploying the proceeds from repayments of our existing investments;
general volatility of the securities markets in which we participate;
changes in our business, investment strategies or target assets;
deterioration in the performance of the properties securing our investments that may cause deterioration in the performance of our investments and, potentially, principal losses to us;
acts of God such as hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters, pandemics such as COVID-19, acts of war and/or terrorism and other events that may cause unanticipated and uninsured performance declines and/or losses to us or the owners and operators of the real estate securing our investments;
the adequacy of collateral securing our investments and declines in the fair value of our investments;
difficulty in obtaining financing or raising capital;
difficulty in successfully managing our growth, including integrating new assets into our existing systems;
reductions in the yield on our investments and increases in the cost of our financing;
defaults by borrowers in paying debt service on outstanding indebtedness;
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the availability of qualified personnel and our relationship with our Manager;
subsidiaries of KKR & Co. Inc. have significant influence over us and KKR’s interests may conflict with those of our stockholders in the future;
the cost of operating our platform, including, but not limited to, the cost of operating a real estate investment platform;
adverse legislative or regulatory developments;
our qualification as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes and our exclusion from registration under the Investment Company Act; and
authoritative accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America or policy changes from such standard-setting bodies such as the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the SEC, the Internal Revenue Service, the NYSE and other authorities that we are subject to, as well as their counterparts in any foreign jurisdictions where we might do business.
There may be other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements, including factors disclosed under the section entitled “Risk Factors” in the 2020 10-K and the section entitled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in the 2020 10-K and Quarterly Reports for the three-month period ended March 31, 2021, the six-month period ended June 30, 2021 and the nine-month period ended September 30, 2021. You should evaluate all forward-looking statements made in, and incorporated by reference in, this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus in the context of these risks and uncertainties.
We caution you that the risks, uncertainties and other factors referenced above may not contain all of the risks, uncertainties and other factors that are important to you. In addition, we cannot assure you that we will realize the results, benefits or developments that we expect or anticipate or, even if substantially realized, that they will result in the consequences or affect us or our business in the way expected. All forward-looking statements contained in, and incorporated by reference in, this prospectus supplement apply only as of the date made and are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements included in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, except as required by law.
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USE OF PROCEEDS
We plan to use the net proceeds we will receive from the sale of the shares offered hereby, after deducting commissions and offering expenses payable by us, to acquire our target assets in a manner consistent with our investment strategies and investment guidelines described in the 2020 10-K incorporated by reference herein and for general corporate purposes. See “Business—Our Investment Strategy,” “—Our Target Assets” and “—Investment Guidelines” in our 2020 10-K incorporated by reference herein.
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DESCRIPTION OF SERIES A PREFERRED STOCK
The description of certain terms and provisions of the Series A Preferred Stock contained in this prospectus supplement does not purport to be complete and is in all respects subject to, and qualified in its entirety by reference to, our charter, including the Articles Supplementary setting forth the terms of the Series A Preferred Stock, our bylaws and Maryland law. The following description of the terms of the Series A Preferred Stock supplements, and to the extent inconsistent with, replaces, the description of the general terms and provisions of our preferred stock set forth in the accompanying prospectus.
For purposes of this section, references to “we,” “our” and “our company” refer only to KKR Real Estate Finance Trust Inc. and not to any of its subsidiaries, references to the “shares offered hereby” refer to the shares of Series A Preferred Stock offered hereby, and references to the “Series A Preferred Stock” refer to both the outstanding shares of Series A Preferred Stock and the shares offered hereby.
General
We are currently authorized to issue up to 50,000,000 shares of preferred stock, par value $0.01 per share, in one or more classes or series stock, of which 6,900,000 shares of Series A Preferred Stock are outstanding. Our board of directors has the authority, without further action by the stockholders, to authorize us to issue shares of preferred stock in one or more series and to fix the number of shares, preferences, conversion or other rights, voting powers, restrictions, limitations as to dividends or other distributions, qualifications and terms and conditions of redemption applicable to each such series of preferred stock.
Prior to the closing of this offering, our board of directors will classify 5,060,000 of our authorized shares of preferred stock as additional shares of Series A Preferred Stock and authorize the issuance thereof, and we will file a supplement to the Articles Supplementary reflecting the classification of the additional shares offered hereby with the State Department of Assessments and Taxation of Maryland. When issued, the shares offered hereby will be validly issued, fully paid and nonassessable. The shares offered hereby will constitute a single series of preferred stock with shares of Series A Preferred Stock currently outstanding for all purposes. The holders of Series A Preferred Stock have no preemptive rights with respect to any shares of our stock or any of our other securities convertible into or carrying rights or options to purchase any shares of our stock. Our board of directors may, without notice to or the consent of holders of Series A Preferred Stock, authorize the issuance and sale of additional shares of Series A Preferred Stock and authorize and issue additional shares of Junior Stock or Parity Stock from time to time.
The Series A Preferred Stock is listed on the NYSE under the symbol “KREF PRA.”
The transfer agent, registrar and dividend disbursement agent for the Series A Preferred Stock is American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC.
Ranking
The Series A Preferred Stock, with respect to dividend rights and rights upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, ranks senior to our common stock and any other class or series of our Junior Stock, pari passu with any class or series of our Parity Stock and junior to any class or series of our capital stock expressly designated as ranking senior to the Series A Preferred Stock as to dividend rights and rights upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up. Any authorization or issuance of shares of our capital stock expressly designated as ranking senior to the Series A Preferred Stock as to dividend rights and rights upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up would require the affirmative vote of the holders of at least two-thirds of the outstanding shares of Series A Preferred Stock voting together as a single class with all classes or series of Parity Stock upon which like voting rights have been conferred and are exercisable. Any convertible or exchangeable debt securities that we may issue are not considered to be equity securities for these purposes. The Series A Preferred Stock ranks junior in right of payment to all of our existing and future indebtedness.
Dividends
Subject to the preferential rights of holders of any class or series of our capital stock expressly designated as ranking senior to the Series A Preferred Stock as to dividend rights, holders of shares of the Series A Preferred Stock will be entitled to receive, when, as and if authorized by our board of directors and declared by us, out of assets legally available for the payment of dividends, cumulative cash dividends at the rate of 6.50% per annum
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of the $25.00 per share liquidation preference, equivalent to $1.625 per annum per share of Series A Preferred Stock. Dividends on the Series A Preferred Stock will accrue and be cumulative from (but not including) the original date of issuance of any shares of Series A Preferred Stock, or, if later, the most recent dividend payment date to which dividends have been paid in full (or declared and the corresponding dividend record date for determining stockholders entitled to payment thereof has passed) and will be payable quarterly in arrears on or about the 15th day of March, June, September and December of each year, or, if such day is not a business day, on the next succeeding business day, with the same force and effect as if made on such date. The term “business day” means any day, other than a Saturday or a Sunday, that is neither a legal holiday nor a day on which banking institutions in New York City are authorized or required by law, regulation or executive order to close. The first dividend on the shares offered hereby will be paid on March 15, 2022 and will accrue from and including December 15, 2021. Dividends payable on the Series A Preferred Stock for any partial dividend period will be prorated and computed on the basis of a 360-day year consisting of twelve 30-day months. We will pay dividends to holders of record as they appear in our stock records at the close of business on the applicable record date, which will be such date as designated by our board of directors for the payment of dividends that is not more than 90 days nor fewer than 10 days prior to the dividend payment date. No holder of any shares of Series A Preferred Stock is entitled to receive any dividends paid or payable on the Series A Preferred Stock with a dividend payment date before the date such shares of Series A Preferred Stock are issued.
Our board of directors will not authorize, and we will not declare or pay, any dividends on the Series A Preferred Stock or set aside assets for the payment of dividends if the terms of any of our agreements, including agreements relating to our indebtedness, prohibit that authorization, declaration, payment or setting aside of assets or provide that the authorization, payment or setting aside of assets is a breach of or a default under that agreement, or if the authorization, declaration, payment or setting aside of assets is restricted or prohibited by law. We are and may in the future become a party to agreements that restrict or prevent the payment of dividends on, or the purchase or redemption of, our capital stock. Under certain circumstances, these agreements could restrict or prevent the payment of dividends on or the purchase or redemption of Series A Preferred Stock. These restrictions may be indirect (for example, covenants requiring us to maintain specified levels of net worth or assets) or direct. We do not believe that these restrictions currently have any adverse impact on our ability to pay dividends to holders or make redemptions of the Series A Preferred Stock.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, dividends on the Series A Preferred Stock will accrue whether or not we have earnings, whether or not there are assets legally available for the payment of dividends, whether or not dividends are authorized or declared and whether or not the restrictions referred to above exist. Accrued but unpaid dividends on the Series A Preferred Stock will not bear interest, and the holders of Series A Preferred Stock will not be entitled to any dividends in excess of full cumulative dividends as described above. All of our dividends on Series A Preferred Stock, including any capital gain dividends, will be credited to the previously accrued and unpaid dividends on the Series A Preferred Stock. We will credit any dividend made on the Series A Preferred Stock first to the earliest accrued and unpaid dividend due.
Except as provided in the paragraph immediately below, we will not declare or pay any dividends, or set aside any assets for the payment of dividends, on our Junior Stock or our Parity Stock, or redeem or otherwise acquire our Junior Stock (other than a distribution paid in shares of, or options, warrants or rights to subscribe for or purchase shares of our Junior Stock) or our Parity Stock unless we also have declared and either paid or set aside for payment the full cumulative dividends on the Series A Preferred Stock for all past dividend periods, except by conversion into or exchange for shares of, or options, warrants or rights to purchase or subscribe for, our Junior Stock or pursuant to an exchange offer made on the same terms to all holders of Series A Preferred Stock and all holders of our Parity Stock. This restriction will not limit our redemption or other acquisition of shares of our common stock made for purposes of and in compliance with any incentive, benefit or stock purchase plan of ours or for the purposes of enforcing restrictions upon ownership and transfer of our equity securities contained in our charter in order to preserve our status as a REIT.
If we do not declare and either pay or set aside for payment the full cumulative dividends on the Series A Preferred Stock and our Parity Stock, the amount which we have declared will be allocated pro rata to the Series A Preferred Stock and our Parity Stock so that the amount declared per share is proportionate to the accrued and unpaid dividends on those shares.
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In determining whether a distribution (other than upon voluntary or involuntary liquidation), by dividend or other distribution, redemption or other acquisition of our equity securities is permitted under Maryland law, no effect shall be given to amounts that would be needed, if we were to be dissolved at the time of the distribution, to satisfy the preferential rights upon dissolution of stockholders whose preferential rights on dissolution are superior to those receiving the distribution.
Liquidation Rights
In the event of our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, whether voluntary or involuntary, the holders of shares of the Series A Preferred Stock will be entitled to be paid out of our assets legally available for distribution to our stockholders a liquidation preference in cash or property, at fair market value as determined by our board of directors, of $25.00 per share, plus any accrued and unpaid dividends (whether or not declared) to, but not including, the date of the payment. Holders of shares of Series A Preferred Stock will be entitled to receive this liquidating distribution before we distribute any assets to holders of our Junior Stock. The rights of holders of shares of Series A Preferred Stock to receive their liquidation preference would be subject to the preferential rights of the holders of shares of any class or series of our capital stock expressly designated as ranking senior to the Series A Preferred Stock as to rights upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up we may issue in the future. Written notice will be given to each holder of Series A Preferred Stock of any such liquidation no fewer than 30 days and no more than 60 days prior to the payment date. After payment of the full amount of the liquidating distribution to which they are entitled, the holders of Series A Preferred Stock will have no right or claim to any of our remaining assets. If we consolidate, convert or merge with any other entity, sell, lease, transfer or convey all or substantially all of our assets, or engage in a statutory share exchange, we will not be deemed to have liquidated, dissolved or wound up. In the event our assets are insufficient to pay the full liquidating distributions to the holders of Series A Preferred Stock and our Parity Stock, then we will distribute our assets to the holders of Series A Preferred Stock and the holders of our Parity Stock ratably in proportion to the full liquidating distributions they would have otherwise received.
Redemption
Generally
We may not redeem the Series A Preferred Stock prior to April 16, 2026, except as described below under “—Special Optional Redemption” and “—Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer.” On and after April 16, 2026, upon no fewer than 30 days’ nor more than 60 days’ written notice, we may, at our option, redeem the Series A Preferred Stock, in whole or from time to time in part, by paying $25.00 per share, plus any accrued and unpaid dividends (whether or not declared) to, but not including, the date of redemption (other than any dividend with a record date before the applicable redemption date and a payment date after the applicable redemption date, which will be paid on the payment date notwithstanding prior redemption of such shares).
We will give notice of redemption by mail to each holder of record of Series A Preferred Stock at the address shown on our stock transfer books. A failure to give notice of redemption or any defect in the notice or in its mailing will not affect the validity of the redemption of any shares of Series A Preferred Stock except as to the holder to whom notice was defective or not given. Any notice of any redemption may, at our discretion, be subject to one or more conditions precedent, including, but not limited to, completion of a securities offering or other corporate transaction. Each notice will state the following:
the redemption date;
the redemption price;
the number of shares of Series A Preferred Stock to be redeemed;
the place or places where the certificates, if any, representing the shares of Series A Preferred Stock to be redeemed are to be surrendered for payment;
the procedures for surrendering non-certificated shares for payment; and
that dividends on the shares of Series A Preferred Stock to be redeemed will cease to accrue on the redemption date.
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If we redeem fewer than all of the shares of Series A Preferred Stock held by any holder, the notice of redemption mailed to such stockholder will also specify the number of shares of Series A Preferred Stock that we will redeem from each stockholder. In this case, we will determine the number of shares of Series A Preferred Stock to be redeemed on a pro rata basis or by lot.
If we elect to redeem any of the Series A Preferred Stock in connection with a Change of Control (as defined below under “—Special Optional Redemption”) and we intend for such redemption to occur prior to the applicable Change of Control Conversion Date (as defined below under “—Conversion Rights”), our redemption notice will also state that the holders of shares of Series A Preferred Stock to which the notice relates will not be able to tender such shares of Series A Preferred Stock for conversion in connection with the Change of Control and each share of Series A Preferred Stock tendered for conversion that is selected for redemption prior to the Change of Control Conversion Date will be redeemed on the related date of redemption instead of converted on the Change of Control Conversion Date.
If we have given a notice of redemption and have paid or set apart sufficient assets for the redemption in trust for the benefit of the holders of shares of Series A Preferred Stock called for redemption, then from and after the redemption date, those shares of Series A Preferred Stock will be treated as no longer being outstanding, no further dividends will accrue and all other rights of the holders of those shares of Series A Preferred Stock will terminate. The holders of those shares of Series A Preferred Stock will retain their right to receive the redemption price for their shares and any accrued and unpaid dividends (whether or not declared) to (but not including) the redemption date.
The holders of shares of Series A Preferred Stock at the close of business on a dividend record date will be entitled to receive the dividend payable with respect to the shares of Series A Preferred Stock on the corresponding payment date notwithstanding the redemption of the shares of Series A Preferred Stock between such record date and the corresponding dividend payment date or our default in the payment of the dividend due. Except as provided above and in connection with a redemption pursuant to our special optional redemption, we will make no payment or allowance for unpaid dividends, whether or not in arrears, on shares of Series A Preferred Stock to be redeemed.
The Series A Preferred Stock has no stated maturity and will not be subject to any sinking fund or mandatory redemption provisions, except as provided under “—Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer” below. In order to ensure that we continue to meet the requirements for qualification as a REIT, the Series A Preferred Stock will be subject to the restrictions on ownership and transfer in Article VI of our charter.
Subject to applicable law, we may purchase shares of Series A Preferred Stock in the open market, by tender or by private agreement. Any shares of Series A Preferred Stock that we reacquire will return to the status of authorized but unissued shares of our preferred stock.
Special Optional Redemption
In the event of a Change of Control, we may, at our option, redeem the Series A Preferred Stock, in whole or in part, within 120 days after the first date on which such Change of Control occurred by paying $25.00 per share, plus any accrued and unpaid dividends (whether or not declared) to, but not including, the date of redemption (other than any dividend with a record date before the applicable redemption date and a payment date after the applicable redemption date, which will be paid on the payment date notwithstanding prior redemption of such shares). If, prior to the Change of Control Conversion Date, we exercise our special optional redemption right by providing a notice of redemption with respect to some or all of the Series A Preferred Stock (whether pursuant to our optional redemption right or our special optional redemption right), the holders of Series A Preferred Stock will not be permitted to exercise the conversion right described below under “—Conversion Rights” in respect of their shares called for redemption.
We will mail to you, if you are a record holder of shares of the Series A Preferred Stock, a notice of redemption no fewer than 30 days nor more than 60 days before the redemption date. We will send the notice to your address shown on our stock transfer books. A failure to give notice of redemption or any defect in the notice or in its mailing will not affect the validity of the redemption of any shares of Series A Preferred Stock except as to the holder to whom notice was defective or not given. Each notice will state the following:
the redemption date;
the redemption price;
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the number of shares of Series A Preferred Stock to be redeemed;
the place or places where the certificates, if any, representing the shares of Series A Preferred Stock to be redeemed are to be surrendered for payment;
the procedures for surrendering non-certificated shares for payment;
that the shares of Series A Preferred Stock are being redeemed pursuant to our special optional redemption right in connection with the occurrence of a Change of Control and a brief description of the transaction or transactions constituting such Change of Control;
that the holders of shares of Series A Preferred Stock to which the notice relates will not be able to tender such shares of Series A Preferred Stock for conversion in connection with the Change of Control and each share of Series A Preferred Stock tendered for conversion that is selected, prior to the Change of Control Conversion Date, for redemption will be redeemed on the related date of redemption instead of converted on the Change of Control Conversion Date; and
that dividends on the shares of Series A Preferred Stock to be redeemed will cease to accrue on the redemption date.
If we redeem fewer than all of the outstanding shares of Series A Preferred Stock, the notice of redemption mailed to each stockholder will also specify the number of shares of Series A Preferred Stock that we will redeem from each stockholder. In this case, we will determine the number of shares of Series A Preferred Stock to be redeemed on a pro rata basis or by lot.
If we have given a notice of redemption and have paid or set apart sufficient assets for the redemption in trust for the benefit of the holders of shares of Series A Preferred Stock called for redemption, then from and after the redemption date, those shares of Series A Preferred Stock will be treated as no longer being outstanding, no further dividends will accrue and all other rights of the holders of those shares of Series A Preferred Stock will terminate. The holders of those shares of Series A Preferred Stock will retain their right to receive the redemption price for their shares and any accrued and unpaid dividends (whether or not declared) to (but not including) the redemption date.
The holders of Series A Preferred Stock at the close of business on a dividend record date will be entitled to receive the dividend payable with respect to the Series A Preferred Stock on the corresponding payment date notwithstanding the redemption of the Series A Preferred Stock between such record date and the corresponding payment date or our default in the payment of the dividend due. Except as provided above, we will make no payment or allowance for unpaid dividends, whether or not in arrears, on Series A Preferred Stock to be redeemed.
A “Change of Control” is when, after the original issuance of the Series A Preferred Stock, the following have occurred and are continuing:
the acquisition by any person, including any syndicate or group deemed to be a “person” under Section 13(d)(3) of the Exchange Act but excluding any Permitted Holder, of beneficial ownership, directly or indirectly, through a purchase, merger or other acquisition transaction or series of purchases, mergers or other acquisition transactions of shares of our company entitling that person to exercise more than 50% of the total voting power of all shares of our company entitled to vote generally in elections of directors (except that such person will be deemed to have beneficial ownership of all securities that such person has the right to acquire, whether such right is currently exercisable or is exercisable only upon the occurrence of a subsequent condition); and
following the closing of any transaction referred to in the bullet point above, neither we nor the acquiring or surviving entity has a class of common securities (or ADRs representing such securities) listed on the NYSE, the NYSE American or NASDAQ or listed or quoted on an exchange or quotation system that is a successor to the NYSE, the NYSE American or NASDAQ.
A “Permitted Holder” means each of KKR & Co. Inc. and its affiliates (including the funds, partnerships or other co-investment vehicles managed, advised or controlled thereby but other than, in each case, any portfolio company of any of the foregoing or our company and our subsidiaries).
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Conversion Rights
Beginning on April 16, 2022, upon the occurrence of a Change of Control, each holder of Series A Preferred Stock will have the right (subject to our right to redeem the Series A Preferred Stock in whole or in part, as described under “—Redemption,” prior to the Change of Control Conversion Date) to convert some or all of the shares of Series A Preferred Stock held by such holder (the “Change of Control Conversion Right”) on the Change of Control Conversion Date into a number of shares of our common stock per share of Series A Preferred Stock (the “Common Stock Conversion Consideration”) equal to the lesser of:
the quotient obtained by dividing (i) the sum of the $25.00 liquidation preference plus the amount of any accrued and unpaid dividends (whether or not declared) to, but not including, the Change of Control Conversion Date (unless the Change of Control Conversion Date is after a record date for a share of Series A Preferred Stock dividend payment and prior to the corresponding Series A Preferred Stock dividend payment date, in which case no additional amount for such accrued and unpaid dividend will be included in this sum) by (ii) the Common Stock Price; and
2.6427 (the “Share Cap”), subject to certain adjustments as described below.
The Share Cap is subject to pro rata adjustments for any stock splits (including those effected pursuant to a distribution of our common stock to existing holders of our common stock), subdivisions or combinations (in each case, a “Stock Split”) with respect to our common stock.
The adjusted Share Cap as the result of a Stock Split will be the number of shares of our common stock that is equivalent to the product obtained by multiplying (i) the Share Cap in effect immediately prior to such Stock Split by (ii) a fraction, (a) the numerator of which is the number of shares of our common stock outstanding after giving effect to such Stock Split and (b) the denominator of which is the number of shares of our common stock outstanding immediately prior to such Stock Split.
For the avoidance of doubt, subject to the immediately succeeding sentence, the aggregate number of shares of our common stock (or equivalent Alternative Conversion Consideration (as defined below), as applicable) issuable in connection with the exercise of the Change of Control Conversion Right shall not exceed 29,862,510 shares of common stock (or equivalent Alternative Conversion Consideration, as applicable) or 31,606,692 shares of common stock (or equivalent Alternative Conversion Consideration, as applicable) if the underwriters’ over-allotment is exercised in full, subject to increase on a pro rata basis if we issue additional shares of Series A Preferred Stock (the “Exchange Cap”). The Exchange Cap is subject to pro rata adjustments for any Stock Splits on the same basis as the corresponding adjustment to the Share Cap and for additional issuances of shares of Series A Preferred Stock in subsequent offerings, if any.
In the case of a Change of Control pursuant to which our common stock will be converted into cash, securities or other property or assets (including any combination thereof) (the “Alternative Form Consideration”), a holder of shares of Series A Preferred Stock will receive upon conversion of such shares of Series A Preferred Stock the kind and amount of Alternative Form Consideration which such holder would have owned or been entitled to receive upon the Change of Control had such holder held a number of shares of our common stock equal to the Common Stock Conversion Consideration immediately prior to the effective time of the Change of Control (the “Alternative Conversion Consideration”) (the Common Stock Conversion Consideration or the Alternative Conversion Consideration, as may be applicable to a Change of Control, is referred to as the “Conversion Consideration”).
If the holders of our common stock have the opportunity to elect the form of consideration to be received in the Change of Control, the consideration that the holders of Series A Preferred Stock will receive will be the form and proportion of the aggregate consideration elected by the holders of our common stock who participated in the determination (based on the weighted average of elections) and will be subject to any limitations to which all holders of our common stock are subject, including, without limitation, pro rata reductions applicable to any portion of the consideration payable in the Change of Control.
We will not issue fractional shares of common stock upon the conversion of the Series A Preferred Stock. Instead, we will pay the cash value of such fractional shares based upon the Common Stock Price used in determining the Common Stock Conversion Consideration for such Change of Control.
Within 15 days following the occurrence of a Change of Control, provided we have not then exercised our right to redeem all shares of Series A Preferred Stock pursuant to the redemption provisions described above, we
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will provide to holders of Series A Preferred Stock a notice of occurrence of the Change of Control that describes the resulting Change of Control Conversion Right. No failure to give such notice or any defect therein or in the mailing thereof shall affect the validity of the proceedings for the conversion of any shares of Series A Preferred Stock except as to the holder to whom notice was defective or not given. This notice will state the following:
the events constituting the Change of Control;
the date of the Change of Control;
the last date on which the holders of Series A Preferred Stock may exercise their Change of Control Conversion Right;
the method and period for calculating the Common Stock Price;
the Change of Control Conversion Date;
that if, prior to the Change of Control Conversion Date, we have provided or provide notice of our election to redeem all or any portion of the Series A Preferred Stock, holders will not be able to convert shares of Series A Preferred Stock and such shares will be redeemed on the related redemption date, even if such shares have already been tendered for conversion pursuant to the Change of Control Conversion Right;
if applicable, the type and amount of Alternative Conversion Consideration entitled to be received per share of Series A Preferred Stock;
the name and address of the paying agent and the conversion agent; and
the procedures that the holders of Series A Preferred Stock must follow to exercise the Change of Control Conversion Right.
We will issue a press release for publication on or in the Wall Street Journal, Business Wire, PR Newswire or Bloomberg Business News (or, if these organizations are not in existence at the time of issuance of the press release, such other news or press organization as is reasonably calculated to broadly disseminate the relevant information to the public), or post notice on our website, in any event prior to the opening of business on the first business day following any date on which we provide the notice described above to the holders of Series A Preferred Stock.
To exercise the Change of Control Conversion Right, a holder of shares of Series A Preferred Stock will be required to deliver, on or before the close of business on the Change of Control Conversion Date, the certificates (if any) representing shares of Series A Preferred Stock to be converted, duly endorsed for transfer, together with a written conversion notice completed, to our transfer agent. The conversion notice must state:
the relevant Change of Control Conversion Date;
the number or percentage of shares of Series A Preferred Stock to be converted; and
that the shares of Series A Preferred Stock are to be converted pursuant to the applicable provisions of the Series A Preferred Stock.
The “Change of Control Conversion Date” is the date the shares of Series A Preferred Stock are to be converted, which will be a business day selected by us that is no fewer than 20 days nor more than 35 days after the date on which we provide the notice described above to the holders of Series A Preferred Stock.
The “Common Stock Price” will be (i) if the consideration to be received in the Change of Control by the holders of our common stock is solely cash, the amount of cash consideration per share of our common stock or (ii) if the consideration to be received in the Change of Control by holders of our common stock is other than solely cash (x) the average of the closing sale prices per share of our common stock (or, if no closing sale price is reported, the average of the closing bid and ask prices or, if more than one in either case, the average of the average closing bid and the average closing ask prices) for the ten consecutive trading days immediately preceding, but not including, the effective date of the Change of Control as reported on the principal U.S. securities exchange on which our common stock is then traded, or (y) the average of the last quoted bid
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prices for our common stock in the over-the-counter market as reported by OTC Markets Group Inc. or similar organization for the ten consecutive trading days immediately preceding, but not including, the effective date of the Change of Control, if our common stock is not then listed for trading on a U.S. securities exchange.
Holders of Series A Preferred Stock may withdraw any notice of exercise of a Change of Control Conversion Right (in whole or in part) by a written notice of withdrawal delivered to our transfer agent prior to the close of business on the business day prior to the Change of Control Conversion Date. The notice of withdrawal must state:
the number of withdrawn shares of Series A Preferred Stock;
if certificated shares of Series A Preferred Stock have been issued, the certificate numbers of the withdrawn shares of Series A Preferred Stock; and
the number of shares of Series A Preferred Stock, if any, which remain subject to the conversion notice.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the shares of Series A Preferred Stock are held in global form, the conversion notice and/or the notice of withdrawal, as applicable, must comply with applicable procedures of The Depository Trust Company, or DTC.
Shares of Series A Preferred Stock as to which the Change of Control Conversion Right have been properly exercised and for which the conversion notice has not been properly withdrawn will be converted into the applicable Conversion Consideration in accordance with the Change of Control Conversion Right on the Change of Control Conversion Date, unless prior to the Change of Control Conversion Date we have provided or provide notice of our election to redeem such shares of Series A Preferred Stock, whether pursuant to our optional redemption right or our special optional redemption right. Holders of Series A Preferred Stock will not have the right to convert any shares that we have elected to redeem prior to the Change of Control Conversion Date. Accordingly, if we have provided a redemption notice with respect to some or all of the Series A Preferred Stock, holders of any Series A Preferred Stock that we have called for redemption will not be permitted to exercise their Change of Control Conversion right in respect of any of their shares that have been called for redemption, and such shares of Series A Preferred Stock will not be so converted and the holders of such shares will be entitled to receive on the applicable redemption date $25.00 per share, plus any accrued and unpaid dividends (whether or not declared) thereon to, but not including, the redemption date.
We will deliver all securities, cash and any other property owing upon conversion no later than the third business day following the Change of Control Conversion Date. In connection with the exercise of any Change of Control Conversion Right, we will comply with all federal and state securities laws and stock exchange rules in connection with any conversion of shares of Series A Preferred Stock into shares of our common stock.
Notwithstanding any other provision of the Series A Preferred Stock, no holder of shares of Series A Preferred Stock will be entitled to convert such shares of Series A Preferred Stock for shares of our common stock to the extent that receipt of such common stock would cause such holder (or any other person) to exceed the share ownership limits contained in our charter and the Articles Supplementary setting forth the terms of the Series A Preferred Stock, unless we provide an exemption from this limitation for such holder. See “—Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer,” below.
These Change of Control conversion and redemption features may make it more difficult for a party to take over our company or discourage a party from taking over our company. See “Risk Factors—You may not be permitted to exercise conversion rights upon a Change of Control. If exercisable, the Change of Control conversion feature of the Series A Preferred Stock may not adequately compensate you, and the Change of Control conversion and redemption features of the Series A Preferred Stock may make it more difficult for a party to take over our company or discourage a party from taking over our company.”
Except as provided in the Articles Supplementary setting forth the terms of the Series A Preferred Stock in connection with a Change of Control, the shares of Series A Preferred Stock are not convertible into or exchangeable for any other securities or property.
Voting Rights
Holders of Series A Preferred Stock generally have no voting rights, except as set forth in the Articles Supplementary setting forth the terms of the Series A Preferred Stock.
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Whenever dividends on the Series A Preferred Stock are in arrears for six quarterly periods, whether or not consecutive (a “Preferred Dividend Default”) the number of directors then constituting our board of directors will be increased by two (if not already increased by reason of similar arrearage with respect to any Parity Stock upon which like voting rights have been conferred and are exercisable) and holders of Series A Preferred Stock, voting together as a single class with the holders of any other class or series of our Parity Stock upon which like voting rights have been conferred and are exercisable will be entitled to vote for the election of two additional directors to serve on our board of directors (the “Preferred Stock Directors”) at a special meeting called by the holders of at least 33% of the outstanding shares of Series A Preferred Stock or the holders of at least 33% of outstanding shares of any such other class or series of our Parity Stock if the request is received 90 or more days before the next annual meeting of stockholders, or, if the request is received less than 90 days prior to the next annual meeting of stockholders, at the next annual meeting of stockholders or, at our sole discretion, a separate special meeting of stockholders to be held no later than 90 days after our receipt of such request, and thereafter at each subsequent annual meeting of stockholders until all dividends accumulated on the Series A Preferred Stock for the past dividend periods and the then-current dividend period have been paid in full. The Preferred Stock Directors will be elected by a plurality of the votes cast by the holders of shares of Series A Preferred Stock and all other classes or series of our Parity Stock upon which like voting rights have been conferred and are exercisable (voting together as a single class) in the election to serve until our next annual meeting of stockholders and until their successors are duly elected and qualified or until such directors’ right to hold the office terminates as described below, whichever occurs earlier.
If and when all accumulated dividends in arrears for all past dividend periods and dividends for the then-current dividend period on the Series A Preferred Stock shall have been paid in full, the holders of shares of Series A Preferred Stock will immediately be divested of the voting rights described above (subject to revesting in the event of each and every Preferred Dividend Default) and, if all accumulated dividends in arrears and the dividends for the then-current dividend period have been paid in full on all other classes or series of our Parity Stock upon which like voting rights have been conferred and are exercisable the term of office of each Preferred Stock Director so elected will immediately terminate and the number of directors will be reduced accordingly. Any Preferred Stock Director may be removed at any time, but only for cause (as defined in our charter), by the vote of, and shall not be removed otherwise than by the vote of, the holders of record of at least two-thirds of the outstanding shares of Series A Preferred Stock (when they have the voting rights described above) and any other class or series of Parity Stock upon which like voting rights have been conferred and are exercisable (voting together as a single class). So long as a Preferred Dividend Default continues, any vacancy in the office of a Preferred Stock Director may be filled by written consent of the Preferred Stock Director remaining in office or, if none remains in office, by a vote of the holders of record of the outstanding shares of Series A Preferred Stock when they have the voting rights described above and the holders of all other classes or series of our Parity Stock upon which like voting rights have been conferred and are exercisable (voting together as a single class). The Preferred Stock Directors will each be entitled to one vote per director on any matter.
So long as any Series A Preferred Stock remains outstanding, we will not:
authorize or create, or increase the authorized or issued amount of, any class or series of our capital stock expressly designated as ranking senior to the Series A Preferred Stock as to dividend rights and rights upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, or reclassify any authorized shares of our capital stock into any such shares, or create, authorize or issue any obligations or security convertible into or evidencing the right to purchase any such shares, without the affirmative vote of the holders of at least two-thirds of the then-outstanding shares of Series A Preferred Stock and all other classes or series of our Parity Stock upon which like voting rights have been conferred and are exercisable voting together as a single class; or
amend, alter or repeal the provisions of our charter (including the Articles Supplementary setting forth the terms of the Series A Preferred Stock), whether by merger, consolidation, conversion or otherwise, in each case in such a way that would materially and adversely affect any right, preference, privilege or voting power of the Series A Preferred Stock or the holders thereof without the affirmative vote of the holders of at least two-thirds of the outstanding shares of Series A Preferred Stock at the time (voting as a separate class).
Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, with respect to the occurrence of a merger, consolidation, conversion or a sale or lease of all of our assets as an entirety, so long as shares of Series A Preferred Stock
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remain outstanding with the terms thereof materially unchanged or the holders of shares of Series A Preferred Stock receive shares of, or options, warrants or rights to purchase or subscribe for shares of, capital stock with rights, preferences, privileges and voting powers substantially the same as those of the Series A Preferred Stock, then the occurrence of any such event will not be deemed to materially and adversely affect the rights, privileges or voting powers of the holders of shares of Series A Preferred Stock or the holders thereof. In addition, any increase in the amount of authorized Series A Preferred Stock or the creation or issuance, or increase in the amounts authorized, of any other class or series of our Parity Stock or Junior Stock, will not be deemed to materially and adversely affect the rights, preferences, privileges or voting powers of the Series A Preferred Stock or the holders thereof.
In addition, the voting provisions above will not apply if, at or prior to the time when the act with respect to which the vote would otherwise be required would occur, we have redeemed all outstanding shares of Series A Preferred Stock.
In any matter in which the holders of shares of Series A Preferred Stock are entitled to vote separately as a single class, each share of Series A Preferred Stock will be entitled to one vote. If the holders of shares of Series A Preferred Stock and any other class or series of our Parity Stock are entitled to vote together as a single class on any matter, the Series A Preferred Stock and the shares of the other class or series of our Parity Stock, will have one vote for each $25.00 of liquidation preference.
Information Rights
During any period in which we are not subject to the reporting requirements of Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act and any shares of Series A Preferred Stock are outstanding, we will (i) transmit by mail or other permissible means under the Exchange Act to all holders of Series A Preferred Stock as their names and addresses appear in our record books and without cost to such holders, copies of the Annual Reports on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q that we would have been required to file with the SEC pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act if we were subject thereto (other than any exhibits that would have been required) and (ii) within 15 days following written request, supply copies of such reports to any prospective holder of the Series A Preferred Stock. We will mail (or otherwise provide) the reports to the holders of Series A Preferred Stock within 15 days after the respective dates by which we would have been required to file such reports with the SEC if we were subject to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act.
Preemptive Rights
No holders of Series A Preferred Stock shall, as the holders, have any preemptive rights to purchase or subscribe for our common stock or any other security of our company.
Book-Entry Procedures
DTC acts as securities depositary for the Series A Preferred Stock, which will only be issued in the form of global securities held in book-entry form.
Title to book-entry interests in the Series A Preferred Stock will pass by book-entry registration of the transfer within the records of DTC in accordance with its procedures. Book-entry interests in the securities may be transferred within DTC in accordance with procedures established for these purposes by DTC. Each person owning a beneficial interest in the Series A Preferred Stock must rely on the procedures of DTC and the participant through which such person owns its interest to exercise its rights as a holder of the Series A Preferred Stock.
DTC has advised us as follows: DTC is a limited-purpose trust company organized under the New York Banking Law, a “banking organization” within the meaning of the New York Banking Law, a member of the Federal Reserve System, a “clearing corporation” within the meaning of the New York Uniform Commercial Code, and a “clearing agency” registered pursuant to the provisions of Section 17A of the Exchange Act. DTC facilitates the settlement of transactions amongst participants through electronic computerized book-entry changes in participants’ accounts, eliminating the need for physical movement of securities certificates. DTC’s participants include securities brokers and dealers, including the underwriters, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and other organizations, some of whom and/or their representatives own DTC. Access to DTC’s book-entry system is also available to others, such as banks, brokers, dealers and trust companies that clear through or maintain a custodial relationship with a participant, either directly or indirectly.
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Access to the DTC system is also available to others such as securities brokers and dealers, including the underwriters, banks and trust companies that clear through or maintain a custodial relationship with a Direct Participant, either directly or indirectly (or Indirect Participants). The rules applicable to DTC and its Direct and Indirect Participants are on file with the SEC.
When you purchase shares of the Series A Preferred Stock within the DTC system, the purchase must be by or through a Direct Participant. The Direct Participant will receive a credit for the shares of Series A Preferred Stock on DTC’s records. You, as the actual owner of the shares of Series A Preferred Stock, are the “beneficial owner.” Your beneficial ownership interest will be recorded on the Direct and Indirect Participants’ records, but DTC will have no knowledge of your individual ownership. DTC’s records reflect only the identity of the Direct Participants to whose accounts shares of Series A Preferred Stock are credited.
You will not receive written confirmation from DTC of your purchase. The Direct or Indirect Participants through whom you purchased the shares of Series A Preferred Stock should send you written confirmations providing details of your transactions, as well as periodic statements of your holdings. The Direct and Indirect Participants are responsible for keeping an accurate account of the holdings of their customers like you.
Transfers of ownership interests held through Direct and Indirect Participants will be accomplished by entries on the books of Direct and Indirect Participants acting on behalf of the beneficial owners.
Conveyance of notices and other communications by DTC to Direct Participants, by Direct Participants to Indirect Participants, and by Direct Participants and Indirect Participants to beneficial owners will be governed by arrangements among them, subject to any statutory or regulatory requirements as may be in effect from time to time.
We understand that, under DTC’s existing practices, in the event that we request any action of the holders, or an owner of a beneficial interest in a global security such as you desires to take any action which a holder is entitled to take under our charter, DTC would authorize the Direct Participants holding the relevant shares to take such action, and those Direct Participants and any Indirect Participants would authorize beneficial owners owning through those Direct and Indirect Participants to take such action or would otherwise act upon the instructions of beneficial owners owning through them.
Any redemption notices with respect to the shares of Series A Preferred Stock will be sent to Cede & Co. If less than all of the shares of Series A Preferred Stock are being redeemed, DTC will reduce each Direct Participant’s holdings of shares of Series A Preferred Stock in accordance with its procedures.
In those instances where a vote is required, neither DTC nor Cede & Co. itself will consent or vote with respect to the shares of Series A Preferred Stock. Under its usual procedures, DTC would mail an omnibus proxy to us as soon as possible after the record date. The omnibus proxy assigns Cede & Co.’s consenting or voting rights to those Direct Participants whose accounts the Series A Preferred Stock are credited to on the record date, which are identified in a listing attached to the omnibus proxy.
Dividends and distributions on the shares of Series A Preferred Stock will be made directly to DTC’s nominee (or its successor, if applicable). DTC’s practice is to credit participants’ accounts on the relevant payment date in accordance with their respective holdings shown on DTC’s records unless DTC has reason to believe that it will not receive payment on that payment date.
Payments by Direct and Indirect Participants to beneficial owners will be governed by standing instructions and customary practices, as is the case with securities held for the accounts of customers in bearer form or registered in “street name.” These payments will be the responsibility of the participant and not of DTC, us or any agent of ours.
DTC may discontinue providing its services as securities depositary with respect to the Series A Preferred Stock at any time by giving reasonable notice to us. Additionally, we may decide to discontinue the book-entry only system of transfers with respect to the Series A Preferred Stock. In that event, we will print and deliver certificates in fully registered form for the Series A Preferred Stock. If DTC notifies us that it is unwilling to continue as securities depositary, or it is unable to continue or ceases to be a clearing agency registered under the Exchange Act and a successor depositary is not appointed by us within 90 days after receiving such notice or becoming aware that DTC is no longer so registered, we will issue the Series A Preferred Stock in definitive form, at our expense, upon registration of transfer of, or in exchange for, such global security.
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According to DTC, the foregoing information with respect to DTC has been provided to the financial community for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a representation, warranty or contract modification of any kind.
Global Clearance and Settlement Procedures
Initial settlement for the shares offered hereby will be made in immediately available funds. Secondary market trading among DTC’s Participants will occur in the ordinary way in accordance with DTC’s rules and will be settled in immediately available funds using DTC’s Same-Day Funds Settlement System.
Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer
The Articles Supplementary setting forth the terms of the Series A Preferred Stock provide that the ownership limitations described below apply to ownership of shares of Series A Preferred Stock pursuant to Article VI of our charter. Notwithstanding any other provision of the Series A Preferred Stock, no holder of shares of the Series A Preferred Stock will be entitled to convert any shares of Series A Preferred Stock into shares of our common stock to the extent that receipt of our common stock would cause such holder or any other person to exceed the ownership limits contained in our charter or in the Articles Supplementary setting forth the terms of the Series A Preferred Stock.
Our charter contains restrictions on the number of shares of our capital stock that a person may own. No person may beneficially or constructively own in excess of 9.8% in value or number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of the outstanding shares of any class or series of our capital stock unless such person receives an exemption from our board of directors. Subject to certain limitations, our board of directors, in its sole discretion, may exempt (prospectively or retroactively) a person from, or modify, these limits, if it obtains such representations, covenants and undertakings as it deems appropriate to conclude that granting the exemption will not cause us to lose our status as a REIT. Our charter provides for limited exemptions to certain persons, including KKR and its affiliates and any direct or indirect beneficial owner of KKR.
Our charter further prohibits any person from, among other things:
beneficially owning shares of our capital stock that would result in our being “closely held” under Section 856(h) of the Code;
transferring shares of our capital stock if such transfer would result in our capital stock being beneficially owned by less than 100 persons;
beneficially or constructively owning shares of our capital stock if such ownership would cause us to constructively own 10% or more of the ownership interests in a tenant of our company (other than a taxable REIT subsidiary); and
any other beneficial or constructive ownership of our capital stock that would otherwise cause us to fail to qualify as a REIT.
If any purported transfer of our stock would result in any person violating the restrictions on ownership and transfer of our stock set forth in our charter, then that number of shares causing the violation (rounded up to the nearest whole share) will be automatically transferred to, and held by, a trust for the exclusive benefit of one or more charitable organizations selected by us. For a further description of the ownership limits and the other restrictions on ownership and transfer of all classes and series of shares of our capital stock, see “Description of Capital Stock—Certain Provisions of Our Charter and Bylaws and of Maryland Law—REIT Qualification Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer” in the accompanying prospectus.
Listing
The Series A Preferred Stock is listed on the NYSE under the symbol “KREF PRA.”
Transfer Agent and Registrar
The transfer agent and registrar for our common stock and for our Series A Preferred Stock is American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC.
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CERTAIN ERISA CONSIDERATIONS
The following is a summary of certain considerations associated with the purchase of our Series A Preferred Stock by (i) employee benefit plans that are subject to Title I of the U.S. Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”), (ii) plans, individual retirement accounts (“IRAs”) and other arrangements that are subject to Section 4975 of the Code or provisions under any other federal, state, local, non-U.S. or other laws or regulations that are similar to such provisions of ERISA or the Code (collectively, “Similar Laws”), and (iii) entities whose underlying assets are considered to include “plan assets” of any of the foregoing described in clauses (i) and (ii) (each of the foregoing described in clauses (i), (ii) and (iii) referred to herein as a “Plan”).
General Fiduciary Matters
ERISA and the Code impose certain duties on persons who are fiduciaries of a Plan subject to Title I of ERISA or Section 4975 of the Code (a “Covered Plan”) and prohibit certain transactions involving the assets of a Covered Plan and its fiduciaries or other interested parties. Under ERISA and the Code, any person who exercises any discretionary authority or control over the administration of such an Covered Plan or the management or disposition of the assets of such a Covered Plan, or who renders investment advice for a fee or other compensation to such a Plan, is generally considered to be a fiduciary of the Covered Plan.
In considering an investment in our Series A Preferred Stock of a portion of the assets of any Plan, a fiduciary should determine whether the investment is in accordance with the documents and instruments governing the Plan and the applicable provisions of ERISA, the Code or any Similar Law relating to a fiduciary’s duties to the Plan including, without limitation, the prudence, diversification, delegation of control and prohibited transaction provisions of ERISA, the Code and any other applicable Similar Laws.
This offering is not directed to any particular purchaser, nor does it address the needs of any particular purchaser. We will not provide, and none of KKR, any of our respective affiliates or the underwriters will provide any advice or recommendation with respect to the management of any purchase of our Series A Preferred Stock or the advisability of acquiring, holding, disposing or exchanging of our Series A Preferred Stock.
Prohibited Transaction Issues
Section 406 of ERISA and Section 4975 of the Code prohibit Covered Plans from engaging in specified transactions involving plan assets with persons or entities who are “parties in interest,” within the meaning of ERISA, or “disqualified persons,” within the meaning of Section 4975 of the Code, unless an exemption is available. A party in interest or disqualified person who engaged in a non-exempt prohibited transaction may be subject to excise taxes and other penalties and liabilities under ERISA and the Code. In addition, the fiduciary of the Covered Plan that engaged in such a non-exempt prohibited transaction may be subject to penalties and liabilities under ERISA and the Code.
The acquisition and/or holding of our Series A Preferred Stock by Covered Plan with respect to which we, KKR or the underwriters are considered a party in interest or a disqualified person may constitute or result in a direct or indirect prohibited transaction under Section 406 of ERISA and/or Section 4975 of the Code, unless the investment is acquired and is held in accordance with an applicable statutory, class or individual prohibited transaction exemption. In this regard, the U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) has issued prohibited transaction class exemptions (“PTCEs”) that may provide exemptive relief for direct or indirect prohibited transactions resulting from the sale, acquisition and holding of our Series A Preferred Stock. These PTCEs include, without limitation, PTCE 84-14 respecting transactions determined by independent qualified professional asset managers, PTCE 90-1 respecting insurance company pooled separate accounts, PTCE 91-38 respecting bank collective investment funds, PTCE 95-60 respecting life insurance company general accounts and PTCE 96-23 respecting transactions determined by in-house asset managers. In addition, Section 408(b)(17) of ERISA and Section 4975(d)(20) of the Code provide relief from the prohibited transaction provisions of ERISA and Section 4975 of the Code for certain transactions, provided that neither the issuer of the securities nor any of its affiliates (directly or indirectly) have or exercise any discretionary authority or control or render any investment advice with respect to the assets of any Covered Plan involved in the transaction and provided further that the Covered Plan pays no more than adequate consideration in connection with the transaction. Each of the
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above-noted exemptions contains conditions and limitations on its application. Fiduciaries of Covered Plans considering acquiring and/or holding Series A Preferred Stock in reliance on these or any other exemption should carefully review the exemption to assure it is applicable. There can be no assurance that all of the conditions of any such exemptions will be satisfied.
Plan Asset Issues
ERISA and the regulations promulgated under ERISA by the DOL, as modified by Section 3(42) of ERISA (the “Plan Asset Regulations”) generally provide that when a Covered Plan acquires an equity interest in an entity that is neither a “publicly-offered security” nor a security issued by an investment company registered under the Investment Company Act, the Covered Plan’s assets include, for purposes of applying the fiduciary responsibility provisions of Title I of ERISA and the prohibited transaction provisions of Title I of ERISA and Section 4975 of the Code, both the equity interest and an undivided interest in each of the underlying assets of the entity unless it is established either that less than 25% of the total value of each class of equity interest in the entity is held by “benefit plan investors” within the meaning of the Plan Asset Regulations(the “25% Test”) or that the entity is an “operating company,” as defined in the Plan Asset Regulations. For purposes of the 25% Test, the assets of an entity will not be treated as “plan assets” if, immediately after the most recent acquisition of any equity interest in the entity, less than 25% of the total value of each class of equity interest in the entity is held by “benefit plan investors,” excluding equity interests held by persons (other than benefit plan investors) who have discretionary authority or control over the assets of the entity or who provide investment advice for a fee (direct or indirect) with respect to such assets, and any affiliates thereof. The term “benefit plan investors” is generally defined to include employee benefit plans subject to Title I of ERISA or Section 4975 of the Code (including “Keogh” plans and IRAs), as well as any entity whose underlying assets include plan assets by reason of a plan’s investment in such entity (e.g., an entity of which 25% or more of the total value of any class of equity interests is held by benefit plan investors and which does not satisfy another exception under ERISA or the Plan Asset Regulations).
For purposes of the Plan Asset Regulations, a “publicly offered security” is a security that is (a) “freely transferable,” (b) part of a class of securities that is “widely held,” and (c) (i) sold to the Covered Plan as part of an offering of securities to the public pursuant to an effective registration statement under the Securities Act and the class of securities to which such security is a part is registered under the Exchange Act within 120 days after the end of the fiscal year of the issuer during which the offering of such securities to the public has occurred, or (ii) is part of a class of securities that is registered under Section 12 of the Exchange Act. We intend to effect such a registration under the Securities Act and the Exchange Act. The Plan Asset Regulations provide that a security is “widely held” only if it is part of a class of securities that is owned by 100 or more investors independent of the issuer and one another. A security will not fail to be “widely held” because the number of independent investors falls below 100 subsequent to the initial offering thereof as a result of events beyond the control of the issuer. It is anticipated that our Series A Preferred Stock will be “widely held” within the meaning of the Plan Asset Regulations, although no assurance can be given in this regard. The Plan Asset Regulations provide that whether a security is “freely transferable” is a factual question to be determined on the basis of all the relevant facts and circumstances. It is anticipated that our Series A Preferred Stock will be “freely transferable” within the meaning of the Plan Asset Regulations, although no assurance can be given in this regard.
Plan Asset Consequences
If our assets were deemed to be “plan assets” under ERISA, this would result, among other things, in (i) the application of the prudence and other fiduciary responsibility standards of ERISA to investments made by us, and (ii) the possibility that certain transactions in which we might seek to engage could constitute “prohibited transactions” under ERISA and the Code.
Because of the foregoing, our Series A Preferred Stock should not be purchased or held by any person investing “plan assets” of any Plan, unless such purchase and holding will not constitute a non-exempt prohibited transaction under ERISA and the Code or similar violation of any applicable Similar Laws.
Representation
Accordingly, by acceptance of our Series A Preferred Stock or any interest therein, each purchaser and subsequent transferee of our Series A Preferred Stock will be deemed to have represented and warranted that either (i) no portion of the assets used by such purchaser or transferee to purchase or hold our Series A Preferred
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Stock constitutes assets of any Plan or (ii) (a) the purchase and holding of our Series A Preferred Stock by such purchaser and transferee will not constitute a non-exempt prohibited transaction under Section 406 of ERISA or Section 4975 of the Code or similar violation under any applicable Similar Laws and (b) for so long as it holds such investment, a fiduciary independent of us, the underwriters and our or their respective affiliates acting on the Plan’s behalf is and at all times will be responsible for its decision to invest in and hold the Series A Preferred Stock, and any interest therein.
The foregoing discussion is general in nature and is not intended to be all-inclusive. Due to the complexity of these rules and the penalties that may be imposed upon persons involved in non-exempt prohibited transactions, it is particularly important that fiduciaries, and other persons considering purchasing our Series A Preferred Stock on behalf of, or with the assets of, any Plan, consult with their counsel regarding the potential applicability of ERISA, Section 4975 of the Code and any Similar Laws to such investment and whether such investment will constitute or result in a prohibited transaction or any other violation of an applicable requirement of ERISA, Section 4975 of the Code or any applicable Similar Laws.
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UNDERWRITING
Raymond James & Associates, Inc. is acting as representative of each of the underwriters named below. Subject to the terms and conditions set forth in an underwriting agreement among us, our Manager and the underwriters, we have agreed to sell to the underwriters, and each of the underwriters has agreed, severally and not jointly, to purchase from us, the number of shares of the Series A Preferred Stock set forth opposite its name below.
Underwriters
Number of
Underwritten
Securities
Raymond James & Associates, Inc.
3,080,000
KKR Capital Markets LLC
1,320,000
Total
4,400,000
Subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the underwriting agreement, the underwriters have agreed, severally and not jointly, to purchase all of the shares of the Series A Preferred Stock sold under the underwriting agreement if any of these shares of Series A Preferred Stock are purchased. If an underwriter defaults, the underwriting agreement provides that the purchase commitments of the non-defaulting underwriters may be increased or the underwriting agreement may be terminated.
We have agreed to indemnify the several underwriters against certain liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act, or to contribute to payments the underwriters may be required to make in respect of those liabilities.
The underwriters are offering the shares of the Series A Preferred Stock, subject to prior sale, when, as and if issued to and accepted by them, subject to approval of legal matters by their counsel, including the validity of the shares, and other conditions contained in the underwriting agreement, such as the receipt by the underwriters of officers’ certificates and legal opinions. The underwriters reserve the right to withdraw, cancel or modify offers to the public and to reject orders in whole or in part.
Underwriting Discounts and Expenses
The representative has advised us that the underwriters propose initially to offer the shares of the Series A Preferred Stock to the public at the public offering price set forth on the cover page of this prospectus supplement and to dealers at that price less a concession not in excess of $0.50 per share. The underwriters may allow, and such dealers may reallow, a concession not in excess of $0.10 per share. After this offering, the public offering price, concession or any other term of this offering may be changed.
The following table shows the public offering price, underwriting discount and proceeds before expenses to us. The information assumes either no exercise or full exercise by the underwriters of their over-allotment option.
 
Per
Share
Without
Option
With
Option
Public offering price(1)
$25.00
$110,000,000
$126,500,000
Underwriting discount
0.7875
3,465,000
3,984,750
Proceeds, before expenses, to us(1)
$24.2125
$106,535,000
$122,515,250
(1)
Plus an amount equal to the dividends that accrued from and including December 15 to, but excluding, the settlement date for the shares offered hereby.
The estimated expenses of this offering payable by us, exclusive of the underwriting discount, are estimated to be approximately $210,000. We have agreed to reimburse the underwriters for filing fees and the reasonable fees and other disbursements of counsel for the underwriters in connection with any required Blue Sky filings and the filing for review of the public offering of the Series A Preferred Stock by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (up to $40,000 collectively).
Over-Allotment Option
We have granted an option to the underwriters to purchase up to 660,000 additional shares of the Series A Preferred Stock at the offering price, less the underwriting discount. The underwriters may exercise this option at
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any time or from time to time for 30 days from the date of this prospectus supplement solely to cover any over-allotments. If the underwriters exercise this option, each will be obligated, subject to conditions contained in the underwriting agreement, to purchase a number of additional shares of the Series A Preferred Stock proportionate to that underwriter’s initial amount reflected in the above table.
No Sales of Similar Securities
We have agreed that, for a period of 60 days from the date of this prospectus supplement, we will not, without the prior written consent of the representative on behalf of the underwriters, issue, offer, sell, contract to sell, sell any option or contract to purchase, purchase any option or contract to sell, assign, pledge, hypothecate, grant any option, right or warrant to purchase, lend or otherwise transfer or dispose of any shares of Series A Preferred Stock or any other preferred stock ranking on parity with or senior to the Series A Preferred Stock or any securities convertible into or exercisable or exchangeable for shares of Series A Preferred Stock or any other preferred stock ranking in parity with or senior to the Series A Preferred Stock (“Related Securities”); file or cause the filing of any registration statement under the Securities Act with respect to any shares of Series A Preferred Stock or any other preferred stock ranking on parity with or senior to the Series A Preferred Stock or any Related Securities (other than any registration statement filed pursuant to Rule 462(b) of the Securities Act to register securities to be sold to the underwriters pursuant to the underwriting agreement; enter into any swap, hedge, short sale, derivative, put or call or other agreement, arrangement, hedge or transaction that transfers to another, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, any of the economic consequences of ownership of any shares of Series A Preferred Stock or any other preferred stock ranking in parity with or senior to the Series A Preferred Stock or any Related Securities; or publicly announce an intention to effect any of the foregoing.
Listing
The Series A Preferred Stock is listed on the NYSE under the symbol “KREF PRA.”
Price Stabilization, Short Positions and Penalty Bids
Until the distribution of our shares of Series A Preferred Stock is completed, SEC rules may limit underwriters and selling group members from bidding for and purchasing our securities. However, the underwriters may engage in transactions that stabilize the price of our securities, such as bids or purchases to peg, fix or maintain that price.
In connection with this offering, the underwriters may purchase and sell our securities in the open market. These transactions may include short sales, purchases on the open market to cover positions created by short sales and stabilizing transactions. Short sales involve the sale by the underwriters of a greater number of shares of our securities than they are required to purchase in this offering. “Covered” short sales are sales made in an amount not greater than the underwriters’ overallotment option to purchase additional shares described above. The underwriters may close out any covered short position by either exercising their option or purchasing shares in the open market. In determining the source of shares of our securities to close out the covered short position, the underwriters will consider, among other things, the price of shares of our securities available for purchase in the open market as compared to the price at which they may purchase shares of our securities through the option. “Naked” short sales are sales in excess of the overallotment option. The underwriters must close out any naked short position by purchasing shares of our securities in the open market. A naked short position is more likely to be created if the underwriters are concerned that there may be downward pressure on the price of our securities in the open market after pricing that could adversely affect investors who purchase in this offering. Stabilizing transactions consist of various bids for or purchases of shares of our securities made by the underwriters in the open market prior to the completion of this offering.
The underwriters may also impose a penalty bid. This occurs when a particular underwriter repays to the underwriters a portion of the underwriting discount received by it because the underwriters have repurchased shares sold by or for the account of such underwriter in stabilizing or short covering transactions.
Similar to other purchase transactions, the underwriters’ purchases to cover the syndicate short sales may have the effect of raising or maintaining the market price of our securities or preventing or retarding a decline in the market price of our securities. As a result, the price of our securities may be higher than the price that might otherwise exist in the open market. The underwriters may conduct these transactions on the NYSE, in the OTC market or otherwise.
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Neither we nor any of the underwriters make any representation or prediction as to the direction or magnitude of any effect that the transactions described above may have on the price of our securities. In addition, neither we nor any of the underwriters make any representation that the representatives will engage in these transactions or that these transactions, once commenced, will not be discontinued without notice.
Electronic Distribution
In connection with this offering, certain of the underwriters or securities dealers may distribute prospectuses by electronic means, such as e-mail. In addition, the underwriters may facilitate Internet distribution for this offering to certain of their Internet subscription customers. The underwriters may allocate a limited number of shares of the Series A Preferred Stock for sale to their online brokerage customers. An electronic prospectus may be available on the websites maintained by the underwriters. Other than the prospectus in electronic format, the information on the underwriters’ websites is not part of this prospectus supplement.
Our Relationships
KKR Capital Markets LLC, an underwriter in this offering, is a subsidiary of KKR and one of our affiliates. As an underwriter in this offering, KKR Capital Markets LLC will receive its proportionate share of the underwriting discounts and commissions to be paid by us to the underwriters based on the number of shares of Series A Preferred Stock allocated to it in this offering.
The underwriters and their respective affiliates are full service financial institutions engaged in various activities, which may include securities trading, commercial and investment banking, financial advisory, investment management, investment research, principal investment, hedging, financing and brokerage activities. Some of the underwriters and their affiliates have engaged in, and may in the future engage in, investment banking, financial advisory and other commercial dealings in the ordinary course of business with us or our affiliates. They have received, or any in the future receive, customary fees and commissions for these transactions.
In addition, in the ordinary course of their business activities, the underwriters and their affiliates may make or hold a broad array of investments and actively trade debt and equity securities (or related derivative securities) and financial instruments (including bank loans) for their own account and for the accounts of their customers. Such investments and securities activities may involve securities and/or instruments of ours or our affiliates. The underwriters and their affiliates may also make investment recommendations and/or publish or express independent research views in respect of such securities or financial instruments and may hold, or recommend to clients that they acquire, long and/or short positions in such securities and instruments.
Notice to Prospective Investors in Canada
The Shares may be sold in Canada only to purchasers purchasing, or deemed to be purchasing, as principal that are accredited investors, as defined in National Instrument 45-106 Prospectus Exemptions or subsection 73.3(1) of the Securities Act (Ontario), and are permitted clients, as defined in National Instrument 31-103 Registration Requirements, Exemptions and Ongoing Registrant Obligations. Any resale of the Shares must be made in accordance with an exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to, the prospectus requirements of applicable securities laws.
Securities legislation in certain provinces or territories of Canada may provide a purchaser with remedies for rescission or damages if this offering memorandum (including any amendment thereto) contains a misrepresentation, provided that the remedies for rescission or damages are exercised by the purchaser within the time limit prescribed by the securities legislation of the purchaser’s province or territory. The purchaser should refer to any applicable provisions of the securities legislation of the purchaser’s province or territory for particulars of these rights or consult with a legal advisor.
Pursuant to section 3A.3 of National Instrument 33-105 Underwriting Conflicts (NI 33-105), the underwriters are not required to comply with the disclosure requirements of NI 33-105 regarding underwriter conflicts of interest in connection with this offering.
Extended Settlement
We expect that delivery of the Series A Preferred Stock will be made to investors on or about the fifth business day following the date of this prospectus supplement (such settlement being referred to as “T+5”). Under Rule 15c6-1 under the Exchange Act, trades in the secondary market are required to settle in two business
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days, unless the parties to any such trade expressly agree otherwise. Accordingly, purchasers who wish to trade shares of Series A Preferred Stock prior to their delivery will be required, by virtue of the fact that the shares of Series A Preferred Stock initially settle in T+5, to specify an alternate settlement arrangement at the time of any such trade to prevent a failed settlement. Purchasers of the Series A Preferred Stock who wish to trade the Series A Preferred Stock prior to their date of delivery hereunder should consult their advisors.
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LEGAL MATTERS
Certain legal matters will be passed upon for us by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, New York, New York. Certain tax matters will be passed upon for us by Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, Richmond, Virginia. Certain legal matters will be passed upon for the underwriters by Clifford Chance US LLP, New York, New York. Venable LLP, Baltimore, Maryland has issued an opinion to us regarding certain matters of Maryland law, including the validity of the Series A Preferred Stock offered hereby.
EXPERTS
The consolidated financial statements, and the related financial statement schedule, incorporated in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus by reference from our Annual Report on Form 10-K, as amended, as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, and for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018 have been audited by Deloitte & Touche LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, as stated in their report, which is incorporated herein by reference. Such consolidated financial statements and financial statement schedule have been so incorporated in reliance upon the report of such firm given upon their authority as experts in accounting and auditing.
WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION
This prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus are part of the registration statement on Form S-3 we filed with the SEC under the Securities Act and do not contain all the information set forth in the registration statement. Whenever a reference is made in this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus to any of our contracts, agreements or other documents, the reference may not be complete and you should refer to the exhibits that are a part of the registration statement or the exhibits to the reports or other documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus for a copy of such contract, agreement or other document. Because we are subject to the information and reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, we file annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. Our SEC filings are available to the public at the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov. Those filings are also available to the public on, or accessible through, our website at www.kkrreit.com. The information contained on or accessible through our corporate website or any other website that we may maintain is not incorporated by reference herein and is not part of this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus or the registration statement of which this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus are a part.
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INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE
The rules of the SEC allow us to incorporate information into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus by reference. This means that we are disclosing important information to you by referring to other documents. The information incorporated by reference is considered to be a part of this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, except for any information superseded by information contained directly in this prospectus supplement. We incorporate by reference the documents listed below and all documents that we subsequently file with the SEC under Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act prior to the termination of the offering of securities by means of this prospectus supplement, from their respective filing dates (other than any portions thereof, which under the Exchange Act, and applicable SEC rules, are not deemed “filed” under the Exchange Act except for the Current Report on Form 8-K filed on April 9, 2021 noted below):
our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, filed on (File No. 001-38082);
our Definitive Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A, filed on (but only with respect to information required by Part III of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020) (File No. 001-38082);
our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2021, filed on April 26, 2021 (File No. 001-38082);
our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2021, filed on July 26, 2021 (File No. 001-38082);
our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2021, filed on October 25, 2021 (File No. 001-38082);
our Current Reports on Form 8-K, filed on April 15, 2021, April 16, 2021, April 23, 2021, May 13, 2021, August 19, 2021, November 1, 2021 and December 20, 2021 (File Nos. 001-38082); and
the description of our securities contained in Exhibit 4.1 of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended (filed with the SEC on February 16, 2021), which updated the description thereof contained in our Registration Statement on Form 8-A, filed with the SEC on May 3, 2017, including any amendments or reports filed for the purpose of updating such description.
Any statement made in the accompanying prospectus or in a document incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus will be deemed to be modified or superseded for purposes of this prospectus supplement to the extent that a statement contained in this prospectus supplement modifies or supersedes that statement. Any statement so modified or superseded will not be deemed, except as so modified or superseded, to constitute a part of this prospectus supplement.
We will provide without charge to each person, including any beneficial owner, to whom a copy of this prospectus supplement is delivered, upon written or oral request of such person, a copy of any or all of the documents referred to above which have been incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement. You should direct requests for those documents to KKR Real Estate Finance Trust Inc., 30 Hudson Yards, New York, New York, 10001, Attention: Investor Relations; Tel: (212) 750-8300.
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Prospectus

KKR Real Estate Finance Trust Inc.
Common Stock
Preferred Stock
Depositary Shares
Debt Securities
Warrants
Subscription Rights
Purchase Contracts
Units
and
17,750,000 Shares of Common Stock Offered by Selling Stockholders
This prospectus relates to the following types of securities that may be offered for sale from time to time by us, together or separately:
common stock;
preferred stock;
depositary shares;
debt securities;
warrants;
subscription rights;
purchase contracts; and
units.
This prospectus additionally relates to the sale of up to 17,750,000 shares of common stock that may be offered from time to time by certain of our existing stockholders.
This prospectus describes the general manner in which our securities may be offered and sold. If necessary, the specific manner in which our securities may be offered and sold will be described in a supplement to this prospectus.
Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) under the symbol “KREF.” On December 21, 2021, the closing sales price of our common stock as reported on the NYSE was $21.06 per share.
We are a real estate finance company that focuses primarily on originating and acquiring senior loans secured by commercial real estate assets. We are externally managed and advised by KKR Real Estate Finance Manager LLC, an indirect subsidiary of KKR & Co. Inc. (together with its subsidiaries, “KKR”). We are a Maryland corporation, and we have elected to qualify as a real estate investment trust (“REIT”) for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Shares of our capital stock are subject to limitations on ownership and transfer that are primarily intended to assist us in maintaining our qualification as a REIT. Our charter contains certain restrictions relating to the ownership and transfer of our capital stock, including, subject to certain exceptions, a 9.8% limit, in value or by number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, on the ownership of any class or series of our outstanding capital stock. See “Description of Capital Stock—Certain Provisions of Our Charter and Bylaws and of Maryland Law—REIT Qualification Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer.”
You should carefully read this prospectus and any applicable prospectus supplement and free writing prospectus, together with any documents we incorporate by reference, before you invest in our securities.
Investing in our securities involves risks. You should carefully consider the risks described under “Risk Factors” in Item 1A of our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Item 1A of any subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q (which documents are incorporated by reference herein), as well as the other information contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus or in any prospectus supplement hereto before making a decision to invest in our securities. See “Where You Can Find More Information” and “Incorporation by Reference” below.
Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or passed upon the adequacy or accuracy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
Prospectus dated December 22, 2021.


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ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS
This prospectus is part of a registration statement on Form S-3 that we filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) using a “shelf” registration process. Under this shelf registration process, we may, from time to time, offer and/or sell any of the securities described in this prospectus in one or more offerings or resales and certain selling stockholders may, from time to time, offer and/or sell shares of our common stock in one or more offerings or resales. This prospectus provides you with a general description of the shares of our common stock that certain selling stockholders may offer and of the common stock, the preferred stock, depositary shares, debt securities, warrants, subscription rights, purchase contracts and units that we may offer. Each time we or the selling stockholders sell these securities using this prospectus, we may provide a prospectus supplement and attach it to this prospectus and may also provide you with a free writing prospectus, each of which containing more specific information about the offering and the securities being offered, including the names of any underwriters, the prices and our net proceeds from the sales of those securities. The prospectus supplement may also add, update, change or clarify information contained in or incorporated by reference into this prospectus. If there is any inconsistency between the information in this prospectus and the information in the prospectus supplement, you should rely on the information in the prospectus supplement.
The rules of the SEC allow us to incorporate by reference information into this prospectus. This means that important information is contained in other documents that are considered to be a part of this prospectus. Additionally, information that we file later with the SEC will automatically update and supersede this information. You should carefully read both this prospectus and the applicable prospectus supplement together with the additional information that is incorporated or deemed incorporated by reference in this prospectus. See “Incorporation by Reference” before making an investment in our securities described in this prospectus. This prospectus contains summaries of certain provisions contained in some of the documents described herein, but reference is made to the actual documents for complete information. All of the summaries are qualified in their entirety by the actual documents. Copies of the documents referred to herein have been filed or will be filed or incorporated by reference as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part. The registration statement, including the exhibits and documents incorporated or deemed incorporated by reference in this prospectus, can be read on the SEC website.
Neither the delivery of this prospectus or any applicable prospectus supplement nor any sale made using this prospectus or any applicable prospectus supplement implies that there has been no change in our affairs or that the information in this prospectus or in any applicable prospectus supplement is correct as of any date after their respective dates. You should not assume that the information included in or incorporated by reference in this prospectus or any applicable prospectus supplement or any free writing prospectus prepared by us, is accurate as of any date other than the date(s) on the front covers of those documents. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since those dates.
We are responsible for the information contained in or incorporated by reference in this prospectus or a prospectus supplement. Neither we nor the selling stockholders have authorized anyone to give you different information, and if you are given any information that is not contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus or a prospectus supplement, you must not rely on that information. We and the selling stockholders are not making an offer to sell securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale of such securities is not permitted.
Except where the context requires otherwise, the terms “company,” “we,” “us,” “our” and “KREF” refer to KKR Real Estate Finance Trust Inc., a Maryland corporation, and its subsidiaries; “Manager” refers to KKR Real Estate Finance Manager LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, our external manager; and “KKR” refers to KKR & Co. Inc., a Delaware corporation, and its subsidiaries.
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MARKET AND OTHER INDUSTRY DATA
This prospectus includes and incorporates by reference market and other industry data and estimates that are based on our management’s knowledge and experience in the markets in which we operate. The sources of such data generally state that the information they provide has been obtained from sources they believe to be reliable, but we have not investigated or verified the accuracy and completeness of such information. Our own estimates are based on information obtained from our and our affiliates’ experience in the markets in which we operate and from other contacts in these markets. We are responsible for all of the disclosure contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus, and we believe our estimates to be accurate as of the date of this prospectus, such other date stated in this prospectus or such date as of the document incorporated herein. However, this information may prove to be inaccurate because of the method by which we obtained some of the data for the estimates or because this information cannot always be verified with complete certainty due to the limits on the availability and reliability of raw data, the voluntary nature of the data gathering process and other limitations and uncertainties. As a result, you should be aware that market and other industry data included and incorporated by reference in this prospectus, and estimates and beliefs based on that data, may not be reliable.
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KKR REAL ESTATE FINANCE TRUST INC.
KREF is a real estate finance company that focuses primarily on originating and acquiring senior loans secured by commercial real estate (“CRE”) assets. Our investment strategy is to originate or acquire senior loans collateralized by institutional-quality CRE assets that are owned and operated by experienced and well-capitalized sponsors and located in liquid markets with strong underlying fundamentals. Our target assets also include mezzanine loans, preferred equity and other debt-oriented instruments with these characteristics. Our investment objective is capital preservation and the generation of attractive risk-adjusted returns for our stockholders over the long term, primarily through dividends.
We had a common equity book value of $1,062.1 million as of September 30, 2021 and established a portfolio of diversified investments, consisting primarily of performing senior loans, mezzanine and real estate corporate loans, and indirectly-owned commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS”) B-Pieces through an equity-method investment, which had a total outstanding principal of $5,513.7 million.
We are externally managed by our Manager, a registered investment adviser and indirect subsidiary of KKR & Co. Inc. (“KKR”), a leading global investment firm with an over 45-year history of leadership, innovation and investment excellence. Our Manager manages our investments and our day-to-day business and affairs in conformity with our investment guidelines and other policies that are approved and monitored by our board of directors. Our Manager is responsible for, among other matters, (i) the selection, origination or purchase and sale of our portfolio investments, (ii) our financing activities and (iii) providing us with investment advisory services. Our Manager is also responsible for our day-to-day operations and performs (or causes to be performed) such services and activities relating to our investments and business and affairs as may be appropriate. Our investment decisions are approved by an investment committee of our Manager that is comprised of senior investment professionals of KKR, including senior investment professionals of KKR's global real estate group.
We elected to be treated as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes commencing with our taxable year ended December 31, 2014 and believe that we have operated and expect to continue to operate so as to qualify as a REIT. So long as we continue to qualify as a REIT, we generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on net taxable income that we distribute annually to our stockholders. We and our subsidiaries also currently conduct, and intend to continue to conduct, our operations so that we are not required to register as an investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”).
KKR Real Estate Finance Trust Inc. was incorporated in Maryland on October 2, 2014. Our principal executive offices are located at 30 Hudson Yards, Suite 7500, New York, New York 10001, and our telephone number is (212) 750-8300. Our website is www.KKRreit.com. The information on or otherwise accessible through our website does not constitute a part of this prospectus
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RISK FACTORS
An investment in our securities involves a high degree of risk. Certain risks relating to us and our business are described under the headings “Business” and “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, filed with the SEC on February 16, 2021 (the “2020 10-K”), which is incorporated by reference into this prospectus and which you should carefully review and consider, along with the other information contained in this prospectus or incorporated by reference herein, as updated by our subsequent filings under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), before making an investment in our securities. See “Where You Can Find More Information” and “Incorporation by Reference.” Additional risks, as well as updates or changes to the risks described in the documents incorporated by reference herein, may be included in any applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus that we provide you in connection with an offering of the securities pursuant to this prospectus.
In addition, please read the section of this prospectus captioned “Forward-Looking Statements”, in which we describe additional uncertainties associated with our business and the forward-looking statements included or incorporated by reference in this prospectus. Please note that additional risks not presently known to us or that we currently deem immaterial may also impair our business and operations.
Investment in the securities offered pursuant to this prospectus involves risks and uncertainties. Our business, financial condition, results of operations or liquidity could be materially adversely affected by any of these risks. The market or trading price of our securities could decline due to any of these risks, and you may lose all or part of your investment.
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FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This prospectus contains and incorporates by reference “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act, which reflect our current views with respect to, among other things, our operations and financial performance. You can identify these forward-looking statements by the use of words such as “believe,” “expect,” “potential,” “continue,” “may,” “should,” “seek,” “predict,” “intend,” “will,” “plan,” “estimate,” “anticipate” or “could,” the negative version of these words, other comparable words or other statements that do not relate strictly to historical or factual matters. By their nature, forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, are not statements of historical fact or guarantees of future performance, and are subject to risks, uncertainties, assumptions or changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict or quantify. Our expectations, beliefs and projections are expressed in good faith and we believe there is a reasonable basis for them. However, there can be no assurance that management’s expectations, beliefs and projections will result or be achieved and actual results may vary materially from what is expressed in or indicated by the forward-looking statements.
There are a number of risks, uncertainties and other important factors that make an investment in us speculative or risky and that could cause our actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in, or incorporated by reference in, this prospectus. Such risks, uncertainties and other important factors include, among others, the risks, uncertainties and factors set forth under the section entitled “Risk Factors” in the 2020 10-K, which is incorporated by reference herein, and the following risks, uncertainties and factors:
the severity and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic;
potential risks and uncertainties relating to the ultimate geographic spread of COVID-19;
actions that may be taken by governmental authorities to contain the COVID-19 outbreak or to treat its impact;
the potential negative impacts of COVID-19 on the global economy and the impacts of COVID-19 on the Company’s financial condition and business operations;
adverse developments in the availability of desirable investment opportunities whether they are due to competition, regulation or otherwise;
the general political, economic and competitive conditions in the United States and in any foreign jurisdictions in which we invest;
the level and volatility of prevailing interest rates and credit spreads;
adverse changes in the real estate and real estate capital markets;
difficulty or delays in redeploying the proceeds from repayments of our existing investments;
general volatility of the securities markets in which we participate;
changes in our business, investment strategies or target assets;
deterioration in the performance of the properties securing our investments that may cause deterioration in the performance of our investments and, potentially, principal losses to us;
acts of God such as hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters, pandemics such as COVID-19, acts of war and/or terrorism and other events that may cause unanticipated and uninsured performance declines and/or losses to us or the owners and operators of the real estate securing our investments;
the adequacy of collateral securing our investments and declines in the fair value of our investments;
difficulty in obtaining financing or raising capital;
difficulty in successfully managing our growth, including integrating new assets into our existing systems;
reductions in the yield on our investments and increases in the cost of our financing;
defaults by borrowers in paying debt service on outstanding indebtedness;
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the availability of qualified personnel and our relationship with our Manager;
subsidiaries of KKR & Co. Inc. have significant influence over us and KKR's interests may conflict with those of our stockholders in the future;
the cost of operating our platform, including, but not limited to, the cost of operating a real estate investment platform;
adverse legislative or regulatory developments;
our qualification as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes and our exclusion from registration under the Investment Company Act; and
authoritative accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America or policy changes from such standard-setting bodies such as the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the SEC, the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”), the NYSE and other authorities that we are subject to, as well as their counterparts in any foreign jurisdictions where we might do business.
There may be other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements, including factors disclosed under the section entitled “Risk Factors” in the 2020 10-K and the section entitled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in the 2020 10-K and Quarterly Reports for the three-month period ended March 31, 2021, the six-month period ended June 30, 2021 and the nine-month period ended September 30, 2021. You should evaluate all forward-looking statements made in, and incorporated by reference in, this prospectus in the context of these risks and uncertainties.
We caution you that the risks, uncertainties and other factors referenced above may not contain all of the risks, uncertainties and other factors that are important to you. In addition, we cannot assure you that we will realize the results, benefits or developments that we expect or anticipate or, even if substantially realized, that they will result in the consequences or affect us or our business in the way expected. All forward-looking statements contained in, and incorporated by reference in, this prospectus apply only as of the date made and are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements included in this prospectus. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, except as required by law.
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USE OF PROCEEDS
Unless otherwise provided in the applicable prospectus supplement, the net proceeds from the sale of the securities offered by us pursuant to this prospectus and each prospectus supplement will be used to acquire our target assets in a manner consistent with our investment strategies and investment guidelines described in the 2020 10-K, incorporated by reference herein, and for general corporate purposes, which may include working capital needs, capital expenditures, expansion of the business and acquisitions.
We will not receive any proceeds from the sale of shares of our common stock by the selling stockholders. For more information about the selling stockholders, see “Selling Stockholders.”
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SELLING STOCKHOLDERS
In addition to the securities that we may offer from time to time in one or more offerings, this prospectus relates to the resale from time to time of up to a total of 17,750,000 shares of common stock by the selling stockholders. The following table sets forth information with respect to the current beneficial ownership of the selling stockholders, the number of shares of common stock being offered hereby by each selling stockholder and information with respect to shares to be beneficially owned by each selling stockholder after completion of this offering, assuming all shares that may be offered from time to time by such selling stockholder pursuant to this prospectus are sold.
The number of shares and percentages of beneficial ownership set forth below are based on beneficial ownership as provided by such selling shareholder to the company and are based on the number of shares of our common stock issued and outstanding as of November 30, 2021. Beneficial ownership is determined under the SEC rules and regulations and generally includes voting or investment power over securities or the right to acquire such powers within 60 days. Except as indicated in the footnotes to this table, we believe that each stockholder identified in the table possesses sole voting and investment power over all shares of common stock shown as beneficially owned by the stockholder.
 
Shares of Common Stock
beneficially owned prior
to the offering
Maximum
number of
shares of
Common Stock
to be sold
hereunder
Shares of Common Stock
beneficially owned after
sale of the maximum
Name of Selling Stockholder
Number
Percent
Number
Number
Percent
KKR REFT Holdings L.P.(1)
14,250,000
23.2%
14,250,000
—%
Nan Shan Life Insurance Co., Ltd.(2)
3,500,000
5.7%
3,500,000
—%
(1)
The general partner of KKR REFT Holdings L.P. is KKR REFT Holdings GP LLC, which is wholly owned by KKR REFT Asset Holdings LLC (“KKR REFT Asset Holdings”). KKR REFT Asset Holdings is owned by KKR Fund Holdings L.P. and KKR Financial Holdings LLC, whose common shares are wholly owned by KKR Fund Holdings L.P. KKR Fund Holdings GP Limited is a general partner of KKR Fund Holdings L.P. KKR Group Holdings Corp. is a general partner of KKR Fund Holdings L.P. and the sole shareholder of KKR Fund Holdings GP Limited.
KKR & Co. Inc. is the sole shareholder of KKR Group Holdings Corp. KKR Management LLC is the controlling shareholder of KKR & Co. Inc. Henry R. Kravis and George R. Roberts are the designated members of KKR Management LLC. In such capacities, each of the aforementioned entities and individuals may also be deemed to be the beneficial owners having shared voting power and shared investment power with respect to the shares held by KKR REFT Holdings L.P. The address of each of the persons and entities listed in this footnote, except Mr. Roberts, is c/o Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P., 30 Hudson Yards, Suite 7500, New York, New York 10001. The address for Mr. Roberts is c/o Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P., 2800 Sand Hill Road, Suite 200, Menlo Park, CA 94025.
(2)
Nan Shan Life Insurance Co., Ltd. has sole voting and dispositive power over 3,500,000 shares of our common stock. The address of Nan Shan Life Insurance Co., Ltd. is No. 168, Zhuang Jing Road, Xinyi District, Taipei City 11049, Taiwan (Republic of China).
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DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK
The following is a summary of the terms of our common stock and preferred stock, certain provisions of the Maryland General Corporation Law and provisions of our charter and bylaws containing the material terms of our common stock and preferred stock, which are qualified in their entirety by reference to the Maryland General Corporation Law, our charter and bylaws. We have filed copies of our charter and bylaws as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part.
When we offer to sell a particular class or series of stock, we will describe the specific terms of the series in a prospectus supplement. Accordingly, for a description of the terms of any class or series of stock, you must refer to both the prospectus supplement relating to that class or series and the description of stock in this prospectus. To the extent the information contained in the prospectus supplement differs from this summary description, you should rely on the information in the prospectus supplement.
General
Under our charter, we may issue up to 350,000,000 shares of stock comprised of the following:
300,000,000 shares of common stock, par value $0.01 per share; and
50,000,000 shares of preferred stock, par value $0.01 per share.
As of November 30, 2021 there were issued and outstanding:
61,370,732 shares of common stock; and
6,900,000 shares of preferred stock that have been classified and designated as 6.50% Series A Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, par value $0.01 per share (the “Series A Preferred Stock”).
Under Maryland law, our stockholders generally are not liable for our debts or obligations.
Our charter authorizes our board of directors, without stockholder approval, to:
classify and reclassify any unissued shares of our common stock and preferred stock into other classes or series of stock; and
amend our charter to increase or decrease the aggregate number of shares of stock or the number of shares of stock of any class or series that may be issued.
We believe that the power to (i) issue additional shares of our common stock or preferred stock, (ii) increase the aggregate number of shares of stock or the number of shares of stock of any class or series that we have the authority to issue and (iii) classify or reclassify unissued shares of our common or preferred stock and thereafter to issue the classified or reclassified shares of stock, provides us with increased flexibility in structuring possible future financings and acquisitions and in meeting other needs which might arise. In addition, under Maryland law, our board of directors may authorize the amendment of our charter to effect a reverse stock split that results in a combination of shares of stock at a ratio of not more than ten shares of stock into one share of stock in any 12-month period. These actions may be taken without stockholder approval, unless stockholder approval is required by applicable law or the rules of any stock exchange or automated quotation system on which our securities may be listed or traded.
Prior to the issuance of shares of each class or series, our board of directors is required by Maryland law and by our charter to set, subject to our charter restrictions on ownership and transfers of our stock, the preferences, conversion or other rights, voting powers, restrictions, limitations as to dividends or other distributions, qualifications and terms or conditions of redemption for each class or series. Thus, our board could authorize the issuance of shares of common stock or preferred stock with terms and conditions that could have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a transaction or a change in control of our company that might involve a premium price for holders of our common stock or otherwise be in their best interests.
Common Stock
Holders of our common stock are entitled to receive dividends when authorized by our board of directors and declared by us out of assets legally available for the payment of dividends. They are also entitled to share ratably in our assets legally available for distribution to our stockholders in the event of our liquidation,
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dissolution or winding up, after payment of, or adequate provision for, all of our known debts and liabilities. These rights are subject to the preferential rights of any other class or series of our stock, including our preferred stock. All shares of common stock have equal dividend and liquidation rights.
Subject to our charter restrictions on ownership and transfer of our stock and except as may otherwise be specified in the terms of a class or series of our stock, each outstanding share of common stock is entitled to one vote on all matters submitted to a vote of the stockholders. There is no cumulative voting in the election of our directors and our directors are elected by a plurality of the votes cast, so the holders of a simple majority of the outstanding common stock, voting at a stockholders meeting at which a quorum is present, will have the power to elect all of the directors nominated for election at the meeting. Holders of our common stock generally have no exchange, sinking fund, redemption or appraisal rights, except the right to receive fair value in connection with certain control share acquisitions, and have no preemptive rights to subscribe for any of our securities. Because holders of our common stock do not have preemptive rights, we may issue additional shares of stock that may reduce each stockholder’s proportionate voting and financial interest in our company. Rights to receive dividends on our common stock may be restricted by the terms of any future classified and issued shares of our stock.
Under Maryland law, a Maryland corporation generally cannot dissolve, amend its charter, merge, convert, consolidate, sell all or substantially all of its assets or engage in a statutory share exchange unless declared advisable by its board of directors and approved by the affirmative vote of stockholders holding at least two-thirds of the shares entitled to vote on the matter. However, a Maryland corporation may provide in its charter for approval of these matters by a lesser percentage, but not less than a majority of all of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter. Our charter provides for approval of these matters by a majority of all of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter, except that the affirmative vote of stockholders entitled to cast at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast on such matter is required to amend the provisions of our charter relating to the removal of directors, corporate opportunities and the vote required to amend our charter.
Preferred Stock
We are authorized to issue 50,000,000 shares of preferred stock, including:
one share of special non-voting preferred stock; and
6,900,000 shares of Series A Preferred Stock.
As of November 30, 2021 there were issued and outstanding:
no shares of special non-voting preferred stock; and
6,900,000 shares of Series A Preferred Stock.
Our board of directors has the authority, without further action by the stockholders, to authorize us to issue shares of preferred stock in one or more series and to fix the number of shares, preferences, conversion or other rights, voting powers, restrictions, limitations as to dividends or other distributions, qualifications and terms and conditions of redemption applicable to each such series of preferred stock. Thus, our board of directors could authorize the issuance of shares of preferred stock with terms and conditions that could have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a transaction or change in control that might involve a premium price for holders of our common stock or otherwise be in their best interest. Our issued and outstanding preferred stock has, and any additional preferred stock we may issue could have, a preference on dividend payments that affects our ability to make dividend distributions to the common stockholders.
The preferences, conversion and other rights, voting powers, restrictions, limitations as to dividends and other distributions, qualifications and terms and conditions of redemption of each class or series of preferred stock will be fixed by our board of directors and set forth in articles supplementary relating to the class or series. We will describe the specific terms of the particular class or series of preferred stock in the prospectus supplement relating to that class or series, which terms will include:
the designation and par value of the class or series of preferred stock;
the number of shares of the class or series of preferred stock offered, the liquidation preference per share and the offering price of the class or series of preferred stock;
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the distribution rate(s), period(s) and payment date(s) or method(s) of calculation applicable to the class or series of preferred stock;
the relative ranking and preferences of the class or series of preferred stock as to distribution rights and rights upon liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the affairs of our company;
whether distributions will be cumulative or non-cumulative and, if cumulative, the date(s) from which distributions on the class or series of preferred stock will cumulate;
the procedures for any auction and remarketing for the class or series of preferred stock, if applicable;
the provision for a sinking fund, if any, for the class or series of preferred stock;
the provision for, and any restriction on, redemption, if applicable, of the class or series of preferred stock;
the provision for, and any restriction on, repurchase, if applicable, of the class or series of preferred stock;
the terms and provisions, if any, upon which the class or series of preferred stock will be convertible into common stock or other securities, including the conversion price (or manner or calculation) and conversion period;
the voting rights, if any, of the class or series of preferred stock;
the terms under which the rights of the class or series of preferred stock may be modified, if applicable;
any limitation on issuance of any other class or series of preferred stock, including any class or series of preferred stock ranking senior to or on parity with the class or series of preferred stock as to distribution rights or rights upon the liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the affairs of our company;
any listing of the class or series of preferred stock on any securities exchange;
if appropriate, a discussion of any additional material federal income tax considerations applicable to the class or series of preferred stock;
information with respect to book-entry procedures, if applicable;
in addition to those restrictions described below, any other restrictions on the ownership and transfer of the class or series of preferred stock; and
any additional rights, preferences, privileges or restrictions of the class or series of preferred stock.
Series A Preferred Stock
The Series A Preferred Stock, with respect to dividend rights and rights upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, rank:
senior to our common stock and any class or series of our capital stock expressly designated as ranking junior to the Series A Preferred Stock as to dividend rights and rights upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up (“Junior Stock”);
on parity with any class or series of our capital stock expressly designated as ranking on parity with the Series A Preferred Stock as to dividend rights and rights upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up (the “Parity Stock”); and
junior to any class or series of our capital stock expressly designated as ranking senior to the Series A Preferred Stock as to dividend rights and rights upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up.
Dividends on outstanding shares of Series A Preferred Stock are cumulative and are payable quarterly in arrears at the rate of 6.50% per annum of the $25.00 liquidation preference, or $1.625 per annum per share. Unless full cumulative dividends on the Series A Preferred Stock for all past dividend periods have been or contemporaneously are declared and paid or declared and a sum sufficient for the payment thereof is set apart for payment, except by conversion into or exchange for shares of, or options, warrants or rights to purchase or
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subscribe for, our Junior Stock or pursuant to an exchange offer made on the same terms to all holders of Series A Preferred Stock and all holders of our Parity Stock, we generally may not:
declare or pay any dividends, or set aside any assets for the payment of dividends, on our Junior Stock or our Parity Stock; or
redeem or otherwise acquire our Junior Stock (other than a distribution paid in shares of, or options, warrants or rights to subscribe for or purchase shares of our Junior Stock) or our Parity Stock.
Each holder of the Series A Preferred Stock is entitled to receive a liquidation preference of $25.00 per share of Series A Preferred Stock, plus any accumulated and unpaid distributions thereon (whether or not authorized or declared), before the holders of our common stock or other Junior Stock receive any distributions in the event of any voluntary or involuntary liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the affairs of our company.
The Series A Preferred Stock is not redeemable by us before April 16, 2026, except as described in this paragraph and below under “Certain Provisions of Our Charter and Bylaws and of Maryland Law—REIT Qualification Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer.” On and after April 16, 2026, we may, at our option, redeem the Series A Preferred Stock, in whole or from time to time in part, by paying $25.00 per share, plus any accrued and unpaid dividends (whether or not declared) to, but not including, the date of redemption. In addition, upon the occurrence of certain change of control transactions after which our common stock (or the common stock of the successor) is not listed (as defined in our charter, a “Change of Control”), we may, subject to certain conditions and at our option, redeem the Series A Preferred Stock, within 120 days after the first date on which such Change of Control occurred by paying $25.00 per share, plus any accrued and unpaid dividends (whether or not declared) to, but not including, the date of redemption.
Unless we have elected to redeem the Series A Preferred Stock prior to a Change of Control, beginning on the first anniversary of the first date on which any shares of Series A Preferred Stock are issued, upon the occurrence of a Change of Control, each holder of Series A Preferred Stock will have the right to convert some or all of the Series A Preferred Stock held by such holder into a number of shares of our common stock per share of Series A Preferred Stock to be converted equal to the lesser of: (A) the quotient obtained by dividing the sum of the $25.00 liquidation preference plus the amount of any accrued and unpaid dividends (whether or not declared) to, but not including, the conversion date by the Common Stock Price (as defined below); and (B) 2.6427 (the “Share Cap”), subject to certain adjustments; subject, in each case, to the provisions for the receipt of alternative consideration upon conversion as described in the articles supplementary designating the terms of the Series A Preferred Stock.
The “Common Stock Price” will be (i) if the consideration to be received in the Change of Control by the holders of our common stock is solely cash, the amount of cash consideration per share of our common stock or (ii) if the consideration to be received in the Change of Control by holders of our common stock is other than solely cash (x) the average of the closing sale prices per share of our common stock (or, if no closing sale price is reported, the average of the closing bid and ask prices or, if more than one in either case, the average of the average closing bid and the average closing ask prices) for the ten consecutive trading days immediately preceding, but not including, the effective date of the Change of Control as reported on the principal U.S. securities exchange on which our common stock is then traded, or (y) the average of the last quoted bid prices for our common stock in the over-the-counter market as reported by OTC Markets Group Inc. or similar organization for the ten consecutive trading days immediately preceding, but not including, the effective date of the Change of Control, if our common stock is not then listed for trading on a U.S. securities exchange.
Holders of Series A Preferred Stock generally have no voting rights. However, if we do not pay dividends on the Series A Preferred Stock for six quarterly periods, whether or not consecutive, holders of shares of Series A Preferred Stock, voting together as a single class with the holders of shares of our Parity Stock having similar voting rights, will be entitled to vote for the election of two additional directors to serve on our board of directors until we pay all dividends which we owe on the Series A Preferred Stock for all past dividend periods and the then current dividend period. In addition, the affirmative vote of the holders of at least two-thirds of the outstanding shares of Series A Preferred Stock and all other classes or series of our Parity Stock upon which like voting rights have been conferred and are exercisable, voting together as a single class, is required for us to authorize or create, or increase the authorized or issued amount of, any class or series of our capital stock expressly designated as ranking senior to the Series A Preferred Stock as to dividend rights and rights upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, or reclassify any authorized shares of our capital stock into any such
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shares, or create, authorize or issue any obligations or security convertible into or evidencing the right to purchase any such shares. The affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the outstanding shares of Series A Preferred Stock (voting as a separate class) is required to amend our charter (including the Articles Supplementary setting forth the terms of the Series A Preferred Stock) in a manner that materially and adversely affects the rights of the holders of shares of Series A Preferred Stock.
Transfer Agent and Registrar
The transfer agent and registrar for shares of our common stock and Series A Preferred Stock is American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC.
Certain Provisions of Our Charter and Bylaws and of Maryland Law
REIT Qualification Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer
Our charter contains restrictions on the number of shares of our capital stock that a person may own. No person may beneficially or constructively own in excess of 9.8% in value or number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of the outstanding shares of any class or series of our capital stock unless such person receives an exemption from our board of directors. Subject to certain limitations, our board of directors, in its sole discretion, may exempt (prospectively or retroactively) a person from, or modify, these limits, if it obtains such representations, covenants and undertakings as it deems appropriate to conclude that granting the exemption will not cause us to lose our status as a REIT. Our charter provides for limited exemptions to certain persons, including KKR and its affiliates and any direct or indirect beneficial owner of KKR.
Our charter further prohibits any person from, among other things:
beneficially owning shares of our capital stock that would result in our being “closely held” under Section 856(h) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”);
transferring shares of our capital stock if such transfer would result in our capital stock being beneficially owned by less than 100 persons;
beneficially or constructively owning shares of our capital stock if such ownership would cause us to constructively own 10% or more of the ownership interests in a tenant of our company (other than a taxable REIT subsidiary); and
any other beneficial or constructive ownership of our capital stock that would otherwise cause us to fail to qualify as a REIT.
Any person who acquires or attempts or intends to acquire shares of our capital stock that may violate any of these restrictions, or who is the intended transferee of shares of our capital stock that are transferred to the trust, as described below, is required to give us immediate written notice, or in the case of a proposed or attempted transaction, at least 15 days prior written notice, and provide us with such information as we may request in order to determine the effect of the transfer on our status as a REIT. The above restrictions will not apply if our board of directors determines that it is no longer in our best interests to continue to qualify as a REIT or that compliance with such restrictions is no longer required for us to qualify as a REIT.
Any attempted transfer of our capital stock that, if effective, would result in violation of the above limitations (except for a transfer that results in shares being owned by less than 100 persons, in which case such transfer will be void and of no force and effect and the intended transferee will not acquire any rights in the shares) will cause the number of shares causing the violation to be automatically transferred to a trust for the exclusive benefit of one or more charitable beneficiaries designated by us and the intended transferee will not acquire any rights in the shares. The automatic transfer will be deemed to be effective as of the close of business on the business day, as defined in our charter, prior to the date of the transfer. Shares of our capital stock held in the trust will continue to be issued and outstanding shares. The proposed transferee will not benefit economically from ownership of any shares held in the trust, will have no rights to dividends or other distributions and no rights to vote or other rights attributable to the shares held in the trust. The trustee of the trust will have all voting rights and rights to dividends or other distributions with respect to shares held in the trust. These rights will be exercised for the exclusive benefit of the charitable beneficiaries. Any dividend or other distribution paid prior to our discovery that shares of capital stock have been transferred to the trust will be paid by the proposed transferee to the trustee upon demand. Any dividend or other distribution authorized but unpaid will be paid
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when due to the trustee. Any dividend or other distribution paid to the trustee will be held in trust for the charitable beneficiaries. Subject to Maryland law, the trustee will have the authority to rescind as void any vote cast by the proposed transferee prior to our discovery that the shares have been transferred to the trust and to recast the vote. However, if we have already taken irreversible corporate action, then the trustee will not have the authority to rescind and recast the vote.
Within 20 days of receiving notice from us that shares of our capital stock have been transferred to the trust, the trustee will sell the shares to a person, designated by the trustee, whose ownership of the shares will not violate the above ownership limitations. Upon the sale, the interest of the charitable beneficiaries in the shares sold will terminate and the trustee will distribute the net proceeds of the sale to the proposed transferee and to the charitable beneficiaries as follows. The proposed transferee will receive the lesser of (i) the price paid by the proposed transferee for the shares or, if the proposed transferee did not give value for the shares in connection with the event causing the shares to be held in the trust, such as a gift, devise or other similar transaction, the market price, as defined in our charter, of the shares on the day of the event causing the shares to be held in the trust and (ii) the price per share received by the trustee (net of any commissions and other sale expenses) from the sale or other disposition of the shares. Any net sale proceeds in excess of the amount payable to the proposed transferee will be paid immediately to the charitable beneficiaries. If, prior to our discovery that shares of our capital stock have been transferred to the trust, the shares are sold by the proposed transferee, then the shares will be deemed to have been sold on behalf of the trust and, to the extent that the proposed transferee received an amount for the shares that exceeds the amount the proposed transferee was entitled to receive, the excess will be paid to the trustee upon demand.
In addition, shares of our stock held in the trust will be deemed to have been offered for sale to us, or our designee, at a price per share equal to the lesser of (i) the price per share in the transaction that resulted in the transfer to the trust (or, in the case of a devise or gift, the market price at the time of the devise or gift) and (ii) the market price on the date we, or our designee, accept the offer. We will have the right to accept the offer until the trustee has sold the shares. Upon a sale to us, the interest of the charitable beneficiaries in the shares sold will terminate and the trustee will distribute the net proceeds of the sale to the proposed transferee.
If the transfer to the trust as described above is not automatically effective for any reason to prevent violation of the above limitations, then the transfer of the number of shares that otherwise cause any person to violate the above limitations will be void and the intended transferee will acquire no rights in such shares.
Each certificate, if any, or any notice in lieu of a certificate, representing shares of our capital stock will bear a legend summarizing the restrictions described above. Instead of a legend, the certificate, if any, may provide that we will furnish a full statement about certain restrictions on transferability to a stockholder on request and without charge.
Every beneficial owner of more than 5% in number or value of our outstanding shares of capital stock (or such lower percentage as required by the Code or the regulations promulgated thereunder), within 30 days after the end of each taxable year, is required to give us written notice, stating the owner’s name and address, the number of shares of capital stock beneficially owned and a description of the manner in which the shares are held. Each such owner will be required to provide us with such additional information as we may request in order to determine the effect, if any, of its beneficial ownership on our status as a REIT and to ensure compliance with the ownership limits. In addition, each stockholder will be required to provide us with such information as we may request in good faith to determine our status as a REIT and to ensure compliance with the ownership limits.
These ownership limits could delay, defer or prevent a transaction or a change in control that might involve a receipt of a premium price for the common stock or otherwise be in the best interest of the stockholders.
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Business Combinations
Under the Maryland General Corporation Law, certain “business combinations” between a Maryland corporation and an interested stockholder or any affiliate of an interested stockholder are prohibited for five years after the most recent date on which the interested stockholder became an interested stockholder. These business combinations include a merger, consolidation, statutory share exchange, or, in circumstances specified in the statute, an asset transfer or issuance or reclassification of equity securities. An interested stockholder is defined as:
any person who beneficially owns, directly or indirectly, 10% or more of the voting power of the corporation’s outstanding voting stock; or
an affiliate or associate of the corporation who, at any time within the two-year period immediately prior to the date in question, was the beneficial owner of 10% or more of the voting power of the then outstanding stock of the corporation.
A person is not an interested stockholder under the statute if the board of directors approved in advance the transaction by which such person otherwise would have become an interested stockholder. However, in approving a transaction, the board of directors may provide that its approval is subject to compliance, at or after the time of approval, with any terms and conditions determined by the board.
After the five-year prohibition, any business combination between the Maryland corporation and an interested stockholder or any affiliate of an interested stockholder generally must be recommended by the board of directors of the corporation and approved by the affirmative vote of at least:
80% of the votes entitled to be cast by holders of outstanding shares of voting stock of the corporation; and
two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast by holders of voting stock of the corporation other than shares held by the interested stockholder with whom or with whose affiliate the business combination is to be effected or the shares held by any affiliate or associate of the interested stockholder.
These super-majority vote requirements do not apply if the corporation’s common stockholders receive a minimum price, as defined under the Maryland General Corporation Law, for their shares in the form of cash or other consideration in the same form as previously paid by the interested stockholder for its shares. The statute permits various exemptions from its provisions, including, but not limited to, business combinations that are exempted by the board of directors prior to the time that an interested stockholder becomes an interested stockholder. Our board of directors has by resolution exempted business combinations between us and any other person, provided that such business combination is first approved by our board of directors.
Control Share Acquisitions
The Maryland General Corporation Law provides that a holder of “control shares” of a Maryland corporation acquired in a “control share acquisition” has no voting rights with respect to such shares except to the extent approved by a vote of two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter, excluding all interested shares. A control share acquisition means the acquisition of control shares, subject to certain exceptions. Shares owned by the acquiror or by officers or directors of the target corporation who are also employees are excluded from shares entitled to vote on the matter. Control shares are voting shares of stock that, if aggregated with all other shares of stock owned by the acquiror or in respect of which the acquiror is able to exercise or direct the exercise of voting power, except solely by virtue of a revocable proxy, would entitle the acquiror to exercise voting power in electing directors within one of the following ranges of voting power:
one-tenth or more but less than one-third;
one-third or more but less than a majority; or
a majority or more of all voting power.
Control shares do not include shares the acquiror is entitled to vote as a result of having previously obtained stockholder approval or shares acquired directly from the corporation.
A person who has made or proposes to make a control share acquisition may compel the board of directors of the corporation to call a special meeting of stockholders to be held within 50 days of demand to consider the
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voting rights of the shares. The right to compel the calling of a special meeting is subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, including an undertaking to pay the expenses of the meeting and delivering an “acquiring person statement” as described in the Maryland General Corporation Law. If no request for a meeting is made, the corporation may itself present the question at any stockholders meeting.
If voting rights are not approved at the meeting or if the acquiring person does not deliver an “acquiring person statement” as required by the statute, then the corporation may redeem for fair value any or all of the control shares, except those for which voting rights have previously been approved. The right of the corporation to redeem control shares is subject to certain conditions and limitations. Fair value is determined, without regard to the absence of voting rights for the control shares, as of the date of any meeting of stockholders at which the voting rights of the shares are considered and not approved or, if no meeting is held, as of the date of the last control share acquisition by the acquiror. If voting rights for control shares are approved at a stockholders meeting and the acquiror becomes entitled to vote a majority of the shares entitled to vote, all other stockholders may exercise appraisal rights. The fair value of the shares as determined for purposes of appraisal rights may not be less than the highest price per share paid by the acquiror in the control share acquisition.
The control share acquisition statute does not apply to shares acquired in a merger, consolidation or statutory share exchange if the corporation is a party to the transaction, or to acquisitions approved or exempted by the charter or bylaws of the corporation. Our bylaws contain a provision exempting any acquisition of our stock by any person from the foregoing provisions on control shares. In the event that our bylaws are amended to modify or eliminate this provision, acquisitions of our common stock may constitute a control share acquisition.
Maryland Unsolicited Takeovers Act
The Maryland Unsolicited Takeovers Act (“MUTA”) permits a Maryland corporation with at least three directors who are not officers or employees of the corporation or affiliates of, or nominated by, a person seeking to acquire control of the corporation and a class of stock registered under the Exchange Act to elect to be subject to any or all of the following provisions, by provision in its charter or bylaws or a resolution of its board of directors and notwithstanding any contrary provision in the charter or bylaws:
a classified board;
a two-thirds vote requirement for removing a director;
a requirement that the number of directors be fixed only by the board of directors;
a requirement that a vacancy on the board be filled only by the remaining directors and for the remainder of the full term of the class of directors in which the vacancy occurred; or
a majority requirement for the calling by stockholders of a special meeting of stockholders.
Our charter contains a provision whereby we have elected to be subject to the provisions of MUTA relating to the filling of vacancies on our board of directors. Through provisions in our charter and bylaws unrelated to MUTA, we already (1) require a two-thirds vote for the removal of any director from the board, which removal will be allowed only for cause, (2) vest in the board the exclusive power to fix the number of directorships, subject to limitations set forth in our charter and bylaws, and (3) require, unless called by the chairman of our board of directors or our president, chief executive officer or board of directors, the request of stockholders entitled to cast not less than a majority of all votes entitled to be cast on a matter at such meeting to call a special meeting to consider and vote on any matter that may properly be considered at a meeting of stockholders. We have not elected to create a classified board. In the future, our board of directors may elect, without stockholder approval, to create a classified board or be subject to one or more of the other provisions of MUTA.
Advance Notice of Director Nominations and New Business
Our bylaws provide that with respect to an annual meeting of stockholders, nominations of individuals for election to the board of directors and the proposal of business to be considered by stockholders may be made only:
pursuant to our notice of the meeting;
by or at the direction of the board of directors; or
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by a stockholder who was a stockholder of record as of the record date set by our board of directors for the purposes of determining stockholders entitled to vote at the meeting, at the time of giving of notice and at the time of the annual meeting, who is entitled to vote at the meeting and who has complied with the advance notice procedures of the bylaws.
With respect to special meetings of stockholders, only the business specified in our notice of the meeting may be brought before the meeting. Nominations of individuals for election to the board of directors at a special meeting at which directors are to be elected may only be made:
pursuant to our notice of the meeting;
by or at the direction of the board of directors; or
provided that the board of directors has determined that directors will be elected at the meeting, by a stockholder who is a stockholder of record as of the record date set by our board of directors for the purposes of determining stockholders entitled to vote at the meeting, at the time of giving of notice and at the time of the special meeting and who is entitled to vote at the meeting and has complied with the advance notice provisions of the bylaws.
Nomination Right
Our Bylaws provide that, so long as our Manager or any of its affiliates serve as our manager, in order for an individual to be qualified to be nominated for election as a director or to serve as a director, the nominee together with all other individuals nominated for election and any individuals who will continue to serve as a director after such election must include at least one individual that is or was designated by KKR Group Holdings L.P. (successor to KKR Fund Holdings L.P.).
Exclusive Forum
Our bylaws provide that, unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the sole and exclusive forum for (a) any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, (b) any action asserting a claim of breach of any duty owed by us or by any director or officer or other employee to us or to our stockholders, (c) any action asserting a claim against us or any director or officer or other employee arising pursuant to any provision of the Maryland General Corporation Law or our charter or bylaws or (d) any action asserting a claim against us or any director or officer or other employee that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine shall be the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Maryland, or, if that Court does not have jurisdiction, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, Baltimore Division.
Limitation of Liability and Indemnification of Directors and Officers
Maryland law permits a Maryland corporation to include in its charter a provision limiting the liability of its directors and officers to the corporation and its stockholders for money damages except for liability resulting from (i) actual receipt of an improper benefit or profit in money, property or services or (ii) active and deliberate dishonesty that is established by a final judgment and that is material to the cause of action. Our charter contains such a provision that eliminates directors’ and officers’ liability to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law.
Our charter and bylaws obligate us, to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law, to indemnify any present or former director or officer or any individual who, while a director or officer of the company and at the request of the company, serves or has served another corporation, real estate investment trust, limited liability company, partnership, joint venture, trust, employee benefit plan or other enterprise as a director, officer, partner, trustee, member or manager, is made or threatened to be made a party to, or witness in, a proceeding by reason of his or her service in that capacity, and to pay or reimburse his or her reasonable expenses in advance of final disposition of a proceeding. Our charter and bylaws also permit us to indemnify and advance expenses to any individual who served a predecessor of the company in any of the capacities described above and any employee or agent of the company or a predecessor of the company. Our charter expressly authorizes us, to the fullest extent permitted by law, to carry directors’ and officers’ liability insurance on behalf of any person described above against any liability that may be asserted against such person.
Maryland law requires a corporation (unless its charter provides otherwise, which our charter does not) to indemnify a director or officer who has been successful in the defense of any proceeding to which he or she is
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made or threatened to be made a party by reason of his or her service in that capacity. Maryland law permits a corporation to indemnify its present and former directors and officers, among others, against judgments, penalties, fines, settlements and reasonable expenses actually incurred by them in connection with any proceeding to which they may be made or threatened to be made a party by reason of their service in those or other capacities unless it is established that (i) the act or omission of the director or officer was material to the matter giving rise to the proceeding and (a) was committed in bad faith or (b) was the result of active and deliberate dishonesty, (ii) the director or officer actually received an improper personal benefit in money, property or services or (iii) in the case of any criminal proceeding, the director or officer had reasonable cause to believe that the act or omission was unlawful. However, under Maryland law, a Maryland corporation may not indemnify for an adverse judgment in a suit by or in the right of the corporation or for a judgment of liability on the basis that personal benefit was improperly received, unless in either case a court orders indemnification and then only for expenses. In addition, Maryland law permits a corporation to advance reasonable expenses to a director or officer upon the corporation’s receipt of (i) a written affirmation by the director or officer of his or her good faith belief that he or she has met the standard of conduct necessary for indemnification by the corporation and (ii) a written undertaking by him or her or on his or her behalf to repay the amount paid or reimbursed by the corporation if it is ultimately determined that the standard of conduct was not met.
We have entered into indemnification agreements with our directors and executive officers. These agreements require us to indemnify these individuals to the fullest extent permitted under Maryland law and our charter and bylaws against liabilities that may arise by reason of their service to us, and to advance expenses incurred as a result of any proceeding against them as to which they may be indemnified. The indemnification provided under the indemnification agreements will not be exclusive of any other indemnity rights.
Corporate Opportunities
Our charter includes a provision that provides, among other things, subject to certain exceptions, neither our Manager nor its affiliates (including those serving as our directors or officers) will have any duty to refrain from engaging, directly or indirectly, in any business opportunities (except those opportunities that are expressly offered to such person in his or her capacity as a director or officer of our company), including any business opportunities in the same or similar business activities or lines of business in which we or any of our affiliates may from time to time be engaged or propose to engage, or from competing with us.
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DESCRIPTION OF DEPOSITARY SHARES
We may offer fractional interests in shares of preferred stock, rather than shares of preferred stock, with those rights and subject to the terms and conditions that we may specify in a prospectus supplement or a free writing prospectus. If we do so, we will provide for a depositary (either a bank or trust company depositary that has its principal office in the United States) to issue receipts for depositary shares, which will represent a fractional interest in a share of preferred stock. The shares of preferred stock underlying the depositary shares will be deposited under a deposit agreement between us and the depositary. The prospectus supplement or a free writing prospectus will include the name and address of the depositary and will include a discussion of material U.S. federal income tax considerations applicable to the preferred stock and depositary shares, as applicable.
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DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES
The following description summarizes the general terms that will apply to any debt securities that may be offered pursuant to this prospectus and an applicable prospectus supplement. The specific terms of any offered debt securities, and the extent to which the general terms described in this section apply to these debt securities, will be described in the applicable prospectus supplement at the time of the offering. Any prospectus supplement, which we will file with the SEC, may or may not modify the general terms found in this prospectus. For a complete description of any series of debt securities, you should read both this prospectus and the prospectus supplement that applies to that series of debt securities. Additionally, please refer to the senior indenture we will enter into with the trustee named in the senior indenture, relating to issuance of the senior debt securities, or “senior indenture,” and the subordinated indenture we will enter into with the trustee named in the subordinated indenture, relating to issuance of the subordinated debt securities, or “subordinated indenture.” A form of the senior indenture and the subordinated indenture are filed as exhibits to the registration statement, which includes this prospectus.
As used in this prospectus, the term “indentures” refers to both the senior indenture and the subordinated indenture. The indentures have or will be qualified under and governed by the Trust Indenture Act of 1939, as amended (the “Trust Indenture Act”). As used in this prospectus, the term “trustee” refers to either the trustee under the senior indenture or the trustee under the subordinated indenture, as applicable.
The following are summaries of material provisions included or anticipated to be included, as applicable, in the senior indenture and the subordinated indenture or in supplements thereto. As summaries, they do not purport to be complete or restate the indentures in their entirety and are subject to, and qualified in their entirety by reference to, all provisions of the indentures and the debt securities. We urge you to read the indentures, including any related supplemental indentures, applicable to a particular series of debt securities because they, and not this description, define your rights as the holders of the debt securities. Except as we may otherwise indicate, the terms of the senior indenture and the subordinated indenture are substantially identical.
The forms of indenture have been filed as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part. A form of each debt security, reflecting the specific terms and provisions of that series of debt securities, will be filed with the SEC in connection with each offering of debt securities and will be incorporated by reference in the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part.
As used in this prospectus, “debt securities” means the debentures, notes, bonds and other evidences of indebtedness offered pursuant to this prospectus and an applicable prospectus supplement and authenticated by the relevant trustee and delivered under the relevant indenture.
General
We may offer the debt securities from time to time in as many distinct series as we may determine. The indentures do not limit the amount of debt securities that we may issue under that indenture. We may, without the consent of the holders of the debt securities of any series, issue additional debt securities ranking equally with, and otherwise similar in all respects to, the debt securities of the series (except for the public offering price, the issue date, the issue price, the date from which interest will accrue and, if applicable, the date on which interest will first be paid) so that those additional debt securities will be consolidated and form a single series with the debt securities of the series previously offered and sold.
The debt securities of each series will be issued in fully registered form without interest coupons. We currently anticipate that the debt securities of each series offered and sold pursuant to this prospectus will be issued as global debt securities as described under “—Book-Entry; Delivery and Form; Global Securities” and will trade in book-entry form only.
Debt securities denominated in U.S. dollars will be issued in denominations of $2,000 and any integral multiple of $1,000 in excess thereof, unless otherwise specified in the applicable prospectus supplement. If the debt securities of a series are denominated in a foreign or composite currency, the applicable prospectus supplement will specify the denomination or denominations in which those debt securities will be issued.
Unless otherwise specified in the applicable prospectus supplement, we will repay the debt securities of each series at 100% of their principal amount, together with accrued and unpaid interest thereon at maturity, except if those debt securities have been previously redeemed or purchased and cancelled.
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Unless otherwise specified in the applicable prospectus supplement, the debt securities of each series will not be listed on any securities exchange. The applicable prospectus supplement will include a discussion of material U.S. federal income tax considerations applicable to the debt securities.
U.S. federal income tax consequences applicable to any debt securities sold at an original issue discount will be described in the applicable prospectus supplement. In addition, U.S. federal income tax or other consequences applicable to any debt securities that are denominated in a currency or currency unit other than U.S. dollars may be described in the applicable prospectus supplement.
The senior debt securities will be unsecured and will be senior in priority of payment to certain of our other subordinated indebtedness to the extent described in an applicable prospectus supplement. The subordinated debt securities will be unsecured and will be subordinate and junior in priority of payment to certain of our other indebtedness to the extent described in an applicable prospectus supplement. Neither the senior indenture nor the subordinated indenture limits the amount of senior or subordinated debt securities, respectively, which we may issue, nor does either indenture limit us from issuing any other secured or unsecured debt.
Provisions of Indentures
The indentures provide that debt securities may be issued thereunder from time to time in one or more series. For each series of debt securities, this prospectus and the applicable prospectus supplement will describe the following terms and conditions of that series of debt securities:
the title of the series;
the maximum aggregate principal amount, if any, established for debt securities of the series;
the person to whom any interest on a debt security of the series will be payable, if other than the person in whose name that debt security (or one or more predecessor debt securities) is registered at the close of business on the regular record date for such interest;
the date or dates on which the principal of any debt securities of the series will be payable or the method used to determine or extend those dates;
the rate or rates at which any debt securities of the series will bear interest, if any, the date or dates from which any such interest will accrue, the interest payment dates on which any such interest will be payable and the regular record date for any such interest payable on any interest payment date;
the place or places where the principal of and premium, if any, and interest on any debt securities of the series will be payable and the manner in which any payment may be made;
the period or periods within which, the price or prices at which and the terms and conditions upon which any debt securities of the series may be redeemed, in whole or in part, at our option and, if other than by a board resolution, the manner in which any election by us to redeem the debt securities will be evidenced;
our obligation or right, if any, to redeem or purchase any debt securities of the series pursuant to any sinking fund or at the option of the holder thereof and the period or periods within which, the price or prices at which and the terms and conditions upon which any debt securities of the series will be redeemed or purchased, in whole or in part, pursuant to such obligation;
if other than denominations of $2,000 and any integral multiple of $1,000 in excess thereof, the denominations in which any debt securities of the series will be issuable;
if the amount of principal of or premium, if any, or interest on any debt securities of the series may be determined with reference to a financial or economic measure or index or pursuant to a formula, the manner in which such amounts will be determined;
if other than U.S. dollars, the currency, currencies or currency units in which the principal of or premium, if any, or interest on any debt securities of the series will be payable and the manner of determining the equivalent thereof in U.S. dollars for any purpose;
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if the principal of or premium, if any, or interest on any debt securities of the series is to be payable, at our election or the election of the holder thereof, in one or more currencies or currency units other than that or those in which such debt securities are stated to be payable, the currency, currencies or currency units in which the principal of or premium, if any, or interest on such debt securities as to which such election is made will be payable, the periods within which and the terms and conditions upon which such election is to be made and the amount so payable (or the manner in which such amount will be determined);
if other than the entire principal amount thereof, the portion of the principal amount of any debt securities of the series which will be payable upon declaration of acceleration of the maturity thereof pursuant to the relevant indenture;
if the principal amount payable at the stated maturity of any debt securities of the series will not be determinable as of any one or more dates prior to the stated maturity, the amount which will be deemed to be the principal amount of such debt securities as of any such date for any purpose thereunder or hereunder, including the principal amount thereof which will be due and payable upon any maturity other than the stated maturity or which will be deemed to be outstanding as of any date prior to the stated maturity (or, in any such case, the manner in which such amount deemed to be the principal amount will be determined);
if other than by a board resolution, the manner in which any election by us to defease any debt securities of the series pursuant to the relevant indenture will be evidenced; whether any debt securities of the series other than debt securities denominated in U.S. dollars and bearing interest at a fixed rate are to be subject to the defeasance provisions of the relevant indenture; or, in the case of debt securities denominated in U.S. dollars and bearing interest at a fixed rate, if applicable, that the debt securities of the series, in whole or any specified part, will not be defeasible pursuant to the relevant indenture;
if applicable, that any debt securities of the series will be issuable in whole or in part in the form of one or more global securities and, in such case, the respective depositaries for such global securities and the form of any legend or legends which will be borne by any such global securities, and any circumstances in which any such global security may be exchanged in whole or in part for debt securities registered, and any transfer of such global security in whole or in part may be registered, in the name or names of persons other than the depositary for such global security or a nominee thereof and any other provisions governing exchanges or transfers of such global security;
any addition to, deletion from or change in the events of default applicable to any debt securities of the series and any change in the right of the trustee or the requisite holders of such debt securities to declare the principal amount thereof due and payable;
any addition to, deletion from or change in the covenants applicable to debt securities of the series;
if the debt securities of the series are to be convertible into or exchangeable for cash and/or any securities or other property of any person (including us), the terms and conditions upon which such debt securities will be so convertible or exchangeable;
whether the debt securities of the series will be secured by any collateral and, if so, the terms and conditions upon which such debt securities will be secured and, if applicable, upon which such liens may be subordinated to other liens securing other indebtedness of us;
if a trustee other than the trustee named in the relevant indenture is to act as trustee for the securities of a series, the name and corporate trust office of such trustee; and
any other terms of the debt securities of the series (which terms will not be inconsistent with the provisions of the relevant indenture, except as permitted thereunder).
Interest
In the applicable prospectus supplement, we will designate the debt securities of a series as being either debt securities bearing interest at a fixed rate of interest or debt securities bearing interest at a floating rate of interest.
Each debt security will begin to accrue interest from the date on which it is originally issued. Interest on each such debt security will be payable in arrears on the interest payment dates set forth in the applicable
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prospectus supplement and as otherwise described below and at maturity or, if earlier, the redemption date described below. Interest will be payable to the holder of record of the debt securities at the close of business on the record date for each interest payment date, which record dates will be specified in such prospectus supplement.
As used in the indentures, the term “business day” means, with respect to debt securities of a series, any day, other than a Saturday or Sunday, that is not a day on which banking institutions or trust companies are authorized or obligated by law, regulation or executive order to close in the place where the principal of and premium, if any, and interest on the debt securities are payable.
Unless otherwise indicated in the applicable prospectus supplement:
For fixed rate debt securities, if the maturity date, the redemption date or an interest payment date is not a business day, we will pay principal, premium, if any, the redemption price, if any, and interest on the next succeeding business day, and no interest will accrue from and after the relevant maturity date, redemption date or interest payment date to the date of that payment. Interest on the fixed rate debt securities will be computed on the basis of a 360-day year of twelve 30-day months.
For floating rate debt securities, if any interest payment date for the debt securities of a series bearing interest at a floating rate (other than the maturity date or the redemption date, if any) would otherwise be a day that is not a business day, then the interest payment date will be postponed to the following date which is a business day, unless that business day falls in the next succeeding calendar month, in which case the interest payment date will be the immediately preceding business day; if the maturity date or the redemption date, if any, is not a business day, we will pay principal, premium, if any, the redemption price, if any, and interest on the next succeeding business day, and no interest will accrue from and after the maturity date or the redemption date, if any, to the date of that payment. Interest on the floating rate debt securities will be computed on the basis of the actual number of days elapsed during the relevant interest period and a 360-day year.
Optional Redemption
If specified in the applicable prospectus supplement, we may elect to redeem all or part of the outstanding debt securities of a series from time to time before the maturity date of the debt securities of that series. Upon such election, we will notify the trustee of the redemption date and the principal amount of debt securities of the series to be redeemed. If less than all the debt securities of the series are to be redeemed, the particular debt securities of that series to be redeemed will be selected by the trustee by such method as the trustee deems fair and appropriate, including by lot or pro rata. The applicable prospectus supplement will specify the redemption price for the debt securities to be redeemed (or the method of calculating such price), in each case in accordance with the terms and conditions of those debt securities.
Notice of redemption will be given to each holder of the debt securities to be redeemed not less than 15 nor more than 60 days prior to the date set for such redemption. This notice will include the following information: the redemption date; the redemption price (or the method of calculating such price); if less than all of the outstanding debt securities of such series are to be redeemed, the identification (and, in the case of partial redemption, the respective principal amounts) of the particular debt securities to be redeemed; that on the date of redemption, the redemption price will become due and payable upon each debt security to be redeemed and, if applicable, that interest thereon will cease to accrue on and after the redemption date; the place or places where such debt securities are to be surrendered for payment of the redemption price; for any debt securities that by their terms may be converted, the terms of conversion, the date on which the right to convert will terminate and the place or places where such debt securities may be surrendered for conversion; that the redemption is for a sinking fund, if such is the case; and the CUSIP, ISN or any similar number of the debt securities to be redeemed.
By no later than 10:00 a.m. (New York City time) on the business day prior to any redemption date, we will deposit or cause to be deposited with the trustee or with a paying agent (or, if we are acting as paying agent with respect to the debt securities being redeemed, we will segregate and hold in trust as provided in the indenture) an amount of money sufficient to pay the aggregate redemption price of, and (except if the redemption date shall be an interest payment date or the debt securities of such series provide otherwise) accrued interest on, all of the debt securities or the part thereof to be redeemed on that date. On the redemption date, the redemption price will
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become due and payable upon all of the debt securities to be redeemed, and interest, if any, on the debt securities to be redeemed will cease to accrue from and after that date. Upon surrender of any such debt securities for redemption, we will pay those debt securities surrendered at the redemption price together, if applicable, with accrued interest to the redemption date.
Any debt securities to be redeemed only in part must be surrendered at the office or agency established by us for such purpose, and we will execute, and the trustee will authenticate and deliver to a holder without service charge, new debt securities of the same series and of like tenor, of any authorized denominations as requested by that holder, in a principal amount equal to and in exchange for the unredeemed portion of the debt securities that holder surrenders.
Payment and Transfer or Exchange
Principal of and premium, if any, and interest on the debt securities of each series will be payable, and the debt securities may be exchanged or transferred, at the office or agency maintained by us for such purpose. Payment of principal of and premium, if any, and interest on a global security registered in the name of or held by The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) or its nominee will be made in immediately available funds to DTC or its nominee, as the case may be, as the registered holder of such global security. If any of the debt securities is no longer represented by a global security, payment of interest on certificated debt securities in definitive form may, at our option, be made by check mailed directly to holders at their registered addresses. See “—Book-Entry; Delivery and Form; Global Securities.”
A holder may transfer or exchange any certificated debt securities in definitive form at the same location given in the preceding paragraph. No service charge will be made for any registration of transfer or exchange of debt securities, but we or the trustee may require payment of a sum sufficient to cover any tax or other governmental charge payable in connection therewith.
If the debt securities of any series (or of any series and specified tenor) are to be redeemed in part, we are not required to (i) issue, register the transfer of or exchange any debt security selected for redemption (or of such series and specific tenor, as the case may be) for a period of 15 days before mailing of a notice of redemption of the debt security to be redeemed or (ii) register the transfer of or exchange any debt security selected for redemption in whole or in part, except the unredeemed portion of any debt securities being redeemed in part.
The registered holder of a debt security will be treated as the owner of it for all purposes.
Subject to any applicable abandoned property law, all amounts of principal of and premium, if any, or interest on the debt securities paid by us that remain unclaimed two years after such payment was due and payable will be repaid to us, and the holders of such debt securities will thereafter look solely to us for payment.
Covenants
The indentures set forth limited covenants, including the covenant described below, that will apply to each series of debt securities issued under the indentures, unless otherwise specified in the applicable prospectus supplement. However, these covenants do not, among other things:
limit the amount of indebtedness or lease obligations that may be incurred by us and our subsidiaries;
limit our ability or that of our subsidiaries to issue, assume or guarantee debt secured by liens; or
restrict us from paying dividends or making distributions on our capital stock or purchasing or redeeming our capital stock.
Consolidation, Merger and Sale of Assets
The indentures provides that we may not be a party to a Substantially All Merger or participate in a Substantially All Sale, unless:
we are the surviving person, or the person formed by or surviving such Substantially All Merger or to which such Substantially All Sale has been made (the “Successor Person”) is organized under the laws of the Permitted Jurisdictions and has assumed by supplemental indenture all of our obligations under the indentures;
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immediately after giving effect to such transaction, no default or event of default under the indentures has occurred and is continuing; and
we deliver to the trustee an officers’ certificate or an opinion of counsel, each stating that such transaction and any supplemental indenture relating thereto comply with the indentures and that all conditions precedent provided for in the indentures relating to such transaction have been complied with.
Upon the consummation of such transaction, the Successor Person will be substituted for us in the indentures, with the same effect as if it had been an original party to the indentures. As a result, the Successor Person may exercise our rights and powers under the indentures, and we will be released from all of our liabilities and obligations under the indentures and under the debt securities.
Any substitution of the Successor Person for us might be deemed for federal income tax purposes to be an exchange of the debt securities for “new” debt securities, resulting in recognition of gain or loss for such purposes and possibly certain other adverse tax consequences to beneficial owners of the debt securities. Holders should consult their own tax advisors regarding the tax consequences of any such substitution.
For purposes of this covenant:
a “person” means an individual, a corporation, a partnership, a limited liability company, an association, a trust or any other entity including government or political subdivision or an agency or instrumentality thereof;
a “Substantially All Merger” means our merger or consolidation with or into another person that would, in one or a series of related transactions, result in the transfer or other disposition, directly or indirectly, of all or substantially all of our combined assets taken as a whole to any other person;
a “Substantially All Sale” means a sale, assignment, transfer, lease or conveyance to any other person, in one or a series of related transactions, directly or indirectly, of all or substantially all of our combined assets taken as a whole to any other person; and
“Permitted Jurisdictions” means the laws of the United States of America or any state thereof.
No Gross Up
Unless otherwise provided in an applicable supplemental indenture, we and the trustee will be entitled to make any withholding or deduction for, or on account of, any other present or future taxes, duties, assessments or governmental charges, and we shall not be obligated to pay any additional amounts with respect to our debt securities as a result of any such withholding or deduction.
Events of Default
Each of the following events are defined in the indentures as an “event of default” (whatever the reason for such event of default and whether or not it will be voluntary or involuntary or be effected by operation of law or pursuant to any judgment, decree or order of any court or any order, rule or regulation of any administrative or governmental body) with respect to the debt securities of any series:
(1)
default in the payment of any installment of interest on any debt securities of that series, and such default continues for a period of 30 days after the payment becomes due and payable;
(2)
default in the payment of principal of or premium, if any, on any debt securities of that series when it becomes due and payable, regardless of whether the payment became due and payable at its stated maturity, upon redemption, upon declaration of acceleration or otherwise;
(3)
default in the deposit of any sinking fund payment, when and as due by the terms of any debt securities of that series;
(4)
default in the performance, or breach, of any covenant or agreement of ours in the indenture with respect to the debt securities of that series (other than as referred to in clause (1), (2) or (3) above), which continues for a period of 90 days after written notice to us by the trustee or to us and the trustee by the holders of not less than 25% in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of that series;
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(5)
we pursuant to or within the meaning of the Bankruptcy Law (as defined below):
commence a voluntary case or proceeding;
consent to the entry of an order for relief against us in an involuntary case or proceeding;
consent to the appointment of a Custodian of us or for all or substantially all of our property;
make a general assignment for the benefit of our creditors;
file a petition in bankruptcy or answer or consent seeking reorganization or relief;
consent to the filing of such petition or the appointment of or taking possession by a Custodian; or
take any comparable action under any foreign laws relating to insolvency;
(6)
a court of competent jurisdiction enters an order or decree under any Bankruptcy Law that:
is for relief against us in an involuntary case, or adjudicates us insolvent or bankrupt;
appoints a Custodian of us or for all or substantially all of our property; or
orders the winding-up or liquidation of us (or any similar relief is granted under any foreign laws); and the order or decree remains unstayed and in effect for 90 days; or
(7)
any other event of default provided with respect to debt securities of that series occurs.
“Bankruptcy Law” means Title 11, United States Code or any similar federal or state or foreign law for the relief of debtors.
“Custodian” means any custodian, receiver, trustee, assignee, liquidator or other similar official under any Bankruptcy Law.
If an event of default with respect to debt securities of any series (other than an event of default specified in clause (5) or (6) above with respect to us) occurs and is continuing, the trustee by notice to us, or the holders of not less than 25% in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of that series, by notice to us and the trustee, may declare the principal and accrued and unpaid interest on all the debt securities of that series to be due and payable. Upon such a declaration, such principal and accrued and unpaid interest will be due and payable immediately; provided, however, that the payment of principal, premium, if any, and accrued interest, if any, on debt securities issued under the subordinated indenture shall remain subordinated to the extent provided in the subordinated indenture. If an event of default specified in clause (5) or (6) above with respect to us occurs and is continuing, the principal and accrued and unpaid interest on the debt securities of that series will become and be immediately due and payable without any declaration or other act on the part of the trustee or any holders.
The holders of not less than a majority in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of any series may rescind a declaration of acceleration and its consequences, if we have deposited certain sums with the trustee and all events of default with respect to the debt securities of that series, other than the nonpayment of the principal which have become due solely by such acceleration, have been cured or waived, as provided in the relevant indenture.
An event of default for a particular series of debt securities does not necessarily constitute an event of default for any other series of debt securities issued under the same indenture.
We are required to furnish the trustee annually a statement by certain of our officers to the effect that, to the best of their knowledge, we are not in default in the performance and observance of any of the terms, provisions and conditions under the indentures or, if there has been a default, specifying each such default and the nature and status thereof which such officers may have knowledge.
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No holder of any debt securities of any series will have any right to institute any judicial or other proceeding with respect to the indentures, or for the appointment of a receiver, assignee, trustee, liquidator or sequestrator (or similar official), or for any other remedy unless:
(1)
an event of default has occurred and is continuing and such holder has given the trustee prior written notice of such continuing event of default, specifying an event of default with respect to the debt securities of that series;
(2)
the holders of not less than 25% of the aggregate principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of that series have requested the trustee to institute proceedings in respect of such event of default;
(3)
the trustee has been offered indemnity reasonably satisfactory to it against its costs, expenses and liabilities in complying with such request;
(4)
the trustee has failed to institute proceedings 60 days after the receipt of such notice, request and offer of indemnity; and
(5)
no direction inconsistent with such written request has been given for 60 days by the holders of a majority in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of that series.
The holders of a majority in aggregate principal amount of outstanding debt securities of a series will have the right, subject to certain limitations, to direct the time, method and place of conducting any proceeding for any remedy available to the trustee, or exercising any trust or power conferred on the trustee, with respect to the debt securities of that series, and to waive certain defaults. The indentures provide that if an event of default occurs and is continuing, the trustee will exercise such of its rights and powers under the indentures, and use the same degree of care and skill in their exercise, as a prudent person would exercise or use under the circumstances in the conduct of such person’s own affairs. Subject to such provisions, the trustee will be under no obligation to exercise any of its rights or powers under the indentures at the request of any of the holders of the debt securities of a series unless they will have offered to the trustee security or indemnity satisfactory to the trustee against the costs, expenses and liabilities which might be incurred by it in compliance with such request or direction.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the holder of any debt security will have an absolute and unconditional right to receive payment of the principal of and premium, if any, and interest on that debt security on or after the due dates expressed in that debt security and to institute suit for the enforcement of payment.
Modification and Waivers
Modification and amendments of the indentures and the debt securities of any series may be made by us and the trustee with the consent of the holders of not less than a majority in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of that series affected thereby; provided, however, that no such modification or amendment may, without the consent of the holder of each outstanding debt security of that series affected thereby:
change the stated maturity of the principal of, or installment of interest on, any debt security;
reduce the principal amount of any debt security or reduce the amount of the principal of any debt security which would be due and payable upon a declaration of acceleration of the maturity thereof or reduce the rate of or extend the time of payment of interest on any debt security;
reduce any premium payable on the redemption of any debt security or change the date on which any debt security may or must be redeemed;
change the coin or currency in which the principal of, premium, if any, or interest on any debt security is payable;
impair the right of any holder to institute suit for the enforcement of any payment on or after the stated maturity of any debt security (or, in the case of redemption or repayment, on or after the redemption date or repayment date, as applicable);
reduce the percentage in principal amount of the outstanding debt securities, the consent of whose holders is required in order to take certain actions;
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modify any provisions in the indentures regarding (i) the modifications and amendments requiring the consent of the holders of each affected debt security and (ii) the waiver of past defaults by the holders of debt securities and (iii) the waiver of certain covenants by the holders of debt securities, except to increase any percentage vote required or to provide that certain other provisions of the indentures cannot be modified or waived without the consent of the holder of each debt security affected thereby;
make any change that adversely affects the right to convert or exchange any debt security or decreases the conversion or exchange rate or increases the conversion price of any convertible or exchangeable debt security, unless such decrease or increase is permitted by the terms of the debt securities;
subordinate the debt security of any series to any of our other obligation;
in the case of the subordinated indenture, modify the subordination provisions in a manner adverse to the holders of the subordinated debt securities; or
modify any of the above provisions.
We and the trustee may, without the consent of any holders, modify or amend the terms of the indentures and the debt securities of any series with respect to the following:
to add to our covenants for the benefit of holders of the debt securities of all or any series or to surrender any right or power conferred upon us;
to evidence the succession of another person to, and the assumption by the Successor Person of our covenants, agreements and obligations under, the indentures pursuant to the covenant described under “—Covenants—Consolidation, Merger and Sale of Assets”;
to add any additional events of default for the benefit of holders of the debt securities of all or any series;
to secure the debt securities;
to add or appoint a successor or separate trustee or other agent;
to provide for the issuance of additional debt securities of any series;
to establish the form or terms of debt securities of any series as permitted by the indentures;
to comply with the rules of any applicable securities depository;
to provide for uncertificated debt securities in addition to or in place of certificated debt securities;
to add to, change or eliminate any of the provisions of the indentures in respect of one or more series of debt securities; provided that any such addition, change or elimination (a) shall neither (1) apply to any debt security of any series created prior to the execution of such supplemental indenture and entitled to the benefit of such provision nor (2) modify the rights of the holder of any such debt security with respect to such provision or (b) shall become effective only when there is no debt security described in clause (1) outstanding;
to cure any ambiguity, to correct or supplement any provision of the indentures;
to change any other provision contained in the debt securities of any series or under the indentures; provided that the change does not adversely affect the interests of the holders of debt securities of any series in any material respect; or
to conform any provision of the indentures or the debt securities of any series to the description of such debt securities contained in the Company’s prospectus, prospectus supplement, offering memorandum or similar document with respect to the offering of the debt securities of such series.
The holders of at least a majority in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of any series may, on behalf of the holders of all debt securities of that series, waive compliance by us with certain restrictive provisions of the relevant indenture. The holders of not less than a majority in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of a series may, on behalf of the holders of all debt securities of that series, waive any past default and its consequences under the relevant indenture with respect to the debt securities of that series, except a default (1) in the payment of principal or premium, if any, or interest on debt
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securities of that series or (2) in respect of a covenant or provision of the relevant indenture that cannot be modified or amended without the consent of the holder of each debt security of that series. Upon any such waiver, such default will cease to exist, and any event of default arising therefrom will be deemed to have been cured, for every purpose of the relevant indenture; however, no such waiver will extend to any subsequent or other default or impair any rights consequent thereon.
Discharge, Defeasance and Covenant Defeasance
We may discharge or defease our obligations under the indentures as set forth below, unless otherwise indicated in the applicable prospectus supplement.
We may discharge certain obligations to holders of the debt securities of a series that have not already been delivered to the trustee for cancellation and which have either become due and payable or will become due and payable within one year (or scheduled for redemption within one year) by (i) depositing with the trustee, in trust, money in an amount sufficient to pay and discharge the entire indebtedness on such debt securities not previously delivered to the trustee for cancellation, for principal and premium, if any, and interest to the date of such deposit (in the case of debt securities which have become due and payable) or to the stated maturity or redemption date, as the case may be, (ii) paying all other sums payable under the applicable indenture and (iii) delivering to the trustee an officers’ certificate and an opinion of counsel, each stating that all conditions precedent in the applicable indenture relating to the discharge as to that series have been complied with.
The indentures provide that we may elect either (i) to defease and be discharged from any and all obligations with respect to the debt securities of a series (except for, among other things, obligations to register the transfer or exchange of the debt securities, to replace temporary or mutilated, destroyed, lost or stolen debt securities, to maintain an office or agency with respect to the debt securities and to hold moneys for payment in trust) (“legal defeasance”) or (ii) to be released from our obligations to comply with the restrictive covenants under the indentures, and any omission to comply with such obligations will not constitute a default or an event of default with respect to the debt securities of a series and clauses (4) and (7) under “—Events of Default” will no longer be applied (“covenant defeasance”). Legal defeasance or covenant defeasance, as the case may be, will be conditioned upon, among other things, the irrevocable deposit by us with the trustee, in trust, of (x) money in an amount, (y) U.S. government obligations which through the scheduled payment of principal and interest in accordance with their terms will provide money in an amount, or (z) a combination thereof, in each case sufficient to pay and discharge the principal or premium, if any, and interest on the debt securities.
As a condition to legal defeasance or covenant defeasance, we must deliver to the trustee an opinion of counsel to the effect that the holders of such debt securities will not recognize gain or loss for federal income tax purposes as a result of the deposit and such legal defeasance or covenant defeasance and will be subject to federal income tax on the same amounts, in the same manner and at the same times as would have been the case if such deposit and legal defeasance or covenant defeasance had not occurred. Such opinion of counsel, in the case of defeasance under clause (i) above, must be based upon a ruling of the IRS or a change in applicable federal income tax law occurring after the date of the relevant indenture. In addition, in the case of either legal defeasance or covenant defeasance, we shall have delivered to the trustee (i) an officers’ certificate to the effect that the neither such debt securities nor any other debt securities of the same series will be delisted as a result of such deposit and (ii) an officers’ certificate and an opinion of counsel, each stating that all conditions precedent with respect to such legal defeasance or covenant defeasance have been complied with.
We may exercise our legal defeasance option notwithstanding our prior exercise of our covenant defeasance option.
Book-Entry; Delivery and Form; Global Securities
Unless otherwise specified in the applicable prospectus supplement, the debt securities of each series will be issued in the form of one or more global debt securities, in definitive, fully registered form without interest coupons, each of which we refer to as a “global security.” Each such global security will be deposited with the trustee as custodian for DTC and registered in the name of a nominee of DTC in New York, New York for the accounts of participants in DTC.
Investors may hold their interests in a global security directly through DTC if they are DTC participants, or indirectly through organizations that are DTC participants. The indentures provide that the global securities may
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be exchanged in whole or in part for debt securities registered, and no transfer of a global security in whole or in part may be registered, in the name of any person other than DTC or its nominee unless:
(1)
DTC notifies us that it is unwilling or unable or no longer permitted under applicable law to continue as depository for such global security and a successor depository is not appointed within 90 days;
(2)
an event of default with respect to such global security has occurred and be continuing;
(3)
we deliver to the trustee an order to such effect; or
(4)
there shall exist such circumstances, if any, in addition to or in lieu of the foregoing as have been specified for this purpose
(5)
in the indentures.
The information in this section of this prospectus concerning DTC and DTC’s book-entry system has been obtained from sources that we believe to be reliable, but we do not take responsibility for this information.
Governing Law
The indentures and the debt securities will be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of New York.
Regarding the Trustee
The trustee under the indentures will be named in the applicable prospectus supplement.
The trustee under the indentures will be permitted to engage in transactions, including commercial banking and other transactions, with us and our subsidiaries from time to time; provided that if the trustee acquires any conflicting interest it must eliminate such conflict upon the occurrence of an event of default, or else resign.
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DESCRIPTION OF WARRANTS
We may issue warrants to purchase debt or equity securities. Each warrant will entitle the holder to purchase for cash the amount of debt or equity securities at the exercise price stated or determinable in a prospectus supplement or a free writing prospectus for the warrants. We may issue warrants independently or together with any offered securities. The warrants may be attached to or separate from those offered securities. We will issue the warrants under warrant agreements to be entered into between us and a bank or trust company, as warrant agent, all as described in a related prospectus supplement or a free writing prospectus. The warrant agent will act solely as our agent in connection with the warrants and will not assume any obligation or relationship of agency or trust for or with any holders or beneficial owners of warrants.
The prospectus supplement or a free writing prospectus relating to any warrants that we may offer will contain the specific terms of the warrants. These terms will include some or all of the following:
the title of the warrants;
the price or prices at which the warrants will be issued;
the designation, amount and terms of the securities for which the warrants are exercisable;
the designation and terms of the other securities, if any, with which the warrants are to be issued and the number of warrants issued with each other security;
the aggregate number of warrants;
any provisions for adjustment of the number or amount of securities receivable upon exercise of the warrants or the exercise price of the warrants;
the price or prices at which the securities purchasable upon exercise of the warrants may be purchased;
the date on and after which the warrants and the securities purchasable upon exercise of the warrants will be separately transferable, if applicable;
if applicable, a discussion of material U.S. federal income tax considerations;
the date on which the right to exercise the warrants will commence, and the date on which the right will expire;
the maximum or minimum number of warrants that may be exercised at any time;
information with respect to book-entry procedures, if any; and
any other terms of the warrants, including terms, procedures and limitations relating to the exchange and exercise of the warrants.
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DESCRIPTION OF SUBSCRIPTION RIGHTS
We may issue subscription rights to purchase our equity or debt securities. These subscription rights may be issued independently or together with any other security offered hereby and may or may not be transferable by the stockholder receiving the subscription rights in such offering. In connection with any offering of subscription rights, we may enter into a standby arrangement with one or more underwriters or other purchasers pursuant to which the underwriters or other purchasers may be required to purchase any securities remaining unsubscribed for after such offering.
The applicable prospectus supplement or a free writing prospectus will describe the specific terms of any offering of subscription rights for which this prospectus is being delivered, including the following:
the price, if any, for the subscription rights;
the exercise price payable for our equity or debt securities upon the exercise of the subscription rights;
the number of subscription rights issued to each stockholder;
the amount of our equity or debt securities that may be purchased per each subscription right;
the extent to which the subscription rights are transferable;
any other terms of the subscription rights, including the terms, procedures and limitations relating to the exchange and exercise of the subscription rights;
the date on which the right to exercise the subscription rights shall commence, and the date on which the subscription rights shall expire;
the extent to which the subscription rights may include an over-subscription privilege with respect to unsubscribed securities; and
if applicable, the material terms of any standby underwriting or purchase arrangement entered into by us in connection with the offering of subscription rights.
The description in the applicable prospectus supplement or a free writing prospectus of any subscription rights we offer will not necessarily be complete and will be qualified in its entirety by reference to the applicable subscription rights certificate or subscription rights agreement, which will be filed with the SEC if we offer subscription rights.
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DESCRIPTION OF PURCHASE CONTRACTS
We may issue purchase contracts, including contracts obligating holders to purchase from us and us to sell to the holders, a specified principal amount of debt securities or a specified number of shares of common stock, preferred stock or depositary shares at a future date or dates, as specified in a related prospectus supplement or a free writing prospectus. Alternatively, the purchase contracts may obligate us to purchase from holders, and obligate holders to sell to us, a specified principal amount of debt securities or a specified or varying number of shares of common stock, preferred stock or depositary shares. The consideration for the debt securities, common stock, preferred stock or depositary shares and the principal amount of debt securities or number of shares of each may be fixed at the time the purchase contracts are issued or may be determined by reference to a specific formula set forth in the purchase contracts. The purchase contracts may provide for settlement by delivery by us or on our behalf of the underlying security, or they may provide for settlement by reference or linkage to the value, performance or trading price of the underlying security. The purchase contracts may be issued separately or as part of units, often known as purchase units, consisting of a purchase contract and other securities or obligations issued by us or third parties, including U.S. Treasury securities, which may secure the holders’ obligations to purchase or sell, as the case may be, debt securities, shares of common stock, shares of preferred stock or depositary shares under the purchase contracts. The purchase contracts may require us to make periodic payments to the holders of the purchase contracts or units or vice versa, and these payments may be unsecured or prefunded on some basis and may be paid on a current or on a deferred basis. The purchase contracts may require holders to secure their obligations thereunder in a specified manner and may provide for the prepayment of all or part of the consideration payable by holders in connection with the purchase of the underlying security pursuant to the purchase contracts.
The securities related to the purchase contracts may be pledged to a collateral agent for our benefit pursuant to a pledge agreement to secure the obligations of holders of purchase contracts to purchase the underlying security under the related purchase contracts. The rights of holders of purchase contracts to the related pledged securities will be subject to our security interest therein created by the pledge agreement. No holder of purchase contracts will be permitted to withdraw the pledged securities related to such purchase contracts from the pledge arrangement.
The prospectus supplement or a free writing prospectus will describe the terms of the purchase contracts and purchase units, including, if applicable, collateral or depositary arrangements.
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DESCRIPTION OF UNITS
We may issue units consisting of one or more shares of common stock, shares of preferred stock, depositary shares, debt securities, warrants, subscription rights, purchase contracts or any combination of such securities (but not securities of third parties), as specified in a related prospectus supplement or a free writing prospectus.
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MATERIAL U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS
The following summary describes material U.S. federal income tax considerations relating to the ownership of our capital stock as of the date hereof by U.S. holders and non-U.S. holders, each as defined below. Except where noted, this summary deals only with shares of our capital stock held as capital assets for U.S. federal income tax purposes and does not deal with special situations, such as those of dealers in securities or currencies, financial institutions, regulated investment companies, tax-exempt entities (except as described in “—Taxation of Tax-Exempt Holders of Our Capital Stock” below), insurance companies, persons holding our capital stock as a part of a hedging, integrated, conversion or constructive sale transaction or a straddle, traders in securities that elect to use a mark-to-market method of accounting for their securities holdings, persons liable for alternative minimum tax, investors in pass-through entities, persons required to accelerate the recognition of any item of gross income with respect to our capital stock as a result of such income being recognized on an applicable financial statement, or U.S. holders of our capital stock whose “functional currency” is not the U.S. dollar. Furthermore, the discussion below is based upon the provisions of the Code and regulations, rulings and judicial decisions thereunder as of the date hereof, and such authorities may be repealed, revoked or modified, possibly with retroactive effect, so as to result in U.S. federal income tax consequences different from those discussed below.
You should consult your tax advisors concerning the U.S. federal income tax consequences in light of your particular situation as well as consequences arising under the laws of any other taxing jurisdiction.
Our Taxation as a REIT
We elected to be taxed as a REIT under the U.S. federal income tax laws beginning with our taxable year ended December 31, 2014. We believe that we have operated in a manner qualifying us as a REIT since our election and intend to continue to so operate, but no assurances can be given that we will operate in a manner so as to remain qualified as a REIT.
The sections of the Code and the corresponding regulations that govern the U.S. federal income tax treatment of a REIT and its stockholders are highly technical and complex. The following discussion is qualified in its entirety by the applicable Code provisions, rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, and administrative interpretations thereof. In the opinion of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, we qualified to be taxed as a REIT under the federal income tax laws for our taxable years ended December 31, 2017 through December 31, 2020, and our organization and current and proposed method of operation will enable us to continue to qualify as a REIT for our taxable year ending December 31, 2021 and in the future. You should be aware that Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP’s opinion is based on existing U.S. federal income tax law governing qualification as a REIT, which is subject to change, possibly on a retroactive basis, is not binding on the IRS or any court, and speaks as of the date issued. In addition, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP’s opinion is based on customary assumptions and is conditioned upon certain representations made by us as to factual matters, including representations regarding the nature of our assets and the future conduct of our business, all of which are described in the opinion. Moreover, our continued qualification and taxation as a REIT depends on our ability to meet, on a continuing basis, through actual operating results, certain qualification tests in the U.S. federal income tax laws. Those qualification tests involve the percentage of our income that we earn from specified sources, the percentages of our assets that fall within specified categories, the diversity of our share ownership and the percentage of our earnings that we distribute. While Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP has reviewed those matters in connection with the foregoing opinion, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP will not review our compliance with those tests on a continuing basis. Accordingly, given the complex nature of the rules governing REITs, the ongoing importance of factual determinations, including the potential tax treatment of the investments we make, and the possibility of future changes in our circumstances, no assurance can be given that the actual results of our operations for any particular taxable year will satisfy such requirements. In addition, we will be required to make estimates of, or otherwise determine the value of, our assets and the collateral for our assets, and the values of some assets may not be susceptible to a precise determination. There can be no assurance that the IRS would not challenge our valuations or valuation estimates of our assets or collateral. Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP’s opinion does not foreclose the possibility that we may have to use one or more of the REIT savings provisions described below, which could require us to pay an excise or penalty tax (which could be material) to maintain our REIT qualification. For a discussion of the tax consequences of our failure to qualify as a REIT, see “—Failure to Qualify,” below.
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We are generally not subject to U.S. corporate income tax on income that we distribute currently to stockholders, but we will be subject to U.S. federal tax as follows:
We will pay U.S. federal income tax on our taxable income, including net capital gain, that we do not distribute to stockholders during, or within a specified time after, the calendar year in which the income is earned.
If we have net income from “prohibited transactions,” which are, in general, sales or other dispositions of property held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business, other than foreclosure property, such income will be subject to a 100% tax.
If we elect to treat property that we acquire in connection with a foreclosure of a mortgage loan or from certain leasehold terminations as “foreclosure property,” we may thereby avoid (a) the 100% tax on gain from a resale of that property (if the sale would otherwise constitute a prohibited transaction) and (b) the inclusion of any income from such property not qualifying for purposes of the REIT gross income tests discussed below, but the income from the sale or operation of the property may be subject to U.S. corporate income tax at the highest applicable rate.
If due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect we fail to satisfy either the 75% gross income test or the 95% gross income test discussed below, but nonetheless maintain our qualification as a REIT because other requirements are met, we will be subject to a 100% tax on the greater of the amount by which we fail the 75% gross income test or the 95% gross income test, multiplied in either case by a fraction intended to reflect our profitability.
If we fail to satisfy the asset tests (other than a de minimis failure of the 5% asset test of the 10% vote or value test, as described below under “—Asset Tests”) as long as the failure was due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect, we dispose of the assets or otherwise comply with such asset tests within six months after the last day of the quarter in which we identify such failure and we file a schedule with the IRS describing the assets that caused such failure, we will pay a tax equal to the greater of $50,000 or the highest income tax rate then applicable to U.S. corporations on the net income from the nonqualifying assets during the period in which we failed to satisfy such asset tests.
If we fail to satisfy one or more requirements for REIT qualification, other than the gross income tests and the asset tests, and the failure was due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect, we will be required to pay a penalty of $50,000 for each such failure.
We may be required to pay monetary penalties to the IRS in certain circumstances, including if we fail to meet recordkeeping requirements intended to monitor our compliance with rules relating to the composition of a REIT’s stockholders, as described below in “—Requirements for Qualification as a REIT.”
If we fail to distribute during each calendar year at least the sum of:
85% of our ordinary income for such calendar year;
95% of our capital gain net income for such calendar year; and
any undistributed taxable income from prior taxable years,
we will pay a 4% nondeductible excise tax on the excess of the required distribution over the amount we actually distributed, plus any retained amounts on which income tax has been paid at the corporate level.
We may elect to retain and pay income tax on our net long-term capital gain. In that case, a U.S. holder would include its proportionate share of our undistributed long-term capital gain (to the extent we make a timely designation of such gain to the holder) in its income, and would receive a credit or a refund for its proportionate share of the tax we paid.
We will be subject to a 100% excise tax on amounts received by us from a taxable REIT subsidiary (or on certain expenses deducted by a taxable REIT subsidiary or income earned by a taxable REIT subsidiary) if certain arrangements between us and a taxable REIT subsidiary of ours, as further described below, are not comparable to similar arrangements among unrelated parties.
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With respect to an interest in a taxable mortgage pool or a residual interest in a real estate mortgage investment conduit, or “REMIC,” the ownership of which is attributed to us or to a REIT in which we own an interest, although the law on the matter is unclear as to the ownership of an interest in a taxable mortgage pool, we may be taxable at the highest corporate rate on the amount of any excess inclusion income for the taxable year allocable to the percentage of our stock that is held in record name by “disqualified organizations.” For a discussion of “excess inclusion income,” see “—Taxable Mortgage Pools and REMICs.” A “disqualified organization” includes:
the United States;
any state or political subdivision of the United States;
any foreign government;
any international organization;
any agency or instrumentality of any of the foregoing;
any other tax-exempt organization, other than a farmer’s cooperative described in Section 521 of the Code, that is exempt both from income taxation and from taxation under the unrelated business taxable income provisions of the Code; and
any rural electrical or telephone cooperative.
We do not currently intend to hold REMIC residual interests or engage in financing or other activities that would result in the allocation of excess inclusion income to our stockholders.
If we acquire any assets from a non-REIT C corporation in a carry-over basis transaction, we could be liable for specified tax liabilities inherited from that non-REIT C corporation with respect to that corporation’s “built-in gain” in its assets. Built-in gain is the amount by which an asset’s fair market value exceeds its adjusted tax basis at the time we acquire the asset. Applicable U.S. Treasury regulations, however, allow us to avoid the recognition of gain and the imposition of corporate level tax with respect to a built-in gain asset acquired in a carry-over basis transaction from a non-REIT C corporation unless and until we dispose of that built-in gain asset during the five-year period following its acquisition, at which time we would recognize, and would be subject to tax at the highest regular corporate rate on, the built-in gain.
In addition, notwithstanding our status as a REIT, we may also have to pay certain state and local income taxes, because not all states and localities treat REITs in the same manner that they are treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Moreover, as further described below, any domestic taxable REIT subsidiary in which we own an interest will be subject to U.S. federal corporate income tax on its net income. In addition, we may be subject to a variety of taxes other than U.S. income tax, including state and local franchise, property, and other taxes and foreign taxes. We could also be subject to tax in situations and on transactions not presently contemplated.
Requirements for Qualification as a REIT
The Code defines a REIT as a corporation, trust, or association:
(1)
that is managed by one or more trustees or directors;
(2)
the beneficial ownership of which is evidenced by transferable shares, or by transferable certificates of beneficial interest;
(3)
that would be taxable as a domestic corporation, but for Sections 856 through 859 of the Code;
(4)
that is neither a financial institution nor an insurance company subject to certain provisions of the Code;
(5)
the beneficial ownership of which is held by 100 or more persons;
(6)
of which not more than 50% in value of the outstanding shares are owned, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer individuals (as defined in the Code to include certain entities) after applying certain attribution rules;
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(7)
that makes an election to be a REIT for the current taxable year or has made such an election for a previous taxable year, which has not been terminated or revoked; and
(8)
that meets other tests, described below, regarding the nature of its income and assets and the distribution of its income.
Conditions (1), (2), (3), and (4) must be met during the entire taxable year. Condition (5) must be met during at least 335 days of a taxable year of 12 months, or during a proportionate part of a taxable year of less than 12 months other than the first taxable year for which an election to become a REIT is made. Condition (6) must be met during the last half of each taxable year but neither conditions (5) nor (6) apply to the first taxable year for which an election to become a REIT is made. For purposes of determining stock ownership requirement described in (6) above, an “individual” generally includes a supplemental unemployment compensation benefits plan, a private foundation, or a portion of a trust permanently set aside or used exclusively for charitable purposes. An “individual,” however, generally does not include a trust that is a qualified employee pension or profit sharing trust under the U.S. federal income tax laws, and beneficiaries of such a trust will be treated as holding our shares in proportion to their actuarial interests in the trust for purposes of requirement described in (6) above. We believe that we have maintained and will maintain sufficient diversity of ownership to allow us to continue to satisfy conditions (5) and (6) above. In addition, our charter contains restrictions regarding the ownership and transfer of our stock that are intended to assist us in continuing to satisfy the share ownership requirements described in (5) and (6) above. These restrictions, however, may not ensure that we will be able to satisfy these share ownership requirements. If we fail to satisfy these share ownership requirements, we will fail to qualify as a REIT.
If we comply with regulatory rules pursuant to which we are required to send annual letters to holders of our stock requesting information regarding the actual ownership of our stock (as discussed below), and we do not know, or exercising reasonable diligence would not have known, whether we failed to meet requirement (6) above, we will be treated as having met the requirement.
To monitor compliance with the share ownership requirements, we generally are required to maintain records regarding the actual ownership of our stock. To do so, we must demand written statements each year from the record holders of significant percentages of our stock pursuant to which the record holders must disclose the actual owners of the shares (i.e., the persons required to include our dividends in their gross income). We must maintain a list of those persons failing or refusing to comply with this demand as part of our records. We could be subject to monetary penalties if we fail to comply with these record-keeping requirements. If you fail or refuse to comply with the demands, you will be required by U.S. Treasury regulations to submit a statement with your tax return disclosing your actual ownership of our shares and other information. In addition, we must satisfy all relevant filing and other administrative requirements established by the IRS to elect and maintain REIT status, use a calendar year for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and comply with the record keeping requirements of the Code and regulations promulgated thereunder. We intend to continue to comply with these requirements.
Ownership of Disregarded Entities and Partnership Interests. An unincorporated domestic entity, such as a partnership, limited liability company, or trust, that has a single owner generally is not treated as an entity separate from its parent for U.S. federal income tax purposes, including for purposes of the gross income and asset tests applicable to REITs. An unincorporated domestic entity with two or more owners generally is treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes. In the case of a REIT that is a partner in an entity that is treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes, U.S. Treasury regulations provide that the REIT is deemed to own its proportionate share of the partnership’s assets and to earn its proportionate share of the partnership’s gross income based on its pro rata share of capital interests in the partnership for purposes of the asset and gross income tests applicable to REITs, as described below. However, solely for purposes of the 10% value test, described below (see “—Asset Tests”), the determination of a REIT’s interest in partnership assets will be based on the REIT’s proportionate interest in any securities issued by the partnership, excluding for these purposes, certain excluded securities as described in the Code. In addition, the assets and gross income of the partnership generally are deemed to retain the same character in the hands of the REIT. Thus, our proportionate share of the assets and items of income of partnerships in which we own an equity interest is treated as assets and items of income of our company for purposes of applying the REIT requirements described
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below. Consequently, to the extent that we directly or indirectly hold a preferred or other equity interest in a partnership or limited liability company, the partnership’s or limited liability company’s assets and operations may affect our ability to qualify as a REIT, even though we may have no control or only limited influence over the partnership.
Qualified REIT Subsidiaries. If a REIT owns a corporate subsidiary that is a “qualified REIT subsidiary,” the separate existence of that subsidiary is disregarded for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Generally, a qualified REIT subsidiary is a corporation, other than a taxable REIT subsidiary, all of the stock of which is owned directly or indirectly by the REIT. All assets, liabilities and items of income, deduction and credit of the qualified REIT subsidiary will be treated as assets, liabilities and items of income, deduction and credit of the REIT itself. A qualified REIT subsidiary is not subject to U.S. federal corporate income taxation, although it may be subject to state and local taxation in some states.
In the event that a qualified REIT subsidiary or disregarded subsidiary ceases to be wholly owned by us (for example, if any equity interest in the subsidiary is acquired by a person other than us or another disregarded subsidiary of us), the subsidiary’s separate existence would no longer be disregarded for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Instead, it would have multiple owners and would be treated as either a partnership or a taxable corporation. Such an event could, depending on the circumstances, adversely affect our ability to satisfy the various asset and gross income tests applicable to REITs, including the requirement that REITs generally may not own, directly or indirectly, more than 10% of the value or voting power of the outstanding securities of another corporation. See “—Asset Tests” and “—Income Tests.”
Taxable REIT Subsidiaries. A taxable REIT subsidiary is an entity that is taxable as a corporation in which we directly or indirectly own stock and that elects with us to be treated as a taxable REIT subsidiary. In addition, if a taxable REIT subsidiary owns, directly or indirectly, securities representing 35% or more of the vote or value of a subsidiary corporation, that subsidiary will also be treated as a taxable REIT subsidiary. However, an entity will not qualify as a taxable REIT subsidiary if it directly or indirectly operates or manages a lodging or health care facility or, generally, provides to another person, under a franchise, license or otherwise, rights to any brand name under which any lodging facility or health care facility is operated. We generally may not own more than 10%, as measured by voting power or value, of the securities of a corporation that is not a qualified REIT subsidiary or a REIT unless we and such corporation elect to treat such corporation as a taxable REIT subsidiary. Overall, no more than 20% of the value of a REIT’s assets may consist of stock or securities of one or more taxable REIT subsidiaries.
Income earned by a taxable REIT subsidiary is not attributable to the REIT. As a result, income that might not be qualifying income for purposes of the income tests applicable to REITs could be earned by a taxable REIT subsidiary without affecting our status as a REIT. Our domestic taxable REIT subsidiaries will be fully subject to corporate income tax on their taxable income.
Several provisions of the Code regarding the arrangements between a REIT and its taxable REIT subsidiaries ensure that a taxable REIT subsidiary will be subject to an appropriate level of U.S. federal income taxation. For example, a taxable REIT subsidiary may be limited in its ability to deduct interest payments made to affiliated REITs. In addition, we would be obligated to pay a 100% penalty tax on some payments that we receive from, or on certain expenses deducted by, a taxable REIT subsidiary if the IRS were to assert successfully that the economic arrangements between us and a taxable REIT subsidiary are not comparable to similar arrangements among unrelated parties. Any income earned by a taxable REIT subsidiary that is attributable to services provided to us, or on our behalf to any of our tenants, that is less than the amounts that would have been charged based upon arm’s length negotiations, will also be subject to a 100% penalty tax. We intend to scrutinize all of our transactions with any of our subsidiaries that are treated as a taxable REIT subsidiary in an effort to ensure that we do not become subject to this penalty tax; however, we cannot assure you that we will be successful in avoiding this penalty tax.
Ownership of Subsidiary REITs. We own 100% of the common shares of a subsidiary REIT. Our subsidiary REIT is also subject to the same various REIT qualification requirements and other limitations described herein that are applicable to us. We believe that our subsidiary REIT is organized and has operated and will continue to operate in a manner to permit it to qualify for taxation as a REIT for federal income tax purposes from and after the effective date of its REIT election. However, if a subsidiary REIT of ours were to fail to qualify as a REIT, then (1) the subsidiary REIT would become subject to regular U.S. corporate income tax, as described herein, see
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“—Failure to Qualify” below, and (2) our ownership of shares in such subsidiary REIT would cease to be a qualifying real estate asset for purposes of the 75% asset test and would become subject to the 5% asset test, the 10% vote test, and the 10% value test generally applicable to our ownership in corporations other than REITs, qualified REIT subsidiaries and TRSs. See “—Asset Tests” below. If our subsidiary REIT were to fail to qualify as a REIT, it is possible that we would not meet the 10% vote test and the 10% value test with respect to our indirect interest in such entity, in which event we would fail to qualify as a REIT unless we could avail ourselves of certain relief provisions. While we believe that our subsidiary REIT has qualified as a REIT under the Code, we may join the subsidiary REIT in filing a “protective” TRS election with respect to the subsidiary REIT. We cannot assure you that such “protective” TRS election would be effective to avoid adverse consequences to us. Moreover, even if the “protective” election were to be effective, the subsidiary REIT would be subject to regular corporate income tax, and we cannot assure you that we would not fail to satisfy the requirement that not more than 20% of the value of our total assets may be represented by the securities of one or more TRSs, as well as the requirement that taxable income from our TRSs plus other nonqualifying gross income not exceed 25% of our total gross income.
Taxable Mortgage Pools and REMICs. An entity, or a portion of an entity, that does not elect to be treated as a REMIC may be classified as a taxable mortgage pool under the Code if:
substantially all of its assets consist of debt obligations or interests in debt obligations;
more than 50% of those debt obligations are real estate mortgages or interests in real estate mortgages as of specified testing dates;
the entity has issued debt obligations (liabilities) that have two or more maturities; and
the payments required to be made by the entity on its debt obligations “bear a relationship” to the payments to be received by the entity on the debt obligations that it holds as assets.
Under the U.S. Treasury regulations, if less than 80% of the assets of an entity (or a portion of an entity) consists of debt obligations, these debt obligations are considered not to comprise “substantially all” of its assets, and therefore the entity would not be treated as a taxable mortgage pool. It is possible that certain of our financing activities, including securitizations, will result in the treatment of us or a portion of our assets as a taxable mortgage pool.
Where an entity, or a portion of an entity, is classified as a taxable mortgage pool, it is generally treated as a taxable corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes. In the case of a REIT, a portion of a REIT, or a REIT subsidiary that is disregarded as a separate entity from the REIT that is a taxable mortgage pool, however, special rules apply. The portion of a REIT’s assets, held directly or through a REIT subsidiary that is disregarded as a separate entity from the REIT, that qualifies as a taxable mortgage pool is treated as a qualified REIT subsidiary that is not subject to corporate income tax, and the taxable mortgage pool classification does not directly affect the tax status of the REIT. The U.S. Treasury Department has yet to issue regulations governing the tax treatment of the stockholders of a REIT that owns an interest in a taxable mortgage pool.
A portion of our income from a REMIC residual interest or taxable mortgage pool arrangement could be treated as “excess inclusion income.” Excess inclusion income is an amount, with respect to any calendar quarter, equal to the excess, if any, of (i) income allocable to the holder of a residual interest in a REMIC or taxable mortgage pool interest during such calendar quarter over (ii) the sum of an amount for each day in the calendar quarter equal to the product of (a) the adjusted issue price of the interest at the beginning of the quarter multiplied by (b) 120% of the long-term federal rate (determined on the basis of compounding at the close of each calendar quarter and properly adjusted for the length of such quarter).
Excess inclusion income would be allocated among our stockholders in proportion to dividends paid. A stockholder’s share of excess inclusion income (i) would not be allowed to be offset by any net operating losses otherwise available to the stockholder, (ii) would be subject to tax as unrelated business taxable income in the hands of most types of stockholders that are otherwise generally exempt from U.S. federal income tax and (iii) would result in the application of a 30% U.S. federal income withholding tax, without reduction for any otherwise applicable income tax treaty, to the extent allocable to most types of non-U.S. holders. See “—Taxation of Non-U.S. Holders of Our Capital Stock—Distributions.” The manner in which excess inclusion income would be allocated to dividends attributable to a tax year that are not paid until a subsequent tax year or to dividends attributable to a portion of a tax year when no excess inclusion income-generating assets were held
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or how such income is to be reported to stockholders is not clear under current law. Although the law is unclear, the IRS has taken the position that a REIT is taxable at the highest corporate tax rate on the portion of any excess inclusion income that it derives from an equity interest in a taxable mortgage pool equal to the percentage of its stock that is held in record name by “disqualified organizations” (as defined above under “—Our Taxation as a REIT”). Similar rules apply if we own a residual interest in a REMIC. To the extent that capital stock owned by “disqualified organizations” is held by a broker or other nominee, the broker/dealer or other nominees would be liable for a tax at the highest corporate tax rate on the portion of our excess inclusion income allocable to the capital stock held by the broker/dealer or other nominee on behalf of the “disqualified organizations.” A regulated investment company or other pass-through entity owning our capital stock will be subject to tax at the highest corporate tax rate on any excess inclusion income allocated to its record name owners that are “disqualified organizations.” We do not currently intend to hold REMIC residual interests or engage in financing or other activities that would result in the allocation of excess inclusion income to our stockholders.
Tax-exempt investors, non-U.S. investors and taxpayers with net operating losses should carefully consider the tax consequences described above and are urged to consult their tax advisors in connection with their decision to invest in our capital stock.
Income Tests
To qualify as a REIT, we must satisfy two gross income requirements, each of which is applied on an annual basis. First, at least 75% of our gross income for each taxable year generally must be derived directly or indirectly from:
rents from real property;
interest on debt secured by mortgages on real property or on interests in real property and interest on debt secured by a mortgage on real property and personal property if the fair market value of such personal property does not exceed 15% of the total fair market value of all such property, and interest on qualified mezzanine loans;
dividends or other distributions on, and gain from the sale of, stock in other REITs;
gain from the sale of real estate assets;
abatements and refunds of taxes on real property;
income and gain derived from foreclosure property (as described below);
amounts (other than amounts the determination of which depends in whole or in part on the income or profits of any person) received or accrued as consideration for entering into agreements (i) to make loans secured by mortgages on real property or on interests in real property or (ii) to purchase or lease real property (including interests in real property and interests in mortgages on real property);
income derived from a REMIC in proportion to the real estate assets held by the REMIC, unless at least 95% of the REMIC’s assets are real estate assets, in which case all of the income derived from the REMIC; and
interest or dividend income from investments in stock or debt instruments attributable to the temporary investment of new capital during the one-year period following our receipt of new capital that we raise through equity offerings or public offerings of debt obligations with at least a five-year term.
Although a debt instrument issued by a “publicly offered REIT” (i.e., a REIT that is required to file annual and periodic reports with the SEC under the Exchange Act) is treated as a “real estate asset” for the asset tests, the interest income and gain from the sale of such debt instruments is not treated as qualifying income for the 75% gross income test unless the debt instrument is secured by real property or an interest in real property.
Second, at least 95% of our gross income for each taxable year must be derived from sources that qualify for purposes of the 75% gross income test, and from (i) dividends, (ii) interest and (iii) gain from the sale or disposition of stock or securities.
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Gross income from the following sources is excluded from both the numerator and the denominator in both gross income tests:
gain from the sale of property that we hold primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business;
income and gain from certain qualified hedging transactions, as defined below in “—Hedging Transactions”;
certain foreign currency gains; and
gross income attributable to cancellation of indebtedness income.
We will monitor the amount of our non-qualifying income and we will seek to manage our portfolio to comply at all times with the gross income tests. The following paragraphs discuss some of the specific applications of the gross income tests to us.
Dividends. Our dividend income from stock in any corporation (other than a REIT) and from any taxable REIT subsidiary will be qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test, but not the 75% gross income test. If we own stock in other REITs, the dividends that we receive from those REITs and our gain on the sale of the stock in those REITs will be qualifying income for purposes of both gross income tests. However, if a REIT in which we own stock fails to qualify as a REIT in any year, our income from such REIT would be qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test, but not the 75% gross income test.
Interest. The term “interest,” as defined for purposes of both gross income tests, generally excludes any amount that is based in whole or in part on the income or profits of any person, however, it generally includes the following: (i) an amount that is received or accrued based on a fixed percentage or percentages of receipts or sales, and (ii) an amount that is based on the income or profits of a debtor, as long as the debtor derives substantially all of its income from the real property securing the debt by leasing substantially all of its interest in the property, and only to the extent that the amounts received by the debtor would be qualifying “rents from real property” if received directly by a REIT. We do not expect that any of our loans will be based in whole or in part on the income or profits of any person.
If a loan contains a provision that entitles a REIT to a percentage of the borrower’s gain upon the sale of the real property securing the loan or a percentage of the appreciation in the property’s value as of a specific date, income attributable to that loan provision will be treated as gain from the sale of the property securing the loan, which generally is qualifying income for purposes of both gross income tests, provided that the property is not inventory or dealer property in the hands of the borrower or the REIT.
Interest on debt secured by mortgages on real property or on interests in real property (including, for this purpose, market discount, original issue discount, prepayment penalties, loan assumption fees, and late payment charges that are not compensation for services) generally is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test. If a loan is secured by real property and other property and the highest principal amount of a loan outstanding during a taxable year exceeds the fair market value of the real property (including, for loans secured by real property and
personal property where the fair market value of the personal property is less than 15% of the total fair market value of all such property, such personal property) securing the loan as of the date (i) we agreed to originate or acquire the loan or (ii) as discussed below, in the event of a “significant modification,” the date we modified the loan, a portion of the interest income from such loan will not be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test but will be qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test. However, in the case of a loan that is secured by both real property and personal property, if the fair market value of such personal property does not exceed 15% of the total fair market value of all property securing the loan, then the personal property securing the loan will be treated as real property for purposes of determining whether the interest on such loan is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test. If apportionment is required, the percentage of the interest income that will not be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test will be equal to the percentage of the principal amount of the loan that is not secured by real property—that is, the amount by which the loan exceeds the value of the real estate that is security for the loan.
We expect that the CMBS in which we invest generally will be treated either as interests in a grantor trust or as interests in a REMIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes and that all interest income from such CMBS
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will be qualifying income for the 95% gross income test. In the case of CMBS treated as interests in grantor trusts, we would be treated as owning an undivided beneficial ownership interest in the mortgage loans held by the grantor trust. The interest on such mortgage loans would be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test to the extent that the obligation is secured by real property, as discussed above. In the case of CMBS treated as interests in a REMIC, income derived from REMIC interests generally will be treated as qualifying income for purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests. If less than 95% of the assets of the REMIC are real estate assets, however, then only a proportionate part of our interest in the REMIC and income derived from the interest will qualify for purposes of the 75% gross income test. In addition, some REMIC securitizations include imbedded interest swap or cap contracts or other derivative instruments that potentially could produce non-qualifying income for the holder of the related REMIC securities.
We may acquire participation interests, or subordinated mortgage interests, in mortgage loans and mezzanine loans. A subordinated mortgage interest is an interest created in an underlying loan by virtue of a participation or similar agreement, to which the originator of the loan is a party, along with one or more participants. The borrower on the underlying loan is typically not a party to the participation agreement. The performance of a participant’s investment depends upon the performance of the underlying loan and if the underlying borrower defaults, the participant typically has no recourse against the originator of the loan. The originator often retains a senior position in the underlying loan and grants junior participations, which will be a first loss position in the event of a default by the borrower. We anticipate any participation interests we acquire will qualify as real estate assets for purposes of the REIT asset tests described below and that interest derived from such investments will be treated as qualifying interest for purposes of the 75% gross income test. The appropriate treatment of participation interests for federal income tax purposes is not entirely certain, and no assurance can be given that the IRS will not challenge our treatment of any participation interests we acquire.
We own interests in mezzanine loans, which are loans secured by equity interests in an entity that directly or indirectly owns real property, rather than by a direct mortgage of the real property. In Revenue Procedure 2003-65, the IRS established a safe harbor under which loans secured by a first priority security interest in the ownership interests in a partnership or limited liability company owning real property will be treated as real estate assets for purposes of the REIT asset tests described below, and interest derived from those loans will be treated as qualifying income for both the 75% and 95% gross income tests, provided several requirements are satisfied. Although the Revenue Procedure provides a safe harbor on which taxpayers may rely, it does not prescribe rules of substantive tax law. Moreover, our mezzanine loans may not meet all of the requirements for reliance on the safe harbor. To the extent any mezzanine loans that we acquire do not qualify for the safe harbor described above, the interest income from the loans will be qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test, but there is a risk that such interest income will not be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test. We believe we have invested, and intend to continue to invest, in mezzanine loans in a manner that will enable us to continue to satisfy the REIT gross income and asset tests.
There is limited case law and administrative guidance addressing whether instruments similar to our mezzanine loans or our preferred equity investments will be treated as equity or debt for U.S. federal income tax purposes. We typically do not anticipate obtaining private letter rulings from the IRS or opinions of counsel on the characterization of those investments for U.S. federal income tax purposes. If the IRS successfully recharacterizes a mezzanine loan or preferred equity investment that we have treated as debt for U.S. federal income tax purposes as equity for U.S. federal income tax purposes, we would be treated as owning the assets held by the partnership or limited liability company that issued the security and we would be treated as receiving our proportionate share of the income of the entity. There can be no assurance that such an entity will not derive nonqualifying income for purposes of the 75% or 95% gross income test or earn income that could be subject to a 100% penalty tax. Alternatively, if the IRS successfully recharacterizes a mezzanine loan or preferred equity investment that we have treated as equity for U.S. federal income tax purposes as debt for U.S. federal income tax purposes, then that investment may be treated as producing interest income that would be qualifying income for the 95% gross income test, but not for the 75% gross income test. If the IRS successfully challenges the classification of our mezzanine loans or preferred equity investments for U.S. federal income tax purposes, no assurance can be provided that we will not fail to satisfy the 75% or 95% gross income test.
We may modify the terms of our mortgage or mezzanine loans. Under the Code, if the terms of a loan are modified in a manner constituting a “significant modification,” such modification triggers a deemed exchange of the original loan for the modified loan. IRS Revenue Procedure 2014-51 provides a safe harbor pursuant to
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which we will not be required to redetermine the fair market value of the real property securing a loan for purposes of the gross income and asset tests in connection with a loan modification that is (i) occasioned by a borrower default or (ii) made at a time when we reasonably believe that the modification to the loan will substantially reduce a significant risk of default on the original loan. To the extent we significantly modify loans in a manner that does not qualify for that safe harbor, we will be required to redetermine the value of the real property securing the loan at the time it was significantly modified, which could result in a portion of the interest income on the loan being treated as nonqualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test. In determining the value of the real property securing such a loan, we generally will not obtain third-party appraisals but rather will rely on internal valuations.
We have entered, and intend to enter, into financing arrangements that are structured as sale and repurchase agreements pursuant to which we would nominally sell certain of our assets to a counterparty and simultaneously enter into an agreement to repurchase these assets at a later date in exchange for a purchase price. Economically, these agreements are financings that are secured by the assets sold pursuant thereto. We believe that we would be treated for REIT asset and income test purposes as the owner of the assets that are the subject of any such sale and repurchase agreement notwithstanding that such agreements may transfer record ownership of the assets to the counterparty during the term of the agreement. It is possible, however, that the IRS could assert that we did not own the assets during the term of the sale and repurchase agreement, in which case we could fail to qualify as a REIT.
Hedging Transactions. We may enter into hedging transactions with respect to one or more of our assets or liabilities. Hedging transactions could take a variety of forms, including interest rate swap agreements, interest rate cap agreements, options, futures contracts, forward rate agreements or similar financial instruments. Except to the extent provided by U.S. Treasury regulations, any income from a hedging transaction we enter into (i) in the normal course of our business primarily to manage risk of interest rate or price changes or currency fluctuations with respect to borrowings made or to be made, or ordinary obligations incurred or to be incurred, to acquire or carry real estate assets, including gain from the sale or disposition of such a transaction, (ii) primarily to manage risk of currency fluctuations with respect to any item of income or gain that would be qualifying income under the 75% or 95% gross income tests or (iii) in connection with the effective termination of certain hedging transactions described above, in each case, which is clearly identified as specified in U.S. Treasury regulations before the close of the day on which it was acquired, originated or entered into, will not constitute gross income for purposes of the 75% or 95% gross income tests. To the extent that we enter into other types of hedging transactions, the income from those transactions is likely to be treated as non-qualifying income for purposes of both of the 75% and 95% gross income tests. We intend to structure any hedging transactions in a manner that does not jeopardize our qualification as a REIT.
We may conduct some or all of our hedging activities through a taxable REIT subsidiary or other corporate entity, the income of which may be subject to U.S. federal income tax, rather than by participating in the arrangements directly or through pass-through subsidiaries. No assurance can be given, however, that our hedging activities will not give rise to income that does not qualify for purposes of either or both of the REIT gross income tests, or that our hedging activities will not adversely affect our ability to satisfy the REIT qualification requirements. Even if the income from our hedging transactions is excluded from gross income for purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests, such income and any loss will be taken into account in determining our REIT taxable income and our distribution requirement. If the IRS disagrees with our calculation of the amount or timing of recognition of gain or loss with respect to our hedging transactions, our distribution requirement could increase, which could require that we correct any shortfall in distributions by paying deficiency dividends to our stockholders in a later year.
Fee Income. We may earn income from fees in certain circumstances. Fee income generally will be qualifying income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests if it is received in consideration for entering into an agreement to make a loan secured by real property and the fees are not determined by income and profits. Other fees generally are not qualifying income for purposes of either gross income test, and thus, cannot exceed 5% of our annual gross income. We may conduct some or all of our fee-generating activities through a taxable REIT subsidiary or other corporate entity, the income from which may be subject to U.S. federal income tax. Any fees earned by a taxable REIT subsidiary will not be included in our gross income for purposes of the gross income tests.
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Rents from Real Property. To the extent that we own or acquire real property or an interest therein, rents we receive will qualify as “rents from real property” in satisfying the gross income requirements for a REIT described above only if several conditions are met. These conditions relate to the identity of the tenant, the computation of the rent payable, and the nature of the property leased. First, the amount of rent must not be based in whole or in part on the income or profits of any person. However, an amount received or accrued generally will not be excluded from rents from real property solely by reason of being based on a fixed percentage or percentages of receipts or sales. Second, rents we receive from a “related party tenant” will not qualify as rents from real property in satisfying the gross income tests unless the tenant is a taxable REIT subsidiary and at least 90% of the property is leased to unrelated tenants, the rent paid by the taxable REIT subsidiary is substantially comparable to the rent paid by the unrelated tenants for comparable space and, if the tenant is a “controlled taxable REIT subsidiary” (i.e., a taxable REIT subsidiary in which we own directly or indirectly more than 50% of the voting power or value of the stock), the rent is not attributable to an increase in rent due to a modification of a lease with a controlled taxable REIT subsidiary. A tenant is a related party tenant if the REIT, or an actual or constructive owner of 10% or more of the REIT, actually or constructively owns 10% or more of the tenant. Third, if rent attributable to personal property leased in connection with a lease of real property is greater than 15% of the total rent received under the lease, then the portion of rent attributable to the personal property will not qualify as rents from real property. Finally, for rents to qualify as “rents from real property” for purposes of the gross income tests, we are only allowed to provide services that are both usually or “customarily rendered” in connection with the rental of real property and not otherwise considered “rendered to the occupant.” We may, however, render services to our tenants through an “independent contractor” who is adequately compensated and from whom we do not derive revenue. We may also own a taxable REIT subsidiary which provides non-customary services to tenants without tainting our rental income from the related properties.
Even if a REIT furnishes or renders services that are non-customary with respect to a property, if the greater of (i) the amounts received or accrued, directly or indirectly, or deemed received by the REIT with respect to such services, or (ii) 150% of our direct cost in furnishing or rendering the services during a taxable year is not more than 1% of all amounts received or accrued, directly or indirectly by the REIT with respect to the property during the same taxable year, then only the amounts with respect to such non-customary services are not treated as rent for purposes of the REIT gross income tests.
Prohibited Transactions Tax. A REIT will incur a 100% tax on the net income derived from any sale or other disposition of property, other than foreclosure property, that the REIT holds primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business. Any such income will be excluded from the application of the 75% and 95% gross income tests. Whether a REIT holds an asset primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business depends, however, on the facts and circumstances in effect from time to time, including those related to a particular asset. Nevertheless, we generally intend to conduct our operations so that no asset that we own will be treated as, or as having been, held for sale to customers, and that a sale of any such asset will not be treated as having been in the ordinary course of our business. We cannot assure you that we will comply with certain safe harbor provisions or that we will avoid owning property that may be characterized as property that we hold primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business. The 100% tax will not apply to gains from the sale of property that is held through a taxable REIT subsidiary or other taxable corporation, although such income will be subject to tax in the hands of the corporation at regular corporate income tax rates.
Foreclosure Property. Foreclosure property is any real property, including interests in real property, and any personal property incident to such real property:
that is acquired by a REIT as the result of the REIT having bid in such property at foreclosure, or having otherwise reduced such property to ownership or possession by agreement or process of law, after there was a default or default was imminent on a lease of such property or on indebtedness that such property secured;
for which the related loan or lease was acquired by the REIT at a time when the default was not imminent or anticipated; and
for which the REIT makes a proper election to treat the property as foreclosure property.
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However, a REIT will not be considered to have foreclosed on a property where the REIT takes control of the property as a mortgagee-in-possession and cannot receive any profit or sustain any loss except as a creditor of the mortgagor.
Property generally ceases to be foreclosure property at the end of the third taxable year following the taxable year in which the REIT acquired the property, or longer if an extension is granted by the Secretary of the Treasury. This grace period terminates and foreclosure property ceases to be foreclosure property on the first day:
on which a lease is entered into for the property that, by its terms, will give rise to income that does not qualify for purposes of the 75% gross income test, or any amount is received or accrued, directly or indirectly, pursuant to a lease entered into on or after such day that will give rise to income that does not qualify for purposes of the 75% gross income test;
on which any construction takes place on the property, other than completion of a building or any other improvement, if more than 10% of the construction was completed before default became imminent; or
which is more than 90 days after the day on which the REIT acquired the property and the property is used in a trade or business that is conducted by the REIT, other than through an independent contractor from whom the REIT itself does not derive or receive any income or a taxable REIT subsidiary.
We will be subject to tax at the maximum corporate rate on any net income from foreclosure property, other than income that otherwise would be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, less expenses directly connected with the production of that income. However, gross income from foreclosure property, including gain from the sale of foreclosure property held for sale in the ordinary course of a trade or business, will qualify for purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests.
We may have the option to foreclose on mortgage loans when a borrower is in default. The foregoing rules could affect a decision by us to foreclose on a particular mortgage loan and could affect whether we choose to foreclose with regard to a particular mortgage loan.
Foreign Currency Gain. Certain foreign currency gains will be excluded from gross income for purposes of one or both of the gross income tests. “Real estate foreign exchange gain” will be excluded from gross income for purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests. Real estate foreign exchange gain generally includes foreign currency gain attributable to any item of income or gain that is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, foreign currency gain attributable to the acquisition or ownership of (or becoming or being the obligor under) obligations secured by mortgages on real property or an interest in real property and certain foreign currency gain attributable to certain “qualified business units” of a REIT that satisfies the 75% gross income test and 75% asset test on a stand-alone basis. “Passive foreign exchange gain” will be excluded from gross income for purposes of the 95% gross income test. Passive foreign exchange gain generally includes real estate foreign exchange gain as described above, and also includes foreign currency gain attributable to any item of income or gain that is qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test and foreign currency gain attributable to the acquisition or ownership of (or becoming or being the obligor under) obligations. These exclusions for real estate foreign exchange gain and passive foreign exchange gain do not apply to any foreign currency gain derived from dealing, or engaging in substantial and regular trading, in securities. Such gain is treated as nonqualifying income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests.
Phantom income. Due to the nature of the assets in which we will invest, we may be required to recognize taxable income from certain assets in advance of our receipt of cash flow from or proceeds from disposition of such assets, and may be required to report taxable income that exceeds the economic income ultimately realized on such assets.
We may acquire debt instruments or CMBS in the secondary market for less than their face amount. The amount of such discount generally will be treated as “market discount” for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Accrued market discount is reported as income when, and to the extent that, any payment of principal of the debt instrument is made, unless we elect to include accrued market discount in income as it accrues. Principal payments on certain loans are made monthly, and consequently accrued market discount may have to be included in income each month as if the debt instrument were assured of ultimately being collected in full. If we collect less on the debt instrument than our purchase price plus the market discount we had previously reported as income, we may not be able to benefit from any offsetting loss deductions.
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Some of the loans and debt securities that we acquire may have been issued with original issue discount. In general, we will be required to accrue original issue discount based on the constant yield to maturity of the debt securities, and to treat it as taxable income in accordance with applicable U.S. federal income tax rules even though such yield may exceed cash payments, if any, received on such debt instrument.
We may agree to modify the terms of distressed and other loans we hold. These modifications may be considered “significant modifications” for U.S. federal income tax purposes that give rise to a deemed debt-for-debt exchange upon which we may recognize taxable income or gain without a corresponding receipt of cash.
We generally will be required to take certain amounts in income no later than the time such amounts are reflected in our financial statements. This rule may require the accrual of income with respect to our loans or CMBS, such as original issue discount, earlier than would be the case under the general tax rules, although the precise application of this rule is unclear at this time.
In addition, in the event that any debt instruments or debt securities acquired by us are delinquent as to mandatory principal and interest payments, or in the event payments with respect to a particular debt instrument are not made when due, we may nonetheless be required to continue to recognize the unpaid interest as taxable income. Similarly, we may be required to accrue interest income with respect to subordinated mortgage-backed securities at the stated rate regardless of whether corresponding cash payments are received.
Finally, we may be required under the terms of indebtedness that we incur to use cash received from interest payments to make principal payments on that indebtedness, with the effect of recognizing income but not having a corresponding amount of cash available for distribution to our stockholders.
As a result of each of these potential timing differences between income recognition or expense deduction and cash receipts or disbursements, there is a significant risk that we may have substantial taxable income in excess of cash available for distribution. In that event, we may need to borrow funds or take other action to satisfy the REIT distribution requirements for the taxable year in which this “phantom income” is recognized. See “—Annual Distribution Requirements Applicable to REITs.”
Failure to Satisfy Gross Income Tests. If we fail to satisfy one or both of the 75% and 95% gross income tests for any taxable year, we may nevertheless qualify as a REIT for that year if we are entitled to relief under the Code. That relief provision will be available if our failure to meet the tests is due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect, and we attach a schedule of the sources of our income to our U.S. federal income tax return. It is not possible, however, to state whether in all circumstances we would be entitled to the benefit of these relief provisions. For example, if we fail to satisfy the gross income tests because nonqualifying income that we intentionally recognize exceeds the limits on nonqualifying income, the IRS could conclude that the failure to satisfy the tests was not due to reasonable cause. If these relief provisions are inapplicable to a particular set of circumstances, we will fail to qualify as a REIT. Even if these relief provisions apply, a penalty tax would be imposed based on the amount of nonqualifying income. See “—Our Taxation as a REIT.”
Asset Tests
At the close of each quarter of our taxable year, we must satisfy the following tests relating to the nature of our assets.
At least 75% of the value of our total assets (or, the 75% asset class) must be represented by the following:
interests in real property, including leaseholds and options to acquire real property and leaseholds, and personal property to the extent such personal property is leased in connection with real property and rents attributable to such personal property are treated as “rents from real property”;
interests in mortgages on real property;
stock in other REITs and debt instruments issued by “publicly offered REITs”;
cash and cash items;
government securities;
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investments in stock or debt instruments attributable to the temporary investment of new capital during the one-year period following our receipt of new capital that we raise through equity offerings or public offerings of debt obligations with at least a five-year term; and
regular or residual interests in a REMIC. However, if less than 95% of the assets of a REMIC consist of assets that are qualifying real estate-related assets under the federal income tax laws, determined as if we held such assets directly, we will be treated as holding directly our proportionate share of the assets of such REMIC.
Not more than 25% of our total assets may be represented by securities, other than those in the 75% asset class.
Except for securities in taxable REIT subsidiaries and the securities in the 75% asset class, the value of any one issuer’s securities owned by us may not exceed 5% of the value of our total assets, or the “5% asset test.”
Except for securities in taxable REIT subsidiaries and the securities in the 75% asset class, we may not own more than 10% of any one issuer’s outstanding voting securities or the “10% vote test.”
Except for securities of taxable REIT subsidiaries and the securities in the 75% asset class, we may not own more than 10% of the total value of the outstanding securities of any one issuer, other than securities that qualify for the “straight debt” exception discussed below or the “10% value test.”
Not more than 20% of the value of our total assets may be represented by the securities of one or more taxable REIT subsidiaries.
Not more than 25% of the value of our total assets may be represented by debt instruments of “publicly offered REITs” that are not secured by real property or interests in real property.
For purposes of the 5% asset test, the 10% vote test and the 10% value test, the term “securities” does not include stock in another REIT, debt of “publicly offered REITs,” equity or debt securities of a qualified REIT subsidiary or TRS, mortgage loans or MBS that constitute real estate assets, or equity interests in a partnership. The term “securities”, however, generally includes debt securities issued by a partnership or another REIT (other than a “publicly offered REIT”), except that, for purposes of the 10% value test, the term “securities” does not include debt securities that meet the straight debt safe harbor. Debt will meet the “straight debt” safe harbor if the debt is a written unconditional promise to pay on demand or on a specified date a sum certain in money, the debt is not convertible, directly or indirectly, into stock, and the interest rate and the interest payment dates of the debt are not contingent on the profits, the borrower’s discretion or similar factors. In the case of an issuer that is a corporation or a partnership, securities that otherwise would be considered straight debt will not be so considered if we, and any of our “controlled taxable REIT subsidiaries” as defined in the Code, hold any securities of the corporate or partnership issuer that (a) are not straight debt or other excluded securities (prior to the application of this rule), and (b) have an aggregate value greater than 1% of the issuer’s outstanding securities (including, for the purposes of a partnership issuer, our interest as a partner in the partnership).
In addition, the following instruments will not be taken into account for purposes of the 10% value test:
any loan to an individual or an estate;
any “Section 467 rental agreement,” other than an agreement with a related party tenant;
any obligation to pay “rents from real property”;
certain securities issued by governmental entities that are not dependent in whole or in part on the profits of (or payments made by) a non-governmental entity;
any security (including debt securities) issued by another REIT;
any debt instrument of an entity treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes in which we are a partner to the extent of our proportionate interest in the equity and certain debt securities issued by that partnership; or
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any debt instrument of an entity treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes not described in the preceding bullet points if at least 75% of the partnership’s gross income, excluding income from prohibited transactions, is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test described above in “—Income Tests.”
For purposes of the 75% asset test, mortgage loans generally will qualify as real estate assets to the extent that they are secured by real property. Where a mortgage covers both real property and other property, an apportionment may be required in the same manner as described under “—Income Tests—Interest.” IRS Revenue Procedure 2014-51 provides a safe harbor under which the IRS has stated that it will not challenge a REIT’s treatment of a loan as being, in part, a qualifying real estate asset in an amount equal to the lesser of (i) the fair market value of the loan on the date of the relevant quarterly REIT asset testing date or (ii) the greater of (a) the fair market value of the real property securing the loan on the date of the relevant quarterly REIT asset testing date or (b) the fair market value of the real property securing the loan determined as of the date the REIT committed to originate or acquire the loan.
We believe that our existing investments comply with the foregoing asset tests, and we intend to monitor compliance on an ongoing basis. As described above, Revenue Procedure 2003-65 provides a safe harbor pursuant to which certain mezzanine loans secured by a first priority security interest in ownership interests in a partnership or limited liability company will be treated as qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% asset test (and therefore, are not subject to the 5% asset test and the 10% vote test or 10% value test). See “—Gross Income Tests.” Although we anticipate that our mezzanine loans may not qualify for that safe harbor, we believe our mezzanine loans generally should be treated as qualifying assets for the 75% asset test or should be excluded from the definition of securities for purposes of the 10% value test. We intend to originate and acquire mezzanine loans only to the extent such loans will not cause us to fail the asset tests described above.
Moreover, as noted above, there is limited case law and administrative guidance addressing whether instruments similar to our mezzanine loans or any preferred equity investments we may make will be treated as equity or debt for U.S. federal income tax purposes. If a mezzanine loan or preferred equity investment is treated as equity for U.S. federal income tax purposes, we would be treated as owning the assets held by the partnership or limited liability company that issued the mezzanine loan. If that partnership or limited liability company owned nonqualifying assets, we may not be able to satisfy all of the asset tests. Alternatively, if the IRS successfully recharacterizes a mezzanine loan or a preferred equity investment that we have treated as equity for U.S. federal income tax purposes as debt for U.S. federal income tax purposes, then that investment may be treated as a nonqualifying asset for purposes of the 75% asset test and would be subject to the 10% value test and the 5% asset test. Accordingly, we could fail one or more of the asset tests if the IRS successfully challenges our characterization of our mezzanine loans or preferred equity investments.
We expect that our investments in CMBS will generally be treated as interests in a grantor trust or as interests in a REMIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes. In the case of CMBS treated as interests in grantor trusts, we would be treated as owning an undivided beneficial ownership interest in the mortgage loans held by the grantor trust. In the case of CMBS treated as an interest in a REMIC, such interests will generally qualify as real estate assets, and income derived from REMIC interests will generally be treated as qualifying income for purposes of the REIT income tests described above. If less than 95% of the assets of a REMIC are real estate assets, however, then only a proportionate part of our interest in the REMIC and income derived from the interest qualifies for purposes of the REIT asset and income tests.
We will monitor the status of our assets for purposes of the various asset tests and will seek to manage our portfolio to comply at all times with such tests. There can be no assurances, however, that we will be successful in this effort. In this regard, to determine our compliance with these requirements, we will need to estimate the value of the real estate securing our mortgage loans at various times. In addition, we will be required to value our investment in our other assets to ensure compliance with the asset tests. Although we will seek to be prudent in making these estimates, there can be no assurances that the IRS may not disagree with these determinations and assert that a different value is applicable, in which case we may not satisfy the 75% and the other asset tests.
We will not lose our REIT status for a de minimis failure to meet the 5% or 10% asset requirements if the failure is due to ownership of assets the total value of which does not exceed the lesser of 1% of the total value of our assets or $10 million. If we fail to satisfy any of the asset requirements for a particular tax quarter, we may still qualify as a REIT if we (1) identify the failure on a separate schedule, (2) the failure is due to
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reasonable cause and not willful neglect, (3) the assets causing the failure are disposed of within six months of the last day of the quarter in which the failure occurred and (4) we pay a tax computed as the greater of either $50,000 or the net income generated by the assets causing the failure multiplied by the highest tax rate under Section 11 of the Code.
After initially meeting the asset tests after the close of any quarter, we will not lose our status as a REIT if we fail to satisfy the asset tests at the end of a later quarter solely by reason of changes in the relative values of our assets. However, an acquisition of property by a REIT requires the REIT to revalue all of its assets. If the failure to satisfy the asset tests results from an increase in the value of our assets after the acquisition of securities or other property during a quarter, the failure can be cured by eliminating the discrepancy within 30 days after the close of that quarter. We intend to maintain adequate records of the value of our assets to ensure compliance with the asset tests and to take any available action within 30 days after the close of any quarter as may be required to cure any noncompliance with the asset tests. We cannot ensure that these steps always will be successful. If we fail to cure the noncompliance with the asset tests within this 30-day period, we could fail to qualify as a REIT.
We currently believe that the loans, securities and other assets that we hold will satisfy the foregoing asset test requirements. However, no independent appraisals will be obtained to support our conclusions as to the value of our assets and securities, or in many cases, the real estate collateral for the senior loans and mezzanine loans that we hold. Moreover, values of some assets may not be susceptible to a precise determination. As a result, there can be no assurance that the IRS will not contend that our interest in securities and other assets will not cause a violation of the asset tests applicable to REITs.
Annual Distribution Requirements Applicable to REITs
To qualify as a REIT, we generally must distribute dividends (other than capital gain dividends) to our stockholders in an amount at least equal to:
the sum of (i) 90% of our REIT taxable income, computed without regard to the dividends paid deduction and our net capital gain and (ii) 90% of our after-tax net income, if any, from foreclosure property; minus
the excess of the sum of specified items of non-cash income (including original issue discount on our senior loans and mezzanine loans) over 5% of our REIT taxable income, computed without regard to the dividends paid deduction and our net capital gain.
Distributions generally must be made during the taxable year to which they relate. Distributions may be made in the following year in two circumstances. First, if we declare a dividend in October, November or December of any year with a record date in one of these months and pay the dividend on or before January 31 of the following year, we will be treated as having paid the dividend on December 31 of the year in which the dividend was declared. Second, distributions may be made in the following year if the dividends are declared before we timely file our tax return for the year and if made before the first regular dividend payment made after such declaration. These distributions are taxable to our stockholders in the year in which paid, even though the distributions relate to our prior taxable year for purposes of the 90% distribution requirement. To the extent that we do not distribute all of our net capital gain or we distribute at least 90%, but less than 100% of our REIT taxable income, as adjusted, we will be subject to tax on the undistributed amount at regular corporate tax rates.
If we cease to be a “publicly offered REIT,” then, for distributions to be counted as satisfying the annual distribution requirements for REITs, and to provide us with a REIT-level tax deduction, the distributions must not have been “preferential dividends.” A dividend is not a preferential dividend if the distribution is (i) pro-rata among all outstanding shares of stock within a particular class, and (ii) in accordance with the preferences among different classes of stock as set forth in our organizational documents.
If we fail to distribute during a calendar year (or, in the case of distributions with declaration and record dates falling in the last three months of the calendar year, by the end of January following such calendar year) at least the sum of (i) 85% of our ordinary income for such year, (ii) 95% of our capital gain net income for such year and (iii) any undistributed taxable income from prior years, we will be subject to a 4% excise tax on the excess of such required distribution over the sum of (x) the amounts actually distributed (taking into account excess distributions from prior years) and (y) the amounts of income retained on which we have paid corporate income tax.
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We may elect to retain rather than distribute all or a portion of our net capital gains and pay the tax on the gains. In that case, we may elect to have our stockholders include their proportionate share of the undistributed net capital gains in income as long-term capital gains and receive a credit for their share of the tax paid by us. For purposes of the 4% excise tax described above, any retained amounts for which we elect this treatment would be treated as having been distributed.
We intend to make timely distributions sufficient to satisfy the distribution requirements. It is possible that, from time to time, we may not have sufficient cash to meet the distribution requirements due to timing differences between the actual receipt of cash and the inclusion of items of income by us for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Other potential sources of non-cash taxable income include (i) loans and securities that are financed through loan or securitization structures that require some or all of the available interest income from these assets to be used to repay principal on these borrowings, (ii) distressed loans on which we may be required to accrue interest or discount income even though the borrower is unable to make current or past due debt service payments and (iii) loans or mortgage-backed securities held by us as assets that are issued at a discount and require the accrual of taxable income in advance of the receipt of the related cash flow. In the event that such timing differences occur, and in other circumstances, it may be necessary in order to satisfy the distribution requirements to arrange for short-term, or possibly long-term, borrowings, or to pay the dividends in the form of taxable in-kind distributions of property (including, for example, our own debt securities or our stock).
Although several types of non-cash income are excluded in determining the annual distribution requirement, we will incur corporate income tax and the 4% nondeductible excise tax with respect to those non-cash income items if we do not distribute those items on a current basis. As a result of the foregoing, we may not have sufficient cash to distribute all of our taxable income and thereby avoid corporate income tax and the excise tax imposed on certain undistributed income. In such a situation, we may need to borrow funds or issue additional common stock or preferred stock.
We may satisfy the 90% distribution test with taxable distributions of our stock or debt securities. The IRS has issued a revenue procedure authorizing “publicly offered REITs” to treat certain distributions that are paid partly in cash and partly in stock as dividends that would satisfy the REIT annual distribution requirement and qualify for the dividends paid deduction for U.S. federal income tax purposes. As a “publicly offered REIT,” as long as at least 20% of the total dividend is available in cash and certain other requirements are satisfied, the IRS will treat the stock distribution as a dividend (to the extent applicable rules treat such distribution as being made out of our earnings and profits). We have no current intention to make a taxable dividend payable in our stock.
Under some circumstances, we may be able to rectify a failure to meet the distribution requirement for a year by paying deficiency dividends to stockholders in a later year, which may be included in our deduction for dividends paid for the earlier year. Thus, we may be able to avoid being taxed on amounts distributed as deficiency dividends. However, we will be required to pay interest based upon the amount of any deduction taken for deficiency dividends.
Failure to Qualify
If we fail to satisfy one or more requirements for REIT qualification, other than the income tests or asset requirements, then we may still retain REIT qualification if the failure is due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect, and we pay a penalty of $50,000 for each such failure. In addition, there are relief provisions for a failure of the gross income tests and asset tests, as described in “—Income Tests” and “—Asset Tests” above.
If we fail to qualify for taxation as a REIT in any taxable year and the relief provisions do not apply, we will be subject to tax on our taxable income at regular corporate rates. This would significantly reduce both our cash available for distribution to our stockholders and our earnings. If we fail to qualify as a REIT, we will not be required to make any distributions to stockholders and any distributions that are made will not be deductible by us. Moreover, all distributions to stockholders would be taxable as dividends to the extent of our current and accumulated earnings and profits, whether or not attributable to capital gains of ours. Subject to certain limitations of the Code, corporate distributees may be eligible for the dividends received deduction with respect to those distributions, and individual, trust and estate distributees may be eligible for reduced income tax rates on such dividends. Unless we are entitled to relief under specific statutory provisions, we also will be disqualified from taxation as a REIT for the four taxable years following the year during which qualification was lost. We cannot predict whether in all circumstances we would qualify for such statutory relief.
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Taxation of U.S. Holders of Our Capital Stock
U.S. Holder. As used in the remainder of this discussion, the term “U.S. holder” means a beneficial owner of our capital stock that is for U.S. federal income tax purposes:
a citizen or resident of the United States;
a corporation (or an entity treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes) created or organized in or under the laws of the United States, any of its States or the District of Columbia;
an estate the income of which is subject to U.S. federal income taxation regardless of its source; or
a trust if it (a) is subject to the primary supervision of a court within the United States and one or more U.S. persons have the authority to control all substantial decisions of the trust or (b) has a valid election in effect under applicable U.S. Treasury regulations to be treated as a U.S. person.
If a partnership (including an entity or arrangement treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes) holds our capital stock, the tax treatment of a partner will generally depend upon the status of the partner and the activities of the partnership. If you are a partner of a partnership holding our capital stock, you should consult your advisors. A “non-U.S. holder” is a beneficial owner of our capital stock that is neither a U.S. holder nor a partnership (including an entity or arrangement treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes).
Distributions Generally. As long as we qualify as a REIT, distributions made to taxable U.S. holders of our capital stock out of current or accumulated earnings and profits that are not designated as capital gain dividends or retained long-term capital gains will be taken into account by them as ordinary income taxable at ordinary income tax rates and will not qualify for the reduced capital gains rates that currently generally apply to distributions by non-REIT C corporations to certain non-corporate U.S. holders. In determining the extent to which a distribution constitutes a dividend for tax purposes, our earnings and profits will be allocated first to distributions with respect to our preferred stock and then to our common stock. Corporate stockholders will not be eligible for the dividends received deduction with respect to these distributions.
For taxable years beginning before to January 1, 2026, individuals, trusts and estates may be able to deduct 20% of certain pass-through income, including generally ordinary REIT dividends, subject to certain limitations (the “pass-through deduction”). To qualify for the pass-through deduction, the stockholder receiving such dividend must hold the dividend-paying REIT shares for at least 46 days (taking into account certain special holding period rules) of the 91-day period beginning 45 days before the shares become ex-dividend, and cannot be under an obligation to make related payments with respect to a position in substantially similar or related property.
Distributions in excess of both current and accumulated earnings and profits will not be taxable to a U.S. holder to the extent that the distributions do not exceed the adjusted basis of the holder’s stock. Rather, such distributions will reduce the adjusted basis of the stock. To the extent that distributions exceed the adjusted basis of a U.S. holder’s stock, the distributions will be taxable as capital gains. A U.S. holder’s initial tax basis in a share of our capital stock is, in general, equal to the amount paid per share.
Distributions will generally be taxable, if at all, in the year of the distribution. However, if we declare a dividend in October, November or December of any year with a record date in one of these months and pay the dividend on or before January 31 of the following year, we will be treated as having paid the dividend, and the stockholder will be treated as having received the dividend, on December 31 of the year in which the dividend was declared.
Capital Gain Dividends. We may elect to designate distributions of our net capital gain as “capital gain dividends.” Capital gain dividends are taxed to U.S. holders of our stock as gain from the sale or exchange of a capital asset held for more than one year. This tax treatment applies regardless of the period during which the U.S. holders have held their stock. If we designate any portion of a dividend as a capital gain dividend, the amount that will be taxable to the stockholder as capital gain will be indicated to U.S. holders on IRS Form 1099-DIV. Corporate U.S. holders, however, may be required to treat up to 20% of capital gain dividends as ordinary income. Capital gain dividends are not eligible for the dividends-received deduction for corporations.
Instead of paying capital gain dividends, we may elect to require U.S. holders to include our undistributed net capital gains in their income. If we make such an election, U.S. holders (i) will include in their income as
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long-term capital gains their proportionate share of such undistributed capital gains and (ii) will be deemed to have paid their proportionate share of the tax paid by us on such undistributed capital gains and thereby receive a credit or refund for such amount. A U.S. holder of our capital stock will increase the basis in its shares of our capital stock by the difference between the amount of capital gain included in its income and the amount of tax it is deemed to have paid. Our earnings and profits will be adjusted appropriately.
We must classify portions of our designated capital gain dividend into the following categories:
a 20% gain distribution, which would be taxable to non-corporate U.S. holders of our stock at a rate of up to 20%; or
an unrecaptured Section 1250 gain distribution, which would be taxable to non-corporate U.S. holders of our stock at a maximum rate of 25%.
The IRS currently requires that distributions made to different classes of stock be composed proportionately of dividends of a particular type.
Passive Activity Loss and Investment Interest Limitation. Distributions and gain from the disposition of our capital stock will not be treated as passive activity income, and therefore U.S. holders will not be able to apply any “passive activity losses” against such income. Dividends paid by us, to the extent they do not constitute a return of capital, will generally be treated as investment income for purposes of the investment income limitation on the deduction of the investment interest.
Other Tax Considerations. U.S. holders of our capital stock may not include in their individual income tax returns any of our net operating losses or capital losses. Our operating or capital losses would be carried over by us for potential offset against future income, subject to applicable limitations.
Sales of Our Capital Stock. Upon any taxable sale or other disposition of our capital stock, a U.S. holder of our capital stock will recognize gain or loss for federal income tax purposes on the disposition of our capital stock in an amount equal to the difference between:
the amount of cash and the fair market value of any property received on such disposition; and
the U.S. holder’s adjusted basis in such REIT share for tax purposes.
Gain or loss will be capital gain or loss. The applicable tax rate will depend on the holder’s holding period in the asset (generally, if an asset has been held for more than one year it will produce long-term capital gain) and the holder’s tax bracket.
A holder’s adjusted tax basis generally will equal the U.S. holder’s acquisition cost, increased by the excess of net capital gains deemed distributed to the U.S. holder less tax deemed paid by it and reduced by any return of capital distribution. The applicable tax rate will depend on the holder’s holding period in the asset (generally, if an asset has been held for more than one year it will produce long-term capital gain) and the holder’s tax bracket. All or a portion of any loss that a U.S. holder realizes upon a taxable disposition of our capital stock may be disallowed if the U.S. holder purchases our capital stock within 30 days before or after the disposition.
Medicare Tax. Certain U.S. holders, including individuals and estates and trusts, are subject to an additional tax on all or a portion of their “net investment income,” which includes net gain from a sale or exchange of our capital stock and income from dividends paid on our capital stock. U.S. holders are urged to consult their tax advisors regarding the net investment income tax.
Taxation of U.S. Holders on Redemption of Preferred Stock
A redemption of preferred stock will be treated under Section 302 of the Code as a distribution that is taxable as dividend income (to the extent of our current or accumulated earnings and profits), unless the redemption satisfies certain tests set forth in Section 302(b) of the Code enabling the redemption to be treated as a sale of the preferred stock (in which case the redemption will be treated in the same manner as a sale described above in “—Taxation of U.S. Holders of our Capital Stock”). The redemption will satisfy such tests if it (i) is “substantially disproportionate” with respect to the U.S. holder’s interest in our stock, (ii) results in a “complete termination” of the U.S. holder’s interest in all classes of our stock or (iii) is “not essentially equivalent to a dividend” with respect to the U.S. holder, all within the meaning of Section 302(b) of the Code. In determining whether any of these tests have been met, stock considered to be owned by the U.S. holder by
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reason of certain constructive ownership rules set forth in the Code, as well as stock actually owned, generally must be taken into account. Because the determination as to whether any of the three alternative tests of Section 302(b) of the Code described above will be satisfied with respect to any particular U.S. holder of preferred stock depends upon the facts and circumstances at the time that the determination must be made, prospective investors are urged to consult their tax advisors to determine such tax treatment. If a redemption of preferred stock does not meet any of the three tests described above, the redemption proceeds will be taxable as a dividend, as described above in “—Taxation of U.S. Holders of our Capital Stock.” In that case, a U.S. holder’s adjusted tax basis in the redeemed preferred stock will be transferred to such U.S. holder’s remaining stockholdings in our company. If the U.S. holder does not retain any of our stock, such basis could be transferred to a related person that holds our stock or it may be lost.
Taxation of U.S. Holders on a Conversion of Preferred Stock
Except as provided below, (i) a U.S. holder generally will not recognize gain or loss upon the conversion of preferred stock into our common stock, and (ii) a U.S. holder’s basis and holding period in our common stock received upon conversion generally will be the same as those of the converted preferred stock (but the basis will be reduced by the portion of adjusted tax basis allocated to any fractional share exchanged for cash). Any of our shares of common stock received in a conversion that are attributable to accumulated and unpaid dividends on the converted preferred stock will be treated as a distribution that is potentially taxable as a dividend. Cash received upon conversion in lieu of a fractional share generally will be treated as a payment in a taxable exchange for such fractional share, and gain or loss will be recognized on the receipt of cash in an amount equal to the difference between the amount of cash received and the adjusted tax basis allocable to the fractional share deemed exchanged. This gain or loss will be long-term capital gain or loss if the U.S. holder has held the preferred stock for more than one year at the time of conversion. U.S. holders are urged to consult with their tax advisors regarding the U.S. federal income tax consequences of any transaction by which such holder exchanges shares of our common stock received on a conversion of preferred stock for cash or other property.
Taxation of Non-U.S. Holders of Our Capital Stock
The rules governing U.S. federal income taxation of non-U.S. holders are complex. This section is only a summary of such rules. We urge non-U.S. holders to consult their tax advisors to determine the impact of federal, state and local income tax laws on ownership of our capital stock, including any reporting requirements.
Distributions. Distributions by us to a non-U.S. holder of our capital stock that are neither attributable to gain from sales or exchanges by us of “United States real property interests” nor designated by us as capital gains dividends will be treated as dividends of ordinary income to the extent that they are made out of our current or accumulated earnings and profits. These distributions ordinarily will be subject to U.S. federal income tax on a gross basis at a rate of 30%, or a lower rate as permitted under an applicable income tax treaty, unless the dividends are treated as effectively connected with the conduct by the non-U.S. holder of a U.S. trade or business. Under some treaties, however, lower rates generally applicable to dividends do not apply to dividends from REITs. Further, reduced treaty rates are not available to the extent the income allocated to the non-U.S. holder is excess inclusion income. Excess inclusion income will generally be allocated to our stockholders to the extent we have “excess inclusion income” that exceeds our undistributed REIT taxable income in a particular year. See “—Our Taxation as a REIT— Taxable Mortgage Pools and REMICs.” Dividends that are effectively connected with a trade or business will be subject to tax on a net basis, that is, after allowance for deductions, at graduated rates, in the same manner as U.S. holders are taxed with respect to these dividends, and are generally not subject to withholding. Applicable certification and disclosure requirements must be satisfied to be exempt from withholding under the effectively connected income exception. Any dividends received by a corporate non-U.S. holder that is engaged in a U.S. trade or business also may be subject to an additional branch profits tax at a 30% rate, or lower applicable treaty rate. We expect to withhold U.S. income tax at the rate of 30% on any dividend distributions, not designated as (or deemed to be) capital gain dividends, made to a non-U.S. holder unless:
a lower treaty rate applies and the non-U.S. holder files an IRS Form W-8BEN or IRS Form W-8BEN-E, as applicable (or any applicable successor form), with us evidencing eligibility for that reduced rate is filed with us; or
the non-U.S. holder files an IRS Form W-8ECI (or any applicable successor form) with us claiming that the distribution is income effectively connected with the non-U.S. holder’s trade or business.
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Distributions in excess of our current or accumulated earnings and profits that do not exceed the adjusted basis of the non-U.S. holder in our capital stock will reduce the non-U.S. holder’s adjusted basis in our capital stock and will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax. Distributions in excess of current and accumulated earnings and profits that do exceed the adjusted basis of the non-U.S. holder in our capital stock will be treated as gain from the sale of its stock, the tax treatment of which is described below. See “—Taxation of Non-U.S. Holders of Our Capital Stock—Sales of Our Capital Stock.” Because we generally cannot determine at the time we make a distribution whether or not the distribution will exceed our current and accumulated earnings and profits, we normally will withhold tax on the entire amount of any distribution at the same rate as we would withhold on a dividend.
We would be required to withhold at least 15% of any distribution to a non-U.S. holder in excess of our current and accumulated earnings and profits if our capital stock constitutes a United States real property interest with respect to such non-U.S. holder, as described below under “—Taxation of Non-U.S. Holders of Our Capital Stock—Sales of Our Capital Stock.” This withholding would apply even if a lower treaty rate applies or the non-U.S. holder is not liable for tax on the receipt of that distribution. However, a non-U.S. holder may seek a refund of these amounts from the IRS if the non-U.S. holder’s U.S. tax liability with respect to the distribution is less than the amount withheld.
Distributions to a non-U.S. holder that are designated by us at the time of the distribution as capital gain dividends, other than those arising from the disposition of a United States real property interest, generally should not be subject to U.S. federal income taxation unless:
the investment in our capital stock is effectively connected with the non-U.S. holder’s trade or business, in which case the non-U.S. holder will be subject to the same treatment as U.S. holders with respect to any gain, except that a holder that is a foreign corporation also may be subject to the 30% branch profits tax, as discussed above; or
the non-U.S. holder is a nonresident alien individual who is present in the United States for 183 days or more during the taxable year and has a “tax home” in the United States, in which case the nonresident alien individual will be subject to a 30% tax on the individual’s capital gains.
Under the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980, which is referred to as “FIRPTA,” distributions to certain non-U.S. holders that are attributable to gain from sales or exchanges by us of United States real property interests, whether or not designated as a capital gain dividend, will cause such non-U.S. holders to be treated as recognizing gain that is income effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business. Such non-U.S. holders will be taxed on this gain at the same rates applicable to U.S. holders, subject to a special alternative minimum tax in the case of nonresident alien individuals. Also, this gain may be subject to a 30% (or lower applicable treaty rate) branch profits tax in the hands of a non-U.S. holder that is a corporation. Unless the non-U.S. holder is a “qualified shareholder” or a “qualified foreign pension fund” (each as defined below), we will be required to withhold and remit to the IRS the applicable FIRPTA withholding percentage of any distributions to non-U.S. holders that could have been designated as a capital gain dividend, whether or not attributable to sales of United States real property interests. Distributions can be designated as capital gains to the extent of our net capital gain for the taxable year of the distribution. The amount withheld, which for individual non-U.S. holders may exceed the actual tax liability, is creditable against the non-U.S. holder’s U.S. federal income tax liability.
However, the FIRPTA withholding tax will not apply to any capital gain dividend with respect to any class of our stock that is regularly traded on an established securities market located in the United States if the non-U.S. stockholder did not own more than 10% of such class of stock at any time during the one-year period ending on the date of such dividend. Instead, any capital gain dividend to such holder will be treated as a distribution of ordinary income subject to the rules discussed above under “—Taxation of Non-U.S. Holders of Our Capital Stock—Distributions.” Also, the branch profits tax will not apply to such a distribution.
Sales of Our Capital Stock. Gain recognized by a non-U.S. holder upon the sale or exchange of our capital stock generally would not be subject to U.S. taxation unless:
the investment in our capital stock is effectively connected with the non-U.S. holder’s U.S. trade or business, in which case the non-U.S. holder will be subject to the same treatment as domestic holders with respect to any gain;
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the non-U.S. holder is a nonresident alien individual who is present in the United States for 183 days or more during the taxable year and has a tax home in the United States, in which case the nonresident alien individual will be subject to a 30% tax on the individual’s net capital gains for the taxable year; or
the non-U.S. holder is not a “qualified shareholder” or a “qualified foreign pension fund” and our capital stock constitutes a United States real property interest within the meaning of FIRPTA, as described below.
Our capital stock will not constitute a United States real property interest if we either are not a United States real property holding corporation or we are a domestically-controlled REIT. Whether we are a United States real property holding corporation will depend upon whether the fair market value of United States real property interests owned by us equals or exceeds 50% of the fair market value of these interests, any interests in real estate outside of the United States, and our other trade and business assets. The term “United States real property interests” generally does not include mortgage loans or mortgage-backed securities, such as CMBS. As a result, we do not anticipate that we will be a United States real property holding corporation, but no assurance can be provided that we will not be treated as such. Even if we are a United States real property holding corporation, the disposition of our capital stock will not be subject to FIRPTA if we are a domestically-controlled REIT. Generally, a REIT is domestically controlled if, at all times during a specified testing period, less than 50% of the value of its shares is held directly or indirectly by non-U.S. persons.
Because our capital stock is publicly traded, no assurance can be given that we are or will be a domestically-controlled REIT. Even if we were a United States real property holding corporation and were not a domestically-controlled REIT, a sale of capital stock by a non-United States holder would nevertheless not be subject to taxation under FIRPTA as a sale of a United States real property interest if:
the applicable class of our stock were “regularly traded” on an established securities market within the meaning of applicable Treasury regulations; and
the non-U.S. holder did not actually, or constructively under specified attribution rules under the Code, own more than 10% of the applicable class of our stock at any time during the shorter of the five-year period preceding the disposition or the holder’s holding period.
We believe that our common stock and our Series A Preferred Stock are currently treated as being regularly traded on an established securities market. If gain on the sale or exchange of our capital stock were subject to taxation under FIRPTA, the non-U.S. holder would be subject to regular U.S. income tax with respect to any gain in the same manner as a taxable U.S. holder, subject to any applicable alternative minimum tax and special alternative minimum tax in the case of nonresident alien individuals. In such case, under FIRPTA, the purchaser of capital stock may be required to withhold 15% of the purchase price and remit this amount to the IRS.
Qualified Shareholders. Subject to the exception discussed below, any distribution to a “qualified shareholder” who holds our capital stock directly or indirectly (through one or more partnerships) will not be subject to U.S. federal income taxation under FIRPTA, and thus, will not be subject to special withholding rules under FIRPTA. While a “qualified shareholder” will not be subject to FIRPTA withholding on distributions by us or dispositions of our capital stock, the portion of REIT distributions or portion of sale proceeds attributable to certain investors of a “qualified shareholder” (i.e., non-U.S. persons who hold interests in the “qualified shareholder” (other than interests solely as a creditor) that hold more than 10% of the applicable class of our stock (whether or not by reason of the investor’s ownership interest in the “qualified shareholder”)) may be subject to FIRPTA withholding. REIT distributions received by a “qualified shareholder” that are exempt from FIRPTA withholding may still be subject to regular U.S. withholding tax.
A “qualified shareholder” is a foreign person that (i) either is eligible for the benefits of a comprehensive income tax treaty which includes an exchange of information program and whose principal class of interests is listed and regularly traded on one or more recognized stock exchanges (as defined in such comprehensive income tax treaty), or is a foreign partnership that is created or organized under foreign law as a limited partnership in a jurisdiction that has an agreement for the exchange of information with respect to taxes with the United States and has a class of limited partnership units representing greater than 50% of the value of all the partnership units that is regularly traded on the NYSE or Nasdaq markets, (ii) is a “qualified collective
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investment vehicle” (within the meaning of Section 897(k)(3)(B) of the Code), and (iii) maintains records on the identity of each person who, at any time during the foreign person’s taxable year, is the direct owner of 5% or more of the class of interests or units (as applicable) described in (i), above.
A qualified collective investment vehicle is a foreign person that (i) would be eligible for a reduced rate of withholding under the comprehensive income tax treaty described above, even if such entity holds more than 10% of the applicable class of the stock of such REIT, (ii) is publicly traded, is treated as a partnership under the Code, is a withholding foreign partnership, and would be treated as a “United States real property holding corporation” if it were a domestic corporation, or (iii) is designated as such by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury and is either (a) fiscally transparent within the meaning of Section 894 of the Code, or (b) required to include dividends in its gross income, but is entitled to a deduction for distributions to its investors.
Qualified Foreign Pension Funds. Any distribution to a “qualified foreign pension fund” (or an entity all of the interests of which are held by a “qualified foreign pension fund”) who holds our capital stock directly or indirectly (through one or more partnerships) will not be subject to U.S. federal income taxation under FIRPTA, and thus, will not be subject to special withholding rules under FIRPTA. REIT distributions received by a “qualified foreign pension fund” that are exempt from FIRPTA withholding may still be subject to regular U.S. withholding tax. In addition, a sale of our stock by a “qualified foreign pension fund” that holds such stock directly or indirectly (through one or more partnerships) will not be subject to U.S. federal income taxation under FIRPTA.
A qualified foreign pension fund is any trust, corporation, or other organization or arrangement (i) which is created or organized under the law of a country other than the United States, (ii) which is established by such country or an employer to provide retirement or pension benefits to participants or beneficiaries that are current or former employees (or persons designated by such employees) of one or more employers in consideration for services rendered, (iii) which does not have a single participant or beneficiary with a right to more than 5% of its assets or income, (iv) which is subject to government regulation and with respect to which annual information reporting about its beneficiaries is provided or is otherwise available to the relevant tax authorities in the country in which it is established or operates, and (v) with respect to which, under the laws of the country in which it is established or operates, (a) contributions to such organization or arrangement that would otherwise be subject to tax under such laws are deductible or excluded from the gross income of such entity or taxed at a reduced rate, or (b) taxation of any investment income of such organization or arrangement is deferred or such income is taxed at a reduced rate.
Taxation of Non-U.S. Holders on Conversion or Redemption of Preferred Stock
Conversion of Preferred Stock. The conversion of our preferred stock into our common stock may be a taxable exchange for a non-U.S. holder if our preferred stock constitutes a United States real property interest. Even if our preferred stock constitutes a U.S. real property interest, provided our common stock also constitutes a United States real property interest, a non-U.S. holder generally will not recognize gain or loss upon a conversion of preferred stock into our common stock so long as certain FIRPTA-related reporting requirements are satisfied. If our preferred stock constitutes a United States real property interest and such requirements are not satisfied, however, a conversion will be treated as a taxable exchange of preferred stock for our common stock. Such a deemed taxable exchange will be subject to tax under FIRPTA at the rate of tax, including any applicable capital gains rates, that would apply to a U.S. holder of the same type (e.g., a corporate or a non-corporate stockholder, as the case may be) on the excess, if any, of the fair market value of such non-U.S. holder’s common stock received over such non-U.S. holder’s adjusted basis in its preferred stock. Collection of such tax will be enforced by a refundable withholding tax at a rate of 15% of the value of the common stock.
Any shares of common stock received in a conversion that are attributable to accumulated and unpaid dividends on the converted preferred stock will be treated as a distribution that is potentially taxable as a dividend as described under “—Taxation of U.S. Holders of Our Capital Stock” above. Cash received upon conversion in lieu of a fractional share of common stock generally will be treated as a payment in a taxable exchange for such fractional share as described under “—Taxation of Non-U.S. Holders of Our Capital Stock” above.
Non-U.S. holders are urged to consult with their tax advisors regarding the U.S. federal income tax consequences of any transaction by which such non-U.S. holder exchanges shares of our common stock received on a conversion of preferred stock for cash or other property.
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Redemption of Preferred Stock. As described under “Taxation of U.S. Holders on Redemption of Preferred Stock” above, a redemption that satisfies certain tests set forth in Section 302(b) of the Code will be treated as a taxable exchange and a redemption that does not satisfy certain tests under Section 302(b) of the Code will be treated as a distribution that is taxable as dividend income (to the extent of our current or accumulated earnings and profits). For a more detailed discussion of the treatment of a redemption of preferred stock, see “Taxation of U.S. Holders on Redemption of Preferred Stock.”
Non-U.S. holders are urged to consult with their tax advisors regarding the U.S. federal income tax consequences of any transaction by which such non-U.S. holder redeems our preferred stock.
Taxation of Tax-Exempt Holders of Our Capital Stock
Provided that a tax-exempt holder has not held its capital stock as “debt-financed property” within the meaning of the Code, the dividend and interest income from us generally will not be unrelated business taxable income, referred to as UBTI, to a tax-exempt holder. Similarly, income from the sale of our capital stock will not constitute UBTI unless the tax-exempt holder has held its capital stock as debt-financed property within the meaning of the Code. To the extent, however, that we, or a part of us, or a disregarded subsidiary of ours, or a REIT in which we own an interest, is a taxable mortgage pool, a portion of the dividends paid to a tax-exempt stockholders that is allocable to excess inclusion income may be subject to tax as UBTI. See “—Our Taxation as a REIT—Taxable Mortgage Pools and REMICs.”
Notwithstanding the above, however, social clubs, voluntary employee benefit associations, supplemental unemployment benefit trusts and qualified group legal services plans that are exempt from taxation under special provisions of the U.S. federal income tax laws are subject to different UBTI rules, which generally will require them to characterize distributions that they receive from us as UBTI. Moreover, a portion of the dividends paid by a “pension-held REIT” are treated as UBTI as to any trust which is described in Section 401(a) of the Code, is tax-exempt under Section 501(a) of the Code, and holds more than 10%, by value, of the interests in the REIT. Tax-exempt pension funds that are described in Section 401(a) of the Code are referred to below as “pension trusts.”
A REIT is a “pension-held REIT” if it meets the following two tests:
it would not have qualified as a REIT but for Section 856(h)(3) of the Code, which provides that stock owned by pension trusts will be treated, for purposes of determining whether the REIT is closely held, as owned by the beneficiaries of the trust rather than by the trust itself; and
either (i) at least one pension trust holds more than 25% of the value of the interests in the REIT, or (ii) a group of pension trusts each individually holding more than 10% of the value of the REIT’s stock, collectively owns more than 50% of the value of the REIT’s stock.
The percentage of any REIT dividend from a “pension-held REIT” that is treated as UBTI is equal to the ratio of the UBTI earned by the REIT, treating the REIT as if it were a pension trust and therefore subject to tax on UBTI, to the total gross income of the REIT. An exception applies where the percentage is less than 5% for any year, in which case none of the dividends would be treated as UBTI. The provisions requiring pension trusts to treat a portion of REIT distributions as UBTI will not apply if the REIT is not a “pension-held REIT” (for example, if the REIT is able to satisfy the “not closely held requirement” without relying on the “look through” exception with respect to pension trusts). Our 9.8% ownership limit may make it less likely that a pension trust would hold more than 25% of the value of our capital stock or that a group of pension trusts each holding more than 10% of the value of our capital stock would hold more than 50% of the value of our capital stock. No assurance can be given, however, that we will not be a “pension-held REIT” because of ownership waivers or otherwise.
Backup Withholding Tax and Information Reporting
U.S. Holders of Our Capital Stock. In general, information-reporting requirements will apply to payments of dividends and interest on and payments of the proceeds of the sale of our capital stock held by U.S. holders, unless an exception applies. The payor is required to withhold tax on such payments if (i) the payee fails to furnish a taxpayer identification number, or TIN, to the payor or to establish an exemption from backup withholding, or (ii) the IRS notifies the payor that the TIN furnished by the payee is incorrect. In addition, a payor of the dividends or interest on our capital stock is required to withhold tax if (i) there has been a notified
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payee under-reporting with respect to interest, dividends or original issue discount described in Section 3406(c) of the Code, or (ii) there has been a failure of the payee to certify under the penalty of perjury that the payee is not subject to backup withholding under the Code. A U.S. holder that does not provide us with a correct TIN may also be subject to penalties imposed by the IRS. In addition, we may be required to withhold a portion of capital gain distributions to any U.S. holders who fail to certify their U.S. status to us. Some U.S. holders of our capital stock, including corporations, may be exempt from backup withholding. Any amounts withheld under the backup withholding rules from a payment to a stockholder will be allowed as a credit against the stockholder’s U.S. federal income tax and may entitle the stockholder to a refund, provided that the required information is furnished to the IRS. The payor will be required to furnish annually to the IRS and to holders of our capital stock information relating to the amount of dividends paid on our capital stock, and that information reporting may also apply to payments of proceeds from the sale of our capital stock. Some holders, including corporations, financial institutions and certain tax-exempt organizations, are generally not subject to information reporting.
Non-U.S. Holders of Our Capital Stock. Generally, information reporting will apply to payments of interest and dividends on our capital stock, and backup withholding described above for a U.S. holder will apply, unless the payee certifies that it is not a U.S. person or otherwise establishes an exemption.
The payment of the proceeds from the disposition of our capital stock to or through the U.S. office of a U.S. or foreign broker will be subject to information reporting and backup withholding as described above for U.S. holders unless the non-U.S. holder satisfies the requirements necessary to be an exempt non-U.S. holder or otherwise qualifies for an exemption. The proceeds of a disposition by a non-U.S. holder of our capital stock to or through a foreign office of a broker generally will not be subject to information reporting or backup withholding. However, if the broker is a U.S. person, a controlled foreign corporation for U.S. tax purposes, a foreign person 50% or more of whose gross income from all sources for specified periods is from activities that are effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business, a foreign partnership if partners who hold more than 50% of the interest in the partnership are U.S. persons, or a foreign partnership that is engaged in the conduct of a trade or business in the United States, then information reporting generally will apply as though the payment was made through a U.S. office of a U.S. or foreign broker.
Applicable U.S. Treasury regulations provide presumptions regarding the status of a holder of our capital stock when payments to such holder cannot be reliably associated with appropriate documentation provided to the payer. Because the application of these U.S. Treasury regulations varies depending on the stockholder’s particular circumstances, you are advised to consult your tax advisor regarding the information reporting requirements applicable to you.
Tax Aspects of Our Investments in the Partnerships
The following discussion summarizes material U.S. federal income tax considerations applicable to our direct or indirect investments in any subsidiary partnerships or limited liability companies that we own an interest in, each individually a “Partnership” and, collectively, the “Partnerships.” This discussion does not cover state or local tax laws or any federal tax laws other than income tax laws.
General. We plan to continue to conduct our activities through KKR Real Estate Finance Holdings L.P. (the “Operating Partnership”), our indirect wholly owned subsidiary, and we anticipate that our Operating Partnership will be treated as an entity disregarded as separate from us for U.S. federal income tax purposes or, if it admits a partner that is not an entity disregarded as separate from us for U.S. federal income tax purposes, as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Our Operating Partnership holds certain investments through entities that are classified as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes. In general, partnerships are “pass-through” entities that are not subject to U.S. federal income tax. Rather, the partners are allocated their proportionate shares of the items of income, gain, loss, deduction and credit of a partnership, and are potentially subject to tax on these items, without regard to whether the partners receive a distribution from the partnership. We will include in our income our proportionate share of any partnership items arising from Partnerships in which we or our Operating Partnership holds an interest for purposes of the various REIT income tests and in computation of our taxable income. Moreover, for purposes of the REIT asset tests, we will include in our calculations our proportionate share of any assets held by such Partnerships. In the event of an audit, a partnership, rather than the partners, may be liable for adjustments to a partnership’s tax returns in certain circumstances absent an election to the contrary. The effects of these rules on the Partnerships are uncertain, and prospective investors should consult their tax advisors regarding all aspects of this legislation as it affects their particular circumstances.
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Classification as Partnerships. We will be entitled to include in our income our distributive share of each Partnership’s income and to deduct our distributive share of each Partnership’s losses only if such Partnership is classified for U.S. federal income tax purposes as a partnership (or an entity that is disregarded for U.S. federal income tax purposes if the entity is treated as having only one owner or member for U.S. federal income tax purposes) rather than as a corporation or an association taxable as a corporation. An unincorporated entity with at least two owners or members will be classified as a partnership, rather than as a corporation, for federal income tax purposes if it:
is treated as a partnership under the U.S. Treasury regulations relating to entity classification (the “check-the-box regulations”); and
is not a “publicly-traded partnership.”
Under the check-the-box regulations, an unincorporated entity with at least two owners or members may elect to be classified either as an association taxable as a corporation or as a partnership. If such an entity fails to make an election, it generally will be treated as a partnership (or an entity that is disregarded for U.S. federal income tax purposes if the entity is treated as having only one owner or member for U.S. federal income tax purposes) for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
A publicly-traded partnership is a partnership whose interests are traded on an established securities market or are readily tradable on a secondary market or the substantial equivalent thereof. A publicly-traded partnership will not, however, be treated as a corporation for any taxable year if, for each taxable year beginning after December 31, 1987 in which it was classified as a publicly-traded partnership, 90% or more of the partnership’s gross income for such year consists of certain passive-type income, including real property rents, gains from the sale or other disposition of real property, interest (other than interest derived from a financial or insurance business), and dividends. U.S. Treasury regulations provide limited safe harbors from the definition of a publicly-traded partnership. Pursuant to one of those safe harbors or the “private placement exclusions,” interests in a partnership will not be treated as readily tradable on a secondary market or the substantial equivalent thereof if (i) all interests in the partnership were issued in a transaction or transactions that were not required to be registered under the Securities Act and (ii) the partnership does not have more than 100 partners at any time during the partnership’s taxable year. In determining the number of partners in a partnership, a person owning an interest in an entity that is a partnership, grantor trust, or S corporation that owns an interest in the partnership is treated as a partner in such partnership only if (i) substantially all of the value of the owner’s interest in the entity is attributable to the entity’s direct or indirect interest in the partnership and (ii) a principal purpose of the use of the entity is to permit the partnership to satisfy the 100-partner limitation. We expect that the Partnerships in which we own an interest will qualify for the private placement exception.
We have not requested, and do not intend to request, a ruling from the IRS that any Partnership will be classified as a partnership for United Stares federal income tax purposes. If for any reason a Partnership were taxable as a corporation, rather than as a partnership, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, we may not be able to qualify as a REIT unless we qualified for certain relief provisions. See “—Income Tests” and “—Asset Tests.” In addition, any change in a Partnership’s classification for tax purposes might be treated as a taxable event, in which case we might incur tax liability without any related cash distribution. See “—Annual Distribution Requirements Applicable to REITs.” Further, items of income and deduction of such Partnership would not pass through to us or its other partners, and we and its other partners would be treated as stockholders for tax purposes. Consequently, such partners, and we and its other partners would be treated as stockholders for tax purposes. Consequently, such Partnership would be required to pay income tax at corporate rates on its net income, and distributions to us and its other partners would constitute dividends that would not be deductible in computing such Partnership’s taxable income.
State and Local Taxes
We and our stockholders may be subject to state or local taxation in various state or local jurisdictions, including those in which we or they transact business or reside. Our state and local tax treatment and that of our stockholders may not conform to the U.S. federal income tax treatment discussed above. Consequently, prospective stockholders should consult their tax advisors regarding the effect of state and local tax laws on an investment in our capital stock.
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Tax Shelter Reporting
If a stockholder recognizes a loss with respect to stock of $2 million or more for an individual stockholder or $10 million or more for a corporate stockholder, the stockholder must file a disclosure statement with the IRS on Form 8886. Direct stockholders of portfolio securities are in many cases exempt from this reporting requirement, but stockholders of a REIT currently are not excepted. The fact that a loss is reportable under these regulations does not affect the legal determination of whether the taxpayer’s treatment of the loss is proper. Stockholders should consult their tax advisors to determine the applicability of these regulations in light of their individual circumstances.
Additional Withholding Requirements
Under sections 1471 through 1474 of the Code (such sections commonly referred to as “FATCA”), a 30% U.S. federal withholding tax will apply to dividends that we pay to certain foreign entities if such entities do not satisfy disclosure requirements related to U.S. accounts or ownership. Foreign entities must provide documentation evidencing compliance with or an exemption from FATCA, typically provided on IRS Form W-8BEN-E, to avoid this withholding tax. If a payment is both subject to withholding under FATCA and subject to withholding tax discussed above, the withholding under FATCA may be credited against, and therefore reduce, such other withholding tax. Non-U.S. holders and U.S. holders holding through foreign accounts or intermediaries should consult their tax advisors to determine the applicability of FATCA in light of their individual circumstances.
Legislative or Other Acts Affecting REITs
The present U.S. federal income tax treatment of REITs may be modified, possibly with retroactive effect, by legislative, judicial or administrative action at any time. The REIT rules are constantly under review by persons involved in the legislative process and by the IRS and the U.S. Treasury Department, which may result in statutory changes as well as revisions to regulations and interpretations. In addition, several proposals have been made that would make substantial changes to the U.S. federal income tax laws generally. We cannot predict whether any of these changes will become law. We cannot predict the long-term effect of any future law changes on REITs or their stockholders. Prospective investors are urged to consult their tax advisors regarding the effect of potential changes to the U.S. federal income tax laws on an investment in our stock.
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PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION
General
We and/or the selling securityholders (including the selling stockholders), and their pledgees, donees, transferees or other successors in interest, may sell the securities being offered by this prospectus in one or more of the following ways from time to time:
to or through underwriters or dealers;
through agents;
in “at the market offerings” to or through a market maker or into an existing trading market, or a securities exchange or otherwise;
on the NYSE;
in the over-the-counter market;
directly to purchasers; or
through a combination of any of these methods of sale or by any other legally available means.
A distribution of the securities offered by this prospectus may also be effected through the issuance of derivative securities, including without limitation, warrants, subscriptions, exchangeable securities, forward delivery contracts and the writing of options. In addition, the manner in which we and/or the selling securityholders may sell some or all of the securities covered by this prospectus includes, without limitation, through:
a block trade in which a broker-dealer will attempt to sell as agent, but may position or resell a portion of the block, as principal, in order to facilitate the transaction;
purchases by a broker-dealer, as principal, and resale by the broker-dealer for its account;
ordinary brokerage transactions and transactions in which a broker solicits purchasers; or
privately negotiated transactions.
We may also enter into derivative, hedging, forward sale, option or other types of transactions. For example, we may:
enter into transactions with a broker-dealer or affiliate thereof in connection with which such broker-dealer or affiliate will engage in short sales of, or maintain short positions in, the capital stock pursuant to this prospectus, in which case such broker-dealer or affiliate may use shares of capital stock received from us to close out or hedge its short positions;
sell securities short and redeliver such shares to close out or hedge our short positions;
enter into option or other types of transactions that require us to deliver capital stock to a broker-dealer or an affiliate thereof, who will then resell or transfer the capital stock under this prospectus; or
loan or pledge the capital stock to a broker-dealer or an affiliate thereof, who may sell the loaned shares or, in an event of default in the case of a pledge, sell the pledged shares pursuant to this prospectus.
In addition, we may enter into derivative, hedging, forward sale, option or other types of transactions with third parties, or sell securities not covered by this prospectus to third parties, through a stock exchange, including block trades or ordinary broker’s transactions, or through broker-dealers acting either as principal or agent, or through an underwritten public offering, through privately negotiated transactions or through a combination of any such methods of sale. In connection with such a transaction, the third parties may sell securities covered by and pursuant to this prospectus and an applicable prospectus supplement or pricing supplement, as the case may be. If so, the third party may use securities borrowed from us or others to settle such sales and may use securities received from us to close out or hedge any related short positions. We may also loan or pledge securities covered by this prospectus and an applicable prospectus supplement to third parties, who may sell the loaned securities or, in an event of default in the case of a pledge, sell the pledged securities pursuant to this prospectus and the applicable prospectus supplement or pricing supplement, as the case may be.
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If indicated in an applicable prospectus supplement, we may sell shares of our capital stock under a direct stock purchase and dividend reinvestment plan. The terms of any such plan will be set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement.
A prospectus supplement with respect to each series of securities will state the terms of the offering of the securities, including:
the terms of the offering;
the name or names of any underwriters, dealers or agents and the amounts of securities underwritten or purchased by each of them, if any;
the public offering price or purchase price of the securities and the net proceeds to be received by us from the sale;
any delayed delivery arrangements;
the terms of any subscription rights;
any initial public offering price;
any underwriting discounts and commissions or agency fees and other items constituting underwriters’ or agents’ compensation;
any discounts or concessions allowed or reallowed or paid to dealers; and
any securities exchange on which the securities may be listed.
The offer and sale of the securities described in this prospectus by us and/or the selling securityholders or the underwriters or the third parties described above may be effected from time to time in one or more transactions, including privately negotiated transactions, either:
at a fixed price or prices, which may be changed;
at market prices prevailing at the time of sale, including in “at the market offerings”;
at prices related to the prevailing market prices; or
at negotiated prices.
Selling Securityholders
The selling securityholders, and their pledgees, donees, transferees or other successors in interest, may offer our securities in one or more offerings, and if required by applicable law or in connection with an underwritten offering, pursuant to one or more prospectus supplements, and any such prospectus supplement will set forth the terms of the relevant offering as described above. To the extent our securities offered by a selling securityholder pursuant to a prospectus supplement remain unsold, the selling securityholder may offer those securities on different terms pursuant to another prospectus supplement. Sales by the selling securityholders may not require the provision of a prospectus supplement.
In addition to the foregoing, each of the selling securityholders may offer our securities at various times in one or more of the following transactions: through short sales, derivative and hedging transactions; by pledge to secure debts and other obligations; through offerings of securities exchangeable, convertible or exercisable for our securities; under forward purchase contracts with trusts, investment companies or other entities (which may, in turn, distribute their own securities); through distribution to its members, partners or shareholders; in exchange or over-the-counter market transactions; and/or in private transactions.
We will not receive any of the proceeds from the sale of securities by selling securityholders.
Underwriting Compensation
Any public offering price and any fees, discounts, commissions, concessions or other items constituting compensation allowed or reallowed or paid to underwriters, dealers, agents or remarketing firms may be changed from time to time. Underwriters, dealers, agents and remarketing firms that participate in the distribution of the offered securities may be “underwriters” as defined in the Securities Act. Any discounts or commissions they
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receive from us and/or the selling securityholders and any profits they receive on the resale of the offered securities may be treated as underwriting discounts and commissions under the Securities Act. We will identify any underwriters, agents or dealers and describe their fees, commissions or discounts in the applicable prospectus supplement or pricing supplement, as the case may be.
Underwriters and Agents
If underwriters are used in a sale, they will acquire the offered securities for their own account. The underwriters may resell the offered securities in one or more transactions, including negotiated transactions. We and/or the selling securityholders may offer the securities to the public either through an underwriting syndicate represented by one or more managing underwriters or through one or more underwriter(s). The underwriters in any particular offering will be identified in the applicable prospectus supplement or pricing supplement, as the case may be.
Unless otherwise specified in connection with any particular offering of securities, the obligations of the underwriters to purchase the offered securities will be subject to certain conditions contained in an underwriting agreement that we and/or the selling securityholders will enter into with the underwriters at the time of the sale to them. The underwriters will be obligated to purchase all of the securities of the series offered if any of the securities are purchased, unless otherwise specified in connection with any particular offering of securities. Any initial offering price and any discounts or concessions allowed, reallowed or paid to dealers may be changed from time to time.
We and/or the selling securityholders may designate agents to sell the offered securities. Unless otherwise specified in connection with any particular offering of securities, the agents will agree to use their best efforts to solicit purchases for the period of their appointment. We and/or the selling securityholders may also sell the offered securities to one or more remarketing firms, acting as principals for their own accounts or as agents for us and/or the selling securityholders. These firms will remarket the offered securities upon purchasing them in accordance with a redemption or repayment pursuant to the terms of the offered securities. A prospectus supplement or pricing supplement, as the case may be will identify any remarketing firm and will describe the terms of its agreement, if any, with us and/or the selling securityholders, and its compensation.
In connection with offerings made through underwriters or agents, we and/or the selling securityholders may enter into agreements with such underwriters or agents pursuant to which we receive our outstanding securities in consideration for the securities being offered to the public for cash. In connection with these arrangements, the underwriters or agents may also sell securities covered by this prospectus to hedge their positions in these outstanding securities, including in short sale transactions. If so, the underwriters or agents may use the securities received from us under these arrangements to close out any related open borrowings of securities.
Dealers
We and/or the selling securityholders may sell the offered securities to dealers as principals. We and/or the selling securityholders may negotiate and pay dealers’ commissions, discounts or concessions for their services. The dealer may then resell such securities to the public either at varying prices to be determined by the dealer or at a fixed offering price agreed to with us at the time of resale. Dealers engaged by us may allow other dealers to participate in resales.
Direct Sales
We and/or the selling securityholders may choose to sell the offered securities directly to multiple purchasers or a single purchaser. In this case, no underwriters or agents would be involved.
Subscription Offerings
Direct sales to investors or our stockholders may be accomplished through subscription offerings or through stockholder subscription rights distributed to stockholders. In connection with subscription offerings or the distribution of stockholder subscription rights to stockholders, if all of the underlying securities are not subscribed for, we may sell any unsubscribed securities to third parties directly or through underwriters or agents. In addition, whether or not all of the underlying securities are subscribed for, we may concurrently offer additional securities to third parties directly or through underwriters or agents. If securities are to be sold through
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stockholder subscription rights, the stockholder subscription rights will be distributed as a dividend to the stockholders for which they will pay no separate consideration. The prospectus supplement with respect to the offer of securities under stockholder purchase rights will set forth the relevant terms of the stockholder subscription rights, including:
whether common stock, preferred stock, depositary shares or warrants for those securities will be offered under the stockholder subscription rights;
the number of those securities or warrants that will be offered under the stockholder subscription rights;
the period during which and the price at which the stockholder subscription rights will be exercisable;
the number of stockholder subscription rights then outstanding;
any provisions for changes to or adjustments in the exercise price of the stockholder subscription rights; and
any other material terms of the stockholder subscription rights.
Indemnification; Other Relationships
We and/or the selling securityholders may agree to indemnify underwriters, dealers, agents and remarketing firms against certain civil liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act and to make contribution to them in connection with those liabilities. Underwriters, dealers, agents and remarketing firms, and their affiliates, may engage in transactions with, or perform services for us, and our affiliates, in the ordinary course of business, including commercial banking transactions and services.
Market Making, Stabilization and Other Transactions
Each series of securities will be a new issue of securities and will have no established trading market, other than our common stock, which is listed on the NYSE. Any shares of our common stock sold pursuant to a prospectus supplement will be listed on the NYSE, subject to official notice of issuance. Any underwriters to whom we and/or the selling securityholders sell securities for public offering and sale may make a market in the securities, but such underwriters will not be obligated to do so and may discontinue any market making at any time without notice. The securities, other than the common stock, may or may not be listed on a national securities exchange, and any such listing if pursued will be described in the applicable prospectus supplement.
To facilitate the offering of the securities, certain persons participating in the offering may engage in transactions that stabilize, maintain, or otherwise affect the price of the securities. This may include over-allotments or short sales of the securities, which involves the sale by persons participating in the offering of more securities than we sold to them. In these circumstances, these persons would cover the over-allotments or short positions by making purchases in the open market or by exercising their over-allotment option. In addition, these persons may stabilize or maintain the price of the debt securities by bidding for or purchasing debt securities in the open market or by imposing penalty bids, whereby selling concessions allowed to dealers participating in the offering may be reclaimed if securities sold by them are repurchased in connection with stabilization transactions. The effect of these transactions may be to stabilize or maintain the market price of the securities at a level above that which might otherwise prevail in the open market. These transactions may be discontinued at any time.
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LEGAL MATTERS
Unless otherwise indicated in the applicable prospectus supplement, certain legal matters will be passed upon us by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, New York, New York, and, with respect to matters of Maryland law, by Venable LLP, Baltimore, Maryland. Certain federal income tax matters will be passed upon for us by Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, Richmond, Virginia.
EXPERTS
The consolidated financial statements incorporated in this Prospectus by reference from the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K have been audited by Deloitte & Touche LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, as stated in their report, which is incorporated herein by reference. Such consolidated financial statements have been so incorporated in reliance upon the report of such firm given upon their authority as experts in accounting and auditing.
WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION
We have filed with the SEC a registration statement on Form S-3 under the Securities Act with respect to the securities offered by this prospectus. This prospectus, filed as part of the registration statement, does not contain all of the information set forth in the registration statement and its exhibits and schedules, portions of which have been omitted as permitted by the rules and regulations of the SEC. For further information about us and our securities, we refer you to the registration statement and to its exhibits and schedules.
We file annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements, and other information with the SEC pursuant to the Exchange Act. Our filings with the SEC, including the filings that are incorporated by reference to this prospectus, are available to the public on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Those filings are also available to the public on, or accessible through, our website at www.kkrreit.com. The information contained on or accessible through our corporate website or any other website that we may maintain is not incorporated by reference herein and is not part of this prospectus or the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part.
We intend to make available to our securityholders annual reports containing consolidated financial statements audited by an independent registered public accounting firm.
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INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE
The rules of the SEC allow us to incorporate information into this prospectus by reference. This means that we are disclosing important information to you by referring to other documents. The information incorporated by reference is considered to be part of this prospectus, except for any information superseded by information contained directly in this prospectus. We incorporate by reference the documents listed below and all documents that we subsequently file with the SEC under Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act prior to the termination of the offering of securities by means of this prospectus, from their respective filing dates (other than any portions thereof, which under the Exchange Act, and applicable SEC rules, are not deemed “filed” under the Exchange Act):
our 2020 Form 10-K, filed on February 16, 2021 (File No. 001-38082);
our Definitive Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A, filed on March 11, 2021 (but only with respect to information required by Part III of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020) (File No. 001-38082);
our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2021, filed on April 26, 2021 (File No. 001-38082);
our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2021, filed on July 26, 2021 (File No. 001-38082);
our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2021, filed on October 25, 2021 (File No. 001-38082);
our Current Reports on Form 8-K, filed on April 15, 2021, April 16, 2021, April 23, 2021, May 13, 2021, August 19, 2021, November 1, 2021 and December 20, 2021 (File Nos. 001-38082); and
the description of our securities contained in Exhibit 4.1 to our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019.
If we have incorporated by reference any statement or information in this prospectus and we subsequently modify that statement or information with information contained in this prospectus, the statement or information previously incorporated in this prospectus is also modified or superseded in the same manner.
We will provide without charge to each person, including any beneficial owner, to whom a copy of this prospectus is delivered, upon written or oral request of such person, a copy of any or all of the documents referred to above which have been incorporated by reference in this prospectus. You should direct requests for those documents to KKR Real Estate Finance Manager LLC, 30 Hudson Yards New York, New York 10001, Attention: Investor Relations; Tel: (212) 750-8300.
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4,400,000 Shares
KKR Real Estate Finance Trust Inc.
6.50% Series A Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock

PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT
 
Raymond James
 
KKR
 
January 6, 2022