|ENTERPRISE PRODUCTS PARTNERS L P filed this Form S-3 on 11/07/2017|
As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 7, 2017
Registration No. 333-
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933
ENTERPRISE PRODUCTS PARTNERS L.P.
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)
David C. Buck
Sidley Austin LLP
1000 Louisiana Street, Suite 6000
Houston, Texas 77002
Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public: From time to time after the effective date of this registration statement, as determined by market conditions and other factors.
If the only securities being registered on this form are being offered pursuant to dividend or interest reinvestment plans, please check the following box. ☐
If any of the securities being registered on this form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, other than securities offered only in connection with dividend or interest reinvestment plans, check the following box. ☒
If this Form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, please check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. ☐
If this form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. ☐
If this Form is a registration statement pursuant to General Instruction I.D. or a post-effective amendment thereto that shall become effective upon filing with the Commission pursuant to Rule 462(e) under the Securities Act, check the following box. ☐
If this Form is a post-effective amendment to a registration statement filed pursuant to General Instruction I.D. filed to register additional securities or additional class of securities pursuant to Rule 413(b) under the Securities Act, check the following box. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of large accelerated filer, accelerated filer, smaller reporting company and emerging growth company in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE
The Registrant hereby amends this Registration Statement on such date or dates as may be necessary to delay its effective date until the Registrant shall file a further amendment which specifically states that this Registration Statement shall thereafter become effective in accordance with Section 8(a) of the Securities Act or until the Registration Statement shall become effective on such date as the Commission, acting pursuant to said Section 8(a), may determine.
The information in this prospectus is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and it is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any state where the offer or sale is not permitted.
Subject to completion, dated November 7, 2017.
Enterprise Products Partners L.P.
We may offer and sell up to $2,538,500,000 of common units representing limited partner interests in Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (the common units) in amounts, at prices and on terms to be determined by market conditions and other factors at the time of our offerings.
This prospectus provides you with a general description of the common units we may offer. Each time we sell common units we will provide a prospectus supplement that will contain specific information about the terms of that offering. The prospectus supplement may also add, update or change information contained in this prospectus. You should read carefully this prospectus and any prospectus supplement before you invest. You should also read the documents we have referred you to in the Where You Can Find More Information section of this prospectus for information about us, including our financial statements.
Our principal executive offices are located at 1100 Louisiana Street, 10th Floor, Houston, Texas 77002. Our telephone number is (713) 381-6500 and our website is www.enterpriseproducts.com.
Our common units are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the trading symbol EPD.
Investing in our common units involves risks. Limited partnerships are inherently different from corporations. You should review carefully the section titled Risk Factors beginning on page 3 for a discussion of important risks you should consider before investing in our securities.
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.
This prospectus may not be used to consummate sales of securities by the registrant unless accompanied by a prospectus supplement.
The date of this prospectus is , 2017.
You should rely only on the information contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus or any prospectus supplement. We have not authorized any other person to provide you with different information. If anyone provides you with different or inconsistent information, you should not rely on it. You should not assume that the information incorporated by reference or provided in this prospectus or any prospectus supplement is accurate as of any date other than the date on the front of each document.
Unless the context requires otherwise, references to we, us, our and Enterprise as used in this prospectus are intended to mean the business and operations of Enterprise Products Partners L.P. and its consolidated subsidiaries and unconsolidated affiliates.
This prospectus is part of a registration statement that we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the Commission) using a shelf registration process. Under this shelf process, we may offer from time to time a number of common units having a summative total market value (based on offering prices at the time of each offering) of up to $2,538,500,000. Each time we offer securities, we will provide you with a prospectus supplement that will describe, among other things, the specific amounts, types and prices of the securities being offered and the terms of the offering. Any prospectus supplement may add, update or change information contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus. Any statement that we make in or incorporate by reference in this prospectus will be modified or superseded by any inconsistent statement made by us in a prospectus supplement. Therefore, you should read this prospectus (including any documents incorporated by reference) and any attached prospectus supplement before you invest in our securities.
We are a leading North American provider of midstream energy services to producers and consumers of natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGLs), crude oil, petrochemicals and refined products. Our integrated midstream energy asset network links producers of natural gas, NGLs and crude oil from some of the largest supply basins in the United States, Canada and the Gulf of Mexico with domestic consumers and international markets.
We conduct substantially all of our business through Enterprise Products Operating LLC (EPO) and are owned 100% by our limited partners from an economic perspective. Enterprise Products Holdings LLC, our general partner, manages our partnership and owns a non-economic general partner interest in us.
Our principal offices are located at 1100 Louisiana Street, 10th Floor, Houston, Texas 77002, and our telephone number is (713) 381-6500.
Limited partner interests are inherently different from the capital stock of a corporation, although many of the business risks to which we are subject are similar to those that would be faced by a corporation engaged in a similar business. Before you invest in our common units, you should carefully consider the risk factors included in our most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q incorporated herein by reference and those that may be included in the applicable prospectus supplement, together with all of the other information included in this prospectus, any prospectus supplement and the documents we incorporate by reference in evaluating an investment in our securities.
If any of the risks discussed in the foregoing documents were actually to occur, it could have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations and cash flow. In that case, our ability to make distributions to our unitholders may be reduced, the trading price of our common units could decline and you could lose all or part of your investment.
Unless we inform you otherwise in a prospectus supplement, we intend to use the net proceeds from any sale of securities described in this prospectus for general partnership purposes, such as working capital, investments in subsidiaries, the retirement of existing debt and/or the repurchase of common units or other securities. The prospectus supplement will describe the actual use of the net proceeds from the sale of securities. The exact amounts to be used and when the net proceeds will be applied to partnership purposes will depend on a number of factors, including our funding requirements and the availability of alternative funding sources.
Generally, our common units represent limited partner interests that entitle the holders to participate in our cash distributions and to exercise the rights and privileges available to limited partners under our partnership agreement. For a description of the relative rights and preferences of unitholders in and to cash distributions, please read Cash Distribution Policy elsewhere in this prospectus.
Our outstanding common units are listed on the NYSE under the symbol EPD. Any additional common units we issue will also be listed on the NYSE.
The transfer agent and registrar for our common units is Wells Fargo Shareowner Services.
Each holder of our common units is entitled to one vote for each unit on all matters submitted to a vote of the unitholders.
Except as described below under Limited Liability, our common units will be fully paid, and unitholders will not be required to make additional capital contributions to us.
Each purchaser of our common units must execute a transfer application whereby the purchaser requests admission as a substituted limited partner and makes representations and agrees to provisions stated in the transfer application. If this action is not taken, a purchaser will not be registered as a record holder of common units on the books of our transfer agent or issued a common unit certificate or other evidence of the issuance of uncertificated units. Purchasers may hold common units in nominee accounts.
An assignee, pending its admission as a substituted limited partner, is entitled to an interest in us equivalent to that of a limited partner with respect to the right to share in allocations and distributions, including liquidating distributions. Our general partner will vote and exercise other powers attributable to our common units owned by an assignee who has not become a substituted limited partner at the written direction of the assignee. Transferees who do not execute and deliver transfer applications will be treated neither as assignees nor as record holders of common units and will not receive distributions, U.S. federal income tax allocations or reports furnished to record holders of our common units. The only right the transferees will have is the right to admission as a substituted limited partner in respect of the transferred common units upon execution of a transfer application in respect of the common units. A nominee or broker who has executed a transfer application with respect to our common units held in street name or nominee accounts will receive distributions and reports pertaining to its common units.
Assuming that a limited partner does not participate in the control of our business within the meaning of the Delaware Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act (the Delaware Act) and that he otherwise acts in conformity with the provisions of our partnership agreement, his liability under the Delaware Act will be limited, subject to some possible exceptions, generally to the amount of capital he is obligated to contribute to us in respect of his units plus his share of any undistributed profits and assets.
Under the Delaware Act, a limited partnership may not make a distribution to a partner to the extent that at the time of the distribution, after giving effect to the distribution, all liabilities of the partnership, other than liabilities to partners on account of their partnership interests and liabilities for which the recourse of creditors is limited to specific property of the partnership, exceed the fair value of the assets of the limited partnership.
For the purposes of determining the fair value of the assets of a limited partnership, the Delaware Act provides that the fair value of the property subject to liability of which recourse of creditors is limited shall be included in the assets of the limited partnership only to the extent that the fair value of that property exceeds the nonrecourse liability. The Delaware Act provides that a limited partner who receives a distribution and knew at the time of the distribution that the distribution was in violation of the Delaware Act is liable to the limited partnership for the amount of the distribution for three years from the date of the distribution.
As soon as practicable, but in no event later than 120 days after the close of each fiscal year, our general partner will mail or furnish to each unitholder of record (as of a record date selected by our general partner) an annual report containing our audited financial statements for the past fiscal year. These financial statements will be prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. In addition, no later than 90 days after the close of each quarter (except the fourth quarter), our general partner will mail or furnish to each unitholder of record (as of a record date selected by our general partner) a report containing our unaudited quarterly financial statements and any other information required by law. We may furnish such reports by making them generally available on our website, www.enterpriseproducts.com.
Our general partner will use all reasonable efforts to furnish each unitholder of record information reasonably required for tax reporting purposes within 90 days after the close of each fiscal year. Our general partners ability to furnish this summary tax information will depend on the cooperation of unitholders in supplying information to our general partner. Each unitholder will receive information to assist him in determining his U.S. federal and state tax liability and filing his U.S. federal and state income tax returns.
A limited partner can, for a purpose reasonably related to the limited partners interest as a limited partner, upon reasonable demand and at his own expense, have furnished to him:
Our general partner may, and intends to, keep confidential from the limited partners trade secrets and other information the disclosure of which our general partner believes in good faith is not in our best interest or which we are required by law or by agreements with third parties to keep confidential.
We have agreed to certain registration rights under our partnership agreement as described under Description of Our Partnership AgreementRegistration Rights. In addition, in connection with our acquisition of the general partner of Oiltanking Partners, L.P., in October 2014, we issued 54,807,352 common units to Oiltanking Holdings Americas, Inc. (OTA) in a transaction exempt from the registration requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the Securities Act), pursuant to Section 4(a)(2) thereof, and we granted OTA registration rights with respect to these common units under a Registration Rights Agreement between us and OTA. OTA may request pursuant to this agreement that we prepare and file a registration
statement to permit and otherwise facilitate the public resale of all or a portion of the 54,807,352 Enterprise common units that OTA owns. Our obligation to OTA to effect such transactions is limited to five registration statements and underwritten offerings.
General. Within approximately 45 days after the end of each quarter, we distribute all of our available cash to unitholders of record on the applicable record date.
Definition of Available Cash. Available cash is defined in our partnership agreement and generally means, with respect to any calendar quarter, all cash on hand at the end of such quarter:
If we dissolve in accordance with the partnership agreement, we will sell or otherwise dispose of our assets in a process called a liquidation. We will first apply the proceeds of liquidation to the payment of our creditors in the order of priority provided in the partnership agreement and by law and, thereafter, we will distribute any remaining proceeds to the unitholders in accordance with their respective capital account balances as so adjusted.
Manner of Adjustments for Gain. The manner of the adjustment is set forth in the partnership agreement. Upon our liquidation, we will allocate any net gain (or unrealized gain attributable to assets distributed in kind to the partners) as follows:
Manner of Adjustments for Losses. Upon our liquidation, any net loss will generally be allocated to the unitholders as follows:
Adjustments to Capital Accounts. In addition, interim adjustments to capital accounts will be made at the time we issue additional partnership interests or make distributions of property. Such adjustments will be based on the fair market value of the partnership interests or the property distributed and any gain or loss resulting therefrom will be allocated to the unitholders in the same manner as gain or loss is allocated upon liquidation.
The following is a summary of the material provisions of our partnership agreement. Our amended and restated partnership agreement has been filed with the Commission. The following provisions of our partnership agreement are summarized elsewhere in this prospectus:
In addition, allocations of taxable income and other matters are described under Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences below in this prospectus.
Our purpose under our partnership agreement is to serve as a member of EPO, our primary operating subsidiary, and to engage in any business activities that may be engaged in by EPO or that are approved by our general partner. The limited liability company agreement of EPO provides that it may engage in any activity that was engaged in by our predecessors at the time of our initial public offering or reasonably related thereto and any other activity approved by our general partner.
Each limited partner, and each person who acquires a unit from a unitholder and executes and delivers a transfer application, grants to our general partner and, if appointed, a liquidator, a power of attorney to, among other things, execute and file documents required for our qualification, continuance or dissolution. The power of attorney also grants the authority for the amendment of, and to make consents and waivers under, our partnership agreement.
Unitholders will not have voting rights except with respect to the following matters, for which our partnership agreement requires the approval of the holders of a majority of the units, unless otherwise indicated:
Under the partnership agreement, our general partner generally will be permitted to effect, without the approval of unitholders, amendments to the partnership agreement that do not adversely affect unitholders.
Our partnership agreement authorizes us to issue an unlimited number of additional limited partner interests and other equity securities that are equal in rank with or junior to our common units on terms and conditions established by our general partner in its sole discretion without the approval of any limited partners.
It is possible that we will fund acquisitions through the issuance of additional common units or other equity securities. Holders of any additional common units we issue will be entitled to share equally with the then-existing holders of common units in our cash distributions. In addition, the issuance of additional partnership interests may dilute the value of the interests of the then-existing holders of common units in our net assets.
In accordance with Delaware law and the provisions of our partnership agreement, we may also issue additional partnership interests that, in the sole discretion of our general partner, may have special voting rights to which common units are not entitled.
Our general partner has the right, which it may from time to time assign in whole or in part to any of its affiliates, to purchase common units or other equity securities whenever, and on the same terms that, we issue those securities to persons other than our general partner and its affiliates, to the extent necessary to maintain their percentage interests in us that existed immediately prior to the issuance. The holders of common units will not have preemptive rights to acquire additional common units or other partnership interests in us.
Amendments to our partnership agreement may be proposed only by our general partner. Any amendment that materially and adversely affects the rights or preferences of any type or class of limited partner interests in relation to other types or classes of limited partner interests or our general partner interest will require the approval of at least a majority of the type or class of limited partner interests or general partner interests so affected. However, in some circumstances, more particularly described in our partnership agreement, our general partner may make amendments to our partnership agreement without the approval of our limited partners or assignees to reflect:
Any amendment to our partnership agreement that would have the effect of reducing the voting percentage required to take any action must be approved by the written consent or the affirmative vote of our limited partners constituting not less than the voting requirement sought to be reduced.
No amendment to our partnership agreement may (i) enlarge the obligations of any limited partner without its consent, unless such shall have occurred as a result of an amendment approved by not less than a majority of the outstanding partnership interests of the class affected, (ii) enlarge the obligations of, restrict in any way any action by or rights of, or reduce in any way the amounts distributable, reimbursable or otherwise payable to, our general partner or any of its affiliates without its consent, which consent may be given or withheld in its sole discretion, (iii) change the provision of our partnership agreement that provides for our dissolution (A) at the expiration of its term or (B) upon the election to dissolve us by the general partner that is approved by the holders of a majority of our outstanding common units and by special approval (as such term is defined under our partnership agreement), or (iv) change the term of us or, except as set forth in the provision described in clause (iii)(B) of this paragraph, give any person the right to dissolve us.
Except for certain amendments in connection with the merger or consolidation of us and except for those amendments that may be effected by the general partner without the consent of limited partners as described above, any amendment that would have a material adverse effect on the rights or preferences of any class of partnership interests in relation to other classes of partnership interests must be approved by the holders of not less than a majority of the outstanding partnership interests of the class so affected.
Except for those amendments that may be effected by the general partner without the consent of limited partners as described above or certain provisions in connection with our merger or consolidation, no amendment shall become effective without the approval of the holders of at least 90% of the outstanding units unless we obtain an opinion of counsel to the effect that such amendment will not affect the limited liability of any limited partner under applicable law.
Except for those amendments that may be effected by the general partner without the consent of limited partners as described above, the foregoing provisions described above relating to the amendment of our partnership agreement may only be amended with the approval of the holders of at least 90% of the outstanding units.
Our partnership agreement generally prohibits the general partner, without the prior approval of a majority of our outstanding common units, from causing us to, among other things, sell, exchange or otherwise dispose of all or substantially all of the assets of us or EPO in a single transaction or a series of related transactions (including by way of merger, consolidation or other combination). The general partner may, however, mortgage, pledge, hypothecate or grant a security interest in all or substantially all of the assets of us or EPO without the approval of a Unit Majority (as defined in the our partnership agreement). Our partnership agreement generally prohibits the general partner from causing us to merge or consolidate with another entity without the approval of a majority of the members of our Audit and Conflicts Committee, at least one of which majority meets certain independence requirements (such approval constituting special approval under our partnership agreement).
If certain conditions specified in our partnership agreement are satisfied, our general partner may merge us or any of our subsidiaries into, or convey some or all of our assets to, a newly formed entity if the sole purpose of that merger or conveyance is to change our legal form into another limited liability entity.
Our general partner does not receive any compensation for its services as our general partner. It is, however, entitled to be reimbursed for all of its costs incurred in managing and operating our business. Our partnership agreement provides that our general partner will determine the expenses that are allocable to us in any reasonable manner determined by our general partner in its sole discretion.
Our general partner may withdraw as general partner without first obtaining approval of any unitholder by giving 90 days written notice, and that withdrawal will not constitute a violation of our partnership agreement. In addition, our general partner may withdraw without unitholder approval upon 90 days notice to our limited partners if at least 50% of our outstanding common units are held or controlled by one person and its affiliates other than our general partner and its affiliates.
Upon the voluntary withdrawal of our general partner, the holders of a majority of our outstanding common units, excluding the common units held by the withdrawing general partner and its affiliates, may elect a successor to the withdrawing general partner. If a successor is not elected, or is elected but an opinion of counsel regarding limited liability and tax matters cannot be obtained, we will be dissolved, wound up and liquidated, unless within 90 days after that withdrawal, the holders of a majority of our outstanding common units, excluding the common units held by the withdrawing general partner and its affiliates, agree to continue our business and to appoint a successor general partner.
Our general partner may not be removed unless that removal is approved by the vote of the holders of not less than 60% of our outstanding units, including units held by our general partner and its affiliates, and we receive an opinion of counsel regarding limited liability and tax matters. In addition, if our general partner is removed as our general partner under circumstances where cause does not exist and units held by our general partner and its affiliates are not voted in favor of such removal, our general partner will have the right to convert its general partner interest into common units or to receive cash in exchange for such interests. Cause is narrowly defined to mean that a court of competent jurisdiction has entered a final, non-appealable judgment finding the general partner liable for actual fraud, gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct in its capacity as our general partner. Any removal of this kind is also subject to the approval of a successor general partner by the vote of the holders of a majority of our outstanding common units, including those held by our general partner and its affiliates.
While our partnership agreement limits the ability of our general partner to withdraw, it allows the general partner interest to be transferred to an affiliate or to a third party in conjunction with a merger or sale of all or substantially all of the assets of our general partner. In addition, our partnership agreement expressly permits the sale, in whole or in part, of the ownership of our general partner. Our general partner may also transfer, in whole or in part, the common units it owns.
At any time, the owners of our general partner may sell or transfer all or part of their ownership interests in the general partner without the approval of the unitholders.
We will continue as a limited partnership until terminated under our partnership agreement. We will dissolve upon:
Upon (a) our dissolution following the withdrawal or removal of the general partner and the failure of the partners to select a successor general partner, then within 90 days thereafter, or (b) our dissolution upon the bankruptcy or dissolution of the general partner, then, to the maximum extent permitted by law, within 180 days thereafter, the holders of a majority of the holders of our common units may elect to reconstitute us and continue our business on the same terms and conditions set forth in the our partnership agreement by forming a new limited partnership on terms identical to those set forth in our partnership agreement and having as the successor general partner a person approved by the holders of a majority of the holders of our common units. Unless such an election is made within the applicable time period as set forth above, we shall conduct only activities necessary to wind up our affairs.
Upon our dissolution, unless we are reconstituted and continued as a new limited partnership, the person authorized to wind up our affairs (the liquidator) will, acting with all the powers of our general partner that the liquidator deems necessary or desirable in its good faith judgment, liquidate our assets. The proceeds of the liquidation will be applied as follows:
Under some circumstances and subject to some limitations, the liquidator may defer liquidation or distribution of our assets for a reasonable period of time. If the liquidator determines that a sale would be impractical or would cause a loss to our partners, our general partner may distribute assets in kind to our partners.
For purposes of determining the limited partners entitled to notice of or to vote at a meeting of limited partners or to give approvals without a meeting, the general partner may set a record date, which shall not be less than 10 nor more than 60 days before (i) the date of the meeting (unless such requirement conflicts with any rule, regulation, guideline or requirement of any national securities exchange on which the limited partner interests are listed for trading, in which case the rule, regulation, guideline or requirement of such exchange shall govern) or (ii) in the event that approvals are sought without a meeting, the date by which limited partners are requested in writing by the general partner to give such approvals.
If authorized by the general partner, any action that may be taken at a meeting of the limited partners may be taken without a meeting if an approval in writing setting forth the action so taken is signed by limited partners owning not less than the minimum percentage of the outstanding limited partner interests (including limited partner interests deemed owned by the general partner) that would be necessary to authorize or take such action at a meeting at which all the limited partners were present and voted (unless such provision conflicts with any rule, regulation, guideline or requirement of any national securities exchange on which the limited partner interests are listed for trading, in which case the rule, regulation, guideline or requirement of such exchange shall govern). Special meetings of limited partners may be called by the general partner or by limited partners owning 20% or more of the outstanding limited partner interests of the class or classes for which a meeting is proposed. The holders of a majority of the outstanding limited partner interests of the class or classes for which a meeting has been called (including limited partner interests deemed owned by the general partner) represented in person or by proxy shall constitute a quorum at a meeting of limited partners of such class or classes unless any such action by the limited partners requires approval by holders of a greater percentage of such limited partner interests, in which case the quorum shall be such greater percentage.
Each holder of common units is entitled to one vote for each unit on all matters submitted to a vote of the common unitholders. Our common units held in nominee or street name account will be voted by the broker or other nominee in accordance with the instruction of the beneficial owner unless the arrangement between the beneficial owner and its nominee provides otherwise.
If at any time our general partner and its affiliates own 85% or more of the issued and outstanding limited partner interests of any class, our general partner will have the right to purchase all, but not less than all, of the outstanding limited partner interests of that class that are held by non-affiliated persons. The record date for determining ownership of the limited partner interests would be selected by our general partner on at least 10 but not more than 60 days notice. The purchase price in the event of a purchase under these provisions would be the greater of (1) the current market price (as defined in our partnership agreement) of the limited partner interests of the class as of the date three days prior to the date that notice is mailed to the limited partners as provided in the partnership agreement and (2) the highest cash price paid by our general partner or any of its affiliates for any limited partner interest of the class purchased within the 90 days preceding the date our general partner mails notice of its election to purchase the units.
As of October 31, 2017, our general partner and its privately held affiliates (excluding directors and officers except Randa Duncan Williams) owned the non-economic general partner interest in us and 685,514,092 common units, representing an aggregate 32% of our issued and outstanding units representing limited partner interests.
Section 17-108 of the Delaware Act empowers a Delaware limited partnership to indemnify and hold harmless any partner or other person from and against all claims and demands whatsoever. Our partnership agreement provides that we will indemnify (i) the general partner, (ii) any departing general partner, (iii) any person who is or was an affiliate of the general partner or any departing general partner, (iv) any person who is or was a member, partner, officer director, employee, agent or trustee of the general partner or any departing general partner or any affiliate of the general partner or any departing general partner or (v) any person who is or was serving at the request of the general partner or any departing general partner or any affiliate of any such person, any affiliate of the general partner or any fiduciary or trustee of another person (each, a Partnership Indemnitee), to the fullest extent permitted by law, from and against any and all losses, claims, damages, liabilities (joint or several), expenses (including, without limitation, legal fees and expenses), judgments, fines, penalties, interest, settlements and other amounts arising from any and all claims, demands, actions, suits or proceedings, whether civil, criminal, administrative or investigative, in which any Partnership Indemnitee may be
involved, or is threatened to be involved, as a party or otherwise, by reason of its status as a Partnership Indemnitee; provided that in each case the Partnership Indemnitee acted in good faith and in a manner that such Partnership Indemnitee reasonably believed to be in or not opposed to our best interests and, with respect to any criminal proceeding, had no reasonable cause to believe its conduct was unlawful. The termination of any proceeding by judgment, order, settlement, conviction or upon a plea of nolo contendere, or its equivalent, shall not create an assumption that the Partnership Indemnitee acted in a manner contrary to that specified above. Any indemnification under these provisions will be only out of the our assets, and the general partner shall not be personally liable for, or have any obligation to contribute or lend funds or assets to us to enable it to effectuate, such indemnification. We are authorized to purchase (or to reimburse the general partner or its affiliates for the cost of) insurance against liabilities asserted against and expenses incurred by such persons in connection with our activities, regardless of whether we would have the power to indemnify such person against such liabilities under the provisions described above.
Under our partnership agreement, we have agreed to register for resale under the Securities Act, and applicable state securities laws any common units or other partnership securities proposed to be sold by our general partner or any of its affiliates or their assignees if an exemption from the registration requirements is not otherwise available. We are obligated to pay all expenses incidental to the registration, excluding underwriting discounts and commissions.
This section is a summary of the material U.S. federal income tax considerations that may be relevant to prospective unitholders and, unless otherwise noted in the following discussion, is the opinion of Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP insofar as it describes legal conclusions with respect to matters of U.S. federal income tax law. Such statements are based on the accuracy of the representations made by us and our general partner to Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP, and statements of fact do not represent opinions of Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP. To the extent this section discusses U.S. federal income taxes, that discussion is based upon current provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Internal Revenue Code, existing and proposed Treasury Regulations, and current administrative rulings and court decisions, all of which are subject to change. Changes in these authorities may cause the tax consequences to vary substantially from the consequences described below.
This section does not address all U.S. federal, state and local tax matters that affect us or our unitholders and does not describe the application of the alternative minimum tax that may be applicable to certain unitholders. To the extent that this section relates to taxation by a state, local or other jurisdiction within the United States, such discussion is intended to provide only general information. We have not sought the opinion of legal counsel regarding U.S. state, local or other taxation and, thus, any portion of the following discussion relating to such taxes does not represent the opinion of Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP or any other legal counsel. Furthermore, this section focuses on holders of our common units who are individual citizens or residents of the United States, whose functional currency is the U.S. dollar and who hold common units as capital assets (generally, property that is held as an investment). This section has limited application to corporations, partnerships (and entities treated as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes), estates, trusts, non-resident aliens or other unitholders subject to specialized tax treatment, such as tax-exempt institutions, non-U.S. persons, individual retirement accounts, employee benefit plans, real estate investment trusts or mutual funds. Accordingly, we encourage each prospective unitholder to consult, and depend on, such unitholders own tax advisor in analyzing the U.S. federal, state, local and non-U.S. tax consequences particular to that unitholder resulting from their ownership or disposition of our common units.
No ruling has been or will be requested from the IRS regarding our status as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Accordingly, the opinions and statements made below may not be sustained by a court if contested by the IRS. Any contest of this sort with the IRS may materially and adversely impact the market for our common units and the prices at which our common units trade. In addition, the costs of any contest with the IRS, principally legal, accounting and related fees, will result in a reduction in cash available for distribution to our unitholders and thus will be borne indirectly by the unitholders. Furthermore, the tax treatment of us or of an investment in us may be significantly modified by future legislative or administrative changes or court decisions. Any modifications may or may not be retroactively applied.
For the reasons described below, Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP has not rendered an opinion with respect to the following specific U.S. federal income tax issues:
A partnership is not a taxable entity and incurs no U.S. federal income tax liability. Instead, each partner of a partnership is required to take into account his share of items of income, gain, loss and deduction of the partnership in computing his U.S. federal income tax liability, regardless of whether cash distributions are made to him by the partnership. Distributions by a partnership to a partner are generally not taxable to the partner unless the amount of cash distributed to him is in excess of the partners adjusted basis in his partnership interest.
Section 7704 of the Internal Revenue Code provides that publicly traded partnerships will, as a general rule, be taxed as corporations. However, an exception, referred to as the Qualifying Income Exception, exists with respect to publicly traded partnerships of which 90% or more of the gross income for every taxable year consists of qualifying income. Qualifying income includes income and gains derived from the exploration, development, mining or production, processing, refining, transportation, storage and marketing of any mineral or natural resource. Other types of qualifying income include interest (other than from a financial business), dividends, gains from the sale of real property and gains from the sale or other disposition of capital assets held for the production of income that otherwise constitutes qualifying income. We estimate that less than 5% of our current gross income is not qualifying income; however, this estimate could change from time to time. Based on and subject to this estimate, the factual representations made by us and our general partner and a review of the applicable legal authorities, Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP is of the opinion that at least 90% of our current gross income constitutes qualifying income. The portion of our income that is qualifying income may change from time to time.
No ruling has been or will be sought from the IRS and the IRS has made no determination as to our status or the status of EPO as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Instead, we will rely on the opinion of Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP on such matters. It is the opinion of Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP that, based upon the Internal Revenue Code, its regulations, published revenue rulings and court decisions and the representations described below, we and EPO will be classified as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
In rendering its opinion, Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP has relied on factual representations made by us and our general partner. The representations made by us and our general partner upon which Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP has relied include:
(a) Neither we nor EPO has elected or will elect to be treated as a corporation; and
(b) For each taxable year, more than 90% of our gross income has been and will be income that Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP has opined or will opine is qualifying income within the meaning of Section 7704(d) of the Internal Revenue Code.
We believe that these representations have been true in the past and expect that these representations will continue to be true in the future.
If we fail to meet the Qualifying Income Exception, other than a failure that is determined by the IRS to be inadvertent and that is cured within a reasonable time after discovery (in which case the IRS may also require us to make adjustments with respect to our unitholders or pay other amounts), we will be treated as if we had transferred all of our assets, subject to liabilities, to a newly formed corporation, on the first day of the year in which we fail to meet the Qualifying Income Exception, in return for stock in that corporation, and then distributed that stock to the unitholders in liquidation of their interests in us. This deemed contribution and liquidation should be tax-free to unitholders and us except to the extent that our liabilities exceed the tax basis of our assets at that time. Thereafter, we would be treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
The present federal income tax treatment of publicly traded partnerships, including us, or an investment in our common units may be modified by administrative or legislative action or judicial interpretation at any time. For example, from time to time, the President and members of the U.S. Congress propose and consider
substantive changes to the existing federal income tax laws that affect publicly traded partnerships. We are unable to predict whether any such changes will ultimately be enacted. However, it is possible that a change in law could affect us and may be applied retroactively. Any such changes could negatively impact the value of an investment in our units.
In addition, on January 24, 2017, final regulations regarding which activities give rise to qualifying income within the meaning of Section 7704 of the Code were published in the Federal Register. We do not believe these final regulations affect our ability to be treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
If we were taxable as a corporation in any taxable year, either as a result of a failure to meet the Qualifying Income Exception or otherwise, our items of income, gain, loss and deduction would be reflected only on our tax return rather than being passed through to the unitholders, and our net income would be taxed to us at corporate rates. If we were taxable as a corporation, losses we recognized would not flow through to our unitholders. In addition, any distribution made by us to a unitholder would be treated as (i) taxable dividend income, to the extent of current or accumulated earnings and profits, then (ii) a nontaxable return of capital, to the extent of the unitholders tax basis in his common units, and thereafter (iii) taxable capital gain from the sale of such common units. Accordingly, taxation of us as a corporation would result in a material reduction in a unitholders cash flow and after-tax return and thus would likely result in a substantial reduction of the value of the common units. The discussion below is based on Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLPs opinion that we will be classified as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
Unitholders whose common units are held in street name or by a nominee and who have the right to direct the nominee in the exercise of all substantive rights attendant to the ownership of their common units, will be treated as partners of Enterprise Products Partners L.P. for U.S. federal income tax purposes. As there is no direct authority addressing assignees of common units who are entitled to execute and deliver transfer applications and thereby become entitled to direct the exercise of attendant rights, but who fail to execute and deliver transfer applications, Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLPs opinion does not extend to these persons. Furthermore, a purchaser or other transferee of common units who does not execute and deliver a transfer application may not receive some U.S. federal income tax information or reports furnished to record holders of common units unless the common units are held in a nominee or street name account and the nominee or broker has executed and delivered a transfer application for those common units.
A beneficial owner of common units whose units have been transferred to a short seller to complete a short sale would appear to lose his status as a partner with respect to those common units for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Please read Tax Consequences of Common Unit OwnershipTreatment of Short Sales. Items of our income, gain, loss and deduction would not appear to be reportable by a unitholder who is not a partner for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and any cash distributions received by a unitholder who is not a partner for U.S. federal income tax purposes would therefore appear to be fully taxable as ordinary income. These unitholders are urged to consult their own tax advisors with respect to their tax consequences of holding our common units. The references to unitholders in the discussion that follows are to persons who are treated as partners in Enterprise Products Partners L.P. for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
Flow-through of Taxable Income. Subject to the discussion below under Administrative MattersInformation Returns and Audit Procedures, we will not pay any U.S. federal income tax. Instead, each unitholder is required to report on his income tax return his share of our income, gains, losses and deductions without regard to whether we make cash distributions to him. Consequently, we may allocate income to a unitholder even if he has not received a cash distribution. Each unitholder will be required to include in income
his allocable share of our income, gains, losses and deductions for our taxable year or years ending with or within his taxable year. Our taxable year ends on December 31.
Treatment of Distributions. Distributions by us to a unitholder generally will not be taxable to the unitholder for U.S. federal income tax purposes, except to the extent the amount of any such cash distribution exceeds his tax basis in his common units immediately before the distribution. Our cash distributions in excess of a unitholders tax basis in his common units generally will be considered to be gain from the sale or exchange of the common units, taxable in accordance with the rules described under Disposition of Common Units below. Any reduction in a unitholders share of our liabilities for which no partner bears the economic risk of loss, known as nonrecourse liabilities, will be treated as a distribution of cash to that unitholder. To the extent our distributions cause a unitholders at risk amount to be less than zero at the end of any taxable year, the unitholder must recapture any losses deducted in previous years. Please read Limitations on Deductibility of Losses.
A decrease in a unitholders percentage interest in us because of our issuance of additional common units will decrease his share of our nonrecourse liabilities, and thus will result in a corresponding deemed distribution of cash which may constitute a non-pro rata distribution. A non-pro rata distribution of money or property may result in ordinary income to a unitholder, regardless of his tax basis in his common units, if the distribution reduces the unitholders share of our unrealized receivables, including depreciation recapture, and/or substantially appreciated inventory items, both as defined in Section 751 of the Internal Revenue Code, and collectively, Section 751 Assets. To that extent, he will be treated as having been distributed his proportionate share of the Section 751 Assets and having then exchanged those assets with us in return for the non-pro rata portion of the actual distribution made to him. This latter deemed exchange will generally result in the unitholders realization of ordinary income, which will equal the excess of the non-pro rata portion of that distribution over the unitholders tax basis for the share of Section 751 Assets deemed relinquished in the exchange.
Basis of Common Units. A unitholders initial tax basis in his common units will be the amount he paid for those common units plus his share of our nonrecourse liabilities. That basis generally will be increased by his share of our income and gains and by any increases in his share of our nonrecourse liabilities. That basis generally will be decreased, but not below zero, by distributions from us, by the unitholders share of our losses and deductions, by any decreases in his share of our nonrecourse liabilities and by his share of our expenditures that are not deductible in computing taxable income and are not required to be capitalized. A unitholder will have a share of our nonrecourse liabilities generally based on Book-Tax Disparity (as described in Allocation of Income, Gain, Loss and Deduction) attributable to such unitholder, to the extent of such amount, and thereafter, such unitholders share of our profits. Please read Disposition of Common UnitsRecognition of Gain or Loss.
Limitations on Deductibility of Losses. The deduction by a unitholder of his share of our losses will be limited to the tax basis in his common units and, in the case of an individual unitholder or a corporate unitholder, if more than 50% of the value of the corporate unitholders stock is owned directly or indirectly by or for five or fewer individuals or some tax-exempt organizations, to the amount for which the unitholder is considered to be at risk with respect to our activities, if that amount is less than his tax basis. A unitholder subject to these limitations must recapture losses deducted in previous years to the extent that distributions cause his at risk amount to be less than zero at the end of any taxable year. Losses disallowed to a unitholder or recaptured as a result of these limitations will carry forward and will be allowable as a deduction in a later year to the extent that his tax basis or at risk amount, whichever is the limiting factor, is subsequently increased provided that such losses are otherwise allowable. Upon the taxable disposition of a common unit, any gain recognized by a unitholder can be offset by losses that were previously suspended by the at risk limitation but may not be offset by losses suspended by the basis limitation. Any excess loss above that gain previously suspended by the at risk or basis limitations is no longer utilizable.
In general, a unitholder will be at risk to the extent of the tax basis of his common units, excluding any portion of that basis attributable to his share of our nonrecourse liabilities, reduced by (i) any portion of that basis representing amounts other than those protected against loss because of a guarantee, stop-loss agreement or other similar arrangement and (ii) any amount of money he borrows to acquire or hold his units, if the lender of those borrowed funds owns an interest in us, is related to another unitholder who has an interest in us, or can look only to the common units for repayment. A unitholders at risk amount will increase or decrease as the tax basis of the unitholders common units increases or decreases, other than tax basis increases or decreases attributable to increases or decreases in his share of our nonrecourse liabilities.
In addition to the basis and at-risk limitations on the deductibility of losses, the passive loss limitations generally provide that individuals, estates, trusts and some closely-held corporations and personal service corporations are permitted to deduct losses from passive activities, which are generally trade or business activities in which the taxpayer does not materially participate, only to the extent of the taxpayers income from those passive activities. The passive loss limitations are applied separately with respect to each publicly traded partnership. Consequently, any passive losses we generate will only be available to offset our passive income generated in the future and will not be available to offset income from other passive activities or investments, including our investments or a unitholders investments in other publicly traded partnerships, or the unitholders salary, active business or other income. Further, a unitholders share of our net income may be offset by any suspended passive losses from his investment in us, but may not be offset by his current or carryover losses from other passive activities, including those attributable to other publicly traded partnerships. Passive losses that are not deductible because they exceed a unitholders share of income we generate may be deducted in full when the unitholder disposes of his entire investment in us in a fully taxable transaction with an unrelated party. The passive activity loss limitations are applied after other applicable limitations on deductions, including the at risk rules and the basis limitation.
A unitholders share of our net income may be offset by any of our suspended passive losses, but it may not be offset by any other current or carryover losses from other passive activities, including those attributable to other publicly traded partnerships.
Limitations on Interest Deductions. The deductibility of a non-corporate taxpayers investment interest expense is generally limited to the amount of that taxpayers net investment income. Investment interest expense includes:
The computation of a unitholders investment interest expense will take into account interest on any margin account borrowing or other loan incurred to purchase or carry a common unit. Net investment income includes gross income from property held for investment and amounts treated as portfolio income under the passive loss rules, less deductible expenses, other than interest, directly connected with the production of investment income, but generally does not include gains attributable to the disposition of property held for investment. The IRS has indicated that net passive income earned by a publicly traded partnership will be treated as investment income to its unitholders for purposes of the investment interest deduction limitation. In addition, the unitholders share of our portfolio income will be treated as investment income.
Entity-Level Collections. If we are required or elect under applicable law to pay any federal, state, local or foreign income tax on behalf of any unitholder or any former unitholder, it is authorized to pay those taxes from our funds. That payment, if made, will be treated as a distribution of cash to the unitholder on whose behalf the payment was made. If the payment is made on behalf of a person whose identity cannot be determined, we are
authorized to treat the payment as a distribution to all current unitholders. We are authorized to amend our partnership agreement in the manner necessary to maintain uniformity of intrinsic tax characteristics of common units and to adjust later distributions, so that after giving effect to these distributions, the priority and characterization of distributions otherwise applicable under our partnership agreement is maintained as nearly as is practicable. Payments by us as described above could give rise to an overpayment of tax on behalf of an individual unitholder in which event the unitholder would be required to file a claim in order to obtain a credit or refund.
Allocation of Income, Gain, Loss and Deduction. In general, if we have a net profit, our items of income, gain, loss and deduction will be allocated among the unitholders in accordance with their percentage interests in us. If we have a net loss for the entire year, that loss will be allocated to the unitholders in accordance with their percentage interests in us. Specified items of our income, gain, loss and deduction will be allocated to account for the difference between the tax basis and fair market value of our assets, a Book-Tax Disparity, at the time we issue units in an offering or engage in certain other transactions. The effect of these allocations, referred to as Section 704(c) Allocations, to a unitholder purchasing common units in such offering will be essentially the same as if the tax bases of our assets were equal to their fair market values at the time of such offering. In the event we issue additional common units or engage in certain other transactions in the future, reverse Section 704(c) Allocations, similar to the Section 704(c) Allocations described above, will be made to all of our unitholders immediately prior to such issuance or other transactions to account for any Book-Tax Disparity at the time of the future transaction. In addition, items of recapture income will be allocated to the extent possible to the unitholder who was allocated the deduction giving rise to the treatment of that gain as recapture income in order to minimize the recognition of ordinary income by other unitholders. Finally, although we do not expect that our operations will result in the creation of negative capital accounts, if negative capital accounts nevertheless result, items of our income and gain will be allocated in such amount and manner as is needed to eliminate the negative balance as quickly as possible.
An allocation of items of our income, gain, loss or deduction, other than an allocation required by the Internal Revenue Code to eliminate a Book-Tax Disparity, will generally be given effect for U.S. federal income tax purposes in determining a partners share of an item of income, gain, loss or deduction only if the allocation has substantial economic effect. In any other case, a partners share of an item will be determined on the basis of his interest in us, which will be determined by taking into account all the facts and circumstances, including:
Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP is of the opinion that, with the exception of the issues described in Section 754 Election and Disposition of Common UnitsAllocations Between Transferors and Transferees, allocations under our partnership agreement will be given effect for federal income tax purposes in determining a partners share of an item of income, gain, loss or deduction.
Treatment of Short Sales. A unitholder whose common units are loaned to a short seller to cover a short sale of common units may be considered as having disposed of those units. If so, he would no longer be treated for tax purposes as a partner with respect to those units during the period of the loan and may recognize gain or loss from the disposition. As a result, during this period:
Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP has not rendered an opinion regarding the tax treatment of a unitholder where common units are loaned to a short seller to cover a short sale of common units. Therefore, unitholders desiring to assure their status as partners and avoid the risk of gain recognition from a loan to a short seller are urged to consult a tax advisor to discuss whether it is advisable to modify any applicable brokerage account agreements to prohibit their brokers from borrowing and loaning their common units. The IRS has previously announced that it is studying issues relating to the tax treatment of short sales of partnership interests. Please also read Disposition of Common UnitsRecognition of Gain or Loss.
Tax Rates. Under current law, the highest marginal U.S. federal income tax rate applicable to ordinary income of individuals is 39.6% and the maximum U.S. federal income tax rate for net capital gains of an individual is 20% if the asset disposed of was a capital asset held for more than 12 months at the time of disposition. However, these rates are subject to change by new legislation at any time.
In addition, a 3.8% Medicare tax, or NIIT, applies to certain net investment income earned by individuals, estates and trusts. For these purposes, net investment income generally includes a unitholders allocable share of our income and gain realized by a unitholder from a sale of common units. In the case of an individual, the tax will be imposed on the lesser of (i) the unitholders net investment income or (ii) the amount by which the unitholders modified adjusted gross income exceeds $250,000 (if the unitholder is married and filing jointly or a surviving spouse), $125,000 (if the unitholder is married and filing separately) or $200,000 (in any other case). In the case of an estate or trust, the tax will be imposed on the lesser of (i) the undistributed net investment income, or (ii) the excess adjusted gross income over the dollar amount at which the highest income tax bracket applicable to an estate or trust begins. Prospective unitholders are urged to consult with their own tax advisors as to the impact of the NIIT on an investment in our common units.
Section 754 Election. We have made the election permitted by Section 754 of the Internal Revenue Code. That election is irrevocable without the consent of the IRS. The election generally permits us to adjust a common unit purchasers tax basis in our assets (inside basis) under Section 743(b) of the Internal Revenue Code to reflect his purchase price. This election applies to a person who purchases common units from a selling unitholder but does not apply to a person who purchases common units directly from us. The Section 743(b) adjustment belongs to the purchaser and not to other unitholders. For purposes of this discussion, a unitholders inside basis in our assets will be considered to have two components: (i) his share of our tax basis in our assets (common basis) and (ii) his Section 743(b) adjustment to that basis.
Treasury Regulations under Section 743 of the Internal Revenue Code require, if the remedial allocation method is adopted (which we have adopted), a portion of the Section 743(b) adjustment that is attributable to recovery property subject to depreciation under Section 168 of the Internal Revenue Code to be depreciated over the remaining cost recovery period for the propertys unamortized Book-Tax Disparity. Under Treasury Regulation Section 1.167(c)-1(a)(6), a Section 743(b) adjustment attributable to property subject to depreciation under Section 167 of the Internal Revenue Code, rather than cost recovery deductions under Section 168, is generally required to be depreciated using either the straight-line method or the 150% declining balance method. Under our partnership agreement, our general partner is authorized to take a position to preserve the uniformity of common units even if that position is not consistent with these and any other Treasury Regulations. Please read Uniformity of Common Units.
Although Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP is unable to opine as to the validity of this approach because there is no controlling authority on this issue, we intend to depreciate the portion of a Section 743(b) adjustment attributable to unrealized appreciation in the value of Contributed Property, to the extent of any unamortized Book-Tax Disparity, using a rate of depreciation or amortization derived from the depreciation or amortization method and useful life applied to the unamortized Book-Tax Disparity of the property, or treat that portion as non-amortizable to the extent attributable to property which is not amortizable. This method is consistent with methods employed by other publicly traded partnerships but is arguably inconsistent with Treasury Regulation Section 1.167(c)-1(a)(6), which is not expected to directly apply to a material portion of our assets. To the extent
this Section 743(b) adjustment is attributable to appreciation in value in excess of the unamortized Book-Tax Disparity, we will apply the rules described in the Treasury Regulations and legislative history. If we determine that this position cannot reasonably be taken, we may take a depreciation or amortization position under which all purchasers acquiring common units in the same month would receive depreciation or amortization, whether attributable to common basis or a Section 743(b) adjustment, based upon the same applicable rate as if they had purchased a direct interest in our assets. This kind of aggregate approach may result in lower annual depreciation or amortization deductions than would otherwise be allowable to some unitholders. Please read Uniformity of Common Units. A unitholders tax basis for his common units is reduced by his share of our deductions (whether or not such deductions were claimed on an individuals income tax return) so that any position we take that understates deductions will overstate the common unitholders basis in his common units, which may cause the unitholder to understate gain or overstate loss on any sale of such units. Please read Disposition of Common UnitsRecognition of Gain or Loss. The IRS may challenge our position with respect to depreciating or amortizing the Section 743(b) adjustment we take to preserve the uniformity of the common units. If such a challenge were sustained, the gain from the sale of common units might be increased without the benefit of additional deductions.
A Section 754 election is advantageous if the transferees tax basis in his common units is higher than the units share of the aggregate tax basis of our assets immediately prior to the transfer. In that case, as a result of the election, the transferee would have, among other items, a greater amount of depreciation deductions and his share of any gain or loss on a sale of our assets would be less. Conversely, a Section 754 election is disadvantageous if the transferees tax basis in his common units is lower than those units share of the aggregate tax basis of our assets immediately prior to the transfer. Thus, the fair market value of the common units may be affected either favorably or unfavorably by the election. A basis adjustment is required regardless of whether a Section 754 election is made in the case of a transfer of an interest in us if we have a substantial built-in loss immediately after the transfer, or if we distribute property and have a substantial basis reduction. Generally a basis reduction or a built-in loss is substantial if it exceeds $250,000.
The calculations involved in the Section 754 election are complex and will be made on the basis of assumptions as to the value of our assets and other matters. For example, the allocation of the Section 743(b) adjustment among our assets must be made in accordance with the Internal Revenue Code. The IRS could seek to reallocate some or all of any Section 743(b) adjustment we allocated to our tangible assets to goodwill instead. Goodwill, as an intangible asset, is generally either non-amortizable or amortizable over a longer period of time or under a less accelerated method than our tangible assets. We cannot assure you that the determinations we make will not be successfully challenged by the IRS and that the deductions resulting from them will not be reduced or disallowed altogether. Should the IRS require a different basis adjustment to be made, and should, in our opinion, the expense of compliance exceed the benefit of the election, we may seek permission from the IRS to revoke our Section 754 election. If permission is granted, a subsequent purchaser of common units may be allocated more income than he would have been allocated had the election not been revoked.
Accounting Method and Taxable Year. We use the year ending December 31 as our taxable year and the accrual method of accounting for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Each unitholder will be required to include in income his share of our income, gain, loss and deduction for our taxable year or years ending within or with his taxable year. In addition, a unitholder who has a taxable year different than our taxable year and who disposes of all of his common units following the close of our taxable year but before the close of his taxable year must include his share of our income, gain, loss and deduction in income for his taxable year, with the result that he will be required to include in income for his taxable year his share of more than one year of our income, gain, loss and deduction. Please read Disposition of Common UnitsAllocations Between Transferors and Transferees.
Tax Basis, Depreciation and Amortization. We use the tax basis of our assets for purposes of computing depreciation and cost recovery deductions and, ultimately, gain or loss on the disposition of these assets. The
U.S. federal income tax burden associated with the difference between the fair market value of our assets and their tax basis immediately prior to the time of an offering will be borne by our common unitholders immediately prior to the offering. Please read Tax Consequences of Common Unit OwnershipAllocation of Income, Gain, Loss and Deduction. To the extent allowable, we may elect to use the depreciation and cost recovery methods, including bonus depreciation to the extent available, that will result in the largest deductions being taken in the early years after assets subject to these allowances are placed in service. Property we subsequently acquire or construct may be depreciated using accelerated methods permitted by the Internal Revenue Code.
If we dispose of depreciable property by sale, foreclosure, or otherwise, all or a portion of any gain, determined by reference to the amount of depreciation previously deducted and the nature of the property, may be subject to the recapture rules and taxed as ordinary income rather than capital gain. Similarly, a common unitholder who has taken cost recovery or depreciation deductions with respect to property we own will likely be required to recapture some, or all, of those deductions as ordinary income upon a sale of his interest in us. Please read Tax Consequences of Common Unit OwnershipAllocation of Income, Gain, Loss and Deduction, and Disposition of Common UnitsRecognition of Gain or Loss.
The costs incurred in selling our common units (called syndication expenses) must be capitalized and cannot be deducted currently, ratably or upon our termination. There are uncertainties regarding the classification of costs as organization expenses, which we may amortize, and as syndication expenses, which we may not be able to amortize. The underwriting discounts and commissions we incur will be treated as syndication expenses.
Valuation and Tax Basis of Our Properties. The U.S. federal income tax consequences of the ownership and disposition of common units will depend in part on our estimates of the relative fair market values, and the tax bases, of our assets. Although we may from time to time consult with professional appraisers regarding valuation matters, we will make many of the relative fair market value estimates ourselves. These estimates and determinations of basis are subject to challenge and will not be binding on the IRS or the courts. If the estimates of fair market value or basis are later found to be incorrect, the character and amount of items of income, gain, loss or deductions previously reported by unitholders might change, and unitholders might be required to adjust their tax liability for prior years and incur interest and penalties with respect to those adjustments.
Recognition of Gain or Loss. Gain or loss will be recognized on a sale of common units equal to the difference between the unitholders amount realized and the unitholders tax basis for the common units sold. A unitholders amount realized will be measured by the sum of the cash or the fair market value of other property received by him plus his share of our nonrecourse liabilities attributable to the common units sold. Because the amount realized includes a unitholders share of our nonrecourse liabilities, the gain recognized on the sale of common units could result in a tax liability in excess of any cash received from the sale.
Prior distributions from us in excess of cumulative net taxable income for a common unit that decreased a unitholders tax basis in that common unit will, in effect, become taxable income if the common unit is sold at a price greater than the unitholders tax basis in that common unit, even if the price received is less than his original cost.
Except as noted below, gain or loss recognized by a unitholder, other than a dealer in common units, on the sale or exchange of a common unit will generally be taxable as capital gain or loss. Capital gain recognized by an individual on the sale of common units held more than 12 months will generally be taxed at the U.S. federal income tax rate applicable to long-term capital gains. However, a portion of this gain or loss, which will likely be substantial, will be separately computed and taxed as ordinary income or loss under Section 751 of the Internal Revenue Code to the extent attributable to assets giving rise to depreciation recapture or other unrealized receivables or to inventory items we own. The term unrealized receivables includes potential recapture items, including depreciation recapture. Ordinary income attributable to unrealized receivables,
inventory items and depreciation recapture may exceed net taxable gain realized on the sale of a common unit and may be recognized even if there is a net taxable loss realized on the sale of a common unit. Thus, a unitholder may recognize both ordinary income and a capital loss upon a sale of common units. Net capital losses may offset capital gains and no more than $3,000 of ordinary income each year in the case of individuals and may only be used to offset capital gains in the case of corporations. Both ordinary income and capital gain recognized on the sale or exchange of units may be subject to the NIIT in certain circumstances. Please read Tax Consequences of Common Unit OwnershipTax Rates.
The IRS has ruled that a partner who acquires interests in a partnership in separate transactions must combine those interests and maintain a single adjusted tax basis for all those interests. Upon a sale or other disposition of less than all of those interests, a portion of that tax basis must be allocated to the interests sold using an equitable apportionment method, which generally means that the tax basis allocated to the interest sold equals an amount that bears the same relation to the partners tax basis in his entire interest in the partnership as the value of the interest sold bears to the value of the partners entire interest in the partnership. Treasury Regulations under Section 1223 of the Internal Revenue Code allow a selling unitholder who can identify common units transferred with an ascertainable holding period to elect to use the actual holding period of the common units transferred. Thus, according to the ruling discussed above, a common unitholder will be unable to select high or low basis common units to sell as would be the case with corporate stock, but, according to the Treasury Regulations, may designate specific common units sold for purposes of determining the holding period of common units transferred. A unitholder electing to use the actual holding period of common units transferred must consistently use that identification method for all subsequent sales or exchanges of common units. A unitholder considering the purchase of additional common units or a sale of common units purchased in separate transactions is urged to consult his tax advisor as to the possible consequences of this ruling and application of the Treasury Regulations.
Specific provisions of the Internal Revenue Code affect the taxation of some financial products and securities, including partnership interests, by treating a taxpayer as having sold an appreciated partnership interest, one in which gain would be recognized if it were sold, assigned or terminated at its fair market value, if the taxpayer or related persons enter(s) into:
in each case, with respect to the partnership interest or substantially identical property.
Moreover, if a taxpayer has previously entered into a short sale, an offsetting notional principal contract or a futures or forward contract with respect to the partnership interest, the taxpayer will be treated as having sold that position if the taxpayer or a related person then acquires the partnership interest or substantially identical property. The Secretary of the Treasury is also authorized to issue regulations that treat a taxpayer that enters into transactions or positions that have substantially the same effect as the preceding transactions as having constructively sold the financial position.
Allocations Between Transferors and Transferees. In general, our taxable income or loss will be determined annually, will be prorated on a monthly basis and will be subsequently apportioned among the unitholders in proportion to the number of common units owned by each of them as of the opening of the applicable exchange on the first business day of the month, which we refer to in this prospectus as the Allocation Date. However, gain or loss realized on a sale or other disposition of our assets other than in the ordinary course of business will be allocated among the unitholders on the Allocation Date in the month in which that gain or loss is recognized. As a result, a unitholder transferring common units may be allocated income, gain, loss and deduction realized after the date of transfer.
Although recently issued final Treasury Regulations allow publicly traded partnerships to use a similar monthly simplifying convention to allocate tax items among transferor and transferee unitholders, these regulations do not specifically authorize all aspects of the proration method we have adopted. Accordingly, Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP is unable to opine on the validity of this method of allocating income and deductions between transferor and transferee unitholders. If the IRS were to successfully challenge our proration method, we may be required to change the allocation of items of income, gain, loss and deduction among our unitholders. We are authorized to revise our method of allocation between transferor and transferee unitholders, as well as unitholders whose interests vary during a taxable year, to conform to these Treasury Regulations.
A unitholder who owns common units at any time during a quarter and who disposes of them prior to the record date set for a cash distribution for that quarter will be allocated items of our income, gain, loss and deductions attributable to that quarter through the month of disposition but will not be entitled to receive that cash distribution.
Notification Requirements. A unitholder who sells any of his common units, other than through a broker, generally is required to notify us in writing of that sale within 30 days after the sale (or, if earlier, January 15 of the year following the sale). A purchaser of common units who purchases common units from another unitholder is also generally required to notify us in writing of that purchase within 30 days after the purchase. Upon receiving such notification, we are required to notify the IRS of that transaction and to furnish specified information to the transferor and transferee. Failure to notify us of a transfer of common units may, in some cases, lead to the imposition of penalties. However, these reporting requirements do not apply to a sale by an individual who is a citizen of the U.S. and who effects the sale or exchange through a broker who will satisfy such requirements.
Constructive Termination. We will be considered to have technically terminated our partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes if there is a sale or exchange of 50% or more of the total interests in our capital and profits within a twelve-month period. For purposes of determining whether the 50% threshold has been met, multiple sales of the same interest will be counted only once. Our technical termination would, among other things, result in the closing of our taxable year for all unitholders, which would result in us filing two tax returns (and our unitholders could receive two schedules K-1 if relief was not available, as described below) for one fiscal year and could result in a deferral of depreciation deductions allowable in computing our taxable income. In the case of a unitholder reporting on a taxable year other than a fiscal year ending December 31, the closing of our taxable year may also result in more than twelve months of our taxable income or loss being includable in his taxable income for the year of termination. Our termination currently would not affect our classification as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes, but instead we would be treated as a new partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes. If treated as a new partnership, we must make new tax elections, including a new election under Section 754 of the Internal Revenue Code, and could be subject to penalties if we are unable to determine that a termination occurred. The IRS has announced a publicly traded partnership technical termination relief program whereby, if a publicly traded partnership that technically terminated requests publicly traded partnership technical termination relief and such relief is granted by the IRS, among other things, the partnership will only have to provide one Schedule K-1 to unitholders for the year notwithstanding two partnership tax years.
Because we cannot match transferors and transferees of common units, we must maintain uniformity of the economic and tax characteristics of the common units to a purchaser of these units. In the absence of uniformity, we may be unable to completely comply with a number of U.S. federal income tax requirements, both statutory and regulatory. A lack of uniformity can result from a literal application of Treasury Regulation Section 1.167(c)-1(a)(6). Any non-uniformity could have a negative impact on the value of the common units. Please read Tax Consequences of Common Unit OwnershipSection 754 Election.
We intend to depreciate the portion of a Section 743(b) adjustment attributable to unrealized appreciation in the value of Contributed Property, to the extent of any unamortized Book-Tax Disparity, using a rate of depreciation or amortization derived from the depreciation or amortization method and useful life applied to the unamortized Book-Tax Disparity of that property, or treat that portion as nonamortizable, to the extent attributable to property which is not amortizable, consistent with the Treasury Regulations under Section 743 of the Internal Revenue Code, even though that position may be inconsistent with Treasury Regulation Section 1.167(c)-1(a)(6). Please read Tax Consequences of Common Unit OwnershipSection 754 Election. To the extent that the Section 743(b) adjustment is attributable to appreciation in value in excess of the unamortized Book-Tax Disparity, we will apply the rules described in the Treasury Regulations and legislative history. If we determine that this position cannot reasonably be taken, we may adopt a depreciation and amortization position under which all purchasers acquiring common units in the same month would receive depreciation and amortization deductions, whether attributable to a common basis or Section 743(b) adjustment, based upon the same applicable methods and lives as if they had purchased a direct interest in our property. If this position is adopted, it may result in lower annual depreciation and amortization deductions than would otherwise be allowable to some unitholders and risk the loss of depreciation and amortization deductions not taken in the year that these deductions are otherwise allowable. This position will not be adopted if we determine that the loss of depreciation and amortization deductions will have a material adverse effect on the unitholders. If we choose not to utilize this aggregate method, we may use any other reasonable depreciation and amortization method to preserve the uniformity of the intrinsic tax characteristics of any common units that would not have a material adverse effect on the unitholders. Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP is unable to opine on the validity of any of these positions. The IRS may challenge any method of depreciating the Section 743(b) adjustment described in this paragraph. If this challenge were sustained, the uniformity of common units might be affected, and the gain from the sale of common units might be increased without the benefit of additional deductions. We do not believe these allocations will affect any material items of income, gain, loss or deduction. Please read Disposition of Common UnitsRecognition of Gain or Loss.
Ownership of common units by employee benefit plans, other tax-exempt organizations, regulated investment companies, non-resident aliens, foreign corporations, and other foreign persons raises issues unique to those investors and, as described below, may have substantially adverse tax consequences to them. Employee benefit plans and most other organizations exempt from U.S. federal income tax, including individual retirement accounts and other retirement plans, are subject to U.S. federal income tax on unrelated business taxable income. Virtually all of our income allocated to a unitholder that is a tax-exempt organization will be unrelated business taxable income and will be taxable to it.
Non-resident aliens and foreign corporations, trusts or estates that own common units will be considered to be engaged in business in the United States because of the ownership of common units. As a consequence they will be required to file federal tax returns to report their share of our income, gain, loss or deduction and pay U.S. federal income tax at regular rates on their share of our net income or gain. Moreover, under rules applicable to publicly traded partnerships, our quarterly distribution to foreign unitholders will be subject to withholding at the highest applicable effective tax rate. Each foreign unitholder must obtain a taxpayer identification number from the IRS and submit that number to our transfer agent on a Form W-8 BEN, W-8BEN-E or applicable substitute form in order to obtain credit for these withholding taxes. A change in applicable law may require us to change these procedures. In addition, because a foreign corporation that owns common units will be treated as engaged in a United States trade or business, that corporation may be subject to the United States branch profits tax at a rate of 30%, in addition to regular U.S. federal income tax, on its share of our income and gain, as adjusted for changes in the foreign corporations U.S. net equity, that is effectively connected with the conduct of a United States trade or business. That tax may be reduced or eliminated by an income tax treaty between the United States and the country in which the foreign corporate unitholder is a qualified resident. In addition, this type of unitholder is subject to special information reporting requirements under Section 6038C of the Internal Revenue Code.
A foreign unitholder who sells or otherwise disposes of a common unit will be subject to U.S. federal income tax on gain realized from the sale or disposition of that unit to the extent the gain is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business of the foreign unitholder. Although the only court that has reviewed this position rejected it as unpersuasive, under a ruling published by the IRS interpreting the scope of effectively connected income, a foreign unitholder would be considered to be engaged in a trade or business in the U.S. by virtue of the U.S. activities of the partnership, and part or all of that unitholders gain would be effectively connected with that unitholders indirect U.S. trade or business. Apart from the ruling, a foreign unitholder will not be taxed or subject to withholding upon the sale or disposition of a common unit if he has owned 5% or less in value of the common units during the five-year period ending on the date of the disposition and if the common units are regularly traded on an established securities market at the time of the sale or disposition.
Information Returns and Audit Procedures. We intend to furnish to each unitholder, within 90 days after the close of each taxable year, specific tax information, including a Schedule K-1, which describes each unitholders share of our income, gain, loss and deduction for our preceding taxable year. In preparing this information, which will not be reviewed by counsel, we will take various accounting and reporting positions, some of which have been mentioned earlier, to determine each unitholders share of income, gain, loss and deduction. We cannot assure you that those positions will in all cases yield a result that conforms to the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code, Treasury Regulations or administrative interpretations of the IRS. The IRS may audit our U.S. federal income tax information returns. Neither we nor Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP can assure prospective unitholders that the IRS will not successfully contend in court that those positions are impermissible. Any challenge by the IRS could negatively affect the value of the common units.
Partnerships generally are treated as separate entities for purposes of U.S. federal income tax audits, judicial review of administrative adjustments by the IRS and tax settlement proceedings. The tax treatment of partnership items of income, gain, loss and deduction are determined in a partnership proceeding rather than in separate proceedings with the partners. Adjustments to items of our income, gain, loss or deduction resulting from an IRS audit may require each unitholder to adjust a prior years tax liability, and possibly may result in an audit of his return. Any audit of a unitholders return could result in adjustments not related to our returns as well as those related to our returns. The Internal Revenue Code requires that one partner be designated as the Tax Matters Partner for these purposes. Our partnership agreement names our general partner as our Tax Matters Partner.
The Tax Matters Partner has made and will make some elections on our behalf and on behalf of unitholders. In addition, the Tax Matters Partner can extend the statute of limitations for assessment of tax deficiencies against unitholders for items in our returns. The Tax Matters Partner may bind a unitholder with less than a 1% profits interest in us to a settlement with the IRS unless that unitholder elects, by filing a statement with the IRS, not to give that authority to the Tax Matters Partner. The Tax Matters Partner may seek judicial review, by which all the unitholders are bound, of a final partnership administrative adjustment and, if the Tax Matters Partner fails to seek judicial review, judicial review may be sought by any unitholder having at least a 1% interest in profits or by any group of unitholders having in the aggregate at least a 5% interest in profits. However, only one action for judicial review will go forward, and each unitholder with an interest in the outcome may participate in that action. A unitholder must file a statement with the IRS identifying the treatment of any item on his U.S. federal income tax return that is not consistent with the treatment of the item on our return. Intentional or negligent disregard of this consistency requirement may subject a unitholder to substantial penalties.
Legislation applicable to partnership tax years beginning after 2017 alters the procedures for auditing large partnerships and for assessing and collecting taxes due (including any applicable penalties and interest) as a result of a partnership-level federal income tax audit. Under the new rules, unless we are eligible (and do) elect to issue revised Schedules K-1 to our unitholders with respect to an audited and adjusted return, the IRS may assess and collect taxes (including any applicable penalties and interest) directly from us in the year in which the audit is completed. If we are required to make payments of taxes, penalties and interest resulting from audit adjustments, our cash available for distribution to our unitholders might be substantially reduced. In addition,
because payment would be due for the taxable year in which the audit is completed, partners during that taxable year would bear the expense of the adjustment even if they were not partners during the audited tax year. Pursuant to this new legislation, we will designate a person (our general partner) to act as the partnership representative who shall have the sole authority to act on behalf of the partnership with respect to dealings with the IRS under these new audit procedures.
Nominee Reporting. Persons who hold an interest in us as a nominee for another person are required to furnish the following information to us:
(a) the name, address and taxpayer identification number of the beneficial owner and the nominee;
(b) a statement regarding whether the beneficial owner is
(c) the amount and description of common units held, acquired or transferred for the beneficial owner; and
(d) specific information including the dates of acquisitions and transfers, means of acquisitions and transfers, and acquisition cost for purchases, as well as the amount of net proceeds from sales.
Brokers and financial institutions are required to furnish additional information, including whether they are United States persons and specific information on common units they acquire, hold or transfer for their own account. A penalty of $250 per failure, up to a maximum of $3,000,000 per calendar year, is imposed by the Internal Revenue Code for failure to report that information to us. The nominee is required to supply the beneficial owner of the common units with the information furnished to us.
Accuracy-Related Penalties. An additional tax equal to 20% of the amount of any portion of an underpayment of tax that is attributable to one or more specified causes, including negligence or disregard of rules or regulations, substantial understatements of income tax and substantial valuation misstatements, is imposed by the Internal Revenue Code. No penalty will be imposed, however, for any portion of an underpayment if it is shown that there was a reasonable cause for the underpayment of that portion and that the taxpayer acted in good faith regarding the underpayment of that portion.
For individuals, a substantial understatement of income tax in any taxable year exists if the amount of the understatement exceeds the greater of 10% of the tax required to be shown on the return for the taxable year or $5,000. The amount of any understatement subject to penalty generally is reduced if any portion is attributable to a position adopted on the return:
If any item of income, gain, loss or deduction included in the distributive shares of unitholders might result in that kind of an understatement of income for which no substantial authority exists, we must disclose the pertinent facts on our return. In addition, we will make a reasonable effort to furnish sufficient information for unitholders to make adequate disclosure on their returns and to take other actions as may be appropriate to permit unitholders to avoid liability for this penalty. More stringent rules apply to tax shelters, which we do not believe includes us.
A substantial valuation misstatement exists if (i) the value of any property, or the adjusted basis of any property, claimed on a tax return is 150% or more of the amount determined to be the correct amount of the
valuation or adjusted basis, (ii) the price for any property or services (or for the use of property) claimed on any such return with respect to any transaction between persons described in Internal Revenue Code Section 482 is 200% or more (or 50% or less) of the amount determined under Section 482 to be the correct amount of such price, or (iii) the net Internal Revenue Code Section 482 transfer price adjustment for the taxable year exceeds the lesser of $5 million or 10% of the taxpayers gross receipts. No penalty is imposed unless the portion of the underpayment attributable to a substantial valuation misstatement exceeds $5,000 ($10,000 for most corporations). If the valuation claimed on a return is 200% or more than the correct valuation, the penalty imposed increases to 40%. We do not anticipate making any valuation misstatements.
Reportable Transactions. If we were to engage in a reportable transaction, we (and possibly the unitholders and others) would be required to make a detailed disclosure of the transaction to the IRS. A transaction may be a reportable transaction based upon any of several factors, including the fact that it is a type of tax avoidance transaction publicly identified by the IRS as a listed transaction or that it produces certain kinds of losses in excess of $2 million in any single year, or $4 million in any combination of six successive taxable years. Our participation in a reportable transaction could increase the likelihood that our U.S. federal income tax information return (and possibly your tax return) would be audited by the IRS. Please read Information Returns and Audit Procedures above.
Moreover, if we were to participate in a reportable transaction with a significant purpose to avoid or evade tax, or in any listed transaction, you may be subject to the following additional consequences:
We do not expect to engage in any reportable transactions.
Registration as a Tax Shelter. We registered as a tax shelter under the law in effect at the time of our initial public offering and were assigned a tax shelter registration number. Issuance of a tax shelter registration number to us does not indicate that investment in us or the claimed tax benefits have been reviewed, examined or approved by the IRS. The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 repealed the tax shelter registration rules and replaced them with the reporting regime described above at Reportable Transactions. The term tax shelter has a different meaning for this purpose than under the penalty rules described above at Accuracy-Related Penalties.
In addition to U.S. federal income taxes, a unitholder likely will be subject to other taxes, such as state, local and foreign income taxes, unincorporated business taxes, and estate, inheritance or intangible taxes that may be imposed by the various jurisdictions in which, we do business or own property or in which a unitholder is a resident. Although an analysis of those various taxes is not presented here, each prospective unitholder should consider their potential impact on his investment in us. We currently own property or do business in a substantial number of states, virtually all of which impose a personal income tax and many impose an income tax on corporations and other entities. We may also own property or do business in other states in the future. Although a unitholder may not be required to file a return and pay taxes in some states because its income from that state falls below the filing and payment requirement, a unitholder will be required to file income tax returns and to pay income taxes in some or all of the jurisdictions in which we do business or own property and may be subject to penalties for failure to comply with those requirements. In some jurisdictions, tax losses may not produce a tax benefit in the year incurred and also may not be available to offset income in subsequent taxable years. Some of
the jurisdictions may require us, or we may elect, to withhold a percentage of income from amounts to be distributed to a unitholder who is not a resident of the jurisdiction. Withholding, the amount of which may be greater or less than a particular unitholders income tax liability to the jurisdiction, generally does not relieve a nonresident unitholder from the obligation to file an income tax return. Amounts withheld will be treated as if distributed to unitholders for purposes of determining the amounts distributed by us. Please read Tax Consequences of Common Unit OwnershipEntity-Level Collections. Based on current law and our estimate of future operations, any amounts required to be withheld are not contemplated to be material.
It is the responsibility of each unitholder to investigate the legal and tax consequences, under the laws of pertinent jurisdictions, of his investment in us. Accordingly, each prospective unitholder is urged to consult, and depend on, his own tax counsel or other advisor with regard to those matters. Further, it is the responsibility of each unitholder to file all state, local, and foreign as well as United States federal tax returns, that may be required of him. Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP has not rendered an opinion on the state, local, alternative minimum tax or foreign tax consequences of an investment in us.
An investment in our common units by an employee benefit plan is subject to additional considerations to the extent that the investments by these plans are subject to the fiduciary responsibility and prohibited transaction provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended ( ERISA), and restrictions imposed by Section 4975 of the Internal Revenue Code and provisions under any federal, state, local, non-U.S. or other laws or regulations that are similar to such provisions of the Internal Revenue Code or ERISA (collectively, Similar Laws). For these purposes, the term employee benefit plan includes, but is not limited to, certain qualified pension, profit-sharing and stock bonus plans, Keogh plans, simplified employee pension plans and individual retirement annuities or accounts (IRAs) established or maintained by an employer or employee organization, and entities whose underlying assets are considered to include plan assets of such plans, accounts and arrangements (collectively, Employee Benefit Plans). Among other things, consideration should be given by an employee benefit plan to:
In addition, the person with investment discretion with respect to the assets of an employee benefit plan or other arrangement that is covered by the prohibited transactions restrictions of the Internal Revenue Code, often called a fiduciary, should determine whether an investment in our common units is authorized by the appropriate governing instrument and is a proper investment for the plan or arrangement.
Section 406 of ERISA and Section 4975 of the Internal Revenue Code prohibit certain employee benefit plans, and Section 4975 of the Internal Revenue Code prohibits IRAs and certain other arrangements that are not considered part of an employee benefit plan, from engaging in specified transactions involving plan assets with parties that are parties in interest under ERISA or disqualified persons under the Internal Revenue Code with respect to the plan or other arrangement that is covered by ERISA or the Internal Revenue Code unless an exemption is available. A party in interest or disqualified person who engages in a non-exempt prohibited transaction may be subject to excise taxes and other penalties and liabilities under ERISA and/or the Internal Revenue Code. In addition, the fiduciary of an Employee Benefit Plan (other than an IRA) that engages in such a non-exempt prohibited transaction may be subject to penalties and liabilities under ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code.
In addition to considering whether the purchase of common units is a prohibited transaction, a fiduciary of an employee benefit plan or other arrangement should consider whether the plan or arrangement will, by investing in our common units, be deemed to own an undivided interest in our assets, with the result that our general partner also would be considered to be a fiduciary of the plan and our operations would be subject to the regulatory restrictions of ERISA, including its prohibited transaction rules and/or the prohibited transaction rules of the Internal Revenue Code, ERISA and any other applicable Similar Laws.
The U.S. Department of Labor regulations and Section 3(42) of ERISA provide guidance with respect to whether the assets of an entity in which employee benefit plans or other arrangements described above acquire equity interests would be deemed plan assets under some circumstances. Under these regulations, an entitys assets would not be considered to be plan assets if, among other things:
Our assets should not be considered plan assets under these regulations because it is expected that the investment in our common units will satisfy the requirements in the first bullet point above.
Plan fiduciaries contemplating a purchase of our common units should consult with their own counsel regarding the consequences of such purchase under ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code in light of possible personal liability for any breach of fiduciary duties and the imposition of serious penalties on persons who engage in prohibited transactions under ERISA or the Internal Revenue Code.
The foregoing discussion is general in nature, is not intended to be all-inclusive, and is based on laws in effect on the date of this prospectus. Such discussion should not be construed as legal advice. Due to the complexity of these rules and the excise taxes, penalties and liabilities that may be imposed upon persons involved in non-exempt prohibited transactions, it is particularly important that fiduciaries, or other persons considering purchasing our common units on behalf of, or with the assets of, any plan consult with their own counsel regarding the potential applicability of ERISA, Section 4975 of the Internal Revenue Code and Similar Laws to such investment and whether an exemption would be applicable to the purchase of our common units.
We may use this prospectus, any accompanying prospectus supplement and any related free writing prospectus to sell the common units from time to time in one or more transactions as follows: (1) through agents, (2) through underwriters or dealers, (3) directly to one or more purchasers, (4) pursuant to delayed delivery contracts or forward contracts, (5) through a combination of these methods or (6) through any other method permitted by applicable law.
Common units may be sold, from time to time, through agents designated by us. Unless otherwise indicated in a prospectus supplement, the agents will agree to use their reasonable best efforts to solicit purchases for the period of their appointment.
If underwriters are used in the sale, the offered common units will be acquired by the underwriters for their own account. The underwriters may resell the common units in one or more transactions, including negotiated transactions, at a fixed public offering price or at varying prices determined at the time of resale. The obligations of the underwriters to purchase the offered common units will be subject to certain conditions. The underwriters will be obligated to purchase all the offered common units if any of the securities are purchased. Any initial public offering price and any discounts or concessions allowed or re-allowed or paid to dealers may be changed from time to time.
If we utilize a dealer in the sale, we will sell the common units to the dealer, as principal. The dealer may then resell the common units to the public at varying prices to be determined by the dealer at the time of resale.
To the extent that we make sales through one or more underwriters or agents in at-the-market offerings, we will do so pursuant to the terms of a sales agency financing agreement or other at-the-market offering arrangement between us and the underwriters or agents. If we engage in at-the-market sales pursuant to any such agreement, we will issue and sell common units through one or more underwriters or agents, which may act on an agency basis or on a principal basis. During the term of any such agreement, we may sell common units on a daily basis in exchange transactions or otherwise as we agree with the underwriters or agents. The agreement will provide that any common units sold will be sold at prices related to the then prevailing market prices for such securities. Therefore, exact figures regarding proceeds that will be raised or commissions to be paid cannot be determined at this time. Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, we also may agree to sell, and the relevant underwriters or agents may agree to solicit offers to purchase, blocks of common units. The terms of each such agreement will be set forth in more detail in the applicable prospectus supplement and any related free writing prospectus. In the event that any underwriter or agent acts as principal, or any broker-dealer acts as underwriter, it may engage in certain transactions that stabilize, maintain, or otherwise affect the price of common units. We will describe any such activities in the prospectus supplement or any related free writing prospectus relating to the transaction.
Common units may also be sold directly by us from time to time. In this case, no underwriters or agents would be involved. We may use electronic media, including the Internet, to sell offered securities directly.
If indicated in the prospectus supplement, we will authorize agents, underwriters or dealers to solicit offers to purchase common units from us at the public offering price set forth in the prospectus supplement pursuant to
delayed delivery contracts or forward contracts providing for payment or delivery on a specified date in the future at prices determined as described in the prospectus supplement. Such contracts will be subject only to those conditions set forth in the prospectus supplement, and the prospectus supplement will set forth the commission payable for solicitation of such contracts.
We may set the price or prices of our common units at:
Underwriters, dealers or agents that participate in the distribution of the common units may be underwriters as defined in the Securities Act, and any discounts or commissions received by them from us and any profit on the resale of the common units by them may be treated as underwriting discounts and commissions under the Securities Act. Any underwriters or agents will be identified and their compensation will be described in a prospectus supplement.
We may have agreements with agents, underwriters or dealers to indemnify them against certain specified liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act. Agents, underwriters or dealers, or their affiliates, may be our customers or may engage in transactions with or perform services for us in the ordinary course of business.
To the extent required, this prospectus may be amended or supplemented from time to time to describe a particular plan of distribution. The place and time of delivery for the common units in respect of which this prospectus is delivered will be set forth in the accompanying prospectus supplement.
In connection with offerings of common units under the registration statement, of which this prospectus forms a part, and in compliance with applicable law, underwriters, brokers or dealers may engage in transactions that stabilize or maintain the market price of the common units at levels above those that might otherwise prevail in the open market. Specifically, underwriters, brokers or dealers may over-allot in connection with offerings, creating a short position in the common units for their own accounts. For the purpose of covering a syndicate short position or stabilizing the price of the common units, the underwriters, brokers or dealers may place bids for the common units or effect purchases of the common units in the open market. Finally, the underwriters may impose a penalty whereby selling concessions allowed to syndicate members or other brokers or dealers for distribution of the common units in offerings may be reclaimed by the syndicate if the syndicate repurchases previously distributed common units in transactions to cover short positions, in stabilization transactions or otherwise. These activities may stabilize, maintain or otherwise affect the market price of the common units, which may be higher than the price that might otherwise prevail in the open market, and, if commenced, may be discontinued at any time.
We file annual, quarterly and current reports, and other information with the Commission under the Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the Exchange Act) (Commission File No. 1-14323). You may read and copy any document we file at the Commissions public reference room at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549. Please call the Commission at 1-800-732-0330 for further information on the public reference room. Our filings are also available to the public at the Commissions website at http://www.sec.gov. In addition, documents filed by us can be inspected at the offices of the New York Stock Exchange, Inc., 20 Broad Street, New York, New York 10002. We maintain a website at www.enterpriseproducts.com. On the Investor Relations page of that site, we provide access to our Commission filings free of charge as soon as reasonably practicable after filing with the Commission. The information on our website is not incorporated by reference into this prospectus and you should not consider it a part of this prospectus.
The Commission allows us to incorporate by reference into this prospectus the information we file with it, which means that we can disclose important information to you by referring you to those documents. The information incorporated by reference is considered to be part of this prospectus, and later information that we file with the Commission will automatically update and supersede this information. We incorporate by reference the documents listed below and any future filings we make with the Commission under Section 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act until this offering is completed (other than information furnished under Items 2.02 or 7.01 of any Form 8-K, which is not deemed filed under the Exchange Act):
All filings made by us with the Commission pursuant to the Exchange Act after the date of this registration statement and prior to the effectiveness of this registration statement shall also be deemed incorporated by reference into this prospectus.
We will provide without charge to each person, including any beneficial owner, to whom this prospectus has been delivered, a copy of any or all of the documents incorporated by reference into this prospectus but not delivered with the prospectus. You may request a copy of these filings by writing or telephoning us at:
Enterprise Products Partners L.P.
1100 Louisiana Street, 10th Floor
Houston, Texas 77002
Attention: Investor Relations
Telephone: (713) 381-6500
This prospectus and some of the documents we have incorporated herein by reference contain various forward-looking statements and information that are based on our beliefs and those of our general partner, as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to us. These forward-looking statements are identified as any statement that does not relate strictly to historical or current facts. When used in this prospectus or the documents we have incorporated herein by reference, words such as anticipate, project, expect, plan, seek, goal, estimate, forecast, intend, could, should, will, believe, may, potential and similar expressions and statements regarding our plans and objectives for future operations, are intended to identify forward-looking statements.
Although we and our general partner believe that such expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, neither we nor our general partner can give assurances that such expectations will prove to be correct. Such statements are subject to a variety of risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or if underlying assumptions prove incorrect, our actual results may vary materially from those anticipated, estimated, projected or expected. Among the key risk factors that may have a direct bearing on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows are:
We may also incur credit and price risk to the extent counterparties do not fulfill their obligations to us in connection with our marketing of natural gas, NGLs, propylene, refined products and/or crude oil and long-term take-or-pay agreements. The quarterly cash distributions paid by Enterprise to its unitholders are derived from the cash distributions it receives from EPO. The amount of cash EPO can distribute depends primarily upon cash flow generated by its consolidated operations.
You should not put undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. When considering forward-looking statements, please review the risk factors described under Risk Factors in this prospectus, any prospectus supplement and in the documents incorporated by reference thereby.
Sidley Austin LLP, our counsel, will issue an opinion for us about the legality of the common units and Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP, our tax counsel, will issue an opinion for us about the material federal income tax considerations regarding the common units. Any underwriter will be advised about other issues relating to any offering by their own legal counsel.
The consolidated financial statements incorporated into this Prospectus by reference from Enterprise Products Partners L.P.s Annual Report on Form 10-K, and the effectiveness of Enterprise Products Partners L.P. and subsidiaries internal control over financial reporting have been audited by Deloitte & Touche LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, as stated in their reports, which are incorporated herein by reference. Such consolidated financial statements have been so incorporated in reliance upon the reports of such firm given upon their authority as experts in accounting and auditing.
INFORMATION NOT REQUIRED IN PROSPECTUS
ITEM 14. Other Expenses of Issuance and Distribution
The expenses of this offering (all of which are to be paid by the registrant) are estimated to be as follows:
ITEM 15. Indemnification of Directors and Officers
Section 17-108 of the Delaware Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act empowers a Delaware limited partnership to indemnify and hold harmless any partner or other person from and against all claims and demands whatsoever. Enterprise Products Partners L.P.s partnership agreement provides that Enterprise Products Partners L.P. will indemnify (i) Enterprise Products Holdings LLC, (ii) any departing general partner, (iii) any person who is or was an affiliate of Enterprise Products Holdings LLC or any departing general partner, (iv) any person who is or was a member, partner, officer director, employee, agent or trustee of Enterprise Products Holdings LLC or any departing general partner or any affiliate of Enterprise Products Holdings LLC or any departing general partner or (v) any person who is or was serving at the request of Enterprise Products Holdings LLC or any departing general partner or any affiliate of any such person, any affiliate of Enterprise Products Holdings LLC or any fiduciary or trustee of another person (each, an Enterprise Indemnitee), to the fullest extent permitted by law, from and against any and all losses, claims, damages, liabilities (joint or several), expenses (including, without limitation, legal fees and expenses), judgments, fines, penalties, interest, settlements and other amounts arising from any and all claims, demands, actions, suits or proceedings, whether civil, criminal, administrative or investigative, in which any Enterprise Indemnitee may be involved, or is threatened to be involved, as a party or otherwise, by reason of its status as an Enterprise Indemnitee; provided that in each case the Enterprise Indemnitee acted in good faith and in a manner that such Enterprise Indemnitee reasonably believed to be in or not opposed to the best interests of Enterprise Products Partners L.P. and, with respect to any criminal proceeding, had no reasonable cause to believe its conduct was unlawful. The termination of any proceeding by judgment, order, settlement, conviction or upon a plea of nolo contendere, or its equivalent, shall not create an assumption that the Enterprise Indemnitee acted in a manner contrary to that specified above. Any indemnification under these provisions will be only out of the assets of Enterprise Products Partners L.P., and Enterprise Products Holdings LLC shall not be personally liable for, or have any obligation to contribute or lend funds or assets to Enterprise Products Partners L.P. to enable it to effectuate, such indemnification. Enterprise Products Partners L.P. is authorized to purchase (or to reimburse Enterprise Products Holdings LLC or its affiliates for the cost of) insurance against liabilities asserted against and expenses incurred by such persons in connection with Enterprise Products Partners L.P.s activities, regardless of whether Enterprise Products Partners L.P. would have the power to indemnify such person against such liabilities under the provisions described above.
Section 18-108 of the Delaware Limited Liability Company Act provides that, subject to such standards and restrictions, if any, as are set forth in its limited liability company agreement, a Delaware limited liability company may, and shall have the power to, indemnify and hold harmless any member or manager or other person from and against any and all claims and demands whatsoever. The limited liability company agreement of Enterprise Products Holdings LLC provides for the indemnification of (i) present or former members of the Board of Directors of Enterprise Products Holdings LLC or any committee thereof, (ii) present or former officers, employees, partners, agents or trustees of Enterprise Products Holdings LLC or (iii) persons serving at the request of Enterprise Products Holdings LLC in another entity in a similar capacity as that referred to in the
immediately preceding clauses (i) or (ii) (each, a General Partner Indemnitee) to the fullest extent permitted by law, from and against any and all losses, claims, damages, liabilities, joint or several, expenses (including reasonable legal fees and expenses), judgments, fines, penalties, interest, settlements and other amounts arising from any and all claims, demands, actions, suits or proceedings, whether civil, criminal, administrative or investigative, in which any such person may be involved, or is threatened to be involved, as a party or otherwise, by reason of such persons status as a General Partner Indemnitee; provided, that in each case the General Partner Indemnitee acted in good faith and in a manner which such General Partner Indemnitee believed to be in, or not opposed to, the best interests of Enterprise Products Holdings LLC and, with respect to any criminal proceeding, had no reasonable cause to believe such General Partner Indemnitees conduct was unlawful. The termination of any action, suit or proceeding by judgment, order, settlement, conviction or upon a plea of nolo contendere, or its equivalent, shall not create a presumption that the General Partner Indemnitee acted in a manner contrary to that specified above. Any indemnification pursuant to these provisions shall be made only out of the assets of Enterprise Products Holdings LLC. Enterprise Products Holdings LLC is authorized to purchase and maintain insurance, on behalf of the members of its Board of Directors, its officers and such other persons as the Board of Directors may determine, against any liability that may be asserted against or expense that may be incurred by such person in connection with the activities of Enterprise Products Holdings LLC, regardless of whether Enterprise Products Holdings LLC would have the power to indemnify such person against such liability under the provisions of its limited liability company agreement.
Enterprise Products Holdings LLC and its affiliates maintain liability insurance covering the officers and directors of Enterprise Products Holdings LLC against some liabilities, including certain liabilities under the Securities Act, that may be incurred by them.
ITEM 16. Exhibits
ITEM 17. Undertakings
(a) The undersigned registrant hereby undertakes:
(1) To file, during any period in which offers or sales are being made, a post-effective amendment to this registration statement:
(i) To include any prospectus required by Section 10(a)(3) of the Securities Act;
(ii) To reflect in the prospectus any facts or events arising after the effective date of the registration statement (or the most recent post-effective amendment thereof) which, individually or in the aggregate, represent a fundamental change in the information set forth in the registration statement. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any increase or decrease in volume of securities offered (if the total dollar value of securities offered would not exceed that which was registered) and any deviation from the low or high end of the estimated maximum offering range may be reflected in the form of prospectus filed with the Commission pursuant to Rule 424(b) if, in the aggregate, the changes in volume and price represent no more than a 20% change in the maximum aggregate offering price set forth in the Calculation of Registration Fee table in the effective registration statement; and
(iii) To include any material information with respect to the plan of distribution not previously disclosed in the registration statement or any material change to such information in the registration statement;
provided, however, that (1) paragraphs (a)(1)(i), (a)(1)(ii) and (a)(1)(iii) of this section do not apply if the information required to be included in a post-effective amendment by those paragraphs is contained in reports filed with or furnished to the Commission by the registrant pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act that are incorporated by reference in the registration statement, or is contained in a form of prospectus filed pursuant to Rule 424(b) that is part of the registration statement.
(2) That, for the purpose of determining any liability under the Securities Act, each such post-effective amendment shall be deemed to be a new registration statement relating to the securities offered therein, and the offering of such securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering thereof.
(3) To remove from registration by means of a post-effective amendment any of the securities being registered which remain unsold at the termination of the offering.
(4) That, for the purpose of determining any liability under the Securities Act to any purchaser:
(i) Each prospectus filed by the registrant pursuant to Rule 424(b)(3) shall be deemed to be part of the registration statement as of the date the filed prospectus was deemed part of and included in the registration statement; and
(ii) Each prospectus required to be filed pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2), (b)(5) or (b)(7) as part of a registration statement in reliance on Rule 430B relating to an offering made pursuant to Rule 415(a)(1)(i), (vii) or (x) for the purpose of providing the information required by Section 10(a) of the Securities Act shall be deemed to be part of and included in the registration statement as of the earlier of the date such form of prospectus is first used after effectiveness or the date of the first contract of sale of securities in the offering described in the prospectus. As provided in Rule 430B, for liability purposes of the issuer and any person that is at that date an underwriter, such date shall be deemed to be a new effective date of the registration statement relating to the securities in the registration statement to which that prospectus relates, and the offering of such securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering thereof. Provided, however, that no statement made in a registration statement or prospectus that is part of the registration statement or made in a document incorporated or deemed incorporated by reference into the registration statement or prospectus that is part of the registration statement will, as to a purchaser with a time of contract of sale prior to such effective date, supersede or modify any statement that was made in the registration statement or prospectus that was part of the registration statement or made in any such document immediately prior to such effective date.
(5) That, for the purpose of determining liability of the registrant under the Securities Act to any purchaser in the initial distribution of the securities, the undersigned registrant undertakes that in a primary offering of securities of the undersigned registrant pursuant to this registration statement, regardless of the underwriting method used to sell the securities to the purchaser, if the securities are offered or sold to such purchaser by means of any of the following communications, the undersigned registrant will be a seller to the purchaser and will be considered to offer or sell such securities to such purchaser:
(i) Any preliminary prospectus or prospectus of the undersigned registrant relating to the offering required to be filed pursuant to Rule 424;
(ii) Any free writing prospectus relating to the offering prepared by or on behalf of the undersigned registrant or used or referred to by the undersigned registrant;
(iii) The portion of any other free writing prospectus relating to the offering containing material information about the undersigned registrant or its securities provided by or on behalf of the undersigned registrant; and
(iv) Any other communication that is an offer in the offering made by the undersigned registrant to the purchaser.
(b) The undersigned registrant hereby undertakes that, for purposes of determining any liability under the Securities Act, each filing of Enterprise Products Partners L.P.s annual report pursuant to Section 13(a) or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act (and, where applicable, each filing of an employee benefits plans annual
report pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act) that is incorporated by reference in the registration statement shall be deemed to be a new registration statement relating to the securities offered therein, and the offering of such securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering thereof.
(c) Insofar as indemnification for liabilities arising under the Securities Act may be permitted to directors, officers and controlling persons of the registrant pursuant to the foregoing provisions, or otherwise, the registrant has been advised that in the opinion of the Commission such indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act and is, therefore, unenforceable. In the event that a claim for indemnification against such liabilities (other than the payment by the registrant of expenses incurred or paid by a director, officer or controlling person of such registrant in the successful defense of any action, suit or proceeding) is asserted by such director, officer or controlling person in connection with the securities being registered, the registrant will, unless in the opinion of its counsel the matter has been settled by controlling precedent, submit to a court of appropriate jurisdiction the question whether such indemnification by it is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act and will be governed by the final adjudication of such issue.
Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act, the registrant certifies that it has reasonable grounds to believe that it meets all of the requirements for filing on Form S-3 and has duly caused this registration statement to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized, in the City of Houston, State of Texas, on November 7, 2017.
POWER OF ATTORNEY
KNOW ALL PERSONS BY THESE PRESENTS, that each person whose signature appears below constitutes and appoints W. Randall Fowler, Bryan F. Bulawa and Harry P. Weitzel and each of them his true and lawful attorneys-in-fact and agents, with full power of substitution, for him and in his name, place and stead, in any and all capacities, to sign any and all amendments (including post-effective amendments) to this registration statement and any additional registration statement pursuant to Rule 462(b), and to file the same with all exhibits thereto, and other documents in connection therewith, with the Securities and Exchange Commission, granting unto said attorneys-in-fact and agents, and each of them, full power and authority to do and perform each and every act and thing requisite and ratifying and confirming all that said attorneys-in-fact and agents, or any of them, or their or his or her substitute or substitutes may lawfully do or cause to be done by virtue hereof.
Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act, this registration statement has been signed by the following persons in the capacities indicated below on November 7, 2017.
November 7, 2017
Enterprise Products Partners L.P.
1100 Louisiana Street, 10th Floor
Houston, Texas 77002
Ladies and Gentlemen:
We refer to the Registration Statement on Form S-3 (the Registration Statement) being filed by Enterprise Products Partners L.P., a Delaware limited partnership (the Partnership), with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the Securities Act), relating to the registration by the Partnership of common units representing limited partner interests in the Partnership having an aggregate offering price of up to $2,538,500,000 (the Common Units), on terms to be determined at the time of the offering thereof. All capitalized terms used but not defined herein have the respective meanings assigned to such terms in the Registration Statement.
This opinion letter is being delivered in accordance with the requirements of Item 601(b)(5) of Regulation S-K under the Securities Act.
As the basis for the opinions hereinafter expressed, we have examined and relied on originals or copies, certified or otherwise identified to our satisfaction, of the following: (i) the Certificate of Limited Partnership of the Partnership, as amended to date; (ii) the Sixth Amended and Restated Agreement of Limited Partnership of the Partnership, dated November 22, 2010, as amended to date (the Partnership Agreement); (iii) the Certificate of Formation of Enterprise Products Holdings LLC, a Delaware limited liability company and the general partner of the Partnership (the General Partner), as amended to date; (iv) the Fifth Amended and Restated Limited Liability Company Agreement of the General Partner, dated effective as of September 7, 2011, as amended to date (the LLC Agreement); (v) the Registration Statement; and (vi) the Prospectus contained in the Registration Statement (the Prospectus). We have also examined originals, or copies of originals certified to our satisfaction, of such agreements, documents, certificates and statements of the Partnership, the General Partner and others, and have examined such questions of law, as we have considered relevant and necessary as a basis for this opinion letter. We have assumed the authenticity of all documents submitted to us as originals, the genuineness of all signatures, the legal capacity of all persons and the conformity with the original documents of any copies thereof submitted to us for examination. As to facts relevant to the opinions expressed herein, we have relied without independent investigation or verification upon, and assumed the accuracy and completeness of, certificates, letters and oral and written statements and representations of public officials and officers and other representatives of the Partnership and the General Partner.
Sidley Austin LLP is a limited liability partnership practicing in affiliation with other Sidley Austin partnerships.
November 7, 2017
We have also assumed that, at the time of the issuance, sale and delivery of any of the Common Units being offered, (i) the Common Units will be issued and sold as contemplated in the Registration Statement, the Prospectus and any prospectus supplement relating thereto and (ii) the Certificate of Limited Partnership of the Partnership, the Partnership Agreement, the Certificate of Formation of the General Partner and the LLC Agreement, in each case as amended to date, will not have been amended in any manner that would affect any legal conclusion set forth herein.
Based on and subject to the foregoing and the other limitations, qualifications and assumptions set forth herein, we are of the opinion that with respect to the Common Units, when (i) the General Partner has taken all necessary action (pursuant to action by the board of directors of the General Partner) to authorize and approve the issuance by the Partnership of such Common Units, the terms of the offering thereof and related matters and (ii) such Common Units have been paid for, issued and delivered in accordance with the terms of the applicable definitive purchase, underwriting or similar agreement so authorized and approved by the board of directors of the General Partner (on behalf of the Partnership), such Common Units will be validly issued, and purchasers of such Common Units will have no obligation, solely by reason of their ownership of such Common Units, to make any contributions to the Partnership or any further payments for their purchase of such Common Units, and such purchasers will have no personal liability, solely by reason of their ownership of such Common Units, to creditors of the Partnership for any of its debts, liabilities or other obligations.
This opinion letter is limited to the Delaware Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act and the Delaware Limited Liability Company Act. We express no opinion as to the laws, rules or regulations of any other jurisdiction, including, without limitation, the federal laws of the United States of America or any state securities or blue sky laws.
We hereby consent to the filing of this opinion letter as an Exhibit to the Registration Statement and to all references to our Firm included in or made a part of the Registration Statement. In giving such consent, we do not thereby admit that we are in the category of persons whose consent is required under Section 7 of the Securities Act.
November 7, 2017
Enterprise Products Partners L.P.
1100 Louisiana, 10th Floor
Houston, TX 77002
Ladies and Gentlemen:
We have acted as special counsel to Enterprise Products Partners L.P., a Delaware limited partnership (the Partnership), in connection with the preparation of a registration statement on Form S-3 (the Registration Statement) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the Commission) on November 7, 2017 relating to the registration of the offering and sale of common units (the Units) representing limited partner interests in the Partnership to be issued and sold by the Partnership from time to time pursuant to Rule 415 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the Act). In connection therewith, we have participated in the preparation of the discussion set forth under the caption, Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences in the Registration Statement (the Discussion)
This opinion is based on various facts and assumptions, and is conditioned upon certain representations made to us by the Partnership as to factual matters through an officers certificate (the Officers Certificate). In addition, this opinion is based upon the factual representations of the Partnership concerning its business, properties and governing documents as set forth in the Registration Statement and the Partnerships responses to our examinations and inquiries.
In our capacity as counsel to the Partnership, we have made such legal and factual examinations and inquiries, including an examination of originals or copies certified or otherwise identified to our satisfaction of such documents, corporate records and other instruments, as we have deemed necessary or appropriate for purposes of this opinion. In our examination, we have assumed the authenticity of all documents submitted to us as originals, the genuineness of all signatures thereon, the legal capacity of natural persons executing such documents and the conformity to authentic original documents of all documents submitted to us as copies. For the purpose of our opinion, we have not made an independent investigation or audit of the facts set forth in the above-referenced documents or representations. In addition, in rendering this opinion we have assumed the truth and accuracy of all representations and statements made to us which are qualified as to knowledge or belief, without regard to such qualification.
Enterprise Products Partners L.P.
November 7, 2017
We hereby confirm that all statements of legal conclusions contained in the Discussion, subject to the qualifications and assumptions stated in the Discussion and the limitations and qualifications set forth herein, constitute the opinion of Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP with respect to the matters described therein. This opinion is rendered to you as of the date hereof, and we undertake no obligation to update this opinion subsequent to the date hereof.
This opinion is based on various statutory provisions, regulations promulgated thereunder and interpretations thereof by the Internal Revenue Service and the courts having jurisdiction over such matters, all of which are subject to change either prospectively or retroactively. Also, any variation or difference in the facts from those set forth in the representations described above, including in the Registration Statement and the Officers Certificate, may affect the conclusions stated herein.
This opinion is furnished to you, and is for your use in connection with the transactions set forth in the Registration Statement. This opinion may not be relied upon by you for any other purpose or furnished to, assigned to, quoted to or relied upon by any other person, firm or other entity, for any purpose, without our prior written consent, except that this opinion may be relied upon by persons entitled to rely on it pursuant to applicable provisions of federal securities law, including purchasers of Units in this offering.
Furthermore, our opinion is not binding on the Internal Revenue Service or a court. In addition, we must note that our opinion represents merely our best legal judgment on the matters presented and that others may disagree with our conclusion. There can be no assurance that the Internal Revenue Service will not take a contrary position or that a court would agree with our opinion if litigated.
We hereby consent to the filing of this opinion as an exhibit to the Registration Statement and to the incorporation by reference of this opinion to the Registration Statement. In giving such consent, we do not thereby admit that we are within the category of persons whose consent is required under Section 7 of the Act or the rules or regulations of the Commission promulgated thereunder.
CONSENT OF INDEPENDENT AUDITORS
We consent to the incorporation by reference in this Registration Statement on Form S-3 of our reports dated February 24, 2017, relating to the consolidated financial statements of Enterprise Products Partners L.P. and subsidiaries and the effectiveness of Enterprise Products Partners L.P. and subsidiaries internal control over financial reporting, appearing in the Annual Report on Form 10-K of Enterprise Products Partners L.P. for the year ended December 31, 2016, and to the reference to us under the heading Experts in the Prospectus, which is part of this Registration Statement.