|ENTERPRISE PRODUCTS PARTNERS L P filed this Form 10-K on 02/28/2018|
We have significant business relationships with entities controlled by EPCO and Dan Duncan LLC. For information regarding these relationships and related party transactions with EPCO and its affiliates, see Note 15 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included under Part II, Item 8 of this annual report. Additional information regarding our relationship with EPCO and its affiliates can also be found under Part III, Item 13 of this annual report.
The NYSE does not require a publicly traded limited partnership like us to comply with certain of its corporate governance requirements.
We currently list our common units on the NYSE under the symbol “EPD.” Because we are a publicly traded limited partnership, the NYSE does not require us to have a majority of independent directors on our general partner’s Board or to establish a compensation committee or a nominating and corporate governance committee. Additionally, any future issuance of additional common units or other securities, including to affiliates, will not be subject to the NYSE’s shareholder approval rules that apply to a corporation. Accordingly, unitholders do not have the same protections afforded to certain corporations that are subject to all of the NYSE corporate governance requirements. See Part III, Item 10 of this annual report for additional information.
Unitholders have limited voting rights and are not entitled to elect our general partner or its directors. In addition, even if unitholders are dissatisfied, they cannot easily remove our general partner.
Unlike the holders of common stock in a corporation, unitholders have only limited voting rights on matters affecting our business and, therefore, limited ability to influence management’s decisions regarding our business. Unitholders did not elect our general partner or its directors and will have no right to elect our general partner or its directors on an annual or other continuing basis. The owners of our general partner choose the directors of our general partner.
Furthermore, if unitholders are dissatisfied with the performance of our general partner, they currently have no practical ability to remove our general partner or its officers or directors. Our general partner may not be removed except upon the vote of the holders of at least 60% of our outstanding units voting together as a single class. Since affiliates of our general partner currently own approximately 32% of our outstanding common units, the removal of Enterprise GP as our general partner is highly unlikely without the consent of both our general partner and its affiliates. As a result of this provision, the trading price of our common units may be lower than other forms of equity ownership because of the absence of a takeover premium in the trading price.
Our partnership agreement restricts the voting rights of unitholders owning 20% or more of our common units.
Unitholders’ voting rights are further restricted by a provision in our partnership agreement stating that any units held by a person that owns 20% or more of any class of our common units then outstanding, other than our general partner and its affiliates, cannot be voted on any matter. In addition, our partnership agreement contains provisions limiting the ability of unitholders to call meetings or to acquire information about our operations, as well as other provisions limiting our unitholders’ ability to influence our management. As a result of this provision, the trading price of our common units may be lower than other forms of equity ownership because of the absence of a takeover premium in the trading price.
Our general partner has a limited call right that may require common unitholders to sell their common units at an undesirable time or price.
If at any time our general partner and its affiliates own 85% or more of the common units then outstanding, our general partner will have the right, but not the obligation, which it may assign to any of its affiliates or to us, to acquire all, but not less than all, of the remaining common units held by unaffiliated persons at a price not less than the then current market price. As a result, common unitholders may be required to sell their common units at an undesirable time or price and may therefore not receive any return on their investment. Unitholders may also incur a tax liability upon the sale of their common units.