424B5 1 d434801d424b5.htm 424B5 424B5
Table of Contents

Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(5)
Registration No. 333-217062

PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT

(To Prospectus dated April 12, 2017)

 

 

LOGO

Crestwood Equity Partners LP

Common Units

Representing Limited Partner Interests

Having an Aggregate Offering Price of up to

$250,000,000

 

 

This prospectus supplement and the accompanying base prospectus relate to the offer and sale from time to time of common units representing limited partner interests in Crestwood Equity Partners LP, having an aggregate offering price of up to $250,000,000, through one or more of the sales agents. These sales, if any, will be made pursuant to the terms of an equity distribution agreement between us and the sales agents, which has been previously filed as an exhibit to a Current Report on Form 8-K that we filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”).

Sales of common units under the equity distribution agreement, if any, will be made by means of ordinary broker transactions through the facilities of the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) at market prices, in block transactions or as otherwise agreed between us and one or more of the sales agents. The sales agents are not required to sell any specific dollar amount of units but will use their commercially reasonable efforts, as our agents and subject to the terms of the equity distribution agreement, to sell the common units offered, as instructed by us. We will pay the sales agents an aggregate fee that will be up to 2.0% of the gross sales price per common unit. The net proceeds from any sales under this prospectus supplement will be used as described under “Use of Proceeds” in this prospectus supplement.

Under the terms of the equity distribution agreement, we also may sell common units to one or more of the sales agents as principal for its or their own account at a price agreed upon at the time of the sale. If we sell common units to a sales agent as principal, we will enter into a separate agreement with the sales agent, and we will describe that agreement in a separate prospectus supplement or pricing supplement.

Our common units are traded on the NYSE under the symbol “CEQP.” The last reported sale price of our common units on August 3, 2017 was $25.35 per common unit.

 

 

Investing in our common units involves risks. Limited partnerships are inherently different from corporations. You should carefully consider each of the risk factors described under “Risk Factors” on page S-3 of this prospectus supplement and on page 5 of the accompanying base prospectus before you make an investment in our securities.

Neither the SEC nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or passed upon the adequacy or accuracy of this prospectus supplement or the accompanying base prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

 

 

Wells Fargo Securities

J.P. Morgan

 

Barclays

Morgan Stanley

 

Citigroup

RBC Capital Markets

Prospectus Supplement dated August 4, 2017


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Prospectus Supplement

 

SUMMARY

     S-1  

RISK FACTORS

     S-3  

USE OF PROCEEDS

     S-4  

MATERIAL U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSEQUENCES

     S-5  

PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

     S-6  

LEGAL MATTERS

     S-8  

EXPERTS

     S-8  

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

     S-8  

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE

     S-8  

INFORMATION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     S-10  

Prospectus

 

GUIDE TO READING THIS PROSPECTUS

     1  

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

     2  

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE

     2  

INFORMATION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     3  

CRESTWOOD EQUITY PARTNERS LP

     4  

RISK FACTORS

     5  

USE OF PROCEEDS

     6  

DESCRIPTION OF THE COMMON UNITS

     7  

PROVISIONS OF OUR PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT RELATING TO CASH DISTRIBUTIONS

     10  

OUR PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT

     12  

MATERIAL U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSEQUENCES

     23  

PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

     38  

LEGAL MATTERS

     40  

EXPERTS

     40  

This document is in two parts. The first part is this prospectus supplement, which describes the specific terms of this offering of common units. The second part is the accompanying base prospectus, which gives more general information, some of which may not apply to this offering of common units. Generally, when we refer only to the “prospectus,” we are referring to both this prospectus supplement and the accompanying base prospectus combined. If the information relating to the offering varies between this prospectus supplement and the accompanying base prospectus, you should rely on the information in this prospectus supplement.

Any statement made in this prospectus or in a document incorporated by reference into this prospectus will be deemed to be modified or superseded for purposes of this prospectus to the extent that a statement contained in this prospectus supplement or in any other subsequently filed document that is also incorporated by reference into this prospectus modifies or supersedes that statement. Any statement so modified or superseded will not be deemed, except as so modified or superseded, to constitute a part of this prospectus. Please read “Incorporation by Reference” on page S-10 of this prospectus supplement.

We have not, and the sales agents have not, authorized anyone to provide you with any information or to make any representations other than those contained in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus or any free writing prospectuses prepared by us or on our behalf relating to this offering of common units. We and the sales agents take no responsibility for, and can provide no assurance as to the reliability of, any other information that others may give you. We are not, and the sales agents are not, making an offer to sell these securities in any jurisdiction where an offer or sale is not permitted. You

 

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should not assume that the information contained in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying base prospectus or any free writing prospectus is accurate as of any date other than the dates on the front of these documents or that any information we have incorporated by reference is accurate as of any date other than the date of the document incorporated by reference. Our business, financial condition, results of operations or prospects may have changed since such dates. If any statement in one of these documents is inconsistent with a statement in another document having a later date—for example, a document incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus—the statement in the document having the later date modifies or supersedes the earlier statement. If any information varies between this prospectus supplement and the accompanying base prospectus, you should rely on this prospectus supplement.

Please read “Information Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” on page S-9 of this prospectus supplement.

 

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SUMMARY

This summary highlights the information contained elsewhere in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying base prospectus. This summary does not contain all of the information that you should consider before investing in our common units. You should read the entire prospectus supplement, the accompanying base prospectus, the documents incorporated herein by reference and the other documents to which we refer for a more complete understanding of this offering. You should read “Risk Factors” on page S-2 of this prospectus supplement and on page 5 of the accompanying base prospectus for more information about important risks that you should consider carefully before buying our common units. References in this prospectus to “we,” “us,” “our” and the “Partnership” refer to either Crestwood Equity Partners LP itself or Crestwood Equity Partners LP and its consolidated subsidiaries, as the context requires.

Crestwood Equity Partners LP1

Overview

We are a growth-oriented Delaware limited partnership that develops, acquires, owns or controls, and operates primarily fee-based assets and operations within the energy midstream sector. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, we provide broad-ranging infrastructure solutions across the value chain to service premier liquids-rich natural gas and crude oil shale plays across the United States. We own and operate a diversified portfolio of crude oil and natural gas gathering, processing, storage and transportation assets that connect fundamental energy supply with energy demand across North America. Our common units representing limited partner interests are listed on the NYSE under the symbol “CEQP.”

We are a holding company. All of our consolidated operating assets are owned by or through our wholly-owned subsidiary, Crestwood Midstream Partners LP, a Delaware limited partnership (“CMLP”). As of June 30, 2017, our consolidated operating assets primarily include:

 

    natural gas facilities with approximately 2.5 billion cubic feet per day (“Bcf/d”) of gathering capacity and 461 million cubic feet per day (“MMcf/d”) of processing capacity;

 

    natural gas liquid (“NGL”) facilities with approximately 20,000 barrels per day (“Bbls/d”) of fractionation capacity and 3.1 million barrels (“MMBbls”) of storage capacity, as well as our portfolio of transportation assets; and

 

    crude oil facilities with approximately 125,000 Bbls/d of gathering capacity, 1.5 MMBbls of storage capacity, 48,000 Bbls/d of transportation capacity and 160,000 Bbls/d of rail loading capacity.

In addition, through our equity investments in joint ventures, we have ownership interests in:

 

    natural gas facilities with approximately 0.2 Bcf/d of gathering capacity, 175 MMcf/d of processing capacity, 79.3 Bcf of certificated working storage capacity and 1.5 Bcf/d of transportation capacity; and

 

    crude oil facilities with approximately 20,000 Bbls/d of rail loading capacity and 380,000 Bbls of working storage capacity.

Our Principal Executive Offices

Our principal executive office is located at 811 Main Street, Suite 3400, Houston, Texas 77002. Our telephone number is (832) 519-2200.

 

1  NTD: To be conformed to information in final 10-Q.

 



 

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The Offering

 

Common units offered

Common units having an aggregate offering price of up to $250,000,000.

 

Use of proceeds

We intend to use the net proceeds from the sale of the common units covered by this prospectus supplement for general partnership purposes, which may include, among other things, repayment or refinancing of debt, funding for acquisitions, capital expenditures and additions to working capital. Affiliates of certain of the sales agents are lenders under the revolving credit facility of CMLP. To the extent we use proceeds from this offering to repay indebtedness under such credit facility, such affiliates may receive proceeds from this offering. Please read “Use of Proceeds.”

 

Exchange listing

Our common units are traded on the NYSE under the symbol “CEQP.”

 

Material tax consequences

For a discussion of material U.S. federal income tax consequences that may be relevant to prospective unitholders who are individual citizens or residents of the United States, please read the sections titled “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences” in this prospectus supplement and in the accompanying base prospectus.

 



 

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RISK FACTORS

An investment in our common units involves a high degree of risk. Additionally, 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 similar businesses. You should carefully consider the risk factors and all of the other information included in, or incorporated by reference into, this prospectus supplement and the accompanying base prospectus, including those risk factors described under “Item 1A. Risk Factors” of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016 (the “2016 Annual Report”) and any subsequently filed document pursuant to Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), in evaluating an investment in our common units. Our business could also be affected by additional risks not currently known to us or that we currently deem to be immaterial. If any of these risks were to occur, our business, financial condition or results of operations could be materially adversely affected. In that case, the trading price of our common units could decline and you could lose all or part of your investment. Please also read “Information Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.”

 

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USE OF PROCEEDS

We intend to use the net proceeds from the sale of the common units covered by this prospectus supplement for general partnership purposes, which may include repayment or refinancing of debt, funding for acquisitions, capital expenditures and additions to working capital.

At August 2, 2017, we had approximately $435 million of borrowings outstanding under CMLP’s revolving credit facility, with a weighted average interest rate of approximately 3.48%. Substantially all of the borrowings were used to fund acquisitions, working capital and internal growth projects and for general partnership purposes.

Affiliates of certain of the sales agents are lenders under CMLP’s revolving credit facility. To the extent we use proceeds from this offering to repay indebtedness under CMLP’s credit facility, such affiliates may receive proceeds from this offering. Please read “Plan of Distribution” in this prospectus supplement for further information.

 

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MATERIAL U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSEQUENCES

The tax consequences to you of an investment in our common units will depend in part on your own tax circumstances. For a discussion of the principal federal income tax considerations associated with our operations and the purchase, ownership and disposition of our common units, please read the risk factors included under the caption “Tax Risks to Common Unitholders” in our 2016 Annual Report and “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences” in the accompanying base prospectus, as well as the other information contained in or incorporated by reference herein and therein. You are urged to consult with your own tax advisor about the federal, state, local and foreign tax consequences particular to your circumstances.

 

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PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

We have entered into an equity distribution agreement with Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Barclays Capital Inc., Citigroup Global Markets Inc., J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and RBC Capital Markets, LLC, as sales agents, under which we are permitted to offer and sell common units having an aggregate offering price of up to $250,000,000 from time to time through one or more of such sales agents. We have filed the equity distribution agreement as an exhibit to a Current Report on Form 8-K, which is incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement. The sales, if any, of common units made under the equity distribution agreement will be made by means of ordinary broker transactions on the NYSE at market prices, in block transactions, or as otherwise agreed upon by the sales agents and us. The sales agents will not engage in any prohibited stabilizing transactions in connection with this offering.

Under the terms of the equity distribution agreement, we also may sell common units to one or more of the sales agents as principal for its or their own account at a price agreed upon at the time of sale. If we sell common units to a sales agent as principal, we will enter into a separate agreement with the sales agent and we will describe such agreement in a separate prospectus supplement or pricing supplement.

We will designate the maximum amount of common units to be sold through the sales agents on a daily basis or otherwise as we and the sales agents agree and the minimum price per common unit at which such common units may be sold. Subject to the terms and conditions of the equity distribution agreement, the sales agents will use their commercially reasonable efforts to sell on our behalf all of the designated common units. We may instruct the sales agents not to sell any common units if the sales cannot be effected at or above the price designated by us in any such instruction. We or any of the sales agents may suspend the offering of common units at any time and from time to time by notifying the other party.

Each sales agent will provide to us written confirmation following the close of trading on the NYSE each day in which common units are sold by it as our agent under the equity distribution agreement. Each confirmation will include the number of common units sold on that day, the gross sales proceeds, the net proceeds to us (after regulatory transaction fees, if any, but before other expenses) and the compensation payable by us to such sales agent. We will report at least quarterly the number of common units sold through the sales agents under the equity distribution agreement, the net proceeds to us (before expenses) and the compensation paid by us to the sales agents in connection with the sales of the common units.

We will pay each sales agent a commission of up to 2.0% of the gross sales price per common unit sold through it as our agent under the equity distribution agreement. We have also agreed to reimburse the sales agents for certain of their expenses.

Settlement for sales of common units will generally occur on the third business day following the date on which any sales were made (or such earlier day as is (i) required by applicable law or rules or regulations or (ii) industry practice for regular-way trading and mutually agreed upon by the sales agents and the Partnership) in return for payment of the net proceeds to us. There is no arrangement for funds to be received in an escrow, trust or similar arrangement.

If we or any of the sales agents have reason to believe that our common units are no longer an “actively-traded security” as defined under Rule 101(c)(l) of Regulation M under the Exchange Act, that party will promptly notify the others and sales of common units pursuant to the equity distribution agreement or any terms agreement will be suspended until in our collective judgment Rule 101(c)(1) or another exemptive provision has been satisfied.

The offering of common units pursuant to the equity distribution agreement will terminate upon the earlier of (1) the sale of all common units subject to the equity distribution agreement or (2) the termination of the equity distribution agreement by us or by each of the sales agents.

 

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In connection with the sale of the common units on our behalf, the sales agent may be deemed to be an “underwriter” within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and the compensation paid to the sales agents may be deemed to be underwriting commissions or discounts. We have agreed to provide indemnification and contribution to the sales agents against certain liabilities, including civil liabilities under the Securities Act.

Relationships/FINRA Conduct Rules

From time to time, the sales agents and their affiliates have provided, directly or indirectly, investment and commercial banking or financial advisory services to us and our affiliates, for which they have received customary fees and commissions, and they expect to provide these services to us and our affiliates in the future, for which they expect to receive customary fees and commissions. Affiliates of certain of the sales agents are lenders under CMLP’s revolving credit facility. To the extent we use proceeds from this offering to repay indebtedness under our credit facility, such affiliates may receive proceeds from this offering.

In compliance with the guidelines of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”), the maximum discount or commission to be received by any FINRA member or independent broker-dealer may not exceed 8% of the aggregate offering price of the common units offered pursuant to this prospectus supplement. Because FINRA views the common units offered hereby as interests in a direct participation program, this offering is being made in compliance with Rule 2310 of the FINRA Rules.

 

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LEGAL MATTERS

The validity of the common units will be passed upon for us by Vinson & Elkins L.L.P., Houston, Texas. Certain legal matters in connection with the common units offered hereby will be passed upon for the sales agents by Baker Botts L.L.P., Houston, Texas.

EXPERTS

The consolidated financial statements of Crestwood Equity Partners LP, as of December 31, 2016 and 2015 and for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2016 appearing in the Partnership’s Annual Report (Form 10-K) for the year ended December 31, 2016 (including schedules appearing therein), and the effectiveness of the Partnership’s internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2016 have been audited by Ernst & Young LLP, independent registered public accounting firm, as set forth in their reports thereon, included therein, and incorporated herein by reference. Such consolidated financial statements are incorporated herein by reference in reliance upon such reports given on the authority of such firm as experts in accounting and auditing.

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

We are required to file annual, quarterly and current reports and other information with the SEC. You may read and copy any documents filed by us with the SEC at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549. You may obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. Our filings with the SEC are also available to the public from commercial document retrieval services and at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

Our common units are listed and traded on the NYSE. Our reports and other information filed with the SEC can also be inspected and copied at the New York Stock Exchange, 20 Broad Street, New York, New York 10005.

We also make available free of charge on our website at www.crestwoodlp.com all of the documents that we file with the SEC as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with the SEC. Information contained on our website, other than the documents listed below, is not incorporated by reference into this prospectus.

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE

We “incorporate by reference” information into this prospectus supplement, which means that we disclose important information to you by referring you to another document filed separately with the SEC. The information incorporated by reference is deemed to be part of this prospectus supplement, except for any information superseded by information contained expressly in this prospectus supplement, and the information that we file later with the SEC will automatically supersede this information. You should not assume that the information in this prospectus supplement is current as of any date other than the date on the front page of this prospectus supplement.

We incorporate by reference the documents listed below and any documents subsequently filed with the SEC by Crestwood Equity Partners LP pursuant to Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act (excluding any information furnished and not filed with the SEC pursuant to Item 2.02 or 7.01 on any Current Report on Form 8-K, or corresponding information furnished under Item 9.01 or included as an exhibit) from the

 

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date of this prospectus supplement until we have sold all of the common units to which this prospectus supplement relates or the offering is otherwise terminated:

The Partnership’s Filings

 

    The Partnership’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016;

 

    The Partnership’s Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarterly periods ended March 31, 2017 and June 30, 2017;

 

    The Partnership’s Current Reports on Form 8-K or Form 8-K/A filed on March 15, 2017, June 8, 2017, July 25, 2017 and August 4, 2017; and

 

    The description of our common units contained in our Registration Statement on Form 8-A (File No. 001-35377) filed with the SEC on December 12, 2011 and any subsequent amendments or reports filed for the purpose of updating such description.

You may request a copy of any document incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and any exhibit specifically incorporated by reference in those documents, at no cost, by writing or telephoning us at the following address or telephone number:

Crestwood Equity Partners LP

Attention: Investor Relations

811 Main Street, Suite 3400

Houston, Texas 77002

(832) 519-2200

 

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INFORMATION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This prospectus supplement, including information included or incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement, contains forward-looking statements concerning our financial condition, results of operations, plans, objectives, future performance and business. These forward-looking statements include statements that are not historical in nature and statements preceded by, followed by or that contain forward-looking terminology, including the words “believe,” “expect,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intend” or the negation thereof, or similar expressions.

Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or results. They involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements due to, among others, the following factors:

 

    our ability to successfully implement our business plan for our assets and operations;

 

    governmental legislation and regulations;

 

    industry factors that influence the supply of and demand for crude oil, natural gas and NGLs;

 

    industry factors that influence the demand for services in the markets (particularly unconventional shale plays) in which we provide services;

 

    weather conditions;

 

    the availability of crude oil, natural gas and NGLs, and the price of those commodities, to consumers relative to the price of alternative and competing fuels;

 

    economic conditions;

 

    costs or difficulties related to the integration of our existing businesses and acquisitions;

 

    environmental claims;

 

    operating hazards and other risks incidental to the provision of midstream services, including gathering, compressing, treating, processing, fractionating, transporting and storing crude oil, NGLs and natural gas;

 

    interest rates;

 

    the price and availability of debt and equity financing; and

 

    our ability to sell or monetize assets, or to reduce our indebtedness, in the current market.

A forward-looking statement may include a statement of the assumptions or bases underlying the forward-looking statement. We believe that we have chosen these assumptions or bases in good faith and that they are reasonable. However, we caution you that assumed facts or bases almost always vary from actual results, and the differences between assumed facts or bases and actual results can be material, depending on the circumstances. When considering forward-looking statements, you should keep in mind the risk factors and other cautionary statements in this prospectus supplement and the documents that we have incorporated by reference, including those described under “Risk Factors” on page S-4 of this prospectus supplement and on page 5 of the accompany base prospectus. We will not update these statements unless the securities laws require us to do so.

 

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PROSPECTUS

Crestwood Equity Partners LP

Common Units

 

 

We may sell, from time to time, up to $250,000,000 of common units representing limited partner interests in Crestwood Equity Partners LP under this prospectus, in one or more offerings.

We may offer and sell these securities to or through one or more underwriters, dealers and agents, or directly to purchasers, on a continuous or delayed basis. See “Plan of Distribution.” This prospectus describes the general terms of these securities and the general manner in which we will offer the securities. The specific terms of any securities we offer will be included in a supplement to this prospectus. The prospectus supplement will also describe the specific manner in which we will offer the securities.

You should carefully read this prospectus and any prospectus supplement before you invest. You should also read the documents we refer to in the “Where You Can Find More Information” section of this prospectus for information on us and our financial statements.

 

 

Investing in our securities involves risks. Limited partnerships are inherently different from corporations. You should carefully consider each of the risk factors described under “Risk Factors” beginning on page 5 of this prospectus and in the applicable prospectus supplement before you make an investment in our securities.

Our common units trade on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) under the symbol “CEQP.”

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

 

 

The date of this prospectus is April 12, 2017.


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

     Page  

GUIDE TO READING THIS PROSPECTUS

     1  

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

     2  

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE

     2  

INFORMATION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     3  

CRESTWOOD EQUITY PARTNERS LP

     4  

RISK FACTORS

     5  

USE OF PROCEEDS

     6  

DESCRIPTION OF THE COMMON UNITS

     7  

The Common Units

     7  

Transfer Agent and Registrar

     7  

Transfer of Common Units

     7  

Preferred Units

     8  

Class A Units

     8  

Subordinated Units

     9  

PROVISIONS OF OUR PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT RELATING TO CASH DISTRIBUTIONS

     10  

Distributions to Preferred Units

     10  

Distributions of Available Cash

     10  

Class A Units

     10  

Subordinated Units

     11  

Distributions of Cash Upon Liquidation

     11  

OUR PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT

     12  

Organization and Duration

     12  

Purpose

     12  

Cash Distributions

     12  

Capital Contributions

     12  

Limited Voting Rights

     12  

Limited Liability

     14  

Issuance of Additional Interests

     15  

Amendment of the Partnership Agreement

     15  

Merger, Sale or Other Disposition of Assets

     17  

Termination and Dissolution

     18  

Withdrawal or Removal of Our General Partner

     18  

Transfer of General Partner Interest

     19  

Change of Management Provisions

     19  

Limited Call Right

     19  

Meetings; Voting

     19  

Status as Limited Partner

     20  

Indemnification

     21  

Reimbursement of Expenses

     21  

Books and Reports

     21  

Right to Inspect Our Books and Records

     22  

Registration Rights

     22  

 

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     Page  

MATERIAL U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSEQUENCES

     23  

Taxation of the Partnership

     23  

Tax Consequences of Unit Ownership

     25  

Tax Treatment of Operations

     30  

Disposition of Units

     30  

Uniformity of Units

     33  

Tax-Exempt Organizations and Other Investors

     33  

Administrative Matters

     34  

PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

     38  

LEGAL MATTERS

     40  

EXPERTS

     40  

This prospectus is part of a registration statement we filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the “SEC” or the “Commission.” In making your investment decision, you should rely only on the information contained in or incorporated by reference into this prospectus and any prospectus supplement. We have not authorized anyone to provide you with any other information. If you receive any unauthorized information, you must not rely on it. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since those dates.

You should not assume that the information contained in this prospectus or in the documents incorporated by reference into this prospectus are accurate as of any date other than the date on the front cover of this prospectus or the date of such incorporated documents, as the case may be.

 

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GUIDE TO READING THIS PROSPECTUS

This prospectus is part of a registration statement on Form S-3 that we have filed with the SEC utilizing a “shelf” registration process. Under this shelf registration process, we may sell, from time to time, up to $250,000,000 of the securities described in this prospectus in one or more offerings. Each time we offer securities, we will provide you with this prospectus and a prospectus supplement that will describe, among other things, the specific amounts and prices of the securities being offered and the terms of the offering.

The prospectus supplement may include additional risk factors or other special considerations applicable to those securities and may also add, update or change information in this prospectus. If there is any inconsistency between the information in this prospectus and any prospectus supplement, you should rely on the information in that prospectus supplement.

Additional information, including our financial statements and the notes thereto, is incorporated in this prospectus by reference to our reports filed with the SEC. Please read “Where You Can Find More Information.” You are urged to read this prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplements relating to the securities offered to you, together with the additional information described under the heading “Where You Can Find More Information,” carefully before investing in our common units.

The following information should help you understand some of the conventions used in this prospectus.

 

    Throughout this prospectus, unless otherwise indicated or the context otherwise requires, (i) “we,” “us,” “our,” the “Partnership” or “Crestwood” refers to Crestwood Equity Partners LP and its consolidated subsidiaries and (ii) “Crestwood Midstream” refers to Crestwood Midstream Partners LP and its consolidated subsidiaries.

 

    Crestwood Equity GP LLC, our general partner (“CEQP GP” or “our general partner”), is responsible for the management of our partnership, and its operations are governed by a board of directors. Our general partner, which is indirectly owned by Crestwood Holdings LLC (“Crestwood Holdings”), does not have rights to allocations or distributions from our partnership and does not receive a management fee, but it is reimbursed for expenses incurred on our behalf.

 

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WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

We are required to file annual, quarterly and current reports and other information with the SEC. You may read and copy any documents filed by us with the SEC at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549. You may obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. Our filings with the SEC are also available to the public from commercial document retrieval services and at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

Our common units are listed and traded on the NYSE. Our reports and other information filed with the SEC can also be inspected and copied at the New York Stock Exchange, 20 Broad Street, New York, New York 10005.

We also make available free of charge on our website at www.crestwoodlp.com all of the documents that we file with the SEC as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with the SEC. Information contained on our website, other than the documents listed below, is not incorporated by reference into this prospectus.

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE

We “incorporate by reference” information into this prospectus, which means that we disclose important information to you by referring you to another document filed separately with the SEC. The information incorporated by reference is deemed to be part of this prospectus, except for any information superseded by information contained expressly in this prospectus, and the information that we file later with the SEC will automatically supersede this information. You should not assume that the information in this prospectus is current as of any date other than the date on the front page of this prospectus.

We incorporate by reference the documents listed below and any documents subsequently filed with the SEC by Crestwood Equity Partners LP pursuant to Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), (excluding any information furnished and not filed with the SEC pursuant to Item 2.02 or 7.01 on any Current Report on Form 8-K, or corresponding information furnished under Item 9.01 or included as an exhibit) until all such offerings under this shelf registration statement are completed, including all such documents we may file with the SEC after the date on which the registration statement that includes this prospectus was initially filed with the SEC and before the effectiveness of such registration statement:

 

    our annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016;

 

    our current report on Form 8-K filed on March 15, 2017; and

 

    the description of our common units contained in our Registration Statement on Form 8-A (File No. 001-34664) filed with the SEC on March 17, 2010 and any subsequent amendments or reports filed for the purpose of updating such description.

You may request a copy of any document incorporated by reference in this prospectus and any exhibit specifically incorporated by reference in those documents, at no cost, by writing or telephoning us at the following address or telephone number:

Crestwood Equity Partners LP

Attention: Investor Relations

700 Louisiana Street, Suite 2550

Houston, Texas 77002

(832) 519-2200

 

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INFORMATION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This prospectus, including information included or incorporated by reference in this prospectus, contains forward-looking statements concerning our financial condition, results of operations, plans, objectives, future performance and business. These forward-looking statements include statements that are not historical in nature and statements preceded by, followed by or that contain forward-looking terminology, including the words “believe,” “expect,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intend” or the negation thereof, or similar expressions.

Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or results. They involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements due to, among others, the following factors:

 

    our ability to successfully implement our business plan for our assets and operations;

 

    governmental legislation and regulations;

 

    industry factors that influence the supply of and demand for crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids (“NGLs”);

 

    industry factors that influence the demand for services in the markets (particularly unconventional shale plays) in which we provide services;

 

    weather conditions;

 

    the availability of crude oil, natural gas and NGLs, and the price of those commodities, to consumers relative to the price of alternative and competing fuels;

 

    economic conditions;

 

    costs or difficulties related to the integration of our existing businesses and acquisitions;

 

    environmental claims;

 

    operating hazards and other risks incidental to the provision of midstream services, including gathering, compressing, treating, processing, fractionating, transporting and storing energy products (i.e., crude oil, NGLs and natural gas) and related products (e.g., produced water);

 

    interest rates;

 

    the price and availability of debt and equity financing; and

 

    the ability to sell or monetize assets in the current market, to reduce indebtedness or for other general partnership purposes.

A forward-looking statement may include a statement of the assumptions or bases underlying the forward-looking statement. We believe that we have chosen these assumptions or bases in good faith and that they are reasonable. However, we caution you that assumed facts or bases almost always vary from actual results, and the differences between assumed facts or bases and actual results can be material, depending on the circumstances. When considering forward-looking statements, you should keep in mind the risk factors and other cautionary statements in this prospectus and the documents that we have incorporated by reference, including those described in the “Risk Factors” section of this prospectus. We will not update these statements unless the securities laws require us to do so.

 

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CRESTWOOD EQUITY PARTNERS LP

Crestwood, a Delaware limited partnership formed in March 2001, is a master limited partnership that develops, acquires, owns or controls, and operates primarily fee-based assets and operations within the energy midstream sector. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, we provide broad-ranging infrastructure solutions across the value chain to service premier liquids-rich natural gas and crude oil shale plays across the Unites States. We own and operate a diversified portfolio of crude oil and natural gas gathering, processing, storage and transportation assets that connect fundamental energy supply with energy demand across North America.

Our common units are listed on the NYSE under the symbol “CEQP.”

Our principal executive office is located at 700 Louisiana Street, Suite 2550, Houston, Texas 77002. Our telephone number is (832) 519-2200.

For additional information as to our business, properties and financial condition, please refer to the documents cited in “Where You Can Find More Information.”

 

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RISK FACTORS

An investment in our common units involves a high degree of risk. Additionally, 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 similar businesses. You should carefully consider the risk factors and all of the other information included in, or incorporated by reference into, this prospectus, including those risk factors described under “Item 1A. Risk Factors” of our most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequently filed document pursuant to Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act, in evaluating an investment in our securities. Our business could also be affected by additional risks not currently known to us or that we currently deem to be immaterial. If any of these risks were to occur, our business, financial condition or results of operations could be materially adversely affected. In that case, the trading price of our common units could decline and you could lose all or part of your investment. When we offer and sell any securities pursuant to a prospectus supplement, we may include additional risk factors relevant to such securities in the prospectus supplement.

 

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USE OF PROCEEDS

Unless otherwise indicated to the contrary in an accompanying prospectus supplement, we will use the net proceeds from the sale of the securities covered by this prospectus for general partnership purposes, which may include, among other things, repayment or refinancing of debt or funding acquisitions, capital expenditures or working capital.

Any specific allocation of the net proceeds of an offering of securities to a specific purpose will be determined at the time of the offering and will be described in a prospectus supplement relating to such offering.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF THE COMMON UNITS

The Common Units

The common units represent limited partner interests in us. The holders of common units are entitled to participate in partnership distributions and exercise the rights or privileges available to limited partners under our partnership agreement. For a description of the relative rights and preferences of holders of common units in and to partnership distributions, please read this section and “Provisions of Our Partnership Agreement Relating to Cash Distributions.” For a description of other rights and privileges of limited partners under our partnership agreement, including voting rights, please read “Our Partnership Agreement.”

Transfer Agent and Registrar

Duties

American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC serves as the registrar and transfer agent for the common units. We will pay all fees charged by the transfer agent for transfers of common units except the following, which must be paid by our common unitholders:

 

    surety bond premiums to replace lost or stolen certificates, taxes and other governmental charges;

 

    special charges for services requested by a holder of a common unit; and

 

    other similar fees or charges.

There is no charge to our common unitholders for disbursements of our cash distributions. We will indemnify each of the transfer agent, its agents and their respective stockholders, directors, officers and employees against all claims and losses that may arise out of acts performed or omitted for its activities in that capacity, except for any liability due to any gross negligence or intentional misconduct of the indemnified person or entity.

Resignation or Removal

The transfer agent may resign, by notice to us, or be removed by us. The resignation or removal of the transfer agent will become effective upon our appointment of a successor transfer agent and registrar and its acceptance of the appointment. If no successor is appointed, our general partner may act as the transfer agent and registrar until a successor is appointed.

Transfer of Common Units

Upon the transfer of a common unit in accordance with our partnership agreement, the transferee of the common unit will be admitted as a limited partner with respect to the common units transferred when such transfer and admission are reflected in our books and records. Each transferee:

 

    represents that the transferee has the capacity, power and authority to become bound by our partnership agreement;

 

    automatically becomes bound by the terms and conditions of, and is deemed to have executed, our partnership agreement; and

 

    gives the consents, waivers and approvals contained in our partnership agreement.

In addition to other rights acquired upon transfer, the transferor gives the transferee the right to become a substituted limited partner in our partnership for the transferred common units. A transferee will become a substituted limited partner of our partnership for the transferred common units automatically upon the recording of the transfer on our books and records. Our general partner will cause any transfers to be recorded on our books and records no less frequently than quarterly.

 

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Until a common unit has been transferred on our books, we and the transfer agent may treat the record holder of the common unit as the absolute owner for all purposes, except as otherwise required by law or stock exchange regulations.

We may, at our discretion, treat the nominee holder of a common unit as the absolute owner. In that case, the beneficial holder’s rights are limited solely to those that it has against the nominee holder as a result of any agreement between the beneficial owner and the nominee holder.

Common units are securities, and any transfers of common units are subject to the laws governing the transfer of securities.

Preferred Units

On May 5, 2015, we entered into a definitive agreement with Crestwood Midstream and certain of its affiliates (the “Merger Agreement”) under which Crestwood Midstream agreed to merge with a wholly-owned subsidiary of ours, with Crestwood Midstream surviving as our wholly-owned subsidiary (the “Merger”). On September 30, 2015 (the “Closing Date”), we and Crestwood Midstream jointly announced the completion of our acquisition of Crestwood Midstream. As part of the merger consideration, Crestwood Midstream’s unitholders became our unitholders in a tax free exchange, with Crestwood Midstream’s common unitholders receiving 2.75 of our common units for each common unit of Crestwood Midstream held upon completion of the Merger and Crestwood Midstream’s preferred unitholders receiving 2.75 of our preferred units for each preferred unit of Crestwood Midstream held upon completion of the Merger. Crestwood Midstream’s incentive distribution rights were also eliminated upon completion of the Merger and Crestwood Midstream’s common units ceased to be listed on the NYSE. On November 23, 2015, we effected a reverse unit split at the ratio of 1-for-10, with fractional units rounded to the nearest whole unit.

The preferred units represent a separate class of our limited partnership interests. On September 30, 2015, we issued 59,345,672 preferred units in connection with the Merger. As of March 31, 2017, there were 68,072,226 preferred units outstanding. On November 23, 2015, we effected a reverse unit split at the ratio of 1-for-10, which proportionally adjusted the conversion ratio of the preferred units, so that the 68,072,226 preferred units currently outstanding would be convertible into approximately 6,807,223 common units, with fractional units rounded to the nearest whole unit; provided, however, that in certain circumstances, the preferred units may be converted using the Special Conversion Amount (as defined in Amendment No. 1 to the Fifth Amended and Restated Agreement of Limited Partnership of the Partnership (the “Partnership Agreement Amendment”)) or the Adjusted Conversion Amount (as defined in the Partnership Agreement Amendment). Preferred unitholders may elect, (i) at any time following June 17, 2017, to convert all or any portion of their preferred into common units, at the then applicable Conversion Ratio (as defined in the Partnership Agreement Amendment), and (ii) in the event of (a) a Change of Control (as defined in the Partnership Agreement Amendment) of us prior to June 17, 2017 or (b) our voluntary liquidation, dissolution or winding up, to convert all or any portion of their preferred units into common units, at the then applicable Conversion Ratio, subject to payment of any accrued but unpaid distributions to the date of conversion. Additionally, the preferred units are entitled to a cumulative distribution (the “Preferred Distribution”) of $0.2111 per quarter in respect of each preferred unit, subject to certain adjustments described in the Partnership Agreement Amendment. For each quarter beginning with the first quarter ending after the effective time of the Merger through and including the quarter ending September 30, 2017 (the “Initial Distribution Period”), the Preferred Distribution is paid, in the sole discretion of our general partner, in additional preferred units, in cash, or in a combination of additional preferred units and cash.

Class A Units

Class A units represent limited partner interests in us (the “Class A units”). The rights and obligations of Class A units are identical to the rights and obligations of common units except that the Class A units (i) do not

 

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have the right to vote on, approve or disapprove, or otherwise consent or not consent with respect to any matter (including mergers, share exchanges and similar statutory authorizations) except as otherwise required by any non-waivable provision of law, (ii) do not share in (a) any income, gains, losses, deductions and credits which are attributable to our ownership of, or sale or other disposition of, the shares of common stock of IPCH Acquisition Corp. (“IPCH”) and the membership interests of Crestwood Partners LLC (“Crestwood Partners”) or (b) any cash and cash equivalents on hand derived from or attributable to our ownership of, or sale or other disposition of, the shares of common stock of IPCH and the membership interests of Crestwood Partners, (iii) were not entitled to participate in the distribution of 56,398,707 Crestwood Midstream common units that we owed to common unitholders, pro rata and (iv) for each of the first ten quarters ending on or after March 31, 2014 after the end of the subordination period, are entitled to a distribution equal to $10.00 per Class A unit prior to the quarterly distributions of available cash to all unitholders.

Subordinated Units

The subordinated units represent limited partner interests in us. In connection with Crestwood Holdings’ acquisition of our general partner, and prior to the reverse unit split, we issued 4,387,889 subordinated units to Crestwood Gas Services Holdings LLC. The rights and obligations of the subordinated units are identical to the rights and obligations of common units except that the subordinated units are subordinate to common units with respect to distribution. Please read “Provisions of Our Partnership Agreement Relating to Cash Distributions—Subordinated Units.”

 

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PROVISIONS OF OUR PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT RELATING TO CASH DISTRIBUTIONS

Set forth below is a summary of the significant provisions of our partnership agreement that relate to cash distributions.

Distributions to Preferred Units

The preferred units are entitled to a cumulative distribution (the “Preferred Distribution”) of $0.2111 per quarter, subject to certain adjustments described in the Partnership Agreement Amendment. During the Initial Distribution Period, the Preferred Distribution shall be paid, in the sole discretion of our general partner, in additional preferred units, in cash, or in a combination of additional preferred units and cash. After the Initial Distribution Period, the Preferred Distribution must be paid in cash at the Distribution Amount, subject to the certain exceptions. We will not declare or make any distributions in respect of any Junior Securities (as defined in the Partnership Agreement Amendment and which includes our common units) or any Parity Securities (as defined in the Partnership Agreement Amendment), subject to certain limited exceptions, unless and until all accrued and unpaid distributions on the preferred units have been paid in full in cash.

Distributions of Available Cash

General

Our partnership agreement requires that, within 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, for any quarter, consists of all cash and cash equivalents on hand at the end of that quarter:

 

    less, the amount of cash reserves that is necessary or appropriate in the reasonable discretion of our general partner to:

 

    provide for the proper conduct of our business;

 

    comply with applicable law, any of our debt instruments or other agreements; or

 

    provide funds for future distributions to our partners for any one or more of the next four quarters;

 

    plus all cash on hand on the date of determination of available cash for the quarter resulting from working capital borrowings made subsequent to the end of the quarter. Working capital borrowings are generally borrowings that are made under our revolving credit facility and, in all cases, are used solely for working capital purposes or to pay distributions to our partners;

provided, however, that available cash does not include any IPCH/Crestwood Partners Available Cash (as defined in our partnership agreement).

General Partner Interest

Our general partner is not entitled to distributions on its non-economic interest.

Class A Units

Class A units generally share in distributions of available cash, except Class A units do not share in (i) any income, gains, losses, deductions and credits which are attributable to our ownership of, or sale or other disposition of, the shares of common stock of IPCH and the membership interests of Crestwood Partners or (ii) any cash and cash equivalents on hand derived from or attributable to our ownership of, or sale or other

 

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disposition of, the shares of common stock of IPCH and the membership interests of Crestwood Partners. For each of the first ten quarters ending on or after March 31, 2014 after the end of the subordination period, Class A Units are entitled to a distribution equal to $10.00 per Class A unit prior to the quarterly distributions of available cash to all unitholders.

Subordinated Units

The subordinated units are entitled to receive distributions of available cash for a particular quarter only after each of our common units has received a distribution of at least $1.30 for that quarter. Our subordinated units convert to common units after our common units have received a cumulative distribution in excess of $5.20 during a consecutive four quarter period and its Adjusted Operating Surplus (as defined in the partnership agreement) exceeds the distribution on a fully dilutive basis.

Distributions of Cash Upon Liquidation

If we dissolve in accordance with the partnership agreement, we will sell or otherwise dispose of our assets in a process called liquidation. We will first apply the proceeds of liquidation to the payment of our creditors. We will distribute any remaining proceeds to our unitholders, in accordance with their capital account balances, as adjusted to reflect any gain or loss upon the sale or other disposition of our assets in liquidation.

If the sale of our assets in liquidation would be impracticable or would cause undue loss, the sale may be deferred for a reasonable amount of time or the assets (except those necessary to satisfy liabilities) may be distributed to our limited partners in lieu of cash in the same manner as cash or proceeds of a sale would have been distributed.

 

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OUR PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT

The following is a summary of the material provisions of our partnership agreement. We will provide prospective investors with a copy of our partnership agreement upon request at no charge.

We summarize the following provisions of our partnership agreement elsewhere in this prospectus:

 

    with regard to distributions of available cash, please read “Provisions of Our Partnership Agreement Relating to Cash Distributions”;

 

    with regard to the transfer of common units, please read “Description of the Common Units—Transfer of Common Units”; and

 

    with regard to allocations of taxable income and taxable loss, please read “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences.”

Organization and Duration

Crestwood, a Delaware limited partnership, was organized on March 7, 2001 and will continue in existence until our dissolution in accordance with our partnership agreement.

Purpose

Our purpose under our partnership agreement is to engage directly in, or enter into or form any corporation, partnership, joint venture, limited liability company or other entity or arrangement to engage indirectly in, any business activity that our general partner approves and which lawfully may be conducted by a limited partnership organized pursuant to the Delaware Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act, as amended (“the “Delaware Act”), and, in connection therewith, to exercise all of the rights and powers conferred upon us pursuant to the agreements relating to such business activity; provided, however, that our general partner reasonably determines, as of the date of the acquisition or commencement of such activity, that such activity generates “qualifying income” (as such term is defined pursuant to Section 7704 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended). Our general partner has no obligation or duty to us, our limited partners or assignees of partnership interests to propose or approve, and in its discretion may decline to propose or approve, the conduct by us of any business.

Our general partner is authorized in general to perform all acts deemed necessary to carry out our purposes and to conduct our business.

Cash Distributions

Our partnership agreement specifies the manner in which we will make cash distributions to our unitholders. For a description of these cash distribution provisions, please read “Provisions of Our Partnership Agreement Relating to Cash Distributions.”

Capital Contributions

Our unitholders are not obligated to make additional capital contributions, except as described below under “—Limited Liability.”

Limited Voting Rights

Common Units and preferred units

The following is a summary of the unitholder vote required for each of the matters specified below. Matters that require the approval of a “unit majority” require the approval of a majority of the common units and preferred units voting on an as-if converted basis.

 

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In voting their common units, our general partner and its affiliates will have no fiduciary duty or obligation whatsoever to us or the limited partners, including any duty to act in good faith or in the best interests of us or the limited partners.

 

Issuance of additional units

No approval right. Creation of any class of Senior Securities (as defined in the Partnership Agreement Amendment) requires approval of the preferred unitholders at the then-applicable Voting Threshold (as defined in the Partnership Agreement Amendment). Please read “—Issuance of Additional Interests.”

 

Amendment of the partnership agreement

Certain amendments may be made by our general partner without the approval of the unitholders. Other amendments generally require the approval of a majority of outstanding units. Certain other amendments require the approval of a super-majority of outstanding units. Certain amendments that impact the preferred units require approval of the preferred unitholders at the then-applicable Voting Threshold. Please read “—Amendment of the Partnership Agreement.”

 

Merger of our partnership or the sale of all or substantially all of our assets

Majority of outstanding units. A Change of Control in which consideration to be received by the common unitholders has a value of less than $10.00 per common unit requires approval of the preferred unitholders at the then-applicable Voting Threshold. Please read “—Merger, Sale or Other Disposition of Assets.”

 

Dissolution of our partnership

Majority of outstanding units. Please read “—Termination and Dissolution.”

 

Continuation of our business upon dissolution

Majority of outstanding units. Please read “—Termination and Dissolution.”

 

Election to be treated as a corporation for U.S. federal tax law purposes

Unanimous approval of the holders of the preferred units. Please read “—Amendment of the Partnership Agreement—Opinion of Counsel and Unitholder Approval.”

 

Withdrawal of our general partner

No approval right. Please read “—Withdrawal or Removal of Our General Partner.”

 

Removal of our general partner

Not less than 66 23% of the outstanding common units, including common units held by our general partner and its affiliates. Please read “—Withdrawal or Removal of Our General Partner.”

 

Transfer of our general partner interest

No approval right. Please read “—Transfer of General Partner Interest.”

If any person or group other than our general partner and its affiliates acquires beneficial ownership of 20% or more of any class of units, that person or group loses voting rights on all of its units. This loss of voting rights does not apply to (i) (A) any person or group that acquires the units from our general partner or its affiliates and

 

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(B) any transferees of that person or group approved by our general partner or to (C) any person or group who acquires the units with the specific prior approval of our general partner, or (ii) (A) with respect to matters as to which the preferred units vote as a separate class and (B) with respect to matters as to which the preferred units vote together with the common units as a single class, provided that, such preferred unitholder would not beneficially own 20% or more of the common units, determined on an as-converted basis at the then-applicable Conversion Ratio.

Class A Units

Holders of Class A units do not have the right to vote on, approve or disapprove, or otherwise consent or not consent with respect to any matter (including mergers, share exchanges and similar statutory authorizations) except as otherwise required by any non-waivable provision of law.

Limited Liability

Assuming that a limited partner does not participate in the control of our business within the meaning of the Delaware Act and that it otherwise acts in conformity with the provisions of our partnership agreement, such limited partner’s liability under the Delaware Act will be limited, subject to possible exceptions, to the amount of capital such limited partner is obligated to contribute to us for its common units plus its share of any undistributed profits and assets. If it were determined, however, that the right, or exercise of the right, by our limited partners as a group:

 

    to remove or replace our general partner;

 

    to approve some amendments to our partnership agreement; or

 

    to take other action under our partnership agreement;

constituted “participation in the control” of our business for the purposes of the Delaware Act, then our limited partners could be held personally liable for our obligations under the laws of Delaware, to the same extent as our general partner. This liability would extend to persons who transact business with us under the reasonable belief that the limited partner is a general partner. Neither our partnership agreement nor the Delaware Act specifically provides for legal recourse against our general partner if a limited partner were to lose limited liability through any fault of our general partner. While this does not mean that a limited partner could not seek legal recourse, we know of no precedent for this type of a claim in Delaware case law.

Under the Delaware Act, a limited partnership may not make a distribution to a partner if, after the distribution, all liabilities of the limited 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, would exceed the fair value of the assets of the limited partnership. For the purpose of determining the fair value of the assets of a limited partnership, the Delaware Act provides that the fair value of property subject to liability for 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 shall be liable to the limited partnership for the amount of the distribution for three years.

Limitations on the liability of members or limited partners for the obligations of a limited liability company or limited partnership have not been clearly established in many jurisdictions. If, by virtue of our ownership interest in our subsidiaries or otherwise, it were determined that we were conducting business in any jurisdiction without compliance with the applicable limited liability company or limited partnership statute, or that the right or exercise of the right by our limited partners as a group to remove or replace our general partner, to approve some amendments to our partnership agreement, or to take other action under our partnership agreement

 

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constituted “participation in the control” of our business for purposes of the statutes of any relevant jurisdiction, then our limited partners could be held personally liable for our obligations under the law of that jurisdiction to the same extent as our general partner under the circumstances. We will operate in a manner that our general partner considers reasonable and necessary or appropriate to preserve the limited liability of our limited partners.

Issuance of Additional Interests

Our partnership agreement authorizes us to issue an unlimited number of additional partnership interests for the consideration and on the terms and conditions determined by our general partner without the approval of the common unitholders. However, the affirmative vote of the preferred unitholders at the then-applicable Voting Threshold is required prior to the creation of any class of Senior Securities.

It is possible that we will fund acquisitions through the issuance of additional common units or other partnership interests. Holders of any additional common units we issue will be entitled to share equally with the then-existing common unitholders in our distributions of available cash. In addition, the issuance of additional common units or other partnership interests may dilute the value of the interests of the then-existing common unitholders in our net assets.

In accordance with Delaware law and the provisions of our partnership agreement, we may also issue additional partnership interests that, as determined by our general partner, may have special voting rights to which the common units are not entitled. In addition, our partnership agreement does not prohibit our subsidiaries from issuing equity interests, which may effectively rank senior to the common units.

The common unitholders will not have preemptive rights under our partnership agreement to acquire additional common units or other partnership interests. The preferred unitholders, however, do have preemptive rights with respect to any Parity Securities (as defined in the Partnership Agreement Amendment).

Amendment of the Partnership Agreement

General

Amendments to our partnership agreement may be proposed only by or with the consent our general partner, which consent may be given or withheld in its sole discretion. To adopt a proposed amendment, other than certain amendments discussed below, our general partner must seek written approval of the holders of the number of units required to approve the amendment or call a meeting of the limited partners to consider and vote upon the proposed amendment. Except as otherwise described below, an amendment must be approved by a unit majority. In addition, the affirmative vote of the preferred unitholders at the then-applicable Voting Threshold is required prior to amending the partnership agreement in any manner that (i) alters or changes the rights, powers, privileges or preferences or duties and obligations of the preferred units in any material respect, (ii) subject to certain exceptions, increases or decreases the authorized number of preferred units, or (iii) otherwise adversely affects the preferred units, including the creation of any class of Senior Securities.

No Unitholder Approval

Our general partner may generally make amendments to our partnership agreement without the approval of any limited partner to reflect:

 

    a change in our name, the location of our principal place of business, our registered agent or our registered office;

 

    the admission, substitution, withdrawal or removal of partners in accordance with our partnership agreement;

 

    a change that, in the sole discretion of our general partner, is necessary or advisable to qualify or continue our qualification as a limited partnership or a partnership in which the limited partners have limited liability under the laws of any state or to ensure that we will not be treated as an association taxable as a corporation or otherwise taxed as an entity for U.S. federal income tax purposes;

 

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    an amendment that is necessary, in the opinion of our counsel, to prevent us or our general partner or its directors, officers, agents or trustees from in any manner being subjected to the provisions of the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 or “plan asset” regulations adopted under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, or ERISA, whether or not substantially similar to plan asset regulations currently applied or proposed;

 

    an amendment that, in the discretion of our general partner, is necessary or advisable in connection with the authorization of issuance of any class or series of partnership interests;

 

    any amendment expressly permitted in our partnership agreement to be made by our general partner acting alone;

 

    an amendment effected, necessitated or contemplated by a merger agreement that has been approved under the terms of our partnership agreement;

 

    any amendment that, in the discretion of our general partner, is necessary or advisable to reflect, account for and deal with appropriately the formation by us of, or our investment in, any corporation, partnership, joint venture, limited liability company or other entity, as otherwise permitted by our partnership agreement;

 

    a change in our fiscal year or taxable year and any changes that, in the discretion of our general partner, are necessary or advisable as a result of a change in our fiscal year or taxable year including, if our general partner shall so determine, a change in the definition of “Quarter” and the dates on which distributions are to be made by us;

 

    a merger or conveyance pursuant to which (i) our general partner has received an opinion of counsel that the merger or conveyance would not result in the loss of the limited liability of any limited partner or cause our partnership to be treated as an association taxable as a corporation or otherwise to be taxed as an entity for federal income tax purposes (to the extent not previously treated as such), (ii) the sole purpose of such merger or conveyance is to effect a mere change in the legal form of our partnership into another limited liability entity and (iii) the governing instruments of the new entity provide the limited partners and our general partner with the same rights and obligations as are contained in the partnership agreement; or

 

    any other amendments substantially similar to any of the matters described in the clauses above.

In addition, our general partner may make amendments to our partnership agreement, without the approval of any limited partner, if our general partner determines that those amendments:

 

    do not adversely affect the limited partners (including any particular class of partnership interests as compared to other classes of partnership interests) in any material respect;

 

    are necessary or advisable to satisfy any requirements, conditions or guidelines contained in any opinion, directive, order, ruling or regulation of any federal or state agency or judicial authority or contained in any federal or state statute;

 

    are necessary or advisable to facilitate the trading of limited partner interests (including the division of any class or classes of outstanding limited partner interests into different classes to facilitate uniformity of tax consequences within such classes of limited partner interests) or to comply with any rule, regulation, guideline or requirement of any national securities exchange on which the limited partner interests are or will be listed for trading , compliance with any of which our general partner determines in its discretion to be in the best interests of our partnership and our limited partners;

 

    are necessary or advisable in connection with any action taken by our general partner relating to a split, distribution, subdivision or combination of partnership securities; or

 

    are required to effect the intent of the provisions of our partnership agreement or are otherwise contemplated by our partnership agreement.

 

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No Reduction of Voting Percentage Required to Take Action

Any amendment to the partnership agreement that reduces the voting percentage required to take any action must be approved by the affirmative vote of our limited partners constituting not less than the voting requirement sought to be reduced.

No Enlargement of Obligations

No amendment to our partnership agreement may (i) enlarge the obligations of any limited partner without its consent, unless such is deemed to have occurred as a result of an amendment approved by the holders of 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 the consent of general partner, which consent may be given or withheld in its sole discretion, (iii) change the provision of the partnership agreement that provides for the dissolution of our partnership upon the election to dissolve our partnership by our general partner that is approved by the holders of a unit majority (the “Elective Dissolution Provision”) or (iv) change the term of our partnership or, except as set forth in the Elective Dissolution Provision, give any person the right to dissolve our partnership.

No Material Adverse Effect on Rights and Preferences

Except for certain amendments in connection with the merger or consolidation of our partnership and except for those amendments that may be effected by our 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 affected, and to the extent such amendment would adversely affect any preferred unitholder in a disproportionate manner, consent of such preferred unitholder would also be required.

Opinion of Counsel and Unitholder Approval

Except as for those amendments that may be effected by our general partner without the consent of limited partners as described above, no amendments shall become effective without the approval of the holders of at least 90% of the outstanding units voting as a single class 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. However, unanimous approval of the holders of the preferred units is required prior to our making an election to be treated as a taxable entity for federal income tax purposes.

Further Restrictions on Amendments.

Except as for those amendments that may be effected by our 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 (provided that the approval rights of the preferred unitholders may only be amended with the approval of the then-applicable Voting Threshold).

Merger, Sale or Other Disposition of Assets

Our partnership agreement generally prohibits our general partner, without the prior approval of a unit majority, from causing us to, among other things, sell, exchange or otherwise dispose of all or substantially all of the consolidated assets we and our operating subsidiaries own in a single transaction or a series of related transactions (including by way of merger, consolidation or other combination). Our general partner may, however, mortgage, pledge, hypothecate or grant a security interest in all or substantially all of our consolidated assets without the approval of a unit majority. Our partnership agreement generally prohibits our general partner from causing us to merge or consolidate with another entity without the approval of a unit majority.

 

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If certain conditions specified in the partnership agreement are satisfied, our general partner may merge our partnership 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.

A Change of Control in which consideration to be received by the common unitholders has a value of less than $10.00 per common unit requires approval of the preferred unitholders at the then-applicable Voting Threshold.

Termination and Dissolution

We will continue as a limited partnership until dissolved under our partnership agreement. We will dissolve upon:

 

    the election of our general partner to dissolve us, if approved by the holders of units representing a unit majority;

 

    the sale of all or substantially all of the assets and properties of our partnership and its subsidiaries, treated as a single consolidated entity;

 

    the entry of a decree of judicial dissolution of our partnership pursuant to the provisions of the Delaware Act; or

 

    the withdrawal, removal, bankruptcy or dissolution of our general partner, unless a successor general partner is elected prior to or on the effective date of such withdrawal, removal, bankruptcy or dissolution and we receive a withdrawal opinion of counsel.

Upon (a) dissolution of our partnership following the withdrawal or removal of our general partner and the failure of the partners to select a successor general partner, then within 90 days thereafter, or (b) dissolution of our partnership upon the bankruptcy or dissolution of our general partner, then, to the maximum extent permitted by law, within 180 days thereafter, the holders of a unit majority may elect to reconstitute our partnership and continue its business on the same terms and conditions set forth in 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 unit majority. Unless such an election is made within the applicable time period as set forth above, we shall conduct only activities necessary to wind up its affairs.

Liquidation and Distribution of Proceeds

Upon our dissolution, unless our business is continued, the liquidator authorized to wind up our affairs will, acting with all of the powers of our general partner that are necessary or appropriate, liquidate our assets and apply the proceeds of the liquidation as described in “Provisions of Our Partnership Agreement Relating to Cash Distributions—Distributions of Cash Upon Liquidation.” The liquidator may defer liquidation or distribution of our assets for a reasonable period of time or distribute assets to partners in kind if it determines that a sale would be impractical or would cause undue loss to our partners.

Withdrawal or Removal of Our General Partner

Our general partner may withdraw as our general partner by giving at least 90 days’ advance notice to the unitholders, such withdrawal to take effect on the date specified in such notice. Our general partner may voluntarily withdraw at any time by giving at least 90 days’ advance notice of its intention to withdraw to the limited partners, such withdrawal to take effect on the date specified in the notice, if at the time such notice is given one person and its affiliates (other than our general partner and its affiliates) own beneficially or of record or control at least 50% of the outstanding units.

If our general partner gives a notice of withdrawal, the holders of a unit majority may, prior to the effective date of such withdrawal, elect a successor general partner. The person so elected as successor general partner will

 

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automatically become the successor general partner. If, prior to the effective date of our general partner’s withdrawal, a successor is not selected by the unitholders or we do not receive a withdrawal opinion of counsel, we will be dissolved in accordance with our partnership agreement.

Our general partner may be removed if such removal is approved by the unitholders holding at least 66 23% of the outstanding units (including units held by our general partner and its affiliates). Any such action by such holders for removal of our general partner must also provide for the election of a successor general partner by the unitholders holding a unit majority (including units held by our general partner and its affiliates). Such removal will be effective immediately following the admission of a successor general partner pursuant to our partnership agreement. The right of the holders of outstanding units to remove the general partner will not exist or be exercised unless we have received a withdrawal opinion of counsel.

If our general partner withdraws or is removed, we are required to reimburse the departing general partner for all amounts due the departing general partner.

Transfer of General Partner Interest

At any time, our general partner may transfer all or any of its general partner interest to another person without the approval of our common unitholders. As a condition of this transfer, the transferee must assume, among other things, the rights and duties of our general partner, agree to be bound by the provisions of our partnership agreement and furnish an opinion of counsel regarding limited liability and tax matters.

Change of Management Provisions

Our partnership agreement contains specific provisions that are intended to discourage a person or group from attempting to remove CEQP GP as our general partner or from otherwise changing our management. Please read “—Withdrawal or Removal of Our General Partner” for a discussion of certain consequences of the removal of our general partner. If any person or group, other than our general partner and its affiliates, acquires beneficial ownership of 20% or more of any class of units, that person or group loses voting rights on all of its units. This loss of voting rights does not apply in certain circumstances. Please read “—Meetings; Voting.”

Limited Call Right

If at any time our general partner and its affiliates own more than 80% of our then-issued and outstanding limited partner interests of any class, our general partner will have the right, but not the obligation, to purchase all, but not less than all, of the remaining limited partners interests of the class at a price not less than the then current market price.

As a result of our general partner’s right to purchase outstanding limited partner interests, a holder of limited partner interests may have its limited partner interests purchased at an undesirable time or at a price that may be lower than market prices at various times prior to such purchase or lower than a unitholder may anticipate the market price to be in the future. The U.S. federal income tax consequences to a common unitholder of the exercise of this call right are the same as a sale by that unitholder of its common units in the market. Please read “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences—Disposition of Units.” In the event that our general partner or any affiliate of our general partner exercises its right to purchase all of the outstanding common units, it will result in the occurrence of a Cash COC Event (as defined in the Partnership Agreement Amendment).

Meetings; Voting

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, our 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,

 

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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 our general partner to give such approvals. Except as described below regarding a person or group owning 20% or more of any class of units then outstanding, record holders of units on the record date will be entitled to notice of, and to vote at, meetings of our limited partners and to act upon matters for which approvals may be solicited.

If authorized by our 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 our 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 our general partner or by limited partners owning at least 20% of the outstanding partnership securities of the class or classes for which a meeting is proposed. Limited partners may vote either in person or by proxy at meetings. The holders of a majority of the outstanding partnership securities of the class or classes for which a meeting has been called (including limited partner interests deemed owned by our general partner), represented in person or by proxy, will constitute a quorum.

Each record holder of a unit has a vote according to its percentage interest in us, although additional limited partner interests having special voting rights could be issued. Please read “—Issuance of Additional Interests.” For a description of the voting rights of the Class A units, please read “—Limited Voting Rights.” However, if at any time any person or group, other than our general partner and its affiliates, or a direct or subsequently approved transferee of our general partner or its affiliates and purchasers specifically approved by our general partner, acquires, in the aggregate, beneficial ownership of 20% or more of any class of units then outstanding, that person or group will lose voting rights on all of its units and the units may not be voted on any matter and will not be considered to be outstanding when sending notices of a meeting of common unitholders, calculating required votes, determining the presence of a quorum or for other similar purposes. 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. This loss of voting rights does not apply (i) (A) to any person or group that acquires the units directly from our general partner or its affiliates, (B) to any transferees of that person or group approved by our general partner or (C) to any person or group who acquires the units with the specific prior approval of our general partner, or (ii) (A) with respect to matters as to which the preferred units vote as a separate class and (B) with respect to matters as to which the preferred units vote together with the common units as a single class, provided that, such preferred unitholder would not beneficially own 20% or more of the common units, determined on an as-converted basis at the then-applicable Conversion Ratio.

Any notice, demand, request, report or proxy material required or permitted to be given or made to record common unitholders under our partnership agreement will be delivered to the record holder by us or by the transfer agent.

Status as Limited Partner

By transfer of common units in accordance with our partnership agreement, each transferee of common units shall be admitted as a limited partner with respect to the common units transferred when such transfer and admission are reflected in our books and records. Except as described above under “—Limited Liability,” the common units and preferred units will be fully paid, and common unitholders and preferred unitholders will not be required to make additional contributions.

 

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Indemnification

Under our partnership agreement, in most circumstances, we will indemnify certain persons (each, an “Indemnitee”), to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, from and against all losses, claims, damages, liabilities, joint or several, expenses (including legal fees and expenses), judgments, fines, penalties, interest, settlements or other amounts arising from any and all claims, demands, actions, suits or proceedings, whether civil, criminal, administrative or investigative, in which any Indemnitee may be involved, or is threatened to be involved, as a party or otherwise, by reason of its status as an Indemnitee.

This indemnity is available only if the Indemnitee acted in good faith and in a manner that such Indemnitee reasonably believed to be in, or (in the case of a person other than our general partner) not opposed to, the best interests of us and, with respect to any criminal proceeding, had no reasonable cause to believe its conduct was unlawful. Indemnitees include (i) any general partner, (ii) any departing general partner, (iii) any person who is or was an affiliate of a general partner or any departing general partner, (iv) any person who is or was a member, partner, officer, director, employee, agent or trustee of us or our subsidiaries, a general partner or any departing general partner or any affiliate of any of our partnership or its subsidiaries, general partner or any departing general partner and (v) any person who is or was serving at the request of a general partner or any departing general partner or any affiliate of a general partner or any departing general partner as an officer, director, employee, member, partner, agent, fiduciary or trustee of another person. We will pay expenses subject to indemnity to the Indemnitee in advance, subject to receipt of an undertaking by or on behalf of the Indemnitee to repay such amount if it is ultimately determined by a court of competent jurisdiction that the Indemnitee is not entitled to indemnification. We maintain a liability insurance policy on behalf of certain of the Indemnitees.

The limited liability company agreement of our general partner provides for the indemnification of affiliates of our general partner and members, managers, partners, officers, directors, employees, agents and trustees of our general partner or any affiliate of our general partner and such persons who serve at the request of our general partner as members, managers, partners, officers, directors, employees, agents, trustees and fiduciaries of any other enterprise against certain liabilities under certain circumstances.

Any indemnification under these provisions will only be out of our assets. Unless our general partner otherwise agrees, it will not be personally liable for, or have any obligation to contribute or lend funds or assets to us to enable us to effectuate, indemnification. We may purchase insurance covering liabilities asserted against and expenses incurred by persons for our activities, regardless of whether we would have the power to indemnify the person against liabilities under our partnership agreement. To the extent these provisions purport to include indemnification for liabilities arising under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), in the opinion of the SEC, such indemnification is contrary to public policy and, therefore, unenforceable.

Reimbursement of Expenses

Our general partner does not receive any compensation for its services as our partnership’s general partner. Our partnership agreement requires us to reimburse our general partner for all direct and indirect expenses it incurs or payments it makes on our behalf and all other necessary or appropriate expenses allocable to us or otherwise reasonably incurred by our general partner in connection with operating our business. Our partnership agreement does not limit the amount of expenses for which our general partner and its affiliates may be reimbursed. These expenses include salary, bonus, incentive compensation and other amounts paid to persons who perform services for us or on our behalf and expenses allocated to our general partner by its affiliates. Under our partnership agreement, our general partner is entitled to determine in any reasonable manner in its sole discretion the expenses that are allocable to us.

Books and Reports

Our general partner is required to keep appropriate books of our business at our principal offices. These books will be maintained for both tax and financial reporting purposes on an accrual basis. For tax and fiscal reporting purposes, our fiscal year is the calendar year.

 

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We will furnish or make available to record holders of our common units, within 105 days after the close of each fiscal year, an annual report containing audited consolidated financial statements and a report on those consolidated financial statements by our independent registered public accounting firm. Except for our fourth quarter, we will also furnish or make available summary financial information within 50 days after the close of each quarter. We will be deemed to have made any such report available if we file such report with the SEC on EDGAR or make the report available on a publicly available website which we maintain.

We will furnish each record holder of a unit with information reasonably required for U.S. federal and state tax reporting purposes within 90 days after the close of each calendar year. This information is expected to be furnished in summary form so that some complex calculations normally required of partners can be avoided. Our ability to furnish this summary information to our common unitholders will depend on their cooperation in supplying us with specific information. Every common unitholder will receive information to assist such unitholder in determining its U.S. federal and state tax liability and in filing its U.S. federal and state income tax returns, regardless of whether such unitholder supplies us with the necessary information.

Right to Inspect Our Books and Records

Our partnership agreement provides that a limited partner can, for a purpose reasonably related to its interest as a limited partner, upon reasonable written demand stating the purpose of such demand and at such partner’s own expense, have furnished to it:

 

    a current list of the name and last known address of each record holder;

 

    copies of our partnership agreement, our certificate of limited partnership and related amendments and any powers of attorney under which they have been executed;

 

    information regarding the status of our business and our financial condition; and

 

    any other information regarding our affairs as our general partner determines is just and reasonable.

Our general partner may, and intends to, keep confidential from the limited partners trade secrets or other information the disclosure of which our general partner believes in good faith is not in our best interests, could damage us or our business or that we are required by law or by agreements with third parties to keep confidential.

Registration Rights

Under our partnership agreement, subject to certain exceptions, we have agreed to register for resale under the Securities Act and applicable state securities laws any common units or other limited partner interests 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. These registration rights continue for two years following any withdrawal or removal of CEQP GP as our general partner. We are obligated to pay all expenses incidental to the registration, excluding underwriting discounts and commissions.

On September 30, 2015, we entered into a Registration Rights Agreement (the “Registration Rights Agreement”) with the preferred unitholders and agreed to register the common units issuable upon conversion of the preferred units, including the common units issuable upon conversion of preferred units that we may issue as payment in kind to the preferred unitholders. Also, pursuant to the Registration Rights Agreement, under certain limited circumstances, the preferred unitholders have the option, by providing written notice to us, to require us to prepare and file a registration statement under the Securities Act to permit the public resale of the preferred units. We filed a registration statement on Form S-3 registering the common units issuable upon conversion of the preferred units, including the common units issuable upon conversion of preferred units that we may issue as payment in kind to the preferred unitholders, on March 14, 2016, and such registration statement was declared effective on June 15, 2016. In certain circumstances, the selling unitholders will have piggyback registration rights as described in the Registration Rights Agreement.

 

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MATERIAL U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSEQUENCES

This section summarizes the material U.S. federal income tax consequences that may be relevant to prospective unitholders and is based upon current provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), existing and proposed U.S. Treasury regulations thereunder (the “Treasury Regulations”), and current administrative rulings and court decisions, all of which are subject to change. Changes in these authorities may cause the U.S. federal income tax consequences to a prospective unitholder to vary substantially from the consequences described below, possibly on a retroactive basis.

Legal conclusions contained in this section, unless otherwise noted, are the opinion of Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. and are based on the accuracy of representations made by us to them for this purpose. However, this section does not address local taxes, state taxes, non-U.S. taxes, other taxes or all U.S. federal income 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. Furthermore, this section focuses on unitholders who are individual citizens or residents of the United States (for U.S. federal income tax purposes), who have the U.S. dollar as their functional currency, who use the calendar year as their taxable year, who purchase units in this offering, who do not materially participate in the conduct of our business activities and who hold such units as capital assets (generally, property that is held as an investment). This section has limited applicability to unitholders who are corporations (including other entities treated as corporations for federal income tax purposes), partnerships (including other 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 entities, non-U.S. persons, individual retirement accounts (“IRAs”), employee benefit plans, real estate investment trusts or mutual funds. Accordingly, we encourage each prospective unitholder to consult such unitholder’s own tax advisor in analyzing the U.S. federal, state, local and non-U.S. tax consequences particular to that unitholder resulting from the ownership or disposition of units and potential changes in applicable tax laws.

We are relying on opinions and advice of Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. with respect to the matters described herein. An opinion of counsel represents only that counsel’s best legal judgment and does not bind the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) or a court. Accordingly, the opinions and statements made herein may not be sustained by a court if contested by the IRS. Any such contest of the matters described herein may materially and adversely impact the market for our units and the prices at which such units trade. In addition, our costs of any contest with the IRS will be borne indirectly by our unitholders because the costs will reduce our cash available for distribution. Furthermore, the tax consequences of an investment in us may be significantly modified by future legislative or administrative changes or court decisions, which may be retroactively applied.

For the reasons described below, Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. has not rendered an opinion with respect to the following federal income tax issues: (1) the treatment of a unitholder whose units are the subject of a securities loan (e.g., a loan to a short seller to cover a short sale of units) (please read “—Tax Consequences of Unit Ownership—Treatment of Securities Loans”); (2) whether our monthly convention for allocating taxable income and losses is permitted by existing Treasury Regulations (please read “—Disposition of Units—Allocations Between Transferors and Transferees”); and (3) whether our method for taking into account Section 743 adjustments is sustainable in certain cases (please read “—Tax Consequences of Unit Ownership—Section 754 Election” and “—Uniformity of Units”).

Taxation of the Partnership

Partnership Status

We expect to be treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes and, therefore, subject to the discussion below under “—Administrative Matters—Information Returns and Audit Procedures”, generally will not be liable for entity-level federal income taxes. Instead, as described in detail below, each of our unitholders will take into account its respective share of our items of income, gain, loss and deduction in computing its U.S.

 

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federal income tax liability as if the unitholder had earned such income directly, even if we make no cash distributions to the unitholder. Distributions we make to a unitholder generally will not give rise to income or gain taxable to such unitholder unless the amount of cash distributed exceeds the unitholder’s adjusted basis in its units. Please read “—Tax Consequences of Unit Ownership—Treatment of Distributions” and “—Disposition of Units”).

Section 7704 of the Code provides that publicly traded partnerships will be treated as corporations for U.S. federal income tax purposes. However, if 90% or more of the partnership’s gross income for every taxable year it is publicly traded consists of “qualifying income,” the partnership may continue to be treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes (the “Qualifying Income Exception”). Qualifying income includes, (i) income and gains derived from the processing, transportation, storage and marketing of any mineral or natural resource (such as crude oil, refined products and NGLs), (ii) interest (other than from a financial business), (iii) dividends, (iv) gains from the sale of real property and (v) gains from the sale or other disposition of capital assets (or property described in Section 1231(b) of the Code) held for the production of income that otherwise constitutes qualifying income. We estimate that less than 6% of our current gross income is not qualifying income; however, this estimate could change from time to time.

Based upon factual representations made by us and our general partner regarding the composition of our income and the other representations set forth below, Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. is of the opinion that we will be treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes and each of our limited liability company and partnership operating subsidiaries (other than Crestwood Gas Services GP LLC) will be disregarded as an entity separate from us or treated as partnerships for federal income tax purposes. The representations made by us and our general partner upon which Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. has relied include, without limitation:

(a) Neither we nor any of our limited liability company and partnership operating subsidiaries (other than Crestwood Gas Services GP LLC) has elected to be treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes;

(b) Each hedging transaction that we treat as resulting in qualifying income has been and will be appropriately identified as a hedging transaction pursuant to applicable Treasury Regulations, and has been and will be associated with crude oil, natural gas, or products thereof that are held or to be held by us in activities that Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. has opined result in qualifying income; and

(c) For each taxable year, since and including the year of our initial public offering, more than 90% of our gross income has been and will be income of a character that Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. has opined is “qualifying income” within the meaning of Section 7704(d) of the Code.

We believe that these representations are true and will 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 transferring all of our assets, subject to all of our 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 as distributing that stock to our unitholders in liquidation. This deemed contribution and liquidation should not result in the recognition of taxable income by our unitholders or us so long as the aggregate amount of our liabilities does not exceed the adjusted tax basis of our assets. Thereafter, we would be treated as an association taxable 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, legislative or judicial interpretation at any time. For example, from time to time, members of the U.S. Congress propose and consider substantive changes to the existing federal income tax laws that affect publicly traded partnerships. One such legislative proposal would

 

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have eliminated the Qualifying Income Exception upon which we rely for our treatment as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes. In addition, on January 24, 2017, final regulations regarding which activities give rise to qualifying income (the “Final Regulations”) were published in the Federal Register. The Final Regulations are effective as of January 19, 2017, and apply to taxable years beginning on or after January 19, 2017. We do not believe the Final Regulations affect our ability to qualify as a publicly traded partnership. 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.

If for any reason we are taxable as a corporation in any taxable year, our items of income, gain, loss and deduction would be taken into account by us in determining the amount of our liability for U.S. federal income tax, rather than being passed through to our unitholders. Our partnership agreement provides that if a law is enacted or existing law is modified or interpreted in a manner that subjects us to taxation as a corporation or otherwise subjects us to entity-level taxation for federal, state or local income tax purposes, the minimum quarterly distribution amount and the target distribution amounts may be adjusted to reflect the impact of that law on us. Our taxation as a corporation would materially reduce the cash available for distribution to our unitholders and thus would likely substantially reduce the value of our units. Any distribution made to a unitholder at a time we are treated as a corporation would be (i) a taxable dividend to the extent of our current or accumulated earnings and profits, then (ii) a nontaxable return of capital to the extent of the unitholder’s adjusted tax basis in our units (determined separately for each unit), and thereafter (iii) taxable capital gain.

At the state level, several states have been evaluating ways to subject partnerships to entity-level taxation through the imposition of state income, franchise, or other forms of taxation. Imposition of a similar tax on us in the jurisdictions in which we operate or in other jurisdictions to which we may expand could substantially reduce our cash available for distribution to our unitholders.

The remainder of this discussion is based on the opinion of Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. that we will be treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

Tax Consequences of Unit Ownership

Limited Partner Status

Unitholders who are admitted as limited partners of the Partnership will be treated as partners for federal income tax purposes. In addition, assignees who have executed and delivered transfer applications, and are awaiting admission as limited partners, and unitholders whose 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 units will be treated as partners of the Partnership for U.S. for federal income tax purposes.

As there is no direct or indirect controlling authority addressing assignees of 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, Vinson & Elkins L.L.P.’s opinion does not extend to these persons. Furthermore, a purchaser or other transferee of units who does not execute and deliver a transfer application may not receive some federal income tax information or reports furnished to record holders of units unless the units are held in a nominee or street name account and the nominee or broker has executed and delivered a transfer application for those units.

In addition, a beneficial owner of units whose units have been transferred to a short seller to complete a short sale would appear to lose status as a partner with respect to such units for federal income tax purposes. For a discussion related to the risks of losing partner status as a result of short sales, please read “—Tax Consequences of Unit Ownership—Treatment of Securities Loans.”

Income, gain, deductions or losses would not appear to be reportable by a unitholder who is not a partner for federal income tax purposes, and any cash distributions received by a unitholder who is not a partner for federal

 

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income tax purposes would therefore appear to be fully taxable as ordinary income. A unitholder who is not treated as a partner in us as described above are urged to consult its own tax advisors with respect to the tax consequences applicable to such unitholder under its particular circumstances.

Flow-Through of Taxable Income

Subject to the discussion below under “—Entity-Level Collections of Unitholder Taxes” and “—Administrative Matters—Information Returns and Audit Procedures”, with respect to payments we may be required to make on behalf of our unitholders, we will not pay any U.S. federal income tax. Rather, each unitholder will be required to report on its federal income tax return each year its share of our income, gains, losses and deductions for our taxable year or years ending with or within its taxable year. Consequently, we may allocate income to a unitholder even if that unitholder has not received a cash distribution from us.

Treatment of Distributions

Distributions made by us to a unitholder generally will not be taxable to the unitholder unless such distributions are of cash or marketable securities that are treated as cash and exceed the unitholder’s tax basis in its units, in which case the unitholder generally will recognize gain taxable in the manner described under “—Disposition of Units” below.

Any reduction in a unitholder’s share of our nonrecourse liabilities (liabilities for which no partner bears the economic risk of loss) will be treated as a distribution by us of cash to that unitholder. A decrease in a unitholder’s percentage interest in us because of our issuance of additional units may decrease the unitholder’s share of our nonrecourse liabilities. For purposes of the foregoing, a unitholder’s share of our nonrecourse liabilities generally will be based upon that unitholder’s share of the unrealized appreciation (or depreciation) in our assets, to the extent thereof, with any excess nonrecourse liabilities allocated based on the unitholder’s share of our profits. Please read “—Disposition of Units.”

A non-pro rata distribution of money or property (including a deemed distribution as a result of the reallocation of our nonrecourse liabilities as described above) may cause a unitholder to recognize ordinary income, if the distribution reduces the unitholder’s share of our “unrealized receivables,” including depreciation recapture and substantially appreciated “inventory items,” both as defined in Section 751 of the Code (“Section 751 Assets”). To the extent of such reduction, the unitholder would be deemed to receive its proportionate share of the Section 751 Assets and exchange such assets with us in return for a portion of the non-pro rata distribution. This deemed exchange generally will result in the unitholder’s recognition of ordinary income in an amount equal to the excess of (1) the non-pro rata portion of that distribution over (2) the unitholder’s tax basis (generally zero) in the Section 751 Assets deemed to be relinquished in the exchange.

Basis of Units

A unitholder’s tax basis in its units initially will be the amount paid for those units increased by the unitholder’s initial allocable share of our liabilities. That basis generally will be (i) increased by the unitholder’s share of our income and any increases in such unitholder’s share of our liabilities, and (ii) decreased, but not below zero, by the amount of all distributions to the unitholder, the unitholder’s share of our losses, and any decreases in its share of our liabilities. 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 of those interests.

Limitations on Deductibility of Losses

A unitholder may not be entitled to deduct the full amount of loss we allocate to it because its share of our losses will be limited to the lesser of (i) the unitholder’s adjusted tax basis in its units, and (ii) in the case of a

 

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unitholder who is an individual, estate, trust or certain types of closely-held corporations, the amount for which the unitholder is considered to be “at risk” with respect to our activities. In general, a unitholder will be at risk to the extent of its adjusted tax basis in its units, reduced by (1) any portion of that basis attributable to the unitholder’s share of our nonrecourse liabilities, (2) any portion of that basis representing amounts otherwise protected against loss because of a guarantee, stop loss agreement or other similar arrangement and (3) any amount of money the unitholder borrows to acquire or hold its units, if the lender of those borrowed funds owns an interest in us, is related to another unitholder or can look only to the units for repayment. A unitholder subject to the at risk limitation must recapture losses deducted in previous years to the extent that distributions (including distributions deemed to result from a reduction in a unitholder’s share of nonrecourse liabilities) cause the unitholder’s 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 the basis or at risk limitations will carry forward and will be allowable as a deduction in a later year to the extent that the unitholder’s adjusted tax basis or at risk amount, whichever is the limiting factor, is subsequently increased. Upon a taxable disposition of units, any gain recognized by a unitholder can be offset by losses that were previously suspended by the at risk limitation but not losses suspended by the basis limitation. Any loss previously suspended by the at risk limitation in excess of that gain can no longer be used, and will not be available to offset a unitholder’s salary or active business income.

In addition to the basis and at risk limitations, a passive activity loss limitation generally limits the deductibility of losses incurred by individuals, estates, trusts and some closely held corporations and personal service corporations from “passive activities,” (generally, trade or business activities in which the taxpayer does not materially participate). The passive loss limitations are applied separately with respect to each publicly-traded partnership. Consequently, any passive losses we generate will be available to offset only passive income generated by us. Passive losses that exceed a unitholder’s share of passive income we generate may be deducted in full when the unitholder disposes of all of its units in a fully taxable transaction with an unrelated party. The passive loss rules generally are applied after other applicable limitations on deductions, including the at risk and basis limitations.

Limitations on Interest Deductions

The deductibility of a non-corporate taxpayer’s “investment interest expense” is generally limited to the amount of that taxpayer’s “net investment income.” Investment interest expense includes:

 

    interest on indebtedness properly allocable to property held for investment;

 

    our interest expense allocated against portfolio income; and

 

    the portion of interest expense incurred to purchase or carry an interest in a passive activity to the extent allocated against portfolio income.

The computation of a unitholder’s investment interest expense will take into account interest on any margin account borrowing or other loan incurred to purchase or carry a 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. Net investment income generally does not include qualified dividend income (if applicable) or gains attributable to the disposition of property held for investment. A unitholder’s share of a publicly traded partnership’s portfolio income and, according to the IRS, net passive income will be treated as investment income for purposes of the investment interest expense limitation.

Entity-Level Collections of Unitholder Taxes

If we are required or elect under applicable law to pay any U.S. federal, state, local or non-U.S. tax on behalf of any current or former unitholder or our general partner, we are authorized to treat the payment as a

 

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distribution of cash to the relevant unitholder or general partner. Where the tax is payable on behalf of all unitholders or we cannot determine the specific unitholder on whose behalf the tax is payable, we are authorized to treat the payment as a distribution to all current unitholders. Payments by us as described above could give rise to an overpayment of tax on behalf of a unitholder, in which event the unitholder may be entitled to claim a refund of the overpayment amount. Please read “—Administrative Matters—Information Returns and Audit Procedures”. Each unitholder is urged to consult its tax advisor to determine the consequences of any tax payment we make on its behalf.

Allocation of Income, Gain, Loss and Deduction

After giving effect to special allocation provisions with respect to our other classes of units, our items of income, gain, loss and deduction generally will be allocated among the unitholders in accordance with their percentage interests in us. Specified items of our income, gain, loss and deduction will be allocated under Section 704(c) of the Code (or the principles of Section 704(c) of the Code) to account for any difference between the adjusted tax basis and fair market value of our assets at the time such assets are contributed to us and at the time of any subsequent offering of our units (“Book-Tax Disparity”). As a result, the federal income tax burden associated with any Book-Tax Disparity immediately prior to an offering generally will be borne by our unitholders holding interests in us prior to such offering. In addition, items of recapture income will be specially allocated to the extent possible to the unitholder who was allocated the deduction giving rise to that recapture income in order to minimize the recognition of ordinary income by other unitholders.

An allocation of items of our income, gain, loss or deduction, other than an allocation required by the Code to eliminate a Book-Tax Disparity, will generally be given effect for federal income tax purposes in determining a unitholder’s share of an item of income, gain, loss or deduction only if the allocation has “substantial economic effect.” In any other case, a unitholder’s share of an item will be determined on the basis of its interest in us, which will be determined by taking into account all the facts and circumstances, including: (i) its relative contributions to us, (ii) the interests of all the partners in profits and losses, (iii) the interest of all the partners in cash flow, and (iv) the rights of all the partners to distributions of capital upon liquidation. Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. is of the opinion that, with the exception of the issues described in “—Section 754 Election” and “—Disposition of Units—Allocations Between Transferors and Transferees,” allocations of income, gain, loss or deduction under our partnership agreement will be given effect for federal income tax purposes.

Treatment of Securities Loans

A unitholder whose units are loaned (for example, a loan to a “short seller” to cover a short sale of units) may be treated as having disposed of those units. If so, such unitholder 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 as a result of such deemed disposition. As a result, during this period (i) any of our income, gain, loss or deduction with respect to those units would not be reportable by the lending unitholder; and (ii) any cash distributions received by the lending unitholder as to those units may be treated as ordinary taxable income.

Due to a lack of controlling authority, Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. has not rendered an opinion regarding the tax treatment of a unitholder that enters into a securities loan with respect to its units. A unitholder desiring to assure its status as partners and avoid the risk of income recognition from a loan of its units is urged to modify any applicable brokerage account agreements to prohibit its brokers from borrowing and lending its units. The IRS has announced that it is studying issues relating to the tax treatment of short sales of partnership interests. Please read “—Disposition of Units—Recognition of Gain or Loss.”

Tax Rates

Under current law, the highest marginal U.S. federal income tax rates for individuals applicable to ordinary income and long-term capital gains (generally, gains from the sale or exchange of certain investment assets held for more than one year) are 39.6% and 20%, respectively. These rates are subject to change by new legislation at any time.

 

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In addition, a 3.8% net investment income tax applies to certain net investment income earned by individuals, estates, and trusts. For these purposes, net investment income generally includes a unitholder’s allocable share of our income and gain realized by a unitholder from a sale of units. In the case of an individual, the tax will be imposed on the lesser of (i) the unitholder’s net investment income from all investments, or (ii) the amount by which the unitholder’s modified adjusted gross income exceeds $250,000 (if the unitholder is married and filing jointly or a surviving spouse), $125,000 (if married filing separately) or $200,000 (if the unitholder is unmarried or in any other case). In the case of an estate or trust, the tax will be imposed on the lesser of (i) 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.

Section 754 Election

We have made the election permitted by Section 754 of the Code that permits us to adjust the tax bases in our assets as to a specific purchaser of our units under Section 743(b) of the Code to reflect the unit purchase price. That election is irrevocable without the consent of the IRS. The Section 743(b) adjustment separately applies to a purchaser of units based upon the values and adjusted tax bases of our assets at the time of the relevant purchase, and the adjustment will reflect the purchase price paid. The Section 743(b) adjustment does not apply to a person who purchases units directly from us. For purposes of this discussion, a unitholder’s basis in our assets will be considered to have two components: (1) its share of the tax basis in our assets as to all unitholders and (2) its Section 743(b) adjustment to that tax basis (which may be positive or negative).The Section 743(b) adjustment does not apply to a person who purchases units directly from us.

Under Treasury Regulations, a Section 743(b) adjustment attributable to property depreciable under Section 168 of the Code, may be amortizable over the remaining cost recovery period for such property, while a Section 743(b) adjustment attributable to properties subject to depreciation under Section 167 of the Code, must be amortized straight-line or using the 150% declining balance method. As a result, if we owned any assets subject to depreciation under Section 167 of the Code, the amortization rates could give rise to differences in the taxation of unitholders purchasing units from us and unitholders purchasing from other unitholders.

Under our partnership agreement, we are authorized to take a position to preserve the uniformity of units even if that position is not consistent with applicable Treasury Regulations. A literal allocation of the Treasury Regulations governing a 743(b) adjustment attributable to properties depreciable under section 167 of the Code may give rise to differences in the taxation of unitholders purchasing units directly from us and unitholders purchasing from other unitholders. If we have any such properties, we intend to adopt methods employed by other publicly traded partnerships to preserve the uniformity of our units, even if inconsistent with the existing Treasury Regulations, and Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. has not opined on the validity of this approach. Please read “—Uniformity of Units.”

The IRS may challenge our position with respect to depreciating or amortizing the Section 743(b) adjustment we take to preserve the uniformity of units due to a lack of controlling authority. Because a unitholder’s adjusted tax basis for its units is reduced by its share of our items of deduction or loss, any position we take that understates deductions will overstate a unitholder’s basis in its units, and may cause the unitholder to understate gain or overstate loss on any sale of such units. Please read “—Disposition of Units—Recognition of Gain or Loss.” If a challenge to such treatment were sustained, the gain from the sale of units may be increased without the benefit of additional deductions.

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. The IRS could seek to reallocate some or all of any Section 743(b) adjustment we allocated to our assets subject to depreciation to goodwill or non-depreciable assets. Goodwill, an intangible asset, is amortizable over a longer period of time or under a less accelerated method than certain of our tangible assets. We cannot assure any unitholder that the determinations we make will not be successfully challenged by the IRS or that the resulting deductions will not be reduced or disallowed

 

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altogether. Should the IRS require a different tax 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 units may be allocated more income than it would have been allocated had the election not been revoked.

Tax Treatment of Operations

Accounting Method and Taxable Year

We generally 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 its tax return its share of our income, gain, loss and deduction for our taxable year ending within or with its taxable year. In addition, a unitholder who has a taxable year ending on a date other than December 31 and who disposes of all of its units following the close of our taxable year but before the close of its taxable year must include its share of our income, gain, loss and deduction in income for its taxable year, with the result that it will be required to include in income for its taxable year its share of more than one year of our income, gain, loss and deduction. Please read “—Disposition of Units—Allocations Between Transferors and Transferees.”

Tax Basis, Depreciation and Amortization

The tax bases of our assets will be used for purposes of computing depreciation and cost recovery deductions and, ultimately, gain or loss on the disposition of these assets. 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 and deductions previously taken, may be subject to the recapture rules and taxed as ordinary income rather than capital gain. Similarly, a 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 its interests in us. Please read “—Tax Consequences of Unit Ownership—Allocation of Income, Gain, Loss and Deduction” and “—Disposition of Units—Recognition of Gain or Loss.”

The costs we incur in offering and selling our units (called “syndication expenses”) must be capitalized and cannot be deducted currently, ratably or upon our termination. While there are uncertainties regarding the classification of certain costs as organization expenses, which may be amortized by us, and as syndication expenses, which may not be amortized by us, the underwriting discounts and commissions we incur will be treated as syndication expenses.

Valuation and Tax Basis of Our Properties

The federal income tax consequences of the ownership and disposition of 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 tax 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 deduction previously reported by unitholders could change, and unitholders could be required to adjust their tax liability for prior years and incur interest and penalties with respect to those adjustments.

Disposition of Units

Recognition of Gain or Loss

A unitholder will be required to recognize gain or loss on a sale or exchange of a unit equal to the difference, if any, between the unitholder’s amount realized and the adjusted tax basis in the unit sold. A

 

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unitholder’s amount realized generally will equal the sum of the cash and the fair market value of other property it receives plus its share of our nonrecourse liabilities with respect to the unit sold or exchanged. Because the amount realized includes a unitholder’s share of our nonrecourse liabilities, the gain recognized on the sale or exchange of a unit could result in a tax liability in excess of any cash received from the sale or exchange.

Except as noted below, gain or loss recognized by a unitholder on the sale or exchange of a unit held for more than one year generally will be taxable as long-term capital gain or loss. However, gain or loss recognized on the disposition of units will be separately computed and taxed as ordinary income or loss under Section 751 of the Code to the extent attributable to Section 751 Assets, such as depreciation recapture and our “inventory items,” regardless of whether such inventory item is substantially appreciated in value. Ordinary income attributable to Section 751 Assets may exceed net taxable gain realized on the sale or exchange of a unit and may be recognized even if there is a net taxable loss realized on the sale or exchange of a unit. Thus, a unitholder may recognize both ordinary income and capital gain or loss upon a sale or exchange of a unit. Net capital loss may offset capital gains and, in the case of individuals, up to $3,000 of ordinary income per year.

For purposes of calculating gain or loss on the sale or exchange of a unit, the unitholder’s adjusted tax basis will be adjusted by its allocable share of our income or loss in respect of its unit for the year of the sale. Furthermore, as described above, 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 partner’s tax basis in its entire interest in the partnership as the value of the interest sold bears to the value of the partner’s entire interest in the partnership.

Treasury Regulations under Section 1223 of the Code allow a selling unitholder who can identify units transferred with an ascertainable holding period to elect to use the actual holding period of the units transferred. Thus, according to the ruling discussed in the paragraph above, a unitholder will be unable to select high or low basis units to sell or exchange as would be the case with corporate stock, but, according to the Treasury Regulations, it may designate specific units sold for purposes of determining the holding period of the units transferred. A unitholder electing to use the actual holding period of any unit transferred must consistently use that identification method for all subsequent sales or exchanges of our common units. A unitholder considering the purchase of additional units or a sale or exchange of units purchased in separate transactions is urged to consult its tax advisor as to the possible consequences of this ruling and application of the Treasury Regulations.

Specific provisions of the Code affect the taxation of some financial products and securities, including partnership interests, by treating a taxpayer as having sold an “appreciated” financial position, including a partnership interest with respect to which gain would be recognized if it were sold, assigned or terminated at its fair market value, in the event the taxpayer or a related person enters into:

 

    a short sale;

 

    an offsetting notional principal contract; or

 

    a futures or forward contract 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 authorized to issue Treasury 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. Please read “—Tax Consequences of Unit Ownership—Treatment of Securities Loans.”

 

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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 units owned by each of them as of the opening of the applicable exchange on the first business day of the month (the “Allocation Date”). However, gain or loss realized on a sale or other disposition of our assets or, in the discretion of our general partner, any other extraordinary item of income, gain, loss or deduction will be allocated among the unitholders on the Allocation Date in the month in which such income, gain, loss or deduction is recognized. As a result, a unitholder transferring units may be allocated income, gain, loss and deduction realized after the date of transfer.

Although simplifying conventions are contemplated by the Code and most publicly traded partnerships use similar simplifying conventions, the use of this method may not be permitted under existing Treasury Regulations. The Department of the Treasury and the IRS issued final Treasury Regulations pursuant to which a publicly traded partnership may use a similar monthly simplifying convention to allocate tax items among transferor and transferee unitholders. Nonetheless, the regulations do not specifically authorize the use of the proration method we have adopted. Accordingly, Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. is unable to opine on the validity of this method of allocating income and deductions between transferee and transferor unitholders. If the IRS determines that this method is not allowed under the final Treasury Regulations our taxable income or losses could be reallocated among our unitholders. We are authorized to revise our method of allocation between transferee and transferor unitholders, as well as unitholders whose interests vary during a taxable year, to conform to a method permitted under the final Treasury Regulations.

A unitholder who disposes of units prior to the record date set for a cash distribution for a quarter will be allocated items of our income, gain, loss and deduction attributable to the month of disposition but will not be entitled to receive a cash distribution for that period.

Notification Requirements

A unitholder who sells or purchases any of its units generally is required to notify us in writing of that transaction within 30 days after the transaction (or, if earlier, January 15 of the year following the transaction in the case of a seller). Upon receiving such notifications, 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 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 United States and who effects the sale through a broker who will satisfy such requirements.

Constructive Termination

We will be considered to have “constructively” terminated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes upon the sale or exchange of 50% or more of the total interests in our capital and profits within a twelve-month period. For such purposes, multiple sales of the same unit are counted only once. A constructive termination results in the closing of our taxable year for all unitholders. In the case of a unitholder reporting on a taxable year other than the calendar year, the closing of our taxable year may result in more than twelve months of our taxable income or loss being includable in such unitholder’s taxable income for the year of termination.

A constructive termination occurring on a date other than December 31 would require that we file two tax returns for one fiscal year, thereby increasing our administration and tax preparation costs. However, pursuant to an IRS relief procedure, the IRS may allow a constructively terminated partnership to provide a single Schedule K-1 for the calendar year in which the termination occurs. Following a constructive termination, we would be required to make new tax elections, including a new election under Section 754 of the Code, and the termination would result in a deferral of our deductions for depreciation and thus may increase the taxable income allocable

 

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to our unitholders. A termination could also result in penalties if we were unable to determine that the termination had occurred. Moreover, a termination may accelerate the application of, or subject us to, any tax legislation enacted before the termination that would not otherwise have been applied to us as a continuing as opposed to a terminating partnership.

Uniformity of Units

Because we cannot match transferors and transferees of units and for other reasons, we must maintain uniformity of the economic and tax characteristics of the units to a purchaser of these units. As a result of the need to preserve uniformity, we may be unable to completely comply with a number of U.S. federal income tax requirements. Any non-uniformity could have a negative impact on the value of the units. Please read “—Tax Consequences of Unit Ownership—Section 754 Election.”

Our limited partnership agreement permits our general partner to take positions in filing our tax returns that preserve the uniformity of our units. These positions may include reducing for some unitholders the depreciation, amortization or loss deductions to which they would otherwise be entitled or reporting a slower amortization of Section 743(b) adjustments for some unitholders than that to which they would otherwise be entitled. Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. is unable to opine as to the validity of such filing positions.

A unitholder’s adjusted tax basis in units is reduced by its share of our deductions (whether or not such deductions were claimed on an individual income tax return) so that any position that we take that understates deductions will overstate the unitholder’s basis in its units, and may cause the unitholder to understate gain or overstate loss on any sale of such units. Please read “—Disposition of Units—Recognition of Gain or Loss” above and “—Tax Consequences of Unit Ownership—Section 754 Election” above. The IRS may challenge one or more of any positions we take to preserve the uniformity of units. If such a challenge were sustained, the uniformity of units might be affected, and, under some circumstances, the gain from the sale of units might be increased without the benefit of additional deductions.

Tax-Exempt Organizations and Other Investors

Ownership of units by employee benefit plans, other tax-exempt organizations, non-resident alien individuals, non-U.S. corporations and other non-U.S. persons (collectively, “Non-U.S. Unitholders”) raises issues unique to those investors and, as described below, may have substantially adverse tax consequences to them. Each prospective unitholder that is a tax-exempt entity or Non-U.S. Unitholder should consult its tax advisors before investing in our units.

Employee benefit plans and most other tax-exempt organizations, including IRAs and other retirement plans, are subject to federal income tax on unrelated business taxable income. Virtually all of our income will be unrelated business taxable income and will be taxable to a tax-exempt unitholder.

Non-U.S. Unitholders are taxed by the United States on income effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business (“effectively connected income”) and on certain types of U.S.-source non-effectively connected income (such as dividends), unless exempted or further limited by an income tax treaty. Each Non-U.S. Unitholder will be considered to be engaged in business in the United States because of its ownership of our common units. Furthermore, it is probable that Non-U.S. Unitholders will be deemed to conduct such activities through a permanent establishment in the United States within the meaning of any applicable tax treaty. Consequently, each Non-U.S. Unitholder will be required to file federal tax returns to report its share of our income, gain, loss or deduction and pay federal income tax on its share of our net income or gain. Moreover, under rules applicable to publicly traded partnerships, distributions to Non-U.S. Unitholders are subject to withholding at the highest applicable effective tax rate. Each Non-U.S. Unitholder must obtain a taxpayer identification number from the IRS and submit that number to our transfer agent on a Form W-8BEN or W-8BEN-E (or other applicable or successor form) in order to obtain credit for these withholding taxes.

 

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In addition, because a Non-U.S. Unitholder classified as a corporation will be treated as engaged in a United States trade or business, that corporation may be subject to the U.S. branch profits tax at a rate of 30%, in addition to regular federal income tax, on its share of our income and gain as adjusted for changes in the foreign corporation’s “U.S. net equity” to the extent reflected in the corporation’s earnings and profits. 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 Code.

A Non-U.S. Unitholder who sells or otherwise disposes of a unit will be subject to 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 Non-U.S. Unitholder. Under a ruling published by the IRS interpreting the scope of “effectively connected income,” gain realized by a Non-U.S. Unitholder from the sale of its interest in a partnership that is engaged in a trade or business in the United States will be considered to be “effectively connected” with a U.S. trade or business. Thus, part or all of a Non-U.S. Unitholder’s gain from the sale or other disposition of units may be treated as effectively connected with a unitholder’s indirect U.S. trade or business constituted by its investment in us.

Moreover, under the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act, as long as our partnership units continue to be regularly traded on an established securities marker, a Non-U.S. Unitholder generally will only be subject to federal income tax upon the sale or disposition of a unit if at any time during the shorter of the five-year period ending on the date of the disposition or the Non-U.S. Unitholder’s holding period for the unit (i) such Non-U.S. Unitholder owned (directly or indirectly constructively applying certain attribution rules) more than 5% of our common units and (ii) 50% or more of the fair market value of our real property interests and other assets used or held for use in a trade or business consisted of U.S. real property interests (which include U.S. real estate, including land, improvements, and associated personal property, and interests in certain entities holding U.S. real estate). If our units were not considered to be regularly traded on an established securities market, such Non-U.S. Unitholder (regardless of the percentage of units owned) would be subject to U.S. federal income tax on a taxable disposition of our units, and a 15% withholding tax would apply to the gross proceeds from such disposition (as described in the preceding paragraph). Currently, more than 50% of our assets consist of U.S. real property interests, and we do not expect that to change in the foreseeable future. Therefore, each Non-U.S. Unitholder may be subject to federal income tax on gain from the sale or disposition of its units.

Administrative Matters

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 its 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 unitholder’s share of income, gain, loss and deduction. We cannot assure our unitholders that those positions will yield a result that conforms to the requirements of the Code, Treasury Regulations or administrative interpretations of the IRS.

The IRS may audit our federal income tax information returns. Neither we, nor Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. can assure prospective unitholders that the IRS will not successfully challenge the positions we adopt, and such a challenge could adversely affect the value of our units. Adjustments resulting from an IRS audit may require each unitholder to adjust a prior year’s tax liability, and may result in an audit of its own return. Any audit of a unitholder’s return could result in adjustments not related to our returns.

Publicly traded partnerships are treated as entities separate from their owners 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.

 

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The Code requires that one of our partners be designated as our “Tax Matters Partner,” and our partnership agreement designates our general partner. The Tax Matters Partner is entitled to 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 may 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 its 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.

Pursuant to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017, if the IRS makes audit adjustments to our income tax returns, it may assess and collect any taxes (including any applicable penalties and interest) resulting from such audit adjustment directly from us, unless we elect to have our general partner and unitholders take any audit adjustment into account in accordance with their interests in us during the taxable year under audit. Similarly, for such taxable years, if the IRS makes audit adjustments to income tax returns filed by an entity in which we are a member or partner, it may assess and collect any taxes (including penalties and interest) resulting from such audit adjustment directly from such entity. Generally, we expect to elect to have our general partner and unitholders take any such audit adjustment into account in accordance with their interests in us during the taxable year under audit, but there can be no assurance that such election will be effective in all circumstances. With respect to audit adjustments as to an entity in which we are a member or partner, the Joint Committee of Taxation has stated that we would not be able to have our general partner and our unitholders take such audit adjustment into account. If we are unable to have our general partner and our unitholders take such audit adjustment into account in accordance with their interests in us during the taxable year under audit, our then current unitholders may bear some or all of the tax liability resulting from such audit adjustment, even if such unitholders did not own our units during the taxable year under audit. If, as a result of any such audit adjustment, we are required to make payments of taxes, penalties, and interest, our cash available for distribution to our unitholders might be substantially reduced. These rules are not applicable for taxable years beginning on or prior to December 31, 2017. Congress has proposed changes to the Bipartisan Budget Act, and we anticipate that amendments may be made. Accordingly, the manner in which these rules may apply to us in the future is uncertain.

Additionally, pursuant to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, the Code will no longer require that we designate a Tax Matters Partner. Instead, for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017, we will be required to designate a partner, or other person, with a substantial presence in the United States as the partnership representative (“Partnership Representative”). The Partnership Representative will have the sole authority to act on our behalf for purposes of, among other things, federal income tax audits and judicial review of administrative adjustments by the IRS. If we do not make such a designation, the IRS can select any person as the Partnership Representative. We currently anticipate that we will designate our general partner as the Partnership Representative. Further, any actions taken by us or by the Partnership Representative on our behalf with respect to, among other things, federal income tax audits and judicial review of administrative adjustments by the IRS, will be binding on us and all of the unitholders.

Additional Withholding Requirements

Withholding taxes may apply to certain types of payments made to “foreign financial institutions” (as specially defined in the Code) and certain other foreign entities. Specifically, a 30% withholding tax may be imposed on interest, dividends and other fixed or determinable annual or periodical gains, profits and income

 

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from sources within the United States (“FDAP Income”), or gross proceeds from the sale or other disposition of any property of a type which can produce interest or dividends from sources within the United States (“Gross Proceeds”) paid to a foreign financial institution or to a “non-financial foreign entity” (as specially defined in the Code), unless (i) the foreign financial institution undertakes certain diligence and reporting, (ii) the non-financial foreign entity either certifies it does not have any substantial U.S. owners or furnishes identifying information regarding each substantial U.S. owner or (iii) the foreign financial institution or non-financial foreign entity otherwise qualifies for an exemption from these rules. If the payee is a foreign financial institution and is subject to the diligence and reporting requirements in clause (i) above, it must enter into an agreement with the U.S. Department of the Treasury requiring, among other things, that it undertake to identify accounts held by certain U.S. persons or U.S.-owned foreign entities, annually report certain information about such accounts, and withhold 30% on payments to noncompliant foreign financial institutions and certain other account holders. Foreign financial institutions located in jurisdictions that have an intergovernmental agreement with the United States governing these requirements may be subject to different rules.

These rules generally apply to payments of FDAP Income currently and generally will apply to payments of relevant Gross Proceeds made on or after January 1, 2019. Thus, to the extent we have FDAP Income or we have Gross Proceeds on or after January 1, 2019 that are not treated as effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business (please read “—Tax-Exempt Organizations and Other Investors”), a unitholder who is foreign financial institution or certain other foreign entity, or a person that hold its units through such foreign entities, may be subject to withholding on distributions they receive from us, or its distributive share of our income, pursuant to the rules described above.

Each prospective unitholder should consult its own tax advisors regarding the potential application of these withholding provisions to its investment in our units.

Nominee Reporting

Persons who hold an interest in us as a nominee for another person are required to furnish to us:

(1)    the name, address and taxpayer identification number of the beneficial owner and the nominee;

(2)    a statement regarding whether the beneficial owner is:

(a)    a person that is not a U.S. person;

(b)    a non-U.S. government, an international organization or any wholly owned agency or instrumentality of either of the foregoing; or

(c)    a tax-exempt entity;

(3)    the amount and description of units held, acquired or transferred for the beneficial owner; and

(4)    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.

Each broker and financial institution is required to furnish additional information, including whether such broker or financial institution is a U.S. person and specific information on units such broker or financial institution acquires, holds or transfers for its own account. A penalty of $250 per failure, up to a maximum of $3 million per calendar year, is imposed by the Code for failure to report that information to us. The nominee is required to supply the beneficial owner of the units with the information furnished to us.

Accuracy-Related Penalties

Certain penalties may be imposed as a result 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

 

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tax and substantial valuation misstatements. 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. We do not anticipate that any accuracy-related penalties will be assessed against us.

State, Local and Non-U.S. Tax Considerations

In addition to U.S. federal income taxes, unitholders may be subject to other taxes, including state and local income taxes, unincorporated business taxes, and estate, inheritance or intangibles taxes that may be imposed by the various jurisdictions in which we conduct business or own property now or in the future or in which the unitholder is a resident. We currently conduct business or own property in several states, many of which impose an income tax on nonresident partners of partnerships doing business within the state. Most of these states also impose an income tax on individuals, corporations and other entities. Moreover, we may also own property or do business in other states in the future that impose income or similar taxes on nonresident individuals owning an interest in us. Although an analysis of those various taxes is not presented here, each prospective unitholder should consider their potential impact on its investment in us.

While you may not be required to file a return and pay taxes in some jurisdictions because your income from that jurisdiction falls below the filing and payment requirement, you will be required to file income tax returns and pay income taxes in many of the jurisdictions in which we do business or own property and may be subject to penalties for failure to comply with those requirements. 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 unitholder’s income tax liability to the jurisdiction, generally does not relieve a nonresident unitholder from the obligation to file an income tax return.

It is the responsibility of each unitholder to investigate the legal and tax consequences, under the laws of pertinent jurisdictions, of its investment in us. We strongly recommend that each prospective unitholder consult, and depend on, its 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 non-U.S., as well as U.S. federal tax returns that may be required of it. Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. has not rendered an opinion on the state, local, alternative minimum tax or non-U.S. tax consequences of an investment in us

 

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PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

We may sell securities described in this prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement through underwriters, through broker-dealers, through agents or directly to one or more investors.

We will prepare a prospectus supplement for each offering that will disclose the terms of the offering, including the name or names of any underwriters, dealers or agents, the purchase price of the securities and the proceeds to us from the sale, any underwriting discounts and other items constituting compensation to underwriters, dealers or agents.

We will fix a price or prices of our securities at:

 

    market prices prevailing at the time of any sale under the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part;

 

    prices related to market prices; or

 

    negotiated prices.

We may change the price of the securities offered from time to time.

If we use underwriters or dealers in the sale, they will acquire the securities for their own account, and they may resell these securities from time to time in one or more transactions, including negotiated transactions, at a fixed public offering price or at varying prices determined at the time of sale. The securities may be offered to the public either through underwriting syndicates represented by one or more managing underwriters or directly by one or more of such firms. Unless otherwise disclosed in the prospectus supplement, the obligations of the underwriters to purchase securities will be subject to certain conditions precedent, and the underwriters will be obligated to purchase all of the securities offered by the prospectus supplement 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.

We may sell the securities through agents designated by us from time to time. We will name any agent involved in the offering and sale of the securities for which this prospectus is delivered, and disclose any commissions payable by us to the agent or the method by which the commissions can be determined, in the prospectus supplement. Unless otherwise indicated in the prospectus supplement, any agent will be acting on a best efforts basis for the period of its appointment.

Offers to purchase securities may be solicited directly by us and the sale thereof may be made by us directly to institutional investors or others, who may be deemed to be underwriters within the meaning of the Securities Act, with respect to any resale thereof. The terms of any such sales will be described in the prospectus supplement relating thereto. We may use electronic media, including the internet, to sell offered securities directly.

We may offer our common units into an existing trading market on the terms described in the prospectus supplement relating thereto. Underwriters, dealers and agents who participate in any at-the-market offerings will be described in the prospectus supplement relating thereto.

We may agree to indemnify underwriters, dealers and agents who participate in the distribution of securities against certain liabilities to which they may become subject in connection with the sale of the securities, including liabilities arising under the Securities Act.

Certain of the underwriters and their affiliates may be customers of, may engage in transactions with and may perform services for us or our affiliates in the ordinary course of business.

 

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A prospectus and accompanying prospectus supplement in electronic form may be made available on the websites maintained by the underwriters. The underwriters may agree to allocate a number of securities for sale to their online brokerage account holders. Such allocations of securities for internet distributions will be made on the same basis as other allocations. In addition, securities may be sold by the underwriters to securities dealers who resell securities to online brokerage account holders.

The aggregate maximum compensation the underwriters will receive in connection with the sale of any securities under this prospectus and the registration statement of which it forms a part will not exceed 10% of the gross proceeds from the sale.

Because the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, views our common units as interests in a direct participation program, any offering of common units under the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part will be made in compliance with FINRA Rule 2310.

To the extent required, this prospectus may be amended or supplemented from time to time to describe a specific plan of distribution. The place and time of delivery for the securities in respect of which this prospectus is delivered will be set forth in the accompanying prospectus supplement.

In connection with offerings of securities 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 securities 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 securities for their own accounts. For the purpose of covering a syndicate short position or stabilizing the price of the securities, the underwriters, brokers or dealers may place bids for the securities or effect purchases of the securities 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 securities in offerings may be reclaimed by the syndicate if the syndicate repurchases previously distributed securities in transactions to cover short positions, in stabilization transactions or otherwise. These activities may stabilize, maintain or otherwise affect the market price of the securities, which may be higher than the price that might otherwise prevail in the open market, and, if commenced, may be discontinued at any time. These transactions may be effected on or through the NYSE, the existing trading market for the common units, or in the over-the-counter market or otherwise.

 

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LEGAL MATTERS

The validity of the common units offered in this prospectus will be passed upon by Vinson & Elkins L.L.P., Houston, Texas. Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. will also render an opinion on the material federal income tax considerations regarding the securities.

EXPERTS

The consolidated financial statements of Crestwood Equity Partners LP appearing in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, including schedules appearing therein, and the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2016 have been audited by Ernst & Young LLP, independent registered public accounting firm, as set forth in their reports thereon, included therein, and incorporated herein by reference. Such consolidated financial statements are incorporated herein by reference in reliance upon such reports given on the authority of such firm as experts in accounting and auditing.

 

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LOGO

Crestwood Equity Partners LP

Common Units

Representing Limited Partner Interests

Having an Aggregate Offering Price of up to

$250,000,000

 

 

Prospectus Supplement

 

 

Wells Fargo Securities

Barclays

Citigroup

J.P. Morgan

Morgan Stanley

RBC Capital Markets

 

 

August 4, 2017