S-3 1 d375529ds3.htm FORM S-3 Form S-3
Table of Contents

As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 6, 2012

Registration No. 333-        

 

 

 

UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

Form S-3

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

 

 

TARGA RESOURCES PARTNERS LP

TARGA RESOURCES PARTNERS FINANCE CORPORATION

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

 

Delaware   65-1295427
Delaware   32-0249658

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

1000 Louisiana, Suite 4300

Houston, Texas 77002

(713) 584-1000

(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of registrant’s principal executive offices)

 

 

Joe Bob Perkins

Chief Executive Officer

1000 Louisiana, Suite 4300

Houston, Texas 77002

(713) 584-1000

(Name, address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of agent for service)

 

 

Copies to:

David P. Oelman

Christopher S. Collins

Vinson & Elkins LLP

1001 Fannin Street, Suite 2500

Houston, Texas 77002

(713) 758-2222

 

 

Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public: From time to time after the effective date of this registration statement as determined by market conditions and other factors.

If the only securities being registered on this Form are being offered pursuant to dividend or interest reinvestment plans, please check the following box.    ¨

If any of the securities being registered on this Form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, other than securities offered only in connection with dividend or interest reinvestment plans, check the following box.    x

If this Form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, please check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.    ¨

If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.    ¨

If this Form is a registration statement pursuant to General Instruction I.D. or a post-effective amendment thereto that shall become effective upon filing with the Commission pursuant to Rule 462(e) under the Securities Act, check the following box.    ¨

If this Form is a post-effective amendment to a registration statement filed pursuant to General Instruction I.D. filed to register additional securities or additional classes of securities pursuant to Rule 413(b) under the Securities Act, check the following box.    ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

 

Large accelerated filer   x    Accelerated filer   ¨
Non-accelerated filer   ¨  (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)    Smaller reporting company   ¨

 

 

CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE

 

 

Title of Each Class of

Securities to be Registered

 

Proposed

Maximum

Aggregate

Offering Price

  Amount of
Registration Fee

Common Units

       

Debt Securities (1)

       

Total

  $300,000,000(2)(3)(4)     $34,380(5)

 

 

 

(1) If any debt securities are issued at an original issue discount, then the offering price of such debt securities shall be in such amount as shall result in an aggregate initial offering price not to exceed $300,000,000, less the dollar amount of any registered securities previously issued.
(2) Estimated solely for the purpose of calculating the registration fee pursuant to Rule 457(o). In no event will the aggregate initial offering price of all securities offered from time to time pursuant to the prospectus included as a part of this Registration Statement exceed $300,000,000. To the extent applicable, the aggregate amount of common units registered is further limited to that which is permissible under Rule 415(a)(4) under the Securities Act. Any securities registered hereunder may be sold separately or as units with other securities registered hereunder.
(3) There are being registered hereunder a presently indeterminate number of common units and an indeterminate principal amount of debt securities. This registration statement also covers an indeterminate amount of securities as may be issued in exchange for, or upon conversion or exercise of, as the case may be, the securities registered hereunder.
(4) The proposed maximum aggregate offering price for each class of securities to be registered is not specified pursuant to General Instruction, II.D. of Form S-3.
(5) Calculated in accordance with Rule 457(o).

 

 

 


Table of Contents

Prospectus

 

LOGO

TARGA RESOURCES PARTNERS LP

TARGA RESOURCES PARTNERS FINANCE CORPORATION

Common Units

Debt Securities

We may offer and sell up to $300,000,000 in an aggregate initial offering price of the common units, representing limited partner interests of Targa Resources Partners LP, and, together with Targa Resources Partners Finance Corporation, debt securities described in this prospectus from time to time in one or more classes or series and in amounts, at prices and on terms to be determined by market conditions at the time of our 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. This prospectus describes the general terms of these common units and debt securities and the general manner in which we will offer the common units and debt securities. The specific terms of any common units and debt 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 common units and debt securities.

        Investing in our common units and the debt 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 1 of this prospectus and in the applicable prospectus supplement and in the documents incorporated herein and therein before you make an investment in our securities.

Our common units are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, or the NYSE, under the symbol “NGLS.” The last reported sales price of our common units on the NYSE on July 5, 2012 was $37.10 per common unit. We will provide information in the prospectus supplement for the trading market, if any, for any debt securities we may offer.

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          , 2012.


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

     Page  

About This Prospectus

     i   

Targa Resources Partners LP

     ii   

Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

     iii   

Risk Factors

     1   

Use of Proceeds

     2   

Ratio of Earnings to Fixed Charges

     3   

Description of our Common Units

     4   

The Partnership Agreement

     6   

Cash Distribution Policy

     18   

Description of the Debt Securities

     25   

Material Tax Consequences

     34   

Investment in Targa Resources Partners LP by Employee Benefit Plans

     47   

Plan of Distribution

     49   

Legal Matters

     51   

Experts

     51   

Where You Can Find More Information

     51   

In making your investment decision, you should rely only on the information contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus or any prospectus supplement. We have not authorized anyone to provide you with any other information. If anyone provides you with different or inconsistent information, you should not rely on it.

You should not assume that the information contained in this prospectus or any prospectus supplement is accurate as of any date other than the date on the front cover of those documents. You should not assume that the information contained in the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus or any prospectus supplement is accurate as of any date other than the respective dates of those documents. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since those dates.

ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS

This prospectus is part of a registration statement on Form S-3 that we filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, using a “shelf” registration process or continuous offering process. Under this shelf registration process, we may, from time to time, sell up to $300,000,000 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, including, in the case of debt securities, the specific terms of the securities. The prospectus supplement may also add to, update or change information in this prospectus. Before you invest in our securities, you should carefully read this prospectus and any prospectus supplement and the additional information described under the heading “Where You Can Find More Information.” To the extent information in this prospectus is inconsistent with information contained in a prospectus supplement, you should rely on the information in the prospectus supplement. You should read both this prospectus and any prospectus supplement, together with additional information described under the heading “Where You Can Find More Information,” and any additional information you may need to make your investment decision. All references in this prospectus to “we,” “us,” the “Partnership” and “our” refer to Targa Resources Partners LP, together with its subsidiaries.

 

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TARGA RESOURCES PARTNERS LP

We are a publicly traded Delaware limited partnership formed in October 2006 by our parent, Targa Resources Corp. (“Targa” or “TRC”), to own, operate, acquire and develop a diversified portfolio of complementary midstream energy assets. We are a leading provider of midstream natural gas and natural gas liquid (“NGL”) services in the United States and are engaged in the business of gathering, compressing, treating, processing and selling natural gas and storing, fractionating, treating, transporting, terminaling and selling NGLs, NGL products, refined petroleum products and crude oil. We operate in two primary divisions: (i) Natural Gas Gathering and Processing, consisting of two reportable segments—(a) Field Gathering and Processing and (b) Coastal Gathering and Processing; and (ii) Logistics and Marketing, consisting of two reportable segments—(a) Logistics Assets and (b) Marketing and Distribution.

Targa Resources Partners Finance Corporation was incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware on May 23, 2008, is our wholly-owned subsidiary, and has no material assets or liabilities. Its activities will be limited to co-issuing debt securities and engaging in other activities incidental thereto.

Our principal executive offices are located at 1000 Louisiana St., Suite 4300, Houston, Texas 77002, and our telephone number at that location is (713) 584-1000.

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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CAUTIONARY STATEMENT CONCERNING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

Our reports, filings and other public announcements may from time to time contain statements that do not directly or exclusively relate to historical facts. Such statements are “forward-looking statements.” You can typically identify forward-looking statements by the use of forward-looking words, such as “may,” “could,” “project,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “expect,” “estimate,” “potential,” “plan,” “forecast” and other similar words.

All statements that are not statements of historical facts, including statements regarding our future financial position, business strategy, budgets, projected costs and plans and objectives of management for future operations, are forward-looking statements.

These forward-looking statements reflect our intentions, plans, expectations, assumptions and beliefs about future events and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside our control. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements include known and unknown risks. Known risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the risks set forth in “Risk Factors” as well as the following risks and uncertainties:

 

 

our ability to access the debt and equity markets, which will depend on general market conditions and the credit ratings for our debt obligations;

 

 

the amount of collateral required to be posted from time to time in our transactions;

 

 

our success in risk management activities, including the use of derivative financial instruments to hedge commodity risks;

 

 

the level of creditworthiness of counterparties to transactions;

 

 

changes in laws and regulations, particularly with regard to taxes, safety and protection of the environment;

 

 

the timing and extent of changes in natural gas, natural gas liquids (“NGL”) and other commodity prices, interest rates and demand for our services;

 

 

weather and other natural phenomena;

 

 

industry changes, including the impact of consolidations and changes in competition;

 

 

our ability to obtain necessary licenses, permits and other approvals;

 

 

the level and success of oil and natural gas drilling around our assets and our success in connecting natural gas supplies to our gathering and processing systems and NGL supplies to our logistics and marketing facilities;

 

 

our ability to grow through acquisitions or internal growth projects and the successful integration and future performance of such assets;

 

 

general economic, market and business conditions; and

 

 

the risks described elsewhere in this prospectus.

Although we believe that the assumptions underlying our forward-looking statements are reasonable, any of the assumptions could be inaccurate, and, therefore, we cannot assure you that the forward-looking statements included in this prospectus will prove to be accurate. Some of these and other risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking statements are more fully described under the heading “Risk Factors” in this prospectus. Except as may be required by applicable law, we undertake no obligation to publicly update or advise of any change in any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

 

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Forward-looking statements contained in this prospectus and all subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to us or persons acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement.

 

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RISK FACTORS

An investment in our securities involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the risk factors and all of the other information included in, or incorporated by reference into, this prospectus in evaluating an investment in our securities. If any of these risks were to occur, our business, financial condition or results of operations could be adversely affected. In that case, the trading price of our common units or debt securities 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

Except as otherwise provided in the applicable prospectus supplement, we will use the net proceeds we receive from the sale of the securities for general partnership purposes, which may include repayment of indebtedness, the acquisition of businesses, other capital expenditures and additions to 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.

 

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RATIO OF EARNINGS TO FIXED CHARGES

 

     Year Ended December 31,      Three Months Ended
March 31,
 
     2007      2008      2009      2010      2011      2011      2012  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Ratio of earnings to fixed charges

     1.2x         2.4x         1.0x         2.2x         3.1x         2.5x         3.5x   

 

For purposes of computing the ratios of earnings to fixed charges, earnings consist of pre-tax income from continuing operations before equity in (earnings) loss from unconsolidated affiliates plus fixed charges, amortization of capitalized interest and distributions from equity investees less capitalized interest. Fixed charges consist of interest expensed and capitalized and the estimated interest component of rent expense.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF OUR COMMON UNITS

The Common Units

The holders of our common units are entitled to participate in partnership distributions and exercise the rights and privileges available to limited partners under our partnership agreement. For a description of the rights of holders of our common units to partnership distributions, please see this section and “Cash Distribution Policy.” For a description of the rights and privileges of limited partners under our partnership agreement, including voting rights, please see “The Partnership Agreement.”

Transfer Agent and Registrar

Duties. Computershare Trust Company, N.A. serves as registrar and transfer agent for our common units. We pay all fees charged by the transfer agent for transfers of common units except the following that must be paid by unitholders:

 

 

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

 

 

special charges for services requested by a common unitholder; and

 

 

other similar fees or charges.

There is no charge to unitholders for disbursements of our cash distributions. We have indemnified the transfer agent, its agents and each of their 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 has been appointed and has accepted the appointment within 30 days after notice of the resignation or removal, our general partner may act as the transfer agent and registrar until a successor is appointed.

Transfer of Common Units

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

 

 

gives the consents and approvals contained in our partnership agreement, such as the approval of all transactions and agreements that we are entering into in connection with this offering.

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.

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.

 

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Common units are securities and are transferable according to the laws governing transfers of securities. 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.

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

 

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THE PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT

The following is a summary of the material provisions of our partnership agreement.

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

 

 

with regard to distributions of available cash, please see “Cash Distribution Policy”;

 

 

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

 

 

with regard to allocations of taxable income and taxable loss, please see “Material Tax Consequences.”

Organization and Duration

Our partnership was organized on October 23, 2006 and will have a perpetual existence unless terminated pursuant to the terms of our partnership agreement.

Purpose

Our purpose under the partnership agreement is limited to any business activity that is approved by our general partner and that lawfully may be conducted by a limited partnership organized under Delaware law; provided, that our general partner shall not cause us to engage, directly or indirectly, in any business activity that the general partner determines would cause us to be treated as an association taxable as a corporation or otherwise taxable as an entity for federal income tax purposes.

Power of Attorney

Each limited partner, and each person who acquires a unit from a unitholder, by accepting the common unit, automatically grants to our general partner and, if appointed, a liquidator, a power of attorney to, among other things, execute and file documents required for our qualification, continuance or dissolution. The power of attorney also grants our general partner the authority to amend, and to make consents and waivers under, our partnership agreement.

Cash Distributions

Our partnership agreement specifies the manner in which we make cash distributions to holders of our common units and other partnership securities as well as to our general partner in respect of its general partner interest and its incentive distribution rights. For a description of these cash distribution provisions, please see “Cash Distribution Policy.”

Capital Contributions

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

Our general partner has the right, but not the obligation, to contribute a proportionate amount of capital to us to maintain its 2% general partner interest if we issue additional units. Our general partner’s 2% interest, and the percentage of our cash distributions to which it is entitled, will be proportionately reduced if we issue additional units in the future and our general partner does not contribute a proportionate amount of capital to us to maintain its 2% general partner interest. Our general partner will be entitled to make a capital contribution in order to maintain its 2% general partner interest in the form of the contribution to us of common units based on the current market value of the contributed common units.

 

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Voting Rights

The following is a summary of the unitholder vote required for the matters specified below. Matters requiring the approval of a “unit majority” require the approval of a majority of our common units and Class B units, if any, voting as a class.

In voting their common units and Class B 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

Amendment of the partnership agreement

   Certain amendments may be made by the general partner without the approval of the unitholders. Other amendments generally require the approval of a unit majority. Please see “— Amendment of the Partnership Agreement.”
Merger of our partnership or the sale of all or substantially all of our assets   

 

Unit majority in certain circumstances. Please see “— Merger, Consolidation, Conversion, Sale or Other Disposition of Assets.”

Dissolution of our partnership

   Unit majority. Please see “— Termination and Dissolution.”

Continuation of our business upon dissolution

   Unit majority. Please see “— Termination and Dissolution.”

Withdrawal of the general partner

   Under most circumstances, the approval of a majority of our common units, excluding common units held by our general partner and its affiliates, is required for the withdrawal of our general partner prior to December 31, 2016 in a manner that would cause a dissolution of our partnership. Please see “— Withdrawal or Removal of the General Partner.”

Removal of the general partner

   Not less than 66 2/3% of the outstanding units, voting as a single class, including units held by our general partner and its affiliates. Please see “— Withdrawal or Removal of the General Partner.”

Transfer of the general partner interest

   Our general partner may transfer all, but not less than all, of its general partner interest in us without a vote of our unitholders to an affiliate or another person in connection with its merger or consolidation with or into, or sale of all or substantially all of its assets to, such person. The approval of a majority of our common units, excluding common units held by the general partner and its affiliates, is required in other circumstances for a transfer of the general partner interest to a third party prior to December 31, 2016. See “— Transfer of General Partner Units.”

Transfer of incentive distribution rights

   Except for transfers to an affiliate or another person as part of our general partner’s merger or consolidation, sale of all or substantially all of its assets or the sale of all of the ownership interests in such holder, the approval of a majority of our common units, excluding common units held by the general partner and its affiliates, is required in most circumstances for a transfer of the incentive distribution rights to a third party prior to December 31, 2016. Please see “— Transfer of Incentive Distribution Rights.”

 

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Transfer of ownership interests in our general partner

   No approval required at any time. Please see “— Transfer of Ownership Interests in the General Partner.”

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 he otherwise acts in conformity with the provisions of the partnership agreement, his liability under the Delaware Act will be limited, subject to possible exceptions, to the amount of capital he is obligated to contribute to us for his common units plus his share of any undistributed profits and assets. If it were determined, however, that the right, or exercise of the right, by the limited partners as a group:

 

 

to remove or replace the general partner;

 

 

to approve some amendments to the partnership agreement; or

 

 

to take other action under the partnership agreement,

constituted “participation in the control” of our business for the purposes of the Delaware Act, then the limited partners could be held personally liable for our obligations under the laws of Delaware, to the same extent as the general partner. This liability would extend to persons who transact business with us who reasonably believe that the limited partner is a general partner. Neither the partnership agreement nor the Delaware Act specifically provides for legal recourse against the general partner if a limited partner were to lose limited liability through any fault of the 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. Under the Delaware Act, a substituted limited partner of a limited partnership is liable for the obligations of his assignor to make contributions to the partnership, except that such person is not obligated for liabilities unknown to him at the time he became a limited partner and that could not be ascertained from the partnership agreement.

Our subsidiaries conduct business in Texas, Louisiana and New Mexico, as well as other states. Maintenance of our limited liability as an owner of our operating subsidiary may require compliance with legal requirements in the jurisdictions in which our operating subsidiary conducts business, including qualifying our subsidiaries to do business there.

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

 

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Issuance of Additional Securities

Our partnership agreement authorizes us to issue an unlimited number of additional partnership securities for the consideration and on the terms and conditions determined by our general partner without the approval of the unitholders.

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

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

Upon the issuance of additional partnership securities, our general partner will be entitled, but not required, to make additional capital contributions to the extent necessary to maintain its 2% general partner interest in us. Our general partner’s 2% interest in us will be reduced if we issue additional units in the future (other than the issuance of units issued in connection with a reset of the incentive distribution target levels relating to our general partner’s incentive distribution rights or the issuance of units upon conversion of outstanding partnership securities) and our general partner does not contribute a proportionate amount of capital to us to maintain its 2% general partner interest. Moreover, our general partner will have the right, which it may from time to time assign in whole or in part to any of its affiliates, to purchase common units or other partnership securities whenever, and on the same terms that, we issue those securities to persons other than our general partner and its affiliates, to the extent necessary to maintain the percentage interest of the general partner and its affiliates, including such interest represented by common units that existed immediately prior to each issuance. The holders of common units will not have preemptive rights to acquire additional common units or other partnership securities.

Amendment of the Partnership Agreement

General. Amendments to our partnership agreement may be proposed only by or with the consent of our general partner. However, our general partner will have no duty or obligation to propose any amendment and may decline to do so free of any 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. In order to adopt a proposed amendment, other than the amendments discussed below, our general partner is required to 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 described below, an amendment must be approved by a unit majority.

Prohibited Amendments. No amendment may be made that would:

 

 

enlarge the obligations of any limited partner without its consent, unless approved by at least a majority of the type or class of limited partner interests so affected; or

 

 

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 by us to our general partner or any of its affiliates without the consent of our general partner, which consent may be given or withheld at its option.

The provision of our partnership agreement preventing the amendments having the effects described in any of the clauses above can be amended upon the approval of the holders of at least 90% of the outstanding units voting together as a single class (including units owned by our general partner and its affiliates).

No Unitholder Approval. Our general partner may generally make amendments to our partnership agreement without the approval of any limited partner or assignee to reflect:

 

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a change in our name, the location of our principal place of our 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 our general partner determines to be necessary or appropriate 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 neither we nor the Operating Partnership nor any of its subsidiaries will be treated as an association taxable as a corporation or otherwise taxed as an entity for federal income tax purposes;

 

 

a change in our fiscal year and related changes;

 

 

an amendment that is necessary, in the opinion of our counsel, to prevent us or our general partner or the directors, officers, agents or trustees of our general partner from in any manner being subjected to the provisions of the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Investment Advisors 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 our general partner determines to be necessary or appropriate for the authorization of additional partnership securities or rights to acquire partnership securities, including any amendment that our general partner determines is necessary or appropriate in connection with:

 

   

the adjustments of the minimum quarterly distribution, first target distribution, second target distribution and third target distribution in connection with the reset of our general partner’s incentive distribution rights as described under “Cash Distribution Policy — General Partner’s Right to Reset Incentive Distribution Levels”;

 

   

the implementation of the provisions relating to our general partner’s right to reset its incentive distribution rights in exchange for Class B units; or

 

   

any modification of the incentive distribution rights made in connection with the issuance of additional partnership securities or rights to acquire partnership securities, provided that, any such modifications and related issuance of partnership securities have received approval by a majority of the members of the conflicts committee of our general partner;

 

 

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 our general partner determines to be necessary or appropriate for the formation by us of, or our investment in, any corporation, partnership or other entity, as otherwise permitted by our partnership agreement;

 

 

conversions into, mergers with or conveyances to another limited liability entity that is newly formed and has no assets, liabilities or operations at the time of the conversion, merger or conveyance other than those it receives by way of the conversion, merger or conveyance; 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:

 

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do not adversely affect the limited partners (or any particular class of limited partners) in any material respect;

 

 

are necessary or appropriate 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 appropriate to facilitate the trading of limited partner interests or to comply with any rule, regulation, guideline or requirement of any securities exchange on which the limited partner interests are or will be listed for trading;

 

 

are necessary or appropriate for any action taken by our general partner relating to splits or combinations of units under the provisions of our partnership agreement; or

 

 

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

Opinion of Counsel and Unitholder Approval. For amendments of the type not requiring unitholder approval, our general partner will not be required to obtain an opinion of counsel that an amendment will not result in a loss of limited liability to the limited partners or result in our being treated as an association taxable as a corporation or otherwise taxable as an entity for federal income tax purposes in connection with any of the amendments. No amendments to our partnership agreement other than those described above under “— No Unitholder Approval” will become effective without the approval of holders of at least 90% of the outstanding units voting as a single class unless we first obtain an opinion of counsel to the effect that the amendment will not affect the limited liability under applicable law of any of our limited partners.

In addition to the above restrictions, any amendment that would have a material adverse effect on the rights or preferences of any type or class of outstanding units in relation to other classes of units will require the approval of at least a majority of the type or class of units so affected. Any amendment that reduces the voting percentage required to take any action is required to be approved by the affirmative vote of limited partners whose aggregate outstanding units constitute not less than the voting requirement sought to be reduced.

Merger, Consolidation, Conversion, Sale or Other Disposition of Assets

A merger, consolidation or conversion of us requires the prior consent of our general partner. However, our general partner will have no duty or obligation to consent to any merger, consolidation or conversion and may decline to do so free of any fiduciary duty or obligation whatsoever to us or the limited partners, including any duty to act in good faith or in the best interest of us or the limited partners.

In addition, the partnership agreement generally prohibits our general partner without the prior approval of the holders of a unit majority, from causing us to, among other things, sell, exchange or otherwise dispose of all or substantially all of our assets in a single transaction or a series of related transactions, including by way of merger, consolidation or other combination, or approving on our behalf the sale, exchange or other disposition of all or substantially all of the assets of our subsidiaries. Our general partner may, however, mortgage, pledge, hypothecate or grant a security interest in all or substantially all of our assets without that approval. Our general partner may also sell all or substantially all of our assets under a foreclosure or other realization upon those encumbrances without that approval. Finally, our general partner may consummate any merger without the prior approval of our unitholders if we are the surviving entity in the transaction, our general partner has received an opinion of counsel regarding limited liability and tax matters, the transaction would not result in a material amendment to the partnership agreement, each of our units will be an identical unit of our partnership following the transaction, and the partnership securities to be issued do not exceed 20% of our outstanding partnership securities immediately prior to the transaction.

If the conditions specified in the partnership agreement are satisfied, our general partner may convert us or any of our subsidiaries into a new limited liability entity or merge us or any of our subsidiaries into, or convey all of our assets to, a newly formed entity if the sole purpose of that conversion, merger or conveyance is to effect a mere change in our legal form into another limited liability entity, our general partner has received an opinion of counsel

 

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regarding limited liability and tax matters, and the governing instruments of the new entity provide the limited partners and the general partner with the same rights and obligations as contained in the partnership agreement. The unitholders are not entitled to dissenters’ rights of appraisal under the partnership agreement or applicable Delaware law in the event of a conversion, merger or consolidation, a sale of substantially all of our assets or any other similar transaction or event.

Termination and Dissolution

We will continue as a limited partnership until terminated 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;

 

 

there being no limited partners, unless we are continued without dissolution in accordance with applicable Delaware law;

 

 

the entry of a decree of judicial dissolution of our partnership; or

 

 

the withdrawal or removal of our general partner or any other event that results in its ceasing to be our general partner other than by reason of a transfer of its general partner interest in accordance with our partnership agreement or withdrawal or removal following approval and admission of a successor.

Upon a dissolution under the last clause above, the holders of a unit majority may also elect, within specific time limitations, to continue our business on the same terms and conditions described in our partnership agreement by appointing as a successor general partner an entity approved by the holders of units representing a unit majority, subject to our receipt of an opinion of counsel to the effect that:

 

 

the action would not result in the loss of limited liability of any limited partner; and

 

 

neither our partnership, the Operating Partnership nor any of our other subsidiaries would be treated as an association taxable as a corporation or otherwise be taxable as an entity for federal income tax purposes upon the exercise of that right to continue.

Liquidation and Distribution of Proceeds

Upon our dissolution, unless we are continued as a new limited partnership, 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 “Cash Distribution Policy — 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 the General Partner

Except as described below, our general partner has agreed not to withdraw voluntarily as our general partner prior to December 31, 2016 without obtaining the approval of the holders of at least a majority of the outstanding common units, excluding common units held by the general partner and its affiliates, and furnishing an opinion of counsel regarding limited liability and tax matters. On or after December 31, 2016, our general partner may withdraw as general partner without first obtaining approval of any unitholder by giving 90 days’ written notice, and that withdrawal will not constitute a violation of our partnership agreement. Notwithstanding the information above, our general partner may withdraw without unitholder approval upon 90 days’ notice to the limited partners if at least 50% of the outstanding common units are held or controlled by one person and its affiliates other than the general partner and its affiliates. In addition, the partnership agreement permits our general partner in some instances to sell or otherwise transfer all of its general partner interest in us without the approval of the unitholders. Please see “— Transfer of General Partner Units” and “— Transfer of Incentive Distribution Rights.”

 

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Upon withdrawal of our general partner under any circumstances, other than as a result of a transfer by our general partner of all or a part of its general partner interest in us, the holders of a unit majority, voting as separate classes, may select a successor to that withdrawing general partner. If a successor is not elected, or is elected but an opinion of counsel regarding limited liability and tax matters cannot be obtained, we will be dissolved, wound up and liquidated, unless within a specified period after that withdrawal, the holders of a unit majority agree in writing to continue our business and to appoint a successor general partner. Please see “— Termination and Dissolution.”

Our general partner may not be removed unless that removal is approved by the vote of the holders of not less than 66 2/3% of the outstanding units, voting together as a single class, including units held by our general partner and its affiliates, and we receive an opinion of counsel regarding limited liability and tax matters. Any removal of our general partner is also subject to the approval of a successor general partner by the vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding common units and Class B units, if any, voting as separate classes. The ownership of more than 33 1/3% of the outstanding units by our general partner and its affiliates would give them the practical ability to prevent our general partner’s removal.

Our partnership agreement also provides that if our general partner is removed as our general partner under circumstances where cause does not exist and units held by the general partner and its affiliates are not voted in favor of that removal our general partner will have the right to convert its general partner interest and its incentive distribution rights into common units or to receive cash in exchange for those interests based on the fair market value of those interests at that time.

In the event of removal of a general partner under circumstances where cause exists or withdrawal of a general partner where that withdrawal violates our partnership agreement, a successor general partner will have the option to purchase the general partner interest and incentive distribution rights of the departing general partner for a cash payment equal to the fair market value of those interests. Under all other circumstances where a general partner withdraws or is removed by the limited partners, the departing general partner will have the option to require the successor general partner to purchase the general partner interest of the departing general partner and its incentive distribution rights for fair market value. In each case, this fair market value will be determined by agreement between the departing general partner and the successor general partner. If no agreement is reached, an independent investment banking firm or other independent expert selected by the departing general partner and the successor general partner will determine the fair market value. Or, if the departing general partner and the successor general partner cannot agree upon an expert, then an expert chosen by agreement of the experts selected by each of them will determine the fair market value.

If the option described above is not exercised by either the departing general partner or the successor general partner, the departing general partner interest and its incentive distribution rights will automatically convert into common units equal to the fair market value of those interests as determined by an investment banking firm or other independent expert selected in the manner described in the preceding paragraph.

In addition, we are required to reimburse the departing general partner for all amounts due the departing general partner, including, without limitation, all employee-related liabilities, including severance liabilities, incurred for the termination of any employees employed by the departing general partner or its affiliates for our benefit.

Transfer of General Partner Units

Except for transfer by our general partner of all, but not less than all, of its general partner units to:

 

 

an affiliate of our general partner (other than an individual); or

 

 

another entity as part of the merger or consolidation of our general partner with or into another entity or the transfer by our general partner of all or substantially all of its assets to another entity,

our general partner may not transfer all or any of its general partner units to another person prior to December 31, 2016 without the approval of the holders of at least a majority of the outstanding common units, excluding common units held by our general partner and its affiliates. 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.

 

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Our general partner and its affiliates may at any time, transfer units to one or more persons, without unitholder approval.

Transfer of Ownership Interests in the General Partner

At any time, Targa may sell or transfer all or part of their membership interests in our general partner to an affiliate or third party without the approval of our unitholders.

Transfer of Incentive Distribution Rights

Our general partner or its affiliates or a subsequent holder may transfer its incentive distribution rights to an affiliate of the holder (other than an individual) or another entity as part of the merger or consolidation of such holder with or into another entity, the sale of all of the ownership interest in the holder or the sale of all or substantially all of its assets to, that entity without the prior approval of the unitholders. Prior to December 31, 2016, other transfers of incentive distribution rights will require the affirmative vote of holders of a majority of the outstanding common units, excluding common units held by our general partner and its affiliates. On or after December 31, 2016, the incentive distribution rights will be freely transferable.

Change of Management Provisions

Our partnership agreement contains specific provisions that are intended to discourage a person or group from attempting to remove our general partner or otherwise change the management 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 to any person or group that acquires the units from our general partner or its affiliates and any transferees of that person or group approved by our general partner or to any person or group who acquires the units with the prior approval of the board of directors of our general partner.

Our partnership agreement also provides that if our general partner is removed as our general partner under circumstances where cause does not exist and units held by our general partner and its affiliates are not voted in favor of that removal our general partner will have the right to convert its general partner units and its incentive distribution rights into common units or to receive cash in exchange for those interests based on the fair market value of those interests at that time.

Limited Call Right

If at any time our general partner and its affiliates own more than 80% of the then-issued and outstanding limited partner interests of any class, our general partner will have the right, which it may assign in whole or in part to any of its affiliates or to us, to acquire all, but not less than all, of the limited partner interests of the class held by unaffiliated persons as of a record date to be selected by our general partner, on at least 10 but not more than 60 days notice. The purchase price in the event of this purchase is the greater of:

 

 

the highest price paid by either of our general partner or any of its affiliates for any limited partner interests of the class purchased within the 90 days preceding the date on which our general partner first mails notice of its election to purchase those limited partner interests; and

 

 

the current market price as of the date three days before the date the notice is mailed.

As a result of our general partner’s right to purchase outstanding limited partner interests, a holder of limited partner interests may have his limited partner interests purchased 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 tax consequences to a unitholder of the exercise of this call right are the same as a sale by that unitholder of his common units in the market. Please see “Material Tax Consequences — Disposition of Common Units.”

 

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Meetings; Voting

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.

Our general partner does not anticipate that any meeting of unitholders will be called in the foreseeable future. Any action that is required or permitted to be taken by the unitholders may be taken either at a meeting of the unitholders or without a meeting if consents in writing describing the action so taken are signed by holders of the number of units necessary to authorize or take that action at a meeting. Meetings of the unitholders may be called by our general partner or by unitholders owning at least 20% of the outstanding units of the class for which a meeting is proposed. Unitholders may vote either in person or by proxy at meetings. The holders of a majority of the outstanding units of the class or classes for which a meeting has been called represented in person or by proxy will constitute a quorum unless any action by the unitholders requires approval by holders of a greater percentage of the units, in which case the quorum will be the greater percentage.

Each record holder of a unit has a vote according to his percentage interest in us, although additional limited partner interests having special voting rights could be issued. Please see “— Issuance of Additional Securities.” 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, 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 unitholders, calculating required votes, determining the presence of a quorum or for other similar purposes. Common units held in nominee or street name account will be voted by the broker or other nominee in accordance with the instruction of the beneficial owner unless the arrangement between the beneficial owner and his nominee provides otherwise.

Any notice, demand, request, report or proxy material required or permitted to be given or made to record holders of common units 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 is reflected in our books and records. Except as described under “— Limited Liability,” the common units will be fully paid, and unitholders will not be required to make additional contributions.

Non-Citizen Assignees; Redemption

If we are or become subject to federal, state or local laws or regulations that, in the reasonable determination of our general partner, create a substantial risk of cancellation or forfeiture of any property that we have an interest in because of the nationality, citizenship or other related status of any limited partner, we may redeem the units held by the limited partner at their current market price. In order to avoid any cancellation or forfeiture, our general partner may require each limited partner to furnish information about his nationality, citizenship or related status. If a limited partner fails to furnish information about his nationality, citizenship or other related status within 30 days after a request for the information or our general partner determines after receipt of the information that the limited partner is not an eligible citizen, the limited partner may be treated as a non-citizen assignee. A non-citizen assignee is entitled to an interest equivalent to that of a limited partner for the right to share in allocations and distributions from us, including liquidating distributions. A non-citizen assignee does not have the right to direct the voting of his units and may not receive distributions in-kind upon our liquidation.

Indemnification

Under our partnership agreement, in most circumstances, we will indemnify the following persons, to the fullest extent permitted by law, from and against all losses, claims, damages or similar events:

 

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our general partner;

 

 

any departing general partner;

 

 

any person who is or was an affiliate of a general partner or any departing general partner;

 

 

any person who is or was a director, officer, member, partner, fiduciary or trustee of any entity set forth in the preceding three bullet points;

 

 

any person who is or was serving as director, officer, member, partner, fiduciary or trustee of another person at the request of our general partner, any departing general partner, an affiliate of our general partner or an affiliate of any departing general partner; and

 

 

any person designated by our general partner.

Any indemnification under these provisions will only be out of our assets. Unless it otherwise agrees, our general partner 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 against 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.

Reimbursement of Expenses

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 expenses allocable to us or otherwise incurred by our general partner in connection with operating our business. 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. The general partner is entitled to determine in good faith 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. The books are 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.

We will furnish or make available to record holders of common units, within 120 days after the close of each fiscal year, an annual report containing audited financial statements and a report on those financial statements by our independent public accountants. Except for our fourth quarter, we will also furnish or make available summary financial information within 90 days after the close of each quarter.

We will furnish each record holder of a unit with information reasonably required for tax reporting purposes within 90 days after the close of each calendar year. This information will 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 unitholders will depend on the cooperation of unitholders in supplying us with specific information. Every unitholder will receive information to assist him in determining his federal and state tax liability and filing his federal and state income tax returns, regardless of whether he supplies us with information.

Right to Inspect Our Books and Records

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

 

 

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

 

 

a copy of our tax returns;

 

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information as to the amount of cash, and a description and statement of the agreed value of any other property or services, contributed or to be contributed by each partner and the date on which each partner became a partner;

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

any other information regarding our affairs as 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 or that we are required by law or by agreements with third parties to keep confidential.

Registration Rights

Under our partnership agreement, we have agreed to register for resale under the Securities Act and applicable state securities laws any common units or other partnership securities proposed to be sold by our general partner or any of its affiliates or their assignees if an exemption from the registration requirements is not otherwise available. These registration rights continue for two years following any withdrawal or removal of our general partner. We are obligated to pay all expenses incidental to the registration, excluding underwriting discounts and a structuring fee.

 

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CASH DISTRIBUTION POLICY

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 from operating surplus for any quarter to unitholders of record on the applicable record date in the following manner:

 

   

first, 98% to all unitholders, pro rata, and 2% to the general partner, until we distribute for each outstanding unit an amount equal to the minimum quarterly distribution for that quarter; and

 

   

thereafter, in the manner described in “— General Partner Interest and Incentive Distribution Rights” below.

The preceding discussion is based on the assumptions that our general partner maintains its 2% general partner interest and that we do not issue additional classes of equity securities.

Definition of Available Cash. The term “available cash,” for any quarter, means the sum of (i) all cash and cash equivalents on hand at the end of such quarter, and (ii) all additional cash and cash equivalents on hand immediately prior to the date of the distribution of available cash resulting from borrowings for working capital purposes subsequent to the end of such quarter less the amount of cash reserves established by 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 distributions to our unitholders and to our general partner for any one or more of the next four quarters.

Minimum Quarterly Distribution. We will distribute to the holders of common units on a quarterly basis at least the minimum quarterly distribution to the extent we have sufficient cash from our operations after establishment of cash reserves and payment of fees and expenses, including payments to our general partner. However, there is no guarantee that we will pay the minimum quarterly distribution on the units in any quarter. Even if our cash distribution policy is not modified or revoked, the amount of distributions paid under our policy and the decision to make any distribution is determined by our general partner, taking into consideration the terms of our partnership agreement. We will be prohibited from making any distributions to unitholders if it would cause an event of default, or an event of default is existing, under our credit agreement.

General Partner Interest and Incentive Distribution Rights. Our general partner is currently entitled to 2% of all quarterly distributions that we make prior to our liquidation. Our general partner has the right, but not the obligation, to contribute a proportionate amount of capital to us to maintain its current general partner interest. The general partner’s 2% interest in these distributions may be reduced if we issue additional units in the future and our general partner does not contribute a proportionate amount of capital to us to maintain its 2% general partner interest.

Our general partner also currently holds incentive distribution rights that entitle it to receive increasing percentages, up to a maximum of 50%, of the cash we distribute from operating surplus (as defined below) in excess of $0.3881 per unit per quarter. The maximum distribution of 50% includes distributions paid to our general partner on its general partner interest and assumes that our general partner maintains its general partner interest at 2%. Please see “ — General Partner Interest and Incentive Distribution Rights” for additional information.

Operating Surplus and Capital Surplus

General. All cash distributed to unitholders will be characterized as either “operating surplus” or “capital surplus.” Our partnership agreement requires that we distribute available cash from operating surplus differently than available cash from capital surplus.

 

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Operating Surplus. Operating surplus consists of:

 

 

an amount equal to four times the amount needed for any one quarter for us to pay a distribution on all of our units (including the general partner units) and the incentive distribution rights at the same per-unit amount as was distributed in the immediately preceding quarter; plus

 

 

all of our cash receipts, excluding cash from borrowings, sales of equity and debt securities, sales or other dispositions of assets outside the ordinary course of business, capital contributions or corporate reorganizations or restructurings (provided that cash receipts from the termination of a commodity hedge or interest rate swap prior to its specified termination date shall be included in operating surplus in equal quarterly installments over the scheduled life of such commodity hedge or interest rate swap); less

 

 

all of our operating expenditures, but excluding the repayment of borrowings, and including maintenance capital expenditures; less

 

 

the amount of cash reserves established by our general partner to provide funds for future operating expenditures.

Maintenance capital expenditures represent capital expenditures made to replace partially or fully depreciated assets, to maintain the existing operating capacity of our assets and to extend their useful lives, or other capital expenditures that are incurred in maintaining existing system volumes and related cash flows. Expansion capital expenditures represent capital expenditures made to expand or to increase the efficiency of the existing operating capacity of our assets or to expand the operating capacity or revenues of existing or new assets, whether through construction or acquisition. Costs for repairs and minor renewals to maintain facilities in operating condition and that do not extend the useful life of existing assets will be treated as operating expenses as we incur them. Our partnership agreement provides that our general partner determines how to allocate a capital expenditure for the acquisition or expansion of our assets between maintenance capital expenditures and expansion capital expenditures.

Capital Surplus. Capital surplus generally consists of:

 

 

borrowings;

 

 

sales of our equity and debt securities;

 

 

sales or other dispositions of assets for cash, other than inventory, accounts receivable and other current assets sold in the ordinary course of business or as part of normal retirement or replacement of assets;

 

 

capital contributions received; and

 

 

corporate restructurings.

Characterization of Cash Distributions. Our partnership agreement requires that we treat all available cash distributed as coming from operating surplus until the sum of all available cash distributed since we began operations equals the operating surplus as of the most recent date of determination of available cash. Our partnership agreement requires that we treat any amount distributed in excess of operating surplus, regardless of its source, as capital surplus. As reflected above, operating surplus includes an amount equal to four times the amount needed for any one quarter for us to pay a distribution on all of our units (including the general partner units) and the incentive distribution rights at the same per-unit amount as was distributed in the immediately preceding quarter. This amount does not reflect actual cash on hand that is available for distribution to our unitholders. Rather, it is a provision that will enable us, if we choose, to distribute as operating surplus up to this amount of cash we receive in the future from non-operating sources, such as asset sales, issuances of securities, and borrowings, that would otherwise be distributed as capital surplus. We do not anticipate that we will make any distributions from capital surplus.

General Partner Interest and Incentive Distribution Rights

Our partnership agreement provides that our general partner is entitled to 2% of all distributions that we make prior to our liquidation as long as our general partner maintains its current 2% interest in us. Our general partner has

 

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the right, but not the obligation, to contribute a proportionate amount of capital to us to maintain its 2% general partner interest if we issue additional units. Our general partner’s 2% interest, and the percentage of our cash distributions to which it is entitled, will be proportionately reduced if we issue additional units in the future and our general partner does not contribute a proportionate amount of capital to us in order to maintain its 2% general partner interest. Our general partner will be entitled to make a capital contribution in order to maintain its 2% general partner interest in the form of the contribution to us of common units that it may hold based on the current market value of the contributed common units.

Incentive distribution rights represent the right to receive an increasing percentage (13%, 23% and 48%) of quarterly distributions of available cash from operating surplus after the minimum quarterly distribution and the target distribution levels have been achieved. Our general partner currently holds the incentive distribution rights, but may transfer these rights separately from its general partner interest, subject to restrictions in the partnership agreement.

The following discussion assumes that the general partner maintains its 2% general partner interest and continues to own the incentive distribution rights.

If for any quarter we have distributed available cash from operating surplus to the common unitholders in an amount equal to the minimum quarterly distribution, then, our partnership agreement requires that we distribute any additional available cash from operating surplus for that quarter among the unitholders and the general partner in the following manner:

 

 

first, 98% to all unitholders, pro rata, and 2% to the general partner, until each unitholder receives a total of $0.3881 per unit for that quarter (the “first target distribution”);

 

 

second, 85% to all unitholders, pro rata, and 15% to the general partner, until each unitholder receives a total of $0.4219 per unit for that quarter (the “second target distribution”);

 

 

third, 75% to all unitholders, pro rata, and 25% to the general partner, until each unitholder receives a total of $0.50625 per unit for that quarter (the “third target distribution”); and

 

 

thereafter, 50% to all unitholders, pro rata, and 50% to the general partner.

Percentage Allocations of Available Cash from Operating Surplus

The following table illustrates the percentage allocations of available cash from operating surplus between the unitholders and our general partner based on the specified target distribution levels. The amounts set forth under “Marginal Percentage Interest in Distributions” are the percentage interests of our general partner and the unitholders in any available cash from operating surplus we distribute up to and including the corresponding amount in the column “Total Quarterly Distribution Per Unit,” until available cash from operating surplus we distribute reaches the next target distribution level, if any. The percentage interests shown for the unitholders and the general partner for the minimum quarterly distribution are also applicable to quarterly distribution amounts that are less than the minimum quarterly distribution. The percentage interests set forth below for our general partner include its 2% general partner interest and assume our general partner has contributed any additional capital to maintain its 2% general partner interest and has not transferred its incentive distribution rights.

 

     Total Quarterly
Distribution Per Unit
   Marginal Percentage Interest in Distributions  
     Target Amount    Unitholders     General Partner  

Minimum Quarterly Distribution

   $0.3375      98     2

First Target Distribution

   up to $0.3881      98     2

Second Target Distribution

   above $0.3881 up to $0.4219      85     15

Third Target Distribution

   above $0.4219 up to $0.50625      75     25

Thereafter

   above $0.50625      50     50

 

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General Partner’s Right to Reset Incentive Distribution Levels

Our general partner, as the holder of our incentive distribution rights, has the right under our partnership agreement to elect to relinquish the right to receive incentive distribution payments based on the initial cash target distribution levels and to reset, at higher levels, the minimum quarterly distribution amount and cash target distribution levels upon which the incentive distribution payments to our general partner would be set. Our general partner’s right to reset the minimum quarterly distribution amount and the target distribution levels upon which the incentive distributions payable to our general partner are based may be exercised, without approval of our unitholders or the conflicts committee of our general partner, at any time when we have made cash distributions to the holders of the incentive distribution rights at the highest level of incentive distribution for each of the prior four consecutive fiscal quarters. The reset minimum quarterly distribution amount and target distribution levels will be higher than the minimum quarterly distribution amount and the target distribution levels prior to the reset such that our general partner will not receive any incentive distributions under the reset target distribution levels until cash distributions per unit following this event increase as described below. We anticipate that our general partner would exercise this reset right in order to facilitate acquisitions or internal growth projects that would otherwise not be sufficiently accretive to cash distributions per common unit, taking into account the existing levels of incentive distribution payments being made to our general partner.

In connection with the resetting of the minimum quarterly distribution amount and the target distribution levels and the corresponding relinquishment by our general partner of incentive distribution payments based on the target cash distributions prior to the reset, our general partner will be entitled to receive a number of newly issued Class B units based on a predetermined formula described below that takes into account the “cash parity” value of the average cash distributions related to the incentive distribution rights received by our general partner for the two quarters prior to the reset event as compared to the average cash distributions per common unit during this period.

The number of Class B units that our general partner would be entitled to receive from us in connection with a resetting of the minimum quarterly distribution amount and the target distribution levels then in effect would be equal to (x) the average amount of cash distributions received by our general partner in respect of its incentive distribution rights during the two consecutive fiscal quarters ended immediately prior to the date of such reset election divided by (y) the average of the amount of cash distributed per common unit during each of these two quarters. Each Class B unit will be convertible into one common unit at the election of the holder of the Class B unit at any time following the first anniversary of the issuance of these Class B units. We will also issue an additional amount of general partner units in order to maintain the general partner’s ownership interest in us relative to the issuance of the Class B units.

Following a reset election by our general partner, the minimum quarterly distribution amount will be reset to an amount equal to the average cash distribution amount per common unit for the two fiscal quarters immediately preceding the reset election (such amount is referred to as the “reset minimum quarterly distribution”) and the target distribution levels will be reset to be correspondingly higher such that we would distribute all of our available cash from operating surplus for each quarter thereafter as follows:

 

 

first, 98% to all unitholders, pro rata, and 2% to the general partner, until each unitholder receives an amount equal to 115% of the reset minimum quarterly distribution for that quarter;

 

 

second, 85% to all unitholders, pro rata, and 15% to the general partner, until each unitholder receives an amount per unit equal to 125% of the reset minimum quarterly distribution for that quarter;

 

 

third, 75% to all unitholders, pro rata, and 25% to the general partner, until each unitholder receives an amount per unit equal to 150% of the reset minimum quarterly distribution for that quarter; and

 

 

thereafter, 50% to all unitholders, pro rata, and 50% to the general partner.

Distributions from Capital Surplus

How Distributions from Capital Surplus Will Be Made. Our partnership agreement requires that we make distributions of available cash from capital surplus, if any, in the following manner:

 

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first, 98% to all unitholders, pro rata, and 2% to the general partner, until we distribute for each common unit an amount of available cash from capital surplus equal to the initial public offering price; and

 

 

thereafter, we will make all distributions of available cash from capital surplus as if they were from operating surplus.

Effect of a Distribution from Capital Surplus. Our partnership agreement treats a distribution of capital surplus as the repayment of the initial unit price from the initial public offering, which is a return of capital. The initial public offering price less any distributions of capital surplus per unit is referred to as the “unrecovered initial unit price.” Each time a distribution of capital surplus is made, the minimum quarterly distribution and the target distribution levels will be reduced in the same proportion as the corresponding reduction in the unrecovered initial unit price. Because distributions of capital surplus will reduce the minimum quarterly distribution, after any of these distributions are made, it may be easier for the general partner to receive incentive distributions. However, any distribution of capital surplus before the unrecovered initial unit price is reduced to zero cannot be applied to the payment of the minimum quarterly distribution or any arrearages.

Once we distribute capital surplus on a unit in an amount equal to the initial unit price, our partnership agreement specifies that the minimum quarterly distribution and the target distribution levels will be reduced to zero. Our partnership agreement specifies that we then make all future distributions from operating surplus, with 50% being paid to the holders of units and 50% to the general partner. The percentage interests shown for our general partner include its 2% general partner interest and assume the general partner has not transferred the incentive distribution rights.

Adjustment to the Minimum Quarterly Distribution and Target Distribution Levels

In addition to adjusting the minimum quarterly distribution and target distribution levels to reflect a distribution of capital surplus, if we combine our units into fewer units or subdivide our units into a greater number of units, our partnership agreement specifies that the following items will be proportionately adjusted:

 

 

the minimum quarterly distribution;

 

 

target distribution levels; and

 

 

the unrecovered initial unit price.

For example, if a two-for-one split of our common units should occur, the minimum quarterly distribution, the target distribution levels and the unrecovered initial unit price would each be reduced to 50% of its initial level. Our partnership agreement provides that we not make any adjustment by reason of the issuance of additional units for cash or property.

In addition, if legislation is enacted or if existing law is modified or interpreted by a governmental taxing authority, so that we become taxable as a corporation or otherwise subject to taxation as an entity for federal, state or local income tax purposes, our partnership agreement specifies that the general partner may reduce the minimum quarterly distribution and the target distribution levels for each quarter by multiplying each distribution level by a fraction, the numerator of which is available cash for that quarter and the denominator of which is the sum of available cash for that quarter plus the general partner’s estimate of our aggregate liability for the quarter for such income taxes payable by reason of such legislation or interpretation. To the extent that the actual tax liability differs from the estimated tax liability for any quarter, the difference will be accounted for in subsequent quarters.

Distributions of Cash Upon Liquidation

General. 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 the unitholders and the general partner, 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.

 

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The allocations of gain and loss upon liquidation are intended, to the extent required, to permit common unitholders to receive their unrecovered initial unit price plus the minimum quarterly distribution for the quarter during which liquidation occurs. However, there may not be sufficient gain upon our liquidation to enable the holders of common units to fully recover all of these amounts. Any further net gain recognized upon liquidation will be allocated in a manner that takes into account the incentive distribution rights of the general partner.

Manner of Adjustments for Gain. The manner of the adjustment for gain is set forth in the partnership agreement. We will allocate any gain to the partners in the following manner:

 

   

first, to the general partner and the holders of units who have negative balances in their capital accounts to the extent of and in proportion to those negative balances;

 

   

second, 98% to the common unitholders, pro rata, and 2% to the general partner, until the capital account for each common unit is equal to the sum of: (1) the unrecovered initial unit price; and (2) the amount of the minimum quarterly distribution for the quarter during which our liquidation occurs;

 

   

third, 98% to all unitholders, pro rata, and 2% to the general partner, until we allocate under this paragraph an amount per unit equal to: (1) the sum of the excess of the first target distribution per unit over the minimum quarterly distribution per unit for each quarter of our existence; less (2) the cumulative amount per unit of any distributions of available cash from operating surplus in excess of the minimum quarterly distribution per unit that we distributed 98% to the unitholders, pro rata, and 2% to the general partner, for each quarter of our existence;

 

   

fourth, 85% to all unitholders, pro rata, and 15% to the general partner, until we allocate under this paragraph an amount per unit equal to: (1) the sum of the excess of the second target distribution per unit over the first target distribution per unit for each quarter of our existence; less (2) the cumulative amount per unit of any distributions of available cash from operating surplus in excess of the first target distribution per unit that we distributed 85% to the unitholders, pro rata, and 15% to the general partner for each quarter of our existence;

 

 

fifth, 75% to all unitholders, pro rata, and 25% to the general partner, until we allocate under this paragraph an amount per unit equal to: (1) the sum of the excess of the third target distribution per unit over the second target distribution per unit for each quarter of our existence; less (2) the cumulative amount per unit of any distributions of available cash from operating surplus in excess of the second target distribution per unit that we distributed 75% to the unitholders, pro rata, and 25% to the general partner for each quarter of our existence; and

 

 

thereafter, 50% to all unitholders, pro rata, and 50% to the general partner.

The percentage interests set forth above for our general partner include its 2% general partner interest and assume the general partner has not transferred the incentive distribution rights.

Manner of Adjustments for Losses. After making allocations of loss to the general partner and the unitholders in a manner intended to offset in reverse order the allocations of gains that have previously been allocated, we will generally allocate any loss to the general partner and the unitholders in the following manner:

 

 

first, 98% to the holders of common units in proportion to the positive balances in their capital accounts and 2% to the general partner, until the capital accounts of the common unitholders have been reduced to zero; and

 

 

thereafter, 100% to the general partner.

Adjustments to Capital Accounts. Our partnership agreement requires that we make adjustments to capital accounts upon the issuance of additional units. In this regard, our partnership agreement specifies that we allocate any unrealized and, for tax purposes, unrecognized gain or loss resulting from the adjustments to the unitholders and the general partner in the same manner as we allocate gain or loss upon liquidation. In the event that we make positive adjustments to the capital accounts upon the issuance of additional units, our partnership agreement requires

 

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that we allocate any later negative adjustments to the capital accounts resulting from the issuance of additional units or upon our liquidation in a manner which results, to the extent possible, in the general partner’s capital account balances equaling the amount which they would have been if no earlier positive adjustments to the capital accounts had been made.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF THE DEBT SECURITIES

General

The debt securities will be:

 

   

our direct general obligations;

 

   

either senior debt securities or subordinated debt securities; and

 

   

issued under separate indentures among us and a trustee.

Targa Resources Partners LP may issue debt securities in one or more series, and Targa Resources Partners Finance Corporation may be a co-issuer of one or more series of debt securities. Targa Resources Partners Finance Corporation was incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware on May 23, 2008, is wholly owned by Targa Resources Partners LP, and has no material assets or liabilities other than as a co-issuer of debt securities. Its activities will be limited to co-issuing debt securities and engaging in other activities incidental thereto. When used in this section, “Description of the Debt Securities,” the terms “we,” “us,” “our” and “issuers” refer jointly to Targa Resources Partners LP and Targa Resources Partners Finance Corporation, and the terms “Targa Resources Partners LP” and “Targa Resources Partners Finance” refer strictly to Targa Resources Partners LP and Targa Resources Partners Finance Corporation, respectively.

If we offer senior debt securities, we will issue them under a senior indenture. If we issue subordinated debt securities, we will issue them under a subordinated indenture. The trustee under each indenture (the “Trustee”) will be named in the applicable prospectus supplement. A form of each indenture is filed as an exhibit to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part. We have not restated either indenture in its entirety in this description. You should read the relevant indenture because it, and not this description, controls your rights as holders of the debt securities. Capitalized terms used in the summary have the meanings specified in the indentures.

Specific Terms of Each Series of Debt Securities in the Prospectus Supplement

A prospectus supplement and a supplemental indenture or authorizing resolutions relating to any series of debt securities being offered will include specific terms relating to the offering. These terms will include some or all of the following:

 

   

whether Targa Resources Partners Finance will be a co-issuer of the debt securities;

 

   

whether the debt securities are senior or subordinated debt securities;

 

   

the title of the debt securities;

 

   

the total principal amount of the debt securities;

 

   

the assets, if any, that are pledged as security for the payment of the debt securities;

 

   

whether we will issue the debt securities in individual certificates to each holder in registered form, or in the form of temporary or permanent global securities held by a depository on behalf of holders;

 

   

the prices at which we will issue the debt securities;

 

   

the portion of the principal amount that will be payable if the maturity of the debt securities is accelerated;

 

   

the currency or currency unit in which the debt securities will be payable, if not U.S. dollars;

 

   

the dates on which the principal of the debt securities will be payable;

 

   

the interest rate that the debt securities will bear and the interest payment dates for the debt securities;

 

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any conversion or exchange provisions;

 

   

any optional redemption provisions;

 

   

any sinking fund or other provisions that would obligate us to repurchase or otherwise redeem the debt securities;

 

   

any changes to or additional events of default or covenants; and

 

   

any other terms of the debt securities.

We may offer and sell debt securities, including original issue discount debt securities, at a substantial discount below their principal amount. The prospectus supplement will describe special U.S. federal income tax and any other considerations applicable to those securities. In addition, the prospectus supplement may describe certain special U.S. federal income tax or other considerations applicable to any debt securities that are denominated in a currency other than U.S. dollars.

Guarantees

If specified in the prospectus supplement respecting a series of debt securities, the subsidiaries of Targa Resources Partners LP specified in the prospectus supplement will unconditionally guarantee to each holder and the Trustee, on a joint and several basis, the full and prompt payment of principal of, premium, if any, and interest on the debt securities of that series when and as the same become due and payable, whether at stated maturity, upon redemption or repurchase, by declaration of acceleration or otherwise. If a series of debt securities is guaranteed, such series will be guaranteed by all wholly-owned subsidiaries other than “minor” subsidiaries as such term is interpreted in securities regulations governing financial reporting for guarantors. The prospectus supplement will describe any limitation on the maximum amount of any particular guarantee and the conditions under which guarantees may be released.

The guarantees will be general obligations of the guarantors. Guarantees of subordinated debt securities will be subordinated to the Senior Indebtedness of the guarantors on the same basis as the subordinated debt securities are subordinated to the Senior Indebtedness of Targa Resources Partners LP.

Consolidation, Merger or Asset Sale

Each indenture will, in general, allow us to consolidate or merge with or into another domestic entity. It will also allow each issuer to sell, lease, transfer or otherwise dispose of all or substantially all of its assets to another domestic entity. If this happens, the remaining or acquiring entity must assume all of the issuer’s responsibilities and liabilities under the indenture including the payment of all amounts due on the debt securities and performance of the issuer’s covenants in the indenture.

However, each indenture will impose certain requirements with respect to any consolidation or merger with or into an entity, or any sale, lease, transfer or other disposition of all or substantially all of an issuer’s assets, including:

 

   

the remaining or acquiring entity must be organized under the laws of the United States, any state or the District of Columbia; provided that Targa Resources Partners Finance may not merge, amalgamate or consolidate with or into another entity other than a corporation satisfying such requirement for so long as Targa Resources Partners LP is not a corporation;

 

   

the remaining or acquiring entity must assume the issuer’s obligations under the indenture; and

 

   

immediately after giving effect to the transaction, no Default or Event of Default (as defined under “— Events of Default and Remedies” below) may exist.

 

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The remaining or acquiring entity will be substituted for the issuer in the indenture with the same effect as if it had been an original party to the indenture, and, except in the case of a lease of all or substantially all of its assets, the issuer will be relieved from any further obligations under the indenture.

No Protection in the Event of a Change of Control

Unless otherwise set forth in the prospectus supplement, the debt securities will not contain any provisions that protect the holders of the debt securities in the event of a change of control of us or in the event of a highly leveraged transaction, whether or not such transaction results in a change of control of us.

Modification of Indentures

We may supplement or amend an indenture if the holders of a majority in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of all series issued under the indenture affected by the supplement or amendment consent to it. Further, the holders of a majority in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of any series may waive past defaults under the indenture and compliance by us with our covenants with respect to the debt securities of that series only. Those holders may not, however, waive any default in any payment on any debt security of that series or compliance with a provision that cannot be supplemented or amended without the consent of each holder affected. Without the consent of each outstanding debt security affected, no modification of the indenture or waiver may:

 

   

reduce the principal amount of debt securities whose holders must consent to an amendment, supplement or waiver;

 

   

reduce the principal of or change the fixed maturity of any debt security;

 

   

reduce or waive the premium payable upon redemption or alter or waive the provisions with respect to the redemption of the debt securities (except as may be permitted in the case of a particular series of debt securities);

 

   

reduce the rate of or change the time for payment of interest on any debt security;

 

   

waive a Default or an Event of Default in the payment of principal of or premium, if any, or interest on the debt securities (except a rescission of acceleration of the debt securities by the holders of at least a majority in aggregate principal amount of the debt securities and a waiver of the payment default that resulted from such acceleration);

 

   

except as otherwise permitted under the indenture, release any security that may have been granted with respect to the debt securities;

 

   

make any debt security payable in currency other than that stated in the debt securities;

 

   

in the case of any subordinated debt security, make any change in the subordination provisions that adversely affects the rights of any holder under those provisions;

 

   

make any change in the provisions of the indenture relating to waivers of past Defaults or the rights of holders of debt securities to receive payments of principal of or premium, if any, or interest on the debt securities;

 

   

waive a redemption payment with respect to any debt security (except as may be permitted in the case of a particular series of debt securities); or

 

   

make any change in the preceding amendment, supplement and waiver provisions (except to increase any percentage set forth therein).

We may supplement or amend an indenture without the consent of any holders of the debt securities in certain circumstances, including:

 

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to establish the form of terms of any series of debt securities;

 

   

to cure any ambiguity, defect or inconsistency;

 

   

to provide for uncertificated notes in addition to or in place of certified notes;

 

   

to provide for the assumption of an issuer’s obligations to holders of debt securities in the case of a merger or consolidation or disposition of all or substantially all of such issuer’s assets;

 

   

in the case of any subordinated debt security, to make any change in the subordination provisions that limits or terminates the benefits applicable to any holder of Senior Indebtedness of Targa Resources Partners LP;

 

   

to make any changes that would provide any additional rights or benefits to the holders of debt securities or that do not, taken as a whole, adversely affect the rights under the indenture of any holder of debt securities;

 

   

to comply with requirements of the SEC in order to effect or maintain the qualification of the Indenture under the Trust Indenture Act;

 

   

to evidence or provide for the acceptance of appointment under the indenture of a successor Trustee;

 

   

to add any additional Events of Default; or

 

   

to secure the debt securities.

Events of Default and Remedies

“Event of Default,” when used in an indenture, will mean any of the following with respect to the debt securities of any series:

 

   

failure to pay when due the principal of or any premium on any debt security of that series;

 

   

failure to pay, within 30 days of the due date, interest on any debt security of that series;

 

   

failure to pay when due any sinking fund payment with respect to any debt securities of that series;

 

   

failure on the part of the issuers to comply with the covenant described under “— Consolidation, Merger or Asset Sale”;

 

   

failure to perform any other covenant in the indenture that continues for 60 days after written notice is given to the issuers;

 

   

certain events of bankruptcy, insolvency or reorganization of an issuer; or

 

   

any other Event of Default provided under the terms of the debt securities of that series.

An Event of Default for a particular series of debt securities will not necessarily constitute an Event of Default for any other series of debt securities issued under an indenture. The Trustee may withhold notice to the holders of debt securities of any default (except in the payment of principal, premium, if any, or interest) if it considers such withholding of notice to be in the best interests of the holders.

If an Event of Default described in the sixth bullet point above occurs, the entire principal of, premium, if any, and accrued interest on, all debt securities then outstanding will be due and payable immediately, without any declaration or other act on the part of the Trustee or any holders. If any other Event of Default for any series of debt securities occurs and continues, the Trustee or the holders of at least 25% in aggregate principal amount of the debt securities of the series may declare the entire principal of, and accrued interest on, all the debt securities of that series to be due and payable immediately. If this happens, subject to certain conditions, the holders of a majority in the aggregate principal amount of the debt securities of that series can rescind the declaration.

 

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Other than its duties in case of a default, a Trustee is not obligated to exercise any of its rights or powers under either indenture at the request, order or direction of any holders, unless the holders offer the Trustee reasonable security or indemnity. If they provide this reasonable security or indemnification, the holders of a majority in aggregate principal amount of any series of debt securities may direct the time, method and place of conducting any proceeding or any remedy available to the Trustee, or exercising any power conferred upon the Trustee, for that series of debt securities.

No Limit on Amount of Debt Securities

Neither indenture will limit the amount of debt securities that we may issue, unless we indicate otherwise in a prospectus supplement. Each indenture will allow us to issue debt securities of any series up to the aggregate principal amount that we authorize.

Registration of Notes

We will issue debt securities of a series only in registered form, without coupons, unless otherwise indicated in the prospectus supplement.

Minimum Denominations

Unless the prospectus supplement states otherwise, the debt securities will be issued only in principal amounts of $1,000 each or integral multiples of $1,000.

No Personal Liability

None of the past, present or future partners, incorporators, managers, members, directors, officers, employees, unitholders or stockholders of either issuer or the general partner of Targa Resources Partners LP will have any liability for the obligations of the issuers under either indenture or the debt securities or for any claim based on such obligations or their creation. Each holder of debt securities by accepting a debt security waives and releases all such liability. The waiver and release are part of the consideration for the issuance of the debt securities. The waiver may not be effective under federal securities laws, however, and it is the view of the SEC that such a waiver is against public policy.

Payment and Transfer

The Trustee will initially act as paying agent and registrar under each indenture. The issuers may change the paying agent or registrar without prior notice to the holders of debt securities, and the issuers or any of their subsidiaries may act as paying agent or registrar.

If a holder of debt securities has given wire transfer instructions to the issuers, the issuers will make all payments on the debt securities in accordance with those instructions. All other payments on the debt securities will be made at the corporate trust office of the Trustee, unless the issuers elect to make interest payments by check mailed to the holders at their addresses set forth in the debt security register.

The Trustee and any paying agent will repay to us upon request any funds held by them for payments on the debt securities that remain unclaimed for two years after the date upon which that payment has become due. After payment to us, holders entitled to the money must look to us for payment as general creditors.

Exchange, Registration and Transfer

Debt securities of any series will be exchangeable for other debt securities of the same series, the same total principal amount and the same terms but in different authorized denominations in accordance with the indenture. Holders may present debt securities for exchange or registration of transfer at the office of the registrar. The registrar will effect the transfer or exchange when it is satisfied with the documents of title and identity of the person making the request. We will not charge a service charge for any registration of transfer or exchange of the debt securities. We may, however, require the payment of any tax or other governmental charge payable for that registration.

 

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We will not be required:

 

   

to issue, register the transfer of, or exchange debt securities of a series either during a period beginning 15 business days prior to the selection of debt securities of that series for redemption and ending on the close of business on the day of mailing of the relevant notice of redemption or repurchase, or between a record date and the next succeeding interest payment date; or

 

   

to register the transfer of or exchange any debt security called for redemption or repurchase, except the unredeemed portion of any debt security we are redeeming or repurchasing in part.

Provisions Relating only to the Senior Debt Securities

The senior debt securities will rank equally in right of payment with all of our other unsubordinated debt. The senior debt securities will be effectively subordinated, however, to all of our secured debt to the extent of the value of the collateral for that debt. We will disclose the amount of our secured debt in the prospectus supplement.

Provisions Relating only to the Subordinated Debt Securities

Subordinated Debt Securities Subordinated to Senior Indebtedness

The subordinated debt securities will rank junior in right of payment to all of the Senior Indebtedness of Targa Resources Partners LP. “Senior Indebtedness” will be defined in a supplemental indenture or authorizing resolutions respecting any issuance of a series of subordinated debt securities, and the definition will be set forth in the prospectus supplement.

Payment Blockages

The subordinated indenture will provide that no payment of principal, interest and any premium on the subordinated debt securities may be made in the event:

 

   

we or our property is involved in any voluntary or involuntary liquidation or bankruptcy;

 

   

we fail to pay the principal, interest, any premium or any other amounts on any Senior Indebtedness of Targa Resources Partners LP within any applicable grace period or the maturity of such Senior Indebtedness is accelerated following any other default, subject to certain limited exceptions set forth in the subordinated indenture; or

 

   

any other default on any Senior Indebtedness of Targa Resources Partners LP occurs that permits immediate acceleration of its maturity, in which case a payment blockage on the subordinated debt securities will be imposed for a maximum of 179 days at any one time.

No Limitation on Amount of Senior Debt

The subordinated indenture will not limit the amount of Senior Indebtedness that Targa Resources Partners LP may incur, unless otherwise indicated in the prospectus supplement.

Book Entry, Delivery and Form

The debt securities of a particular series may be issued in whole or in part in the form of one or more global certificates that will be deposited with the Trustee as custodian for The Depository Trust Company, New York, New York (“DTC”). This means that we will not issue certificates to each holder. Instead, one or more global debt securities will be issued to DTC, who will keep a computerized record of its participants (for example, your broker) whose clients have purchased the debt securities. The participant will then keep a record of its clients who purchased the debt securities. Unless it is exchanged in whole or in part for a certificated debt security, a global debt security may not be transferred, except that DTC, its nominees and their successors may transfer a global debt security as a whole to one another.

 

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Beneficial interests in global debt securities will be shown on, and transfers of global debt securities will be made only through, records maintained by DTC and its participants.

DTC has provided us the following information: DTC is a limited-purpose trust company organized under the New York Banking Law, a “banking organization” within the meaning of the New York Banking Law, a member of the United States Federal Reserve System, a “clearing corporation” within the meaning of the New York Uniform Commercial Code and a “clearing agency” registered under the provisions of Section 17A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). DTC holds securities that its participants (“Direct Participants”) deposit with DTC. DTC also records the settlement among Direct Participants of securities transactions, such as transfers and pledges, in deposited securities through computerized records for Direct Participants’ accounts. This eliminates the need to exchange certificates. Direct Participants include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and certain other organizations.

DTC’s book-entry system is also used by other organizations such as securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies and clearing corporations that work through a Direct Participant. The rules that apply to DTC and its participants are on file with the SEC.

DTC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (“DTCC”). DTCC is the holding company for DTC, National Securities Clearing Corporation and Fixed Income Clearing Corporation, all of which are registered clearing agencies. DTCC is owned by the users of its regulated subsidiaries.

We will wire all payments on the global debt securities to DTC’s nominee. We and the Trustee will treat DTC’s nominee as the owner of the global debt securities for all purposes. Accordingly, we, the Trustee and any paying agent will have no direct responsibility or liability to pay amounts due on the global debt securities to owners of beneficial interests in the global debt securities.

It is DTC’s current practice, upon receipt of any payment on the global debt securities, to credit Direct Participants’ accounts on the payment date according to their respective holdings of beneficial interests in the global debt securities as shown on DTC’s records. In addition, it is DTC’s current practice to assign any consenting or voting rights to Direct Participants whose accounts are credited with debt securities on a record date, by using an omnibus proxy. Payments by participants to owners of beneficial interests in the global debt securities, and voting by participants, will be governed by the customary practices between the participants and owners of beneficial interests, as is the case with debt securities held for the account of customers registered in “street name.” However, payments will be the responsibility of the participants and not of DTC, the Trustee or us.

Debt securities represented by a global debt security will be exchangeable for certificated debt securities with the same terms in authorized denominations only if:

 

   

DTC notifies us that it is unwilling or unable to continue as depositary or if DTC ceases to be a clearing agency registered under applicable law and in either event a successor depositary is not appointed by us within 90 days; or

 

   

an Event of Default occurs and DTC notifies the Trustee of its decision to exchange the global debt security for certificated debt securities.

Satisfaction and Discharge; Defeasance

Each indenture will be discharged and will cease to be of further effect as to all outstanding debt securities of any series issued thereunder, when:

(a) either:

(1) all outstanding debt securities of that series that have been authenticated (except lost, stolen or destroyed debt securities that have been replaced or paid and debt securities for whose payment money has theretofore been deposited in trust and thereafter repaid to us) have been delivered to the Trustee for cancellation; or

 

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(2) all outstanding debt securities of that series that have not been delivered to the Trustee for cancellation have become due and payable by reason of the giving of a notice of redemption or otherwise or will become due and payable at their stated maturity within one year or are to be called for redemption within one year under arrangements satisfactory to the Trustee and in any case we have irrevocably deposited or caused to be irrevocably deposited with the Trustee as trust funds in trust cash in U.S. dollars, non-callable U.S. Government Obligations or a combination thereof, in such amounts as will be sufficient, without consideration of any reinvestment of interest, to pay and discharge the entire indebtedness of such debt securities not delivered to the Trustee for cancellation, for principal, premium, if any, and accrued interest to the date of such deposit (in the case of debt securities that have been due and payable) or the stated maturity or redemption date;

(b) we have paid or caused to be paid all other sums payable by us under the indenture; and

(c) we have delivered an officers’ certificate and an opinion of counsel to the Trustee stating that all conditions precedent to satisfaction and discharge have been satisfied.

The debt securities of a particular series will be subject to legal or covenant defeasance to the extent, and upon the terms and conditions, set forth in the prospectus supplement.

Governing Law

Each indenture and all of the debt securities will be governed by the laws of the State of New York.

The Trustee

We will enter into the indentures with a Trustee that is qualified to act under the Trust Indenture Act of 1939, as amended, and with any other trustees chosen by us and appointed in a supplemental indenture for a particular series of debt securities. We may maintain a banking relationship in the ordinary course of business with our trustee and one or more of its affiliates.

Resignation or Removal of Trustee

If the Trustee has or acquires a conflicting interest within the meaning of the Trust Indenture Act, the Trustee must either eliminate its conflicting interest or resign, to the extent and in the manner provided by, and subject to the provisions of, the Trust Indenture Act and the applicable indenture. Any resignation will require the appointment of a successor trustee under the applicable indenture in accordance with the terms and conditions of such indenture.

The Trustee may resign or be removed by us with respect to one or more series of debt securities and a successor Trustee may be appointed to act with respect to any such series. The holders of a majority in aggregate principal amount of the debt securities of any series may remove the Trustee with respect to the debt securities of such series.

Limitations on Trustee if it is Our Creditor

Each indenture will contain certain limitations on the right of the Trustee, in the event that it becomes a creditor of an issuer, to obtain payment of claims in certain cases, or to realize on certain property received in respect of any such claim as security or otherwise.

Annual Trustee Report to Holders of Debt Securities

The Trustee is required to submit an annual report to the holders of the debt securities regarding, among other things, the Trustee’s eligibility to serve as such, the priority of the Trustee’s claims regarding certain advances made by it, and any action taken by the Trustee materially affecting the debt securities.

 

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Certificates and Opinions to be Furnished to Trustee

Each indenture will provide that, in addition to other certificates or opinions that may be specifically required by other provisions of the indenture, every application by us for action by the Trustee shall be accompanied by a certificate of certain of our officers and an opinion of counsel (who may be our counsel) stating that, in the opinion of the signers, all conditions precedent to such action have been complied with by us.

 

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MATERIAL TAX CONSEQUENCES

This section summarizes the material U.S. federal income tax consequences that may be relevant to prospective unitholders. To the extent this section discusses federal income taxes, that discussion is based upon current provisions of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Internal Revenue 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 federal income tax consequences to a prospective unitholder to vary substantially from those described below. Unless the context otherwise requires, references in this section to “us” or “we” are references to Targa Resources Partners LP and the Operating Partnership

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 all federal income tax matters that affect us or our unitholders. Furthermore, this section focuses on unitholders who are individual citizens or residents of the United States (for federal income tax purposes), whose functional currencies are the U.S. dollar and who hold units as capital assets (generally, property that is held for investment). This section has limited applicability to corporations, partnerships, entities treated as partnerships for federal income tax purposes, estates, trusts, non-resident aliens or other unitholders subject to specialized tax treatment, such as tax-exempt institutions, non-U.S. persons, individual retirement accounts (“IRAs”), employee benefit plans, real estate investment trusts or mutual funds. Accordingly, because each unitholder may have unique circumstances beyond the scope of the discussion herein, we encourage each unitholder to consult such unitholder’s own tax advisor in analyzing the federal, state, local and non-U.S. tax consequences that are particular to that unitholder resulting from ownership or disposition of its units.

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 courts. 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 and our general partner because the costs will reduce our cash available for distribution. Furthermore, our tax treatment, or the tax treatment of an investment in us, may be significantly modified by future legislative or administrative changes or court decisions, which might be retroactively applied

For the reasons described below, Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. has not rendered an opinion with respect to the following specific federal income tax issues: (i) the treatment of a unitholder whose common units are loaned to a short seller to cover a short sale of common units (please see “— Tax Consequences of Unit Ownership — Treatment of Short Sales”); (ii) whether our monthly convention for allocating taxable income and losses is permitted by existing Treasury Regulations (please see “— Disposition of Common Units — Allocations Between Transferors and Transferees”); and (iii) whether our method for depreciating Section 743 adjustments is sustainable in certain cases (please see “— Tax Consequences of Unit Ownership — Section 754 Election” and “— Uniformity of Units”).

Partnership Status

We expect to be treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes and, therefore, generally will not be liable for U.S. federal income taxes. Instead, each of our unitholders will take into account his respective share of our items of income, gain, loss and deduction in computing his U.S. federal income tax liability as if the unitholder had earned such income directly, even if no cash distributions are made to the unitholder. Distributions by us to a unitholder generally will not give rise to income or gain taxable to such unitholder unless the amount of cash distributed to the unitholder exceeds the unitholder’s adjusted tax basis in his units.

Section 7704 of the Internal Revenue Code generally provides that publicly traded partnerships will be treated as corporations for federal income tax purposes. However, if 90% or more of a 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 federal income tax purposes (the “Qualifying Income Exception”). Qualifying income includes income and gains derived from the transportation, storage, processing and marketing of crude oil, natural gas and

 

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products thereof. Other types of qualifying income include interest (other than from a financial business), dividends, gains from the sale of real property and gains from the sale or other disposition of capital assets held for the production of income that otherwise constitutes qualifying income. We estimate that less than 6% of our current gross income is not qualifying income; however, this estimate could change from time to time

Based upon the 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 and the Operating Partnership will be disregarded as an entity separate from us for federal income tax purposes. In rendering its opinion, Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. has relied on factual representations made by us and our general partner. The representations made by us and our general partner upon which Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. has relied include, without limitation:

(i) Neither we nor the Operating Partnership has elected or will elect to be treated as a corporation for federal income tax purposes;

(ii) For each taxable year, 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 Internal Revenue Code; and

(iii) 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 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 or will opine result in qualifying income.

We believe that these representations have been true in the past and expect that these representations 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 if we had transferred all of our assets, subject to liabilities, to a newly formed corporation, on the first day of the year in which we fail to meet the Qualifying Income Exception, in return for stock in that corporation, and then distributing that stock to our unitholders in liquidation of their units. This deemed contribution and liquidation should not result in the recognition of taxable income to our unitholders and us so long as our liabilities do not exceed the tax basis of our assets. Thereafter, we would be treated as an association taxable as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

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 federal income tax, rather than being passed through to our unitholders. Accordingly, our taxation as a corporation would materially reduce our cash distributions to unitholders and thus would likely substantially reduce the value of our units. In addition, any distribution made to a unitholder would be treated as (i) taxable dividend income 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 tax basis in our units, and thereafter (iii) taxable capital gain.

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 federal income tax purposes.

Limited Partner Status

Unitholders who are admitted as limited partners of Targa Resources Partners LP, as well as 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 units, will be treated as partners of Targa Resources Partners LP 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 Short Sales.” Unitholders who are not treated as partners in us as described above are urged to consult their own tax advisors with respect to the tax consequences applicable to them under the circumstances.

 

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Tax Consequences of Unit Ownership

Flow-Through of Taxable Income. Subject to the discussion below under “— Entity-Level Collections” with respect to payments we may be required to make on behalf of our unitholders, we will not pay any federal income tax. Rather, each unitholder will be required to report on its income tax return its share of our income, gains, losses and deductions for our taxable year or years ending with or within its taxable year without regard to whether we make cash distributions to such unitholder. Consequently, we may allocate income to a unitholder even if that unitholder has not received a cash distribution.

Basis of Common Units. A unitholder’s tax basis in its common units initially will be the amount it paid for those common units plus its initial 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 nonrecourse liabilities and (ii) decreased, but not below zero, by distributions to it, by its share of our losses, any decreases in its share of our nonrecourse liabilities and its share of our expenditures that are neither deductible nor required to be capitalized.

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 common units, in which case the unitholder will recognize gain taxable in the manner described below under “— Disposition of Common Units.”

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 common units will 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 liabilities allocated based on the unitholder’s share of our profits. Please read “—Disposition of Common Units.”

A non-pro rata distribution of money or property (including a deemed distribution 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 Internal Revenue 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 an allocable portion of the non-pro rata distribution. This latter deemed exchange generally will result in the unitholder’s realization of ordinary income in an amount equal to the excess of (i) the non-pro rata portion of that distribution over (ii) the unitholder’s tax basis (generally zero) in the Section 751 Assets deemed to be relinquished in the exchange.

Limitations on Deductibility of Losses. The deduction by a unitholder of its share of our losses will be limited to the lesser of (i) the unitholder’s tax basis in its units and (ii) in the case of a unitholder who is an individual, estate, trust or corporation (if more than 50% of the corporation’s stock is owned directly or indirectly by or for five or fewer individuals or a specific type of tax exempt organization), 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 tax basis in its units reduced by (i) any portion of that basis attributable to the unitholder’s share of our liabilities, (ii) any portion of that basis representing amounts otherwise protected against loss because of a guarantee, stop loss agreement or similar arrangement and (iii) 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 basis and at risk limitations must recapture losses deducted in previous years to the extent that distributions (including distributions as a result of 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 these limitations will carry forward and will be allowable as a deduction in a later year to the extent that the unitholder’s 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.

 

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In addition to the basis and at risk limitations, passive activity loss limitations generally limit the deductibility of losses incurred by individuals, estates, trusts, 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 our passive income generated in the future. Passive losses that are not deductible because they exceed a unitholder’s share of income we generate may be deducted in full when he disposes of all of its units in a fully taxable transaction with an unrelated party. The passive activity loss rules 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 attributed to portfolio income; and

 

 

the portion of interest expense incurred to purchase or carry an interest in a passive activity to the extent attributable to 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. Such term generally does not include gains attributable to the disposition of property held for investment or qualified dividend income. The IRS has indicated that the net passive income earned by a publicly traded partnership will be treated as investment income to its unitholders. In addition, the unitholder’s share of our portfolio income will be treated as investment income.

Entity-Level Collections. If we are required or elect under applicable law to pay any federal, state, local or non-U.S. tax on behalf of any current or former unitholder or our general partner , we are authorized to pay those taxes and treat the payment as a distribution of cash to the relevant unitholder. Where the relevant unitholder’s identity cannot be determined, we are authorized to treat the payment as a distribution to all current unitholders. We are authorized to amend our partnership agreement in the manner necessary to maintain uniformity of intrinsic tax characteristics of units and to adjust later distributions, so that after giving effect to these distributions, the priority and characterization of distributions otherwise applicable under our partnership agreement is maintained as nearly as is practicable. Payments by us as described above could give rise to an overpayment of tax on behalf of a unitholder, in which event the unitholder may be entitled to claim a refund of the overpayment amount. Unitholders are urged to consult their tax advisors to determine the consequences to them of any tax payment we make on their behalf.

Allocation of Income, Gain, Loss and Deduction. In general, our items of income, gain, loss and deduction will be allocated among our general partner and the unitholders in accordance with their percentage interests in us. At any time that incentive distributions are made to our general partner, gross income will be allocated to the recipients to the extent of these distributions. If we have a net loss, that loss will be allocated first to the general partner and the unitholders in accordance with their percentage interests in us to the extent of their positive capital accounts and, second, to the general partner.

Specified items of our income, gain, loss and deduction will be allocated under Section 704(c) of the Internal Revenue Code to account for any difference between the 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 (a “Book-Tax Disparity”). 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.

 

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An allocation of items of our income, gain, loss or deduction, generally must have “substantial economic effect” as determined under Treasury Regulations. If an allocation does not have substantial economic effect, it will be reallocated to our unitholders on the basis of their interests in us, which will be determined by taking into account all the facts and circumstances, including:

 

 

his relative contributions to us;

 

 

the interests of all the partners in profits and losses;

 

 

the interest of all the partners in cash flow; and

 

 

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 Common Units — Allocations Between Transferors and Transferees,” allocations under our partnership agreement will have substantial economic effect.

Treatment of Short Sales. A unitholder whose units are loaned 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 from the disposition. As a result, during this period (i) any of our income, gain, loss or deduction allocated to those units would not be reportable by the unitholder, and (ii) any cash distributions received by the unitholder as to those units would be fully taxable possibly, as ordinary income.

Due to lack of controlling authority, Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. has not rendered an opinion regarding the tax treatment of a unitholder whose units are loaned to a short seller to cover a short sale of our units. Unitholders desiring to assure their status as partners and avoid the risk of gain recognition from a loan to a short seller are urged to modify any applicable brokerage account agreements to prohibit their brokers from borrowing and lending their 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 Common Units — Recognition of Gain or Loss.”

Alternative Minimum Tax. If a unitholder is subject to federal alternative minimum tax, such tax will apply to such unitholder’s distributive share of any items of our income, gain, loss or deduction. The current alternative minimum tax rate for non-corporate taxpayers is 26% on the first $175,000 of alternative minimum taxable income in excess of the exemption amount and 28% on any additional alternative minimum taxable income. Prospective unitholders are urged to consult with their tax advisors with respect to the impact of an investment in our units on their alternative minimum tax liability.

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 35% and 15%, respectively. However, absent new legislation extending the current rates, beginning January 1, 2013, the highest marginal U.S. federal income tax rates applicable to ordinary income and long-term capital gains of individuals will increase to 39.6% and 20%, respectively. Moreover, these rates are subject to change by new legislation at any time.

A 3.8% Medicare tax on certain investment income earned by individuals, estates, and trusts is scheduled to apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2012. For these purposes, 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 is a surviving spouse), $125,000 (if the unitholder is married and filing separately) or $200,000 (in any other case). In the case of an estate or trust, the tax will be imposed on the lesser of (i) 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 Internal Revenue Code that permits us to adjust the tax bases in our assets as to specific purchased units under Section 743(b) of the Internal

 

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Revenue Code to reflect the unit purchase price. The Section 743(b) adjustment separately applies to each purchaser of units based upon the values and bases of our assets at the time of the relevant purchase. The Section 743(b) adjustment does not apply to a person who purchases common 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 (“common basis”) and (2) its Section 743(b) adjustment to that tax basis (which may be positive or negative).

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 these or any other Treasury Regulations. Please read “— Uniformity of Units.” Consistent with this authority, we intend to treat properties depreciable under Section 167, if any, in the same manner as properties depreciable under Section 168 for this purpose. These positions are consistent with the methods employed by other publicly traded partnerships but are inconsistent with the existing Treasury Regulations, and Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. has not opined on the validity of this approach.

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 lack of controlling authority. Because a unitholder’s 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 Common 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, as an intangible asset, is generally non-amortizable or amortizable over a longer period of time or under a less accelerated method than 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 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 use the year ending December 31 as our taxable year and the accrual method of accounting for federal income tax purposes. Each unitholder will be required to include in income his share of our income, gain, loss and deduction for our taxable year ending within or with his 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 his units following the close of our taxable year but before the close of his taxable year must include his share of our income, gain, loss and deduction in income for his taxable year, with the result that he will be required to include in income for his taxable year his share of more than one year of our income, gain, loss and deduction. Please see “—Disposition of Common Units — Allocations Between Transferors and Transferees.”

Tax Basis, Depreciation and Amortization. The tax basis 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. The federal income tax burden associated with the difference between the fair market value of our assets and their tax basis immediately prior to a primary offering of new units will be borne by our unitholders holding interests in us prior to any such offering. Please see “— Tax Consequences of Unit Ownership — Allocation of Income, Gain, Loss and Deduction.”

 

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If we dispose of depreciable property by sale, foreclosure or otherwise, all or a portion of any gain, determined by reference to the amount of depreciation previously deducted and the nature of the property, may be subject to the recapture rules and taxed as ordinary income rather than capital gain. Similarly, a unitholder who has taken cost recovery or depreciation deductions with respect to property we own will likely be required to recapture some or all of those deductions as ordinary income upon a sale of his interest in us. Please see “— Tax Consequences of Unit Ownership — Allocation of Income, Gain, Loss and Deduction” and “— Disposition of Common Units — Recognition of Gain or Loss.”

The costs we incur in selling our units (called “syndication expenses”) must be capitalized and cannot be deducted currently, ratably or upon our termination. There are uncertainties regarding the classification of costs as organization expenses, which may be amortized by us, and as syndication expenses, which may not be amortized by us. The underwriting discounts 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 initial tax bases, of our assets. Although we may from time to time consult with professional appraisers regarding valuation matters, we will make many of the relative fair market value estimates ourselves. These estimates and determinations of basis are subject to challenge and will not be binding on the IRS or the courts. If the estimates of fair market value or basis are later found to be incorrect, the character and amount of items of income, gain, loss or deductions previously reported by unitholders might change, and unitholders might be required to adjust their tax liability for prior years and incur interest and penalties with respect to those adjustments.

Recent Legislative Developments. The present federal income tax treatment of publicly traded partnerships, including us, or an investment in our 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. Currently, one such legislative proposal would eliminate the qualifying income exception upon which we rely for our treatment as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Please read “— Partnership Status.” Any modification to the federal income tax laws and interpretations thereof may or may not be applied retroactively. Although we are unable to predict whether any of these changes, or other proposals, will ultimately be enacted, any such changes could negatively impact the value of an investment in our units.

Disposition of Common Units

Recognition of Gain or Loss.

A unitholder will be required to recognize gain or loss on a sale of units equal to the difference between the unitholder’s amount realized and the unitholder’s tax basis for the units sold. A unitholder’s amount realized will equal the sum of the cash or the fair market value of other property he receives plus his share of our nonrecourse liabilities. Because the amount realized includes a unitholder’s share of our nonrecourse liabilities, the gain recognized on the sale of units could result in a tax liability in excess of any cash received from the sale.

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 Internal Revenue Code to the extent attributable to Section 751 Assets that we own, primarily depreciation recapture. Ordinary income attributable to Section 751 Assets may exceed net taxable gain realized on the sale of a unit and may be recognized even if there is a net taxable loss realized on the sale of a unit. Thus, a unitholder may recognize both ordinary income and a capital loss upon a sale of units. Net capital loss may offset capital gains and, in the case of individuals, up to $3,000 of ordinary income per year

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

 

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

Specific provisions of the Internal Revenue Code affect the taxation of some financial products and securities, including partnership interests, by treating a taxpayer as having sold an “appreciated” partnership interest, one in which gain would be recognized if it were sold, assigned or terminated at its fair market value, if the taxpayer or related persons enter(s) into:

 

 

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 also authorized to issue regulations that treat a taxpayer that enters into transactions or positions that have substantially the same effect as the preceding transactions as having constructively sold the financial position.

Allocations Between Transferors and Transferees. In general, our taxable income and losses 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, which we refer to in this prospectus as the “Allocation Date.” However, gain or loss realized on a sale or other disposition of our assets other than in the ordinary course of business will be allocated among the unitholders on the Allocation Date in the month in which that gain or loss is recognized. As a result, a unitholder transferring units may be allocated income, gain, loss and deduction realized after the date of transfer.

Although simplifying conventions are contemplated by the Internal Revenue Code and most publicly traded partnerships use similar simplifying conventions, the use of this method may not be permitted under existing Treasury Regulations. Recently, however, the Department of the Treasury and the IRS issued proposed Treasury Regulations that provide a safe harbor pursuant to which a publicly traded partnership may use a similar monthly simplifying convention to allocate tax items among transferor and transferee unitholders, although such tax items must be prorated on a daily basis. Nonetheless, the proposed regulations do not specifically authorize the use of the proration method we have adopted. Existing publicly traded partnerships are entitled to rely on these proposed Treasury Regulations; however, they are not binding on the IRS and are subject to change until final Treasury Regulations are issued. Accordingly, Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. is unable to opine on the validity of this method of allocating income and deductions between transferor and transferee unitholders. If this method is not allowed under the Treasury Regulations, or only applies to transfers of less than all of the unitholder’s interest, our taxable income or losses might be reallocated among the unitholders. We are authorized to revise our method of allocation between transferor and transferee unitholders, as well as unitholders whose interests vary during a taxable year, to conform to a method permitted under future Treasury Regulations.

 

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A unitholder who disposes of units prior to the record date set for a cash distribution for any quarter will be allocated items of our income, gain, loss and deductions 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 units is generally 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). 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 purchase 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 or exchange through a broker who will satisfy such requirements.

Constructive Termination.

We will be considered to have terminated our partnership for 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 a fiscal year ending December 31, 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 will result in us filing two tax returns for one fiscal year and the cost of the preparation of these returns will be borne by all unitholders. However, pursuant to an IRS relief procedure, the IRS may allow, among other things, a constructively terminated partnership to provide a single Schedule K-1 for the calendar year in which a termination occurs. We would be required to make new tax elections after a termination, including a new election under Section 754 of the Code, and a termination would result in a deferral of our deductions for depreciation. A termination could also result in penalties if we were unable to determine that the termination had occurred. Moreover, a termination might either accelerate the application of, or subject us to, any tax legislation enacted before the termination.

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. In the absence of uniformity, we may be unable to completely comply with a number of federal income tax requirements, both statutory and regulatory. A lack of uniformity can result from a literal application of Treasury Regulation Section 1.167(c)-1(a)(6), which is not anticipated to apply to a material portion of our assets. Any non-uniformity could have a negative impact on the value of the units. Please see “— Tax Consequences of Unit Ownership — Section 754 Election.”

If necessary to preserve the uniformity of our units, our partnership agreement permits our general partner to take positions in filing our tax returns even when contrary to a literal application of regulations like the one described above. 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. The general partner does not anticipate needing to take such positions, but if they were necessary, Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. would be unable to opine as to validity of such filing positions in the absence of direct and controlling authority.

A unitholder’s basis in units is reduced by his 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 his units, and may cause the unitholder to understate gain or overstate loss on any sale of such units. Please read “— Disposition of Common Units — Recognition of Gain or Loss” and “— Tax Consequences of Unit Ownership — Section 754 Election.” 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.

 

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Tax-Exempt Organizations and Other Investors

Ownership of units by employee benefit plans, other tax-exempt organizations, non-resident aliens, non-U.S. corporations and other non-U.S. persons raises issues unique to those investors and, as described below, may have substantially adverse tax consequences to them. Prospective unitholders who are tax-exempt entities or non-U.S. persons, should consult their tax advisors before investing in our common 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-resident aliens and foreign corporations, trusts or estates that own units will be considered to be engaged in business in the United States because of the ownership of units. As a consequence, they will be required to file federal tax returns to report their share of our income, gain, loss or deduction and pay federal income tax at regular rates on their 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 applicable substitute form in order to obtain credit for these withholding taxes. A change in applicable law may require us to change these procedures.

In addition, because a foreign corporation that owns units will be treated as engaged in a United States trade or business, that corporation may be subject to the United States branch profits tax at a rate of 30%, in addition to regular federal income tax, on its share of our income and gain, as adjusted for changes in the foreign corporation’s “U.S. net equity,” which are effectively connected with the conduct of a United States trade or business. That tax may be reduced or eliminated by an income tax treaty between the United States and the country in which the foreign corporate unitholder is a “qualified resident.” In addition, this type of unitholder is subject to special information reporting requirements under Section 6038C of the Internal Revenue Code.

A foreign unitholder who sells or otherwise disposes of a common unit will be subject to U.S. federal income tax on gain realized from the sale or disposition of that unit to the extent the gain is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business of the foreign unitholder. Under a ruling published by the IRS, interpreting the scope of “effectively connected income,” a foreign unitholder would be considered to be engaged in a trade or business in the U.S. by virtue of the U.S. activities of the partnership, and part or all of that unitholder’s gain would be effectively connected with that unitholder’s indirect U.S. trade or business. Moreover, under the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act, a foreign common unitholder generally will be subject to U.S. federal income tax upon the sale or disposition of a common unit if (i) he owned (directly or constructively applying certain attribution rules) more than 5% of our common units at any time during the five-year period ending on the date of such disposition and (ii) 50% or more of the fair market value of all of our assets consisted of U.S. real property interests at any time during the shorter of the period during which such unitholder held the common units or the 5-year period ending on the date of disposition. 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, foreign unitholders may be subject to federal income tax on gain from the sale or disposition of their units.

Administrative Matters

Information Returns and Audit Procedures. We intend to furnish to each unitholder, within 90 days after the close of each calendar year, specific tax information, including a Schedule K-1, which describes his 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 you that those positions will in all cases yield a result that conforms to the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code, Treasury Regulations or administrative interpretations of the IRS.

Neither we nor Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. can assure prospective unitholders that the IRS will not successfully contend in court that those positions are impermissible. Any challenge by the IRS could negatively affect the value of the units. The IRS may audit our federal income tax information returns. Adjustments resulting from an IRS audit may require each unitholder to adjust a prior year’s tax liability, and possibly may result in an audit of his return. Any audit of a unitholder’s return could result in adjustments not related to our returns as well as those related to our returns.

 

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Partnerships generally are treated as separate entities for purposes of federal 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. The Internal Revenue Code requires that one partner be designated as the “Tax Matters Partner” for these purposes, and our partnership agreement designates our general partner.

The Tax Matters Partner has made and will make some elections on our behalf and on behalf of unitholders. In addition, the Tax Matters Partner can extend the statute of limitations for assessment of tax deficiencies against unitholders for items in our returns. The Tax Matters Partner may bind a unitholder with less than a 1% profits interest in us to a settlement with the IRS unless that unitholder elects, by filing a statement with the IRS, not to give that authority to the Tax Matters Partner. The Tax Matters Partner may seek judicial review, by which all the unitholders are bound, of a final partnership administrative adjustment and, if the Tax Matters Partner fails to seek judicial review, judicial review may be sought by any unitholder having at least a 1% interest in profits or by any group of unitholders having in the aggregate at least a 5% interest in profits. However, only one action for judicial review will go forward, and each unitholder with an interest in the outcome may participate in that action.

A unitholder must file a statement with the IRS identifying the treatment of any item on his 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.

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

 

 

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

 

 

a statement regarding whether the beneficial owner is:

 

   

a non-U.S. person;

 

   

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

 

   

a tax-exempt entity;

 

 

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

 

 

specific information including the dates of acquisitions and transfers, means of acquisitions and transfers, and acquisition cost for purchases, as well as the amount of net proceeds from sales.

Brokers and financial institutions are required to furnish additional information, including whether they are U.S. persons and specific information on units they acquire, hold or transfer for their own account. A penalty of $100 per failure, up to a maximum of $1.5 million per calendar year, is imposed by the Internal Revenue Code for failure to report that information to us. The nominee is required to supply the beneficial owner of the units with the information furnished to us.

Accuracy-Related Penalties. An additional tax equal to 20% of the amount of any portion of an underpayment of tax that is attributable to one or more specified causes, including negligence or disregard of rules or regulations, substantial understatements of income tax and substantial valuation misstatements, is imposed by the Internal Revenue Code. No penalty will be imposed, however, for any portion of an underpayment if it is shown that there was a reasonable cause for that portion and that the taxpayer acted in good faith regarding the underpayment of that portion.

For individuals, a substantial understatement of income tax in any taxable year exists if the amount of the understatement exceeds the greater of 10% of the tax required to be shown on the return for the taxable year or $5,000. The amount of any understatement subject to penalty generally is reduced if any portion is attributable to a position adopted on the return:

 

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for which there is, or was, “substantial authority”; or

 

 

as to which there is a reasonable basis and the pertinent facts of that position are disclosed on the return.

If any item of income, gain, loss or deduction included in the distributive shares of unitholders might result in that kind of an “understatement” of income for which no “substantial authority” exists, we must disclose the pertinent facts on our return. In addition, we will make a reasonable effort to furnish sufficient information for unitholders to make adequate disclosure on their returns and to take other actions as may be appropriate to permit unitholders to avoid liability for this penalty. More stringent rules apply to “tax shelters,” which we do not believe includes us or any of our investments, plans or arrangements.

A substantial valuation misstatement exists if (i) the value of any property, or the tax basis of any property, claimed on a tax return is 150% or more of the amount determined to be the correct amount of the valuation or tax basis, (ii) the price for any property or services (or for the use of property) claimed on any such return with respect to any transaction between persons described in Internal Revenue Code Section 482 is 200% or more (or 50% or less) of the amount determined under Section 482 to be the correct amount of such price or (iii) the net Internal Revenue Code Section 482 transfer price adjustment for the taxable year exceeds the lesser of $5 million or 10% of the taxpayer’s gross receipts. No penalty is imposed unless the portion of the underpayment attributable to a substantial valuation misstatement exceeds $5,000 ($10,000 for a corporation other than an S Corporation or a personal holding company). The penalty is increased to 40% in the event of a gross valuation misstatement. We do not anticipate making any valuation misstatements.

In addition, the 20% accuracy-related penalty also applies to any portion of an underpayment of tax that is attributable to transactions lacking economic substance. To the extent that such transactions are not disclosed, the penalty imposed is increased to 40%. Additionally, there is no reasonable cause defense to the imposition of this penalty to such transactions.

Reportable Transactions. If we were to engage in a “reportable transaction,” we (and possibly our unitholders and others) would be required to make a detailed disclosure of the transaction to the IRS. A transaction may be a reportable transaction based upon any of several factors, including the fact that it is a type of tax avoidance transaction publicly identified by the IRS as a “listed transaction” or that it produces certain kinds of losses for partnerships, individuals, S corporations, and trusts in excess of $2 million in any single tax year, or $4 million in any combination of six successive tax years. Our participation in a reportable transaction could increase the likelihood that our federal income tax information return (and possibly your tax return) would be audited by the IRS. Please see “— Information Returns and Audit Procedures.”

Moreover, if we were to participate in a reportable transaction with a significant purpose to avoid or evade tax, or in any listed transaction, our unitholders may be subject to the following additional consequences:

 

 

accuracy-related penalties with a broader scope, significantly narrower exceptions, and potentially greater amounts than described above at “— Accuracy-Related Penalties;”

 

 

for those persons otherwise entitled to deduct interest on federal tax deficiencies, nondeductibility of interest on any resulting tax liability; and

 

 

in the case of a listed transaction, an extended statute of limitations.

We do not expect to engage in any “reportable transactions.”

State, Local, Foreign and Other Tax Consequences

In addition to federal income taxes, you may be subject to other taxes, such as state, local and non-U.S. income taxes, unincorporated business taxes, and estate, inheritance or intangible taxes that may be imposed by the various jurisdictions in which we do business or own property or in which you are a resident. Although an analysis of those

 

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various taxes is not presented here, each prospective unitholder should consider their potential impact on his investment in us. We currently own property and do business in Texas, Louisiana and New Mexico, as well as other states. Currently, Texas does not impose a personal income tax on individuals but Louisiana and New Mexico do impose such a tax. Further, each of these states imposes entity level taxes on corporations and other entities. Current law may change. Moreover, we may also own property or do business in other jurisdictions in the future. Although 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 might be required to file income tax returns and to pay income taxes in other jurisdictions in which we do business or own property, now or in the future, and may be subject to penalties for failure to comply with those requirements. In some jurisdictions, tax losses may not produce a tax benefit in the year incurred and may not be available to offset income in subsequent taxable years. Some 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. Amounts withheld will be treated as if distributed to unitholders for purposes of determining the amounts distributed by us. Please see “— Tax Consequences of Unit Ownership — Entity-Level Collections.” Based on current law and our estimate of our future operations, the general partner anticipates that any amounts required to be withheld will not be material.

It is the responsibility of each unitholder to investigate the legal and tax consequences, under the laws of pertinent states and localities, of his investment in us. Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. has not rendered an opinion on the state, local or non-U.S. tax consequences of an investment in us. We strongly recommend that each prospective unitholder consult, and depend upon, his own tax counsel or other advisor with regard to those matters. It is the responsibility of each unitholder to file all tax returns that may be required of him.

Tax Consequences of Ownership of Debt Securities

A description of the material federal income tax consequences of the acquisition, ownership and disposition of debt securities will be set forth on the prospectus supplement relating to the offering of debt securities.

 

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INVESTMENT IN TARGA RESOURCES PARTNERS LP BY EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PLANS

An investment in us by an employee benefit plan is subject to additional considerations because the investments of these plans are subject to the fiduciary responsibility provisions of ERISA and the prohibited transaction provisions of ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code. For these purposes the term “employee benefit plan” includes, but is not limited to, qualified pension, profit-sharing, and stock bonus plans, certain Keogh plans, certain simplified employee pension plans, and tax deferred annuities or IRAs established or maintained by an employer or employee organization. Among other things, consideration should be given to:

 

 

whether the investment is prudent under Section 404(a)(1)(B) of ERISA;

 

 

whether in making the investment, that plan will satisfy the diversification requirements of Section 404(a)(1)(C) of ERISA;

 

 

whether the investment is permitted under the terms of the applicable documents governing the plan;

 

 

whether the investment will constitute a “prohibited transaction” under Section 406 of ERISA and Section 4975 of the Internal Revenue Code (see below);

 

 

whether in making the investment, that plan will be considered to hold as plan assets (1) only the investment in our partnership units or (2) an undivided interest in our underlying assets (see below); and

 

 

whether the investment will result in recognition of unrelated business taxable income by the plan and, if so, the potential after-tax investment return. Please see “Material Tax Consequences — Tax-Exempt Organizations and Other Investors.”

The person with investment discretion with respect to the assets of an employee benefit plan, often called a fiduciary, should determine whether an investment in us is authorized by the appropriate governing instrument and is a proper investment for the plan.

Section 406 of ERISA and Section 4975 of the Internal Revenue Code prohibit employee benefit plans, and also IRAs and certain other types of accounts that are not considered part of an ERISA employee benefit plan, from engaging in specified “prohibited transactions” involving “plan assets” with parties that are “parties in interest” under ERISA or “disqualified persons” under the Internal Revenue Code with respect to the plan.

In addition to considering whether the purchase of common units is a prohibited transaction, a fiduciary of an employee benefit plan should consider whether the plan will, by investing in us, be deemed to own an undivided interest in our assets, with the result that our general partner would become an ERISA fiduciary of the investing plan and that our operations would be subject to the regulatory restrictions of ERISA, including its prohibited transaction rules, as well as the prohibited transaction rules of the Internal Revenue Code.

The Department of Labor regulations provide guidance with respect to whether the assets of an entity in which employee benefit plans acquire equity interests would be deemed “plan assets” under some circumstances. Under these regulations, an entity’s assets generally would not be considered to be “plan assets” if, among other things:

(a) the equity interests acquired by employee benefit plans are publicly offered securities — i.e., the equity interests are part of a class of securities that is widely held by 100 or more investors independent of the issuer and each other, are “freely transferable” (as defined in the Department of Labor regulations), and are either registered under certain provisions of the federal securities laws or sold to the plan as part of a public offering under certain conditions;

(b) the entity is an “operating company,” — i.e., it is primarily engaged in the production or sale of a product or service other than the investment of capital either directly or through a majority-owned subsidiary or subsidiaries; or

(c) there is no significant investment by benefit plan investors, which is defined to mean that immediately after the most recent acquisition by a plan of any equity interest in the entity, less than 25% of the value of each class of equity interest (disregarding interests held by our general partner, its affiliates, and some other persons) is held by the employee benefit plans referred to above, IRAs and certain other plans and accounts not subject to ERISA (including governmental plans), and entities whose underlying assets include plan assets by reason of a plan’s investment in the entity.

 

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Our assets should not be considered “plan assets” under these regulations because it is expected that any investment in us by an employee benefit plan will satisfy the requirements in (a) above.

Plan fiduciaries contemplating a purchase of our common units should consult with their own counsel regarding the consequences under ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code in light of the serious penalties imposed on persons who engage in prohibited transactions or other ERISA violations.

 

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PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

Under this prospectus, we intend to offer our securities to the public:

 

   

through one or more broker-dealers;

 

   

through underwriters; or

 

   

directly to investors.

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

 

   

market prices prevailing at the time of any sale under this registration statement;

 

   

prices related to market prices; or

 

   

negotiated prices.

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

We will pay or allow distributors’ or sellers’ commissions that will not exceed those customary in the types of transactions involved. Broker-dealers may act as agents or may purchase securities as principal and thereafter resell the securities from time to time:

 

   

in or through one or more transactions (which may involve cross transactions and block trades) or distributions;

 

   

on the NYSE;

 

   

in the over-the-counter market; or

 

   

in private transactions.

Broker-dealers or underwriters may receive compensation in the form of underwriting discounts or commissions and may receive commissions from purchasers of the securities for whom they may act as agents. If any broker-dealer purchases the securities as principal, it may effect resales of the securities from time to time to or through other broker-dealers, and other broker-dealers may receive compensation in the form of concessions or commissions from the purchasers of securities for whom they may act as agents.

To the extent required, the names of the specific managing underwriter or underwriters, if any, as well as other important information, will be set forth in prospectus supplements. In that event, the discounts and commissions we will allow or pay to the underwriters, if any, and the discounts and commissions the underwriters may allow or pay to dealers or agents, if any, will be set forth in, or may be calculated from, the prospectus supplements. Any underwriters, brokers, dealers and agents who participate in any sale of the securities may also engage in transactions with, or perform services for, us or our affiliates in the ordinary course of their businesses. We may indemnify underwriters, brokers, dealers and agents against specific liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act.

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 of 1933 with respect to any resale thereof. The terms of any such sales will be described in the prospectus supplement relating thereto.

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

 

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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 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 Rule 2810 of the NASD Conduct Rules.

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 under this shelf registration and in compliance with applicable law, underwriters, brokers or dealers may engage in transactions which stabilize or maintain the market price of the securities at levels above those which 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.

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.

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.

 

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LEGAL MATTERS

The validity of the securities offered in this prospectus will be passed upon for us by Vinson & Elkins L.L.P., Houston, Texas. Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. will also render an opinion on the material federal income tax consequences regarding the securities. If certain legal matters in connection with an offering of the securities made by this prospectus and a related prospectus supplement are passed on by counsel for the underwriters of such offering, that counsel will be named in the applicable prospectus supplement related to that offering.

EXPERTS

The financial statements and management’s assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting (which is included in Management’s Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting), incorporated in this prospectus by reference to the Annual Report on Form 10-K of Targa Resources Partners LP for the year ended December 31, 2011, have been so incorporated in reliance on the report of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, given on the authority of said firm as experts in auditing and accounting.

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

We have filed a registration statement with the SEC under the Securities Act that registers the offer and sale of the securities covered by this prospectus. The registration statement, including the attached exhibits, contains additional relevant information about us. The rules and regulations of the SEC allow us to omit some information included in the registration statement from this prospectus.

In addition, Targa Resources Partners LP files annual, quarterly and other reports and other information with the SEC. You may read and copy any document we file with SEC at the SEC’s public reference room at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549. Please call the SEC at 1-800-732-0330 for further information on the operation of the SEC’s public reference room. Our SEC filings are available on the SEC’s web site at http://www.sec.gov. We also make available free of charge on our website, at http://www.targaresources.com, all materials that we file electronically with the SEC, including our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, Section 16 reports and amendments to these reports as soon as reasonably practicable after such materials are electronically filed with, or furnished to, the SEC. You can also obtain information about us at the office of the New York Stock Exchange, 20 Broad Street, New York, New York 10005.

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 we file later with the SEC will automatically supersede this information. You should not assume that (i) the information incorporated by reference in this prospectus is accurate as of any date other than the respective date of the documents incorporated by reference or (ii) the information contained in this prospectus is accurate as of any date other that the date on the front page of this prospectus.

We incorporate by reference in this prospectus the documents listed below and any future filings made by Targa Resources Partners LP with the SEC under Section 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act (excluding any information furnished and not filed pursuant to 2.02 or 7.01 on any current report on Form 8-K), including all such documents we may file with the SEC after the date of the initial registration statement and prior to the effectiveness of the registration statement, until all offerings under this registration statement are completed:

 

 

our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011;

 

 

our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2012;

 

 

our current reports on Form 8-K filed January 19, 2012, January 23, 2012, January 26, 2012, January 31, 2012, and May 25, 2012; and

 

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the description of our common units in our registration statement on Form 8-A (File No. 001-33303) filed pursuant to the Exchange Act on January 21, 2010.

You may obtain any of the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus from the SEC through the SEC’s website at the address provided above. You also may request a copy of any document incorporated by reference in this prospectus (including exhibits to those documents specifically incorporated by reference in this document), at no cost, by visiting our internet website at www.targaresources.com, or by writing or calling us at the following address:

Targa Resources Partners LP

1000 Louisiana St., Suite 4300

Houston, Texas 77002

Attention: Investor Relations

Telephone: (713) 584-1000

 

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PART II

INFORMATION NOT REQUIRED IN PROSPECTUS

Item 14. Other Expenses of Issuance and Distribution

Set forth below are the expenses (other than underwriting discounts and commissions) expected to be incurred in connection with the issuance and distribution of the securities registered hereby.

 

Securities and Exchange Commission registration fee

   $ 34,380   

Transfer agent and registrar fees

     *   

Trustee fees and expenses

     *   

Legal fees and expenses

     *   

Accounting fees and expenses

     *   

Printing and engraving expenses

     *   

Miscellaneous

     *   
  

 

 

 

Total

   $ *   
  

 

 

 

 

* These fees and expenses depend upon the number of issuances and the amount of securities offered and accordingly cannot be estimated at this time.

Item 15. Indemnification of Directors and Officers

Section 17-108 of the Delaware Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act empowers a Delaware limited partnership to indemnify and hold harmless any partner or other persons from and against any and all claims and demands whatsoever. The partnership agreement of Targa Resources Partners LP provides that the partnership will, to the fullest extent permitted by law but subject to the limitations expressly provided therein, indemnify and hold harmless its general partner, any Departing General Partner (as defined therein), any person who is or was an affiliate of the general partner or any Departing General Partner, any person who is or was a member, partner, officer, director, fiduciary or trustee of the general partner, any Departing General Partner, any Group Member (as defined therein) or any affiliate of the general partner, any Departing General Partner or any Group Member, or any person who is or was serving at the request of the general partner or any affiliate of the general partner, or any Departing General Partner or any affiliate of any Departing General Partner as an officer, director, member, partner, fiduciary or trustee of another person, or any person that the general partner designates as a Partnership Indemnitee for purposes of the partnership agreement (each, a “Partnership Indemnitee”) from and against any and 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 Partnership Indemnitee may be involved, or is threatened to be involved, as a party or otherwise, by reason of its status as a Partnership Indemnitee, provided that the Partnership Indemnitee shall not be indemnified and held harmless if there has been a final and non-appealable judgment entered by a court of competent jurisdiction determining that, in respect of the matter for which the Partnership Indemnitee is seeking indemnification, the Partnership Indemnitee acted in bad faith or engaged in fraud, willful misconduct or, in the case of a criminal matter, acted with knowledge that the Partnership Indemnitee’s conduct was unlawful. This indemnification would under certain circumstances include indemnification for liabilities under the Securities Act. To the fullest extent permitted by law, expenses (including legal fees and expenses) incurred by a Partnership Indemnitee who is indemnified pursuant to the partnership agreement in defending any claim, demand, action, suit or proceeding shall, from time to time, be advanced by the partnership prior to a determination that the Partnership Indemnitee is not entitled to be indemnified upon receipt by the partnership of any undertaking by or on behalf of the Partnership Indemnitee to repay such amount if it shall be determined that the Partnership Indemnitee is not entitled to be indemnified under the partnership agreement. Any indemnification under these provisions will be only out of the assets of the partnership.

Targa Resources Partners LP is authorized to purchase (or to reimburse its general partner or its affiliates for the costs of) insurance against liabilities asserted against and expenses incurred by its general partner, its affiliates and such other persons as its general partner may determine and described in the paragraph above in connection with their activities, whether or not they would have the power to indemnify such person against such liabilities under the provisions described in the paragraphs above. Targa Resources Partners LP’s general partner has purchased insurance covering its officers and directors against liabilities asserted and expenses incurred in connection with their activities as officers and directors of the general partner or any of its direct or indirect subsidiaries.

 

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Targa Resources Partners LP and Targa Resources GP LLC have entered into Indemnification Agreements (each, an “Indemnification Agreement”) with each independent director of Targa Resources GP LLC (each, an “Indemnitee”). Each Indemnification Agreement provides that each of the Partnership and Targa Resources GP LLC will indemnify and hold harmless each Indemnitee against Expenses (as defined in the Indemnification Agreement) to the fullest extent permitted or authorized by law, including the Delaware Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act and the Delaware Limited Liability Company Act in effect on the date of the agreement or as such laws may be amended to provide more advantageous rights to the Indemnitee. If such indemnification is unavailable as a result of a court decision and if the Partnership or Targa Resources GP LLC is jointly liable in the proceeding with the Indemnitee, the Partnership and Targa Resources GP LLC will contribute funds to the Indemnitee for his Expenses in proportion to relative benefit and fault of the Partnership or Targa Resources GP LLC on the one hand and Indemnitee on the other in the transaction giving rise to the proceeding.

Each Indemnification Agreement also provides that each of the Partnership and Targa Resources GP LLC will indemnify and hold harmless the Indemnitee against Expenses incurred for actions taken as a director or officer of the Partnership or Targa Resources GP LLC, or for serving at the request of the Partnership or Targa Resources GP LLC as a director or officer or another position at another corporation or enterprise, as the case may be, but only if no final and non-appealable judgment has been entered by a court determining that, in respect of the matter for which the Indemnitee is seeking indemnification, the Indemnitee acted in bad faith or engaged in fraud or willful misconduct or, in the case of a criminal proceeding, the Indemnitee acted with knowledge that the Indemnitee’s conduct was unlawful. The Indemnification Agreement also provides that the Partnership and Targa Resources GP LLC must advance payment of certain Expenses to the Indemnitee, including fees of counsel, subject to receipt of an undertaking from the Indemnitee to return such advance if it is ultimately determined that the Indemnitee is not entitled to indemnification.

Targa Resources Corp. (“Targa Corp.”), the indirect parent of TRI Resources Inc. (“Targa”), has entered into Indemnification Agreements (each, a “Targa Corp. Indemnification Agreement”) with each director and officer of Targa, including Messrs. Joyce, Perkins, Heim, McParland, Johnson, Whalen, Chung, Meloy, Kagan, Redd and Hwang (each, an “Indemnitee”). Each Targa Corp. Indemnification Agreement provides that Targa Corp. will indemnify and hold harmless each Indemnitee for Expenses (as defined in the Targa Corp. Indemnification Agreement) to the fullest extent permitted or authorized by law in effect on the date of the agreement or as it may be amended to provide more advantageous rights to the Indemnitee. If such indemnification is unavailable as a result of a court decision and if Targa Corp. and the Indemnitee are jointly liable in the proceeding, Targa Corp. will contribute funds to the Indemnitee for his Expenses in proportion to relative benefit and fault of Targa Corp. and Indemnitee in the transaction giving rise to the proceeding.

Each Targa Corp. Indemnification Agreement also provides that Targa Corp. will indemnify the Indemnitee for monetary damages for actions taken as a director or officer of Targa Corp., or for serving at Targa Corp.’s request as a director or officer or another position at another corporation or enterprise, as the case may be but only if (i) the Indemnitee acted in good faith and, in the case of conduct in his official capacity, in a manner he reasonably believed to be in the best interests of Targa Corp. and, in all other cases, not opposed to the best interests of Targa Corp. and (ii) in the case of a criminal proceeding, the Indemnitee must have had no reasonable cause to believe that his conduct was unlawful. The Targa Corp. Indemnification Agreement also provides that Targa Corp. must advance payment of certain Expenses to the Indemnitee, including fees of counsel, subject to receipt of an undertaking from the Indemnitee to return such advance if it is it is ultimately determined that the Indemnitee is not entitled to indemnification.

Item 16. Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

(a) Exhibits

The following documents are filed as exhibits to this registration:

 

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1.1**

      Form of Underwriting Agreement

4.1

  

   Certificate of Limited Partnership of Targa Resources Partners LP (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.2 to Targa Resources Partners LP’s Registration Statement on Form S-1 filed November 16, 2006 (File No. 333-138747))

4.2

      Certificate of Formation of Targa Resources GP LLC (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.3 to Targa Resources Partners LP’s Registration Statement on Form S-1 filed January 19, 2007 (File No. 333-138747))

4.3

      Agreement of Limited Partnership of Targa Resources Partners LP (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.3 to Targa Resources Partners LP’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed April 2, 2007 (File No. 001-33303))

4.4

      First Amended and Restated Agreement of Limited Partnership of Targa Resources Partners LP (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.1 to Targa Resources Partners LP’s current report on Form 8-K filed February 16, 2007 (File No. 001-33303))

4.5

      Amendment No. 1 to First Amended and Restated Agreement of Limited Partnership of Targa Resources Partners LP (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.5 to Targa Resources Partners LP’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed May 14, 2008 (File No. 001-33303))

4.6

      Amendment No. 2 to First Amended and Restated Agreement of Limited Partnership of Targa Resources Partners LP (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.1 to Targa Resources Partners LP’s current report on Form 8-K filed May 25, 2012 (File No. 001-33303))

4.7

      Limited Liability Company Agreement of Targa Resources GP LLC (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.4 to Targa Resources Partners LP’s Registration Statement on Form S-1 filed January 19, 2007 (File No. 333-138747))

4.8

      Specimen Unit Certificate representing common units (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 4.1 to Targa Resources Partners LP’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed April 2, 2007 (File No. 001-33303))

4.9

      Certificate of Incorporation of Targa Resources Partners Finance Corporation (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 4.8 to Targa Resources Partners LP’s Registration Statement on Form S-3 filed April 8, 2010 (File No. 333-165959))

4.10

      Bylaws of Targa Resources Partners Finance Corporation (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 4.9 to Targa Resources Partners LP’s Registration Statement on Form S-3 filed April 8, 2010 (File No. 333-165959)

4.11

      Form of Senior Indenture (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 4.10 to Targa Resources Partners LP’s Registration Statement on Form S-3 filed April 8, 2010 (File No. 333-165959)

4.12

      Form of Subordinated Indenture (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 4.11 to Targa Resources Partners LP’s Registration Statement on Form S-3 filed April 8, 2010 (File No. 333-165959)

4.13**

      Form of Debt Securities

5.1*

      Opinion of Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. as to the legality of the securities registered hereby

8.1*

      Opinion of Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. as to tax matters

12.1*

      Statement Regarding Computation of Ratios

23.1*

      Consent of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

23.2

      Consent of Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. (contained in Exhibits 5.1 and 8.1)

24.1

      Powers of Attorney (included on the signature pages of this registration statement)

25.1***

      Form T-1 Statement of Eligibility and Qualification under the Trust Indenture Act of 1939 of the Trustee under the Senior Indenture

25.2***

      Form T-1 Statement of Eligibility and Qualification under the Trust Indenture Act of 1939 of the Trustee under the Subordinated Indenture

 

* Filed herewith.
** To be filed as an exhibit to a report pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act or in a post-effective amendment to this registration statement.
*** To be filed in accordance with Section 310(a) of the Trust Indenture Act of 1939, as amended.

 

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Item 17. Undertakings.

The undersigned registrant hereby undertakes:

1. To file, during any period in which offers or sales are being made, a post-effective amendment to this registration statement:

(i) To include any prospectus required by Section 10(a)(3) of the Securities Act of 1933;

(ii) To reflect in the prospectus any facts or events arising after the effective date of the registration statement (or the most recent post-effective amendment thereof) which, individually or in the aggregate, represent a fundamental change in the information set forth in the registration statement. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any increase or decrease in volume of securities offered (if the total dollar value of securities offered would not exceed that which was registered) and any deviation from the low or high end of the estimated maximum offering range may be reflected in the form of prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to Rule 424(b) if, in the aggregate, the changes in volume and price represent no more than a 20% change in the maximum aggregate offering price set forth in the “Calculation of Registration Fee” table in the effective registration statement; and

(iii) To include any material information with respect to the plan of distribution not previously disclosed in the registration statement or any material change to such information in the registration statement;

provided, however, that paragraphs (a)(1)(i), (a)(1)(ii) and (a)(1)(iii) above do not apply if the registration statement is on Form S-3 and the information required to be included in a post-effective amendment by those paragraphs is contained in reports filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission by the registrant pursuant to section 13 or section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that are incorporated by reference in the registration statement, or is contained in a form of prospectus filed pursuant to Rule 424(b) that is part of the registration statement.

2. That, for the purpose of determining any liability under the Securities Act of 1933, each such post-effective amendment shall be deemed to be a new registration statement relating to the securities offered therein, and the offering of such securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering thereof.

3. To remove from registration by means of a post-effective amendment any of the securities being registered which remain unsold at the termination of the offering.

4. That, for the purpose of determining liability under the Securities Act of 1933 to any purchaser:

(i) Each prospectus filed by the registrant pursuant to Rule 424(b)(3) shall be deemed to be part of the registration statement as of the date the filed prospectus was deemed part of and included in the registration statement; and

(ii) Each prospectus required to be filed pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2), (b)(5), or (b)(7) as part of a registration statement in reliance on Rule 430B relating to an offering made pursuant to Rule 415(a)(1)(i), (vii), or (x) for the purpose of providing the information required by section 10(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 shall be deemed to be part of and included in the registration statement as of the earlier of the date such form of prospectus is first used after effectiveness or the date of the first contract of sale of securities in the offering described in the prospectus. As provided in Rule 430B, for liability purposes of the issuer and any person that is at that date an underwriter, such date shall be deemed to be a new effective date of the registration statement relating to the securities in the registration statement to which that prospectus relates, and the offering of such securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering thereof. Provided, however, that no statement made in a registration statement or prospectus that is part of the registration statement or made in a document incorporated or deemed incorporated by reference into the registration statement or prospectus that is part of the registration statement will, as to a purchaser with a time of contract of sale prior to such effective date, supersede or modify any statement that was made in the registration statement or prospectus that was part of the registration statement or made in any such document immediately prior to such effective date.

 

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5. That, for the purpose of determining liability of the registrant under the Securities Act of 1933 to any purchaser in the initial distribution of the securities, the undersigned registrant undertakes that in a primary offering of securities of the undersigned registrant pursuant to this registration statement, regardless of the underwriting method used to sell the securities to the purchaser, if the securities are offered or sold to such purchaser by means of any of the following communications, the undersigned registrant will be a seller to the purchaser and will be considered to offer or sell such securities to such purchaser:

(i) Any preliminary prospectus or prospectus of the undersigned registrant relating to the offering required to be filed pursuant to Rule 424;

(ii) Any free writing prospectus relating to the offering prepared by or on behalf of the undersigned registrant or used or referred to by the undersigned registrant;

(iii) The portion of any other free writing prospectus relating to the offering containing material information about the undersigned registrant or its securities provided by or on behalf of the undersigned registrant; and

(iv) Any other communication that is an offer in the offering made by the undersigned registrant to the purchaser.

6. For purposes of determining any liability under the Securities Act of 1933, each filing of the registrant’s annual report pursuant to section 13(a) or section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (and, where applicable, each filing of an employee benefit plan’s annual report pursuant to section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934) that is incorporated by reference in the registration statement shall be deemed to be a new registration statement relating to the securities offered therein, and the offering of such securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering thereof.

7. To file an application for the purpose of determining the eligibility of the trustee under subsection (a) of Section 310 of the Trust Indenture Act (“Act”) in accordance with the rules and regulations prescribed by the Securities and Exchange Commission under Section 305(b)(2) of the Act.

Insofar as indemnification for liabilities arising under the Securities Act of 1933 may be permitted to directors, officers and controlling persons of the registrant pursuant to the provisions set forth in response to Item 15, or otherwise, the registrant has been advised that in the opinion of the Securities and Exchange Commission such indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act of 1933 and is, therefore, unenforceable. In the event that a claim for indemnification against such liabilities (other than the payment by the registrant of expenses incurred or paid by a director, officer or controlling person of the registrant in the successful defense of any action, suit or proceeding) is asserted by such director, officer or controlling person in connection with the securities being registered, the registrant will, unless in the opinion of its counsel the matter has been settled by controlling precedent, submit to a court of appropriate jurisdiction the question whether such indemnification by it is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act of 1933 and will be governed by the final adjudication of such issue.

 

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SIGNATURES

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, the Registrant certifies that it has reasonable grounds to believe that it meets all of the requirements for filing on Form S-3 and has duly caused this Registration Statement to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized, in the City of Houston, in the State of Texas on July 6, 2012.

 

TARGA RESOURCES PARTNERS LP
By:   TARGA RESOURCES GP LLC,
  its General Partner
By:   /s/ Matthew J. Meloy
Name:   Matthew J. Meloy
Title:   Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
  (Principal Financial Officer)

KNOW ALL PERSONS BY THESE PRESENTS, that each person whose signature appears below hereby constitutes and appoints Joe Bob Perkins and Matthew J. Meloy, and each of them, with full power to act without the other, his true and lawful attorneys-in-fact and agents, with full power of substitution and resubstitution, for him and in his name, place and stead, in any and all capacities (until revoked in writing) to sign any and all amendments (including post-effective amendments) to this registration statement and any additional registration statement pursuant to Rule 462(b) of the Securities Act, and to file the same, together with all exhibits thereto and all other documents in connection therewith, with the Securities and Exchange Commission and any national exchange or self regulatory agency, to sign any and all applications, registration statements, notices and other documents necessary or advisable to comply with applicable state securities laws, and to file the same, together with all other documents in connection therewith, with the appropriate state securities authorities, granting unto said attorneys-in-fact and agents, or any of them or their or his substitutes or substitute, full power and authority to do and perform each and every act and thing requisite and necessary to be done, as fully to all intents and purposes as he might or could do and perform in person, hereby ratifying and confirming all that said attorneys-in-fact and agents, or any of them or their or his substitutes or substitute, may lawfully do or cause to be done by virtue hereof.

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, this registration statement has been signed by the following persons in the capacities indicated on the dates indicated:

 

Signature

  

Title

  

Date

/s/ Joe Bob Perkins

   Chief Executive Officer and Director    July 6, 2012

Joe Bob Perkins

   (Principal Executive Officer)   

/s/ Matthew J. Meloy

   Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer (Principal Financial Officer)    July 6, 2012

Matthew J. Meloy

     

/s/ John R. Sparger

   Senior Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer (Principal Accounting Officer)    July 6, 2012

John Robert Sparger

     

/s/ Rene R. Joyce

   Executive Chairman of the Board    July 6, 2012

Rene R. Joyce

     

 

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Signature

  

Title

  

Date

/s/ James W. Whalen

   Director    July 6, 2012

James W. Whalen

     

/s/ Peter R. Kagan

   Director    July 6, 2012

Peter R. Kagan

     

/s/ In Seon Hwang

   Director    July 6, 2012

In Seon Hwang

     

/s/ Barry R. Pearl

   Director    July 6, 2012

Barry R. Pearl

     

/s/ Robert B. Evans

   Director    July 6, 2012

Robert B. Evans

     

/s/ William D. Sullivan

   Director    July 6, 2012

William D. Sullivan

     

 

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SIGNATURES

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, the Registrant certifies that it has reasonable grounds to believe that it meets all of the requirements for filing on Form S-3 and has duly caused this Registration Statement to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized, in the City of Houston, in the State of Texas on July 6, 2012.

 

TARGA RESOURCES PARTNERS FINANCE CORPORATION
By:   /s/ Matthew J. Meloy

Name:

  Matthew J. Meloy

Title:

  Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
  (Principal Financial Officer)

KNOW ALL PERSONS BY THESE PRESENTS, that each person whose signature appears below hereby constitutes and appoints Joe Bob Perkins and Matthew J. Meloy, and each of them, with full power to act without the other, his true and lawful attorneys-in-fact and agents, with full power of substitution and resubstitution, for him and in his name, place and stead, in any and all capacities (until revoked in writing) to sign any and all amendments (including post-effective amendments) to this registration statement and any additional registration statement pursuant to Rule 462(b) of the Securities Act, and to file the same, together with all exhibits thereto and all other documents in connection therewith, with the Securities and Exchange Commission and any national exchange or self regulatory agency, to sign any and all applications, registration statements, notices and other documents necessary or advisable to comply with applicable state securities laws, and to file the same, together with all other documents in connection therewith, with the appropriate state securities authorities, granting unto said attorneys-in-fact and agents, or any of them or their or his substitutes or substitute, full power and authority to do and perform each and every act and thing requisite and necessary to be done, as fully to all intents and purposes as he might or could do and perform in person, hereby ratifying and confirming all that said attorneys-in-fact and agents, or any of them or their or his substitutes or substitute, may lawfully do or cause to be done by virtue hereof.

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, this registration statement has been signed by the following persons in the capacities indicated on the dates indicated:

 

Signature

  

Title

   Date

/s/ Joe Bob Perkins

   Chief Executive Officer and Director    July 6, 2012

Joe Bob Perkins

   (Principal Executive Officer)   

/s/ Matthew J. Meloy

   Senior Vice President, Chief Financial    July 6, 2012

Matthew J. Meloy

   Officer and Treasurer (Principal   
   Financial Officer)   

/s/ John R. Sparger

   Senior Vice President and Chief    July 6, 2012

John Robert Sparger

   Accounting Officer   
   (Principal Accounting Officer)   

 

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INDEX TO EXHIBITS

 

1.1**

      Form of Underwriting Agreement

4.1

      Certificate of Limited Partnership of Targa Resources Partners LP (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.2 to Targa Resources Partners LP’s Registration Statement on Form S-1 filed November 16, 2006 (File No. 333-138747))

4.2

      Certificate of Formation of Targa Resources GP LLC (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.3 to Targa Resources Partners LP’s Registration Statement on Form S-1 filed January 19, 2007 (File No. 333-138747))

4.3

      Agreement of Limited Partnership of Targa Resources Partners LP (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.3 to Targa Resources Partners LP’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed April 2, 2007 (File No. 001-33303))

4.4

      First Amended and Restated Agreement of Limited Partnership of Targa Resources Partners LP (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.1 to Targa Resources Partners LP’s current report on Form 8-K filed February 16, 2007 (File No. 001-33303))

4.5

      Amendment No. 1 to First Amended and Restated Agreement of Limited Partnership of Targa Resources Partners LP (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.5 to Targa Resources Partners LP’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed May 14, 2008 (File No. 001-33303))

4.6

      Amendment No. 2 to First Amended and Restated Agreement of Limited Partnership of Targa Resources Partners LP (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.1 to Targa Resources Partners LP’s current report on Form 8-K filed May 25, 2012 (File No. 001-33303))

4.7

      Limited Liability Company Agreement of Targa Resources GP LLC (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.4 to Targa Resources Partners LP’s Registration Statement on Form S-1 filed January 19, 2007 (File No. 333-138747))

4.8

      Specimen Unit Certificate representing common units (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 4.1 to Targa Resources Partners LP’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed April 2, 2007 (File No. 001-33303))

4.9

      Certificate of Incorporation of Targa Resources Partners Finance Corporation (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 4.8 to Targa Resources Partners LP’s Registration Statement on Form S-3 filed April 8, 2010 (File No. 333-165959))

4.10

      Bylaws of Targa Resources Partners Finance Corporation (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 4.9 to Targa Resources Partners LP’s Registration Statement on Form S-3 filed April 8, 2010 (File No. 333-165959))

4.11

      Form of Senior Indenture (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 4.10 to Targa Resources Partners LP’s Registration Statement on Form S-3 filed April 8, 2010 (File No. 333-165959)

4.12

      Form of Subordinated Indenture (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 4.11 to Targa Resources Partners LP’s Registration Statement on Form S-3 filed April 8, 2010 (File No. 333-165959)

4.13**

      Form of Debt Securities

5.1*

      Opinion of Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. as to the legality of the securities registered hereby

8.1*

      Opinion of Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. as to tax matters

12.1*

      Statement Regarding Computation of Ratios

23.1*

      Consent of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

23.2

      Consent of Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. (contained in Exhibits 5.1 and 8.1)

24.1

      Powers of Attorney (included on the signature pages of this registration statement)

25.1***

      Form T-1 Statement of Eligibility and Qualification under the Trust Indenture Act of 1939 of the Trustee under the Senior Indenture

25.2***

      Form T-1 Statement of Eligibility and Qualification under the Trust Indenture Act of 1939 of the Trustee under the Subordinated Indenture

 

* Filed herewith.
** To be filed as an exhibit to a report pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act or in a post-effective amendment to this registration statement.
*** To be filed in accordance with Section 310(a) of the Trust Indenture Act of 1939, as amended.