POS 8C 1 a18-3602_1pos8c.htm POS 8C

 

As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 16, 2018

 

Securities Act File No. 333-210697

Investment Company Act File No. 811-22843

 

 

United States

Securities and Exchange Commission

Washington, D.C. 20549

 


 

FORM N-2

 

x  Registration Statement under the Securities Act of 1933

 

o       Pre-Effective Amendment No. 

x      Post-Effective Amendment No. 4

 

and/or

 

x  Registration Statement under the Investment Company Act of 1940

 

x      Amendment No. 13

 


 

CENTER COAST BROOKFIELD MLP & ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE FUND

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Charter)

 


 

Brookfield Place, 250 Vesey Street

New York, New York 10281-1023

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

 

Registrant’s Telephone Number, Including Area Code: (855) 777-8001

 

Brian F. Hurley, Esq.

Brookfield Investment Management Inc.

Brookfield Place, 250 Vesey Street

New York, New York 10281-1023

(Name and Address of Agent for Service)

 


 

Copies to:

 

Thomas D. Peeney, Esq.

Michael K. Hoffman, Esq.

Kevin T. Hardy, Esq.

Brookfield Investment Management Inc.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Brookfield Place, 250 Vesey Street

Four Times Square

155 North Wacker Drive

New York, New York 10281-1023

New York, New York 10036

Chicago, Illinois 60606

 

Approximate date of proposed public offering: As soon as practicable after the effective date of this Registration Statement.

 

If any securities being registered on this form will be offered on a delayed or continuous basis in reliance on Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, other than securities offered in connection with a dividend reinvestment plan, check the following box . . . . x

 

It is proposed that this filing will become effective (check appropriate box):

 

x   When declared effective pursuant to section 8(c).

 

If appropriate, check the following box:

 

o    This [post-effective] amendment designates a new effective date for a previously filed [post-effective amendment] [registration statement].

 

o    This form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering is          .

 

 


 

The information in this Prospectus is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the Registration Statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This Prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.

 

Subject To Completion Preliminary Prospectus dated February 16, 2018  

 

PROSPECTUS

 

$150,000,000

Center Coast Brookfield MLP & Energy Infrastructure Fund

Common Shares

Subscription Rights for Common Shares

 

Investment Objective. Center Coast Brookfield MLP & Energy Infrastructure Fund (the “Fund”) is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company. The Fund’s investment objective is to provide a high level of total return with an emphasis on distributions to shareholders. The “total return” sought by the Fund includes appreciation in the net asset value of the Fund’s common shares and all distributions made by the Fund to its common shareholders, regardless of the tax characterization of such distributions, including distributions characterized as return of capital as a result of the characterization of the distributions received by the Fund from the MLPs in which the Fund invests. See “Distributions.” There can be no assurance that the Fund will achieve its investment objective.

 

Offering. The Fund may offer, from time to time, up to $150,000,000 aggregate initial offering price of common shares of beneficial interest, par value $0.01 per share (“Common Shares”) and/or subscription rights to purchase Common Shares (“Rights” and together with the “Common Shares”, “Securities”), in one or more offerings in amounts, at prices and on terms set forth in one or more supplements to this Prospectus (each a “Prospectus Supplement”). As of the date of this Prospectus, the Fund has issued and sold Common Shares with an aggregate offering price of approximately $71,334,884. As a result, approximately $78,665,116 of Securities remain available for subsequent offerings pursuant to this Prospectus. You should read this Prospectus and the applicable Prospectus Supplement carefully before you invest in the securities of the Fund. The Fund may offer Securities (1) directly to one or more purchasers, (2) through agents that the Fund may designate from time to time or (3) to or through underwriters or dealers. The Prospectus Supplement relating to a particular offering of Securities will identify any agents or underwriters involved in the sale of the Securities, and will set forth any applicable purchase price, fee, commission or discount arrangement between the Fund and agents or underwriters or among underwriters or the basis upon which such amount may be calculated. The Fund may not sell Securities through agents, underwriters or dealers without delivery of this Prospectus and a Prospectus Supplement. See “Plan of Distribution.”

 

Principal Investment Policies. The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing primarily in a portfolio of master limited partnerships (“MLPs”) and energy infrastructure companies. Under normal market conditions, the Fund will invest at least 80% of its Managed Assets (as defined in this Prospectus) in securities of MLPs and energy infrastructure companies. The Fund may invest up to 20% of its Managed Assets in unregistered or restricted securities, including securities issued by private energy infrastructure companies.

 

The Advisor intends to construct the Fund’s portfolio utilizing a three-pronged approach. The Advisor targets a “core” portfolio of MLPs and energy infrastructure companies that have (i) traditional fee-based businesses, (ii) high barriers to entry, (iii) low direct commodity price exposure and (iv) low demand elasticity or the potential for demand destruction. Examples include interstate pipelines, intrastate pipelines with long-term contracts and diversified revenue streams, and crude and gas storage and terminal facilities. In addition to this “core” portfolio, the Fund may invest a portion of its portfolio in shorter-term investments. These opportunistic transactions may be based on the Advisor’s view of factors including, but not limited to, market dislocations, projected trading demand imbalances, short-term market catalysts, commodity price volatility and interest rates and credit spreads along with other issuer-specific developments. Finally, the Fund intends to allocate up to 20% of its portfolio to private investment opportunities. At any given time the Fund anticipates making investments in a limited number of carefully selected private investments that the Fund may need to hold for several years. The Advisor believes it is uniquely positioned to analyze private investment opportunities sourced directly or co-investment opportunities made available to the Advisor by private equity firms or other sources. The breadth of Advisor personnel’s mergers and acquisitions background provides for a network of deep relationships with investment banking groups, management teams, private equity firms and significant shareholders seeking liquidity.

 

(continued on following page)

 

The date of this Prospectus is                        , 2018.

 


 

(continued from previous page)

 

Investing in the Fund’s Securities involves certain risks. See “Risks” on page 65 of this Prospectus.

 

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) 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.

 

Entities commonly referred to as master limited partnerships or MLPs are generally organized under state law as limited partnerships or limited liability companies and treated as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes. The Fund considers investments in MLPs to include investments that offer economic exposure to public and private MLPs in the form of equity securities of MLPs, securities of entities holding primarily general or limited partner or managing member interests in MLPs, securities that represent indirect investments in MLPs, including I-Shares (which represent an ownership interest issued by an affiliated party of a MLP) and debt securities of MLPs.

 

The Fund considers a company to be an “infrastructure company” if (i) at least 50% of its assets, income, sales or profits are committed to or derived from the development, construction, distribution, management, ownership, operation or financing of infrastructure assets; or (ii) a third party classification has given the company an industry or sector classification consistent with the infrastructure company designation. Infrastructure assets consist of those assets which provide the underlying foundation of basic services, facilities and institutions, including the production, processing, storage, transportation, manufacturing, servicing and distribution of oil and gas, petrochemicals and other energy resources, physical structures, networks, systems of transportation and water and sewage. The Fund considers an infrastructure company to be an “energy infrastructure company” if it (i) owns or operates, or is involved in the development, construction, distribution, management, ownership, operation or financing of, infrastructure assets within the energy sector, or (ii) provides material products or services to companies operating in the energy sector.

 

The Fund invests primarily in equity securities, but may invest up to 10% of its Managed Assets in debt securities. The Fund may, but is not required to, use various derivatives transactions in order to earn income or enhance total return, facilitate portfolio management and mitigate risks.

 

Advisor. Brookfield Investment Management Inc. (“Brookfield” or the “Advisor”), a Delaware corporation and a registered investment adviser under Investment Advisers Act of 1940, serves as the investment adviser to the Fund. Founded in 1989, the Advisor is a wholly owned subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management Inc., a publicly held global alternative asset manager focused on property, renewable power, infrastructure and private equity, with over $285 billion of assets under management as of December 31, 2017. The Advisor’s principal offices are located at Brookfield Place, 250 Vesey Street, 15th Floor, New York, New York 10281-1023.

 

Financial Leverage. The Fund currently intends to seek to enhance the level of its current distributions by utilizing financial leverage through borrowing, including loans from financial institutions, or the issuance of commercial paper or other forms of debt (“Borrowings”), through the issuance of senior securities such as preferred shares (“Preferred Shares”), through reverse repurchase agreements, dollar rolls or similar transactions or through a combination of the foregoing (collectively “Financial Leverage”). The Fund may utilize Financial Leverage up to the limits imposed by the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended. Under current market conditions, the Fund intends to utilize Financial Leverage through Borrowings from certain financial institutions and through the issuance of Preferred Shares in an amount ranging from 25% to 33% of the Fund’s Managed Assets, including the proceeds of such Financial Leverage. The Fund has entered into a revolving credit agreement (the “Credit Agreement”) with BNP Paribas Prime Brokerage, Inc. (“BNPP”). As of November 30, 2017, the Fund had outstanding borrowings under the Credit Agreement of $66.5 million (representing approximately 19% of the Fund’s Managed Assets). Additionally, the Fund currently utilizes Financial Leverage through Preferred Shares. On September 22, 2016, the Fund completed a private placement of 2,000 shares of Series A Mandatory Redeemable Preferred Shares (“MRP Shares”). Each MRP Share has a liquidation preference of $25,000, resulting in an aggregate liquidation preference of $50 million for all MRP Shares (representing approximately 14% of the Fund’s Managed Assets). The MRP Shares pay quarterly cash dividends at a rate of 4.29% per annum and have a term redemption date of September 26, 2026. As of November 30, 2017, the Fund had total Financial Leverage of $116.5 million representing 33% of the Fund’s Managed Assets. The costs associated with the issuance and use of Financial Leverage will be borne by the holders of the Common Shares. Financial Leverage is a speculative technique and investors should note that there are special risks and costs associated with Financial Leverage. There can be no assurance that a Financial Leverage strategy will be successful during any period in which it is employed. See “Use of Financial Leverage.”

 

Listing. The Fund’s currently outstanding Common Shares are, and the Common Shares offered by this Prospectus, will be, subject to notice of issuance, listed on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) under the symbol “CEN.” The net asset value of the Common Shares at the close of business on February 1, 2018 was $10.84 per share, and the last reported sale price of the Common Shares on the NYSE on such date was $10.93, representing a premium to net asset value of 0.83%. In connection with any offering of Rights, the Fund will provide information in the Prospectus Supplement for the expected trading market, if any, for Rights. See “Market and Net Asset Value Information.”

 

Taxation. Because of the Fund’s concentration in MLP investments, the Fund is not eligible to be treated as a “regulated investment company” under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). Instead, the Fund will be treated as a regular corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes and, as a result, unlike most investment companies, will be subject to corporate income tax to the extent the Fund recognizes taxable income. The Fund believes that as a result of the tax characterization of cash distributions made by MLPs, a significant portion of the Fund’s income will be tax-deferred.

 


 

However, there can be no assurance in this regard. If MLPs in which the Fund invests pay distributions that do not exceed the amount of taxable income allocable to limited partners or members, the Fund will have a larger corporate income tax expense than expected, which will result in less cash available to distribute to shareholders.

 

You should read this Prospectus, which contains important information about the Fund, together with any Prospectus Supplement, before deciding whether to invest, and retain it for future reference. A Statement of Additional Information, dated                 , 2018, containing additional information about the Fund, has been filed with the SEC and is incorporated by reference in its entirety into this Prospectus. You may request a free copy of the Statement of Additional Information, the table of contents of which is on page 113 of this Prospectus, or request other information about the Fund (including the Fund’s annual and semi-annual reports) or make shareholder inquiries by calling (855) 777-8001 or by writing to the Fund at Brookfield Place, 250 Vesey Street, New York, New York 10281-1023, or you may obtain a copy (and other information regarding the Fund) from the SEC’s web site (http://www.sec.gov). Free copies of the Fund’s reports will also be available from the Fund’s web site at www.brookfieldim.com.

 

The Fund’s Securities do not represent a deposit or obligation of, and are not guaranteed or endorsed by, any bank or other insured depository institution and are not federally insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve Board or any other government agency.

 


 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

Page

Prospectus Summary

 

1

Summary of Fund Expenses

 

45

Financial Highlights

 

47

Senior Securities

 

48

The Fund

 

48

Use of Proceeds

 

48

Market and Net Asset Value Information

 

48

Investment Objective and Policies

 

49

The Fund’s Investments

 

51

Use of Financial Leverage

 

61

Risks

 

65

Management of the Fund

 

90

Net Asset Value

 

91

Distributions

 

93

Dividend Reinvestment Plan

 

94

Description of Capital Structure

 

95

Anti-Takeover and Other Provisions in the Fund’s Governing Documents

 

99

Closed-End Fund Structure

 

100

Repurchase of Common Shares; Conversion to Open-End Fund

 

101

Taxation

 

101

Plan of Distribution

 

108

Custodian, Administrator and Transfer Agent

 

111

Investor Support Services

 

111

Legal Matters

 

111

Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

 

111

Additional Information

 

111

Privacy Principles of the Fund

 

112

Table of Contents of the Statement of Additional Information

 

113

 

You should rely only on the information contained or incorporated by reference in this Prospectus. The Fund has not authorized any other person to provide you with different information. If anyone provides you with different or inconsistent information, you should not rely on it. The Fund is not making an offer to sell these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted. You should assume that the information in this Prospectus is accurate only as of the date of this Prospectus. The Fund’s business, financial condition and prospects may have changed since that date.

 

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

 

This Prospectus contains or incorporates by reference forward-looking statements, within the meaning of the federal securities laws, that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements describe the Fund’s plans, strategies, and goals and the Fund’s beliefs and assumptions concerning future economic and other conditions and the outlook for the Fund, based on currently available information. In this Prospectus, words such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “expects,” “objectives,” “goals,” “future,” “intends,” “seeks,” “will,” “may,” “could,” “should,” and similar expressions are used in an effort to identify forward-looking statements, although some forward-looking statements may be expressed differently. The Fund is not entitled to the safe harbor for forward-looking statements pursuant to Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

 

 


 

PROSPECTUS SUMMARY

 

This is only a summary of information contained elsewhere in this Prospectus. This summary does not contain all of the information that you should consider before investing in the Fund’s Securities. You should carefully read the more detailed information contained in this Prospectus and any related Prospectus Supplement, especially the information set forth under the headings “Investment Objective and Policies” and “Risks.” You may also wish to request a copy of the Fund’s Statement of Additional Information, dated              , 2018 (the “SAI”), which contains additional information about the Fund.

 

The Fund

 

Center Coast Brookfield MLP & Energy Infrastructure Fund (the “Fund”) is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company.

 

 

 

 

 

Brookfield Investment Management Inc. (“Brookfield” or the “Advisor”) serves as the Fund’s investment advisor and is responsible for the management of the Fund.

 

 

 

 

The Offering

 

The Fund may offer, from time to time, up to $150,000,000 aggregate initial offering price of common shares of beneficial interest, par value $0.01 per share (“Common Shares”) and/or subscription rights to purchase Common Shares (“Rights” and together with the “Common Shares”, “Securities”), in one or more offerings in amounts, at prices and on terms set forth in one or more supplements to this Prospectus (each a “Prospectus Supplement”). As of the date of this Prospectus, the Fund has issued and sold Common Shares with an aggregate offering price of approximately $71,334,884. As a result, approximately $78,665,116 of Securities remain available for subsequent offerings pursuant to this Prospectus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You should read this Prospectus and the applicable Prospectus Supplement carefully before you invest in the Securities. The Fund may offer Securities (1) directly to one or more purchasers, (2) through agents that the Fund may designate from time to time, or (3) to or through underwriters or dealers. The Prospectus Supplement relating to a particular offering will identify any agents or underwriters involved in the sale of the Securities, and will set forth any applicable purchase price, fee, commission or discount arrangement between the Fund and agents or underwriters or among underwriters or the basis upon which such amount may be calculated. The Fund may not sell Securities through agents, underwriters or dealers without delivery of this Prospectus and a Prospectus Supplement describing the method and terms of the offering of Common Shares. See “Plan of Distribution.”

 

 

 

Use of Proceeds

 

Unless otherwise specified in a Prospectus Supplement, the Fund intends to invest the net proceeds of an offering of Securities in accordance with its investment objective and policies as stated herein. It is currently anticipated that the Fund will be able to invest substantially all of the net proceeds of an offering of Securities in accordance with its investment objective and policies within three months after the completion of any such offering. Pending such investment, it is anticipated that the proceeds will be invested in cash, cash equivalents or other securities, including U.S. government securities or high quality, short-term debt securities. The Fund may also use the proceeds for working capital purposes, including the payment of distributions, interest and operating expenses, although the Fund currently has no intent to issue Securities primarily for these purposes.

 

1


 

Investment Objective

 

The Fund’s investment objective is to provide a high level of total return with an emphasis on distributions to shareholders.

 

 

 

The “total return” sought by the Fund includes appreciation in the net asset value of the Fund’s Common Shares and all distributions made by the Fund to its Common Shareholders, regardless of the tax characterization of such distributions, including distributions characterized as return of capital as a result of the characterization of the distributions received by the Fund from the MLPs in which the Fund invests. See “Distributions.”

 

 

 

The Fund’s investment objective is considered fundamental and may not be changed without the approval of a majority of the outstanding voting securities (as defined in the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”)) of the Fund. The Fund cannot ensure investors that it will achieve its investment objective.

 

 

 

Investment Rationale

 

Investors should consider their investment goals, time horizons and risk tolerance before investing in the Fund. An investment in the Fund is not appropriate for all investors, and the Fund is not intended to be a complete investment program. The Fund is designed as a long-term investment and not as a trading vehicle. The Fund may be an appropriate investment for investors who are seeking:

 

 

 

 

 

·                  an efficient, single investment for accessing a portfolio of master limited partnerships (“MLPs”) and energy infrastructure companies;

 

 

 

 

 

·                  the opportunity for attractive tax-deferred distributions and capital appreciation;

 

 

 

 

 

·                  simplified tax reporting compared to direct investments in MLPs; and

 

 

 

·                  the professional, active management of Brookfield.

 

 

 

The Advisor believes that MLPs present a compelling investment opportunity. MLPs combine the tax benefits associated with limited partnerships with the liquidity of publicly traded securities. The types of MLPs in which the Fund intends to invest historically have made cash distributions to limited partners or members that exceed the amount of taxable income allocable to limited partners or members, due to a variety of factors, including significant non-cash deductions, such as depreciation and depletion. If the cash distributions exceed the taxable income reported in a particular tax year, the excess cash distributions would not be taxed as income to the Fund in that tax year but rather would be treated as a return of capital for federal income tax purposes to the extent of the Fund’s basis in its MLP units. If the MLPs in which the Fund invests pay distributions that do not exceed the amount of taxable income allocable to limited partners or members, the Fund may have a larger corporate income tax expense than expected, which will result in less cash available to distribute to shareholders.

 

 

 

 

 

Similarly, the Fund expects to distribute cash in excess of its earnings and profits to shareholders which may be treated as a return of capital to the extent of the shareholders’ bases in the Common Shares or Preferred Shares. As a result, shareholders may receive distributions that represent a return of capital although no assurance can be given in this regard. The portion of any distribution treated as return of capital will not be subject to tax currently, but will result in a reduction in basis in their Common Shares or Preferred Shares. Such a reduction in basis will result in the shareholder’s recognizing more gain or less loss (that is, will result in an increase of a shareholder’s tax liability) when the shareholder later sells Common Shares or Preferred Shares, even if such Common Shares or Preferred Shares have not increased in value or have, in fact, lost value. See “Distributions.”

 

2


 

 

 

The Advisor believes that energy infrastructure securities offer opportunistic investment possibilities. The Advisor intends to utilize its proprietary security selection process to identify energy infrastructure companies offering solid business fundamentals across the energy infrastructure business segment.

 

 

 

 

 

Furthermore, the closed-end structure allows the Fund to maintain a stable pool of assets, without the need to keep assets in low-yielding instruments like cash or cash equivalents or to liquidate assets, sometimes at inopportune times, to meet redemption requests.

 

 

 

Principal Investment Policies

 

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing primarily in a portfolio of master limited partnerships (“MLPs”) and energy infrastructure companies. Under normal market conditions, the Fund will invest at least 80% of its Managed Assets (as defined in this Prospectus) in securities of MLPs and energy infrastructure companies.

 

 

 

 

 

Entities commonly referred to as master limited partnerships or MLPs are generally organized under state law as limited partnerships or limited liability companies and treated as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes. The Fund considers investments in MLPs to include investments that offer economic exposure to public and private MLPs in the form of equity securities of MLPs, securities of entities holding primarily general or limited partner or managing member interests in MLPs, securities that represent indirect investments in MLPs, including I-Shares (which represent an ownership interest issued by an affiliated party of a MLP) and debt securities of MLPs.

 

 

 

 

 

The Fund considers a company to be an “infrastructure company” if (i) at least 50% of its assets, income, sales or profits are committed to or derived from the development, construction, distribution, management, ownership, operation or financing of infrastructure assets; or (ii) a third party classification has given the company an industry or sector classification consistent with the infrastructure company designation. Infrastructure assets consist of those assets which provide the underlying foundation of basic services, facilities and institutions, including the production, processing, storage, transportation, manufacturing, servicing and distribution of oil and gas, petrochemicals and other energy resources, physical structures, networks, systems of transportation and water and sewage. The Fund considers an infrastructure company to be an “energy infrastructure company” if it (i) owns or operates, or is involved in the development, construction, distribution, management, ownership, operation or financing of, infrastructure assets within the energy sector, or (ii) provides material products or services to companies operating in the energy sector.

 

 

 

The Fund may invest up to 20% of its Managed Assets in unregistered or restricted securities, including securities issued by private energy infrastructure companies. At any given time the Fund anticipates making investments in a limited number of carefully selected private company investments that the Fund may need to hold for several years. The Fund may invest in equity securities or debt securities, including debt securities issued with warrants to purchase equity securities or that are convertible into equity securities,

 

3


 

 

 

of private companies. The Fund’s private company investments may include investments in entities formed to own and operate particular energy infrastructure assets. The Fund may enter into private company investments identified by the Advisor or may co-invest in private company investment opportunities owned or identified by other third party investors, such as private equity firms. However, the Fund will not invest in private equity funds or other privately offered pooled investment funds. See “The Fund’s Investments—Unregistered and Restricted Securities.”

 

 

 

The Fund may invest up to 10% of its Managed Assets in securities of issuers located outside of North America.

 

 

 

The Fund invests primarily in equity securities, but may invest up to 10% of its Managed Assets in debt securities, including debt securities rated below investment grade (that is, rated Ba or lower by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”), BB or lower by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Group (“S&P”) or comparably rated by another statistical rating organization) or, if unrated, determined by the Advisor to be of comparable credit quality. Below investment grade securities, which are commonly referred to as “high yield” securities or “junk bonds” are considered predominantly speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal when due. Investments in debt securities of MLPs or energy infrastructure companies are included for purposes of the Fund’s policy of investing at least 80% of its Managed Assets in securities of MLPs and energy infrastructure companies (the “80% Policy”).

 

Investment Process

 

The Advisor combines energy sector operational expertise with financial market expertise to identify investments in securities of MLPs and energy infrastructure companies. The Advisor seeks to draw upon its unique experience to conduct thorough due diligence from an owner-operator perspective, utilizing its extensive network of relationships to identify both public and private MLP and energy infrastructure company investment opportunities. The Advisor’s due diligence process includes financial and valuation analysis centered on quantitative factors including cash flow, yield and relative valuation to establish a valuation target. Next the Advisor evaluates asset quality, considering factors such as contract structure, operating risk, competitive environment and growth potential. The Advisor also assesses management quality drawing on its previous experience with many of the management teams to evaluate their financial discipline, level of general partner support, operational expertise and strength of their business plan and their ability to execute it. Included in the diligence process is also an assessment of trading dynamics, including liquidity, identity and concentration of large holders, equity overhang and float.

 

 

 

 

 

The Advisor intends to construct the Fund’s portfolio utilizing a three-pronged approach.

 

 

 

 

 

The Advisor targets a “core” portfolio in which it seeks to own the highest quality midstream MLPs. Core investments possess the most durable long term cash flows in order to seek to maximize risk-adjusted total returns to shareholders with an emphasis on cash distributions. Generally, the Fund anticipates making core investments in MLPs and energy infrastructure companies that have (i) traditional fee-based businesses, (ii) high barriers

 

4


 

 

 

to entry, (iii) low direct commodity price exposure and (iv) low demand elasticity or the potential for demand destruction. Examples include interstate pipelines, intrastate pipelines with long-term contracts and diversified revenue streams, and crude and gas storage and terminal facilities.

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to this “core” portfolio, the Fund may invest a portion of its portfolio in shorter-term investments. These opportunistic transactions may be based on the Advisor’s view of factors including, but not limited to, market dislocations, projected trading demand imbalances, short-term market catalysts, commodity price volatility and interest rates and credit spreads along with other issuer-specific developments.

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, the Fund intends to allocate up to 20% of its portfolio to private investment opportunities. At any given time the Fund anticipates making investments in a limited number of carefully selected private investments that the Fund may need to hold for several years. The Advisor believes it is uniquely positioned to analyze private investment opportunities sourced directly or co-investment opportunities made available to the Advisor by private equity firms or other sources. The breadth of Advisor personnel’s mergers and acquisitions background provides for a network of deep relationships with investment banking groups, management teams, private equity firms and significant shareholders seeking liquidity. The Fund’s private investments may include investments in entities formed to own and operate particular energy infrastructure assets, but will not include interests in private investment funds. Many of the private investment opportunities are centered around assets or companies which may not have a great deal of publicly available information. The experience of the Advisor’s senior professionals in owning and operating midstream and energy infrastructure assets gives it the unique ability to assess the operating environment of private investment opportunities including, but not limited to, competitive environment, contract structure and operating risk.

 

The Fund’s Investments

 

Master Limited Partnerships or MLPs. Entities commonly referred to as MLPs are generally organized under state law as limited partnerships or limited liability companies and treated as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes. The securities issued by many MLPs are listed and traded on a securities exchange. If publicly traded, to be treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes, the entity must receive at least 90% of its income from qualifying sources as set forth in the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). These qualifying sources include interest, dividends, real estate rents, gain from the sale or disposition of real property, income and gain from mineral or natural resources activities, income and gain from the transportation or storage of certain fuels, gain from the sale or disposition of a capital asset held for the production of income described in the foregoing, and, in certain circumstances, income and gain from commodities or futures, forwards and options with respect to commodities. Mineral or natural resources activities include exploration, development, production, mining, processing, refining, marketing and transportation (including pipelines), of oil and gas, minerals, geothermal energy, fertilizer, timber or carbon dioxide.

 

5


 

 

 

MLPs typically have two classes of interests—general partner interests and limited partner interests. The general partner typically controls the operations and management of the MLP through an equity interest in the MLP. Limited partners own the remainder of the MLP and have a limited role in the MLP’s operations and management.

 

 

 

MLPs currently operate primarily within the energy sector. The Fund currently expects that under normal market conditions a significant portion of its investments will be in “midstream” MLPs. Midstream MLPs are engaged in the treating, gathering, compression, processing, transportation, transmission, fractionation, storage and terminalling of natural gas, natural gas liquids (including propane, ethane, butane and natural gasoline), crude oil, refined petroleum products (including gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel), other hydrocarbon by-products and other energy resources and their byproducts in a form that is usable by wholesale power generation, utility, petrochemical, industrial and gasoline customers, including pipelines, gas processing plants, liquefied natural gas facilities and other energy infrastructure. Pipeline MLPs are common carrier transporters of natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil or refined petroleum products. Pipeline MLPs derive revenue from capacity and transportation fees. Historically, pipeline output has been less exposed to cyclical economic forces due to its low cost structure and government-regulated nature. In addition, many pipeline MLPs may have less direct commodity price exposure relative to energy companies that own the relevant commodities because they do not own the product being shipped, but pipeline MLPs may nonetheless be indirectly impacted by fluctuations in commodity prices. Processing MLPs are gatherers and processors of natural gas as well as providers of transportation, fractionation and storage of natural gas liquids. Processing MLPs derive revenue from providing services to natural gas producers, which require treatment or processing before their natural gas commodity can be marketed to utilities and other end user markets. Revenue for the processor is fee based, although it is not uncommon to have some participation in the prices of the natural gas and natural gas liquids commodities for a portion of revenue. Midstream MLPs may also operate ancillary businesses including the marketing of the products and logistical services.

 

 

 

Other MLPs in which the Fund may invest may be classified as upstream MLPs, downstream MLPs, services MLPs, propane MLPs, coal MLPs, marine transportation MLPs or natural resources MLPs.

 

 

 

 

 

·                  Upstream MLPs are businesses engaged in the exploration, extraction, production and acquisition of natural gas, natural gas liquids and crude oil from geological reservoirs. An upstream MLP’s cash flow and distributions are driven by the amount of oil, natural gas, natural gas liquids and crude oil produced and the demand for and price of such commodities.

 

 

 

 

 

·                  Downstream MLPs are businesses engaged in refining, marketing and other “end-customer” distribution activities relating to refined energy sources, such as: customer-ready natural gas, propane and gasoline; the production and manufacturing of petrochemicals including olefins, polyolefins, ethylene and similar co-products as well as intermediates and derivatives; and the generation, transmission and distribution of power and electricity.

 

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·                  Services MLPs are engaged in the provision of services to energy-related businesses, such as oilfield services companies, which provide services to the petroleum exploration and production industry but do not produce or distribute petroleum themselves, gas compression companies and producers and providers of sand used in hydraulic fracturing.

 

 

 

 

 

·                  Propane MLPs are engaged in the distribution of propane to homeowners for space and water heating and to commercial, industrial and agricultural customers.

 

 

 

 

 

·                  Coal MLPs are engaged in the owning, leasing, managing, and production and sale of various grades of steam and metallurgical coal. The primary use of steam coal is for electrical generation, as a fuel for steam-powered generators by electrical utilities. The primary use of metallurgical coal is in the production of steel.

 

 

 

 

 

·                  Marine transportation MLPs provide transportation and distribution services for energy-related products through the ownership and operation of several types of vessels, such as crude oil tankers, refined product tankers, liquefied natural gas tankers, tank barges and tugboats.

 

 

 

 

 

·                  Natural resources MLPs include MLPs principally engaged in owning or developing non-energy natural resources, including timber and minerals.

 

 

 

Energy Infrastructure Companies. The Fund considers a company to be an “infrastructure company” if (i) at least 50% of its assets, income, sales or profits are committed to or derived from the development, construction, distribution, management, ownership, operation or financing of infrastructure assets; or (ii) a third party classification has given the company an industry or sector classification consistent with the infrastructure company designation. Infrastructure assets consist of those assets which provide the underlying foundation of basic services, facilities and institutions, including the production, processing, storage, transportation, manufacturing, servicing and distribution of oil and gas, petrochemicals and other energy resources, physical structures, networks, systems of transportation and water and sewage. The Fund considers an infrastructure company to be an “energy infrastructure company” if it (i) owns or operates, or is involved in the development, construction, distribution, management, ownership, operation or financing of, infrastructure assets within the energy sector, or (ii) provides material products or services to companies operating in the energy sector.

 

 

 

Energy infrastructure companies in which the Fund will invest may include companies involved in (i) exploration, development, production, gathering, treating, transportation, processing, fractionation, storage,

 

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refining, distribution, mining or marketing of natural gas, natural gas liquids (including propane), crude oil, refined petroleum products, petrochemicals, plastics and other hydrocarbon products, coal or other natural resources used to produce energy sources, (ii) provision of services and logistics with respect to the foregoing activities, and/or (iii) generation, transmission, sale or distribution of electric energy.

 

 

 

 

 

Short Sales. The Fund may engage in short sales. A short sale is a transaction in which the Fund sells a security it does not own in anticipation that the market price of that security will decline. To the extent the Fund engages in short sales, the Fund will not make a short sale, if, after giving effect to such sale, the market value of all securities sold short exceeds 20% of the value of its Managed Assets. The Fund may also make short sales “against the box” without respect to such limitations. In this type of short sale, at the time of the sale, the Fund owns, or has the immediate and unconditional right to acquire at no additional cost, the identical security. If the price of the security sold short increases between the time of the short sale and the time the Fund replaces the borrowed security, the Fund will incur a loss; conversely, if the price declines, the Fund will realize a capital gain. Any gain will be decreased, and any loss will be increased, by the transaction costs incurred by the Fund, including the costs associated with providing collateral to the broker-dealer (usually cash and liquid securities) and the maintenance of collateral with its custodian. Although the Fund’s gain is limited to the price at which it sold the security short, its potential loss is theoretically unlimited. The Fund may engage in short sales in connection with paired long-short trades to arbitrage pricing disparities in securities issued by MLPs or between MLPs and their affiliates.

 

 

 

 

Financial Leverage

 

The Fund currently intends to seek to enhance the level of its current distributions by utilizing financial leverage through borrowing, including loans from financial institutions, or the issuance of commercial paper or other forms of debt (“Borrowings”), through the issuance of senior securities such as preferred shares (“Preferred Shares”), through reverse repurchase agreements, dollar rolls or similar transactions or through a combination of the foregoing (collectively “Financial Leverage”). The Fund may utilize Financial Leverage up to the limits imposed by the 1940 Act. Under the 1940 Act, the Fund may utilize Financial Leverage in the form of Borrowings in an aggregate amount up to 331/3% of the Fund’s total assets immediately after such Borrowing and may utilize Financial Leverage in the form of Preferred Shares in an aggregate amount of up to 50% of the Fund’s total assets immediately after such issuance. Under current market conditions, the Fund intends to utilize Financial Leverage through Borrowings from certain financial institutions and through the issuance of Preferred Shares in an amount ranging from 25% to 33% of the Fund’s Managed Assets, including the proceeds of such Financial Leverage. The Fund may also utilize Borrowings in excess of such limits for temporary purposes such as the settlement of transactions.

 

 

 

 

The Fund has entered into a revolving credit agreement (the “Credit Agreement”) with BNP Paribas Prime Brokerage, Inc. (“BNPP”) pursuant to which the Fund may borrow up to a maximum commitment   

 

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amount of (1) $75,000,000 under a 179-day facility plus (2) additional amounts on a demand basis subject to the amount of the Fund’s pledged collateral and the limits imposed by the 1940 Act. The Fund pays a monthly financing changes based on a LIBOR-based variable rate and a commitment fee of 0.70% per annum on the unused portion of the maximum commitment amount. The Fund is required to pledge portfolio securities as collateral in an amount up to two times the loan balance outstanding (or more depending on the terms of the Credit Agreement) and has granted a security interest in the securities pledged to, and in favor of, BNPP as security for the loan balance outstanding. If the Fund fails to meet certain requirements, or maintain other financial covenants required under the Credit Agreement, the Fund may be required to repay immediately, in part or in full, the loan balance outstanding under the Credit Agreement, necessitating the sale of portfolio securities at potentially inopportune times. As of November 30, 2017, the Fund had outstanding borrowings under the Credit Agreement of $66.5 million (representing approximately 19% of the Fund’s Managed Assets).

 

Additionally, the Fund currently utilizes Financial Leverage through Preferred Shares. On September 22, 2016, the Fund completed a private placement of 2,000 shares of Series A Mandatory Redeemable Preferred Shares (“MRP Shares”). Each MRP Share has a liquidation preference of $25,000, resulting in an aggregate liquidation preference of $50 million for all MRP Shares (representing approximately 14% of the Fund’s Managed Assets). The MRP Shares pay quarterly cash dividends at a rate of 4.29% per annum and have a term redemption date of September 26, 2026. As of November 30, 2017, the Fund had total Financial Leverage of $116.5 million representing 33% of the Fund’s Managed Assets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So long as the net rate of return on the Fund’s investments purchased with the proceeds of Financial Leverage exceeds the cost of such Financial Leverage, such excess amounts will be available to pay higher distributions to holders of the Fund’s Common Shares. Any use of Financial Leverage must be approved by the Fund’s board of trustees (the “Board of Trustees”). There can be no assurance that a leveraging strategy will be implemented or that it will be successful during any period during which it is employed. During the time in which the Fund is utilizing Financial Leverage, the amount of the fees paid to the Advisor for investment advisory services will be higher than if the Fund did not utilize Financial Leverage because the fees paid will be calculated based on the Fund’s Managed Assets, which may create a conflict of interest between the Advisor and Common Shareholders. Because the Financial Leverage costs will be borne by the Fund at a specified rate, only the Fund’s Common Shareholders will bear the cost associated with Financial Leverage. Borrowings (and any Preferred Shares) have seniority over Common Shares. See “Use of Financial Leverage” and “Risks—Financial Leverage Risk.”

 

 

 

In connection with the Fund’s use of Financial Leverage, the Fund may enter into interest rate swap or cap transactions. The Fund would use interest rate swaps or caps to seek to reduce or eliminate the risk that an increase in short-term interest rates could have on Common Share net earnings as a result of leverage. See “Use of Financial Leverage—Interest Rate Transactions.”

 

 

 

Other Investment Practices

 

Derivatives Transactions. The Fund may, but is not required to, use various derivatives transactions in order to earn income or enhance total return, facilitate portfolio management and mitigate risks. Generally, a derivative is a financial contract the value of which depends upon, or is derived from, the value of an underlying asset, reference rate, or index, and may relate to individual debt or equity instruments, interest rates, currencies or currency exchange rates, commodities, related indexes, and other assets. The use of derivatives transactions to earn income or enhance total return may be particularly speculative. In the course of pursuing these investment strategies, the Fund may purchase and sell exchange-listed and over-the-counter put and call options on securities,

 

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equity and debt indices and other instruments, purchase and sell futures contracts and options thereon, and enter into various transactions such as swaps, caps, floors or collars. In addition, derivative transactions may also include new techniques, instruments or strategies that are permitted as regulatory changes occur. For a more complete discussion of the Fund’s investment practices involving transactions in derivatives and certain other investment techniques, see “Investment Objective and Policies—Derivative Instruments” in the Fund’s SAI.

 

 

 

 

 

Other Investment Funds. The Fund may invest up to 20% of its Managed Assets in securities of other investment funds, including registered closed-end or open-end investment companies, including exchange-traded funds. The Advisor generally expects that it may invest in other investment funds either during periods when it has large amounts of uninvested cash, such as the period shortly after the Fund receives the proceeds from an offering of Common Shares or during periods when there is a shortage of attractive securities available in the market. To the extent that the Fund invests in other investment companies that invest primarily in MLPs or energy infrastructure companies, the value of such investments will be counted for purposes of the Fund’s 80% Policy.

 

 

 

 

 

When Issued, Delayed Delivery Securities and Forward Commitments. The Fund may enter into forward commitments for the purchase or sale of securities, including on a “when issued” or “delayed delivery” basis, in excess of customary settlement periods for the type of security involved. The Fund will segregate with its custodian cash or liquid securities in an aggregate amount at least equal to the amount of its outstanding forward commitments. See “Investment Objective and Policies—Certain Other Investment Practices—When Issued, Delayed Delivery Securities and Forward Commitments.”

 

 

 

 

 

Repurchase Agreements. The Fund may enter into repurchase agreements. Repurchase agreements may be seen as loans by the Fund collateralized by underlying debt securities. Under the terms of a typical repurchase agreement, the Fund would acquire an underlying debt obligation for a relatively short period (usually not more than one week) subject to an obligation of the seller to repurchase, and the Fund to resell, the obligation at an agreed price and time. See “Investment Objective and Policies—Certain Other Investment Practices—Repurchase Agreements.”

 

 

 

 

 

Reverse Repurchase Agreements. The Fund may enter into reverse repurchase agreements. Under a reverse repurchase agreement, the Fund temporarily transfers possession of a portfolio instrument to another party, such as a bank or broker-dealer, in return for cash. At the same time, the Fund agrees to repurchase the instrument at an agreed upon time (normally within seven days) and price, which reflects an interest payment. Such agreements will be treated as subject to investment restrictions regarding “borrowings.” See “Investment Objective and Policies—Certain Other Investment Practices—Reverse Repurchase Agreements.”

 

 

 

 

 

Loans of Portfolio Securities. To increase income, the Fund may lend its portfolio securities to securities broker-dealers or financial institutions if (i) the loan is collateralized in accordance with applicable regulatory

 

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requirements and (ii) no loan will cause the value of all loaned securities to exceed 33% of the value of the Fund’s Managed Assets. See “Investment Objective and Policies—Certain Other Investment Practices—Loans of Portfolio Securities” in this Prospectus and “Investment Objective and Policies—Loans of Portfolio Securities” in the Fund’s SAI.

 

 

 

 

 

Temporary Defensive Investments. At any time when a temporary defensive posture is believed by the Advisor to be warranted (a “temporary defensive period”), the Fund may, without limitation, hold cash or invest its assets in money market instruments and repurchase agreements in respect of those instruments. The Fund may not achieve its investment objective during a temporary defensive period or be able to sustain its historical distribution levels. See “Investment Objective and Policies—Temporary Defensive Investments.”

 

Management of the Fund

 

Brookfield Investment Management Inc., a Delaware corporation and a registered investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended, serves as the Fund’s investment adviser pursuant to an investment advisor agreement with the Fund (the “Advisory Agreement”). Founded in 1989, the Advisor is a wholly owned subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management Inc., a publicly held global asset manager focused on property, power and other infrastructure assets with over $285 billion of assets under management as of December 31, 2017. The Advisor also serves as investment adviser to various other closed-end funds. As of December 31, 2017, the Advisor and its affiliates had over $16 billion in assets under management. The Advisor’s principal offices are located at Brookfield Place, 250 Vesey Street, New York, New York 10281-1023.

 

 

 

The Advisor generally manages its investments according to a process focused on quality and durability of cash flows. The Advisor combines the expertise of midstream and energy infrastructure operators and financial and investment professionals. The Advisor’s senior professionals include a former MLP chief executive officer and experienced investment professionals with an established track record of managing MLP investments as well as operating midstream and other energy infrastructure assets. The Advisor seeks to draw upon this unique experience to achieve a robust diligence process, structured investment process and access to a unique network of relationships to identify both public and private MLP and infrastructure investment opportunities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pursuant to the Advisory Agreement, the Advisor is responsible for managing the portfolio of the Fund in accordance with its stated investment objective and policies, makes investment decisions for the Fund, placing orders to purchase and sell securities on behalf of the Fund and managing the other business and affairs of the Fund, all subject to the supervision and direction of the Board of Trustees. As compensation for its services, the Fund pays the Advisor a fee, payable monthly, in an annual amount equal to 1.00% of the Fund’s average daily Managed Assets. “Managed Assets” means the total assets of the Fund, including the assets attributable to the proceeds from any forms of Financial Leverage, minus liabilities, other than liabilities related to any Financial Leverage.

 

 

 

Taxation

 

The Fund is treated as a regular corporation, or “C” corporation, for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Accordingly, the Fund generally is subject to U.S. federal income tax on its taxable income at the graduated rates applicable to corporations. Because of the Fund’s concentration in MLP investments, the Fund is not eligible to elect to be treated as a regulated investment company under the Code.

 

 

 

 

 

The types of MLPs in which the Fund intends to invest historically have made cash distributions to their limited partners in excess of the amount of their taxable income allocable to their limited partners. This is the result of

 

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a variety of factors, including significant non-cash deductions, such as accelerated depreciation. The portion, if any, of the cash distributions received by the Fund with respect to its investment in the equity securities of an MLP that exceeds the Fund’s allocable share of the MLP’s net taxable income will not be treated as taxable income to the Fund, but rather will be treated as a return of capital to the extent of the Fund’s basis in such MLP equity securities.

 

 

 

The Fund expects to pay cash distributions to its shareholders in excess of the Fund’s net taxable income. Distributions by the Fund of cash or property in respect of the Common Shares or Preferred Shares will be treated as dividends for U.S. federal income tax purposes to the extent paid from the Fund’s current or accumulated earnings and profits (as determined under U.S. federal income tax principles). Subject to certain holding period and other requirements, any such dividend will be eligible (i) to be treated as “qualified dividend income” in the case of shareholders taxed as individuals and (ii) for the dividends received deduction in the case of corporate shareholders. If the Fund’s distributions exceed the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits, such excess will be treated first as a tax-free return of capital to the extent of the shareholder’s tax basis in the Common Shares or Preferred Shares (thus reducing a shareholder’s adjusted tax basis in the Common Shares or Preferred Shares, as applicable), and thereafter as capital gain assuming the Common Shares or Preferred Shares are held as a capital asset. The Fund expects that a significant portion of its distributions on its Common Shares and Preferred Shares will constitute a tax-deferred return of capital. Upon the sale of Common Shares or Preferred Shares, a shareholder generally will recognize capital gain or loss equal to the difference between the amount realized on the sale and the shareholder’s adjusted tax basis in the Common Shares or Preferred Shares sold. See “Taxation.”

 

 

 

Distributions

 

The Fund intends to make regular monthly cash distributions to its shareholders.

 

 

 

The Fund believes that as a result of the tax characterization of cash distributions made by MLPs to their investors (such as the Fund), a portion of the Fund’s income will be tax-deferred return of capital. However, there can be no assurance in this regard. If MLPs in which the Fund invests pay distributions that do not exceed the amount of taxable income allocable to limited partners or members, the Fund will have a larger corporate income tax expense than expected, which will result in less cash available to distribute to shareholders.

 

 

 

In general, a portion of the Fund’s distribution will constitute a return of capital to a shareholder, rather than a dividend, to the extent such distribution exceeds the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits. The portion of any distribution treated as a return of capital will not be subject to tax currently, but will result in a corresponding reduction in a shareholder’s basis in Common Shares or Preferred Shares. Such a reduction in basis will result in the shareholder’s recognizing more gain or less loss (that is, will result in an increase of a shareholder’s tax liability) when the shareholder later sells Common Shares or Preferred Shares, even if such Common Shares or Preferred Shares have not increased in value or have, in fact, lost value. Distributions in excess of the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits that are in excess of a shareholder’s adjusted tax basis in its shares are generally treated as capital gains.

 

To the extent that the Fund makes a distribution that results in a return of shareholders’ invested capital, the Fund will have less capital with which to make investments.  The Fund anticipates that a portion of the Fund’s distributions will be characterized as return of capital.  Therefore, shareholders should not assume that the source of a distribution is from earnings and profits.  Pursuant to the requirements of the 1940 Act, in the event the Fund makes distributions from sources other than income, a notice will accompany each monthly distribution with respect to the estimated source of the distribution made.

 

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The Fund’s distribution rate will vary based upon the distributions received from underlying investments. To permit it to maintain a more stable monthly distribution rate, the Fund may distribute less or more than the entire amount of cash it receives from its investments in a particular period. Any undistributed cash would be available to supplement future distributions and, until distributed, would add to the Fund’s net asset value. Correspondingly, such amounts, once distributed, will be deducted from the Fund’s net asset value. See “Distributions.”

 

 

 

Dividend Reinvestment Plan

 

If you hold your Common Shares in your own name or if you hold your Common Shares with a brokerage firm that participates in the Fund’s Automatic Dividend Reinvestment Plan (the “Plan”), unless you elect to receive cash, all dividends and distributions that are declared by the Fund will be automatically reinvested in additional Common Shares of the Fund pursuant to the Plan. If you hold your Common Shares with a brokerage firm that does not participate in the Plan, you will not be able to participate in the Plan and any dividend reinvestment may be effected on different terms than those described above. Consult your financial advisor for more information. See “Dividend Reinvestment Plan.”

 

 

 

Listing and Symbol

 

The Fund’s currently outstanding Common Shares are, and the Common Shares offered by this Prospectus, will be, subject to notice of issuance, listed on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) under the symbol “CEN.” In connection with any offering of Rights, the Fund will provide information in the Prospectus Supplement for the expected trading market, if any, for Rights.

 

 

 

Special Risk Considerations

 

Not a Complete Investment Program. An investment in the Common Shares of the Fund should not be considered a complete investment program. The Fund is not meant to provide a vehicle for those who wish to play short-term swings in the stock market. Each Common Shareholder should take into account the Fund’s investment objective as well as the Common Shareholder’s other investments when considering an investment in the Fund.

 

 

 

 

 

Investment and Market Risk. An investment in the Fund is subject to investment risk, including the possible loss of the entire principal amount that you invest. An investment in the Common Shares of the Fund represents an indirect investment in the securities owned by the Fund. The value of those securities may fluctuate, sometimes rapidly and unpredictably. The value of the securities owned by the Fund will affect the value of the Common Shares. At any point in time, your Common Shares may be worth less than your original investment, including the reinvestment of Fund dividends and distributions.

 

 

 

 

 

Management Risk. The Fund is subject to management risk because it has an actively managed portfolio. The Advisor will apply investment techniques and risk analyses in making investment decisions for the Fund, but there can be no guarantee that these will produce the desired results.

 

 

 

Risks of Investing in MLP Units. The Fund’s investments in MLP units expose the Fund to risks that differ from a similar investment in equity securities, such as common stock, of a corporation. Holders of MLP units have the rights typically afforded to limited partners in a limited partnership. As compared

 

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to common shareholders of a corporation, holders of MLP units have more limited control and limited rights to vote on matters affecting the partnership. There are certain tax risks associated with an investment in MLP units. Additionally, conflicts of interest may exist between common unit holders, subordinated unit holders and the general partner of an MLP; for example, a conflict may arise as a result of incentive distribution payments, as such an incentive structure may result in divergent and potentially conflicting interests between common unitholders and the general partner, which may have more motivation to pursue projects with high risk and high potential reward.

 

 

 

 

 

Tax Risks. As a result of the unique characteristics of MLP investments, the Fund will be subject to certain tax related risks.

 

 

 

MLP Tax Risk. The Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective will depend largely on the amount of the distributions it receives (in relation to the taxable income it recognizes) with respect to its investments in the MLPs, which is something over which the Fund will have no control. Much of the benefit the Fund derives from its investment in equity securities of MLPs is a result of MLPs generally being treated as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Partnerships do not pay U.S. federal income tax at the partnership level. Rather, each partner of a partnership, in computing its U.S. federal income tax liability, will include its allocable share of the partnership’s income, gains, losses, deductions and expenses. A change in current tax law, or a change in the business of a given MLP, could result in an MLP being treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes, which would result in such MLP being required to pay U.S. federal income tax on its taxable income. The classification of an MLP as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes would have the effect of reducing the amount of cash available for distribution by the MLP and generally causing such distributions received by the Fund to be taxed as dividend income. Thus, if any of the MLPs owned by the Fund were treated as corporations for U.S. federal income tax purposes, the after-tax return to the Fund with respect to its investment in such MLPs would be materially reduced, which could cause a substantial decline in the value of the Common Shares and Preferred Shares.

 

 

 

Deferred Tax Risks of MLP Investments. To the extent that the Fund invests in the equity securities of an MLP, the Fund will be a partner in such MLP. Accordingly, the Fund will be required to include in its taxable income the Fund’s allocable share of the income, gains, losses, deductions and expenses recognized by each such MLP, regardless of whether the MLP distributes cash to the Fund. Historically, MLPs have been able to offset a significant portion of their income with tax deductions. The portion, if any, of a distribution received by the Fund from an MLP that is offset by the MLP’s tax deductions is essentially treated as tax-deferred return of capital. However, any such deferred tax will be reflected in the Fund’s adjusted basis in the equity securities of the MLP, which will result in an increase in the amount of gain (or decrease in the amount of loss) that will be recognized by the Fund for tax purposes on the sale of any such equity securities. In addition, the Fund will incur a current income tax liability on the portion of its allocable share of an MLP’s income that

 

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is not offset by its allocable share of tax deductions. The percentage of an MLP’s income that is offset by the MLP’s tax deductions will fluctuate over time. For example, new acquisitions by MLPs generate accelerated depreciation and other tax deductions, and therefore a decline in acquisition activity by the MLPs owned by the Fund could increase the Fund’s current tax liability. If the percentage of the distributions received by the Fund that is offset by tax deductions declines, or the Fund’s portfolio turnover increases, the portion of the distributions paid by the Fund that is treated as tax-deferred return of capital and/or capital gain, as the case may be, would be reduced and the portion treated as taxable dividend income would be increased. This generally would result in lower after-tax distributions to shareholders.

 

 

 

 

 

Because the Fund is treated as a regular corporation, or “C” corporation, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, the Fund will incur tax expenses. In calculating the Fund’s net asset value in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, the Fund will, among other things, account for its deferred tax liability and/or asset balances.

 

 

 

 

 

The Fund will accrue a deferred income tax liability balance, at the currently effective statutory U.S. federal income tax rate plus an estimated state and local income tax rate, for its future tax liability associated with the capital appreciation of its investments and the distributions received by the Fund on equity securities of MLPs considered to be return of capital and for any net operating gains. Any deferred tax liability balance will reduce the Fund’s net asset value. The portion, if any, of a distribution on an MLP equity security received by the Fund that is offset by the MLP’s tax deductions or losses will be treated as a return of capital. However, those distributions will reduce the Fund’s adjusted tax basis in the equity securities of the MLP, which will result in an increase in the amount of income or gain (or a decrease in the amount of loss) that will be recognized on the sale of the equity security in the MLP by the Fund. Upon the Fund’s sale of a portfolio security, the Fund will be liable for previously deferred taxes. No assurance can be given that such taxes will not exceed the Fund’s deferred tax liability assumptions for purposes of computing the Fund’s net asset value per share, which would result in an immediate reduction of the Fund’s net asset value per share, which could be material.

 

 

 

 

 

The Fund will accrue a deferred tax asset balance which reflects an estimate of the Fund’s future tax benefit associated with net operating losses and unrealized losses. Any deferred tax asset balance will increase the Fund’s net asset value. A deferred tax asset may be used to reduce a subsequent period’s income tax expense, subject to certain limitations. To the extent the Fund has a deferred tax asset balance, the Fund will assess whether a valuation allowance, which would offset some or all of the value of the Fund’s deferred tax asset balance, is required, considering all positive and negative evidence related to the realization of the Fund’s deferred tax asset. The Fund will assess whether a valuation allowance is required to offset some or all of any deferred tax asset balance based on estimates of the Fund in connection with the calculation of the Fund’s net asset value per share; however, to the extent the final valuation allowance

 

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differs from the estimates of the Fund used in calculating the Fund’s net asset value, the application of such final valuation allowance could have a material impact on the Fund’s net asset value.

 

 

 

 

 

The Fund’s deferred tax liability and/or asset balances are estimated using estimates of effective tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the years such balances are realized. The Fund will rely to some extent on information provided by MLPs regarding the tax characterization of the distributions made by such MLPs, which may not be provided to the Fund on a timely basis, to estimate the Fund’s deferred tax liability and/or asset balances for purposes of financial statement reporting and determining its net asset value. The Fund’s estimates regarding its deferred tax liability and/or asset balances will be made in good faith; however, the estimate of the Fund’s deferred tax liability and/or asset balances used to calculate the Fund’s net asset value could vary dramatically from the Fund’s actual tax liability, and, as a result, the determination of the Fund’s actual tax liability may have a material impact on the Fund’s net asset value. From time to time, the Fund may modify its estimates or assumptions regarding its deferred tax liability and/or asset balances as new information becomes available. Modifications of the Fund’s estimates or assumptions regarding its deferred tax liability and/or asset balances and any applicable valuation allowance, changes in generally accepted accounting principles or related guidance or interpretations thereof, limitations imposed on net operating losses (if any) and changes in applicable tax law could result in increases or decreases in the Fund’s net asset value per share, which could be material.

 

 

 

 

 

Changes in tax laws or regulations, or future interpretations of such laws or regulations, could adversely affect the Fund or the MLP entities in which the Fund invests. See “Risks—Tax Risks—Tax Law Change Risk.”

 

 

 

Tax Reporting Risk.  Shareholders will receive a single Form 1099, while the Fund will receive Schedule K-1s from each MLP in which it is invested. However, the MLPs in which the Fund invests generally will not deliver their Schedule K-1s to the Fund until after the Fund must deliver Form 1099s to its shareholders.  If the Schedule K-1s received by the Fund show that the Fund’s estimates regarding its income attributable to such MLPs were incorrect, the Fund may have to send corrected Form 1099s to its shareholders, which may result in a shareholder being required to request an extension to file its tax return or to amend a previously filed tax return.

 

 

 

Affiliated Party Risk. Certain MLPs in which the Fund may invest depend upon their parent or sponsor entities for the majority of their revenues. Were their parent or sponsor entities to fail to make such payments or satisfy their obligations, the revenues and cash flows of such MLPs and ability of such MLPs to make distributions to unit holders, such as the Fund, would be adversely affected.

 

 

 

 

 

Equity Securities Risk. A substantial percentage of the Fund’s assets will be invested in equity securities, including MLP common units, MLP subordinated units, MLP preferred units, equity securities of MLP affiliates, including I-Shares, and common stocks of other issuers. Equity risk is the risk that MLP units or other equity securities held by the Fund will fall due to general market or economic conditions, perceptions regarding the industries in which the issuers of securities held by the Fund participate, changes in interest rates, and the particular circumstances and performance of particular companies whose securities the Fund holds. The price of an equity security of an issuer may be particularly sensitive to general movements in the stock market; or a drop in the stock market may depress the price of most or all of the equity securities held by the Fund. In addition, MLP units or other equity securities held by the Fund may decline in price if the issuer fails to make anticipated distributions or

 

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dividend payments because, among other reasons, the issuer experiences a decline in its financial condition.

 

 

 

 

 

MLP subordinated units typically are convertible to MLP common units at a one-to-one ratio. The price of MLP subordinated units is typically tied to the price of the corresponding MLP common unit, less a discount. The size of the discount depends upon a variety of factors, including the likelihood of conversion, the length of time remaining until conversion and the size of the block of subordinated units being purchased or sold.

 

 

 

 

 

The Fund may invest in equity securities issued by affiliates of MLP, including general partners of MLPs. Such issuers may be organized and/or taxed as corporations and therefore may not offer the advantageous tax characteristics of MLP units. Investments in such MLP affiliates would be expected by the Advisor to provide economic exposure to the MLP asset class; however, such investments may not exhibit precise price correlation to any particular MLP or the MLP asset class generally.

 

 

 

 

 

I-Shares represent an indirect investment in MLP I-units. Prices and volatilities of I-Shares tend to correlate to the price of common unit, although the price correlation may not be precise. I-Shares differ from MLP common units primarily in that instead of receiving cash distributions, holders of I-Shares will receive distributions of additional I-Shares, in an amount equal to the cash distributions received by common unit holders. I-Shares have limited voting rights. Holders of I-Shares are subject to the same risks as holders of MLP common units.

 

 

 

 

 

Non-Diversification Risk. The Fund is a non-diversified investment company under the 1940 Act and will not elect to be treated as a regulated investment company under the Code. As a result, there are no regulatory requirements under the 1940 Act or the Code that limit the proportion of the Fund’s assets that may be invested in securities of a single issue. Accordingly, the Fund may concentrate its investments in a limited number of companies. As a consequence of this concentration, the aggregate returns the Fund realizes may be adversely affected if a small number of investments perform poorly. To the extent that the Fund takes large positions in the securities of a small number of portfolio companies, the Fund’s returns may fluctuate as a result of any single economic, political or regulatory occurrence affecting, or in the market’s assessment of, such portfolio companies to a greater extent than those of a diversified investment company. These factors could negatively impact the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective.

 

 

 

 

 

Concentration Risk. Because the Fund is focused in MLP and infrastructure companies operating in the industry or group of industries that make up the energy sector of the economy, the Fund may be more susceptible to risks associated with such sector. A downturn in such sector could have a larger impact on the Fund than on an investment company that does not concentrate in such sector. At times, the performance of securities of companies in the energy sector may lag the performance of other sectors or the broader market as a whole.

 

 

 

 

Energy Sector Risks. The MLPs and energy infrastructure companies in which the Fund invests operate in the energy sector of the economy. As a

 

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result, the Fund will be more susceptible to adverse economic or regulatory occurrences affecting the energy sector. A downturn in the energy sector of the economy could have a larger impact on the Fund than on an investment company that is broadly diversified across many sectors of the economy. Recently, the performance of securities of companies in the energy sector has lagged the performance of other sectors and the broader market as a whole. There are several risks associated with investments in MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector, including the following:

 

 

 

 

 

Commodity Price Risk. MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector companies may be affected by fluctuations in the prices of energy commodities, including, for example, natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil and coal, in the short- and long-term. Fluctuations in energy commodity prices would directly impact MLPs and energy infrastructure companies that own such commodities and could indirectly impact companies that engage in transportation, storage, processing, distribution or marketing of such commodities. Fluctuations in energy commodity prices can result from changes in general economic conditions or political circumstances (especially of key energy producing and consuming countries); market conditions; weather patterns; domestic production levels; volume of imports; energy conservation; domestic and foreign governmental regulation; international politics; policies of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (“OPEC”); taxation; tariffs; and the availability and costs of local, intrastate and interstate transportation methods. Companies engaged in crude oil and natural gas exploration, development or production, natural gas gathering and processing, crude oil refining and transportation and coal mining or sales may be directly affected by their respective natural resources commodity prices. The volatility of commodity prices may also indirectly affect certain companies engaged in the transportation, processing, storage or distribution of such commodities. Some companies that own the underlying commodities may be unable to effectively mitigate or manage direct margin exposure to commodity price levels. The energy sector as a whole may also be impacted by the perception that the performance of energy sector companies is directly linked to commodity prices. High commodity prices may drive further energy conservation efforts and a slowing economy may adversely impact energy consumption which may adversely affect the performance of MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector. Recently, oil prices have declined significantly and experienced significant volatility. This may adversely impact MLP entities and other companies operating in the energy sector. Such companies’ growth prospects and ability to pay high dividends may be negatively impacted, would could adversely impact the net asset value of the Common Shares and the ability of the Fund to continue to pay dividends at current levels. See “—Recent Developments Regarding the Energy Sector.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supply and Demand Risk. MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector may be impacted by the levels of supply and demand for energy commodities. MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector could be adversely affected by reductions in the supply of or demand for energy commodities. The volume of production of energy

 

18


 

 

 

commodities and the volume of energy commodities available for transportation, storage, processing or distribution could be affected by a variety of factors, including depletion of resources; depressed commodity prices; catastrophic events; labor relations; increased environmental or other governmental regulation; equipment malfunctions and maintenance difficulties; import volumes; international politics, policies of OPEC; and increased competition from alternative energy sources. Alternatively, a decline in demand for energy commodities could result from factors such as adverse economic conditions (especially in key energy-consuming countries); increased taxation; increased environmental or other governmental regulation; increased fuel economy; increased energy conservation or use of alternative energy sources; legislation intended to promote the use of alternative energy sources; or increased commodity prices. Demand for energy commodities has recently declined.  Reductions in production of oil and other energy commodities may lag decreases in demand or declines in commodity prices, resulting in global oversupply in such commodities.  See “—Recent Developments Regarding the Energy Sector.”

 

 

 

Depletion Risk. MLPs and other energy companies engaged in the exploration, development, management, gathering or production of energy commodities face the risk that commodity reserves are depleted over time. Such companies seek to increase their reserves through expansion of their current businesses, acquisitions, further development of their existing sources of energy commodities or exploration of new sources of energy commodities or by entering into long-term contracts for additional reserves; however, there are risks associated with each of these potential strategies. If such companies fail to acquire additional reserves in a cost-effective manner and at a rate at least equal to the rate at which their existing reserves decline, their financial performance may suffer. Additionally, failure to replenish reserves could reduce the amount and affect the tax characterization of the distributions paid by such companies.

 

 

 

 

 

Lack of Diversification of Customers and Suppliers. Certain MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector depend upon a limited number of customers for substantially all of their revenue. Similarly, certain MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector depend upon a limited number of suppliers of goods or services to continue their operations. The loss of any such customers or suppliers could materially adversely affect such companies’ results of operations and cash flow, and their ability to make distributions to unit holders, such as the Fund, would therefore be materially adversely affected.

 

 

 

 

 

Regulatory Risk. The energy sector is highly regulated. MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector are subject to significant regulation of nearly every aspect of their operations by federal, state and local governmental agencies. Examples of governmental regulations which impact MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector include regulation of the construction, maintenance and operation of facilities, environmental regulation, safety regulation, labor regulation, trade regulation and the regulation of the prices charged for products and services. Compliance with these regulations is enforced by numerous governmental agencies and authorities through administrative, civil and criminal penalties. Stricter laws or regulations or stricter enforcement policies with respect to existing regulations would likely increase the costs of regulatory compliance and could have an adverse effect on the financial

 

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performance of MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector. MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector may be adversely affected by additional regulatory requirements enacted in response to environmental disasters, which may impose additional costs or limit certain operations by MLPs operating in various sectors.

 

 

 

 

 

Environmental Risk. There is an inherent risk that MLPs and energy infrastructure companies may incur environmental costs and liabilities due to the nature of their businesses and the substances they handle. For example, an accidental release from wells or gathering pipelines could subject them to substantial liabilities for environmental cleanup and restoration costs, claims made by neighboring landowners and other third parties for personal injury and property damage, and fines or penalties for related violations of environmental laws or regulations. Moreover, the possibility exists that stricter laws, regulations or enforcement policies could significantly increase the compliance costs of MLPs and energy infrastructure companies, and the cost of any remediation that may become necessary. MLPs or energy infrastructure companies may not be able to recover these costs from insurance.

 

 

 

 

 

Specifically, the operations of wells, gathering systems, pipelines, refineries and other facilities are subject to stringent and complex federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations. These include, for example: (i) the Federal Clean Air Act (“Clean Air Act”) and comparable state laws and regulations that impose obligations related to air emissions, (ii) the Federal Clean Water Act and comparable state laws and regulations that impose obligations related to discharges of pollutants into regulated bodies of water, (iii) the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) and comparable state laws and regulations that impose requirements for the handling and disposal of waste from facilities; and (iv) the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (“CERCLA”), also known as “Superfund,” and comparable state laws and regulations that regulate the cleanup of hazardous substances that may have been released at properties currently or previously owned or operated by MLPs or at locations to which they have sent waste for disposal.

 

 

 

 

 

Failure to comply with these laws and regulations may trigger a variety of administrative, civil and criminal enforcement measures, including the assessment of monetary penalties, the imposition of remedial requirements, and the issuance of orders enjoining future operations. Certain environmental statutes, including RCRA, CERCLA, the federal Oil Pollution Act and analogous state laws and regulations, impose strict, joint and several liability for costs required to clean up and restore sites where hazardous substances have been disposed of or otherwise released. Moreover, it is not uncommon for neighboring landowners and other third parties to file claims for personal injury and property damage allegedly caused by the release of hazardous substances or other waste products into the environment.

 

 

 

 

 

Voluntary initiatives and mandatory controls have been adopted or are being discussed both in the United States and worldwide to reduce emissions of “greenhouse gases” such as carbon dioxide, a by-product of

 

20


 

 

 

burning fossil fuels, and methane, the major constituent of natural gas, which many scientists and policymakers believe contribute to global climate change. These measures and future measures could result in increased costs to certain companies in which the Fund may invest to operate and maintain facilities and administer and manage a greenhouse gas emissions program and may reduce demand for fuels that generate greenhouse gases and that are managed or produced by companies in which the Fund may invest. In the wake of a Supreme Court decision holding that the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has some legal authority to deal with climate change under the Clean Air Act, the EPA and the Department of Transportation jointly wrote regulations to cut gasoline use and control greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks. The EPA has also issued regulations relating to the emission of greenhouse gasses by certain stationary facilities subject to permitting obligations under the Clean Air Act. These measures, and other programs addressing greenhouse gas emissions, could reduce demand for energy or raise prices, which may adversely affect the total return of certain of the Fund’s investments.

 

 

 

 

 

Acquisition Risk. MLPs and energy infrastructure companies owned by the Fund may depend on their ability to make acquisitions that increase adjusted operating surplus per unit in order to increase distributions to unit holders. The ability of such MLPs and energy infrastructure companies to make future acquisitions is dependent on their ability to identify suitable targets, negotiate favorable purchase contracts, obtain acceptable financing and outbid competing potential acquirers. To the extent that MLPs and other Fund investments are unable to make future acquisitions, or such future acquisitions fail to increase the adjusted operating surplus per unit, their growth and ability to make distributions to unit holders will be limited. There are risks inherent in any acquisition, including erroneous assumptions regarding revenues, acquisition expenses, operating expenses, cost savings and synergies; assumption of liabilities; indemnification; customer losses; key employee defections; distraction from other business operations; and unanticipated difficulties in operating or integrating new product areas and geographic regions.

 

 

 

 

 

Interest Rate Risk. Rising interest rates could increase the costs of capital thereby increasing operating costs and reducing the ability of MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector to carry out acquisitions or expansions in a cost-effective manner. As a result, rising interest rates could negatively affect the financial performance of MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector in which the Fund invests. Rising interest rates may also impact the price of the securities of MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector as the yields on alternative investments increase.

 

 

 

 

 

Weather Risks. Weather plays a role in the seasonality of some MLPs’ cash flows. MLPs in the propane industry, for example, rely on the winter season to generate almost all of their earnings. In an unusually warm winter season, propane MLPs experience decreased demand for their product. Although most MLPs can reasonably predict seasonal weather demand based on normal weather patterns, extreme weather conditions,

 

21


 

 

 

such as the hurricanes that severely damaged cities along the Gulf Coast in recent years, demonstrate that no amount of preparation can protect an MLP from the unpredictability of the weather. Further, climate change may result in increases in the frequency and severity of adverse weather events. The damage done by extreme weather also may serve to increase many MLPs’ insurance premiums.

 

 

 

 

 

Catastrophic Event Risk. MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector are subject to many dangers inherent in the production, exploration, management, transportation, processing and distribution of natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil, refined petroleum, petrochemicals and petroleum products and other hydrocarbons. These dangers include leaks, fires, explosions, damage to facilities and equipment resulting from natural disasters, inadvertent damage to facilities and equipment and terrorist acts. Since the September 11th terrorist attacks, the U.S. government has issued warnings that energy assets, specifically U.S. pipeline infrastructure, may be targeted in future terrorist attacks. These dangers give rise to risks of substantial losses as a result of loss or destruction of commodity reserves; damage to or destruction of property, facilities and equipment; pollution and environmental damage; and personal injury or loss of life. Any occurrence of such catastrophic events could bring about a limitation, suspension or discontinuation of the operations of MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector. MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector may not be fully insured against all risks inherent in their business operations and therefore accidents and catastrophic events could adversely affect such companies’ financial conditions and ability to pay distributions to shareholders.

 

 

 

 

 

Risks Relating to Expansions and Acquisitions. MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector employ a variety of means to increase cash flow, including increasing utilization of existing facilities, expanding operations through new construction or development activities, expanding operations through acquisitions, adding additional services or securing additional long-term contracts. Thus, some MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector may be subject to construction risk, development risk, acquisition risk or other risks arising from their specific business strategies. MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector that attempt to grow through acquisitions may not be able to effectively integrate acquired operations with their existing operations. In addition, acquisition or expansion projects may not perform as anticipated. A significant slowdown in merger and acquisition activity in the energy sector could reduce the growth rate of cash flows received by the Fund from MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector that grow through acquisitions.

 

 

 

 

 

Technology Risk. Some MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector are focused on developing new technologies and are strongly influenced by technological changes. Technology development efforts by MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector may not result in viable methods or products. Energy Companies may bear high research and development costs, which can limit their ability to maintain operations during periods of organizational growth or instability. Some MLPs and

 

22


 

 

 

other companies operating in the energy sector may be in the early stages of operations and may have limited operating histories and smaller market capitalizations on average than companies in other sectors. As a result of these and other factors, the value of investments in such MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector may be considerably more volatile than that in more established segments of the economy.

 

 

 

 

 

Legislation Risk. There have been proposals in Congress to eliminate certain tax incentives widely used by oil and gas companies and to impose new fees on certain energy producers. The elimination of such tax incentives and imposition of such fees could adversely affect MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector in which the Fund invests and/or the energy sector generally.

 

 

 

Recent Developments Regarding the Energy Sector. Prices of oil and other energy commodities have declined significantly and experienced significant volatility during recent years and oil prices have recently approached ten year lows.  Companies engaged in crude oil and natural gas exploration, development or production, natural gas gathering and processing, crude oil refining and transportation and coal mining or sales may be directly affected by their respective natural resources commodity prices. The volatility of commodity prices may also indirectly affect certain companies engaged in the transportation, processing, storage or distribution of such commodities. Some companies that own the underlying commodities may be unable to effectively mitigate or manage direct margin exposure to commodity price levels. The energy sector as a whole may also be impacted by the perception that the performance of energy sector companies is directly linked to commodity prices. As a result, many companies in which the Fund may invest have been and may continue to be adversely impacted by declines in, and volatility of, prices of energy commodities. Demand for energy commodities has recently declined.  Reductions in production of oil and other energy commodities may lag decreases in demand or declines in commodity prices, resulting in global oversupply in such commodities.  Slower global growth may lower demand for oil and other energy commodities and increased exports by Iran with the end of sanctions may increase supply, exacerbating oversupply of such commodities and further reducing commodity prices. Continued low prices for energy commodities, or continued volatility of such prices, could further erode such companies’ growth prospects and negatively impact such companies’ ability to sustain attractive distribution levels, would could adversely impact the NAV of the Common Shares and the ability of the Fund to continue to pay distributions on the Common Shares at current levels. Because the Fund is focused in MLP and energy infrastructure companies operating in the industry or group of industries that make up the energy sector of the economy, the Fund may be more susceptible to risks associated with energy commodity prices than an investment company that does not concentrate in such sector.

 

 

 

The Fund expects that a substantial portion of the cash flow it receives will be derived from its investments in equity securities of MLPs and energy infrastructure companies. The amount and tax characterization of cash available for distribution will depend upon the amount of cash generated by such entity’s operations. Cash available for distribution may vary widely from quarter to quarter and is affected by various factors affecting the entity’s operations.  Recently, a number of MLPs have reduced, suspended or eliminated their distributions.   Such distribution reductions could adversely impact the ability of the Fund to continue to pay distributions on the Common Shares at current levels.

 

 

 

Adverse developments in the energy sector may result in MLPs seeking to restructure debt or file for bankruptcy.  Limited partners in such MLPs, such as the Fund, may owe taxes on debt that is forgiven in a bankruptcy or an out-of-court restructuring, as cancellation of debt income, which creates a tax liability for investors without an associated cash distribution.  While an MLP facing a debt restructuring may seek to implement structures that would limit the tax liability associated with the debt restructuring, there can be no assurance that such structures could be successfully implemented or would not have other adverse impacts on the Fund as an investor in the MLP.

 

 

 

Industry Specific Risks. MLPs and other issuers are also subject to risks that are specific to the industry in which they operate.

 

 

 

 

 

Midstream. Midstream MLPs and energy companies that provide crude oil, refined product and natural gas services are subject to supply and demand fluctuations in the markets they serve which will be impacted by a wide range of factors including, fluctuating commodity prices, weather, increased conservation or use of alternative fuel sources, increased governmental or environmental regulation, depletion, rising interest rates, declines in domestic or foreign production, accidents or catastrophic events, and economic conditions, among others. Pipeline companies are subject to the demand for natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil or refined products in the markets they serve, changes in the availability of products for gathering, transportation, processing or sale due to natural declines in reserves and production in the supply areas serviced by the companies’ facilities, sharp decreases in crude oil or natural gas prices that cause producers to curtail production or reduce capital spending for exploration activities, and environmental regulation. Demand for gasoline, which accounts for a substantial portion of refined product transportation, depends on price, prevailing economic conditions in the markets served, and demographic and seasonal factors. Companies that own interstate pipelines that transport natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil or refined petroleum products are subject to regulation by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) with respect to the tariff rates they may charge for transportation services. An adverse determination by FERC with respect to the tariff rates of such a company could have a material adverse effect on its business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows of those companies and their ability to pay cash distributions or dividends. In addition, FERC has a tax allowance policy, which permits such companies to include in their cost of service an income tax allowance to the extent that their owners have an actual or potential tax liability on the income generated by them. If FERC’s income tax allowance policy were to change in the future to disallow a material portion of the income tax allowance taken by such interstate pipeline companies, it would adversely impact the maximum tariff rates that such companies are permitted to charge for their transportation services, which would in turn adversely affect the results of operations and cash flows of those companies and their ability to pay cash distributions or dividends to their

 

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unit holders or shareholders. Gathering and processing companies are subject to natural declines in the production of oil and natural gas fields, which utilize their gathering and processing facilities as a way to market their production, prolonged declines in the price of natural gas or crude oil, which curtails drilling activity and therefore production, and declines in the prices of natural gas liquids and refined petroleum products, which cause lower processing margins. In addition, some gathering and processing contracts subject the gathering or processing company to direct commodities price risk.

 

 

 

 

 

Upstream. Exploration, development and production companies are particularly vulnerable to declines in the demand for and prices of crude oil and natural gas. Reductions in prices for crude oil and natural gas can cause a given reservoir to become uneconomic for continued production earlier than it would if prices were higher, resulting in the plugging and abandonment of, and cessation of production from, that reservoir. In addition, lower commodity prices not only reduce revenues but also can result in substantial downward adjustments in reserve estimates. The accuracy of any reserve estimate is a function of the quality of available data, the accuracy of assumptions regarding future commodity prices and future exploration and development costs and engineering and geological interpretations and judgments. Different reserve engineers may make different estimates of reserve quantities and related revenue based on the same data. Actual oil and gas prices, development expenditures and operating expenses will vary from those assumed in reserve estimates, and these variances may be significant. Any significant variance from the assumptions used could result in the actual quantity of reserves and future net cash flow being materially different from those estimated in reserve reports. In addition, results of drilling, testing and production and changes in prices after the date of reserve estimates may result in downward revisions to such estimates. Substantial downward adjustments in reserve estimates could have a material adverse effect on a given exploration and production company’s financial position and results of operations. In addition, due to natural declines in reserves and production, exploration and production companies must economically find or acquire and develop additional reserves in order to maintain and grow their revenues and distributions.

 

 

 

 

 

Downstream. Downstream companies are businesses engaged in refining, marketing and other “end-customer” distribution activities relating to refined energy sources, such as: customer-ready natural gas, propane and gasoline; the production and manufacturing of petrochemicals including olefins, polyolefins, ethylene and similar co-products as well as intermediates and derivatives; and the generation, transmission and distribution of power and electricity. In addition to the other risks described herein, downstream companies may be more susceptible to risks associated with reduced customer demand for the products and services they provide.

 

 

 

 

 

Oil and Gas Production. In addition to other risks described herein, companies involved in the transportation, gathering, processing, exploration, development or production of crude oil, natural gas and/or

 

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refined petroleum products are subject to supply and demand fluctuations in the markets they serve which will be impacted by a wide range of factors including, fluctuating commodity prices, weather, increased conservation or use of alternative fuel sources, increased governmental or environmental regulation, depletion, rising interest rates, declines in domestic or foreign production, accidents or catastrophic events and economic conditions, among others. For example, hydraulic fracturing, a technique used in the completion of some oil and gas wells, has become a subject of increasing regulatory scrutiny and may be subject in the future to more stringent, and more costly to comply with, regulations. In addition the oil and gas industries may be adversely affected by increased regulations, increased operating costs and reductions in the supply of and/or demand for crude oil, natural gas and refined petroleum products as a result of accidents or catastrophic events and the reactions thereto.

 

 

 

 

 

Fracturing Services. Changes in laws or government regulations regarding hydraulic fracturing could increase a company’s costs of doing business, limit the areas in which it can operate and reduce oil and natural gas production by the company. Congress has in recent legislative sessions considered legislation to amend the Safe Water Drinking Act, including legislation that would repeal the exemption for hydraulic fracturing from the definition of “underground injection” and require federal permitting and regulatory control of hydraulic fracturing, as well as legislative proposals to require disclosure of the chemical constituents of the fluids used in the fracturing process, were proposed in recent sessions of Congress. In addition, the EPA has asserted federal regulatory authority over certain hydraulic fracturing activities. If hydraulic fracturing becomes regulated at the federal level as a result of federal legislation or regulatory initiatives by the EPA, fracturing activities could become subject to additional permitting requirements, and also to attendant permitting delays and potential increases in cost, which could adversely affect a company’s business. See “Risks—Industry Specific Risks—Fracturing Services Risk.”

 

 

 

 

 

Propane. Propane MLPs are subject to earnings variability based upon weather conditions in the markets they serve, fluctuating commodity prices, increased use of alternative fuels, increased governmental or environmental regulation, and accidents or catastrophic events, among others.

 

 

 

 

 

Coal. MLPs and energy companies with coal assets are subject to supply and demand fluctuations in the markets they serve which will be impacted by a wide range of factors including, fluctuating commodity prices, the level of their customers’ coal stockpiles, weather, increased conservation or use of alternative fuel sources, increased governmental or environmental regulation, depletion, rising interest rates, declines in domestic or foreign production, mining accidents or catastrophic events, health claims and economic conditions, among others. MLPs and energy companies with coal assets are also subject to supply variability based on geological conditions that reduce the productivity of mining operations, the availability of regulatory permits for mining activities and the availability of coal that meets the standards of the Clean Air Act.

 

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Marine Transportation. Marine transportation companies are exposed to the highly cyclical nature of the tanker industry and may be subject to volatile changes in charter rates and vessel values, which may adversely affect the earnings of tanker companies. Fluctuations in charter rates and vessel values result from changes in the supply and demand for tanker capacity and changes in the supply and demand for oil and oil products. Changes in demand for transportation of oil over longer distances and the supply of tankers to carry that oil may materially affect the revenues, profitability and cash flows of tanker companies. The successful operation of vessels in the charter market depends upon, among other things, obtaining profitable spot charters and minimizing time spent waiting for charters and traveling unladen to pick up cargo. The value of tanker vessels may fluctuate and could adversely affect the value of tanker company securities in the Fund’s portfolio. Declining tanker values could affect the ability of tanker companies to raise cash by limiting their ability to refinance their vessels, thereby adversely impacting tanker company liquidity. Tanker company vessels are at risk of damage or loss because of events such as mechanical failure, collision, human error, war, terrorism, piracy, cargo loss and bad weather. In addition, changing economic, regulatory and political conditions in some countries, including political and military conflicts, have from time to time resulted in attacks on vessels, mining of waterways, piracy, terrorism, labor strikes, boycotts and government requisitioning of vessels. These sorts of events could interfere with shipping lanes and result in market disruptions and a significant loss of tanker company earnings.

 

 

 

 

 

Natural Resources. The natural resources sector includes companies principally engaged in owning or developing non-energy natural resources (including timber and minerals) and industrial materials, or supplying goods or services to such companies. The Fund’s investments in MLPs in the natural resources sector will be subject to the risk that prices of these securities may fluctuate widely in response to the level and volatility of commodity prices; exchange rates; import controls; domestic and global competition; environmental regulation and liability for environmental damage; mandated expenditures for safety or pollution control; the success of exploration projects; depletion of resources; tax policies; and other governmental regulation. Investments in the natural resources sector can be significantly affected by changes in the supply of or demand for various natural resources. The value of investments in the natural resources sector may be adversely affected by a change in inflation.

 

 

 

 

 

Services. In addition to other risks associated with energy companies described herein, MLPs engaged in the provision of services to energy-related businesses may be subject to more volatile income streams relative to other types of MLPs. Service companies may not have long term service contracts with their customers.

 

 

 

 

 

Small Capitalization Risk. The Fund may invest in securities of MLPs and other issuers that have comparatively smaller capitalizations relative to issuers whose securities are included in major benchmark indices, which present unique investment risks. These companies often have limited product lines, markets, distribution channels or financial resources; and

 

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the management of such companies may be dependent upon one or a few key people. The market movements of equity securities issued by MLPs and other companies with smaller capitalizations may be more abrupt or erratic than the market movements of equity securities of larger, more established companies or the stock market in general. Historically, smaller capitalization MLPs and companies have sometimes gone through extended periods when they did not perform as well as larger companies. In addition, equity securities of smaller capitalization companies generally are less liquid than those of larger companies. This means that the Fund could have greater difficulty selling such securities at the time and price that the Fund would like.

 

 

 

Liquidity Risk. The Fund may invest up to 20% of its Managed Assets in unregistered or restricted securities, including securities issued by private energy infrastructure companies. To the extent the Fund makes investments in private securities, such investments are expected to be illiquid and subject to significant liquidity risk. In addition, the Fund may invest without limitation in publicly traded securities with limited trading volumes or that trade less frequently, including MLP common units, and equity securities of MLP affiliates, including I-Shares. The market movements of such securities with limited trading volumes may be more abrupt or erratic. As a result of the limited liquidity of such securities, the Fund could have greater difficulty selling such securities at the time and price that the Fund would like and may be limited in its ability to make alternative investments.

 

 

 

Restricted Securities Risk. The Fund may invest in unregistered or otherwise restricted securities. The term “restricted securities” refers to securities that are unregistered, held by control persons of the issuer or are subject to contractual restrictions on their resale. Restricted securities are often purchased at a discount from the market price of unrestricted securities of the same issuer reflecting the fact that such securities may not be readily marketable without some time delay. Such securities are often more difficult to value and the sale of such securities often requires more time and results in higher brokerage charges or dealer discounts and other selling expenses than does the sale of liquid securities trading on national securities exchanges or in the over-the-counter markets. Contractual restrictions on the resale of securities result from negotiations between the issuer and purchaser of such securities and therefore vary substantially in length and scope. To dispose of a restricted security that the Fund has a contractual right to sell, the Fund may first be required to cause the security to be registered. A considerable period may elapse between a decision to sell the securities and the time when the Fund would be permitted to sell, during which time the Fund would bear market risks.

 

 

 

Risks Associated with Private Company Investments. The Fund intends to invest in a limited number of private investments, and at times may devote its assets allocable to private investments to a single investment opportunity. Such a focus of the Fund's private investments in a single or small number of investment opportunities will cause the Fund to be more susceptible to risks associated with each such investment. Private companies are not subject to SEC reporting requirements, are not required to maintain their accounting records in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and are not required to maintain effective internal controls over financial reporting. As a result, the Advisor may not have timely or accurate information about the business, financial condition and results of operations of the private companies in which the Fund invests. There is risk that the Fund may invest on the basis of incomplete or inaccurate

 

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information, which may adversely affect the Fund’s investment performance. Private companies in which the Fund may invest may have limited financial resources, shorter operating histories, more asset concentration risk, narrower product lines and smaller market shares than larger businesses, which tend to render them more vulnerable to competitors’ actions and market conditions, as well as general economic downturns. These companies generally have less predictable operating results, may from time to time be parties to litigation, may be engaged in rapidly changing businesses with products subject to a substantial risk of obsolescence, and may require substantial additional capital to support their operations, finance expansion or maintain their competitive position. These companies may have difficulty accessing the capital markets to meet future capital needs, which may limit their ability to grow or to repay their outstanding indebtedness upon maturity. In addition, the Fund’s investment also may be structured as pay-in-kind securities with minimal or no cash interest or dividends until the company meets certain growth and liquidity objectives.

 

 

 

Private Company Management Risk. Private companies are more likely to depend on the management talents and efforts of a small group of persons; therefore, the death, disability, resignation or termination of one or more of these persons could have a material adverse impact on the company. The Fund generally does not intend to hold controlling positions in the private companies in which it invests. As a result, the Fund is subject to the risk that a company may make business decisions with which the Fund disagrees, and that the management and/or stockholders of a portfolio company may take risks or otherwise act in ways that are adverse to the Fund’s interests. Due to the lack of liquidity of such private investments, the Fund may not be able to dispose of its investments in the event it disagrees with the actions of a portfolio company and may therefore suffer a decrease in the value of the investment.

 

 

 

 

 

Private Company Liquidity Risk. Securities issued by private companies are typically illiquid. If there is no readily available trading market for privately issued securities, the Fund may not be able to readily dispose of such investments at prices that approximate those at which the Fund could sell them if they were more widely traded.

 

 

 

 

 

Private Company Valuation Risk. There is typically not a readily available market value for the Fund’s private investments. The Fund values private company investments in accordance with valuation guidelines adopted by the Board of Trustees, that the Board of Trustees believes are designed to accurately reflect the fair value of securities valued in accordance with such guidelines. The Fund is not required to but may utilize the services of one or more independent valuation firms to aid in determining the fair value of these investments. Valuation of private company investments may involve application of one or more of the following factors: (i) analysis of valuations of publicly traded companies in a similar line of business, (ii) analysis of valuations for comparable merger or acquisition transactions, (iii) yield analysis and (iv) discounted cash flow analysis. Due to the inherent uncertainty and subjectivity of determining the fair value of investments that do not have a readily available market value, the

 

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fair value of the Fund’s private investments may differ significantly from the values that would have been used had a readily available market value existed for such investments and may differ materially from the amounts the Fund may realize on any dispositions of such investments. In addition, the impact of changes in the market environment and other events on the fair values of the Fund’s investments that have no readily available market values may differ from the impact of such changes on the readily available market values for the Fund’s other investments. The Fund’ net asset value could be adversely affected if the Fund’s determinations regarding the fair value of the Fund’s investments were materially higher than the values that the Fund ultimately realizes upon the disposal of such investments.

 

 

 

 

 

Private Debt Securities Risk. Private companies in which the Fund invests may be unable to meet their obligations under debt securities held by the Fund, which may be accompanied by a deterioration in the value of any collateral and a reduction in the likelihood of the Fund realizing any guarantees it may have obtained in connection with its investment. Private companies in which the Fund will invest may have, or may be permitted to incur, other debt that ranks equally with, or senior to, debt securities in which the Fund invests. Privately issued debt securities are often of below investment grade quality and frequently are unrated. “See Risks—Debt Securities Risks.”

 

 

 

 

 

Reliance on the Advisor Risk. The Fund may enter into private investments identified by the Advisor, in which case the Fund will be more reliant upon the ability of the Advisor to identify, research, analyze, negotiate and monitor such investments, than is the case with investments in publicly traded securities. As little public information exists about many private companies, the Fund will be required to rely on the Advisor’s diligence efforts to obtain adequate information to evaluate the potential risks and returns involved in investing in these companies. The costs of diligencing, negotiating and monitoring private investments will be borne by the Fund, which may reduce the Fund’s returns.

 

 

 

 

 

Co-Investment Risk. The Fund may also co-invest in private investments sourced by third party investors, such as private equity firms. While the Advisor will conduct independent due diligence before entering into any such investment, the Fund’s ability to realize a profit on such investments will be particularly reliant on the expertise of the lead investor in the transaction. To the extent that the lead investor in such a co-investment opportunity assumes control of the management of the private company, the Fund will be reliant not only upon the lead investor’s ability to research, analyze, negotiate and monitor such investments, but also on the lead investor’s ability to successfully oversee the operation of the company’s business. The Fund’s ability to dispose of such investments is typically severely limited, both by the fact that the securities are unregistered and illiquid and by contractual restrictions that may preclude the Fund from selling such investment. Often the Fund may exit such investment only in a transaction, such as an initial public offering or sale of the company, on terms arranged by the lead investor. Such investments may be subject to additional valuation risk, as the Fund’s ability to accurately determine the fair value of the investment may depend upon the

 

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receipt of information from the lead investor. The valuation assigned to such an investment through application of the Fund’s valuation procedures may differ from the valuation assigned to that investment by other co-investors.

 

 

 

 

 

Risks Associated with Direct Investment in Energy Infrastructure Assets. The Fund may invest in entities formed to own and operate particular energy infrastructure assets. Such investments will be dependent upon the success of third-party operators retained by the investors, including the Fund, to manage such assets. Such investments may subject the Fund to increased operational risks associated with the operation of infrastructure assets. Investments in infrastructure assets may be subject to greater risks associated with their illiquidity and valuation.

 

 

 

 

 

Greenfield Projects Risks. Greenfield projects are energy-related projects built by private joint ventures formed by energy infrastructure companies. Greenfield projects may include the creation of a new pipeline, processing plant or storage facility or other energy infrastructure asset that is integrated with the company’s existing assets. The Fund may invest in the equity of greenfield projects or the secured debt of greenfield projects. However, the Fund’s investment also may be structured as pay-in-kind securities with minimal or no cash interest or dividends until construction is completed, at which time interest payments or dividends would be paid in cash. Greenfield projects involve less investment risk than typical private equity financing arrangements. The primary risk involved with greenfield projects is execution risk or construction risk. Changing project requirements, elevated costs for labor and materials, and unexpected construction hurdles all can increase construction costs. Financing risk exists should changes in construction costs or financial markets occur. Regulatory risk exists should changes in regulation occur during construction or the necessary permits are not secured prior to beginning construction.

 

 

 

 

 

Private Company Competition Risk. Many entities may potentially compete with the Fund in making private investments. Many of these competitors are substantially larger and have considerably greater financial, technical and marketing resources than the Fund. Some competitors may have a lower cost of funds and access to funding sources that are not available to the Fund. In addition, some competitors may have higher risk tolerances or different risk assessments, which could allow them to consider a wider variety of, or different structures for, private investments than the Fund. Furthermore, many competitors are not subject to the regulatory restrictions that the 1940 Act imposes on the Fund. As a result of this competition, the Fund may not be able to pursue attractive private investment opportunities from time to time.

 

 

 

 

 

Risks Associated with an Investment in Initial Public Offerings. Securities purchased in initial public offerings (“IPOs”) are often subject to the general risks associated with investments in companies with small market capitalizations, and typically to a heightened degree. Securities issued in IPOs have no trading history, and information about the companies may be available for very limited periods. In addition, the prices of securities sold in an IPO may be highly volatile. At any particular time or from time to time, the Fund may not be able to invest in IPOs, or to invest to the extent

 

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desired, because, for example, only a small portion (if any) of the securities being offered in an IPO may be available to the Fund. In addition, under certain market conditions, a relatively small number of companies may issue securities in IPOs. The Fund’s investment performance during periods when it is unable to invest significantly or at all in IPOs may be lower than during periods when it is able to do so. IPO securities may be volatile, and the Fund cannot predict whether investments in IPOs will be successful.

 

 

 

 

 

Risks Associated with a Private Investment in Public Equity Transactions. Investors in private investment in public equity (“PIPE”) transactions purchase securities directly from a publicly traded company in a private placement transaction, typically at a discount to the market price of the company’s common stock. Because the sale of the securities is not registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), the securities are “restricted” and cannot be immediately resold by the investors into the public markets. Until the Fund can sell such securities into the public markets, its holdings will be less liquid and any sales will need to be made pursuant to an exemption under the Securities Act.

 

 

 

 

 

Cash Flow Risk. The Fund expects that a substantial portion of the cash flow it receives will be derived from its investments in equity securities of MLPs and energy infrastructure companies. The amount and tax characterization of cash available for distribution will depend upon the amount of cash generated by such entity’s operations. Cash available for distribution may vary widely from quarter to quarter and is affected by various factors affecting the entity’s operations. In addition to the risks described herein, operating costs, capital expenditures, acquisition costs, construction costs, exploration costs and borrowing costs may reduce the amount of cash that an MLP or energy infrastructure company has available for distribution in a given period.

 

 

 

 

 

Valuation Risk. Market prices generally will be unavailable for some of the Fund’s investments, including MLP subordinated units, direct ownership of general partner interests, restricted or unregistered securities of certain MLPs (including private MLPs) and other private issuers. The value of such investments will be determined by fair valuations determined by the Board of Trustees or its designee in accordance with procedures governing the valuation of portfolio securities adopted by the Board of Trustees. Proper valuation of such investments may require more reliance on the judgment of the Advisor than for valuation of securities for which an active trading market exists. In calculating the Fund’s net asset value, the Fund will account for deferred tax assets or liabilities, which reflect taxes on unrealized gains or losses, which are attributable to the temporary differences between fair market value and tax basis of the Fund’s assets, the net tax effects of temporary differences between the carrying amounts of the Fund’s assets and liabilities for financial reporting purposes relative to the amounts used for income tax purposes and the net tax benefit of accumulated net operating losses and capital losses. A deferred tax liability is recognized for temporary differences that will result in taxable amounts in future years. A deferred tax asset is recognized for temporary differences that will result in deductible amounts in future years and for

 

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carryforwards. A deferred tax asset may be used to reduce a subsequent period’s income tax expense, subject to certain limitations. To the extent the Fund has a deferred tax asset, the Fund will periodically assess whether a valuation allowance is required, considering all positive and negative evidence related to the realization of the deferred tax asset. The Fund may rely to some extent on information provided by the MLPs, which may not necessarily be timely, to estimate taxable income allocable to the MLP units held in the portfolio and to estimate the associated deferred tax asset or liability. Such estimates are made in good faith. From time to time, as new information becomes available, the Fund modifies its estimates or assumptions regarding the deferred tax asset or liability. Modifications of such estimates or assumptions or changes in applicable tax law could result in increases or decreases in the Fund’s net asset value per share.

 

 

 

 

 

Debt Securities Risks.

 

 

 

 

 

Credit Risk. An issuer of a debt security may be unable to make interest payments and repay principal. The Fund could lose money if the issuer of a debt obligation is, or is perceived to be, unable or unwilling to make timely principal and/or interest payments, or to otherwise honor its obligations. The downgrade of a security may further decrease its value.

 

 

 

Interest Rate Risk. Interest rate risk is the risk that debt securities, such as preferred and debt securities, and certain equity securities will decline in value because of a rise in market interest rates. When market interest rates rise, the market value of such securities generally will fall. These risks may be greater in the current market environment because interest rates are near historically low levels. Prevailing interest rates may be adversely impacted by market and economic factors. If interest rates rise the markets may experience increased volatility, which may adversely affect the value and/or liquidity of certain of the Fund’s investments. Increases in interest rates may adversely affect the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective.

 

 

 

 

 

During periods of rising interest rates, the average life of certain types of securities may be extended because of a lower likelihood of prepayments. This may lock in a below market interest rate, increase the security’s duration and reduce the value of the security. This is known as extension risk.

 

 

 

In typical interest rate environments, prices of debt securities with longer maturities generally fluctuate more in response to changes in interest rates than do the prices of debt securities with shorter-term maturities. Because the Fund may invest a portion of its assets in debt securities without regard

 

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to their maturities, to the extent the Fund invests in debt securities with longer maturities, the net asset value and market price of the Common Shares would fluctuate more in response to changes in interest rates than if the Fund were to invest such portion of its assets in shorter-term debt securities.

 

 

 

 

 

Market interest rates for investment grade debt securities in which the Fund may invest are significantly below historical average rates for such securities. Interest rates below historical average rates may result in increased risk that these rates will rise in the future (which would cause the value of the Fund’s net assets to decline) and may increase the degree to which asset values may decline in such events.

 

 

 

 

Lower Grade Securities Risk. The Fund may invest in debt securities rated below investment grade (that is, rated Ba or lower by Moody’s, BB or lower by S&P or comparably rated by another statistical rating organization) or, if unrated, determined by the Advisor to be of comparable credit quality. Below investment grade securities are commonly referred to as “high yield” securities or “junk bonds.” Investment in securities of below investment grade quality involves substantial risk of loss. Securities of below investment grade quality are predominantly speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal when due and therefore involve a greater risk of default or decline in market value due to adverse economic and issuer-specific developments. Securities of below investment grade quality display increased price sensitivity to changing interest rates and to a deteriorating economic environment. The market values for debt securities of below investment grade quality tend to be more volatile and such securities tend to be less liquid than investment grade debt securities. The ratings of Moody’s, S&P and other statistical rating organizations generally represent their opinions as to the quality of the bonds they rate. It should be emphasized, however, that such ratings are relative and subjective, are not absolute standards of quality, are subject to change and do not evaluate the market risk and liquidity of the securities. Rating agencies may fail to make timely changes in credit ratings and an issuer’s current financial condition may be better or worse than a rating indicates. To the extent that the issuer of a security pays a rating agency for the analysis of its security, an inherent conflict of interest may exist that could affect the reliability of the rating. Bonds with the same maturity, coupon and rating may have different yields while obligations of the same maturity and coupon with different ratings may have the same yield.

 

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Preferred Securities Risks. There are special risks associated with investing in preferred securities. Preferred securities may contain provisions that permit the issuer, at its discretion, to defer distributions for a stated period without any adverse consequences to the issuer. Preferred securities are subordinated to bonds and other debt securities in a company’s capital structure in terms of having priority to corporate income and liquidation payments, and therefore will be subject to greater credit risk than more senior debt securities. Preferred securities may be less liquid than many other securities, such as common stocks. See “Preferred Securities Risks.”

 

 

 

 

Convertible Instruments Risk. The Fund may invest in convertible instruments. A convertible instrument is a bond, debenture, note, preferred stock or other security that may be converted into or exchanged for a prescribed amount of common shares of the same or a different issuer within a particular period of time at a specified price or formula. Convertible debt securities have characteristics of both debt and equity investments. Convertible instruments are subject both to the stock market risk associated with equity securities and to the credit and interest rate risks associated with debt securities. See “Convertible Securities Risk.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foreign Securities Risk. Investments in the securities of foreign issuers involve certain considerations and risks not ordinarily associated with investments in securities of domestic issuers. Foreign companies are not generally subject to uniform accounting, auditing and financial standards and requirements comparable to those applicable to U.S. companies. Foreign securities exchanges, brokers and listed companies may be subject to less government supervision and regulation than exists in the United States. Dividend and interest income may be subject to withholding and other foreign taxes, which may adversely affect the net return on such investments. There may be difficulty in obtaining or enforcing a court judgment abroad. In addition, it may be difficult to effect repatriation of capital invested in certain countries. In addition, with respect to certain countries, there are risks of expropriation, confiscatory taxation, political or social instability or diplomatic developments that could affect assets of the Fund held in foreign countries. There may be less publicly available information about a foreign company than a U.S. company. Foreign securities markets may have substantially less volume than U.S. securities markets and some foreign company securities are less liquid than securities of otherwise comparable U.S. companies. Foreign markets also have different clearance and settlement procedures that could cause the Fund to encounter difficulties in purchasing and selling securities on such markets and may result in the Fund missing attractive investment opportunities or experiencing a loss. In addition, a portfolio that includes foreign securities can expect to have a higher expense ratio because of the increased transaction costs on non-U.S. securities markets and the increased costs of maintaining the custody of foreign securities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fund’s investments in foreign securities may include ADRs. ADRs are receipts issued by United States banks or trust companies in respect of

 

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securities of foreign issuers held on deposit for use in the United States securities markets. While ADRs may not necessarily be denominated in the same currency as the securities into which they may be converted, many of the risks associated with foreign securities may also apply to ADRs. In addition, the underlying issuers of certain depositary receipts, particularly unsponsored or unregistered depositary receipts, are under no obligation to distribute shareholder communications to the holders of such receipts, or to pass through to them any voting rights with respect to the deposited securities.

 

 

 

 

 

Derivatives Risks. The Fund may, but is not required to, utilize derivatives transactions, including transactions involving futures contracts, forwards, options and over-the-counter derivatives contracts, for purposes such as to seek to earn income or enhance total return, facilitate portfolio management and mitigate risks. The use of derivatives transactions to earn income or enhance total return may be particularly speculative. Participation in derivatives transactions involves investment risks and transaction costs to which the Fund would not be subject absent the use of these strategies. Derivatives generally involve leverage in the sense that the investment exposure created by the derivatives may be significantly greater than the Fund’s initial investment in the derivative. Accordingly, if the Fund enters into a derivative transaction, it could lose substantially more than the principal amount invested. If the Advisor’s predictions with respect to market conditions, liquidity, market values, interest rates and other applicable factors are inaccurate, the consequences to the Fund may leave the Fund in a worse position than if it had not used derivatives strategies. See “Risks—Derivatives Risks.”

 

 

 

 

 

Counterparty Risk. The Fund will be subject to credit risk with respect to the counterparties to the derivative contracts purchased by the Fund. If a counterparty becomes bankrupt or otherwise fails to perform its obligations under a derivative contract due to financial difficulties, the Fund may experience significant delays in obtaining any recovery under the derivative contract in a dissolution, assignment for the benefit of creditors, liquidation, winding-up, bankruptcy, or other analogous proceeding. In addition, in the event of the insolvency of a counterparty to a derivative transaction, the derivative transaction would typically be terminated at its fair market value. The Fund may obtain only a limited recovery or may obtain no recovery in such circumstances. Counterparty risk with respect to certain derivatives may be further complicated by recently enacted U.S. financial reform legislation. See “Risks—Counterparty Risk.”

 

 

 

 

 

Other Investment Funds Risk. The Fund may invest in securities of other open- or closed-end investment companies, including exchange-traded funds. As a shareholder in an investment company, the Fund would bear its ratable share of that investment company’s expenses, and would remain subject to payment of the Fund’s investment advisory fees with respect to the assets so invested. Common Shareholders would therefore be subject to duplicative expenses to the extent the Fund invests in other investment companies. In addition, the securities of other investment companies may also be leveraged and will therefore be subject to the

 

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same leverage risks described in this Prospectus. To the extent the Fund invests in exchange-traded funds or other investment companies that seek to track a specified index, such investments will be subject to tracking error risk.

 

 

 

 

 

ETNs Risk. Exchange-traded notes (“ETNs”) are subject to the risk that the sponsoring institutions will be unable to pay their obligations as well as the risks associated with investing in the securities that comprise the relevant index. See “Risks—ETN Risk.”

 

 

 

Financial Leverage Risk. Although the use of Financial Leverage by the Fund may create an opportunity for increased after-tax total return for the Common Shares, it also results in additional risks and can magnify the effect of any losses. If the income and gains earned on securities purchased with Financial Leverage proceeds are greater than the cost of Financial Leverage, the Fund’s return will be greater than if Financial Leverage had not been used. Conversely, if the income or gains from the securities purchased with such proceeds does not cover the cost of Financial Leverage, the return to the Fund will be less than if Financial Leverage had not been used. Financial Leverage involves risks and special considerations for shareholders, including the likelihood of greater volatility of net asset value, market price and dividends on the Common Shares than a comparable portfolio without leverage; the risk that fluctuations in interest rates on borrowings and short-term debt or in the dividend rates on any Financial Leverage that the Fund must pay will reduce the return to Common Shareholders; and the effect of Financial Leverage in a declining market, which is likely to cause a greater decline in the net asset value of the Common Shares than if the Fund were not leveraged, which may result in a greater decline in the market price of the Common Shares. It is also possible that the Fund will be required to sell assets, possibly at a loss (or at a gain which could give rise to corporate level tax), in order to redeem or meet payment obligations on any leverage. Such a sale would reduce the Fund’s net asset value and also make it difficult for the net asset value to recover. The Fund in its best judgment nevertheless may determine to continue to use Financial Leverage if it expects that the benefits to the Fund’s shareholders of maintaining the leveraged position will outweigh the current reduced return. During the time in which the Fund is utilizing Financial Leverage, the amount of the fees paid to the Advisor for investment advisory services will be higher than if the Fund did not utilize Financial Leverage because the fees paid will be calculated based on the Fund’s Managed Assets, which may create a conflict of interest between the Advisor and Common Shareholders. Because the Financial Leverage costs will be borne by the Fund at a specified rate, only the Fund’s Common Shareholders will bear the cost associated with Financial Leverage. Borrowings (and any Preferred Shares) have seniority over Common Shares. There can be no assurance that a leveraging strategy will be successful during any period during which it is employed. If the cost of leverage is no longer favorable, or if the Fund is otherwise required to reduce its leverage, the Fund may not be able to maintain distributions on Common Shares at historical levels and Common Shareholders will bear any costs associated with selling portfolio securities.

 

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Competition Risk. Recently alternative vehicles for investment in a portfolio of MLPs and their affiliates, including other publicly traded investment companies and private funds, have emerged. In addition, recent tax law changes have increased the ability of regulated investment companies or other institutions to invest in MLPs. These competitive conditions may adversely impact the Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective.

 

 

 

 

 

Affiliated Transaction Restrictions. The 1940 Act contains prohibitions and restrictions relating to transactions between investment companies and their affiliates (including the Advisor), principal underwriters and affiliates of those affiliates or underwriters. Under these restrictions, the Fund and any portfolio company that the Fund controls are generally prohibited from knowingly participating in a joint transaction, including co-investments in a portfolio company, with an affiliated person, including any trustees or officers of the Fund, the Advisor or any entity controlled or advised by any of them. These restrictions also generally prohibit the Fund’s affiliates, principal underwriters and affiliates of those affiliates or underwriters from knowingly purchasing from or selling to the Fund or any portfolio company controlled by the Fund certain securities or other property and from lending to and borrowing from the Fund or any portfolio company controlled by the Fund monies or other properties. The Fund and its affiliates may be precluded from co-investing in private placements of securities, including in any portfolio companies controlled by the Fund. The Fund, its affiliates and portfolio companies controlled by the Fund may from time to time engage in certain joint transactions, purchases, sales and loans in reliance upon and in compliance with the conditions of certain positions promulgated by the SEC. There can be no assurance that the Fund would be able to satisfy these conditions with respect to any particular transaction. As a result of these prohibitions, restrictions may be imposed on the size of positions or the type of investments that the Fund could make.

 

 

 

Potential Conflicts of Interest of the Advisor. The Advisor and its affiliates are involved worldwide with a broad spectrum of financial services and asset management activities and may engage in the ordinary course of business in activities in which their interests or the interests of their clients may conflict with those of the Fund. The Advisor and its affiliates may provide investment management services to other funds and discretionary managed accounts that follow an investment program similar to that of the Fund. Subject to the requirements of the 1940 Act, the Advisor and its affiliates intend to engage in such activities and may receive compensation from third parties for their services. Neither the Advisor nor its affiliates are under any obligation to share any investment opportunity, idea or strategy with the Fund. As a result, the Advisor and its affiliates may compete with the Fund for appropriate investment opportunities. The results of the Fund’s investment activities, therefore, may differ from those of the Fund’s affiliates, or another account managed by the Fund’s affiliates, and it is possible that the Fund could sustain losses during periods in which one or more of the Fund’s affiliates or and other accounts achieve profits on their trading for proprietary or other accounts. The Advisor and the Fund have adopted compliance policies and procedures that are reasonably designed to address the various conflicts of interest that may arise for the Advisor and its staff members.  However, there is no guarantee that such policies and procedures will be able to detect and prevent every situation in which an actual or potential conflict may arise.

 

Certain Business Relationships.  Dan C. Tutcher, a Portfolio Manager of the Fund, presently serves on the board of Enbridge, Inc. (NYSE: ENB).  As of the date of this Prospectus, Enbridge Inc. is the parent company of Enbridge Energy Management (NYSE: EEQ), Midcoast Energy Partners (NYSE: MEP), Enbridge Energy Partners (NYSE: EEP), Spectra Energy Corp (NYSE: SE), DCP Midstream Partners (NYSE: DCP) and Spectra Energy Partners (NYSE: SEP) (collectively, the “Enbridge Companies”).  As a board member, Mr. Tutcher attends quarterly board meetings for Enbridge, Inc.  The Fund may from time to time invest in Enbridge Companies.  In connection with any such investments, the Advisor has adopted policies and procedures that are designed to address potential conflicts of interest that may arise in connection with Mr. Tutcher’s service as a director of Enbridge Inc.  Specifically, these policies and procedures, among other things; (i) establish information barriers designed to restrict Mr. Tutcher from sharing information regarding Enbridge Companies with other investment professionals of the Advisor, (ii) require Mr. Tutcher to recuse himself from any discussions by the Advisor’s Investment Committee involving Enbridge Companies and (iii) require that all trading decisions involving Enbridge Companies be made by other Portfolio Managers, without any input from Mr. Tutcher.  While these policies and procedures are designed to allow the Fund to invest in Enbridge Companies, the policies and procedures may require the Advisor to restrict trading in Enbridge Companies from time to time, which may prevent the Fund from acquiring or disposing of securities of Enbridge Companies at a favorable time.  In addition, as a result of these policies and procedures, the Fund will not benefit from Mr. Tutcher’s experience and expertise with respect to investments in Enbridge Companies.

 

 

 

Portfolio Turnover Risk. The Fund’s portfolio turnover rate may vary greatly from year to year. The Fund cannot predict its annual portfolio turnover rate with accuracy. Portfolio turnover rate will not be considered as a limiting factor in the execution of the Fund’s investment decisions. High portfolio turnover may result in the Fund’s recognition of gains and may increase the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits, which will result in a greater

 

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portion of distributions to Common Shareholders being treated as dividends. Additionally, high portfolio turnover results in correspondingly higher brokerage commissions and transaction costs borne by the Fund.

 

 

 

 

 

Short Sales Risk. The Fund may make short sales of securities. A short sale is a transaction in which the Fund sells a security it does not own. If the price of the security sold short increases between the time of the short sale and the time the Fund replaces the borrowed security, the Fund will incur a loss; conversely, if the price declines, the Fund will realize a capital gain. Any gain will be decreased, and any loss will be increased, by the transaction costs incurred by the Fund, including the costs associated with providing collateral to the broker-dealer (usually cash and liquid securities) and the maintenance of collateral with its custodian. Although the Fund’s gain is limited to the price at which it sold the security short, its potential loss is theoretically unlimited. The Fund may have to pay a premium to borrow the securities and must pay any dividends or interest payable on the securities until they are replaced, which will be expenses of the Fund. See “Risks—Short Sales Risk.”

 

 

 

 

 

Repurchase Agreement Risk. A repurchase agreement exposes the Fund to the risk that the party that sells the security may default on its obligation to repurchase it. The Fund may lose money because it cannot sell the security at the agreed-upon time and price or the security loses value before it can be sold. In the event of the bankruptcy or other default of a seller of a repurchase agreement, the Fund could experience both delays in liquidating the underlying securities and losses. In such an event, the Fund would subject to risks associated with possible decline in the value of the underlying security during the period in which the Fund seeks to enforce its rights thereto, possible lack of access to income on the underlying security during this period, and expenses of enforcing its rights. In addition, the exercise of the Fund’s right to liquidate the collateral underlying the repurchase agreement could involve certain costs or delays and, to the extent that proceeds from any sale upon a default of the obligation to repurchase were less than the repurchase price, the Fund could suffer a loss.

 

 

 

 

 

Reverse Repurchase Agreement Risk. Reverse repurchase agreements involve the risks that the interest income earned on the investment of the proceeds will be less than the interest expense and Fund expenses associated with the repurchase agreement, that the market value of the securities sold by the Fund may decline below the price at which the Fund is obligated to repurchase such securities and that the securities may not be returned to the Fund. There is no assurance that reverse repurchase agreements can be successfully employed. In connection with reverse repurchase agreements, the Fund will also be subject to counterparty risk with respect to the purchaser of the securities. If the broker/dealer to whom the Fund sells securities becomes insolvent, the Fund’s right to purchase or repurchase securities may be restricted.

 

 

 

 

 

Securities Lending Risk. The Fund may lend its portfolio securities to banks or dealers which meet the creditworthiness standards established by the Board of Trustees. Securities lending is subject to the risk that loaned securities may not be available to the Fund on a timely basis and the Fund

 

38


 

 

 

may therefore lose the opportunity to sell the securities at a desirable price. Any loss in the market price of securities loaned by the Fund that occurs during the term of the loan would be borne by the Fund and would adversely affect the Fund’s performance. Also, there may be delays in recovery, or no recovery, of securities loaned or even a loss of rights in the collateral should the borrower of the securities fail financially while the loan is outstanding.

 

 

 

 

 

Delay in Investing the Proceeds of this Offering. Although the Fund currently intends to invest the proceeds from any sale of the Common Shares offered hereby as soon as practicable following the completion of such offering, such investments may be delayed if suitable investments are unavailable at the time. The trading market and volumes for MLP and energy infrastructure company shares may at times be less liquid than the market for other securities. Prior to the time the proceeds of this offering are invested, such proceeds may be invested in cash, cash equivalents or other securities, pending investment in MLP or energy infrastructure company securities. Income received by the Fund from these securities would subject the Fund to corporate tax before any payment of distributions to Common Shareholders. As a result, the return and yield on the Common Shares following any offering pursuant to this Prospectus may be lower than when the Fund is fully invested in accordance with its objective and policies. See “Use of Proceeds.”

 

 

 

Market Disruption and Geopolitical Risk. The aftermath of the war in Iraq, instability in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Russia, Ukraine and the Middle East, possible terrorist attacks in the United States and around the world, growing social and political discord in the United States, the European debt crisis, the response of the international community—through economic sanctions and otherwise—to Russia’s recent annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine and posture vis-a-vis Ukraine, continued tensions between North Korea and the United States and the international community generally, new and continued political unrest in various countries, such as Venezuela, the United Kingdom’s pending withdrawal from the European Union and the resulting profound and uncertain impacts on the economic and political future of the United Kingdom, the European Union and global financial markets, further downgrade of U.S. Government securities, the change in the U.S. president and the new administration and other similar events, may have long-term effects on the U.S. and worldwide financial markets and may cause further economic uncertainties in the United States and worldwide. The Fund does not know and cannot predict how long the securities markets may be affected by these events and the effects of these and similar events in the future on the U.S. economy and securities markets. The Fund may be adversely affected by abrogation of international agreements and national laws which have created the market instruments in which the Fund may invest, failure of the designated national and international authorities to enforce compliance with the same laws and agreements, failure of local, national and international organization to carry out their duties prescribed to them under the relevant agreements, revisions of these laws and agreements which dilute their effectiveness or conflicting interpretation of provisions of the same laws and agreements. The Fund may be adversely affected by uncertainties such as terrorism, international political developments, and changes in government policies, taxation, restrictions on foreign investment and currency repatriation, currency fluctuations and other developments in the laws and regulations of the countries in which it is invested.

 

 

 

Recent Market and Economic Developments. Global and domestic financial markets have experienced periods of unprecedented turmoil. During the recession of 2007-2009 and for a period thereafter, the debt and equity capital markets in the United States were negatively impacted by significant write-offs in the financial services sector relating to sub-prime mortgages, the re-pricing of credit risk in the broadly syndicated market, the failure of major financial institutions, the deterioration of the housing market and resulting United States federal government actions. These events led to worsening general economic conditions, which materially and adversely impacted the broader financial and credit markets and reduced the availability of debt and equity capital for the market as a whole and financial firms in particular.

 

39


 

 

 

A return to unfavorable economic conditions or sustained economic slowdown could adversely impact the Fund’s portfolio. Worsening economic conditions may increase the volatility of the value of securities owned by the Fund, may make it more difficult for the Fund to accurately value its securities or to sell its securities on a timely basis and may adversely affect the ability of the Fund to borrow for investment purposes and increase the cost of such borrowings, which would reduce returns to common shareholders. Worsening economic conditions may also adversely affected the broader economy, which in turn may adversely affect issuers of securities owned by the Fund, which may reduce the value of securities owned by the Fund and adversely affect the net asset value of the common shares. Financial market conditions, as well as various social and political tensions in the United States and around the world, may contribute to increased market volatility and may have long-term effects and cause economic uncertainties or deterioration in the United States and worldwide. Global economies and financial markets are also becoming increasingly interconnected, which increases the possibilities that conditions in one country or region might adversely impact issuers in a different country or region. Federal Reserve policy, including with respect to certain interest rates, may adversely affect the value, volatility and liquidity of dividend- and interest-paying securities.

 

 

 

 

 

UK Departure from EU Risk. On Thursday June 23, 2016, voters in the United Kingdom referendum (the “Referendum”) on the question of whether to remain or leave the European Union (the “EU”) voted in a majority in favor of leaving the EU. This historic event is widely expected to have consequences that are both profound and uncertain for the economic and political future of the United Kingdom and the EU, and financial markets generally. In March 2017, the British Parliament passed a bill authorizing the British Government to invoke Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union — the formal process of withdrawing from the EU. Invoking Article 50 will give the United Kingdom two years to negotiate a separation with the other members of the EU. The full scope and nature of the consequences of the UK’s departure from the EU are not at this time known and are unlikely to be known for a significant period of time. However, the Referendum has led to significant uncertainty in the business, legal and political environment.

 

Risks associated with the Referendum include short and long term market volatility and currency volatility, macroeconomic risk to the UK and European economies, impetus for further disintegration of the EU and related political stresses (including those related to sentiment against cross border capital movements and activities of investors like the Fund), prejudice to financial services businesses that are conducting business in the EU and which are based in the UK, legal uncertainty regarding achievement of compliance with applicable financial and commercial laws and regulations in view of the expected steps to be taken pursuant to or in contemplation of Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union and negotiations undertaken under Article 218 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and the unavailability of timely information as to expected legal, tax and other regimes. See “Risks—UK Departure from EU Risk.”

 

 

 

Legislation and Regulation Risk. At any time after the date of this Prospectus, legislation may be enacted that could negatively affect the assets of the Fund or the issuers of such assets. Changing approaches to regulation may have a negative impact on entities in which the Fund invests, which may adversely impact the value of the Fund’s portfolio holdings, and on derivative transactions entered into by the Fund. There can be no assurance that future legislation, regulation or deregulation will not have a material adverse effect on the Fund or will not impair the ability of the issuers of the assets held in the Fund to achieve their business goals, and hence, for the Fund to achieve its investment objective.

 

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”), which was signed into law in July 2010, has resulted in significant revisions to the U.S. financial regulatory framework. The Dodd-Frank Act covers a broad range of topics, including, among many others: a reorganization of federal financial regulators; the creation of a process designed to ensure financial system stability and the resolution of potentially insolvent financial firms; the enactment of new rules for derivatives trading; the creation of a consumer financial protection watchdog; the registration and regulation of managers of private funds; the regulation of rating agencies; and the enactment of new federal requirements for residential mortgage loans. The regulation of

 

40


 

 

 

various types of derivative instruments pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act may adversely affect the Fund or its counterparties.

 

 

 

On December 11, 2015, the SEC published a proposed rule that, if adopted, would change the regulation of the use of derivative instruments and financial commitment transactions by registered investment companies.  The SEC sought public comments on numerous aspects of the proposed rule, and as a result the nature of any final regulations is uncertain at this time.  Such regulations could limit the implementation of the Fund’s use of derivatives and impose additional compliance costs on the Fund, which could have an adverse impact on the Fund.

 

 

 

The change in presidential administration could significantly impact the regulation of United States financial markets and dramatically alter existing trade, tax, energy and infrastructure policies, among others. It is not possible to predict what, if any, changes will be made or their potential effect on the economy, securities markets, or financial stability of the United States, or on the energy, natural resources, real estate and other markets in which the Fund invests. Additionally, actions taken may impact different sectors of the energy and natural resources markets in disparate ways or may impact specific issuers in a given sector in differing ways. The Advisor cannot predict the effects of changing regulations or policies on MLPs, MLP Entities, or the Fund’s portfolio, and the Fund may be affected by governmental action in ways that are not foreseeable. There is a possibility that such actions could have a significant adverse effect on the Fund and its ability to achieve its investment objective.

 

 

 

LIBOR Risk. Instruments in which the Fund invests may pay interest at floating rates based on LIBOR or may be subject to interest caps or floors based on LIBOR. The Fund and issuers of instruments in which the Fund invests may also obtain financing at floating rates based on LIBOR. Derivative instruments utilized by the Fund and/or issuers of instruments in which the Fund may invest may also reference LIBOR. The Fund utilizes leverage or borrowings primarily based on LIBOR. Regulators and law-enforcement agencies from a number of governments, including entities in the United States, Japan, Canada and the United Kingdom, have conducted or are conducting civil and criminal investigations into whether the banks that contribute to the British Bankers’ Association, or the “BBA,” in connection with the calculation of daily LIBOR may have been manipulating or attempting to manipulate LIBOR. Several financial institutions have reached settlements with the CFTC, the U.S. Department of Justice Fraud Section and the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority in connection with investigations by such authorities into submissions made by such financial institutions to the bodies that set LIBOR and other interbank offered rates. Additional investigations remain ongoing with respect to other major banks. There can be no assurance that there will not be additional admissions or findings of rate-setting manipulation or that manipulations of LIBOR or other similar interbank offered rates will not be shown to have occurred. ICE Benchmark Administration Limited assumed the role of LIBOR administrator from the BBA on February 1, 2014. Any new administrator of LIBOR may make methodological changes to the way in which LIBOR is calculated or may alter, discontinue or suspend calculation or dissemination of LIBOR. Additional findings of manipulation may decrease the confidence of the market in LIBOR and lead market participants to look for alternative, non-LIBOR based types of financing, such as fixed rate loans or bonds or floating rate loans based on non-LIBOR indices.

 

Recently, regulators in the United Kingdom have called for the LIBOR to be abandoned by the end of 2021. Abandonment of or modifications to LIBOR could have adverse impacts on newly issued financial instruments and existing financial instruments which reference LIBOR. While some instruments may contemplate a scenario where LIBOR is no longer available by providing for an alternative rate setting methodology, not all instruments may have such provisions and there is significant uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of any such alternative methodologies. Abandonment of or modifications to LIBOR could lead to significant short-term and long-term uncertainty and market instability. It remains uncertain how such changes would be implemented and the effects such changes would have on the Fund, issuers of instruments in which the Fund invests and financial markets generally.

 

 

 

Market Discount Risk. The Fund’s Common Shares have a limited trading history and have traded both at a premium and at a discount in relation to net asset value. The Fund cannot predict whether the Common Shares will trade in the future at a premium or discount to net asset value. If the Common Shares are trading at a premium to net asset value at the time you purchase Common Shares, the net asset value per share of the Common Shares purchased will be less than the purchase price paid. Continued development of alternative vehicles for investment in securities of MLP entities may contribute to reducing or eliminating any premium or may result in the Common Shares trading at a discount. Recent developments regarding the energy sector and investor perception regarding the energy sector generally may adversely impact the market for the Common Shares and increase the likelihood that the Common Shares will trade at a discount. The risk of the Common Shares trading at a discount is a risk separate from the risk of a decline in the Fund’s net asset value as a result of the Fund’s investment activities. The Fund’s net asset value will be reduced immediately following an offering of the Common Shares due to the costs of such offering, which will be borne entirely by the Fund. The sale of Common Shares by the Fund (or the perception that such sales may occur) may have an adverse effect on prices of Common Shares in the secondary market. An increase in the number of Common Shares available may put downward pressure on the market price for Common Shares. The Fund

 

41

 


 

 

 

 

may, from time to time, seek the consent of holders of Common Shares to permit the issuance and sale by the Fund of Common Shares at a price below the Fund’s then current net asset value, subject to certain conditions, and such sales of Common Shares at price below net asset value, if any, may increase downward pressure on the market price for Common Shares. These sales, if any, also might make it more difficult for the Fund to sell additional Common Shares in the future at a time and price it deems appropriate.

 

 

 

 

 

Whether Common Shareholder will realize a gain or loss upon the sale of Common Shares depends upon whether the market value of the Common Shares at the time of sale is above or below the price the Common Shareholder paid, taking into account transaction costs for the Common Shares, and is not directly dependent upon the Fund’s net asset value. Because the market value of the Common Shares will be determined by factors such as the relative demand for and supply of the shares in the market, general market conditions and other factors outside the Fund’s control, the Fund cannot predict whether the Common Shares will trade at, below or above NAV, or at, below or above the public offering price for the Common Shares.

 

 

 

 

 

Risks Associated with Offerings of Additional Common Shares. The voting power of current common shareholders will be diluted to the extent that current common shareholders do not purchase common shares in any future offerings of common shares or do not purchase sufficient common shares to maintain their percentage interest. If the Fund is unable to invest the proceeds of such offering as intended, the Fund’s per Common Share distribution may decrease and the Fund may not participate in market advances to the same extent as if such proceeds were fully invested as planned. If the Fund sells Common Shares at a price below net asset value pursuant to the consent of Common Shareholders, shareholders will experience a dilution of the aggregate net asset value per Common Share because the sale price will be less than the Fund’s then-current net asset value per Common Share. Similarly, were the expenses of the offering to exceed the amount by which the sale price exceeded the Fund’s then current net asset value per Common Share, shareholders would experience a dilution of the aggregate net asset value per Common Share. This dilution will be experienced by all shareholders, irrespective of whether they purchase Common Shares in any such offering. See “Description of Capital Structure—Common Shares—Issuance of Additional Common Shares.”

 

 

 

Additional Risks of Rights. There are additional risks associated with an offering of Rights. Shareholders who do not exercise their Rights may, at the completion of such an offering, own a smaller proportional interest in the Fund than if they exercised their Rights. As a result of such an offering, a shareholder may experience dilution in net asset value per share if the subscription price per share is below the net asset value per share on the expiration date. If the subscription price per share is below the net asset value per share of the Fund’s Common Shares on the expiration date, a shareholder will experience an immediate dilution of the aggregate net asset value of such shareholder’s Common Shares if the shareholder does

 

42


 

 

 

not participate in such an offering and the shareholder will experience a reduction in the net asset value per share of such shareholder’s Common Shares whether or not the shareholder participates in such an offering. Such a reduction in net asset value per share may have the effect of reducing market price of the Common Share. The Fund cannot state precisely the extent of this dilution (if any) if the shareholder does not exercise such shareholder’s Rights because the Fund does not know what the net asset value per share will be when the offer expires or what proportion of the Rights will be exercised. If the subscription price is substantially less than the then current net asset value per Common Share at the expiration of a rights offering, such dilution could be substantial. Any such dilution or accretion will depend upon whether (i) such shareholders participate in the Rights offering and (ii) the Fund’s net asset value per Common Share is above or below the subscription price on the expiration date of the Rights offering. In addition to the economic dilution described above, if a Common Shareholder does not exercise all of their rights, the Common Shareholder will incur voting dilution as a result of this rights offering. This voting dilution will occur because the Common Shareholder will own a smaller proportionate interest in the Fund after the rights offering than prior to the rights offering. There is a risk that changes in market conditions may result in the underlying Common Shares purchasable upon exercise of the subscription rights being less attractive to investors at the conclusion of the subscription period. This may reduce or eliminate the value of the subscription rights. If investors exercise only a portion of the rights, the number of Common Shares issued may be reduced, and the Common Shares may trade at less favorable prices than larger offerings for similar securities. Subscription rights issued by the Fund may be transferable or non-transferable rights.  In a non-transferable rights offering, Common Shareholders who do not wish to exercise their rights will be unable to sell their rights. In a transferrable rights offering, the Fund will use its best efforts to ensure an adequate trading market for the rights; however, investors may find that there is no market to sell rights they do not wish to exercise.

 

Anti-Takeover Provisions in the Fund’s Governing Documents

 

The Fund’s Agreement and Declaration of Trust and Bylaws (the “Governing Documents”) include provisions that could limit the ability of other entities or persons to acquire control of the Fund or convert the Fund to an open-end fund. These provisions could have the effect of depriving Common Shareholders of opportunities to sell their Common Shares at a premium over the then-current market price of the Common Shares. See “Anti-Takeover and Other Provisions in the Fund’s Governing Documents” and “Risks—Anti-Takeover Provisions.”

 

 

 

Administrator, Custodian, Transfer Agent and Dividend Disbursing Agent

 

UMB Bank, n.a. serves as the custodian of the Fund’s assets pursuant to a custody agreement. Under the custody agreement, the custodian holds the Fund’s assets in compliance with the 1940 Act. UMB Fund Services, Inc. serves as administrator to the Fund. Pursuant to an administration and fund accounting agreement, UMB Fund Services, Inc. will provide fund accounting services, tax administration services and fund administrative services. American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC serves as the Fund’s transfer agent, registrar and dividend disbursing agent for the Common Shares.

 

43


 

Investor Support Services

 

The Fund has retained HRC Portfolio Solutions LLC to provide investor relations support services in connection with the on-going operation of the Fund. Such services include providing assistance with communicating with and responding to inquiries from professional financial intermediaries, communicating with the NYSE specialist for the Common Shares and with the closed-end fund analyst community regarding the Fund, assisting with the formatting, development and maintenance of the Fund’s website, assisting with administrative and accounting issues with respect to the Fund and assisting in preparing investor communications for the Fund.

 

44


 

SUMMARY OF FUND EXPENSES

 

The following table contains information about the costs and expenses that Common Shareholders will bear directly or indirectly. The table is based on the capital structure of the Fund as of November 30, 2017 (except as noted below). The purpose of the table and the example below is to help you understand the fees and expenses that you, as a holder of Common Shares, would bear directly or indirectly.

 

Shareholder Transaction Expenses

 

 

 

Sales load (as a percentage of offering price)

 

%(1)

Offering expenses borne by the Fund (as a percentage of offering price)

 

%(1)

Dividend Reinvestment Plan fees(2)

 

None

 

 

 

 

Percentage of
Net Assets
Attributable to
Common Shares

 

Annual Expenses

 

 

 

Management fees(3)

 

1.54

%

Interest payments on borrowed funds(4)

 

0.56

%

Dividends on preferred shares(5)

 

0.93

%

Current income tax expense

 

0.00

%

Deferred income tax expense(6)

 

0.00

%

Other expenses(7)

 

0.57

%

Total annual expenses

 

3.60

%

 


(1)         If Common Shares to which this Prospectus relates are sold to or through underwriters, the Prospectus Supplement will set forth any applicable sales load and the estimated offering expenses borne by the Fund.

 

(2)         Dividend reinvestment plan participants that direct a sale of Common Shares through the Plan Agent are subject to a sales fee of $15.00 plus $0.10 per share sold. See “Dividend Reinvestment Plan.”

 

(3)         The Fund pays the Advisor an annual fee, payable monthly, in an amount equal to 1.00% of the Fund’s average daily Managed Assets (net assets plus any assets attributable to Financial Leverage). The fee shown above is based upon outstanding Financial Leverage of 33% of the Fund’s Managed Assets. If Financial Leverage of more than 33% of the Fund’s Managed Assets is used, the management fees shown would be higher.

 

(4)         Based upon the Fund’s outstanding borrowings as of November 30, 2017 of approximately $66.5 million and the borrowing rate on the facility as of November 30, 2017 of 1.95%.

 

(5)         The MRP Shares were issued on September 22, 2016. Assumes the dividend rate for the MRP Shares is the applicable rate and has not increased as a result of any downgrade in the ratings of the MRP Shares. If such ratings are downgraded, the dividend expenses of the fund may increase.

 

(6)         The Fund accrues a deferred tax expense/(benefit) primarily related to unrealized appreciation/depreciation on investments. Deferred income tax expense/(benefit) represents an estimate of the Fund’s potential tax expense/(benefit) if it were to recognize the unrealized gains/losses on portfolio assets that occurred during the fiscal year, based on the market value and basis of the Fund’s assets as of the end of the fiscal year. An estimate of deferred income tax expense/(benefit) is dependent upon the Fund’s net investment gains/losses and realized and unrealized gains/losses on investments and such expenses may vary greatly from year to year depending on the nature of the Fund’s investments, the performance of those investments and general market conditions. Therefore, any estimate of deferred income tax expense/(benefit) cannot be reliably predicted from year to year. Actual income tax expense (if any) will be incurred over many years, depending on if and when investment gains are realized, the then-current basis of the Fund’s assets, the level of net loss carry-forwards and other factors. The Fund’s deferred income tax expense/(benefit) for the current fiscal year or any future fiscal year may vary greatly from the deferred income tax expense/(benefit) estimated based on the most recently completed fiscal year. For a more complete discussion of the Fund’s deferred tax expense/(benefit), see “Net Asset Value—Deferred Tax Expense/Benefit” in the Fund’s SAI.

 

(7)         Other expenses are estimated based upon those incurred during the fiscal year ended November 30, 2017. Other expenses do not include expense related to realized or unrealized investment gains or losses.

 

45


 

Example

 

The following example illustrates the expenses that you would pay on a $1,000 investment in Common Shares, assuming (1) “Total annual expenses” of 3.60% of net assets attributable to Common Shares and (2) a 5% annual return*:

 

 

 

1 Year

 

3 Years

 

5 Years

 

10 Years

 

Total Expenses Incurred(1)

 

$

36

 

$

110

 

$

186

 

$

386

 

 


*                 The example should not be considered a representation of future expenses or returns. Actual expenses may be higher or lower than those assumed. Moreover, the Fund’s actual rate of return may be higher or lower than the hypothetical 5% return shown in the example. The example assumes that the estimated “Other expenses” set forth in the Annual Expenses table are accurate and that all dividends and distributions are reinvested at net asset value.

 

(1)         The example above does not include sales loads or estimated offering costs. In connection with an offering of Common Shares, the Prospectus Supplement will set forth an Example including sales load and estimated offering costs.

 

46


 

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

 

The financial highlights table is intended to help you understand the Fund’s financial performance. The information in this table is derived from the Fund’s financial statements audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, independent registered public accounting firm for the Fund, whose report on such financial statements, together with the financial statements of the Fund, are included in the Fund’s annual report to shareholders for the fiscal year ended November 30, 2017, and are incorporated by reference into the SAI.

 

 

 

For the
Year Ended
November 30, 2017

 

For the
Year Ended
November 30, 2016

 

For the
Year Ended
November 30, 2015

 

For the
Year Ended
November 30, 2014

 

For the Period
September 26, 2013*
through
November 30, 2013

 

Net asset value, beginning of period

 

$

11.22

 

$

10.93

 

$

20.11

 

$

19.31

 

$

19.06

(1)

Income (Loss) from Investment Operations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net investment loss(2)

 

(0.37

)

(0.24

)

(0.30

)

(0.24

)

(0.04

)

Return of capital(2)

 

1.19

 

1.10

 

1.17

 

0.81

 

0.24

 

Net realized and unrealized gain (loss) on investments(2),(3)

 

(1.45

)

0.68

 

(8.80

)

1.58

 

0.15

 

Total from investment operations

 

(0.63

)

1.54

 

(7.93

)

2.15

 

0.35

 

Dividends and Distributions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dividends

 

 

 

 

(1.18

)

 

Distributions - return of capital

 

(1.25

)

(1.25

)

(1.25

)

(0.17

)

(0.10

)

Total dividends and distributions

 

(1.25

)

(1.25

)

(1.25

)

(1.35

)

(0.10

)

Net asset value, end of period

 

$

9.34

 

$

 11.22

 

$

10.93

 

$

20.11

 

$

19.31

 

Market value, end of period

 

$

9.20

 

$

 11.58

 

$

11.09

 

$

19.49

 

$

18.46

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total net asset value return(4)

 

(6.59

)%

15.62

%

(40.75

)%(10)

11.94

%

1.88

%(5)

Total market value return(4)

 

(10.85

)%

17.61

%

(37.97

)%(10)

13.49

%

(7.18

)%(5)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ratios and Supplemental Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net assets, end of period (in thousands)

 

$

229,811

 

$

 233,119

 

$

215,962

 

$

297,927

 

$

286,009

 

Ratio of expenses (benefit) to average net assets

 

3.51

%(7)

2.90

%(7)

(4.96

)%(7)

8.55

%(7)

8.25

%(6),(7)

Ratio of expenses to average net assets (excluding deferred tax expense)

 

3.51

%

2.83

%

2.53

%(7)

2.26

%

2.08

%(6)

Ratio of expenses to average net assets (excluding deferred tax benefit and interest expense)

 

2.04

%

2.06

%

2.00

%

1.85

%

1.84

%(6)

Ratio of net investment loss to average net assets

 

(3.33

)%(7)

(2.32

)%(7)

(1.82

)%(7)

(1.18

)%(7)

(1.31

)%(6),(7)

Ratio of expenses (benefit) to average managed assets

 

2.31

%(8)

2.06

%(8)

(3.46

)%(8)

6.08

%(8)

6.34

%(6),(8)

Portfolio turnover rate

 

36

%

62

%

91

%

105

%

18

%(5)

Total borrowings outstanding (in thousands)

 

$

66,500

 

$

 81,700

 

$

79,600

 

$

129,000

 

$

100,500

 

Total amount of preferred shares outstanding (in thousands)

 

$

50,000

 

$

 50,000

 

$

 

$

 

$

 

Asset coverage per $1,000 per unit of senior indebtedness(9)

 

$

2,973

 

$

 2,770

 

$

3,949

 

$

3,310

 

$

3,846

 

Asset coverage per Preferred Share(11)

 

$

139,905

 

$

 141,559

 

$

 

$

 

$

 

Liquidating preference for Preferred Shares

 

$

25,000

 

$

 25,000

 

$

 

$

 

$

 

 


*                      Commencement of operations.

(1)              Initial public offering price of $20.00 per share less underwriting discounts of $0.90 per share and offering costs of $0.04 per share.

(2)              Based on average shares outstanding during the period.

(3)              Realized and unrealized gains and losses per share in this caption are balancing amounts necessary to reconcile the change in net asset value per share in the period. It may not agree to the aggregate gains and losses in the Statement of Operations due to the fluctuation in share transactions this period.

(4)              Total net asset value return measures the change in net asset value per share over the period indicated. Total market value return is computed based upon the Fund’s New York Stock Exchange market price per share and excludes the effects of brokerage commissions. Dividends and distributions are assumed, for purposes of these calculations, to be reinvested at prices obtained under the Fund’s dividend reinvestment plan.

(5)              Not annualized.

(6)              Annualized.

(7)              Includes the deferred tax benefit (expense) allocated to net investment income (loss) and the deferred tax benefit (expense) allocated to realized and unrealized gain (loss). Net Investment Income (Loss) ratios exclude the deferred tax benefit (expense) allocated to realized and unrealized gain (loss).

(8)              Average managed assets represent the total assets of the Fund, including the assets attributable to the proceeds from any forms of financial leverage, minus liabilities, other than liabilities related to any financial leverage.

(9)              Represents the value of total assets less liabilities not including the Line of Credit and Preferred Shares divided by the total number of senior indebtedness units, where one unit equals $1,000 of senior indebtedness.

(10)       Includes dilution (net of offering costs) of approximately $1.11 to net asset value per share resulting from the Fund's transferrable rights offering, which expired on April 17, 2015. In connection with such offering, the Fund issued 4,938,969 additional common shares at a subscription price per share below the then-current net asset value per share of the Fund.

(11)       Represents the total value of total assets less liabilities, not including Preferred Shares divided by the total number of Preferred Shares.

 

47


 

SENIOR SECURITIES

 

The following table sets forth information about the Fund’s outstanding senior securities as of the end of each fiscal year since its inception:

 

Fiscal Period Ended

 

Title of Security

 

Total Principal
Amount Outstanding

 

Liquidation
Preference Per
Share

 

Asset Cover Per
Preferred Share /
$1,000 of Principal
Amount of Borrowings

 

November 30, 2017

 

Borrowings

 

$

66,500,000

 

N/A

 

$

2,973

 

 

 

MRP Shares

 

$

50,000,000

 

$

25,000

 

$

139,905

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 30, 2016

 

Borrowings

 

$

81,700,000

 

N/A

 

$

2,770

 

 

 

MRP Shares

 

$

50,000,000

 

$

25,000

 

$

141,559

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 30, 2015

 

Borrowings

 

$

79,600,000

 

N/A

 

$

3,949

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 30, 2014

 

Borrowings

 

$

129,000,000

 

N/A

 

$

3,310

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 30, 2013*

 

Borrowings

 

$

100,500,000

 

N/A

 

$

3,846

 

 


*                 Initial fiscal period from September 26, 2013 to November 30, 2013.

 

THE FUND

 

Center Coast Brookfield MLP & Energy Infrastructure Fund (the “Fund”) is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). The Fund was organized as a statutory trust on May 3, 2013, pursuant to a Certificate of Trust, and is governed by the laws of the State of Delaware. The Fund commenced operations on September 26, 2013. Its principal office is located at Brookfield Place, 250 Vesey Street, New York, New York 10281-1023, and its telephone number is (855) 777-8001. Brookfield Investment Management Inc. (“Brookfield” or the “Advisor”) serves as the Fund’s investment advisor.

 

USE OF PROCEEDS

 

Unless otherwise specified in a Prospectus Supplement, the Fund intends to invest the net proceeds of an offering of Securities in accordance with its investment objective and policies as stated herein. It is currently anticipated that the Fund will be able to invest substantially all of the net proceeds of an offering of Securities in accordance with its investment objective and policies within three months after the completion of any such offering. Pending such investment, it is anticipated that the proceeds will be invested in cash, cash equivalents or other securities, including U.S. government securities or high quality, short-term debt securities. The Fund may also use the proceeds for working capital purposes, including the payment of distributions, interest and operating expenses, although the Fund currently has no intent to issue Securities primarily for these purposes.

 

On May 6, 2016, the Fund registered $150,000,000 aggregate initial offering price of Securities pursuant to the registration statement of which this Prospectus is a part. As of the date of this Prospectus, the Fund has issued and sold Common Shares with an aggregate offering price of approximately $71,334,884. As a result, approximately $78,665,116 of Securities remain available for subsequent offerings pursuant to this Prospectus.

 

MARKET AND NET ASSET VALUE INFORMATION

 

The Fund’s currently outstanding Common Shares are, and the Common Shares offered by this Prospectus, will be, subject to notice of issuance, listed on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”). The Fund’s Common Shares commenced trading on the NYSE on September 26, 2013. In connection with any offering of Rights, the Fund will provide information in the Prospectus Supplement for the expected trading market, if any, for Rights.

 

The Common Shares have traded both at a premium and at a discount in relation to the Fund’s net asset value per share. Although the Common Shares recently have traded at a premium to net asset value, there can be no assurance that this will continue after the offering nor that the Common Shares will not trade at a discount in the future. The continued development of alternative vehicles for investment in a portfolio of securities of MLPs, including other publicly traded investment companies and private funds, may reduce or eliminate any tendency of the Common Shares to trade at a premium in the future. Shares of closed-end investment companies frequently trade at a discount to net asset value. The Fund’s net asset value will be reduced immediately following an offering of the Common Shares due to the costs of such offering, which will be borne entirely by the Fund. The sale of Common Shares by the Fund (or the perception that such sales may occur) may have an adverse effect on prices of Common Shares in the secondary market. An increase in the number of Common Shares available may put downward pressure on the market price for Common Shares. See “Risks—Market Discount Risk.”

 

The following table sets forth, for each of the periods indicated, the high and low closing market prices for the Common Shares on the NYSE, the net asset value per Common Share and the premium or discount to net

 

48


 

asset value per Common Share at which the Common Shares were trading. Net asset value is generally determined on each Tuesday that the NYSE is open for business and the last business day of each calendar month. See “Net Asset Value” for information as to the determination of the Fund’s net asset value.

 

 

 

Market Price

 

Corresponding
Net Asset Value
Per Common Share

 

Corresponding
Premium or
(Discount) as a % of
Net Asset Value

 

Fiscal Quarter Ended

 

High

 

Low

 

High

 

Low

 

High

 

Low

 

November 30, 2017

 

$

10.82

 

$

8.88

 

$

10.67

 

$

8.79

 

1.41

%

1.02

%

August 31, 2017

 

$

11.46

 

$

9.81

 

$

11.28

 

$

9.64

 

1.60

%

1.76

%

May 31, 2017

 

$

13.20

 

$

11.43

 

$

13.07

 

$

11.12

 

0.99

%

2.79

%

February 28, 2017

 

$

13.57

 

$

11.27

 

$

13.39

 

$

11.23

 

1.34

%

0.36

%

November 30, 2016

 

$

11.89

 

$

10.12

 

$

11.81

 

$

10.39

 

0.68

%

(2.60

)%

August 31, 2016

 

$

12.70

 

$

10.81

 

$

11.74

 

$

11.12

 

8.18

%

(2.79

)%

May 31, 2016

 

$

11.55

 

$

9.25

 

$

11.23

 

$

9.60

 

2.85

%

(3.65

)%

February 29, 2016

 

$

11.11

 

$

6.51

 

$

10.51

 

$

6.84

 

5.71

%

(4.82

)%

November 30, 2015

 

$

13.81

 

$

10.92

 

$

14.77

 

$

11.42

 

(6.50

)%

(4.38

)%

 

The last reported sale price, net asset value per Common Share and percentage premium to net asset value per Common Share on February 1, 2018 was $10.93, $10.84 and 0.83%, respectively. The Fund cannot predict whether its Common Shares will trade in the future at a premium to or discount from net asset value, or the level of any premium or discount. Shares of closed-end investment companies frequently trade at a discount from net asset value. As of February 1, 2018, 26,606,643 Common Shares of the Fund were outstanding.

 

INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE AND POLICIES

 

Investment Objective

 

The Fund’s investment objective is to provide a high level of total return with an emphasis on distributions to shareholders. The “total return” sought by the Fund includes appreciation in the net asset value of the Fund’s Common Shares and all distributions made by the Fund to its Common Shareholders, regardless of the tax characterization of such distributions, including distributions characterized as return of capital as a result of the characterization of the distributions received by the Fund from the MLPs in which the Fund invests. See “Distributions.”

 

The Fund’s investment objective is considered fundamental and may not be changed without the approval of a majority of the outstanding voting securities (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Fund. The Fund cannot ensure investors that it will achieve its investment objective.

 

Principal Investment Policies

 

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing primarily in a portfolio of MLPs and energy infrastructure companies. Under normal market conditions, the Fund will invest at least 80% of its Managed Assets (as defined in this Prospectus) in securities of MLPs and energy infrastructure companies.

 

Entities commonly referred to as master limited partnerships or MLPs are generally organized under state law as limited partnerships or limited liability companies and treated as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes. The Fund considers investments in MLPs to include investments that offer economic exposure to public and private MLPs in the form of equity securities of MLPs, securities of entities holding primarily general or limited partner or managing member interests in MLPs, securities that represent indirect investments in MLPs, including I-Shares (which represent an ownership interest issued by an affiliated party of a MLP) and debt securities of MLPs.

 

The Fund considers a company to be an “infrastructure company” if (i) at least 50% of its assets, income, sales or profits are committed to or derived from the development, construction, distribution, management, ownership, operation or financing of infrastructure assets; or (ii) a third party classification has given the

 

49


 

company an industry or sector classification consistent with the infrastructure company designation. Infrastructure assets consist of those assets which provide the underlying foundation of basic services, facilities and institutions, including the production, processing, storage, transportation, manufacturing, servicing and distribution of oil and gas, petrochemicals and other energy resources, physical structures, networks, systems of transportation and water and sewage. The Fund considers an infrastructure company to be an “energy infrastructure company” if it (i) owns or operates, or is involved in the development, construction, distribution, management, ownership, operation or financing of, infrastructure assets within the energy sector, or (ii) provides material products or services to companies operating in the energy sector.

 

The Fund may invest up to 20% of its Managed Assets in unregistered or restricted securities, including securities issued by private energy infrastructure companies. At any given time the Fund anticipates making investments in a limited number of carefully selected private company investment that the Fund may need to hold for several years. The Fund may invest in equity securities or debt securities, including debt securities issued with warrants to purchase equity securities or that are convertible into equity securities, of private companies. The Fund’s private company investments may include investments in entities formed to own and operate particular energy infrastructure assets. The Fund may enter into private company investments identified by the Advisor or may co-invest in private company investment opportunities owned or identified by other third party investors, such as private equity firms. However, the Fund will not invest in private equity funds or other privately offered pooled investment funds. See “The Fund’s Investments—Unregistered and Restricted Securities.”

 

The Fund may invest up to 10% of its Managed Assets in securities of issuers located outside of North America.

 

The Fund invests primarily in equity securities, but may invest up to 10% of its Managed Assets in debt securities, including debt securities rated below investment grade (that is, rated Ba or lower by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”), BB or lower by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Group (“S&P”) or comparably rated by another statistical rating organization) or, if unrated, determined by the Advisor to be of comparable credit quality. Below investment grade securities, which are commonly referred to as “high yield” securities or “junk bonds” are considered predominantly speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal when due.

 

These policies may be changed by the Fund’s board of trustees (the “Board of Trustees”), but no change is anticipated. If the Fund’s policy with respect to investing at least 80% of the Managed Assets of the Fund in securities of MLPs and energy infrastructure companies (the “80% Policy”) changes, the Fund will provide shareholders at least 60 days’ notice before implementation of the change.

 

Except as otherwise noted, all percentage limitations set forth in this Prospectus and the Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) apply immediately after a purchase or initial investment and any subsequent change in any applicable percentage resulting from market fluctuations does not require any action.

 

Investment Process

 

The Advisor combines energy sector operational expertise with financial market expertise to identify investments in securities of MLP and energy infrastructure companies. The Advisor seeks to draw upon its unique experience to conduct thorough due diligence from an owner-operator perspective, utilizing its extensive network of relationships to identify both public and private MLP and energy infrastructure company investment opportunities. The Advisor’s due diligence process includes financial and valuation analysis centered on quantitative factors including cash flow, yield and relative valuation to establish a valuation target. Next the Advisor evaluates asset quality, considering factors such as contract structure, operating risk, competitive environment and growth potential. The Advisor also assesses management quality drawing on its previous experience with many of the management teams to evaluate their financial discipline, level of general partner support, operational expertise and strength of their business plan and their ability to execute it. Included in the diligence process is also an assessment of trading dynamics, including liquidity, identity and concentration of large holders, equity overhang and float.

 

50

 


 

The Advisor combines energy sector operational expertise with financial market expertise to identify investments in securities of MLPs and energy infrastructure companies. The Advisor seeks to draw upon its unique experience to conduct thorough due diligence from an owner-operator perspective, utilizing its extensive network of relationships to identify both public and private MLP and energy infrastructure company investment opportunities. The Advisor’s due diligence process includes financial and valuation analysis centered on quantitative factors including cash flow, yield and relative valuation to establish a valuation target. Next the Advisor evaluates asset quality, considering factors such as contract structure, operating risk, competitive environment and growth potential. The Advisor also assesses management quality drawing on its previous experience with many of the management teams to evaluate their financial discipline, level of general partner support, operational expertise and strength of their business plan and their ability to execute it. Included in the diligence process is also an assessment of trading dynamics, including liquidity, identity and concentration of large holders, equity overhang and float.

 

The Advisor intends to construct the Fund’s portfolio utilizing a three-pronged approach.

 

The Advisor targets a “core” portfolio in which it seeks to own the highest quality midstream MLPs. Core investments possess the most durable long term cash flows in order to seek to maximize risk-adjusted total returns to shareholders with an emphasis on cash distributions. Generally, the Fund anticipates making core investments in MLPs and energy infrastructure companies that have (i) traditional fee-based businesses, (ii) high barriers to entry, (iii) low direct commodity price exposure and (iv) low demand elasticity or the potential for demand destruction. Examples include interstate pipelines, intrastate pipelines with long-term contracts and diversified revenue streams, and crude and gas storage and terminal facilities.

 

In addition to this “core” portfolio, the Fund may invest a portion of its portfolio in shorter-term investments. These opportunistic transactions may be based on the Advisor’s view of factors including, but not limited to, market dislocations, projected trading demand imbalances, short-term market catalysts, commodity price volatility and interest rates and credit spreads along with other issuer-specific developments.

 

Finally, the Fund will allocate up to 20% of its portfolio to private investment opportunities. At any given time the Fund anticipates making investments in a limited number of carefully selected private investments that the Fund may need to hold for several years. The Advisor believes it is uniquely positioned to analyze private investment opportunities sourced directly or co-investment opportunities made available to the Advisor by private equity firms or other sources. The breadth of Advisor personnel’s mergers and acquisitions background provides for a network of deep relationships with investment banking groups, management teams, private equity firms and significant shareholders seeking liquidity. The Fund’s private investments may include investments in entities formed to own and operate particular energy infrastructure assets, but will not include interests in private investment funds. Many of the private investment opportunities are centered around assets or companies which may not have a great deal of publicly available information. The experience of the Advisor’s senior professionals in owning and operating midstream and energy infrastructure assets gives it the unique ability to assess the operating environment of private investment opportunities including, but not limited to, competitive environment, contract structure and operating risk.

 

THE FUND’S INVESTMENTS

 

Master Limited Partnerships

 

Entities commonly referred to as master limited partnerships or MLPs are generally organized under state law as limited partnerships or limited liability companies and treated as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes. The securities issued by many MLPs are listed and traded on a securities exchange. If publicly traded, to be treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes, the entity must receive at least 90% of its income from qualifying sources as set forth in the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”).

 

51


 

These qualifying sources include interest, dividends, real estate rents, gain from the sale or disposition of real property, income and gain from mineral or natural resources activities, income and gain from the transportation or storage of certain fuels, gain from the sale or disposition of a capital asset held for the production of income described in the foregoing, and, in certain circumstances, income and gain from commodities or futures, forwards and options with respect to commodities. Mineral or natural resources activities include exploration, development, production, mining, processing, refining, marketing and transportation (including pipelines), of oil and gas, minerals, geothermal energy, fertilizer, timber or carbon dioxide.

 

MLPs typically are structured as limited partnerships and have two classes of interests—general partner interests and limited partner interests. Both classes of owners are governed by the terms of a limited partnership agreement establishing their respective rights with regard to the income and liabilities of the MLP. The general partner typically controls the operations and management of the MLP through an equity interest in the MLP (typically up to 2% of total equity) and will be eligible to receive incentive distributions that increase based on specified profit targets attained by the MLP. Limited partners own the remainder of the MLP and have a limited role in the MLP’s operations and management. Likewise, limited partners receive periodic distributions (usually quarterly) on a pre-tax basis until the unitholder sells its ownership interest in the MLP. Common units and general partner interests also generally accrue arrearage rights to the extent certain distribution payment schedules are not met, but the subordinated units generally do not accrue such arrearages. MLPs often have two classes of limited partner interests—common units and subordinated units. The general partner of the MLP is typically owned by an energy company, an investment fund, the direct management of the MLP or is an entity owned by one or more of such parties. The general partner interest may be held by either a private or publicly traded corporation or other entity. In many cases, the general partner owns common units, subordinated units and incentive distribution rights (“IDRs”) of the MLP in addition to its general partner interest in the MLP. The Fund may invest in general partner or limited partner interests of MLPs.

 

MLPs are typically structured such that common units and general partner interests have first priority to receive quarterly cash distributions up to an established minimum amount (“minimum quarterly distributions” or “MQD”). Common units also accrue arrearages in distributions to the extent the MQD is not paid. Once common units have been paid, subordinated units receive distributions of up to the MQD; however, subordinated units do not accrue arrearages. Distributable cash in excess of the MQD paid to both common and subordinated units is distributed to both common and subordinated units generally on a pro rata basis. Whenever a distribution is paid to either common unitholders or subordinated unitholders, the general partner is paid a proportional distribution. The holders of IDRs (usually the general partner) are eligible to receive incentive distributions if the general partner operates the business of the MLP in a manner which results in distributions paid per unit surpassing specified target levels. As cash distributions to the limited partners increase, the IDRs receive an increasingly higher percentage of the incremental cash distributions. A common arrangement provides that the IDRs can reach a tier where the holder of the IDR receives 48% of every incremental dollar paid to partners. These IDRs encourage the general partner to streamline costs, increase capital expenditures and acquire assets in order to increase the MLP’s cash flow and raise the quarterly cash distribution in order to reach higher tiers. Such results benefit all security holders of the MLP.

 

MLPs structured as limited liability companies also issue common and subordinated units. However, rights afforded to interest holders in a limited liability company (called “members”) vary from those granted under the limited partnership ownership structure, in that limited liability company members typically have broader voting rights than LPs in a limited partnership. Limited liability company common units represent an equity ownership interest in an MLP, entitling the holders to a share of the MLP’s assets through distributions and/or capital appreciation. Limited liability company MLPs generally have only one class of equity, but in cases where there are subordinated classes, common unitholders generally have preferential distribution rights relative to rights held by subordinated unitholders, as well as arrearage rights if certain distribution payment schedules are not met. In the event of liquidation, limited liability company common unitholders have a right to the MLP’s remaining assets after bondholders, other debt holders and preferred unitholders, if any, have been paid in full. Limited

 

52


 

liability company common units may trade on a national securities exchange or over-the-counter. In contrast to limited partnerships, limited liability companies have no general or limited partner and often there are no incentive distribution rights, like those that most limited partnerships have, which entitle management or other unitholders to increased percentages of cash distributions as distributions reach higher target levels. In addition, limited liability company common unitholders typically have voting rights with respect to the limited liability company, whereas limited partnership common unitholders generally have limited voting rights.

 

MLPs currently operate primarily within the energy sector. The Fund will focus its investments in “midstream” MLPs. Midstream MLPs are engaged in the treating, gathering, compression, processing, transportation, transmission, fractionation, storage and terminalling of natural gas, natural gas liquids (including propane, ethane, butane and natural gasoline), crude oil, refined petroleum products (including gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel), other hydrocarbon by-products and other energy resources and their byproducts in a form that is usable by wholesale power generation, utility, petrochemical, industrial and gasoline customers, including pipelines, gas processing plants, liquefied natural gas facilities and other energy infrastructure. Pipeline MLPs are common carrier transporters of natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil or refined petroleum products. Pipeline MLPs derive revenue from capacity and transportation fees. Historically, pipeline output has been less exposed to cyclical economic forces due to its low cost structure and government-regulated nature. In addition, many pipeline MLPs may have less direct commodity price exposure relative to energy companies that own the relevant commodities because they do not own the product being shipped, but pipeline MLPs may nonetheless be indirectly impacted by fluctuations in commodity prices. Processing MLPs are gatherers and processors of natural gas as well as providers of transportation, fractionation and storage of natural gas liquids. Processing MLPs derive revenue from providing services to natural gas producers, which require treatment or processing before their natural gas commodity can be marketed to utilities and other end user markets. Revenue for the processor is fee based, although it is not uncommon to have some participation in the prices of the natural gas and natural gas liquids commodities for a portion of revenue. Midstream MLPs may also operate ancillary businesses including the marketing of the products and logistical services.

 

Other MLPs in which the Fund may invest may be classified as upstream MLPs, downstream MLPs, services MLPs, propane MLPs, coal MLPs, marine transportation MLPs or natural resources MLPs.

 

·                  Upstream MLPs are businesses engaged in the exploration, extraction, production and acquisition of natural gas, natural gas liquids and crude oil, from onshore and offshore geological reservoirs. An Upstream MLP’s cash flow and distributions are driven by the amount of oil, natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil and coal produced and the demand for and price of such commodities. As the underlying reserves of an Upstream MLP are produced, its reserve base is depleted. Upstream MLPs may seek to maintain or expand their reserves and production through the acquisition of reserves from other companies, and the exploration and development of existing resources.

 

·                  Downstream MLPs are businesses engaged in refining, marketing and other “end-customer” distribution activities relating to refined energy sources, such as: customer-ready natural gas, propane and gasoline; the production and manufacturing of petrochemicals including olefins, polyolefins, ethylene and similar co-products as well as intermediates and derivatives; and the generation, transmission and distribution of power and electricity.

 

·                  Services MLPs are engaged in the provision of services to energy-related businesses, such as oilfield services companies, which provide services to the petroleum exploration and production industry but do not produce or distribute petroleum themselves, gas compression companies and producers and providers of sand used in hydraulic fracturing.

 

·                  Propane MLPs are engaged in the distribution of propane to homeowners for space and water heating and to commercial, industrial and agricultural customers. Propane serves approximately 5% of the household energy needs in the United States, largely for homes beyond the geographic reach of natural gas distribution pipelines. Volumes are weather dependent and a majority of annual cash flow is earned during the winter heating season. Propane MLPs have utility type functions similar to electricity and natural gas.

 

53


 

·                  Coal MLPs are engaged in the owning, leasing, managing, and production and sale of various grades of steam and metallurgical coal. The primary use of steam coal is for electrical generation, as a fuel for steam-powered generators by electrical utilities. The primary use of metallurgical coal is in the production of steel.

 

·                  Marine transportation MLPs provide transportation and distribution services for energy-related products through the ownership and operation of several types of vessels, such as crude oil tankers, refined product tankers, liquefied natural gas tankers, tank barges and tugboats. Marine transportation plays in important role in domestic and international trade of crude oil, refined petroleum products, natural gas liquids and liquefied natural gas and is expected to benefit from future global economic growth and development. Marine shipping MLPs derive revenue from charging customers for the transportation of these products utilizing the MLPs’ vessels. Transportation services are typically provided pursuant to a charter or contract, the terms of which vary depending on, for example, the length of use of a particular vessel, the amount of cargo transported, the number of voyages made, the parties operating a vessel or other factors.

 

·                  Natural resources MLPs include MLPs principally engaged in owning or developing non-energy natural resources, including timber and minerals.

 

MLP Equity Securities

 

The Fund may invest in any type of MLP equity security. The following summarizes in further detail certain features of equity securities of MLPs in which the Fund may invest.

 

Common Units. Common units represent a limited partnership interest in a MLP and may be listed and traded on U.S. securities exchanges or over-the-counter, with their value fluctuating predominantly based on prevailing market conditions (such as changes in interest rates) and the success of the MLP. The Fund intends to purchase common units in market transactions as well as in primary issuances directly from the MLP or other parties in private placements. Unlike owners of common stock of a corporation, owners of common units typically have limited voting rights and, in most instances, have no ability to annually elect directors. The MLPs in which the Fund will invest generally distribute all available cash flow (cash flow from operations less maintenance capital expenditures) in the form of quarterly distributions. Common units have first priority to receive quarterly cash distributions up to the MQD and have arrearage rights. In the event of liquidation, common units have preference over subordinated units, but not debt or preferred units, to the remaining assets of the MLP. MLPs also issue different classes of common units that may have different voting, trading, and distribution rights. The Fund may invest in different classes of common units. MLPs also may issue new classes of units, such as class B units, that contain distinct structural modifications. For example, a new class of equity could be used to issue securities that do not receive a distribution for some specified period before converting into standard common units.

 

Subordinated Units. Subordinated units are typically issued by an MLP to its original sponsors, such as its founders, management team, corporate general partners, entities that sell assets to the MLP and outside investors such as the Fund. Subordinated units have similar limited voting rights as common units and are generally not listed on an exchange nor publicly traded. The Fund will typically purchase subordinated units through negotiated transactions directly with holders of such units or newly-issued subordinated units directly from the issuer. Holders of subordinated units are generally entitled to receive MQD after payments to holders of common units have been satisfied and prior to incentive distributions to the GP or managing member. Unlike common units, subordinated units do not have arrearage rights. In the event of liquidation, common units and general partner

 

54


 

interests have priority over subordinated units. Subordinated units typically convert into common units basis after certain time periods and/or performance targets have been satisfied. MLPs may issue different classes of subordinated units that may have different voting, trading, and distribution rights. The Fund may invest in different classes of subordinated units. The purchase or sale price of subordinated units is generally tied to the common unit price less a discount. The size of the discount varies depending on the likelihood of conversion, the length of time remaining to conversion, the size of the block purchased relative to trading volumes, and other factors.

 

Preferred Units. Preferred units are typically not listed on an exchange or publicly traded. The Fund will typically purchase preferred units through negotiated transactions directly with MLPs, affiliates of MLPs and institutional holders of such units. Holders of preferred units can be entitled to a wide range of voting and other rights, depending on the structure of each separate security.

 

General Partner Interests. General partner interests of MLPs are typically retained by an MLP’s original sponsors, such as its founders, management team, corporate general partners, entities that sell assets to the MLP and outside investors such as the Fund. A holder of general partner interests can be liable under certain circumstances for amounts greater than the amount of the holder’s investment in the general partner interest. General partner interests often confer direct board participation rights and in many cases, operating control, over the MLP. General partner interests themselves are typically not publicly traded, although they may be owned by publicly traded entities. General partner interests receive cash distributions, typically 2% of the MLP’s aggregate cash distributions, which are contractually defined in the partnership agreement. In addition, holders of general partner interests typically hold incentive distribution rights, which provide them with a larger share of the aggregate MLP cash distributions as the distributions to limited partnership unitholders increase to certain prescribed levels. General partner interests generally cannot be converted into common units. The general partner interest can be redeemed by the MLP if the unitholders of the MLP choose to remove the general partner, typically with a supermajority vote by limited partner unitholders.

 

Incentive Distribution Rights. Holders of IDRs are entitled to a larger share of the cash distributions after the distributions to common unit holders meet certain prescribed levels. IDRs are generally attributable to the holder’s other equity interest in the MLP and permit the holder to receive a disproportionate share of the cash distributions above stated levels.

 

I-Shares. The Fund may invest in I-Shares or other securities issued by affiliates of MLPs. I-Shares represent an ownership interest issued by an affiliated party of an MLP. The MLP affiliate uses the proceeds from the sale of I-Shares to purchase limited partnership interests in the MLP in the form of i-units. I-units have similar features as MLP common units in terms of voting rights, liquidation preference and distributions. However, rather than receiving cash, the MLP affiliate holding i-units receives distributions in the form of additional i-units in an amount equal to the cash distributions received by the holders of common units. Similarly, holders of I-Shares will receive additional I-Shares, in the same proportion as the MLP affiliates receipt of i-units, rather than cash distributions. I-Shares themselves have limited voting rights which are similar to those applicable to common units. The MLP affiliate issuing the I-Shares is structured as a corporation for federal income tax purposes. I-Shares are typically listed and traded on a U.S. securities exchange.

 

Equity Securities of MLPs Structured as Limited Liability Companies. As discussed above, MLP common units represent an equity ownership interest in an MLP, entitling the holder to a share of the MLP’s success through distributions and/or capital appreciation. MLP subordinated units are a separate class of limited liability company interests, and the rights of holders of subordinated units to participate in distributions to unitholders differ from, and are subordinated to, the rights of the holders of common units. Unlike common units, subordinated units generally are not publicly traded.

 

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Equity Securities of General Partner Holding Companies. General partner holding companies own partnership interests, including the general partner interest, in publicly traded MLPs. These companies generally do not own separate operating assets directly, and therefore rely on the distributions on the MLP interests they own as their primary means of cash flow. Publicly traded general partner holding companies are structured as corporations, limited partnerships and limited liability companies. As such, the Fund’s investments in general partner holding companies may be in the form of common stock or common units. general partner holding companies generally do not have incentive distribution rights or subordinated units.

 

Energy Infrastructure Companies

 

Energy Infrastructure Companies. The Fund considers a company to be an “infrastructure company” if (i) at least 50% of its assets, income, sales or profits are committed to or derived from the development, construction, distribution, management, ownership, operation or financing of infrastructure assets; or (ii) a third party classification has given the company an industry or sector classification consistent with the infrastructure company designation. Infrastructure assets consist of those assets which provide the underlying foundation of basic services, facilities and institutions, including the production, processing, storage, transportation, manufacturing, servicing and distribution of oil and gas, petrochemicals and other energy resources, physical structures, networks, systems of transportation and water and sewage. The Fund considers an infrastructure company to be an “energy infrastructure company” if it (i) owns or operates, or is involved in the development, construction, distribution, management, ownership, operation or financing of, infrastructure assets within the energy sector, or (ii) provides material products or services to companies operating in the energy sector.

 

Energy infrastructure companies in which the Fund will invest may include companies involved in (i) exploration, development, production, gathering, treating, transportation, processing, fractionation, storage, refining, distribution, mining or marketing of natural gas, natural gas liquids (including propane), crude oil, refined petroleum products, petrochemicals, plastics and other hydrocarbon products, coal or other natural resources used to produce energy sources, (ii) provision of services and logistics with respect to the foregoing activities, and/or (iii) generation, transmission, sale or distribution of electric energy.

 

Unregistered and Restricted Securities

 

The Fund may invest up to 20% of its Managed Assets in unregistered or restricted securities. The Fund may invest in unregistered or restricted securities of public and private issuers. The Fund may acquire securities through private placements under which it may agree to contractual restrictions on the resale of such securities. Such restrictions might prevent their sale at a time when such sale would otherwise be desirable. Certain restricted securities may, however, be treated as liquid and not subject to the foregoing restrictions pursuant to procedures adopted by the Board of Trustees, which require consideration of factors such as trading activity, availability of market quotations and number of dealers willing to purchase the security. If the Fund invests in restricted securities for which there is a limited trading market, such as Rule 144A securities, the level of portfolio illiquidity may be increased to the extent that eligible buyers become uninterested in purchasing such securities.

 

PIPEs and other Privately Placed Securities Issued by Public Companies. The Fund may invest in private investments in public equities (“PIPEs”) transactions and in other unregistered or otherwise restricted securities issued by public MLPs and energy infrastructure companies, including unregistered MLP preferred units. The Advisor expects most such private securities to be liquid within six to nine months of funding, but may also invest in other private securities with significantly longer or shorter restricted periods. PIPEs involve the direct placement of equity securities to a purchaser such as the Fund. Equity securities issued in this manner is often unregistered and therefore less liquid than equity issued through a public offering. Such private equity offerings provide issuers greater flexibility in structure and timing as compared to public offerings.

 

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Private Company Investments. At any given time the Fund anticipates making investments in a limited number of carefully selected private company investments that the Fund may need to hold for several years. The Fund may invest in equity securities or debt securities, including debt securities issued with warrants to purchase equity securities or that are convertible into equity securities, of private companies. The Fund’s private company investments may include investments in entities formed to own and operate particular energy infrastructure assets. The Fund may enter into private company investments identified by the Advisor or may co-invest in private company investment opportunities owned or identified by other third party investors, such as private equity firms. However, the Fund will not invest in private equity funds or other privately offered pooled investment funds.

 

Debt Securities

 

The Fund may invest up to 10% of its Managed Assets in debt securities. Debt securities in which the Fund may invest may provide for fixed or variable principal payments and various types of interest rate and reset terms, including fixed rate, adjustable rate, zero coupon, contingent, deferred, payment-in-kind and auction rate features. Certain debt securities are “perpetual” in that they have no maturity date. Certain debt securities are zero coupon bonds. A zero coupon bond is a bond that does not pay interest either for the entire life of the obligations or for an initial period after the issuance of the obligation. The Fund may invest in debt securities without regard for their maturity. Investments in debt securities of MLPs or energy infrastructure companies are included for purposes of the Fund’s 80% Policy.

 

The Fund may invest in debt securities rated below investment grade (that is, rated Ba or lower by Moody’s, BB or lower by S&P or comparably rated by another statistical rating organization) or, if unrated, determined by the Advisor to be of comparable credit quality. These debt securities are commonly referred to as “high yield” securities or “junk bonds.” Issuers of securities rated Ba1/BB+ are regarded as having current capacity to make principal and interest payments but are subject to business, financial or economic conditions which could adversely affect such payment capacity. Debt securities rated Baa3 or BBB- or above are considered “investment grade” securities. Debt securities rated below investment grade quality are obligations of issuers that are considered predominately speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal according to the terms of the obligation and, therefore, carry greater investment risk, including the possibility of issuer default and bankruptcy and increased market price volatility. Debt securities rated below investment grade tend to be less marketable than higher-quality securities because the market for them is less broad.

 

A general description of Moody’s and S&P’s ratings of bonds is set forth in Appendix A to the SAI. The ratings of Moody’s, S&P and other statistical rating organizations generally represent their opinions as to the quality of the bonds they rate. It should be emphasized, however, that such ratings are relative and subjective, are not absolute standards of quality, are subject to change and do not evaluate the market risk and liquidity of the securities. Consequently, bonds with the same maturity, coupon and rating may have different yields while obligations of the same maturity and coupon with different ratings may have the same yield. See “Risks—Below Investment Grade Securities Risk.”

 

Preferred Stocks

 

Preferred stock has a preference over common stock in liquidation (and generally as to dividends as well) but is subordinated to the liabilities of the issuer in all respects. As a general rule, the market value of preferred stock with a fixed dividend rate and no conversion element varies inversely with interest rates and perceived credit risk, while the market price of convertible preferred stock generally also reflects some element of conversion value. Because preferred stock is junior to debt securities and other obligations of the issuer, deterioration in the credit quality of the issuer will cause greater changes in the value of a preferred stock than in a more senior debt security with similarly stated yield characteristics. The market value of preferred stock will also generally reflect whether (and if so when) the issuer may force holders to sell their preferred shares back to the issuer and whether (and if so when) the holders may force the issuer to buy back their preferred shares. Generally, the right of the

 

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issuer to repurchase the preferred stock tends to reduce any premium that the preferred stock might otherwise trade at due to interest rate or credit factors, while the right of the holders to require the issuer to repurchase the preferred stock tends to reduce any discount that the preferred stock might otherwise trade at due to interest rate or credit factors. In addition, some preferred stocks are non-cumulative, meaning that the dividends do not accumulate and need not ever be paid. A portion of the portfolio may include investments in non-cumulative preferred securities, whereby the issuer does not have an obligation to make up any arrearages to its shareholders. There is no assurance that dividends or distributions on non-cumulative preferred stocks in which the Fund invests will be declared or otherwise paid. Preferred stock of certain companies offers the opportunity for capital appreciation as well as periodic income. This may be particularly true in the case of companies that have performed below expectations. If a company’s performance has been poor enough, its preferred stock may trade more like common stock than like other debt securities, which may result in above average appreciation if the company’s performance improves.

 

Convertible Securities

 

A convertible security is a preferred stock, warrant or other security that may be converted into or exchanged for a prescribed amount of common stock or other security of the same or a different issuer or into cash within a particular period of time at a specified price or formula. A convertible security generally entitles the holder to receive the dividend paid on preferred stock until the convertible security matures or is redeemed, converted or exchanged. Before conversion, convertible securities generally have characteristics similar to both debt and equity securities. The value of convertible securities tends to decline as interest rates rise and, because of the conversion feature, tends to vary with fluctuations in the market value of the underlying securities. Convertible securities ordinarily provide a stream of income with generally higher yields than those of common stock of the same or similar issuers. Convertible securities generally rank senior to common stock in a corporation’s capital structure but are usually subordinated to comparable non-convertible securities. Convertible securities generally do not participate directly in any dividend increases or decreases of the underlying securities although the market prices of convertible securities may be affected by any dividend changes or other changes in the underlying securities.

 

Warrants and Rights

 

The Fund may invest in warrants or rights (including those acquired in units or attached to other securities) that entitle the holder to buy equity securities at a specific price for a specific period of time but will do so only if such equity securities are deemed appropriate by the Advisor for inclusion in the Fund’s portfolio.

 

Exchange-Traded Notes

 

The Fund may invest in exchange-traded notes (“ETNs”). An ETN is typically an unsecured, unsubordinated debt security issued by a sponsoring institution, which may include a government entity, financial institution or corporation. Similar to other debt securities, ETNs have a maturity date and are backed only by the credit of the sponsoring institution. The returns of ETNs are usually linked to the performance of securities or market indices, less investor fees and all other costs. When an investor buys an ETN, the sponsoring institution promises to pay the amount related to the value of the underlying index, minus fees and all other costs, upon maturity. To the extent that the Fund invests in ETNs that track indices of MLPs or energy infrastructure companies, the value of such investments will be counted for purposes of the Fund’s 80% Policy.

 

Foreign Securities

 

The Fund may invest up to 10% of its Managed Assets in securities of issuers located outside North America. Investments in securities of foreign issuers may include investments in American Depositary Receipts, or “ADRs.” ADRs are certificates evidencing ownership of shares of a foreign issuer that are issued by depositary banks and generally trade on an established market in the United States or elsewhere.

 

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Short Sales

 

The Fund may engage in short sales. A short sale is a transaction in which the Fund sells a security it does not own in anticipation that the market price of that security will decline. To the extent the Fund engages in short sales, the Fund will not make a short sale, if, after giving effect to such sale, the market value of all securities sold short exceeds 20% of the value of its Managed Assets. The Fund may also make short sales “against the box” without respect to such limitations. In this type of short sale, at the time of the sale, the Fund owns, or has the immediate and unconditional right to acquire at no additional cost, the identical security. If the price of the security sold short increases between the time of the short sale and the time the Fund replaces the borrowed security, the Fund will incur a loss; conversely, if the price declines, the Fund will realize a capital gain. Any gain will be decreased, and any loss will be increased, by the transaction costs incurred by the Fund, including the costs associated with providing collateral to the broker-dealer (usually cash and liquid securities) and the maintenance of collateral with its custodian. Although the Fund’s gain is limited to the price at which it sold the security short, its potential loss is theoretically unlimited. The Fund may engage in short sales in connection with paired long-short trades to arbitrage pricing disparities in securities issued by MLPs or between MLPs and their affiliates.

 

Certain Other Investment Practices

 

Derivatives Transactions. The Fund may, but is not required to, use various derivatives transactions in order to earn income or enhance total return, facilitate portfolio management and mitigate risks. Generally, a derivative is a financial contract the value of which depends upon, or is derived from, the value of an underlying asset, reference rate, or index, and may relate to individual debt or equity instruments, interest rates, currencies or currency exchange rates, commodities, related indexes, and other assets. The use of derivatives transactions to earn income or enhance total return may be particularly speculative. In the course of pursuing these investment strategies, the Fund may purchase and sell exchange-listed and over-the-counter put and call options on securities, equity and debt indices and other instruments, purchase and sell futures contracts and options thereon, and enter into various transactions such as swaps, caps, floors or collars. In addition, derivative transactions may also include new techniques, instruments or strategies that are permitted as regulatory changes occur. For a more complete discussion of the Fund’s investment practices involving transactions in derivatives and certain other investment techniques, see “Investment Objective and Policies—Derivative Instruments” in the Fund’s SAI.

 

Other Investment Funds. The Fund may invest up to 10% of its Managed Assets in securities of other investment funds, including registered closed-end or open-end investment companies, including exchange-traded funds. The Advisor generally expects that it may invest in other investment funds either during periods when it has large amounts of uninvested cash, such as the period shortly after the Fund receives the proceeds from an offering of Common Shares or during periods when there is a shortage of attractive securities available in the market. To the extent that the Fund invests in other investment companies that invest primarily in MLPs or energy infrastructure companies, the value of such investments will be counted for purposes of the Fund’s 80% Policy.

 

When Issued, Delayed Delivery Securities and Forward Commitments. The Fund may enter into forward commitments for the purchase or sale of securities, including on a “when issued” or “delayed delivery” basis, in excess of customary settlement periods for the type of security involved. In some cases, a forward commitment may be conditioned upon the occurrence of a subsequent event, such as approval and consummation of a merger, corporate reorganization or debt restructuring, i.e., a when, as and if issued security. When such transactions are negotiated, the price is fixed at the time of the commitment, with payment and delivery taking place in the future, generally a month or more after the date of the commitment. While it will only enter into a forward commitment with the intention of actually acquiring the security, the Fund may sell the security before the settlement date if it is deemed advisable. Securities purchased under a forward commitment are subject to market fluctuation, and no interest (or dividends) accrues to the Fund prior to the settlement date. The Fund will segregate with its custodian cash or liquid securities in an aggregate amount at least equal to the amount of its outstanding forward commitments.

 

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Repurchase Agreements. The Fund may enter into repurchase agreements. Repurchase agreements may be seen as loans by the Fund collateralized by underlying debt securities. Under the terms of a typical repurchase agreement, the Fund would acquire an underlying debt obligation for a relatively short period (usually not more than one week) subject to an obligation of the seller to repurchase, and the Fund to resell, the obligation at an agreed price and time. This arrangement results in a fixed rate of return to the Fund that is not subject to market fluctuations during the holding period. The Fund bears a risk of loss in the event that the other party to a repurchase agreement defaults on its obligations and the Fund is delayed in or prevented from exercising its rights to dispose of the collateral securities, including the risk of a possible decline in the value of the underlying securities during the period in which it seeks to assert these rights. The Advisor, acting under the supervision of the Board of Trustees, reviews the creditworthiness of those banks and dealers with which the Fund enters into repurchase agreements to evaluate these risks and monitors on an ongoing basis the value of the securities subject to repurchase agreements to ensure that the value is maintained at the required level. The Fund will not enter into repurchase agreements with the Advisor or its affiliates.

 

Reverse Repurchase Agreements. The Fund may enter into reverse repurchase agreements. Under a reverse repurchase agreement, the Fund temporarily transfers possession of a portfolio instrument to another party, such as a bank or broker-dealer, in return for cash. At the same time, the Fund agrees to repurchase the instrument at an agreed upon time (normally within seven days) and price, which reflects an interest payment. The Fund may enter into such agreements when it is able to invest the cash acquired at a rate higher than the cost of the agreement, which would increase earned income. When the Fund enters into a reverse repurchase agreement, any fluctuations in the market value of either the instruments transferred to another party or the instruments in which the proceeds may be invested would affect the market value of the Fund’s assets. As a result, such transactions may increase fluctuations in the market value of the Fund’s assets. Because reverse repurchase agreements may be considered to be the practical equivalent of borrowing funds, they constitute a form of leverage. Such agreements will be treated as subject to investment restrictions regarding “borrowings.” If the Fund reinvests the proceeds of a reverse repurchase agreement at a rate lower than the cost of the agreement, entering into the agreement will lower the Fund’s cash available for distribution.

 

Loans of Portfolio Securities. To increase income, the Fund may lend its portfolio securities to securities broker-dealers or financial institutions if (i) the loan is collateralized in accordance with applicable regulatory requirements and (ii) no loan will cause the value of all loaned securities to exceed 331/3% of the value of the Fund’s Managed Assets. If the borrower fails to maintain the requisite amount of collateral, the loan automatically terminates and the Fund could use the collateral to replace the securities while holding the borrower liable for any excess of replacement cost over the value of the collateral. As with any extension of credit, there are risks of delay in recovery and in some cases even loss of rights in collateral should the borrower of the securities fail financially. There can be no assurance that borrowers will not fail financially. On termination of the loan, the borrower is required to return the securities to the Fund, and any gain or loss in the market price during the loan would inure to the Fund. If the other party to the loan petitions for bankruptcy or becomes subject to the United States Bankruptcy Code, the law regarding the rights of the Fund is unsettled. As a result, under extreme circumstances, there may be a restriction on the Fund’s ability to sell the collateral and the Fund would suffer a loss. See “Investment Objective and Policies—Loans of Portfolio Securities” in the Fund’s SAI.

 

Temporary Defensive Investments

 

At any time when a temporary defensive posture is believed by the Advisor to be warranted (a “temporary defensive period”), the Fund may, without limitation, hold cash or invest its assets in money market instruments and repurchase agreements in respect of those instruments. The money market instruments in which the Fund may invest are obligations of the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities; commercial paper rated A-1 or higher by S&P or Prime-1 by Moody’s; and certificates of deposit and bankers’ acceptances issued by domestic branches of U.S. banks that are members of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The Fund may

 

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not achieve its investment objective during a temporary defensive period or be able to sustain its historical distribution levels.

 

Portfolio Turnover

 

The Fund will buy and sell securities to seek to accomplish its investment objective. It is not the Fund’s policy to engage in transactions with the objective of seeking profits from short-term trading. However, the Fund may engage in active and frequent trading when the Advisor believes such trading is, in light of prevailing economic and market conditions, in the best interests of the Fund’s shareholders. Portfolio turnover generally involves some expense to the Fund, including brokerage commissions or dealer mark-ups and other transaction costs on the sale of securities and reinvestment in other securities. Higher portfolio turnover may decrease the after-tax return to individual investors in the Fund to the extent it results in a decrease of the long-term capital gains portion of distributions to shareholders.

 

Investment Restrictions

 

The Fund has adopted certain other investment limitations designed to limit investment risk. These limitations are fundamental and may not be changed without the approval of the holders of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund, as defined in the 1940 Act. See “Investment Restrictions” in the Fund’s SAI for a complete list of the fundamental investment policies of the Fund.

 

USE OF FINANCIAL LEVERAGE

 

The Fund intends to seek to enhance the level of its current distributions by utilizing financial leverage through borrowing, including loans from financial institutions, or the issuance of commercial paper or other forms of debt (“Borrowings”), through the issuance of senior securities such as preferred shares (“Preferred Shares”), through reverse repurchase agreements, dollar rolls or similar transactions or through a combination of the foregoing (collectively “Financial Leverage”). The Fund may utilize Financial Leverage up to the limits imposed by the 1940 Act. Under the 1940 Act, the Fund may utilize Financial Leverage in the form of Borrowings in an aggregate amount up to 331/3 of the Fund’s total assets immediately after such Borrowing and may utilize Financial Leverage in the form of Preferred Shares in an aggregate amount of up to 50% of the Fund’s total assets immediately after such issuance. Under current market conditions, the Fund intends to utilize Financial Leverage through Borrowings from certain financial institutions and through the issuance of Preferred Shares in an amount ranging from 25% to 33% of the Fund’s Managed Assets, including the proceeds of such Financial Leverage. The Fund may also utilize Borrowings in excess of such limits for temporary purposes such as the settlement of transactions.

 

The Fund has entered into a revolving credit agreement (the “Credit Agreement”) with BNP Paribas Prime Brokerage, Inc. (“BNPP”) pursuant to which the Fund may borrow up to a maximum commitment amount of (1) $75,000,000 under a 179-day facility plus (2) additional amounts on a demand basis subject to the amount of the Fund’s pledged collateral and the limits imposed by the 1940 Act. The Fund pays a monthly financing changes based on a LIBOR-based variable rate and a commitment fee of 0.70% per annum on the unused portion of the maximum commitment amount. The Fund is required to pledge portfolio securities as collateral in an amount up to two times the loan balance outstanding (or more depending on the terms of the Credit Agreement) and has granted a security interest in the securities pledged to, and in favor of, BNPP as security for the loan balance outstanding. If the Fund fails to meet certain requirements, or maintain other financial covenants required under the Credit Agreement, the Fund may be required to repay immediately, in part or in full, the loan balance outstanding under the Credit Agreement, necessitating the sale of portfolio securities at potentially inopportune times. The Credit Facility includes usual and customary covenants. These covenants impose on the Fund asset coverage requirements, collateral requirements, investment strategy requirements, and certain financial obligations. As of November 30, 2017, the Fund had outstanding borrowings under the Credit Agreement of $66.5 million (representing approximately 19% of the Fund’s Managed Assets). Amounts drawn under the Credit Facility may vary over time and such

 

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amounts will be reported in the Fund’s audited and unaudited financial statements contained in the Fund’s annual and semi-annual reports to shareholders.   

 

Additionally, the Fund currently utilizes Financial Leverage through Preferred Shares. On September 22, 2016, the Fund completed a private placement of 2,000 shares of Series A Mandatory Redeemable Preferred Shares (“MRP Shares”). Each MRP Share has a liquidation preference of $25,000, resulting in an aggregate liquidation preference of $50 million for all MRP Shares (representing approximately 14% of the Fund’s Managed Assets). The MRP Shares pay quarterly cash dividends at a rate of 4.29% per annum and have a term redemption date of September 26, 2026. As of November 30, 2017, the Fund had total Financial Leverage of $116.5 million representing 33% of the Fund’s Managed Assets.

 

So long as the net rate of return on the Fund’s investments purchased with the proceeds of Financial Leverage exceeds the cost of such Financial Leverage, such excess amounts will be available to pay higher distributions to holders of the Fund’s Common Shares. During the time in which the Fund is utilizing Financial Leverage, the amount of the fees paid to the Advisor for investment advisory services will be higher than if the Fund did not utilize Financial Leverage because the fees paid will be calculated based on the Fund’s Managed Assets, which may create a conflict of interest between the Advisor and Common Shareholders. Because the Financial Leverage costs will be borne by the Fund at a specified rate, only the Fund’s Common Shareholders will bear the cost associated with Financial Leverage. Borrowings (and any Preferred Shares) have seniority over Common Shares. Any use of Financial Leverage must be approved by the Board of Trustees. There can be no assurance that a leveraging strategy will be implemented or that it will be successful during any period during which it is employed.

 

Borrowings

 

As noted above, the Fund is authorized to borrow or issue debt securities for financial leveraging purposes and for temporary purposes such as the settlement of transactions. Under the 1940 Act, the Fund generally is not permitted to engage in Borrowings unless, immediately after the Borrowing, the Fund would have asset coverage (as defined in the 1940 Act) of less than 300% (i.e., for every dollar of Borrowing outstanding, the Fund is required to have at least three dollars of assets). In addition, the Fund generally is not permitted to declare any cash dividend or other distribution on the Common Shares unless, at the time of such declaration and after deducting the amount of such dividend or other distribution, the Fund maintains asset coverage with respect to its Borrowings of 300%. However, the foregoing restriction does not apply with respect to certain types of Borrowings, including a line of credit or other privately arranged borrowings from a financial institution. If the Fund borrows and is subject to the foregoing limitation on dividends and other distributions, the Fund intends, to the extent possible, to prepay all or a portion of the principal amount of any outstanding commercial paper, notes or other Borrowings to the extent necessary to maintain the required asset coverage.

 

The terms of any such Borrowings may require the Fund to pay a fee to maintain a line of credit, such as a commitment fee, or to maintain minimum average balances with a lender. Any such requirements would increase the cost of such Borrowings over the stated interest rate. Such lenders would have the right to receive interest on and repayment of principal of any such Borrowings, which right will be senior to those of the Common Shareholders. Any such Borrowings may contain provisions limiting certain activities of the Fund, including the payment of dividends to Common Shareholders in certain circumstances. Any Borrowings will likely be ranked senior or equal to all other existing and future Borrowings of the Fund. If the Fund utilizes Borrowings, Common Shareholders will bear the offering costs of the issuance of any Borrowings.

 

Certain types of Borrowings subject the Fund to covenants in credit agreements relating to asset coverage and portfolio composition requirements. Certain Borrowings issued by the Fund also may subject the Fund to certain restrictions on investments imposed by guidelines of one or more rating agencies, which may issue ratings for such Borrowings. Such guidelines may impose asset coverage or portfolio composition requirements that are more stringent than those imposed by the 1940 Act. It is not anticipated that these covenants or guidelines will impede the Advisor from managing the Fund’s portfolio in accordance with the Fund’s investment objective and policies.

 

The 1940 Act grants to the lenders to the Fund, under certain circumstances, certain voting rights in the event of default in the payment of interest on or repayment of principal. Failure to maintain certain asset coverage requirements could result in an event of default and entitle the debt holders to elect a majority of the Board of Trustees.

 

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Preferred Shares

 

The Fund’s Governing Documents provide that the Board of Trustees may authorize and issue Preferred Shares with rights as determined by the Board of Trustees, by action of the Board of Trustees without prior approval of the holders of the Common Shares. The Fund may utilize Preferred Shares to the maximum extent permitted by the 1940 Act. Under the 1940 Act, the Fund may not issue Preferred Shares if, immediately after issuance, the Fund would have asset coverage (as defined in the 1940 Act) of less than 200% (i.e., for every dollar of Preferred Shares outstanding, the Fund is required to have at least two dollars of assets). Under the 1940 Act, the Fund may only issue one class of Preferred Shares. The Fund currently has $50 million aggregate liquidation preference of Preferred Shares outstanding.

 

While the Fund has Preferred Shares outstanding, the Fund may be subject to certain restrictions imposed by rating agencies that issue ratings for Preferred Shares issued by the Fund. These guidelines may impose asset coverage, portfolio composition and voting requirements or limit the use of certain investment techniques that are more stringent than those imposed on the Fund by the 1940 Act. These requirements may have an adverse effect on the Fund and may affect the Fund’s ability to pay distributions to Common Shareholders. It is not anticipated that these covenants or guidelines will impede the Advisor from managing the Fund’s portfolio in accordance with the Fund’s investment objective and policies.

 

In addition, the Fund is not permitted to declare any dividend (except a dividend payable in Common Shares), or to declare any other distribution on its Common Shares, or to purchase any Common Shares, unless the Preferred Shares have at the time of the declaration of any such dividend or other distribution, or at the time of any such purchase of Common Shares, an asset coverage of at least 200% after deducting the amount of such dividend, distribution or purchase price. If Preferred Shares are issued, the Fund intends, to the extent possible, to purchase or redeem Preferred Shares from time to time to the extent necessary to maintain asset coverage of any Preferred Shares of at least 200%. Doing so may require the Fund to liquidate portfolio securities at prices lower than what the Fund would otherwise realize if the Fund was not required to sell such securities at such time. Additionally, the Fund may be unable to refinance Preferred Shares or sell a sufficient amount of portfolio securities to redeem Preferred Shares at the term redemption date or to maintain asset coverage ratios, which could cause an event of default on the Preferred Shares. Any redemption of Preferred Shares by the Fund will reduce any Financial Leverage applicable to the Common Shares.

 

The terms of any Preferred Shares issued by the Fund may contain provisions limiting certain activities of the Fund, including the payment of dividends to Common Shareholders in certain circumstances. The Preferred Shareholders have rights as to the payment of dividends or interest on the Preferred Shares and the distribution of assets upon liquidation of the Fund, which rights rank senior to those of the Common Shareholders.

 

Additionally, if Preferred Shares are outstanding, two of the Fund’s Trustees (the “Preferred Trustees”) will be elected by the holders of Preferred Shares, voting separately as a class. The remaining Trustees of the Fund will be elected by holders of Common Shares and Preferred Shares voting together as a single class. In connection with the issuance of the MRP Shares, Dan C. Tutcher and Alfred J. Moran were designated by the Board of Trustees as the Preferred Share Trustees of the Fund. Holders of the MRP Shares, and not Common Shareholders, will be entitled to vote on the election of each Preferred Share Trustee at the scheduled shareholder meeting at which such Preferred Share Trustee’s term expires. In addition, in the unlikely event the Fund failed to pay dividends on Preferred Shares for two years, Preferred Shares would be entitled to elect a majority of the Trustees of the Fund.

 

The costs associated with the issuance and use of Financial Leverage, including Preferred Shares, will be borne by the holders of the Common Shares. Holders of Common Shares have no preemptive right to purchase any Preferred Shares issued by the Fund. See “Description of Capital Structure—Preferred Shares.”

 

Effects of Financial Leverage

 

The Fund has entered into a Credit Agreement with BNPP, pursuant to which the Fund may borrow up to (1) $75,000,000 under a 179-day facility plus (2) additional amounts on a demand basis subject to the amount of the Fund’s pledged collateral and the limits imposed by the 1940 Act. The Fund pays a monthly financing changes based on a LIBOR-based variable rate and a commitment fee of 0.70% per annum on the unused portion of the maximum commitment amount. On November 30, 2017, outstanding borrowings under the Credit Agreement were approximately $66.5 million, which represented approximately 19% of the Fund’s Managed Assets. As of November 30, 2017, the weighted average interest rate and commitment fee payable by the Fund on borrowings under the Credit Agreement was 1.95%. On September 22, 2016, the Fund issued $50 million aggregate liquidation preference of MRP Shares, which represented approximately 14% of the Fund’s Managed Assets. The MRP Shares will pay quarterly cash dividends at a rate of 4.29% per annum and have a term redemption date of September 26, 2026. As of November 30, 2017, the Fund’s total leverage (including Borrowings and Preferred Shares) of $116.5 million represented 33% of its Managed Assets. Assuming that the Fund’s leverage costs remain as described above, then the incremental income generated by the Fund’s portfolio (net of estimated expenses including expenses related to the Financial Leverage) must exceed approximately 33.6% to cover such leverage costs. These numbers are merely estimates used for illustration. The amount of Financial Leverage used by the Fund as well as actual interest expenses on such Financial Leverage will vary.

 

The following table is furnished pursuant to requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). It is designed to illustrate the effect of leverage on Common Share total return, assuming investment portfolio total returns (comprised of income, net expenses and changes in the value of investments held in the Fund’s portfolio) of -10%, -5%, 0%, 5% and 10%. These assumed investment portfolio returns are hypothetical figures and are not necessarily indicative of what the Fund’s investment portfolio returns will be. The table further reflects the (i) issuance by the Fund of Financial Leverage representing approximately 33% of the Fund’s Managed Assets and (ii) dividend and interest costs to the Fund at an average annual rate of 1.00% with respect to such Financial Leverage. The table does not reflect any offering costs of Common Shares or Financial Leverage.

 

Assumed portfolio total return (net of expenses)

 

(10.00

)%

(5.00

)%

0.00

%

5.00

%

10.00

%

Common Share total return

 

(16.57

)%

(9.03

)%

(1.50

)%

6.04

%

13.57

%

 

        Common Share total return is composed of two elements—the Common Share dividends paid by the Fund (the amount of which is largely determined by the Fund’s net investment income after paying the carrying cost of Financial Leverage) and realized and unrealized gains or losses on the value of the securities the Fund owns. As required by SEC rules, the table assumes that the Fund is more likely to suffer capital loss than to enjoy capital appreciation. For example, to assume a total return of 0%, the Fund must assume that the net investment income it receives on its investments is entirely offset by losses on the value of those investments. This table reflects the hypothetical performance of the Fund’s portfolio and not the performance of the Fund’s Common Shares, the value of which will be determined by market and other factors.

 

Interest Rate Transactions

 

In connection with the Fund’s use of Financial Leverage, the Fund may enter into interest rate swap or cap transactions. The Fund would use interest rate swaps or caps to seek to reduce or eliminate the risk that an increase in short-term interest rates could have on Common Share net earnings as a result of leverage.

 

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Interest rate swaps involve the Fund’s agreement with the swap counterparty to pay a fixed-rate payment in exchange for the counterparty’s paying the Fund a variable rate payment that is intended to approximate all or a portion of the Fund’s variable-rate payment obligation on the Fund’s Financial Leverage. The payment obligation would be based on the notional amount of the swap, which will not exceed the amount of the Fund’s Financial Leverage. An interest rate cap would require the Fund to pay a premium to the counterparty and would entitle the Fund, to the extent that a specified variable-rate index exceeds a predetermined fixed rate, to receive payment from the counterparty of the difference based on the notional amount. The Fund will usually enter into swaps or caps on a net basis; that is, the two payment streams will be netted out in a cash settlement on the payment date or dates specified in the instrument, with the Fund’s receiving or paying, as the case may be, only the net amount of the two payments.

 

The use of interest rate swaps and caps is a highly specialized activity that involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio security transactions. Depending on the state of interest rates in general, the Fund’s use of interest rate instruments could enhance or harm the overall performance of the Common Shares. To the extent there is a decline in interest rates, the net amount receivable by the Fund under the interest rate swap or cap could decline and could thus result in a decline in the net asset value of the Common Shares. In addition, if short-term interest rates are lower than the Fund’s fixed rate of payment on the interest rate swap, the swap will reduce Common Share net earnings if the Fund must make net payments to the counterparty. If, on the other hand, short-term interest rates are higher than the fixed rate of payment on the interest rate swap, the swap will enhance Common Share net earnings if the Fund receives net payments from the counterparty. Buying interest rate caps could enhance the performance of the Common Shares by limiting the Fund’s maximum leverage expense. Buying interest rate caps could also decrease the net earnings of the Common Shares if the premium paid by the Fund to the counterparty exceeds the additional cost of the Financial Leverage that the Fund would have been required to pay had it not entered into the cap agreement.

 

Interest rate swaps and caps do not involve the delivery of securities or other underlying assets or principal. Accordingly, the risk of loss with respect to interest rate swaps is limited to the net amount of interest payments that the Fund is contractually obligated to make. If the counterparty defaults, the Fund would not be able to use the anticipated net receipts under the swap or cap to offset the costs of the Financial Leverage. Depending on whether the Fund would be entitled to receive net payments from the counterparty on the swap or cap, which in turn would depend on the general state of short-term interest rates at that point in time, such a default could negatively impact the performance of the Common Shares.

 

Although this will not guarantee that the counterparty does not default, the Fund will not enter into an interest rate swap or cap transaction with any counterparty that the Advisor believes does not have the financial resources to honor its obligation under the interest rate swap or cap transaction. Further, the Advisor will regularly monitor the financial stability of a counterparty to an interest rate swap or cap transaction in an effort to proactively protect the Fund’s investments.

 

In addition, at the time the interest rate swap or cap transaction reaches its scheduled termination date, there is a risk that the Fund will not be able to obtain a replacement transaction or that the terms of the replacement will not be as favorable as on the expiring transaction. If this occurs, it could have a negative impact on the performance of the Common Shares.

 

The Fund may choose or be required to prepay any Borrowings. Such a prepayment would likely result in the Fund’s seeking to terminate early all or a portion of any swap or cap transaction. Such early termination of a swap could result in a termination payment by or to the Fund. An early termination of a cap could result in a termination payment to the Fund. There may also be penalties associated with early termination.

 

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RISKS

 

Investors should consider the following risk factors and special considerations associated with investing in the Fund. An investment in the Fund is subject to investment risk, including the possible loss of the entire principal amount that you invest.

 

Not a Complete Investment Program

 

An investment in the Common Shares of the Fund should not be considered a complete investment program. The Fund is not meant to provide a vehicle for those who wish to play short-term swings in the stock market. Each Common Shareholder should take into account the Fund’s investment objective as well as the Common Shareholder’s other investments when considering an investment in the Fund.

 

Investment and Market Risk

 

An investment in the Fund is subject to investment risk, including the possible loss of the entire principal amount that you invest. An investment in the Common Shares of the Fund represents an indirect investment in the securities owned by the Fund. The value of those securities may fluctuate, sometimes rapidly and unpredictably. The value of the securities owned by the Fund will affect the value of the Common Shares. At any point in time, your Common Shares may be worth less than your original investment, including the reinvestment of Fund dividends and distributions.

 

Management Risk

 

The Fund is subject to management risk because it has an actively managed portfolio. The Advisor will apply investment techniques and risk analyses in making investment decisions for the Fund, but there can be no guarantee that these will produce the desired results.

 

Risks of Investing in MLP Units

 

The Fund’s investments in MLP units expose the Fund to risks that differ from a similar investment in equity securities, such as common stock, of a corporation. Holders of MLP units have the rights typically afforded to limited partners in a limited partnership. As compared to common shareholders of a corporation, holders of MLP units have more limited control and limited rights to vote on matters affecting the partnership. There are certain tax risks associated with an investment in MLP units. Additionally, conflicts of interest may exist between common unit holders, subordinated unit holders and the general partner of an MLP; for example, a conflict may arise as a result of incentive distribution payments, as such an incentive structure may result in divergent and potentially conflicting interests between common unitholders and the general partner, which may have more motivation to pursue projects with high risk and high potential reward.

 

Tax Risks

 

As a result of the unique characteristics of MLP investments, the Fund will be subject to certain tax related risks.

 

MLP Tax Risk. The Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective will depend largely on the amount of the distributions it receives (in relation to the taxable income it recognizes) with respect to its investments in the MLPs, which is something over which the Fund will have no control. Much of the benefit the Fund derives from its investment in equity securities of MLPs is a result of MLPs generally being treated as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Partnerships do not pay U.S. federal income tax at the partnership level. Rather, each partner of a partnership, in computing its U.S. federal income tax liability, will include its allocable share of the

 

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partnership’s income, gains, losses, deductions and expenses. A change in current tax law, or a change in the business of a given MLP, could result in an MLP being treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes, which would result in such MLP being required to pay U.S. federal income tax on its taxable income. The classification of an MLP as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes would have the effect of reducing the amount of cash available for distribution by the MLP and generally causing such distributions received by the Fund to be taxed as dividend income. Thus, if any of the MLPs owned by the Fund were treated as corporations for U.S. federal income tax purposes, the after-tax return to the Fund with respect to its investment in such MLPs would be materially reduced, which could cause a substantial decline in the value of the Common Shares and Preferred Shares.

 

Deferred Tax Risks of MLP Investments. To the extent that the Fund invests in the equity securities of an MLP, the Fund will be a partner in such MLP. Accordingly, the Fund will be required to include in its taxable income the Fund’s allocable share of the income, gains, losses, deductions and expenses recognized by each such MLP, regardless of whether the MLP distributes cash to the Fund. Historically, MLPs have been able to offset a significant portion of their income with tax deductions. The portion, if any, of a distribution received by the Fund from an MLP that is offset by the MLP’s tax deductions is essentially treated as tax-deferred return of capital. However, any such deferred tax will be reflected in the Fund’s adjusted basis in the equity securities of the MLP, which will result in an increase in the amount of gain (or decrease in the amount of loss) that will be recognized by the Fund for tax purposes on the sale of any such equity securities. In addition, the Fund will incur a current income tax liability on the portion of its allocable share of an MLP’s income that is not offset by its allocable share of tax deductions. The percentage of an MLP’s income that is offset by the MLP’s tax deductions will fluctuate over time. For example, new acquisitions by MLPs generate accelerated depreciation and other tax deductions, and therefore a decline in acquisition activity by the MLPs owned by the Fund could increase the Fund’s current tax liability. If the percentage of the distributions received by the Fund that is offset by tax deductions declines, or the Fund’s portfolio turnover increases, the portion of the distributions paid by the Fund that is treated as tax-deferred return of capital and/or capital gain, as the case may be, would be reduced and the portion treated as taxable dividend income would be increased. This generally would result in lower after-tax distributions to shareholders.

 

Because the Fund is treated as a regular corporation, or “C” corporation, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, the Fund will incur tax expenses. In calculating the Fund’s net asset value in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, the Fund will, among other things, account for its deferred tax liability and/or asset balances.

 

The Fund will accrue a deferred income tax liability balance, at the currently effective statutory U.S. federal income tax rate plus an estimated state and local income tax rate, for its future tax liability associated with the capital appreciation of its investments and the distributions received by the Fund on equity securities of MLPs considered to be return of capital and for any net operating gains. Any deferred tax liability balance will reduce the Fund’s net asset value. The portion, if any, of a distribution on an MLP equity security received by the Fund that is offset by the MLP’s tax deductions or losses will be treated as a return of capital. However, those distributions will reduce the Fund’s adjusted tax basis in the equity securities of the MLP, which will result in an increase in the amount of income or gain (or a decrease in the amount of loss) that will be recognized on the sale of the equity security in the MLP by the Fund. Upon the Fund’s sale of a portfolio security, the Fund will be liable for previously deferred taxes. No assurance can be given that such taxes will not exceed the Fund’s deferred tax liability assumptions for purposes of computing the Fund’s net asset value per share, which would result in an immediate reduction of the Fund’s net asset value per share, which could be material.

 

The Fund will accrue a deferred tax asset balance which reflects an estimate of the Fund’s future tax benefit associated with net operating losses and unrealized losses. Any deferred tax asset balance will increase the Fund’s net asset value. A deferred tax asset may be used to reduce a subsequent period’s income tax expense, subject to certain limitations. To the extent the Fund has a deferred tax asset balance, the Fund will assess whether a

 

66


 

valuation allowance, which would offset some or all of the value of the Fund’s deferred tax asset balance, is required, considering all positive and negative evidence related to the realization of the Fund’s deferred tax asset. The Fund will assess whether a valuation allowance is required to offset some or all of any deferred tax asset balance based on estimates of the Fund in connection with the calculation of the Fund’s net asset value per share; however, to the extent the final valuation allowance differs from the estimates of the Fund used in calculating the Fund’s net asset value, the application of such final valuation allowance could have a material impact on the Fund’s net asset value.

 

The Fund’s deferred tax liability and/or asset balances are estimated using estimates of effective tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the years such balances are realized. The Fund will rely to some extent on information provided by MLPs regarding the tax characterization of the distributions made by such MLPs, which may not be provided to the Fund on a timely basis, to estimate the Fund’s deferred tax liability and/or asset balances for purposes of financial statement reporting and determining its net asset value. The Fund’s estimates regarding its deferred tax liability and/or asset balances will be made in good faith; however, the estimate of the Fund’s deferred tax liability and/or asset balances used to calculate the Fund’s net asset value could vary dramatically from the Fund’s actual tax liability, and, as a result, the determination of the Fund’s actual tax liability may have a material impact on the Fund’s net asset value. From time to time, the Fund may modify its estimates or assumptions regarding its deferred tax liability and/or asset balances as new information becomes available. Modifications of the Fund’s estimates or assumptions regarding its deferred tax liability and/or asset balances and any applicable valuation allowance, changes in generally accepted accounting principles or related guidance or interpretations thereof, limitations imposed on net operating losses (if any) and changes in applicable tax law could result in increases or decreases in the Fund’s net asset value per share, which could be material.

 

Tax Law Change Risk. Changes in the tax laws, or interpretations thereof, could adversely affect the Fund, the MLPs in which the Fund invests and/or the Fund’s shareholders. For example, if as a result of a change in the tax laws, MLPs are required to be treated as corporations rather than partnerships for tax purposes, MLPs would be subject to entity level tax at corporate tax rates and any distributions received by the Fund from an MLP would be treated as dividend income to the extent it was attributable to the MLP’s current or accumulated earnings and profits. Such treatment would negatively impact the amount and tax characterization of distributions received by the Fund and its shareholders. Long-term capital gains of certain non-corporate U.S. shareholders (including individuals) will be taxable at reduced maximum rates.

 

Tax Reporting Risk.  Shareholders will receive a single Form 1099, while the Fund will receive Schedules K-1 from each MLP in which they are invested. However, the MLPs in which the Fund invests generally will not deliver their Schedule K-1s to the Fund until after the Fund must deliver Forms 1099 to its shareholders.  If the Schedule K-1s received by the Fund show that the Fund’s estimates regarding its income attributable to such MLPs were incorrect, the Fund may have to send corrected Form 1099s to its shareholders, which may result in a shareholder being required to request an extension to file its tax return or to amend a previously filed tax return.

 

Affiliated Party Risk

 

Certain MLPs in which the Fund may invest depend upon their parent or sponsor entities for the majority of their revenues. Were their parent or sponsor entities to fail to make such payments or satisfy their obligations, the revenues and cash flows of such MLPs and ability of such MLPs to make distributions to unit holders, such as the Fund, would be adversely affected.

 

Equity Securities Risk

 

A substantial percentage of the Fund’s assets will be invested in equity securities, including MLP common units, MLP subordinated units, MLP preferred units, equity securities of MLP affiliates, including I-Shares, and common stocks of other issuers. Equity risk is the risk that MLP units or other equity securities held by the Fund will fall due to general market or economic conditions, perceptions regarding the industries in which the issuers of securities held by the Fund participate, changes in interest rates, and the particular circumstances and performance of particular companies whose securities the Fund holds. The price of an equity security of an issuer may be particularly sensitive to general movements in the stock market; or a drop in the stock market may depress the price of most or all of the equity securities held by the Fund. In addition, MLP units or other equity securities held by the Fund may decline in price if the issuer fails to make anticipated distributions or dividend payments because, among other reasons, the issuer experiences a decline in its financial condition.

 

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MLP subordinated units typically are convertible to MLP common units at a one-to-one ratio. The price of MLP subordinated units is typically tied to the price of the corresponding MLP common unit, less a discount. The size of the discount depends upon a variety of factors, including the likelihood of conversion, the length of time remaining until conversion and the size of the block of subordinated units being purchased or sold.

 

The Fund may invest in equity securities issued by affiliates of MLP, including general partners of MLPs. Such issuers may be organized and/or taxed as corporations and therefore may not offer the advantageous tax characteristics of MLP units. Investments in such MLP affiliates would be expected by the Advisor to provide economic exposure to the MLP asset class; however, such investments may not exhibit precise price correlation to any particular MLP or the MLP asset class generally.

 

I-Shares represent an indirect investment in MLP I-units. Prices and volatilities of I-Shares tend to correlate to the price of common unit, although the price correlation may not be precise. I-Shares differ from MLP common units primarily in that instead of receiving cash distributions, holders of I-Shares will receive distributions of additional I-Shares, in an amount equal to the cash distributions received by common unit holders. I-Shares have limited voting rights. Holders of I-Shares are subject to the same risks as holders of MLP common units.

 

Non-Diversification Risk

 

The Fund is a non-diversified investment company under the 1940 Act and will not elect to be treated as a regulated investment company under the Code. As a result, there are no regulatory requirements under the 1940 Act or the Code that limit the proportion of the Fund’s assets that may be invested in securities of a single issue. Accordingly, the Fund may concentrate its investments in a limited number of companies. As a consequence of this concentration, the aggregate returns the Fund realizes may be adversely affected if a small number of investments perform poorly. To the extent that the Fund takes large positions in the securities of a small number of portfolio companies, the Fund’s returns may fluctuate as a result of any single economic, political or regulatory occurrence affecting, or in the market’s assessment of, such portfolio companies to a greater extent than those of a diversified investment company. These factors could negatively impact the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective.

 

Concentration Risk

 

Because the Fund is focused in MLP and energy infrastructure companies operating in the industry or group of industries that make up the energy sector of the economy, the Fund may be more susceptible to risks associated with such sector. A downturn in such sector could have a larger impact on the Fund than on an investment company that does not concentrate in such sector. At times, the performance of securities of companies in the energy sector may lag the performance of other sectors or the broader market as a whole.

 

Energy Sector Risks

 

The MLPs and energy infrastructure companies in which the Fund invests operate in the energy sector of the economy. As a result, the Fund will be more susceptible to adverse economic or regulatory occurrences affecting the energy sector. A downturn in the energy sector of the economy could have a larger impact on the Fund than on an investment company that is broadly diversified across many sectors of the economy. Recently, the performance of securities of companies in the energy sector has lagged the performance of other sectors and the broader market as a whole. There are several risks associated with investments in MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector, including the following:

 

Commodity Price Risk. MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector companies may be affected by fluctuations in the prices of energy commodities, including, for example, natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude

 

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oil and coal, in the short- and long-term. Fluctuations in energy commodity prices would directly impact companies that own such commodities and could indirectly impact MLPs and energy infrastructure companies that engage in transportation, storage, processing, distribution or marketing of such commodities. Fluctuations in energy commodity prices can result from changes in general economic conditions or political circumstances (especially of key energy producing and consuming countries); market conditions; weather patterns; domestic production levels; volume of imports; energy conservation; domestic and foreign governmental regulation; international politics; policies of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (“OPEC”); taxation; tariffs; and the availability and costs of local, intrastate and interstate transportation methods. Companies engaged in crude oil and natural gas exploration, development or production, natural gas gathering and processing, crude oil refining and transportation and coal mining or sales may be directly affected by their respective natural resources commodity prices. The volatility of commodity prices may also indirectly affect certain companies engaged in the transportation, processing, storage or distribution of such commodities. Some companies that own the underlying commodities may be unable to effectively mitigate or manage direct margin exposure to commodity price levels. The energy sector as a whole may also be impacted by the perception that the performance of energy sector companies is directly linked to commodity prices. High commodity prices may drive further energy conservation efforts and a slowing economy may adversely impact energy consumption which may adversely affect the performance of MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector. Recently, oil prices have declined significantly and experienced significant volatility. This may adversely impact MLP entities and other companies operating in the energy sector. Such companies’ growth prospects and ability to pay high dividends may be negatively impacted, would could adversely impact the net asset value of the Common Shares and the ability of the Fund to continue to pay dividends at current levels. See “—Recent Developments Regarding the Energy Sector.”

 

Supply and Demand Risk. MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector may be impacted by the levels of supply and demand for energy commodities. MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector could be adversely affected by reductions in the supply of or demand for energy commodities. The volume of production of energy commodities and the volume of energy commodities available for transportation, storage, processing or distribution could be affected by a variety of factors, including depletion of resources; depressed commodity prices; catastrophic events; labor relations; increased environmental or other governmental regulation; equipment malfunctions and maintenance difficulties; import volumes; international politics, policies of OPEC; and increased competition from alternative energy sources. Alternatively, a decline in demand for energy commodities could result from factors such as adverse economic conditions (especially in key energy-consuming countries); increased taxation; increased environmental or other governmental regulation; increased fuel economy; increased energy conservation or use of alternative energy sources; legislation intended to promote the use of alternative energy sources; or increased commodity prices. Demand for energy commodities has recently declined.  Reductions in production of oil and other energy commodities may lag decreases in demand or declines in commodity prices, resulting in global oversupply in such commodities.  See “—Recent Developments Regarding the Energy Sector.”

 

Depletion Risk. MLPs and other energy companies engaged in the exploration, development, management, gathering or production of energy commodities face the risk that commodity reserves are depleted over time. Such companies seek to increase their reserves through expansion of their current businesses, acquisitions, further development of their existing sources of energy commodities or exploration of new sources of energy commodities or by entering into long-term contracts for additional reserves; however, there are risks associated with each of these potential strategies. If such companies fail to acquire additional reserves in a cost-effective manner and at a rate at least equal to the rate at which their existing reserves decline, their financial performance may suffer. Additionally, failure to replenish reserves could reduce the amount and affect the tax characterization of the distributions paid by such companies.

 

Lack of Diversification of Customers and Suppliers. Certain MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector depend upon a limited number of customers for substantially all of their revenue. Similarly, certain MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector depend upon a limited number of suppliers of goods or services to continue their operations. The loss of any such customers or suppliers could materially adversely affect such companies’ results of operations and cash flow, and their ability to make distributions to unit holders, such as the Fund, would therefore be materially adversely affected.

 

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Regulatory Risk. The energy sector is highly regulated. MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector are subject to significant regulation of nearly every aspect of their operations by federal, state and local governmental agencies. Examples of governmental regulations which impact MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector include regulation of the construction, maintenance and operation of facilities, environmental regulation, safety regulation, labor regulation, trade regulation and the regulation of the prices charged for products and services. Compliance with these regulations is enforced by numerous governmental agencies and authorities through administrative, civil and criminal penalties. Stricter laws or regulations or stricter enforcement policies with respect to existing regulations would likely increase the costs of regulatory compliance and could have an adverse effect on the financial performance of MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector. MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector may be adversely affected by additional regulatory requirements enacted in response to environmental disasters, which may impose additional costs or limit certain operations by MLPs operating in various sectors.

 

Environmental Risk. There is an inherent risk that MLPs and energy infrastructure companies may incur environmental costs and liabilities due to the nature of their businesses and the substances they handle. For example, an accidental release from wells or gathering pipelines could subject them to substantial liabilities for environmental cleanup and restoration costs, claims made by neighboring landowners and other third parties for personal injury and property damage, and fines or penalties for related violations of environmental laws or regulations. Moreover, the possibility exists that stricter laws, regulations or enforcement policies could significantly increase the compliance costs of MLPs and energy infrastructure companies, and the cost of any remediation that may become necessary. MLPs or energy infrastructure companies may not be able to recover these costs from insurance.

 

Specifically, the operations of wells, gathering systems, pipelines, refineries and other facilities are subject to stringent and complex federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations. These include, for example: (i) the Federal Clean Air Act (“Clean Air Act”) and comparable state laws and regulations that impose obligations related to air emissions, (ii) the Federal Clean Water Act and comparable state laws and regulations that impose obligations related to discharges of pollutants into regulated bodies of water, (iii) the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) and comparable state laws and regulations that impose requirements for the handling and disposal of waste from facilities; and (iv) the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (“CERCLA”), also known as “Superfund,” and comparable state laws and regulations that regulate the cleanup of hazardous substances that may have been released at properties currently or previously owned or operated by MLPs or at locations to which they have sent waste for disposal.

 

Failure to comply with these laws and regulations may trigger a variety of administrative, civil and criminal enforcement measures, including the assessment of monetary penalties, the imposition of remedial requirements, and the issuance of orders enjoining future operations. Certain environmental statutes, including RCRA, CERCLA, the federal Oil Pollution Act and analogous state laws and regulations, impose strict, joint and several liability for costs required to clean up and restore sites where hazardous substances have been disposed of or otherwise released. Moreover, it is not uncommon for neighboring landowners and other third parties to file claims for personal injury and property damage allegedly caused by the release of hazardous substances or other waste products into the environment.

 

Voluntary initiatives and mandatory controls have been adopted or are being discussed both in the United States and worldwide to reduce emissions of “greenhouse gases” such as carbon dioxide, a by-product of burning fossil fuels, and methane, the major constituent of natural gas, which many scientists and policymakers believe contribute to global climate change. These measures and future measures could result in increased costs to certain companies in which the Fund may invest to operate and maintain facilities and administer and manage a greenhouse gas emissions program and may reduce demand for fuels that generate greenhouse gases and that are managed or produced by companies in which the Fund may invest.

 

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In the wake of a Supreme Court decision holding that the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has some legal authority to deal with climate change under the Clean Air Act, the EPA and the Department of Transportation jointly wrote regulations to cut gasoline use and control greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks. The EPA has also issued regulations relating to the emission of greenhouse gasses by certain stationary facilities subject to permitting obligations under the Clean Air Act. These measures, and other programs addressing greenhouse gas emissions, could reduce demand for energy or raise prices, which may adversely affect the total return of certain of the Fund’s investments.

 

Acquisition Risk. MLPs and energy infrastructure companies owned by the Fund may depend on their ability to make acquisitions that increase adjusted operating surplus per unit in order to increase distributions to unit holders. The ability of such MLPs and energy infrastructure companies to make future acquisitions is dependent on their ability to identify suitable targets, negotiate favorable purchase contracts, obtain acceptable financing and outbid competing potential acquirers. To the extent that MLPs and other Fund investments are unable to make future acquisitions, or such future acquisitions fail to increase the adjusted operating surplus per unit, their growth and ability to make distributions to unit holders will be limited. There are risks inherent in any acquisition, including erroneous assumptions regarding revenues, acquisition expenses, operating expenses, cost savings and synergies; assumption of liabilities; indemnification; customer losses; key employee defections; distraction from other business operations; and unanticipated difficulties in operating or integrating new product areas and geographic regions.

 

Interest Rate Risk. Rising interest rates could increase the costs of capital thereby increasing operating costs and reducing the ability of MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector to carry out acquisitions or expansions in a cost-effective manner. As a result, rising interest rates could negatively affect the financial performance of MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector in which the Fund invests. Rising interest rates may also impact the price of the securities of MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector as the yields on alternative investments increase.

 

Weather Risks. Weather plays a role in the seasonality of some MLPs’ cash flows. MLPs in the propane industry, for example, rely on the winter season to generate almost all of their earnings. In an unusually warm winter season, propane MLPs experience decreased demand for their product. Although most MLPs can reasonably predict seasonal weather demand based on normal weather patterns, extreme weather conditions, such as the hurricanes that severely damaged cities along the Gulf Coast in recent years, demonstrate that no amount of preparation can protect an MLP from the unpredictability of the weather. Further, climate change may result in increases in the frequency and severity of adverse weather events. The damage done by extreme weather also may serve to increase many MLPs’ insurance premiums.

 

Catastrophic Event Risk. MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector are subject to many dangers inherent in the production, exploration, management, transportation, processing and distribution of natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil, refined petroleum, petrochemicals and petroleum products and other hydrocarbons. These dangers include leaks, fires, explosions, damage to facilities and equipment resulting from natural disasters, inadvertent damage to facilities and equipment and terrorist acts. Since the September 11th terrorist attacks, the U.S. government has issued warnings that energy assets, specifically U.S. pipeline infrastructure, may be targeted in future terrorist attacks. These dangers give rise to risks of substantial losses as a result of loss or destruction of commodity reserves; damage to or destruction of property, facilities and equipment; pollution and environmental damage; and personal injury or loss of life. Any occurrence of such catastrophic events could bring about a limitation, suspension or discontinuation of the operations of MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector. MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector may not be fully insured against all risks inherent in their business operations and therefore accidents and catastrophic events could adversely affect such companies’ financial conditions and ability to pay distributions to shareholders.

 

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Risks Relating to Expansions and Acquisitions. MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector employ a variety of means to increase cash flow, including increasing utilization of existing facilities, expanding operations through new construction or development activities, expanding operations through acquisitions, adding additional services or securing additional long-term contracts. Thus, some MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector may be subject to construction risk, development risk, acquisition risk or other risks arising from their specific business strategies. MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector that attempt to grow through acquisitions may not be able to effectively integrate acquired operations with their existing operations. In addition, acquisition or expansion projects may not perform as anticipated. A significant slowdown in merger and acquisition activity in the energy sector could reduce the growth rate of cash flows received by the Fund from MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector that grow through acquisitions.

 

Technology Risk. Some MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector are focused on developing new technologies and are strongly influenced by technological changes. Technology development efforts by MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector may not result in viable methods or products. Energy Companies may bear high research and development costs, which can limit their ability to maintain operations during periods of organizational growth or instability. Some MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector may be in the early stages of operations and may have limited operating histories and smaller market capitalizations on average than companies in other sectors. As a result of these and other factors, the value of investments in such MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector may be considerably more volatile than that in more established segments of the economy.

 

Legislation Risk. There have been proposals in Congress to eliminate certain tax incentives widely used by oil and gas companies and to impose new fees on certain energy producers. The elimination of such tax incentives and imposition of such fees could adversely affect MLPs and other companies operating in the energy sector in which the Fund invests and/or the energy sector generally.

 

Recent Developments Regarding the Energy Sector

 

Recent Developments Regarding Commodity Prices. Prices of oil and other energy commodities have declined significantly and experienced significant volatility during recent years and oil prices have recently approached ten year lows.   Companies engaged in crude oil and natural gas exploration, development or production, natural gas gathering and processing, crude oil refining and transportation and coal mining or sales may be directly affected by their respective natural resources commodity prices. The volatility of commodity prices may also indirectly affect certain companies engaged in the transportation, processing, storage or distribution of such commodities. Some companies that own the underlying commodities may be unable to effectively mitigate or manage direct margin exposure to commodity price levels. The energy sector as a whole may also be impacted by the perception that the performance of energy sector companies is directly linked to commodity prices.   As a result, many companies in which the Fund may invest have been and may continue to be adversely impacted by declines in, and volatility of, prices of energy commodities. Demand for energy commodities has recently declined.  Reductions in production of oil and other energy commodities may lag decreases in demand or declines in commodity prices, resulting in global oversupply in such commodities.  Slower global growth may lower demand for oil and other energy commodities and increased exports by Iran with the end of sanctions may increase supply, exacerbating oversupply of such commodities and further reducing commodity prices. Continued low prices for energy commodities, or continued volatility of such prices, could further erode such companies’ growth prospects and negatively impact such companies’ ability to sustain attractive distribution levels, would could adversely impact the NAV of the Common Shares and the ability of the Fund to continue to pay distributions on the Common Shares at current levels.  Because the Fund is focused in MLP and energy infrastructure companies operating in the industry or group of industries that make up the energy sector of the economy, the Fund may be more susceptible to risks associated with energy commodity prices than an investment company that does not concentrate in such sector.

 

Recent Developments Regarding MLP Distributions. The Fund expects that a substantial portion of the cash flow it receives will be derived from its investments in equity securities of MLPs and energy infrastructure companies. The amount and tax characterization of cash available for distribution will depend upon the amount of cash generated by such entity’s operations. Cash available for distribution may vary widely from quarter to quarter and is affected by various factors affecting the entity’s operations.  Recently, a number of MLPs have reduced, suspended or eliminated their distributions.   Such distribution reductions could adversely impact the ability of the Fund to continue to pay distributions on the Common Shares at current levels.

 

Recent Developments Regarding MLP Debt Restructurings. Adverse developments in the energy sector may result in MLPs seeking to restructure debt or file for bankruptcy.  Limited partners in such MLPs, such as the Fund, may owe taxes on debt that is forgiven in a bankruptcy or an out-of-court restructuring, as cancellation of debt income, which creates a tax liability for investors without an associated cash distribution.  While an MLP facing a debt restructuring may seek to implement structures that would limit the tax liability associated with the debt restructuring, there can be no assurance that such structures could be successfully implemented or would not have other adverse impacts on the Fund as an investor in the MLP.

 

Industry Specific Risks

 

MLPs and other issuers are also subject to risks that are specific to the industry in which they operate.

 

Midstream. Midstream MLPs and energy companies that provide crude oil, refined product and natural gas services are subject to supply and demand fluctuations in the markets they serve which will be impacted by a wide range of factors including, fluctuating commodity prices, weather, increased conservation or use of alternative fuel sources, increased governmental or environmental regulation, depletion, rising interest rates, declines in domestic or foreign production, accidents or catastrophic events, and economic conditions, among others. Pipeline companies are subject to the demand for natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil or refined products in the markets they serve, changes in the availability of products for gathering, transportation, processing or sale due to natural declines in reserves and production in the supply areas serviced by the companies’ facilities, sharp decreases in crude oil or natural gas prices that cause producers to curtail production or reduce capital spending for exploration activities, and environmental regulation. Demand for gasoline, which accounts for a substantial portion of refined product transportation, depends on price, prevailing economic conditions in the markets served, and demographic and seasonal factors. Companies that own interstate pipelines that transport natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil or refined petroleum products are subject to regulation by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) with respect to the tariff rates they may charge for transportation services. An adverse determination by FERC with respect to the tariff rates of such a company could have a material adverse effect on its business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows of those companies and their ability to pay cash distributions or dividends. In addition, FERC has a tax allowance policy, which permits such companies to include in their cost of service an income tax allowance to the extent that their owners have an actual or potential tax liability on the income generated by them. If FERC’s income tax allowance policy were to change in the future to disallow a material portion of the income tax allowance taken by such interstate pipeline companies, it would adversely impact the maximum tariff rates that such companies are

 

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permitted to charge for their transportation services, which would in turn adversely affect the results of operations and cash flows of those companies and their ability to pay cash distributions or dividends to their unit holders or shareholders. Gathering and processing companies are subject to natural declines in the production of oil and natural gas fields, which utilize their gathering and processing facilities as a way to market their production, prolonged declines in the price of natural gas or crude oil, which curtails drilling activity and therefore production, and declines in the prices of natural gas liquids and refined petroleum products, which cause lower processing margins. In addition, some gathering and processing contracts subject the gathering or processing company to direct commodities price risk.

 

Upstream. Exploration, development and production companies are particularly vulnerable to declines in the demand for and prices of crude oil and natural gas. Reductions in prices for crude oil and natural gas can cause a given reservoir to become uneconomic for continued production earlier than it would if prices were higher, resulting in the plugging and abandonment of, and cessation of production from, that reservoir. In addition, lower commodity prices not only reduce revenues but also can result in substantial downward adjustments in reserve estimates. The accuracy of any reserve estimate is a function of the quality of available data, the accuracy of assumptions regarding future commodity prices and future exploration and development costs and engineering and geological interpretations and judgments. Different reserve engineers may make different estimates of reserve quantities and related revenue based on the same data. Actual oil and gas prices, development expenditures and operating expenses will vary from those assumed in reserve estimates, and these variances may be significant. Any significant variance from the assumptions used could result in the actual quantity of reserves and future net cash flow being materially different from those estimated in reserve reports. In addition, results of drilling, testing and production and changes in prices after the date of reserve estimates may result in downward revisions to such estimates. Substantial downward adjustments in reserve estimates could have a material adverse effect on a given exploration and production company’s financial position and results of operations. In addition, due to natural declines in reserves and production, exploration and production companies must economically find or acquire and develop additional reserves in order to maintain and grow their revenues and distributions.

 

Downstream. Downstream companies are businesses engaged in refining, marketing and other “end-customer” distribution activities relating to refined energy sources, such as: customer-ready natural gas, propane and gasoline; the production and manufacturing of petrochemicals including olefins, polyolefins, ethylene and similar co-products as well as intermediates and derivatives; and the generation, transmission and distribution of power and electricity. In addition to the other risks described herein, downstream companies may be more susceptible to risks associated with reduced customer demand for the products and services they provide.

 

Oil and Gas Production. In addition to other risks described herein, companies involved in the transportation, gathering, processing, exploration, development or production of crude oil, natural gas and/or refined petroleum products are subject to supply and demand fluctuations in the markets they serve which will be impacted by a wide range of factors including, fluctuating commodity prices, weather, increased conservation or use of alternative fuel sources, increased governmental or environmental regulation, depletion, rising interest rates, declines in domestic or foreign production, accidents or catastrophic events and economic conditions, among others. For example, hydraulic fracturing, a technique used in the completion of some oil and gas wells, has become a subject of increasing regulatory scrutiny and may be subject in the future to more stringent, and more costly to comply with, regulations. In addition the oil and gas industries may be adversely affected by increased regulations, increased operating costs and reductions in the supply of and/or demand for crude oil, natural gas and refined petroleum products as a result of accidents or catastrophic events and the reactions thereto.

 

Fracturing Services. Changes in laws or government regulations regarding hydraulic fracturing could increase a company’s costs of doing business, limit the areas in which it can operate and reduce oil and natural gas production by the company. Hydraulic fracturing involves the injection of water, sand or an alternative proppant and chemicals under pressure into target geological formations to fracture the surrounding rock and stimulate production. Recently, there has been increased public concern regarding an alleged potential for

 

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hydraulic fracturing to adversely affect drinking water supplies, and proposals have been made to enact separate federal, state and local legislation that would increase the regulatory burden imposed on hydraulic fracturing. Congress has in recent legislative sessions considered legislation to amend the Safe Water Drinking Act (the “SDWA”), including legislation that would repeal the exemption for hydraulic fracturing from the definition of “underground injection” and require federal permitting and regulatory control of hydraulic fracturing, as well as legislative proposals to require disclosure of the chemical constituents of the fluids used in the fracturing process, were proposed in recent sessions of Congress. The U.S. Congress may consider similar SDWA legislation in the future. In addition, the EPA has asserted federal regulatory authority pursuant to the SDWA over certain hydraulic fracturing activities involving the use of diesel fuels and published permitting guidance on February 11, 2014 addressing the performance of such activities using diesel fuels in those states where EPA is the permitting authority.

 

Presently, hydraulic fracturing is regulated primarily at the state level, typically by state oil and natural gas commissions and similar agencies. Several states, such as Texas and Pennsylvania, have either adopted or proposed laws and/or regulations to require oil and natural gas operators to disclose chemical ingredients and water volumes used to hydraulically fracture wells, in addition to more stringent well construction and monitoring requirements. The availability of information regarding the constituents of hydraulic fracturing fluids could make it easier for third parties opposing the hydraulic fracturing process to initiate legal proceedings based on allegations that specific chemicals used in the fracturing process could adversely affect groundwater. Disclosure of proprietary chemical formulas to third parties or to the public, even if inadvertent, could diminish the value of those formulas and could result in competitive harm to companies. Various federal, state and local limitations may prohibit or restrict drilling and hydraulic fracturing operations in certain locales including geographic locales considered environmentally sensitive such as wetlands, endangered species habitats, floodplains, and the like. If hydraulic fracturing becomes regulated at the federal level as a result of federal legislation or regulatory initiatives by the EPA, fracturing activities could become subject to additional permitting requirements, and also to attendant permitting delays and potential increases in cost, which could adversely affect a company’s business.

 

Propane. Propane MLPs are subject to earnings variability based upon weather conditions in the markets they serve, fluctuating commodity prices, increased use of alternative fuels, increased governmental or environmental regulation, and accidents or catastrophic events, among others.

 

Coal. MLPs and energy companies with coal assets are subject to supply and demand fluctuations in the markets they serve which will be impacted by a wide range of factors including, fluctuating commodity prices, the level of their customers’ coal stockpiles, weather, increased conservation or use of alternative fuel sources, increased governmental or environmental regulation, depletion, rising interest rates, declines in domestic or foreign production, mining accidents or catastrophic events, health claims and economic conditions, among others. MLPs and energy companies with coal assets are also subject to supply variability based on geological conditions that reduce the productivity of mining operations, the availability of regulatory permits for mining activities and the availability of coal that meets the standards of the Clean Air Act.

 

Marine Transportation. Marine transportation companies are exposed to the highly cyclical nature of the tanker industry and may be subject to volatile changes in charter rates and vessel values, which may adversely affect the earnings of tanker companies. Fluctuations in charter rates and vessel values result from changes in the supply and demand for tanker capacity and changes in the supply and demand for oil and oil products. Changes in demand for transportation of oil over longer distances and the supply of tankers to carry that oil may materially affect the revenues, profitability and cash flows of tanker companies. The successful operation of vessels in the charter market depends upon, among other things, obtaining profitable spot charters and minimizing time spent waiting for charters and traveling unladen to pick up cargo. The value of tanker vessels may fluctuate and could adversely affect the value of tanker company securities in the Fund’s portfolio. Declining tanker values could affect the ability of tanker companies to raise cash by limiting their ability to refinance their vessels, thereby adversely impacting tanker company liquidity. Tanker company vessels are at risk of damage or loss because of

 

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events such as mechanical failure, collision, human error, war, terrorism, piracy, cargo loss and bad weather. In addition, changing economic, regulatory and political conditions in some countries, including political and military conflicts, have from time to time resulted in attacks on vessels, mining of waterways, piracy, terrorism, labor strikes, boycotts and government requisitioning of vessels. These sorts of events could interfere with shipping lanes and result in market disruptions and a significant loss of tanker company earnings.

 

Natural Resources. The natural resources sector includes companies principally engaged in owning or developing non-energy natural resources (including timber and minerals) and industrial materials, or supplying goods or services to such companies. The Fund’s investments in MLPs in the natural resources sector will be subject to the risk that prices of these securities may fluctuate widely in response to the level and volatility of commodity prices; exchange rates; import controls; domestic and global competition; environmental regulation and liability for environmental damage; mandated expenditures for safety or pollution control; the success of exploration projects; depletion of resources; tax policies; and other governmental regulation. Investments in the natural resources sector can be significantly affected by changes in the supply of or demand for various natural resources. The value of investments in the natural resources sector may be adversely affected by a change in inflation.

 

Services. In addition to other risks associated with energy companies described herein, MLPs engaged in the provision of services to energy-related businesses may be subject to more volatile income streams relative to other types of MLPs. Service companies may not have long term service contracts with their customers.

 

Small Capitalization Risk

 

The Fund may invest in securities of MLPs and other issuers that have comparatively smaller capitalizations relative to issuers whose securities are included in major benchmark indices, which present unique investment risks. These companies often have limited product lines, markets, distribution channels or financial resources; and the management of such companies may be dependent upon one or a few key people. The market movements of equity securities issued by MLPs and other companies with smaller capitalizations may be more abrupt or erratic than the market movements of equity securities of larger, more established companies or the stock market in general. Historically, smaller capitalization MLPs and companies have sometimes gone through extended periods when they did not perform as well as larger companies. In addition, equity securities of smaller capitalization companies generally are less liquid than those of larger companies. This means that the Fund could have greater difficulty selling such securities at the time and price that the Fund would like.

 

Liquidity Risk

 

The Fund may invest up to 20% of its Managed Assets in unregistered or restricted securities, including securities issued by private energy infrastructure companies. To the extent the Fund makes investments in private securities, such investments are expected to be illiquid and subject to significant liquidity risk. In addition, the Fund may invest without limitation in publicly traded securities with limited trading volumes or that trade less frequently, including MLP common units, and equity securities of MLP affiliates, including I-Shares. The market movements of such securities with limited trading volumes may be more abrupt or erratic. As a result of the limited liquidity of such securities, the Fund could have greater difficulty selling such securities at the time and price that the Fund would like and may be limited in its ability to make alternative investments.

 

Restricted Securities Risk

 

The Fund may invest in unregistered or otherwise restricted securities. The term “restricted securities” refers to securities that are unregistered, held by control persons of the issuer or are subject to contractual restrictions on their resale. Restricted securities are often purchased at a discount from the market price of unrestricted securities of the same issuer reflecting the fact that such securities may not be readily marketable without some time delay.

 

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Such securities are often more difficult to value and the sale of such securities often requires more time and results in higher brokerage charges or dealer discounts and other selling expenses than does the sale of liquid securities trading on national securities exchanges or in the over-the-counter markets. Contractual restrictions on the resale of securities result from negotiations between the issuer and purchaser of such securities and therefore vary substantially in length and scope. To dispose of a restricted security that the Fund has a contractual right to sell, the Fund may first be required to cause the security to be registered. A considerable period may elapse between a decision to sell the securities and the time when the Fund would be permitted to sell, during which time the Fund would bear market risks

 

Risks Associated with Private Company Investments

 

The Fund intends to invest in a limited number of private investments, and at times may devote its assets allocable to private investments to a single investment opportunity. Such a focus of the Fund's private investments in a single or small number of investment opportunities will cause the Fund to be more susceptible to risks associated with each such investment. Private companies are not subject to SEC reporting requirements, are not required to maintain their accounting records in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and are not required to maintain effective internal controls over financial reporting. As a result, the Advisor may not have timely or accurate information about the business, financial condition and results of operations of the private companies in which the Fund invests. There is risk that the Fund may invest on the basis of incomplete or inaccurate information, which may adversely affect the Fund’s investment performance. Private companies in which the Fund may invest may have limited financial resources, shorter operating histories, more asset concentration risk, narrower product lines and smaller market shares than larger businesses, which tend to render them more vulnerable to competitors’ actions and market conditions, as well as general economic downturns. These companies generally have less predictable operating results, may from time to time be parties to litigation, may be engaged in rapidly changing businesses with products subject to a substantial risk of obsolescence, and may require substantial additional capital to support their operations, finance expansion or maintain their competitive position. These companies may have difficulty accessing the capital markets to meet future capital needs, which may limit their ability to grow or to repay their outstanding indebtedness upon maturity. In addition, the Fund’s investment also may be structured as pay-in-kind securities with minimal or no cash interest or dividends until the company meets certain growth and liquidity objectives.

 

Private Company Management Risk. Private companies are more likely to depend on the management talents and efforts of a small group of persons; therefore, the death, disability, resignation or termination of one or more of these persons could have a material adverse impact on the company. The Fund generally does not intend to hold controlling positions in the private companies in which it invests. As a result, the Fund is subject to the risk that a company may make business decisions with which the Fund disagrees, and that the management and/or stockholders of a portfolio company may take risks or otherwise act in ways that are adverse to the Fund’s interests. Due to the lack of liquidity of such private investments, the Fund may not be able to dispose of its investments in the event it disagrees with the actions of a portfolio company and may therefore suffer a decrease in the value of the investment.

 

Private Company Liquidity Risk. Securities issued by private companies are typically illiquid. If there is no readily available trading market for privately issued securities, the Fund may not be able to readily dispose of such investments at prices that approximate those at which the Fund could sell them if they were more widely traded.

 

Private Company Valuation Risk. There is typically not a readily available market value for the Fund’s private investments. The Fund values private company investments in accordance with valuation guidelines adopted by the Board of Trustees, that the Board of Trustees believes are designed to accurately reflect the fair value of securities valued in accordance with such guidelines. The Fund is not required to but may utilize the services of one or more independent valuation firms to aid in determining the fair value of these investments. Valuation of private company investments may involve application of one or more of the following factors: (i) analysis of valuations of publicly traded companies in a similar line of business, (ii) analysis of valuations for comparable merger or acquisition transactions, (iii) yield analysis and (iv) discounted cash flow analysis. Due to the inherent uncertainty and subjectivity of determining the fair value of investments that do not have a readily available

 

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market value, the fair value of the Fund’s private investments may differ significantly from the values that would have been used had a readily available market value existed for such investments and may differ materially from the amounts the Fund may realize on any dispositions of such investments. In addition, the impact of changes in the market environment and other events on the fair values of the Fund’s investments that have no readily available market values may differ from the impact of such changes on the readily available market values for the Fund’s other investments. The Fund’ net asset value could be adversely affected if the Fund’s determinations regarding the fair value of the Fund’s investments were materially higher than the values that the Fund ultimately realizes upon the disposal of such investments.

 

Private Debt Securities Risk. Private companies in which the Fund invests may be unable to meet their obligations under debt securities held by the Fund, which may be accompanied by a deterioration in the value of any collateral and a reduction in the likelihood of the Fund realizing any guarantees it may have obtained in connection with its investment. Private companies in which the Fund will invest may have, or may be permitted to incur, other debt that ranks equally with, or senior to, debt securities in which the Fund invests. Privately issued debt securities are often of below investment grade quality and frequently are unrated. “See—Debt Securities Risks.”

 

Reliance on the Advisor Risk. The Fund may enter into private investments identified by the Advisor, in which case the Fund will be more reliant upon the ability of the Advisor to identify, research, analyze, negotiate and monitor such investments, than is the case with investments in publicly traded securities. As little public information exists about many private companies, the Fund will be required to rely on the Advisor’s diligence efforts to obtain adequate information to evaluate the potential risks and returns involved in investing in these companies. The costs of diligencing, negotiating and monitoring private investments will be borne by the Fund, which may reduce the Fund’s returns.

 

Co-Investment Risk. The Fund may also co-invest in private investments sourced by third party investors, such as private equity firms. While the Advisor will conduct independent due diligence before entering into any such investment, the Fund’s ability to realize a profit on such investments will be particularly reliant on the expertise of the lead investor in the transaction. To the extent that the lead investor in such a co-investment opportunity assumes control of the management of the private company, the Fund will be reliant not only upon the lead investor’s ability to research, analyze, negotiate and monitor such investments, but also on the lead investor’s ability to successfully oversee the operation of the company’s business. The Fund’s ability to dispose of such investments is typically severely limited, both by the fact that the securities are unregistered and illiquid and by contractual restrictions that may preclude the Fund from selling such investment. Often the Fund may exit such investment only in a transaction, such as an initial public offering or sale of the company, on terms arranged by the lead investor. Such investments may be subject to additional valuation risk, as the Fund’s ability to accurately determine the fair value of the investment may depend upon the receipt of information from the lead investor. The valuation assigned to such an investment through application of the Fund’s valuation procedures may differ from the valuation assigned to that investment by other co-investors.

 

Risks Associated with Direct Investment in Energy Infrastructure Assets. The Fund may invest in entities formed to own and operate particular energy infrastructure assets. Such investments will be dependent upon the success of third-party operators retained by the investors, including the Fund, to manage such assets. Such investments may subject the Fund to increased operational risks associated with the operation of infrastructure assets. Investments in infrastructure assets may be subject to greater risks associated with their illiquidity and valuation.

 

Greenfield Projects Risks. Greenfield projects are energy-related projects built by private joint ventures formed by energy infrastructure companies. Greenfield projects may include the creation of a new pipeline, processing plant or storage facility or other energy infrastructure asset that is integrated with the company’s existing assets. The Fund may invest in the equity of greenfield projects or the secured debt of greenfield

 

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projects. However, the Fund’s investment also may be structured as pay-in-kind securities with minimal or no cash interest or dividends until construction is completed, at which time interest payments or dividends would be paid in cash. Greenfield projects involve less investment risk than typical private equity financing arrangements. The primary risk involved with greenfield projects is execution risk or construction risk. Changing project requirements, elevated costs for labor and materials, and unexpected construction hurdles all can increase construction costs. Financing risk exists should changes in construction costs or financial markets occur. Regulatory risk exists should changes in regulation occur during construction or the necessary permits are not secured prior to beginning construction.

 

Private Company Competition Risk. Many entities may potentially compete with the Fund in making private investments. Many of these competitors are substantially larger and have considerably greater financial, technical and marketing resources than the Fund. Some competitors may have a lower cost of funds and access to funding sources that are not available to the Fund. In addition, some competitors may have higher risk tolerances or different risk assessments, which could allow them to consider a wider variety of, or different structures for, private investments than the Fund. Furthermore, many competitors are not subject to the regulatory restrictions that the 1940 Act imposes on the Fund. As a result of this competition, the Fund may not be able to pursue attractive private investment opportunities from time to time.

 

Risks Associated with an Investment in Initial Public Offerings

 

Securities purchased in initial public offerings (“IPOs”) are often subject to the general risks associated with investments in companies with small market capitalizations, and typically to a heightened degree. Securities issued in IPOs have no trading history, and information about the companies may be available for very limited periods. In addition, the prices of securities sold in an IPO may be highly volatile. At any particular time or from time to time, the Fund may not be able to invest in IPOs, or to invest to the extent desired, because, for example, only a small portion (if any) of the securities being offered in an IPO may be available to the Fund. In addition, under certain market conditions, a relatively small number of companies may issue securities in IPOs. The Fund’s investment performance during periods when it is unable to invest significantly or at all in IPOs may be lower than during periods when it is able to do so. IPO securities may be volatile, and the Fund cannot predict whether investments in IPOs will be successful.

 

Risks Associated with a Private Investment in Public Equity Transactions

 

Investors in private investment in public equity (“PIPE”) transactions purchase securities directly from a publicly traded company in a private placement transaction, typically at a discount to the market price of the company’s common stock. Because the sale of the securities is not registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), the securities are “restricted” and cannot be immediately resold by the investors into the public markets. Until the Fund can sell such securities into the public markets, its holdings will be less liquid and any sales will need to be made pursuant to an exemption under the Securities Act.

 

Cash Flow Risk

 

The Fund expects that a substantial portion of the cash flow it receives will be derived from its investments in equity securities of MLPs and energy infrastructure companies. The amount and tax characterization of cash available for distribution will depend upon the amount of cash generated by such entity’s operations. Cash available for distribution may vary widely from quarter to quarter and is affected by various factors affecting the entity’s operations. In addition to the risks described herein, operating costs, capital expenditures, acquisition costs, construction costs, exploration costs and borrowing costs may reduce the amount of cash that an MLP or energy infrastructure company has available for distribution in a given period.

 

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Valuation Risk

 

Market prices generally will be unavailable for some of the Fund’s investments, including MLP subordinated units, direct ownership of general partner interests, restricted or unregistered securities of certain MLPs (including private MLPs) and other private issuers and direct investments in infrastructure assets. The value of such investments will be determined by fair valuations determined by the Board of Trustees or its designee in accordance with procedures governing the valuation of portfolio securities adopted by the Board of Trustees. Proper valuation of such investments may require more reliance on the judgment of the Advisor than for valuation of securities for which an active trading market exists.

 

In calculating the Fund’s net asset value, the Fund will account for deferred tax assets or liabilities, which reflect taxes on unrealized gains or losses, which are attributable to the temporary differences between fair market value and tax basis of the Fund’s assets, the net tax effects of temporary differences between the carrying amounts of the Fund’s assets and liabilities for financial reporting purposes relative to the amounts used for income tax purposes and the net tax benefit of accumulated net operating losses and capital losses. A deferred tax liability is recognized for temporary differences that will result in taxable amounts in future years. A deferred tax asset is recognized for temporary differences that will result in deductible amounts in future years and for carryforwards. A deferred tax asset may be used to reduce a subsequent period’s income tax expense, subject to certain limitations. To the extent the Fund has a deferred tax asset, the Fund will periodically assess whether a valuation allowance is required, considering all positive and negative evidence related to the realization of the deferred tax asset. The Fund may rely to some extent on information provided by the MLPs, which may not necessarily be timely, to estimate taxable income allocable to the MLP units held in the portfolio and to estimate the associated deferred tax asset or liability. Such estimates are made in good faith. From time to time, as new information becomes available, the Fund modifies its estimates or assumptions regarding the deferred tax asset or liability. Modifications of such estimates or assumptions or changes in applicable tax law could result in increases or decreases in the Fund’s net asset value per share.

 

Debt Securities Risks

 

Credit Risk. An issuer of a debt security may be unable to make interest payments and repay principal. The Fund could lose money if the issuer of a debt obligation is, or is perceived to be, unable or unwilling to make timely principal and/or interest payments, or to otherwise honor its obligations. The downgrade of a security may further decrease its value.

 

Interest Rate Risk. Interest rate risk is the risk that debt securities, such as preferred and debt securities, and certain equity securities will decline in value because of a rise in market interest rates. When market interest rates rise, the market value of such securities generally will fall. These risks may be greater in the current market environment because interest rates are near historically low levels. Prevailing interest rates may be adversely impacted by market and economic factors. If interest rates rise the markets may experience increased volatility, which may adversely affect the value and/or liquidity of certain of the Fund’s investments. Increases in interest rates may adversely affect the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective.

 

During periods of rising interest rates, the average life of certain types of securities may be extended because of a lower likelihood of prepayments. This may lock in a below market interest rate, increase the security’s duration and reduce the value of the security. This is known as extension risk.

 

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In typical interest rate environments, prices of debt securities with longer maturities generally fluctuate more in response to changes in interest rates than do the prices of debt securities with shorter-term maturities. Because the Fund may invest a portion of its assets in debt securities without regard to their maturities, to the extent the Fund invests in debt securities with longer maturities, the net asset value and market price of the Common Shares would fluctuate more in response to changes in interest rates than if the Fund were to invest such portion of its assets in shorter-term debt securities.

 

Market interest rates for investment grade debt securities in which the Fund may invest are significantly below historical average rates for such securities. Interest rates below historical average rates may result in increased risk that these rates will rise in the future (which would cause the value of the Fund’s net assets to decline) and may increase the degree to which asset values may decline in such events.

 

While interest rates are near historically low levels, during periods of declining interest rates, the issuer of a debt security may exercise its option to prepay principal earlier than scheduled, forcing the Fund to reinvest in lower yielding securities. This is known as call or prepayment risk. Preferred and debt securities frequently have call features that allow the issuer to repurchase the security prior to its stated maturity. An issuer may redeem such a security if the issuer can refinance it at a lower cost due to declining interest rates or an improvement in the credit standing of the issuer.

 

Lower Grade Securities Risk. The Fund may invest in debt securities rated below investment grade (that is, rated Ba or lower by Moody’s, BB or lower by S&P or comparably rated by another statistical rating organization) or, if unrated, determined by the Advisor to be of comparable credit quality. Below investment grade securities are commonly referred to as “high yield” securities or “junk bonds.” Investment in securities of below investment grade quality involves substantial risk of loss. Securities of below investment grade quality are predominantly speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal when due and therefore involve a greater risk of default or decline in market value due to adverse economic and issuer-specific developments. Securities of below investment grade quality display increased price sensitivity to changing interest rates and to a deteriorating economic environment. The market values for debt securities of below investment grade quality tend to be more volatile and such securities tend to be less liquid than investment grade debt securities. The ratings of Moody’s, S&P and other statistical rating organizations generally represent their opinions as to the quality of the bonds they rate. It should be emphasized, however, that such ratings are relative and subjective, are not absolute standards of quality, are subject to change and do not evaluate the market risk and liquidity of the securities. Rating agencies may fail to make timely changes in credit ratings and an issuer’s current financial condition may be better or worse than a rating indicates. To the extent that the issuer of a security pays a rating agency for the analysis of its security, an inherent conflict of interest may exist that could affect the reliability of the rating. Bonds with the same maturity, coupon and rating may have different yields while obligations of the same maturity and coupon with different ratings may have the same yield.

 

Preferred Securities Risks

 

There are special risks associated with investing in preferred securities. Preferred securities may contain provisions that permit the issuer, at its discretion, to defer distributions for a stated period without any adverse consequences to the issuer. If the Fund owns a preferred security that is deferring its distributions, the Fund may be required to report income for tax purposes although it has not yet received such income. Preferred securities are subordinated to bonds and other debt securities in a company’s capital structure in terms of having priority to corporate income and liquidation payments, and therefore will be subject to greater credit risk than more senior debt securities. Preferred securities may be less liquid than many other securities, such as common stocks. Generally, preferred security holders have no voting rights with respect to the issuing company unless preferred dividends have been in arrears for a specified number of periods, at which time the preferred security holders may elect a number of directors to the issuer’s board. Generally, once all the arrearages have been paid, the preferred

 

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security holders no longer have voting rights. In the case of trust preferred securities, holders generally have no voting rights, except if (i) the issuer fails to pay dividends for a specified period of time or (ii) a declaration of default occurs and is continuing. In certain varying circumstances, an issuer of preferred securities may redeem the securities prior to a specified date. As with call provisions, a special redemption by the issuer may negatively impact the return of the security held by the Fund.

 

Convertible Instruments Risk

 

The Fund may invest in convertible instruments. A convertible instrument is a bond, debenture, note, preferred stock or other security that may be converted into or exchanged for a prescribed amount of common shares of the same or a different issuer within a particular period of time at a specified price or formula. Convertible debt securities have characteristics of both debt and equity investments. Convertible instruments are subject both to the stock market risk associated with equity securities and to the credit and interest rate risks associated with debt securities. As the market price of the equity security underlying a convertible instrument falls, the convertible instrument tends to trade on the basis of its yield and other debt characteristics. As the market price of such equity security rises, the convertible security tends to trade on the basis of its equity conversion features. The Fund may invest in convertible instruments that have varying conversion values. Convertible instruments are typically issued at prices that represent a premium to their conversion value. Accordingly, the value of a convertible instrument increases (or decreases) as the price of the underlying equity security increases (or decreases). If a convertible instrument held by the Fund is called for redemption, the Fund will be required to permit the issuer to redeem the instrument, or convert it into the underlying stock, and will hold the stock to the extent the Advisor determines that such equity investment is consistent with the investment objective of the Fund.

 

Foreign Securities Risk

 

Investments in the securities of foreign issuers involve certain considerations and risks not ordinarily associated with investments in securities of domestic issuers. Foreign companies are not generally subject to uniform accounting, auditing and financial standards and requirements comparable to those applicable to U.S. companies. Foreign securities exchanges, brokers and listed companies may be subject to less government supervision and regulation than exists in the United States. Dividend and interest income may be subject to withholding and other foreign taxes, which may adversely affect the net return on such investments. There may be difficulty in obtaining or enforcing a court judgment abroad. In addition, it may be difficult to effect repatriation of capital invested in certain countries. In addition, with respect to certain countries, there are risks of expropriation, confiscatory taxation, political or social instability or diplomatic developments that could affect assets of the Fund held in foreign countries.

 

There may be less publicly available information about a foreign company than a U.S. company. Foreign securities markets may have substantially less volume than U.S. securities markets and some foreign company securities are less liquid than securities of otherwise comparable U.S. companies. Foreign markets also have different clearance and settlement procedures that could cause the Fund to encounter difficulties in purchasing and selling securities on such markets and may result in the Fund missing attractive investment opportunities or experiencing a loss. In addition, a portfolio that includes foreign securities can expect to have a higher expense ratio because of the increased transaction costs on non-U.S. securities markets and the increased costs of maintaining the custody of foreign securities.

 

The Fund’s investments in foreign securities may include ADRs. ADRs are receipts issued by United States banks or trust companies in respect of securities of foreign issuers held on deposit for use in the United States securities markets. While ADRs may not necessarily be denominated in the same currency as the securities into which they may be converted, many of the risks associated with foreign securities may also apply to ADRs. In addition, the underlying issuers of certain depositary receipts, particularly unsponsored or unregistered depositary

 

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receipts, are under no obligation to distribute shareholder communications to the holders of such receipts, or to pass through to them any voting rights with respect to the deposited securities.

 

Derivatives Risks

 

Generally, a derivative is a financial contract the value of which depends upon, or is derived from, the value of an underlying asset, reference rate, or index, and may relate to individual debt or equity instruments, interest rates, currencies or currency exchange rates, commodities, related indexes, and other assets. The Fund may, but is not required to, utilize derivatives transactions, including transactions involving futures contracts, forwards, options and over-the-counter derivatives contracts, for purposes such as to seek to earn income or enhance total return, facilitate portfolio management and mitigate risks. The use of derivatives transactions to earn income or enhance total return may be particularly speculative. Participation in derivatives transactions involves investment risks and transaction costs to which the Fund would not be subject absent the use of these strategies. Derivatives generally involve leverage in the sense that the investment exposure created by the derivatives may be significantly greater than the Fund’s initial investment in the derivative. Accordingly, if the Fund enters into a derivative transaction, it could lose substantially more than the principal amount invested. If the Advisor’s predictions with respect to market conditions, liquidity, market values, interest rates and other applicable factors are inaccurate, the consequences to the Fund may leave the Fund in a worse position than if it had not used such strategies. Risks inherent in the use of derivatives transactions include:

 

·                  dependence on the Advisor’s ability to predict correctly movements in the direction of interest rates and securities prices;

 

·                  imperfect correlation between the price of the derivative instrument and movements in the prices of the reference instrument;

 

·                  the fact that skills needed to use these strategies are different from those needed to select portfolio securities;

 

·                  the possible absence of a liquid secondary market for any particular instrument at any time;

 

·                  the possible need to defer closing out certain positions to avoid adverse tax consequences;

 

·                  the possible inability of the Fund to purchase or sell a security at a time that otherwise would be favorable for it to do so, or the possible need for the Fund to sell a security at a disadvantageous time due to a need for the Fund to maintain “cover” or to segregate securities in connection with the hedging techniques;

 

·                  the creditworthiness of counterparties;

 

·                  if used for hedging purposes, the duration of the derivative instrument may be significantly different than the duration of the related liability or asset; and

 

·                  volatility of interest rates and price of the reference instrument.

 

Certain derivatives transactions may be considered senior securities for the purposes of the 1940 Act unless the Fund segregates liquid assets or otherwise covers its obligations. To the extent the Fund segregates liquid assets or covers such obligations by entering into offsetting transactions or owning positions covering its obligations, the instrument will not be considered a senior security for the purposes of the 1940 Act. The Fund may cover such transactions using other methods currently or in the future permitted under the 1940 Act, the rules and regulations thereunder or orders issued by the SEC thereunder and interpretations and guidance provided by the SEC staff. These segregation and coverage requirements could result in the Fund maintaining securities positions that it would otherwise liquidate, segregating assets at a time when it might be disadvantageous to do so or otherwise restricting portfolio management. Such segregation and coverage requirements will not limit or offset losses on related positions.

 

The Fund may be exposed to certain additional risks should the Advisor uses derivatives transactions as a means to synthetically implement the Fund’s investment strategies. Customized derivative instruments will likely be highly illiquid, and it is possible that the Fund will not be able to terminate such derivative instruments prior to

 

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their expiration date or that the penalties associated with such a termination might impact the Fund’s performance in a materially adverse manner. Synthetic investments may be imperfectly correlated to the investment the Advisor is seeking to replicate. There can be no assurance that the Advisor’s judgments regarding the correlation of any particular synthetic investment will be correct.

 

Risks Associated with Options on Securities. There are significant differences between the securities and options markets that could result in an imperfect correlation between these markets, causing a given transaction not to achieve its objectives. A decision as to whether, when and how to use options involves the exercise of skill and judgment, and even a well-conceived transaction may be unsuccessful to some degree because of market behavior or unexpected events. There can be no assurance that a liquid market will exist when the Fund seeks to close out an option position. The Fund’s ability to terminate over-the-counter options is more limited than with exchange-traded options and may involve the risk that broker-dealers participating in such transactions will not fulfill their obligations. The hours of trading for options may not conform to the hours during which the underlying securities are traded. The Fund’s options transactions will be subject to limitations established by each of the exchanges, boards of trade or other trading facilities on which such options are traded. To the extent that the Fund writes covered put options, the Fund will bear the risk of loss if the value of the underlying stock declines below the exercise price. If the option is exercised, the Fund could incur a loss if it is required to purchase the stock underlying the put option at a price greater than the market price of the stock at the time of exercise. While the Fund’s potential gain in writing a covered put option is limited to the interest earned on the liquid assets securing the put option plus the premium received from the purchaser of the put option, the Fund risks a loss equal to the entire value of the stock. To the extent that the Fund writes a covered call option, the Fund forgoes, during the option’s life, the opportunity to profit from increases in the market value of the security covering the call option above the sum of the premium and the strike price of the call, but has retained the risk of loss should the price of the underlying security decline. The writer of an option has no control over the time when it may be required to fulfill its obligation as a writer of the option. Once an option writer has received an exercise notice, it cannot effect a closing purchase transaction in order to terminate its obligation under the option and must deliver the underlying security at the exercise price. Thus, the use of options may require the Fund to sell portfolio securities at inopportune times or for prices other than current market values, may limit the amount of appreciation the Fund can realize on an investment or may cause the Fund to hold a security that it might otherwise sell. See “Investment Objective and Policies—Additional Risks Relating to Derivative Instruments—Risks Associated with Options on Securities” in the Statement of Additional Information.

 

Swaps Risk. Swap transactions are subject to market risk, risk of default by the other party to the transaction and risk of imperfect correlation between the value of derivative instruments and the underlying assets and may involve commissions or other costs. Swaps generally do not involve the delivery of securities, other underlying assets or principal. Accordingly, the risk of loss with respect to swaps generally is limited to the net amount of payments that the Fund is contractually obligated to make, or in the case of the other party to a swap defaulting, the net amount of payments that the Fund is contractually entitled to receive. Total return swaps may effectively add leverage to the Fund’s portfolio because the Fund would be subject to investment exposure on the full notional amount of the swap. Total return swaps are subject to the risk that a counterparty will default on its payment obligations to the Fund thereunder.

 

Counterparty Risk

 

The Fund will be subject to credit risk with respect to the counterparties to the derivative contracts purchased by the Fund (whether a clearing corporation in the case of cleared instruments or a third party). If a counterparty becomes bankrupt or otherwise fails to perform its obligations under a derivative contract due to financial difficulties, the Fund may experience significant delays in obtaining any recovery under the derivative contract in a dissolution, assignment for the benefit of creditors, liquidation, winding-up, bankruptcy, or other analogous proceeding. In addition, in the event of the insolvency of a counterparty to a derivative transaction, the derivative transaction would typically be terminated at its fair market value. If the Fund is owed this market value in the termination of the derivative transaction and its claim is unsecured, the Fund will be treated as a general creditor of such counterparty, and will not have any claim with respect to the underlying security. The Fund may obtain only a limited recovery or may obtain no recovery in such circumstances. Concerns about, or a default by, one large market participant could lead to significant liquidity problems for other participants. If a counterparty’s credit becomes significantly impaired, multiple requests for collateral posting in a short period of time could increase the risk that the Fund may not receive adequate collateral. The counterparty risk for cleared derivatives is generally lower than for uncleared over-the-counter derivatives transactions since generally a clearing organization becomes substituted for each counterparty to a cleared derivative contract and, in effect, guarantees the parties’ performance under the contract as each party to a trade looks only to the clearing organization for performance of financial obligations under the derivative contract. However, there can be no assurance that a clearing organization, or its members, will satisfy its obligations to the Fund. Counterparty risk with respect to certain derivatives may be further complicated by recently enacted U.S. financial reform legislation.

 

Other Investment Funds Risk

 

The Fund may invest in securities of other open- or closed-end investment companies, including exchange-traded funds. As a shareholder in an investment company, the Fund would bear its ratable share of that investment company’s expenses, and would remain subject to payment of the Fund’s investment advisory fees with respect to the assets so invested. Common Shareholders would therefore be subject to duplicative expenses to the extent the Fund invests in other investment companies. In addition, the securities of other investment companies may also be leveraged and will therefore be subject to the same leverage risks described in this Prospectus. To the extent the Fund invests in exchange-traded funds or other investment companies that seek to track a specified index, such investments will be subject to tracking error risk.

 

ETNs Risk

 

ETNs are subject to the risk that the sponsoring institutions will be unable to pay their obligations as well as the risks associated with investing in the securities that comprise the relevant index. Investments in such securities will have different tax characteristics than equity securities. An ETN may not be able to replicate and maintain exactly the composition and relative weighting of securities in the index. An ETN also incurs certain expenses not incurred by its applicable index. Certain securities that are part of the index tracked by an ETN may, at times, be unavailable, which may impede the ETN’s ability to track its index. Although an ETN is a debt security, it is unlike a typical bond, in that there are no periodic interest payments and principal is not protected.

 

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Financial Leverage Risk

 

Although the use of Financial Leverage by the Fund may create an opportunity for increased after-tax total return for the Common Shares, it also results in additional risks and can magnify the effect of any losses. If the income and gains earned on securities purchased with Financial Leverage proceeds are greater than the cost of Financial Leverage, the Fund’s return will be greater than if Financial Leverage had not been used. Conversely, if the income or gains from the securities purchased with such proceeds does not cover the cost of Financial Leverage, the return to the Fund will be less than if Financial Leverage had not been used.

 

Financial Leverage involves risks and special considerations for shareholders, including the likelihood of greater volatility of net asset value, market price and dividends on the Common Shares than a comparable portfolio without leverage; the risk that fluctuations in interest rates on borrowings and short-term debt or in the dividend rates on any Financial Leverage that the Fund must pay will reduce the return to Common Shareholders; and the effect of Financial Leverage in a declining market, which is likely to cause a greater decline in the net asset value of the Common Shares than if the Fund were not leveraged, which may result in a greater decline in the market price of the Common Shares.

 

It is also possible that the Fund will be required to sell assets, possibly at a loss (or at a gain which could give rise to corporate level tax), in order to redeem or meet payment obligations on any leverage. Such a sale would reduce the Fund’s net asset value and also make it difficult for the net asset value to recover. The Fund in its best judgment nevertheless may determine to continue to use Financial Leverage if it expects that the benefits to the Fund’s shareholders of maintaining the leveraged position will outweigh the current reduced return.

 

During the time in which the Fund is utilizing Financial Leverage, the amount of the fees paid to the Advisor for investment advisory services will be higher than if the Fund did not utilize Financial Leverage because the fees paid will be calculated based on the Fund’s Managed Assets, which may create a conflict of interest between the Advisor and Common Shareholders. Because the Financial Leverage costs will be borne by the Fund at a specified rate, only the Fund’s Common Shareholders will bear the cost associated with Financial Leverage. Borrowings (and any Preferred Shares) have seniority over Common Shares.

 

If the cost of leverage is no longer favorable, or if the Fund is otherwise required to reduce its leverage, the Fund may not be able to maintain distributions on Common Shares at historical levels and Common Shareholders will bear any costs associated with selling portfolio securities.

 

Competition Risk

 

Recently alternative vehicles for investment in a portfolio of MLPs and their affiliates, including other publicly traded investment companies and private funds, have emerged. In addition, recent tax law changes have increased the ability of regulated investment companies or other institutions to invest in MLPs. These competitive conditions may adversely impact the Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective.

 

Affiliated Transaction Restrictions

 

From time to time, the Fund may “control” or may be an “affiliate”, each as defined in the 1940 Act, of one or more portfolio companies. In general, under the 1940 Act, the Fund would “control” a portfolio company if it owned 25% or more of its outstanding voting securities and would be an “affiliate” of a portfolio company if it owned 5% or more of its outstanding voting securities. The 1940 Act contains prohibitions and restrictions relating to transactions between investment companies and their affiliates (including the Advisor), principal underwriters and affiliates of those affiliates or underwriters. Under these restrictions, the Fund and any portfolio company that the Fund controls are generally prohibited from knowingly participating in a joint transaction, including co-investments in a portfolio company, with an affiliated person, including any trustees or officers of the Fund, the Advisor or any entity controlled or advised by any of them. These restrictions also generally prohibit

 

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the Fund’s affiliates, principal underwriters and affiliates of those affiliates or underwriters from knowingly purchasing from or selling to the Fund or any portfolio company controlled by the Fund certain securities or other property and from lending to and borrowing from the Fund or any portfolio company controlled by the Fund monies or other properties. The Fund and its affiliates may be precluded from co-investing in private placements of securities, including in any portfolio companies controlled by the Fund. The Fund, its affiliates and portfolio companies controlled by the Fund may from time to time engage in certain joint transactions, purchases, sales and loans in reliance upon and in compliance with the conditions of certain positions promulgated by the SEC. There can be no assurance that the Fund would be able to satisfy these conditions with respect to any particular transaction. As a result of these prohibitions, restrictions may be imposed on the size of positions or the type of investments that the Fund could make.

 

Potential Conflicts of Interest of the Advisor

 

The Advisor and its affiliates are involved worldwide with a broad spectrum of financial services and asset management activities and may engage in the ordinary course of business in activities in which their interests or the interests of their clients may conflict with those of the Fund. The Advisor and its affiliates may provide investment management services to other funds and discretionary managed accounts that follow an investment program similar to that of the Fund. Subject to the requirements of the 1940 Act, the Advisor and its affiliates intend to engage in such activities and may receive compensation from third parties for their services. Neither the Advisor, nor its affiliates are under any obligation to share any investment opportunity, idea or strategy with the Fund. As a result, the Advisor and its affiliates may compete with the Fund for appropriate investment opportunities. The results of the Fund’s investment activities, therefore, may differ from those of the Fund’s affiliates, or another account managed by the Fund’s affiliates, and it is possible that the Fund could sustain losses during periods in which one or more of the Fund’s affiliates or and other accounts achieve profits on their trading for proprietary or other accounts. The Advisor and the Fund have adopted compliance policies and procedures that are reasonably designed to address the various conflicts of interest that may arise for the Advisor and its staff members.  However, there is no guarantee that such policies and procedures will be able to detect and prevent every situation in which an actual or potential conflict may arise. See “Management of the Fund—Potential Conflicts of Interest” in the SAI.

 

Certain Business Relationships

 

Dan C. Tutcher, a Portfolio Manager of the Fund, presently serves on the board of Enbridge, Inc. (NYSE: ENB).  As of the date of this Prospectus, Enbridge Inc. is the parent company of Enbridge Energy Management (NYSE: EEQ), Midcoast Energy Partners (NYSE: MEP), Enbridge Energy Partners (NYSE: EEP), Spectra Energy Corp (NYSE: SE), DCP Midstream Partners (NYSE: DCP) and Spectra Energy Partners (NYSE: SEP) (collectively, the “Enbridge Companies”).  As a board member, Mr. Tutcher attends quarterly board meetings for Enbridge, Inc.  The Fund may from time to time invest in Enbridge Companies.  In connection with any such investments, the Advisor has adopted policies and procedures that are designed to address potential conflicts of interest that may arise in connection with Mr. Tutcher’s service as a director of Enbridge Inc.  Specifically, these policies and procedures, among other things; (i) establish information barriers designed to restrict Mr. Tutcher from sharing information regarding Enbridge Companies with other investment professionals of the Advisor, (ii) require Mr. Tutcher to recuse himself from any discussions by the Advisor’s Investment Committee involving Enbridge Companies and (iii) require that all trading decisions involving Enbridge Companies be made by other Portfolio Managers, without any input from Mr. Tutcher.  While these policies and procedures are designed to allow the Fund to invest in Enbridge Companies, the policies and procedures may require the Advisor to restrict trading in Enbridge Companies from time to time, which may prevent the Fund from acquiring or disposing of securities of Enbridge Companies at a favorable time.  In addition, as a result of these policies and procedures, the Fund will not benefit from Mr. Tutcher’s experience and expertise with respect to investments in Enbridge Companies.

 

Portfolio Turnover Risk

 

The Fund’s portfolio turnover rate may vary greatly from year to year. The Fund cannot predict its annual portfolio turnover rate with accuracy. Portfolio turnover rate will not be considered as a limiting factor in the execution of the Fund’s investment decisions. High portfolio turnover may result in the Fund’s recognition of gains and may increase the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits, which will result in a greater portion of distributions to Common Shareholders being treated as dividends. Additionally, high portfolio turnover results in correspondingly higher brokerage commissions and transaction costs borne by the Fund.

 

Short Sales Risk

 

The Fund may make short sales of securities. A short sale is a transaction in which the Fund sells a security it does not own. If the price of the security sold short increases between the time of the short sale and the time the Fund replaces the borrowed security, the Fund will incur a loss; conversely, if the price declines, the Fund will realize a capital gain. Any gain will be decreased, and any loss will be increased, by the transaction costs incurred by the Fund, including the costs associated with providing collateral to the broker-dealer (usually cash and liquid securities) and the maintenance of collateral with its custodian. Although the Fund’s gain is limited to the price at which it sold the security short, its potential loss is theoretically unlimited. The Fund may have to pay a premium to borrow the securities and must pay any dividends or interest payable on the securities until they are replaced, which will be expenses of the Fund.

 

In addition, the Fund’s short selling strategies may limit its ability to benefit from increases in the markets. If the Fund engages in short sales, it will segregate liquid assets, enter into offsetting transactions or own positions covering its obligations; however, such segregation and cover requirements will not limit or offset losses on related positions. Short selling also involves a form of financial leverage that may exaggerate any losses realized by the Fund. Also, there is the risk that the counterparty to a short sale may fail to honor its contractual terms, causing a loss to the Fund. Finally, SEC, FINRA, or other regulations relating to short selling may restrict the Fund’s ability to engage in short selling.

 

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Repurchase Agreement Risk

 

A repurchase agreement exposes the Fund to the risk that the party that sells the security may default on its obligation to repurchase it. The Fund may lose money because it cannot sell the security at the agreed-upon time and price or the security loses value before it can be sold. In the event of the bankruptcy or other default of a seller of a repurchase agreement, the Fund could experience both delays in liquidating the underlying securities and losses. In such an event, the Fund would subject to risks associated with possible decline in the value of the underlying security during the period in which the Fund seeks to enforce its rights thereto, possible lack of access to income on the underlying security during this period, and expenses of enforcing its rights. In addition, the exercise of the Fund’s right to liquidate the collateral underlying the repurchase agreement could involve certain costs or delays and, to the extent that proceeds from any sale upon a default of the obligation to repurchase were less than the repurchase price, the Fund could suffer a loss.

 

Reverse Repurchase Agreement Risk

 

Reverse repurchase agreements involve the risks that the interest income earned on the investment of the proceeds will be less than the interest expense and Fund expenses associated with the repurchase agreement, that the market value of the securities sold by the Fund may decline below the price at which the Fund is obligated to repurchase such securities and that the securities may not be returned to the Fund. There is no assurance that reverse repurchase agreements can be successfully employed. In connection with reverse repurchase agreements, the Fund will also be subject to counterparty risk with respect to the purchaser of the securities. If the broker/dealer to whom the Fund sells securities becomes insolvent, the Fund’s right to purchase or repurchase securities may be restricted.

 

Securities Lending Risk

 

The Fund may lend its portfolio securities to banks or dealers which meet the creditworthiness standards established by the Board of Trustees. Securities lending is subject to the risk that loaned securities may not be available to the Fund on a timely basis and the Fund may therefore lose the opportunity to sell the securities at a desirable price. Any loss in the market price of securities loaned by the Fund that occurs during the term of the loan would be borne by the Fund and would adversely affect the Fund’s performance. Also, there may be delays in recovery, or no recovery, of securities loaned or even a loss of rights in the collateral should the borrower of the securities fail financially while the loan is outstanding.

 

Delay in Investing the Proceeds of this Offering

 

Although the Fund currently intends to invest the proceeds from any sale of the Common Shares offered hereby as soon as practicable following the completion of such offering, such investments may be delayed if suitable investments are unavailable at the time. The trading market and volumes for MLP and energy infrastructure company shares may at times be less liquid than the market for other securities. Prior to the time the proceeds of this offering are invested, such proceeds may be invested in cash, cash equivalents or other securities, pending investment in MLP or energy infrastructure company securities. Income received by the Fund from these securities would subject the Fund to corporate tax before any payment of distributions to Common Shareholders. As a result, the return and yield on the Common Shares following any offering pursuant to this Prospectus may be lower than when the Fund is fully invested in accordance with its objective and policies. See “Use of Proceeds.”

 

Market Disruption and Geopolitical Risk

 

The aftermath of the war in Iraq, instability in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Russia, Ukraine and the Middle East, possible terrorist attacks in the United States and around the world, growing social and political discord in the United States, the European debt crisis, the response of the international community—through economic sanctions and otherwise—to Russia’s recent annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine and posture vis-a-vis Ukraine, continued tensions between North Korea and the United States and the international community generally, new and continued political unrest in various countries, such as Venezuela, the United Kingdom’s pending withdrawal from the European Union and the resulting profound and uncertain impacts on the economic and political future of the United Kingdom, the European Union and global financial markets, further downgrade of U.S. Government securities, the change in the U.S. president and the new administration and other similar events, may have long-term effects on the U.S. and worldwide financial markets and may cause further economic uncertainties in the United States and worldwide. The Fund does not know and cannot predict how long the securities markets may be affected by these events and the effects of these and similar events in the future on the U.S. economy and securities markets. The Fund may be adversely affected by abrogation of international agreements and national laws which have created the market instruments in which the Fund may invest, failure of the designated national and international authorities to enforce compliance with the same laws and agreements, failure of

 

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local, national and international organization to carry out their duties prescribed to them under the relevant agreements, revisions of these laws and agreements which dilute their effectiveness or conflicting interpretation of provisions of the same laws and agreements. The Fund may be adversely affected by uncertainties such as terrorism, international political developments, and changes in government policies, taxation, restrictions on foreign investment and currency repatriation, currency fluctuations and other developments in the laws and regulations of the countries in which it is invested.

 

Recent Market and Economic Developments

 

Global and domestic financial markets have experienced periods of unprecedented turmoil. During the recession of 2007-2009 and for a period thereafter, the debt and equity capital markets to borrow for investment purposes and increase the cost of such borrowings, which would reduce returns to common shareholders. Worsening economic conditions may also adversely affected the broader economy, which in turn may adversely affect issuers of securities owned by the Fund, which may reduce the value of securities owned by the Fund and adversely affect the net asset value of the common shares. Financial market conditions, as well as various social and political tensions in the United States and around the world, may contribute to increased market volatility and may have long-term effects and cause economic uncertainties or deterioration in the United States and worldwide. Global economies and financial markets are also becoming increasingly interconnected, which increases the possibilities that conditions in one country or region might adversely impact issuers in a different country or region. Federal Reserve policy, including with respect to certain interest rates, may adversely affect the value, volatility and liquidity of dividend- and interest-paying securities.

 

UK Departure from EU Risk

 

On Thursday June 23, 2016, voters in the United Kingdom referendum on the question of whether to remain or leave the European Union (the “EU”) voted in a majority in favor of leaving the EU. This historic event is widely expected to have consequences that are both profound and uncertain for the economic and political future of the United Kingdom and the EU, and those consequences include significant legal and business uncertainties pertaining to an investment in the Trust. In March 2017, the British Parliament passed a bill authorizing the British Government to invoke Article 50 of  the Treaty on European Union — the formal process of withdrawing from the EU. Invoking Article 50 will give the United Kingdom two years to negotiate a separation with the other members of the EU. The full scope and nature of the consequences of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU are not at this time known and are unlikely to be known for a significant period of time. However, this process has led to significant uncertainty in the business, legal and political environment.

 

Risks associated with the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU include short and long term market volatility and currency volatility (including volatility of the value of the British pound sterling relative to the United States dollar and other currencies and volatility in global currency markets generally), macroeconomic risk to the UK and European economies, impetus for further disintegration of the EU and related political stresses (including those related to sentiment against cross border capital movements and activities of investors like the Fund), prejudice to financial services businesses that are conducting business in the EU and which are based in the UK, legal uncertainty regarding achievement of compliance with applicable financial and commercial laws and regulations in view of the expected steps to be taken pursuant to or in contemplation of Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union and negotiations undertaken under Article 218 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and the unavailability of timely information as to expected legal, tax and other regimes.

 

Legislation and Regulation Risk

 

At any time after the date of this Prospectus, legislation may be enacted that could negatively affect the assets of the Fund or the issuers of such assets. Changing approaches to regulation may have a negative impact on entities in which the Fund invests, which may adversely impact the value of the Fund’s portfolio holdings, and on derivative transactions entered into by the Fund. There can be no assurance that future legislation, regulation or deregulation will not have a material adverse effect on the Fund or will not impair the ability of the issuers of the assets held in the Fund to achieve their business goals, and hence, for the Fund to achieve its investment objective.

 

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”), which was signed into law in July 2010, has resulted in significant revisions to the U.S. financial regulatory framework. The Dodd-Frank Act covers a broad range of topics, including, among many others: a reorganization of federal

 

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financial regulators; the creation of a process designed to ensure financial system stability and the resolution of potentially insolvent financial firms; the enactment of new rules for derivatives trading; the creation of a consumer financial protection watchdog; the registration and regulation of managers of private funds; the regulation of rating agencies; and the enactment of new federal requirements for residential mortgage loans. The regulation of various types of derivative instruments pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act may adversely affect the Fund or its counterparties. The ultimate impact of the Dodd-Frank Act, and regulation that has been enacted thereunder, is not yet certain and issuers of securities in which the Fund invests may also be affected in ways that are currently unknown and unforeseeable.

 

On December 11, 2015, the SEC published a proposed rule that, if adopted, would change the regulation of the use of derivative instruments and financial commitment transactions by registered investment companies. The SEC sought public comments on numerous aspects of the proposed rule, and as a result the nature of any final regulations is uncertain at this time. Such regulations could limit the implementation of the Fund’s use of derivatives and impose additional compliance costs on the Fund, which could have an adverse impact on the Fund.

 

The change in presidential administration could significantly impact the regulation of United States financial markets and dramatically alter existing trade, tax, energy and infrastructure policies, among others. It is not possible to predict what, if any, changes will be made or their potential effect on the economy, securities markets, or financial stability of the United States, or on the energy, natural resources, real estate and other markets in which the Fund invests. Additionally, actions taken may impact different sectors of the energy and natural resources markets in disparate ways or may impact specific issuers in a given sector in differing ways. The Advisor cannot predict the effects of changing regulations or policies on MLPs, MLP Entities, or the Fund’s portfolio, and the Fund may be affected by governmental action in ways that are not foreseeable. There is a possibility that such actions could have a significant adverse effect on the Fund and its ability to achieve its investment objective.

 

 

LIBOR Risk

 

Instruments in which the Fund invests may pay interest at floating rates based on LIBOR or may be subject to interest caps or floors based on LIBOR. The Fund and issuers of instruments in which the Fund invests may also obtain financing at floating rates based on LIBOR. Derivative instruments utilized by the Fund and/or issuers of instruments in which the Fund may invest may also reference LIBOR. The Fund utilizes leverage or borrowings primarily based on LIBOR. Regulators and law-enforcement agencies from a number of governments, including entities in the United States, Japan, Canada and the United Kingdom, have conducted or are conducting civil and criminal investigations into whether the banks that contribute to the British Bankers’ Association, or the “BBA,” in connection with the calculation of daily LIBOR may have been manipulating or attempting to manipulate LIBOR. Several financial institutions have reached settlements with the CFTC, the U.S. Department of Justice Fraud Section and the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority in connection with investigations by such authorities into submissions made by such financial institutions to the bodies that set LIBOR and other interbank offered rates. Additional investigations remain ongoing with respect to other major banks. There can be no assurance that there will not be additional admissions or findings of rate-setting manipulation or that manipulations of LIBOR or other similar interbank offered rates will not be shown to have occurred. ICE Benchmark Administration Limited assumed the role of LIBOR administrator from the BBA on February 1, 2014. Any new administrator of LIBOR may make methodological changes to the way in which LIBOR is calculated or may alter, discontinue or suspend calculation or dissemination of LIBOR. Additional findings of manipulation may decrease the confidence of the market in LIBOR and lead market participants to look for alternative, non-LIBOR based types of financing, such as fixed rate loans or bonds or floating rate loans based on non-LIBOR indices.

 

Recently, regulators in the United Kingdom have called for the LIBOR to be abandoned by the end of 2021. Abandonment of or modifications to LIBOR could have adverse impacts on newly issued financial instruments and existing financial instruments which reference LIBOR. While some instruments may contemplate a scenario where LIBOR is no longer available by providing for an alternative rate setting methodology, not all instruments may have such provisions and there is significant uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of any such alternative methodologies. Abandonment of or modifications to LIBOR could lead to significant short-term and long-term uncertainty and market instability. It remains uncertain how such changes would be implemented and the effects such changes would have on the Fund, issuers of instruments in which the Fund invests and financial markets generally.

 

Market Discount Risk

 

The Fund’s Common Shares have a limited trading history and have traded both at a premium and at a discount in relation to net asset value. The Fund cannot predict whether the Common Shares will trade in the future at a premium or discount to net asset value. If the Common Shares are trading at a premium to net asset value at the time you purchase Common Shares, the net asset value per share of the Common Shares purchased will be less than the purchase price paid. Continued development of alternative vehicles for investment in securities of MLP entities may contribute to reducing or eliminating any premium or may result in the Common Shares trading at a discount. Recent developments regarding the energy sector and investor perception regarding the energy sector generally may adversely impact the market for the Common Shares and increase the likelihood that the Common Shares will trade at a discount. The risk of the Common Shares trading at a discount is a risk separate from the risk of a decline in the Fund’s net asset value as a result of the Fund’s investment activities. The Fund’s net asset value will be reduced immediately following an offering of the Common Shares due to the costs of such offering, which will be borne entirely by the Fund. The sale of Common Shares by the Fund (or the perception that such sales may occur) may have an adverse effect on prices of Common Shares in the secondary market. An increase in the number of Common Shares available may put downward pressure on the market price for Common Shares. The Fund may, from time to time, seek the consent of holders of Common Shares to permit the issuance and sale by the Fund of Common Shares at a price below the Fund’s then current net asset value, subject to certain conditions, and such sales of Common Shares at price below net asset value, if any, may increase downward pressure on the market price for Common Shares. These sales, if any, also might make it more difficult for the Fund to sell additional Common Shares in the future at a time and price it deems appropriate.

 

Whether Common Shareholder will realize a gain or loss upon the sale of Common Shares depends upon whether the market value of the Common Shares at the time of sale is above or below the price the Common Shareholder paid, taking into account transaction costs for the Common Shares, and is not directly dependent upon the Fund’s net asset value. Because the market value of the Common Shares will be determined by factors such as the relative demand for and supply of the shares in the market, general market conditions and other

 

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factors outside the Fund’s control, the Fund cannot predict whether the Common Shares will trade at, below or above NAV, or at, below or above the public offering price for the Common Shares.

 

Risks Associated with Offerings of Additional Common Shares

 

The voting power of current common shareholders will be diluted to the extent that current common shareholders do not purchase common shares in any future offerings of common shares or do not purchase sufficient common shares to maintain their percentage interest. If the Fund is unable to invest the proceeds of such offering as intended, the Fund’s per Common Share distribution may decrease and the Fund may not participate in market advances to the same extent as if such proceeds were fully invested as planned. If the Fund sells Common Shares at a price below net asset value pursuant to the consent of Common Shareholders, shareholders will experience a dilution of the aggregate net asset value per Common Share because the sale price will be less than the Fund’s then-current net asset value per Common Share. Similarly, were the expenses of the offering to exceed the amount by which the sale price exceeded the Fund’s then current net asset value per Common Share, shareholders would experience a dilution of the aggregate net asset value per Common Share. This dilution will be experienced by all shareholders, irrespective of whether they purchase Common Shares in any such offering. See “Description of Capital Structure—Common Shares—Issuance of Additional Common Shares.”

 

Additional Risks of Rights

 

There are additional risks associated with an offering of Rights. Shareholders who do not exercise their Rights may, at the completion of such an offering, own a smaller proportional interest in the Fund than if they exercised their Rights. As a result of such an offering, a shareholder may experience dilution in net asset value per share if the subscription price per share is below the net asset value per share on the expiration date. If the subscription price per share is below the net asset value per share of the Fund’s Common Shares on the expiration date, a shareholder will experience an immediate dilution of the aggregate net asset value of such shareholder’s Common Shares if the shareholder does not participate in such an offering and the shareholder will experience a reduction in the net asset value per share of such shareholder’s Common Shares whether or not the shareholder participates in such an offering. Such a reduction in net asset value per share may have the effect of reducing market price of the Common Share. The Fund cannot state precisely the extent of this dilution (if any) if the shareholder does not exercise such shareholder’s Rights because the Fund does not know what the net asset value per share will be when the offer expires or what proportion of the Rights will be exercised. If the subscription price is substantially less than the then current net asset value per Common Share at the expiration of a rights offering, such dilution could be substantial. Any such dilution or accretion will depend upon whether (i) such shareholders participate in the Rights offering and (ii) the Fund’s net asset value per Common Share is above or below the subscription price on the expiration date of the Rights offering. In addition to the economic dilution described above, if a Common Shareholder does not exercise all of their rights, the Common Shareholder will incur voting dilution as a result of this rights offering. This voting dilution will occur because the Common Shareholder will own a smaller proportionate interest in the Fund after the rights offering than prior to the rights offering. There is a risk that changes in market conditions may result in the underlying Common Shares purchasable upon exercise of the subscription rights being less attractive to investors at the conclusion of the subscription period. This may reduce or eliminate the value of the subscription rights. If investors exercise only a portion of the rights, the number of Common Shares issued may be reduced, and the Common Shares may trade at less favorable prices than larger offerings for similar securities. Subscription rights issued by the Fund may be transferable or non-transferable rights.  In a non-transferable rights offering, Common Shareholders who do not wish to exercise their rights will be unable to sell their rights. In a transferrable rights offering, the Fund will use its best efforts to ensure an adequate trading market for the rights; however, investors may find that there is no market to sell rights they do not wish to exercise.

 

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Anti-Takeover Provisions

 

The Fund’s Amended and Restated Agreement and Declaration of Trust, dated as of August 14, 2013 (the “Declaration of Trust”), and Bylaws (collectively, the “Governing Documents”) include provisions that could limit the ability of other entities or persons to acquire control of the Fund or convert the Fund to an open-end fund. These provisions could have the effect of depriving Common Shareholders of opportunities to sell their Common Shares at a premium over the then-current market price of the Common Shares. See “Anti-Takeover and Other Provisions in the Fund’s Governing Documents.”

 

MANAGEMENT OF THE FUND

 

Trustees and Officers

 

The Board of Trustees is broadly responsible for the management of the Fund, including general supervision of the duties performed by the Advisor. The names and business addresses of the Trustees and officers of the Fund and their principal occupations and other affiliations during the past five years are set forth under “Management of the Fund” in the SAI.

 

The Advisor

 

Brookfield Investment Management Inc., a Delaware corporation and a registered investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended, serves as the Fund’s investment adviser pursuant to an investment advisor agreement with the Fund (the “Advisory Agreement”). Founded in 1989, the Advisor is a wholly owned subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (TSX/NYSE: BAM; EURONEXT: BAMA), a publicly held global asset manager focused on property, power and other infrastructure assets with over $285 billion of assets under management as of December 31, 2017. The Advisor also serves as investment adviser to various other closed-end funds. As of December 31, 2017, the Advisor and its affiliates had over $16 billion in assets under management. The Advisor’s principal offices are located at Brookfield Place, 250 Vesey Street, New York, New York 10281-1023.

 

Pursuant to the Advisory Agreement, the Advisor is responsible for managing the portfolio of the Fund in accordance with its stated investment objective and policies, makes investment decisions for the Fund, placing orders to purchase and sell securities on behalf of the Fund and managing the other business and affairs of the Fund, all subject to the supervision and direction of the Board of Trustees. In addition, the Advisor furnishes offices, necessary facilities and equipment on behalf of the Fund; provides personnel, including certain officers required for the Fund’s administrative management; and pays the compensation of all officers and Trustees of the Fund who are its affiliates.

 

As compensation for its services, the Fund pays the Advisor a fee, payable monthly, in an annual amount equal to 1.00% of the Fund’s average daily Managed Assets. “Managed Assets” means the total assets of the Fund, including the assets attributable to the proceeds from any forms of Financial Leverage, minus liabilities, other than liabilities related to any Financial Leverage.

 

A discussion regarding the basis for the approval of the Advisory Agreement by the Board of Trustees is available in the Fund’s annual report to shareholders, for the period ended November 30, 2017.

 

In addition to the fees of the Advisor, the Fund pays all other costs and expenses of its operations, including compensation of its Trustees (other than those affiliated with the Advisor), custodial expenses, transfer agency and dividend disbursing expenses, legal fees, expenses of the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm, expenses of repurchasing shares, listing expenses, expenses of preparing, printing and distributing Prospectuses, stockholder reports, notices, proxy statements and reports to governmental agencies, and taxes, if any.

 

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Portfolio Management

 

Set forth below is information regarding the team of professionals at the Advisor primarily responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Fund.

 

Dan C. Tutcher. Dan C. Tutcher has been a portfolio manager of the Fund since its inception. Mr. Tutcher has been a Managing Director and Portfolio Manager for the Advisor within the Brookfield Public Securities Group since Brookfield’s acquisition of Center Coast in 2018. Mr. Tutcher’s day to day responsibilities include monitoring Brookfield’s portfolio, providing recommendations on buy and sell activity, and reviewing Brookfield’s research & analysis. Mr. Tutcher has 40 years of industry experience owning, operating and acquiring MLPs. Previously, Mr. Tutcher was a founder and a Principal of Center Coast Capital Advisors, L.P. (“Center Coast”) since its inception in 2007. Prior to founding Center Coast, Mr. Tutcher was President of Enbridge Energy Company, Inc. and President and Director of Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P., from 2001 to 2006. Before his experience at Enbridge, Mr. Tutcher founded and served as Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of MidCoast Energy Resources, from its formation in 1992 until 2001, when Enbridge acquired MidCoast. In addition, Mr. Tutcher has been involved in the design, construction and operation of petroleum pipelines and all types of petroleum equipment and storage, as well as oil and gas exploration and production for over 40 years. Mr. Tutcher holds a B.B.A from Washburn University.

 

Robert T. Chisholm. Robert T. Chisholm has 15 years of midstream energy industry experience and has served as a portfolio manager of the Fund since its inception. Mr. Chisholm has been a Managing Director and Portfolio Manager for the Advisor within the Brookfield Public Securities Group since Brookfield’s acquisition of Center Coast in 2018. Mr. Chisholm’s day to day responsibilities include research & analysis of individual MLPs, quantitative & qualitative analysis of MLP holdings, and trading. Mr. Chisholm also serves on the Investment Committee. Previously, Mr. Chisholm served as a Senior portfolio manager of Center Coast since joining the firm during its inception in 2007. Prior to joining Center Coast, Mr. Chisholm was in Morgan Keegan’s Energy Investment Banking Division (from 2006 to 2007) and a Senior Project Advisor at Enbridge Energy Partners, LP (from 2002 to 2006), where he advised on over $8 billion of MLP mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Chisholm began his career in the energy industry at Koch Industries, Inc. where he served in various roles in their Capital Market, Hydrocarbon and Midstream groups. Mr. Chisholm holds an M.B.A from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas and a B.B.A in Finance from Texas Christian University.

 

Jeff A. Jorgensen. Jeff A. Jorgensen has served as a portfolio manager of the Fund since 2016. Mr. Jorgensen has been a Managing Director and Portfolio Manager for the Advisor within the Brookfield Public Securities Group since Brookfield’s acquisition of Center Coast in 2018. Previously, Mr. Jorgensen served as a senior portfolio manager and Director of Research for Center Coast and was responsible for leading Center Coast’s research efforts across all of its energy infrastructure investment products. Prior to joining Center Coast, Mr. Jorgensen served as an Executive Director in the Global Natural Resources Group of UBS Investment Bank where he focused on MLPs and other oil and gas sub-sectors.  During his tenure at UBS, he worked on over $20 billion of MLP and energy equity offerings, $10 billion of M&A transactions and $20 billion of debt deals. His previous experience includes working as an investment banker with Morgan Stanley’s Global Energy Group and as an oil and gas finance attorney for Bracewell & Giuliani LLP. Prior to his professional career, Mr. Jorgensen was an outfielder in the Houston Astros organization. Mr. Jorgensen holds a J.D., with Honors, from the University of Texas School of Law and a B.A. in Economics, Managerial Studies and Sports Management from Rice University.

 

The SAI provides additional information about the portfolio managers’ compensation, other accounts managed by the portfolio managers, the portfolio managers’ ownership of securities of the Fund and information regarding certain potential conflicts of interest.

 

NET ASSET VALUE

 

The Fund determines the net asset value of its Common Shares as of the close of the customary trading session on the NYSE (normally 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time), or any earlier closing time that day, no less frequently than the last business day of each month. The net asset value of the Common Shares is calculated by subtracting the Fund’s total liabilities (including from current and deferred incomes taxes and from Borrowings) and the liquidation preference of any outstanding Preferred Shares from total assets (the market value of the securities the Fund holds plus cash and other assets). The per share net asset value is calculated by dividing its net asset value by the number of Common Shares outstanding and rounding the result to the nearest full cent. Information that becomes known to the Fund after the Fund’s net asset value has been calculated on a particular day will not be used to retroactively adjust the price of a security or the Fund’s net asset value determined earlier that day.

 

The Fund values readily marketable securities at the last reported sale price on the principal exchange or in the principal OTC market in which such securities are traded, as of the close of regular trading on the NYSE on the day the securities are being valued or, if there are no sales, at the mean between the last available bid and asked prices on that day. Securities traded primarily on the NASDAQ are normally valued by the Fund at the NASDAQ Official Closing Price (“NOCP”) provided by the NASDAQ each business day. The NOCP is the most recently reported price as of 4:00 p.m., Eastern time, unless that price is outside the range of the “inside” bid and asked prices (i.e., the bid and asked prices that dealers quote to each other when trading for their own accounts); in that case, the NASDAQ will adjust the price to equal the inside bid or asked price, whichever is closer. Because of delays in reporting trades, the NOCP may not be based on the price of the last trade to occur before the market