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Form S-3 MANHATTAN BRIDGE CAPITAL

May 22, 2024 8:01 AM EDT

 

As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 22, 2024

 

Registration No. 333-

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

FORM S-3

 

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

 

 

MANHATTAN BRIDGE CAPITAL, INC.

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)

 

New York   11-3474831
(State or other jurisdiction
of incorporation or organization)
  (I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)

 

60 Cutter Mill Road, Suite 205
Great Neck, New York 11201
(516) 444-3400

(Address, Including Zip Code, and Telephone Number, Including Area Code, of Registrant’s Principal Executive Offices)

 

 

Mr. Assaf Ran
Chief Executive Officer
Manhattan Bridge Capital, Inc.
60 Cutter Mill Road, Suite 205
Great Neck, New York 11201
(516) 444-3400
(Name, address, including zip code, and telephone number,

including area code, of agent for service)

 

 

Copies to:

Oded Har-Even, Esq.

Howard E. Berkenblit, Esq.

Ron Ben-Bassat, Esq.

Sullivan & Worcester LLP

1633 Broadway

New York, NY 10019

Telephone: (212) 660-3000

Facsimile: (212) 660-3001

 

 

Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public: From time to time after the effective date of this registration statement, as determined by the registrant.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Large accelerated filer ☐ Accelerated filer ☐  
Non-accelerated filer ☒   Smaller reporting company ☒
Emerging growth company ☐    

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of Securities Act. ☐

 

THE REGISTRANT HEREBY AMENDS THIS REGISTRATION STATEMENT ON SUCH DATE OR DATES AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO DELAY ITS EFFECTIVE DATE UNTIL THE REGISTRANT SHALL FILE A FURTHER AMENDMENT WHICH SPECIFICALLY STATES THAT THIS REGISTRATION STATEMENT SHALL THEREAFTER BECOME EFFECTIVE IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 8(a) OF THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933 OR UNTIL THE REGISTRATION STATEMENT SHALL BECOME EFFECTIVE ON SUCH DATE AS THE COMMISSION ACTING PURSUANT TO SAID SECTION 8(a), MAY DETERMINE.

 

 

 

   

 

 

The information in this preliminary prospectus is not complete and may be changed. These securities may not be sold until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This preliminary prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities nor does it seek an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.

 

Subject to completion. dated May 22, 2024.

 

PROSPECTUS

 

 

$45,000,000

 

COMMON SHARES

PREFERRED SHARES

WARRANTS

DEBT SECURITIES

UNITS

 

We may from time to time sell common shares, preferred shares, warrants to purchase common shares or preferred shares, debt securities, and units of such securities, in one or more offerings for an aggregate initial offering price of $45,000,000. We refer to the common shares, preferred shares, the warrants to purchase common shares or preferred shares, debt securities and the units collectively as the Securities. This prospectus describes the general manner in which our Securities may be offered using this prospectus. We may sell these Securities to or through underwriters or dealers, directly to purchasers or through agents. We will set forth the names of any underwriters, dealers or agents in an accompanying prospectus supplement. You should carefully read this prospectus and any accompanying supplements before you decide to invest in any of these securities.

 

Our common shares are traded on the Nasdaq Capital Market, or Nasdaq, under the symbol “LOAN.”

 

As of May 21, 2024, the aggregate market value of our common shares held by non-affiliates was approximately $46,093,534 based on a per share price of $5.34, the price at which our common shares were last sold on May 21, 2024. We have not offered and sold any securities in a primary offering pursuant to Instruction I.B.6 of the General Instructions to Form S-3 during the period of 12 calendar months immediately prior to and including the date of this prospectus.

 

Investing in the securities involves risks. See “Risk Factors” beginning on page 1 of this prospectus.

 

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or passed upon the adequacy or accuracy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

The date of this prospectus is                 , 2024.

 

   

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS 

 

ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS 1
OUR COMPANY 1
RISK FACTORS 1
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS 2
USE OF PROCEEDS 2
THE SECURITIES WE MAY OFFER 2
DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK 3
DESCRIPTION OF WARRANTS 5
DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES 6
DESCRIPTION OF UNITS 9
CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF NEW YORK LAW AND OF OUR RESTATED CERTIFICATE OF INCORPORATION AND BYLAWS 10
RESTRICTIONS ON OWNERSHIP OF CAPITAL STOCK 12
MATERIAL UNITED STATES FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS 15
PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION 35
LEGAL MATTERS 36
EXPERTS 36
WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION 37
INCORPORATION OF DOCUMENTS BY REFERENCE 37

 

You should rely only on the information contained in this prospectus, any prospectus supplement, and the documents incorporated by reference, or to which we have referred you. We have not authorized anyone to provide you with different information. If anyone provides you with different or inconsistent information, you should not rely on it. This prospectus and any prospectus supplement do not constitute an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to purchase, the securities offered by this prospectus and any prospectus supplement in any jurisdiction to or from any person to whom or from whom it is unlawful to make such offer or solicitation of an offer in such jurisdiction. You should not assume that the information contained in this prospectus, any prospectus supplement or any document incorporated by reference is accurate as of any date other than the date on the front cover of the applicable document.

 

Neither the delivery of this prospectus nor any distribution of securities pursuant to this prospectus shall, under any circumstances, create any implication that there has been no change in the information set forth or incorporated by reference into this prospectus or in our affairs since the date of this prospectus. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since such date.

 

As used in this prospectus, the terms the “Company,” “we,” “us” and “our” mean Manhattan Bridge Capital, Inc., unless otherwise indicated.

 

All dollar amounts refer to U.S. dollars unless otherwise indicated.

 

i

 

 

ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS

 

This prospectus is part of a registration statement that we filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, using a “shelf” registration process. Under this shelf registration process, we may, from time to time, sell any combination of the Securities described in this prospectus in one or more offerings up to a total dollar amount of $45,000,000. This prospectus describes the securities we may offer and the general manner in which our Securities may be offered by this prospectus. Each time we sell securities, we will provide a prospectus supplement that will contain specific information about the terms of that offering. We may also add, update or change in the prospectus supplement any of the information contained in this prospectus. To the extent there is a conflict between the information contained in this prospectus and the prospectus supplement, you should rely on the information in the prospectus supplement, provided that if any statement in one of these documents is inconsistent with a statement in another document having a later date—for example, a document incorporated by reference in this prospectus or any prospectus supplement—the statement in the document having the later date modifies or supersedes the earlier statement.

 

OUR COMPANY

 

This summary highlights information contained elsewhere in this prospectus and does not contain all of the information that you should consider in making your investment decision. Before investing in our Securities, you should carefully read this entire prospectus, any prospectus supplement relating to the offering of any specific Securities, information incorporated herein by reference, our historical financial statements and the exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part.

 

We are a New York-based real estate finance company that specializes in originating, servicing and managing a portfolio of first mortgage loans. We offer short-term, secured, non-banking loans (sometimes referred to as “hard money” loans), which we may renew or extend on, before or after their initial term expires, to real estate investors to fund their acquisition, renovation, rehabilitation or improvement of properties located in the New York metropolitan area, including New Jersey and Connecticut, and in Florida. We are organized and conduct our operations to qualify as a real estate investment trust for federal income tax purposes, or REIT. We have qualified for taxation as a REIT beginning with our taxable year ended December 31, 2014.

 

Our principal executive offices are located at 60 Cutter Mill Road, Suite 205, Great Neck, New York 11021, and our telephone number is (516) 444-3400. The URL for our website is www.manhattanbridgecapital.com. The information contained on or connected to our website is not incorporated by reference into, and you must not consider the information to be a part of, this prospectus.

 

RISK FACTORS

 

An investment in our securities involves significant risks. You should carefully consider the risk factors contained in any prospectus supplement and in our filings with the SEC, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023, as well as all of the information contained in this prospectus, any prospectus supplement and the documents incorporated by reference herein or therein, before you decide to invest in our securities. Our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected as a result of any of such risks. The value of our securities could decline as a result of any of these risks. You could lose all or part of your investment in our securities. Some of our statements in sections entitled “Risk Factors” are forward-looking statements. The risks and uncertainties we have described are not the only ones we face. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently deem immaterial may also affect our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.

 

 1 

 

 

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

 

This prospectus, any prospectus supplement and the documents we incorporate by reference contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws regarding our business, financial condition, expenditures, results of operations and prospects. Words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “planned expenditures,” “believes,” “seeks,” “estimates,” “may,” “will,” “should” or the negative thereof or other similar expressions or variations of such words are intended to identify forward-looking statements, but are not deemed to represent an all-inclusive means of identifying forward-looking statements as denoted in this prospectus, any prospectus supplement and the documents we incorporate by reference. Additionally, statements concerning future matters are forward-looking statements.

 

Although forward-looking statements in this prospectus, any prospectus supplement and the documents we incorporate by reference reflect the good faith judgment of our management, such statements can only be based on facts and factors known by us as of such date. Consequently, forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties and actual results and outcomes may differ materially from the results and outcomes discussed in or anticipated by the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences in results and outcomes include, without limitation, those specifically addressed under the heading “Risk Factors” herein and in the documents we incorporate by reference, as well as those discussed elsewhere in this prospectus and any prospectus supplement. Readers are urged not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this prospectus, any prospectus supplement or the respective documents incorporated by reference, as applicable. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements in order to reflect any event or circumstance that may arise after the date of such forward-looking statements. Readers are urged to carefully review and consider the various disclosures made throughout the entirety of this prospectus, any prospectus supplement and the documents incorporated by reference, which attempt to advise interested parties of the risks and factors that may affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

 

USE OF PROCEEDS

 

Unless otherwise specified in the applicable prospectus supplement, we intend to use the net proceeds from the sale of the Securities offered hereby for general corporate purposes and working capital, which may include expanding our portfolio of real estate loans secured by first mortgage liens, repayment of existing indebtedness and new investment opportunities as suitable opportunities arise. Further details relating to the use of the net proceeds from any particular offering of Securities will be set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement.

 

THE SECURITIES WE MAY OFFER

 

The descriptions of the securities contained in this prospectus, together with any applicable prospectus supplement, summarize the material terms and provisions of the various types of Securities that we may offer. We will describe in any applicable prospectus supplement relating to any Securities the particular terms of the Securities offered by that prospectus supplement. If we so indicate in any applicable prospectus supplement, the terms of the Securities may differ from the terms we have summarized below. We may also include in any prospectus supplement information, where applicable, about material U.S. federal income tax consequences relating to the Securities, and the securities exchange or market, if any, on which the Securities will be listed.

 

We may sell from time to time, in one or more offerings, one or more of the following securities:

 

  common shares;
     
  preferred shares;
     
  warrants to purchase common shares or preferred shares;
     
  debt securities; or
     
  units of the securities mentioned above.

 

The total initial offering price of all securities that we may issue in these offerings will not exceed $45,000,000.

 

 2 

 

 

DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK

 

The following description of our common shares is only a summary. This description and the description contained in any prospectus supplement is subject to, and qualified in its entirety by reference to, our restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws, each as amended, each of which has previously been filed with the SEC and which we incorporate by reference as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part, and the New York Business Corporation Law, or the NYBCL. In addition, the specific terms of any series of preferred shares will be described in the applicable prospectus supplement.

 

General

 

Our authorized capital stock includes 25,000,000 common shares, par value $0.001 per share and 5,000,000 preferred shares, par value $0.01 per share. As of May 21, 2024, there are 11,757,058 common shares issued and 11,438,651 common shares outstanding and no preferred shares issued or outstanding.

 

Common Shares

 

Except as otherwise required by applicable law and subject to the preferential rights of any outstanding preferred stock, all voting rights are vested in and exercised by the holders of common shares with each common share being entitled to one vote. In the event of liquidation, holders of the common shares are entitled to share ratably in the distribution of assets remaining after payment of liabilities, if any. Holders of the common shares have no cumulative voting rights and no preemptive or other rights to subscribe for shares. Holders of common shares are entitled to such dividends as may be declared by the board of directors out of funds legally available therefor.

 

In order to maintain our qualification for taxation as a REIT, we are required to distribute at least 90% of our REIT taxable income to our shareholders each year. To the extent we distribute less than 100% of our taxable income to our shareholders (but more than 90%) we will maintain our qualification for taxation as a REIT, but the undistributed portion will be subject to regular corporate income taxes. As a REIT, we may also be subject to federal excise taxes and minimum state taxes. We also intend to operate our business in a manner that will permit us to maintain our exemption from registration under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended. In addition, in order for us to qualify for taxation as a REIT, not more than 50% in value of our outstanding common shares may be owned, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer individuals (as defined in the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the IRC, to include certain entities) at any time during the last half of each taxable year, and at least 100 persons must beneficially own our stock during at least 335 days of a taxable year of 12 months, or during a proportionate portion of a shorter taxable year. To help ensure that we meet the tests, our restated certificate of incorporation restricts the acquisition and ownership of our capital stock. The ownership limitation is fixed at 4.0% of our outstanding shares of capital stock, by value or number of shares, whichever is more restrictive. Assaf Ran, our Chief Executive Officer and founder, is exempt from this restriction.

 

Authorized but Unissued Capital Stock

 

New York law does not require shareholder approval for any issuance of authorized shares, except in certain limited circumstances. However, the listing requirements of Nasdaq, which would apply for so long as our common shares are listed on one of the Nasdaq exchanges, require shareholder approval of certain issuances (other than a public offering) equal to or exceeding 20% of the then outstanding voting power or then outstanding number of shares of common shares, as well as for certain issuances of stock in compensatory transactions. These additional shares may be used for a variety of corporate purposes, including future public offerings, to raise additional capital or to facilitate acquisitions. One of the effects of the existence of unissued and unreserved common shares may be to enable our board of directors to sell shares to persons friendly to current management, for such consideration, in form and amount, as is acceptable to the board of directors, which issuance could render more difficult or discourage an attempt to obtain control of our company by means of a merger, tender offer, proxy contest or otherwise, and thereby protect the continuity of our management and possibly deprive shareholders of opportunities to sell their common shares at prices higher than prevailing market prices.

 

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Blank Check Preferred Shares

 

Our board of directors is empowered, without further action by stockholders, to issue from time to time one or more series of preferred shares, with such designations, rights, preferences and limitations as the board of directors may determine by resolution. The rights, preferences and limitations of separate series of preferred shares may differ with respect to such matters among such series as may be determined by the board of directors, including, without limitation, the rate of dividends, method and nature of payment of dividends, terms of redemption, amounts payable on liquidation, sinking fund provisions (if any), conversion rights (if any) and voting rights. Certain issuances of preferred shares may have the effect of delaying or preventing a change in control of our company that some stockholders may believe is not in their interest.

 

Transfer Agent and Registrar

 

The transfer agent and registrar for our common shares is American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC.

 

Listing

 

Our common shares are listed on Nasdaq under the symbol “LOAN.”

 

Anti-Takeover Effects of Our Restated Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws

 

Certain provisions of our restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws could have the effect of delaying, deterring or preventing another party from acquiring or seeking to acquire control of the Company. For example, our restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws include provisions that:

 

  require the request of holders of a majority of the issued and outstanding shares of the capital stock of the Company entitled to vote at a meeting, to call a special shareholders’ meeting;
     
  allow the board of directors, subject to a majority vote of the entire Board, to amend or repeal the Company’s bylaws and to adopt new bylaws;
     
  allow the board of directors to increase or decrease the number of directors comprising the board of directors, as long as the number of directors constituting the entire Board shall be not less than one nor more than nine directors, and to fill any vacancies on the board of directors;
     
  empower our Board, without further action by stockholders, to issue from time to time one or more series of preferred shares, with such designations, rights, preferences and limitations as the Board may determine by resolution. See “Description of Capital Stock – Blank Check Preferred Shares”; and
     
  restrict persons and entities from beneficially owning more than 4.0%, by value or number of common shares, whichever is more restrictive, of our aggregate outstanding capital stock, or such other percentage determined by our board of directors, subject to certain exclusions. See “Restrictions on Ownership of Capital Stock.”

 

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DESCRIPTION OF WARRANTS

 

The following description, together with the additional information we may include in any applicable prospectus supplement, summarizes the material terms and provisions of the warrants that we may offer under this prospectus and the related warrant agreements and warrant certificates. While the terms summarized below will apply generally to any warrants that we may offer, we will describe the particular terms of any series of warrants (and any securities issuable upon exercise of such warrants) in more detail in the applicable prospectus supplement. If we so indicate in a prospectus supplement, the terms of any warrants offered under that prospectus supplement may differ from the terms we describe below. Specific warrant agreements will contain additional important terms and provisions and will be incorporated by reference as an exhibit to the registration statement.

 

General

 

We may issue warrants for the purchase of common shares or preferred shares in one or more series. We may issue warrants independently or together with common or preferred shares, and the warrants may be attached to or separate from the common or preferred shares.

 

We will evidence each series of warrants by warrant certificates that we will issue under a separate agreement or by warrant agreements that we will enter into directly with the purchasers of the warrants. If we evidence warrants by warrant certificates, we will enter into a warrant agreement with a warrant agent. We will indicate the name and address of the warrant agent, if any, in the applicable prospectus supplement relating to a particular series of warrants.

 

We will describe in the applicable prospectus supplement the terms relating to warrants being offered including:

 

  the offering price and aggregate number of warrants offered;
     
  if applicable, the designation and terms of the securities with which the warrants are issued and the number of warrants issued with each such security or each principal amount of such security;
     
  if applicable, the date on and after which the warrants and the related securities will be separately transferable;
     
  in the case of warrants to purchase common shares or preferred shares, the number of shares of common shares or preferred shares, as the case may be, purchasable upon the exercise of one warrant and the price at which these shares may be purchased upon such exercise;
     
  the terms of any rights to redeem or call the warrants;
     
  any provisions for changes to or adjustments in the exercise price or number of securities issuable upon exercise of the warrants;
     
  the dates on which the right to exercise the warrants will commence and expire;
     
  the manner in which the warrant agreements and warrants may be modified;
     
  federal income tax consequences of holding or exercising the warrants, if material;
     
  the terms of the securities issuable upon exercise of the warrants; and
     
  any other specific terms, preferences, rights or limitations of or restrictions on the warrants.

 

Before exercising their warrants, holders of warrants will not have any of the rights of holders of the securities purchasable upon such exercise, including, in the case of warrants to purchase common shares or preferred shares, the right to receive dividends, if any, or payments upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up of our affairs or to exercise voting rights, if any.

 

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Exercise of Warrants

 

Each warrant will entitle the holder to purchase the securities that we specify in the applicable prospectus supplement at the exercise price that we describe in the applicable prospectus supplement. Unless we otherwise specify in the applicable prospectus supplement, holders of the warrants may exercise the warrants at any time, up to the specified time on the expiration date that we set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement. After the close of business on the expiration date, unexercised warrants will become void.

 

Holders of the warrants may exercise the warrants by delivering the warrant certificate representing the warrants to be exercised together with specified information, and paying the required amount to the warrant agent in immediately available funds or such other consideration as may be permitted, as provided in the applicable prospectus supplement. We intend to set forth in any warrant agreement and in the applicable prospectus supplement the information that the holder of the warrant will be required to deliver to the warrant agent.

 

Upon receipt of the required payment and any warrant certificate or other form required for exercise properly completed and duly executed at the corporate trust office of the warrant agent or any other office indicated in the applicable prospectus supplement, we will issue and deliver the securities purchasable upon such exercise. If fewer than all of the warrants represented by the warrant or warrant certificate are exercised, then we will issue a new warrant or warrant certificate for the remaining amount of warrants. If we so indicate in the applicable prospectus supplement, holders of the warrants may surrender securities as all or part of the exercise price for warrants.

 

Enforceability of Rights by Holders of Warrants

 

If we appoint a warrant agent, any warrant agent will act solely as our agent under the applicable warrant agreement and will not assume any obligation or relationship of agency or trust with any holder of any warrant. A single bank or trust company may act as warrant agent for more than one issue of warrants. A warrant agent will have no duty or responsibility in case of any default by us under the applicable warrant agreement or warrant, including any duty or responsibility to initiate any proceedings at law or otherwise, or to make any demand upon us. Any holder of a warrant may, without the consent of the related warrant agent or the holder of any other warrant, enforce by appropriate legal action its right to exercise, and receive the securities purchasable upon exercise of, its warrants.

 

DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES

 

The following description of the terms of debt securities that we may issue and the related indenture, if any, is only a summary. This description and the description contained in any prospectus supplement are subject to and qualified in their entirety by reference to the applicable indentures, which will be incorporated by reference as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part.

 

We may offer secured or unsecured debt securities in one or more series which may be senior, subordinated or junior subordinated, and which may be convertible or exchangeable into another security. Unless otherwise specified in the applicable prospectus supplement, our debt securities will be issued in one or more series under an indenture to be entered into by us and a bank or trust company.

 

The following description briefly sets forth certain general terms and provisions of the debt securities. The particular terms of the debt securities offered by any prospectus supplement and the extent, if any, to which these general provisions may apply to the debt securities, will be described in the applicable prospectus supplement.

 

The terms of the debt securities will include those set forth in the applicable indenture and those made a part of the applicable indenture by the Trust Indenture Act of 1939, or the TIA, if any. You should read this summary, the applicable prospectus supplement and the provisions of the applicable indenture or supplemental indenture, if any, in their entirety before investing in our debt securities.

 

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The aggregate principal amount of debt securities that may be issued under the respective indentures may be unlimited. The prospectus supplement relating to any series of debt securities that we may offer will contain the specific terms of the debt securities. These terms may include the following:

 

  the issuer or co-obligors of such debt securities;
     
  the guarantors of each series, if any, and the terms of the guarantees (including provisions relating to seniority, subordination and release of the guarantees), if any;
     
  the title and aggregate principal amount of the debt securities and any limit on the aggregate principal amount;
     
  the relative ranking and preferences of the debt securities as to dividend rights or to the maintenance of any asset ratio or the creation or maintenance of reserves;
     
  whether the debt securities will be senior, subordinated or junior subordinated;
     
  whether the debt securities will be secured or unsecured;
     
  any applicable subordination provisions;
     
  the maturity date(s) or method for determining same;
     
  the interest rate(s) or the method for determining same;
     
  the dates on which interest will accrue or the method for determining dates on which interest will accrue and dates on which interest will be payable and whether interest shall be payable in cash or additional securities;
     
  whether the debt securities are convertible or exchangeable into other securities and any related terms and conditions;
     
  redemption or early repayment provisions;
     
  authorized denominations;
     
  if other than the principal amount, the principal amount of debt securities payable upon acceleration;
     
  place(s) where payment of principal and interest may be made, where debt securities may be presented and where notices or demands upon the company may be made;
     
  whether such debt securities will be issued in whole or in part in the form of one or more global securities and the date as of which the securities are dated if other than the date of original issuance;
     
  the amount of discount or premium, if any, with which such debt securities will be issued;
     
  any covenants applicable to the particular debt securities being issued;
     
  any defaults and events of default applicable to the particular debt securities being issued;
     
  the currency, currencies or currency units in which the purchase price for, the principal of and any premium and any interest on, such debt securities will be payable;
     
  the time period within which, the manner in which and the terms and conditions upon which the holders of the debt securities or the issuer or co-obligors, as the case may be, can select the payment currency;

 

 7 

 

 

  our obligation or right to redeem, purchase or repay debt securities under a sinking fund, amortization or analogous provision;
     
  any restriction or conditions on the transferability of the debt securities;
     
  the securities exchange(s) on which the debt securities will be listed, if any;
     
  whether any underwriter(s) will act as a market maker(s) for the debt securities;
     
  the extent to which a secondary market for the debt securities is expected to develop;
     
  provisions granting special rights to holders of the debt securities upon occurrence of specified events;
     
  compensation payable to and/or reimbursement of expenses of the trustee of the series of debt securities;
     
  provisions for the defeasance of the debt securities or related to satisfaction and discharge of the indenture;
     
  provisions relating to the modification of the indenture both with and without the consent of holders of debt securities issued under the indenture and the execution of supplemental indentures for such series; and
     
  any other terms of the debt securities (which terms shall not be inconsistent with the provisions of the TIA, but may modify, amend, supplement or delete any of the terms of the indenture with respect to such series debt securities).

 

General

 

We may sell the debt securities, including original issue discount securities, at par or at a substantial discount below their stated principal amount. Unless we inform you otherwise in a prospectus supplement, we may issue additional debt securities of a particular series without the consent of the holders of the debt securities of such series or any other series outstanding at the time of issuance. Any such additional debt securities, together with all other outstanding debt securities of that series, will constitute a single series of securities under the applicable indenture.

 

We will describe in the applicable prospectus supplement any other special considerations for any debt securities we sell which are denominated in a currency or currency unit other than U.S. dollars. In addition, debt securities may be issued where the amount of principal and/or interest payable is determined by reference to one or more currency exchange rates, commodity prices, equity indices or other factors. Holders of such securities may receive a principal amount or a payment of interest that is greater than or less than the amount of principal or interest otherwise payable on such dates, depending upon the value of the applicable currencies, commodities, equity indices or other factors. Information as to the methods for determining the amount of principal or interest, if any, payable on any date, the currencies, commodities, equity indices or other factors to which the amount payable on such date is linked.

 

United States federal income tax consequences and special considerations, if any, applicable to any such series will be described in the applicable prospectus supplement. Unless we inform you otherwise in the applicable prospectus supplement, the debt securities will not be listed on any securities exchange.

 

We expect most debt securities to be issued in fully registered form without coupons and in denominations of $2,000 and any integral multiples of $1,000 in excess thereof. Subject to the limitations provided in the applicable indenture and in the prospectus supplement, debt securities that are issued in registered form may be transferred or exchanged at the designated corporate trust office of the trustee, without the payment of any service charge, other than any tax or other governmental charge payable in connection therewith.

 

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Global Securities

 

Unless we inform you otherwise in the applicable prospectus supplement, the debt securities of a series may be issued in whole or in part in the form of one or more global securities that will be deposited with, or on behalf of, a depositary identified in the applicable prospectus supplement. Global securities will be issued in registered form and in either temporary or definitive form. Unless and until it is exchanged in whole or in part for the individual debt securities, a global security may not be transferred except as a whole by the depositary for such global security to a nominee of such depositary or by a nominee of such depositary to such depositary or another nominee of such depositary or by such depositary or any such nominee to a successor of such depositary or a nominee of such successor. The specific terms of the depositary arrangement with respect to any debt securities of a series and the rights of and limitations upon owners of beneficial interests in a global security will be described in the applicable prospectus supplement.

 

Governing Law

 

The indentures and the corresponding debt securities shall be construed in accordance with and governed by the laws of the State of New York.

 

DESCRIPTION OF UNITS

 

We may issue, in one or more series, units consisting of common shares, preferred shares and/or warrants for the purchase of common shares and/or preferred shares, in any combination. While the terms we have summarized below will apply generally to any units that we may offer under this prospectus, we will describe the particular terms of any series of units in more detail in the applicable prospectus supplement. The terms of any units offered under a prospectus supplement may differ from the terms described below. We will incorporate by reference as exhibits to the registration statement the form of unit agreement that describes the terms of the series of units we are offering, and any supplemental agreements, before the issuance of the related series of units. The following summaries of material terms and provisions of the units are subject to, and qualified in their entirety by reference to, all the provisions of the unit agreement and any supplemental agreements applicable to a particular series of units. We urge you to read the applicable prospectus supplement related to the particular series of units that we may offer under this prospectus and the complete unit agreement and any supplemental agreements that contain the terms of the units.

 

Each unit will be issued so that the holder of the unit is also the holder of each security included in the unit. Thus, the holder of a unit will have the rights and obligations of a holder of each included security. The unit agreement under which a unit is issued may provide that the securities included in the unit may not be held or transferred separately, at any time or at any time before a specified date.

 

We will describe in the applicable prospectus supplement the terms of the series of units, including:

 

  the designation and terms of the units, including whether and under what circumstances the securities comprising the units may be held or transferred separately; and
     
  any provisions for the issuance, payment, settlement, transfer or exchange of the units or the securities comprising the units.

 

The provisions described in this section, as well as those described under “Description of Capital Stock,” “Description of Warrants” and “Description of Debt Securities” will apply to each unit and to any common shares, preferred shares, debt securities or warrant included in each unit, respectively.

 

We may issue units in such amounts and in such distinct series as we determine.

 

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CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF NEW YORK LAW AND OF OUR RESTATED CERTIFICATE OF INCORPORATION AND BYLAWS

 

The following summary of certain provisions of New York law, our restated certificate of incorporation, and our bylaws, as amended, does not purport to be complete and is subject to and qualified in its entirety by reference to the NYBCL and to our certificate of incorporation and bylaws. Copies of our certificate of incorporation and bylaws are filed as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part. See “Where You Can Find More Information.”

 

Our Board of Directors

 

We have one class of directors. Each director serves for a one-year term or until his or her successor is elected and qualified. Our bylaws provide that our board of directors will consist of not less than one and not more than nine directors. At the present time our board of directors consists of five members.

 

Election of Directors; Removals; Vacancies

 

Directors are elected by a plurality of all of the votes cast in the election of directors.

 

Under our bylaws, a director may be removed for cause by the board of directors or by the shareholders acting by a simple majority.

 

Our bylaws provide that vacancies on our board of directors may be filled by the remaining directors, even if the remaining directors do not constitute a quorum. However, only shareholders can fill a vacancy on our board of directors that is caused by the removal of a director by action of shareholders. Any director elected to fill a vacancy will serve for the remainder of the full term of the director he or she is replacing or until his or her successor is duly elected and qualifies.

 

Meetings of Shareholders

 

Our bylaws provide that a meeting of our shareholders for the election of directors and the transaction of any business will be held annually on such day during the period from May 1 through October 31, other than a legal holiday and at the time and place set by the board of directors. Our bylaws provide that a special meeting of shareholders may be called at any time by the president and must be called by the president at the request in writing of a majority of the directors then in office or at the request in writing filed with our secretary by the holders of a majority of our issued and outstanding shares of capital stock entitled to vote at such a meeting.

 

Shareholder Actions by Written Consent

 

Under Section 615 of the NYBCL and our restated certificate of incorporation, shareholder action may be taken without a meeting if a written consent, setting forth the action so taken, is given by the shareholders entitled to cast not less than the minimum number of votes that would be necessary to authorize or take such action at a meeting of shareholders.

 

Amendment of Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws

 

Under the NYBCL, a New York corporation may amend its certificate of incorporation if such action is declared advisable by the board of directors and approved by the affirmative vote of shareholders entitled to cast a majority of all of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter. Our bylaws provide that each of our board of directors and our shareholders has the power to adopt, alter or repeal any provision of our bylaws and to make new bylaws.

 

Transactions Outside the Ordinary Course of Business

 

Under the NYBCL, a New York corporation generally may not dissolve, merge or consolidate with another entity, sell all or substantially all of its assets or engage in a statutory share exchange unless the action is declared advisable by the board of directors and approved by the affirmative vote of shareholders entitled to cast a majority of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter, unless a greater percentage is specified in the corporation’s certificate of incorporation. Our restated certificate of incorporation does not provide for a super majority vote on any matter.

 

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Business Combinations

 

Under the NYBCL, certain “business combinations” (including a merger, consolidation, statutory share exchange and, in certain circumstances specified in the statute, an asset transfer or issuance or reclassification of equity securities) between a New York corporation and an “interested shareholder” (defined generally as any person who beneficially owns, directly or indirectly, 20% or more of the voting power of the corporation’s outstanding voting shares) or an affiliate of such an interested shareholder are prohibited for five years after the most recent date on which the interested shareholder becomes an interested shareholder. Thereafter, any such business combination must generally be recommended by the board of directors of the corporation and approved by the affirmative vote of holders of a majority of the outstanding voting stock of the corporation other than shares held by the interested shareholder with whom (or with whose affiliate) the business combination is to be effected or held by an affiliate or associate of the interested shareholder, unless, among other conditions, the corporation’s common shareholders receive a minimum price (as described in the NYBCL) for their shares and the consideration is received in cash or in the same form as previously paid by the interested shareholder for its shares. A person is not an interested shareholder under the statute if the board of directors approved in advance the transaction by which the person otherwise would have become an interested shareholder. A corporation’s board of directors may provide that its approval is subject to compliance, at or after the time of approval, with any terms and conditions determined by the board of directors.

 

REIT Qualification

 

Our restated certificate of incorporation provides that our board of directors may authorize us to revoke or otherwise terminate our REIT election, without approval of our shareholders, if it determines that it is no longer in our best interests to continue to qualify to be taxed as a REIT.

 

Limitation on Directors’ Liability and Indemnification of Directors and Officers

 

The NYBCL permits a New York corporation to include in its certificate of incorporation a provision limiting the liability of its directors to the corporation and its shareholders for money damages, except if a judgment or other final adjudication establishes that (i) the director’s acts were committed in bad faith, (ii) involved intentional misconduct or a knowing violation of law, (iii) he personally gained a financial profit or other advantage to which he was not legally entitled or (iv) his act involves (A) the declaration of a dividend that violated section 510 of the NYBCL; (B) the purchase or redemption of our shares in violation of section 513 of the NYBCL; (C) the distribution of assets to shareholders after dissolution without paying or adequately providing for the payment of all known liabilities; and (D) the making of loans to a director in violation of section 714 of the NYBCL.

 

The NYBCL permits us to indemnify any present or former director or officer, against judgments, fines, settlements and reasonable expenses including attorney’s fees actually and necessarily incurred as a result of the action or proceeding, including any appeals, if such director or officer acted, in good faith, for a purpose which he reasonably believed to be in, or not opposed to, the best interests of the corporation and, in criminal actions or proceedings, in addition, had no reasonable cause to believe that his conduct was unlawful.

 

In addition, the NYBCL permits us to advance reasonable expenses to a director or officer upon our receipt of an undertaking by or on behalf of such officer or director to repay such amount as, and to the extent, such officer or director is ultimately found not to be entitled to indemnification or, if entitled to indemnification, to the extent the amount advanced exceeds the indemnification to which such officer or director is entitled.

 

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Our restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws obligate us, to the fullest extent permitted by New York law in effect from time to time, to indemnify, pay or reimburse reasonable expenses in advance of final disposition of a proceeding to any present or former director or officer who is made or threatened to be made a party to, or witness in, a proceeding by reason of his or her service in that capacity and any individual who, while a member of our board of directors and at our request as a director, officer, employee or agent of another corporation or of a partnership, joint venture, trust or other enterprise, including service with respect to employee benefit plans, whether the basis of such a proceeding is alleged action in an official capacity as a director, officer, employee or agent or in any other capacity while serving as a director, officer, employee or agent, as authorized by:

 

  the board of directors, acting by a quorum consisting of directors who are not parties to such action or proceeding upon a finding that the director or officer has met the standard of conduct set forth in the NYBCL;
     
  the board of directors upon the opinion in writing of independent legal counsel that indemnification is proper in the circumstances because the applicable standard of conduct set forth in such sections has been met by such director or officer; or
     
  the shareholders upon a finding that the director or officer has met the applicable standard of conduct set forth in such sections.

 

The indemnification and payment or reimbursement of expenses provided by the indemnification provisions of our restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws are not deemed exclusive of or limit in any way other rights to which any person seeking indemnification or payment or reimbursement of expenses may be or may become entitled under any statute, bylaw, resolution, insurance, agreement, vote of shareholders or disinterested directors or otherwise.

 

Insofar as indemnification for liabilities arising under the Securities Act may be permitted to directors, officers or persons controlling us pursuant to the foregoing provisions, in the opinion of the SEC, such indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act and is therefore unenforceable.

 

RESTRICTIONS ON OWNERSHIP OF CAPITAL STOCK

 

In order for us to qualify to be taxed as a REIT under the IRC, shares of our capital stock must be owned by 100 or more persons during at least 335 days of a taxable year of twelve months or during a proportionate part of a shorter taxable year. Also, not more than 50% of the value of the outstanding shares of our stock (after taking into account options to acquire shares of stock) may be owned, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer individuals (as defined in the IRC to include certain entities such as private foundations) during the last half of a taxable year (other than the first year for which an election to be a REIT has been made). To qualify to be taxed as a REIT, we must satisfy other requirements as well.

 

Our restated certificate of incorporation provides that, subject to the exceptions described below, no person or entity may own, or be deemed to own, beneficially or by virtue of the applicable constructive ownership provisions of the IRC, more than 4.0%, by value or number of common shares, whichever is more restrictive, of our aggregate outstanding capital stock, or such other percentage determined by our board of directors. As such, our board of directors, in its sole and absolute discretion, may exempt, prospectively or retroactively, a particular shareholder from the ownership limits or establish a different limit on ownership, or the Excepted Holder Limit, if it obtains representations and undertakings from such shareholders as are reasonably necessary for the board of directors to determine that such shareholder’s beneficial or constructive ownership of our shares will not result in our being “closely held” under Section 856(h) of the IRC (without regard to whether the ownership interest is held during the last half of a taxable year) or otherwise failing to qualify to be taxed as a REIT. Any violation or attempted violation of any such representations or undertakings (or other action which is contrary to the restrictions contained in our restated certificate of incorporation) will result in such shareholder’s shares being automatically transferred to a charitable trust. As a condition of granting the waiver or establishing the Excepted Holder Limit, our board of directors may require an opinion of counsel or a ruling from the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, in either case in form and substance satisfactory to our board of directors, in its sole discretion, in order to determine or ensure our status as a REIT. Notwithstanding the receipt of any ruling or opinion, our board of directors may impose such conditions or restrictions as it deems appropriate in connection with granting such a waiver or establishing an Excepted Holder Limit.

 

The ownership limits described above generally do not apply to Assaf Ran, our current chief executive officer, who, as of May 21, 2024, owns 22.8% of our outstanding common shares. In addition, our board of directors may grant such an exemption to such limitations in its sole discretion, subject to such conditions, representations and undertakings as it may determine.

 

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We refer to the person or entity that, but for operation of the ownership limits or another restriction on ownership and transfer of shares as described below, would beneficially own or constructively own shares of our capital stock in violation of such limits or restrictions and, if appropriate in the context, a person or entity that would have been the record owner of such shares as a “Prohibited Owner.”

 

The constructive ownership rules under the IRC are complex and may cause shares owned beneficially or constructively by a group of related individuals and/or entities to be deemed owned beneficially or constructively by one individual or entity. As a result, even if a shareholder’s actual ownership does not exceed the share ownership limits described, on a constructive ownership basis such shareholder may exceed those limits.

 

In connection with granting a waiver of the ownership limits or creating an excepted holder limit or at any other time, our board of directors may from time to time increase or decrease the common share ownership limit, for all other persons, unless, after giving effect to such increase, five or fewer individuals could beneficially own, in the aggregate, more than 49.9% in value of our outstanding shares or we would otherwise fail to qualify to be taxed as a REIT. A reduced ownership limit will not apply to any person or entity whose percentage ownership of our common shares or our shares of all classes and series, as applicable, is, at the effective time of such reduction, in excess of such decreased ownership limit until such time as such person’s or entity’s percentage ownership of our common shares or our shares of all classes and series, as applicable, equals or falls below the decreased ownership limit; provided, however, any further acquisition of our common shares or shares of all other classes or series, as applicable, will violate the decreased ownership limit.

 

Thus, our restated certificate of incorporation prohibits:

 

  any person from beneficially or constructively owning, applying certain attribution rules of the IRC, shares of our capital stock that would result in our being “closely held” under Section 856(h) of the IRC (without regard to whether the ownership interest is held during the last half of a taxable year) or otherwise cause us to fail to qualify to be taxed as a REIT;
     
  any person from transferring shares of our capital stock if the transfer would result in shares of our capital stock being beneficially owned by fewer than 100 persons (determined under the principles of Section 856(a)(5) of the IRC); and
     
  any person from beneficially or constructively owning shares of our capital stock to the extent such ownership would result in our failing to qualify as a “domestically controlled qualified investment entity” within the meaning of Section 897(h)(4)(B) of the IRC.

 

Any person who acquires or attempts or intends to acquire beneficial or constructive ownership of shares of our capital stock that will or may violate the ownership limits or any of the other restrictions on ownership and transfer of shares of our capital stock described above, or who would have owned shares of our stock transferred to the trust as described below, must immediately give notice to us of such event or, in the case of an attempted or proposed transaction, give us at least 15 days’ prior written notice and provide us with such other information as we may request in order to determine the effect of such transfer on our status as a REIT. The foregoing restrictions on ownership and transfer of shares of our capital stock will not apply if our board of directors determines that it is no longer in our best interests to attempt to qualify, or to continue to qualify, to be taxed as a REIT or that compliance with the restrictions and limits on ownership and transfer of shares of our capital stock described above is no longer required.

 

If any transfer of shares of our capital stock would result in shares of our capital stock being beneficially owned by fewer than 100 persons, the transfer will be null and void and the intended transferee will acquire no rights in the shares. In addition, if any purported transfer of shares of our capital stock or any other event would otherwise result in any person violating the ownership limits or an excepted holder limit established by our board of directors, or in our being “closely held” under Section 856(h) of the IRC (without regard to whether the ownership interest is held during the last half of a taxable year) or otherwise failing to qualify to be taxed as a REIT or as a “domestically controlled qualified investment entity” within the meaning of Section 897(h)(4)(B) of the IRC, then that number of shares (rounded up to the nearest whole share) that would cause the violation will be automatically transferred to, and held by, a trust for the exclusive benefit of one or more charitable organizations selected by us, and the intended transferee or other prohibited owner will acquire no rights in the shares. The automatic transfer will be effective as of the close of business on the business day prior to the date of the violating transfer. If the transfer to the trust as described above is not automatically effective, for any reason, to prevent a violation of the applicable ownership limits or our being “closely held” under Section 856(h) of the IRC (without regard to whether the ownership interest is held during the last half of a taxable year) or our otherwise failing to qualify to be taxed as a REIT or as a “domestically controlled qualified investment entity,” then the transfer of the shares will be null and void and the intended transferee will acquire no rights in such shares.

 

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Shares of our capital stock held in the trust will be issued and outstanding shares. The prohibited owner will not benefit economically from ownership of any shares of our capital stock held in the trust and will have no rights to distributions and no rights to vote or other rights attributable to the shares held in the trust. The trustee of the trust will exercise all voting rights and receive all distributions with respect to shares held in the trust for the exclusive benefit of the charitable beneficiary of the trust. Any dividend or distribution made before we discover that the shares have been transferred to a trust as described above must be repaid by the recipient to the trustee upon demand by us. Subject to New York law, effective as of the date that the shares have been transferred to the trust, the trustee will have the authority to rescind as void any vote cast by a prohibited owner before our discovery that the shares have been transferred to the trust and to recast the vote in accordance with the desires of the trustee acting for the benefit of the charitable beneficiary of the trust. However, if we have already taken irreversible corporate action, then the trustee may not rescind and recast the vote.

 

Shares of our capital stock transferred to the trustee are deemed offered for sale to us, or our designee, at a price per share equal to the lesser of (i) the price paid by the prohibited owner for the shares (or, in the case of a devise or gift, the market price at the time of such devise or gift) and (ii) the market price on the date we, or our designee, accepts such offer. We may reduce the amount so payable to the prohibited owner by the amount of any dividend or distribution that we made to the prohibited owner before we discovered that the shares had been automatically transferred to the trust, and we may pay the amount of any such reduction to the trustee for distribution to the charitable beneficiary. We have the right to accept such offer until the trustee has sold the shares of our capital stock held in the trust as discussed below. Upon a sale to us, the interest of the charitable beneficiary in the shares sold terminates, and the trustee must distribute the net proceeds of the sale to the prohibited owner and must distribute any distributions held by the trustee with respect to such shares to the charitable beneficiary.

 

If we do not buy the shares, the trustee must, within 20 days of receiving notice from us of the transfer of shares to the trust, sell the shares to a person or entity designated by the trustee who could own the shares without violating the ownership limits or the other restrictions on ownership and transfer of shares of our capital stock. After the sale of the shares, the interest of the charitable beneficiary in the shares transferred to the trust will terminate and the trustee must distribute to the prohibited owner an amount equal to the lesser of (i) the price paid by the prohibited owner for the shares (or, if the prohibited owner did not give value for the shares in connection with the event causing the shares to be held in the trust (for example, in the case of a gift, devise or other such transaction), the market price of the shares on the day of the event causing the shares to be held in the trust) and (ii) the price per share received by the Trustee (net of any commissions and other expenses of sale) received by the trust for the shares. The trustee may reduce the amount payable to the prohibited owner by the amount of any distribution that we paid to the prohibited owner before we discovered that the shares had been automatically transferred to the trust and that are then owed by the prohibited owner to the trustee as described above. Any net sales proceeds in excess of the amount payable to the prohibited owner must be paid immediately to the charitable beneficiary. In addition, if, prior to the discovery by us that shares have been transferred to a trust, such shares are sold by a prohibited owner, then such shares will be deemed to have been sold on behalf of the trust and, to the extent that the prohibited owner received an amount for or in respect of such shares that exceeds the amount that such prohibited owner was entitled to receive, such excess amount will be paid to the trustee upon demand. The prohibited owner has no rights in the shares held by the trustee.

 

In addition, if our board of directors determines that a transfer or other event has occurred that would violate the restrictions on ownership and transfer of shares of our stock described above, our board of directors may take such action as it deems advisable to refuse to give effect to or to prevent such transfer, including, but not limited to, causing us to redeem the shares, refusing to give effect to the transfer on our books or instituting proceedings to enjoin the transfer.

 

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Every owner of 4% or more (or such lower percentage as required by the IRC or the regulations promulgated thereunder) of our capital stock, within 30 days after the end of each taxable year, must give us written notice stating the shareholder’s name and address, the number of shares of each class and series of our capital stock that the shareholder beneficially owns and a description of the manner in which the shares are held. Each such owner must provide to us such additional information as we may request in order to determine the effect, if any, of the shareholder’s beneficial ownership on our status as a REIT and to ensure compliance with the ownership limits. In addition, any person or entity that is a beneficial owner or constructive owner of shares of our capital stock and any person or entity (including the shareholder of record) who is holding shares of our capital stock for a beneficial owner or constructive owner must, on request, provide to us such information as we may request in order to determine our status as a REIT and to comply with the requirements of any taxing authority or governmental authority or to determine such compliance and to ensure compliance with the ownership limits.

 

Certificates or other evidence representing shares of our capital stock will bear a legend referring to the restrictions on ownership and transfer of shares of our capital stock described above.

 

The restrictions on ownership and transfer of shares of our stock described above could delay, defer or prevent a transaction or a change in control, including one that might involve a premium price for our common shares or otherwise be in the best interests of our shareholders.

 

MATERIAL UNITED STATES FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS

 

This section summarizes the material United States federal income tax considerations generally applicable to an investment in common shares or preferred shares of the Company. Supplemental United States federal income tax considerations relevant to the ownership of the other securities offered by this prospectus may be provided in the prospectus supplement that relates to those securities. The following summary of material United States federal income tax considerations is based on existing law and is limited to investors who own our shares as investment assets rather than as inventory or as property used in a trade or business. The summary does not discuss all of the particular tax considerations that might be relevant to you if you are subject to special rules under federal income tax law, for example if you are:

 

  a bank, insurance company, or other financial institution;
     
  a regulated investment company or REIT;
     
  a subchapter S corporation;
     
  a broker, dealer or trader in securities or foreign currencies;
     
  a person who marks-to-market our shares for U.S. federal income tax purposes;
     
  a U.S. shareholder (as defined below) that has a functional currency other than the U.S. dollar;
     
  a person who acquires or owns our shares in connection with employment or other performance of services;
     
  a person subject to alternative minimum tax;
     
  a person who acquires or owns our shares as part of a straddle, hedging transaction, constructive sale transaction, constructive ownership transaction or conversion transaction, or as part of a “synthetic security” or other integrated financial transaction;
     
  a person who owns 10% or more (by vote or value, directly or constructively under the IRC) of any class of our shares;
     
  a U.S. expatriate;
     
  a non-U.S. shareholder (as defined below) whose investment in our shares is effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in the United States;

 

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  a nonresident alien individual present in the United States for 183 days or more during an applicable taxable year;
     
  a “qualified shareholder” (as defined in Section 897(k)(3)(A) of the IRC);
     
  a “qualified foreign pension fund” (as defined in Section 897(l)(2) of the IRC) or any entity wholly owned by one or more qualified foreign pension funds;
     
  a non-U.S. shareholder that is a passive foreign investment company or controlled foreign corporation;
     
  a person subject to special tax accounting rules as a result of their use of applicable financial statements (within the meaning of Section 451(b)(3) of the IRC); or
     
  except as specifically described in the following summary, a trust, estate, tax-exempt entity or foreign person.

 

The sections of the IRC that govern the federal income tax qualification and treatment of a REIT and its shareholders are complex. This presentation is a summary of applicable IRC provisions, related rules and regulations, and administrative and judicial interpretations, all of which are subject to change, possibly with retroactive effect. Future legislative, judicial or administrative actions or decisions could also affect the accuracy of statements made in this summary. We have not received a ruling from the IRS with respect to any matter described in this summary, and we cannot be sure that the IRS or a court will agree with all of the statements made in this summary. The IRS could, for example, take a different position from that described in this summary with respect to our acquisitions, operations, valuations, restructurings or other matters, which, if a court agreed, could result in significant tax liabilities for applicable parties. In addition, this summary is not exhaustive of all possible tax considerations and does not discuss any estate, gift, state, local or foreign tax considerations. For all these reasons, we urge you and any holder of or prospective acquiror of our shares to consult with a tax advisor about the federal income tax and other tax consequences of the acquisition, ownership and disposition of our shares. Our intentions and beliefs described in this summary are based upon our understanding of applicable laws and regulations that are in effect as of the date of this prospectus. If new laws or regulations are enacted which impact us directly or indirectly, we may change our intentions or beliefs.

 

Your federal income tax consequences generally will differ depending on whether or not you are a “U.S. shareholder.” For purposes of this summary, a “U.S. shareholder” is a beneficial owner of our shares that is:

 

  an individual who is a citizen or resident of the United States, including an alien individual who is a lawful permanent resident of the United States or meets the substantial presence residency test under the federal income tax laws;
     
  an entity treated as a corporation for federal income tax purposes that is created or organized in or under the laws of the United States, any state thereof or the District of Columbia;
     
  an estate the income of which is subject to federal income taxation regardless of its source; or
     
  a trust if a court within the United States is able to exercise primary supervision over the administration of the trust and one or more U.S. persons have the authority to control all substantial decisions of the trust, or, to the extent provided in Treasury regulations, a trust in existence on August 20, 1996 that has elected to be treated as a domestic trust;

 

whose status as a U.S. shareholder is not overridden by an applicable tax treaty. Conversely, a “non-U.S. shareholder” is a beneficial owner of our shares that is not an entity (or other arrangement) treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes and is not a U.S. shareholder.

 

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If any entity (or other arrangement) treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes holds our shares, the tax treatment of a partner in the partnership generally will depend upon the tax status of the partner and the activities of the partnership. Any entity (or other arrangement) treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes that is a holder of our shares and the partners in such a partnership (as determined for federal income tax purposes) are urged to consult their own tax advisors about the federal income tax consequences and other tax consequences of the acquisition, ownership and disposition of our shares.

 

Taxation as a REIT

 

We have elected to be taxed as a REIT under Sections 856 through 860 of the IRC, commencing with our 2014 taxable year. Our REIT election, assuming continuing compliance with the then applicable qualification tests, has continued and will continue in effect for subsequent taxable years. Although we cannot be sure, we believe that from and after our 2014 taxable year we have been organized and have operated, and will continue to be organized and to operate, in a manner that qualified us and will continue to qualify us to be taxed as a REIT under the IRC.

 

As a REIT, we generally are not subject to federal income tax on our net income distributed as dividends to our shareholders. Distributions to our shareholders generally are included in our shareholders’ income as dividends to the extent of our available current or accumulated earnings and profits. Our dividends are not generally entitled to the preferential tax rates on qualified dividend income, but a portion of our dividends may be treated as capital gain dividends or as qualified dividend income, all as explained below. In addition, for taxable years beginning before 2026 and pursuant to the deduction-without-outlay mechanism of Section 199A of the IRC, our noncorporate U.S. shareholders that meet specified holding period requirements are generally eligible for lower effective tax rates on our dividends that are not treated as capital gain dividends or as qualified dividend income. No portion of any of our dividends is eligible for the dividends received deduction for corporate shareholders. Distributions in excess of our current or accumulated earnings and profits generally are treated for federal income tax purposes as returns of capital to the extent of a recipient shareholder’s basis in our shares, and will reduce this basis. Our current or accumulated earnings and profits are generally allocated first to distributions made on our preferred shares, of which there are none outstanding at this time, and thereafter to distributions made on our common shares. For all these purposes, our distributions include cash distributions, any in kind distributions of property that we might make, and deemed or constructive distributions resulting from capital market activities (such as some redemptions), as described below.

 

Our counsel, Sullivan & Worcester LLP, is of the opinion that we have been organized and have qualified for taxation as a REIT under the IRC for our 2014 through 2023 taxable years, and that our current and anticipated investments and plan of operation will enable us to continue to meet the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT under the IRC. Our counsel’s opinions are conditioned upon the assumption that our restated certificate of incorporation and all other legal documents to which we have been or are a party have been and will be complied with by all parties to those documents, upon the accuracy and completeness of the factual matters described in this prospectus and upon representations made by us to our counsel as to certain factual matters relating to our organization and operations and our expected manner of operation. If this assumption or a description or representation is inaccurate or incomplete, our counsel’s opinions may be adversely affected and may not be relied upon. The opinions of our counsel are based upon the law as it exists today, but the law may change in the future, possibly with retroactive effect. Given the highly complex nature of the rules governing REITs, the ongoing importance of factual determinations, and the possibility of future changes in our circumstances, neither Sullivan & Worcester LLP nor we can be sure that we will qualify as or be taxed as a REIT for any particular year. Any opinion of Sullivan & Worcester LLP as to our qualification or taxation as a REIT will be expressed as of the date issued. Our counsel will have no obligation to advise us or our shareholders of any subsequent change in the matters stated, represented or assumed, or of any subsequent change in the applicable law. Also, the opinions of our counsel are not binding on either the IRS or a court, and either could take a position different from that expressed by our counsel.

 

Our continued qualification and taxation as a REIT will depend upon our compliance with various qualification tests imposed under the IRC and summarized below. While we believe that we have satisfied and will satisfy these tests, our counsel does not review compliance with these tests on a continuing basis. If we fail to qualify for taxation as a REIT in any year, then we will be subject to federal income taxation as if we were a corporation taxed under subchapter C of the IRC, or a C corporation, and our shareholders will be taxed like shareholders of a regular C corporation, meaning that federal income tax generally will be applied at both the corporate and shareholder levels. In this event, we could be subject to significant tax liabilities, and the amount of cash available for distribution to our shareholders could be reduced or eliminated.

 

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If we continue to qualify for taxation as a REIT and meet the tests described below, then we generally will not pay federal income tax on amounts that we distribute to our shareholders. However, even if we continue to qualify for taxation as a REIT, we may still be subject to federal tax in the following circumstances, as described below:

 

  We will be taxed at regular corporate income tax rates on any undistributed “real estate investment trust taxable income,” determined by including our undistributed ordinary income and net capital gains, if any. We may elect to retain and pay income tax on our net capital gain. In addition, if we so elect by making a timely designation to our shareholders, a shareholder would be taxed on its proportionate share of our undistributed capital gain and would generally be expected to receive a credit or refund for its proportionate share of the tax we paid.
     
  If we have net income from “prohibited transactions”—that is, dispositions at a gain of inventory or property held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business other than dispositions of foreclosure property and other than dispositions excepted by statutory safe harbors—we will be subject to tax on this income at a 100% rate.
     
  If we elect to treat property that we acquire in connection with a foreclosure of a mortgage loan as “foreclosure property,” as described in Section 856(e) of the IRC, we may thereby avoid both (a) the 100% tax on gain from a resale of that property (if the sale would otherwise constitute a prohibited transaction) and (b) the inclusion of any income from such property not qualifying for purposes of the REIT gross income tests discussed below, but in exchange for these benefits we will be subject to tax on the foreclosure property income at the highest regular corporate income tax rate.
     
  If we fail to satisfy the 75% gross income test or the 95% gross income test discussed below, due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect, but nonetheless maintain our qualification for taxation as a REIT because of specified cure provisions, we will be subject to tax at a 100% rate on the greater of the amount by which we fail the 75% gross income test or the 95% gross income test, with adjustments, multiplied by a fraction intended to reflect our profitability for the taxable year.
     
  If we fail to satisfy any of the REIT asset tests described below (other than a de minimis failure of the 5% or 10% asset tests) due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect, but nonetheless maintain our qualification for taxation as a REIT because of specified cure provisions, we will be subject to a tax equal to the greater of $50,000 or the highest regular corporate income tax rate multiplied by the net income generated by the nonqualifying assets that caused us to fail the test.
     
  If we fail to satisfy any provision of the IRC that would result in our failure to qualify for taxation as a REIT (other than violations of the REIT gross income tests or violations of the REIT asset tests described below) due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect, we may retain our qualification for taxation as a REIT but will be subject to a penalty of $50,000 for each failure.
     
  If we fail to distribute for any calendar year at least the sum of 85% of our REIT ordinary income for that year, 95% of our REIT capital gain net income for that year and any undistributed taxable income from prior periods, we will be subject to a 4% nondeductible excise tax on the excess of the required distribution over the amounts actually distributed.
     
  If we acquire a REIT asset where our adjusted tax basis in the asset is determined by reference to the adjusted tax basis of the asset in the hands of a C corporation, under specified circumstances we may be subject to federal income taxation on all or part of the built-in gain (calculated as of the date the property ceased being owned by the C corporation) on such asset. We generally do not expect to sell assets if doing so would result in the imposition of a material built-in gains tax liability; but if and when we do sell assets that may have associated built-in gains tax exposure, then we expect to make appropriate provision for the associated tax liabilities on our financial statements.

 

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  Our subsidiaries that are C corporations, including any “taxable REIT subsidiaries” as defined in Section 856(l) of the IRC, or TRSs, that we form or acquire generally will be required to pay federal corporate income tax on their earnings, and a 100% tax may be imposed on any transaction between us and one of our TRSs that does not reflect arm’s length terms.

 

If we fail to qualify for taxation as a REIT in any year, then we will be subject to federal income tax in the same manner as a regular C corporation. Further, as a regular C corporation, distributions to our shareholders will not be deductible by us, nor will distributions be required under the IRC. Also, to the extent of our current and accumulated earnings and profits, all distributions to our shareholders will generally be taxable as ordinary dividends potentially eligible for the preferential tax rates discussed below under the heading “—Taxation of Taxable U.S. Shareholders” and, subject to limitations in the IRC, will be potentially eligible for the dividends received deduction for corporate shareholders. Finally, we will generally be disqualified from taxation as a REIT for the four taxable years following the taxable year in which the termination of our REIT status is effective. Our failure to qualify for taxation as a REIT for even one year could result in us reducing or eliminating distributions to our shareholders, or in us incurring substantial indebtedness or liquidating substantial investments in order to pay the resulting corporate-level income taxes. Relief provisions under the IRC may allow us to continue to qualify for taxation as a REIT even if we fail to comply with various REIT requirements, all as discussed in more detail below. However, it is impossible to state whether in any particular circumstance we would be entitled to the benefit of these relief provisions.

 

We do not intend to acquire or otherwise own assets or to conduct financing or other activities if doing so would produce “excess inclusion” or similar income for us or our shareholders, except that we may own assets or conduct activities through a TRS such that no excess inclusion or similar income results for us and our shareholders. However, if we own assets or conduct activities contrary to this expectation––e.g., if we were to (a) acquire or otherwise own a residual interest in a real estate mortgage investment conduit, or a REMIC, or (b) sponsor a non-REMIC collateralized mortgage pool to issue multiple class debt instruments related to the underlying mortgage loans, in each case other than through a TRS––then a portion of our income will be treated as excess inclusion income and a portion of the dividends that we pay to our shareholders will also be considered to be excess inclusion income. Generally, a shareholder’s dividend income from a REIT corresponding to the shareholder’s share of the REIT’s excess inclusion or similar income: (a) cannot be offset by any net operating losses otherwise available to the shareholder; (b) is subject to tax as “unrelated business taxable income” as defined by Section 512 of the IRC, or UBTI, in the hands of most types of shareholders that are otherwise generally exempt from federal income tax; and (c) results in the application of federal income tax withholding at the maximum statutory rate of 30% (and any otherwise available rate reductions under income tax treaties do not apply) with respect to non-U.S. shareholders. IRS guidance indicates that if we were to generate excess inclusion or similar income, then that income would be allocated among our shareholders in proportion to our dividends paid. Even so, the manner in which this income would be allocated to dividends attributable to a taxable year that are not paid until a subsequent taxable year (or to dividends attributable to a portion of a taxable year when no assets or operations were held or conducted that produced excess inclusion or similar income), as well as the manner of reporting these special tax items to shareholders, is not clear under current law, and there can be no assurance that the IRS will not challenge our method of making any such determinations. If the IRS were to disagree with any such determinations made or with the method used by us, the amount of any excess inclusion or similar income required to be taken into account by one or more of our shareholders could be significantly increased.

 

In addition, if we own a residual interest in a REMIC, we will be taxed at the highest corporate income tax rate on the percentage of our excess inclusion income that corresponds to the percentage of our shares of beneficial interest that are held in record name by “disqualified organizations.” Although the law is unsettled, the IRS asserts that similar rules apply to a REIT that generates income similar to excess inclusion income as a result of owning specified non-REMIC collateralized mortgage pools. Disqualified organizations include: (a) the United States; (b) any state or political subdivision of the United States; (c) any foreign government; (d) any international organization; (e) any agency or instrumentality of any of the foregoing; (f) any other tax-exempt organization, other than a farmer’s cooperative described in Section 521 of the IRC, that is exempt both from income taxation and from taxation under the UBTI provisions of the IRC; and (g) any rural electrical or telephone cooperative. To the extent that our shares owned by disqualified organizations are held in street name by a broker-dealer or other nominee, the IRS asserts that the broker-dealer or nominee is liable for a tax at the highest corporate income tax rate on the portion of our excess inclusion or similar income allocable to the shares held on behalf of the disqualified organizations. A regulated investment company or other pass-through entity owning our shares would, according to the IRS, also be subject to tax at the highest corporate income tax rate on any excess inclusion or similar income from us that is allocated to their record name owners that are disqualified organizations.

 

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In sum, although we do not intend to own assets or conduct activities if doing so would produce “excess inclusion” or similar income for us or our shareholders, tax-exempt investors, foreign investors, taxpayers with net operating losses, regulated investment companies, pass-through entities and broker-dealers and other nominees should carefully consider the tax consequences described above and are urged to consult their tax advisors in connection with their decision to invest in or hold our shares.

 

REIT Qualification Requirements

 

General Requirements. Section 856(a) of the IRC defines a REIT as a corporation, trust or association:

 

  (1) that is managed by one or more trustees or directors;
     
  (2) the beneficial ownership of which is evidenced by transferable shares or by transferable certificates of beneficial interest;
     
  (3) that would be taxable, but for Sections 856 through 859 of the IRC, as a domestic C corporation;
     
  (4) that is not a financial institution or an insurance company subject to special provisions of the IRC;
     
  (5) the beneficial ownership of which is held by 100 or more persons;
     
  (6) that is not “closely held,” meaning that during the last half of each taxable year, not more than 50% in value of the outstanding shares are owned, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer “individuals” (as defined in the IRC to include specified tax-exempt entities);
     
  (7) that does not have (and has not succeeded to) the post-December 7, 2015 tax-free spin-off history proscribed by Section 856(c)(8) of the IRC; and
 

 

(8)

 

that meets other tests regarding the nature of its income and assets and the amount of its distributions, all as described below.

 

Section 856(b) of the IRC provides that conditions (1) through (4) must be met during the entire taxable year and that condition (5) must be met during at least 335 days of a taxable year of 12 months, or during a proportionate part of a taxable year of less than 12 months. Although we cannot be sure, we believe that we have met conditions (1) through (8) during each of the requisite periods ending on or before the close of our most recently completed taxable year, and that we will continue to meet these conditions in our current and future taxable years.

 

To help comply with condition (6), our restated certificate of incorporation restricts transfers of our shares that would otherwise result in concentrated ownership positions. These restrictions, however, do not ensure that we have previously satisfied, and may not ensure that we will in all cases be able to continue to satisfy, the share ownership requirements described in condition (6). If we comply with applicable Treasury regulations to ascertain the ownership of our outstanding shares and do not know, or by exercising reasonable diligence would not have known, that we failed condition (6), then we will be treated as having met condition (6). Accordingly, we have complied and will continue to comply with these regulations, including by requesting annually from holders of significant percentages of our shares information regarding the ownership of our shares. Under our restated certificate of incorporation, our shareholders are required to respond to these requests for information. A shareholder that fails or refuses to comply with the request is required by Treasury regulations to submit a statement with its federal income tax return disclosing its actual ownership of our shares and other information.

 

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For purposes of condition (6), an “individual” generally includes a natural person, a supplemental unemployment compensation benefit plan, a private foundation, or a portion of a trust permanently set aside or used exclusively for charitable purposes, but does not include a qualified pension plan or profit-sharing trust. As a result, REIT shares owned by an entity that is not an “individual” are considered to be owned by the direct and indirect owners of the entity that are individuals (as so defined), rather than to be owned by the entity itself. Similarly, REIT shares held by a qualified pension plan or profit-sharing trust are treated as held directly by the individual beneficiaries in proportion to their actuarial interests in such plan or trust. Consequently, five or fewer such trusts could own more than 50% of the interests in an entity without jeopardizing that entity’s qualification for taxation as a REIT.

 

The IRC provides that we will not automatically fail to qualify for taxation as a REIT if we do not meet conditions (1) through (6), provided we can establish that such failure was due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect. Each such excused failure will result in the imposition of a $50,000 penalty instead of REIT disqualification. This relief provision may apply to a failure of the applicable conditions even if the failure first occurred in a year prior to the taxable year in which the failure was discovered.

 

Our Wholly Owned Subsidiaries and Our Investments Through Partnerships. Except in respect of a TRS as discussed below, Section 856(i) of the IRC provides that any corporation, 100% of whose stock is held by a REIT and its disregarded subsidiaries, is a qualified REIT subsidiary and shall not be treated as a separate corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes. The assets, liabilities and items of income, deduction and credit of a qualified REIT subsidiary are treated as the REIT’s. We believe that each of our direct and indirect wholly owned subsidiaries, other than the TRSs discussed below (and entities whose equity is owned in whole or in part by such TRSs), will be either a qualified REIT subsidiary within the meaning of Section 856(i)(2) of the IRC or a noncorporate entity that for federal income tax purposes is not treated as separate from its owner under Treasury regulations issued under Section 7701 of the IRC, each such entity referred to as a QRS. Thus, in applying all of the REIT qualification requirements described in this summary, all assets, liabilities and items of income, deduction and credit of our QRSs are treated as ours, and our investment in the stock and other securities of such QRSs will be disregarded.

 

We may in the future invest in one or more entities that are treated as partnerships for federal income tax purposes. In the case of a REIT that is a partner in a partnership, Treasury regulations under the IRC provide that, for purposes of the REIT qualification requirements regarding income and assets described below, the REIT is generally deemed to own its proportionate share, based on respective capital interests (including any preferred equity interests in the partnership), of the income and assets of the partnership (except that for purposes of the 10% value test, described below, the REIT’s proportionate share of the partnership’s assets is based on its proportionate interest in the equity and specified debt securities issued by the partnership). In addition, for these purposes, the character of the assets and items of gross income of the partnership generally remains the same in the hands of the REIT. In contrast, for purposes of the distribution requirements discussed below, we would be required to take into account as a partner our share of the partnership’s income as determined under the general federal income tax rules governing partners and partnerships under Subchapter K of the IRC.

 

Taxable REIT Subsidiaries. As a REIT, we are permitted to own any or all of the securities of a TRS, provided that no more than 20% (25% before our 2018 taxable year) of the total value of our assets, at the close of each quarter, is comprised of our investments in the stock or other securities of our TRSs. Very generally, a TRS is a subsidiary corporation other than a REIT in which a REIT directly or indirectly holds stock and that has made a joint election with such REIT to be treated as a TRS. A TRS is taxed as a regular C corporation, separate and apart from any affiliated REIT. Our ownership of stock and other securities in TRSs will be exempt from the 5% asset test, the 10% vote test and the 10% value test discussed below.

 

In addition, any corporation (other than a REIT and other than a QRS) in which a TRS directly or indirectly owns more than 35% of the voting power or value of the outstanding securities is automatically a TRS (excluding for this purpose, certain “straight debt” securities). Subject to the discussion below, we believe that we and each of our TRSs that we form or acquire, if any, will comply with the requirements for TRS status at all times during which we intend for the subsidiary’s TRS election to be in effect, and we believe that the same will be true for any TRS that we later form or acquire.

 

Because our TRSs are taxed as C corporations that are separate from us, their assets, liabilities and items of income, deduction and credit generally are not imputed to us for purposes of the REIT qualification requirements described in this summary. Therefore, our TRSs may generally conduct activities that would be treated as prohibited transactions or would give rise to nonqualified income if conducted by us directly.

 

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Restrictions and sanctions are imposed on TRSs and their affiliated REITs to ensure that the TRSs will be subject to an appropriate level of federal income taxation. For example, if a TRS pays interest, rent or other amounts to its affiliated REIT in an amount that exceeds what an unrelated third party would have paid in an arm’s length transaction, then the REIT generally will be subject to an excise tax equal to 100% of the excessive portion of the payment. The 100% excise tax also applies to the underpricing of services provided by a TRS to its affiliated REIT or the REIT’s tenants. We cannot be sure that arrangements involving our TRSs will not result in the imposition of one or more of these restrictions or sanctions, but we do not expect that we or our TRSs will be subject to these impositions.

 

As discussed above, we may utilize a TRS to own assets or conduct activities that would otherwise result in excess inclusion income for us and our shareholders.

 

Income Tests. We must satisfy two gross income tests annually to maintain our qualification for taxation as a REIT. First, at least 75% of our gross income for each taxable year must be derived from investments relating to real property, including “rents from real property” within the meaning of Section 856(d) of the IRC, interest and gain from mortgages on real property or on interests in real property, amounts (other than amounts the determination of which depends in whole or in part on the income or profits of any person) received or accrued as consideration for entering into agreements (i) to make loans secured by mortgages on real property or on interests in real property or (ii) to purchase or lease real property (including interests in real property and interests in mortgages on real property), income derived from a REMIC in proportion to the real estate assets held by the REMIC (unless at least 95% of the REMIC’s assets are real estate assets, in which case all of the income derived from the REMIC), income and gain from foreclosure property, gain from the sale or other disposition of real property (including specified ancillary personal property treated as real property under the IRC), or dividends on and gain from the sale or disposition of shares in other REITs (but excluding in all cases any gains subject to the 100% tax on prohibited transactions). When we receive new capital in exchange for our shares or in a public offering of our five-year or longer debt instruments, income attributable to the temporary investment of this new capital in stock or a debt instrument, if received or accrued within one year of our receipt of the new capital, is generally also qualifying income under the 75% gross income test. Second, at least 95% of our gross income for each taxable year must consist of income that is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, other types of interest and dividends, gain from the sale or disposition of stock or securities, or any combination of these. Gross income from our sale of property that we hold primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business, income and gain from specified “hedging transactions” that are clearly and timely identified as such, and income from the repurchase or discharge of indebtedness is excluded from both the numerator and the denominator in both gross income tests. In addition, specified foreign currency gains will be excluded from gross income for purposes of one or both of the gross income tests.

 

Interest Income. Interest income that we receive will satisfy the 75% gross income test (as described above) to the extent that it is derived from a loan that is adequately secured by a mortgage on real property or on interests in real property (including, in the case of a loan secured by both real property and personal property, such personal property to the extent that it does not exceed 15% of the total fair market value of all of the property securing the loan). If a loan is secured by both real property and other property (to the extent such other property is not treated as real property as described above), and the highest principal amount of the loan outstanding during a taxable year exceeds the fair market value of the real property securing the loan, determined as of (a) the date we agreed to acquire or originate the loan or (b) as discussed further below, in the event of a “significant modification,” the date we modified the loan, then a part of the interest income from such loan equal to the percentage amount by which the loan exceeds the value of the real property will not be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, but may be qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test. Although we cannot be sure, we believe that the interest, original issue discount, and market discount income that we receive from our mortgage related assets has generally been, and will generally be, qualifying income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests.

 

If we receive contingent interest that is based on the cash proceeds realized upon the sale of the property securing the loan, or a shared appreciation provision, then the income attributable to the participation feature will be treated as gain from the sale of the underlying real property and will satisfy both the 75% and 95% gross income tests provided that the property is not held by the borrower as inventory or dealer property. Interest income that we receive from a mortgage loan in which all or a portion of the interest income payable is contingent on the earnings of the borrower will generally be qualifying income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests if it is based upon the gross receipts or sales, and not the net income or profits, of the borrower. This limitation does not apply, however, where the borrower leases substantially all of its interest in the property to tenants or subtenants, to the extent that the rental income derived by the borrower or lessee, as the case may be, would qualify as “rents from real property,” as described below under “—Rents from Real Property”, had we earned the income directly.

 

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We have invested and may in the future invest in construction loans, the interest from which will be qualifying income for purposes of the REIT income tests, if the loan value of the real property securing the construction loan is equal to or greater than the highest outstanding principal amount of the construction loan during any taxable year, and other requirements are met. For purposes of construction loans, the loan value of the real property is the fair market value of the land plus the reasonably estimated cost of the improvements or developments that will secure the loan and that are to be constructed from the proceeds of the loan. Although we cannot be sure, we expect that the interest that we have received and that we will receive from construction loans has generally been, and will generally be, qualifying income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests.

 

Fee Income. We expect to receive fee income in a number of circumstances, including from loans that we originate. Fee income, including prepayment penalties, loan assumption fees and late payment charges that are not compensation for services, generally will be qualifying income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests if it is received in consideration for our entering or having entered into an agreement to make a loan secured by real property or an interest in real property and the fees are not determined by income and profits of the borrower. Other fees generally are not qualifying income for purposes of either gross income test. Fees earned by our TRSs are not included in computing the 75% and 95% gross income tests, and thus neither assist nor hinder our compliance with these tests.

 

Foreclosure Property. From time to time, we may find it necessary to foreclose on loans that we originate or acquire. In such instances, we intend to do so in a manner that maintains our qualification for taxation as a REIT and, if possible, minimizes our liability for foreclosure property income taxes, all as described below. As a general matter, we will not be considered to have foreclosed on a property if we merely take control of the property as a mortgagee-in-possession and cannot receive any profit or sustain any loss except as a creditor of the mortgagor.

 

Following a foreclosure, we will generate income that satisfies the 75% and 95% gross income tests if existing tenants at the real property or new tenants that we place at the property begin paying us rents that satisfy the requirements for “rents from real property” as described below under “—Rents from Real Property.” Such qualifying rents will not be subject to the foreclosure property income taxes described below. In order to qualify the rental payments that we receive as “rents from real property,” we may find it useful or necessary in such circumstances to utilize our TRSs to provide services to our tenants at these properties or, in the case of lodging facilities or health care facilities, utilize our TRSs as our captive tenants and engage eligible independent contractors as managers for our TRSs. To the extent possible, our goal would be to deploy one or more of these tax efficient solutions in respect of property that we acquire through foreclosure.

 

In other circumstances where real property is reduced to possession after a foreclosure action, we may choose to treat such property as “foreclosure property” pursuant to Section 856(e) of the IRC. Foreclosure property is generally any real property, including interests in real property, and any personal property incident to such real property:

 

  that is acquired by a REIT as a result of the REIT having bid on such property at foreclosure, or having otherwise reduced such property to ownership or possession by agreement or process of law, after there was a default or when default was imminent on a lease of such property or on indebtedness that such property secured;
     
  for which any related loan acquired by the REIT was acquired at a time when the default was not imminent or anticipated; and
     
  for which the REIT makes a proper election to treat the property as foreclosure property.

 

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For purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests, all income from the property will be qualifying income as long as the property qualifies as foreclosure property. In particular, any gain from the sale of the foreclosure property will be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests and will be exempt from the 100% tax on gains from prohibited transactions described below under “—Prohibited Transactions”. But, in exchange for these benefits, any gain that a REIT recognizes on the sale of foreclosure property held as inventory or primarily for sale to customers, plus any income it receives from foreclosure property that would not otherwise qualify under the 75% gross income test in the absence of foreclosure property treatment, reduced by expenses directly connected with the production of those items of income, would be subject to income tax at the highest regular corporate income tax rate under the foreclosure property income tax rules of Section 857(b)(4) of the IRC. Thus, if a REIT should lease foreclosure property in exchange for rent that qualifies as “rents from real property”, which is our goal described above, then that rental income is not subject to the foreclosure property income tax.

 

Property generally ceases to be foreclosure property at the end of the third taxable year following the taxable year in which the REIT acquired the property, or longer if an extension is obtained from the IRS. However, this grace period terminates and foreclosure property ceases to be foreclosure property on the first day:

 

  on which a lease is entered into for the property that, by its terms, will give rise to income that does not qualify for purposes of the 75% gross income test (disregarding income from foreclosure property), or any nonqualified income under the 75% gross income test is received or accrued by the REIT, directly or indirectly, pursuant to a lease entered into on or after such day;
     
  on which any construction takes place on the property, other than completion of a building or any other improvement where more than 10% of the construction was completed before default became imminent and other than specifically exempted forms of maintenance or deferred maintenance; or
     
  which is more than 90 days after the day on which the REIT acquired the property and the property is used in a trade or business which is conducted by the REIT, other than through an independent contractor from whom the REIT itself does not derive or receive any income or a TRS.

 

We may have the option to foreclose on mortgage loans when a borrower is in default. The foregoing rules related to foreclosure property, and our goal to foreclose in a tax efficient manner when possible, could affect our decision of whether and when to foreclose on a particular mortgage loan.

 

Rents from Real Property. Rents received by us, if any, will qualify as “rents from real property” in satisfying the gross income requirements described above only if several conditions are met. If rent is partly attributable to personal property leased in connection with a lease of real property, the portion of the rent that is attributable to the personal property will not qualify as “rents from real property” unless it constitutes 15% or less of the total rent received under the lease. In addition, the amount of rent received generally must not be based on the income or profits of any person, but may be based on a fixed percentage or percentages of receipts or sales. Moreover, for rents received to qualify as “rents from real property,” we generally must not operate or manage the property or furnish or render services to the tenants of such property, other than through an “independent contractor” from which we derive no revenue or through a TRS. We are permitted, however, to perform services that are “usually or customarily rendered” in connection with the rental of space for occupancy only and which are not otherwise considered rendered to the occupant of the property. In addition, we may directly or indirectly provide noncustomary services to tenants of our properties without disqualifying all of the rent from the property if the payments for such services do not exceed 1% of the total gross income from the property. Finally, with the exception of specified rental arrangements with our TRSs (including in respect of lodging facilities or health care facilities), rental income will qualify as “rents from real property” only to the extent that we do not directly or constructively hold a 10% or greater interest, as measured by vote or value, in the lessee’s equity. We expect that all or substantially all the rents and related service charges that we may receive will be “rents from real property” and will to that extent be qualifying income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests.

 

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Prohibited Transactions. Other than sales of foreclosure property, any gain that we realize on the sale of property (including a deemed sale that occurs as a result of a “significant modification” of a debt investment) held as inventory or other property held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business, together known as dealer gains, may be treated as income from a prohibited transaction that is subject to a penalty tax at a 100% rate. The 100% tax does not apply to gains from the sale of property that is held through a TRS, although such income will be subject to tax in the hands of the TRS at regular corporate income tax rates; we may therefore utilize our TRSs in transactions in which we might otherwise recognize dealer gains. Whether property is held as inventory or primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business is a question of fact that depends on all the facts and circumstances surrounding each particular transaction. Sections 857(b)(6)(C) and (E) of the IRC provide safe harbors pursuant to which limited sales of real property held for at least two years and meeting specified additional requirements will not be treated as prohibited transactions. However, compliance with the safe harbors is not always achievable in practice. We intend to structure our activities to avoid transactions that are prohibited transactions, or otherwise conduct such activities through TRSs; but, we cannot be sure whether or not the IRS might successfully assert that we are subject to the 100% penalty tax with respect to any particular transaction. Gains subject to the 100% penalty tax are excluded from the 75% and 95% gross income tests, whereas real property gains that are not dealer gains or that are exempted from the 100% penalty tax on account of the safe harbors are considered qualifying gross income for purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests.

 

If we fail to satisfy one or both of the 75% gross income test or the 95% gross income test in any taxable year, we may nevertheless qualify for taxation as a REIT for that year if we satisfy the following requirements: (a) our failure to meet the test is due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect; and (b) after we identify the failure, we file a schedule describing each item of our gross income included in the 75% gross income test or the 95% gross income test for that taxable year. Even if this relief provision does apply, a 100% tax is imposed upon the greater of the amount by which we failed the 75% gross income test or the amount by which we failed the 95% gross income test, with adjustments, multiplied by a fraction intended to reflect our profitability for the taxable year. This relief provision may apply to a failure of the applicable income tests even if the failure first occurred in a year prior to the taxable year in which the failure was discovered.

 

Based on the discussion above, we believe that we have satisfied, and will continue to satisfy, the 75% and 95% gross income tests outlined above on a continuing basis beginning with our first taxable year as a REIT.

 

Asset Tests. At the close of each calendar quarter of each taxable year, we must also satisfy the following asset percentage tests in order to qualify for taxation as a REIT for federal income tax purposes:

 

  At least 75% of the value of our total assets must consist of “real estate assets,” defined as real property (including interests in real property and interests in mortgages on real property or on interests in real property), ancillary personal property to the extent that rents attributable to such personal property are treated as rents from real property in accordance with the rules described above (beginning with our 2016 taxable year), cash and cash items, shares in other REITs, debt instruments issued by “publicly offered REITs” as defined in Section 562(c)(2) of the IRC, government securities, regular or residual interests in a REMIC (however, if less than 95% of the assets of a REMIC consists of assets that are qualifying real estate related assets under the federal income tax laws, determined as if we held such assets directly, we will be treated as holding directly our proportionate share of the assets of such REMIC), and any stock or debt instruments attributable to the temporary investment of new capital.
     
  Not more than 25% of the value of our total assets may be represented by securities other than those securities that count favorably toward the preceding 75% asset test.
     
  Of the investments included in the preceding 25% asset class, the value of any one non-REIT issuer’s securities that we own may not exceed 5% of the value of our total assets. In addition, we may not own more than 10% of the vote or value of any one non-REIT issuer’s outstanding securities, unless the securities are “straight debt” securities or otherwise excepted as discussed below. Our stock and other securities in a TRS are exempted from these 5% and 10% asset tests.
     
  Not more than 20% (25% before our 2018 taxable year) of the value of our total assets may be represented by stock or other securities of our TRSs.
     
  Not more than 25% of the value of our total assets may be represented by “nonqualified publicly offered REIT debt instruments” as defined in Section 856(c)(5)(L)(ii) of the IRC.

 

Our counsel, Sullivan & Worcester LLP, is of the opinion that, although the matter is not free from doubt, our investments in the equity or debt of a TRS of ours, to the extent that and during the period in which they would qualify as temporary investments of new capital, will be treated as real estate assets, and not as securities, for purposes of the above REIT asset tests.

 

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We believe that our holdings of securities and other assets comply with the foregoing asset tests, and we intend to monitor compliance on an ongoing basis. However, we have not obtained, and do not expect to obtain, independent appraisals to support our conclusions as to the value of our total assets, or the value of any particular security or securities. Moreover, values of some assets, including instruments issued in securitization transactions, may not be susceptible to a precise determination, and values are subject to change in the future. Furthermore, the proper classification of an instrument as debt or equity for U.S. federal income tax purposes may be uncertain in some circumstances, which could affect the application of the REIT asset requirements.

 

As discussed above under “—Interest Income,” where a loan is secured by real property and other property and the highest principal amount of the loan outstanding during a taxable year exceeds the fair market value of the real property securing the loan as of (a) the date we agreed to acquire or originate the loan or (b) in the event of a significant modification, the date we modified the loan, then a portion of the interest income from such a loan will not be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test but will be qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test. Although the law is not entirely clear, a portion of the loan will also likely be a nonqualifying asset for purposes of the 75% asset test. The nonqualifying portion of such a loan would be subject to, among other requirements, the 5% asset test and the 10% asset tests. The IRS has promulgated a safe harbor under which it has stated that it will not challenge a REIT’s treatment of a loan as being, in part, a qualifying real estate asset in an amount equal to the lesser of: (a) the fair market value of the loan on the relevant quarterly REIT asset testing date; or (b) the greater of (i) the fair market value of the real property securing the loan on the relevant quarterly REIT asset testing date or (ii) the fair market value of the real property securing the loan determined as of the date the REIT committed to originate or acquire the loan. Moreover, pursuant to this IRS guidance, a REIT is not required to redetermine the fair market value of the real property securing a loan for purposes of the REIT asset tests in connection with a loan modification that is: (a) occasioned by a borrower default; or (b) made at a time when we reasonably believe that the modification to the loan will substantially reduce a significant risk of default on the original loan. It is unclear how the above safe harbors are affected by recent legislative changes that have liberalized the treatment of personal property as real property for various purposes under Section 856 of the IRC. It is possible that the safe harbor is improved in circumstances where a loan is secured by both real property and personal property where the fair market value of the personal property does not exceed 15% of the sum of the fair market values of the real property and the personal property securing the loan. We have not invested in, nor do we intend to invest in, distressed mortgage loans. If we do invest in distressed mortgage loans, we intend to invest in distressed mortgage loans in a manner consistent with maintaining our qualification for taxation as a REIT.

 

We may enter into repurchase agreements under which we will nominally sell assets to a counterparty and simultaneously enter into an agreement to repurchase the sold assets. We believe that we will be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as the owner of the assets that are the subject of any such agreements, notwithstanding that we may transfer record ownership of the subject assets to the counterparty during the term of the agreement. It is possible, however, that the IRS could assert that we did not own the assets during the term of the applicable repurchase agreement, which characterization could jeopardize our qualification for taxation as a REIT.

 

The above REIT asset tests must be satisfied at the close of each calendar quarter of each taxable year as a REIT. After a REIT meets the asset tests at the close of any quarter, it will not lose its qualification for taxation as a REIT in any subsequent quarter solely because of fluctuations in the values of its assets. This grandfathering rule may be of limited benefit to a REIT such as us that makes periodic acquisitions of both qualifying and nonqualifying REIT assets. When a failure to satisfy the above asset tests results from an acquisition of securities or other property during a quarter, the failure can be cured by disposition of sufficient nonqualifying assets within thirty days after the close of that quarter.

 

In addition, if we fail the 5% asset test, the 10% vote test or the 10% value test at the close of any quarter and we do not cure such failure within thirty days after the close of that quarter, that failure will nevertheless be excused if (a) the failure is de minimis and (b) within six months after the last day of the quarter in which we identify the failure, we either dispose of the assets causing the failure or otherwise satisfy the 5% asset test, the 10% vote test and the 10% value test. For purposes of this relief provision, the failure will be de minimis if the value of the assets causing the failure does not exceed the lesser of (a) 1% of the total value of our assets at the end of the relevant quarter or (b) $10,000,000. If our failure is not de minimis, or if any of the other REIT asset tests have been violated, we may nevertheless qualify for taxation as a REIT if (a) we provide the IRS with a description of each asset causing the failure, (b) the failure was due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect, (c) we pay a tax equal to the greater of (1) $50,000 or (2) the highest regular corporate income tax rate imposed on the net income generated by the assets causing the failure during the period of the failure, and (d) within six months after the last day of the quarter in which we identify the failure, we either dispose of the assets causing the failure or otherwise satisfy all of the REIT asset tests. These relief provisions may apply to a failure of the applicable asset tests even if the failure first occurred in a year prior to the taxable year in which the failure was discovered.

 

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The IRC also provides an excepted securities safe harbor to the 10% value test that includes among other items (a) “straight debt” securities, (b) specified rental agreements in which payment is to be made in subsequent years, (c) any obligation to pay “rents from real property,” (d) securities issued by governmental entities that are not dependent in whole or in part on the profits of or payments from a nongovernmental entity, and (e) any security issued by another REIT. In addition, any debt instrument issued by an entity classified as a partnership for federal income tax purposes, and not otherwise excepted from the definition of a security for purposes of the above safe harbor, will not be treated as a security for purposes of the 10% value test if at least 75% of the partnership’s gross income, excluding income from prohibited transactions, is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test.

 

We have maintained and will continue to maintain records of the value of our assets to document our compliance with the above asset tests and intend to take actions as may be required to cure any failure to satisfy the tests within thirty days after the close of any quarter or within the six month periods described above.

 

Based on the discussion above, we believe that we have satisfied, and will continue to satisfy, the REIT asset tests outlined above on a continuing basis beginning with our first taxable year as a REIT.

 

Annual Distribution Requirements. In order to qualify for taxation as a REIT under the IRC, we are required to make annual distributions other than capital gain dividends to our shareholders in an amount at least equal to the excess of:

 

  (1) the sum of 90% of our “real estate investment trust taxable income” and 90% of our net income after tax, if any, from property received in foreclosure, over
     
  (2) the amount by which our noncash income (e.g., original issue discount on our mortgage loans) exceeds 5% of our “real estate investment trust taxable income.”

 

For these purposes, our “real estate investment trust taxable income” is as defined under Section 857 of the IRC and is computed without regard to the dividends paid deduction and our net capital gain and will generally be reduced by specified corporate-level income taxes that we pay (e.g., taxes on foreclosure property income).

 

The IRC generally limits the deductibility of net interest expense paid or accrued on debt properly allocable to a trade or business to the sum of the business interest income of such taxpayer for such taxable year and 30% of the taxpayer’s “adjusted taxable income,” subject to specified exceptions. Any deduction in excess of the limitation is carried forward and may be used in a subsequent year, subject to that year’s 30% limitation. We expect our income to predominantly consist of business interest income in amounts in excess of the net interest expense we will be required to pay or accrue. Accordingly, we do not expect the foregoing interest deduction limitations to apply to us or to the calculation of our “real estate investment trust taxable income”.

 

Distributions must be paid in the taxable year to which they relate, or in the following taxable year if declared before we timely file our federal income tax return for the earlier taxable year and if paid on or before the first regular distribution payment after that declaration. If a dividend is declared in October, November or December to shareholders of record during one of those months and is paid during the following January, then for federal income tax purposes such dividend will be treated as having been both paid and received on December 31 of the prior taxable year to the extent of any undistributed earnings and profits.

 

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The 90% distribution requirements may be waived by the IRS if a REIT establishes that it failed to meet them by reason of distributions previously made to meet the requirements of the 4% excise tax discussed below. To the extent that we do not distribute all of our net capital gain and all of our “real estate investment trust taxable income,” as adjusted, we will be subject to federal income tax at regular corporate income tax rates on undistributed amounts. In addition, we will be subject to a 4% nondeductible excise tax to the extent we fail within a calendar year to make required distributions to our shareholders of 85% of our ordinary income and 95% of our capital gain net income plus the excess, if any, of the “grossed up required distribution” for the preceding calendar year over the amount treated as distributed for that preceding calendar year. For this purpose, the term “grossed up required distribution” for any calendar year is the sum of our taxable income for the calendar year without regard to the deduction for dividends paid and all amounts from earlier years that are not treated as having been distributed under the provision. We will be treated as having sufficient earnings and profits to treat as a dividend any distribution by us up to the amount required to be distributed in order to avoid imposition of the 4% excise tax.

 

Due to timing differences between the actual receipt of cash and the inclusion of items of income by us for U.S. federal income tax purposes, it is possible that, from time to time, we may not have enough cash or other liquid assets to meet our distribution requirements. For instance, we may experience these timing issues as a result of:

 

  accrued market discount that we might recognize periodically if we acquire debt instruments at a discount in the secondary market;
     
  taxable gain we might recognize if we “significantly modify” a distressed debt investment;
     
  accrued original issue discount; or
     
  accrued interest income with respect to debt instruments where the obligor defaults on payments to us.

 

Under the IRC, we are generally required to accrue income no later than when it is taken into account on applicable financial statements. The application of this rule may require the accrual of income with respect to our debt instruments or other assets, such as original issue discount or market discount, earlier than would otherwise be the case under the IRC, although the precise application of this rule is unclear at this time.

 

In addition, we may be required under the terms of indebtedness that we incur to use cash that we receive to make principal payments on that indebtedness, with the possible effect of recognizing income but not having a corresponding amount of cash available for distribution to our shareholders. It is also possible that our deductions for U.S. federal income tax purposes may accrue more slowly than, or will not otherwise correspond to, our cash expenditure outlays.

 

As a result of all these potential timing differences between income recognition or expense deduction and cash receipts or disbursements, we may have substantial taxable income in excess of cash available for distribution. In that event, we may find it necessary or desirable to arrange for a taxable distribution paid in a mix of cash and our shares or to arrange for new debt or equity financing to provide funds for required distributions in order to maintain our qualification for taxation as a REIT. We cannot be sure that financing would be available for these purposes on favorable terms, or at all.

 

We may be able to rectify a failure to pay sufficient dividends for any year by paying “deficiency dividends” to shareholders in a later year. These deficiency dividends may be included in our deduction for dividends paid for the earlier year, but an interest charge would be imposed upon us for the delay in distribution. While the payment of a deficiency dividend will apply to a prior year for purposes of our REIT distribution requirements and our dividends paid deduction, it will be treated as an additional distribution to the shareholders receiving it in the year such dividend is paid.

 

We may elect to retain, rather than distribute, some or all of our net capital gain and pay income tax on such gain. In addition, if we so elect by making a timely designation to our shareholders, our shareholders would include their proportionate share of such undistributed capital gain in their taxable income, and they would receive a corresponding credit for their share of the federal corporate income tax that we pay thereon. Our shareholders would then increase the adjusted tax basis of their shares by the difference between (a) the amount of capital gain dividends that we designated and that they included in their taxable income, and (b) the tax that we paid on their behalf with respect to that capital gain.

 

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Distributions to our Shareholders

 

As described above, we expect to make distributions to our shareholders from time to time. These distributions may include cash distributions, in kind distributions of our shares or other property, and deemed or constructive distributions resulting from capital market activities. The U.S. federal income tax treatment of our distributions will vary based on the status of the recipient shareholder as more fully described below under the headings “—Taxation of Taxable U.S. Shareholders,” “—Taxation of Tax-Exempt U.S. Shareholders,” and “—Taxation of Non-U.S. Shareholders.”

 

Section 302 of the IRC treats a redemption of our shares for cash only as a distribution under Section 301 of the IRC, and hence taxable as a dividend to the extent of our available current or accumulated earnings and profits, unless the redemption satisfies one of the tests set forth in Section 302(b) of the IRC enabling the redemption to be treated as a sale or exchange of the shares. The redemption for cash only will be treated as a sale or exchange if it (a) is “substantially disproportionate” with respect to the surrendering shareholder’s ownership in us, (b) results in a “complete termination” of the surrendering shareholder’s entire share interest in us, or (c) is “not essentially equivalent to a dividend” with respect to the surrendering shareholder, all within the meaning of Section 302(b) of the IRC. In determining whether any of these tests have been met, a shareholder must generally take into account shares considered to be owned by such shareholder by reason of constructive ownership rules set forth in the IRC, as well as shares actually owned by such shareholder. In addition, if a redemption is treated as a distribution under the preceding tests, then a shareholder’s tax basis in the redeemed shares generally will be transferred to the shareholder’s remaining shares in us, if any, and if such shareholder owns no other shares in us, such basis generally may be transferred to a related person or may be lost entirely. Because the determination as to whether a shareholder will satisfy any of the tests of Section 302(b) of the IRC depends upon the facts and circumstances at the time that our shares are redeemed, we urge you to consult your own tax advisor to determine the particular tax treatment of any redemption.

 

Taxation of Taxable U.S. Shareholders

 

For noncorporate U.S. shareholders, to the extent that their total adjusted income does not exceed applicable thresholds, the maximum federal income tax rate for long-term capital gains and most corporate dividends is generally 15%. For those noncorporate U.S. shareholders whose total adjusted income exceeds the applicable thresholds, the maximum federal income tax rate for long-term capital gains and most corporate dividends is generally 20%. However, because we are not generally subject to federal income tax on the portion of our “real estate investment trust taxable income” distributed to our shareholders, dividends on our shares generally are not eligible for these preferential tax rates, except that any distribution of C corporation earnings and profits and taxed built-in gain items will potentially be eligible for these preferential tax rates. As a result, our ordinary dividends generally are taxed at the higher federal income tax rates applicable to ordinary income (subject to the lower effective tax rates applicable to qualified REIT dividends via the deduction-without-outlay mechanism of Section 199A of the IRC, which is generally available to our noncorporate U.S. shareholders that meet specified holding period requirements for taxable years before 2026). To summarize, the preferential federal income tax rates for long-term capital gains and for qualified dividends generally apply to:

 

  (1) long-term capital gains, if any, recognized on the disposition of our shares;
     
  (2) our distributions designated as long-term capital gain dividends;
     
  (3) our dividends attributable to dividend income, if any, received by us from C corporations such as TRSs;
     
  (4) our dividends attributable to earnings and profits that we inherit from C corporations; and
     
  (5) our dividends to the extent attributable to income upon which we have paid federal corporate income tax (such as taxes on foreclosure property income), net of the corporate income taxes thereon.

 

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As long as we qualify for taxation as a REIT, a distribution to our U.S. shareholders that we do not designate as a capital gain dividend generally will be treated as an ordinary income dividend to the extent of our available current or accumulated earnings and profits (subject to the lower effective tax rates applicable to qualified REIT dividends via the deduction-without-outlay mechanism of Section 199A of the IRC, which is generally available to our noncorporate U.S. shareholders that meet specified holding period requirements for taxable years before 2026). Distributions made out of our current or accumulated earnings and profits that we properly designate as capital gain dividends generally will be taxed as long-term capital gains, as discussed below, to the extent they do not exceed our actual net capital gain for the taxable year. However, corporate shareholders may be required to treat up to 20% of any capital gain dividend as ordinary income under Section 291 of the IRC.

 

We may elect to retain and pay income taxes on some or all of our net capital gain. If we so elect by making a timely designation to our shareholders:

 

  (1) each of our U.S. shareholders will be taxed on its designated proportionate share of our retained net capital gains as though that amount were distributed and designated as a capital gain dividend;
     
  (2) each of our U.S. shareholders will receive a credit or refund for its designated proportionate share of the tax that we pay;
     
  (3) each of our U.S. shareholders will increase its adjusted basis in our shares by the excess of the amount of its proportionate share of these retained net capital gains over the U.S. shareholder’s proportionate share of the tax that we pay; and
     
  (4) both we and our corporate shareholders will make commensurate adjustments in our respective earnings and profits for federal income tax purposes.

 

If we elect to retain our net capital gains in this fashion, we will notify our U.S. shareholders of the relevant tax information within sixty days after the close of the affected taxable year.

 

If for any taxable year we designate capital gain dividends for our shareholders, then a portion of the capital gain dividends we designate will be allocated to the holders of a particular class of shares on a percentage basis equal to the ratio of the amount of the total dividends paid or made available for the year to the holders of that class of shares to the total dividends paid or made available for the year to holders of all outstanding classes of our shares. We will similarly designate the portion of any dividend that is to be taxed to noncorporate U.S. shareholders at preferential maximum rates (including any qualified dividend income) so that the designations will be proportionate among all outstanding classes of our shares.

 

Distributions in excess of our current or accumulated earnings and profits will not be taxable to a U.S. shareholder to the extent that they do not exceed the shareholder’s adjusted tax basis in our shares, but will reduce the shareholder’s basis in such shares. To the extent that these excess distributions exceed a U.S. shareholder’s adjusted basis in such shares, they will be included in income as capital gain, with long-term gain generally taxed to noncorporate U.S. shareholders at preferential maximum rates. No U.S. shareholder may include on its federal income tax return any of our net operating losses or any of our capital losses. In addition, no portion of any of our dividends is eligible for the dividends received deduction for corporate shareholders.

 

If a dividend is declared in October, November or December to shareholders of record during one of those months and is paid during the following January, then for federal income tax purposes the dividend will be treated as having been both paid and received on December 31 of the prior taxable year.

 

A U.S. shareholder will generally recognize gain or loss equal to the difference between the amount realized and the shareholder’s adjusted basis in our shares that are sold or exchanged. This gain or loss will be capital gain or loss, and will be long-term capital gain or loss if the shareholder’s holding period in our shares exceeds one year. In addition, any loss upon a sale or exchange of our shares held for six months or less will generally be treated as a long-term capital loss to the extent of any long-term capital gain dividends we paid on such shares during the holding period.

 

U.S. shareholders who are individuals, estates or trusts are generally required to pay a 3.8% Medicare tax on their net investment income (including dividends on our shares (without regard to any deduction allowed by Section 199A of the IRC) and gains from the sale or other disposition of our shares), or in the case of estates and trusts on their net investment income that is not distributed, in each case to the extent that their total adjusted income exceeds applicable thresholds. U.S. shareholders are urged to consult their tax advisors regarding the application of the 3.8% Medicare tax.

 

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If a U.S. shareholder recognizes a loss upon a disposition of our shares in an amount that exceeds a prescribed threshold, it is possible that the provisions of Treasury regulations involving “reportable transactions” could apply, with a resulting requirement to separately disclose the loss-generating transaction to the IRS. These Treasury regulations are written quite broadly, and apply to many routine and simple transactions. A reportable transaction currently includes, among other things, a sale or exchange of our shares resulting in a tax loss in excess of (a) $10 million in any single year or $20 million in a prescribed combination of taxable years in the case of our shares held by a C corporation or by a partnership with only C corporation partners or (b) $2 million in any single year or $4 million in a prescribed combination of taxable years in the case of our shares held by any other partnership or an S corporation, trust or individual, including losses that flow through pass through entities to individuals. A taxpayer discloses a reportable transaction by filing IRS Form 8886 with its federal income tax return and, in the first year of filing, a copy of Form 8886 must be sent to the IRS’s Office of Tax Shelter Analysis. The annual maximum penalty for failing to disclose a reportable transaction is generally $10,000 in the case of a natural person and $50,000 in any other case.

 

Noncorporate U.S. shareholders who borrow funds to finance their acquisition of our shares could be limited in the amount of deductions allowed for the interest paid on the indebtedness incurred. Under Section 163(d) of the IRC, interest paid or accrued on indebtedness incurred or continued to purchase or carry property held for investment is generally deductible only to the extent of the investor’s net investment income. A U.S. shareholder’s net investment income will include ordinary income dividend distributions received from us and, only if an appropriate election is made by the shareholder, capital gain dividend distributions and qualified dividends received from us; however, distributions treated as a nontaxable return of the shareholder’s basis will not enter into the computation of net investment income.

 

Taxation of Tax-Exempt U.S. Shareholders

 

The rules governing the federal income taxation of tax-exempt entities are complex, and the following discussion is intended only as a summary of material considerations of an investment in our shares relevant to such investors. If you are a tax-exempt shareholder, we urge you to consult your own tax advisor to determine the impact of federal, state, local and foreign tax laws, including any tax return filing and other reporting requirements, with respect to your acquisition of or investment in our shares.

 

We expect that shareholders that are tax-exempt pension plans, individual retirement accounts or other qualifying tax-exempt entities, and that receive (a) distributions from us, or (b) proceeds from the sale of our shares, will not have such amounts treated as UBTI, provided in each case (x) that the shareholder has not financed its acquisition of our shares with “acquisition indebtedness” within the meaning of the IRC, (y) that the shares are not otherwise used in an unrelated trade or business of the tax-exempt entity, and (z) that, consistent with our present intent, we do not hold a residual interest in a real estate mortgage investment conduit or otherwise hold mortgage assets or conduct mortgage securitization activities that generate “excess inclusion” income.

 

Taxation of Non-U.S. Shareholders

 

The rules governing the U.S. federal income taxation of non-U.S. shareholders are complex, and the following discussion is intended only as a summary of material considerations of an investment in our shares relevant to such investors. If you are a non-U.S. shareholder, we urge you to consult your own tax advisor to determine the impact of U.S. federal, state, local and foreign tax laws, including any tax return filing and other reporting requirements, with respect to your acquisition of or investment in our shares.

 

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For most non-U.S. investors, investment in a REIT that invests principally in mortgage loans may not be the most tax efficient way to invest in such assets. That is because receiving distributions of income derived from such assets in the form of REIT dividends subjects most non-U.S. investors to withholding taxes that direct investment in those asset classes, and the direct receipt of interest and principal payments with respect to them, would not. The principal exceptions are foreign sovereigns and their agencies and instrumentalities, which may be exempt from withholding taxes on REIT dividends under the IRC, and specified foreign pension funds or similar entities able to claim an exemption from withholding taxes on REIT dividends under the terms of a bilateral income tax treaty between their country of residence and the United States.

 

We expect that a non-U.S. shareholder’s receipt of (a) distributions from us, and (b) proceeds from the sale of our shares, will not be treated as income effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business and a non-U.S. shareholder will therefore not be subject to the often higher federal tax and withholding rates, branch profits taxes and increased reporting and filing requirements that apply to income effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business. This expectation and a number of the determinations below are predicated on our shares being listed on a U.S. national securities exchange, such as the Nasdaq. Each class of our shares has been listed on a U.S. national securities exchange; however, we cannot be sure that our shares will continue to be so listed in future taxable years or that any class of our shares that we may issue in the future will be so listed.

 

Distributions. A distribution by us to a non-U.S. shareholder that is not designated as a capital gain dividend will be treated as an ordinary income dividend to the extent that it is made out of our current or accumulated earnings and profits. A distribution of this type will generally be subject to U.S. federal income tax and withholding at the rate of 30%, or at a lower rate if the non-U.S. shareholder has in the manner prescribed by the IRS demonstrated to the applicable withholding agent its entitlement to benefits under a tax treaty. Because we cannot determine our current and accumulated earnings and profits until the end of the taxable year, withholding at the statutory rate of 30% or applicable lower treaty rate will generally be imposed on the gross amount of any distribution to a non-U.S. shareholder that we make and do not designate as a capital gain dividend. Notwithstanding this potential withholding on distributions in excess of our current and accumulated earnings and profits, these excess portions of distributions are a nontaxable return of capital to the extent that they do not exceed the non-U.S. shareholder’s adjusted basis in our shares, and the nontaxable return of capital will reduce the adjusted basis in these shares. To the extent that distributions in excess of our current and accumulated earnings and profits exceed the non-U.S. shareholder’s adjusted basis in our shares, the distributions will give rise to U.S. federal income tax liability only in the unlikely event that the non-U.S. shareholder would otherwise be subject to tax on any gain from the sale or exchange of these shares, as discussed below under the heading “—Dispositions of Our Shares.” A non-U.S. shareholder may seek a refund from the IRS of amounts withheld on distributions to it in excess of such shareholder’s allocable share of our current and accumulated earnings and profits.

 

For so long as a class of our shares is listed on a U.S. national securities exchange, capital gain dividends that we declare and pay to a non-U.S. shareholder on those shares, as well as dividends to such a non-U.S. shareholder on those shares attributable to our sale or exchange of “United States real property interests” within the meaning of Section 897 of the IRC, or USRPIs, will not be subject to withholding as though those amounts were effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business, and non-U.S. shareholders will not be required to file U.S. federal income tax returns or pay branch profits tax in respect of these dividends. Instead, these dividends will generally be treated as ordinary dividends and subject to withholding in the manner described above.

 

Tax treaties may reduce the withholding obligations on our distributions. Under some treaties, however, rates below 30% that are applicable to ordinary income dividends from U.S. corporations may not apply to ordinary income dividends from a REIT or may apply only if the REIT meets specified additional conditions. A non-U.S. shareholder must generally use an applicable IRS Form W-8, or substantially similar form, to claim tax treaty benefits. If the amount of tax withheld with respect to a distribution to a non-U.S. shareholder exceeds the shareholder’s U.S. federal income tax liability with respect to the distribution, the non-U.S. shareholder may file for a refund of the excess from the IRS. Treasury regulations also provide special rules to determine whether, for purposes of determining the applicability of a tax treaty, our distributions to a non-U.S. shareholder that is an entity should be treated as paid to the entity or to those owning an interest in that entity, and whether the entity or its owners are entitled to benefits under the tax treaty.

 

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If, contrary to our expectation, a class of our shares was not listed on a U.S. national securities exchange and we made a distribution on those shares that was attributable to gain from the sale or exchange of a USRPI, then a non-U.S. shareholder holding those shares would be taxed as if the distribution was gain effectively connected with a trade or business in the United States conducted by the non-U.S. shareholder. In addition, the applicable withholding agent would be required to withhold from a distribution to such a non-U.S. shareholder, and remit to the IRS, up to 21% of the maximum amount of any distribution that was or could have been designated as a capital gain dividend. The non-U.S. shareholder also would generally be subject to the same treatment as a U.S. shareholder with respect to the distribution (subject to any applicable alternative minimum tax and a special alternative minimum tax in the case of a nonresident alien individual), would be subject to fulsome U.S. federal income tax return reporting requirements, and, in the case of a corporate non-U.S. shareholder, may owe the up to 30% branch profits tax under Section 884 of the IRC (or lower applicable tax treaty rate) in respect of these amounts.

 

Although the law is not entirely clear on the matter, it appears that amounts designated by us as undistributed capital gain in respect of our shares that are held by non-U.S. shareholders generally should be treated in the same manner as actual distributions by us of capital gain dividends. Under this approach, the non-U.S. shareholder would be able to offset as a credit against its resulting U.S. federal income tax liability its proportionate share of the tax paid by us on the undistributed capital gain treated as distributed to the non-U.S. shareholder, and receive from the IRS a refund to the extent its proportionate share of the tax paid by us were to exceed the non-U.S. shareholder’s actual U.S. federal income tax liability on such deemed distribution. If we were to designate any portion of our net capital gain as undistributed capital gain, a non-U.S. shareholder should consult their tax advisors regarding taxation of such undistributed capital gain.

 

Dispositions of Our Shares. If as expected our shares are not USRPIs, then a non-U.S. shareholder’s gain on the sale of these shares generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income taxation or withholding.

 

Our shares will not constitute USRPIs if we are not, at relevant testing dates in the preceding five years, a “United States real property holding corporation.” Whether we are a United States real property holding corporation depends upon whether the fair market value of USRPIs owned by us equals or exceeds 50% of the sum of the fair market value of these interests, any interests in real estate outside of the United States, and our other trade and business assets. Because USRPIs do not generally include mortgage loans, we do not expect to be a United States real property holding corporation, although we cannot be sure that we will not become one at some later date.

 

Even if we were to become a United States real property holding corporation in the future, we still expect that our shares would not be USRPIs because one or both of the following exemptions will be available at all times. First, for so long as a class of our shares is listed on a U.S. national securities exchange, a non-U.S. shareholder’s gain on the sale of those shares will not be subject to U.S. federal income taxation as a sale of a USRPI. Second, our shares will not constitute USRPIs if we are a “domestically controlled” REIT. We will be a “domestically controlled” REIT if less than 50% of the value of our shares (including any future class of shares that we may issue) is held, directly or indirectly, by non-U.S. shareholders at all times during the preceding five years, after applying specified presumptions regarding the ownership of our shares as described in Section 897(h)(4)(E) of the IRC. For these purposes, we believe that the statutory ownership presumptions apply to validate our status as a “domestically controlled” REIT. Accordingly, we believe that we are and will remain a “domestically controlled” REIT.

 

Information Reporting, Backup Withholding, and Foreign Account Withholding

 

Information reporting, backup withholding, and foreign account withholding may apply to distributions or proceeds paid to our shareholders under the circumstances discussed below. If a shareholder is subject to backup or other U.S. federal income tax withholding, then the applicable withholding agent will be required to withhold the appropriate amount with respect to a deemed or constructive distribution or a distribution in kind even though there is insufficient cash from which to satisfy the withholding obligation. To satisfy this withholding obligation, the applicable withholding agent may collect the amount of U.S. federal income tax required to be withheld by reducing to cash for remittance to the IRS a sufficient portion of the property that the shareholder would otherwise receive or own, and the shareholder may bear brokerage or other costs for this withholding procedure.

 

Amounts withheld under backup withholding are generally not an additional tax and may be refunded by the IRS or credited against the shareholder’s federal income tax liability, provided that such shareholder timely files for a refund or credit with the IRS. A U.S. shareholder may be subject to backup withholding when it receives distributions on our shares or proceeds upon the sale, exchange, redemption, retirement or other disposition of our shares, unless the U.S. shareholder properly executes, or has previously properly executed, under penalties of perjury an IRS Form W-9 or substantially similar form that:

 

  provides the U.S. shareholder’s correct taxpayer identification number;

 

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  certifies that the U.S. shareholder is exempt from backup withholding because (a) it comes within an enumerated exempt category, (b) it has not been notified by the IRS that it is subject to backup withholding, or (c) it has been notified by the IRS that it is no longer subject to backup withholding; and
     
  certifies that it is a U.S. citizen or other U.S. person.

 

If the U.S. shareholder has not provided and does not provide its correct taxpayer identification number and appropriate certifications on an IRS Form W-9 or substantially similar form, it may be subject to penalties imposed by the IRS, and the applicable withholding agent may have to withhold a portion of any distributions or proceeds paid to such U.S. shareholder. Unless the U.S. shareholder has established on a properly executed IRS Form W-9 or substantially similar form that it comes within an enumerated exempt category, distributions or proceeds on our shares paid to it during the calendar year, and the amount of tax withheld, if any, will be reported to it and to the IRS.

 

Distributions on our shares to a non-U.S. shareholder during each calendar year and the amount of tax withheld, if any, will generally be reported to the non-U.S. shareholder and to the IRS. This information reporting requirement applies regardless of whether the non-U.S. shareholder is subject to withholding on distributions on our shares or whether the withholding was reduced or eliminated by an applicable tax treaty. Also, distributions paid to a non-U.S. shareholder on our shares will generally be subject to backup withholding, unless the non-U.S. shareholder properly certifies to the applicable withholding agent its non-U.S. shareholder status on an applicable IRS Form W-8 or substantially similar form. Information reporting and backup withholding will not apply to proceeds a non-U.S. shareholder receives upon the sale, exchange, redemption, retirement or other disposition of our shares, if the non-U.S. shareholder properly certifies to the applicable withholding agent its non-U.S. shareholder status on an applicable IRS Form W-8 or substantially similar form. Even without having executed an applicable IRS Form W-8 or substantially similar form, however, in some cases information reporting and backup withholding will not apply to proceeds that a non-U.S. shareholder receives upon the sale, exchange, redemption, retirement or other disposition of our shares if the non-U.S. shareholder receives those proceeds through a broker’s foreign office.

 

Non-U.S. financial institutions and other non-U.S. entities are subject to diligence and reporting requirements for purposes of identifying accounts and investments held directly or indirectly by U.S. persons. The failure to comply with these additional information reporting, certification and other requirements could result in a 30% U.S. withholding tax on applicable payments to non-U.S. persons, notwithstanding any otherwise applicable provisions of an income tax treaty. In particular, a payee that is a foreign financial institution that is subject to the diligence and reporting requirements described above must enter into an agreement with the U.S. Department of the Treasury requiring, among other things, that it undertake to identify accounts held by “specified United States persons” or “United States owned foreign entities” (each as defined in the IRC and administrative guidance thereunder), annually report information about such accounts, and withhold 30% on applicable payments to noncompliant foreign financial institutions and account holders. Foreign financial institutions located in jurisdictions that have an intergovernmental agreement with the United States with respect to these requirements may be subject to different rules. The foregoing withholding regime generally applies to payments of dividends on our shares. In general, to avoid withholding, any non-U.S. intermediary through which a shareholder owns our shares must establish its compliance with the foregoing regime, and a non-U.S. shareholder must provide specified documentation (usually an applicable IRS Form W-8) containing information about its identity, its status, and if required, its direct and indirect U.S. owners. Non-U.S. shareholders and shareholders who hold our shares through a non-U.S. intermediary are encouraged to consult their own tax advisors regarding foreign account tax compliance.

 

Other Tax Considerations

 

Our tax treatment and that of our shareholders may be modified by legislative, judicial or administrative actions at any time, which actions may have retroactive effect. The rules dealing with federal income taxation are constantly under review by the U.S. Congress, the IRS and the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and statutory changes, new regulations, revisions to existing regulations and revised interpretations of established concepts are issued frequently. Likewise, the rules regarding taxes other than U.S. federal income taxes may also be modified. No prediction can be made as to the likelihood of passage of new tax legislation or other provisions, or the direct or indirect effect on us and our shareholders. Revisions to tax laws and interpretations of these laws could adversely affect our ability to qualify and be taxed as a REIT, as well as the tax or other consequences of an investment in our shares. We and our shareholders may also be subject to taxation by state, local or other jurisdictions, including those in which we or our shareholders transact business or reside. These tax consequences may not be comparable to the U.S. federal income tax consequences discussed above.

 

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PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

 

We may sell Securities to one or more underwriters or dealers for public offering and sale by them, or we may sell the Securities to investors directly or through agents or through a market maker or into an existing trading market, on an exchange or otherwise. The applicable prospectus supplement will set forth the terms of the offering and the method of distribution and will identify any firms acting as underwriters, dealers or agents in connection with the offering, including:

 

  the name or names of any underwriters;
     
  the purchase price of the Securities;
     
  any underwriting discounts and other items constituting underwriters’ compensation;
     
  any initial public offering price and the net proceeds we will receive from such sale;
     
  any discounts or concessions allowed or reallowed or paid to dealers; and
     
  any securities exchange or market on which our Securities offered in the prospectus supplement may be listed.

 

We may distribute our Securities from time to time in one or more transactions at a fixed price or prices, which may be changed, or at prices determined as the prospectus supplement specifies, including, to the extent we are eligible, in “at-the-market” offerings within the meaning of Rule 415(a)(4) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, and directly to purchasers in what is known as an “equity line of credit” as described below. We may sell Securities through a rights offering, forward contracts, or similar arrangements. We may sell the Securities covered in this prospectus in any of these ways (or in any combination).

 

We may authorize underwriters, dealers, or agents to solicit offers by certain purchasers to purchase the Securities from us at the public offering price set forth in the prospectus supplement pursuant to delayed delivery contracts providing for payment and delivery on a specified date in the future. The contracts will be subject only to those conditions set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement, and the prospectus supplement will set forth any commissions we pay for solicitation of these contracts.

 

We may also sell Securities pursuant to an “equity line of credit”. In such event, we will enter into a common stock purchase agreement with the purchaser to be named therein, which will be described in a Current Report on Form 8-K that we will file with the SEC. In that Form 8-K, we will describe the total amount of securities that we may require the purchaser to purchase under the purchase agreement and the other terms of purchase, and any rights that the purchaser is granted to purchase securities from us. In addition to our issuance of shares of common stock to the equity line purchaser pursuant to the purchase agreement, this prospectus (and the applicable prospectus supplement or post-effective amendment to the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part) also covers the resale of those shares from time to time by the equity line purchaser to the public. The equity line purchaser will be considered an “underwriter” within the meaning of Section 2(a)(11) of the Securities Act. Its resales may be effected through a number of methods, including without limitation, ordinary brokerage transactions and transactions in which the broker solicits purchasers and block trades in which the broker or dealer so engaged will attempt to sell the shares as agent, but may position and resell a portion of the block as principal to facilitate the transaction. The equity line purchaser will be bound by various anti-manipulation rules of the SEC and may not, for example, engage in any stabilization activity in connection with its resales of our securities and may not bid for or purchase any of our securities or attempt to induce any person to purchase any of our securities other than as permitted under the Exchange Act.

 

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Any underwriting discounts or other compensation which we pay to underwriters or agents in connection with the offering of our Securities, and any discounts, concessions or commissions which underwriters allow to dealers, will be set forth in the prospectus supplement. Underwriters may sell our Securities to or through dealers, and such dealers may receive compensation in the form of discounts, concessions or commissions from the underwriters and commissions from the purchasers for whom they may act as agents. Underwriters, dealers and agents that participate in the distribution of our Securities may be deemed to be underwriters under the Securities Act and any discounts or commissions they receive from us and any profit on the resale of our Securities they realize may be deemed to be underwriting discounts and commissions under the Securities Act. Any such underwriter or agent will be identified, and any such compensation received from us, will be described in the applicable supplement to this prospectus. Unless otherwise set forth in the supplement to this prospectus relating thereto, the obligations of the underwriters or agents to purchase our Securities will be subject to conditions precedent and the underwriters will be obligated to purchase all our offered Securities if any are purchased. The public offering price and any discounts or concessions allowed or reallowed or paid to dealers may be changed from time to time.

 

Any common shares sold pursuant to this prospectus and applicable prospectus supplement, will be approved for trading, upon notice of issuance, on the Nasdaq Capital Market or such other stock exchange that on which Securities are listed. Unless otherwise specified in the applicable prospectus supplement, any Securities issued hereunder (other than common shares) will be new issues of securities with no established trading market. Any underwriters or agents to or through whom such Securities are sold by us for public offering and sale may make a market in such securities, but such underwriters or agents will not be obligated to do so and may discontinue any market making at any time without notice. We cannot assure you as to the liquidity of the trading market for any such Securities.

 

Agents and underwriters may be entitled to indemnification by us against certain civil liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act or to contribution with respect to payments which the agents or underwriters may be required to make in respect thereof.

 

An underwriter may engage in over-allotment, stabilizing transactions, short covering transactions and penalty bids in accordance with Securities laws. Over-allotment involves sales in excess of the offering size, which creates a short position. Stabilizing transactions permit bidders to purchase the underlying security so long as the stabilizing bids do not exceed a specified maximum. Short covering transactions involve purchases of the Securities in the open market after the distribution is completed to cover short positions. Penalty bids permit the underwriters to reclaim a selling concession from a dealer when the Securities originally sold by the dealer are purchased in a covering transaction to cover short positions. Those activities may cause the price of the Securities to be higher than it would otherwise be. The underwriters may engage in these activities on any exchange or other market in which the Securities may be traded. If commenced, the underwriters may discontinue these activities at any time.

 

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

 

LEGAL MATTERS

 

Sullivan & Worcester LLP, New York, New York, will pass upon the validity of the securities offered pursuant to this prospectus. Certain tax matters will also be passed upon for us by Sullivan & Worcester LLP, New York, New York.

 

EXPERTS

 

The consolidated financial statements of the Company as of and for the year ended December 31, 2023, incorporated in this prospectus by reference to our annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023, have been audited by Hoberman & Lesser CPA’s, LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, as stated in their report incorporated by reference herein, and have been so incorporated in reliance upon such report and upon the authority of such firm as experts in accounting and auditing.

 

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WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

 

We are subject to the informational requirements of the Exchange Act, and, in accordance therewith, file annual, quarterly and current reports, and other information with the SEC. In addition, we file proxy statements with the SEC. The SEC maintains an Internet website (http://www.sec.gov) that contains reports, proxy statements and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC. Our SEC filings are also available on our Internet website (http://www.manhattanbridgecapital.com). The information contained on or connected to our website is not, and you must not consider the information to be, a part of this prospectus.

 

We have filed with the SEC a registration statement on Form S-3, of which this prospectus is a part, under the Securities Act, with respect to the Securities. This prospectus does not contain all of the information set forth in the registration statement, certain parts of which are omitted in accordance with the rules and regulations of the SEC. For further information concerning us and the Securities, reference is made to the registration statement. Statements contained in this prospectus as to the contents of any contract or other documents are not necessarily complete, and in each instance, reference is made to the copy of such contract or documents filed as exhibits to the registration statement, each such statement being qualified in all respects by such reference.

 

INCORPORATION OF DOCUMENTS BY REFERENCE

 

The SEC allows us to “incorporate by reference” information into this prospectus, which means that we can disclose important information to you by referring you to another document filed separately with the SEC. The information incorporated by reference is deemed to be part of this prospectus, except for any information superseded by information in this prospectus or any document that we file in the future with the SEC. This prospectus incorporates by reference the documents set forth below that we have previously filed with the SEC and all documents that we file with the SEC under Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act (other than any portion of the respective filings that are furnished pursuant to Item 2.02 or Item 7.01 of a Current Report on Form 8-K (including exhibits related thereto) or other applicable SEC rules, rather than filed) (i) after the initial registration statement of which this prospectus is a part and prior to the effectiveness of such registration statement and (ii) after the date of this prospectus, in each case, from their respective filing dates. These documents contain important information about us, our business and our finances.

 

We have filed or may file the following documents with the SEC. These documents are incorporated herein by reference as of their respective dates of filing:

 

(1) Our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023, as filed with the SEC on March 11, 2024;

 

(2) Our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2024, as filed with the SEC on April 23, 2024; and

 

(4) The description of our common shares contained in our Registration Statement on Form 8-A filed with the SEC on May 6, 1999, as updated by the description of our common shares filed as Exhibit 4.5 to our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019 filed with the SEC on March 17, 2020, including any amendment or report filed for the purpose of updating such description. including any amendments and reports filed for the purpose of updating such description.

 

At your request, either orally or in writing, we will provide you with a copy of any or all documents which are incorporated by reference. Such documents will be provided to you free of charge, but will not contain any exhibits, unless those exhibits are specifically incorporated by reference into those documents. Requests should be addressed to Manhattan Bridge Capital, Inc. 60 Cutter Mill Road, Suite 205, Great Neck, New York 11201, attention: Chief Financial Officer; telephone number (516) 444-3400.

 

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PART II

 

INFORMATION NOT REQUIRED IN PROSPECTUS

 

ITEM 14. OTHER EXPENSES OF ISSUANCE AND DISTRIBUTION.

 

The following is a statement of approximate expenses to be incurred by the Company in connection with the distribution of the securities registered under this registration statement:

 

   Amount 
SEC registration fee  $1,992.06 
Legal fees and expenses  $20,000.00 
Accounting fees and expenses  $1,500.00 
Total  $23,492.06 

 

ITEM 15. INDEMNIFICATION OF DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS.

 

We were incorporated under the laws of the State of New York and are subject the provisions of the New York Business Corporation Law, or the NYBCL. Under Sections 721 through 726 of the NYBCL, and subject to the procedures and limitations therein, a corporation may indemnify and hold harmless any of its directors or officers or other persons, claims and threats, related to such position, as more fully described below. This right to indemnification is subject to such standards and restrictions, if any, as are set forth in a corporation’s certificate of incorporation or bylaws.

 

Our restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws obligate us, to the fullest extent permitted by New York law in effect from time to time, to indemnify, pay or reimburse reasonable expenses in advance of final disposition of a proceeding to any present or former director or officer who is made or threatened to be made a party to, or witness in, a proceeding by reason of his or her service in that capacity and any individual who, served at our request as a director, officer, employee or agent of another corporation or of a partnership, joint venture, trust or other enterprise, including service with respect to employee benefit plans, whether the basis of such a proceeding is alleged action in an official capacity as a director, officer, employee or agent or in any other capacity while serving as a director, officer, employee or agent and who is made or threatened to be made a party to, or witness in, the proceeding by reason of his or her service in that capacity, as authorized by our board of directors or shareholders.

 

Section 721 of the NYBCL provides that statutory indemnification will not be deemed exclusive of other indemnification rights to which a director or officer may be entitled, provided that no indemnification may be made if a judgment or other final adjudication adverse to the director or officer establishes that (i) his/her acts were committed in bad faith or were the result of active and deliberate dishonesty, and, in either case, were material to the cause of action so adjudicated, or (ii) he/she personally gained in fact a financial profit or other advantage to which he was not legally entitled.

 

Section 722 of the NYBCL permits, a New York corporation to indemnify any person made, or threatened to be made, a party to an action or proceeding by reason of the fact that he or she was a director or officer of the corporation, or served another entity in any capacity at the request of the corporation, against any judgments, fines, amounts paid in settlement and reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees actually and necessarily incurred as a result of such action or proceeding, or any appeal therein, if such person acted in good faith, for a purpose he or she reasonably believed to be in, or, in the case of service for another entity, not opposed to, the best interests of the corporation and, in criminal actions or proceedings, in addition, had no reasonable cause to believe that his or her conduct was unlawful.

 

Section 723 of the NYBCL specifies the manner in which payment of such indemnification may be authorized. It provides that indemnification by a corporation is mandatory in any case in which the director or officer has been successful, whether on the merits or otherwise, in defending an action. In the event that the director or officer has not been successful, or the action is settled, indemnification may be made by the corporation only if authorized by any of the corporate actions set forth in Section 723.

 

 II-1 

 

 

Section 724 of the NYBCL provides that upon proper application by a director or officer, indemnification shall be awarded by a court to the extent authorized under the NYBCL.

 

Section 726 of the NYBCL authorizes the purchase and maintenance of insurance to indemnify (1) a corporation for any obligation which it incurs as a result of the indemnification of directors and officers under the above sections, (2) directors and officers in instances in which they may be indemnified by a corporation under such sections, and (3) directors and officers in instances in which they may not otherwise be indemnified by a corporation under such sections, provided the contract of insurance covering such directors and officers provides, contingent upon certain requirements, as set forth in Section 726 of the NYBCL.

 

We have obtained directors and officers insurance for the benefit of our directors and officers.

 

ITEM 16. EXHIBITS.

 

The exhibits filed with this registration statement are set forth on the “Exhibit Index” set forth elsewhere herein.

 

ITEM 17. UNDERTAKINGS.

 

  (a) The undersigned registrant hereby undertakes:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

(i) If the registrant is relying on Rule 430B:

 

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

 

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

 

(ii) If the registrant is subject to Rule 430C, each prospectus filed pursuant to Rule 424(b) as part of a registration statement relating to an offering, other than registration statements relying on Rule 430B or other than prospectuses filed in reliance on Rule 430A, shall be deemed to be part of and included in the registration statement as of the date it is first used after effectiveness. Provided, however, that no statement made in a registration statement or prospectus that is part of the registration statement or made in a document incorporated or deemed incorporated by reference into the registration statement or prospectus that is part of the registration statement will, as to a purchaser with a time of contract of sale prior to such first use, supersede or modify any statement that was made in the registration statement or prospectus that was part of the registration statement or made in any such document immediately prior to such date of first use.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

(d) The undersigned registrant hereby undertakes to file an application for the purpose of determining the eligibility of the trustee to act under subsection (a) of section 310 of the Trust Indenture Act, or the Act, in accordance with the rules and regulations prescribed by the Commission under section 305(b)(2) of the Act.

 

 II-3 

 

 

EXHIBIT INDEX

 

Exhibit No.   Description
1.1**   Form of Underwriting Agreement in connection with the offering of any securities.
     
3.1   Restated Certificate of Incorporation of the Company, as amended to date (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.1 to Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2014 filed on August 13, 2014).
     
3.2   Amended and Restated Bylaws of the Company effective in May 2014 (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.2 to Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2014 filed on August 13, 2014).
     
3.3**   Form of Certificate of Designation of Preferred Stock.
     
4.1   Form of Common Stock Certificate (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 4.1 to exhibit to Registration Statement on Form SB-2/A filed on April 23, 1999).
     
4.2**   Form of Preferred Stock Certificate.
     
4.3**   Form of Common Share Warrant Agreement, including form of Warrant.
     
4.4**   Form of Preferred Share Warrant Agreement, including form of Warrant.
     
4.5   Form of Senior Indenture (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 4.5 to Registration Statement on Form S-3 filed on May 15, 2018).
     
4.6   Form of Subordinated Indenture Form of Senior Indenture (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 4.6 to Registration Statement on Form S-3 filed on May 15, 2018).
     
4.7**   Form of Debt Security.
     
4.8**   Form of Unit Agreement.
     
5.1*   Opinion of Sullivan & Worcester LLP.
     
8.1*   Opinion of Sullivan & Worcester LLP regarding certain tax matters.
     
23.1*   Consent of Hoberman & Lesser CPA’s, LLP.
     
23.2*   Consent of Sullivan & Worcester LLP (contained in Exhibit 5.1).
     
23.3*   Consent of Sullivan & Worcester LLP (contained in Exhibit 8.1).
     
24.1*   Powers of Attorney (included in the signature page hereto).
     
25.1**   Statement of Eligibility on Form T-1 under the Trust Indenture Act of 1939, as amended.
     
107*   Fee Table.

 

* Filed herewith.
** To be filed by amendment or incorporated by reference in connection with the offering of any securities, as appropriate.

 

 II-4 

 

 

SIGNATURES

 

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, the registrant certifies that it has reasonable grounds to believe that it meets all of the requirements for filing on Form S-3 and has duly caused this registration statement to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized, in the Village of Great Neck, State of New York, on May 22, 2024.

 

  MANHATTAN BRIDGE CAPITAL, INC.
   
  By: /s/ Assaf Ran
  Name: Assaf Ran
  Title:

President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman

of the Board of Directors

 

 II-5 

 

 

POWERS OF ATTORNEY

 

KNOW ALL PERSONS BY THESE PRESENTS, that each person whose signature appears below hereby constitutes and appoints each of Assaf Ran and Vanessa Kao, and each of them acting singly, as his or her true and lawful attorney-in-fact and agent, each with full power of substitution, for the undersigned in any and all capacities, to sign any and all amendments to this registration statement (including post-effective amendments or any abbreviated registration statement and any amendments thereto filed pursuant to Rule 462(b) increasing the number or amount of securities for which registration is sought), and to file the same, with all exhibits thereto and other documents in connection therewith, with the Securities and Exchange Commission, granting unto said attorneys-in-fact and agents, with full power of each to act alone, full power and authority to do and perform each and every act and thing requisite and necessary to be done in connection therewith, as fully for all intents and purposes as the undersigned might or could do in person, hereby ratifying and confirming all that said attorneys-in-fact and agents, or either of them, or his or their substitute or substitutes, may lawfully do or cause to be done by virtue hereof.

 

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

 

Signature   Title   Date
         
/s/ Assaf Ran   President, Chief Executive Officer and   May 22, 2024
Assaf Ran  

Chairman of the Board of Directors

(Principal Executive Officer)

   
         
/s/ Vanessa Kao   Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer   May 22, 2024
Vanessa Kao   (Principal Financial and Accounting Officer), Director    
         
/s/ Lyron Bentovim   Director   May 22, 2024
Lyron Bentovim        
         
/s/ Eran Goldshmit   Director   May 22, 2024
Eran Goldshmit        
         
/s/ Michael Jackson   Director   May 22, 2024
Michael Jackson        
         
/s/ Phillip Michals   Director   May 22, 2024
Phillip Michals        

 

 II-6 

ATTACHMENTS / EXHIBITS

ex5-1.htm

ex8-1.htm

ex23-1.htm

CALCULATION OF FEE FILING TABLES



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