DESCRIPTION OF OUR COMMON UNITS
“Our,” “we,” “us” and “Holly Energy Partners” as used herein refer to Holly Energy Partners, L.P. or to Holly Energy Partners, L.P. and its subsidiaries collectively, as the context requires. References herein to our “general partner” refer to HEP Logistics Holdings, L.P. and/or Holly Logistic Services, L.L.C., the general partner of HEP Logistics Holdings, L.P., as appropriate.
We are a Delaware limited partnership. The rights of our common unitholders are generally covered by Delaware law and our partnership agreement (as amended and restated and in effect as of the date hereof). The terms of our common units are therefore subject to Delaware law, including the Delaware Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act (the “Delaware Act”), and the common and constitutional law of Delaware.
This exhibit describes the general terms of our common units. Our common units represent limited partner interests that entitle the holders to participate in our cash distributions and to exercise the rights and privileges available to limited partners under our partnership agreement. For a description of the relative rights and preferences of holders of our common units and our general partner in and to cash distributions, please carefully review this section and the section titled “How We Make Cash Distributions.”
This is a summary and does not purport to be complete. Our partnership agreement as it exists on the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K is incorporated by reference or filed as an exhibit to the Annual Report on Form 10-K of which this exhibit is a part, and amendments or restatements of such will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) in future periodic or current reports in accordance with the rules of the SEC. You are encouraged to read those documents. For more detailed information about the rights of our common units, you should refer to our partnership agreement and the applicable provisions of Delaware law, including the Delaware Act, for additional information.
Status as Limited Partner or Assignee
Except as described below under “—Limited Liability,” our common units will be fully paid, and unitholders will not be required to make additional capital contributions to us.
Assuming that a limited partner does not participate in the control of our business within the meaning of the Delaware Act and that he otherwise acts in conformity with the provisions of our partnership agreement, his liability under the Delaware Act will be limited, subject to some possible exceptions, generally to the amount of capital he is obligated to contribute to us in respect of his units plus his share of any undistributed profits and assets wrongfully distributed to it, as described below. If it were determined, however, that the right of, or exercise of the right by, the limited partners as a group:
to remove or replace our general partner;
to approve some amendments to our partnership agreement; or
to take other action under our partnership agreement;
constituted “participation in the control” of our business for the purposes of the Delaware Act, then the limited partners could be held personally liable for our obligations under the laws of Delaware to the same extent as our general partner. This liability would additionally extend to persons who transact business with us who reasonably believe that the limited partner is a general partner based on the conduct of the limited partner. Neither our partnership agreement nor the Delaware Act specifically provides for legal recourse against our general partner if a limited partner were to lose limited liability through any fault of our general partner.
Under the Delaware Act, a limited partnership may not make a distribution to a partner to the extent that at the time of the distribution, after giving effect to the distribution, all liabilities of the partnership, other than liabilities to partners on account of their partnership interests and liabilities for which the recourse of creditors is limited to specific property of the partnership, exceed the fair value of the assets of the limited partnership.
For the purposes of determining the fair value of the assets of a limited partnership, the Delaware Act provides that the fair value of the property subject to liability of which recourse of creditors is limited shall be included in the assets of the limited partnership only to the extent that the fair value of that property exceeds the nonrecourse liability. The Delaware Act provides that a limited partner who receives a distribution and knew at the time of the distribution that the distribution was in violation of the Delaware Act is liable to the limited partnership for the amount of the distribution for three years from the date of the distribution. Under the Delaware Act, an assignee who becomes a substituted limited partner of a limited partnership is liable for the obligations of its assignor to make contributions to the limited partnership, excluding any obligations of the assignor with respect to wrongful distributions, as described above, except the assignee is not obligated for liabilities unknown to it at the time it became a limited partner and that could not be ascertained from the partnership agreement.
We currently own property and conduct business in Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Kansas, Idaho and Washington. We may own property or conduct business in other states in the future. Maintenance of our limited liability as a limited partner of our operating partnership may require compliance with legal requirements in the jurisdictions in which our operating partnership owns property or conducts business, including qualifying our subsidiaries to do business there.
Limitations on the liability of limited partners for the obligations of a limited partnership have not been clearly established in many jurisdictions. If, by virtue of our limited partner interest in our operating partnership or otherwise, it were determined that we were conducting business in any state without compliance with the applicable limited partnership or limited liability company statute, or that the right of, or exercise of the right by, the limited partners as a group, to remove or replace our general partner, to approve some amendments to our partnership agreement, or to take other action under our partnership agreement constituted “participation in the control” of our business for purposes of the statutes of any relevant jurisdiction, then the limited partners could be held personally liable for our obligations under the law of that jurisdiction to the same extent as our general partner under the circumstances. We will operate in a manner that our general partner considers reasonable and necessary or appropriate to preserve the limited liability of the limited partners.
Our general partner manages and operates us. Unlike the holders of common stock in a corporation, our unitholders have only limited voting rights on matters affecting our business and, therefore, limited ability to influence management’s decisions regarding our business. Our unitholders did not elect our general partner or the board of directors of our general partner’s general partner and have no right to elect our general partner or the board of directors of our general partner’s general partner on an annual or other continuing basis. The board of directors of our general partner’s general partner is chosen by the members of our general partner’s general partner. Furthermore, if unitholders are dissatisfied with the performance of our general partner, they will have little ability to remove our general partner. As a result of these limitations, the price at which the common units trade could be diminished because of the absence or reduction of a takeover premium in the trading price.
The vote of the holders of at least 66 2/3% of all outstanding units voting together as a single class is required to remove the general partner. Our unitholders will be unable to remove the general partner without its consent because the general partner and its affiliates own sufficient units to prevent its removal. Our unitholders’ voting rights are further restricted by the partnership agreement provision providing that any units held by a person or group that owns 20% or more of any class of units then outstanding, other than the general partner, its affiliates, their transferees, and persons who acquired such units with the prior approval of the board of directors of the general partner’s general partner, cannot vote on any matter. Our partnership agreement also contains provisions limiting the ability of unitholders to call meetings or to acquire information about our operations, as well as other provisions limiting the unitholders’ ability to influence the manner or direction of management.
In voting its common units, the general partner and its affiliates will have no fiduciary duty or obligation whatsoever to us or the limited partners.
Our unitholders will not have voting rights except with respect to the following matters which require the unitholder vote specified below:
Issuance of additional units
No approval required.
Amendment of the partnership agreement
Certain amendments may be made by the general partner without the approval of the unitholders. Other amendments generally require the approval of a majority of the outstanding units.
Merger of our partnership or the sale of all or substantially all of our assets
Approval of a majority of the outstanding units.
Amendment of the partnership agreement of our operating partnership and other action taken by us as a limited partner of the operating partnership
Approval of a majority of the outstanding units if such amendment or other action would adversely affect our limited partners (or any particular class of limited partners) in any material respect.
Dissolution of our partnership
Approval of a majority of the outstanding units.
Reconstitution of our partnership upon dissolution
Approval of a majority of the outstanding units.
Withdrawal of the general partner
No approval right. Please read “Description of Our Partnership Agreement—Withdrawal or Removal of our General Partner.”
Removal of the general partner
Not less than 66 2/3% of the outstanding units, voting as a single class, including units held by our general partner and its affiliates.
Transfer of the general partner interest
No approval right. Please read “Description of Our Partnership Agreement—Transfer of General Partner Interests.”
Transfer of ownership interests in the general partner
No approval required at any time.
Transfer of Common Units
The purchase of any of our common units is accomplished through the completion, execution and delivery of a transfer application. Additionally, any later transfers of our common units will not be recorded by the transfer agent or recognized by us unless the transferee executes and delivers a transfer application. By executing and delivering a transfer application, a purchaser or transferee of our common units:
becomes the record holder of our common units and is an assignee until admitted into our partnership as a substituted limited partner;
automatically requests admission as a substituted limited partner in our partnership;
agrees to be bound by the terms and conditions of, and executes, our partnership agreement;
represents and warrants that such transferee has the capacity, power and authority to enter into the partnership agreement;
grants powers of attorney to our general partner and any liquidator of us as specified in the partnership agreement; and
gives the consents and approvals contained in our partnership agreement.
An assignee will become a substituted limited partner of our partnership for the transferred common units upon admission by our general partner and the recording of the name of the assignee on our books and records. Our general partner intends to admit assignees as substituted limited partners on a quarterly basis.
A transferee’s broker, agent or nominee may complete, execute and deliver a transfer application. We are entitled to treat the nominee holder of a common unit as the absolute owner. In that case, the beneficial holder’s rights are limited solely to those that it has against the nominee holder as a result of any agreement between the beneficial owner and the nominee holder.
Common units are securities and are transferable according to the laws governing transfer of securities. In addition to other rights acquired upon transfer, the transferor gives the transferee the right to request admission as a substituted limited partner in our partnership for the transferred common units. A purchaser or transferee of our common units who does not execute and deliver a transfer application obtains only:
the right to assign the common unit to a purchaser or other transferee; and
the right to transfer the right to seek admission as a substituted limited partner in our partnership for the transferred common units.
Thus, a purchaser or transferee of our common units who does not execute and deliver a transfer application:
will not receive cash distributions or federal income tax allocations, unless the common units are held in a nominee or “street name” account and the nominee or broker has executed and delivered a transfer application; and
may not receive some federal income tax information or reports furnished to record holders of our common units.
The transferor of our common units has a duty to provide the transferee with all information that may be necessary to transfer the common units. The transferor does not have a duty to insure the execution of the transfer application by the transferee and has no liability or responsibility if the transferee neglects or chooses not to execute and forward the transfer application to the transfer agent. Until a common unit has been transferred on our books, we and the transfer agent may treat the record holder of the unit as the absolute owner for all purposes, except as otherwise required by law or stock exchange regulations.
Reports and Records
As soon as practicable, but in no event later than 120 days after the close of each fiscal year, our general partner will furnish or make available to each unitholder of record (as of a record date selected by our general partner) an annual report containing our audited financial statements and a report on those financial statements by our independent public accountants. These financial statements will be prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. Except for our fourth quarter, we will also furnish or make available summary financial information within 90 days after the close of each quarter.
We will also furnish each unitholder of record with information reasonably required for tax reporting purposes within 90 days after the close of each calendar year. This information is expected to be furnished in summary form so that some complex calculations normally required of partners can be avoided. Our ability to furnish this summary information to unitholders will depend on the cooperation of unitholders in supplying us with specific information. Every unitholder will receive information to assist such unitholder in determining his federal and state tax liability and filing his federal and state income tax returns, regardless of whether he supplies us with information.
A limited partner can, for a purpose reasonably related to the limited partner’s interest as a limited partner, upon reasonable demand and at his own expense, have furnished to such unitholder:
a current list of the name and last known address of each partner;
a copy of our tax returns;
information as to the amount of cash and a description and statement of the agreed value of any other property or services, contributed or to be contributed by each partner and the date on which each became a partner;
copies of our partnership agreement, our certificate of limited partnership, amendments to either of them and powers of attorney which have been executed under our partnership agreement;
information regarding the status of our business and financial condition; and
any other information regarding our affairs as is just and reasonable.
Our general partner may, and intends to, keep confidential from the limited partners trade secrets and other information the disclosure of which our general partner believes in good faith is not in our best interest or which we are required by law or by agreements with third parties to keep confidential.
Our outstanding common units are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) under the symbol “HEP.” Any additional common units we issue will also be listed on the NYSE.
Transfer Agent and Registrar
The transfer agent and registrar for our common units is EQ Shareowner Services.
HOW WE MAKE CASH DISTRIBUTIONS
Distributions of Available Cash
Our partnership agreement provides that we will distribute all of our available cash to unitholders of record on the applicable record date within 45 days after the end of each quarter.
In October 2017, our general partner agreed to waive $2.5 million of limited partner cash distributions for each of twelve consecutive quarters beginning with the quarter ending September 30, 2017. This waiver of limited partner cash distributions will expire after the cash distribution for the second quarter of 2020, which will be made during the third quarter of 2020.
Definition of Available Cash
Available cash generally means, for each fiscal quarter, all cash and cash equivalents on hand at the end of the quarter:
less the amount of cash reserves established by our general partner to:
provide for the proper conduct of our business;
comply with applicable law, any of our debt instruments, or other agreements; or
provide funds for distributions to our unitholders and to our general partner for any one or more of the next four quarters;
plus all cash and cash equivalents on hand on the date of determination of available cash for the quarter resulting from working capital borrowings made after the end of the quarter. Working capital borrowings are generally borrowings that are made under our credit facility and in all cases are used solely for working capital purposes or to pay distributions to partners.
Distributions of Cash upon Liquidation
If we dissolve in accordance with the partnership agreement, we will sell or otherwise dispose of our assets in a process called liquidation. We will first apply the proceeds of liquidation to the payment of our creditors. We will distribute any remaining proceeds to the unitholders and the general partner, in accordance with their capital account balances, as adjusted to reflect any gain or loss upon the sale or other disposition of our assets in liquidation.
Manner of Adjustments for Income
The manner of the adjustment for gain is set forth in the partnership agreement. We will allocate any gain to the partners in the following manner:
First, to the general partner to the extent of any residual loss allocations; and
Second, the balance, if any, to the common unitholders, pro rata.
Manner of Adjustments for Losses
We will generally allocate any loss to the general partner and the unitholders in the following manner:
First, to the holders of common units pro rata in proportion to the positive balances in their capital accounts until the capital accounts of the common unitholders have been reduced to zero; and
Thereafter, the balance, if any, 100% to the general partner.
Adjustments to Capital Accounts
We will make adjustments to capital accounts upon the issuance of additional units. In doing so, we will allocate any unrealized and, for tax purposes, unrecognized gain or loss resulting from the adjustments to the unitholders and the general partner in the same manner as we allocate gain or loss upon liquidation. In the event that we make positive adjustments to the capital accounts upon the issuance of additional units, we will allocate any later negative adjustments to the capital accounts resulting from the issuance of additional units or upon our liquidation in a manner which results, to the extent possible, in the general partner’s capital account balances equaling the amount which they would have been if no earlier positive adjustments to the capital accounts had been made.
DESCRIPTION OF OUR PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT
The following is a summary of the material provisions of our partnership agreement that relate to ownership of our common units. Our second amended and restated partnership agreement, as amended, has been filed with the Commission.
Power of Attorney
Each limited partner, and each person who acquires a unit from a unitholder and executes and delivers a transfer application, grants to our general partner and, if appointed, a liquidator, a power of attorney to, among other things, execute and file documents required for our qualification, continuance or dissolution. The power of attorney also grants the authority for the amendment of, and to make consents and waivers under, our partnership agreement.
Issuance of Additional Securities
Our partnership agreement authorizes us to issue an unlimited number of additional partnership securities and rights to buy partnership securities for the consideration and on the terms and conditions determined by our general partner in its sole discretion without the approval of the unitholders. It is possible that we will fund acquisitions through the issuance of additional common units or other equity securities. Holders of any additional common units or other equity securities we issue may be entitled to share with the then-existing holders of our common units or other equity securities in our cash distributions. In addition, the issuance of additional partnership interests may dilute the value of the interests of the then-existing holders of common units in our net assets. In accordance with Delaware law and the provisions of our partnership agreement, we may also issue additional partnership interests that, in the sole discretion of our general partner, may have special voting rights to which common units are not entitled.
Moreover, the general partner will have the right, which it may from time to time assign in whole or in part to any of its affiliates, to purchase common units or other equity securities whenever, and on the same terms that, we issue those securities to persons other than the general partner and its affiliates, to the extent necessary to maintain its and its affiliates percentage interest, including its interest represented by common units, that existed immediately prior to each issuance. The holders of common units do not have preemptive rights to acquire additional common units or other partnership securities.
Amendments to Our Partnership Agreement
General. Amendments to the partnership agreement may be proposed only by or with the consent of the general partner, which consent may be given or withheld at its option, except as discussed below. In order to adopt a proposed amendment, other than the amendments discussed below, the general partner must seek written approval of the holders of the number of units required to approve the amendment or call a meeting of the limited partners to consider and vote upon the proposed amendment. Except as we describe below, an amendment must be approved by a unit majority.
No amendment may be made that would:
(1) enlarge the obligations of any limited partner without its consent, unless approved by at least a majority of the type or class of limited partner interests so affected;
(2) enlarge the obligations of, restrict in any way any action by or rights of, or reduce in any way the amounts distributable, reimbursable or otherwise payable by us to the general partner or any of its affiliates without the consent of the general partner, which may be given or withheld in at its option;
(3) change the term of our partnership;
(4) provide that our partnership is not dissolved upon an election to dissolve our partnership by the general partner that is approved by the holders of a unit majority; or
(5) give any person the right to dissolve our partnership other than the general partner’s right to dissolve our partnership with the approval of the holders of a unit majority.
The provision of the partnership agreement preventing the amendments having the effects described in clauses (1) through (5) above can be amended upon the approval of the holders of at least 90% of the outstanding units voting together as a single class (including units owned by our general partner and its affiliates).
No Unitholder Approval
The general partner may generally make amendments to the partnership agreement without the approval of any limited partner or assignee to reflect:
(1) a change in our name, the location of our principal place of business, our registered agent or our registered office;
(2) the admission, substitution, withdrawal, or removal of partners in accordance with the partnership agreement;
(3) a change that the general partner determines to be necessary or appropriate for us to qualify or to continue our qualification as a limited partnership or a partnership in which the limited partners have limited liability under the laws of any state or to ensure that neither we, the operating partnership, nor its subsidiaries will be treated as an association taxable as a corporation or otherwise taxed as an entity for federal income tax purposes;
(4) an amendment that is necessary, in the opinion of our counsel, to prevent us or our general partner or its directors, officers, agents, or trustees from in any manner being subjected to the provisions of the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Investment Advisors Act of 1940, or plan asset regulations adopted under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, or the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended, whether or not substantially similar to plan asset regulations currently applied or proposed;
(5) subject to the limitations on the issuance of additional partnership securities described above, an amendment that the general partner determines to be necessary or appropriate for the authorization of additional partnership securities or rights to acquire partnership securities;
(6) any amendment expressly permitted in the partnership agreement to be made by the general partner acting alone;
(7) an amendment effected, necessitated, or contemplated by a merger agreement that has been approved under the terms of the partnership agreement;
(8) any amendment that the general partner determines to be necessary or appropriate for the formation by us of, or our investment in, any corporation, partnership, or other entity, as otherwise permitted by the partnership agreement;
(9) a change in our fiscal year or taxable year and related changes;
(10) certain mergers or conveyances as set forth in our partnership agreement; or
(11) any other amendments substantially similar to any of the matters described in (1) through (10) above.
In addition, the general partner may make amendments to the partnership agreement without the approval of any limited partner or assignee if the general partner determines that those amendments:
(1) do not adversely affect the limited partners (or any particular class of limited partners) in any material respect;
(2) are necessary or appropriate to satisfy any requirements, conditions, or guidelines contained in any opinion, directive, order, ruling, or regulation of any federal or state agency or judicial authority or contained in any federal or state statute;
(3) are necessary or appropriate to facilitate the trading of limited partner interests or to comply with any rule, regulation, guideline, or requirement of any securities exchange on which the limited partner interests are or will be listed for trading;
(4) are necessary or appropriate for any action taken by the general partner relating to splits or combinations of units under the provisions of the partnership agreement; or
(5) are required to effect the intent of the provisions of the partnership agreement or are otherwise contemplated by the partnership agreement.
Opinion of Counsel and Unitholder Approval
Our general partner will not be required to obtain an opinion of counsel that an amendment will not result in a loss of limited liability to the limited partners or result in our being treated as an entity for federal income tax purposes if one of the amendments described above under “— No Unitholder Approval” should occur. No other amendments to the partnership agreement will become effective without the approval of holders of at least 90% of the outstanding units voting as a single class unless we obtain an opinion of counsel to the effect that the amendment will not affect the limited liability under applicable law of any of our limited partners.
In addition to the above restrictions, any amendment that would have a material adverse effect on the rights or preferences of any type or class of outstanding units in relation to other classes of units will require the approval of at least a majority of the type or class of units so affected. Any amendment that reduces the voting percentage required to take any action must be approved by the affirmative vote of limited partners whose aggregate outstanding units constitute not less than the voting requirement sought to be reduced.
Withdrawal or Removal of Our General Partner
Our general partner may withdraw as general partner without first obtaining approval of any unitholder by giving 90 days’ written notice, and that withdrawal will not constitute a violation of the partnership agreement.
Upon withdrawal of our general partner under any circumstances, other than as a result of a transfer by the general partner of all or a part of its general partner interest in us, the holders of a majority of the outstanding common units may select a successor to that withdrawing general partner. If a successor is not elected, or is elected but an opinion of counsel regarding limited liability and tax matters cannot be obtained, we will be dissolved, wound up, and liquidated, unless within a specified period of time after that withdrawal, the holders of a unit majority agree in writing to continue our business and to appoint a successor general partner.
Our general partner may not be removed unless that removal is approved by the vote of the holders of not less than 66 2/3% of our outstanding units, voting together as a single class, including units held by the general partner and its affiliates, and we receive an opinion of counsel regarding limited liability and tax matters. Any removal of our general partner is also subject to the approval of a successor general partner by the vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding common units.
In the event of removal of our general partner under circumstances where cause exists or withdrawal of the general partner where that withdrawal violates the partnership agreement, a successor general partner will have the option to purchase the general partner interest of the departing general partner for a cash payment equal to the fair market value of such interest. Under all other circumstances where the general partner withdraws or is removed by the limited partners, the departing general partner will have the option to require the successor general partner to purchase the general partner interest of the departing general partner for its fair market value. In each case, this fair market value will be determined by agreement between the departing general partner and the successor general partner. If no agreement is reached, an independent investment banking firm or other independent expert selected by the departing general partner and the successor general partner will determine the fair market value. Or, if the departing general partner and the successor general partner cannot agree upon an independent investment banking firm or other independent expert, then an independent investment banking firm or other independent expert chosen by agreement of the firms or experts selected by each of them will determine the fair market value.
If the option described above is not exercised by either the departing general partner or the successor general partner, the departing general partner’s general partner interest will automatically convert into common units equal to the fair market value of those interests as determined by an investment banking firm or other independent expert selected in the manner described in the preceding paragraph.
In addition, we will be required to reimburse the departing general partner for all amounts due the departing general partner, including, without limitation, all employee-related liabilities, including severance liabilities, incurred for the termination of any employees employed by the departing general partner or its affiliates for our benefit.
Merger, Sale or Other Disposition of Assets
The partnership agreement generally prohibits the general partner, without the prior approval of the holders of units representing a unit majority, from causing us to, among other things, sell, exchange, or otherwise dispose of all or substantially all of our assets in a single transaction or a series of related transactions, including by way of merger, consolidation, or other combination, or approving on our behalf the sale, exchange, or other disposition of all or substantially all of the assets of our subsidiaries. The general partner may, however, mortgage, pledge, hypothecate, or grant a security interest in all or substantially all of our assets without that approval. The general partner may also sell all or substantially all of our assets under a foreclosure or other realization upon those encumbrances without that approval.
If conditions specified in the partnership agreement are satisfied, the general partner may convert us or any of our subsidiaries into a new limited liability entity or merge us or any of our subsidiaries into, or convey some or all of our assets to, a newly formed entity if the sole purpose of that merger or conveyance is to effect a mere change in our legal form into another limited liability entity. The unitholders are not entitled to dissenters’ rights of appraisal under the partnership agreement or applicable Delaware law in the event of a conversion, merger or consolidation, a sale of substantially all of our assets, or any other transaction or event.
Termination and Dissolution
We will continue as a limited partnership until terminated under the partnership agreement. We will dissolve upon:
(1) the election of the general partner to dissolve us, if approved by the holders of units representing a unit majority;
(2) the sale, exchange, or other disposition of all or substantially all of our assets and properties and our subsidiaries;
(3) the entry of a decree of judicial dissolution of Holly Energy Partners; or
(4) the withdrawal or removal of our general partner or any other event that results in its ceasing to be the general partner other than by reason of a transfer of its general partner interest in accordance with the partnership agreement or withdrawal or removal following approval and admission of a successor.
Upon a dissolution under clause (4), the holders of a unit majority may also elect, within specific time limitations, to reconstitute us and continue our business on the same terms and conditions described in the partnership agreement by forming a new limited partnership on terms identical to those in the partnership agreement and having as general partner an entity approved by the holders of units representing a unit majority, subject to our receipt of an opinion of counsel to the effect that:
the action would not result in the loss of limited liability of any limited partner; and
none of Holly Energy Partners, the reconstituted limited partnership, the operating partnership nor any of our other subsidiaries would be treated as an association taxable as a corporation or otherwise be taxable as an entity for federal income tax purposes upon the exercise of that right to continue.
Liquidation and Distribution of Proceeds
Upon our dissolution, unless we are reconstituted and continued as a new limited partnership, the person authorized to wind up our affairs (the liquidator) will, acting with all the powers of our general partner that the liquidator deems necessary or desirable in its good faith judgment, liquidate our assets and apply the proceeds of the liquidation as provided in “How We Make Cash Distributions—Distributions of Cash upon Liquidation.” The liquidator may defer liquidation or distribution of our assets for a reasonable period or distribute assets to partners in kind if it determines that a sale would be impractical or would cause undue loss to the partners.
Transfer of General Partner Interests
At any time, our general partner may transfer all or any part of its general partner interest in us to another person without the approval of our common unitholders. As a condition of this transfer, the transferee must, among other things, assume the rights and duties of the general partner, agree to be bound by the provisions of the partnership agreement, and furnish an opinion of counsel regarding limited liability and tax matters.
Subject to certain exceptions, our general partner and its affiliates may at any time transfer units to one or more persons, without unitholder approval.
Transfer of Ownership Interests in Our General Partner and in Our General Partner’s General Partner
At any time, the partners of our general partner and the members of Holly Logistic Services, L.L.C., the general partner of our general partner, may sell or transfer all or part of their respective partnership or membership interests in our general partner or Holly Logistic Services, L.L.C. to an affiliate or a third party without the approval of our unitholders.
Change of Management Provisions
Our partnership agreement contains specific provisions that are intended to discourage a person or group from attempting to remove HEP Logistics Holdings, L.P. as our general partner or otherwise change management. If any person or group other than the general partner and its affiliates acquires beneficial ownership of 20% or more of any class of units, that person or group loses voting rights on all of its units. This loss of voting rights does not apply to any person or group that acquires the units from our general partner or its affiliates and any transferees of that person or group approved by our general partner or to any person or group who acquires the units with the prior approval of the board of directors.
The partnership agreement also provides that if the general partner is removed under circumstances where cause does not exist and units held by the general partner and its affiliates are not voted in favor of that removal, the general partner will have the right to convert its general partner interest into common units or to receive cash in exchange for those interests.
Limited Call Right
If at any time the general partner and its affiliates hold more than 80% of the then-issued and outstanding partnership securities of any class, the general partner will have the right, which it may assign in whole or in part to any of its affiliates or to us, to acquire all, but not less than all, of the remaining partnership securities of the class held by unaffiliated persons as of a record date to be selected by the general partner, on at least ten but not more than 60 days’ notice. The purchase price in the event of this purchase is the greater of: (1) the highest cash price paid by either of the general partner or any of its affiliates for any partnership securities of the class purchased within the 90 days preceding the date on which the general partner first mails notice of its election to purchase those partnership securities; and (2) the current market price as of the date three days before the date the notice is mailed.
As a result of the general partner’s right to purchase outstanding partnership securities, a holder of partnership securities may have his partnership securities purchased at an undesirable time or price. The tax consequences to a unitholder of the exercise of this call right are the same as a sale by that unitholder of his common units in the market.
Non-Citizen Assignees; Redemption
If we are or become subject to federal, state or local laws or regulations that, in the reasonable determination of the general partner, create a substantial risk of cancellation or forfeiture of any property that we have an interest in because of the nationality, citizenship or other related status of any limited partner or assignee, we may redeem the units held by the limited partner or assignee at their current market price. In order to avoid any cancellation or forfeiture, the general partner may require each limited partner or assignee to furnish information about his nationality, citizenship or related status. If a limited partner or assignee fails to furnish information about this nationality, citizenship or other related status within 30 days after a request for the information or the general partner determines after receipt of the information that the limited partner or assignee is not an eligible citizen, the limited partner or assignee may be treated as a non-citizen assignee. In addition to other limitations on the rights of an assignee that is not a substituted limited partner, a non-citizen assignee does not have the right to direct the voting of his units and may not receive distributions in kind upon our liquidation.
Except as described below regarding a person or group owning 20% or more of any class of units then outstanding, unitholders or assignees who are record holders of units on the record date will be entitled to notice of, and to vote at, meetings of our limited partners and to act upon matters for which approvals may be solicited. Common units that are owned by an assignee who is a record holder, but who has not yet been admitted as a limited partner, will be voted by the general partner at the written direction of the record holder. Absent direction of this kind, the common units will not be voted, except that, in the case of common units held by the general partner on behalf of non-citizen assignees, the general partner will distribute the votes on those common units in the same ratios as the votes of limited partners on other units are cast.
The general partner does not anticipate that any meeting of unitholders will be called in the foreseeable future. Any action that is required or permitted to be taken by the unitholders may be taken either at a meeting of the unitholders or without a meeting if consents in writing describing the action so taken are signed by holders of the number of units necessary to authorize or take that action at a meeting. Meetings of the unitholders may be called by the general partner or by unitholders owning at least 20% of the outstanding units of the class for which a meeting is proposed. Unitholders may vote either in person or by proxy at meetings. The holders of a majority of the outstanding units of the class or classes for which a meeting has been called, represented in person or by proxy, will constitute a quorum unless any action by the unitholders requires approval by holders of a greater percentage of the units, in which case the quorum will be the greater percentage.
Each record holder of a unit has a vote according to his percentage interest in us, although additional limited partner interests having special voting rights could be issued. Please read “— Issuance of Additional Securities.” However, if at any time any person or group, other than the general partner and its affiliates, or a direct or subsequently approved transferee of the general partner or its affiliates, acquires, in the aggregate, beneficial ownership of 20% or more of any class of units then outstanding, that person or group will lose voting rights on all of its units and the units may not be voted on any matter and will not be considered to be outstanding when sending notices of a meeting of unitholders, calculating required votes, determining the presence of a quorum, or for other similar purposes. Common units held in nominee or street name account will be voted by the broker or other nominee in accordance with the instruction of the beneficial owner unless the arrangement between the beneficial owner and his nominee provides otherwise.
Any notice, demand, request, report, or proxy material required or permitted to be given or made to record holders of common units under the partnership agreement will be delivered to the record holder by us or by the transfer agent.