As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 11, 2021

Securities Act File No. 333-256447

Investment Company Act File No. 811-21529

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, DC 20549

 

 

Form N-2

 

(Check Appropriate Box or Boxes)

 

REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

Pre-Effective Amendment No. 1

Post-Effective Amendment No.         

and/or

 

REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940

Amendment No. 21

 

 

THE GABELLI GLOBAL UTILITY & INCOME TRUST

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in Charter)

 

One Corporate Center, Rye, New York 10580-1422

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

Registrant’s Telephone Number, including Area Code: (800) 422-3554

 

Bruce N. Alpert

The Gabelli Global Utility & Income Trust

One Corporate Center

Rye, New York 10580-1422

(914) 921-5070

(Name and Address of Agent for Service)

 

Copies to:

 

Peter Goldstein, Esq.

The Gabelli Global Utility & Income Trust

One Corporate Center

Rye, New York 10580-1422

(914) 921-5100

 

Thomas A. DeCapo, Esq.

Kenneth E. Burdon, Esq.

  Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
  500 Boylston Street
  Boston, Massachusetts 02116
  (617) 573-4800

 

Approximate Date of Commencement of Proposed Public Offering: From time to time after the effective date of this Registration Statement.

 

Check box if the only securities being registered on this Form are being offered pursuant to dividend or interest reinvestment plans.

 

Check box if any securities being registered on this Form will be offered on a delayed or continuous basis in reliance on Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”), other than securities offered in connection with a dividend reinvestment plan.

 

Check box if this Form is a registration statement pursuant to General Instruction A.2 or a post-effective amendment thereto.

 

Check box if this Form is a registration statement pursuant to General Instruction B or a post-effective amendment thereto that will become effective upon filing with the Commission pursuant to Rule 462(e) under the Securities Act.

 

Check box if this Form is a post-effective amendment to a registration statement filed pursuant to General Instruction B to register additional securities or additional classes of securities pursuant to Rule 413(b) under the Securities Act.

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

 

when declared effective pursuant to section 8(c) of the Securities Act

If appropriate, check the following box:

 

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

 

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

 

This Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, and the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering is:                 .

 

This Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(d) under the Securities Act, and the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering is:                 .

Check each box that appropriately characterizes the Registrant:

 

Registered Closed-End Fund (closed-end company that is registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the “Investment Company Act”)).

 

Business Development Company (closed-end company that intends or has elected to be regulated as a business development company under the Investment Company Act.

 

Interval Fund (Registered Closed-End Fund or a Business Development Company that makes periodic repurchase offers under Rule 23c-3 under the Investment Company Act).

 

A.2 Qualified (qualified to register securities pursuant to General Instruction A.2 of this Form).

 

Well-Known Seasoned Issuer (as defined by Rule 405 under the Securities Act).

 

Emerging Growth Company (as defined by Rule 12b-2 under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934).

 

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 the Securities Act.

 

New Registrant (registered or regulated under the Investment Company Act for less than 12 calendar months preceding this filing).

 

 

CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE UNDER THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

 

 

Title of

Securities Being Registered

 

Proposed

Maximum

Aggregate

Offering Price (1)

 

Amount of

Registration Fee (2)

Common Shares of Beneficial Interest (2)

       

Preferred Shares of Beneficial Interest (2)

       

Notes (2)

       

Subscription Rights for Common Shares (2)

       

Subscription Rights for Preferred Shares (2)

       

Subscription Rights for Common Shares and Preferred Shares (2)

       

Total

  $150,000,000   $16,365 (3)

 

 

(1)

Estimated pursuant to Rule 457(o) solely for the purpose of determining the registration fee. The proposed maximum offering price per security will be determined, from time to time, by the Registrant in connection with the sale by the Registrant of the securities registered under this registration statement. Pursuant to Rule 415(a)(6) under the Securities Act, this registration statement covers a total of $65,083,042.50 of unsold securities that had previously been registered under the registrant’s registration statement on Form N-2, initially filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on March 14, 2018 (No. 333-223652) (the “2018 N-2 Registration Statement”), and remain unsold as of the date hereof. The $65,083,042.50 of such unsold securities and the registration fee paid by the registrant for such unsold securities is being carried forward to this registration statement and will continue to be applied to such unsold securities pursuant to Rule 415(a)(6). Pursuant to Rule 415(a)(6), the offering of the unsold securities registered under the 2018 N-2 Registration Statement will be deemed terminated as of the date of effectiveness of this registration statement.

(2)

There is being registered hereunder an indeterminate principal amount of common or preferred shares, notes, or subscription rights to purchase common shares, preferred shares or common and preferred shares as may be sold, from time to time. In no event will the aggregate offering price of all securities issued from time to time pursuant to this registration statement exceed $150,000,000.

(3)

Previously paid.

 

 

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 SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, ACTING PURSUANT TO SAID SECTION 8(a), MAY DETERMINE.

 

 

 


The information in this prospectus is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and it is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any state where the offer and sale is not permitted.

Subject to Completion

Preliminary Prospectus dated August 11, 2021

BASE PROSPECTUS

dated                , 2021

$150,000,000

The Gabelli Global Utility & Income Trust

Common Shares

Preferred Shares

Notes

Subscription Rights to Purchase Common Shares

Subscription Rights to Purchase Preferred Shares

Subscription Rights to Purchase Common and Preferred Shares

 

 

Important Note. Beginning on January 1, 2021, as permitted by regulations adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), paper copies of The Gabelli Global Utility & Income Trust’s (the “Fund,” “we,” “us” or “our”) annual and semiannual shareholder reports will no longer be sent by mail, unless you specifically request paper copies of the reports. Instead, the reports will be made available on the Fund’s website (https://gabelli.com/), and you will be notified by mail each time a report is posted and provided with a website link to access the report. If you already elected to receive shareholder reports electronically, you will not be affected by this change and you need not take any action. To elect to receive all future reports in paper free of charge, please contact your financial intermediary, or, if you invest directly with the Fund, you may call 800-422-3554 or send an email request to info@gabelli.com. Your election to receive reports in paper will apply to all funds held in your account if you invest through your financial intermediary or all funds held within the fund complex if you invest directly with the Fund.

Investment Objective. The Gabelli Global Utility & Income Trust is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company, organized as a Delaware statutory trust, registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). Gabelli Funds, LLC (the “Investment Adviser”) serves as investment adviser to the Fund. An investment in the Fund is not appropriate for all investors.

The Fund’s investment objective is to seek a consistent level of after tax total return with an emphasis currently on tax-advantaged qualified dividend income. No assurance can be given that the Fund will achieve its investment objective. The Fund will attempt to achieve its investment objective by investing, under normal market conditions, at least 80% of its assets in (i) equity securities (including common stock, preferred stock, convertible stock and options on these securities) of domestic and foreign companies involved to a substantial extent (i.e., at least 50% of the assets, gross income or net profits of a company is committed to or derived from) in providing (a) products, services or equipment for the generation or distribution of electricity, gas or water, (b) infrastructure operations such as airports, toll roads and municipal services and (c) telecommunications services such as telephone, telegraph, satellite, cable, microwave, radiotelephone, mobile communication and cellular, paging, electronic mail, videotext, voice communications, data communications and internet (collectively, the “Utilities Industry”) and (ii) securities (including preferred and debt securities, as well as government obligations) of issuers that are expected to periodically pay dividends or interest. The Fund’s 80% policy is not fundamental and shareholders will be notified if it is changed. In addition, under normal market conditions, at least 25% of the Fund’s assets will consist of securities (including preferred and debt securities) of domestic and foreign companies involved to a substantial extent in the Utilities Industry. The remaining Fund assets will generally be invested in other securities that the Investment Adviser views as not being correlated with the Fund’s Utilities Industry investments. Such investments may include convertible securities, securities of issuers subject to reorganization or other risk arbitrage investments, certain derivative instruments including equity contract for difference swap transactions, other debt securities (including obligations of the U.S. Government), and money market instruments. The Fund may invest without limitation in securities of foreign issuers and will generally be invested in securities of issuers located in at least three countries, including the United States. It is anticipated that, under normal market conditions, at least 40% of the Fund’s assets will be invested in foreign securities. Foreign securities are securities of issuers based outside the United States. The Fund considers an issuer to be based outside of the United States if (1) it is organized under the laws of, or has a principal office located in, another country; (2) the principal trading market for its securities is in another country; or (3) it (directly or through its consolidated subsidiaries) derived in its most current fiscal year at least 50% of its total assets, capitalization, gross revenue or profit from goods produced, services performed or sales made in another country. The Fund may purchase sponsored


American Depository Receipts (“ADRs”) or U.S. dollar denominated securities of foreign issuers, which will be considered foreign securities for purposes of the Fund’s investment policies. Typically, the Fund will not hold any foreign securities of emerging market issuers and, if it does, such securities are not expected to comprise more than 10% of the Fund’s managed assets. The Fund expects to invest in securities across all market capitalization ranges. The Fund may invest up to 10% of its total assets in securities rated below investment grade by recognized statistical rating agencies or unrated securities of comparable quality, including securities of issuers in default, which are likely to have the lowest rating. Securities rated below investment grade, which may be preferred shares or debt, are predominantly speculative and involve major risk exposure to adverse conditions. Securities that are rated lower than “BBB” by S&P, or lower than “Baa” by Moody’s or unrated securities considered by the Investment Adviser to be of comparable quality, are commonly referred to as “junk bonds” or “high yield” securities.

We may offer, from time to time, in one or more offerings, our common and/or fixed rate preferred shares, each with a par value $0.001 per share (together, “shares”), our promissory notes (“notes”), and/or our subscription rights to purchase our common and/or fixed rate preferred shares, which we refer to collectively as the “securities.” Securities may be offered at prices and on terms to be set forth in one or more supplements to this Prospectus (each, a “Prospectus Supplement”). You should read this Prospectus and the applicable Prospectus Supplement carefully before you invest in our securities.

Our securities may be offered directly to one or more purchasers, through agents designated from time to time by us, or to or through underwriters or dealers. The Prospectus Supplement relating to the offering will identify any agents or underwriters involved in the sale of our securities, and will set forth any applicable purchase price, fee, commission or discount arrangement between us and our agents or underwriters, or among our underwriters, or the basis upon which such amount may be calculated. The Prospectus Supplement relating to any sale of preferred shares will set forth the liquidation preference and information about the dividend period, dividend rate, any call protection or non-call period and other matters. The Prospectus Supplement relating to any sale of notes will set forth the principal amount, interest rate, interest payment dates, maturities, prepayment protection (if any) and other matters. The Prospectus Supplement relating to any offering of subscription rights will set forth the number of common and/or preferred shares issuable upon the exercise of each right and the other terms of such rights offering. We may offer subscription rights for common shares, preferred shares or common and preferred shares. We may not sell any of our securities through agents, underwriters or dealers without delivery of a Prospectus Supplement describing the method and terms of the particular offering of our securities.

Our common shares are listed on the NYSE American LLC (the “NYSE American”) under the symbol “GLU.” On August 10, 2021, the last reported sale price of our common shares was $21.61. The net asset value of the Fund’s common shares at the close of business on August 10, 2021, was $21.38 per share. Our Series A Cumulative Puttable and Callable Preferred Shares (“Series A Preferred Shares”) and Series B Cumulative Puttable and Callable Preferred Shares (“Series B Preferred Shares”) are listed on the NYSE American under the symbol “GLU Pr A” and “GLU Pr B,” respectively. On August 10, 2021, the last reported sales price per share of each of Series A Preferred Shares and Series B Preferred Shares was $46.94 and $51.56, respectively.

Shares of closed-end funds often trade at a discount from net asset value. This creates a risk of loss for an investor purchasing shares in a public offering.

Investing in the Fund’s securities involves risks. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations” beginning on page 8, “Risk Factors and Special Considerations — Special Risks to Holders of Common Shares” beginning on page 48, and “Risk Factors and Special Considerations — Special Risks of Notes to Holders of Preferred Shares” beginning on page 48, for factors that should be considered before investing in securities of the Fund, including risks related to a leveraged capital structure.

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

This Prospectus may not be used to consummate sales of securities by us through agents, underwriters or dealers unless accompanied by a Prospectus Supplement.

This Prospectus, together with an applicable Prospectus Supplement, sets forth concisely the information about the Fund that a prospective investor should know before investing. You should read this Prospectus, together with an applicable Prospectus Supplement, which contains important information about the Fund, before deciding whether to invest in the securities, and retain it for future reference. A Statement of Additional Information, dated                 , 2021, containing additional information about the Fund, has been filed with the SEC and is incorporated by reference in its entirety into this Prospectus. You may request a free copy of our annual and semiannual reports, request a free copy of the Statement of Additional Information, the table of contents of which is on page 77 of this Prospectus, or request other information about us and make shareholder inquiries by calling (800) GABELLI (422-3554) or by writing to the Fund. You may also obtain a copy of the Statement of Additional Information (and other information regarding the Fund) from the SEC’s website (http://www.sec.gov). Our annual and semiannual reports are also available on our website (www.gabelli.com). The Statement of Additional Information is only updated in connection with an offering and is therefore not available on the Fund’s website.


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

You should rely only on the information contained or incorporated by reference in this Prospectus and any applicable Prospectus Supplement. The Fund has not authorized anyone to provide you with different information. The Fund is not making an offer to sell these securities in any state where the offer or sale is not permitted. You should not assume that the information contained in this Prospectus and any applicable Prospectus Supplement is accurate as of any date other than the date of this Prospectus or the date of the applicable Prospectus Supplement.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

     Page  

PROSPECTUS SUMMARY

     1  

SUMMARY OF FUND EXPENSES

     11  

USE OF PROCEEDS

     13  

THE FUND

     13  

INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE AND POLICIES

     13  

RISK FACTORS AND SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

     24  

HOW THE FUND MANAGES RISK

     51  

MANAGEMENT OF THE FUND

     52  

PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS

     53  

DIVIDENDS AND DISTRIBUTIONS

     54  

AUTOMATIC DIVIDEND REINVESTMENT AND VOLUNTARY CASH PURCHASE PLANS

     55  

DESCRIPTION OF THE SECURITIES

     56  

ANTI-TAKEOVER PROVISIONS OF THE FUND’S GOVERNING DOCUMENTS

     67  

CLOSED-END FUND STRUCTURE

     68  

REPURCHASE OF COMMON SHARES

     68  

RIGHTS OFFERINGS

     69  

TAXATION

     69  

CUSTODIAN, TRANSFER AGENT AND DIVIDEND DISBURSING AGENT

     72  

PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

     72  

LEGAL MATTERS

     73  

INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

     74  

AVAILABLE INFORMATION

     75  

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE

     75  

PRIVACY PRINCIPLES OF THE FUND

     76  

SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     76  

TABLE OF CONTENTS OF STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

     77  

CORPORATE BOND RATINGS

     A-1  


PROSPECTUS SUMMARY

This is only a summary. This summary may not contain all of the information that you should consider before investing in our securities. You should review the more detailed information contained in this prospectus (this “Prospectus”), including the section titled “Risk Factors and Special Considerations” beginning on page 8, the applicable prospectus supplement thereto and the Statement of Additional Information, dated                 , 2021 (the “SAI”).

 

The Fund    The Gabelli Global Utility & Income Trust is a closed-end, non-diversified management investment company organized as a Delaware statutory trust on March 8, 2004. Throughout this Prospectus, we refer to The Gabelli Global Utility & Income Trust as the “Fund” or as “we.” See “The Fund” in the Prospectus.
   The Fund’s outstanding common shares, par value $0.001 per share, are listed on the NYSE American LLC (“NYSE American”) under the symbol “GLU,” and the Fund’s outstanding Series A Cumulative Puttable and Callable Preferred Shares (the “Series A Preferred Shares”) and Series B Cumulative Puttable and Callable Preferred Shares (the “Series B Preferred Shares”) are listed on the NYSE American under the symbol “GLU Pr A” and “GLU Pr B,” respectively. On August 10, 2021, the last reported sale price of our common shares was $21.61. The net asset value of the Fund’s common shares at the close of business on August 10, 2021 was $21.38 per share. As of August 10, 2021, the net assets of the Fund attributable to its common shares were $115,232,026. As of August 10, 2021, the Fund had outstanding 5,375,089 common shares; 32,529 Series A Preferred Shares at a liquidation value of $50 per share; and 1,258,029 Series B Preferred Shares at a liquidation value of $50 per share. The Series A Preferred Shares and the Series B Preferred Shares have the same seniority with respect to distributions and liquidation preference.
The Offering    We may offer, from time to time, in one or more offerings, our common and/or fixed rate preferred shares, $0.001 par value per share, our notes, or our subscription rights to purchase our common or fixed rate preferred shares or both, which we refer to collectively as the “securities.” The securities may be offered at prices and on terms to be set forth in one or more supplements to this Prospectus (each a “Prospectus Supplement”). The offering price per common share of the Fund will not be less than the net asset value per common share at the time we make the offering, exclusive of any underwriting commissions or discounts, provided that transferable rights offerings that meet certain conditions may be offered at a price below the then current net asset value per common share of the Fund. See “Rights Offerings” in the Prospectus. You should read this Prospectus and the applicable Prospectus Supplement carefully before you invest in our securities. Our securities may be offered directly to one or more purchasers, through agents designated from time to time by us, or through underwriters or dealers. The Prospectus Supplement relating to the offering will identify any agents, underwriters or dealers involved in the sale of our shares, and will set forth any applicable purchase price, fee, commission or discount arrangement between us and our agents or underwriters, or among our underwriters, or the basis upon which such amount may be calculated. The Prospectus Supplement relating to any sale of preferred shares will set forth the liquidation preference and information about the dividend period, dividend rate, any call protection or non-call period and other matters. The Prospectus Supplement relating to any sale of notes will set forth the principal amount, interest rate, interest payment dates, maturities, prepayment protection (if any), and other matters. The Prospectus Supplement relating to any offering of subscription rights will set forth the number of common and/or preferred shares issuable upon the exercise of each right and the other terms of such rights offering.
   While the aggregate number and amount of securities we may issue pursuant to this registration statement is limited to $150,000,000 of securities, our Board of Trustees (each member a “Trustee,” and collectively, the “Board” or the “Board of Trustees”) may, without any action by the shareholders, amend our Second Amended and Restated Agreement and Declaration of Trust (“Agreement and Declaration of Trust”) from time to time to increase or decrease the aggregate number of shares or the number of shares of any class or series that we have authority to issue. We may not sell any of our securities through agents, underwriters or dealers without delivery of a Prospectus Supplement describing the method and terms of the particular offering.

 

1


Investment Objective and Policies   

The Fund’s investment objective is to seek a consistent level of after tax total return with an emphasis currently on tax-advantaged qualified dividend income.

 

The Fund will attempt to achieve its investment objective by investing, under normal market conditions, at least 80% of its assets in (i) equity securities (including common stock, preferred stock, convertible stock and options on these securities) of domestic and foreign companies involved to a substantial extent (i.e., at least 50% of the assets, gross income or net profits of a company is committed to or derived from) in providing (a) products, services or equipment for the generation or distribution of electricity, gas or water, (b) infrastructure operations such as airports, toll roads and municipal services and (c) telecommunications services such as telephone, telegraph, satellite, cable, microwave, radiotelephone, mobile communication and cellular, paging, electronic mail, videotext, voice communications, data communications and internet (collectively, the “Utilities Industry”) and (ii) securities (including preferred and debt securities, as well as government obligations) of issuers that are expected to periodically pay dividends or interest. The Fund’s 80% policy is not fundamental and shareholders will be notified if it is changed. In addition, under normal market conditions, at least 25% of the Fund’s assets will consist of securities (including preferred and debt securities) of domestic and foreign companies involved to a substantial extent in the Utilities Industry. The remaining Fund assets will generally be invested in other securities that the Investment Adviser views as not being correlated with the Fund’s Utilities Industry investments. Such investments may include convertible securities, securities of issuers subject to reorganization or other risk arbitrage investments, certain derivative instruments including equity contract for difference swap transactions, other debt securities (including obligations of the U.S. Government), and money market instruments. The Fund may invest without limitation in securities of foreign issuers and will generally be invested in securities of issuers located in at least three countries, including the United States. It is anticipated that, under normal market conditions, at least 40% of the Fund’s assets will be invested in foreign securities. Foreign securities are securities of issuers based outside the United States. The Fund considers an issuer to be based outside of the United States if (1) it is organized under the laws of, or has a principal office located in, another country; (2) the principal trading market for its securities is in another country; or (3) it (directly or through its consolidated subsidiaries) derived in its most current fiscal year at least 50% of its total assets, capitalization, gross revenue or profit from goods produced, services performed or sales made in another country. The Fund may purchase sponsored American Depository Receipts (“ADRs”) or U.S. dollar denominated securities of foreign issuers, which will be considered foreign securities for purposes of the Fund’s investment policies. Typically, the Fund will not hold any foreign securities of emerging market issuers and, if it does, such securities are not expected to comprise more than 10% of the Fund’s managed assets. The Fund expects to invest in securities across all market capitalization ranges. The Fund may invest up to 10% of its total assets in securities rated below investment grade by recognized statistical rating agencies or unrated securities of comparable quality, including securities of issuers in default, which are likely to have the lowest rating. Securities rated below investment grade, which may be preferred shares or debt, are predominantly speculative and involve major risk exposure to adverse conditions. Securities that are rated lower than “BBB” by S&P, or lower than “Baa” by Moody’s or unrated securities considered by the Investment Adviser to be of comparable quality, are commonly referred to as “junk bonds” or “high yield” securities. No assurance can be given that the Fund will achieve its investment objective. See “Investment Objective and Policies” in the Prospectus.

 

The Fund is intended for investors seeking a consistent level of after-tax total return consisting of income (with a current emphasis on qualifying dividends) and long-term capital gain. It is not intended for those who wish to play short-term swings in the stock market.

 

2


   Gabelli Funds, LLC, a New York limited liability company, with offices at One Corporate Center, Rye, New York 10580-1422, serves as investment adviser to the Fund (the “Investment Adviser”). The Investment Adviser’s investment philosophy with respect to selecting investments in the Utilities Industry is to emphasize quality. The Investment Adviser will seek companies that have proven dividend records and sound financial structures. In addition, in making stock selections, the Fund’s Investment Adviser looks for securities that have a superior yield, as well as capital gains potential. The Investment Adviser seeks to identify assets that are selling in the public market at a discount to their private market value. The Investment Adviser defines private market value as the value informed purchasers are willing to pay to acquire assets with similar characteristics. The Investment Adviser also normally evaluates an issuer’s free cash flow and long-term earnings trends. Finally, the Investment Adviser looks for a catalyst, something indigenous to the company, its industry or country that will surface additional value.
Preferred Shares    The terms of each series of preferred shares may be fixed by the Board and may materially limit and/or qualify the rights of holders of the Fund’s common shares. If the Fund’s Board determines that it may be advantageous to the holders of the Fund’s common shares for the Fund to utilize additional leverage, the Fund may issue additional series of fixed rate preferred shares. Any fixed rate preferred shares issued by the Fund will pay distributions at a fixed rate. Leverage creates a greater risk of loss as well as a potential for more gains for the common shares than if leverage were not used. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—Special Risks to Holders of Common Shares—Leverage Risk” in the Prospectus. The Fund may also determine in the future to issue other forms of senior securities, such as securities representing debt, subject to the limitations of the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). The Fund may also borrow money, to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act.

 

3


Dividends and Distributions   

Preferred Shares Distributions. In accordance with the Fund’s Governing Documents (as defined below) and as required by the 1940 Act, all preferred shares of the Fund must have the same seniority with respect to distributions. Accordingly, no complete distribution due for a particular dividend period will be declared or paid on any series of preferred shares of the Fund for any dividend period, or part thereof, unless full cumulative dividends and distributions due through the most recent dividend payment dates for all series of outstanding preferred shares of the Fund are declared and paid. If full cumulative distributions due have not been declared and made on all outstanding preferred shares of the Fund, any distributions on such preferred shares will be made as nearly pro rata as possible in proportion to the respective amounts of distributions accumulated but unmade on each such series of preferred shares on the relevant dividend payment date. As used herein, “Governing Documents” means the Fund’s Agreement and Declaration of Trust and By-Laws, together with any amendments or supplements thereto, including any Statement of Preferences establishing a series of preferred shares.

 

The distributions to the Fund’s preferred shareholders for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, were comprised of net investment income and long term capital gains. The Fund’s annualized distributions may in the future contain a return of capital. Shareholders who receive the payment of a distribution consisting of a return of capital may be under the impression that they are receiving net profits when they are not. Shareholders should not assume that the source of a distribution from the Fund is net profit. The composition of each distribution is estimated based on the earnings of the Fund as of the record date for each distribution. The actual composition of each of the current year’s distributions will be based on the Fund’s investment activity through the end of the calendar year. In addition, any amount treated as a tax free return of capital will reduce a shareholder’s adjusted tax basis in its shares, thereby increasing the shareholder’s potential taxable gain or reducing the potential taxable loss on the sale of the shares.

 

Distributions on fixed rate preferred shares, at the applicable annual rate of the per share liquidation preference, are cumulative from the original issue date and are payable, when, as and if declared by the Board, out of funds legally available therefor. The holders of auction rate preferred shares are entitled to receive cash distributions, based on the applicable per share liquidation preference, that vary from dividend period to dividend period.

 

Common Shares Distributions. In order to allow its common shareholders to realize a predictable, but not assured, level of cash flow and some liquidity periodically on their investment without having to sell shares, the Fund has adopted a managed distribution policy of paying, on a monthly basis, a minimum distribution at an annual rate equal to 6% of the Fund’s initial public offering price of $20.00 per common share. Pursuant to this policy, the Fund intends to pay a distribution of $0.10 per share each month and, if necessary, an adjusting distribution in December which includes any additional income and realized net capital gains in excess of the monthly distributions for that year to satisfy the minimum distribution requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), to maintain its status as a “regulated investment company” under Subchapter M of the Code (“RIC”) and avoid paying U.S. federal excise tax. As a RIC under the Code, the Fund will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on any taxable income that it distributes to shareholders, provided that at least 90% of its investment company taxable income for that taxable year is distributed to its shareholders. See “Taxation” in the Prospectus.

 

Under the Fund’s distribution policy, the Fund declares and pays monthly distributions from net investment income, capital gains, and paid-in capital. The actual source of the distribution is determined after the end of the year. If the Fund does not generate sufficient earnings (dividends and interest income and realized net capital gain) equal to or in excess of the aggregate distributions paid by the Fund in a given year, then the amount distributed in excess of the Fund’s earnings would be deemed a return of capital to the extent of the shareholder’s tax basis in the shares (reducing the basis accordingly) and as capital gains thereafter. Since a return of capital is considered a return of a portion of a shareholder’s original investment, it is generally not taxable and is treated as a reduction in the shareholder’s cost basis, thereby increasing the shareholder’s potential taxable gain or reducing the potential taxable loss on the

 

4


   sale of the shares. In determining the extent to which a distribution will be treated as being made from the Fund’s earnings and profits, earnings and profits will be allocated on a pro rata basis first to distributions with respect to preferred shares, and then to the Fund’s common shares. Under federal tax regulations, some or all of the return of capital distributed by the Fund may be taxable as ordinary income in certain circumstances. This may occur when the Fund has a capital loss carry forward, net capital gains are realized in a fiscal year, and distributions are made in excess of investment company taxable income.
  

Distributions sourced from paid-in capital should not be considered as the dividend yield or total return of an investment in the Fund. Shareholders who receive the payment of a distribution consisting of a return of capital may be under the impression that they are receiving net profits when they are not. Shareholders should not assume that the source of a distribution from the Fund is net profit.

 

During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, the Fund made distributions of $1.20 per common share, comprised of return of capital. A portion of the Fund’s common share distributions for many years has included a return of capital. When the Fund makes distributions consisting of returns of capital, such distributions may further decrease the Fund’s total assets and, therefore have the likely effect of increasing the Fund’s expense ratio as the Fund’s fixed expenses will become a larger percentage of the Fund’s average net assets. In addition, in order to make such distributions, the Fund may have to sell a portion of its investment portfolio at a time when independent investment judgment may not dictate such action. These effects could have a negative impact on the prices investors receive when they sell shares of the Fund.

 

The Fund’s distribution policy, including its policy to pay monthly distributions and the annualized amount that the Fund seeks to distribute, may be modified from time to time by the Board as it deems appropriate, including in light of market and economic conditions and the Fund’s current, expected and historical earnings and investment performance. Common shareholders are expected to be notified of any such modifications by press release or in the Fund’s periodic shareholder reports.

 

Limitations on Distributions. If at any time the Fund has borrowings outstanding, the Fund will be prohibited from paying any distributions on any of its common shares (other than in additional shares) and from repurchasing any of its common shares or preferred shares, unless the value of its total assets, less certain ordinary course liabilities, exceed 300% of the amount of the debt outstanding and exceed 200% of the sum of the amount of debt and preferred shares outstanding. In addition, in such circumstances the Fund will be prohibited from paying any distributions on its preferred shares unless the value of its total assets, less certain ordinary course liabilities, exceed 200% of the amount of debt outstanding.

Indebtedness    Under applicable state law and our Agreement and Declaration of Trust, we may borrow money without prior approval of holders of common and preferred shares. We may issue debt securities, including notes, or other evidence of indebtedness and may secure any such notes or borrowings by mortgaging, pledging or otherwise subjecting as security our assets to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act or rating agency guidelines. Any borrowings, including without limitation any notes, will rank senior to the preferred shares and the common shares. The Prospectus Supplement will describe the interest payment provisions relating to notes. Interest on notes will be payable when due as described in the related Prospectus Supplement. If we do not pay interest when due, it will trigger an event of default and we will be restricted from declaring dividends and making other distributions with respect to our common shares and preferred shares.

 

5


Derivatives Transactions   

The Fund may enter into derivatives transactions or engage in investment management techniques that have leverage embedded in them, which will not be considered senior securities if the Fund establishes a segregated account with cash or other liquid assets, sets aside assets on its accounting records equal to the Fund’s obligations in respect of such transactions or techniques or enters into an offsetting position. See “Investment Objective and Policies—Certain Investment Practices” in the Prospectus and “Investment Objective and Policies—Additional Investment Policies” in the Statement of Additional Information. Such transactions entail certain execution, market, liquidity, counterparty, correlation, volatility, hedging, and tax risks. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—Special Risks Related to Investment in Derivatives” in the Prospectus.

 

Because derivative transactions in which the Fund may engage may involve instruments that are not traded on an Exchange or cleared through a central counterparty but are instead traded between counterparties based on contractual relationships, the Fund is subject to the risk that a counterparty will not perform its obligations under the related contracts. Additionally, although both over the counter (“OTC”) and exchange-traded derivatives markets may experience a lack of liquidity, OTC non-standardized derivative transactions are generally less liquid than exchange-traded instruments. The illiquidity of the derivatives markets may be due to various factors, including congestion, disorderly markets, limitations on deliverable supplies, the participation of speculators, government regulation and intervention, and technical and operational or system failures. The use of derivative transactions also presents certain tax risks depending on the character of income, gain, loss and deduction related to the instrument (ordinary vs. capital) and the timing of recognition of income, gain, loss and deduction. While hedging can reduce or eliminate losses arising from derivative transactions, it can also reduce or eliminate gains. Hedges are sometimes subject to imperfect matching between the derivative and the underlying security, and there can be no assurances that the Fund’s hedging transactions will be effective.

Use of Proceeds   

The Fund will use the net proceeds from the offering to purchase portfolio securities in accordance with its Investment Objective and Policies. The Investment Adviser anticipates that the investment of the proceeds will be made as appropriate investment opportunities are identified, which is expected to substantially be completed within three months; however, changes in market conditions could result in the Fund’s anticipated investment period extending to as long as six months. This could occur if market conditions are unstable to such an extent that the Investment Adviser believes market risk is greater than the benefit of making additional investments at that time. Depending on market conditions and operations, a portion of the proceeds to be identified in any relevant Prospectus Supplement may be used to pay distributions in accordance with the Fund’s distribution policy.

 

The Fund may also use the net proceeds from the offering to call, redeem or repurchase shares of its Series A Preferred Shares or Series B Preferred Shares, as applicable. To the extent permitted by the 1940 Act and Delaware law, the Fund may at any time upon notice redeem the Series A Preferred Shares in whole or in part at a price equal to the $50 liquidation preference per share plus accumulated but unpaid dividends through the date of redemption. The distribution rate on the Series A Preferred Shares is 3.8%. The Fund will redeem all or any part of the Series B Preferred Shares that holders have properly submitted for redemption and not withdrawn during the 30-day period prior to each of December 26, 2021 and December 26, 2023 at the liquidation preference, plus any accumulated and unpaid dividends. The Series B Preferred Shares paid distributions quarterly at an annualized dividend rate of 7.00% of the $50 per share liquidation preference for the quarterly dividend periods ending on or prior to December 26, 2019 (Year 1). During the last dividend period of Year 1, the Board determined that the dividend rate for the next eight quarterly dividend periods (Year 2 and Year 3) will be 4.00%. During the last dividend period occurring in Year 3, the Board will determine and publicly announce at least 30 days prior to the end of such dividend period a fixed annual dividend rate that will apply for all remaining dividend periods. The reset dividend rate will be neither less than an annualized rate of 4.00% nor greater than an annualized rate of 7.00%. See “Description of the Securities—Preferred Shares” in the Prospectus for a definition of “Year 1,” “Year 2” and “Year 3.”

 

See “Use of Proceeds” in the Prospectus.

 

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Exchange Listing    The Fund’s common shares are listed on the NYSE American under the trading or “ticker” symbol “GLU.” The Fund’s Series Preferred A are listed on the NYSE American under the ticker symbol “GLU Pr A,” and the Fund’s Series Preferred B are listed on the NYSE American under the ticker symbol “GLU Pr B.” See “Description of the Securities” in the Prospectus. The Fund’s common shares have historically traded at a discount to the Fund’s net asset value. Since the Fund commenced trading on the NYSE American, the Fund’s common shares have traded at a discount to net asset value as high as (24.5)% and a premium as high as 10.2%. Any additional series of fixed rate preferred shares or subscription rights issued in the future pursuant to a Prospectus Supplement by the Fund would also likely be listed on the NYSE American.

 

7


Risk Factors and Special Considerations   

Risk is inherent in all investing and you could lose all or any portion of the amount you invest in our securities. Therefore, before investing in our securities, you should consider the risks described in this Prospectus and any Prospectus Supplement carefully. The following is only a summary of certain risks of investing in the Fund described in more detail elsewhere in this Prospectus and any applicable Prospectus Supplement. Before you invest, you should read the full summary of the risks of investing in the Fund, beginning on page 24 this Prospectus under the heading “Risk Factors and Special Considerations,” and in any accompanying Prospectus Supplement.

 

COVID-19, and concern about its spread has resulted in severe disruptions to global financial markets, restrictions on travel and gatherings of any measurable amount of people, including quarantines, expedited and enhanced health screenings, business and school closings, disruptions to employment and supply chains and reduced productivity, all of which have severely impacted business activity in virtually all economies, markets and sectors and negatively impacted the value of many financial and other assets.

 

The current economic situation and the unprecedented measures taken by state, local and national governments around the world to combat the spread of COVID-19, as well as various social, political and psychological tensions in the United States and around the world, may continue to contribute to severe market disruptions and volatility and reduced economic activity, may have long-term negative effects on the U.S. and worldwide financial markets and economy and may cause further economic uncertainties in the United States and worldwide. It is difficult to predict how long the financial markets and economic activity will continue to be impacted by these events and the Fund cannot predict the effects of these or similar events in the future on the U.S. economy and securities markets. It is virtually impossible to determine the ultimate impact of COVID-19 at this time. Further, the extent and strength of any economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic abates, including following any “second wave,” “third wave” or other intensifying of the pandemic, is uncertain and subject to various factors and conditions. Accordingly, an investment in the Fund is subject to an elevated degree of risk as compared to other market environments. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) and Global Health Event Risk” in the Prospectus.

 

The Fund invests in foreign and domestic companies involved in the Utilities Industry and, as a result, the value of the common shares will be more susceptible to factors affecting those particular types of companies, including governmental regulation, inflation, cost increases in fuel and other operating expenses, technological innovations that may render existing products and equipment obsolete and increasing interest rates resulting in high interest costs on borrowings needed for product development, infrastructure and capital construction programs, including costs associated with compliance with environmental and other regulations.

 

Other risks related to the Fund’s portfolio investments include risks related to:

 

●    equity risk;

●    merger arbitrage;

●    investing in common stock, preferred stock, fixed-income securities, corporate bonds, non-investment grade securities, and restricted and illiquid securities;

●    investing in the direct obligations of the government of the United States or its agencies;

●    investing in securities of foreign issuers;

●    use of financial leverage; and

●    derivative transactions.

 

8


  

Special risks to investors in the Fund’s common shares include risks relating to the Fund’s common share distribution policy, dividends and use of leverage, the common shares’ market price and liquidity, dilution and portfolio turnover.

 

Special risks to investors in the Fund’s preferred shares include risks relating to the preferred shares’ market price and liquidity, distributions on the preferred shares, redemption, reinvestment and subordination.

 

Special risks to investors in the Fund’s notes include risks relating to the notes’ liquidity, market price (if traded) and terms of redemption.

 

Special risks to investors in the Fund’s preferred shares and notes include risks relating to common share repurchases, common share distributions and credit quality ratings.

 

Special risks to holders of the Fund’s subscription rights include risks relating to dilution, market price for subscription rights and the value of the rights.

 

Other general risks include risks related to:

 

●    the Fund’s classification as a “non-diversified” investment company, long term investment horizon, management and dependence on key personnel;

●    market risks, market disruptions and geopolitical events, economic events and market events, government intervention in the financial markets, and inflation;

●    the anti-takeover provisions in the Fund’s Governing Documents; and

●    the Fund’s status as a RIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

Management and Fees   

Gabelli Funds, LLC serves as the Fund’s Investment Adviser and is compensated for its services and its related expenses at an annual rate of 0.50% of the Fund’s average weekly net assets, plus assets attributable to any outstanding senior securities, with no deduction for the liquidation preference of any outstanding preferred shares or the principal amount of any outstanding notes. The Fund’s total assets for purposes of calculating the level of the management fee will include assets attributable to any outstanding senior securities, such as preferred shares (including the aggregate liquidation preference of any preferred shares and accumulated dividends, if any), or indebtedness, such as notes (including the aggregate principal amount of any such debt securities, plus accrued and unpaid interest thereon), as well as assets attributable to derivatives transactions or other investment management techniques, if any, which have the effect of leveraging the common shares. Consequently, since the Fund has preferred shares outstanding, and may invest in derivatives and use other investment management techniques that involve leverage the investment management fees and other expenses as a percentage of net assets attributable to common shares may be higher than if the Fund did not utilize a leveraged capital structure or engage in transactions that leverage the common shares.

 

Because the investment advisory fees are based on a percentage of total assets, which includes assets attributable to the Fund’s use of leverage, the Investment Adviser may have a conflict of interest in the input it provides to the Board regarding whether to use or increase the Fund’s use of leverage. The Board bases its decision, with input from the Investment Adviser, regarding whether and how much leverage to use for the Fund on its assessment of whether such use of leverage is in the best interests of the Fund, and the Board seeks to manage the Investment Adviser’s potential conflict of interest by retaining the final decision on these matters and by periodically reviewing the Fund’s performance and use of leverage.

 

See “Management of the Fund—General” in the Prospectus.

 

9


Repurchase of Common Shares    The Board has authorized the Fund to consider the repurchase of its common shares in the open market when the common shares are trading at a discount of 10% or more from net asset value (or such other percentage as the Board may determine from time to time). Although the Board has authorized such repurchases, the Fund is not required to repurchase its common shares. During the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, the Fund did not repurchase and retire any shares in the open market. Any repurchases are subject to certain notice and other requirements under the 1940 Act. See “Repurchase of Common Shares” in the Prospectus.
Anti-Takeover Provisions    Certain provisions of the Governing Documents may be regarded as “anti-takeover” provisions. Pursuant to these provisions, only one of three classes of Trustees is elected each year; an affirmative vote or consent of 66-2/3% of the outstanding shares entitled to vote is required for the conversion of the Fund from a closed-end to an open-end investment company or for the authorization of certain transactions between the Fund and a beneficial owner of 10% or more of the Fund’s outstanding shares, unless such action has been previously approved by both two-thirds of the Board and two-thirds of the Trustees who are not “interested persons” of the Fund (as defined in the 1940 Act), in which case, an affirmative vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities (as defined in the 1940 Act) is required; advance notice to the Fund of any shareholder proposal is required; and any shareholder proposing the nomination or election of a person as a Trustee must supply significant amounts of information designed to enable verification of whether such person satisfies the qualifications required of potential nominees to the Board of Trustees. The overall effect of these provisions is to render more difficult the accomplishment of a merger with, or the assumption of control by, a principal shareholder. These provisions may have the effect of depriving the Fund’s common shareholders of an opportunity to sell their shares at a premium to the prevailing market price. The issuance of preferred shares could make it more difficult for the holders of common shares to avoid the effect of these provisions. See “Anti-Takeover Provisions of the Fund’s Governing Documents” in the Prospectus.
Custodian    State Street Bank and Trust Company (“State Street”), whose principal address is One Lincoln Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, serves as the custodian (the “Custodian”) of the Fund’s assets pursuant to a custody agreement. Under the custody agreement, the Custodian holds the Fund’s assets in compliance with the 1940 Act. For its services, the Custodian will receive a monthly fee paid by the Fund based upon, among other things, the average value of the total assets of the Fund, plus certain charges for securities transactions and out of pocket expenses.
Transfer Agent and Dividend Disbursing Agent    Computershare Trust Company, N.A. (“Computershare”), whose principal address is 150 Royall Street, Canton, Massachusetts 02021, serves as the Fund’s dividend disbursing agent, as agent under the Fund’s automatic dividend reinvestment and voluntary cash payment plans and as transfer agent and registrar with respect to the common shares and preferred shares of the Fund.

 

10


SUMMARY OF FUND EXPENSES

The following table shows the Fund’s expenses, including preferred shares offering expenses, as a percentage of net assets attributable to common shares. All expenses of the Fund are borne, directly or indirectly, by the common shareholders. The purpose of the table and example below is to help you understand all fees and expenses that you, as a holder of common shares, would bear directly or indirectly.

 

Shareholder Transaction Expenses

  

Sales Load (as a percentage of offering price)

                   1.43%(1)

Offering Expenses Borne by the Fund (excluding Preferred Shares Offering Expenses) (as a percentage of offering price)

                   0.68%(1)

Dividend Reinvestment and Cash Purchase Plan Fees

  

Purchase Transaction

                          $0.75(2)

Sale Transaction

                          $2.50(2)

Preferred Shares Offering Expenses Borne by the Fund (as a percentage of net assets attributable to common shares)

                   0.23%(3)
     Percentage of Net Assets
        Attributable to Common Shares         

Annual Expenses (as a percentage of net assets attributable to common shares)

  

Management Fees

                         0.72%(4)

Interest Payments on Borrowed Funds

                     None(5)

Other Expenses

                   0.29%(4)
  

 

Total Annual Expenses

                        1.01%

Dividends on Preferred Shares

                   1.90%(6)
  

 

Total Annual Expenses and Dividends on Preferred Shares

                   2.91%(4)
  

 

 

(1)

Estimated maximum amount based on offering of $100 million in common shares and $25 million in preferred shares. The estimates assume a 1.00% sales load on common shares and $848,000 in common offering expenses, and a 3.15% sales load on preferred shares and $462,000 in preferred offering expenses. The total sales load was estimated by adding together the dollar amount of the estimated sales loads on the estimated common and preferred share offerings, and dividing by the total maximum offering price of securities that may be sold pursuant to this registration statement. Sales load on preferred shares is an expense borne by the Fund and indirectly by the holders of its common shares. This estimated expense, which amounts to $787,500, based on the estimated preferred share offering amount of $25 million, is reflected in the expense example following this table, and reflects an expense to common shareholders that is estimated to equal less than 1% of net assets attributable to common shares, assuming net assets attributable to common shares of $201 million (which includes issuance of $100 million in common shares). Actual sales loads and offering expenses may be higher or lower than these estimates and will be set forth in the Prospectus Supplement if applicable.

 

(2)

Shareholders participating in the Fund’s Automatic Dividend Reinvestment Plan do not incur any additional fees. Shareholders participating in the Voluntary Cash Purchase Plan would pay $0.75 plus their pro rata share of brokerage commissions for transactions to purchase shares and $2.50 plus their pro rata share of brokerage commissions per transaction to sell shares. See “Automatic Dividend Reinvestment and Voluntary Cash Purchase Plan.”

 

(3)

Assumes issuance of $25 million in liquidation preference of fixed rate preferred shares, net assets attributable to common shares of approximately $201 million (which includes issuance of $100 million in common shares) and $462,000 in preferred offering expenses. The actual amounts in connection with any offering will be set forth in the Prospectus Supplement if applicable.

 

(4)

The Investment Adviser’s fee is 0.50% annually of the Fund’s average weekly net assets, plus assets attributable to any outstanding senior securities, with no deduction for the liquidation preference of any outstanding preferred shares or the principal amount of any outstanding notes. Consequently, if the Fund has preferred shares or notes outstanding, the investment management fees and other expenses as a percentage of net assets attributable to common shares will be higher than if the Fund does not utilize a leveraged capital structure. “Other Expenses” are based on estimated amounts for the current year assuming completion of the proposed issuances.

 

(5)

The Fund has no current intention of borrowing from a lender or issuing notes during the one year following the date of this Prospectus.

 

(6)

The Dividends on preferred shares represent distributions on the existing preferred shares outstanding and assuming $25 million of preferred shares are issued with a fixed dividend rate of 5.00%, with no mandatory call date. There can, of course, be no guarantee that any preferred shares would be issued or, if issued, the terms thereof.

For a more complete description of the various costs and expenses a common shareholder would bear in connection with the issuance and ongoing maintenance of any preferred shares or notes issued by the Fund, see “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—Special Risks to Holders of Common Shares—Leverage Risk.”

 

11


The following example illustrates the expenses you would pay on a $1,000 investment in common shares, followed by a preferred share offering, assuming a 5% annual portfolio total return.* The expenses illustrated in the following example include the maximum estimated sales load on common shares of $10 and on preferred shares of $31.50, and estimated offering expenses of $1,310,000 from the issuance of $100 million in common shares and $25 million in preferred shares. The preferred shares sales load is spread over the Fund’s entire net assets attributable to common shares (assuming completion of the proposed issuances); therefore, the allocable portion of such sales load to a common shareholder making a $1,000 investment in these circumstances is estimated to be $4.21. The actual amounts in connection with any offering will be set forth in the Prospectus Supplement if applicable.

 

     1 Year      3 Years      5 Years      10 Years  

Total Expenses incurred

   $         43      $         103      $         165      $         333  

 

*

The example should not be considered a representation of future expenses. The example is based on total Annual Expenses and Dividends on Preferred Shares shown in the table above and assumes that the amounts set forth in the table do not change and that all distributions are reinvested at net asset value. Actual expenses may be greater or less than those assumed. Moreover, the Fund’s actual rate of return may be greater or less than the hypothetical 5% return shown in the example.

The example includes Dividends on Preferred Shares. If Dividends on Preferred Shares were not included in the example calculation, the expenses for the 1-, 3-, 5- and 10-year periods in the table above would be as follows (based on the same assumptions as above): $24, $46, $69 and $136.

 

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USE OF PROCEEDS

The Investment Adviser expects that it will initially invest the proceeds of the offering in high quality short term debt securities and instruments. The Investment Adviser anticipates that the investment of the proceeds will be made in accordance with the Fund’s investment objective and policies as appropriate investment opportunities are identified, which is expected to substantially be completed within three months; however, changes in market conditions could result in the Fund’s anticipated investment period extending to as long as six months. This could occur if market conditions are unstable to such an extent that the Investment Adviser believes market risk is greater than the benefit of making additional investments at that time. Depending on market conditions and operations, a portion of the cash held by the Fund, including any proceeds raised from the offering to be identified in any relevant Prospectus Supplement, may be used to pay distributions in accordance with the Fund’s distribution policy. Such distribution may include a return of capital and should not be considered as dividend yield or the total return from an investment in the Fund.

The Fund may also use the net proceeds from the offering to call, redeem or repurchase shares of its Series A Preferred Shares or Series B Preferred Shares, as applicable. To the extent permitted by the 1940 Act and Delaware law, the Fund may at any time upon notice redeem the Series A Preferred Shares in whole or in part at a price equal to the $50 liquidation preference per share plus accumulated but unpaid dividends through the date of redemption. The distribution rate on the Series A Preferred Shares is 3.8%. The Fund will redeem all or any part of the Series B Preferred Shares that holders have properly submitted for redemption and not withdrawn during the 30-day period prior to each of December 26, 2021 and December 26, 2023 at the liquidation preference, plus any accumulated and unpaid dividends. The Series B Preferred Shares paid distributions quarterly at an annualized dividend rate of 7.00% of the $50 per share liquidation preference for the quarterly dividend periods ending on or prior to December 26, 2019 (Year 1). During the last dividend period of Year 1, the Board determined that the dividend rate for the next eight quarterly dividend periods (Year 2 and Year 3) will be 4.00%. During the last dividend period occurring in Year 3, the Board will determine and publicly announce at least 30 days prior to the end of such dividend period a fixed annual dividend rate that will apply for all remaining dividend periods. The reset dividend rate will be neither less than an annualized rate of 4.00% nor greater than an annualized rate of 7.00%. See “Description of the Securities—Preferred Shares” in the Prospectus for a definition of “Year 1,” “Year 2” and “Year 3.”

THE FUND

The Fund is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company registered under the 1940 Act. The Fund was organized as a Delaware statutory trust on March 8, 2004, pursuant to an Agreement and Declaration of Trust governed by the laws of the State of Delaware. The Fund commenced its investment operations on May 28, 2004. The Fund’s principal office is located at One Corporate Center, Rye, New York 10580-1422 and its telephone is (800) 422-3554.

INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE AND POLICIES

Investment Objective and Policies

The Fund’s investment objective is to seek a consistent level of after-tax total return over the long-term with an emphasis currently on qualifying dividends. The Fund will attempt to achieve its investment objective by investing, under normal market conditions, at least 80% of its assets in (i) equity securities (including common stock, preferred stock, convertible stock and options on these securities) of domestic and foreign companies involved to a substantial extent (i.e., at least 50% of the assets, gross income or net profits of a company is committed to or derived from) in providing (a) products, services or equipment for the generation or distribution of electricity, gas or water, (b) infrastructure operations such as airports, toll roads and municipal services and (c) telecommunications services such as telephone, telegraph, satellite, cable, microwave, radiotelephone, mobile communication and cellular, paging, electronic mail, videotext, voice communications, data communications and internet (collectively, the “Utilities Industry”) and (ii) securities (including preferred and debt securities, as well as government obligations) of issuers that are expected to periodically pay dividends or interest. The Fund’s 80% policy is not fundamental and shareholders will be notified if it is changed. In addition, under normal market conditions, at least 25% of the Fund’s assets will consist of securities (including preferred and debt securities) of domestic and foreign companies involved to a substantial extent in the Utilities Industry. The remaining Fund assets will generally be invested in other securities that the Investment Adviser views as not being correlated with the Fund’s Utilities Industry investments. Such investments may include convertible securities, securities of issuers subject to reorganization or other risk arbitrage investments, certain derivative instruments including equity contract for difference swap transactions, other debt securities (including obligations of the U.S. Government), and money market instruments. The Fund may invest without limitation in securities of foreign issuers and will generally be invested in securities of issuers located in at least three countries, including the United States. It is anticipated that, under normal market conditions, at least 40% of the Fund’s assets will be invested in foreign securities. Foreign securities are securities of issuers based outside the United States. The Fund considers an issuer to be based outside of the United States if (1) it is organized under the laws of, or has a principal office located in, another country; (2) the principal trading market for

 

13


its securities is in another country; or (3) it (directly or through its consolidated subsidiaries) derived in its most current fiscal year at least 50% of its total assets, capitalization, gross revenue or profit from goods produced, services performed or sales made in another country. The Fund may purchase sponsored ADRs or U.S. dollar denominated securities of foreign issuers, which will be considered foreign securities for purposes of the Fund’s investment policies. Typically, the Fund will not hold any foreign securities of emerging market issuers and, if it does, such securities are not expected to comprise more than 10% of the Fund’s managed assets. The Fund expects to invest in securities across all market capitalization ranges. The Fund may invest up to 10% of its total assets in securities rated below investment grade by recognized statistical rating agencies or unrated securities of comparable quality, including securities of issuers in default, which are likely to have the lowest rating. Securities rated below investment grade, which may be preferred shares or debt, are predominantly speculative and involve major risk exposure to adverse conditions. Securities that are rated lower than “BBB” by S&P, or lower than “Baa” by Moody’s or unrated securities considered by the Investment Adviser to be of comparable quality, are commonly referred to as “junk bonds” or “high yield” securities.

No assurance can be given that the Fund’s investment objective will be achieved.

Investment Methodology of the Fund

In selecting securities for the Fund, the Investment Adviser normally considers the following factors, among others:

 

   

the industry of the issuer of a security;

   

the potential of the Fund to earn gains from writing covered call options on such securities;

   

the interest or dividend income generated by the securities;

   

the potential for capital appreciation of the securities;

   

the prices of the securities relative to comparable securities;

   

whether the securities are entitled to the benefits of call protection or other protective covenants;

   

the existence of any anti-dilution protections or guarantees of the security; and

   

the number and size of investments of the portfolio as to issuers.

The Investment Adviser’s investment philosophy with respect to debt and equity securities is to identify assets that are selling in the public market at a discount to their private market value. The Investment Adviser defines private market value as the value informed purchasers are willing to pay to acquire assets with similar characteristics. The Investment Adviser also normally evaluates an issuer’s free cash flow and long-term earnings trends. Finally, the Investment Adviser looks for a catalyst, something indigenous to the company, its industry or country that will surface additional value.

Certain Investment Practices

Utilities Industry Concentration. Under normal market conditions the Fund will invest at least 25% of its assets in the securities (including preferred and debt securities) of domestic and foreign companies involved to a substantial extent in the Utilities Industry.

Tax-Advantaged Qualified Dividends. The Fund’s investments will emphasize securities that will pay tax-advantaged qualified dividends. For the Fund to receive tax-advantaged qualified dividends, the Fund must, in addition to other requirements, hold the otherwise qualified stock for more than 60 days during the 121-day period beginning 60 days before the ex-dividend date (or, in the case of preferred stock, more than 90 days during the 181-day period beginning 90 days before the ex-dividend date). The “ex-dividend date” is the date which is established by a stock exchange (usually two business days before the record date) whereby the owner of a security at the commencement of such date is entitled to receive the next issued dividend payment for such security, even if the security is sold by such owner on the ex-dividend date or thereafter. In addition, for dividends to be tax-advantaged qualified dividends, the Fund cannot have an option to sell or be under a contractual obligation to sell (pursuant to a short sale or otherwise) substantially identical stock or securities. Accordingly, the Fund’s writing of call options may, depending on the terms of the option, adversely impact the Fund’s ability to pay tax-advantaged qualified dividends. For an individual shareholder to be taxed at the rates applicable to tax-advantaged qualified dividends on dividends received from the Fund that are attributable to tax-advantaged qualified dividends received by the Fund, the shareholder must hold its common shares for more than 61 days during the 121-day period beginning 60 days before the ex-dividend date for the Fund’s common shares (or, in the case of preferred stock, more than 91 days during the 181-day period beginning 90 days before the ex-dividend date for the Fund’s preferred shares). Consequently, short-term investors in the Fund may not realize the benefits of tax-advantaged qualified dividends. There can be no assurance as to the portion of the Fund’s dividends that will be tax-advantaged.

 

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Foreign Securities. Subject to the Fund’s other policies including investing at least 25% of its assets in the Utilities Industry, the Fund may invest without limit in the securities of foreign issuers, which are generally denominated in foreign currencies. The Fund expects to generally be invested in securities of issuers located in at least three countries, including the United States and possibly including developing countries. It is anticipated that, under normal market conditions, at least 40% of the Fund’s assets will be invested in foreign securities. Typically, the Fund will not hold any foreign securities of emerging market issuers and, if it does, such securities are not expected to comprise more than 10% of the Fund’s managed assets.

The Investment Adviser believes that investing in foreign securities offers both enhanced investment opportunities and additional risks beyond those present in U.S. securities. Investing in foreign securities may provide increased diversification by adding securities from various foreign countries (i) that offer different investment opportunities, (ii) that generally are affected by different economic trends and (iii) whose stock markets may not be correlated with U.S. markets. At the same time, these opportunities and trends involve risks that may not be encountered in U.S. investments.

The following considerations comprise both risks and opportunities not typically associated with investing in U.S. securities: fluctuations in exchange rates of foreign currencies; possible imposition of exchange control regulations or currency restrictions that would prevent cash from being brought back to the United States; less public information with respect to issuers of securities; less government supervision of stock exchanges, securities brokers and issuers of securities; the difficulty in obtaining or enforcing a court judgment abroad; lack of uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards; lack of uniform settlement periods and trading practices; less liquidity and frequently greater price volatility in foreign markets than in the United States; possible imposition of foreign taxes; the possibility of expropriation or confiscatory taxation, seizure or nationalization of foreign bank deposits or other assets; the adoption of foreign government restrictions and other adverse political, social or diplomatic developments that could affect investment; sometimes less advantageous legal, operational and financial protections applicable to foreign sub-custodial arrangements; and the historically lower level of responsiveness of foreign management to shareholder concerns (such as dividends and return on investment).

The Fund may purchase sponsored ADRs or U.S. dollar denominated securities of foreign issuers, which will be considered foreign securities for purposes of the Fund’s investment policies. ADRs are receipts issued by U.S. banks or trust companies in respect of securities of foreign issuers held on deposit for use in the U.S. securities markets. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—Foreign Securities.”

Income Securities. Although it is the Fund’s policy to invest in securities of companies in the Utilities Industry to the extent attractive opportunities are available, the Fund may also invest in income securities other than Utilities Industry securities that are expected to periodically accrue or generate income for their holders. Such income securities include (i) fixed income securities such as bonds, debentures, notes, preferred stock, short-term discounted Treasury Bills or certain securities of the U.S. government sponsored instrumentalities, as well as money market mutual funds that invest in those securities, which, in the absence of an applicable exemptive order, will not be affiliated with the Investment Adviser, and (ii) common and preferred stocks of issuers that have historically paid periodic dividends. Fixed income securities obligate the issuer to pay to the holder of the security a specified return, which may be either fixed or reset periodically in accordance with the terms of the security. Fixed income securities generally are senior to an issuer’s common stock and their holders generally are entitled to receive amounts due before any distributions are made to common stockholders. Common stocks, on the other hand, generally do not obligate an issuer to make periodic distributions to holders.

The market value of fixed income securities, especially those that provide a fixed rate of return, may be expected to rise and fall inversely with interest rates and in general is affected by the credit rating of the issuer, the issuer’s performance and perceptions of the issuer in the market place. The market value of callable or redeemable fixed income securities may also be affected by the issuer’s call and redemption rights. In addition, it is possible that the issuer of fixed income securities may not be able to meet its interest or principal obligations to holders. Further, holders of non-convertible fixed income securities do not participate in any capital appreciation of the issuer.

The Fund may also invest in obligations of government sponsored instrumentalities. Unlike non-U.S. government securities, obligations of certain agencies and instrumentalities of the U.S. government, such as the Government National Mortgage Association, are supported by the “full faith and credit” of the U.S. government; others, such as those of the Export-Import Bank of the U.S., are supported by the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury; others, such as those of the Federal National Mortgage Association, are supported by the discretionary authority of the U.S. government to purchase the agency’s obligations; and still others, such as those of the Student Loan Marketing Association, are supported only by the credit of the instrumentality. No assurance can be given that the U.S. government would provide financial support to U.S. government sponsored instrumentalities if it is not obligated to do so by law. Although the Fund may invest in all types of obligations of agencies and instrumentalities of the U.S. government, the Fund currently intends to invest only in obligations that are supported by the “full faith and credit” of the U.S. government.

 

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The Fund also may invest in common stock of issuers that have historically paid periodic dividends or otherwise made distributions to common stockholders. Unlike fixed income securities, dividend payments generally are not guaranteed and so may be discontinued by the issuer at its discretion or because of the issuer’s inability to satisfy its liabilities. Further, an issuer’s history of paying dividends does not guarantee that it will continue to pay dividends in the future. In addition to dividends, under certain circumstances the holders of common stock may benefit from the capital appreciation of the issuer.

Common stocks represent the residual ownership interest in the issuer and holders of common stock are entitled to the income and increase in the value of the assets and business of the issuer after all of its debt obligations and obligations to preferred shareholders are satisfied. Common stocks generally have voting rights. Common stocks fluctuate in price in response to many factors including historical and prospective earnings of the issuer, the value of its assets, general economic conditions, interest rates, investor perceptions and market liquidity.

Value Investing. The Fund’s portfolio manager will use various value methods in managing its assets. In selecting securities for the Fund, he evaluates the quality of a company’s balance sheet, the level of its cash flows and other measures of a company’s financial condition and profitability. The portfolio manager may also consider other factors, such as a company’s unrecognized asset values, its future growth prospects or its turnaround potential following an earnings disappointment or other business difficulties. The portfolio manager then uses these factors to assess the company’s current worth, basing this assessment on either what he believes a knowledgeable buyer might pay to acquire the entire company or what he thinks the value of the company should be in the stock market.

The Fund’s portfolio manager generally invests in securities of companies that are trading significantly below his estimate of the company’s current worth in an attempt to reduce the risk of overpaying for such companies. Seeking long term growth of capital, he also evaluates the prospects for the market price of the company’s securities to increase over a two- to five-year period toward this estimate.

The Investment Adviser’s value approach strives to reduce some of the other risks of investing in the securities of smaller companies (for the Fund’s portfolio taken as a whole) by evaluating other risk factors. For example, its portfolio manager generally attempts to lessen financial risk by buying companies with strong balance sheets and low leverage.

While there can be no assurance that this risk-averse value approach will be successful, the Investment Adviser believes that it can reduce some of the risks of investing.

Although the Investment Adviser’s approach to security selection seeks to reduce downside risk to the Fund’s portfolio, especially during periods of broad stock market declines, it may also potentially have the effect of limiting gains in strong up markets.

Risk Arbitrage. Subject to the Fund’s other policies including investing at least 25% of its assets in the Utilities Industry, the Fund may invest without limitation in securities pursuant to “risk arbitrage” strategies or in other investment funds managed pursuant to such strategies. Risk arbitrage investments are made in securities of companies for which a tender or exchange offer has been made or announced and in securities of companies for which a merger, consolidation, liquidation or reorganization proposal has been announced if, in the judgment of the Investment Adviser, there is a reasonable prospect of total return significantly greater than the brokerage and other transaction expenses involved. Risk arbitrage strategies attempt to exploit merger activity to capture the spread between current market values of securities and their values after successful completion of a merger, restructuring or similar corporate transaction. Transactions associated with risk arbitrage strategies typically involve the purchases or sales of securities in connection with announced corporate actions which may include, but are not limited to, mergers, consolidations, acquisitions, transfers of assets, tender offers, exchange offers, re-capitalizations, liquidations, divestitures, spin-offs and similar transactions. However, a merger or other restructuring or tender or exchange offer anticipated by the Fund and in which it holds an arbitrage position may not be completed on the terms contemplated or within the time frame anticipated, resulting in losses to the Fund.

In general, securities which are the subject of such an offer or proposal sell at a premium to their historic market price immediately prior to the announcement of the offer but may trade at a discount or premium to what the stated or appraised value of the security would be if the contemplated transaction were approved or consummated.

Such investments may be advantageous when the discount significantly overstates the risk of the contingencies involved; significantly undervalues the securities, assets or cash to be received by shareholders as a result of the contemplated transaction; or fails adequately to recognize the possibility that the offer or proposal may be replaced or superseded by an offer or proposal of greater value. The evaluation of such contingencies requires unusually broad knowledge and experience on the part of the Investment Adviser which must appraise not only the value of the issuer and its component businesses as well as the assets or securities to be received as a result of the contemplated transaction but also the financial resources and business motivation behind the offer and/or the dynamics and business climate when the offer or proposal is in process. Since such investments are ordinarily short term in nature, they will tend to increase the turnover ratio of the Fund, thereby increasing its brokerage and other transaction expenses. Risk arbitrage strategies may also involve short selling, options hedging and other arbitrage techniques to capture price differentials.

 

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Forward Foreign Currency Exchange Contracts. Subject to guidelines of the Board of Trustees, the Fund may enter into forward foreign currency exchange contracts to protect the value of its portfolio against uncertainty in the level of future currency exchange rates between a particular foreign currency and the U.S. dollar or between foreign currencies in which its securities are or may be denominated. The Fund may enter into such contracts on a spot (i.e., cash) basis at the rate then prevailing in the currency exchange market or on a forward basis by entering into a forward contract to purchase or sell currency. A forward contract on foreign currency is an obligation to purchase or sell a specific currency at a future date, which may be any fixed number of days agreed upon by the parties from the date of the contract at a price set on the date of the contract. Forward currency contracts (i) are traded in a market conducted directly between currency traders (typically, commercial banks or other financial institutions) and their customers, (ii) generally have no deposit requirements and (iii) are typically consummated without payment of any commissions. The Fund, however, may enter into forward currency contracts requiring deposits or involving the payment of commissions. The Fund expects to invest in forward currency contracts for hedging or currency risk management purposes and not in order to speculate on currency exchange rate movements. The Fund will only enter into forward currency contracts with parties which it believes to be creditworthy.

In hedging a specific transaction, the Fund may enter into a forward contract with respect to either the currency in which the transaction is denominated or another currency deemed appropriate by the Investment Adviser. The amount the Fund may invest in forward currency contracts is limited to the amount of its aggregate investments in foreign currencies. The use of forward currency contracts may involve certain risks, including the failure of the counterparty to perform its obligations under the contract, and such use may not serve as a complete hedge because of an imperfect correlation between movements in the prices of the contracts and the prices of the currencies hedged or used for cover. The Fund will only enter into forward currency contracts with parties that the Investment Adviser believes to be creditworthy institutions.

Under current interpretations of the SEC and its staff under the 1940 Act, the Fund must segregate with its custodian liquid assets, or engage in other SEC or staff approved measures, to “cover” open positions in certain types of derivative instruments. The purpose of these requirements is to prevent the Fund from incurring excessive leverage through such instruments. In the case of futures and forward contracts, for example, that are not required as a result of one or more contractual arrangements to settle for cash only in an amount equal to the change in value of the contract over its term but rather are, per the terms of the contract, stated to settle through physical delivery, the Fund must segregate liquid assets equal to such contract’s full notional value while it has an open long position, or is equal to the market value of the deliverable in the case of an open short position. For this purpose, the “full notional value” of the contract means the purchase price for the assets underlying the contract (i.e., in the case of a forward currency contract, the aggregate amount one would pay for the underlying currency). With respect to contracts that the Fund is contractually obligated to settle for cash in an amount equal to the change in value of the contract, the Fund needs to segregate liquid assets only in an amount equal to the Fund’s unpaid mark to market obligation rather than the entire notional amount. This is because the Fund’s maximum potential obligation at that point in time is its net unpaid mark to market obligation rather than the full notional amount.

Restricted and Illiquid Securities. Subject to the Fund’s other policies including investing at least 25% of its assets in the Utilities Industry, the Fund may invest without limit in securities for which there is no readily available trading market or are otherwise illiquid. Illiquid securities include securities legally restricted as to resale, such as commercial paper issued pursuant to Section 4(a)(2) of the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”) and securities eligible for resale pursuant to Rule 144A thereunder. Section 4(a)(2) and Rule 144A securities may, however, be treated as liquid by the Investment Adviser pursuant to procedures adopted by the Board, which require consideration of factors such as trading activity, availability of market quotations and number of dealers willing to purchase the security. If the Fund invests in Rule 144A securities, the level of portfolio illiquidity may be increased to the extent that eligible buyers become uninterested in purchasing such securities.

It may be difficult to sell such securities at a price representing the fair value until such time as such securities may be sold publicly. Where registration is required, a considerable period may elapse between a decision to sell the securities and the time when it would be permitted to sell. Thus, the Fund may not be able to obtain as favorable a price as that prevailing at the time of the decision to sell. The Fund may also acquire securities through private placements under which it may agree to contractual restrictions on the resale of such securities. Such restrictions might prevent their sale at a time when such sale would otherwise be desirable.

Leveraging. As provided in the 1940 Act and subject to certain exceptions, the Fund may issue senior securities (which may be additional classes of stock, such as preferred shares, or securities representing debt) so long as its total assets, less certain ordinary course liabilities, exceed 300% of the amount of the debt outstanding and exceed 200% of the amount of preferred shares and debt outstanding. The issuance of senior securities would leverage the common shares. The Fund’s participation in certain derivative transactions that have economic leverage embedded in them, as described below, may also leverage the common shares. Although the timing and other terms of the offering of senior securities and the terms of the senior securities would be determined by the Fund’s Board, the Fund expects to primarily invest the proceeds of any senior securities offering in dividend paying or income producing equity or debt securities. See “Use of Proceeds.”

 

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The use of leverage magnifies the impact of changes in net asset value, which means that, all else being equal, the use of leverage results in outperformance on the upside and underperformance on the downside. In addition, if the cost of leverage exceeds the return on the securities acquired with the proceeds of leverage, the use of leverage will diminish rather than enhance the return to the Fund. The use of leverage generally increases the volatility of returns to the Fund. Such volatility may increase the likelihood of the Fund having to sell investments in order to meet its obligations to make distributions on the preferred shares or principal or interest payments on debt securities, or to redeem preferred shares or repay debt, when it may be disadvantageous to do so. The Fund’s use of leverage may require it to sell portfolio investments at inopportune times in order to raise cash to redeem preferred shares or otherwise de-leverage so as to maintain required asset coverage amounts or comply with any mandatory redemption terms of any outstanding preferred shares. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—Leverage Risk.”

In the event the Fund had both outstanding preferred shares and senior securities representing debt at the same time, the Fund’s obligations to pay dividends or distributions and, upon liquidation of the Fund, liquidation payments in respect of its preferred shares would be subordinate to the Fund’s obligations to make any principal and/or interest payments due and owing with respect to its outstanding senior debt securities. Accordingly, the Fund’s issuance of senior securities representing debt would have the effect of creating special risks for the Fund’s preferred shareholders that would not be present in a capital structure that did not include such securities. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—Special Risks to Holders of Fixed Rate Preferred Shares.”

Additionally, the Fund may enter into derivative transactions that have economic leverage embedded in them. Derivative transactions that the Fund may enter into and the risks associated with them are described elsewhere in this Prospectus and in the SAI. The Fund cannot assure you that investments in derivative transactions that have economic leverage embedded in them will result in a higher return on its common shares.

To the extent the terms of such transactions obligate the Fund to make payments, the Fund may earmark or segregate cash or liquid assets in an amount at least equal to the current value of the amount then payable by the Fund under the terms of such transactions or otherwise cover such transactions in accordance with applicable interpretations of the staff of the SEC. If the current value of the amount then payable by the Fund under the terms of such transactions is represented by the notional amounts of such investments, the Fund would segregate or earmark cash or liquid assets having a market value at least equal to such notional amounts, and if the current value of the amount then payable by the Fund under the terms of such transactions is represented by the market value of the Fund’s current obligations, the Fund would segregate or earmark cash or liquid assets having a market value at least equal to such current obligations. To the extent the terms of such transactions obligate the Fund to deliver particular securities to extinguish the Fund’s obligations under such transactions the Fund may “cover” its obligations under such transactions by either (i) owning the securities or collateral underlying such transactions or (ii) having an absolute and immediate right to acquire such securities or collateral without additional cash consideration (or, if additional cash consideration is required, having earmarked or segregated an appropriate amount of cash or liquid assets). Such earmarking, segregation or cover is intended to provide the Fund with available assets to satisfy its obligations under such transactions. As a result of such earmarking, segregation or cover, the Fund’s obligations under such transactions will not be considered senior securities representing indebtedness for purposes of the 1940 Act, or considered borrowings, but may create leverage for the Fund. To the extent that the Fund’s obligations under such transactions are not so earmarked, segregated or covered, such obligations may be considered “senior securities representing indebtedness” under the 1940 Act and therefore subject to the 300% asset coverage requirement.

These earmarking, segregation or cover requirements can result in the Fund maintaining securities positions it would otherwise liquidate, segregating or earmarking assets at a time when it might be disadvantageous to do so or otherwise restrict portfolio management.

Non-Investment Grade Securities. The Fund may invest up to 10% of its total assets in fixed-income securities rated below investment grade by recognized statistical rating agencies or unrated securities of comparable quality. The prices of these lower grade securities are more sensitive to negative developments, such as a decline in the issuer’s revenues or a general economic downturn, than are the prices of higher grade securities. Securities of below investment grade quality—those securities rated below “Baa” by Moody’s or below “BBB” by S&P (or unrated securities of comparable quality)—are predominantly speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal when due and therefore involve a greater risk of default. Securities rated below investment grade commonly are referred to as “junk bonds” or “high yield” securities and generally pay a premium above the yields of U.S. government securities or securities of investment grade issuers because they are subject to greater risks than these securities. These risks, which reflect their speculative character, include the following:

 

   

greater volatility;

   

greater credit risk and risk of default;

 

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potentially greater sensitivity to general economic or industry conditions;

   

potential lack of attractive resale opportunities (illiquidity); and

   

additional expenses to seek recovery from issuers who default.

In addition, the market value of securities in lower grade categories is more volatile than that of higher quality securities, and the markets in which such lower grade or unrated securities are traded are more limited than those in which higher rated securities are traded. The existence of limited markets may make it more difficult for the Fund to obtain accurate market quotations for purposes of valuing its portfolio and calculating its net asset value. Moreover, the lack of a liquid trading market may restrict the availability of securities for the Fund to purchase and may also have the effect of limiting the ability of the Fund to sell securities at their fair value to respond to changes in the economy or the financial markets.

Ratings are relative, subjective and not absolute standards of quality. Securities ratings are based largely on the issuer’s historical financial condition and the rating agencies’ analysis at the time of rating. Consequently, the rating assigned to any particular security is not necessarily a reflection of the issuer’s current financial condition.

The Fund may purchase securities of companies that are experiencing significant financial or business difficulties, including companies involved in bankruptcy or other reorganization and liquidation proceedings. Although such investments may result in significant financial returns to the Fund, they involve a substantial degree of risk. The level of analytical sophistication, both financial and legal, necessary for successful investments in issuers experiencing significant business and financial difficulties is unusually high. There can be no assurance that the Fund will correctly evaluate the value of the assets collateralizing its investments or the prospects for a successful reorganization or similar action. In any reorganization or liquidation proceeding relating to a portfolio investment, the Fund may lose all or part of its investment or may be required to accept collateral with a value less than the amount of the Fund’s initial investment.

As part of its investments in non-investment grade securities (i.e., subject to the 10% cap), the Fund may invest in the securities of issuers in default. The Fund invests in securities of issuers in default only when the Investment Adviser believes that such issuers will honor their obligations and emerge from bankruptcy protection and that the value of such issuers’ securities will appreciate. By investing in the securities of issuers in default, the Fund bears the risk that these issuers will not continue to honor their obligations or emerge from bankruptcy protection or that the value of these securities will not otherwise appreciate.

In addition to using statistical rating agencies and other sources, the Investment Adviser will also perform its own analysis of issuers in seeking investments that it believes to be underrated (and thus higher yielding) in light of the financial condition of the issuer. Its analysis of issuers may include, among other things, current and anticipated cash flow and borrowing requirements, value of assets in relation to historical cost, strength of management, responsiveness to business conditions, credit standing and current anticipated results of operations. In selecting investments for the Fund, the Investment Adviser may also consider general business conditions, anticipated changes in interest rates and the outlook for specific industries.

Subsequent to its purchase by the Fund, an issue of securities may cease to be rated or its rating may be reduced. In addition, it is possible that statistical rating agencies might change their ratings of a particular issue to reflect subsequent events on a timely basis. Moreover, such ratings do not assess the risk of a decline in market value. None of these events will require the sale of the securities by the Fund, although the Investment Adviser will consider these events in determining whether the Fund should continue to hold the securities.

Fixed income securities, including non-investment grade securities and comparable unrated securities, frequently have call or buy-back features that permit their issuers to call or repurchase the securities from their holders, such as the Fund. If an issuer exercises these rights during periods of declining interest rates, the Fund may have to replace the security with a lower yielding security, thus resulting in a decreased return for the Fund.

The market for non-investment grade and comparable unrated securities has at various times, particularly during times of economic recession, experienced substantial reductions in market value and liquidity. Past recessions have adversely affected the ability of certain issuers of such securities to repay principal and pay interest thereon. The market for those securities could react in a similar fashion in the event of any future economic recession.

Options. The Fund may purchase or sell, i.e., write, options on securities, securities indices and foreign currencies which are listed on a national securities exchange or in the OTC market as a means of achieving additional return or of hedging the value of the Fund’s portfolio. A call option is a contract that, in return for a premium, gives the holder of the option the right to buy from the writer of the call option the security or currency underlying the option at a specified exercise price at any time during the term of the option. The writer of the call option has the obligation, upon exercise of the option, to deliver the underlying security or currency upon payment of the exercise price during the option period. A put option is the reverse of a call option, giving the holder of the option the right, in return for a premium, to sell the underlying security to the writer, at a specified price, and obligating the writer to purchase the underlying security from the holder upon exercise of the exercise price.

 

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If the Fund has written an option, it may terminate its obligation by effecting a closing purchase transaction. This is accomplished by purchasing an option of the same series as the option previously written. However, with respect to exchange-traded options, once the Fund has been assigned an exercise notice, the Fund will be unable to effect a closing purchase transaction. Similarly, if the Fund is the holder of an option it may liquidate its position by effecting a closing sale transaction on an exchange. This is accomplished by selling an option of the same series as the option previously purchased. There can be no assurance that either a closing purchase or sale transaction can be effected when the Fund so desires.

The Fund will realize a profit from a closing transaction if the price of the transaction is less than the premium received from writing the option or is more than the premium paid to purchase the option; the Fund will realize a loss from a closing transaction if the price of the transaction is more than the premium received from writing the option or is less than the premium paid to purchase the option. Since call option prices generally reflect increases in the price of the underlying security, any loss resulting from the repurchase of a call option may also be wholly or partially offset by unrealized appreciation of the underlying security, and any gain resulting from the repurchase of a call option may also be wholly or partially offset by unrealized depreciation of the underlying security. Other principal factors affecting the market value of a put or a call option include supply and demand, prevailing interest rates, the current market price and price volatility of the underlying security, and the time remaining until the expiration date of the option. Gains and losses on investments in options depend, in part, on the ability of the Investment Adviser to predict correctly the effect of these factors. The use of options cannot serve as a complete hedge since the price movement of securities underlying the options will not necessarily follow the price movements of the portfolio securities subject to the hedge.

An option position may be closed out only on an exchange which provides a secondary market for an option of the same series or in a private transaction. Although the Fund will generally purchase or write only those options for which there appears to be an active secondary market, there is no assurance that a liquid secondary market on an exchange will persist for any particular option. In such event, it might not be possible to effect closing transactions in particular options, so that the Fund would have to exercise its options in order to realize any profit and would incur brokerage commissions upon the exercise of call options and upon the subsequent disposition of underlying securities for the exercise of put options. If the Fund, as a covered call option writer, is unable to effect a closing purchase transaction in a secondary market, it will not be able to sell the underlying security until the option expires or it delivers the underlying security upon exercise or otherwise covers the position.

The sale of covered call options may also be used by the Fund to reduce the risks associated with individual investments and to increase total investment return. A call option is “covered” if the Fund owns the underlying instrument covered by the call or has an absolute and immediate right to acquire that instrument without additional cash consideration (or for additional cash consideration held in a segregated account by its custodian) upon conversion or exchange of other instruments held in its portfolio. A call option is also covered if the Fund holds a call option on the same instrument as the call option written where the exercise price of the call option held is (i) equal to or less than the exercise price of the call option written or (ii) greater than the exercise price of the call option written if the difference is maintained by the Fund in cash, U.S. government securities or other high-grade short term obligations in a segregated account with its custodian. A put option is “covered” if the Fund maintains cash or other liquid securities with a value equal to the exercise price in a segregated account with its custodian, or else holds a put option on the same instrument as the put option written where the exercise price of the put option held is equal to or greater than the exercise price of the put option written.

To the extent that the Fund purchases options pursuant to a hedging strategy, the Fund will be subject to the following additional risks. If a put or call option purchased by the Fund is not sold when it has remaining value, and if the market price of the underlying security remains equal to or greater than the exercise price (in the case of a put), or remains less than or equal to the exercise price (in the case of a call), the Fund will lose its entire investment in the option.

Where a put or call option on a particular security is purchased to hedge against price movements in that or a related security, the price of the put or call option may move more or less than the price of the security. If restrictions on exercise are imposed, the Fund may be unable to exercise an option it has purchased. If the Fund is unable to close out an option that it has purchased on a security, it will have to exercise the option in order to realize any profit, or the option may expire worthless.

Futures Contracts and Options on Futures. The Fund may purchase and sell financial futures contracts and options thereon which are traded on a commodities exchange or board of trade for certain hedging, yield enhancement and risk management purposes. A financial futures contract is an agreement to purchase or sell an agreed amount of securities or currencies at a set price for delivery in the future. These futures contracts and related options may be on debt securities, financial indices, securities indices, U.S. government securities and foreign currencies. The Investment Adviser has claimed an exclusion from the definition of the term “commodity pool operator” under the Commodity Exchange Act.

 

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When Issued, Delayed Delivery Securities and Forward Commitments. The Fund may enter into forward commitments for the purchase or sale of securities, including on a “when issued” or “delayed delivery” basis, in excess of customary settlement periods for the type of security involved. In some cases, a forward commitment may be conditioned upon the occurrence of a subsequent event, such as approval and consummation of a merger, corporate reorganization or debt restructuring (i.e., a when, as and if issued security). When such transactions are negotiated, the price is fixed at the time of the commitment, with payment and delivery taking place in the future, generally a month or more after the date of the commitment. While it will only enter into a forward commitment with the intention of actually acquiring the security, the Fund may sell the security before the settlement date if it is deemed advisable by the Investment Adviser.

Securities purchased under a forward commitment are subject to market fluctuation, and no interest (or dividends) accrues to the Fund prior to the settlement date. The Fund will segregate with its custodian cash or other liquid assets in an aggregate amount at least equal to the amount of its outstanding forward commitments.

Short Sales. The Fund may make short sales of securities. A short sale is a transaction in which the Fund sells a security it does not own in anticipation that the market price of that security will decline. The market value of the securities sold short of any one issuer will not exceed either 10% of the Fund’s total assets or 5% of such issuer’s voting securities. The Fund also will not make a short sale, if, after giving effect to such sale, the market value of all securities sold short exceeds 25% of the value of its total assets or the Fund’s aggregate short sales of a particular class of securities exceeds 25% of the outstanding securities of that class. The Fund may also make short sales “against the box” without respect to such limitations. In this type of short sale, at the time of the sale, the Fund owns, or has the immediate and unconditional right to acquire at no additional cost, the identical security.

The Fund expects to make short sales both to obtain capital gains from anticipated declines in securities and as a form of hedging to offset potential declines in long positions in the same or similar securities. The short sale of a security is considered a speculative investment technique. Short sales “against the box” may be subject to special tax rules, one of the effects of which may be to accelerate income to the Fund.

When the Fund makes a short sale, it must borrow the security sold short and deliver it to the broker-dealer through which it made the short sale in order to satisfy its obligation to deliver the security upon conclusion of the sale. The Fund may have to pay a fee to borrow particular securities and is often obligated to deliver any payments received on such borrowed securities, such as dividends.

If the price of the security sold short increases between the time of the short sale and the time the Fund replaces the borrowed security, the Fund will incur a loss; conversely, if the price declines, the Fund will realize a capital gain. Any gain will be decreased, and any loss will be increased, by the transaction costs incurred by the Fund, including the costs associated with providing collateral to the broker-dealer (usually cash, U.S. government securities or other highly liquid debt securities) and the maintenance of collateral with its custodian. Although the Fund’s gain is limited to the price at which it sold the security short, its potential loss is theoretically unlimited.

Other Derivative Instruments. The Fund may also utilize other types of derivative instruments, primarily for hedging or risk management purposes. These instruments include futures, forward contracts, options on such contracts and interest rate, total return and other kinds of swaps. These investment management techniques generally will not be considered senior securities if the Fund establishes in a segregated account cash or other liquid securities, sets aside assets on its accounting records equal to the Fund’s obligations in respect of such transactions or techniques or enters into an offsetting position. For a further description of such derivative instruments, see “Investment Objective and Policies—Additional Investment Policies” in the SAI.

Limitations on the Purchase and Sale of Futures Contracts, Certain Options, and Swaps. Subject to the guidelines of the Board, the Fund may engage in “commodity interest” transactions (generally, transactions in futures, certain options, certain currency transactions, and certain types of swaps) only for bona fide hedging or other permissible transactions in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”). Pursuant to amendments by the CFTC to Rule 4.5 under the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”), the Investment Adviser has filed a notice of exemption from registration as a “commodity pool operator” with respect to the Fund. The Fund and the Investment Adviser are therefore not subject to registration or regulation as a commodity pool operator under the CEA. In addition, certain trading restrictions are applicable to the Fund as a result of this status. These trading restrictions permit the Fund to engage in commodity interest transactions that include (i) “bona fide hedging” transactions, as that term is defined and interpreted by the CFTC and its staff, without regard to the percentage of the Fund’s assets committed to margin and options premiums and (ii) non-bona fide hedging transactions, provided that the Fund does not enter into such non-bona fide hedging transactions if, immediately thereafter, either (a) the sum of the amount of initial margin deposits on the Fund’s existing futures positions or swaps positions and option or swaption premiums would exceed 5% of the market value of the Fund’s liquidating value, after taking into account unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such transactions, or (b) the aggregate net notional value of the Fund’s commodity interest transactions would not exceed 100% of the market value of the Fund’s

 

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liquidating value, after taking into account unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such transactions. In addition to meeting one of the foregoing trading limitations, the Fund may not market itself as a commodity pool or otherwise as a vehicle for trading in the futures, options or swaps markets. Therefore, in order to claim the Rule 4.5 exemption, the Fund is limited in its ability to invest in commodity futures, options, and certain types of swaps (including securities futures, broad based stock index futures, and financial futures contracts). As a result, the Fund is more limited in its ability to use these instruments than in the past, and these limitations may have a negative impact on the ability of the Investment Adviser to manage the Fund, and on the Fund’s performance. If the Investment Adviser was required to register as a commodity pool operator with respect to the Fund, compliance with additional registration and regulatory requirements would increase Fund expenses. Other potentially adverse regulatory initiatives could also develop.

Risks of Currency Transactions. Currency transactions are also subject to risks different from those of other portfolio transactions. Because currency control is of great importance to the issuing governments and influences economic planning and policy, purchases and sales of currency and related instruments can be adversely affected by government exchange controls, limitations or restrictions on repatriation of currency, and manipulation, or exchange restrictions imposed by governments. These forms of governmental action can result in losses to the Fund if it is unable to deliver or receive currency or monies in settlement of obligations and could also cause hedges it has entered into to be rendered useless, resulting in full currency exposure and incurring transaction costs.

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

Swaps. The Fund may enter into total rate of return, credit default or other types of swaps and related derivatives for various purposes, including to gain economic exposure to an asset or group of assets that may be difficult or impractical to acquire or for hedging and risk management. These transactions generally provide for the transfer from one counterparty to another of certain risks inherent in the ownership of a financial asset such as a common stock or debt instrument. Such risks include, among other things, the risk of default and insolvency of the obligor of such asset, the risk that the credit of the obligor or the underlying collateral will decline or the risk that the common stock of the underlying issuer will decline in value. The transfer of risk pursuant to a derivative of this type may be complete or partial, and may be for the life of the related asset or for a shorter period. These derivatives may be used as a risk management tool for a pool of financial assets, providing the Fund with the opportunity to gain or reduce exposure to one or more reference securities or other financial assets (each, a “Reference Asset”) without actually owning or selling such assets in order, for example, to increase or reduce a concentration risk or to diversify a portfolio. Conversely, these derivatives may be used by the Fund to reduce exposure to an owned asset without selling it.

Because the Fund would not own the Reference Assets, the Fund may not have any voting rights with respect to the Reference Assets, and in such cases all decisions related to the obligors or issuers of the Reference Assets, including whether to exercise certain remedies, will be controlled by the swap counterparties.

Total rate of return swap agreements are contracts in which one party agrees to make periodic payments to another party based on the change in market value of the assets underlying the contract, which may include a specified security, basket of securities or securities indices during the specified period, in return for periodic payments based on a fixed or variable interest rate or the total return from other underlying assets.

A credit default swap consists of an agreement between two parties in which the “buyer” agrees to pay to the “seller” a periodic stream of payments over the term of the contract and the seller agrees to pay the buyer the par value (or other agreed-upon value) of a referenced debt obligation upon the occurrence of a credit event with respect to the issuer of the referenced debt obligation. Generally, a credit event means bankruptcy, failure to pay, obligation acceleration or modified restructuring. The Fund may be either the buyer or seller in a credit default swap. As the buyer in a credit default swap, the Fund would pay to the counterparty the periodic stream of payments. If no default occurs, the Fund would receive no benefit from the contract. As the seller in a credit default swap, the Fund would receive the stream of payments but would be subject to exposure on the notional amount of the swap, which it would be required to pay in the event of a credit event with respect to the issuer of the referenced debt obligation. Accordingly, if the Fund

 

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sells a credit default swap (or a credit default index swap), it intends at all times to segregate or designate on its books and records liquid assets in an amount at least equal to the notional amount of the swap (i.e., the cost of payment to the buyer if a credit event occurs).

The Fund may also enter into equity contract for difference swap transactions. In an equity contract for difference swap, a set of future cash flows is exchanged between two counterparties. One of these cash flow streams will typically be based on a reference interest rate combined with the performance of a notional value of shares of a stock. The other will be based on the performance of the shares of a stock. Depending on the general state of short term interest rates and the returns on the Fund’s portfolio securities at the time an equity contract for difference swap transaction reaches its scheduled termination date, there is a risk that the Fund will not be able to obtain a replacement transaction or that the terms of the replacement will not be as favorable as on the expiring transaction.

Total rate of return swaps and similar derivatives are subject to many risks, including the possibility that the market will move in a manner or direction that would have resulted in gain for the Fund had the swap or other derivative not been utilized (in which case it would have been better had the Fund not engaged in the hedging transactions), the risk of imperfect correlation between the risk sought to be hedged and the derivative transactions utilized, the possible inability of the counterparty to fulfill its obligations under the swap and potential illiquidity of the hedging instrument utilized, which may make it difficult for the Fund to close out or unwind one or more hedging transactions.

Total rate of return swaps and related derivatives are a relatively recent development in the financial markets. Consequently, there are certain legal, tax and market uncertainties that present risks in entering into such arrangements.

There is currently little or no case law or litigation characterizing total rate of return swaps or related derivatives, interpreting their provisions, or characterizing their tax treatment. In addition, additional regulations and laws may apply to these types of derivatives that have not previously been applied. There can be no assurance that future decisions construing similar provisions to those in any swap agreement or other related documents or additional regulations and laws will not have an adverse effect on the Fund that utilizes these instruments. The Fund will monitor these risks and seek to utilize these instruments in a manner that does not lead to undue risk regarding the tax or other structural elements of the Fund. The Fund will not invest in these types of instruments if the Reference Assets are commodities except for bona fide hedging or risk management purposes.

Convertible Securities. A convertible security is a bond, debenture, note, stock or other similar security that may be converted into or exchanged for a prescribed amount of common stock or other equity security of the same or a different issuer within a particular period of time at a specified price or formula. Before conversion, convertible securities have characteristics similar to non-convertible debt securities in that they ordinarily provide a stream of income with generally higher yields than those of common stock of the same or similar issuers. Convertible securities are senior in rank to common stock in a corporation’s capital structure and, therefore, generally entail less risk than the corporation’s common stock, although the extent to which such risk is reduced depends in large measure upon the degree to which the convertible security sells above its value as a fixed income security. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations—Convertible Securities Risk.”

Temporary Defensive Investments. Although under normal market conditions at least 80% of the Fund’s assets will consist of common stock and other debt or equity securities of foreign and domestic companies involved in the Utilities Industry and securities of companies in other industries that are expected to periodically generate or accrue income, when a temporary defensive posture is believed by the Investment Adviser to be warranted (“temporary defensive periods”), the Fund may without limitation hold cash or invest its assets in money market instruments and repurchase agreements in respect of those instruments. The money market instruments in which the Fund may invest are obligations of the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities; commercial paper rated A-1 or higher by S&P or Prime-1 by Moody’s; and certificates of deposit and bankers’ acceptances issued by domestic branches of U.S. banks that are members of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. During temporary defensive periods, the Fund may also invest to the extent permitted by applicable law in shares of money market mutual funds. Money market mutual funds are investment companies and the investments in those companies by the Fund are in some cases subject to applicable law. See “Investment Restrictions” in the SAI. As a shareholder in a mutual fund, the Fund will bear its ratable share of its expenses, including management fees, and will remain subject to payment of the fees to the Investment Adviser, with respect to assets so invested. See “Management of the Fund—General.” The Fund may find it more difficult to achieve the long term growth of capital component of its investment objective during temporary defensive periods.

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

 

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If the borrower fails to maintain the requisite amount of collateral, the loan automatically terminates and the Fund could use the collateral to replace the securities while holding the borrower liable for any excess of replacement cost over the value of the collateral. As with any extension of credit, there are risks of delay in recovery and in some cases even loss of rights in collateral should the borrower of the securities violate the terms of the loan or fail financially. There can be no assurance that borrowers will not fail financially. On termination of the loan, the borrower is required to return the securities to the Fund, and any gain or loss in the market price during the loan would inure to the Fund. If the other party to the loan petitions for bankruptcy or becomes subject to the United States Bankruptcy Code, the law regarding the rights of the Fund is unsettled. As a result, under extreme circumstances, there may be a restriction on the Fund’s ability to sell the collateral and the Fund would suffer a loss. See “Investment Objective and Policies—Loans of Portfolio Securities” in the SAI.

Investment Restrictions. The Fund has adopted certain investment restrictions as fundamental policies of the Fund. Under the 1940 Act, a fundamental policy may not be changed without the vote of a majority, as defined in the 1940 Act, of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund (voting together as a single class). In addition, pursuant to the statements of preferences of the Series A Preferred Shares and the Series B Preferred Shares, a majority, as defined in the 1940 Act, of the outstanding preferred shares of the Fund (voting separately as a single class) is also required to change a fundamental policy. See “Investment Restrictions” in the SAI. The Fund may become subject to rating agency guidelines that are more limiting than its current investment restrictions in order to obtain and maintain a desired rating on its preferred shares, if any.

Neither the Fund’s investment objective nor, except as expressly listed under “Investment Restrictions” in the SAI, any of its policies, is fundamental, and each may be modified by the Board without shareholder approval.

Portfolio Turnover. Portfolio turnover generally involves expense to the Fund, including brokerage commissions or dealer mark-ups and other transaction costs on the sale of securities and reinvestment in other securities. The portfolio turnover rate is computed by dividing the lesser of the amount of the securities purchased or securities sold by the average monthly value of securities owned during the year (excluding securities whose maturities at acquisition were one year or less). Higher portfolio turnover may decrease the after-tax return to individual investors in the Fund to the extent it results in a decrease of the long-term capital gains portion of distributions to shareholders. The Fund’s portfolio turnover rates for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2020 was 71.0% and 26.6%, respectively.

Further information on the investment objective and policies of the Fund is set forth in the SAI.

RISK FACTORS AND SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

Investors should consider the following risk factors and special considerations associated with investing in the Fund:

Market Risk

The market price of securities owned by the Fund may go up or down, sometimes rapidly or unpredictably. Securities may decline in value due to factors affecting securities markets generally or particular industries represented in the securities markets. The value of a security may decline due to general market conditions which are not specifically related to a particular company, such as real or perceived adverse economic conditions, changes in the general outlook for corporate earnings, changes in interest or currency rates, adverse changes to credit markets or adverse investor sentiment generally. The value of a security may also decline due to factors which affect a particular industry or industries, such as labor shortages or increased production costs and competitive conditions within an industry. During a general downturn in the securities markets, multiple asset classes may decline in value simultaneously. Equity securities generally have greater price volatility than fixed income securities. Credit ratings downgrades may also negatively affect securities held by the Fund. Even when markets perform well, there is no assurance that the investments held by the Fund will increase in value along with the broader market.

In addition, market risk includes the risk that geopolitical and other events will disrupt the economy on a national or global level. For instance, war, terrorism, market manipulation, government defaults, government shutdowns, political changes or diplomatic developments, public health emergencies (such as the spread of infectious diseases, pandemics and epidemics) and natural/environmental disasters can all negatively impact the securities markets, which could cause the Fund to lose value. These events could reduce consumer demand or economic output, result in market closures, travel restrictions or quarantines, and significantly adversely impact the economy. The current contentious domestic political environment, as well as political and diplomatic events within the United States and abroad, such as the U.S. government’s inability at times to agree on a long-term budget and deficit reduction plan, has in the past resulted, and may in the future result, in a government shutdown, which could have an adverse impact on the Fund’s investments and operations. Additional and/or prolonged U.S. federal government shutdowns may affect investor and consumer confidence and may adversely impact financial markets and the broader economy, perhaps suddenly and to a significant degree. Governmental and quasi-governmental authorities and regulators throughout the world have previously responded

 

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to serious economic disruptions with a variety of significant fiscal and monetary policy changes, including but not limited to, direct capital infusions into companies, new monetary programs and dramatically lower interest rates. An unexpected or sudden reversal of these policies, or the ineffectiveness of these policies, could increase volatility in securities markets, which could adversely affect the Fund’s investments. Any market disruptions could also prevent the Fund from executing advantageous investment decisions in a timely manner. To the extent that the Fund focuses its investments in a region enduring geopolitical market disruption, it will face higher risks of loss, although the increasing interconnectivity between global economies and financial markets can lead to events or conditions in one country, region or financial market adversely impacting a different country, region or financial market. Thus, investors should closely monitor current market conditions to determine whether the Fund meets their individual financial needs and tolerance for risk.

Current market conditions may pose heightened risks with respect to the Fund’s investment in fixed income securities. Interest rates in the U.S. are at or near historically low levels. Any interest rate increases in the future could cause the value of the Fund to decrease. Recently, there have been some modest signs of inflationary price movements. As such, fixed income securities markets may experience heightened levels of interest rate, volatility and liquidity risk.

Exchanges and securities markets may close early, close late or issue trading halts on specific securities or generally, which may result in, among other things, the Fund being unable to buy or sell certain securities or financial instruments at an advantageous time or accurately price its portfolio investments.

Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) and Global Health Event Risk

As of the filing date of this prospectus, there is an outbreak of a highly contagious form of a novel coronavirus known as “COVID-19.” COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization and, in response to the outbreak, the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary declared a public health emergency in the United States. COVID-19 had a devastating impact on the global economy, including the U.S. economy, and resulted in a global economic recession. Many states have issued orders requiring the closure of non-essential businesses and/or requiring residents to stay at home. The COVID-19 pandemic and preventative measures taken to contain or mitigate its spread have caused, and are continuing to cause, business shutdowns, cancellations of events and travel, significant reductions in demand for certain goods and services, reductions in business activity and financial transactions, supply chain interruptions and overall economic and financial market instability both globally and in the United States. Such effects will likely continue for the duration of the pandemic, which is uncertain, and for some period thereafter. While several countries, as well as certain states, counties and cities in the United States, began to relax the early public health restrictions with a view to partially or fully reopening their economies, many cities, both globally and in the United States, experienced a surge in the reported number of cases and hospitalizations related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This increase in cases led to the re-introduction of restrictions and business shutdowns in certain states, counties and cities in the United States and globally and could continue to lead to the re-introduction of such restrictions elsewhere. Additionally, in December 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) authorized vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna for emergency use, and in February 2021, the FDA authorized vaccines produced by Johnson & Johnson for emergency use. However, it remains unclear how quickly the vaccines will be distributed nationwide and globally or when “herd immunity” will be achieved and the restrictions that were imposed to slow the spread of the virus will be lifted entirely. The delay in distributing the vaccines could lead people to continue to self-isolate and not participate in the economy at pre-pandemic levels for a prolonged period of time. Even after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, the U.S. economy and most other major global economies may continue to experience a substantial economic downturn or recession, and our business and operations, as well as the business and operations of our portfolio companies, could be materially adversely affected by a prolonged economic downtown or recession in the United States and other major markets. Potential consequences of the current unprecedented measures taken in response to the spread of COVID-19, and current market disruptions and volatility that may impact the Fund include, but are not limited to:

 

   

sudden, unexpected and/or severe declines in the market price of the Fund’s common shares or net asset value;

   

inability of the Fund to accurately or reliably value its portfolio;

   

inability of the Fund to comply with certain asset coverage ratios that would prevent the Fund from paying dividends to the Fund’s common shareholders;

   

inability of the Fund to pay any dividends and distributions;

   

inability of the Fund to maintain its status as a RIC under the Code;

   

potentially severe, sudden and unexpected declines in the value of our investments;

   

increased risk of default or bankruptcy by the companies in which the Fund invests;

   

increased risk of companies in which the Fund invests being unable to weather an extended cessation of normal economic activity and thereby impairing their ability to continue functioning as a going concern;

 

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reduced economic demand resulting from mass employee layoffs or furloughs in response to governmental action taken to slow the spread of COVID-19, which could impact the continued viability of the companies in which we invest;

   

companies in which the Fund invests being disproportionally impacted by governmental action aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 or mitigating its economic effects;

   

limited availability of new investment opportunities; and

   

general threats to the Fund’s ability to continue investment operations and to operate successfully as a diversified, closed-end investment company.

Despite actions of the U.S. federal government and foreign governments, the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors has contributed to significant volatility and declines in the global public equity markets and global debt capital markets, including the net asset value of the Fund’s shares. These events could have, and/or have had, a significant impact on the Fund’s performance, net asset value, income, operating results and ability to pay distributions, as well as the performance, income, operating results and viability of issuers in which it invests.

It is virtually impossible to determine the ultimate impact of COVID-19 at this time. Further, the extent and strength of any economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic abates, including following any “second wave,” “third wave” or other intensifying of the pandemic, is uncertain and subject to various factors and conditions. Accordingly, an investment in the Fund is subject to an elevated degree of risk as compared to other market environments.

Industry Risks

The Fund invests in foreign and domestic companies involved in the Utilities Industry and, as a result, the value of the common shares will be more susceptible to factors affecting those particular types of companies, including governmental regulation, inflation, cost increases in fuel and other operating expenses, technological innovations that may render existing products and equipment obsolete and increasing interest rates resulting in high interest costs on borrowings needed for product development, infrastructure and capital construction programs, including costs associated with compliance with environmental and other regulations.

Sector Risk. The Fund concentrates its investments in the Utilities Industry. As a result, the Fund’s investments may be subject to greater risk and market fluctuation than a fund that had securities representing a broader range of investment alternatives. The prices of equity securities issued by certain types of utility companies may change more in response to interest rate changes than the equity securities of other companies. Generally, when interest rates go up, the value of securities issued by these companies goes down. Conversely, when interest rates go down, the value of securities issued by these companies goes up. There is no guarantee that this relationship will hold in the future. Privatization in the Utilities Industry may subject companies to greater competition and losses in profitability. Companies in the Utilities Industry may have difficulty obtaining an adequate return on invested capital, raising capital, or financing large construction programs during periods of inflation or unsettled capital markets.

Government Regulation. Companies in certain sectors of the Utilities Industry (such as power generation and distribution) are subject to extensive governmental regulatory requirements. In the United States, most companies in the Utilities Industry are regulated by state and/or federal authorizes. For example, at the federal level in the United States, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”), the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), the SEC and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (“NRC”) have authority to oversee electric and combination electric and gas utilities. Certain of these regulations that are intended to limit the concentration of ownership and control of companies in these industries may prevent companies in which the Fund invests from making certain investments that they would otherwise make. Other regulations may cause Utilities Industry companies to incur substantial additional costs or lengthy delays in connection with the completion of capital investments or the introduction of new products or services to market. There are substantial differences between the regulatory practices and policies in various jurisdictions, and any given regulatory agency may make major shifts in policy from time to time. There is no assurance that regulatory authorities will, in the future, permit companies to implement rate increases or that such increases will be adequate to permit the payment of dividends on such issuer’s common stocks. Additionally, existing and possible future regulatory legislation may make it even more difficult for companies in the Utilities Industry to obtain adequate relief from rate regulation.

Regulatory considerations limit the percentage of the shares of a public utility or utility holding company held by a fund or by an adviser and its affiliates on behalf of all their clients. In particular, approval of the FERC under the Federal Power Act would generally be required for (i) the Fund to acquire and hold 10% or more of the voting securities of any publicly traded public utility or utility holding company, and (ii) for the Fund together with any affiliated fund or other affiliated entity to acquire and hold in the aggregate 20% or more of the voting securities of any publicly traded public utility or utility holding company. Other requirements for FERC or state utility commission approval of the acquisition of voting securities may apply as well. Apart from approval requirements with respect to acquisitions of voting securities, the Fund may choose to limit its ownership of public utility or utility holding company voting securities in order to avoid the imposition of regulatory requirements under federal or state law such as those that attend status as a “holding company” under the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 2005.

 

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Similarly, various types of ownership restrictions are imposed by the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”), on investment in media companies and cellular licensees. For example, the FCC’s broadcast and cable multiple-ownership and cross ownership rules, which apply to the radio, television, and cable industries, provide that investment advisers are deemed to have an “attributable” interest whenever the adviser has the right to determine how five percent or more of the issued and outstanding voting stock of a broadcast company or cable system operator may be voted. These rules limit the number of broadcast stations both locally and nationally that a single entity is permitted to own, operate, or control and prohibit ownership of certain competitive communications providers in the same location. The FCC also applies limited ownership restrictions on cellular licensees serving rural areas. An attributable interest in a cellular company arises from the right to control 20% or more of its voting stock. Attributable interests that may result from the role of the Investment Adviser and its principals in connection with other funds, managed accounts and companies may limit the Fund’s ability to invest in certain mass media and cellular companies. These limitations may unfavorably restrict the ability of the Fund to make certain investments.

Deregulation. Changing regulation constitutes one of the key industry-specific risks for the Fund, especially with respect to its investments in traditionally regulated public utilities and partially regulated utility or telecommunications companies. Domestic and foreign regulators may monitor and control such companies’ revenues and costs, and therefore may limit utility profits and dividends paid to investors, which could result in reduced income to the Fund. Regulatory authorities also may restrict a company’s access to new markets, thereby diminishing the company’s long-term prospects. In some jurisdictions certain portions of various utilities functions have been deregulated. Deregulation may eliminate restrictions on profits and dividends of companies, but may also subject these companies to greater risks of loss. Thus, deregulation could have a positive or negative impact on the Fund. The Investment Adviser believes that certain Utilities Industry companies’ fundamentals should continue to improve as the industry undergoes deregulation. The nature of regulation of the Utilities Industry continues to evolve both in the United States and in foreign countries. In recent years, changes in regulation in the United States increasingly have allowed companies in the Utilities Industry to provide services and products outside their traditional geographic areas and lines of business, creating new areas of competition within these industries. In some instances, companies in the Utilities Industry are operating on an unregulated basis. However, a number of companies have failed in their efforts to take advantage of the deregulated environment and are seeking to refocus in their primary business. Nonetheless, because of trends toward deregulation and the evolution of independent producers as well as new entrants to the field of telecommunications, non-regulated providers of utility and telecommunications services have become a significant part of their respective industries. The emergence of competition and deregulation may result in certain companies in the Utilities Industry being able to earn more than their traditional regulated rates of return, while others may be forced to defend their core business from increased competition and may be less profitable. Reduced profitability, as well as new uses of funds (such as for expansion, operations or stock buybacks) could result in cuts in dividend payout rates. The Investment Adviser seeks to take advantage of favorable investment opportunities that may arise from these structural changes. Of course, there can be no assurance that favorable developments will occur in the future.

Environmental and Other Regulatory Matters. Companies in the Utilities Industry in which the Fund will invest may be subject to a number of host country statutory and regulatory standards and required approvals relating to energy, labor and environmental laws. Certain permits and regulatory approvals may be required to be obtained for certain investments by companies in which the Fund will invest and failure by such companies to obtain such permits and regulatory approvals could adversely affect the Fund’s investment. Companies also face considerable costs associated with environmental compliance, nuclear waste clean-up and safety regulation. Increasingly, regulators are calling upon electric utilities to bear these added costs, and there is a risk that these costs will not be fully recovered through an increase in revenues. Changing weather patterns and natural disasters affect consumer demand for utility services (e.g., electricity, heat and air conditioning), which, in turn, affects utility revenues.

The adoption by a host country of new laws, policies or regulations or changes in the interpretation or application of existing laws, policies and regulations that modify the present regulatory environment could also have an adverse effect on the Fund’s investments. Regulatory risk affects companies in the Utilities Industry in part because governments may be party to private Utilities Industry investments as lessors, customers, regulators or partners. Moreover, for political reasons, governments may control the prices at which companies in the Utilities Industry can sell their products, which can adversely affect the Fund’s investment in such a company.

Under the laws of certain countries that are host to Utilities Industry companies in which the Fund may invest, such companies may be required to comply with a number of statutes and regulations during their operation pertaining to environmental controls or restrictions, and the storage, handling, transportation and disposal of hazardous and toxic material, waste or other substances. Compliance with such requirements may be costly and may materially affect the profitability of such companies. For example, governments have been increasing their attention to issues related to greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions and climate change, and regulatory measures to limit or reduce GHG emissions are currently in various stages of discussion or implementation. GHG

 

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emissions-related regulations could substantially harm energy companies, including by reducing the demand for energy fuels and increasing compliance costs. Failure by such a company to comply with any such statutes or regulations could have adverse effects on its business results and prospects, which could have negative consequences for investors such as the Fund.

Foreign Utility Companies. Foreign companies in the Utilities Industry are also subject to regulation, although such regulation may or may not be comparable to regulation in the United States. Foreign companies in the Utilities Industry may be more heavily regulated by their respective governments than companies in the United States and, as in the United States, generally are required to seek government approval for rate increases. In addition, many foreign utilities use fuels that may cause more pollution than those used in the United States, which may require such utilities to invest in pollution control equipment to meet any proposed pollution restrictions. Foreign regulatory systems vary from country to country and may evolve in ways different from regulation in the United States. Additionally, because the effectiveness of the judicial systems in non-U.S. countries varies, the Fund or companies in which it may invest may have difficulty in successfully pursuing claims in the courts of such countries.

Privatization, which refers to the trend toward investor ownership of assets rather than government ownership, is expected to occur in newer, faster-growing economies and in mature economies. Of course, there is no assurance that such favorable developments will occur or that investment opportunities in foreign markets will increase. The revenues of domestic and foreign utility companies generally reflect the economic growth and development in the geographic areas in which they do business.

Financing. At certain times, including during inflationary periods, companies in the Utilities Industry encounter difficulties in obtaining financing for product development, infrastructure and construction programs. Issuers experiencing such difficulties may also experience lower profitability, which can result in reduced income to the Fund. Historically, companies in the Utilities Industry have also encountered such financing difficulties during inflationary periods, although we cannot assure you that such a relationship will continue and that companies in the Utilities Industry will not encounter financing difficulties during non-inflationary periods.

Equipment and Supplies. Companies in the Utilities Industry may face the risk of lengthy delays and increased costs associated with the design, development, construction, licensing and operation of their facilities or sale of their products. Moreover, technological innovations may render existing plants, equipment or products obsolete.

Increased costs and a reduction in the availability of fuel (such as oil, coal, nuclear or natural gas) also may adversely affect the profitability of utility companies. Electric utilities may be burdened by unexpected increases in fuel and other operating costs. They may also be negatively affected when long-term interest rates rise. Long-term borrowings are used to finance most utility investments, and rising interest rates lead to higher financing costs and reduced earnings. Investments in certain kinds of utility companies are also subject to certain additional risks.

Electric. Certain of the issuers of securities held in the Fund’s portfolio may own or operate nuclear generating facilities. Governmental authorities may from time to time review existing policies and impose additional requirements governing the licensing, construction and operation of nuclear power plants. In the past, nuclear generating projects in the electric utility industry have experienced substantial cost increases, construction delays and licensing difficulties. These have been caused by various factors, including inflation, high financing costs, required design changes and rework, allegedly faulty construction, objections by groups and governmental officials, limits on the ability to obtain financing, reduced forecasts of energy requirements and economic conditions. This experience indicates that the risk of significant cost increases, delays and licensing difficulties remain present until completion and achievement of commercial operation of any nuclear project. Also, nuclear generating units in service have experienced unplanned outages or extensions of scheduled outages due to equipment problems or new regulatory requirements sometimes followed by a significant delay in obtaining regulatory approval to return to service. A major accident at a nuclear plant anywhere could cause the imposition of limits or prohibitions on the operation, construction or licensing of nuclear units. Prolonged changes in climatic conditions can also have a significant impact on both the revenues of an electric and gas utility as well as its expenses.

The construction and operation of nuclear power facilities are subject to strict scrutiny by, and evolving regulations of, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and state agencies which have comparable jurisdiction. Strict scrutiny might result in higher operating costs and higher capital expenditures, with the risk that the regulators may disallow inclusion of these costs in rate authorizations or the risk that a company may not be permitted to operate or complete construction of a facility. In addition, operators of nuclear power plants may be subject to significant costs for disposal of nuclear fuel and for decommissioning such plants.

The rating agencies look closely at the business profile of utilities. Ratings for companies are expected to be affected to a greater extent in the future by how their asset base is utilized. Electric utility companies that focus more on the generation of electricity may be assigned less favorable ratings as this business is expected to be competitive and the least regulated. On the other hand, companies that focus on transmission and distribution, which is expected to be the least competitive and the more regulated part of the business, may see higher ratings given the greater predictability of cash flow.

 

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A number of states are considering or have enacted deregulation proposals. The introduction of competition into the industry as a result of such deregulation has at times resulted in lower revenue, lower credit ratings, increased default risk, and lower electric utility security prices. Such increased competition may also cause long-term contracts, which electric utilities previously entered into to buy power, to become “stranded assets” which have no economic value.

Any loss associated with such contracts must be absorbed by ratepayers and investors. In addition, some electric utilities have acquired electric utilities overseas to diversify, enhance earnings and gain experience in operating in a deregulated environment. In some instances, such acquisitions have involved significant borrowings, which have burdened the acquirer’s balance sheet. There is no assurance that current deregulation proposals will be adopted. However, deregulation in any form could significantly impact the electric utilities industry.

Following deregulation of the energy markets in certain states, a number of companies have engaged in energy trading and incurred substantial losses. Certain of these energy trading businesses have been accused of employing improper accounting practices and have been required to make significant restatements of their financial results. In addition, several energy companies have been accused of attempting to manipulate the price and availability of energy in certain states.

Telecommunications. The telecommunications industry today includes both traditional telephone companies with a history of broad market coverage and highly regulated businesses and cable companies, which began as small, lightly regulated businesses focused on limited markets. Today these two historically different businesses are converging in an industry which is trending toward larger, competitive, national and international markets with an emphasis on deregulation. Companies that distribute telephone services and provide access to the telephone networks still comprise the greatest portion of this segment, but non-regulated activities such as cellular telephone services, paging, data processing, equipment retailing, computer software and hardware services are becoming increasingly significant components as well. The presence of unregulated companies in this industry and the entry of traditional telephone companies into unregulated or less regulated businesses provide significant investment opportunities with companies which may increase their earnings at faster rates than had been allowed in traditional regulated businesses. Still, increasing competition, technological innovations and other structural changes could adversely affect the profitability of such utilities and the growth rate of their dividends. Given mergers and proposed legislation and enforcement changes, it is likely that both traditional telephone companies and cable companies will continue to provide an expanding range of utility services to residential, corporate and governmental customers.

Gas. Gas transmission companies and gas distribution companies are also undergoing significant changes. In the United States, interstate transmission companies are regulated by the FERC, which is reducing its regulation of the industry. Many companies have diversified into oil and gas exploration and development, making returns more sensitive to energy prices. In the recent decade, gas utility companies have been adversely affected by disruptions in the oil industry, including related to political conditions in oil producing regions (such as the Middle East), and have also been affected by increased concentration and competition. Prolonged changes in climatic conditions can also have a significant impact on both the revenues and expenses of a gas utility. Natural gas is the cleanest of the hydrocarbon fuels, and this may result in incremental shifts in fuel consumption toward natural gas and away from oil and coal, even for electricity generation. However, technological or regulatory changes within the industry may delay or prevent this result.

Water. In the case of the water utility sector, the industry is highly fragmented, and most water supply companies find themselves in mature markets, although upgrading of fresh water and waste water systems is an expanding business.

Technology and Competitive Risks. The introduction and phase-in of new technologies can affect a utility company’s competitive strength. The race by long-distance telephone providers to incorporate fiber optic technology is one example of competitive risk within the utilities industry.

The increasing role of independent power producers (IPPs) in the natural gas and electric utility segments of the utilities industry is another example of competitive risk. Typically, IPPs wholesale power to established local providers, but there is a trend toward letting them sell power directly to industrial consumers. Co-generation facilities, such as those of landfill operators that produce methane gas as a byproduct of their core business, pose another competitive challenge to gas and electric utilities. In addition to offering a less expensive source of power, these companies may receive more favorable regulatory treatment than utilities seeking to expand facilities that consume nonrenewable energy sources.

Utilities Industry Generally. There can be no assurance that the positive developments noted above, including those relating to privatization and changing regulation, will occur or that risk factors other than those noted above will not develop in the future.

 

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Moreover, price disparities within selected utility groups and discrepancies in relation to averages and indices have occurred frequently for reasons not directly related to the general movements or price trends of utility common stocks. Causes of these discrepancies include changes in the overall demand for and supply of various securities (including the potentially depressing effect of new stock offerings), and changes in investment objectives, market expectations or cash requirements of other purchasers and sellers of securities.

Cybersecurity Risks. Companies in the Utilities Industry have experienced attempts to breach their operating systems and other similar incidents in the past, which have resulted in shutdowns and/or disruptions in their operations. For example, in May 2021, a U.S. fuel pipeline operator was the target of a ransomware attack, which resulted in the shutdown of a massive oil pipeline system that supplies the eastern United States. Companies in the Utilities Industry may continue to be subject to attempts to gain unauthorized access to or through their operating systems. Any system failure, cybersecurity breach, ransomware attack or other system disruption could interrupt or delay operations and impact a company in the Utilities Industry’s ability to manage its operations and report financial performance, which could have a materially adverse effect on existing and future business. These and other developments may adversely impact the value of the Fund’s investments in companies in the Utilities Industry.

Leveraged Capital Structures. It is expected that Utilities Industry companies in which the Fund will invest may employ considerable leverage, a significant portion of which may be at floating interest rates. As a result, a Utilities Industry company may be subject to increased exposure to adverse economic factors such as a significant rise in interest rates, a severe downturn in the economy or deterioration in the condition of such company or its industry.

General Risks

Inflation Risk. Inflation risk is the risk that the value of assets or income from investments will be worth less in the future as inflation decreases the value of money. Recently, there have been market indicators of a rise in inflation. As inflation increases, the real value of the Fund’s shares and distributions therefore may decline. In addition, during any periods of rising inflation, dividend rates of any debt securities issued by the Fund would likely increase, which would tend to further reduce returns to common shareholders. Inflation rates may change frequently and significantly as a result of various factors, including unexpected shifts in the domestic or global economy and changes in economic policies, and the Fund’s investments may not keep pace with inflation, which may result in losses to Fund shareholders. This risk is greater for fixed-income instruments with longer maturities.

Equity Risk. Investing in the Fund involves equity risk, which is the risk that the securities held by the Fund will fall in market value due to adverse market and economic conditions, perceptions regarding the industries in which the issuers of securities held by the Fund participate and the particular circumstances and performance of particular companies whose securities the Fund holds. An investment in the Fund represents an indirect economic stake in the securities owned by the Fund, which are for the most part traded on securities exchanges or in the OTC markets. The market value of these securities, like other market investments, may move up or down, sometimes rapidly and unpredictably. The net asset value of the Fund may at any point in time be less than the net asset value of the Fund at the time the shareholder invested in the Fund, even after taking into account any reinvestment of distributions.

Common Stock Risk. Common stock of an issuer in the Fund’s portfolio may decline in price for a variety of reasons, including if the issuer fails to make anticipated dividend payments because, among other reasons, the issuer of the security experiences a decline in its financial condition. Common stock in which the Fund invests is structurally subordinated as to income and residual value to preferred stock, bonds and other debt instruments in a company’s capital structure, in terms of priority to corporate income, and therefore will be subject to greater dividend risk than preferred stock or debt instruments of such issuers. In addition, while common stock has historically generated higher average returns than fixed income securities, common stock has also experienced significantly more volatility in generating those returns.

Preferred Stock Risk. There are special risks associated with the Fund’s investing in preferred securities, including:

 

   

Deferral. Preferred securities may include provisions that permit the issuer, at its discretion, to defer dividends or distributions for a stated period without any adverse consequences to the issuer. If the Fund owns a preferred security that is deferring its dividends or distributions, the Fund may be required to report income for tax purposes although it has not yet received such income.

   

Non-Cumulative Dividends. Some preferred securities are non-cumulative, meaning that the dividends do not accumulate and need not ever be paid. A portion of the portfolio may include investments in non-cumulative preferred securities, whereby the issuer does not have an obligation to make up any arrearages to its shareholders. Should an issuer of a non-cumulative preferred security held by the Fund determine not to pay dividends or distributions on such security, the Fund’s return from that security may be adversely affected. There is no assurance that dividends or distributions on non-cumulative preferred securities in which the Fund invests will be declared or otherwise made payable.

   

Subordination. Preferred securities are subordinated to bonds and other debt instruments in an issuer’s capital structure in terms of priority to corporate income and liquidation payments, and therefore will be subject to greater credit risk than more senior debt security instruments.

   

Liquidity. Preferred securities may be substantially less liquid than many other securities, such as common stocks or U.S. government securities.

   

Limited Voting Rights. Generally, preferred security holders (such as the Fund) have no voting rights with respect to the issuing company unless preferred dividends have been in arrears for a specified number of periods, at which time the preferred security holders may be entitled to elect a number of directors to the issuer’s board. Generally, once all the arrearages have been paid, the preferred security holders no longer have voting rights.

 

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Special Redemption Rights. In certain varying circumstances, an issuer of preferred securities may redeem the securities prior to a specified date. For instance, for certain types of preferred securities, a redemption may be triggered by a change in U.S. federal income tax or securities laws. A redemption by the issuer may negatively impact the return of the security held by the Fund.

Convertible Securities Risk. Convertible securities generally offer lower interest or dividend yields than non-convertible securities of similar quality. The market values of convertible securities tend to decline as interest rates increase and, conversely, to increase as interest rates decline. In the absence of adequate anti-dilution provisions in a convertible security, dilution in the value of the Fund’s holding may occur in the event the underlying stock is subdivided, additional equity securities are issued for below market value, a stock dividend is declared or the issuer enters into another type of corporate transaction that has a similar effect.

Merger Arbitrage Risk. The Fund may invest in securities of companies for which a tender or exchange offer has been made or announced, and in securities of companies for which a merger, consolidation, liquidation or reorganization proposal has been announced. The principal risk of such investments is that certain of such proposed transactions may be renegotiated, terminated or involve a longer time frame than originally contemplated, in which case the Fund may realize losses. Such risk is sometimes referred to as “merger arbitrage risk.” Among the factors that affect the level of risk with respect to the completion of the transaction are the deal spread and number of bidders, the friendliness of the buyer and seller, the strategic rationale behind the transaction, the existence of regulatory hurdles, the level of due diligence completed on the target company and the ability of the buyer to finance the transaction. If the spread between the purchase price and the current price of the seller’s stock is small, the risk that the transaction will not be completed may outweigh the potential return. If there is very little interest by other potential buyers in the target company, the risk of loss may be higher than where there are back-up buyers that would allow the arbitrageur to realize a similar return if the current deal falls through. Unfriendly management of the target company or change in friendly management in the middle of a deal increases the risk that the deal will not be completed even if the target company’s board has approved the transaction and may involve the risk of litigation expense if the target company pursues litigation in an attempt to prevent the deal from occurring. The underlying strategy behind the deal is also a risk consideration because the less a target company will benefit from a merger or acquisition, the greater the risk. There is also a risk that an acquiring company may back out of an announced deal if, in the process of completing its due diligence of the target company, it discovers something undesirable about such company. In addition, merger transactions are also subject to regulatory risk because a merger transaction often must be approved by a regulatory body or pass governmental antitrust review. All of these factors affect the timing and likelihood that the transaction will close. Even if the Investment Adviser selects announced deals with the goal of mitigating the risks that the transaction will fail to close, such risks may still delay the closing of such transaction to a date later than the Fund originally anticipated, reducing the level of desired return to the Fund.

Merger arbitrage positions are also subject to the risk of overall market movements. To the extent that a general increase or decline in equity values affects the stocks involved in a merger arbitrage position differently, the position may be exposed to loss.

Finally, merger arbitrage strategies depend for success on the overall volume of global merger activity, which has historically been cyclical in nature. During periods when merger activity is low, it may be difficult or impossible to identify opportunities for profit or to identify a sufficient number of such opportunities to provide balance among potential merger transactions. To the extent that the number of announced deals and corporate reorganizations decreases or the number of investors in such transactions increases, it is possible that merger arbitrage spreads will tighten, causing the profitability of investing in such transactions to diminish, which will in turn decrease the returns to the Fund from such investment activity.

Recapitalization Risk. In recapitalizations, a corporation may restructure its balance sheet by selling specific assets, significantly leveraging other assets and creating new classes of equity securities to be distributed, together with a substantial payment in cash or in debt securities, to existing shareholders. In connection with such transactions, there is a risk that the value of the cash and new securities distributed will not be as high as the cost of the Fund’s original investment or that no such distribution will ultimately be made and the value of the Fund’s investment will decline. To the extent an investment in a company that has undertaken a recapitalization is retained by the Fund, the Fund’s risks will generally be comparable to those associated with investments in highly leveraged companies, generally including higher than average sensitivity to (i) short term interest rate fluctuations, (ii) downturns in the general economy or within a particular industry or (iii) adverse developments within the company itself.

Distribution Risk for Equity Income Securities. In selecting equity income securities in which the Fund will invest, the Investment Adviser will consider the issuer’s history of making regular periodic distributions (i.e., dividends) to its equity holders. An issuer’s history of paying dividends, however, does not guarantee that the issuer will continue to pay dividends in the future. The dividend income stream associated with equity income securities generally is not guaranteed and will be subordinate to payment obligations of the issuer on its debt and other liabilities. Accordingly, in the event the issuer does not realize sufficient income in a particular period both to service its liabilities and to pay dividends on its equity securities, it may forgo paying dividends on its equity securities. In addition, because in most instances issuers are not obligated to make periodic distributions to the holders of their equity securities, such distributions or dividends generally may be discontinued at the issuer’s discretion.

 

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Dividend-producing equity income securities, in particular those whose market price is closely related to their yield, may exhibit greater sensitivity to interest rate changes. See “—Fixed Income Securities Risks—Interest Rate Risk.” The Fund’s investments in dividend-producing equity income securities may also limit its potential for appreciation during a broad market advance.

The prices of dividend-producing equity income securities can be highly volatile. Investors should not assume that the Fund’s investments in these securities will necessarily reduce the volatility of the Fund’s net asset value or provide “protection,” compared to other types of equity income securities, when markets perform poorly.

Non-Diversified Status Risk. The Fund is classified as a “non-diversified” investment company under the 1940 Act, which means the Fund is not limited by the 1940 Act in the proportion of its assets that may be invested in the securities of a single issuer. As a non-diversified investment company, the Fund may invest in the securities of individual issuers to a greater degree than a diversified investment company. As a result, the Fund may be more vulnerable to events affecting a single issuer and therefore, subject to greater volatility than a fund that is more broadly diversified. Accordingly, an investment in the Fund may present greater risk to an investor than an investment in a diversified company.

Fixed Income Securities Risks. Fixed income securities in which the Fund may invest are generally subject to the following risks:

 

   

Interest Rate Risk. The market value of bonds and other fixed-income or dividend paying securities changes in response to interest rate changes and other factors. Interest rate risk is the risk that prices of bonds and other income or dividend paying securities will increase as interest rates fall and decrease as interest rates rise.

The Fund may be subject to a greater risk of rising interest rates due to the current period of historically low interest rates. There is a possibility that interest rates may rise, which would likely drive down the prices of income- or dividend-paying securities. The magnitude of these fluctuations in the market price of bonds and other income or dividend paying securities is generally greater for those securities with longer maturities. Fluctuations in the market price of the Fund’s investments will not affect interest income derived from instruments already owned by the Fund, but will be reflected in the Fund’s net asset value. The Fund may lose money if short term or long term interest rates rise sharply in a manner not anticipated by Fund management. To the extent the Fund invests in debt securities that may be prepaid at the option of the obligor (such as mortgage-related securities), the sensitivity of such securities to changes in interest rates may increase (to the detriment of the Fund) when interest rates rise. Moreover, because rates on certain floating rate debt securities typically reset only periodically, changes in prevailing interest rates (and particularly sudden and significant changes) can be expected to cause some fluctuations in the net asset value of the Fund to the extent that it invests in floating rate debt securities. These basic principles of bond prices also apply to U.S. government securities. A security backed by the “full faith and credit” of the U.S. government is guaranteed only as to its stated interest rate and face value at maturity, not its current market price. Just like other income or dividend paying securities, government-guaranteed securities will fluctuate in value when interest rates change.

The Fund’s use of leverage will tend to increase the Fund’s interest rate risk. The Fund may utilize certain strategies, including taking positions in futures or interest rate swaps, for the purpose of reducing the interest rate sensitivity of income or dividend paying securities held by the Fund and decreasing the Fund’s exposure to interest rate risk. The Fund is not required to hedge its exposure to interest rate risk and may choose not to do so. In addition, there is no assurance that any attempts by the Fund to reduce interest rate risk will be successful or that any hedges that the Fund may establish will perfectly correlate with movements in interest rates.

The Fund may invest in variable and floating rate debt instruments, which generally are less sensitive to interest rate changes than longer duration fixed rate instruments, but may decline in value in response to rising interest rates if, for example, the rates at which they pay interest do not rise as much, or as quickly, as market interest rates in general. Conversely, variable and floating rate instruments generally will not increase in value if interest rates decline. The Fund also may invest in inverse floating rate debt securities, which may decrease in value if interest rates increase, and which also may exhibit greater price volatility than fixed rate debt obligations with similar credit quality. To the extent the Fund holds variable or floating rate instruments, a decrease (or, in the case of inverse floating rate securities, an increase) in market interest rates will adversely affect the income received from such securities, which may adversely affect the net asset value of the Fund’s common shares.

 

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Issuer Risk. Issuer risk is the risk that the value of an income or dividend paying security may decline for a number of reasons which directly relate to the issuer, such as management performance, financial leverage, reduced demand for the issuer’s goods and services, historical and prospective earnings of the issuer and the value of the assets of the issuer.

 

   

Credit Risk. Credit risk is the risk that one or more income or dividend paying securities in the Fund’s portfolio will decline in price or fail to pay interest/distributions or principal when due because the issuer of the security experiences a decline in its financial status. Credit risk is increased when a portfolio security is downgraded or the perceived creditworthiness of the issuer deteriorates. To the extent the Fund invests in below investment grade securities, it will be exposed to a greater amount of credit risk than a fund which only invests in investment grade securities. See “Risk Factors and Special Considerations — General Risks — Non-Investment Grade Securities.” In addition, to the extent the Fund uses credit derivatives, such use will expose it to additional risk in the event that the bonds underlying the derivatives default. The degree of credit risk depends on the issuer’s financial condition and on the terms of the securities.

 

   

Prepayment Risk. Prepayment risk is the risk that during periods of declining interest rates, borrowers may exercise their option to prepay principal earlier than scheduled. For income or dividend paying securities, such payments often occur during periods of declining interest rates, forcing the Fund to reinvest in lower yielding securities, resulting in a possible decline in the Fund’s income and distributions to shareholders. This is known as prepayment or “call” risk. Below investment grade securities frequently have call features that allow the issuer to redeem the security at dates prior to its stated maturity at a specified price (typically greater than par) only if certain prescribed conditions are met (“call protection”). For premium bonds (bonds acquired at prices that exceed their par or principal value) purchased by the Fund, prepayment risk may be enhanced.

 

   

Reinvestment Risk. Reinvestment risk is the risk that income from the Fund’s portfolio will decline if the Fund invests the proceeds from matured, traded or called fixed income securities at market interest rates that are below the Fund portfolio’s current earnings rate.

 

   

Duration and Maturity Risk. The Fund has no set policy regarding portfolio maturity or duration of the fixed-income securities it may hold. The Investment Adviser may seek to adjust the duration or maturity of the Fund’s fixed-income holdings based on its assessment of current and projected market conditions and all other factors that the Investment Adviser deems relevant. In comparison to maturity (which is the date on which the issuer of a debt instrument is obligated to repay the principal amount), duration is a measure of the price volatility of a debt instrument as a result in changes in market rates of interest, based on the weighted average timing of the instrument’s expected principal and interest payments. Specifically, duration measures the anticipated percentage change in NAV that is expected for every percentage point change in interest rates. The two have an inverse relationship. Duration can be a useful tool to estimate anticipated price changes to a fixed pool of income securities associated with changes in interest rates. For example, a duration of five years means that a 1% decrease in interest rates will increase the NAV of the portfolio by approximately 5%; if interest rates increase by 1%, the NAV will decrease by 5%. However, in a managed portfolio of fixed income securities having differing interest or dividend rates or payment schedules, maturities, redemption provisions, call or prepayment provisions and credit qualities, actual price changes in response to changes in interest rates may differ significantly from a duration-based estimate at any given time. Actual price movements experienced by a portfolio of fixed income securities will be affected by how interest rates move (i.e., changes in the relationship of long term interest rates to short term interest rates), the magnitude of any move in interest rates, actual and anticipated prepayments of principal through call or redemption features, the extension of maturities through restructuring, the sale of securities for portfolio management purposes, the reinvestment of proceeds from prepayments on and from sales of securities, and credit quality-related considerations whether associated with financing costs to lower credit quality borrowers or otherwise, as well as other factors. Accordingly, while duration maybe a useful tool to estimate potential price movements in relation to changes in interest rates, investors are cautioned that duration alone will not predict actual changes in the net asset or market value of the Fund’s shares and that actual price movements in the Fund’s portfolio may differ significantly from duration-based estimates. Duration differs from maturity in that it takes into account a security’s yield, coupon payments and its principal payments in addition to the amount of time until the security matures. As the value of a security changes over time, so will its duration. Prices of securities with longer durations tend to be more sensitive to interest rate changes than securities with shorter durations. In general, a portfolio of securities with a longer duration can be expected to be more sensitive to interest rate changes than a portfolio with a shorter duration. Any decisions as to the targeted duration or maturity of any particular category of investments will be made based on all pertinent market factors at any given time. The Fund may incur costs in seeking to adjust the portfolio average duration or maturity. There can be no assurance that the Investment Adviser’s assessment of current and projected market conditions will be correct or that any strategy to adjust duration or maturity will be successful at any given time.

 

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Corporate Bonds Risk. The market value of a corporate bond generally may be expected to rise and fall inversely with interest rates. The market value of intermediate and longer term corporate bonds is generally more sensitive to changes in interest rates than is the market value of shorter term corporate bonds. The market value of a corporate bond also may be affected by factors directly related to the issuer, such as investors’ perceptions of the creditworthiness of the issuer, the issuer’s financial performance, perceptions of the issuer in the market place, performance of management of the issuer, the issuer’s capital structure and use of financial leverage and demand for the issuer’s goods and services. Certain risks associated with investments in corporate bonds are described elsewhere in this prospectus in further detail, including under “Risk Factors and Special Considerations — General Risks — Fixed Income Securities Risks — Credit Risk,” “—Fixed Income Securities Risks—Interest Rate Risk” and “—Fixed Income Securities Risks—Prepayment Risk.” There is a risk that the issuers of corporate bonds may not be able to meet their obligations on interest or principal payments at the time called for by an instrument. Corporate bonds of below investment grade quality are often high risk and have speculative characteristics and may be particularly susceptible to adverse issuer-specific developments. Corporate bonds of below investment grade quality are subject to the risks described herein under “—Non-Investment Grade Securities.”

Non-Investment Grade Securities. The Fund may invest in below investment-grade securities, also known as “high-yield” securities or “junk” bonds. Securities rated below investment grade, which may be preferred stock or debt, are predominantly speculative and involve major risk exposure to adverse conditions. Securities that are rated lower than “BBB” by S&P or lower than “Baa” by Moody’s (or unrated debt securities of comparable quality) are referred to in the financial press as “junk bonds” or “high-yield” securities and generally pay a premium above the yields of U.S. government securities or debt securities of investment grade issuers because they are subject to greater risks than these securities. These risks, which reflect their speculative character, include the following:

 

   

greater volatility;

   

greater credit risk and risk of default;

   

potentially greater sensitivity to general economic or industry conditions;

   

potential lack of attractive resale opportunities (illiquidity); and

   

additional expenses to seek recovery from issuers who default.

In addition, the prices of these non-investment grade securities are more sensitive to negative developments, such as a decline in the issuer’s revenues or a general economic downturn, than are the prices of higher grade securities. Non-investment grade securities tend to be less liquid than investment grade securities. The market value of non-investment grade securities may be more volatile than the market value of investment grade securities and generally tends to reflect the market’s perception of the creditworthiness of the issuer and short term market developments to a greater extent than investment grade securities, which primarily reflect fluctuations in general levels of interest rates.

Ratings are relative and subjective and not absolute standards of quality. Securities ratings are based largely on the issuer’s historical financial condition and the rating agencies’ analysis at the time of rating. Consequently, the rating assigned to any particular security is not necessarily a reflection of the issuer’s current financial condition.

The Fund may purchase securities of companies that are experiencing significant financial or business difficulties, including companies involved in bankruptcy or other reorganization and liquidation proceedings. Although such investments may result in significant financial returns to the Fund, they involve a substantial degree of risk. The level of analytical sophistication, both financial and legal, necessary for successful investments in issuers experiencing significant business and financial difficulties is unusually high. There can be no assurance that the Fund will correctly evaluate the value of the assets collateralizing its investments or the prospects for a successful reorganization or similar action. In any reorganization or liquidation proceeding relating to a portfolio investment, the Fund may lose all or part of its investment or may be required to accept collateral with a value less than the amount of the Fund’s initial investment.

As a part of its investments in non-investment grade securities, the Fund may invest in the securities of issuers in default. The Fund invests in securities of issuers in default only when the Investment Adviser believes that such issuers will honor their obligations and emerge from bankruptcy protection and that the value of such issuers’ securities will appreciate. By investing in the securities of issuers in default, the Fund bears the risk that these issuers will not continue to honor their obligations or emerge from bankruptcy protection or that the value of these securities will not otherwise appreciate.

In addition to using statistical rating agencies and other sources, the Investment Adviser will also perform its own analysis of issuers in seeking investments that it believes to be underrated (and thus higher yielding) in light of the financial condition of the issuer. Its analysis of issuers may include, among other things, current and anticipated cash flow and borrowing requirements, value of assets in relation to historical cost, strength of management, responsiveness to business conditions, credit standing and current anticipated results of operations. In selecting investments for the Fund, the Investment Adviser may also consider general business conditions, anticipated changes in interest rates and the outlook for specific industries.

 

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Subsequent to its purchase by the Fund, an issue of securities may cease to be rated or its rating may be reduced. In addition, it is possible that statistical rating agencies might change their ratings of a particular issue to reflect subsequent events on a timely basis. Moreover, such ratings do not assess the risk of a decline in market value. None of these events will require the sale of the securities by the Fund, although the Investment Adviser will consider these events in determining whether the Fund should continue to hold the securities.

Fixed income securities, including non-investment grade securities and comparable unrated securities, frequently have call or buy-back features that permit their issuers to call or repurchase the securities from their holders, such as the Fund. If an issuer exercises these rights during periods of declining interest rates, the Fund may have to replace the security with a lower yielding security, thus resulting in a decreased return for the Fund.

The market for non-investment grade and comparable unrated securities has at various times, particularly during times of economic recession, experienced substantial reductions in market value and liquidity. Past recessions have adversely affected the ability of certain issuers of such securities to repay principal and pay interest thereon. The market for those securities could react in a similar fashion in the event of any future economic recession.

U.S. Government Securities and Credit Rating Downgrade Risk. The Fund may invest in direct obligations of the government of the United States or its agencies. Obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies, authorities and instrumentalities and backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. guarantee only that principal and interest will be timely paid to holders of the securities. These entities do not guarantee that the value of such obligations will increase, and, in fact, the market values of such obligations may fluctuate. In addition, not all U.S. government securities are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States; some are the obligation solely of the entity through which they are issued. There is no guarantee that the U.S. government would provide financial support to its agencies and instrumentalities if not required to do so by law.

In 2011, S&P lowered its long term sovereign credit rating on the U.S. to “AA+” from “AAA.” The downgrade by S&P increased volatility in both stock and bond markets, resulting in higher interest rates and higher Treasury yields, and increased the costs of all kinds of debt. Repeat occurrences of similar events could have significant adverse effects on the U.S. economy generally and could result in significant adverse impacts on issuers of securities held by the Fund itself. The Investment Adviser cannot predict the effects of similar events in the future on the U.S. economy and securities markets or on the Fund’s portfolio. The Investment Adviser monitors developments and seeks to manage the Fund’s portfolio in a manner consistent with achieving the Fund’s investment objective, but there can be no assurance that it will be successful in doing so and the Investment Adviser may not timely anticipate or manage existing, new or additional risks, contingencies or developments.

Value Investing Risk. The Fund focuses its investments on the securities of companies that the Investment Adviser believes are undervalued or inexpensive relative to other investments. These types of securities may present risks in addition to the general risks associated with investing in common and preferred stocks. These securities generally are selected on the basis of an issuer’s fundamentals relative to current market price. Such securities are subject to the risk of mis-estimation of certain fundamental factors. In addition, during certain time periods market dynamics may strongly favor “growth” stocks of issuers that do not display strong fundamentals relative to market price based upon positive price momentum and other factors. Disciplined adherence to a “value” investment mandate during such periods can result in significant underperformance relative to overall market indices and other managed investment vehicles that pursue growth style investments and/or flexible equity style mandates.

Selection Risk. Different types of stocks tend to shift into and out of favor with stock market investors, depending on market and economic conditions. The performance of funds that invest in value-style stocks may at times be better or worse than the performance of stock funds that focus on other types of stocks or that have a broader investment style.

Small and Mid-Cap Stock Risk. The Fund may invest in the equity securities of small-cap and/or mid-cap companies. Small and mid-cap companies offer investment opportunities and additional risks. They may not be well known to the investing public, may not be significantly owned by institutional investors and may not have steady earnings growth. These companies may have limited product or business lines and markets, as well as shorter operating histories, less experienced management and more limited financial resources than larger companies. Changes in any one line of business, therefore, may have a greater impact on a small or mid-cap company’s stock price than is the case for a larger company. In addition, the securities of such companies may be more vulnerable to adverse general market or economic developments, more volatile in price, have wider spreads between their bid and ask prices and have significantly lower trading volumes than the securities of larger capitalization companies. As such, securities of these small and mid-cap companies may be less liquid than those of larger companies, and may experience greater price fluctuations than larger companies. In addition, small-cap or mid-cap company securities may not be widely followed by investors, which may result in reduced demand.

 

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As a result, the purchase or sale of more than a limited number of shares of the securities of a small or mid-cap company may affect its market price. The Investment Adviser may need a considerable amount of time to purchase or sell its positions in these securities, particularly when other Investment Adviser-managed accounts or other investors are also seeking to purchase or sell them.

The securities of small and mid-cap companies generally trade in lower volumes and are subject to greater and more unpredictable price changes than larger capitalization securities or the market as a whole. In addition, small and mid-cap securities may be particularly sensitive to changes in interest rates, borrowing costs and earnings. Investing in small and mid-cap securities requires a longer-term view.

Small and mid-cap companies, due to the size and kinds of markets that they serve, may be less susceptible than large-cap companies to intervention from the U.S. federal government by means of price controls, regulations or litigation.

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

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

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

The following provides more detail on certain pronounced risks with foreign investing:

 

   

Foreign Currency Risk. The Fund may invest in companies whose securities are denominated or quoted in currencies other than U.S. dollars or have significant operations or markets outside of the United States. In such instances, the Fund will be exposed to currency risk, including the risk of fluctuations in the exchange rate between U.S. dollars (in which the Fund’s shares are denominated) and such foreign currencies, the risk of currency devaluations and the risks of non-exchangeability and blockage. As non-U.S. securities may be purchased with and payable in currencies of countries other than the U.S. dollar, the value of these assets measured in U.S. dollars may be affected favorably or unfavorably by changes in currency rates and exchange control regulations. Fluctuations in currency rates may adversely affect the ability of the Investment Adviser to acquire such securities at advantageous prices and may also adversely affect the performance of such assets.

Certain non-U.S. currencies, primarily in developing countries, have been devalued in the past and might face devaluation in the future. Currency devaluations generally have a significant and adverse impact on the devaluing country’s economy in the short and intermediate term and on the financial condition and results of companies’ operations in that country. Currency devaluations may also be accompanied by significant declines in the values and liquidity of equity and debt securities of affected governmental and private sector entities generally. To the extent that affected companies have obligations denominated in currencies other than the devalued currency, those

 

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companies may also have difficulty in meeting those obligations under such circumstances, which in turn could have an adverse effect upon the value of the Fund’s investments in such companies. There can be no assurance that current or future developments with respect to foreign currency devaluations will not impair the Fund’s investment flexibility, its ability to achieve its investment objective or the value of certain of its foreign currency-denominated investments.

 

   

Tax Consequences of Foreign Investing. The Fund’s transactions in foreign currencies, foreign currency-denominated debt obligations and certain foreign currency options, futures contracts and forward contracts (and similar instruments) may give rise to ordinary income or loss to the extent such income or loss results from fluctuations in the value of the foreign currency concerned. This treatment could increase or decrease the Fund’s ordinary income distributions to you, and may cause some or all of the Fund’s previously distributed income to be classified as a return of capital. In certain cases, the Fund may make an election to treat gain or loss attributable to certain investments as capital gain or loss.

 

   

EMU and Redenomination Risk. As the European debt crisis progressed, the possibility of one or more Eurozone countries exiting the European Monetary Union (“EMU”), or even the collapse of the Euro as a common currency, arose, creating significant volatility at times in currency and financial markets generally. The effects of the collapse of the Euro, or of the exit of one or more countries from the EMU, on the U.S. and global economies and securities markets are impossible to predict, and any such events could have a significant adverse impact on the value and risk profile of the Fund’s portfolio. Any partial or complete dissolution of the EMU could have significant adverse effects on currency and financial markets, and on the values of the Fund’s portfolio investments. If one or more EMU countries were to stop using the Euro as its primary currency, the Fund’s investments in such countries may be redenominated into a different or newly adopted currency. As a result, the value of those investments could decline significantly and unpredictably. In addition, securities or other investments that are redenominated may be subject to foreign currency risk, liquidity risk and valuation risk to a greater extent than similar investments currently denominated in Euros. To the extent a currency used for redenomination purposes is not specified in respect of certain EMU-related investments, or should the Euro cease to be used entirely, the currency in which such investments are denominated may be unclear, making such investments particularly difficult to value or dispose of. The Fund may incur additional expenses to the extent it is required to seek judicial or other clarification of the denomination or value of such securities.

 

   

Eurozone Risk. A number of countries in the EU have experienced, and may continue to experience, severe economic and financial difficulties, increasing the risk of investing in the European markets. In particular, many EU nations are susceptible to economic risks associated with high levels of debt, notably due to investments in sovereign debt of countries such as Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland. As a result, financial markets in the EU have been subject to increased volatility and declines in asset values and liquidity. Responses to these financial problems by European governments, central banks, and others, including austerity measures and reforms, may not work, may result in social unrest, and may limit future growth and economic recovery or have other unintended consequences. Further defaults or restructurings by governments and others of their debt could have additional adverse effects on economies, financial markets, and asset valuations around the world. Greece, Ireland, and Portugal have already received one or more “bailouts” from other Eurozone member states, and it is unclear how much additional funding they will require or if additional Eurozone member states will require bailouts in the future. One or more other countries may also abandon the euro and/or withdraw from the EU, placing its currency and banking system in jeopardy. The impact of these actions, especially if they occur in a disorderly fashion, is not clear, but could be significant and far-reaching.

On June 23, 2016, the United Kingdom held a referendum in which voters approved an exit from the EU, commonly referred to as “Brexit.” The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU occurred on January 31, 2020, and the United Kingdom remained in the EU’s customs union and single market until December 31, 2020. The United Kingdom and the EU have entered into a Trade and Cooperation Agreement (the “TCA”). While the TCA regulates a number of important areas, significant parts of the United Kingdom economy are not addressed in detail by the TCA, including in particular the services sector, which represents the largest component of the United Kingdom’s economy. A number of issues, particularly in relation to the financial services sector, remain to be resolved through further bilateral negotiations. As a result, the new relationship between the United Kingdom and the EU could in the short-term, and possibly for longer, cause disruptions to and create uncertainty in the United Kingdom and European economies, prejudice to financial services businesses that are conducting business in the EU and which are based in the United Kingdom, legal uncertainty regarding achievement of compliance with applicable financial and commercial laws and regulations, and the unavailability of timely information as to expected legal, tax and other regimes.

 

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In addition, certain European countries have recently experienced negative interest rates on certain fixed-income instruments. A negative interest rate policy is an unconventional central bank monetary policy tool where nominal target interest rates are set with a negative value (i.e., below zero percent) intended to help create self-sustaining growth in the local economy. Negative interest rates may result in heightened market volatility and may detract from the Fund’s performance to the extent the Fund is exposed to such interest rates. Among other things, these developments have adversely affected the value and exchange rate of the euro and pound sterling, and may continue to significantly affect the economies of all EU countries, which in turn may have a material adverse effect on the Fund’s investments in such countries, other countries that depend on EU countries for significant amounts of trade or investment, or issuers with exposure to debt issued by certain EU countries.

To the extent the Fund has exposure to European markets or to transactions tied to the value of the euro, these events could negatively affect the value and liquidity of the Fund’s investments. All of these developments may continue to significantly affect the economies of all EU countries, which in turn may have a material adverse effect on the Fund’s investments in such countries, other countries that depend on EU countries for significant amounts of trade or investment, or issuers with exposure to debt issued by certain EU countries.

Restricted and Illiquid Securities. Unregistered securities are securities that cannot be sold publicly in the United States without registration under the Securities Act. An illiquid investment is a security or other investment that cannot be disposed of within seven days in the ordinary course of business at approximately the value at which the Fund has valued the investment. Unregistered securities often can be resold only in privately negotiated transactions with a limited number of purchasers or in a public offering registered under the Securities Act. Considerable delay could be encountered in either event and, unless otherwise contractually provided for, the Fund’s proceeds upon sale may be reduced by the costs of registration or underwriting discounts. The difficulties and delays associated with such transactions could result in the Fund’s inability to realize a favorable price upon disposition of unregistered securities, and at times might make disposition of such securities impossible. The Fund may be unable to sell illiquid investments when it desires to do so, resulting in the Fund obtaining a lower price or being required to retain the investment. Illiquid investments generally must be valued at fair value, which is inherently less precise than utilizing market values for liquid investments, and may lead to differences between the price at which a security is valued for determining the Fund’s net asset value and the price the Fund actually receives upon sale.

Short Sales Risk. Short-selling involves selling securities which may or may not be owned and borrowing the same securities for delivery to the purchaser, with an obligation to replace the borrowed securities at a later date. If the price of the security sold short increases between the time of the short sale and the time the Fund replaces the borrowed security, the Fund will incur a loss; conversely, if the price declines, the Fund will realize a capital gain. Any gain will be decreased, and any loss will be increased, by the transaction costs incurred by the Fund, including the costs associated with providing collateral to the broker-dealer (usually cash and liquid securities) and the maintenance of collateral with its Custodian. Although the Fund’s gain is limited to the price at which it sold the security short, its potential loss is theoretically unlimited.

Short-selling necessarily involves certain additional risks. However, if the short seller does not own the securities sold short (an uncovered short sale), the borrowed securities must be replaced by securities purchased at market prices in order to close out the short position, and any appreciation in the price of the borrowed securities would result in a loss. Uncovered short sales expose the Fund to the risk of uncapped losses until a position can be closed out due to the lack of an upper limit on the price to which a security may rise. Purchasing securities to close out the short position can itself cause the price of the securities to rise further, thereby exacerbating the loss. There is the risk that the securities borrowed by the Fund in connection with a short-sale must be returned to the securities lender on short notice. If a request for return of borrowed securities occurs at a time when other short-sellers of the security are receiving similar requests, a “short squeeze” can occur, and the Fund may be compelled to replace borrowed securities previously sold short with purchases on the open market at the most disadvantageous time, possibly at prices significantly in excess of the proceeds received at the time the securities were originally sold short.

In September 2008, in response to spreading turmoil in the financial markets, the SEC temporarily banned short selling in the stocks of numerous financial services companies, and also promulgated new disclosure requirements with respect to short positions held by investment managers. The SEC’s temporary ban on short selling of such stocks has since expired, but should similar restrictions and/or additional disclosure requirements be promulgated, especially if market turmoil occurs, the Fund may be forced to cover short positions more quickly than otherwise intended and may suffer losses as a result. Such restrictions may also adversely affect the ability of the Fund to execute its investment strategies generally. Similar emergency orders were also instituted in non-U.S. markets in response to increased volatility. The Fund’s ability to engage in short sales is also restricted by various regulatory requirements relating to short sales.

 

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Leverage Risk. The Fund currently uses financial leverage for investment purposes by issuing preferred shares. As of December 31, 2020, the amount of leverage represented approximately 38% of the Fund’s net assets. The Fund’s leveraged capital structure creates special risks not associated with unleveraged funds that have a similar investment objective and policies. These include the possibility of greater loss and the likelihood of higher volatility of the net asset value of the Fund and the asset coverage for any preferred shares or debt outstanding. Such volatility may increase the likelihood of the Fund having to sell investments in order to meet its obligations to make distributions on the preferred shares or principal or interest payments on debt securities, or to redeem preferred shares or repay debt when it may be disadvantageous to do so. The Fund’s use of leverage may require it to sell portfolio investments at inopportune times in order to raise cash to redeem preferred shares or otherwise de-leverage so as to maintain required asset coverage amounts or comply with the mandatory redemption terms of any outstanding preferred shares. The use of leverage magnifies both the favorable and unfavorable effects of price movements in the investments made by the Fund. To the extent the Fund is leveraged in its investment operations, the Fund will be subject to substantial risk of loss. The Fund cannot assure that borrowings or the issuance of notes or preferred shares will result in a higher yield or return to the holders of the common shares. Also, to the extent the Fund utilizes leverage, a decline in net asset value could affect the ability of the Fund to make common share distributions and such a failure to make distributions could result in the Fund ceasing to qualify as a RIC under the Code.

For more information regarding the risks of a leverage capital structure to holders of the Fund’s common shares, see “Risk Factors and Special Considerations — Special Risks to Holder of Common Shares — Leverage Risk.”

Special Risks Related to Investment in Derivatives. The Fund may participate in derivative transactions. Such transactions entail certain execution, market, liquidity, counterparty, correlation, volatility, hedging and tax risks. Participation in the options or futures markets, in currency exchange transactions and in other derivatives transactions involves investment risks and transaction costs to which the Fund would not be subject absent the use of these strategies. If the Investment Adviser’s prediction of movements in the direction of the securities, foreign currency, interest rate or other referenced instruments or markets is inaccurate, the consequences to the Fund may leave the Fund in a worse position than if it had not used such strategies. Risks inherent in the use of options, swaps, foreign currency, futures contracts and options on futures contracts, securities indices and foreign currencies include:

 

   

dependence on the Investment Adviser’s ability to predict correctly movements in the direction of the relevant measure;

   

imperfect correlation between the price of the derivative instrument and movements in the prices of the referenced assets;

   

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

   

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

   

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

   

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

   

the creditworthiness of counterparties.

Options, futures contracts, swaps contracts, and options thereon and forward contracts on securities and currencies may be traded on foreign exchanges. Such transactions may not be regulated as effectively as similar transactions in the United States, may not involve a clearing mechanism and related guarantees, and are subject to the risk of governmental actions affecting trading in, or the prices of, foreign securities. The value of such positions also could be adversely affected by (i) other complex foreign political, legal and economic factors, (ii) lesser availability than in the United States of data on which to make trading decisions, (iii) delays in the ability of the Fund to act upon economic events occurring in the foreign markets during non-business hours in the United States, (iv) the imposition of different exercise and settlement terms and procedures and margin requirements than in the United States and (v) less trading volume. Exchanges on which options, futures, swaps and options on futures or swaps are traded may impose limits on the positions that the Fund may take in certain circumstances.

Many OTC derivatives are valued on the basis of dealers’ pricing of these instruments. However, the price at which dealers value a particular derivative and the price which the same dealers would actually be willing to pay for such derivative should the Fund wish or be forced to sell such position may be materially different. Such differences can result in an overstatement of the Fund’s net asset value and may materially adversely affect the Fund in situations in which the Fund is required to sell derivative instruments. Exchange-traded derivatives and OTC derivative transactions submitted for clearing through a central counterparty have become subject to minimum initial and variation margin requirements set by the relevant clearinghouse, as well as possible margin requirements mandated by the SEC or the CFTC. These regulators also have broad discretion to impose margin requirements on non-cleared OTC derivatives. These margin requirements will increase the overall costs for the Fund.

 

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While hedging can reduce or eliminate losses, it can also reduce or eliminate gains. Hedges are sometimes subject to imperfect matching between the derivative and the underlying security, and there can be no assurance that the Fund’s hedging transactions will be effective.

Derivatives may give rise to a form of leverage and may expose the Fund to greater risk and increase its costs. Recent legislation calls for new regulation of the derivatives markets. The extent and impact of the regulation is not yet known and may not be known for some time. New regulation may make derivatives more costly, may limit the availability of derivatives, or may otherwise adversely affect the value or performance of derivatives.

Counterparty Risk. The Fund will be subject to credit risk with respect to the counterparties to the derivative contracts purchased by the Fund. If a counterparty becomes bankrupt or otherwise fails to perform its obligations under a derivative contract due to financial difficulties, the Fund may experience significant delays in obtaining any recovery under the derivative contract in bankruptcy or other reorganization proceeding. The Fund may obtain only a limited recovery or may obtain no recovery in such circumstances.

The counterparty risk for cleared derivatives is generally lower than for uncleared OTC derivative transactions since generally a clearing organization becomes substituted for each counterparty to a cleared derivative contract and, in effect, guarantees the parties’ performance under the contract as each party to a trade looks only to the clearing organization for performance of financial obligations under the derivative contract. However, there can be no assurance that a clearing organization, or its members, will satisfy its obligations to the Fund, or that the Fund would be able to recover the full amount of assets deposited on its behalf with the clearing organization in the event of the default by the clearing organization or the Fund’s clearing broker. In addition, cleared derivative transactions benefit from daily marking-to-market and settlement, and segregation and minimum capital requirements applicable to intermediaries. Uncleared OTC derivative transactions generally do not benefit from such protections. This exposes the Fund to the risk that a counterparty will not settle a transaction in accordance with its terms and conditions because of a dispute over the terms of the contract (whether or not bona fide) or because of a credit or liquidity problem, thus causing the Fund to suffer a loss. Such “counterparty risk” is accentuated for contracts with longer maturities where events may intervene to prevent settlement, or where the Fund has concentrated its transactions with a single or small group of counterparties.

Failure of Futures Commission Merchants and Clearing Organizations Risk. The Fund may deposit funds required to margin open positions in the derivative instruments subject to the CEA with a clearing broker registered as a “futures commission merchant” (“FCM”). The CEA requires an FCM to segregate all funds received from customers with respect to any orders for the purchase or sale of U.S. domestic futures contracts and cleared swaps from the FCM’s proprietary assets. Similarly, the CEA requires each FCM to hold in a separate secure account all funds received from customers with respect to any orders for the purchase or sale of foreign futures contracts and segregate any such funds from the funds received with respect to domestic futures contracts. However, all funds and other property received by a clearing broker from its customers are held by the clearing broker on a commingled basis in an omnibus account and may be invested by the clearing broker in certain instruments permitted under the applicable regulation. There is a risk that assets deposited by the Fund with any swaps or futures clearing broker as margin for futures contracts may, in certain circumstances, be used to satisfy losses of other clients of the Fund’s clearing broker. In addition, the assets of the Fund may not be fully protected in the event of the clearing broker’s bankruptcy, as the Fund would be limited to recovering only a pro rata share of all available funds segregated on behalf of the clearing broker’s combined domestic customer accounts.

Similarly, the CEA requires a clearing organization approved by the CFTC as a derivatives clearing organization to segregate all funds and other property received from a clearing member’s clients in connection with domestic futures, swaps and options contracts from any funds held at the clearing organization to support the clearing member’s proprietary trading. Nevertheless, with respect to futures contracts and options on futures, a clearing organization may use assets of a non-defaulting customer held in an omnibus account at the clearing organization to satisfy losses in that account resulting from the default by another customer on its payment obligations that leads to the clearing member’s default to the clearing organization. As a result, in the situation of a double default by a customer of the Fund’s clearing member and the clearing member itself with respect to payment obligations on the customer’s futures or options on futures, there is a risk that the Fund’s assets in an omnibus account with the clearing organization may be used to satisfy losses from the double default and that the Fund may not recover the full amount of any such assets.

Swaps Risk. Swap agreements are two-party contracts entered into primarily by institutional investors for periods ranging from a few weeks to more than one year. In a standard “swap” transaction, two parties agree to exchange the returns (or differentials in rates of return) earned or realized on particular predetermined investments or instruments. The gross returns to be exchanged or “swapped” between the parties are calculated with respect to a “notional amount,” i.e., the return on or increase in value of a particular dollar amount invested at a particular interest rate, in a particular foreign currency, or in a “basket” of securities representing a particular index. The “notional amount” of the swap agreement is only a fictive basis on which to calculate the obligations that the parties to a swap agreement have agreed to exchange.

 

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Historically, swap transactions have been individually negotiated non-standardized transactions entered into in the OTC markets and have not been subject to the same type of government regulation as exchange-traded instruments. However, the OTC derivatives markets have recently become subject to comprehensive statutes and regulations. In particular, in the U.S., the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) requires that certain derivatives with U.S. persons must be executed on a regulated market and a substantial portion of OTC derivatives must be submitted for clearing to regulated clearinghouses. As a result, swap transactions entered into by the Fund may become subject to various requirements applicable to swaps under the Dodd-Frank Act, including clearing, exchange-execution, reporting and recordkeeping requirements, which may make it more difficult and costly for the Fund to enter into swap transactions and may also render certain strategies in which the Fund might otherwise engage impossible or so costly that they will no longer be economical to implement. Furthermore, the number of counterparties that may be willing to enter into swap transactions with the Fund may also be limited if the swap transactions with the Fund are subject to the swap regulation under the Dodd-Frank Act.

Swap agreements will tend to shift the Fund’s investment exposure from one type of investment to another. For example, if the Fund agreed to pay fixed rates in exchange for floating rates while holding fixed-rate bonds, the swap would tend to decrease the Fund’s exposure to long term interest rates. Caps and floors have an effect similar to buying or writing options. Depending on how they are used, swap agreements may increase or decrease the overall volatility of the Fund’s investments and its share price and yield. The most significant factor in the performance of swap agreements is the change in the specific interest rate, currency, or other factors that determine the amounts of payments due to and from the Fund. If a swap agreement calls for payments by the Fund, the Fund must be prepared to make such payments when due.

The Fund may enter into swap agreements that would calculate the obligations of the parties to the agreements on a “net” basis. Consequently, the Fund’s obligations (or rights) under a swap agreement will generally be equal only to the net amount to be paid or received under the agreement based on the relative values of the positions held by each party to the agreement (the “net amount”). The Fund’s obligations under a swap agreement will be accrued daily (offset against any amounts owing to the Fund) and any accrued but unpaid net amounts owed to a swap counterparty will be covered by the maintenance of liquid assets in accordance with SEC staff positions on the subject.

The Fund’s use of swap agreements may not be successful in furthering its investment objective, as the Investment Adviser may not accurately predict whether certain types of investments are likely to produce greater returns than other investments. Moreover, swap agreements involve the risk that the party with whom a Fund has entered into the swap will default on its obligation to pay a Fund and the risk that a Fund will not be able to meet its obligations to pay the other party to the agreement. The Fund may be able to eliminate its exposure under a swap agreement either by assignment or other disposition, or by entering into an offsetting swap agreement with the same party or a similarly creditworthy party.

Forward Foreign Currency Exchange Contracts. The Fund may enter into forward foreign currency exchange contracts to protect the value of its portfolio against uncertainty in the level of future currency exchange rates between a particular foreign currency and the U.S. dollar or between foreign currencies in which its securities are or may be denominated. The Fund may enter into such contracts on a spot (i.e., cash) basis at the rate then prevailing in the currency exchange market or on a forward basis, by entering into a forward contract to purchase or sell currency. A forward contract on foreign currency is an obligation to purchase or sell a specific currency at a future date, which may be any fixed number of days agreed upon by the parties from the date of the contract at a price set on the date of the contract. Forward currency contracts (i) are traded in a market conducted directly between currency traders (typically, commercial banks or other financial institutions) and their customers, (ii) generally have no deposit requirements and (iii) are typically consummated without payment of any commissions. The Fund, however, may enter into forward currency contracts requiring deposits or involving the payment of commissions.

The dealings of the Fund in forward foreign exchange are limited to hedging involving either specific transactions or portfolio positions. Transaction hedging is the purchase or sale of one forward foreign currency for another currency with respect to specific receivables or payables of the Fund accruing in connection with the purchase and sale of its portfolio securities or its payment of distributions. Position hedging is the purchase or sale of one forward foreign currency for another currency with respect to portfolio security positions denominated or quoted in the foreign currency to offset the effect of an anticipated substantial appreciation or depreciation, respectively, in the value of the currency relative to the U.S. dollar. In this situation, the Fund also may, for example, enter into a forward contract to sell or purchase a different foreign currency for a fixed U.S. dollar amount where it is believed that the U.S. dollar value of the currency to be sold or bought pursuant to the forward contract will fall or rise, as the case may be, whenever there is a decline or increase, respectively, in the U.S. dollar value of the currency in which its portfolio securities are denominated (this practice being referred to as a “cross-hedge”).

In hedging a specific transaction, the Fund may enter into a forward contract with respect to either the currency in which the transaction is denominated or another currency deemed appropriate by the Investment Adviser. The amount the Fund may invest in forward currency contracts is limited to the amount of its aggregate investments in foreign currencies.

 

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The use of forward currency contracts may involve certain risks, including the failure of the counterparty to perform its obligations under the contract, and such use may not serve as a complete hedge because of an imperfect correlation between movements in the prices of the contracts and the prices of the currencies hedged or used for cover. The Fund will only enter into forward currency contracts with parties which the Investment Adviser believes to be creditworthy institutions.

Under current interpretations of the SEC and its staff under the 1940 Act, the Fund must segregate with its custodian liquid assets, or engage in other SEC or staff approved measures, to “cover” open positions in certain types of derivative instruments. The purpose of these requirements is to prevent the Fund from incurring excessive leverage through such instruments. In the case of futures and forward contracts, for example, that are not required as a result of one or more contractual arrangements to settle for cash only in an amount equal to the change in value of the contract over its term but rather may settle through physical delivery or in the notional amount, the Fund must segregate liquid assets equal to such contract’s full notional value while it has an open long position, or equal to the market value of the contract in the case of an open short position. With respect to contracts that the Fund is contractually obligated to settle for cash in an amount equal to the change in value of the contract, the Fund needs to segregate liquid assets only in an amount equal to the Fund’s unpaid mark to market obligation rather than the entire notional amount. This is because the Fund’s maximum potential obligation at that point in time is its net unpaid mark to market obligation rather than the full notional amount.

Futures Contracts and Options on Futures. Futures and options on futures entail certain risks, including but not limited to the following: no assurance that futures contracts or options on futures can be offset at favorable prices; possible reduction of the yield of the Fund due to the use of hedging; possible reduction in value of both the securities hedged and the hedging instrument; possible lack of liquidity due to daily limits on price fluctuations; imperfect correlation between the contracts and the securities being hedged; losses from investing in futures transactions that are potentially unlimited; and the segregation requirements for such transactions.

Options Risk. To the extent that the Fund purchases options pursuant to a hedging strategy, the Fund will be subject to the following additional risks. If a put or call option purchased by the Fund is not sold when it has remaining value, and if the market price of the underlying security remains equal to or greater than the exercise price (in the case of a put), or remains less than or equal to the exercise price (in the case of a call), the Fund will lose its entire investment in the option.

Where a put or call option on a particular security is purchased to hedge against price movements in that or a related security, the price of the put or call option may move more or less than the price of the security. If restrictions on exercise are imposed, the Fund may be unable to exercise an option it has purchased. If the Fund is unable to close out an option that it has purchased on a security, it will have to exercise the option in order to realize any profit or the option may expire worthless.

Dodd-Frank Act Risk. Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act (the “Derivatives Title”) imposed a new regulatory structure on derivatives markets, with particular emphasis on swaps and security based swaps (collectively “swaps”). This regulatory framework covers a broad range of swap market participants, including banks, non-banks, credit unions, insurance companies, broker-dealers and investment advisers.

The SEC, other U.S. regulators, and to a lesser extent the CFTC (the “Regulators”) still are in the process of adopting regulations to implement the Derivatives Title, though certain aspects of the regulations are substantially complete. Until the Regulators complete their rulemaking efforts, the full extent to which the Derivatives Title and the rules adopted thereunder will impact the Fund is unclear. It is possible that the continued development of this new regulatory structure for swaps may jeopardize certain trades and/or trading strategies that may be employed by the Investment Adviser, or at least make them more costly.

Current regulations require the mandatory central clearing and mandatory exchange trading of particular types of interest rate swaps and index credit default swaps (together, “Covered Swaps”). Together, these regulatory requirements change the Fund’s trading of Covered Swaps. With respect to mandatory central clearing, the Fund is now required to clear its Covered Swaps through a clearing broker, which requires, among other things, posting initial margin and variation margin to the Fund’s clearing broker in order to enter into and maintain positions in Covered Swaps. With respect to mandatory exchange trading, the Investment Adviser may be required to become a participant on an a type of execution platform called a swap execution facility (“SEF”) or may be required to access the SEF through an intermediary (such as an executing broker) in order to be able to trade Covered Swaps for the Fund. In either scenario, the Investment Adviser and/or the Fund may incur additional legal and compliance costs and transaction fees. Just as with the other regulatory changes imposed as a result of the implementation of the Derivatives Title, the increased costs and fees associated with trading Covered Swaps may jeopardize certain trades and/or trading strategies that may be employed by the Investment Adviser, or at least make them more costly.

 

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Additionally, the Regulators have begun to implement finalized regulations that require swap dealers to collect from the Fund initial margin and variation margin for uncleared derivatives transactions. The Regulators also plan to finalize proposed regulations that would impose upon swap dealers new capital requirements. These requirements, when finalized and implemented, may make certain types of trades and/or trading strategies more costly or impermissible. The Derivatives Title also requires swap dealers and major swap participants to register with the SEC and/or the CFTC, as appropriate. Swap dealers and major swap participants are subject to a panoply of new regulations, including among others, capital and margin requirements and business conduct standards. Additionally, it is expected that swap dealers will transfer at least some of their compliance costs to counterparties in the form of higher fees or less favorable marks on swap transactions. This means that the Fund could face increased transaction costs when entering into swaps with a swap dealer.

The Fund may also be subject to systemic risk reporting requirements in the SEC’s Form PF and/or the CFTC’s Form CPO-PQR. The Derivatives Title also authorizes the CFTC to impose new position limit requirements, which once adopted, may impair the ability of the Fund to hedge exposure to or take a directional view of certain physical commodity markets.

These requirements of the Derivatives Title may also increase the cost of certain hedging and other derivatives transactions. Until the Regulators complete the rulemaking process for the Derivatives Title, it is unknown the extent to which such risks may materialize.

There can be no assurance that these developments will not adversely affect the business and investment activities of the Investment Adviser and the Fund. In addition, the Investment Adviser may be subject to potential registration requirements or other additional responsibilities under the Derivatives Title and may therefore incur increased cost in conducting the Fund’s strategies, which may adversely affect the performance of the Fund.

Market Discount Risk. Whether investors will realize gains or losses upon the sale of additional securities of the Fund will depend upon the market price of the securities at the time of sale, which may be less or more than the Fund’s net asset value per share or the liquidation value of any Fund preferred shares issued. Since the market price of any additional securities the Fund may issue will be affected by such factors as the Fund’s dividend and distribution levels (which are in turn affected by expenses), dividend and distribution stability, net asset value, market liquidity, the relative demand for and supply of such securities in the market, general market and economic conditions and other factors beyond the control of the Fund, we cannot predict whether any such securities will trade at, below or above net asset value or at, below or above their public offering price or at, below or above their liquidation value, as applicable. For example, common shares of closed-end funds often trade at a discount to their net asset values and the Fund’s common shares may trade at such a discount. This risk may be greater for investors expecting to sell their securities of the Fund soon after the completion of a public offering for such securities. The risk of a market price discount from net asset value is separate and in addition to the risk that net asset value itself may decline. The Fund’s securities are designed primarily for long term investors, and investors in the shares should not view the Fund as a vehicle for trading purposes.

Long Term Objective; Not a Complete Investment Program. The Fund is intended for investors seeking a consistent level of after-tax total return consisting of income (with a current emphasis on qualifying dividends) and long-term capital gain. The Fund is not meant to provide a vehicle for those who wish to play short term swings in the stock market. An investment in shares of the Fund should not be considered a complete investment program. Each shareholder should take into account the Fund’s investment objective as well as the shareholder’s other investments when considering an investment in the Fund.

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

Dependence on Key Personnel. The Investment Adviser is dependent upon the expertise of Mr. Mario J. Gabelli in providing advisory services with respect to the Fund’s investments. If the Investment Adviser were to lose the services of Mr. Gabelli, its ability to service the Fund could be adversely affected. There can be no assurance that a suitable replacement could be found for Mr. Gabelli in the event of his death, resignation, retirement or inability to act on behalf of the Investment Adviser.

Market Disruption and Geopolitical Risk. The occurrence of events similar to those in recent years, such as the aftermath of the war in Iraq, instability in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Russia, Ukraine, North Korea and the Middle East, pandemics (such as COVID-19), ongoing epidemics or outbreaks of infectious diseases in certain parts of the world, natural/environmental disasters, terrorist attacks in the United States and around the world, social and political discord, debt crises (such as the Greek crisis), sovereign debt downgrades, increasingly strained relations between the United States and a number of foreign countries, including traditional allies, such as certain European countries, and historical adversaries, such as North Korea, Iran, China and Russia, and the international community generally, new and continued political unrest in various countries, such as Venezuela, the exit or potential exit of one or more countries from the EU or the EMU, continued changes in the balance of political power among and within the branches of the U.S. government, government shutdowns, among others, may result in market volatility, may have long term effects on the U.S. and worldwide financial markets, and may cause further economic uncertainties in the United States and worldwide.

 

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Due to a lapse in appropriations, a partial U.S. government shutdown occurred from December 22, 2018 through January 25, 2019. The current contentious domestic political environment, as well as political and diplomatic events within the United States and abroad, such as the U.S. government’s inability at times to agree on a long-term budget and deficit reduction plan, may in the future result in additional government shutdowns, which could have a material adverse effect on the Fund’s investments and operations. In addition, the Fund’s ability to raise additional capital in the future through the sale of securities could be materially affected by a government shutdown. Additional and/or prolonged U.S. government shutdowns may affect investor and consumer confidence and may adversely impact financial markets and the broader economy, perhaps suddenly and to a significant degree.

While the extreme volatility and disruption that U.S. and global markets experienced for an extended period of time beginning in 2007 and 2008 had, until the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, generally subsided, uncertainty and periods of volatility still remain, and risks to a robust resumption of growth persist. Federal Reserve policy, including with respect to certain interest rates, may adversely affect the value, volatility and liquidity of dividend and interest paying securities. Market volatility, dramatic changes to interest rates and/or a return to unfavorable economic conditions may lower the Fund’s performance or impair the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective.

The occurrence of any of the above events could have a significant adverse impact on the value and risk profile of the Fund’s portfolio. The Fund does not know how long the securities markets may be impacted by similar events and cannot predict the effects of similar events in the future on the U.S. economy and securities markets. There can be no assurance that similar events and other market disruptions will not have other material and adverse implications.

As previously discussed, Brexit has led to volatility in the financial markets of the UK and more broadly across Europe and may also lead to weakening in consumer, corporate and financial confidence in such markets. The decision made in the British referendum may also lead to a call for similar referendums in other European jurisdictions which may cause increased economic volatility in the European and global markets. This mid- to long-term uncertainty may have an adverse effect on the economy generally and on the ability of the Fund and its investments to execute its respective strategies and to receive attractive returns. In particular, currency volatility may mean that the returns of the Fund and its investments are adversely affected by market movements and may make it more difficult, or more expensive, for the Fund to execute prudent currency hedging policies. Potential decline in the value of the British Pound and/or the Euro against other currencies, along with the potential downgrading of the United Kingdom’s sovereign credit rating, may also have an impact on the performance of portfolio companies or investments located in the UK or Europe. In light of the above, no definitive assessment can currently be made regarding the impact that Brexit will have on the Fund, its investments or its organization more generally.

In addition, the rules dealing with the U.S. federal income taxation are constantly under review by persons involved in the legislative process and by the IRS and the U.S. Treasury Department. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made substantial changes to the Code. Among those changes were a significant permanent reduction in the generally applicable corporate tax rate, changes in the taxation of individuals and other non-corporate taxpayers that generally but not universally reduce their taxes on a temporary basis subject to “sunset” provisions, the elimination or modification of various previously allowed deductions (including substantial limitations on the deductibility of interest and, in the case of individuals, the deduction for personal state and local taxes), certain additional limitations on the deduction of net operating losses, certain preferential rates of taxation on certain dividends and certain business income derived by non-corporate taxpayers in comparison to other ordinary income recognized by such taxpayers, and significant changes to the international tax rules. In addition, the Biden administration has indicated that it intends to modify key aspects of the Code, including by increasing corporate and individual tax rates. The effect of these and other changes is uncertain, both in terms of the direct effect on the taxation of an investment in the Fund’s shares and their indirect effect on the value of the Fund’s assets, the Fund’s shares or market conditions generally.

Regulation and Government Intervention Risk. The global financial crisis led the U.S. government and certain foreign governments to take a number of unprecedented actions designed to support certain financial institutions and segments of the financial markets that experienced extreme volatility, and in some cases a lack of liquidity, including through direct purchases of equity and debt securities. Federal, state and other governments and certain foreign governments and their regulatory agencies or self-regulatory organizations may take legislative and regulatory actions that affect the regulation of the instruments in which the Fund invests, or the issuers of such instruments, in ways that are unforeseeable. Such legislation or regulation may change the way in which the Fund is regulated and could limit or preclude the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective.

The SEC and its staff are also reportedly engaged in various initiatives and reviews that seek to improve and modernize the regulatory structure governing investment companies. These efforts appear to be focused on risk identification and controls in various areas, including embedded leverage through the use of derivatives and other trading practices, cybersecurity, liquidity, valuation, enhanced regulatory and public reporting requirements and the evaluation of systemic risks. Any new rules, guidance or regulatory initiatives resulting from these efforts could increase the Fund’s expenses and impact its returns to shareholders or, in the extreme case, impact or limit its use of various portfolio management strategies or techniques and adversely impact the Fund.

On October 28, 2020, the SEC adopted new regulations governing the use of derivatives by registered investment companies (“Rule 18f-4”). The Fund will be required to implement and comply with Rule 18f-4 by August 19, 2022. Once implemented, Rule 18f-4 will impose limits on the amount of derivatives a fund can enter into, eliminate the asset segregation framework currently used by funds to comply with Section 18 of the 1940 Act, treat derivatives as senior securities so that a failure to comply with the limits would result in a statutory violation and require funds whose use of derivatives is more than a limited specified exposure amount to establish and maintain a comprehensive derivatives risk management program and appoint a derivatives risk manager.

 

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In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, there appears to be a renewed popular, political and judicial focus on finance related consumer protection. Financial institution practices are also subject to greater scrutiny and criticism generally. In the case of transactions between financial institutions and the general public, there may be a greater tendency toward strict interpretation of terms and legal rights in favor of the consuming public, particularly where there is a real or perceived disparity in risk allocation and/or where consumers are perceived as not having had an opportunity to exercise informed consent to the transaction. In the event of conflicting interests between retail investors holding common shares of a closed-end investment company such as the Fund and a large financial institution, a court may similarly seek to strictly interpret terms and legal rights in favor of retail investors.

Changes enacted by the current presidential administration could significantly impact the regulation of financial markets in the United States. Areas subject to potential change, amendment or repeal include trade and foreign policy, corporate tax rates, energy and infrastructure policies, the environment and sustainability, criminal and social justice initiatives, immigration, healthcare and the oversight of certain federal financial regulatory agencies and the Federal Reserve. Certain of these changes can, and have, been effectuated through executive order. For example, the current administration has taken steps to address the COVID-19 pandemic, rejoin the Paris climate accord of 2015, cancel the Keystone XL pipeline and change immigration enforcement priorities. Other potential changes that could be pursued by the current presidential administration could include an increase in the corporate income tax rate; changes to regulatory enforcement priorities; and spending on clean energy and infrastructure. It is not possible to predict which, if any, of these actions will be taken or, if taken, their effect on the economy, securities markets or the financial stability of the United States. The Fund may be affected by governmental action in ways that are not foreseeable, and there is a possibility that such actions could have a significant adverse effect on the Fund and its ability to achieve its investment objective.

Additional risks arising from the differences in expressed policy preferences among the various constituencies in the branches of the U.S. government have led in the past, and may lead in the future, to short term or prolonged policy impasses, which could, and have, resulted in shutdowns of the U.S. federal government. U.S. federal government shutdowns, especially prolonged shutdowns, could have a significant adverse impact on the economy in general and could impair the ability of issuers to raise capital in the securities markets. Any of these effects could have an adverse impact on companies in the Fund’s portfolios and consequently on the value of their securities and the Fund’s net asset values.

LIBOR Risk. The Fund may be exposed to financial instruments that are tied to the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) to determine payment obligations, financing terms, hedging strategies or investment value. The Fund’s investments may pay interest at floating rates based on LIBOR or may be subject to interest caps or floors based on LIBOR. The Fund may also obtain financing at floating rates based on LIBOR. Derivative instruments utilized by the Fund may also reference LIBOR.

The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority announced a phase out of LIBOR such that after December 31, 2021, all sterling, euro, Swiss franc and Japanese yen LIBOR settings and the 1-week and 2-month U.S. dollar LIBOR settings will cease to be published or will no longer be representative, and after June 30, 2023, the overnight, 1-month, 3-month, 6-month and 12-month U.S. dollar LIBOR settings will cease to be published or will no longer be representative. The Fund may have investments linked to other interbank offered rates, such as the Euro Overnight Index Average (“EONIA”), which may also cease to be published. Various financial industry groups have begun planning for the transition away from LIBOR, but there are challenges to converting certain securities and transactions to a new reference rate (e.g., the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”), which is intended to replace the U.S. dollar LIBOR).

Neither the effect of the LIBOR transition process nor its ultimate success can yet be known. The transition process might lead to increased volatility and illiquidity in markets for, and reduce the effectiveness of, new hedges placed against, instruments whose terms currently include LIBOR. While some existing LIBOR-based instruments may contemplate a scenario where LIBOR is no longer available by providing for an alternative rate-setting methodology, there may be significant uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of any such alternative methodologies to replicate LIBOR. Not all existing LIBOR-based instruments may have alternative rate-setting provisions and there remains uncertainty regarding the willingness and ability of issuers to add alternative rate-setting provisions in certain existing instruments. In addition, a liquid market for newly-issued instruments that use a reference rate other than LIBOR still may be developing. There may also be challenges for the Fund to enter into hedging transactions against such newly-issued instruments until a market for such hedging transactions develops. All of the aforementioned may adversely affect the Fund’s performance or net asset value.

 

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Deflation Risk. Deflation risk is the risk that prices throughout the economy decline over time, which may have an adverse effect on the market valuation of companies, their assets and their revenues. In addition, deflation may have an adverse effect on the creditworthiness of issuers and may make issuer default more likely, which may result in a decline in the value of the Fund’s portfolio.

Legislation Risk. At any time after the date of this Prospectus, legislation may be enacted that could negatively affect the assets of the Fund. Legislation or regulation may change the way in which the Fund itself is regulated. The Investment Adviser cannot predict the effects of any new governmental regulation that may be implemented and there can be no assurance that any new governmental regulation will not adversely affect the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective.

Reliance on Service Providers Risk. The Fund must rely upon the performance of service providers to perform certain functions, which may include functions that are integral to the Fund’s operations and financial performance. Failure by any service provider to carry out its obligations to the Fund in accordance with the terms of its appointment, to exercise due care and skill or to perform its obligations to the Fund at all as a result of insolvency, bankruptcy or other causes could have a material adverse effect on the Fund’s performance and returns to shareholders. The termination of the Fund’s relationship with any service provider, or any delay in appointing a replacement for such service provider, could materially disrupt the business of the Fund and could have a material adverse effect on the Fund’s performance and returns to shareholders.

Cyber Security Risk. The Fund and its service providers are susceptible to cyber security risks that include, among other things, theft, unauthorized monitoring, release, misuse, loss, destruction or corruption of confidential and highly restricted data; denial of service attacks; unauthorized access to relevant systems, compromises to networks or devices that the Fund and its service providers use to service the Fund’s operations; or operational disruption or failures in the physical infrastructure or operating systems that support the Fund and its service providers. Cyber attacks are becoming increasingly common and more sophisticated, and may be perpetrated by computer hackers, cyber-terrorists or others engaged in corporate espionage. Cyber attacks against or security breakdowns of the Fund or its service providers may adversely impact the Fund and its stockholders, potentially resulting in, among other things, financial losses; the inability of Fund stockholders to transact business and the Fund to process transactions; inability to calculate the Fund’s NAV; violations of applicable privacy and other laws; regulatory fines, penalties, reputational damage, reimbursement or other compensation costs; and/or additional compliance costs. The Fund may incur additional costs for cyber security risk management and remediation purposes. In addition, cyber security risks may also impact issuers of securities in which the Fund invests, which may cause the Fund’s investment in such issuers to lose value. There have been a number of recent highly publicized cases of companies reporting the unauthorized disclosure of client or customer information, as well as cyberattacks involving the dissemination, theft and destruction of corporate information or other assets, as a result of failure to follow procedures by employees or contractors or as a result of actions by third parties, including actions by terrorist organizations and hostile foreign governments. Although service providers typically have policies and procedures, business continuity plans and/or risk management systems intended to identify and mitigate cyber incidents, there are inherent limitations in such plans and systems including the possibility that certain risks have not been identified. Furthermore, the Fund cannot control the cyber security policies, plans and systems put in place by its service providers or any other third parties whose operations may affect the Fund or its shareholders. There can be no assurance that the Fund or its service providers will not suffer losses relating to cyber attacks or other information security breaches in the future.

Because technology is consistently changing, new ways to carry out cyber attacks are always developing. Therefore, there is a chance that some risks have not been identified or prepared for, or that an attack may not be detected, which puts limitations on the Fund’s ability to plan for or respond to a cyber attack. In addition to deliberate cyber attacks, unintentional cyber incidents can occur, such as the inadvertent release of confidential information by the Fund or its service providers. Like other funds and business enterprises, the Fund and its service providers are subject to the risk of cyber incidents occurring from time to time.

Misconduct of Employees and of Service Providers Risk. Misconduct or misrepresentations by employees of the Investment Adviser or the Fund’s service providers could cause significant losses to the Fund. Employee misconduct may include binding the Fund to transactions that exceed authorized limits or present unacceptable risks and unauthorized trading activities, concealing unsuccessful trading activities (which, in any case, may result in unknown and unmanaged risks or losses) or making misrepresentations regarding any of the foregoing. Losses could also result from actions by the Fund’s service providers, including, without limitation, failing to recognize trades and misappropriating assets. In addition, employees and service providers may improperly use or disclose confidential information, which could result in litigation or serious financial harm, including limiting the Fund’s business prospects or future marketing activities. Despite the Investment Adviser’s due diligence efforts, misconduct and intentional misrepresentations may be undetected or not fully comprehended, thereby potentially undermining the Investment Adviser’s due diligence efforts. As a result, no assurances can be given that the due diligence performed by the Investment Adviser will identify or prevent any such misconduct.

Loans of Portfolio Securities. Consistent with applicable regulatory requirements and the Fund’s investment restrictions, the Fund may lend its portfolio securities to securities broker-dealers or financial institutions, provided that such loans are callable at any time by the Fund (subject to notice provisions described in the SAI), and are at all times collateralized in accordance with applicable regulatory requirements. The advantage of such loans is that the Fund continues to receive the income on the loaned securities while at the same time earning interest on the cash amounts deposited as collateral, which will be invested in short term obligations. The Fund will not lend its portfolio securities if such loans are not permitted by the laws or regulations of any state in which its shares are qualified for sale.

Legal, Tax and Regulatory Risk. Legal, tax and regulatory changes could occur that may have material adverse effects on the Fund or its shareholders. For example, the regulatory and tax environment for derivative instruments in which the Fund may participate is evolving, and such changes in the regulation or taxation of derivative instruments may have material adverse effects on the value of derivative instruments held by the Fund and the ability of the Fund to pursue its investment strategies. Similarly, the Biden administration has indicated that it intends to modify key aspects of the Code, including by increasing corporate and individual tax rates. Changes to the U.S. federal tax laws and interpretations thereof could adversely affect an investment in the Fund.

 

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We cannot assure you what percentage of the distributions paid on the Fund’s shares, if any, will consist of tax-advantaged qualified dividend income or long term capital gains or what the tax rates on various types of income will be in future years.

To qualify for the favorable U.S. federal income tax treatment generally accorded to RICs, the Fund must, among other things, meet certain asset diversification tests, derive in each taxable year at least 90% of its gross income from certain prescribed sources and distribute for each taxable year at least 90% of its “investment company taxable income.” Statutory limitations on distributions on the common shares if the Fund fails to satisfy the 1940 Act’s asset coverage requirements could jeopardize the Fund’s ability to meet such distribution requirements. While the Fund presently intends to purchase or redeem notes or preferred shares, if any, to the extent necessary in order to maintain compliance with such asset coverage requirements, there can be no assurance that such actions can be effected in time to meet the Code requirements. If for any taxable year the Fund does not qualify as a RIC, all of its taxable income for that year (including its net capital gain) would be subject to tax at regular corporate rates without any deduction for distributions to shareholders, and such distributions would be taxable as ordinary dividends to the extent of the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits. The resulting corporate taxes would materially reduce the Fund’s net assets and the amount of cash available for distribution to shareholders. For a more complete discussion of these and other U.S. federal income tax considerations. See “Taxation.”

Investment Dilution Risk. The Fund’s investors do not have preemptive rights to any shares the Fund may issue in the future. The Fund’s Agreement and Declaration of Trust authorizes it to issue an unlimited number of shares. The Board may make certain amendments to the Agreement and Declaration of Trust. After an investor purchases shares, the Fund may sell additional shares or other classes of shares in the future or issue equity interests in private offerings. To the extent the Fund issues additional equity interests after an investor purchases its shares, such investor’s percentage ownership interest in the Fund will be diluted.

Anti-Takeover Provisions. The Agreement and Declaration of Trust and By-Laws of the Fund include provisions that could limit the ability of other entities or persons to acquire control of the Fund or convert the Fund to an open-end fund. See “Anti-Takeover Provisions of the Fund’s Governing Documents.”

Special Risks to Holders of Notes

An investment in our notes is subject to special risks. Our notes are not likely to be listed on an exchange or automated quotation system. We cannot assure you that any market will exist for our notes or if a market does exist, whether it will provide holders with liquidity. Broker-dealers that maintain a secondary trading market for the notes are not required to maintain this market, and the Fund is not required to redeem notes if an attempted secondary market sale fails because of a lack of buyers. To the extent that our notes trade, they may trade at a price either higher or lower than their principal amount depending on interest rates, the rating (if any) on such notes and other factors.

Special Risks to Holders of Fixed Rate Preferred Shares

Illiquidity Prior to Exchange Listing. Prior to an offering, there will be no public market for any series of fixed rate preferred shares. In the event any additional series of fixed rate preferred shares are issued, we expect to apply to list such shares on a national securities exchange, which will likely be the NYSE. However, during an initial period, which is not expected to exceed 30 days after the date of initial issuance, such shares may not be listed on any securities exchange. During such period, the underwriters may make a market in such shares, though they will have no obligation to do so. Consequently, an investment in such shares may be illiquid during such period.

Market Price Fluctuation. Fixed rate preferred shares may trade at a premium to or discount from liquidation value for various reasons, including changes in interest rates, perceived credit quality and other factors.

Special Risks to Holders of Notes and Preferred Shares

Common Share Repurchases. Repurchases of common shares by the Fund may reduce the net asset coverage of the notes and preferred shares, which could adversely affect their liquidity or market prices.

Common Share Distribution Policy. In the event the Fund does not generate a total return from dividends and interest received and net realized capital gains in an amount at least equal to its distributions for a given year, the Fund expects that it would return capital as part of its distribution. This would decrease the asset coverage per share with respect to the Fund’s notes or preferred shares, which could adversely affect their liquidity or market prices.

 

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During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, the Fund made distributions of $1.20 per common share, comprised of return of capital. The composition of each distribution is estimated based on earnings as of the record date for the distribution. The actual composition of each distribution may change based on the Fund’s investment activity through the end of the calendar year.

Credit Quality Ratings. The Fund may obtain credit quality ratings for its preferred shares or notes, if desired; however, it is not required to do so and may issue preferred shares or notes without any rating. If rated, the Fund does not impose any minimum rating necessary to issue such preferred shares or notes. The Fund’s portfolio must satisfy over-collateralization tests established by the relevant rating agencies in order to obtain and maintain attractive credit quality ratings for preferred shares or borrowings, if desired. These tests are more difficult to satisfy to the extent the Fund’s portfolio securities are of lower credit quality, longer maturity or not diversified by issuer and industry.

These guidelines could affect portfolio decisions and may be more stringent than those imposed by the 1940 Act. With respect to ratings (if any) of the notes or preferred shares, a rating by a ratings agency does not eliminate or necessarily mitigate the risks of investing in our preferred shares or notes, and a rating may not fully or accurately reflect all of the securities’ credit risks. A rating does not address the liquidity or any other market risks of the securities being rated. A rating agency could downgrade the rating of our notes or preferred shares, which may make such securities less liquid in the secondary market. If a rating agency downgrades the rating assigned to our preferred shares or notes, we may alter our portfolio or redeem all or a portion of the preferred shares or notes that are then redeemable under certain circumstances.

Special Risks of Notes to Holders of Preferred Shares

As provided in the 1940 Act, and subject to compliance with the Fund’s investment limitations, the Fund may issue notes. In the event the Fund were to issue such securities, the Fund’s obligations to pay dividends or make distributions and, upon liquidation of the Fund, liquidation payments in respect of its preferred shares would be subordinate to the Fund’s obligations to make any principal and interest payments due and owing with respect to its outstanding notes. Accordingly, the Fund’s issuance of notes would have the effect of creating special risks for the Fund’s preferred shareholders that would not be present in a capital structure that did not include such securities.

Special Risks to Holders of Common Shares

Dilution Risk. If the Fund determines to conduct a rights offering to subscribe for common shares, holders of common shares may experience dilution of the aggregate net asset value of their common shares. Such dilution will depend upon whether (i) such shareholders participate in the rights offering and (ii) the Fund’s net asset value per common share is above or below the subscription price on the expiration date of the rights offering.

Shareholders who do not exercise their subscription rights may, at the completion of such an offering, own a smaller proportional interest in the Fund than if they exercised their subscription rights. As a result of such an offering, a shareholder may experience dilution in net asset value per share if the subscription price per share is below the net asset value per share on the expiration date. If the subscription price per share is below the net asset value per share of the Fund’s shares on the expiration date, a shareholder will experience an immediate dilution of the aggregate net asset value of such shareholder’s shares if the shareholder does not participate in such an offering and the shareholder will experience a reduction in the net asset value per share of such shareholder’s shares whether or not the shareholder participates in such an offering. The Fund cannot state precisely the extent of this dilution (if any) if the shareholder does not exercise such shareholder’s subscription rights because the Fund does not know what the net asset value per share will be when the offer expires or what proportion of the subscription rights will be exercised.

Leverage Risk. The Fund currently uses financial leverage for investment purposes by issuing preferred shares and is also permitted to use other types of financial leverage, such as through the issuance of debt securities or additional preferred shares and borrowing from financial institutions. As provided in the 1940 Act and subject to certain exceptions, the Fund may issue additional senior securities (which may be stock, such as preferred shares, and/or securities representing debt) only if immediately after such issuance the value of the Fund’s total assets, less certain ordinary course liabilities, exceeds 300% of the amount of the debt outstanding and exceeds 200% of the amount of preferred shares and debt outstanding. As of December 31, 2020, the amount of leverage represented approximately 38% of the Fund’s net assets.

The Fund’s leveraged capital structure creates special risks not associated with unleveraged funds having a similar investment objective and policies. These include the possibility of greater loss and the likelihood of higher volatility of the net asset value of the Fund and the asset coverage for the preferred shares. Such volatility may increase the likelihood of the Fund having to sell investments in order to meet its obligations to make distributions on the preferred shares or principal or interest payments on debt securities, or to redeem preferred shares or repay debt, when it may be disadvantageous to do so. The Fund’s use of leverage may require it to sell portfolio investments at inopportune times in order to raise cash to redeem preferred shares or otherwise de-

 

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leverage so as to maintain required asset coverage amounts or comply with the mandatory redemption terms of any outstanding preferred shares. The use of leverage magnifies both the favorable and unfavorable effects of price movements in the investments made by the Fund. To the extent that the Fund employs leverage in its investment operations, the Fund is subject to substantial risk of loss. The Fund cannot assure you that borrowings or the issuance of notes or preferred shares will result in a higher yield or return to the holders of the common shares. Also, since the Fund utilizes leverage, a decline in net asset value could affect the ability of the Fund to make common share distributions and such a failure to make distributions could result in the Fund ceasing to qualify as a RIC under the Code. See “Taxation.”

Any decline in the net asset value of the Fund’s investments would be borne entirely by the holders of common shares. Therefore, if the market value of the Fund’s portfolio declines, the leverage will result in a greater decrease in net asset value to the holders of common shares than if the Fund were not leveraged. This greater net asset value decrease will also tend to cause a greater decline in the market price for the common shares. The Fund might be in danger of failing to maintain the required asset coverage of its borrowings, notes or preferred shares or of losing its ratings on its notes or preferred shares or notes or, in an extreme case, the Fund’s current investment income might not be sufficient to meet the distribution or interest requirements on the borrowings, preferred shares or notes. In order to counteract such an event, the Fund might need to liquidate investments in order to fund a redemption or repayment of some or all of the borrowings, preferred shares or notes.

 

   

Preferred Share and Note Risk. The issuance of preferred shares or notes causes the net asset value and market value of the common shares to become more volatile. If the dividend rate on the preferred shares or the interest rate on the notes approaches the net rate of return on the Fund’s investment portfolio, the benefit of leverage to the holders of the common shares would be reduced. If the dividend rate on the preferred shares or the interest rate on the notes plus the management fee rate exceeds the net rate of return on the Fund’s portfolio, the leverage will result in a lower rate of return to the holders of common shares than if the Fund had not issued preferred shares or notes. If the Fund has insufficient investment income and gains, all or a portion of the distributions to preferred shareholders or interest payments to note holders would come from the common shareholders’ capital. Such distributions and interest payments reduce the net assets attributable to common shareholders. The Prospectus Supplement relating to any sale of preferred shares will set forth dividend rate on such preferred shares.

In addition, the Fund would pay (and the holders of common shares will bear) all costs and expenses relating to the issuance and ongoing maintenance of the preferred shares or notes, including the advisory fees on the incremental assets attributable to the preferred shares or notes.

Holders of preferred shares and notes may have different interests than holders of common shares and may at times have disproportionate influence over the Fund’s affairs. As provided in the 1940 Act and subject to certain exceptions, the Fund may issue senior securities (which may be stock, such as preferred shares, and/or securities representing debt, such as notes) only if immediately after the issuance the value of the Fund’s total assets, less certain ordinary course liabilities, exceeds 300% of the amount of the debt outstanding (i.e., for every dollar of indebtedness outstanding, the Fund is required to have at least three dollars of assets) and exceeds 200% of the amount of preferred shares and debt outstanding (i.e., for every dollar in liquidation preference of preferred stock outstanding, the Fund is required to have two dollars of assets), which is referred to as the “asset coverage” required by the 1940 Act. In the event the Fund fails to maintain an asset coverage of 100% for any notes outstanding for certain periods of time, the 1940 Act requires that either an event of default be declared or that the holders of such notes have the right to elect a majority of the Fund’s Trustees until asset coverage recovers to 110%. In addition, holders of preferred shares, voting separately as a single class, have the right (subject to the rights of noteholders) to elect two members of the Board at all times and in the event dividends become two full years in arrears would have the right to elect a majority of the Trustees until such arrearage is completely eliminated. In addition, preferred shareholders have class voting rights on certain matters, including changes in fundamental investment restrictions and conversion of the Fund to open-end status, and accordingly can veto any such changes. Further, interest on notes will be payable when due as described in a Prospectus Supplement and if the Fund does not pay interest when due, it will trigger an event of default and the Fund expects to be restricted from declaring dividends and making other distributions with respect to common shares and preferred shares. Upon the occurrence and continuance of an event of default, the holders of a majority in principal amount of a series of outstanding notes or the trustee will be able to declare the principal amount of that series of notes immediately due and payable upon written notice to the Fund. The 1940 Act also generally restricts the Fund from declaring distributions on, or repurchasing, common or preferred shares unless notes have an asset coverage of 300% (200% in the case of declaring distributions on preferred shares). The Fund’s common shares are structurally subordinated as to income and residual value to any preferred shares or notes in the Fund’s capital structure, in terms of priority to income and payment in liquidation. See “Description of the Securities—Preferred Shares” and “Description of the Securities—Notes.”

 

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Restrictions imposed on the declarations and payment of dividends or other distributions to the holders of the Fund’s common shares and preferred shares, both by the 1940 Act and by requirements imposed by rating agencies, might impair the Fund’s ability to maintain its qualification as a RIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes. While the Fund intends to redeem its preferred shares or notes to the extent necessary to enable the Fund to distribute its income as required to maintain its qualification as a RIC under the Code, there can be no assurance that such actions can be effected in time to meet the Code requirements.

 

   

Portfolio Guidelines of Rating Agencies for Preferred Shares and/or Credit Facility. In order to obtain and maintain attractive credit quality ratings for preferred shares or borrowings, the Fund must comply with investment quality, diversification and other guidelines established by the relevant rating agencies. These guidelines could affect portfolio decisions and may be more stringent than those imposed by the 1940 Act. In the event that a rating on the Fund’s preferred shares or notes is lowered or withdrawn by the relevant rating agency, the Fund may also be required to redeem all or part of its outstanding preferred shares or notes, and the common shares of the Fund will lose the potential benefits associated with a leveraged capital structure.

 

   

Impact on Common Shares. Assuming that leverage will (1) be equal in amount to approximately 31% of the Fund’s total net assets, and (2) charge interest or involve dividend payments at a projected blended annual average leverage dividend or interest rate of 4.275%, then the total return generated by the Fund’s portfolio (net of estimated expenses) must exceed approximately 1.34% of the Fund’s total net assets in order to cover such interest or dividend payments and other expenses specifically related to leverage. Of course, these numbers are merely estimates, used for illustration. Actual dividend rates, interest or payment rates may vary frequently and may be significantly higher or lower than the rate estimated above. The following table is furnished in response to requirements of the SEC. It is designed to illustrate the effect of leverage on common share total return, assuming investment portfolio total returns (comprised of net investment income of the Fund, realized gains or losses of the Fund and changes in the value of the securities held in the Fund’s portfolio) of -10%, -5%, 0%, 5% and 10%. These assumed investment portfolio returns are hypothetical figures and are not necessarily indicative of the investment portfolio returns experienced or expected to be experienced by the Fund, and actual investment portfolio total returns may be greater or less than those appearing in the table. The table further reflects leverage representing 31% of the Fund’s net assets, the Fund’s current projected blended annual average leverage dividend or interest rate of 4.275%, a base management fee at an annual rate of 0.72% and estimated annual incremental expenses attributable to any outstanding preferred shares of approximately 0.01% of the Fund’s net assets attributable to common shares. These assumptions are based on the year ended December 31, 2020, $100 million in common share offerings and $25 million in preferred share offerings.

 

Assumed Return on Portfolio (Net of Expenses)

     (10 )%      (5 )%      0     5      10

Corresponding Return to Common Shareholder

     (16.81 )%      (9.58 )%      (2.36 )%      4.86      12.09

Common share total return is composed of two elements—the common share distributions paid by the Fund (the amount of which is largely determined by the taxable income of the Fund (including realized gains or losses) after paying interest on any debt and/or dividends on any preferred shares) and unrealized gains or losses on the value of the securities the Fund owns. As required by SEC rules, the table assumes that the Fund is more likely to suffer capital losses than to enjoy total return. For example, to assume a total return of 0% the Fund must assume that the income it receives on its investments is entirely offset by expenses and losses in the value of those investments.

 

   

Market Discount Risk. As described above in “—General Risks—Market Discount Risk,” common shares of closed-end funds often trade at a discount to their net asset values and the Fund’s common shares may trade at such a discount. This risk may be greater for investors expecting to sell their common shares of the Fund soon after completion of a public offering. The common shares of the Fund are designed primarily for long term investors and investors in the shares should not view the Fund as a vehicle for trading purposes.

Special Risk to Holders of Subscription Rights

There is a risk that changes in market conditions may result in the underlying common or preferred shares purchasable upon exercise of the subscription rights being less attractive to investors at the conclusion of the subscription period. This may reduce or eliminate the value of the subscription rights. Investors who receive subscription rights may find that there is no market to sell rights they do not wish to exercise. If investors exercise only a portion of the rights, the number of common or preferred shares issued may be reduced, and the common or preferred shares may trade at less favorable prices than larger offerings for similar securities.

 

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HOW THE FUND MANAGES RISK

Investment Restrictions

The Fund has adopted certain fundamental investment policies designed to limit investment risk and maintain portfolio diversification. See “Investment Restrictions” in the SAI for a complete list of the fundamental investment policies of the Fund. Fundamental policies may not be changed without the vote of a majority, as defined in the 1940 Act, of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund (voting together as a single class). In addition, pursuant to the Statements of Preferences of the Fund’s Series A Preferred Shares and Series B Preferred Shares, a majority, as defined in the 1940 Act, of the outstanding shares of the Fund (voting separately as a single class) is also required to change a fundamental policy. The Fund may become subject to rating agency guidelines that are more limiting than its fundamental investment restrictions in order to obtain and maintain a desired rating on its preferred shares, if any.

Interest Rate Transactions

The Fund may enter into interest rate swap or cap transactions to manage its borrowing costs, as well as to increase income. The use of interest rate swaps and caps is a highly specialized activity that involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio security transactions. In an interest rate swap, the Fund would agree to pay to the other party to the interest rate swap (which is known as the “counterparty”) periodically a fixed rate payment in exchange for the counterparty agreeing to pay to the fund periodically a variable rate payment that is intended to approximate the Fund’s variable rate payment obligation on its borrowings (or the Fund’s potential variable payment obligations on fixed rate preferred shares that may have certain variable rate features). In an interest rate cap, the Fund would pay a premium to the counterparty to the interest rate cap and, to the extent that a specified variable rate index exceeds a predetermined fixed rate, would receive from the counterparty payments of the difference based on the notional amount of such cap. Interest rate swap and cap transactions introduce additional risk because the Fund would remain obligated to pay interest or preferred shares dividends when due even if the counterparty defaulted. Depending on the general state of short term interest rates and the returns on the Fund’s portfolio securities at that point in time, such a default could negatively affect the Fund’s ability to make interest payments or dividend payments on the preferred shares. In addition, at the time an interest rate swap or cap transaction reaches its scheduled termination date, there is a risk that the Fund will not be able to obtain a replacement transaction or that the terms of the replacement will not be as favorable as on the expiring transaction. If this occurs, it could have a negative impact on the Fund’s ability to make interest payments or dividend payments on the preferred shares. To the extent there is a decline in interest rates, the value of the interest rate swap or cap could decline, resulting in a decline in the asset coverage for the borrowings or preferred shares. A sudden and dramatic decline in interest rates may result in a significant decline in the asset coverage. If the Fund fails to maintain the required asset coverage on any outstanding borrowings or preferred shares or fails to comply with other covenants, the Fund may be required to prepay some or all of such borrowings or redeem some or all of these shares. Any such prepayment or redemption would likely result in the Fund seeking to terminate early all or a portion of any swap or cap transactions. Early termination of a swap could result in a termination payment by the Fund to the counterparty, while early termination of a cap could result in a termination payment to the Fund.

The Fund may enter into equity contract for difference swap transactions, for the purpose of increasing the income of the Fund. In an equity contract for difference swap, a set of future cash flows is exchanged between two counterparties. One of these cash flow streams will typically be based on a reference interest rate combined with the performance of a notional value of shares of a stock. The other will be based on the performance of the shares of a stock. Depending on the general state of short term interest rates and the returns on the Fund’s portfolio securities at the time a swap transaction reaches its scheduled termination date, there is a risk that the Fund will not be able to obtain a replacement transaction or that the terms of the replacement will not be as favorable as on the expiring transaction.

The Fund will usually enter into swaps or caps on a net basis; that is, the two payment streams will be netted out in a cash settlement on the payment date or dates specified in the instrument, with the Fund receiving or paying, as the case may be, only the net amount of the two payments. The Fund intends to segregate or earmark cash or liquid assets having a value at least equal to the value of the Fund’s net payment obligations under any swap transaction, marked to market daily. The Fund will monitor any such swap with a view to ensuring that the Fund remains in compliance with all applicable regulatory, investment policy and tax requirements.

If the Fund writes (sells) a credit default swap or credit default index swap, then the Fund will, during the term of the swap agreement, designate on its books and records in connection with such transaction liquid assets or cash with a value at least equal to the full notional amount of the contract.

Further information on the investment objective and policies of the Fund is set forth in the SAI.

 

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MANAGEMENT OF THE FUND

General

The Fund’s Board (who, with the Fund’s officers (the “Officers”), are described in the SAI) has overall responsibility for the management of the Fund. The Board decides upon matters of general policy and reviews the actions of the Investment Adviser, Gabelli Funds, LLC, One Corporate Center, Rye, New York 10580-1422, and the Sub-Administrator (as defined below). Pursuant to an investment advisory agreement with the Fund (the “Investment Advisory Agreement”), the Investment Adviser, under the supervision of the Fund’s Board, provides a continuous investment program for the Fund’s portfolio; provides investment research and makes and executes recommendations for the purchase and sale of securities; and provides all facilities and personnel, including officers required for its administrative management, and pays the compensation of Trustees of the Fund who are officers or employees of the Investment Advisor or its affiliates. As compensation for its services rendered and the related expenses borne by the Investment Adviser, the Fund pays the Investment Adviser a fee at an annual rate of 0.50% of the Fund’s average weekly net assets, plus assets attributable to any outstanding senior securities, with no deduction for the liquidation preference of any outstanding preferred shares or the principal amount of any outstanding notes. The Fund’s total assets for purposes of calculating the level of the management fee will include assets attributable to any outstanding senior securities, such as preferred shares (including the aggregate liquidation preference of any preferred shares and accumulated dividends, if any), or indebtedness, such as notes (including the aggregate principal amount of any such debt securities, plus accrued and unpaid interest thereon), as well as assets attributable to derivatives transactions or other investment management techniques, if any, which have the effect of leveraging the common shares. Consequently, since the Fund has preferred shares outstanding and may invest in derivatives and use other investment management techniques that involve leverage, the investment management fees and other expenses as a percentage of total assets attributable to common shares may be higher than if the Fund did not utilize a leveraged capital structure or engage in transactions that leverage the common shares.

Because the investment advisory fees are based on a percentage of total assets, which includes assets attributable to the Fund’s use of leverage, the Investment Adviser may have a conflict of interest in the input it provides to the Board regarding whether to use or increase the Fund’s use of leverage. The Board bases its decision, with input from the Investment Adviser, regarding whether and how much leverage to use for the Fund on its assessment of whether such use of leverage is in the best interests of the Fund. The Board seeks to manage the Investment Adviser’s potential conflict of interest by retaining the final decision on these matters and by periodically reviewing the Fund’s performance and use of leverage.

The Investment Adviser

The Investment Adviser is a New York limited liability company which serves as an investment adviser to registered investment companies with combined aggregate net assets of approximately $20.2 billion as of December 31, 2020. The Investment Adviser is a registered investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of GAMCO Investors, Inc. (“GBL”). Mr. Gabelli owns a majority of the stock of GGCP, Inc. (“GGCP”) which holds a majority of the capital stock and voting power of GBL. The Investment Adviser has several affiliates that provide investment advisory services: GAMCO Asset Management Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of GBL, acts as investment adviser for individuals, pension trusts, profit sharing trusts, and endowments, and as a sub-adviser to certain third party investment funds, which include registered investment companies, having assets under management of approximately of $12.4 billion as of December 31, 2020; Teton Advisors, Inc., and its wholly owned investment adviser, Keeley Teton Advisers, LLC, with assets under management of approximately $1.8 billion as of December 31, 2020, acts as investment adviser to The TETON Westwood Funds, the KEELEY Funds, and separately managed accounts; and Gabelli & Company Investment Advisers, Inc. (formerly, Gabelli Securities, Inc.), a wholly owned subsidiary of Associated Capital Group, Inc. (“Associated Capital”), acts as investment adviser for certain alternative investment products, consisting primarily of risk arbitrage and merchant banking limited partnerships and offshore companies, with assets under management of approximately $1.4 billion as of December 31, 2020. Teton Advisors, Inc., was spun off by GBL in March 2009 and is an affiliate of GBL by virtue of Mr. Gabelli’s ownership of GGCP, the principal shareholder of Teton Advisors, Inc., as of December 31, 2020. Associated Capital was spun off from GBL on November 30, 2015, and is an affiliate of GBL by virtue of Mr. Gabelli’s ownership of GGCP, the principal shareholder of Associated Capital.

A discussion regarding the basis for the Fund’s Board approval of the Investment Advisory Agreement with the Investment Adviser is available in the Fund’s semi-annual report for the period ended June 30, 2020.

Payment of Expenses

The Investment Adviser is obligated to pay expenses associated with providing the services contemplated by the Investment Advisory Agreement including compensation of and office space for its officers and employees connected with investment and economic research, trading and investment management and administration of the Fund (but excluding costs associated with the

 

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calculation of the net asset value and allocated costs of the chief compliance officer function and officers of the Fund who are employed by the Fund and are not employed by the Investment Adviser although such officers may receive incentive-based variable compensation from affiliates of the Investment Adviser), as well as the fees of all Trustees of the Fund who are officers or employees of the Investment Adviser or its affiliates.

In addition to the fees of the Investment Adviser, the Fund, and indirectly the holders of its common shares, is responsible for the payment of all its other expenses incurred in the operation of the Fund, which include, among other things, underwriting compensation and reimbursements in connection with sales of the Fund’s securities, expenses for legal and the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm’s services, stock exchange listing fees and expenses, costs of printing proxies, share certificates and shareholder reports, charges of the Fund’s Custodian, any sub-custodian and any transfer agent and distribution disbursing agent, expenses in connection with the Automatic Dividend Reinvestment Plan and the Voluntary Cash Purchase Plan, SEC fees and preparation of filings with the SEC, fees and expenses of Trustees who are not officers or employees of the Investment Adviser or its affiliates, accounting and printing costs, the Fund’s pro rata portion of membership fees in trade organizations, compensation and other expenses of officers and employees of the Fund (including, but not limited to, the Chief Compliance Officer, Vice President and Ombudsman) as approved by the Fund’s Trustees, fidelity bond coverage for the Fund’s officers and employees, Trustees’ and officers’ errors and omissions insurance coverage, interest, brokerage costs, taxes, expenses of qualifying the Fund’s shares for sale in various states, expenses of personnel performing shareholder servicing functions, rating agency fees, organizational expenses, litigation and other extraordinary or non-recurring expenses and other expenses properly payable by the Fund.

Selection of Securities Brokers

The Investment Advisory Agreement contains provisions relating to the selection of securities brokers to effect the portfolio transactions of the Fund. Under those provisions, the Investment Adviser may (i) direct Fund portfolio brokerage to G.research, LLC (“G.research”), an affiliate of the Investment Adviser, or to other broker-dealer affiliates of the Investment Adviser and (ii) pay commissions to brokers other than G.research that are higher than might be charged by another qualified broker to obtain brokerage and/or research services considered by the Investment Adviser to be useful or desirable for its investment management of the Fund and/or its other investment advisory accounts or those of any investment adviser affiliated with it. The SAI contains further information about the Investment Advisory Agreement, including a more complete description of the investment advisory and expense arrangements, exculpatory and brokerage provisions, as well as information on the brokerage practices of the Fund.

Portfolio Manager

Mario J. Gabelli, CFA, is currently and has been responsible for the day to day management of the Fund since its inception. Mr. Gabelli serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GAMCO Investors, Inc., Chief Investment Officer—Value Portfolios for GBL, the Investment Adviser and GAMCO Asset Management Inc. (“GAMCO”), Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of GGCP, Executive Chairman of Associated Capital, and a director or officer of other companies affiliated with GBL. Mr. Gabelli serves as portfolio manager for and is a director of several funds in the Gabelli fund family (“Gabelli/GAMCO Fund Complex” or “Fund Complex”). Because of the diverse nature of Mr. Gabelli’s responsibilities, he will devote less than all of his time to the day to day management of the Fund. Mr. Gabelli is a summa cum laude graduate of Fordham University and holds an MBA degree from Columbia Business School and Honorary Doctorates from Fordham University and Roger Williams University.

Sub-Administrator

The Investment Adviser has entered into a sub-administration agreement with BNY Mellon Investment Servicing (US) Inc. (the “Sub-Administrator”) pursuant to which the Sub-Administrator provides certain administrative services necessary for the Fund’s operations which do not include the investment and portfolio management services provided by the Investment Adviser. For these services and the related expenses borne by the Sub-Administrator, the Investment Adviser pays an annual fee based on the value of the aggregate average daily net assets of all funds under its administration managed by the Investment Adviser, GAMCO and Teton Advisors, Inc. as follows: 0.0275%—first $10 billion, 0.0125%—exceeding $10 billion but less than $15 billion, 0.01%—over $15 billion but less than $20 billion and 0.008% over $20 billion. The Sub-Administrator has its principal office at 760 Moore Road, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania 19406.

PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS

Principal transactions are not entered into with affiliates of the Fund. However, G.research, LLC, an affiliate of the Investment Adviser, may execute portfolio transactions on stock exchanges and in the OTC markets on an agency basis and may be paid commissions. For a more detailed discussion of the Fund’s brokerage allocation practices, see “Portfolio Transactions” in the SAI.

 

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DIVIDENDS AND DISTRIBUTIONS

In order to allow its common shareholders to realize a predictable, but not assured, level of cash flow and some liquidity periodically on their investment without having to sell shares, the Fund has adopted a managed distribution policy of paying, on a monthly basis, a minimum distribution at an annual rate equal to 6% of the Fund’s initial public offering price of $20.00 per common share. Pursuant to this policy, the Fund intends to pay a distribution of $0.10 per share each month and, if necessary, an adjusting distribution in December which includes any additional income and realized net capital gains in excess of the monthly distributions for that year to satisfy the minimum distribution requirements of the Code, to maintain its status as a RIC under the Code and avoid paying U.S. federal excise tax. As a RIC under the Code, the Fund will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on any taxable income that it distributes to shareholders, provided that at least 90% of its investment company taxable income for that taxable year is distributed to its shareholders. See “Taxation.”

Under the Fund’s distribution policy, the Fund declares and pays monthly distributions from net investment income, capital gains, and paid-in capital. The actual source of the distribution is determined after the end of the year. If the Fund does not generate sufficient earnings (dividends and interest income and realized net capital gain) equal to or in excess of the aggregate distributions paid by the Fund in a given year, then the amount distributed in excess of the Fund’s earnings would be deemed a return of capital to the extent of the shareholder’s tax basis in the shares (reducing the basis accordingly) and as capital gains thereafter. Since a return of capital is considered a return of a portion of a shareholder’s original investment, it is generally not taxable and is treated as a reduction in the shareholder’s cost basis, thereby increasing the shareholder’s potential taxable gain or reducing the potential taxable loss on the sale of the shares. In determining the extent to which a distribution will be treated as being made from the Fund’s earnings and profits, earnings and profits will be allocated on a pro rata basis first to distributions with respect to preferred shares, and then to the Fund’s common shares. Under federal tax regulations, some or all of the return of capital distributed by the Fund may be taxable as ordinary income in certain circumstances. This may occur when the Fund has a capital loss carry forward, net capital gains are realized in a fiscal year, and distributions are made in excess of investment company taxable income.

Distributions sourced from paid-in capital should not be considered as the dividend yield or total return of an investment in the Fund. Shareholders who receive the payment of a distribution consisting of a return of capital may be under the impression that they are receiving net profits when they are not. Shareholders should not assume that the source of a distribution from the Fund is net profit.

During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, the Fund made distributions of $1.20 per common share, comprised of return of capital. A portion of the Fund’s common share distributions for many years has included a return of capital. When the Fund makes distributions consisting of returns of capital, such distributions may further decrease the Fund’s total assets and, therefore have the likely effect of increasing the Fund’s expense ratio as the Fund’s fixed expenses will become a larger percentage of the Fund’s average net assets. In addition, in order to make such distributions, the Fund may have to sell a portion of its investment portfolio at a time when independent investment judgment may not dictate such action. These effects could have a negative impact on the prices investors receive when they sell shares of the Fund.

The Fund’s distribution policy, including its policy to pay monthly distributions and the annualized amount that the Fund seeks to distribute, may be modified from time to time by the Board as it deems appropriate, including in light of market and economic conditions and the Fund’s current, expected and historical earnings and investment performance. Common shareholders are expected to be notified of any such modifications by press release or in the Fund’s periodic shareholder reports.

The Fund, along with other closed-end registered investment companies advised by the Investment Adviser, is covered by an exemption from Section 19(b) of the 1940 Act and Rule 19b-1 thereunder permitting the Fund to make periodic distributions of long term capital gains provided that any distribution policy of the Fund with respect to its common shares calls for periodic distributions in an amount equal to a fixed percentage of the Fund’s average net asset value over a specified period of time or market price per common share at or about the time of distribution or pay-out of a fixed dollar amount. The Fund’s current policy is to make quarterly distributions to holders of its common shares. The exemption also permits the Fund to make such distributions with respect to any preferred shares in accordance with such shares’ terms.

Limitations on Distributions. If at any time the Fund has borrowings outstanding, the Fund will be prohibited from paying any distributions on any of its common shares (other than in additional shares) and from repurchasing any of its common shares or preferred shares, unless the value of its total assets, less certain ordinary course liabilities, exceed 300% of the amount of the

 

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debt outstanding and exceed 200% of the sum of the amount of debt and preferred shares outstanding. In addition, in such circumstances the Fund will be prohibited from paying any distributions on its preferred shares unless the value of its total assets, less certain ordinary course liabilities, exceed 200% of the amount of debt outstanding.

AUTOMATIC DIVIDEND REINVESTMENT AND VOLUNTARY CASH PURCHASE PLANS

Under the Fund’s Automatic Dividend Reinvestment Plan and Voluntary Cash Purchase Plan (the “Plan”), a shareholder whose common shares are registered in his or her own name will have all distributions reinvested automatically by Computershare, which is an agent under the Plan, unless the shareholder elects to receive cash. Distributions with respect to shares registered in the name of a broker-dealer or other nominee (that is, in “street name”) will be reinvested by the broker or nominee in additional shares under the Plan, unless the service is not provided by the broker or nominee or the shareholder elects to receive distributions in cash. Investors who own shares of common stock registered in street name should consult their broker-dealers for details regarding reinvestment. All distributions to investors who do not participate in the Plan will be paid by check mailed directly to the record holder by Computershare as dividend-disbursing agent.

Enrollment in the Plan

It is the policy of the Fund to automatically reinvest dividends payable to common shareholders. As a “registered” shareholder you automatically become a participant in the Plan. The Plan authorizes the Fund to credit common shares to participants upon an income dividend or a capital gains distribution regardless of whether the shares are trading at a discount or a premium to net asset value. All distributions to shareholders whose shares are registered in their own names will be automatically reinvested pursuant to the Plan in additional shares of the Fund. Plan participants may send their share certificates to Computershare to be held in their dividend reinvestment account. Registered shareholders wishing to receive their distributions in cash may submit this request through the Internet, by telephone or in writing to:

The Gabelli Global Utility & Income Trust

c/o Computershare

P.O. Box 505000

Louisville, KY 40233-5000

Telephone: (800) 336-6983

Website: www.computershare.com/investor

Shareholders requesting this cash election must include the shareholder’s name and address as they appear on the Fund’s records. Shareholders with additional questions regarding the Plan or requesting a copy of the terms of the Plan, may contact Computershare at the website or telephone number above.

If your shares are held in the name of a broker, bank, or nominee, you should contact such institution. If such institution is not participating in the Plan, your account will be credited with a cash dividend. In order to participate in the Plan through such institution, it may be necessary for you to have your shares taken out of “street name” and re-registered in your own name. Once registered in your own name your distributions will be automatically reinvested. Certain brokers participate in the Plan. Shareholders holding shares in “street name” at participating institutions will have dividends automatically reinvested. Shareholders wishing a cash dividend at such institution must contact their broker to make this change.

The number of common shares distributed to participants in the Plan in lieu of cash dividends is determined in the following manner. Under the Plan, whenever the market price of the Fund’s common shares is equal to or exceeds net asset value at the time shares are valued for purposes of determining the number of shares equivalent to the cash dividends or capital gains distribution, participants are issued common shares valued at the greater of (i) the net asset value as most recently determined or (ii) 95% of the then current market price of the Fund’s common shares. The valuation date is the dividend or distribution payment date or, if that date is not a NYSE American trading day, the next trading day. If the net asset value of the common shares at the time of valuation exceeds the market price of the common shares, participants will receive common shares from the Fund valued at market price. If the Fund should declare a dividend or capital gains distribution payable only in cash, Computershare will buy common shares in the open market, or on the NYSE American or elsewhere, for the participants’ accounts, except that Computershare will endeavor to terminate purchases in the open market and cause the Fund to issue shares at net asset value if, following the commencement of such purchases, the market value of the common shares exceeds the then current net asset value.

The automatic reinvestment of dividends and capital gains distributions will not relieve participants of any income tax which may be payable on such distributions. A participant in the Plan will be treated for federal income tax purposes as having received, on a dividend payment date, a dividend or distribution in an amount equal to the cash the participant could have received instead of shares.

 

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Voluntary Cash Purchase Plan

The Voluntary Cash Purchase Plan is yet another vehicle for our shareholders to increase their investment in the Fund. In order to participate in the Voluntary Cash Purchase Plan, shareholders must have their shares registered in their own name.

Participants in the Voluntary Cash Purchase Plan have the option of making additional cash payments to Computershare for investments in the Fund’s shares at the then current market price. Shareholders may send an amount from $250 to $10,000. Computershare will use these funds to purchase shares in the open market on or about the 1st and 15th of each month. Computershare will charge each shareholder who participates $0.75, plus a per share fee (currently $0.02 per share). Per share fees include any applicable brokerage commissions Computershare is required to pay and fees for such purchases are expected to be less than the usual fees for such transactions. It is suggested that any voluntary cash payments be sent to Computershare, P.O. Box 6006, Carol Stream, IL 60197-6006 such that Computershare receives such payments approximately two business days before the 1st and 15th of the month. Funds not received at least two business days before the investment date shall be held for investment until the next purchase date. A payment may be withdrawn without charge if notice is received by Computershare at least two business days before such payment is to be invested.

Shareholders wishing to liquidate shares held at Computershare may do so through the Internet, in writing or by telephone to the above-mentioned website, address or telephone number. Include in your request your name, address, and account number. Computershare will sell such shares through a broker-dealer selected by Computershare within 5 business days of receipt of the request. The sale price will equal the weighted average price of all shares sold through the Plan on the day of the sale, less applicable fees Participants should note that Computershare is unable to accept instructions to sell on a specific date or at a specific price. The cost to liquidate shares is $2.50 per transaction as well as the per share fee (currently $0.10 per share) Per share fees include any applicable brokerage commissions Computershare is required to pay and are expected to be less than the usual fees for such transactions.

For more information regarding the Automatic Dividend Reinvestment Plan and Voluntary Cash Purchase Plan, brochures are available by calling (914) 921-5070 or by writing directly to the Fund.

The Fund reserves the right to amend or terminate the Plan as applied to any voluntary cash payments made and any dividend or distribution paid subsequent to written notice of the change sent to the members of the Plan at least 30 days before the record date for such dividend or distribution. The Plan also may be amended or terminated by Computershare on at least 30 days written notice to participants in the Plan.

DESCRIPTION OF THE SECURITIES

The following is a brief description of the terms of the common and preferred shares, notes, and subscription rights. This description does not purport to be complete and is qualified by reference to the Fund’s Governing Documents. For complete terms of the common and preferred shares, please refer to the actual terms of such series, which are set forth in the Governing Documents. For complete terms of the notes, please refer to the actual terms of such notes, which will be set forth in an Indenture relating to such notes (the “Indenture”). For complete terms of the subscription rights, please refer to the actual terms of such subscription rights which will be set forth in the subscription rights agreement relating to such subscription rights (the “Subscription Rights Agreement”).

Common Shares

The Fund is an unincorporated statutory trust organized under the laws of Delaware pursuant to a Certificate of Trust dated as of March 8, 2004. The Fund is authorized to issue an unlimited number of common shares of beneficial interest, par value $0.001 per share. Each common share has one vote and, when issued and paid for in accordance with the terms of the applicable offering, will be fully paid and non-assessable. Though the Fund expects to pay distributions monthly on the common shares, it is not obligated to do so. All common shares are equal as to distributions, assets and voting privileges and have no conversion, preemptive or other subscription rights. The Fund will send annual and semi-annual reports, including financial statements, to all holders of its shares. In the event of liquidation, each of the Fund’s common shares is entitled to its proportion of the Fund’s assets after payment of debts and expenses and the amounts payable to holders of the Fund’s preferred shares ranking senior to the Fund’s common shares as described below.

 

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Offerings of shares require approval by the Fund’s Board of Trustees. Any additional offerings of shares will require approval by the Fund’s Board. Any additional offering of common shares will be subject to the requirements of the 1940 Act, which provides that common shares may not be issued at a price below the then current net asset value, exclusive of sales load, except in connection with an offering to existing holders of common shares or with the consent of a majority of the Fund’s common shareholders.

The Fund’s outstanding common shares are listed and traded on the NYSE American under the symbol “GLU.” The Fund’s common shares have historically traded at a discount to the Fund’s net asset value. Since the Fund commenced trading on the NYSE American, the Fund’s common shares have traded at a discount to net asset value as high as (24.5)% and a premium as high as 10.2%. The average weekly trading volume of the common shares on the NYSE American during the period from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020 was 9,701 shares.

Unlike open-end funds, closed-end funds like the Fund do not continuously offer shares and do not provide daily redemptions. Rather, if a shareholder determines to buy additional common shares or sell shares already held, the shareholder may do so by trading through a broker on the NYSE American or otherwise.

Shares of closed-end investment companies often trade on an exchange at prices lower than net asset value. Because the market value of the common shares may be influenced by such factors as dividend and distribution levels (which are in turn affected by expenses), dividend and distribution stability, net asset value, market liquidity, relative demand for and supply of such shares in the market, unrealized gains, general market and economic conditions and other factors beyond the control of the Fund, the Fund cannot assure you that common shares will trade at a price equal to or higher than net asset value in the future. The common shares are designed primarily for long term investors and you should not purchase the common shares if you intend to sell them soon after purchase.

Subject to the rights of the outstanding preferred shares, the Fund’s common shares vote as a single class on election of Trustees and on additional matters with respect to which the 1940 Act, the Fund’s Declaration of Trust, By-Laws or resolutions adopted by the Trustees provide for a vote of the Fund’s common shares. See “Anti-Takeover Provisions of the Fund’s Governing Documents.”

The Fund is a closed-end, non-diversified, management investment company and as such its shareholders do not, and will not, have the right to require the Fund to repurchase their shares. The Fund, however, may repurchase its common shares from time to time as and when it deems such a repurchase advisable, subject to maintaining required asset coverage for each series of outstanding preferred shares. The Board has authorized such repurchases to be made when the Fund’s common shares are trading at a discount from net asset value of 10% or more (or such other percentage as the Board of the Fund may determine from time to time). Pursuant to the 1940 Act, the Fund may repurchase its common shares on a securities exchange (provided that the Fund has informed its shareholders within the preceding six months of its intention to repurchase such shares) or pursuant to tenders and may also repurchase shares privately if the Fund meets certain conditions regarding, among other things, distribution of net income for the preceding fiscal year, status of the seller, price paid, brokerage commissions, prior notice to shareholders of an intention to purchase shares and purchasing in a manner and on a basis that does not discriminate unfairly against the other shareholders through their interest in the Fund.

When the Fund repurchases its common shares for a price below net asset value, the net asset value of the common shares that remain outstanding will be enhanced, but this does not necessarily mean that the market price of the outstanding common shares will be affected, either positively or negatively. The repurchase of common shares will reduce the total assets of the Fund available for investment and may increase the Fund’s expense ratio. During the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2020, the Fund did not repurchase and retire any shares in the open market.

Book-Entry

The common shares will initially be held in the name of Cede & Co. as nominee for the Depository Trust Company (“DTC”). The Fund will treat Cede & Co. as the holder of record of the common shares for all purposes. In accordance with the procedures of DTC, however, purchasers of common shares will be deemed the beneficial owners of shares purchased for purposes of distributions, voting and liquidation rights.

 

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Preferred Shares

The Agreement and Declaration of Trust provides that the Board may authorize and issue senior securities with rights as determined by the Board, by action of the Board without the approval of the holders of the common shares. Holders of common shares have no preemptive right to purchase any senior securities that might be issued.

Currently, an unlimited number of the Fund’s shares have been classified by the Board of Trustees as preferred shares, par value $0.001 per share. The terms of such preferred shares may be fixed by the Board of Trustees and would materially limit and/or qualify the rights of the holders of the Fund’s common shares. As of December 31, 2020, the Fund had outstanding 34,229 Series A Preferred Shares and 1,258,029 Series B Preferred Shares.

Distributions on the Series A Preferred Shares, which are fixed rate preferred shares, are cumulative from the date of original issuance thereof, currently accumulate at annual rate of 3.8% of the liquidation preference of $50.00 per share, and are payable quarterly on March 26, June 26, September 26 and December 26 of each year. The Series A Preferred Shares are not rated by any rating agency. To the extent permitted by the 1940 Act and Delaware law, the Fund may at any time upon notice redeem the Series A Preferred Shares in whole or in part at a price equal to the liquidation preference per share plus accumulated but unpaid dividends through the date of redemption. The Series A Preferred Shares are listed and traded on the NYSE American under the symbol “GLU Pr A.”

Distributions on the Series B Preferred Shares, which are fixed rate preferred shares, currently accumulate at an annual rate of 4.00% of the liquidation preference of $50 per share, are cumulative from the date of original issuance thereof, and are payable quarterly on March 26, June 26, September 26 and December 26 of each year (each, a “Dividend Payment Date”). As used herein, each period beginning on and including a Dividend Payment Date and ending on but excluding the next succeeding Dividend Payment Date is referred to as a “Dividend Period.” The Dividend Period beginning on March 26, 2019, the date of original issue, which constitutes the first Dividend Period, together with the next three Dividend Periods, are referred to herein as “Year 1,” the next four Dividend Periods are referred to as “Year 2,” and so on. The Series B Preferred Shares paid distributions at an annualized rate of 7.00% on the $50 per share liquidation preference for the quarterly dividend periods ended on or prior to December 26, 2019 (Year 1). During the last dividend period of Year 1, the Board determined that the dividend rate for the next eight quarterly dividend periods (Year 2 and Year 3) will be 4.00%. During the last dividend period occurring in Year 3, the Board will determine and publicly announce at least 30 days prior to the end of such dividend period a fixed annual dividend rate that will apply for all remaining dividend periods. The reset dividend rate will be determined by the Board or a committee thereof in its sole discretion, and such rate will be at least 200 basis points over the yield of the ten year U.S. Treasury Note at the date of determination, but in no case will such rate be less than an annualized rate of 4.00% nor greater than an annualized rate of 7.00%. The Series B Preferred Shares are not rated by any rating agency.

The Statement of Preferences of the Series B Preferred Shares provides that the Fund will redeem all or any part of the Series B Preferred Shares that holders have properly submitted for redemption and not withdrawn during the 30-day period prior to each of December 26, 2021 and December 26, 2023 at the Liquidation Preference, plus any accumulated and unpaid dividends. The Fund has voluntarily determined to provide holders of Series B Preferred Shares with a minimum 60-day period prior to each of December 26, 2021 and December 26, 2023 during which they may submit Series B Preferred Shares for redemption consistent with the above referenced put rights. The Fund may redeem all or any part of the Series B Preferred Shares, upon not less than 30 nor more than 60 days’ prior notice, at the Liquidation Preference, plus any accumulated and unpaid dividends, at any time commencing on December 20, 2023 and thereafter, to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act and Delaware law. Prior to December 20, 2023, the Series B Preferred Shares are not otherwise subject to optional redemption by the Fund unless such redemption is necessary, in the judgment of the Board, to maintain the Fund’s status as a regulated investment company under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”).

The Series B Preferred Shares are Shares listed and traded on the NYSE American under the symbol “GLU Pr B.”

If the Fund issues additional fixed rate preferred shares, it will pay dividends to the holders of the preferred shares at a fixed rate, as described in a Prospectus Supplement accompanying each preferred share offering.

Upon a liquidation, each holder of the preferred shares will be entitled to receive out of the assets of the Fund available for distribution to shareholders (after payment of claims of the Fund’s creditors but before any distributions with respect to the Fund’s common shares or any other shares of the Fund ranking junior to the preferred shares as to liquidation payments) an amount per share equal to such share’s liquidation preference plus any accumulated but unpaid distributions (whether or not earned or declared, excluding interest thereon) to the date of distribution, and such shareholders shall be entitled to no further participation in any distribution or payment in connection with such liquidation. Each series of the preferred shares will rank on a parity with any other series of preferred shares of the Fund as to the payment of distributions and the distribution of assets upon liquidation, and will be junior to the Fund’s obligations with respect to any outstanding senior securities representing debt. The preferred shares carry one vote per share on all matters on which such shares are entitled to vote. The preferred shares will, upon issuance, be fully paid and

 

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nonassessable and will have no preemptive, exchange or conversion rights. The Board may by resolution classify or reclassify any authorized but unissued capital shares of the Fund from time to time by setting or changing the preferences, conversion or other rights, voting powers, restrictions, limitations as to distributions or terms or conditions of redemption. The Fund will not issue any class of shares senior to the preferred shares.

Redemption, Purchase and Sale of Preferred Shares By the Fund. The terms of any preferred shares are expected to provide that (i) they are redeemable by the Fund at any time (either after the date of initial issuance, or after some period of time following initial issuance) in whole or in part at the original purchase price per share plus accumulated dividends per share, (ii) the Fund may tender for or purchase preferred shares and (iii) the Fund may subsequently resell any shares so tendered for or purchased. Any redemption or purchase of preferred shares by the Fund will reduce the leverage applicable to the common shares, while any resale of preferred shares by the Fund will increase that leverage.

Rating Agency Guidelines. The Series A Preferred Shares and the Series B Preferred Shares are not rated by Moody’s and/or Fitch Ratings Inc. (“Fitch”) (or any other rating agency). Upon issuance, any new series of preferred shares may be rated by Moody’s or Fitch, in which case the following description of rating agency guidelines would become applicable.

The Fund expects that it would be required under any applicable rating agency guidelines to maintain assets having in the aggregate a discounted value at least equal to a Basic Maintenance Amount (as defined in the applicable Statement of Preferences and summarized below), for its outstanding preferred shares, including the Series A Preferred Shares and the Series B Preferred Shares. To the extent any particular portfolio holding does not satisfy the applicable rating agency’s guidelines, all or a portion of such holding’s value will not be included in the calculation of discounted value (as defined by such rating agency). The Moody’s and Fitch guidelines would also impose certain diversification requirements and industry concentration limitations on the Fund’s overall portfolio, and apply specified discounts to securities held by the Fund (except certain money market securities).

The “Basic Maintenance Amount” is generally equal to (a) the sum of (i) the aggregate liquidation preference of any preferred shares then outstanding plus (to the extent not included in the liquidation preference of such preferred shares) an amount equal to the aggregate accumulated but unpaid distributions (whether or not earned or declared) in respect of such preferred shares, (ii) the Fund’s other liabilities (excluding dividends and other distributions payable on the Fund’s common shares) and (iii) any other current liabilities of the Fund (including amounts due and payable by the Fund pursuant to reverse repurchase agreements and payables for assets purchased) less (b) the value of the Fund’s assets if such assets are either cash or evidences of indebtedness which mature prior to or on the date of redemption or repurchase of preferred shares or payment of another liability and are either U.S. government securities or evidences of indebtedness rated at least “Aaa,” “P-1”, “VMIG-1” or “MIG-1” by Moody’s or “AAA”, “SP-1+” or “A-1+” by S&P and are held by the Fund for distributions, the redemption or repurchase of preferred shares or the Fund’s liabilities.

If the Fund does not cure in a timely manner a failure to maintain a discounted value of its portfolio equal to the Basic Maintenance Amount in accordance with the requirements of any applicable rating agency or agencies then rating the preferred shares at the request of the Fund, the Fund may, and in certain circumstances would be required to, mandatorily redeem preferred shares.

The Fund may, but would not be required to, adopt any modifications to the rating agency guidelines that may be established by Moody’s and Fitch (or such other rating agency then rating the preferred shares at the request of the Fund) following the issuance of any such rated preferred shares. Failure to adopt any such modifications, however, may result in a change in the relevant rating agency’s ratings or a withdrawal of such ratings altogether. In addition, any rating agency providing a rating for the preferred shares at the request of the Fund may, at any time, change or withdraw any such rating. The Board, without further action by shareholders, would be expected to be able to amend, alter, add to or repeal any provision of a Statement of Preferences adopted pursuant to rating agency guidelines if the Board determines that such amendments or modifications are necessary to prevent a reduction in, or the withdrawal of, a rating of the preferred shares and are in the aggregate in the best interests of the holders of the preferred shares. Additionally, the Board, without further action by the shareholders, would be expected to be able to amend, alter, add to or repeal any provision of a Statement of Preferences adopted pursuant to rating agency guidelines if the Board determines that such amendments or modifications will not in the aggregate adversely affect the rights and preferences of the holders of any series of the preferred shares, provided that the Fund has received advice from each applicable rating agency that such amendment or modification is not expected to adversely affect such rating agency’s then-current rating of such series of the Fund’s preferred shares.

As described by Moody’s and Fitch, any ratings assigned to the preferred shares are assessments of the capacity and willingness of the Fund to pay the obligations of each series of the preferred shares. Any ratings on the preferred shares are not recommendations to purchase, hold or sell shares of any series, inasmuch as the ratings do not comment as to market price or suitability for a particular investor. The rating agency guidelines also do not address the likelihood that an owner of preferred shares will be able to sell such shares on an exchange, in an auction or otherwise. Any ratings would be based on current information furnished to Moody’s and Fitch by the Fund and the Investment Adviser and information obtained from other sources. Any ratings may be changed, suspended or withdrawn as a result of changes in, or the unavailability of, such information.

 

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The rating agency guidelines would apply to the preferred shares, as the case may be, only so long as such rating agency is rating such shares at the request of the Fund. The Fund expects that it would pay fees to Moody’s and Fitch for rating any preferred shares.

Asset Maintenance Requirements. In addition to the requirements summarized under, “—Rating Agency Guidelines” above, the Fund must satisfy asset maintenance requirements under the 1940 Act with respect to its preferred shares. Under the 1940 Act, debt or additional preferred shares may be issued only if immediately after such issuance the value of the Fund’s total assets (less ordinary course liabilities) is at least 300% of the amount of any debt outstanding and at least 200% of the amount of any preferred shares and debt outstanding.

The Fund is and likely will be required under the Statement of Preferences of each series of preferred shares to determine whether it has, as of the last business day of each March, June, September and December of each year, an “asset coverage” (as defined in the 1940 Act) of at least 200% (or such higher or lower percentage as may be required at the time under the 1940 Act) with respect to all outstanding senior securities of the Fund that are debt or stock, including any outstanding preferred shares. If the Fund fails to maintain the asset coverage required under the 1940 Act on such dates and such failure is not cured by a specific time (generally within 60 calendar days or 49 calendar days), the Fund may, and in certain circumstances will be required to, mandatorily redeem preferred shares sufficient to satisfy such asset coverage. See “—Redemption Procedures” below.

Distributions. Holders of any fixed rate preferred shares are or will be entitled to receive, when, as and if declared by the Board, out of funds legally available therefor, cumulative cash distributions, at an annual rate set forth in the applicable Statement of Preferences or Prospectus Supplement, payable with such frequency as set forth in the applicable Statement of Preferences or Prospectus Supplement. Such distributions will accumulate from the date on which such shares are issued.

Restrictions on Dividends and Other Distributions for the Preferred Shares. So long as any preferred shares are outstanding, the Fund may not pay any dividend or distribution (other than a dividend or distribution paid in common shares or in options, warrants or rights to subscribe for or purchase common shares) in respect of the common shares or call for redemption, redeem, purchase or otherwise acquire for consideration any common shares (except by conversion into or exchange for shares of the Fund ranking junior to the preferred shares as to the payment of dividends or distributions and the distribution of assets upon liquidation), unless:

 

   

the Fund has declared and paid (or provided to the relevant dividend paying agent) all cumulative distributions on the Fund’s outstanding preferred shares due on or prior to the date of such common shares dividend or distribution;

   

the Fund has redeemed the full number of preferred shares to be redeemed pursuant to any mandatory redemption provision in the Fund’s Governing Documents; and

   

after making the distribution, the Fund meets applicable asset coverage requirements described under “Preferred Shares—Asset Maintenance Requirements.”

No complete distribution due for a particular dividend period will be declared or made on any series of preferred shares for any dividend period, or part thereof, unless full cumulative distributions due through the most recent dividend payment dates therefore for all outstanding series of preferred shares of the Fund ranking on a parity with such series as to distributions have been or contemporaneously are declared and made. If full cumulative distributions due have not been made on all outstanding preferred shares of the Fund ranking on a parity with such series of preferred shares as to the payment of distributions, any distributions being paid on the preferred shares will be paid as nearly pro rata as possible in proportion to the respective amounts of distributions accumulated but unmade on each such series of preferred shares on the relevant dividend payment date. The Fund’s obligation to make distributions on the preferred shares will be subordinate to its obligations to pay interest and principal, when due, on any senior securities representing debt.

Mandatory Redemption Relating to Asset Coverage Requirements. The Fund may, at its option, consistent with the Governing Documents and the 1940 Act, and in certain circumstances will be required to, mandatorily redeem preferred shares in the event that:

 

   

the Fund fails to maintain the asset coverage requirements specified under the 1940 Act on a quarterly valuation date (generally the last business day of March, June, September and December) and such failure is not cured on or before a specified period of time, following such failure (60 calendar days in the case of the Series A Preferred Shares and the Series B Preferred Shares); or

 

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the Fund fails to maintain the asset coverage requirements as calculated in accordance with any applicable rating agency guidelines as of any monthly valuation date (generally the last business day of each month), and such failure is not cured on or before a specified period of time after such valuation date (typically 10 business days).

The redemption price for preferred shares subject to mandatory redemption will generally be the liquidation preference, as stated in the Statement of Preferences of each existing series of preferred shares or the Prospectus Supplement accompanying the issuance of any series of preferred shares, plus an amount equal to any accumulated but unpaid distributions (whether or not earned or declared) to the date fixed for redemption, plus any applicable redemption premium determined by the Board and included in the Statement of Preferences.

The number of preferred shares that will be redeemed in the case of a mandatory redemption will equal the minimum number of outstanding preferred shares, the redemption of which, if such redemption had occurred immediately prior to the opening of business on the applicable cure date, would have resulted in the relevant asset coverage requirement having been met or, if the required asset coverage cannot be so restored, all of the preferred shares. In the event that preferred shares are redeemed due to a failure to satisfy the 1940 Act asset coverage requirements, the Fund may, but is not required to, redeem a sufficient number of preferred shares so that the Fund’s assets exceed the asset coverage requirements under the 1940 Act after the redemption by 10% (that is, 220% asset coverage) or some other amount specified in the Statement of Preferences. In the event that preferred shares are redeemed due to a failure to satisfy applicable rating agency guidelines, the Fund may, but is not required to, redeem a sufficient number of preferred shares so that the Fund’s discounted portfolio value (as determined in accordance with the applicable rating agency guidelines) after redemption exceeds the asset coverage requirements of each applicable rating agency by up to 10% (that is, 110% rating agency asset coverage) or some other amount specified in the Statement of Preferences.

If the Fund does not have funds legally available for the redemption of, or is otherwise unable to redeem, all the preferred shares to be redeemed on any redemption date, the Fund will redeem on such redemption date that number of shares for which it has legally available funds, or is otherwise able to redeem, from the holders whose shares are to be redeemed ratably on the basis of the redemption price of such shares, and the remainder of those shares to be redeemed will be redeemed on the earliest practicable date on which the Fund will have funds legally available for the redemption of, or is otherwise able to redeem, such shares upon written notice of redemption.

If fewer than all of the Fund’s outstanding preferred shares are to be redeemed, the Fund, at its discretion and subject to the limitations of the Governing Documents, the 1940 Act, and applicable law, will select the one or more series of preferred from which shares will be redeemed and the amount of preferred to be redeemed from each such series. If fewer than all shares of a series of preferred are to be redeemed, such redemption will be made as among the holders of that series pro rata in accordance with the respective number of shares of such series held by each such holder on the record date for such redemption (or by such other equitable method as the Fund may determine). If fewer than all preferred shares held by any holder are to be redeemed, the notice of redemption mailed to such holder will specify the number of shares to be redeemed from such holder, which may be expressed as a percentage of shares held on the applicable record date.

Optional Redemption. Fixed rate preferred shares are not subject to optional redemption by the Fund until the date, if any, specified in the applicable Prospectus or Prospectus Supplement, unless such redemption is necessary, in the judgment of the Fund, to maintain the Fund’s status as a RIC under the Code. Commencing on such date and thereafter, the Fund may at any time redeem such fixed rate preferred shares in whole or in part for cash at a redemption price per share equal to the liquidation preference per share plus accumulated and unpaid distributions (whether or not earned or declared) to the redemption date plus any premium specified in or pursuant to the Statement of Preferences. Such redemptions are subject to the notice requirements set forth under “— Redemption Procedures” below and the limitations of the Governing Documents, the 1940 Act and applicable law.

Redemption Procedures. If the Fund determines or is required to redeem preferred shares, it will mail a notice of redemption to holders of the shares to be redeemed. Each notice of redemption will state (i) the redemption date, (ii) the number or percentage of preferred shares to be redeemed (which may be expressed as a percentage of such shares outstanding), (iii) the CUSIP number(s) of such shares, (iv) the redemption price (specifying the amount of accumulated distributions to be included therein), (v) the place or places where such shares are to be redeemed, (vi) that dividends or distributions on the shares to be redeemed will cease to accumulate on such redemption date, (vii) the provision of the Statement of Preferences under which the redemption is being made and (viii) in the case of an optional redemption, any conditions precedent to such redemption. No defect in the notice of redemption or in the mailing thereof will affect the validity of the redemption proceedings, except as required by applicable law.

 

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The redemption date with respect to fixed rate preferred shares will not be fewer than 30 days nor more than 60 days (subject to NYSE American requirements) after the date of the applicable notice of redemption. Preferred shareholders may receive shorter notice in the event of a mandatory redemption.

The holders of preferred shares will not have the right to redeem any of their shares at their option except to the extent specified in the Statement of Preferences.

Liquidation Rights. In the event of any voluntary or involuntary liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the Fund, the holders of preferred shares then outstanding will be entitled to receive a preferential liquidating distribution, which is expected to equal the original purchase price per preferred share plus accumulated and unpaid dividends, whether or not declared, before any distribution of assets is made to holders of common shares. After payment of the full amount of the liquidating distribution to which they are entitled, the holders of preferred shares will not be entitled to any further participation in any distribution of assets by the Fund.

Voting Rights. Except as otherwise stated in this Prospectus, specified in the Governing Documents or resolved by the Board or as otherwise required by applicable law, holders of preferred shares shall be entitled to one vote per share held on each matter submitted to a vote of the shareholders of the Fund and will vote together with holders of common shares and of any other preferred shares then outstanding as a single class.

In connection with the election of the Fund’s Trustees, holders of the outstanding preferred shares, voting together as a single class, will be entitled to elect two of the Fund’s Trustees, and the remaining Trustees will be elected by holders of common shares and holders of preferred shares, voting together as a single class. In addition, if (i) at any time dividends and distributions on outstanding preferred shares are unpaid in an amount equal to at least two full years’ dividends and distributions thereon and sufficient cash or specified securities have not been deposited with the applicable paying agent for the payment of such accumulated dividends and distributions or (ii) at any time holders of any other series of preferred shares are entitled to elect a majority of the Trustees of the Fund under the 1940 Act or the applicable Statement of Preferences creating such shares, then the number of Trustees constituting the Board automatically will be increased by the smallest number that, when added to the two Trustees elected exclusively by the holders of preferred shares as described above, would then constitute a simple majority of the Board as so increased by such smallest number. Such additional Trustees will be elected by the holders of the outstanding preferred shares, voting together as a single class, at a special meeting of shareholders which will be called as soon as practicable and will be held not less than ten nor more than twenty days after the mailing date of the meeting notice. If the Fund fails to send such meeting notice or to call such a special meeting, the meeting may be called by any preferred shareholder on like notice. The terms of office of the persons who are Trustees at the time of that election will continue. If the Fund thereafter pays, or declares and sets apart for payment in full, all dividends and distributions payable on all outstanding preferred shares for all past dividend periods or the holders of other series of preferred shares are no longer entitled to elect such additional Trustees, the additional voting rights of the holders of the preferred shares as described above will cease, and the terms of office of all of the additional Trustees elected by the holders of the preferred shares (but not of the Trustees with respect to whose election the holders of common shares were entitled to vote or the two Trustees the holders of preferred shares have the right to elect as a separate class in any event) will terminate automatically.

The 1940 Act requires that in addition to any approval by shareholders that might otherwise be required, the approval of the holders of a majority of any outstanding preferred shares (as defined in the 1940 Act), voting separately as a class, would be required to (i) adopt any plan of reorganization that would adversely affect the preferred shares, and (ii) take any action requiring a vote of security holders under Section 13(a) of the 1940 Act, including, among other things, changes in the Fund’s subclassification as a closed-end investment company to an open-end company or changes in its fundamental investment restrictions. As a result of these voting rights, the Fund’s ability to take any such actions may be impeded to the extent that there are any preferred shares outstanding. Additionally, the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding preferred shares (as defined in the 1940 Act), voting as a separate class, will be required to amend, alter or repeal any of the provisions of the Statement of Preferences so as to in the aggregate adversely affect the rights and preferences set forth in the Statement of Preferences. The class vote of holders of preferred shares described above will in each case be in addition to any other vote required to authorize the action in question.

The foregoing voting provisions will not apply to any preferred shares if, at or prior to the time when the act with respect to which such vote otherwise would be required will be effected, such shares will have been redeemed or called for redemption and sufficient cash or cash equivalents provided to the applicable paying agent to effect such redemption. The holders of preferred shares will have no preemptive rights or rights to cumulative voting.

Limitation on Issuance of Preferred Shares. So long as the Fund has preferred shares outstanding, subject to receipt of approval from the rating agencies of each series of preferred shares outstanding, and subject to compliance with the Fund’s investment objective, policies and restrictions, the Fund may issue and sell shares of one or more other series of additional preferred shares

 

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provided that the Fund will, immediately after giving effect to the issuance of such additional preferred shares and to its receipt and application of the proceeds thereof (including, without limitation, to the redemption of preferred shares to be redeemed out of such proceeds), have an “asset coverage” for all senior securities of the Fund which are stock, as defined in the 1940 Act, of at least 200% of the sum of the liquidation preference of the preferred shares of the Fund then outstanding and all indebtedness of the Fund constituting senior securities and no such additional preferred shares will have any preference or priority over any other preferred shares of the Fund upon the distribution of the assets of the Fund or in respect of the payment of dividends or distributions.

The Fund will consider from time to time whether to offer additional preferred shares or securities representing indebtedness and may issue such additional securities if the Board concludes that such an offering would be consistent with the Fund’s Governing Documents and applicable law, and in the best interest of existing common shareholders.

Tenders and Repurchases. In addition to the redemption provisions described herein, the Fund may also tender for or purchase preferred shares (whether in private transactions or on the NYSE American) and the Fund may subsequently resell any shares so tendered for or purchased, subject to the provisions of the Fund’s Governing Documents and the 1940 Act.

Book Entry. Preferred shares may be held in the name of Cede & Co. as nominee for DTC. The Fund will treat Cede & Co. as the holder of record of any preferred shares issued for all purposes in this circumstance. In accordance with the procedures of DTC, however, purchasers of preferred shares whose preferred shares are held in the name of Cede & Co. as nominee for the DTC will be deemed the beneficial owners of stock purchased for purposes of distributions, voting and liquidation rights.

Notes

General. Under applicable state law and our Agreement and Declaration of Trust, we may borrow money without prior approval of holders of common and preferred shares. We may also issue debt securities, including notes, or other evidence of indebtedness and may secure any such notes or borrowings by mortgaging, pledging or otherwise subjecting as security our assets to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act or rating agency guidelines. Any borrowings, including without limitation any notes, will rank senior to the preferred shares and the common shares.

Under the 1940 Act, we may only issue one class of senior securities representing indebtedness, which in the aggregate must have asset coverage immediately after the time of issuance of at least 300%. So long as notes are outstanding, additional debt securities must rank on a parity with notes with respect to the payment of interest and upon the distribution of our assets.

A Prospectus Supplement relating to any notes will include specific terms relating to the offering. The terms to be stated in a Prospectus Supplement will include the following:

 

   

the form and title of the security;

 

   

the aggregate principal amount of the securities;

 

   

the interest rate of the securities;

 

   

whether the interest rate for the securities will be determined by auction or remarketing;

 

   

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

 

   

the frequency with which auctions or remarketings, if any, will be held;

 

   

any changes to or additional events of default or covenants;

 

   

any minimum period prior to which the securities may not be called;

 

   

any optional or mandatory call or redemption provisions;

 

   

the credit rating of the notes;

 

   

if applicable, a discussion of the material U.S. federal income tax considerations applicable to the issuance of the notes; and

 

   

any other terms of the securities.

Interest. The Prospectus Supplement will describe the interest payment provisions relating to notes. Interest on notes will be payable when due as described in the related Prospectus Supplement. If we do not pay interest when due, it will trigger an event of default and we will be restricted from declaring dividends and making other distributions with respect to our common shares and preferred shares.

 

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Limitations. Under the requirements of the 1940 Act, immediately after issuing any notes the value of our total assets, less certain ordinary course liabilities, must equal or exceed 300% of the amount of the notes outstanding. Other types of borrowings also may result in our being subject to similar covenants in credit agreements.

Additionally, the 1940 Act requires that we prohibit the declaration of any dividend or distribution (other than a dividend or distribution paid in Fund common or preferred shares or in options, warrants or rights to subscribe for or purchase Fund common or preferred shares) in respect of Fund common or preferred shares, or call for redemption, redeem, purchase or otherwise acquire for consideration any such fund common or preferred shares, unless the Fund’s notes have asset coverage of at least 300% (200% in the case of a dividend or distribution on preferred shares) after deducting the amount of such dividend, distribution, or acquisition price, as the case may be. These 1940 Act requirements do not apply to any promissory note or other evidence of indebtedness issued in consideration of any loan, extension, or renewal thereof, made by a bank or other person and privately arranged, and not intended to be publicly distributed; however, any such borrowings may result in our being subject to similar covenants in credit agreements. Moreover, the Indenture related to the notes could contain provisions more restrictive than those required by the 1940 Act, and any such provisions would be described in the related Prospectus Supplement.

Events of Default and Acceleration of Maturity of Notes. Unless stated otherwise in the related Prospectus Supplement, any one of the following events will constitute an “event of default” for that series under the Indenture relating to the notes:

 

   

default in the payment of any interest upon a series of notes when it becomes due and payable and the continuance of such default for 30 days;

 

   

default in the payment of the principal of, or premium on, a series of notes at its stated maturity;

 

   

default in the performance, or breach, of any covenant or warranty of ours in the Indenture, and continuance of such default or breach for a period of 90 days after written notice has been given to us by the trustee;

 

   

certain voluntary or involuntary proceedings involving us and relating to bankruptcy, insolvency or other similar laws;

 

   

if, on the last business day of each of twenty-four consecutive calendar months, the notes have a 1940 Act asset coverage of less than 100%; or

 

   

any other “event of default” provided with respect to a series, including a default in the payment of any redemption price payable on the redemption date.

Upon the occurrence and continuance of an event of default, the holders of a majority in principal amount of a series of outstanding notes or the trustee will be able to declare the principal amount of that series of notes immediately due and payable upon written notice to us. A default that relates only to one series of notes does not affect any other series and the holders of such other series of notes will not be entitled to receive notice of such a default under the Indenture. Upon an event of default relating to bankruptcy, insolvency or other similar laws, acceleration of maturity will occur automatically with respect to all series. At any time after a declaration of acceleration with respect to a series of notes has been made, and before a judgment or decree for payment of the money due has been obtained, the holders of a majority in principal amount of the outstanding notes of that series, by written notice to us and the trustee, may rescind and annul the declaration of acceleration and its consequences if all events of default with respect to that series of notes, other than the non-payment of the principal of that series of notes which has become due solely by such declaration of acceleration, have been cured or waived and other conditions have been met.

Liquidation Rights. In the event of (a) any insolvency or bankruptcy case or proceeding, or any receivership, liquidation, reorganization or other similar case or proceeding in connection therewith, relative to us or to our creditors, as such, or to our assets, or (b) any liquidation, dissolution or other winding up of us, whether voluntary or involuntary and whether or not involving insolvency or bankruptcy, or (c) any assignment for the benefit of creditors or any other marshalling of assets and liabilities of ours, then (after any payments with respect to any secured creditor of ours outstanding at such time) and in any such event the holders of notes shall be entitled to receive payment in full of all amounts due or to become due on or in respect of all notes (including any interest accruing thereon after the commencement of any such case or proceeding), or provision shall be made for such payment in cash or cash equivalents or otherwise in a manner satisfactory to the holders of the notes, before the holders of any of our common or preferred shares are entitled to receive any payment on account of any redemption proceeds, liquidation preference or dividends from such shares. The holders of notes shall be entitled to receive, for application to the payment thereof, any payment or distribution of any kind or character, whether in cash, property or securities, including any such payment or distribution which may be payable or deliverable by reason of the payment of any other indebtedness of ours being subordinated to the payment of the notes, which may be payable or deliverable in respect of the notes in any such case, proceeding, dissolution, liquidation or other winding up event.

Unsecured creditors of ours may include, without limitation, service providers including the Investment Adviser, Custodian, administrator, auction agent, broker-dealers and the trustee, pursuant to the terms of various contracts with us. Secured creditors of ours may include without limitation parties entering into any interest rate swap, floor or cap transactions, or other similar transactions with us that create liens, pledges, charges, security interests, security agreements or other encumbrances on our assets.

 

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A consolidation, reorganization or merger of us with or into any other company, or a sale, lease or exchange of all or substantially all of our assets in consideration for the issuance of equity securities of another company shall not be deemed to be a liquidation, dissolution or winding up of us.

Voting Rights. The notes have no voting rights, except as mentioned below and to the extent required by law or as otherwise provided in the Indenture relating to the acceleration of maturity upon the occurrence and continuance of an event of default. In connection with the notes or certain other borrowings (if any), the 1940 Act does in certain circumstances grant to the note holders or lenders certain voting rights. The 1940 Act requires that provision is made either (i) that, if on the last business day of each of twelve consecutive calendar months such notes shall have an asset coverage of less than 100%, the holders of such notes voting as a class shall be entitled to elect at least a majority of the members of the Fund’s Trustees, such voting right to continue until such notes shall have an asset coverage of 110% or more on the last business day of each of three consecutive calendar months, or (ii) that, if on the last business day of each of twenty-four consecutive calendar months such notes shall have an asset coverage of less than 100%, an event of default shall be deemed to have occurred. It is expected that, unless otherwise stated in the related Prospectus Supplement, provision will be made that, if on the last business day of each of twenty-four consecutive calendar months such notes shall have an asset coverage of less than 100%, an event of default shall be deemed to have occurred. These 1940 Act requirements do not apply to any promissory note or other evidence of indebtedness issued in consideration of any loan, extension, or renewal thereof, made by a bank or other person and privately arranged, and not intended to be publicly distributed; however, any such borrowings may result in our being subject to similar covenants in credit agreements. As reflected above, the Indenture relating to the notes may also grant to the note holders voting rights relating to the acceleration of maturity upon the occurrence and continuance of an event of default, and any such rights would be described in the related Prospectus Supplement.

Market. Our notes are not likely to be listed on an exchange or automated quotation system. The details on how to buy and sell such notes, along with the other terms of the notes, will be described in a Prospectus Supplement. We cannot assure you that any market will exist for our notes or if a market does exist, whether it will provide holders with liquidity.

Book-Entry, Delivery and Form. Unless otherwise stated in the related Prospectus Supplement, the notes will be issued in book-entry form and will be represented by one or more notes in registered global form. The global notes will be deposited with the trustee as custodian for DTC and registered in the name of Cede & Co., as nominee of DTC. DTC will maintain the notes in designated denominations through its book-entry facilities.

Under the terms of the Indenture, we and the trustee may treat the persons in whose names any notes, including the global notes, are registered as the owners thereof for the purpose of receiving payments and for any and all other purposes whatsoever. Therefore, so long as DTC or its nominee is the registered owner of the global notes, DTC or such nominee will be considered the sole holder of outstanding notes under the Indenture. We or the trustee may give effect to any written certification, proxy or other authorization furnished by DTC or its nominee.

A global note may not be transferred except as a whole by DTC, its successors or their respective nominees. Interests of beneficial owners in the global note may be transferred or exchanged for definitive securities in accordance with the rules and procedures of DTC. In addition, a global note may be exchangeable for notes in definitive form if:

 

   

DTC notifies us that it is unwilling or unable to continue as a depository and we do not appoint a successor within 60 days;

 

   

we, at our option, notify the trustee in writing that we elect to cause the issuance of notes in definitive form under the Indenture; or

 

   

an event of default has occurred and is continuing.

In each instance, upon surrender by DTC or its nominee of the global note, notes in definitive form will be issued to each person that DTC or its nominee identifies as being the beneficial owner of the related notes.

Under the Indenture, the holder of any global note may grant proxies and otherwise authorize any person, including its participants and persons who may hold interests through DTC participants, to take any action which a holder is entitled to take under the Indenture.

Trustee, Transfer Agent, Registrar, Paying Agent and Redemption Agent. Information regarding the trustee under the Indenture, which may also act as transfer agent, registrar, paying agent and redemption agent with respect to our notes, will be set forth in the Prospectus Supplement.

 

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Subscription Rights

General. We may issue subscription rights to holders of our (i) common shares to purchase common and/or preferred shares or (ii) preferred shares to purchase preferred shares (subject to applicable law). Subscription rights may be issued independently or together with any other offered security and may or may not be transferable by the person purchasing or receiving the subscription rights. In connection with a subscription rights offering to holders of our common and/or preferred shares, we would distribute certificates evidencing the subscription rights and a Prospectus Supplement to our common or preferred shareholders, as applicable, as of the record date that we set for determining the shareholders eligible to receive subscription rights in such subscription rights offering.

The applicable Prospectus Supplement would describe the following terms of subscription rights in respect of which this Prospectus is being delivered:

 

   

the period of time the offering would remain open (which will be open a minimum number of days such that all record holders would be eligible to participate in the offering and will not be open longer than 120 days);

 

   

the title of such subscription rights;

 

   

the exercise price for such subscription rights (or method of calculation thereof);

 

   

the number of such subscription rights issued in respect of each common share;

 

   

the number of rights required to purchase a single preferred share;

 

   

the extent to which such subscription rights are transferable and the market on which they may be traded if they are transferable;

 

   

if applicable, a discussion of the material U.S. federal income tax considerations applicable to the issuance or exercise of such subscription rights;

 

   

the date on which the right to exercise such subscription rights will commence, and the date on which such right will expire (subject to any extension);

 

   

the extent to which such subscription rights include an over-subscription privilege with respect to unsubscribed securities and the terms of such over-subscription privilege;

 

   

any termination right we may have in connection with such subscription rights offering; and

 

   

any other terms of such subscription rights, including exercise, settlement and other procedures and limitations relating to the transfer and exercise of such subscription rights.

Exercise of Subscription Rights. Each subscription right would entitle the holder of the subscription right to purchase for cash such number of shares at such exercise price as in each case is set forth in, or be determinable as set forth in, the prospectus supplement relating to the subscription rights offered thereby, Subscription rights would be exercisable at any time up to the close of business on the expiration date for such subscription rights set forth in the prospectus supplement. After the close of business on the expiration date, all unexercised subscription rights would become void.

Subscription rights would be exercisable as set forth in the prospectus supplement relating to the subscription rights offered thereby. Upon expiration of the rights offering and the receipt of payment and the subscription rights certificate properly completed and duly executed at the corporate trust office of the subscription rights agent or any other office indicated in the prospectus supplement we would issue, as soon as practicable, the shares purchased as a result of such exercise. To the extent permissible under applicable law, we may determine to offer any unsubscribed offered securities directly to persons other than shareholders, to or through agents, underwriters or dealers or through a combination of such methods, as set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement.

Subscription Rights to Purchase Common and Preferred Shares. The Fund may issue subscription rights which would entitle holders to purchase both common and preferred shares in a ratio to be set forth in the applicable Prospectus Supplement. In accordance with the 1940 Act, at least three rights would be required to subscribe for one common share. It is expected that rights to purchase both common and preferred shares would require holders to purchase an equal number of common and preferred shares, and would not permit holders to purchase an unequal number of common or preferred shares, or purchase only common shares or only preferred shares. For example, such an offering might be structured such that three rights would entitle an investor to purchase one common share and one preferred share, and such investor would not be able to choose to purchase only a common share or only a preferred share upon the exercise of his, her or its rights.

 

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The common shares and preferred shares issued pursuant to the exercise of any such rights, however, would at all times be separately tradeable securities. Such common and preferred shares would not be issued as a “unit” or “combination” and would not be listed or traded as a “unit” or “combination” on a securities exchange, such as the NYSE, at any time. The applicable Prospectus Supplement will set forth additional details regarding an offering of subscription rights to purchase common and preferred shares.

Outstanding Securities

The following information regarding the Fund’s authorized shares is as of August 2, 2021.

 

Title of Class    Amount
Authorized
     Amount
Outstanding
Amount Held
by Fund or
for its Account
     Exclusive of
Amount Held
by Fund
 

Common Shares

     Unlimited               5,375,089  

Series A Cumulative Puttable and Callable Preferred Shares

     4,000,000               32,529  

Series B Cumulative Puttable and Callable Preferred Shares

     1,370,433               1,258,029  

Other Series of Preferred Shares

     Unlimited               0  

ANTI-TAKEOVER PROVISIONS OF THE FUND’S GOVERNING DOCUMENTS

The Fund presently has provisions in its Governing Documents which could have the effect of limiting, in each case, (i) the ability of other entities or persons to acquire control of the Fund, (ii) the Fund’s freedom to engage in certain transactions or (iii) the ability of the Fund’s Trustees or shareholders to amend the Governing Documents or effectuate changes in the Fund’s management. These provisions of the Governing Documents of the Fund may be regarded as “anti-takeover” provisions. The Board of Trustees of the Fund is divided into three classes, each having a term of no more than three years. Each year the term of one class of Trustees will expire. Accordingly, only those Trustees in one class may be changed in any one year, and it would require a minimum of two years to change a majority of the Board of Trustees. Such system of electing Trustees may have the effect of maintaining the continuity of management and, thus, make it more difficult for the shareholders of the Fund to change the majority of Trustees. A Trustee of the Fund may be removed with cause by a majority of the remaining Trustees and, without cause, by two-thirds of the remaining Trustees or by no less than two-thirds of the aggregate number of votes entitled to be cast for the election of such Trustee. Under the Fund’s By-Laws, advance notice to the Fund of any shareholder proposal is required, potential nominees to the Board of Trustees must satisfy a series of requirements relating to, among other things, potential conflicts of interest or relationships and fitness to be a Trustee of a closed-end fund in order to be nominated or elected as a Trustee and any shareholder proposing the nomination or election of a person as a Trustee must supply significant amounts of information designed to enable verification of whether such person satisfies such qualifications. Additionally, the Agreement and Declaration of Trust requires any shareholder action by written consent to be unanimous. Special voting requirements of 75% of the outstanding voting shares (in addition to any required class votes) apply to certain mergers or a sale of all or substantially all of the Fund’s assets, liquidation, conversion of the Fund into an open-end fund or interval fund and amendments to several provisions of the Declaration of Trust, including the foregoing provisions. In addition, 80% of the holders of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund voting as a class is generally required in order to authorize any of the following transactions:

 

   

merger or consolidation of the Fund with or into any other entity;

   

issuance of any securities of the Fund to any person or entity for cash, other than pursuant to the Dividend and Reinvestment Plan or any offering if such person or entity acquires no greater percentage of the securities offered than the percentage beneficially owned by such person or entity immediately prior to such offering or, in the case of a class or series not then beneficially owned by such person or entity, the percentage of common shares beneficially owned by such person or entity immediately prior to such offering;

   

sale, lease or exchange of all or any substantial part of the assets of the Fund to any entity or person (except assets having an aggregate fair market value of less than $5,000,000);

   

sale, lease or exchange to the Fund, in exchange for securities of the Fund, of any assets of any entity or person (except assets having an aggregate fair market value of less than $5,000,000); or

   

the purchase of the Fund’s common shares by the Fund from any person or entity other than pursuant to a tender offer equally available to other shareholders in which such person or entity tenders no greater percentage of common shares than are tendered by all other shareholders; if such person or entity is directly, or indirectly through affiliates, the beneficial owner of more than 5% of the outstanding shares of the Fund.

 

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However, such vote would not be required when, under certain conditions, the Board of Trustees approves the transaction.

In addition, shareholders have no authority to adopt, amend or repeal By-Laws. The Board of Trustees has authority to adopt, amend and repeal By-Laws consistent with the Declaration of Trust (including to require approval by the holders of a majority of the outstanding shares for the election of Trustees). Reference is made to the Governing Documents of the Fund, on file with the SEC, for the full text of these provisions.

The provisions of the Governing Documents described above could have the effect of depriving the owners of shares in the Fund of opportunities to sell their shares at a premium over prevailing market prices, by discouraging a third party from seeking to obtain control of the Fund in a tender offer or similar transaction. The overall effect of these provisions is to render more difficult the accomplishment of a merger or the assumption of control by a principal shareholder. The Board adopted these provisions in order to discourage certain coercive takeover practices and inadequate takeover bids and to encourage persons seeking to acquire control of us to negotiate first with the Board. The Board believes the benefits of these provisions outweigh the potential disadvantages of discouraging any such acquisition proposals because, among other things, the negotiation of such proposals may improve their terms.

The foregoing 75% and 80% voting requirements, which have been considered and determined to be in the best interests of shareholders by the Trustees, are greater than the voting requirements imposed by the 1940 Act and applicable Delaware law.

The Governing Documents are on file with the SEC. For access to the full text of these provisions, see “Available Information.”

CLOSED-END FUND STRUCTURE

The Fund is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company (commonly referred to as a closed-end fund). Closed-end funds differ from open-end funds (which are generally referred to as mutual funds) in that closed-end funds generally list their common shares for trading on a stock exchange and do not redeem their common shares at the request of the shareholder. This means that if you wish to sell your common shares of a closed-end fund you must trade them on the market like any other stock at the prevailing market price at that time. In a mutual fund, if the shareholder wishes to sell shares of the fund, the mutual fund will redeem or buy back the shares at “net asset value.” Also, mutual funds generally offer new shares on a continuous basis to new investors, and closed-end funds generally do not. The continuous inflows and outflows of assets in a mutual fund can make it difficult to manage the fund’s investments. By comparison, closed-end funds are generally able to stay more fully invested in securities that are consistent with their investment objectives, to have greater flexibility to make certain types of investments and to use certain investment strategies such as financial leverage and investments in illiquid securities.

Common shares of closed-end funds often trade at a discount to their net asset value. Because of this possibility and the recognition that any such discount may not be in the interest of shareholders, the Fund’s Board of Trustees might consider from time to time engaging in open-market repurchases, tender offers for shares or other programs intended to reduce a discount. We cannot guarantee or assure, however, that the Fund’s Board of Trustees will decide to engage in any of these actions. Nor is there any guarantee or assurance that such actions, if undertaken, would result in the common shares trading at a price equal or close to net asset value per share. We cannot assure you that the Fund’s common shares will not trade at a discount.

REPURCHASE OF COMMON SHARES

The Fund is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company and as such its shareholders do not, and will not, have the right to require the Fund to repurchase their shares. The Fund, however, may repurchase its common shares from time to time as and when it deems such a repurchase advisable. The Board of Trustees has authorized, but does not require, such repurchases to be made when the Fund’s common shares are trading at a discount from net asset value of 10% or more (or such other percentage as the Board of Trustees of the Fund may determine from time to time). This authorization is a standing authorization that may be executed in the discretion of the Fund’s officers. The Fund’s officers are authorized to use the Fund’s general corporate funds to repurchase common shares. The Fund generally intends to finance common share repurchases with cash on hand and, while the Fund may incur debt to finance common share repurchases, such debt financing would require further approval of the Board, and the Fund does not currently intend to incur debt to finance common share repurchases. The Fund has repurchased its common shares under this authorization. See “Description of the Securities—Common Shares.” Although the Board of Trustees has authorized such repurchases, the Fund is not required to repurchase its common shares, and the Fund’s officers, in determining whether to repurchase Fund common shares pursuant to this authority, take into account a variety of market and economic factors including, among other things,

 

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trading volume, the magnitude of discount, bid/ask spreads, the Fund’s available cash position, leverage and expense ratios and any applicable legal or contractual restrictions on such repurchases that may be applicable at the time. The Board of Trustees has not established a limit on the number of shares that could be purchased during such period. Pursuant to the 1940 Act, the Fund may repurchase its common shares on a securities exchange (provided that the Fund has informed its shareholders within the preceding six months of its intention to repurchase such shares) or pursuant to tenders and may also repurchase shares privately if the Fund meets certain conditions regarding, among other things, distribution of net income for the preceding fiscal year, status of the seller, price paid, brokerage commissions, prior notice to shareholders of an intention to purchase shares and purchasing in a manner and on a basis that does not discriminate unfairly against the other shareholders through their interest in the Fund. The Fund has not and will not, unless otherwise set forth in a Prospectus Supplement and accomplished in accordance with applicable law and positions of the SEC’s staff, repurchase common shares (i) immediately after the completion of an offering of common shares (i.e., within sixty days of an overallotment option period) or (ii) at a price that is tied to the initial offering price. See “Plan of Distribution.”

When the Fund repurchases its common shares for a price below net asset value, the net asset value of the common shares that remain outstanding shares will be enhanced, but this does not necessarily mean that the market price of the outstanding common shares will be affected, either positively or negatively. The repurchase of common shares will reduce the total assets of the Fund available for investment and may increase the Fund’s expense ratio.

RIGHTS OFFERINGS

The Fund may in the future, and at its discretion, choose to make offerings of subscription rights to holders of our (i) common shares to purchase common and/or preferred shares and/or (ii) preferred shares to purchase preferred shares (subject to applicable law). A future rights offering may be transferable or non-transferable. Any such future rights offering will be made in accordance with the 1940 Act. Under the laws of Delaware, the Board is authorized to approve rights offerings without obtaining shareholder approval. The staff of the SEC has interpreted the 1940 Act as not requiring shareholder approval of a transferable rights offering to purchase common stock at a price below the then current net asset value so long as certain conditions are met, including: (i) a good faith determination by a fund’s board that such offering would result in a net benefit to existing shareholders; (ii) the offering fully protects shareholders’ preemptive rights and does not discriminate among shareholders (except for the possible effect of not offering fractional rights); (iii) management uses its best efforts to ensure an adequate trading market in the rights for use by shareholders who do not exercise such rights; and (iv) the ratio of a transferable rights offering does not exceed one new share for each three rights held.

TAXATION

The following discussion is a brief summary of certain U.S. federal income tax considerations affecting the Fund and its common and preferred shareholders. A more complete discussion of the tax rules applicable to the Fund and its shareholders can be found in the SAI that is incorporated by reference into this Prospectus. This summary does not discuss the consequences of an investment in the Fund’s notes or subscription rights to acquire shares of the Fund’s stock. The tax consequences of such an investment will be discussed in a relevant prospectus supplement.

This discussion assumes you are a taxable U.S. person (as defined for U.S. federal income tax purposes) and that you hold your shares as capital assets (generally, for investment). This discussion is based upon current provisions of the Code, Treasury regulations, judicial authorities, published positions of the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) and other applicable authorities, all of which are subject to change or differing interpretations, possibly with retroactive effect. No assurance can be given that the IRS would not assert, or that a court would not sustain, a position contrary to those set forth below. No attempt is made to present a detailed explanation of all U.S. federal income tax concerns affecting the Fund and its shareholders (including shareholders subject to special tax rules and shareholders owning large positions in the Fund), nor does this discussion address any state, local or foreign tax concerns.

The discussion set forth herein does not constitute tax advice. Investors are urged to consult their own tax advisers to determine the tax consequences to them of investing in the Fund.

Taxation of the Fund

The Fund has elected to be treated and has qualified as, and intends to continue to qualify annually as, a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code. Accordingly, the Fund must, among other things,

 

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(i) derive in each taxable year at least 90% of its gross income from (a) dividends, interest (including tax-exempt interest), payments with respect to certain securities loans, and gains from the sale or other disposition of stock, securities or foreign currencies, or other income (including but not limited to gain from options, futures and forward contracts) derived with respect to its business of investing in such stock, securities or currencies and (b) net income derived from interests in certain publicly traded partnerships that are treated as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes and that derive less than 90% of their gross income from the items described in (a) above (each a “Qualified Publicly Traded Partnership”); and

(ii) diversify its holdings so that, at the end of each quarter of each taxable year (a) at least 50% of the market value of the Fund’s total assets is represented by cash and cash items, U.S. government securities, the securities of other RICs and other securities, with such other securities limited, in respect of any one issuer, to an amount not greater than 5% of the value of the Fund’s total assets and not more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer and (b) not more than 25% of the value of the Fund’s total assets is invested in the securities (other than U.S. government securities and the securities of other RICs) of (I) any one issuer, (II) any two or more issuers that the Fund controls and that are determined to be engaged in the same business or similar or related trades or businesses or (III) any one or more Qualified Publicly Traded Partnerships.

As a RIC, the Fund generally is not subject to U.S. federal income tax on income and gains that it distributes each taxable year to shareholders, provided that it distributes at least 90% of the sum of the Fund’s (i) investment company taxable income (which includes, among other items, dividends, interest, the excess of any net short term capital gain over net long term capital loss, and other taxable income other than any net capital gain (as defined below) reduced by deductible expenses) determined without regard to the deduction for dividends paid and (ii) net tax-exempt interest income (the excess of its gross tax-exempt interest income over certain disallowed deductions), if any. The Fund intends to distribute at least annually substantially all of such income. The Fund will be subject to income tax at regular corporate rates on any investment company taxable income and net capital gain that it does not distribute to its shareholders.

The Fund may either distribute or retain for reinvestment all or part of its net capital gain (which consists of the excess of its net long term capital gain over its net short term capital loss). If any such gain is retained, the Fund will be subject to a corporate income tax on such retained amount. In that event, the Fund may report the retained amount as undistributed capital gain in a notice to its shareholders, each of whom, if subject to U.S. federal income tax on long term capital gains, (i) will be required to include in income for U.S. federal income tax purposes as long term capital gain its share of such undistributed amounts, (ii) will be entitled to credit its proportionate share of the tax paid by the Fund against its U.S. federal income tax liability and to claim refunds to the extent that the credit exceeds such liability and (iii) will increase its basis in its shares by the amount of undistributed capital gains included in the shareholder’s income less the tax deemed paid by the shareholder under clause (ii).

Amounts not distributed on a timely basis in accordance with a calendar year distribution requirement are subject to a nondeductible 4% federal excise tax at the Fund level. To avoid the tax, the Fund must distribute during each calendar year an amount at least equal to the sum of (i) 98% of its ordinary income (not taking into account any capital gains or losses) for the calendar year, and (ii) 98.2% of its capital gains in excess of its capital losses (adjusted for certain ordinary losses) for a one-year period generally ending on October 31 of the calendar year (unless an election is made to use the Fund’s fiscal year). In addition, the minimum amounts that must be distributed in any year to avoid the federal excise tax will be increased or decreased to reflect any under-distribution or over-distribution, as the case may be, from previous years. For purposes of the excise tax, the Fund will be deemed to have distributed any income on which it paid U.S. federal income tax. Although the Fund intends to distribute any income and capital gains in the manner necessary to minimize imposition of the 4% federal excise tax, there can be no assurance that sufficient amounts of the Fund’s ordinary income and capital gains will be distributed to avoid entirely the imposition of the tax. In that event, the Fund will be liable for the tax only on the amount by which it does not meet the foregoing distribution requirement.

Certain of the Fund’s investment practices are subject to special and complex U.S. federal income tax provisions that may, among other things, (i) disallow, suspend or otherwise limit the allowance of certain losses or deductions, (ii) convert lower taxed long term capital gains or qualified dividend income into higher taxed short term capital gains or ordinary income, (iii) convert an ordinary loss or a deduction into a capital loss (the deductibility of which is more limited), (iv) cause the Fund to recognize income or gain without a corresponding receipt of cash, (v) adversely affect the time as to when a purchase or sale of stock or securities is deemed to occur, (vi) adversely alter the characterization of certain complex financial transactions and (vii) produce income that will not qualify as good income for purposes of the 90% annual gross income requirement described above. These U.S. federal income tax provisions could therefore affect the amount, timing and character of distributions to shareholders.

If for any taxable year the Fund were to fail to qualify as a RIC, all of its taxable income (including its net capital gain) would be subject to tax at regular corporate rates without any deduction for distributions to shareholders.

 

70


Taxation of Shareholders

The Fund expects to take the position that under present law any preferred shares that it issues will constitute equity rather than debt of the Fund for U.S. federal income tax purposes. It is possible, however, that the IRS could take a contrary position asserting, for example, that such preferred shares constitute debt of the Fund. The Fund believes this position, if asserted, would be unlikely to prevail. If that position were upheld, distributions on the Fund’s preferred shares would be considered interest, taxable as ordinary income regardless of the taxable income of the Fund. The following discussion assumes that any preferred shares issued by the Fund will be treated as equity.

Distributions paid to you by the Fund from its investment company taxable income (referred to hereinafter as “ordinary income dividends”) are generally taxable to you as ordinary income to the extent of the Fund’s current or accumulated earnings and profits. Provided that certain holding period and other requirements are met, such distributions (if properly reported by the Fund) may qualify (i) for the dividends received deduction in the case of corporate shareholders to the extent that the Fund’s income consists of dividend income from U.S. corporations, and (ii) in the case of individual shareholders, as qualified dividend income eligible to be taxed at long term capital gains rates to the extent that the Fund receives qualified dividend income. Qualified dividend income is, in general, dividend income from taxable domestic corporations and certain qualified foreign corporations. There can be no assurance as to what portion of the Fund’s distributions will be eligible for the dividends received deduction or for the reduced rates applicable to qualified dividend income.

Distributions made to you from net capital gain (“capital gain dividends”), including capital gain dividends credited to you but retained by the Fund, are taxable to you as long term capital gains if they have been properly reported by the Fund, regardless of the length of time you have owned your Fund shares. Long term capital gain of individuals is generally subject to reduced U.S. federal income tax rates.

Distributions in excess of the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits will be treated as a tax-free return of capital to the extent of your adjusted tax basis of your shares and thereafter will be treated as capital gains. The amount of any Fund distribution that is treated as a tax-free return of capital will reduce your adjusted tax basis in your shares, thereby increasing your potential gain or reducing your potential loss on any subsequent sale or other disposition of your shares. In determining the extent to which a distribution will be treated as being made from the Fund’s earnings and profits, earnings and profits will be allocated on a pro rata basis first to distributions with respect to the Fund’s preferred shares, and then to the Fund’s common shares.

The IRS currently requires a RIC that has two or more classes of shares outstanding to designate to each such class proportionate amounts of each type of its income (e.g., ordinary income, capital gain dividends, qualified dividend income) for each tax year based upon the percentage of total dividends distributed to each class for such year.

Generally, after the close of its calendar year, the Fund will provide you with a written notice reporting the amount of any qualified dividend income or capital gain dividends and other distributions.

Except in the case of a redemption or repurchase (the consequences of which are described in the SAI under “Taxation — Taxation of Shareholders”), the sale or other disposition of shares of the Fund will generally result in capital gain or loss to you, and will be long term capital gain or loss if the shares have been held for more than one year at the time of sale. Any loss upon the sale or exchange of Fund shares held for six months or less will be treated as long term capital loss to the extent of any capital gain dividends received (including amounts credited as undistributed capital gain dividends) by you with respect to such Fund shares. A loss realized on a sale or exchange of shares of the Fund will be disallowed if other substantially identical shares are acquired (whether through the automatic reinvestment of dividends or otherwise) within a 61-day period beginning 30 days before and ending 30 days after the date of the sale or exchange of the shares. In such case, the basis of the shares acquired will be adjusted to reflect the disallowed loss.

Dividends and other taxable distributions are taxable to you even if they are reinvested in additional shares of the Fund. Dividends and other distributions paid by the Fund are generally treated as received by a shareholder at the time the dividend or distribution is made. If, however, the Fund pays you a dividend or makes a distribution in January that was declared in the previous October, November or December to shareholders of record on a specified date in one of such months, then such dividend or distribution will be treated for tax purposes as being paid by the Fund and received by you on December 31 of the year in which the dividend or distribution was declared.

The Fund is required in certain circumstances to withhold, for U.S. backup withholding tax purposes, a portion of the taxable dividends or distributions and certain other payments paid to non-corporate holders of the Fund’s shares who do not furnish the Fund (or its agent) with their correct taxpayer identification number (in the case of individuals, generally, their social security number) and certain certifications, or who are otherwise subject to backup withholding. Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Any amounts withheld from payments made to you may be refunded or credited against your U.S. federal income tax liability, if any, provided that the required information is furnished to the IRS.

 

71


Shareholders are urged to consult their tax advisers regarding specific questions as to U.S. federal, foreign, state, local income or other taxes.

CUSTODIAN, TRANSFER AGENT

AND DIVIDEND DISBURSING AGENT

State Street Bank and Trust Company (“State Street”), whose principal address is One Lincoln Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, serves as the custodian (the “Custodian”) of the Fund’s assets pursuant to a custody agreement. Under the custody agreement, the Custodian holds the Fund’s assets in compliance with the 1940 Act. For its services, the Custodian will receive a monthly fee paid by the Fund based upon, among other things, the average value of the total assets of the Fund, plus certain charges for securities transactions and out of pocket expenses.

Computershare Trust Company, N.A. (“Computershare”), whose principal address is 150 Royall Street, Canton, Massachusetts 02021, serves as the Fund’s dividend disbursing agent, as agent under the Fund’s automatic dividend reinvestment and voluntary cash payment plans and as transfer agent and registrar with respect to the common shares and preferred shares of the Fund.

Computershare Trust Company, N.A. also would be expected to serve as the Fund’s transfer agent, registrar, dividend disbursing agent and redemption agent with respect to any additional preferred shares issued.

PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

We may sell our securities through underwriters or dealers, directly to one or more purchasers, through agents, to or through underwriters or dealers, or through a combination of any such methods of sale. The applicable Prospectus Supplement will identify any underwriter or agent involved in the offer and sale of our securities, any sales loads, discounts, commissions, fees or other compensation paid to any underwriter, dealer or agent, the offering price, net proceeds and use of proceeds and the terms of any sale.

The distribution of our securities may be effected from time to time in one or more transactions at a fixed price or prices, which may be changed, at prevailing market prices at the time of sale, at prices related to such prevailing market prices, or at negotiated prices, provided, however, that the offering price per share in the case of common shares, must equal or exceed the net asset value per share, exclusive of any underwriting commissions or discounts, of our common shares.

We may sell our securities directly to, and solicit offers from, institutional investors or others who may be deemed to be underwriters as defined in the Securities Act for any resales of the securities. In this case, no underwriters or agents would be involved. We may use electronic media, including the Internet, to sell offered securities directly.

In connection with the sale of our securities, underwriters or agents may receive compensation from us in the form of discounts, concessions or commissions. 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/or 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 and commissions they receive from us and any profit realized by them on the resale of our securities 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 Prospectus Supplement. The maximum commission or discount to be received by any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) member or independent broker-dealer will not exceed eight percent. We will not pay any compensation to any underwriter or agent in the form of warrants, options, consulting or structuring fees or similar arrangements.

If a Prospectus Supplement so indicates, we may grant the underwriters an option to purchase additional securities at the public offering price, less the underwriting discounts and commissions, within 45 days from the date of the Prospectus Supplement, to cover any overallotments.

 

72


To facilitate an offering of securities in an underwritten transaction and in accordance with industry practice, the underwriters may engage in transactions that stabilize, maintain, or otherwise affect the market price of the securities. Those transactions may include overallotment, entering stabilizing bids, effecting syndicate covering transactions, and reclaiming selling concessions allowed to an underwriter or a dealer.

 

   

An overallotment in connection with an offering creates a short position in the securities for the underwriter’s own account.

 

   

An underwriter may place a stabilizing bid to purchase the shares for the purpose of pegging, fixing, or maintaining the price of the securities.

 

   

Underwriters may engage in syndicate covering transactions to cover overallotments or to stabilize the price of the securities subject to the offering by bidding for, and purchasing, the securities or any other securities in the open market in order to reduce a short position created in connection with the offering.

 

   

The managing underwriter may impose a penalty bid on a syndicate member to reclaim a selling concession in connection with an offering when the securities originally sold by the syndicate member are purchased in syndicate covering transactions or otherwise.

Any of these activities may stabilize or maintain the market price of the securities above independent market levels. The underwriters are not required to engage in these activities, and may end any of these activities at any time.

Any underwriters to whom the offered securities are sold for offering and sale may make a market in the offered securities, but the underwriters will not be obligated to do so and may discontinue any market-making at any time without notice. The offered securities may or may not be listed on a securities exchange. We cannot assure you that there will be a liquid trading market for the offered securities.

Any fixed rate preferred shares sold pursuant to a Prospectus Supplement will likely be listed on the NYSE American.

Under agreements into which we may enter, underwriters, dealers and agents who participate in the distribution of our securities may be entitled to indemnification by us against certain liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act. Underwriters, dealers and agents may engage in transactions with us, or perform services for us, in the ordinary course of business.

If so indicated in the applicable Prospectus Supplement, we will ourselves, or will authorize underwriters or other persons acting as our agents to solicit offers by certain institutions to purchase our securities from us pursuant to contracts providing for payment and delivery on a future date. Institutions with which such contacts may be made include commercial and savings banks, insurance companies, pension funds, investment companies, educational and charitable institutions and others, but in all cases such institutions must be approved by us. The obligation of any purchaser under any such contract will be subject to the condition that the purchase of the securities shall not at the time of delivery be prohibited under the laws of the jurisdiction to which such purchaser is subject. The underwriters and such other agents will not have any responsibility in respect of the validity or performance of such contracts. Such contracts will be subject only to those conditions set forth in the Prospectus Supplement, and the Prospectus Supplement will set forth the commission payable for solicitation of such contracts.

To the extent permitted under the 1940 Act and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, the underwriters may from time to time act as brokers or dealers and receive fees in connection with the execution of our portfolio transactions after the underwriters have ceased to be underwriters and, subject to certain restrictions, each may act as a broker while it is an underwriter.

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

In order to comply with the securities laws of certain states, if applicable, our securities offered hereby will be sold in such jurisdictions only through registered or licensed brokers or dealers.

LEGAL MATTERS

Certain legal matters will be passed on by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, 500 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02116, in connection with the offering of the Fund’s securities.

 

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INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP serves as the independent registered public accounting firm of the Fund, audits the financial statements of the Fund and provides tax return preparation services in connection with the Fund. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is located at 300 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10017.

 

74


AVAILABLE INFORMATION

The Fund is subject to the informational requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) and the 1940 Act and in accordance therewith files, or will file, reports and other information with the SEC. Reports, proxy statements and other information filed by the Fund with the SEC pursuant to the informational requirements of the Exchange Act and the 1940 Act can be inspected and copied at the public reference facilities maintained by the SEC, 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549. The SEC maintains a web site at http://www.sec.gov containing reports, proxy and information statements and other information regarding registrants, including the Fund, that file electronically with the SEC.

The Fund’s common shares are listed on the NYSE American under the symbol “GLU.” The Series A Preferred Shares are listed on the NYSE American under the symbol “GLU Pr A” and the Series B Preferred Shares are listed on the NYSE American under the symbol “GLU Pr B.” Reports, proxy statements and other information concerning the Fund and filed with the SEC by the Fund are available for inspection at the NYSE, 11 Wall Street, New York, New York 10005.

This Prospectus constitutes part of a Registration Statement filed by the Fund with the SEC under the Securities Act and the 1940 Act. This Prospectus omits certain of the information contained in the Registration Statement, and reference is hereby made to the Registration Statement and related exhibits for further information with respect to the Fund and the shares offered hereby. Any statements contained herein concerning the provisions of any document are not necessarily complete, and, in each instance, reference is made to the copy of such document filed as an exhibit to the Registration Statement or otherwise filed with the SEC. Each such statement is qualified in its entirety by such reference. The complete Registration Statement may be obtained from the SEC upon payment of the fee prescribed by its rules and regulations or free of charge through the SEC’s web site (http://www.sec.gov).

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE

This Prospectus is part of a registration statement that we have filed with the SEC. We are allowed to “incorporate by reference” the information that we file with the SEC, which means that we can disclose important information to you by referring you to those documents. We incorporate by reference into this Prospectus the documents listed below and any future filings we make with the SEC under Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act, including any filings on or after the date of this Prospectus from the date of filing (excluding any information furnished, rather than filed), until we have sold all of the offered securities to which this Prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement relates or the offering is otherwise terminated. The information incorporated by reference is an important part of this Prospectus. Any statement in a document incorporated by reference into this Prospectus will be deemed to be automatically modified or superseded to the extent a statement contained in (1) this Prospectus or (2) any other subsequently filed document that is incorporated by reference into this Prospectus modifies or supersedes such statement. The documents incorporated by reference herein include:

 

   

our annual report on Form N-CSR for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021, which include the Financial Highlights for years ended 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016, filed with the SEC on March 8, 2021;

   

our definitive proxy statement on Schedule 14A for our 2021 annual meeting of shareholders, filed with the SEC on March 29, 2021;

   

the Financial Highlights for years ended 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2011, in our annual report on Form N-CSR for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015, filed with the SEC on March 9, 2016;

   

the description of our Series A Preferred Shares contained in our Registration Statement on Form 8-A (File No. 001-32197) filed with the SEC on June 19, 2013, including any amendment or report filed for the purpose of updating such description prior to the termination of the offering registered hereby;

   

the description of our Series B Preferred Shares contained in our Registration Statement on Form 8-A (File No. 001-32197) filed with the SEC on December 17, 2018, including any amendment or report filed for the purpose of updating such description prior to the termination of the offering registered hereby; and

   

the description of our common shares contained in our Registration Statement on Form 8-A (File No. 001-32197) filed with the SEC on May 25, 2004, including any amendment or report filed for the purpose of updating such description prior to the termination of the offering registered hereby.

 

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To obtain copies of these filings, see “Available Information” in this Prospectus. We will also provide without charge to each person, including any beneficial owner, to whom this Prospectus is delivered, upon written or oral request, a copy of any and all of the documents that have been or may be incorporated by reference in this Prospectus or the accompanying Prospectus Supplement. You should direct requests for documents by writing to: Investor Relations

The Gabelli Global Utility & Income Trust

One Corporate Center

Rye, NY 10580-1422

(914) 921-5070

This Prospectus is also available on our website at http://www.gabelli.com. Information contained on our website is not incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus and should not be considered to be part of this prospectus supplement or accompanying prospectus.

PRIVACY PRINCIPLES OF THE FUND

The Fund is committed to maintaining the privacy of its shareholders and to safeguarding their non-public personal information. The following information is provided to help you understand what personal information the Fund collects, how the Fund protects that information and why, in certain cases, the Fund may share information with select other parties.

Generally, the Fund does not receive any non-public personal information relating to its shareholders, although certain non-public personal information of its shareholders may become available to the Fund. The Fund does not disclose any non-public personal information about its shareholders or former shareholders to anyone, except as permitted by law or as is necessary in order to service shareholder accounts (for example, to a transfer agent or third party administrator).

The Fund restricts access to non-public personal information about its shareholders to employees of the Fund, the Investment Adviser, and its affiliates with a legitimate business need for the information. The Fund maintains physical, electronic and procedural safeguards designed to protect the non-public personal information of its shareholders.

SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

Any projections, forecasts and estimates contained or incorporated by reference herein are forward looking statements and are based upon certain assumptions. Projections, forecasts and estimates are necessarily speculative in nature, and it can be expected that some or all of the assumptions underlying any projections, forecasts or estimates will not materialize or will vary significantly from actual results. Actual results may vary from any projections, forecasts and estimates and the variations may be material. Some important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in any forward looking statements include changes in interest rates, market, financial or legal uncertainties, including changes in tax law, and the timing and frequency of defaults on underlying investments. Consequently, the inclusion of any projections, forecasts and estimates herein should not be regarded as a representation by the Fund or any of its affiliates or any other person or entity of the results that will actually be achieved by the Fund. Neither the Fund nor its affiliates has any obligation to update or otherwise revise any projections, forecasts and estimates including any revisions to reflect changes in economic conditions or other circumstances arising after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, even if the underlying assumptions do not come to fruition. The Fund acknowledges that, notwithstanding the foregoing, the safe harbor for forward-looking statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 does not apply to investment companies such as the Fund.

 

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TABLE OF CONTENTS OF STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

An SAI dated as of                 , 2021, has been filed with the SEC and is incorporated by reference in this Prospectus. An SAI may be obtained without charge by writing to the Fund at its address at One Corporate Center, Rye, New York 10580-1422 or by calling the Fund toll-free at (800) GABELLI (422-3554). The Table of Contents of the SAI is as follows:

 

     Page  

The Fund

     1  

Investment Policies

     1  

Investment Restrictions

     9  

Management of the Fund

     11  

Portfolio Transactions

     14  

Portfolio Turnover

     14  

Taxation

     15  

Net Asset Value

     20  

Beneficial Owners

     21  

General Information

     21  

 

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Appendix A

CORPORATE BOND RATINGS

MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE, INC.

 

Aaa

  

Obligations rated Aaa are judged to be of the highest quality, subject to the lowest level of credit risk.

Aa

  

Obligations rated Aa are judged to be of high quality and are subject to very low credit risk.

A

  

Obligations rated A are judged to be upper-medium grade and are subject to low credit risk.

Baa

  

Obligations rated Baa are judged to be medium-grade and subject to moderate credit risk and as such may possess certain speculative characteristics.

Ba

  

Obligations rated Ba are judged to be speculative and are subject to substantial credit risk.

B

  

Obligations rated B are considered speculative and are subject to high credit risk.

Caa

  

Obligations rated Caa are judged to be speculative of poor standing and are subject to very high credit risk.

Ca

  

Obligations rated Ca are highly speculative and are likely in, or very near, default, with some prospect of recovery of principal and interest.

C

  

Obligations rated C are the lowest rated and are typically in default, with little prospect for recovery of principal or interest.

S&P GLOBAL RATINGS

 

AAA

  

An obligation rated ‘AAA’ has the highest rating assigned by S&P Global Ratings. The obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation is extremely strong.

AA

  

An obligation rated ‘AA’ differs from the highest-rated obligations only to a small degree. The obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation is very strong.

A

  

An obligation rated ‘A’ is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligations in higher-rated categories. However, the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation is still strong.

BBB

  

An obligation rated ‘BBB’ exhibits adequate protection parameters. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to weaken the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.

BB; B;

CCC; CC;

and C

  

Obligations rated ‘BB’, ‘B’, ‘CCC’, ‘CC’, and ‘C’ are regarded as having significant speculative characteristics. ‘BB’ indicates the least degree of speculation and ‘C’ the highest. While such obligations will likely have some quality and protective characteristics, these may be outweighed by large uncertainties or major exposure to adverse conditions.

BB

  

An obligation rated ‘BB’ is less vulnerable to nonpayment than other speculative issues. However, it faces major ongoing uncertainties or exposure to adverse business, financial, or economic conditions that could lead to the obligor’s inadequate capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.

 

A-1


B

  

An obligation rated ‘B’ is more vulnerable to nonpayment than obligations rated ‘BB’, but the obligor currently has the capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation. Adverse business, financial, or economic conditions will likely impair the obligor’s capacity or willingness to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.

CCC

  

An obligation rated ‘CCC’ is currently vulnerable to nonpayment and is dependent upon favorable business, financial, and economic conditions for the obligor to meet its financial commitments on the obligation. In the event of adverse business, financial, or economic conditions, the obligor is not likely to have the capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.

CC

  

An obligation rated ‘CC’ is currently highly vulnerable to nonpayment. The ‘CC’ rating is used when a default has not yet occurred but S&P Global Ratings expects default to be a virtual certainty, regardless of the anticipated time to default.

C

  

An obligation rated ‘C’ is currently highly vulnerable to nonpayment, and the obligation is expected to have lower relative seniority or lower ultimate recovery compared with obligations that are rated higher.

D

  

An obligation rated ‘D’ is in default or in breach of an imputed promise. For non-hybrid capital instruments, the ‘D’ rating category is used when payments on an obligation are not made on the date due, unless S&P Global Ratings believes that such payments will be made within five business days in the absence of a stated grace period or within the earlier of the stated grace period or 30 calendar days. The ‘D’ rating also will be used upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of similar action and where default on an obligation is a virtual certainty, for example due to automatic stay provisions. A rating on an obligation is lowered to ‘D’ if it is subject to a distressed debt restructuring.

*

  

Ratings from ‘AA’ to ‘CCC’ may be modified by the addition of a plus (+) or minus (-) sign to show relative standing within the rating categories.

 

A-2


 

 

 

 

 

The Gabelli Global Utility & Income Trust

Common Shares

Preferred Shares

Notes

Subscription Rights to Purchase Common Shares

Subscription Rights to Purchase Preferred Shares

Subscription Rights to Purchase Common and Preferred Shares

 

 

PROSPECTUS

 

 

        , 2021


Subject to Completion, Dated August 11, 2021

THE GABELLI GLOBAL UTILITY & INCOME TRUST

STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

THE INFORMATION IN THIS STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IS NOT COMPLETE AND MAY BE CHANGED. THE FUND MAY NOT SELL THESE SECURITIES UNTIL THE REGISTRATION STATEMENT FILED WITH THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION IS EFFECTIVE. THIS STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IS NOT AN OFFER TO SELL THESE SECURITIES AND IT IS NOT SOLICITING AN OFFER TO BUY THESE SECURITIES IN ANY STATE WHERE THE OFFER OR SALE IS NOT PERMITTED.

The Gabelli Global Utility & Income Trust (the “Fund”) is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company, organized as a Delaware statutory trust, registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). The Fund’s investment objective is to seek a consistent level of after tax total return with an emphasis currently on tax-advantaged qualified dividend income. No assurance can be given that the Fund will achieve its investment objective. The Fund will attempt to achieve its investment objective by investing, under normal market conditions, at least 80% of its assets in (i) equity securities (including common stock, preferred stock, convertible stock and options on these securities) of domestic and foreign companies involved to a substantial extent (i.e., at least 50% of the assets, gross income or net profits of a company is committed to or derived from) in providing (a) products, services or equipment for the generation or distribution of electricity, gas or water, (b) infrastructure operations such as airports, toll roads and municipal services and (c) telecommunications services such as telephone, telegraph, satellite, cable, microwave, radiotelephone, mobile communication and cellular, paging, electronic mail, videotext, voice communications, data communications and internet (collectively, the “Utilities Industry”) and (ii) securities (including preferred and debt securities, as well as government obligations) of issuers that are expected to periodically pay dividends or interest. In addition, under normal market conditions, at least 25% of the Fund’s assets will consist of securities (including preferred and debt securities) of domestic and foreign companies involved to a substantial extent in the Utilities Industry. An investment in the Fund is not appropriate for all investors. We cannot assure you that the Fund’s objectives will be achieved.

This Statement of Additional Information (the “SAI”) does not constitute a prospectus, but should be read in conjunction with the Fund’s prospectus relating thereto dated                 , 2021, and as it may be supplemented (the “Prospectus”). This SAI does not include all information that a prospective investor should consider before investing in the Fund’s securities, and investors should obtain and read the Prospectus prior to purchasing such securities. This SAI incorporates by reference the entire Prospectus. You may request a free copy of the Prospectus by calling (800) GABELLI (422-3554) or by writing to the Fund. A copy of the Fund’s Registration Statement, including the Prospectus and any supplement, may be obtained from the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) upon payment of the fee prescribed, or inspected at the SEC’s office or via its website (http://www.sec.gov) at no charge. Capitalized terms used but not defined in this SAI have the meanings ascribed to them in the Prospectus.

This Statement of Additional Information is dated                 , 2021.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

       Page    

The Fund

     1  

Investment Policies

     1  

Investment Restrictions

     9  

Management of the Fund

     11  

Portfolio Transactions

     14  

Portfolio Turnover

     14  

Taxation

     15  

Net Asset Value

     20  

Beneficial Owners

     21  

General Information

     21  


THE FUND

The Fund is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company registered under the 1940 Act. The Fund was organized as a Delaware statutory trust on March 8, 2004, pursuant to an Agreement and Declaration of Trust governed by the laws of the State of Delaware. The Fund’s common shares of beneficial interest, par value $0.001 per share, are listed on the NYSE American LLC (the “NYSE American”) under the symbol “GLU.” Our Series A Cumulative Puttable and Callable Preferred Shares and Series B Cumulative Puttable and Callable Preferred Shares are listed on the NYSE American under the symbol “GLU Pr A” and “GLU Pr B,” respectively.

INVESTMENT POLICIES

Additional Investment Policies

Options. The Fund may purchase or write call or put options on securities or indices. In the case of call options, the exercise prices are referred to as “in-the-money,” “at-the-money,” and “out-of-the-money,” respectively. The Fund may write (a) in-the-money call options when the Investment Adviser expects that the price of the underlying security will remain stable or decline during the option period, (b) at-the-money call options when Gabelli Funds, LLC (the “Investment Adviser”) expects that the price of the underlying security will remain stable, decline, or advance moderately during the option period, and (c) out-of-the-money call options when the Investment Adviser expects that the premiums received from writing the call option will be greater than the appreciation in the price of the underlying security above the exercise price. By writing a call option, the Fund limits its opportunity to profit from any increase in the market value of the underlying security above the exercise price of the option. Out-of-the-money, at-the-money, and in-the-money put options (the reverse of call options as to the relation of exercise price to market price) may be utilized in the same market environments that such call options are used in equivalent transactions.

Options on Securities Indices. The Fund may purchase and sell securities index options. One effect of such transactions may be to hedge all or part of the Fund’s securities holdings against a general decline in the securities market or a segment of the securities market. Options on securities indices are similar to options on stocks except that, rather than the right to take or make delivery of stock at a specified price, an option on a securities index gives the holder the right to receive, upon exercise of the option, an amount of cash if the closing level of the securities index upon which the option is based is greater than, in the case of a call option, or less than, in the case of a put option, the exercise price of the option.

The Fund’s successful use of options on indices depends upon its ability to predict the direction of the market and is subject to various additional risks. The correlation between movements in the index and the price of the securities being hedged against is imperfect and the risk from imperfect correlation increases as the composition of the Fund diverges from the composition of the relevant index. Accordingly, a decrease in the value of the securities being hedged against may not be wholly offset by a gain on the exercise or sale of a securities index put option held by the Fund.

Options on Foreign Currencies. Instead of purchasing or selling currency futures (as described below), the Fund may attempt to accomplish similar objectives by purchasing put or call options on currencies or by writing put options or call options on currencies either on exchanges or in over-the-counter (“OTC”) markets. A put option gives the Fund the right to sell a currency at the exercise price until the option expires. A call option gives the Fund the right to purchase a currency at the exercise price until the option expires. Both types of options serve to insure against adverse currency price movements in the underlying portfolio assets designated in a given currency. The Fund’s use of options on currencies will be subject to the same limitations as its use of options on securities, described above and in the Prospectus. Currency options may be subject to position limits which may limit the ability of the Fund to fully hedge its positions by purchasing the options.

As in the case of interest rate futures contracts and options thereon, described below, the Fund may hedge against the risk of a decrease or increase in the U.S. dollar value of a foreign currency denominated debt security which the Fund owns or intends to acquire by purchasing or selling options contracts, futures contracts or options thereon with respect to a foreign currency other than the foreign currency in which such debt security is denominated, where the values of such different currencies (vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar) historically have a high degree of positive correlation.

Futures Contracts and Options on Futures. The Fund may purchase and sell financial futures contracts and options thereon which are traded on a commodities exchange or board of trade for certain hedging and risk management purposes. A financial futures contract is an agreement to purchase or sell an agreed amount of securities or currencies at a set price for delivery in the future. These futures contracts and related options may be on debt securities, financial indices, securities indices, U.S. government securities and foreign currencies.

 

1


A “sale” of a futures contract (or a “short” futures position) means the assumption of a contractual obligation to deliver the securities underlying the contract at a specified price at a specified future time. A “purchase” of a futures contract (or a “long” futures position) means the assumption of a contractual obligation to acquire the securities underlying the contract at a specified price at a specified future time. Certain futures contracts, including stock and bond index futures, are settled on a net cash payment basis rather than by the sale and delivery of the securities underlying the futures contracts.

No consideration will be paid or received by the Fund upon the purchase or sale of a futures contract. Initially, the Fund will be required to deposit with the broker an amount of cash or cash equivalents equal to approximately 1% to 10% of the contract amount (this amount is subject to change by the exchange or board of trade on which the contract is traded and brokers or members of such board of trade may charge a higher amount). This amount is known as the “initial margin” and is in the nature of a performance bond or good faith deposit on the contract. Subsequent payments, known as “variation margin,” to and from the broker will be made daily as the price of the index or security underlying the futures contract fluctuates. At any time prior to the expiration of the futures contract, the Fund may elect to close the position by taking an opposite position, which will operate to terminate its existing position in the contract.

An option on a futures contract gives the purchaser the right, in return for the premium paid, to assume a position in a futures contract at a specified exercise price at any time prior to the expiration of the option. Upon exercise of an option, the delivery of the futures position by the writer of the option to the holder of the option will be accompanied by delivery of the accumulated balance in the writer’s futures margin account attributable to that contract, which represents the amount by which the market price of the futures contract exceeds, in the case of a call option, or is less than, in the case of a put option, the exercise price of the option on the futures contract. The potential loss related to the purchase of an option on a futures contract is limited to the premium paid for the option (plus transaction costs). Because the value of the option purchased is fixed at the point of sale, there are no daily cash payments by the purchaser to reflect changes in the value of the underlying contract; however, the value of the option does change daily and that change would be reflected in the net assets of the Fund.

Futures and options on futures entail certain risks, including but not limited to the following: no assurance that futures contracts or options on futures can be offset at favorable prices, possible reduction of the yield of the Fund due to the use of hedging, possible reduction in value of both the securities hedged and the hedging instrument, possible lack of liquidity due to daily limits on price fluctuations, imperfect correlation between the contracts and the securities being hedged, losses from investing in futures transactions that are potentially unlimited and the segregation requirements described below.

In the event the Fund sells a put option or enters into long futures contracts, under current interpretations of the 1940 Act, an amount of cash, U.S. government securities or other liquid assets equal to the market value of the contract must be deposited and maintained in a segregated account with the Fund’s custodian to collateralize the positions, in order for the Fund to avoid being treated as having issued a senior security in the amount of its obligations. For short positions in futures contracts and sales of call options, the Fund may establish a segregated account (not with a futures commission merchant or broker) with cash, U.S. government securities or other liquid assets that, when added to amounts deposited with a futures commission merchant or a broker as margin, equal the market value of the instruments or currency underlying the futures contracts or call options, respectively (but are no less than the stock price of the call option or the market price at which the short positions were established).

Interest Rate Futures Contracts and Options Thereon. The Fund may purchase or sell interest rate futures contracts to take advantage of or to protect the Fund against fluctuations in interest rates affecting the value of debt securities which the Fund holds or intends to acquire. For example, if interest rates are expected to increase, the Fund might sell futures contracts on debt securities, the values of which historically have a high degree of positive correlation to the values of the Fund’s portfolio securities. Such a sale would have an effect similar to selling an equivalent value of the Fund’s portfolio securities. If interest rates increase, the value of the Fund’s portfolio securities will decline, but the value of the futures contracts to the Fund will increase at approximately an equivalent rate thereby keeping the net asset value of the Fund from declining as much as it otherwise would have. The Fund could accomplish similar results by selling debt securities with longer maturities and investing in debt securities with shorter maturities when interest rates are expected to increase. However, since the futures market may be more liquid than the cash market, the use of futures contracts as a risk management technique allows the Fund to maintain a defensive position without having to sell its portfolio securities.

Similarly, the Fund may purchase interest rate futures contracts when it is expected that interest rates may decline. The purchase of futures contracts for this purpose constitutes a hedge against increases in the price of debt securities (caused by declining interest rates) which the Fund intends to acquire. Since fluctuations in the value of appropriately selected futures contracts should approximate that of the debt securities that will be purchased, the Fund can take advantage of the anticipated rise in the cost of the debt securities without actually buying them. Subsequently, the Fund can make its intended purchase of the debt securities in the cash market and liquidate its futures position.

 

2


The purchase of a call option on a futures contract is similar in some respects to the purchase of a call option on an individual security. Depending on the pricing of the option compared to either the price of the futures contract upon which it is based or the price of the underlying debt securities, it may or may not be less risky than ownership of the futures contract or underlying debt securities. As with the purchase of futures contracts, when the Fund is not fully invested it may purchase a call option on a futures contract to hedge against a market advance due to declining interest rates.

The purchase of a put option on a futures contract is similar to the purchase of protective put options on portfolio securities. The Fund will purchase a put option on a futures contract to hedge the Fund’s portfolio against the risk of rising interest rates and a consequent reduction in the value of portfolio securities.

The writing of a call option on a futures contract constitutes a partial hedge against declining prices of the securities which are deliverable upon exercise of the futures contract. If the futures price at expiration of the option is below the exercise price, the Fund will retain the full amount of the option premium which provides a partial hedge against any decline that may have occurred in the Fund’s portfolio holdings. The writing of a put option on a futures contract constitutes a partial hedge against increasing prices of the securities that are deliverable upon exercise of the futures contract. If the futures price at expiration of the option is higher than the exercise price, the Fund will retain the full amount of the option premium, which provides a partial hedge against any increase in the price of debt securities that the Fund intends to purchase. If a put or call option the Fund has written is exercised, the Fund will incur a loss which will be reduced by the amount of the premium it received. Depending on the degree of correlation between changes in the value of its portfolio securities and changes in the value of its futures positions, the Fund’s losses from options on futures it has written may to some extent be reduced or increased by changes in the value of its portfolio securities.

Currency Futures and Options Thereon. Generally, foreign currency futures contracts and options thereon are similar to the interest rate futures contracts and options thereon discussed previously. By entering into currency futures and options thereon, the Fund will seek to establish the rate at which it will be entitled to exchange U.S. dollars for another currency at a future time. By selling currency futures, the Fund will seek to establish the number of dollars it will receive at delivery for a certain amount of a foreign currency. In this way, whenever the Fund anticipates a decline in the value of a foreign currency against the U.S. dollar, the Fund can attempt to “lock in” the U.S. dollar value of some or all of the securities held in its portfolio that are denominated in that currency. By purchasing currency futures, the Fund can establish the number of dollars it will be required to pay for a specified amount of a foreign currency in a future month. Thus, if the Fund intends to buy securities in the future and expects the U.S. dollar to decline against the relevant foreign currency during the period before the purchase is effected, the Fund can attempt to “lock in” the price in U.S. dollars of the securities it intends to acquire.

The purchase of options on currency futures will allow the Fund, for the price of the premium and related transaction costs it must pay for the option, to decide whether or not to buy (in the case of a call option) or to sell (in the case of a put option) a futures contract at a specified price at any time during the period before the option expires. If the Investment Adviser, in purchasing an option, has been correct in its judgment concerning the direction in which the price of a foreign currency would move against the U.S. dollar, the Fund may exercise the option and thereby take a futures position to hedge against the risk it had correctly anticipated or close out the option position at a gain that will offset, to some extent, currency exchange losses otherwise suffered by the Fund. If exchange rates move in a way the Fund did not anticipate, however, the Fund will have incurred the expense of the option without obtaining the expected benefit; any such movement in exchange rates may also thereby reduce rather than enhance the Fund’s profits on its underlying securities transactions.

Securities Index Futures Contracts and Options Thereon. Purchases or sales of securities index futures contracts are used for hedging purposes to attempt to protect the Fund’s current or intended investments from broad fluctuations in stock or bond prices. For example, the Fund may sell securities index futures contracts in anticipation of or during a market decline to attempt to offset the decrease in market value of the Fund’s securities portfolio that might otherwise result. If such decline occurs, the loss in value of portfolio securities may be offset, in whole or part, by gains on the futures position. When the Fund is not fully invested in the securities market and anticipates a significant market advance, it may purchase securities index futures contracts in order to gain rapid market exposure that may, in part or entirely, offset increases in the cost of securities that the Fund intends to purchase. As such purchases are made, the corresponding positions in securities index futures contracts will be closed out. The Fund may write put and call options on securities index futures contracts for hedging purposes.

Traditional Preferred Securities. Traditional preferred securities generally pay fixed or adjustable rate dividends to investors and generally have a “preference” over common stock in the payment of dividends and the liquidation of a company’s assets. This means that a company must pay dividends on preferred stock before paying any dividends on its common stock. In order to be payable, distributions on such preferred securities must be declared by the issuer’s board of directors. Income payments on typical preferred securities currently outstanding are cumulative, causing dividends and distributions to accumulate even if not declared by the board of directors or otherwise made payable. In such a case all accumulated dividends must be paid before any dividend on the common stock can be paid. However, some traditional preferred stocks are non-cumulative, in which case dividends

 

3


do not accumulate and need not ever be paid. A portion of the portfolio may include investments in non-cumulative preferred securities, whereby the issuer does not have an obligation to make up any arrearages to its shareholders. Should an issuer of a non-cumulative preferred stock held by the Fund determine not to pay dividends on such stock, the amount of dividends the Fund pays may be adversely affected. There is no assurance that dividends or distributions on the preferred securities in which the Fund invests will be declared or otherwise made payable.

Preferred shareholders usually have no right to vote for corporate directors or on other matters. Shares of preferred stock have a liquidation value that generally equals the original purchase price at the date of issuance. The market value of preferred securities may be affected by favorable and unfavorable changes impacting companies in which the Fund invests and by actual and anticipated changes in tax laws, such as changes in corporate income tax rates or the “Dividends Received Deduction.” Because the claim on an issuer’s earnings represented by preferred securities may become onerous when interest rates fall below the rate payable on such securities, the issuer may redeem the securities. Thus, in declining interest rate environments in particular, the Fund’s holdings, if any, of higher rate-paying fixed rate preferred securities may be reduced and the Fund may be unable to acquire securities of comparable credit quality paying comparable rates with the redemption proceeds.

Trust Preferred Securities. The Fund may invest in trust preferred securities. Trust preferred securities are typically issued by corporations, generally in the form of interest bearing notes with preferred securities characteristics, or by an affiliated business trust of a corporation, generally in the form of beneficial interests in subordinated debentures or similarly structured securities. The trust preferred securities market consists of both fixed and adjustable coupon rate securities that are either perpetual in nature or have stated maturity dates.

Trust preferred securities are typically junior and fully subordinated liabilities of an issuer and benefit from a guarantee that is junior and fully subordinated to the other liabilities of the guarantor. In addition, trust preferred securities typically permit an issuer to defer the payment of income for five years or more without triggering an event of default. Because of their subordinated position in the capital structure of an issuer, the ability to defer payments for extended periods of time without default consequences to the issuer, and certain other features (such as restrictions on common dividend payments by the issuer or ultimate guarantor when full cumulative payments on the trust preferred securities have not been made), these trust preferred securities are often treated as close substitutes for traditional preferred securities, both by issuers and investors. Trust preferred securities have many of the key characteristics of equity due to their subordinated position in an issuer’s capital structure and because their quality and value are heavily dependent on the profitability of the issuer rather than on any legal claims to specific assets or cash flows.

Trust preferred securities include but are not limited to trust originated preferred securities (“TOPRS®”); monthly income preferred securities (“MIPS®”); quarterly income bond securities (“QUIBS®” ); quarterly income debt securities (“QUIDS®”); quarterly income preferred securities (“QUIPSSM”); corporate trust securities (“CORTS®”); public income notes (“PINES®”); and other trust preferred securities.

Trust preferred securities are typically issued with a final maturity date, although some are perpetual in nature. In certain instances, a final maturity date may be extended and/or the final payment of principal may be deferred at the issuer’s option for a specified time without default. No redemption can typically take place unless all cumulative payment obligations have been met, although issuers may be able to engage in open-market repurchases without regard to whether all payments have been paid.

Many trust preferred securities are issued by trusts or other special purpose entities established by operating companies and are not a direct obligation of an operating company. At the time the trust or special purpose entity sells such preferred securities to investors, it purchases debt of the operating company (with terms comparable to those of the trust or special purpose entity securities), which enables the operating company to deduct for tax purposes the interest paid on the debt held by the trust or special purpose entity. The trust or special purpose entity is generally required to be treated as transparent for Federal income tax purposes such that the holders of the trust preferred securities are treated as owning beneficial interests in the underlying debt of the operating company. Accordingly, payments on the trust preferred securities are treated as interest rather than dividends for Federal income tax purposes. The trust or special purpose entity in turn would be a holder of the operating company’s debt and would have priority with respect to the operating company’s earnings and profits over the operating company’s common shareholders, but would typically be subordinated to other classes of the operating company’s debt. Typically a preferred share has a rating that is slightly below that of its corresponding operating company’s senior debt securities.

Convertible Securities. A convertible security entitles the holder to exchange such security for a fixed number of shares of common stock or other equity security, usually of the same company, at fixed prices within a specified period of time and to receive the fixed income of a bond or the dividend preference of a preferred stock until the holder elects to exercise the conversion privilege. The fixed income or dividend component of a convertible security is referred to as the security’s “investment value.”

 

4


A convertible security’s position in a company’s capital structure depends upon its particular provisions. In the case of subordinated convertible debentures, the holder’s claims on assets and earnings are subordinated to the claims of others and are senior to the claims of common stockholders.

To the degree that the price of a convertible security rises above its investment value because of a rise in price of the underlying common stock, the value of such security is influenced more by price fluctuations of the underlying common stock and less by its investment value. The price of a convertible security that is supported principally by its conversion value will rise along with any increase in the price of the common stock, and such price generally will decline along with any decline in the price of the common stock except that the security will receive additional support as its price approaches investment value. A convertible security purchased or held at a time when its price is influenced by its conversion value will produce a lower yield than nonconvertible senior securities with comparable investment values. Convertible securities may be purchased by the Fund at varying price levels above their investment values and/or their conversion values in keeping with the Fund’s investment objective.

Many convertible securities in which the Fund will invest have call provisions entitling the issuer to redeem the security at a specified time and at a specified price. This is one of the features of a convertible security which affects valuation. Calls may vary from absolute calls to provisional calls. Convertible securities with superior call protection usually trade at a higher premium. If long term interest rates decline, the interest rates of new convertible securities will also decline. Therefore, in a falling interest rate environment, companies may be expected to call convertible securities with high coupons and the Fund would have to invest the proceeds from such called issues in securities with lower coupons. Thus, convertible securities with superior call protection will permit the Fund to maintain a higher yield than with issues without call protection.

Dilution Risk for Convertible Securities. In the absence of adequate anti-dilution provisions in a convertible security, dilution in the value of the Fund’s holding may occur in the event the underlying stock is subdivided, additional equity securities are issued for below market value, a stock dividend is declared, or the issuer enters into another type of corporate transaction that has a similar effect.

Contingent Convertible Securities. One type of convertible security in which the Fund may invest is contingent convertible securities, sometimes referred to as “CoCos.” CoCos are a form of hybrid debt security issued by banking institutions that are intended to either automatically convert into equity or have their principal written down upon the occurrence of certain “trigger events,” which may include a decline in the issuer’s capital below a specified threshold level, increase in the issuer’s risk weighted assets, the share price of the issuer falling to a particular level for a certain period of time and certain regulatory events. CoCos’ unique equity conversion or principal write-down features are tailored to the issuing banking institution and its regulatory requirements.

CoCos are a newer form of instrument and the regulatory environment for these instruments continues to evolve. Because the market for such securities is evolving, it is uncertain how the larger market for CoCos would react to a trigger event, coupon cancellation, write-down of par value or coupon suspension (as described below) applicable to a single issuer. Following conversion of a CoCo, because the common stock of the issuer may not pay a dividend, investors in such securities could experience reduced yields or no yields at all.

Loss Absorption Risk. CoCos have fully discretionary coupons. This means coupons can potentially be cancelled at the banking institution’s discretion or at the request of the relevant regulatory authority in order to help the bank absorb losses. The liquidation value of a CoCo may be adjusted downward to below the original par value or written off entirely under certain circumstances. The write-down of the security’s par value may occur automatically and would not entitle holders to institute bankruptcy proceedings against the issuer. In addition, an automatic write-down could result in a reduced income rate if the dividend or interest payment associated with the security is based on the security’s par value. Coupon payments may also be subject to approval by the issuer’s regulator and may be suspended in the event there are insufficient distributable reserves. Due to uncertainty surrounding coupon payments, CoCos may be volatile and their price may decline rapidly in the event that coupon payments are suspended.

Subordinated Instruments. CoCos will, in the majority of circumstances, be issued in the form of subordinated debt instruments in order to provide the appropriate regulatory capital treatment prior to a conversion. Accordingly, in the event of liquidation, dissolution or winding-up of an issuer prior to a conversion having occurred, the rights and claims of the holders of the CoCos, such as the Fund, against the issuer in respect of or arising under the terms of the CoCos shall generally rank junior to the claims of all holders of unsubordinated obligations of the issuer. In addition, if the CoCos are converted into the issuer’s underlying equity securities following a conversion event (i.e., a “trigger”), each holder will be subordinated due to their conversion from being the holder of a debt instrument to being the holder of an equity instrument. Such conversion may be automatic.

 

5


Unpredictable Market Value Fluctuate. The value of CoCos is unpredictable and will be influenced by many factors including, without limitation: (i) the creditworthiness of the issuer and/or fluctuations in such issuer’s applicable capital ratios; (ii) supply and demand for the CoCos; (iii) general market conditions and available liquidity; and (iv) economic, financial and political events that affect the issuer, its particular market or the financial markets in general.

Warrants and Rights. The Fund may invest in warrants and rights (including those acquired in units or attached to other securities) which entitle the holder to buy equity securities at a specific price for or at the end of a specific period of time. The Fund will do so only if the underlying equity securities are deemed appropriate by the Investment Adviser for inclusion in the Fund’s portfolio.

Investing in rights and warrants can provide a greater potential for profit or loss than an equivalent investment in the underlying security, and thus can be a riskier investment. The value of a right or warrant may decline because of a decline in the value of the underlying security, the passage of time, changes in interest rates or in the dividend or other policies of the Fund whose equity underlies the warrant, a change in the perception as to the future price of the underlying security, or any combination thereof. Rights and warrants generally pay no dividends and confer no voting or other rights other than the right to purchase the underlying security.

Emerging Market Countries. The considerations noted in the Prospectus in “Foreign Securities Risk” are generally intensified for investments in emerging market countries. Emerging market countries typically have economic and political systems that are less fully developed, and can be expected to be less stable than those of more developed countries. Investing in securities of companies in emerging markets may entail special risks relating to potential political and economic instability and the risk of expropriation, nationalization, confiscation or the imposition of restrictions on foreign investment, the lack of hedging instruments and restrictions on repatriation of capital invested. Economies of such countries can be subject to rapid and unpredictable rates of inflation or deflation. Emerging securities markets are substantially smaller, less developed, less liquid and more volatile than the major securities markets. The limited size of emerging securities markets and limited trading volume compared to the volume of trading in U.S. securities could cause prices to be erratic for reasons apart from factors that affect the quality of the securities. For example, limited market size may cause prices to be unduly influenced by traders who control large positions. Adverse publicity and investors’ perceptions, whether or not based on fundamental analysis, may decrease the value and liquidity of portfolio securities, especially in these markets. Other risks include high concentration of market capitalization and trading volume in a small number of issuers representing a limited number of industries, as well as a high concentration of investors and financial intermediaries; overdependence on exports, including gold and natural resources exports, making these economies vulnerable to changes in commodity prices; overburdened infrastructure and obsolete or unseasoned financial systems; environmental problems; less developed legal systems; and less reliable securities custodial services and settlement practices. Certain emerging markets may also face other significant internal or external risks, including the risk of war and civil unrest. For all of these reasons, investments in emerging markets may be considered speculative.

Investing in Japan. There are special risks associated with investments in Japan. If the Fund invests in Japan, the value of the Fund’s shares may vary widely in response to political and economic factors affecting companies in Japan. Political, social or economic disruptions in Japan or in other countries in the region may adversely affect the values of Japanese securities and thus the Fund’s holdings. Additionally, since securities in Japan are denominated and quoted in yen, the value of the Fund’s Japanese securities as measured in U.S. dollars may be affected by fluctuations in the value of the Japanese yen relative to the U.S. dollar. Japanese securities are also subject to the more general risks associated with foreign securities.

Investing in Latin America. The economies of Latin American countries have in the past experienced considerable difficulties, including high inflation rates and high interest rates. The emergence of the Latin American economies and securities markets will require continued economic and fiscal discipline that has been lacking at times in the past, as well as stable political and social conditions. International economic conditions, particularly those in the United States, as well as world prices for oil and other commodities may also influence the development of the Latin American economies.

Some Latin American currencies have experienced steady devaluations relative to the U.S. dollar and certain Latin American countries have had to make major adjustments in their currencies from time to time. In addition, governments of many Latin American countries have exercised and continue to exercise substantial influence over many aspects of the private sector. Governmental actions in the future could have a significant effect on economic conditions in Latin American countries, which could affect the companies in which the Fund invests and, therefore, the value of the Fund’s shares. As noted, in the past, many Latin American countries have experienced substantial, and in some periods extremely high, rates of inflation for many years. For companies that keep accounting records in the local currency, inflation accounting rules in some Latin American countries require, for both tax and accounting purposes, that certain assets and liabilities be restated on the company’s balance sheet in order to express items in terms of currency of constant purchasing power. Inflation accounting may indirectly generate losses or profits for certain Latin American companies. Inflation and rapid fluctuations in inflation rates have had, and could, in the future, have very negative effects on the economies and securities markets of certain Latin American countries.

 

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Substantial limitations may exist in certain countries with respect to the Fund’s ability to repatriate investment income, capital or the proceeds of sales of securities. The Fund could be adversely affected by delays in, or a refusal to grant, any required governmental approval for repatriation of capital, as well as by the application to the Fund of any restrictions on investments.

Certain Latin American countries have entered into regional trade agreements that are designed to, among other things, reduce barriers between countries, increase competition among companies and reduce government subsidies in certain industries. No assurances can be given that these changes will be successful in the long term, or that these changes will result in the economic stability intended. There is a possibility that these trade arrangements will not be fully implemented, or will be partially or completely unwound. It is also possible that a significant participant could choose to abandon a trade agreement, which could diminish its credibility and influence. Any of these occurrences could have adverse effects on the markets of both participating and non-participating countries, including sharp appreciation or depreciation of participants’ national currencies and a significant increase in exchange rate volatility, a resurgence in economic protectionism, an undermining of confidence in the Latin American markets, an undermining of Latin American economic stability, the collapse or slowdown of the drive towards Latin American economic unity, and/or reversion of the attempts to lower government debt and inflation rates that were introduced in anticipation of such trade agreements. Such developments could have an adverse impact on the Fund’s investments in Latin America generally or in specific countries participating in such trade agreements.

Other Latin American market risks include foreign exchange controls, difficulties in pricing securities, defaults on sovereign debt, difficulties in enforcing favorable legal judgments in local courts and political and social instability. Legal remedies available to investors in certain Latin American countries may be less extensive than those available to investors in the United States or other foreign countries.

Investing in Asia-Pacific Countries. In addition to the risks of investing in foreign securities and the risks of investing in emerging markets, the developing market Asia-Pacific countries are subject to certain additional or specific risks. In many of these markets, there is a high concentration of market capitalization and trading volume in a small number of issuers representing a limited number of industries, as well as a high concentration of investors and financial intermediaries. Many of these markets also may be affected by developments with respect to more established markets in the region such as in Japan and Hong Kong. Brokers in developing market Asia-Pacific countries typically are fewer in number and less well capitalized than brokers in the United States.

Many of the developing market Asia-Pacific countries may be subject to a greater degree of economic, political and social instability than is the case in the United States and Western European countries. Such instability may result from, among other things: (i) authoritarian governments or military involvement in political and economic decision-making, including changes in government through extra-constitutional means; (ii) popular unrest associated with demands for improved political, economic and social conditions; (iii) internal insurgencies; (iv) hostile relations with neighboring countries; and (v) ethnic, religious and racial disaffection. In addition, the governments of many of such countries, such as Indonesia, have a substantial role in regulating and supervising the economy.

Another risk common to most such countries is that the economy is heavily export oriented and, accordingly, is dependent upon international trade. The existence of overburdened infrastructure and obsolete financial systems also presents risks in certain countries, as do environmental problems. Certain economies also depend to a significant degree upon exports of primary commodities and, therefore, are vulnerable to changes in commodity prices that, in turn, may be affected by a variety of factors.

The rights of investors in developing market Asia-Pacific companies may be more limited than those of shareholders of U.S. corporations. It may be difficult or impossible to obtain and/or enforce a judgment in a developing market Asia-Pacific country.

Some developing Asia-Pacific countries prohibit or impose substantial restrictions on investments in their capital markets, particularly their equity markets, by foreign entities. For example, certain countries may require governmental approval prior to investments by foreign persons or limit the amount of investment by foreign persons in a particular company.

Loans of Portfolio Securities Risk. Consistent with applicable regulatory requirements and the Fund’s investment restrictions, the Fund may lend its portfolio securities to securities broker-dealers or financial institutions, provided that such loans are callable at any time by the Fund (subject to notice provisions described below), and are at all times collateralized by cash or cash equivalents, which are maintained at all times in an amount equal to at least 100% of the market value, determined daily, of the loaned securities. The advantage of such loans is that the Fund continues to receive the income on the loaned securities while at the same time earning interest on the cash amounts deposited as collateral, which will be invested in short term highly liquid obligations. The Fund will not lend its portfolio securities if such loans are not permitted by the laws or regulations of any state in which its shares are qualified for sale. The Fund’s loans of portfolio securities will be collateralized in accordance with applicable regulatory requirements, which means that “cash equivalents” accepted as collateral will be limited to securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government or its agencies or instrumentalities or irrevocable letters of credit issued by a bank (other than the Fund’s bank lending agent, if any, or

 

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a borrower of the Fund’s portfolio securities or any affiliate of such bank or borrower) which qualifies as a custodian bank for an investment company under the 1940 Act, and no loan will cause the value of all loaned securities to exceed 20% of the value of the Fund’s total assets. The Fund’s ability to lend portfolio securities may be limited by rating agency guidelines (if any).

A loan may generally be terminated by the borrower on one business day’s notice, or by the Fund at any time thereby requiring the borrower to redeliver the borrowed securities within the normal and customary settlement time for securities transactions. If the borrower fails to deliver the loaned securities within the normal and customary settlement time for securities transactions, the Fund could use the collateral to replace the securities while holding the borrower liable for any excess of replacement cost over the value of the collateral pledged by the borrower. As with any extensions of credit, there are risks of delay in recovery and in some cases even loss of rights in the collateral should the borrower of the securities violate the terms of the loan or fail financially. However, these loans of portfolio securities will only be made to firms deemed by the Investment Adviser to be creditworthy and when the income which can be earned from such loans justifies the attendant risks. The Board will oversee the creditworthiness of the contracting parties on an ongoing basis. Upon termination of the loan, the borrower is required to return the securities to the Fund. Any gain or loss in the market price during the loan period would inure to the Fund.

The risks associated with loans of portfolio securities are substantially similar to those associated with repurchase agreements. Thus, if the counter party to the loan petitions for bankruptcy or becomes subject to the United States Bankruptcy Code, the law regarding the rights of the Fund is unsettled. As a result, under extreme circumstances, there may be a restriction on the Fund’s ability to sell the collateral and the Fund would suffer a loss. Moreover, because the Fund will reinvest any cash collateral it receives, as described above, the Fund is subject to the risk that the value of the investments it makes will decline and result in losses to the Fund. These losses, in extreme circumstances such as the 2007-2009 financial crisis, could be substantial and have a significant adverse impact on the Fund and its shareholders.

When voting or consent rights which accompany loaned securities pass to the borrower, the Fund will follow the policy of calling the loaned securities, to be delivered within one day after notice, to permit the exercise of such rights if the matters involved would have a material effect on the Fund’s investment in such loaned securities. The Fund will pay reasonable finder’s, administrative and custodial fees in connection with a loan of its securities, and may also pay fees to one or more securities lending agents and/or pay other fees or rebates to borrowers.

Additional Risks Relating to Derivative Investments

Special Risk Considerations Relating to Futures and Options Thereon. The Fund’s ability to establish and close out positions in futures contracts and options thereon will be subject to the development and maintenance of liquid markets. Although the Fund generally will purchase or sell only those futures contracts and options thereon for which there appears to be a liquid market, there is no assurance that a liquid market on an exchange will exist for any particular futures contract or option thereon at any particular time. In the event no liquid market exists for a particular futures contract or option thereon in which the Fund maintains a position, it will not be possible to effect a closing transaction in that contract or to do so at a satisfactory price and the Fund would have to either make or take delivery under the futures contract or, in the case of a written option, wait to sell the underlying securities until the option expires or is exercised or, in the case of a purchased option, exercise the option. In the case of a futures contract or an option thereon which the Fund has written and which the Fund is unable to close, the Fund would be required to maintain margin deposits on the futures contract or option thereon and to make variation margin payments until the contract is closed.

Successful use of futures contracts and options thereon and forward contracts by the Fund is subject to the ability of the Investment Adviser to predict correctly movements in the direction of interest and foreign currency rates. If the Investment Adviser’s expectations are not met, the Fund will be in a worse position than if a hedging strategy had not been pursued. For example, if the Fund has hedged against the possibility of an increase in interest rates that would adversely affect the price of securities in its portfolio and the price of such securities increases instead, the Fund will lose part or all of the benefit of the increased value of its securities because it will have offsetting losses in its futures positions. In addition, in such situations, if the Fund has insufficient cash to meet daily variation margin requirements, it may have to sell securities to meet the requirements. These sales may be, but will not necessarily be, at increased prices which reflect the rising market. The Fund may have to sell securities at a time when it is disadvantageous to do so.

Additional Risks of Foreign Options, Futures Contracts, Options on Futures Contracts and Forward Contracts. Options, futures contracts and options thereon and forward contracts on securities and currencies may be traded on foreign exchanges. Such transactions may not be regulated as effectively as similar transactions in the United States, may not involve a clearing mechanism and related guarantees, and are subject to the risk of governmental actions affecting trading in, or the prices of, foreign securities. The value of such positions also could be adversely affected by (i) other complex foreign political, legal and economic factors, (ii) lesser availability than in the United States of data on which to make trading decisions, (iii) delays in the Fund’s ability to act upon economic events occurring in the foreign markets during non-business hours in the United States, (iv) the imposition of different exercise and settlement terms and procedures and margin requirements than in the United States and (v) less trading volume.

 

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Exchanges on which options, futures and options on futures are traded may impose limits on the positions that the Fund may take in certain circumstances.

Repurchase Agreements. The Fund may enter into repurchase agreements as set forth in the Prospectus. A repurchase agreement is an instrument under which the purchaser, i.e., the Fund, acquires a debt security and the seller agrees, at the time of the sale, to repurchase the obligation at a mutually agreed upon time and price, thereby determining the yield during the purchaser’s holding period. This results in a fixed rate of return insulated from market fluctuations during such period. The underlying securities are ordinarily U.S. Treasury or other government obligations or high quality money market instruments. The Fund will require that the value of such underlying securities, together with any other collateral held by the Fund, always equals or exceeds the amount of the repurchase obligations of the counter party. The Fund’s risk is primarily that, if the seller defaults, the proceeds from the disposition of the underlying securities and other collateral for the seller’s obligation are less than the repurchase price. If the seller becomes insolvent, the Fund might be delayed in or prevented from selling the collateral. In the event of a default or bankruptcy by a seller, the Fund will promptly seek to liquidate the collateral. To the extent that the proceeds from any sale of such collateral upon a default in the obligation to repurchase are less than the repurchase price, the Fund will experience a loss.

If the financial institution which is a party to the repurchase agreement petitions for bankruptcy or becomes subject to the United States Bankruptcy Code, the law regarding the rights of the Fund is unsettled. As a result, under extreme circumstances, there may be a restriction on the Fund’s ability to sell the collateral and the Fund would suffer a loss.

INVESTMENT RESTRICTIONS

The Fund operates under the following restrictions that constitute fundamental policies under the 1940 Act and that, except as otherwise noted, cannot be changed without the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund voting together as a single class (which for this purpose and under the 1940 Act means the lesser of (i) 67% of the shares represented at a meeting at which more than 50% of the outstanding shares are represented or (ii) more than 50% of the outstanding shares). In addition, pursuant to the statements of preferences of the Series A Preferred Shares and Series B Preferred Shares, the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding preferred shares of the Fund voting as a separate class (which for this purpose and under the 1940 Act means the lesser of (i) 67% of the preferred shares, as a single class, represented at a meeting at which more than 50% of the Fund’s outstanding preferred shares are represented or (ii) more than 50% of the outstanding preferred shares), is also required to change a fundamental policy. Except as otherwise noted, all percentage limitations set forth below apply immediately after a purchase or initial investment and any subsequent change in any applicable percentage resulting from market fluctuations does not require any action. The Fund may not:

(1)        invest more than 25% of its total assets, taken at market value at the time of each investment, in the securities of issuers in any particular industry. This restriction does not apply to investments in U.S. government securities and investments in the Utilities Industry;

(2)        purchase commodities or commodity contracts if such purchase would result in regulation of the Fund as a commodity pool operator;

(3)        purchase or sell real estate, provided the Fund may invest in securities and other instruments secured by real estate or interests therein or issued by companies that invest in real estate or interests therein;

(4)        make loans of money or other property, except that (i) the Fund may acquire debt obligations of any type (including through extensions of credit), enter into repurchase agreements and lend portfolio assets and (ii) the Fund may lend money or other property to other investment companies advised by the Investment Adviser pursuant to a common lending program to the extent permitted by applicable law;

(5)        borrow money, except to the extent permitted by applicable law;

(6)        issue senior securities, except to the extent permitted by applicable law; or

(7)        underwrite securities of other issuers, except insofar as the Fund may be deemed an underwriter under applicable law in selling portfolio securities; provided, however, this restriction shall not apply to securities of any investment company organized by the Fund that are to be distributed pro rata as a dividend to its shareholders.

In addition, it is a fundamental policy of the Fund to invest 25% or more of its assets in the Utilities Industry. Unless specifically stated as such, no policy of the Fund is fundamental and each policy may be changed by the Board of Trustees without shareholder approval. The percentage and ratings limitations stated herein and in the Prospectus apply only at the time of investment and are not considered violated as a result of subsequent changes to the value, or downgrades to the ratings, of the Fund’s portfolio investments.

 

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With respect to investment restriction (2), the Fund may only sell commodities or commodity contracts to the extent consistent with maintaining its or the Investment Adviser’s exclusion from “commodity pool operator” status under CFTC Rule 4.5. See “Investment Policies—Additional Risks Relating to Derivative Investments—Limitations on the Purchase and Sale of Futures Contracts and Options on Futures Contracts.”

With respect to investment restriction (5), the 1940 Act permits the Fund to borrow money in amounts of up to one-third of the Fund’s total assets from banks for any purpose, and to borrow up to 5% of the Fund’s total assets from banks or other lenders for temporary purposes. The Fund’s total assets include the amounts being borrowed. To limit the risks attendant to borrowing, the 1940 Act requires the Fund to maintain at all times an “asset coverage” of at least 300% of the amount of its borrowings. Asset coverage means the ratio that the value of the Fund’s total assets (including amounts borrowed), minus liabilities other than borrowings, bears to the aggregate amount of all borrowings. Borrowing money to increase portfolio holdings is known as “leveraging.” Certain trading practices and investments, such as reverse repurchase agreements, may be considered to be borrowings or involve leverage and thus are subject to the Investment Company Act restrictions. In accordance with SEC staff guidance and interpretations, when the Fund engages in certain such transactions, other than reverse repurchase agreements, the Fund, instead of maintaining asset coverage of at least 300%, may segregate or earmark liquid assets, or enter into an offsetting position, in an amount at least equal to the Fund’s exposure, on a mark-to-market basis, to the transaction (as calculated pursuant to requirements of the SEC). From the outset of the transaction, in accordance with 1940 Act Release 10666, “Securities Trading Practices of Registered Investment Companies” (April 18, 1979), for reverse repurchase agreements, the Fund will segregate the full amount of the Fund’s actual or potential cash payment obligations that the Fund will owe at settlement. The investment restriction in (5) above will be interpreted to permit the Fund to (a) engage in trading practices and investments that may be considered to be borrowing or to involve leverage to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act, (b) segregate or earmark liquid assets or enter into offsetting positions in accordance with SEC staff guidance and interpretations, (c) engage in securities lending in accordance with SEC staff guidance and interpretations and (d) settle securities transactions within the ordinary settlement cycle for such transactions. Practices and investments that may involve leverage but are not considered to be borrowings are not subject to the policy.

With respect to investment restriction (6), under the 1940 Act, the Fund may issue senior securities (which may be stock, such as preferred shares, and/or securities representing debt, such as notes) only if immediately after such issuance the value of the Fund’s total assets, less certain ordinary course liabilities, exceeds 300% of the amount of the debt outstanding and exceeds 200% of the amount of preferred shares (measured by liquidation value) and debt outstanding, which is referred to as the “asset coverage” required by the 1940 Act. The 1940 Act also generally restricts the Fund from declaring cash distributions on, or repurchasing, common or preferred shares unless outstanding debt securities have an asset coverage of 300% (200% in the case of declaring distributions on preferred shares), or from declaring cash distributions on, or repurchasing, common shares unless preferred shares have an asset coverage of 200% (in each case, after giving effect to such distribution or repurchase).

 

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MANAGEMENT OF THE FUND

Indemnification of Officers and Trustees; Limitations on Liability

The Governing Documents provide that the Fund will indemnify its Trustees and officers and may indemnify its employees or agents against liabilities and expenses incurred in connection with litigation in which they may be involved because of their positions with the Fund, to the fullest extent permitted by law. However, nothing in the Governing Documents protects or indemnifies a Trustee, officer, employee or agent of the Fund against any liability to which such person would otherwise be subject in the event of such person’s willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of his or her position.

Investment Advisory and Administrative Arrangements

The Investment Adviser is a New York limited liability company which serves as an investment adviser to registered investment companies with combined aggregate net assets of approximately $20.2 billion as of December 31, 2020. The Investment Adviser is a registered investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of GAMCO Investors, Inc. (“GBL”). Mr. Gabelli owns a majority of the stock of GGCP, Inc. (“GGCP”) which holds a majority of the capital stock and voting power of GBL. The Investment Adviser has several affiliates that provide investment advisory services: GAMCO Asset Management Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of GBL, acts as investment adviser for individuals, pension trusts, profit sharing trusts, and endowments, and as a sub-adviser to certain third party investment funds, which include registered investment companies, having assets under management of approximately of $12.4 billion as of December 31, 2020; Teton Advisors, Inc., and its wholly owned investment adviser, Keeley Teton Advisers, LLC, with assets under management of approximately $1.8 billion as of December 31, 2020, acts as investment adviser to The TETON Westwood Funds, the KEELEY Funds, and separately managed accounts; and Gabelli & Company Investment Advisers, Inc. (formerly, Gabelli Securities, Inc.), a wholly owned subsidiary of Associated Capital Group, Inc. (“Associated Capital”), acts as investment adviser for certain alternative investment products, consisting primarily of risk arbitrage and merchant banking limited partnerships and offshore companies, with assets under management of approximately $1.4 billion as of December 31, 2020. Teton Advisors, Inc., was spun off by GBL in March 2009 and is an affiliate of GBL by virtue of Mr. Gabelli’s ownership of GGCP, the principal shareholder of Teton Advisors, Inc., as of December 31, 2020. Associated Capital was spun off from GBL on November 30, 2015, and is an affiliate of GBL by virtue of Mr. Gabelli’s ownership of GGCP, the principal shareholder of Associated Capital.

Affiliates of the Investment Adviser may, in the ordinary course of their business, acquire for their own account or for the accounts of their advisory clients, significant (and possibly controlling) positions in the securities of companies that may also be suitable for investment by the Fund. The securities in which the Fund might invest may thereby be limited to some extent. For instance, many companies in the past several years have adopted so-called “poison pill” or other defensive measures designed to discourage or prevent the completion of non-negotiated offers for control of the company. Such defensive measures may have the effect of limiting the shares of the company which might otherwise be acquired by the Fund if the affiliates of the Investment Adviser or their advisory accounts have or acquire a significant position in the same securities. However, the Investment Adviser does not believe that the investment activities of its affiliates will have a material adverse effect upon the Fund in seeking to achieve its investment objective. Securities purchased or sold pursuant to contemporaneous orders entered on behalf of the investment company accounts of the Investment Adviser or the advisory accounts managed by its affiliates for their unaffiliated clients are allocated pursuant to procedures, approved by the Board, believed to be fair and not disadvantageous to any such accounts. In addition, all such orders are accorded priority of execution over orders entered on behalf of accounts in which the Investment Adviser or its affiliates have a substantial pecuniary interest. The Investment Adviser may on occasion give advice or take action with respect to other clients that differs from the actions taken with respect to the Fund. The Fund may invest in the securities of companies that are investment management clients of GAMCO . In addition, portfolio companies or their officers or directors may be minority shareholders of the Investment Adviser or its affiliates.

Under the terms of the Investment Advisory Agreement, the Investment Adviser manages the portfolio of the Fund in accordance with its stated investment objective and policies, makes investment decisions for the Fund, places orders to purchase and sell securities on behalf of the Fund and manages its other business and affairs, all subject to the supervision and direction of the Board. In addition, under the Investment Advisory Agreement, the Investment Adviser oversees the administration of all aspects of the Fund’s business and affairs and provides, or arranges for others to provide, at the Investment Adviser’s expense, certain enumerated services, including maintaining the Fund’s books and records, preparing reports to the Fund’s shareholders and supervising the calculation of the net asset value of its shares. All expenses of computing the net asset value of the Fund, including any equipment or services obtained solely for the purpose of pricing shares or valuing its investment portfolio, underwriting compensation and reimbursements in connection with sales of the Fund’s securities, the costs of utilizing a third party to monitor and collect class action settlements on behalf of the Fund, expenses in connection with the preparation of SEC filings, the fees and expenses of Trustees who are not officers or employees of the Investment Adviser or its affiliates, compensation and other expenses of officers and employees of

 

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the Fund (including, but not limited to, the Chief Compliance Officer, Vice President and Ombudsman) as approved by the Trustees, charges of the custodian, any sub-custodian and transfer agent and dividend paying agent, expenses in connection with the Automatic Dividend Reinvestment Plan and the Voluntary Cash Purchase Plan, accounting and pricing costs, membership fees in trade associations, expenses for legal and independent accountants’ services, costs of printing proxies, share certificates and shareholder reports, fidelity bond coverage for Fund officers and employees, Trustees’ and officers’ errors and omissions insurance coverage, and stock exchange listing fees will be an expense of the Fund unless the Investment Adviser voluntarily assumes responsibility for such expenses.

The Investment Advisory Agreement combines investment advisory and certain administrative responsibilities into one agreement. For services rendered by the Investment Adviser on behalf of the Fund under the Fund’s Investment Advisory Agreement, the Fund pays the Investment Adviser a fee at an annual rate of 0.50% of the Fund’s average weekly net assets, plus assets attributable to any outstanding senior securities, with no deduction for the liquidation preference of any outstanding preferred shares or the principal amount of any outstanding notes. The Fund’s total assets for purposes of calculating the level of the management fee will include assets attributable to any outstanding senior securities, such as preferred shares (including the aggregate liquidation preference of any preferred shares and accumulated dividends, if any), or indebtedness, such as notes (including the aggregate principal amount of any such debt securities, plus accrued and unpaid interest thereon), as well as assets attributable to derivatives transactions or other investment management techniques, if any, which have the effect of leveraging the common shares. Consequently, since the Fund has preferred shares outstanding and may invest in derivatives and use other investment management techniques that involve leverage, the investment management fees and other expenses as a percentage of total assets attributable to common shares may be higher than if the Fund did not utilize a leveraged capital structure or engage in transactions that leverage the common shares.

Because the investment advisory fees are based on a percentage of total assets, which includes assets attributable to the Fund’s use of leverage, the Investment Adviser may have a conflict of interest in the input it provides to the Board regarding whether to use or increase the Fund’s use of leverage. The Board bases its decision, with input from the Investment Adviser, regarding whether and how much leverage to use for the Fund on its assessment of whether such use of leverage is in the best interests of the Fund, and the Board seeks to manage the Investment Adviser’s potential conflict of interest by retaining the final decision on these matters and by periodically reviewing the Fund’s performance and use of leverage.

Pursuant to the Investment Advisory Agreement, for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2018, 2019 and 2020, the Investment Adviser earned $573,740, $856,638 and $790,441, respectively, for advisory and administrative services rendered to the Fund.

The Investment Advisory Agreement provides that, in the absence of willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard for its obligations and duties thereunder, the Investment Adviser is not liable for any error of judgment or mistake of law or for any loss suffered by the Fund. As part of the Investment Advisory Agreement, the Fund has agreed that the name “Gabelli” is the Investment Adviser’s property, and that in the event the Investment Adviser ceases to act as an investment adviser to the Fund, the Fund will change its name to one not including “Gabelli.”

The Investment Advisory Agreement was most recently approved by a majority of the Fund’s Board of Trustees, including a majority of the Trustees who are not interested persons as that term is defined in the 1940 Act, at an in person meeting of the Board of Trustees held on May 12, 2021.

The Investment Advisory Agreement terminates automatically on its assignment (as defined in the 1940 Act) and may be terminated without penalty on 60 days’ written notice by the Fund’s Board of Trustees, by a vote of a majority of the Fund’s shares or by the Investment Adviser.

The Investment Adviser has entered into a sub-administration agreement with BNY Mellon Investment Servicing (US) Inc. (the “Sub-Administrator”) pursuant to which the Sub-Administrator provides certain administrative services necessary for the Fund’s operations which do not include the investment and portfolio management services provided by the Investment Adviser. For these services and the related expenses borne by the Sub-Administrator, the Investment Adviser pays an annual fee based on the value of the aggregate average daily net assets of all funds under its administration managed by the Investment Adviser, GAMCO and Teton Advisors, Inc. as follows: 0.0275% - first $10 billion, 0.0125% - exceeding $10 billion but less than $15 billion, 0.01% - over $15 billion but less than $20 billion and 0.008% - over $20 billion. The Sub-Administrator has its principal office at 760 Moore Road, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania 19406.

Portfolio Holdings Information

Employees of the Investment Adviser and its affiliates will often have access to information concerning the portfolio holdings of the Fund. The Fund and the Investment Adviser have adopted policies and procedures that require all employees to

 

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safeguard proprietary information of the Fund, which includes information relating to the Fund’s portfolio holdings as well as portfolio trading activity of the Investment Adviser with respect to the Fund (collectively, “Portfolio Holdings Information”). In addition, the Fund and the Investment Adviser have adopted policies and procedures providing that Portfolio Holdings Information may not be disclosed except to the extent that it is (a) made available to the general public by posting on the Fund’s website or filed as part of a required filing on Form N-Q or N-CSR or (b) provided to a third party for legitimate business purposes or regulatory purposes, that has agreed to keep such data confidential under terms approved by the Investment Adviser’s legal department or outside counsel, as described below. The Investment Adviser will examine each situation under (b) with a view to determine that release of the information is in the best interest of the Fund and their shareholders and, if a potential conflict between the Investment Adviser’s interests and the Fund’s interests arises, to have such conflict resolved by the Chief Compliance Officer or those Trustees who are not considered to be “interested persons” (as defined in the 1940 Act). These policies further provide that no officer of the Fund or employee of the Investment Adviser shall communicate with the media about the Fund without obtaining the advance consent of the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, or General Counsel of the Investment Adviser.

Under the foregoing policies, the Fund currently may disclose Portfolio Holdings Information in the circumstances outlined below. Disclosure generally may be either on a monthly or quarterly basis with no time lag in some cases and with a time lag of up to 60 days in other cases (with the exception of proxy voting services which require a regular download of data):

(1) To regulatory authorities in response to requests for such information and with the approval of the Chief Compliance Officer of the Fund;

(2) To mutual fund rating and statistical agencies and to persons performing similar functions where there is a legitimate business purpose for such disclosure and such entity has agreed to keep such data confidential until at least it has been made public by the Investment Adviser;

(3) To service providers of the Fund, as necessary for the performance of their services to the Fund and to the Board, where such entity has agreed to keep such data confidential until at least it has been made public by the Investment Adviser. The Fund’s current service providers that may receive such information are its administrator, sub-administrator, custodian, independent registered public accounting firm, legal counsel, and financial printers;

(4) To firms providing proxy voting and other proxy services provided such entity has agreed to keep such data confidential until at least it has been made public by the Investment Adviser;

(5) To certain broker dealers, investment advisers, and other financial intermediaries for purposes of their performing due diligence on the Fund and not for dissemination of this information to their clients or use of this information to conduct trading for their clients. Disclosure of Portfolio Holdings Information in these circumstances requires the broker, dealer, investment adviser, or financial intermediary to agree to keep such information confidential until it has been made public by the Investment Adviser and is further subject to prior approval of the Chief Compliance Officer of the Fund and shall be reported to the Board at the next quarterly meeting; and

(6) To consultants for purposes of performing analysis of the Fund, which analysis may be used by the consultant with its clients or disseminated to the public, provided that such entity shall have agreed to keep such information confidential until at least it has been made public by the Investment Adviser.

As of the date of this SAI, the Fund makes information about portfolio securities available to its administrator, sub-administrator, custodian, and proxy voting services on a daily basis, with no time lag, to its typesetter on a quarterly basis with a ten day time lag, to its financial printers on a quarterly basis with a forty-five day time lag, and its independent registered public accounting firm and legal counsel on an as needed basis with no time lag. The names of the Fund’s administrator, custodian, independent registered public accounting firm, and legal counsel are set forth is the Prospectus. The Fund’s proxy voting service is Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. Donnelley Financial Solutions and Appatura provide typesetting services for the Fund and the Fund selects from a number of financial printers who have agreed to keep such information confidential until at least it has been made public by the Investment Adviser. Other than those arrangements with the Fund’s service providers and proxy voting service, the Fund has no ongoing arrangements to make available information about the Fund’s portfolio securities prior to such information being disclosed in a publicly available filing with the SEC that is required to include the information.

Disclosures made pursuant to a confidentiality agreement are subject to periodic confirmation by the Chief Compliance Officer of the Fund that the recipient has utilized such information solely in accordance with the terms of the agreement. Neither the Fund, nor the Investment Adviser, nor any of the Investment Adviser’s affiliates will accept on behalf of itself, its affiliates, or the Fund any compensation or other consideration in connection with the disclosure of portfolio holdings of the Fund. The Board will review such arrangements annually with the Fund’s Chief Compliance Officer.

 

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PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS

Subject to policies established by the Board, the Investment Adviser is responsible for placing purchase and sale orders and the allocation of brokerage on behalf of the Fund. Transactions in equity securities are in most cases effected on U.S. stock exchanges and involve the payment of negotiated brokerage commissions. In general, there may be no stated commission in the case of securities traded in OTC markets, but the prices of those securities may include undisclosed commissions or mark-ups. Principal transactions are not entered into with affiliates of the Fund. However, G.research, LLC an affiliate of the Investment Adviser may execute transactions in the OTC markets on an agency basis and receive a stated commission therefrom. To the extent consistent with applicable provisions of the 1940 Act and the rules and exemptions adopted by the SEC thereunder, as well as other regulatory requirements, the Board has determined that portfolio transactions may be executed through G.research, LLC and its broker-dealer affiliates if, in the judgment of the Investment Adviser, the use of those broker-dealers is likely to result in price and execution at least as favorable as those of other qualified broker-dealers, and if, in particular transactions, the affiliated broker-dealers charge the Fund a rate consistent with that charged to comparable unaffiliated customers in similar transactions and comparable to rates charged by other broker dealers for similar transactions. The Fund has no obligations to deal with any broker or group of brokers in executing transactions in portfolio securities. In executing transactions, the Investment Adviser seeks to obtain the best price and execution for the Fund, taking into account such factors as price, size of order, difficulty of execution and operational facilities of the firm involved and the firm’s risk in positioning a block of securities. While the Investment Adviser generally seeks reasonably competitive commission rates, the Fund does not necessarily pay the lowest commission available. During the fiscal years ended December 31, 2018, 2019 and 2020, the Fund paid aggregate brokerage commissions of $48,130, $101,869 and $40,716, respectively. During the fiscal years ended December 31, 2018, 2019 and 2020, the Fund paid to G.research, LLC brokerage commissions on security trades of $32,799, $59,892 and $11,104, respectively. Such amount represents approximately 68%, 59% and 27% of the Fund’s aggregate brokerage commissions paid during the fiscal years ended December 31, 2018, 2019 and 2020, respectively. The percentages of the Fund’s aggregate dollar amount of transactions involving the payment of commissions effected through G.research, LLC during the fiscal years ended December 31, 2018, 2019 and 2020 were approximately 66%, 68% and 26%, respectively.

Subject to obtaining the best price and execution, brokers who provide supplemental research, market and statistical information, or other services (e.g., wire services) to the Investment Adviser or its affiliates may receive orders for transactions by the Fund. The term “research, market and statistical information” includes advice as to the value of securities, and advisability of investing in, purchasing or selling securities, and the availability of securities or purchasers or sellers of securities, and furnishing analyses and reports concerning issues, industries, securities, economic factors and trends, portfolio strategy and the performance of accounts. Information so received will be in addition to and not in lieu of the services required to be performed by the Investment Adviser under the Investment Advisory Agreement and the expenses of the Investment Adviser will not necessarily be reduced as a result of the receipt of such supplemental information. Such information may be useful to the Investment Adviser and its affiliates in providing services to clients other than the Fund, and not all such information is used by the Investment Adviser in connection with the Fund. Conversely, such information provided to the Investment Adviser and its affiliates by brokers and dealers through whom other clients of the Investment Adviser and its affiliates effect securities transactions may be useful to the Investment Adviser in providing services to the Fund.

Although investment decisions for the Fund are made independently from those for the other accounts managed by the Investment Adviser and its affiliates, investments of the kind made by the Fund may also be made for those other accounts. When the same securities are purchased for or sold by the Fund and any of such other accounts, it is the policy of the Investment Adviser and its affiliates to allocate such purchases and sales in a manner deemed fair and equitable over time to all of the accounts, including the Fund.

PORTFOLIO TURNOVER

Portfolio turnover rate is calculated by dividing the lesser of an investment company’s annual sales or purchases of portfolio securities by the monthly average value of securities in its portfolio during the year, excluding portfolio securities the maturities of which at the time of acquisition were one year or less. A high rate of portfolio turnover involves correspondingly greater brokerage commission expense than a lower rate, which expense must be borne by the Fund and indirectly by its shareholders. The portfolio turnover rate may vary from year to year and will not be a factor when the Investment Adviser determines that portfolio changes are appropriate. For example, an increase in the Fund’s participation in risk arbitrage situations would increase the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate. A higher rate of portfolio turnover may also result in taxable gains being passed to shareholders sooner than would otherwise be the case. The Fund’s portfolio turnover rate for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2019 and 2020 was 71.0% and 26.6%, respectively. The Fund anticipates that its portfolio turnover rate will generally not exceed 100%.

 

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TAXATION

The following discussion is a brief summary of certain U.S. federal income tax considerations affecting the Fund and its common and preferred shareholders. This summary does not discuss the consequences of an investment in the Fund’s notes or subscription rights to acquire shares of the Fund’s stock. The tax consequences of such an investment will be discussed in a relevant prospectus supplement.

Except as expressly provided otherwise, this discussion assumes you are a taxable U.S. person (as defined for U.S. federal income tax purposes) and that you hold your shares as capital assets (generally, for investment). The discussion is based upon current provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), Treasury regulations, judicial authorities, published positions of the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) and other applicable authorities, all of which are subject to change or differing interpretations, possibly with retroactive effect. No assurance can be given that the IRS would not assert, or that a court would not sustain, a position contrary to those set forth below. No attempt is made to present a detailed explanation of all U.S. federal income tax concerns affecting the Fund and its shareholders (including shareholders subject to special tax rules and shareholders owning a large position in the Fund), nor does this discussion address any state, local, or foreign tax concerns.

The discussions set forth here and in the Prospectus do not constitute tax advice. Investors are urged to consult their own tax advisers with any specific questions relating to U.S. federal, state, local and foreign taxes.

Taxation of the Fund

The Fund has elected to be treated and has qualified as, and intends to continue to qualify annually as, a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code. Accordingly, the Fund must, among other things,

 

  (i)

derive in each taxable year at least 90% of its gross income from (a) dividends, interest (including tax-exempt interest), payments with respect to certain securities loans, and gains from the sale or other disposition of stock, securities or foreign currencies, or other income (including but not limited to gain from options, futures and forward contracts) derived with respect to its business of investing in such stock, securities or currencies and (b) net income derived from interests in certain publicly traded partnerships that are treated as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes and that derive less than 90% of their gross income from the items described in (a) above (each a “Qualified Publicly Traded Partnership”); and

 

  (ii)

diversify its holdings so that, at the end of each quarter of each taxable year (a) at least 50% of the market value of the Fund’s total assets is represented by cash and cash items, U.S. government securities, the securities of other RICs and other securities, with such other securities limited, in respect of any one issuer, to an amount not greater than 5% of the value of the Fund’s total assets and not more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer and (b) not more than 25% of the value of the Fund’s total assets is invested in the securities (other than U.S. government securities and the securities of other RICs) of (I) any one issuer, (II) any two or more issuers that the Fund controls and that are determined to be engaged in the same business or similar or related trades or businesses or (III) any one or more Qualified Publicly Traded Partnerships.

As a RIC, the Fund generally is not subject to U.S. federal income tax on income and gains that it distributes each taxable year to shareholders, provided that it distributes at least 90% of the sum of the Fund’s (i) investment company taxable income (which includes, among other items, dividends, interest, the excess of any net short term capital gain over net long term capital loss, and other taxable income other than any net capital gain (as defined below) reduced by deductible expenses, determined without regard to the deduction for dividends paid and (ii) net tax-exempt interest income (the excess of its gross tax-exempt interest income over certain disallowed deductions), if any. The Fund intends to distribute at least annually substantially all of such income. The Fund will be subject to income tax at regular corporate rates on any investment company taxable income and net capital gain that it does not distribute to its shareholders.

The Fund may either distribute or retain for reinvestment all or part of its net capital gain (which consists of the excess of its net long term capital gain over its net short term capital loss). If any such gain is retained, the Fund will be subject to a corporate income tax on such retained amount. In that event, the Fund may report the retained amount as undistributed capital gain in a notice to its shareholders, each of whom, if subject to U.S. federal income tax on long term capital gains, (i) will be required to include in income for U.S. federal income tax purposes as long term capital gain its share of such undistributed amounts, (ii) will be entitled to credit its proportionate share of the tax paid by the Fund against its U.S. federal income tax liability and to claim refunds to the extent that the credit exceeds such liability and (iii) will increase its basis in its shares by the amount of undistributed capital gains included in the shareholder’s income less the tax deemed paid by the shareholder under clause (ii).

 

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Amounts not distributed on a timely basis in accordance with a calendar year distribution requirement are subject to a nondeductible 4% federal excise tax at the Fund level. To avoid the tax, the Fund must distribute during each calendar year an amount at least equal to the sum of (i) 98% of its ordinary income (not taking into account any capital gains or losses) for the calendar year, and (ii) 98.2% of its capital gains in excess of its capital losses (adjusted for certain ordinary losses) for a one-year period generally ending on October 31 of the calendar year (unless an election is made to use the Fund’s fiscal year). In addition, the minimum amounts that must be distributed in any year to avoid the federal excise tax will be increased or decreased to reflect any under-distribution or over-distribution, as the case may be, from previous years. For purposes of the excise tax, the Fund will be deemed to have distributed any income on which it paid U.S. federal income tax. Although the Fund intends to distribute any income and capital gains in the manner necessary to minimize imposition of the 4% federal excise tax, there can be no assurance that sufficient amounts of the Fund’s ordinary income and capital gains will be distributed to avoid entirely the imposition of the tax. In that event, the Fund will be liable for the tax only on the amount by which it does not meet the foregoing distribution requirement.

If for any taxable year the Fund were to fail to qualify as a RIC, all of its taxable income (including its net capital gain) would be subject to tax at regular corporate rates without any deduction for distributions to shareholders. Such distributions would be taxable to the shareholders as ordinary dividends to the extent of the Fund’s current or accumulated earnings and profits. Provided that certain holding period and other requirements are met, such dividends would be eligible (i) to be treated as qualified dividend income eligible to be taxed at long term capital gain rates in the case of shareholders taxed as individuals and (ii) for the dividends received deduction in the case of corporate shareholders. To qualify again to be taxed as a RIC in a subsequent year, the Fund would be required to distribute to its shareholders its earnings and profits attributable to non-RIC years. In addition, if the Fund failed to qualify as a RIC for a period greater than two taxable years, then, in order to qualify as a RIC in a subsequent year, the Fund would be required to elect to recognize and pay tax on any net built-in gain (the excess of aggregate gain, including items of income, over aggregate loss that would have been realized if the Fund had been liquidated) or, alternatively, to be subject to taxation on such built-in gain recognized for a period of five years. The remainder of this discussion assumes that the Fund qualifies for taxation as a RIC.

Certain of the Fund’s investment practices are subject to special and complex U.S. federal income tax provisions that may, among other things, (i) disallow, suspend or otherwise limit the allowance of certain losses or deductions, (ii) convert lower taxed long term capital gains or qualified dividend income into higher taxed short term capital gains or ordinary income, (iii) convert an ordinary loss or a deduction into a capital loss (the deductibility of which is more limited), (iv) cause the Fund to recognize income or gain without a corresponding receipt of cash, (v) adversely affect the time as to when a purchase or sale of stock or securities is deemed to occur, (vi) adversely alter the characterization of certain complex financial transactions and (vii) produce income that will not qualify as good income for purposes of the 90% annual gross income requirement described above. These U.S. federal income tax provisions could therefore affect the amount, timing and character of distributions to shareholders.

Gain or loss on the sale of securities by the Fund will generally be long term capital gain or loss if the securities have been held by the Fund for more than one year. Gain or loss on the sale of securities held for one year or less will be short term capital gain or loss.

The premium received by the Fund for writing a call option is not included in income at the time of receipt. If the option expires, the premium is short term capital gain to the Fund. If the Fund enters into a closing transaction, the difference between the amount paid to close out its position and the premium received is short term capital gain or loss. If a call option written by the Fund is exercised, thereby requiring the Fund to sell the underlying security, the premium will increase the amount realized upon the sale of the security and any resulting gain or loss will be long term or short term, depending upon the holding period of the security. The Fund does not have control over the exercise of the call options it writes and thus does not control the timing of such taxable events.

With respect to a put or call option that is purchased by the Fund, if the option is sold, any resulting gain or loss will be a capital gain or loss, and will be short term or long term, depending upon the holding period for the option. If the option expires, the resulting loss is a capital loss and is short term or long term, depending upon the holding period for the option. If the option is exercised, the cost of the option, in the case of a call option, is added to the basis of the purchased security and, in the case of a put option, reduces the amount realized on the underlying security in determining gain or loss.

The Fund’s investment in so-called “section 1256 contracts,” such as regulated futures contracts, most foreign currency forward contracts traded in the interbank market, options on most stock indices and any non-equity options, are subject to special tax rules. All section 1256 contracts held by the Fund at the end of its taxable year are required to be marked to their market value, and any unrealized gain or loss on those positions will be included in the Fund’s income as if each position had been sold for its fair market value at the end of the taxable year, thereby potentially causing the Fund to recognize gain in advance of a corresponding receipt of cash. The resulting gain or loss will be combined with any gain or loss realized by the Fund from positions in section 1256 contracts closed during the taxable year. Provided such positions were held as capital assets and were not part of a “hedging transaction” nor part of a “straddle,” 60% of the resulting net gain or loss will be treated as long term capital gain or loss, and 40% of such net gain or loss will be treated as short term capital gain or loss, regardless of the period of time the positions were actually held by the Fund.

 

16


Investments by the Fund in certain “passive foreign investment companies” (“PFICs”) could subject the Fund to U.S. federal income tax (including interest charges) on certain distributions or dispositions with respect to those investments which cannot be eliminated by making distributions to shareholders. Elections may be available to the Fund to mitigate the effect of the PFIC rules, but such elections generally accelerate the recognition of income without the receipt of cash. Dividends paid by PFICs will not qualify for the reduced tax rates applicable to qualified dividend income, as discussed below under “Taxation of Shareholders.”

The Fund may invest in debt obligations purchased at a discount with the result that the Fund may be required to accrue income for U.S. federal income tax purposes before amounts due under the obligations are paid. The Fund may also invest in securities rated in the medium to lower rating categories of nationally recognized rating organizations, and in unrated securities (“high yield securities”). A portion of the interest payments on such high yield securities may be treated as dividends for certain U.S. federal income tax purposes.

The Fund may invest in preferred securities or other securities the U.S. federal income tax treatment of which may not be clear or may be subject to special rules or to recharacterization by the IRS. To the extent the tax treatment of such securities or the income from such securities differs from the tax treatment expected by the Fund, it could affect the timing or character of income recognized by the Fund, potentially requiring the Fund to purchase or sell securities, or otherwise change its portfolio, in order to comply with the tax rules applicable to RICs under the Code.

As a result of investing in stock of PFICs or securities purchased at a discount or any other investment that produces income that is not matched by a corresponding cash distribution to the Fund, the Fund could be required to include in current income, income it has not yet received in cash. Any such income would be treated as income earned by the Fund and therefore would be subject to the distribution requirements of the Code. This might prevent the Fund from distributing 90% of its investment company taxable income as is required in order to avoid Fund-level U.S. federal income tax on all of its income, or might prevent the Fund from distributing enough ordinary income and capital gain net income to avoid the imposition of Fund-level income or excise taxes. To avoid this result, the Fund may be required to borrow money or dispose of securities at inopportune times or on unfavorable terms, forgo favorable investments, or take other actions that it would otherwise not take, to be able to make distributions to its shareholders.

If the Fund does not meet the asset coverage requirements of the 1940 Act and the terms of its preferred shares, the Fund will be required to suspend distributions to the holders of the common shares until the asset coverage is restored. Such a suspension of distributions might prevent the Fund from distributing 90% of its investment company taxable income as is required in order to avoid Fund-level U.S. federal income taxation on all of its income, or might prevent the Fund from distributing enough income and capital gain net income to avoid imposition of Fund-level income or excise taxes.

Because the Fund may invest in foreign securities, its income from such securities may be subject to non-U.S. taxes. If more than 50% of the Fund’s total assets at the close of its taxable year consists of stock or securities of foreign corporations, the Fund may elect for U.S. federal income tax purposes to treat foreign income taxes paid by it as paid by its shareholders. The Fund may qualify for and make this election in some, but not necessarily all, of its taxable years. If the Fund were to make such an election, shareholders would be required to take into account an amount equal to their pro rata portions of such foreign taxes in computing their taxable income and then treat an amount equal to those foreign taxes as a U.S. federal income tax deduction or as a foreign tax credit against their U.S. federal income tax liability. A taxpayer’s ability to use a foreign tax deduction or credit is subject to limitations under the Code. Shortly after any year for which it makes such an election, the Fund will report to its shareholder the amount per share of such foreign income tax that must be included in each shareholder’s gross income and the amount that may be available for the deduction or credit.

Foreign currency gain or loss on non-U.S. dollar-denominated securities and on any non-U.S. dollar-denominated futures contracts, options and forward contracts that are not section 1256 contracts (as defined below) generally will be treated as ordinary income and loss.

Taxation of Shareholders

The Fund may either distribute or retain for reinvestment all or part of its net capital gain (i.e., the excess of net long term capital gain over net short term capital loss). If any such gain is retained, the Fund will be subject to regular corporate income tax

 

17


on the retained amount. In that event, the Fund may report the retained amount as undistributed capital gain in a notice to its shareholders, each of whom (i) will be required to include in income for U.S. federal income tax purposes as long term capital gain its share of such undistributed amounts, (ii) will be entitled to credit its proportionate share of the tax paid by the Fund against its U.S. federal income tax liability and to claim refunds to the extent that the credit exceeds such liability and (iii) will increase its basis in its shares of the Fund by the amount of undistributed capital gains included in the shareholder’s income less the tax deemed paid by the shareholder under clause (ii).

Distributions paid by the Fund from its investment company taxable income generally are taxable as ordinary income to the extent of the Fund’s current or accumulated earnings and profits (“ordinary income dividends”). Provided that certain holding period and other requirements are met, such distributions (if properly reported by the Fund) may qualify (i) for the dividends received deduction available to corporations, but only to the extent that the Fund’s income consists of dividend income from U.S. corporations and (ii) in the case of individual shareholders, as qualified dividend income eligible to be taxed at long term capital gain rates to the extent that the Fund receives qualified dividend income.

Qualified dividend income is, in general, dividend income from taxable domestic corporations and certain qualified foreign corporations (e.g., generally, foreign corporations incorporated in a possession of the United States or in certain countries with a qualifying comprehensive tax treaty with the United States, or whose stock with respect to which such dividend is paid is readily tradable on an established securities market in the United States). A qualified foreign corporation does not include a foreign corporation that for the taxable year of the corporation in which the dividend was paid, or the preceding taxable year, is a PFIC. If the Fund lends portfolio securities, the amount received by the Fund that is the equivalent of the dividends paid by the issuer on the securities loaned will not be eligible for qualified dividend income treatment. There can be no assurance as to what portion of the Fund’s distributions will be eligible for the dividends received deduction or the reduced rates applicable to qualified dividend income.

Properly reported distributions of net capital gain (“capital gain distributions”), if any, are taxable to shareholders at the reduced rates applicable to long term capital gain, regardless of how long the shareholder has held the Fund’s shares. Capital gain distributions are not eligible for the dividends received deduction.

Distributions in excess of the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits will be treated as a tax-free return of capital to the extent of your adjusted tax basis of your shares and thereafter will be treated as capital gains. The amount of any Fund distribution that is treated as a tax-free return of capital will reduce your adjusted tax basis in your shares, thereby increasing your potential gain or reducing your potential loss on any subsequent sale or other disposition of your shares. In determining the extent to which a distribution will be treated as being made from the Fund’s earnings and profits, earnings and profits will be allocated on a pro rata basis first to distributions with respect to the Fund’s preferred shares, and then to the Fund’s common shares.

The IRS currently requires that a RIC that has two or more classes of stock allocate to each such class proportionate amounts of each type of its income (such as ordinary income, capital gains, and qualified dividend income) based upon the percentage of total dividends paid to each class for the tax year. Accordingly, the Fund intends each year to allocate capital gain dividends, dividends eligible for the dividends received deduction, and dividends that constitute qualified dividend income, if any, between its common shares and preferred shares in proportion to the total dividends paid to each class with respect to such tax year.

Dividends and other taxable distributions are taxable to you even though they are reinvested in additional shares of the Fund. Dividends and other distributions paid by the Fund are generally treated under the Code as paid by the Fund and received by you at the time the dividend or distribution is made. If, however, the Fund pays you a dividend in January that was declared in the previous October, November or December to shareholders of record on a specified date in one of such months, then such dividend will be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as being paid by the Fund and received by you on December 31 of the year in which the dividend was declared. In addition, certain other distributions made after the close of the Fund’s taxable year may be “spilled back” and treated as paid by the Fund (except for purposes of the 4% nondeductible excise tax) during such taxable year. In such case, you will be treated as having received such dividends in the taxable year in which the distributions were actually made.

The price of shares purchased at any time may reflect the amount of a forthcoming distribution. Those purchasing shares just prior to the record date for a distribution will receive a distribution which will be taxable to them even though it represents in part a return of invested capital.

Except as discussed below in the case of a redemption or repurchase of shares, upon a sale, exchange or other disposition of shares, a shareholder will generally realize a capital gain or loss equal to the difference between the amount of cash and the fair market value of other property received and the shareholder’s adjusted tax basis in the shares. Such gain or loss will be treated as long term capital gain or loss if the shares have been held for more than one year. Any loss realized on a sale or exchange will be disallowed to the extent the shares disposed of are replaced by substantially identical shares within a 61-day period beginning 30 days

 

18


before and ending 30 days after the date that the shares are disposed of. In such a case, the basis of the shares acquired will be adjusted to reflect the disallowed loss. In addition, any loss realized by a shareholder on the sale of Fund shares held by the shareholder for six months or less will be treated for tax purposes as a long term capital loss to the extent of any capital gain distributions received by the shareholder (or amounts credited to the shareholder as an undistributed capital gain) with respect to such shares. There are a number of limitations on the use of capital losses under the Code.

In general, a redemption or repurchase of shares should be treated as a sale or exchange of such shares under section 302 of the Code, if the distribution of cash (a) is “substantially disproportionate” with respect to the shareholder, (b) results in a “complete redemption” of the shareholder’s interest, or (c) is “not essentially equivalent to a dividend” with respect to the shareholder. A “substantially disproportionate” distribution generally requires a reduction of at least 20% in the shareholder’s proportionate interest in the Fund and also requires the shareholder to own less than 50% of the voting power of all classes entitled to vote immediately after the redemption. A “complete redemption” of a shareholder’s interest generally requires that all common and preferred shares of the Fund owned by such shareholder be disposed of. A distribution “not essentially equivalent to a dividend” requires that there be a “meaningful reduction” in the shareholder’s proportionate interest in the Fund, which should result if the shareholder has a minimal interest in the Fund, exercises no control over Fund affairs and suffers a reduction in his proportionate interest in the Fund. In determining whether any of these tests has been met, any common and preferred shares actually owned, as well as shares considered to be owned by the shareholder by reason of certain constructive ownership rules set forth in section 318 of the Code, generally must be taken into account.

If the redemption or repurchase of your shares meets any of these three tests for “sale or exchange” treatment, you will recognize gain or loss equal to the difference between the amount of cash and the fair market value of other property received pursuant to the redemption or repurchase and the adjusted tax basis of the common shares sold. If none of the tests described above are met with respect to the redemption or repurchase, you may be treated as having received, in whole or in part, a dividend, return of capital or capital gain, depending on (i) whether there are sufficient earnings and profits to support a dividend and (ii) your tax basis in the relevant shares. The tax basis in the shares redeemed or repurchased will be transferred to any remaining shares held by you in the Fund (or, in certain cases, may be transferred to a related person or lost entirely). In addition, if the sale shares pursuant to the applicable repurchase or redemption is treated as a “dividend” to a tendering stockholder, a constructive dividend under certain provisions of the Code may result to a non-tendering shareholder whose proportionate interest in the earnings and assets of the Fund has been increased as a result of such tender.

Certain U.S. shareholders who are individuals, estates or trusts and whose income exceeds certain thresholds will be required to pay a 3.8% Medicare tax on all or a part of their “net investment income,” which includes dividends received from the Fund and capital gains from the sale or other disposition of the Fund’s stock.

Ordinary income dividends, capital gain distributions and gain on the sale of Fund shares also may be subject to state, local and foreign taxes. Shareholders are urged to consult their own tax advisers regarding specific questions about U.S. federal (including the application of the alternative minimum tax rules), state, local or foreign tax consequences to them of investing in the Fund.

A shareholder that is a nonresident alien individual or a foreign corporation (a “foreign investor”) generally will be subject to U.S. federal withholding tax at the rate of 30% (or possibly a lower rate provided by an applicable tax treaty) on ordinary income dividends. A foreign investor generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income or withholding tax on any gain realized in respect of any distributions of net capital gain (including net capital gain retained by the Fund but credited to shareholders) or upon the sale or other disposition of shares of the Fund. Different tax consequences may result if the foreign investor is engaged in a trade or business in the United States, or in the case of an individual, if the foreign investor is present in the United States for 183 days or more during a taxable year and certain other conditions are met.

Properly reported ordinary income dividends are generally exempt from U.S. federal withholding tax where they (i) are paid in respect of a RIC’s “qualified net interest income” (generally, the RIC’s U.S.-source interest income, other than certain contingent interest and interest from obligations of a corporation or partnership in which the RIC is at least a 10% shareholder, reduced by expenses that are allocable to such income) or (ii) are paid in respect of a RIC’s “qualified short term gains” (generally, the excess of the RIC’s net short term capital gain over the RIC’s net long term capital loss for such taxable year). Depending on its circumstances, the Fund may report all, some or none of its potentially eligible dividends as such qualified net interest income or as qualified short term gains, and/or treat such dividends, in whole or in part, as ineligible for this exemption from withholding. In order to qualify for this exemption from withholding, a foreign investor would need to comply with applicable certification requirements relating to its non-U.S. status (including, in general, furnishing an IRS Form W-8BEN or W-8BEN-E or substitute Form). In the case of shares held through an intermediary, the intermediary may withhold even if the Fund reports the payment as qualified net interest income or qualified short term gain. Foreign investors should contact their intermediaries with respect to the application of these rules to their accounts. There can be no assurance as to what portion of the Fund’s distributions would qualify for favorable treatment as qualified net interest income or qualified short term gains.

 

19


Withholding is generally required at a rate of 30% on dividends in respect of the Fund’s shares held by or through certain foreign financial institutions (including investment funds), unless such institution enters into an agreement with the Secretary of the Treasury to report, on an annual basis, information with respect to shares in, and accounts maintained by, the institution to the extent such shares or accounts are held by certain U.S. persons or by certain non-U.S. entities that are wholly or partially owned by U.S. persons and to withhold on certain payments. Accordingly, the entity through which the Fund’s shares are held will affect the determination of whether such withholding is required. Similarly, dividends in respect of the Fund’s shares held by an investor that is a non-financial non-U.S. entity will generally be subject to withholding at a rate of 30%, unless such entity either (i) certifies that such entity does not have any “substantial United States owners” or (ii) provides certain information regarding the entity’s “substantial United States owners,” which the Fund or other applicable withholding agent will in turn be required to provide to the Secretary of the Treasury. An intergovernmental agreement between the United States and an applicable foreign country, or future Treasury regulations or other guidance, may modify these requirements. Foreign investors are encouraged to consult with their tax advisers regarding the possible implications of these rules on their investment in the Fund’s shares.

Foreign investors should consult their tax advisers regarding the tax consequences of investing in the Fund’s shares.

The Fund may be required to withhold U.S. federal income tax on all taxable distributions and redemption proceeds payable to non-corporate shareholders who fail to provide the Fund (or its agent) with their correct taxpayer identification number or to make required certifications, or who have been notified by the IRS that they are subject to backup withholding. Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Any amounts withheld may be refunded or credited against such shareholder’s U.S. federal income tax liability, if any, provided that the required information is furnished to the IRS.

THE FOREGOING IS A GENERAL AND ABBREVIATED SUMMARY OF CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE CODE AND TREASURY REGULATIONS PRESENTLY IN EFFECT. FOR THE COMPLETE PROVISIONS, REFERENCE SHOULD BE MADE TO THE PERTINENT CODE SECTIONS AND THE TREASURY REGULATIONS PROMULGATED THEREUNDER. THE CODE AND THE TREASURY REGULATIONS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE BY LEGISLATIVE, JUDICIAL OR ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION, EITHER PROSPECTIVELY OR RETROACTIVELY. PERSONS CONSIDERING AN INVESTMENT IN OUR SHARES SHOULD CONSULT THEIR OWN TAX ADVISERS REGARDING THE PURCHASE, OWNERSHIP AND DISPOSITION OF SHARES OF THE FUND.

NET ASSET VALUE

The net asset value of the Fund’s shares is computed based on the market value of the securities it holds and is determined daily as of the close of the regular trading day on the NYSE American. For purposes of determining the Fund’s net asset value per share, portfolio securities listed or traded on a nationally recognized securities exchange or traded in the U.S. OTC market for which market quotations are readily available are valued at the last quoted sale price or a market’s official closing price as of the close of business on the day the securities are being valued. If there were no sales that day, the security is valued at the average of the closing bid and asked prices, or, if there were no asked prices quoted on that day, then the security is valued at the closing bid price on that day. If no bid or asked prices are quoted on such day, the security is valued at the most recently available price or if the Board so determines, by such other method as the Board shall determine in good faith to reflect its fair market value. Portfolio securities traded on more than one national securities exchange or market are valued according to the broadest and most representative market, as determined by the Investment Adviser.

Portfolio securities primarily traded on a foreign market are generally valued at the preceding closing values of such securities on the relevant market, but may be fair valued pursuant to procedures established by the Board if market conditions change significantly after the close of the foreign market but prior to the close of business on the day the securities are being valued. Debt instruments with remaining maturities of 60 days or less that are not credit impaired are valued at amortized cost, unless the Board determines such amount does not reflect the securities’ fair value, in which case these securities will be fair valued as determined by the Board. Debt instruments having a maturity greater than 60 days for which market quotations are readily available are valued at the average of the latest bid and asked prices. If there were no asked prices quoted on such day, the security is valued using the closing bid price. Futures contracts are valued at the closing settlement price of the exchange or board of trade on which the applicable contract is traded.

Options are valued using market quotations. When market quotations are not readily available, options are valued from broker quotes. In limited circumstances when neither market quotations nor broker quotes are readily available, options are valued using a Black Scholes model.

 

20


Securities and assets for which market quotations are not readily available are fair valued as determined by the Board. Fair valuation methodologies and procedures may include, but are not limited to: analysis and review of available financial and non-financial information about the company; comparisons to the valuation and changes in valuation of similar securities, including a comparison of foreign securities to the equivalent U.S. dollar value ADR securities at the close of the U.S. exchange; and evaluation of any other information that could be indicative of the value of the security.

The Fund obtains valuations on the basis of prices provided by a pricing service approved by the Board. All other investment assets, including restricted and not readily marketable securities, are valued in good faith at fair value under procedures established by and under the general supervision and responsibility of the Board.

In addition, whenever developments in one or more securities markets after the close of the principal markets for one or more portfolio securities and before the time as of which the Fund determines its net asset value would, if such developments had been reflected in such principal markets, likely have more than a minimal effect on the Fund’s net asset value per share, the Fund may fair value such portfolio securities based on available market information as of the time the Fund determines its net asset value.

NYSE American Closings. The holidays (as observed) on which the NYSE American is closed, and therefore days upon which shareholders will not be able to purchase or sell common shares currently are: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day, and on the preceding Friday or subsequent Monday when a holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, respectively.

BENEFICIAL OWNERS

As of August 2, 2021, based upon Schedule 13D/13G filings with the SEC, the following persons were known to the Fund to be beneficial owners of more than 5% of the Fund’s outstanding voting securities:

 

Name and Address of Beneficial

Owner(s)

       Title of Class        Amount of Shares and
    Nature of Ownership    
   Percent of
Class

Mario J. Gabelli and affiliates

One Corporate Center

Rye, NY 10580-1422

   Common    456,617 (beneficial) (1)    8.5%

Mario J. Gabelli and affiliates

One Corporate Center

Rye, NY 10580-1422

   Preferred    145,886 (beneficial)( 2)    11.3%

(1) Comprised of 389,449 Common Shares owned by GAMCO Investors, Inc. or its affiliates, 62,443 shares held directly by Mr. Gabelli, and 4,725 shares held in trust accounts.

(2) Comprised of 86,000 Series B Preferred Shares owned by GAMCO Investors, Inc. or its affiliates and 59,886 Series B Preferred Shares owned directly by Mr. Gabelli.

As of August 2, 2021, the Trustees and executive officers as a group beneficially owned less than 1% of the total common shares outstanding and less than 1% of the total preferred shares outstanding.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Book-Entry-Only Issuance

The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) will act as securities depository for the securities offered pursuant to the Prospectus. The information in this section concerning DTC and DTC’s book-entry system is based upon information obtained from DTC. The securities offered hereby initially will be issued only as fully-registered securities registered in the name of Cede & Co. (as nominee for DTC). One or more fully-registered global security certificates initially will be issued, representing in the aggregate the total number of securities, and deposited with DTC.

DTC is a limited-purpose trust company organized under the New York Banking Law, a “banking organization” within the meaning of the New York Banking Law, a member of the Federal Reserve System, a “clearing corporation” within the meaning of the New York Uniform Commercial Code and a “clearing agency” registered pursuant to the provisions of Section 17A of the

 

21


Exchange Act. DTC holds securities that its participants deposit with DTC. DTC also facilitates the settlement among participants of securities transactions, such as transfers and pledges, in deposited securities through electronic computerized book-entry changes in participants’ accounts, thereby eliminating the need for physical movement of securities certificates. Direct DTC participants include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and certain other organizations. Access to the DTC system is also available to others such as securities brokers and dealers, banks and trust companies that clear through or maintain a custodial relationship with a direct participant, either directly or indirectly through other entities.

Purchases of securities within the DTC system must be made by or through direct participants, which will receive a credit for the securities on DTC’s records. The ownership interest of each actual purchaser of a security, a beneficial owner, is in turn to be recorded on the direct or indirect participants’ records. Beneficial owners will not receive written confirmation from DTC of their purchases, but beneficial owners are expected to receive written confirmations providing details of the transactions, as well as periodic statements of their holdings, from the direct or indirect participants through which the beneficial owners purchased securities. Transfers of ownership interests in securities are to be accomplished by entries made on the books of participants acting on behalf of beneficial owners. Beneficial owners will not receive certificates representing their ownership interests in securities, except as provided herein.

DTC has no knowledge of the actual beneficial owners of the securities being offered pursuant to the Prospectus; DTC’s records reflect only the identity of the direct participants to whose accounts such securities are credited, which may or may not be the beneficial owners. The participants will remain responsible for keeping account of their holdings on behalf of their customers.

Conveyance of notices and other communications by DTC to direct participants, by direct participants to indirect participants, and by direct participants and indirect participants to beneficial owners will be governed by arrangements among them, subject to any statutory or regulatory requirements as may be in effect from time to time.

Payments on the securities will be made to DTC. DTC’s practice is to credit direct participants’ accounts on the relevant payment date in accordance with their respective holdings shown on DTC’s records unless DTC has reason to believe that it will not receive payments on such payment date. Payments by participants to beneficial owners will be governed by standing instructions and customary practices and will be the responsibility of such participant and not of DTC or the Fund, subject to any statutory or regulatory requirements as may be in effect from time to time. Payment of distributions to DTC is the responsibility of the Fund, disbursement of such payments to direct participants is the responsibility of DTC, and disbursement of such payments to the beneficial owners is the responsibility of direct and indirect participants. Furthermore each beneficial owner must rely on the procedures of DTC to exercise any rights under the securities.

DTC may discontinue providing its services as securities depository with respect to the securities at any time by giving reasonable notice to the Fund. Under such circumstances, in the event that a successor securities depository is not obtained, certificates representing the securities will be printed and delivered.

Proxy Voting Procedures

The Fund has adopted the proxy voting procedures of the Investment Adviser and has directed the Investment Adviser to vote all proxies relating to the Fund’s voting securities in accordance with such procedures. The proxy voting procedures are incorporated herein by reference to the Fund’s most recently filed Form N-CSR. See “Incorporation By Reference” in the Prospectus. They are also on file with the SEC and can be reviewed and copied at the SEC’s Public Reference Room in Washington, D.C., and information on the operation of the Public Reference Room may be obtained by calling the SEC at (202) 551-8090. The proxy voting procedures are also available on the EDGAR Database on the SEC’s internet site (http://www.sec.gov) and copies of the proxy voting procedures may be obtained, after paying a duplicating fee, by electronic request at the following E-mail address: publicinfo@sec.gov, or by writing the SEC’s Public Reference Section, Washington, D.C. 20549-0102. Information regarding how the Registrant voted proxies relating to portfolio securities during the most recent 12-month period ended June 30 will be available (i) without charge, upon request, by calling 800-422-3554, or on the Registrant’s website at http://www.gabelli.com, and (ii) on the Commission’s website at http://www.sec.gov.

Code of Ethics

The Fund and the Investment Adviser have adopted a Code of Ethics. This Code of Ethics sets forth restrictions on the trading activities of trustees/directors, officers and employees of the Fund, the Investment Adviser and their affiliates. For example, such persons may not purchase any security for which the Fund has a purchase or sale order pending, or for which such trade is under consideration. In addition, those trustees/directors, officers and employees that are principally involved in investment decisions for client accounts are prohibited from purchasing or selling for their own account for a period of seven days a security that has been traded for a client’s account, unless such trade is executed on more favorable terms for the client’s account and it is determined that

 

22


such trade will not adversely affect the client’s account. Short term trading by such trustee/directors, officers and employees for their own accounts in securities held by a Fund client’s account is also restricted. The above examples are subject to certain exceptions and they do not represent all of the trading restrictions and policies set forth by the Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics is on file with the SEC and can be reviewed and copied at the SEC’s Public Reference Room in Washington, D.C., and information on the operation of the Public Reference Room may be obtained by calling the SEC at (202) 551-8090. The Code of Ethics is also available on the EDGAR Database on the SEC’s internet site at http://www.sec.gov, and copies of the Code of Ethics may be obtained, after paying a duplicating fee, by electronic request at the following e-mail address: publicinfo@sec.gov, or by writing the SEC’s Public Reference Section, Washington, D.C. 20549-0102.

 

23


Joint Code of Ethics for Chief Executive and Senior Financial Officers

The Fund and the Investment Adviser have adopted a Joint Code of Ethics that serves as a code of conduct. The Joint Code of Ethics sets forth policies to guide the chief executive and senior financial officers in the performance of their duties. The Joint Code of Ethics is on file with the SEC and can be reviewed and copied at the SEC’s Public Reference Room in Washington, D.C., and information on the operation of the Public Reference Room may be obtained by calling the SEC at (202) 551-8090. The Joint Code of Ethics is also available on the EDGAR Database on the SEC’s internet site (http://www.sec.gov), and copies of the Joint Code of Ethics may be obtained, after paying a duplicating fee, by electronic request at the following E-mail address: publicinfo@sec.gov, or by writing the SEC’s Public Reference Section, Washington, D.C. 20549-0102.

Incorporation by Reference

As noted in the Prospectus, we are allowed to “incorporate by reference” the information that we file with the SEC, which means that we can disclose important information to you by referring you to those documents. The information incorporated by reference is considered to be part of the Prospectus, the SAI or the Prospectus Supplement, as applicable, and later information that we file with the SEC will automatically update and supersede this information.

 

24


PART C

OTHER INFORMATION

 

Item 25.

Financial Statements and Exhibits

 

1.

Financial Statements

Part A

The audited financial statements, which include the Financial Highlights for years ended 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016, included in the annual report to the Fund’s shareholders for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020 (the “2020 Annual Report”), together with the report of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP thereon, are incorporated by reference to the 2020 Annual Report in Part A.

.

The Financial Highlights for year ended 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2011, included in the annual report to the Fund’s shareholders for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015 (the “2015 Annual Report”), are incorporated by reference to the 2015 Annual Report in Part A.

Part B

None

 

2.

Exhibits

 

  (a)

(i) Second Amended and Restated Agreement and Declaration of Trust of Registrant (1)

(ii) Statement of Preferences for the Series A Cumulative Puttable and Callable Preferred Shares (2)

(iii) Statement of Preferences for the Series B Cumulative Puttable and Callable Preferred Shares (3)

(iv) Statement of Preferences for                      Cumulative Preferred Shares *

 

  (b)

Amended and Restated By-Laws of Registrant (1)

 

  (c)

Not applicable

 

  (d)

(i) Form of Subscription Certificate for Common Shares *

(ii) Form of Subscription Certificate for [    ]% Series                 Cumulative Preferred Shares *

(iii) Form of Subscription Certificate for Common Shares and [    ]% Series B Cumulative Puttable and Callable Preferred Shares  *

(iv) Form of Indenture (4)

(v) Form T-1 Statement of Eligibility of Trustee with respect to the Form of Indenture *

 

  (e)

Automatic Dividend Reinvestment and Voluntary Cash Purchase Plans of Registrant – included in Prospectus

 

  (f)

Not applicable

 

  (g)

Form of Investment Advisory Agreement between Registrant and Gabelli Funds, LLC (5)

 

  (h)

(i) Form of Underwriting Agreement *

(ii) Form of Dealer Manager Agreement *

 

  (i)

Not applicable

 

  (j)

Form of Custodian Contract (5)

 

  (k)

(i) Transfer Agency and Service Agreement among Registrant, Computershare Trust Company, N.A. and Computershare, Inc. (6)

 

  (a)

Amendment No. 1 to Transfer Agency and Service Agreement among Registrant, Computershare Trust Company, N.A. and Computershare Inc. (6)

 

  (b)

Amendment No. 2 to Transfer Agency and Service Agreement among Registrant, Computershare Trust Company, N.A. and Computershare Inc. (6)


  (c)

Amendment No. 3 to Transfer Agency and Service Agreement among Registrant, Computershare Trust Company, N.A. and Computershare Inc. (6)

 

  (d)

Amendment No. 4 to Transfer Agency and Service Agreement among Registrant, Computershare Trust Company, N.A. and Computershare Inc. (6)

 

  (e)

Amendment No. 5 to Transfer Agency and Service Agreement among Registrant, Computershare Trust Company, N.A. and Computershare Inc. (6)

 

  (f)

Amendment No. 6 to Transfer Agency and Service Agreement among Registrant, Computershare Trust Company, N.A. and Computershare Inc. (6)

 

  (g)

Amendment No. 7 to Transfer Agency and Service Agreement among Registrant, Computershare Trust Company, N.A. and Computershare Inc. (6)

 

  (h)

Amendment No. 8 to Transfer Agency and Service Agreement among Registrant, Computershare Trust Company, N.A. and Computershare Inc. (6)

 

  (i)

Amendment No. 9 to Transfer Agency and Service Agreement among Registrant, Computershare Trust Company, N.A. and Computershare Inc. (6)

 

  (j)

Amendment No. 10 to Transfer Agency and Service Agreement among Registrant, Computershare Trust Company, N.A. and Computershare Inc. (6)

 

  (k)

Amendment No. 11 to Transfer Agency and Service Agreement among Registrant, Computershare Trust Company, N.A. and Computershare Inc. (6)

 

  (l)

Amendment No. 12 to Transfer Agency and Service Agreement among Registrant, Computershare Trust Company, N.A. and Computershare Inc. (7)

 

  (m)

Amendment No. 13 to Transfer Agency and Service Agreement among Registrant, Computershare Trust Company, N.A. and Computershare Inc. (7)

 

  (n)

Amendment No. 14 to Transfer Agency and Service Agreement among Registrant, Computershare Trust Company, N.A. and Computershare Inc. (7)

 

  (o)

Amendment No. 15 to Transfer Agency and Service Agreement among Registrant, Computershare Trust Company, N.A. and Computershare Inc. (7)

 

  (p)

Amendment No. 16 to Transfer Agency and Service Agreement among Registrant, Computershare Trust Company, N.A. and Computershare Inc. (7)

 

  (q)

Amendment No. 17 to Transfer Agency and Service Agreement among Registrant, Computershare Trust Company, N.A. and Computershare Inc. (8)

(iii) Fee and Service Schedule for Stock Transfer Services between Registrant, Computershare Trust Company, N.A. and Computershare, Inc. (5)

(iv) Form of Rights Agent Agreement *

(v) Form of Information Agent Agreement *

 

  (l)

Opinion and Consent of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher  & Flom LLP with respect to legality **

 

  (m)

Not applicable

 

  (n)

Consent of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm **

 

  (o)

Not applicable

 

  (p)

Form of Initial Subscription Agreement (3)

 

  (q)

Not applicable

 

  (r)

Code of Ethics of the Fund and the Investment Adviser (4)

 

  (s)

(i) Powers of Attorney of the Registrant’s Trustees (4)

(ii) Form of Prospectus Supplement Relating to Common Shares (4)

(iii) Form of Prospectus Supplement Relating to Preferred Shares (4)

(iv) Form of Prospectus Supplement Relating to Notes (4)

(v) Form of Prospectus Supplement Relating to Subscription Rights to Purchase Common Shares (4)


(vi) Form of Prospectus Supplement Relating to Subscription Rights to Purchase Preferred Shares  (4)

(vii) Form of Prospectus Supplement Relating to Subscription Rights to Purchase Common and Preferred Shares (4)

 

 

(1)

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s pre-effective Amendment No. 1 to the Registration Statement on Form N-2, File Nos. 333-175701 and 811-21529, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on September 19, 2011.

(2)

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s post-effective Amendment No. 7 to the Registration Statement on Form N-2, File Nos. 333-175701 and 811-21529, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 7, 2013.

(3)

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s post-effective Amendment No. 3 to the Registration Statement on Form N-2, File Nos. 333- 223652 and 811-21529, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 9, 2018.

(4)

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-2, File Nos. 333-256447 and 811-21529, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 28, 2021.

(5)

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s pre-effective Amendment No. 2 to the Registration Statement on Form N-2, File Nos. 333-113621 and 811-21529, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 25, 2004.

(6)

Incorporated by reference to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form N-2, File Nos. 333-223652 and 811-21529, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 14, 2018.

(7)

Incorporated by reference to The Gabelli Multimedia Trust Inc.’s post-effective amendment No. 4 to the Registration Statement on Form N-2, File No. 333-218771 and 811-08476, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on December 20, 2019.

(8)

Incorporated by reference to The Gabelli Dividend & Income Trust’s Tender Offer Statement on Schedule TO, File No. 005- 84324, filed on March 17, 2021.

*

To be filed by amendment.

**

Filed herewith.

 

Item 26.

Marketing Arrangements

The information contained under the heading “Plan of Distribution” in the Prospectus is incorporated by reference, and any information concerning any underwriters will be contained in the accompanying Prospectus Supplement, if any.

 

Item 27.

Other Expenses of Issuance and Distribution

The following table sets forth the estimated expenses to be incurred in connection with the offering described in this Registration Statement:

 

SEC registration fees

   $        13,638

NYSE American listing fee

   $        11,400

Rating Agency fees

   $        50,000

Printing/engraving expenses

   $        231,000

Auditing fees and expenses

   $        47,500

Legal fees and expenses

   $        688,000

Miscellaneous

   $        268,462
  

 

Total

   $        1,310,000

 

Item 28.

Persons Controlled by or Under Common Control with Registrant

None.


Item 29.

Number of Holders of Securities as of August 2, 2021

 

Title of Class

   Number of
Record Holders

Common Shares of Beneficial Interest

   14

Series A Cumulative Puttable and Callable Preferred Shares

   3

Series B Cumulative Puttable and Callable Preferred Shares

   2

 

Item 30.

Indemnification

Article IV of the Registrant’s Second Amended and Restated Agreement and Declaration of Trust provides as follows:

4.1 No Personal Liability of Shareholders, Trustees, etc. No Shareholder of the Trust shall be subject in such capacity to any personal liability whatsoever to any Person in connection with Trust Property or the acts, obligations or affairs of the Trust. Shareholders shall have the same limitation of personal liability as is extended to stockholders of a private corporation for profit incorporated under the general corporation law of the State of Delaware. No Trustee or officer of the Trust shall be subject in such capacity to any personal liability whatsoever to any Person, other than the Trust or its Shareholders, in connection with Trust Property or the affairs of the Trust, save only liability to the Trust or its Shareholders arising from bad faith, willful misfeasance, gross negligence or reckless disregard for his duty to such Person; and, subject to the foregoing exception, all such Persons shall look solely to the Trust Property for satisfaction of claims of any nature arising in connection with the affairs of the Trust. If any Shareholder, Trustee or officer, as such, of the Trust, is made a party to any suit or proceeding to enforce any such liability, subject to the foregoing exception, he shall not, on account thereof, be held to any personal liability.

4.2 Mandatory Indemnification . (a) The Trust shall indemnify the Trustees and officers of the Trust (each such person being an “indemnitee”) against any liabilities and expenses, including amounts paid in satisfaction of judgments, in compromise or as fines and penalties, and reasonable counsel fees reasonably incurred by such indemnitee in connection with the defense or disposition of any action, suit or other proceeding, whether civil or criminal, before any court or administrative or investigative body in which he may be or may have been involved as a party or otherwise (other than, except as authorized by the Trustees, as the plaintiff or complainant) or with which he may be or may have been threatened, while acting in any capacity set forth above in this Section 4.2 by reason of his having acted in any such capacity, except with respect to any matter as to which he shall not have acted in good faith in the reasonable belief that his action was in the best interest of the Trust or, in the case of any criminal proceeding, as to which he shall have had reasonable cause to believe that the conduct was unlawful, provided, however, that no indemnitee shall be indemnified hereunder against any liability to any person or any expense of such indemnitee arising by reason of (i) willful misfeasance, (ii) bad faith, (iii) gross negligence (negligence in the case of Affiliated Indemnitees), or (iv) reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of his position (the conduct referred to in such clauses (i) through (iv) being sometimes referred to herein as “disabling conduct”). Notwithstanding the foregoing, with respect to any action, suit or other proceeding voluntarily prosecuted by any indemnitee as plaintiff, indemnification shall be mandatory only if the prosecution of such action, suit or other proceeding by such indemnitee was authorized by a majority of the Trustees.

(b) Notwithstanding the foregoing, no indemnification shall be made hereunder unless there has been a determination (1) by a final decision on the merits by a court or other body of competent jurisdiction before whom the issue of entitlement to indemnification hereunder was brought that such indemnitee is entitled to indemnification hereunder or, (2) in the absence of such a decision, by (i) a majority vote of a quorum of those Trustees who are neither Interested Persons of the Trust nor parties to the proceeding (“Disinterested Non-Party Trustees”), that the indemnitee is entitled to indemnification hereunder, or (ii) if such quorum is not obtainable or even if obtainable, if such majority so directs, independent legal counsel in a written opinion conclude that the indemnitee should be entitled to indemnification hereunder. All determinations to make advance payments in connection with the expense of defending any proceeding shall be authorized and made in accordance with the immediately succeeding paragraph (c) below.

(c) The Trust shall make advance payments in connection with the expenses of defending any action with respect to which indemnification might be sought hereunder if the Trust receives a written affirmation by the indemnitee of the indemnitee’s good faith belief that the standards of conduct necessary for indemnification have been met and a written undertaking to reimburse the Trust unless it is subsequently determined that he is entitled to such indemnification and if a majority of the Trustees determine that the applicable standards of conduct necessary for indemnification appear to have been met. In addition, at least one of the following conditions must be met: (1) the indemnitee shall provide adequate security for his undertaking, (2) the Trust shall be insured against losses arising by reason of any lawful advances, or (3) a majority of a quorum of the Disinterested Non-Party Trustees, or if a majority vote of such quorum so direct, independent legal counsel in a written opinion, shall conclude, based on a review of readily available facts (as opposed to a full trial-type inquiry), that there is substantial reason to believe that the indemnitee ultimately will be found entitled to indemnification.


(d) The rights accruing to any indemnitee under these provisions shall not exclude any other right to which he may be lawfully entitled.

(e) Notwithstanding the foregoing, subject to any limitations provided by the 1940 Act and this Declaration, the Trust shall have the power and authority to indemnify Persons providing services to the Trust to the full extent provided by law as if the Trust were a corporation organized under the Delaware General Corporation Law provided that such indemnification has been approved by a majority of the Trustees.

4.3 No Duty of Investigation; Notice in Trust Instruments, etc. No purchaser, lender, transfer agent or other person dealing with the Trustees or with any officer, employee or agent of the Trust shall be bound to make any inquiry concerning the validity of any transaction purporting to be made by the Trustees or by said officer, employee or agent or be liable for the application of money or property paid, loaned, or delivered to or on the order of the Trustees or of said officer, employee or agent. Every obligation, contract, undertaking, instrument, certificate, Share, other security of the Trust, and every other act or thing whatsoever executed in connection with the Trust shall be conclusively taken to have been executed or done by the executors thereof only in their capacity as Trustees under this Declaration or in their capacity as officers, employees or agents of the Trust. The Trustees may maintain insurance for the protection of the Trust Property, its Shareholders, Trustees, officers, employees and agents in such amount as the Trustees shall deem adequate to cover possible liability, and such other insurance as the Trustees in their sole judgment shall deem advisable or is required by the 1940 Act.

4.4 Reliance on Experts, etc. Each Trustee and officer or employee of the Trust shall, in the performance of its duties, be fully and completely justified and protected with regard to any act or any failure to act resulting from reliance in good faith upon the books of account or other records of the Trust, upon an opinion of counsel, or upon reports made to the Trust by any of the Trust’s officers or employees or by any advisor, administrator, manager, distributor, selected dealer, accountant, appraiser or other expert or consultant selected with reasonable care by the Trustees, officers or employees of the Trust, regardless of whether such counsel or other person may also be a Trustee.

Section 9 of the Registrant’s Investment Advisory Agreement provides as follows:

9. Indemnity

(a) The Fund hereby agrees to indemnify the Adviser and each of the Adviser’s trustees, officers, employees, and agents (including any individual who serves at the Adviser’s request as director, officer, partner, trustee or the like of another corporation) and controlling persons (each such person being an “indemnitee”) against any liabilities and expenses, including amounts paid in satisfaction of judgments, in compromise or as fines and penalties, and counsel fees (all as provided in accordance with applicable corporate law) reasonably incurred by such indemnitee in connection with the defense or disposition of any action, suit or other proceeding, whether civil or criminal, before any court or administrative or investigative body in which he may be or may have been involved as a party or otherwise or with which he may be or may have been threatened, while acting in any capacity set forth above in this paragraph or thereafter by reason of his having acted in any such capacity, except with respect to any matter as to which he shall have been adjudicated not to have acted in good faith in the reasonable belief that his action was in the best interest of the Fund and furthermore, in the case of any criminal proceeding, so long as he had no reasonable cause to believe that the conduct was unlawful, provided, however, that (1) no indemnitee shall be indemnified hereunder against any liability to the Fund or its shareholders or any expense of such indemnitee arising by reason of (i) willful misfeasance, (ii) bad faith, (iii) gross negligence, (iv) reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of his position (the conduct referred to in such clauses (i) through (v) being sometimes referred to herein as “disabling conduct”), (2) as to any matter disposed of by settlement or a compromise payment by such indemnitee, pursuant to a consent decree or otherwise, no indemnification either for said payment or for any other expenses shall be provided unless there has been a determination that such settlement or compromise is in the best interests of the Fund and that such indemnitee appears to have acted in good faith in the reasonable belief that his action was in the best interest of the Fund and did not involve disabling conduct by such indemnitee and (3) with respect to any action, suit or other proceeding voluntarily prosecuted by any indemnitee as plaintiff, indemnification shall be mandatory only if the prosecution of such action, suit or other proceeding by such indemnitee was authorized by a majority of the full Board of the Fund. Notwithstanding the foregoing the Fund shall not be obligated to provide any such indemnification to the extent such provision would waive any right which the Fund cannot lawfully waive.

(b) The Fund shall make advance payments in connection with the expenses of defending any action with respect to which indemnification might be sought hereunder if the Fund receives a written affirmation of the indemnitee’s good faith belief that the standard of conduct necessary for indemnification has been met and a written undertaking to reimburse the Fund unless it is subsequently determined that he is entitled to such indemnification and if the trustees of the Fund determine that the facts then known to them would not preclude indemnification. In addition, at least one of the following conditions must be met: (A) the indemnitee shall provide a security for his undertaking, (B) the Fund shall be insured against losses arising by reason of any lawful advances, or (C) a majority of a quorum of trustees of the Fund who are neither “interested persons” of the Fund (as defined in Section 2(a)(19) of the


Act) nor parties to the proceeding (“Disinterested Non-Party Trustees”) or an independent legal counsel in a written opinion, shall determine, based on a review of readily available facts (as opposed to a full trial-type inquiry), that there is reason to believe that the indemnitee ultimately will be found entitled to indemnification.

(c) All determinations with respect to indemnification hereunder shall be made (1) by a final decision on the merits by a court or other body before whom the proceeding was brought that such indemnitee is not liable by reason of disabling conduct or, (2) in the absence of such a decision, by (i) a majority vote of a quorum of the Disinterested Non-party Trustees of the Fund, or (ii) if such a quorum is not obtainable or even, if obtainable, if a majority vote of such quorum so directs, independent legal counsel in a written opinion.

The rights accruing to any indemnitee under these provisions shall not exclude any other right to which he may be lawfully entitled.

Other

Underwriter indemnification provisions to be filed by amendment.

Additionally, the Registrant and the other funds in the Gabelli/GAMCO Fund Complex jointly maintain, at their own expense, E&O/D&O insurance policies for the benefit of its directors/trustees, officers and certain affiliated persons. The Registrant pays a pro rata portion of the premium on such insurance policies.

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

 

Item 31.

Business and Other Connections of Investment Adviser

The Investment Adviser, a limited liability company organized under the laws of the State of New York, acts as investment adviser to the Registrant. The Registrant is fulfilling the requirement of this Item 31 to provide a list of the officers and directors of the Investment Adviser, together with information as to any other business, profession, vocation or employment of a substantial nature engaged in by the Investment Adviser or those officers and directors during the past two years, by incorporating by reference the information contained in the Form ADV of the Investment Adviser filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (Securities and Exchange Commission File No. 801-37706).

 

Item 32.

Location of Accounts and Records

The accounts and records of the Registrant are maintained in part at the office of the Investment Adviser at One Corporate Center, Rye, New York 10580-1422, in part at the offices of the Fund’s custodian, State Street Bank and Trust Company, at One Lincoln Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, and in part at the offices of the Fund’s shareholder services and transfer agent, Computershare Trust Company, N.A. at 150 Royall Street, Canton, Massachusetts 02021.

 

Item 33.

Management Services

Not applicable.

 

Item 34.

Undertakings

 

  1.

Not applicable.

 

  2.

Not applicable.

 

  3.

Registrant undertakes:

 

  a.

to file, during a period in which offers or sales are being made, a post-effective amendment to this Registration Statement:


  (1)

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

 

  (2)

to reflect in the prospectus any facts or events 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.

 

  (3)

to include any material information with respect to the plan of distribution not previously disclosed in the Registration Statement or any material change to such information in the Registration Statement.

Provided, however, that paragraphs a(1), a(2), and a(3) of this section do not apply to the extent 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 the Registrant pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act that are incorporated by reference into the registration statement, or is contained in a form of prospectus filed pursuant to Rule 424(b) that is part of the registration statement.

 

  b.

that for the purpose of determining any liability under the Securities Act, each 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;

 

  c.

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;

 

  d.

that, for the purpose of determining liability under the Securities Act to any purchaser:

 

  (1)

if the Registrant is subject to Rule 430B:

 

  (A)

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

 

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

 

  (2)

if the Registrant is subject to Rule 430C: each prospectus filed pursuant to Rule 424(b) under the Securities Act 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.

 

  e.

that for the purpose of determining liability of the Registrant under the Securities Act to any purchaser in the initial distribution of securities:


The undersigned Registrant undertakes that in a primary offering of securities of the undersigned Registrant pursuant to this registration statement, regardless of the underwriting method used to sell the securities to the purchaser, if the securities are offered or sold to such purchaser by means of any of the following communications, the undersigned Registrant will be a seller to the purchaser and will be considered to offer or sell such securities to the purchaser:

 

  (1)

any preliminary prospectus or prospectus of the undersigned Registrant relating to the offering required to be filed pursuant to Rule 424 under the Securities Act;

 

  (2)

free writing prospectus relating to the offering prepared by or on behalf of the undersigned Registrant or used or referred to by the undersigned Registrant;

 

  (3)

the portion of any other free writing prospectus or advertisement pursuant to Rule 482 under the Securities Act relating to the offering containing material information about the undersigned Registrant or its securities provided by or on behalf of the undersigned Registrant; and

 

  (4)

any other communication that is an offer in the offering made by the undersigned Registrant to the purchaser.

 

  4.

Not Applicable.

 

  5.

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 Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that is incorporated by reference into 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.

 

  6.

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

 

  7.

Registrant undertakes to send by first class mail or other means designed to ensure equally prompt delivery, within two business days of receipt of a written or oral request, any prospectus or Statement of Additional Information.

 

  8.

Registrant undertakes to only offer rights to purchase common and preferred shares together after a post-effective amendment to the Registration Statement relating to such rights has been declared effective.


SIGNATURES

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Registrant has duly caused this registration statement to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized, in the City of Rye, and State of New York, on the 11th day of August, 2021.

 

The Gabelli Global Utility & Income Trust
By:      

/s/ Bruce N. Alpert

 

Bruce N. Alpert

President

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, this Registration Statement has been signed below by the following persons in the capacities indicated and on the 11th day of August, 2021.

 

Name

  

Title

*

Calgary Avansino

   Trustee

*

James P. Conn

   Trustee

*

Vincent D. Enright

   Trustee

*

Leslie F. Foley

   Trustee

*

Michael J. Melarkey

   Trustee

*

Kuni Nakamura

   Trustee

*

Salvatore M. Salibello

   Trustee

*

Salvatore J. Zizza

   Trustee

/s/ Bruce N. Alpert

Bruce N. Alpert

   President (Principal Executive Officer)

/s/ John C. Ball

John C. Ball

   Treasurer (Principal Financial Officer and Accounting Officer)

/s/ Bruce N. Alpert

Bruce N. Alpert

   Attorney-in-Fact

 

 

*

Pursuant to a Power of Attorney


EXHIBIT INDEX

 

EXHIBIT

      NUMBER      

 

DESCRIPTION OF EXHIBIT

Ex. (l)

  Opinion and Consent of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP with respect to legality

Ex. (n)

  Consent of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
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