Title of Each Class of Securities
to be Registered
Amount to be
Registered
Proposed Maximum
Offering Price per
Share(1)
Proposed Maximum
Aggregate Offering
Price
Amount of
Registration Fee
Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share
10,000,000 $ 9.91 $ 99,100,000 $ 1,066.06(2)
(1)
Estimated solely for purposes of computing the registration fee on the basis of the average of the high and low prices for Arbor Realty Trust, Inc.’s (the “Company”) shares of common stock, par value $0.01 per share (“Common Stock”) as reported on the New York Stock Exchange on July 31, 2020, in accordance with Rule 457(c) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”).
(2)
Calculated in accordance with Rule 457(c) and Rule 457(r) under the Securities Act. In connection with its Registration Statement on Form S-3 (File No. 333-225602) (the “Prior Registration Statement”), the Company owed a filing fee of $59,312.15 to register the offering of $500,000,000 aggregate principal of securities, of which $12,430.35 was applied from registration fees previously paid for unsold securities under the Company’s previous Registration Statement No. 333-212554 initially filed on July 15, 2016 and $46,881.80 was paid therewith. On August 7, 2020, the Company filed a Registration Statement on Form S-3 (File No. 333-242377) and deferred payment of the entire registration fee, except for $11,797.12 that the Company was entitled to offset pursuant to Rule 457(p) for fees paid with respect to unsold securities with a maximum aggregate offering price of $99,449,453. As a result, a registration fee of $1,702.08 is being paid in connection with this prospectus supplement.

 FILED PURSUANT TO RULE 424(b)(5)
 REGISTRATION NO. 333-242377
PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT
(TO PROSPECTUS DATED August 7, 2020)
10,000,000 Shares
[MISSING IMAGE: LG_ARBORREALTY-PN.JPG]
Common Stock
We have entered into an amendment to our sales agreement with JMP Securities LLC, dated February 13, 2014, as amended, relating to shares of our common stock, $0.01 par value per share, offered by this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. In accordance with the terms of this amendment, we may offer and sell up to 10,000,000 shares of our common stock from time to time through JMP Securities LLC, as our sales agent. The sales agent is not required to sell any specific number or dollar amount of shares, but will use its commercially reasonable efforts to sell the shares offered by this prospectus supplement. Sales of shares of our common stock, if any, under this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus may be made in negotiated transactions or transactions that are deemed to be “at the market” offerings as defined in Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, including sales made directly on the New York Stock Exchange, the existing trading market for our common stock, sales made to or through a market maker other than on an exchange or otherwise, in negotiated transactions at market prices prevailing at the time of sale or at prices related to such prevailing market prices, and/or any other method permitted by law. JMP Securities LLC will receive from us a commission of up to 2.0% based on the gross sales price per share for any shares sold through it as agent under the amended sales agreement.
Under the terms of the amended agreement, we also may sell shares to JMP Securities LLC as principal for its own account at a price agreed upon at the time of sale.
Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “ABR.” The last reported sale price of our common stock on the New York Stock Exchange on August 6, 2020, was $10.68 per share. In order to assist us in complying with federal tax laws applicable to real estate investment trusts, or REITs, our charter generally prohibits any person from beneficially owning in excess of 5.0% of our common stock or stock of all classes or series outstanding at any time, unless our board of directors grants the person a waiver from this charter provision.
Investing in these shares of our common stock involves risks. See “Risk Factors” beginning on page S-2 of the accompanying prospectus and in the documents incorporated by reference herein, including our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or passed upon the adequacy or accuracy of this prospectus supplement or the prospectus which accompanies this prospectus supplement. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
JMP Securities
This Prospectus Supplement is dated August 7, 2020.

 
You should rely on the information contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. We have not, and JMP Securities LLC has not, authorized any other person to provide you with different information. We are not, and JMP Securities LLC is not, making an offer to sell these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted. The information in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus is current as of the date such information is presented. Our business, financial condition, result of operations and prospects may have changed since such dates.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Prospectus Supplement
Page
S-1
S-2
S-4
S-5
S-6
S-6
Prospectus
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S-i

 
ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT
This document is in two parts. The first part is this prospectus supplement, which describes the specific terms of this offering of shares, and also adds to and updates information contained in the accompanying prospectus. The second part, the accompanying prospectus, gives more general information and disclosure, some of which may not apply to this offering of shares. When we refer to the prospectus, we are referring to both parts of this document combined together with the additional information described under the heading “Where You Can Find More Information.”
If there is any inconsistency between information in or incorporated by reference into the accompanying prospectus and information in or incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement, you should rely only on the information contained in or incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement. This prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus and the documents incorporated into each by reference include important information about us, the shares being offered and other information you should know before investing. You should read this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus together with the additional information described under the heading “Where You Can Find More Information” before investing in our common stock.
You should rely only on the information contained in or incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. We have not, and the sales agent has not, authorized any other person to provide you with different information. If anyone provides you with different or inconsistent information, you should not rely on it. We are not, and the sales agent is not, making an offer to sell these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale thereof is not permitted. You should assume that the information appearing in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus and the documents incorporated into each by reference is accurate only as of their respective dates. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since those dates.
When used in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, the terms “Arbor,” the “Company,” “we,” “our” and “us” refer to Arbor Realty Trust, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries, unless otherwise specified or the context otherwise requires.
 
S-1

 
RISK FACTORS
Investment in our common stock involves risk. You should consider carefully the specific risks described below and under the caption “Risk Factors” in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K (together with any material changes thereto contained in subsequent filings with the SEC) as well as the other information contained or incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus, before making an investment decision. Each of the risks described could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects, and could result in a complete loss of your investment. For more information, see “Where You Can Find More Information.”
Risks Relating to Our Common Stock
The price of our common stock may be volatile.
The trading price of our common stock may be highly volatile and could be subject to fluctuations in response to a number of factors beyond our control. Some of these factors are:

the general reputation of REITs and the attractiveness of our equity securities in comparison to other equity securities, including securities issued by other real estate-based companies;

our financial performance; and

general stock and bond market conditions.
The market value of our stock is based primarily upon the market’s perception of our growth potential and our current and potential future earnings and dividends. Consequently, our stock may trade at prices that are higher or lower than our book value per share of stock. If our future earnings or dividends are less than expected, it is likely that the market price of our stock will diminish.
Future sales of common stock by our existing stockholders may cause our stock price to fall.
The market price of our common stock could decline as a result of sales by our existing and future stockholders, or the perception that such sales could occur, which might also make it more difficult for us to sell equity securities at a time and price that we deem appropriate.
Our share price could decline if a large number of shares of our common stock or equity-related securities are sold in the future.
Sales of a substantial number of shares of our common stock could depress the market price of our common stock and impair our ability to raise capital in the future through the sale of additional equity securities. Any such future sales or issuances could dilute the ownership interests of stockholders, and we cannot predict the effect that future sales or issuances of our common stock or other equity-related securities would have on the market price of our common stock nor can we predict our future needs to fund our operations or balance sheet with future equity issuances.
Future offerings of debt, which would be senior to our common stock upon liquidation, and/or preferred equity securities, which may be senior to our common stock for purposes of dividend distributions or upon liquidation, may adversely affect the market price of our common stock.
In the future, we may attempt to increase our capital resources by making offerings of debt or preferred equity securities, including senior or subordinated notes, trust preferred securities and preferred stock, and entering into new loan agreements. Upon liquidation, holders of our debt securities and shares of preferred stock and lenders with respect to other borrowings will receive distributions of our available assets prior to the holders of our common stock. Additional equity and equity-linked offerings may dilute the holdings of our existing stockholders or reduce the market price of our common stock, or both. Holders of our common stock are not entitled to preemptive rights or other protections against dilution. Holders of our 8.25% Series A Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, 7.75% Series B Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, 8.50% Series C Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock and Special Voting Preferred Stock have a preference on liquidating distributions and/or a preference on dividend payments that could limit our
 
S-2

 
ability to pay a dividend or make another distribution to the holders of our common stock. Because our decision to issue securities in any future offering and to enter into new loan agreements will depend on market conditions and other factors, many of which are beyond our control, we cannot predict or estimate the amount, timing or nature of our future offerings or borrowings. Thus, our stockholders bear the risk of our future offerings or loan arrangements reducing the market price of our common stock, reducing our assets available to them upon our liquidation and diluting their stock holdings in us.
 
S-3

 
USE OF PROCEEDS
We intend to use the net proceeds from the sale of shares of our common stock to or through the sales agent to make investments relating to our business and for general corporate purposes.
 
S-4

 
PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION
We have entered into an amendment, dated August 7, 2020, to our sales agreement, dated February 13, 2014, as amended, with JMP Securities LLC, under which amendment we may issue and sell up to 10,000,000 shares of our common stock from time to time through JMP Securities LLC, as our sales agent. Sales of shares of our common stock, if any, under this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus may be made in negotiated transactions or transactions that are deemed to be “at the market offerings” as defined in Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, including sales made directly on the New York Stock Exchange, the existing trading market for our common stock, sales made to or through a market maker other than on an exchange or otherwise, in negotiated transactions at market prices prevailing at the time of sale or at prices related to such prevailing market prices, and/or any other method permitted by law. JMP Securities LLC may not sell the shares of common stock in block transactions or distributions without our prior written consent.
JMP Securities LLC, as agent, will use its commercially reasonable efforts to solicit offers to purchase the shares of common stock on a daily basis or as otherwise agreed upon by us and JMP Securities LLC. We will designate the maximum amount of shares of common stock to be sold through JMP Securities LLC on a daily basis or otherwise as JMP Securities LLC and we agree. Subject to the terms and conditions of the amended sales agreement, JMP Securities LLC will use its commercially reasonable efforts to sell on our behalf all of the designated shares of common stock. We may instruct JMP Securities LLC not to sell shares of common stock if the sales cannot be effected at or above the price designated by us in any such instruction. We or JMP Securities LLC may suspend the offering of shares of common stock by notifying the other.
We will pay JMP Securities LLC a commission of up to 2.0% of the gross sales price of any such shares sold, through it as agent, as set forth in the amended sales agreement. The remaining sales proceeds, after deducting any expenses payable by us and any transaction fees imposed by any governmental or self-regulatory organization in connection with the sales, will equal our net proceeds for the sale of the shares.
Settlement for sales of common stock will occur on the second business day following the date on which any sales were made in return for payment of the net proceeds to us. There is no arrangement for funds to be received in an escrow, trust or similar arrangement.
In connection with the sale of the common stock hereunder, JMP Securities LLC may be deemed to be an “underwriter” within the meaning of the Securities Act, and the compensation paid to JMP Securities LLC may be deemed to be underwriting commissions or discounts. We have agreed to provide indemnification and contribution to JMP Securities LLC against certain civil liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act. JMP Securities LLC may engage in transactions with, or perform other services for, us in the ordinary course of business.
Under the terms of the amended sales agreement, we also may sell shares to JMP Securities LLC as principal for its own account at a price agreed upon at the time of sale. If, following the date of this prospectus supplement, our common stock qualifies for the exemptive provisions set forth in Rule 101(c)(1) of Regulation M under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and subsequent to such date, we have reason to believe that such exemptive provisions are not satisfied, we will promptly notify JMP Securities LLC and sales of common stock under the amended sales agreement will be suspended until that or other exemptive provisions have been satisfied in the judgment of JMP Securities LLC and our company.
The offering of common stock pursuant to the amended sales agreement will terminate upon the earlier of (i) the sale of all shares of common stock subject to the amended sales agreement, and (ii) the termination of the amended sales agreement by either JMP Securities LLC or us.
JMP Securities LLC may engage in transactions with, or perform services for, us in the ordinary course of business for which they will receive customary compensation.
 
S-5

 
LEGAL MATTERS
           Certain legal matters will be passed upon for us by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, New York, New York. Certain Maryland legal matters will be passed upon for us by Venable LLP, Baltimore, Maryland. JMP Securities LLC is being represented in this offering by Cooley LLP, New York, New York.
EXPERTS
Ernst & Young LLP, independent registered public accounting firm, has audited our consolidated financial statements included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, and the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2019, as set forth in their reports, which are incorporated by reference in this prospectus. Our financial statements are incorporated by reference in reliance on Ernst & Young LLP’s reports, given on their authority as experts in accounting and auditing.
 
S-6

PROSPECTUS
ARBOR REALTY TRUST, INC.
[MISSING IMAGE: LG_ARBORREALTY-PN.JPG]
COMMON STOCK
PREFERRED STOCK
DEPOSITARY SHARES
DEBT SECURITIES
AND
WARRANTS
We may offer, issue and sell, together or separately:

shares of our common stock;

shares of our preferred stock, which may be issued in one or more series;

depositary receipts, representing fractional shares of our preferred stock, which are called depositary shares;

debt securities, which may be issued in one or more series and which may be senior debt securities or subordinated debt securities; and

warrants to purchase shares of our common stock, shares of our preferred stock or our debt securities.
We will provide the specific prices and terms of these securities in one or more supplements to this prospectus at the time of offering. You should read this prospectus and the accompanying prospectus supplement carefully before you make your investment decision.
This prospectus may not be used to sell securities unless accompanied by a prospectus supplement.
Investing in our securities involves a number of risks. See “Risk Factors” on page 2 before you make your investment decision.
We may offer securities through underwriting syndicates managed or co-managed by one or more underwriters or dealers, through agents or directly to purchasers. These securities also may be resold by selling securityholders. If required, the prospectus supplement for each offering of securities will describe the plan of distribution for that offering. For general information about the distribution of securities offered, please see “Plan of Distribution” in this prospectus.
Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the trading symbol “ABR.” Each prospectus supplement will indicate whether the securities offered thereby will be listed on any securities exchange.
Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus or any accompanying prospectus supplement is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
The date of this prospectus is August 7, 2020

 
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i

 
ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS
This prospectus is part of an “automatic shelf” registration statement that we filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) as a “well-known seasoned issuer” as defined in Rule 405 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), using a “shelf” registration process. Under this process, we may sell from time to time any combination of the securities described in this prospectus. This prospectus only provides you with a general description of the securities that we may offer. Each time we sell securities, we will provide a supplement to this prospectus that contains specific information about the terms of that offering, including the specific amounts, prices and terms of the securities offered. The prospectus supplement may also add, update or change information contained in this prospectus. You should carefully read both this prospectus, any accompanying prospectus supplement and any free writing prospectus prepared by or on behalf of us, together with the additional information described under the heading “Where You Can Find More Information.”
We have not authorized anyone to provide you with any information other than that contained in or incorporated by reference into this prospectus, any accompanying prospectus supplement and any free writing prospectus prepared by or on behalf of us. We take no responsibility for, and can provide no assurance as to the reliability of, any other information that others may give you. We are not making offers to sell the securities in any jurisdiction in which an offer or solicitation is not authorized or in which the person making such offer or solicitation is not qualified to do so or to anyone to whom it is unlawful to make an offer or solicitation.
The information in this prospectus is accurate as of the date on the front cover. You should not assume that the information contained in this prospectus is accurate as of any other date.
When used in this prospectus, the terms “Arbor,” the “Company,” “we,” “our” and “us” refer to Arbor Realty Trust, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries, unless otherwise specified or the context otherwise requires.
 
ii

 
WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION
We file annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). Our SEC filings are available to the public at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.
The SEC allows us to “incorporate by reference” information into this prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement, which means that we can disclose important information to you by referring you to another document filed separately with the SEC. The information incorporated by reference is deemed to be part of this prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement, except for any information superseded by information contained directly in this prospectus, any accompanying prospectus supplement, any subsequently filed document deemed incorporated by reference or any free writing prospectus prepared by or on behalf of us. This prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement incorporate by reference the documents set forth below that we have previously filed with the SEC (other than information deemed furnished and not filed in accordance with SEC rules, including Items 2.02 and 7.01 of Form 8-K).



our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2020 and June 30, 2020, filed with the SEC on May 8, 2020 and July 31, 2020, respectively;

our Current Reports on Form 8-K, filed with the SEC on March 4, 2020 (with respect to Items 2.03, 8.01 and 9.01 only), March 11, 2020 (with respect to Items 1.01, 2.03 and 9.01 only), March 18, 2020, April 2, 2020, April 28, 2020, June 1, 2020 (with respect to Items 1.01, 2.03 and 9.01 only), June 4, 2020 and June 29, 2020; and

All documents filed by us pursuant to Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act after the date of this prospectus and before the termination of the offering also shall be deemed to be incorporated herein by reference. We are not, however, incorporating by reference any documents or portions thereof that are not deemed “filed” with the SEC, including any information furnished pursuant to Items 2.02 or 7.01 of Form 8-K.
If requested, we will provide to each person, including any beneficial owner, to whom a prospectus is delivered, a copy of any or all of the information that has been incorporated by reference in the prospectus but not delivered with the prospectus. Exhibits to the filings will not be sent, however, unless those exhibits have specifically been incorporated by reference into such documents. To obtain a copy of these filings at no cost, you may write or telephone us at the following address: Arbor Realty Trust, Inc., 333 Earle Ovington Boulevard, Suite 900, Uniondale, New York, 11553, Attention: Secretary (telephone no.: (516) 506-4200).
 
iii

 
CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
The information contained in this prospectus is not a complete description of our business or the risks associated with an investment in us. We urge you to carefully review and consider the various disclosures made by us in this prospectus, including the documents incorporated herein by reference.
This prospectus contains certain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements relate to, among other things, the operating performance of our investments and financing needs. We use words such as “anticipate,” “expect,” “believe,” “intend,” “should,” “will,” “may” and similar expressions to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements include these words. Forward-looking statements are based on certain assumptions, discuss future expectations, describe future plans and strategies, contain projections of results of operations or of financial condition or state other forward-looking information. Our ability to predict results or the actual effect of future plans or strategies is inherently uncertain. These forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results in future periods to differ materially from forecasted results. Factors that could have a material adverse effect on our operations and future prospects include, but are not limited to:

changes in economic conditions generally, and the real estate market specifically, in particular, due to the uncertainties created by the COVID-19 pandemic;

the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business, results of operations and financial condition;

adverse changes in our status with government-sponsored enterprises affecting our ability to originate loans through such programs;

changes in interest rates;

the quality and size of the investment pipeline and the rate at which we can invest our cash;

impairments in the value of the collateral underlying our loans and investments;

changes in federal and state laws and regulations, including changes in tax laws;

the availability and cost of capital for future investments;

competition; and

other risks detailed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2020 and in our other reports and filings with the SEC.
You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any of these forward-looking statements, which reflect our management’s views as of the date of the report containing such statements incorporated herein by reference or as of the date of this prospectus with respect to statements that are expressly stated herein. The factors noted above could cause our actual results to differ significantly from those contained in any forward-looking statement.
Although we believe the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. We are under no duty to update any of the forward-looking statements or industry information set forth in this prospectus or the documents incorporated herein by reference to conform these statements to actual results, except as required by U.S. federal securities laws.
 
iv

 
SUMMARY
The following summary highlights information contained elsewhere in this prospectus. You should read the entire prospectus, including “Risk Factors,” before making a decision to invest in our securities. In this prospectus, unless expressly noted or the context indicates otherwise, the words “we,” “us,” “our,” “Arbor,” “Company” and similar references refer to Arbor Realty Trust, Inc. and its subsidiaries, including Arbor Realty Limited Partnership, our operating partnership, and Arbor Realty SR, Inc., our operating partnership’s subsidiary, and the words “Arbor Commercial Mortgage,” “ACM” or “our Former Manager” refer to Arbor Commercial Mortgage, LLC.
Arbor Realty Trust, Inc.
We operate through two business segments: our Structured Loan Origination and Investment Business (“Structured Business”) and our Agency Loan Origination and Servicing Business (“Agency Business”). Through our Structured Business, we invest in a diversified portfolio of structured finance assets in the multifamily, single-family rental and commercial real estate markets, primarily consisting of bridge and mezzanine loans, including junior participating interests in first mortgages, preferred and direct equity. We may also directly acquire real property and invest in real estate-related notes and certain mortgage-related securities. Through our Agency Business, we originate, sell and service a range of multifamily finance products through the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac,” and together with Fannie Mae, the government-sponsored enterprises, or “GSEs”), the Government National Mortgage Association (“Ginnie Mae”), Federal Housing Authority (“FHA”) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (together with Ginnie Mae and FHA, “HUD”). We retain the servicing rights and asset management responsibilities on substantially all loans we originate and sell under the GSE and HUD programs. We are an approved Fannie Mae Delegated Underwriting and Servicing lender nationally, a Freddie Mac Multifamily Conventional Loan lender, seller/servicer, in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, a Freddie Mac affordable, manufactured housing, senior housing and small balance loan lender, seller/servicer, nationally and a HUD MAP and LEAN senior housing/healthcare lender nationally. Through our Agency Business, we also originate and sell finance products through conduit/commercial mortgage-backed securities programs and during the second half of 2019, we began to originate and service permanent financing loans underwritten using the guidelines of our existing agency loans sold to the GSEs, which we refer to as “Private Label” loans. We pool and securitize the Private Label loans and sell certain securities in the securitizations to third-party investors, while retaining the highest risk bottom tranche certificate.
We conduct our operations to qualify as a real estate investment trust (“REIT”) for U.S. federal income tax purposes. A REIT is generally not subject to U.S. federal income tax on that portion of its REIT taxable income that is distributed to its stockholders, provided that at least 90% of taxable income is distributed and provided that certain other requirements are met. Certain of our assets that produce non-qualifying REIT income, primarily within the Agency Business, are operated through taxable REIT subsidiaries (“TRS”), which are part of our TRS consolidated group and are subject to U.S. federal, state and local income taxes. In general, our TRS entities may hold assets that the REIT cannot hold directly and may engage in real estate or non-real estate-related business.
Substantially all of our operations are conducted through our operating partnership, Arbor Realty Limited Partnership (“ARLP”), and ARLP’s subsidiaries, including Arbor Realty SR, Inc., a subsidiary REIT, which we refer to as SR Inc., and its subsidiaries. We serve as the general partner of our operating partnership, and currently own 84.6% of its partnership interests.
We are a Maryland corporation formed in June 2003. Our principal executive offices are located at 333 Earle Ovington Boulevard, Suite 900, Uniondale, New York 11553. Our telephone number is (516) 506-4200. Our website is located at www.arbor.com. The information on our website is not incorporated by reference in this prospectus or any accompanying prospectus supplement, and you should not consider it a part of this prospectus or any accompanying prospectus supplement.
 
1

 
RISK FACTORS
Investing in our securities involves risk. See the risk factors described in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K (together with any material changes thereto contained in subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q) and those contained in our other filings with the SEC that are incorporated by reference in this prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement. Before making an investment decision, you should carefully consider these risks as well as other information we include or incorporate by reference in this prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement. These risks could materially affect our business, financial condition or results of operations and cause the value of our securities to decline. You could lose all or part of your investment.
 
2

 
USE OF PROCEEDS
Unless otherwise set forth in any accompanying prospectus supplement, we intend to use the net proceeds of any offering of securities to invest in real estate loans and securities, to purchase or pay liabilities and for general corporate purposes. We will have significant discretion in the use of any net proceeds. The net proceeds may be invested temporarily in interest-bearing accounts and short-term interest-bearing securities that are consistent with our qualification as a REIT until they are used for their stated purpose. We may provide additional information on the use of the net proceeds from the sale of the offered securities in an applicable prospectus supplement relating to the offered securities.
Unless set forth in an accompanying prospectus supplement, we will not receive any proceeds in the event that securities are sold by a selling securityholder.
 
3

 
DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES
This prospectus contains summary descriptions of the common stock, preferred stock, depositary shares, debt securities and warrants that may be offered and sold from time to time. These summary descriptions are not meant to be complete descriptions of each security. However, at the time of an offering and sale, this prospectus together with the accompanying prospectus supplement will contain the material terms of the securities being offered.
DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK
The following description of the terms of our stock is only a summary. For a complete description, we refer you to the Maryland General Corporation Law (the “MGCL”), our charter and our bylaws. Copies of our charter and bylaws are available upon request. The following description discusses the general terms of the common stock and preferred stock that we may issue.
The prospectus supplement relating to a particular class or series of preferred stock will describe certain other terms of such class or series of preferred stock. If so indicated in the prospectus supplement relating to a particular class or series of preferred stock, the terms of any such class or series of preferred stock may differ from the terms set forth below. The description of preferred stock set forth below and the description of the terms of a particular class or series of preferred stock set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement are not complete and are qualified in their entirety by reference to our charter, particularly to the articles supplementary relating to that class or series of preferred stock.
General
Our charter provides that we may issue up to 500,000,000 shares of common stock, $0.01 par value per share, and up to 100,000,000 shares of preferred stock, $0.01 par value per share. As of August 5, 2020, 112,625,494 shares of common stock were issued and outstanding. As of August 5, 2020, 1,551,500 shares of 8.25% Series A cumulative redeemable preferred stock (the “Series A Preferred Stock”), 1,260,000 shares of 7.75% Series B cumulative redeemable preferred stock (the “Series B Preferred Stock”), 900,000 shares of 8.50% Series C cumulative redeemable preferred stock (the “Series C Preferred Stock”) and 20,369,265 shares of Special Voting Preferred Stock, $0.01 par value per share (the “Special Voting Preferred Stock”), were issued and outstanding. As of July 28, 2020, there were 55,124 holders of record of our common stock. Under Maryland law, our stockholders generally are not liable for our debts or obligations.
Common Stock
Subject to the preferential rights of any other class or series of stock, including our Series A Preferred Stock, Series B Preferred Stock and Series C Preferred Stock, and to the provisions of the charter regarding the restrictions on transfer and ownership of stock, holders of shares of our common stock are entitled to receive dividends on such stock when, as and if authorized by our board of directors out of funds legally available therefor and declared by us and to share ratably in the assets of our company legally available for distribution to our stockholders in the event of our liquidation, dissolution or winding up after payment of or adequate provision for all known debts and liabilities of our company, including the preferential rights on dissolution of any class or series of preferred stock.
Subject to the provisions of our charter regarding the restrictions on transfer and ownership of stock, each outstanding share of common stock entitles the holder to one vote on all matters submitted to the vote of stockholders, including the election of directors. There is no cumulative voting in the election of our board of directors, which means that the holders of outstanding shares of our common stock and any class or series of preferred stock entitled to vote with the common stock, including the Special Voting Preferred Stock, entitled to cast a majority of the votes in the election of directors can elect all of the directors then standing for election and the holders of the remaining shares of our common stock may not be able to elect any directors.
Holders of shares of our common stock have no preference, conversion, exchange, sinking fund, redemption or appraisal rights and have no preemptive rights to subscribe for any securities of our company.
 
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Subject to the provisions of the charter regarding the restrictions on transfer and ownership of stock, shares of our common stock have equal dividend, liquidation and other rights.
Under the MGCL, a Maryland corporation generally cannot dissolve, amend its charter, merge or consolidate with another entity, convert, sell all or substantially all of its assets or engage in a statutory share exchange unless declared advisable by the board of directors and approved by the affirmative vote of stockholders entitled to cast at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter unless a lesser percentage (but not less than a majority of all of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter) is set forth in the corporation’s charter. Subject to the voting rights of any other class or series of our stock, including our Series A Preferred Stock, Series B Preferred Stock, Series C Preferred Stock and Special Voting Preferred Stock, our charter provides for approval of these matters, except with respect to certain charter amendments relating to the classification and removal of our directors and the vote required to amend such provisions (which must be approved by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of all the votes entitled to be cast on the amendment), by an affirmative vote of stockholders entitled to cast a majority of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter.
Our charter authorizes our board of directors to amend our charter to increase the number of authorized shares of common stock, to authorize us to issue additional authorized but unissued shares of our common stock, to reclassify any unissued shares of our common stock into other classes or series of stock and to establish the number of shares in each class or series and to set or change, subject to the restrictions on transfer and ownership of stock contained in our charter and the terms of any outstanding class or series of stock, including our Series A Preferred Stock, Series B Preferred Stock, Series C Preferred Stock and Special Voting Preferred Stock, the preferences, conversion or other rights, voting powers, restrictions, limitations as to dividends or other distributions, qualifications or terms or conditions of redemption for each such class or series without stockholder approval.
Preferred Stock
Our board of directors may authorize the issuance of preferred stock in one or more classes or series and may determine, with respect to any such class or series, the powers, preferences and rights of such class or series, and its qualifications, limitations and restrictions, including, without limitation:

the number of shares to constitute such class or series and the designations thereof;

the voting power, if any, of holders of shares of such class or series and, if voting power is limited, the circumstances under which such holders may be entitled to vote;

the rate of dividends, if any, and the extent of further participation in dividend distributions, if any, and whether dividends shall be cumulative or non-cumulative;

whether or not such class or series will be redeemable, and, if so, the terms and conditions upon which shares of such class or series will be redeemable;

the extent, if any, to which such class or series will have the benefit of any sinking fund provision for the redemption or purchase of shares;

the rights, if any, of such class or series, in the event of the dissolution of the corporation, or upon any distribution of the assets of the corporation; and

whether or not the shares of such class or series will be convertible, and, if so, the terms and conditions upon which shares of such class or series will be convertible.
You should refer to the articles supplementary and prospectus supplement relating to the class or series of preferred stock being offered for the specific terms of that class or series, including:

the title or designation of the class or series and the number of shares in the class or series;

the price at which the preferred stock will be offered;

the dividend rate or rates or method of calculating the rates, the dates on which the dividends will be payable, whether or not dividends will be cumulative or noncumulative and, if cumulative, the dates from which dividends on the preferred stock being offered will cumulate;
 
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the voting rights, if any, of the holders of shares of the preferred stock being offered;

the provisions for a sinking fund, if any, and the provisions for redemption, if applicable, of the preferred stock being offered;

the liquidation preference per share;

the terms and conditions, if applicable, upon which the preferred stock being offered will be convertible into our common stock, including the conversion price, or the manner of calculating the conversion price, and the conversion period;

the terms and conditions, if applicable, upon which the preferred stock being offered will be exchangeable for debt securities, including the exchange price, or the manner of calculating the exchange price, and the exchange period;

any listing of the preferred stock being offered on any securities exchange;

whether interests in the shares of the class or series will be represented by depositary shares;

a discussion of any material U.S. federal income tax considerations applicable to the preferred stock being offered;

the relative ranking and preferences of the preferred stock being offered as to dividend rights and rights upon liquidation, dissolution or the winding up of our affairs;

any limitations on the issuance of any class or series of preferred stock ranking senior or equal to the class or series of preferred stock being offered as to dividend rights and rights upon liquidation, dissolution or the winding up of our affairs; and

any additional rights, preferences, qualifications, limitations and restrictions of the class or series.
Upon issuance, the shares of preferred stock will be fully paid and nonassessable, which means that its holders will have paid their purchase price in full and we may not require them to pay additional funds. Holders of preferred stock will not have any preemptive rights.
Preferred Stock Dividend Rights
Holders of preferred stock will be entitled to receive, when, as and if authorized by the board of directors out of funds legally available therefor and declared by us, dividends in additional shares of preferred stock or cash dividends at the rates and on the dates set forth in the related articles supplementary and prospectus supplement. Dividend rates may be fixed or variable or both. Different classes or series of preferred stock may be entitled to dividends at different dividend rates or based upon different methods of determination. Each dividend will be payable to the holders of record as they appear on our stock books on record dates determined by the board of directors. Dividends on preferred stock may be cumulative or noncumulative, as specified in the related articles supplementary and prospectus supplement. If the board of directors fails to authorize or we fail to declare a dividend on any preferred stock for which dividends are noncumulative, then the right to receive that dividend will be lost, and we will have no obligation to pay the dividend for that dividend period, whether or not dividends are declared for any future dividend period.
No full dividends will be declared or paid on any preferred stock unless full dividends for the dividend period commencing after the immediately preceding dividend payment date and any cumulative dividends still owing have been or contemporaneously are declared and paid on all other series of preferred stock which have the same rank as, or rank senior to, that series of preferred stock.
When those dividends are not paid in full, dividends will be declared pro rata, so that the amount of dividends declared per share on that class or series of preferred stock and on each other class or series of preferred stock having the same rank as that class or series of preferred stock will bear the same ratio to each other that accrued dividends per share on that class or series of preferred stock and the other classes or series of preferred stock bear to each other. In addition, generally, unless full dividends including any cumulative dividends still owing on all outstanding shares of any class or series of preferred stock have been paid, no dividends will be declared or paid on the common stock and generally we may not redeem or purchase any common stock. No interest will be paid in connection with any dividend payment or payments which may be in arrears.
 
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Unless otherwise set forth in the related articles supplementary and prospectus supplement, the dividends payable for each dividend period will be computed by annualizing the applicable dividend rate and dividing by the number of dividend periods in a year, except that the amount of dividends payable for the initial dividend period or any period shorter than a full dividend period will be computed on the basis of a 360-day year consisting of twelve 30-day months and, for any period less than a full month, the actual number of days elapsed in the period.
Preferred Stock Rights Upon Liquidation
If we liquidate, dissolve or wind up our affairs, either voluntarily or involuntarily, the holders of each class and series of preferred stock will be entitled to receive liquidating distributions in the amount set forth in the articles supplementary and prospectus supplement relating to the class or series of preferred stock. If the amounts payable with respect to preferred stock of any class or series and any stock having the same rank as that class or series of preferred stock are not paid in full, the holders of the preferred stock will share ratably in any such distribution of assets in proportion to the full respective preferential amounts to which they are entitled. After the holders of each class or series of preferred stock having the same rank are paid in full, they will have no right or claim to any of our remaining assets. Neither the sale of all or substantially all of our property or business nor a merger or consolidation by us with any other corporation will be considered a dissolution, liquidation or winding up by us of our business or affairs.
Preferred Stock Redemption
Any class or series of preferred stock may be redeemable in whole or in part at our option. In addition, any class or series of preferred stock may be subject to mandatory redemption pursuant to a sinking fund. The redemption provisions that may apply to a class or series of preferred stock, including the redemption dates and the redemption prices for that class or series, will be set forth in the related articles supplementary and prospectus supplement.
If a class or series of preferred stock is subject to mandatory redemption, the related articles supplementary and prospectus supplement will specify the year we can begin to redeem shares of the preferred stock, the number of shares of the preferred stock we can redeem each year and the redemption price per share. We may pay the redemption price in cash, stock or other securities of our company or of third parties, as specified in the related articles supplementary and prospectus supplement. If the redemption price is to be paid only from the proceeds of the sale of our capital stock, the terms of the class or series of preferred stock may also provide that if no capital stock is sold or if the amount of cash received is insufficient to pay in full the redemption price then due, the class or series of preferred stock will automatically be converted into shares of the applicable capital stock pursuant to conversion provisions specified in the related prospectus supplement.
If fewer than all the outstanding shares of any class or series of preferred stock are to be redeemed, whether by mandatory or optional redemption, the board of directors will determine the method for selecting the shares to be redeemed, which may be by lot or pro rata by any other method determined to be equitable. From and after the redemption date, dividends will cease to accrue on the shares of preferred stock called for redemption and all rights of the holders of those shares other than the right to receive the redemption price will cease.
Preferred Stock Conversion Rights
The related articles supplementary and prospectus supplement will state any conversion rights under which shares of preferred stock are convertible into shares of common stock or another class or series of preferred stock or other property. As described under “Redemption” above, under some circumstances preferred stock may be mandatorily converted into common stock or another class or series of preferred stock.
Preferred Stock Voting Rights
The related articles supplementary and prospectus supplement will state any voting rights of that class or series of preferred stock. Unless otherwise indicated in the related articles supplementary and prospectus
 
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supplement, if we issue full shares of any class or series of preferred stock, each share will be entitled to one vote on matters on which holders of that class or series of preferred stock are entitled to vote. Because each full share of any class or series of preferred stock will be entitled to one vote, unless otherwise provided in the related articles supplementary, the voting power of that class or series will depend on the number of shares in that class or series, and not on the aggregate liquidation preference or initial offering price of the shares of that class or series of preferred stock.
Permanent Global Preferred Securities
A class or series of preferred stock may be issued in whole or in part in the form of one or more global securities that will be deposited with a depositary or its nominee identified in the related prospectus supplement. For most classes and series of preferred stock, the depositary will be DTC. A global security may not be transferred except as a whole to the depositary, a nominee of the depositary or their successors unless it is exchanged in whole or in part for preferred stock in individually certificated form. Any additional terms of the depositary arrangement with respect to any class or series of preferred stock and the rights of and limitations on owners of beneficial interests in a global security representing class or a series of preferred stock may be described in the related prospectus supplement.
Series A Preferred Stock, Series B Preferred Stock and Series C Preferred Stock
Dividends on outstanding shares of Series A Preferred Stock are cumulative and are payable quarterly in arrears at the rate of 8.25% per annum of the $25.00 liquidation preference, or $2.0625 per annum per share. Dividends on outstanding shares of Series B Preferred Stock are cumulative and are payable quarterly in arrears at the rate of 7.75% per annum of the $25.00 liquidation preference, or $1.9375 per annum per share. Dividends on outstanding shares of Series C Preferred Stock are cumulative and are payable quarterly in arrears at the rate of 8.50% per annum of the $25.00 liquidation preference, or $2.125 per annum per share. Unless full cumulative dividends on outstanding shares of the Series A Preferred Stock, Series B Preferred Stock or Series C Preferred Stock, which we refer to as the Series A/B/C Preferred Stock for purposes of describing the three series together, for all past dividend periods have been or contemporaneously are declared and paid or declared and a sum sufficient for the payment thereof is set apart for payment, we generally may not:

declare and pay or declare and set aside for payment any dividends or other distributions of cash or other property, directly or indirectly, on or with respect to any shares of our common stock or shares of any other class or series of our capital stock ranking, as to dividends, on parity with or junior to the Series A/B/C Preferred Stock; or

redeem, purchase or otherwise acquire any common stock or shares of any other class or series of our capital stock ranking, as to dividends and upon liquidation, on parity with or junior to the Series A/B/C Preferred Stock.
We may, at our option, redeem the outstanding shares of Series A/B/C Preferred Stock, in whole or in part, at any time or from time to time, for cash at a redemption price of $25.00 per share, plus all accrued and unpaid dividends thereon (whether or not authorized or declared) up to but excluding the date of redemption.
In addition, upon the occurrence of certain change of control transactions after which our common stock (or the common stock of the successor) is not listed (as defined in our charter, a “Change of Control”), we may, subject to certain conditions and at our option, redeem the outstanding shares of Series A/B/C Preferred Stock, in whole or in part, within 120 days after the date of the Change of Control, for a cash redemption price per share of Series A/B/C Preferred Stock equal to $25.00 per share, plus any accrued and unpaid dividends to, but not including, the date of redemption.
Unless we have elected to redeem the Series A/B/C Preferred Stock prior to a Change of Control, upon the occurrence of a Change of Control, each holder of shares of Series A/B/C Preferred Stock will have the right to convert some or all of the shares of Series A/B/C Preferred Stock held by such holder into a number of shares of our common stock per share of Series A/B/C Preferred Stock to be converted equal to the lesser of: (A) the quotient obtained by dividing the sum of the $25.00 liquidation preference plus the amount of any accrued and unpaid dividends thereon to, but not including, the conversion date by the
 
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Common Stock Price (as defined below); and (B) 7.0522, with respect to the Series A Preferred Stock and Series C Preferred Stock, or 6.7385, with respect to the Series B Preferred Stock, subject to certain adjustments and subject, in each case, to provisions for the receipt of alternative consideration as described in the articles supplementary designating the terms of each of the Series A/B/C Preferred Stock.
The “Common Stock Price” will be (i) if the consideration to be received in the Change of Control by the holders of our common stock is solely cash, the amount of cash consideration per share of our common stock or (ii) if the consideration to be received in the Change of Control by holders of our common stock is other than solely cash (x) the average of the closing sale prices per share of our common stock (or, if no closing sale price is reported, the average of the closing bid and ask prices or, if more than one in either case, the average of the average closing bid and the average closing ask prices) for the ten consecutive trading days immediately preceding, but not including, the effective date of the Change of Control as reported on the principal U.S. securities exchange on which our common stock is then traded, or (y) the average of the last quoted bid prices for our common stock in the over-the-counter market as reported by Pink OTC Markets Inc. or similar organization for the ten consecutive trading days immediately preceding, but not including, the effective date of the Change of Control, if our common stock is not then listed for trading on a U.S. securities exchange.
Each holder of shares of Series A/B/C Preferred Stock is entitled to receive a liquidation preference of $25.00 per share of Series A/B/C Preferred Stock, plus any accumulated and unpaid distributions thereon (whether or not authorized or declared), before the holders of our common stock or other junior securities receive any distributions in the event of any voluntary or involuntary liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the affairs of our company.
Holders of shares of Series A/B/C Preferred Stock will generally have no voting rights. However, if we do not pay dividends on the Series A/B/C Preferred Stock for six or more quarterly periods, whether or not consecutive, holders of shares of Series A/B/C Preferred Stock and holders of all other classes or series of parity preferred stock with which the holders of Series A/B/C Preferred Stock are entitled to vote together as a single class (voting together as a single class), will be entitled to vote for the election of two additional directors to serve on our board of directors until all unpaid dividends for past dividend periods with respect to the Series A/B/C Preferred Stock have been paid. In addition, we may not authorize or issue any class or series of equity securities ranking senior to the Series A/B/C Preferred Stock or amend our charter (whether by merger, consolidation, transfer or conveyance of substantially all of the company’s assets or otherwise) so as to materially and adversely affect the rights, preferences, privileges or voting powers of the Series A/B/C Preferred Stock without the affirmative vote of the holders of at least two-thirds of the outstanding shares of the affected Series A/B/C Preferred Stock and each other class or series of parity preferred stock with which the holders of Series A/B/C Preferred Stock are entitled to vote together as a single class on such matter (voting together as a single class).
Special Voting Preferred Stock
Holders of shares of Special Voting Preferred Stock shall not be entitled to any regular or special dividend payments. With respect to all matters submitted to a vote of our stockholders, each share of Special Voting Preferred Stock shall entitle the holder thereof to a number of votes equal to the Adjustment Factor (as defined in the charter) in effect on the record date for determining the holders of our stock entitled to vote on such matter. The holders of shares of Special Voting Preferred Stock shall vote collectively with the holders of shares of common stock as one class on all matters submitted to a vote of stockholders, except for matters related to charter amendments which do not materially and adversely affect the Special Voting Preferred Stock. We will not issue any shares of Special Voting Preferred Stock to any person unless effective provision has been made for the simultaneous issuance by Arbor Realty Limited Partnership to the same person of the same number of Partnership Common Units (as defined in the Partnership Agreement of Arbor Realty Limited Partnership, dated July 14, 2016), and for the pairing of such shares of Special Voting Preferred Stock and Partnership Common Units in accordance with the Pairing Agreement, dated July 13, 2016, by and among Arbor Commercial Mortgage, LLC, Arbor Realty Limited Partnership and us.
In the event of any liquidation, dissolution or winding up of our affairs, before any assets shall be distributed, paid or set aside for the holders of any equity securities ranking junior to the Special Voting Preferred Stock as to the distribution of assets upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, holders of
 
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shares of Special Voting Preferred Stock are entitled to $.01 per share of Special Voting Preferred Stock. Redemption of shares of Special Voting Preferred Stock is subject to certain terms of the Partnership Agreement and Pairing Agreement. Any shares of Special Voting Preferred Stock redeemed, purchased or otherwise acquired by us in any manner whatsoever shall be cancelled automatically, shall cease to be outstanding and shall become authorized but unissued shares of Special Voting Preferred Stock, and the former holder or holders thereof shall have no further rights. Our charter shall not be amended in any manner that would materially alter or change the powers, preferences or special rights of the Special Voting Preferred Stock, as set forth herein, so as to affect them adversely without the affirmative vote of the holders of at least a majority of the outstanding shares of Special Voting Preferred Stock, voting separately as a class; provided, however, that the amendment of the provisions of our charter so as to authorize or create, or to increase the authorized amount of, any of our equity securities shall not be deemed to materially and adversely affect the preferences, conversion and other rights, voting powers, restrictions, limitations as to dividends and other distributions, qualifications and terms and conditions of redemption of the Special Voting Preferred Stock.
Power To Reclassify Unissued Shares Of Common And Preferred Stock
Our charter authorizes our board of directors to classify and reclassify any unissued shares of our common stock or preferred stock into other classes or series of stock, including one or more classes or series of stock that have priority over our common stock with respect to voting rights, dividends or upon liquidation. Prior to issuance of shares of each class or series, our board of directors is required by the MGCL and by our charter to set, subject to our charter restrictions on transfer and ownership of stock and to the terms of any outstanding class or series of stock, including our Series A Preferred Stock, Series B Preferred Stock, Series C Preferred Stock and Special Voting Preferred Stock, the terms, preferences, conversion or other rights, voting powers, restrictions, limitations as to dividends or other distributions, qualifications and terms or conditions of redemption for each class or series. Subject to the rights of holders of any other class or series of our stock, including our Series A Preferred Stock, Series B Preferred Stock, Series C Preferred Stock and Special Voting Preferred Stock, our board of directors may take these actions without stockholder approval unless stockholder approval is required by applicable law or the rules of any stock exchange or automatic quotation system on which our securities are listed or traded. Therefore, our board of directors could authorize the issuance of shares of common or preferred stock with terms and conditions that could have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a transaction or a change in control that might involve a premium price for holders of our common stock or otherwise be in their best interest.
Power to Increase or Decrease Authorized Shares of Stock and Issue Additional Shares of Common Stock and Preferred Stock
We believe that the power of our board of directors to amend our charter to increase or decrease the number of authorized shares of stock, to authorize us to issue additional shares of common stock or preferred stock and to classify or reclassify unissued shares of common stock or preferred stock and thereafter to authorize us to issue the classified or reclassified shares provides us with increased flexibility in structuring possible future financings and acquisitions and in meeting other needs that might arise. These actions can be taken without common stockholder approval, unless such approval is required by applicable law or the rules of any stock exchange or automated quotation system on which our securities may be listed or traded. Although we have no present intention of doing so, we could issue a class or series of stock that could delay, defer or prevent a transaction or a change in control of us that might involve a premium price for holders of common stock or otherwise be in their best interest.
Dividend Reinvestment Plan
We may implement a dividend reinvestment plan whereby stockholders may automatically reinvest their dividends in our common stock. Details about any such plan would be sent to our stockholders following adoption thereof by our board of directors.
Transfer Agent and Registrar
The transfer agent and registrar for our common stock, Series A Preferred Stock, Series B Preferred Stock and Series C Preferred Stock is American Stock Transfer and Trust Company.
 
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Restrictions on Transfer and Ownership
In order for us to qualify as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), our stock must be beneficially owned by 100 or more persons during at least 335 days of a taxable year of 12 months (other than the first year for which an election to be a REIT has been made) or during a proportionate part of a shorter taxable year. Also, not more than 50% of the value of the outstanding shares of stock may be owned, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer individuals (as defined in the Code to include certain entities) during the last half of a taxable year (other than the first year for which an election to be a REIT has been made).
Our charter contains restrictions on the ownership and transfer of our stock that are intended to assist us in complying with these requirements and continuing to qualify as a REIT. The relevant sections of our charter provide that subject to the exceptions described below, no person or entity may beneficially own, or be deemed to own by virtue of the applicable constructive ownership provisions of the Code, more than 5.0% (by value or by number of shares, whichever is more restrictive) of the outstanding shares of our common stock or 5.0% by value of our aggregate outstanding shares of stock of all classes or series. We refer to this restriction as the “general ownership limit.”
The constructive ownership rules under the Code are complex and may cause stock owned actually or constructively by a group of related individuals and/or entities to be owned constructively by one individual or entity. As a result, the acquisition of less than 5.0% of our outstanding shares of common stock or stock of all classes or series (or the acquisition of an interest in an entity that owns, actually or constructively, less than 5.0% of our outstanding shares of common stock or stock of all classes or series) by an individual or entity, could, nevertheless cause that individual or entity, or another individual or entity, to own constructively in excess of these limits on our outstanding stock and thereby subject the stock to the applicable ownership limit.
Shares of our stock that would otherwise be directly or indirectly acquired or held by a person in violation of the restrictions on ownership and transfer are, in general, automatically transferred to a trust for the benefit of a charitable beneficiary, as described below, and the purported owner will acquire no rights in such shares. Our board of directors may, in its sole discretion, waive the ownership limit with respect to a particular stockholder if it determines that any exemption from the ownership limit will not jeopardize our status as a REIT under the Code. The stockholder must also agree that any violation of certain required representations and undertakings provided with respect to the exemption or other action contrary to the ownership and transfer restrictions will result in the automatic transfer of the shares causing the violation to a trust. As a condition of our waiver, our board of directors may require an opinion of counsel or a ruling from the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) that is satisfactory to our board of directors, and/or representations or undertakings from the applicant with respect to preserving our REIT status, and our board of directors may impose such other conditions or restrictions as it deems appropriate. Additionally, the waiver of the ownership limit may not allow five or fewer stockholders to beneficially own more than 50% in value of our outstanding capital stock.
We have granted ACM and Mr. Ivan Kaufman an exemption from the general ownership limit which permits them to collectively own up to 24% of our outstanding shares of common stock. We have also granted an exemption from the general ownership limit to each of C. Michael Kojaian (a former director), Leon G. Cooperman, Fidelity Real Estate Income Fund and BlackRock Inc. to own up to 8.3%, 7.0%, 9.0% and 9.0%, respectively, of our outstanding shares of common stock.
Our charter provisions further prohibit:

any person from beneficially or constructively owning shares of our stock that would result in us being closely held under Section 856(h) of the Code or otherwise cause us to fail to qualify as a REIT; and

any person from transferring shares of our stock after January 29, 2004 if such transfer would result in shares of our stock being beneficially owned by fewer than 100 persons (determined under the principles of Section 856(a)(5) of the Code).
Any person who acquires or attempts or intends to acquire beneficial or constructive ownership of shares of our common stock that will or may violate any of the foregoing restrictions on transfer and
 
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ownership will be required to give notice immediately to us or, in the case of a proposed or attempted transaction, must give at least 15 days’ prior written notice to us, and provide us with such other information as we may request in order to determine the effect of such transfer on our status as a REIT. The foregoing restrictions on transfer and ownership will not apply if our board of directors determines that it is no longer in our best interests to attempt to qualify, or to continue to qualify, as a REIT.
Pursuant to our charter, if any purported transfer of our stock or any other event would otherwise result in any person violating the ownership limits or other restrictions on transfer and ownership directors, then that number of shares in excess of the applicable ownership limit (rounded to the nearest whole share) will be automatically transferred to, and held by, a trust for the exclusive benefit of one or more charitable organizations selected by us. The automatic transfer will be effective as of the close of business on the business day prior to the date of the violative transfer or other event that results in a transfer to the trust. Any dividend or other distribution paid to the purported transferee, prior to our discovery that the shares had been automatically transferred to a trust as described above, must be repaid to the trustee upon demand for distribution to the beneficiary of the trust. If the transfer to the trust as described above is not automatically effective, for any reason, to prevent violation of the applicable ownership limit or as otherwise permitted by our board of directors, then our charter provides that the transfer of the excess shares will be void.
Shares of our stock transferred to the trustee are deemed offered for sale to us, or our designee, at a price per share equal to the lesser of (1) the price paid by the purported transferee for the shares (or, in the case of a devise or gift, the market price at the time of such devise or gift) and (2) the market price on the date we, or our designee, accepts such offer. We have the right to accept such offer until the trustee has sold the shares of our common stock held in the trust as discussed below. Upon a sale to us, the interest of the charitable beneficiary in the shares sold terminates and the trustee must distribute the net proceeds of the sale to the purported record transferee and any dividends or other distributions held by the trustee with respect to such common stock will be paid to the charitable beneficiary.
If we do not buy the shares, the trustee must, within 20 days of receiving notice from us of the transfer of shares to the trust, sell the shares to a person or entity designated by the trustee who could own the shares without violating the restrictions on transfer and ownership. After that, the trustee must distribute to the purported record transferee an amount equal to the lesser of (1) the price paid by the purported transferee or owner for the shares (or, if the purported transferee did not give value for the shares in connection with the event causing the shares to be held in trust (e.g., in the case of a gift, devise or other such transaction), the market price of the shares on the day of the event causing the shares to be held in the trust), and (2) the sales proceeds (net of commissions and other expenses of sale) received by the trust for the shares. Any net sales proceeds in excess of the amount payable to the purported record transferee will be paid to the charitable beneficiary. The purported transferee has no rights in the shares held by the trustee.
The trustee will be designated by us and shall be unaffiliated with us and with any purported transferee. Prior to the sale of any excess shares by the trust, the trustee will receive, in trust for the beneficiary, all dividends and other distributions paid by us with respect to the excess shares, and may also exercise all voting rights with respect to the excess shares.
Subject to Maryland law, effective as of the date that the shares have been transferred to the trust, the trustee will have the authority, at the trustee’s sole discretion, to:

rescind as void any vote cast by a purported transferee prior to our discovery that the shares have been transferred to the trust; and

recast the vote in accordance with the desires of the trustee acting for the benefit of the beneficiary of the trust.
However, if we have already taken irreversible corporate action, then the trustee may not rescind and recast the vote.
Every owner of more than five percent (or such lower percentage as may be required by the Code or regulations promulgated thereunder) of the shares of our stock, within 30 days after the end of each taxable year, is required to give us written notice, stating the owner’s name and address, the number of shares of
 
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stock beneficially owned and a description of the manner in which such shares are held. In addition, any person or entity that is a beneficial owner or constructive owner of shares of our stock and any person or entity (including the stockholder of record) who is holding shares of our stock for a beneficial owner or constructive owner will, on request, be required to disclose to us in writing such information as we may request in order to determine the effect, if any, of such stockholder’s ownership of shares of our stock on our status as a REIT and to ensure compliance with the ownership limits or to comply with the requirements of any taxing or governmental authority or to determine such compliance.
All certificates representing shares of our stock bear a legend referring to the restrictions described above.
These restrictions on ownership and transfer could delay, defer or prevent a transaction or a change of control of our company that might involve a premium price for our common stock or otherwise be in the best interest of our stockholders.
 
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DESCRIPTION OF DEPOSITARY SHARES
We may offer depositary receipts representing fractional shares of our preferred stock, rather than full shares of preferred stock. The shares of preferred stock represented by depositary shares will be deposited under a depositary agreement between us and a bank or trust company that meets certain requirements and is selected by us (the “Bank Depositary”). Each owner of a depositary share will be entitled to all the rights and preferences of the preferred stock represented by the depositary share.
The description in an accompanying prospectus supplement of any depositary shares we offer will not necessarily be complete and will be qualified in its entirety by reference to the applicable depositary agreement, which will be filed with the SEC if we offer depositary shares. For more information on how you can obtain copies of any depositary agreement if we offer depositary shares, see “Where You Can Find More Information.” We urge you to read the applicable depositary agreement and any accompanying prospectus supplement in their entirety.
Dividends and Other Distributions
If we pay a cash distribution or dividend on a series of preferred stock represented by depositary shares, the Bank Depositary will distribute such dividends to the record holders of such depositary shares. If the distributions are in property other than cash, the Bank Depositary will distribute the property to the record holders of the depositary shares. However, if the Bank Depositary determines that it is not feasible to make the distribution of property, the Bank Depositary may, with our approval, sell such property and distribute the net proceeds from such sale to the record holders of the depositary shares.
Redemption of Depositary Shares
If we redeem a series of preferred stock represented by depositary shares, the Bank Depositary will redeem the depositary shares from the proceeds received by the Bank Depositary in connection with the redemption. The redemption price per depositary share will equal the applicable fraction of the redemption price per share of the preferred stock. If fewer than all the depositary shares are redeemed, the depositary shares to be redeemed will be selected by lot or pro rata as the Bank Depositary may determine.
Voting the Preferred Stock
Upon receipt of notice of any meeting at which the holders of the preferred stock represented by depositary shares are entitled to vote, the Bank Depositary will mail the notice to the record holders of the depositary shares relating to such preferred stock. Each record holder of these depositary shares on the record date, which will be the same date as the record date for the preferred stock, may instruct the Bank Depositary as to how to vote the preferred stock represented by such holder’s depositary shares. The Bank Depositary will endeavor, insofar as practicable, to vote the amount of the preferred stock represented by such depositary shares in accordance with such instructions, and we will take all action that the Bank Depositary deems necessary in order to enable the Bank Depositary to do so. The Bank Depositary will abstain from voting shares of the preferred stock to the extent it does not receive specific instructions from the holders of depositary shares representing such preferred stock.
Amendment and Termination of the Depositary Agreement
The form of depositary receipt evidencing the depositary shares and any provision of the depositary agreement may be amended by agreement between the Bank Depositary and us. However, any amendment that materially and adversely alters the rights of the holders of depositary shares will not be effective unless such amendment has been approved by the holders of at least a majority of the depositary shares then outstanding. The depositary agreement may be terminated by the Bank Depositary or us only if (1) all outstanding depositary shares have been redeemed or (2) there has been a final distribution in respect of the preferred stock in connection with any liquidation, dissolution or winding up of our company and such distribution has been distributed to the holders of depositary receipts.
Withdrawal of Preferred Stock
Except as may be provided otherwise in an accompanying prospectus supplement, upon surrender of depositary receipts at the principal office of the Bank Depositary, subject to the terms of the depositary
 
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agreement, the owner of the depositary shares may demand delivery of the number of whole shares of preferred stock and all money and other property, if any, represented by those depositary shares. Partial shares of preferred stock will not be issued. If the depositary receipts delivered by the holder evidence a number of depositary shares in excess of the number of depositary shares representing the number of whole shares of preferred stock to be withdrawn, the Bank Depositary will deliver to such holder at the same time a new depositary receipt evidencing the excess number of depositary shares. Holders of withdrawn preferred stock may not thereafter deposit those shares under the depositary agreement or receive depositary receipts evidencing depositary shares therefor.
 
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DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES
As used in this prospectus, debt securities means the debentures, notes, bonds and other evidences of indebtedness that we may issue from time to time. The debt securities will either be senior debt securities or subordinated debt securities. Senior debt securities will be issued under an indenture between us and a “Senior Indenture Trustee,” referred to as the “Senior Indenture,” and subordinated debt securities will be issued under an indenture between us and a “Subordinated Indenture Trustee,” referred to as the “Subordinated Indenture.” This prospectus sometimes refers to the Senior Indenture and the Subordinated Indenture, collectively, as the “Indentures.” The Senior Indenture Trustee and the Subordinated Indenture Trustee are both referred to, individually, as the Trustee.
The forms of Indentures are filed as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part. The statements and descriptions in this prospectus or in any prospectus supplement regarding provisions of the Indentures and debt securities are summaries thereof, do not purport to be complete and are subject to, and are qualified in their entirety by reference to, all of the provisions of the Indentures (and any amendments or supplements we may enter into from time to time which are permitted under each Indenture) and the debt securities, including the definitions therein of certain terms.
General
Unless otherwise specified in a prospectus supplement, the debt securities will be our direct unsecured obligations. The senior debt securities will rank equally with any of our other senior and unsubordinated debt. The subordinated debt securities will be subordinate and junior in right of payment to any senior indebtedness.
The Indentures do not limit the aggregate principal amount of debt securities that we may issue and provide that we may issue debt securities from time to time in one or more series, in each case with the same or various maturities, at par or at a discount. Unless indicated in a prospectus supplement, we may issue additional debt securities of a particular series without the consent of the holders of the debt securities of such series outstanding at the time of the issuance. Any such additional debt securities, together with all other outstanding debt securities of that series, will constitute a single series of debt securities under the applicable Indenture.
Each prospectus supplement will describe the terms relating to the specific series of debt securities being offered. These terms will include some or all of the following:

the title of debt securities and whether they are subordinated debt securities or senior debt securities;

any limit on the aggregate principal amount of the debt securities;

the ability to issue additional debt securities of the same series;

the price or prices at which we will sell the debt securities;

the maturity date or dates of the debt securities;

the rate or rates of interest, if any, which may be fixed or variable, at which the debt securities will bear interest, or the method of determining such rate or rates, if any;

the date or dates from which any interest will accrue or the method by which such date or dates will be determined;

the right, if any, to extend the interest payment periods and the duration of any such deferral period, including the maximum consecutive period during which interest payment periods may be extended;

whether the amount of payments of principal of (and premium, if any) or interest on the debt securities may be determined with reference to any index, formula or other method, such as one or more currencies, commodities, equity indices or other indices, and the manner of determining the amount of such payments;

the dates on which we will pay interest on the debt securities and the regular record date for determining who is entitled to the interest payable on any interest payment date;
 
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the place or places where the principal of (and premium, if any) and interest on the debt securities will be payable, where any securities may be surrendered for registration of transfer, exchange or conversion, as applicable, and notices and demands may be delivered to or upon us pursuant to the Indenture;

if we possess the option to do so, the periods within which and the prices at which we may redeem the debt securities, in whole or in part, pursuant to optional redemption provisions, and the other terms and conditions of any such provisions;

our obligation, if any, to redeem, repay or purchase debt securities by making periodic payments to a sinking fund or through an analogous provision or at the option of holders of the debt securities, and the period or periods within which and the price or prices at which we will redeem, repay or purchase the debt securities, in whole or in part, pursuant to such obligation, and the other terms and conditions of such obligation;

the denominations in which the debt securities will be issued, if other than denominations of $1,000 and integral multiples of $1,000;

the portion, or methods of determining the portion, of the principal amount of the debt securities which we must pay upon the acceleration of the maturity of the debt securities in connection with an Event of Default (as described below), if other than the full principal amount;

the currency, currencies or currency unit in which we will pay the principal of (and premium, if any) or interest, if any, on the debt securities, if not United States dollars;

provisions, if any, granting special rights to holders of the debt securities upon the occurrence of specified events;

any deletions from, modifications of or additions to the Events of Default or our covenants with respect to the applicable series of debt securities, and whether or not such Events of Default or covenants are consistent with those contained in the applicable Indenture;

any limitation on our ability to incur debt, redeem stock, sell our assets or other restrictions;

the application, if any, of the terms of the Indenture relating to defeasance and covenant defeasance (which terms are described below) to the debt securities;

whether the subordination provisions summarized below or different subordination provisions will apply to the debt securities;

the terms, if any, upon which the holders may convert or exchange the debt securities into or for our common stock, preferred stock or other securities or property;

whether any of the debt securities will be issued in global form and, if so, the terms and conditions upon which global debt securities may be exchanged for certificated debt securities;

any change in the right of the Trustee or the requisite holders of debt securities to declare the principal amount thereof due and payable because of an Event of Default;

the depositary for global or certificated debt securities;

any special tax implications of the debt securities;

any trustees, authenticating or paying agents, transfer agents or registrars or other agents with respect to the debt securities;

any other terms of the debt securities not inconsistent with the provisions of the Indentures, as amended or supplemented;

to whom any interest on any debt security shall be payable, if other than the person in whose name the security is registered, on the record date for such interest, the extent to which, or the manner in which, any interest payable on a temporary global debt security will be paid if other than in the manner provided in the applicable Indenture;

if the principal of or any premium or interest on any debt securities of the series is to be payable in one or more currencies or currency units other than as stated, the currency, currencies or currency units
 
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in which it shall be paid and the periods within and terms and conditions upon which such election is to be made and the amounts payable (or the manner in which such amount shall be determined);

the portion of the principal amount of any securities of the series which shall be payable upon declaration of acceleration of the maturity of the debt securities pursuant to the applicable Indenture if other than the entire principal amount; and

if the principal amount payable at the stated maturity of any debt security of the series will not be determinable as of any one or more dates prior to the stated maturity, the amount which shall be deemed to be the principal amount of such securities as of any such date for any purpose, including the principal amount thereof which shall be due and payable upon any maturity other than the stated maturity or which shall be deemed to be outstanding as of any date prior to the stated maturity (or, in any such case, the manner in which such amount deemed to be the principal amount shall be determined).
Unless otherwise specified in the applicable prospectus supplement, the debt securities will not be listed on any securities exchange.
Unless otherwise specified in the applicable prospectus supplement, debt securities will be issued in fully-registered form without coupons.
Debt securities may be sold at a substantial discount below their stated principal amount, bearing no interest or interest at a rate which at the time of issuance is below market rates. The applicable prospectus supplement will describe the U.S. federal income tax consequences and special considerations applicable to any such debt securities. The debt securities may also be issued as indexed securities or securities denominated in foreign currencies, currency units or composite currencies, as described in more detail in the prospectus supplement relating to any of the particular debt securities. The prospectus supplement relating to specific debt securities will also describe any special considerations and certain additional tax considerations applicable to such debt securities.
Subordination
The prospectus supplement relating to any offering of subordinated debt securities will describe the specific subordination provisions. However, unless otherwise noted in the prospectus supplement, subordinated debt securities will be subordinate and junior in right of payment to any existing Senior Indebtedness.
Under the Subordinated Indenture, “Senior Indebtedness” means all amounts due on obligations in connection with any of the following, whether outstanding at the date of execution of the Subordinated Indenture or thereafter incurred or created:

the principal of (and premium, if any) and interest due on our indebtedness for borrowed money and indebtedness evidenced by securities, debentures, bonds or other similar instruments issued by us;

all of our capital lease obligations;

any of our obligations as lessee under leases required to be capitalized on the balance sheet of the lessee under generally accepted accounting principles;

all of our obligations for the reimbursement on any letter of credit, banker’s acceptance, security purchase facility or similar credit transaction;

all of our obligations in respect of interest rate swap, cap or other agreements, interest rate future or options contracts, currency swap agreements, currency future or option contracts and other similar agreements;

all obligations of the types referred to above of other persons for the payment of which we are responsible or liable as obligor, guarantor or otherwise; and

all obligations of the types referred to above of other persons secured by any lien on any property or asset of ours (whether or not such obligation is assumed by us).
 
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However, Senior Indebtedness does not include:

any indebtedness which expressly provides that such indebtedness shall not be senior in right of payment to the subordinated debt securities, or that such indebtedness shall be subordinated to any other of our indebtedness, unless such indebtedness expressly provides that such indebtedness shall be senior in right of payment to the subordinated debt securities;

any of our indebtedness in respect of the subordinated debt securities;

any indebtedness or liability for compensation to employees, for goods or materials purchased in the ordinary course of business or for services;

any of our indebtedness to any subsidiary; and

any liability for federal, state, local or other taxes owed or owing by us.
Senior Indebtedness shall continue to be Senior Indebtedness and be entitled to the benefits of the subordination provisions irrespective of any amendment, modification or waiver of any term of such Senior Indebtedness.
Unless otherwise noted in the accompanying prospectus supplement, if we default in the payment of any principal of (or premium, if any) or interest on any Senior Indebtedness when it becomes due and payable, whether at maturity or at a date fixed for prepayment or by declaration or otherwise, then, unless and until such default is cured or waived or ceases to exist, we will make no direct or indirect payment (in cash, property, securities, by set-off or otherwise) in respect of the principal of or interest on the subordinated debt securities or in respect of any redemption, retirement, purchase or other requisition of any of the subordinated debt securities.
In the event of the acceleration of the maturity of any subordinated debt securities, the holders of all senior debt securities outstanding at the time of such acceleration, subject to any security interest, will first be entitled to receive payment in full of all amounts due on the senior debt securities before the holders of the subordinated debt securities will be entitled to receive any payment of principal (and premium, if any) or interest on the subordinated debt securities.
If any of the following events occurs, we will pay in full all Senior Indebtedness before we make any payment or distribution under the subordinated debt securities, whether in cash, securities or other property, to any holder of subordinated debt securities:

any dissolution or winding-up or liquidation or reorganization of Arbor Realty Trust, Inc., whether voluntary or involuntary or in bankruptcy, insolvency or receivership;

any general assignment by us for the benefit of creditors; or

any other marshaling of our assets or liabilities.
In such event, any payment or distribution under the subordinated debt securities, whether in cash, securities or other property, which would otherwise (but for the subordination provisions) be payable or deliverable in respect of the subordinated debt securities, will be paid or delivered directly to the holders of Senior Indebtedness in accordance with the priorities then existing among such holders until all Senior Indebtedness has been paid in full. If any payment or distribution under the subordinated debt securities is received by the Trustee of any subordinated debt securities in contravention of any of the terms of the Subordinated Indenture and before all the Senior Indebtedness has been paid in full, such payment or distribution or security will be received in trust for the benefit of, and paid over or delivered and transferred to, the holders of the Senior Indebtedness at the time outstanding in accordance with the priorities then existing among such holders for application to the payment of all Senior Indebtedness remaining unpaid to the extent necessary to pay all such Senior Indebtedness in full.
The Subordinated Indenture does not limit the issuance of additional Senior Indebtedness.
Consolidation, Merger, Sale of Assets and Other Transactions
We may not (i) merge with or into or consolidate with another corporation or sell, assign, transfer, lease or convey all or substantially all of our properties and assets to, any other corporation other than a
 
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direct or indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of ours, and (ii) no corporation may merge with or into or consolidate with us or, except for any direct or indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of ours, sell, assign, transfer, lease or convey all or substantially all of its properties and assets to us, unless:

the corporation formed by or surviving such merger or consolidation or to which such sale, assignment, transfer, lease or conveyance has been made, if other than us, has expressly assumed by supplemental indenture all of our obligations under the Indentures or we are the surviving corporation;

immediately after giving effect to such transaction, no default or Event of Default has occurred and is continuing; and

we deliver to the Trustee an officers’ certificate and an opinion of counsel, each stating that the supplemental indenture complies with the applicable Indenture.
Events of Default, Notice and Waiver
Unless an accompanying prospectus supplement states otherwise, the following shall constitute “Events of Default” under the Indentures with respect to each series of debt securities:

our failure to pay any interest on any debt security of such series when due and payable, continued for 30 days;

our failure to pay principal (or premium, if any) on any debt security of such series when due, regardless of whether such payment became due because of maturity, redemption, acceleration or otherwise, or is required by any sinking fund established with respect to such series;

our failure to observe or perform any other of our covenants or agreements with respect to such debt securities for 60 days after we receive notice of such failure;

certain events of bankruptcy, insolvency or reorganization of Arbor Realty Trust, Inc.; and

any other Event of Default provided with respect to Securities of that series.
If an Event of Default with respect to any debt securities of any series outstanding under either of the Indentures shall occur and be continuing, the Trustee under such Indenture or the holders of at least 25% in aggregate principal amount of the debt securities of that series outstanding may declare, by notice as provided in the applicable Indenture, the principal amount (or such lesser amount as may be provided for in the debt securities of that series) of all the debt securities of that series outstanding to be due and payable immediately; provided that, in the case of an Event of Default involving certain events in bankruptcy, insolvency or reorganization, acceleration is automatic; and, provided further, that after such acceleration, but before a judgment or decree based on acceleration, the holders of a majority in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of that series may, under certain circumstances, rescind and annul such acceleration if all Events of Default, other than the nonpayment of accelerated principal, have been cured or waived. Upon the acceleration of the maturity of original issue discount securities, an amount less than the principal amount thereof will become due and payable. Reference is made to the prospectus supplement relating to any original issue discount securities for the particular provisions relating to acceleration of maturity thereof.
Any past default under either Indenture with respect to debt securities of any series, and any Event of Default arising therefrom, may be waived by the holders of a majority in principal amount of all debt securities of such series outstanding under such Indenture, except in the case of (i) default in the payment of the principal of (or premium, if any) or interest on any debt securities of such series or (ii) default in respect of a covenant or provision which may not be amended or modified without the consent of the holder of each outstanding debt security of such series affected.
The Trustee is required within 90 days after the occurrence of a default (which is known to the Trustee and is continuing), with respect to the debt securities of any series (without regard to any grace period or notice requirements), to give to the holders of the debt securities of such series notice of such default.
The Trustee, subject to its duties during default to act with the required standard of care, may require indemnification by the holders of the debt securities of any series with respect to which a default has occurred before proceeding to exercise any right or power under the Indentures at the request of the holders of the
 
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debt securities of such series. Subject to such right of indemnification and to certain other limitations, the holders of a majority in principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of any series under either Indenture may direct the time, method and place of conducting any proceeding for any remedy available to the Trustee, or exercising any trust or power conferred on the Trustee with respect to the debt securities of such series, provided that such direction shall not be in conflict with any rule of law or with the applicable Indenture and the Trustee may take any other action deemed proper by the Trustee which is not inconsistent with such direction.
No holder of a debt security of any series may institute any action against us under either of the Indentures (except actions for payment of overdue principal of (and premium, if any) or interest on such debt security or for the conversion or exchange of such debt security in accordance with its terms) unless (i) the holder has given to the Trustee written notice of an Event of Default and of the continuance thereof with respect to the debt securities of such series specifying an Event of Default, as required under the applicable Indenture, (ii) the holders of at least 25% in aggregate principal amount of the debt securities of that series then outstanding under such Indenture shall have requested the Trustee to institute such action and offered to the Trustee indemnity reasonably satisfactory to it against the costs, expenses and liabilities to be incurred in compliance with such request; (iii) the Trustee shall not have instituted such action within 60 days of such request and (iv) no direction inconsistent with such written request has been given to the Trustee during such 60-day period by the holders of a majority in principal amount of the debt securities of that series.
We are required to furnish annually to the Trustee statements as to our compliance with all conditions and covenants under each Indenture.
Discharge, Defeasance and Covenant Defeasance
We may discharge or defease our obligations under the Indenture as set forth below, unless otherwise indicated in the applicable prospectus supplement.
We may discharge certain obligations to holders of any series of debt securities issued under either the Senior Indenture or the Subordinated Indenture which have not already been delivered to the Trustee for cancellation and which have either become due and payable or are by their terms due and payable within one year (or scheduled for redemption within one year) by irrevocably depositing with the Trustee money in an amount sufficient to pay and discharge the entire indebtedness on such debt securities not previously delivered to the Trustee for cancellation, for principal and any premium and interest to the date of such deposit (in the case of debt securities which have become due and payable) or to the stated maturity or redemption date, as the case may be and we have paid all other sums payable under the applicable indenture.
If indicated in the applicable prospectus supplement, we may elect either (i) to defease and be discharged from any and all obligations with respect to the debt securities of or within any series (except as otherwise provided in the relevant Indenture) (“defeasance”) or (ii) to be released from our obligations with respect to certain covenants applicable to the debt securities of or within any series (“covenant defeasance”), upon the deposit with the relevant Indenture Trustee, in trust for such purpose, of money and/or government obligations which through the payment of principal and interest in accordance with their terms will provide money in an amount sufficient to pay the principal of (and premium, if any) or interest on such debt securities to maturity or redemption, as the case may be, and any mandatory sinking fund or analogous payments thereon. As a condition to defeasance or covenant defeasance, we must deliver to the Trustee an opinion of counsel to the effect that the holders of such debt securities will not recognize income, gain or loss for U.S. federal income tax purposes as a result of such defeasance or covenant defeasance and will be subject to U.S. federal income tax on the same amounts and in the same manner and at the same times as would have been the case if such defeasance or covenant defeasance had not occurred. Such opinion of counsel, in the case of defeasance under clause (i) above, must refer to and be based upon a ruling of the IRS or a change in applicable U.S. federal income tax law occurring after the date of the relevant Indenture. In addition, in the case of either defeasance or covenant defeasance, we shall have delivered to the Trustee (i) an officers’ certificate to the effect that the relevant debt securities exchange(s) have informed us that neither such debt securities nor any other debt securities of the same series, if then listed on any securities exchange,
 
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will be delisted as a result of such deposit and (ii) an officers’ certificate and an opinion of counsel, each stating that all conditions precedent with respect to such defeasance or covenant defeasance have been complied with.
We may exercise our defeasance option with respect to such debt securities notwithstanding our prior exercise of our covenant defeasance option.
Modification and Waiver
Under the Indentures, we and the applicable Trustee may supplement the Indentures for certain purposes which would not materially adversely affect the interests or rights of the holders of debt securities of a series without the consent of those holders. We and the applicable Trustee may also modify the Indentures or any supplemental indenture in a manner that affects the interests or rights of the holders of debt securities with the consent of the holders of at least a majority in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of each affected series issued under the Indenture. However, the Indentures require the consent of each holder of debt securities that would be affected by any modification which would:

change the fixed maturity of any debt securities of any series, or reduce the principal amount thereof, or reduce the rate or extend the time of payment of interest thereon, or reduce any premium payable upon the redemption thereof;

reduce the amount of principal of an original issue discount debt security or any other debt security payable upon acceleration of the maturity thereof;

change the currency in which any debt security or any premium or interest is payable;

impair the right to enforce any payment on or with respect to any debt security;

reduce the percentage in principal amount of outstanding debt securities of any series, the consent of whose holders is required for modification or amendment of the Indentures or for waiver of compliance with certain provisions of the Indentures or for waiver of certain defaults; or

modify any of the above provisions.
The Indentures permit the holders of at least a majority in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of any series issued under the Indenture which is affected by the modification or amendment to waive our compliance with certain covenants contained in the Indentures.
Payment and Paying Agents
Unless otherwise indicated in the applicable prospectus supplement, payment of interest on a debt security on any interest payment date will be made to the person in whose name a debt security is registered at the close of business on the record date for the interest.
Unless otherwise indicated in the applicable prospectus supplement, principal, interest and premium on the debt securities of a particular series will be payable at the office of such paying agent or paying agents as we may designate for such purpose from time to time. Notwithstanding the foregoing, at our option, payment of any interest may be made by check mailed to the address of the person entitled thereto as such address appears in the security register.
Unless otherwise indicated in the applicable prospectus supplement, a paying agent designated by us will act as paying agent for payments with respect to debt securities of each series. All paying agents initially designated by us for the debt securities of a particular series will be named in the applicable prospectus supplement. We may at any time designate additional paying agents or rescind the designation of any paying agent or approve a change in the office through which any paying agent acts, except that we will be required to maintain a paying agent in each place of payment for the debt securities of a particular series.
All moneys paid by us to a paying agent for the payment of the principal, interest or premium on any debt security which remain unclaimed at the end of two years after such principal, interest or premium has become due and payable will be repaid to us upon request, and the holder of such debt security thereafter may look only to us for payment thereof.
 
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Denominations, Registrations and Transfer
Unless an accompanying prospectus supplement states otherwise, debt securities will be represented by one or more global certificates registered in the name of a nominee for The Depository Trust Company, or DTC. In such case, each holder’s beneficial interest in the global securities will be shown on the records of DTC and transfers of beneficial interests will only be effected through DTC’s records.
A holder of debt securities may only exchange a beneficial interest in a global security for certificated securities registered in the holder’s name if:

DTC notifies us that it is unwilling or unable to continue serving as the depositary for the relevant global securities or DTC ceases to maintain certain qualifications under the Exchange Act and no successor depositary has been appointed for 90 days; or

we determine, in our sole discretion, that the global security shall be exchangeable.
If debt securities are issued in certificated form, they will only be issued in the minimum denomination specified in the accompanying prospectus supplement and integral multiples of such denomination. Transfers and exchanges of such debt securities will only be permitted in such minimum denomination. Transfers of debt securities in certificated form may be registered at the Trustee’s corporate office or at the offices of any paying agent or trustee appointed by us under the Indentures. Exchanges of debt securities for an equal aggregate principal amount of debt securities in different denominations may also be made at such locations.
Governing Law
The Indentures and debt securities will be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the internal laws of the State of New York, without regard to its principles of conflicts of laws.
Trustee
The Trustee shall be named in the applicable prospectus supplement.
Conversion or Exchange Rights
The prospectus supplement will describe the terms, if any, on which a series of debt securities may be convertible into or exchangeable for our common stock, preferred stock or other debt securities. These terms will include provisions as to whether conversion or exchange is mandatory, at the option of the holder or at our option. These provisions may allow or require the number of shares of our common stock or other securities to be received by the holders of such series of debt securities to be adjusted.
 
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DESCRIPTION OF WARRANTS
We may issue warrants for the purchase of shares of our common stock, shares of preferred stock or our debt securities. We may issue warrants independently or together with other securities, and they may be attached to or separate from the other securities. Each series of warrants will be issued under a separate warrant agreement that we will enter into with a bank or trust company, as warrant agent, as detailed in an accompanying prospectus supplement. The warrant agent will act solely as our agent in connection with the warrants and will not assume any obligation, or agency or trust relationship, with you.
The prospectus supplement relating to a particular issue of warrants will describe the terms of those warrants, including, when applicable:

the offering price;

the currency or currencies, including composite currencies, in which the purchase price and/or exercise price of the warrants may be payable;

the number of warrants offered;

the exercise price and the amount of securities you will receive upon exercise;

the procedure for exercise of the warrants and the circumstances, if any, that will cause the warrants to be automatically exercised;

the rights, if any, we have to redeem the warrants;

the date on which the right to exercise the warrants will commence and the date on which the warrants will expire;

the name of the warrant agent; and

any other material terms of the warrants.
After warrants expire they will become void. The prospectus supplement may provide for the adjustment of the exercise price of the warrants.
Warrants may be exercised at the appropriate office of the warrant agent or any other office indicated in an accompanying prospectus supplement. Before the exercise of warrants, holders will not have any of the rights of holders of the securities purchasable upon exercise and will not be entitled to payments made to holders of those securities.
The description in an accompanying prospectus supplement of any warrants we offer will not necessarily be complete and will be qualified in its entirety by reference to the applicable warrant agreement, which will be filed with the SEC if we offer warrants. For more information on how you can obtain copies of any warrant agreement if we offer warrants, see “Where You Can Find More Information.” We urge you to read the applicable warrant agreement and any accompanying prospectus supplement in their entirety.
 
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SELLING SECURITYHOLDERS
Information about selling securityholders, where applicable, will be set forth in a prospectus supplement, in a post-effective amendment or in filings we make with the SEC under the Exchange Act which are incorporated by reference into this prospectus.
 
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CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF MARYLAND LAW AND OF OUR CHARTER AND BYLAWS
The following summary of certain provisions of Maryland law and the Company’s charter and bylaws does not purport to be complete and is subject to and qualified in its entirety by reference to Maryland law and our charter and bylaws, copies of which are filed as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part. See “Where You Can Find More Information.”
Our Board of Directors
Our charter and bylaws provide that the number of directors of our company may be established, increased or decreased only by a majority of our entire board of directors but may not be fewer than the minimum number required by the MGCL nor, unless our bylaws are amended, more than 12.
We have elected by a provision of our charter to be subject to a provision of Maryland law requiring that, except as may be provided by our board of directors in setting the terms of any class or series of stock, any vacancy on our board of directors may be filled by a majority of the remaining directors, even if the remaining directors do not constitute a quorum. Any director so elected will serve for the remainder of the full term of the directorship in which the vacancy occurred and until a successor is duly elected and qualifies.
Our charter divides our board of directors into three classes. At each annual meeting, stockholders elect the successors of the class of directors whose term expires at that meeting for a term expiring at the annual meeting held in the third year following the year of their election. We believe that classification of our board of directors helps to assure the continuity of our business strategies and policies. The classified board provision could have the effect of making the replacement of incumbent directors more time consuming and difficult. At least two annual meetings of stockholders will generally be required to effect a change in a majority of our board of directors. Holders of shares of our common stock will have no right to cumulative voting in the election of directors. Directors are elected by the affirmative vote of a plurality of all the votes cast at any meeting of stockholders duly called and at which a quorum is present.
Removal of Directors
Our charter provides that, subject to the rights of holders of one or more classes or series of preferred stock to elect or remove one or more directors, a director may be removed only for cause (as defined in our charter) and then only by the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast generally in the election of directors. This provision, when coupled with the exclusive power of our board of directors to fill vacant directorships, may preclude stockholders from removing incumbent directors except for cause and by a substantial affirmative vote and filling the vacancies created by such removal with their own nominees.
Business Combinations
Under the MGCL, certain “business combinations” (including a merger, consolidation, statutory share exchange or, in certain circumstances specified under the statute, an asset transfer or issuance or reclassification of equity securities) between a Maryland corporation and any interested stockholder, or an affiliate of such an interested stockholder, are prohibited for five years after the most recent date on which the interested stockholder becomes an interested stockholder. Maryland law defines an interested stockholder as:

any person who beneficially owns, directly or indirectly, 10% or more of the voting power of the corporation’s outstanding voting stock; or

an affiliate or associate of the corporation who, at any time within the two-year period prior to the date in question, was the beneficial owner of 10% or more of the voting power of the then outstanding voting stock of the corporation.
A person is not an interested stockholder under the statute if the board of directors approved in advance the transaction by which the person otherwise would have become an interested stockholder. In approving a transaction, however, a board of directors may provide that its approval is subject to compliance, at or after the time of the approval, with any terms and conditions determined by it.
 
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After such five-year period, any such business combination must be recommended by the board of directors of the corporation and approved by the affirmative vote of at least:

80% of the votes entitled to be cast by holders of outstanding shares of voting stock of the corporation; and

two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast by holders of voting stock of the corporation other than shares held by the interested stockholder with whom (or with whose affiliate) the business combination is to be effected or held by an affiliate or associate of the interested stockholder.
These supermajority approval requirements do not apply if, among other conditions, the corporation’s common stockholders receive a minimum price (as defined in the MGCL) for their shares and the consideration is received in cash or in the same form as previously paid by the interested stockholder for its shares.
These provisions of the MGCL do not apply, however, to business combinations that are approved or exempted by a corporation’s board of directors prior to the time that the interested stockholder becomes an interested stockholder. Pursuant to the statute, our board of directors has exempted by resolution any business combinations (a) between us and Arbor Commercial Mortgage, LLC or any of its affiliates and (b) between us and any interested stockholder, provided that any such business combination is first approved by our board of directors (including a majority of our directors who are not affiliates or associates of such interested stockholder). Notwithstanding the foregoing, an alteration or repeal of this resolution will not have any effect on any business combinations that have been consummated or upon any agreements existing at the time of such modification or repeal.
Control Share Acquisitions
The MGCL provides that holders of “control shares” of a Maryland corporation acquired in a “control share acquisition” have no voting rights with respect to their control shares except to the extent approved by the stockholders by the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast in the election of directors, generally, excluding shares of stock in a corporation in respect of which any of the following persons is entitled to exercise or direct the exercise of the voting power in the election of directors: (1) the person who made or proposes to make a control share acquisition, (2) an officer of the corporation or (3) an employee of the corporation who is also a director of the corporation. “Control shares” are voting shares of stock that, if aggregated with all other such shares of stock previously acquired by the acquirer or in respect of which the acquirer is able to exercise or direct the exercise of voting power (except solely by virtue of a revocable proxy), would cause the acquirer to be entitled to exercise voting power in electing directors within one of the following ranges of voting power:

one-tenth or more but less than one-third;

one-third or more but less than a majority; or

a majority or more of all voting power.
Control shares do not include shares that the acquiring person is then entitled to vote as a result of having previously obtained stockholder approval or shares acquired directly from the corporation. A “control share acquisition” means the acquisition, directly or indirectly, of ownership of, or the power to direct the exercise of voting power with respect to, issued and outstanding control shares, subject to certain exceptions.
A person who has made or proposes to make a control share acquisition, upon satisfaction of certain conditions (including an undertaking to pay expenses and making an “acquiring person statement” as described in the MGCL), may compel the corporation to call a special meeting of stockholders to be held within 50 days of demand to consider the voting rights of the control shares. If no request for a special meeting is made, the corporation may itself present the question at any stockholders meeting.
If voting rights of control shares are not approved at the meeting or if the acquiring person does not deliver an “acquiring person statement” as required by the statute, then, subject to certain conditions and limitations, the corporation may redeem any or all of the control shares (except those for which voting rights
 
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have previously been approved) for fair value determined, without regard to the absence of voting rights for the control shares, as of the date of any meeting of stockholders at which the voting rights of such shares are considered and not approved or, if no such meeting is held, as of the date of the last control acquisition by the acquirer. If voting rights for control shares are approved at a stockholders meeting and the acquirer becomes entitled to vote a majority of the shares entitled to vote, all other stockholders may exercise appraisal rights. The fair value of the shares as determined for purposes of such appraisal rights may not be less than the highest price per share paid by the acquirer in the control share acquisition.
The control share acquisition statute does not apply to: (1) shares acquired in a merger, consolidation or share exchange if the corporation is a party to the transaction or (2) acquisitions approved or exempted by the charter or bylaws of the corporation.
Our bylaws contain a provision exempting from the control share acquisition statute any and all acquisitions by any person of shares of our stock. We cannot provide you any assurance, however, that either our board of directors or stockholders will not amend or eliminate this provision at any time in the future.
Amendments to Our Charter and Bylaws
Other than amendments to certain provisions of our charter described below and amendments permitted to be made without stockholder approval under Maryland law or by a specific provision in the charter, our charter may be amended only if such amendment is approved by the affirmative vote of stockholders entitled to cast a majority of all of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter. The provisions of our charter relating to the number and classification of directors, removal of directors or the vote required to amend such provisions may be amended only if such amendment is approved by the affirmative vote of stockholders entitled to cast not less than two-thirds of all of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter. Our board of directors has the exclusive power to adopt, alter or repeal any provision of our bylaws or to make new bylaws.
Meetings of Stockholders
Under our bylaws, annual meetings of stockholders must be held on the date, time and place determined by our board of directors. Special meetings of stockholders may be called by the chairman of our board of directors, our chief executive officer, our president and our board of directors. Subject to the provisions of our bylaws, a special meeting of stockholders to act on any matter that may properly be considered at a meeting of stockholders must be called by our secretary upon the written request of stockholders entitled to cast a majority of all of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter at such meeting who have requested the special meeting in accordance with the procedures specified in our bylaws and provided the information and certifications required by our bylaws. Only matters set forth in the notice of a special meeting of stockholders may be considered and acted upon at such a meeting.
Advance Notice of Director Nominations and New Business
Our bylaws provide that:

with respect to an annual meeting of stockholders, nominations of individuals for election to the board of directors and the proposal of business to be considered by stockholders at the annual meeting may be made only:

pursuant to our notice of the meeting;

by or at the direction of our board of directors; or

by a stockholder who was a stockholder of record both at the time of giving of the notice required by our bylaws and at the time of the annual meeting, who is entitled to vote at the meeting in the election of each individual so nominated or on such other business and who has provided the information and certifications required by the advance notice procedures set forth in our bylaws.

with respect to special meetings of stockholders, only the business specified in our notice of meeting may be brought before the meeting of stockholders, and nominations of individuals for election to our board of directors may be made only:
 
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by or at the direction of our board of directors; or

provided that the meeting has been called for the purpose of electing directors, by a stockholder who is a stockholder of record both at the time of giving of the notice required by our bylaws and at the time of the meeting, who is entitled to vote at the meeting in the election of each individual so nominated and who has provided the information and certifications required by the advance notice procedures set forth in our bylaws.
The purpose of requiring stockholders to give advance notice of nominations and other proposals is to afford our board of directors the opportunity to consider the qualifications of the proposed nominees or the advisability of the other proposals and, to the extent considered necessary by our board of directors, to inform stockholders and make recommendations regarding the nominations or other proposals. The advance notice procedures also permit a more orderly procedure for conducting our stockholder meetings.
Anti-takeover Effect of Certain Provisions of Maryland Law and of Our Charter and Bylaws
The restrictions on ownership and transfer of our stock, the provisions of our charter regarding the removal of directors, the business combination provisions of the MGCL and the advance notice provisions of our bylaws could delay, defer or prevent a transaction or a change of control of our company that might involve a premium price for our common stock or otherwise be in the best interests of our common stockholders. Likewise, if the provision in our bylaws opting out of the control share acquisition provisions of the MGCL were amended or rescinded, these provisions of the MGCL could have similar anti-takeover effects.
Indemnification and Limitation of Directors’ and Officers’ Liability
Maryland law permits a Maryland corporation to include in its charter a provision eliminating the liability of its directors and officers to the corporation and its stockholders for money damages except for liability resulting from actual receipt of an improper benefit or profit in money, property or services or active and deliberate dishonesty that is established by a final judgment and is material to the cause of action. Our charter contains a provision that eliminates such liability to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law.
The MGCL requires a Maryland corporation (unless its charter provides otherwise, which our charter does not) to indemnify a director or officer who has been successful, on the merits or otherwise, in the defense of any proceeding to which he or she is made a party by reason of his or her service in that capacity. The MGCL permits a Maryland corporation to indemnify its present and former directors and officers, among others, against judgments, penalties, fines, settlements and reasonable expenses actually incurred by them in connection with any proceeding to which they may be made or are threatened to be made a party by reason of their service in those or other capacities unless it is established that:

the act or omission of the director or officer was material to the matter giving rise to the proceeding and:

was committed in bad faith; or

was the result of active and deliberate dishonesty;

the director or officer actually received an improper personal benefit in money, property or services; or

in the case of any criminal proceeding, the director or officer had reasonable cause to believe that the act or omission was unlawful.
However, under the MGCL, a Maryland corporation may not indemnify a director or officer for an adverse judgment in a suit by or on behalf of the corporation or if the director or officer was adjudged liable on the basis that personal benefit was improperly received, unless in either case a court orders indemnification and then only for expenses. In addition, the MGCL permits a Maryland corporation to advance reasonable expenses to a director or officer, without requiring a preliminary determination of the director’s or officer’s ultimate entitlement to indemnification, upon the corporation’s receipt of:
 
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a written affirmation by the director or officer of his or her good faith belief that he or she has met the standard of conduct necessary for indemnification by the corporation; and

a written undertaking by the director or officer or on the director’s or officer’s behalf to repay the amount paid or reimbursed by the corporation if it is ultimately determined that the director or officer did not meet the standard of conduct.
Our charter authorizes us to obligate our company and our bylaws obligate us, to the fullest extent permitted by Maryland law in effect from time to time, to indemnify and to pay or reimburse reasonable expenses in advance of final disposition of a proceeding, without requiring a preliminary determination of the director’s or officer’s ultimate entitlement to indemnification, to:

any present or former director or officer who is made or threatened to be made a party to or witness in the proceeding by reason of his or her service in that capacity; or

any individual who, while serving as our director or officer and at our request, serves or has served as a director, officer, trustee, member, manager or partner of another corporation, real estate investment trust, limited liability company, partnership, joint venture, trust, employee benefit plan or other enterprise and who is made or threatened to be made a party to or witness in the proceeding by reason of his or her service in that capacity.
Our charter and bylaws also permit us, with the approval of our board of directors, to indemnify and advance expenses to any person who served a predecessor of ours in any of the capacities described above and to any employee or agent of our company or a predecessor of our company.
Insofar as the foregoing provisions permit indemnification of directors, officers or persons controlling us for liability arising under the Securities Act, we have been informed that in the opinion of the Securities and Exchange Commission, this indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act and is therefore unenforceable.
Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer
Subject to certain exceptions, our charter provides that no person or entity may actually or beneficially own, or be deemed to own by virtue of the applicable constructive ownership provisions of the Code, more than 5.0% (in value or number of shares, whichever is more restrictive) of the outstanding shares of our common stock or more than 5.0% in value of the aggregate outstanding shares of our stock. For a fuller description of this and other restrictions on ownership and transfer of our stock, see “Restrictions on Transfer and Ownership” under the heading “Description of Capital Stock.”
REIT Qualification
Our charter provides that our board of directors may revoke or otherwise terminate our REIT election, without approval of our stockholders, if it determines that it is no longer in our best interests to continue to be qualified as a REIT. Our charter also provides that our board of directors may determine that compliance with one or more of the restrictions on ownership and transfer of our stock is no longer required in order for us to qualify as a REIT.
 
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U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS
The following is a summary of U.S. federal income tax consequences generally applicable to the ownership and disposition of common stock of Arbor Realty. This summary does not discuss the consequences of an investment in shares of our preferred stock, debt securities, warrants, depositary shares or other securities. For purposes of this section under the heading “U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations,” references to “Arbor Realty,” “we,” “our” and “us” mean only Arbor Realty Trust, Inc. and not its subsidiaries or other lower-tier entities, except as otherwise required by the context. However, our indirect subsidiary, SR Inc., like Arbor Realty, has also elected to be taxed as a REIT. To the extent that the discussion below relates to the tax requirements for, and consequences of, qualifying as a REIT, it also applies to SR Inc.’s election to be taxed as a REIT.
This summary is based upon the Code, the regulations promulgated by the U.S. Treasury Department, rulings and other administrative pronouncements issued by the IRS and judicial decisions, all as currently in effect, and all of which are subject to differing interpretations or to change, 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 any of the tax consequences described below. No advance ruling has been or will be sought from the IRS regarding any matter discussed in this prospectus. The summary is also based upon the assumption that the operation of Arbor Realty, and of its subsidiaries and other lower-tier and affiliated entities, will in each case be in accordance with its applicable organizational documents or partnership agreement. This summary is for general information only and is not tax advice. The Code provisions governing the U.S. federal income tax treatment of REITs and their stockholders are highly technical and complex, and this summary is qualified in its entirety by the express language of applicable Code provisions, Treasury regulations promulgated thereunder and administrative and judicial interpretations thereof. Moreover, this summary does not purport to discuss all aspects of U.S. federal income taxation that may be relevant to a particular investor in light of its investment or tax circumstances, or to investors subject to special tax rules, such as:

financial institutions;

insurance companies;

broker-dealers;

regulated investment companies;

persons who hold our stock on behalf of another person as a nominee;

persons who receive Arbor Realty stock through the exercise of employee stock options or otherwise as compensation;

persons holding Arbor Realty stock as part of a “straddle,” “hedge,” “conversion transaction,” “synthetic security” or other integrated investment;

U.S. expatriates;

persons whose functional currency is not the U.S. dollar;

persons subject to the mark-to-market method of accounting for their securities;

persons who own (actually or constructively) more than 10% of our stock;
and, except to the extent discussed below:

partnerships, other pass-through entities and trusts;

tax-exempt organizations; and

foreign investors.
This summary assumes that investors will hold our stock as a capital asset, which generally means as property held for investment.
THE U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX TREATMENT OF HOLDERS OF ARBOR REALTY STOCK DEPENDS IN SOME INSTANCES ON DETERMINATIONS OF FACT AND INTERPRETATIONS OF COMPLEX PROVISIONS OF U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX LAW FOR
 
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WHICH NO CLEAR PRECEDENT OR AUTHORITY MAY BE AVAILABLE. IN ADDITION, THE TAX CONSEQUENCES OF HOLDING ARBOR REALTY STOCK TO ANY PARTICULAR INVESTOR WILL DEPEND ON THE INVESTOR’S PARTICULAR TAX CIRCUMSTANCES. YOU ARE URGED TO CONSULT YOUR TAX ADVISOR REGARDING THE FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL AND FOREIGN INCOME AND OTHER TAX CONSEQUENCES TO YOU, IN LIGHT OF YOUR PARTICULAR INVESTMENT OR TAX CIRCUMSTANCES, OF ACQUIRING, HOLDING, EXCHANGING OR OTHERWISE DISPOSING OF ARBOR REALTY STOCK.
Taxation of Arbor Realty
Arbor Realty and SR Inc. have each elected to be taxed as a REIT, commencing with their initial taxable years, which ended on December 31, 2003 and December 31, 2005, respectively. We believe that such entities were organized and have operated in such a manner as to qualify for taxation as a REIT, and intend to continue to operate in such a manner.
In connection with this prospectus, we have received an opinion of the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP to the effect that, commencing with Arbor Realty’s taxable year ended December 31, 2003, and SR Inc.’s taxable year ended December 31, 2005, each of Arbor Realty and SR Inc. has been organized and operated in conformity with the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT under the Code, and each of Arbor Realty’s and SR Inc.’s current and proposed method of operation as described herein will enable Arbor Realty and SR Inc. to continue to meet the requirements for qualification and taxation as REITs under the Code. It must be emphasized that the opinion of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is expressed as of the date given, is based on various assumptions relating to the organization and operation of Arbor Realty and its affiliates, and is conditioned upon fact-based representations and covenants made by the management of Arbor Realty and affiliated entities regarding their organization, assets and income, and the past, present and future conduct of their business operations.
While we intend to operate so as to qualify as a REIT, given the highly complex nature of the rules governing REITs, the ongoing importance of factual determinations and the possibility of future changes in circumstances, no assurance can be given by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP or by us that we will so qualify for any particular year. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP will have no obligation to advise us or the holders of our stock of any subsequent change in the matters stated, represented or assumed, or of any subsequent change in the applicable law. You should be aware that opinions of counsel are not binding on the IRS, and no assurance can be given that the IRS will not challenge the conclusions set forth in such opinions.
Qualification and taxation as a REIT depends on the ability to meet on a continuing basis, through actual operating results, distribution levels, and diversity of stock ownership, various qualification requirements imposed upon REITs by the Code and the Treasury regulations issued thereunder, including requirements relating to the nature and composition of our assets and income, the compliance with which will not be reviewed by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Our ability to qualify as a REIT also requires that we satisfy certain asset tests, some of which depend upon the fair market values of assets that we own directly or indirectly. Such values may not be susceptible to a precise determination. Accordingly, no assurance can be given that the actual results of our operations for any taxable year will satisfy such requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT.
Taxation of REITs in General
As indicated above, our qualification and taxation as a REIT depends upon our ability to meet, on a continuing basis, various qualification requirements imposed upon REITs by the Code. The material qualification requirements are summarized below under “— Requirements for Qualification — General.” While we intend to operate so as to qualify as a REIT, no assurance can be given that the IRS will not challenge our qualification, or that we will be able to operate in accordance with the REIT requirements in the future. See “— Failure to Qualify” below.
Provided that we qualify as a REIT, we will generally be entitled to a deduction for dividends that we pay and therefore will not be subject to U.S. federal corporate income tax on our taxable income that is currently distributed to our stockholders. This treatment substantially eliminates the “double taxation” at
 
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the corporate and stockholder levels that generally results from investment in a corporation. In general, the income that we generate is taxed only at the stockholder level upon a distribution of dividends to our stockholders.
Currently, most U.S. holders that are individuals, trusts or estates are taxed on corporate dividends at a reduced maximum U.S. federal income tax rate (the same as long-term capital gains). With limited exceptions, however, dividends from us or from other entities that are taxed as REITs are generally not eligible for this rate, and will continue to be taxed at rates applicable to ordinary income. However, for taxable years that begin after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2026, stockholders that are individuals, trusts or estates are entitled to a deduction equal to 20% of the aggregate amount of ordinary income dividends received from a REIT, subject to certain limitations. See “— Taxation of Stockholders — Taxation of Taxable U.S. Holders — Distributions.”
Any net operating losses, foreign tax credits and other tax attributes generally do not pass through to our stockholders, subject to special rules for certain items such as capital gains that we recognize. See “— Taxation of Stockholders — Taxation of Taxable U.S. Holders — Distributions.”
Even if we qualify as a REIT, we will nonetheless be subject to U.S. federal tax in the following circumstances:

We will be taxed at regular corporate rates on any undistributed net taxable income, including undistributed net capital gains.

If we have net income from prohibited transactions, which are, in general, sales or other dispositions of property held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business, other than foreclosure property, such income will be subject to a 100% tax. See “— Prohibited Transactions,” and “— Foreclosure Property,” below.

If we elect to treat property acquired in connection with a foreclosure of a mortgage loan or certain leasehold terminations as “foreclosure property,” we may thereby avoid the 100% tax on gain from a resale of that property (if the sale would otherwise constitute a prohibited transaction), but the income from the sale or operation of the property may be subject to corporate-level U.S. federal income tax at the highest applicable rate.

If we derive “excess inclusion income” from an interest in certain mortgage loan securitization structures (i.e., a “taxable mortgage pool” or a residual interest in a real estate mortgage investment conduit, or “REMIC”), we could be subject to corporate level federal income tax at the highest applicable rate to the extent that such income is allocable to specified types of tax exempt stockholders known as “disqualified organization” that are not subject to unrelated business income tax. See “— Taxable Mortgage Pools and Excess Inclusion Income” below.

If we fail to satisfy the 75% gross income test or the 95% gross income test, as discussed below, but nonetheless maintain our qualification as a REIT because we satisfy other requirements, we will be subject to a 100% tax on an amount based upon the magnitude of the failure, as adjusted to reflect the profit margin associated with our gross income.

If we violate the asset tests (other than certain de minimis violations) or other requirements applicable to REITs, as described below, and yet maintain our qualification as a REIT because there is reasonable cause for the failure and other applicable requirements are met, we may be subject to a penalty tax. In that case, the amount of the penalty tax will be at least $50,000 per failure, and, in the case of certain asset test failures, will be determined as the amount of net income generated by the assets in question, multiplied by the highest corporate tax rate if that amount exceeds $50,000 per failure.

If we fail to distribute during each calendar year at least the sum of (a) 85% of our REIT ordinary income for such year, (b) 95% of our REIT capital gain net income for such year and (c) any undistributed taxable income from prior periods, we will be subject to a non-deductible 4% excise tax on the excess of the required distribution over the sum of (i) the amounts that we actually distributed, plus (ii) the amounts we retained and upon which we paid income tax at the corporate level.
 
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We may be required to pay monetary penalties to the IRS in certain circumstances, including if we fail to meet record-keeping requirements intended to monitor compliance with rules relating to the composition of a REIT’s stockholders, as described below in “— Requirements for Qualification — General.”

A 100% tax may be imposed on transactions between us and a TRS that do not reflect arm’s-length terms.

If we sell any of our existing appreciated assets or if we acquired appreciated assets from a corporation that is not a REIT (i.e., a corporation taxable under subchapter C of the Code) in a transaction in which the adjusted tax basis of the assets in our hands is determined by reference to the adjusted tax basis of the assets in the hands of the subchapter C corporation, we may be subject to tax on such appreciation at the highest U.S. federal corporate income tax rate then applicable if we subsequently recognize that gain on a disposition of any such assets during the five-year period following their acquisition from the subchapter C corporation.

The earnings of any subsidiary that is a subchapter C corporation, including any TRS, may be subject to U.S. federal corporate income tax to the extent that such subsidiaries are treated as subchapter C corporations for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
In addition, we and our subsidiaries may be subject to a variety of taxes, including payroll taxes and state, local, and foreign income, property and other taxes on our assets and operations. We could also be subject to tax in situations and on transactions not presently contemplated.
Requirements for Qualification — General
The Code defines a REIT as a corporation, trust or association:
(1) that is managed by one or more trustees or directors;
(2) the beneficial ownership of which is evidenced by transferable shares, or by transferable certificates of beneficial interest;
(3) that would be taxable as a domestic corporation but for the Code provisions applicable to REITs;
(4) that is neither a financial institution nor an insurance company subject to specific provisions of the Code;
(5) the beneficial ownership of which is held by 100 or more persons;
(6) in which, during the last half of each taxable year, not more than 50% in value of the outstanding stock is owned, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer “individuals” (as defined in the Code to include specified tax-exempt entities); and
(7) which meets other tests described below, including with respect to the nature of its income and assets.
The Code provides that conditions (1) through (4) must be met during the entire taxable year, and that condition (5) must be met during at least 335 days of a taxable year of 12 months, or during a proportionate part of a shorter taxable year. Arbor Realty’s charter provides restrictions regarding the ownership and transfer of its shares, which are intended to assist in satisfying the share ownership requirements described in conditions (5) and (6) above. For purposes of condition (6), an “individual” generally includes a supplemental unemployment compensation benefit plan, a private foundation, or a portion of a trust permanently set aside or used exclusively for charitable purposes, but does not include a qualified pension plan or profit sharing trust.
To monitor compliance with the share ownership requirements, we are generally required to maintain records regarding the actual ownership of our shares. To do so, we must demand written statements each year from the record holders of significant percentages of our stock pursuant to which the record holders must disclose the actual owners of the stock (i.e., the persons required to include our dividends in their gross income). We must maintain a list of those persons failing or refusing to comply with this demand must be
 
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maintained as part of our records. We could be subject to monetary penalties if we fail to comply with these record-keeping requirements. If you fail or refuse to comply with the demands, you will be required by Treasury regulations to submit a statement with your tax return disclosing the actual ownership of our stock and other information.
In addition, a corporation generally may not elect to become a REIT unless its taxable year is the calendar year. We satisfy this requirement.
Effect of Subsidiary Entities
Ownership of Partnership Interests.   In the case of a REIT that is a partner in an entity that is treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes, Treasury regulations provide that the REIT is deemed to own its proportionate share of the partnership’s assets, and to earn its proportionate share of the partnership’s income, for purposes of the asset and gross income tests applicable to REITs as described below. In addition, the assets and gross income of the partnership are deemed to retain the same character in the hands of the REIT. Thus, the proportionate share of the assets and items of income of partnerships in which we own an equity interest (including SR Inc.’s preferred equity interests in certain lower-tier partnerships), are treated as assets and items of income of the relevant REIT for purposes of applying the REIT requirements described below. The REIT’s proportionate share is generally determined, for these purposes, based upon its percentage interest in the partnership’s equity capital, except that for purposes of the value prong of the 10% asset test described below, the percentage interest also takes into account certain debt securities issued by the partnership. If we are a limited partner or non-managing member in any partnership or limited liability company and such entity takes or expects to take actions that could jeopardize our status as a REIT, or require us to pay tax, we may be forced to dispose of our interests in such entity. In addition, it is possible that a partnership or limited liability company could take an action which could cause us to fail a gross income or asset test, and that we would not become aware of such action in time to dispose of our interest in the partnership or limited liability company or take other corrective action on a timely basis. In that case, we could fail to qualify as a REIT, unless we were entitled to relief as described below. A summary of certain rules governing the U.S. federal income taxation of partnerships and their partners is provided below in “Tax Aspects of Investments in Partnerships.”
Disregarded Subsidiaries.   If a REIT owns a corporate subsidiary that is a “qualified REIT subsidiary,” the separate existence of that subsidiary is disregarded for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and all assets, liabilities and items of income, deduction and credit of the subsidiary are treated as assets, liabilities and items of income, deduction and credit of the REIT itself, including for purposes of the gross income and asset tests applicable to REITs as summarized below. A qualified REIT subsidiary is any corporation, other than a TRS as described below, that is wholly owned by a REIT, either directly or through one or more other disregarded subsidiaries. Other entities that are wholly owned by a REIT (either directly or through other disregarded entities), including single member limited liability companies, are also generally disregarded as separate entities for U.S. federal income tax purposes, including for purposes of the REIT income and asset tests. Disregarded subsidiaries, along with partnerships in which Arbor Realty holds an equity interest, are sometimes referred to herein as “pass-through subsidiaries.”
In the event that a disregarded subsidiary of a REIT ceases to be wholly owned — for example, if any equity interest in the subsidiary is acquired by a person other than the REIT or another disregarded subsidiary of the REIT — the subsidiary’s separate existence would no longer be disregarded for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Instead, it would have multiple owners and would be treated as either a partnership or a taxable corporation. Such an event could, depending on the circumstances, adversely affect our ability to satisfy the various asset and gross income requirements applicable to REITs, including the requirement that REITs generally may not own, directly or indirectly, more than 10% of the securities of another corporation. See “— Asset Tests” and “— Income Tests” below.
Taxable Subsidiaries.   A REIT, in general, may jointly elect with subsidiary corporations, whether or not wholly owned, to treat the subsidiary corporation as a TRS. A REIT generally may not own more than 10% of the securities of a taxable corporation, as measured by voting power or value, unless the REIT and such corporation elect to treat such corporation as a TRS. The separate existence of a TRS or other taxable corporation, unlike that of a disregarded subsidiary as discussed above, is not ignored for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Accordingly, a TRS or other taxable corporation would generally be subject to U.S.
 
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federal corporate income tax on its earnings, which may have the effect of reducing the cash flow generated by us and our subsidiaries in the aggregate, and our ability to make distributions to our stockholders.
A REIT is not treated as holding the assets of a TRS or other taxable subsidiary corporation or as receiving any income that the subsidiary earns. Rather, the stock issued by the taxable subsidiary is taken into account as an asset of the REIT, and the REIT recognizes as income, the dividends, if any, that it receives from the TRS. This treatment can affect the income and asset test calculations that apply to the REIT, as described below. Because a parent REIT does not include the assets and income of such TRSs or other taxable subsidiary corporations in determining the parent’s compliance with the REIT requirements, such entities may be used by the parent REIT to undertake indirectly activities that the REIT rules might otherwise preclude it from doing directly or through pass-through subsidiaries (for example, activities that give rise to certain categories of nonqualifying income such as management fees, certain mortgage servicing fees, or other service income, or gains from the sale of inventory or dealer property).
The deductibility of interest paid or accrued by a TRS to its parent REIT could be limited under the Code. Accordingly, if we lend money to a TRS, the TRS may be unable to deduct all or a part of the interest paid on that loan, and the lack of an interest deduction could result in a material increase in the amount of tax paid by the TRS. Further, the rules impose a 100% excise tax on certain transactions between a TRS and its parent REIT or the REIT’s tenants that are not conducted on an arm’s-length basis. We intend that all of our transactions with our TRSs, if any, will be conducted on an arm’s-length basis.
We may hold a significant amount of assets in one or more TRSs, subject to the limitation that securities in TRSs may not represent more than 20% of our assets.
Subsidiary REITs.   In connection with a January 2005 financing that gave rise to a “taxable mortgage pool,” the assets of our subsidiary operating partnership, Arbor Realty Limited Partnership, through which we conduct substantially all of our activities and operations, were transferred to SR Inc., which was a newly-formed subsidiary of the operating partnership, and its subsidiaries. SR Inc. has elected and intends to be taxed as a REIT, which, in general, will allow us to avert certain adverse tax consequences that would otherwise result from the presence of the taxable mortgage pool. See “— Taxable Mortgage Pools and Excess Inclusion Income,” below, for a discussion of certain issues relating to taxable mortgage pools. Arbor Realty Limited Partnership is treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
Arbor Realty’s interest in the stock of SR Inc. is treated as a qualifying real estate asset of Arbor Realty for purposes of the REIT asset requirements (see “— Asset Tests” below), and any dividend income or gains derived by Arbor Realty from the stock of SR Inc. will generally be treated by Arbor Realty as income that qualifies for purposes of the REIT 95% and 75% income requirements (see “— Income Tests” below), provided, in each case, that SR Inc. is able to qualify as a REIT. Arbor Realty and SR Inc. are separate entities, each of which intends to qualify as a REIT, and each of which must independently satisfy the various REIT qualification requirements as described herein. Substantially all of Arbor Realty’s assets are currently held indirectly through SR Inc., however, which effectively ensures that Arbor Realty will satisfy the asset and income requirements applicable to REITs provided that SR Inc. qualifies as a REIT. If SR Inc. were to fail to qualify as a REIT, it would then be a regular taxable corporation, and its income would be subject to U.S. federal income tax. In addition, a failure of SR Inc. to qualify as a REIT would likely have an adverse effect on Arbor Realty’s ability to comply with the REIT asset and income requirements described below, and thus its ability to qualify as a REIT.
Income Tests
In order to maintain qualification as a REIT, we must satisfy two gross income requirements each year. First, at least 75% of our gross income for each taxable year (excluding gross income from sales of inventory or dealer property in “prohibited transactions,” discharge of indebtedness, and certain hedging transactions) generally must be derived from investments relating to real property or mortgages on real property, including “rents from real property,” dividends received from other REITs, including SR Inc., provided that SR Inc. is able to qualify as a REIT, interest income derived from mortgage loans secured by real property (including certain types of mortgage backed securities), and gains from the sale of real property, mortgages on real property, and shares in other REITs, as well as specified income from temporary investments. Second, at least 95% of our gross income in each taxable year (excluding gross income from prohibited transactions,
 
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discharge of indebtedness, and certain hedging transactions) must be derived from some combination of income that qualifies under the 75% gross income test described above, as well as other dividends, interest, and gain from the sale or disposition of stock or securities, which need not have any relation to real property.
In 2009 through 2011, Arbor Realty did not report any gross income because SR Inc. did not pay any dividends on its common stock. Although there are no authorities addressing this situation, we do not believe that Arbor Realty’s lack of gross income will adversely affect its qualification as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes. No assurance can be given, however, that the IRS will not assert a contrary position.
Interest income constitutes qualifying mortgage interest for purposes of the 75% income test (as described above) to the extent that the obligation is secured by a mortgage on real property. If we receive interest income with respect to a mortgage loan that is secured by both real property and other property, and the highest principal amount of the loan outstanding during a taxable year exceeds the fair market value of the real property on the date that we acquired or originated the mortgage loan, or are treated as having acquired the instrument if it is restructured in a manner that constitutes a significant modification of its terms, the interest income will generally be apportioned between the real property and the other collateral, and our income from the arrangement will qualify for purposes of the 75% income test only to the extent that the interest is allocable to the real property. (Similar apportionment rules apply for purposes of the REIT 75% asset test as described below under “— Asset Tests”.) In certain cases, personal property collateral securing a loan that we hold may be treated as real property for purposes of the foregoing rules. Even if a loan is not secured by real property, or is undersecured, the income that it generates may nonetheless qualify for purposes of the 95% income test.
To the extent that the terms of a loan provide for contingent interest that is based on the cash proceeds realized upon the sale of the property securing the loan (a “shared appreciation provision”), income attributable to the participation feature will be treated as gain from sale of the underlying property, which generally will be qualifying income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests, provided that the property is not inventory or dealer property in the hands of the borrower or the REIT.
To the extent that a REIT derives interest income from a mortgage loan or income from the rental of real property where all or a portion of the amount of interest or rental income payable is contingent, such income generally will qualify for purposes of the gross income tests only if it is based upon the gross receipts or sales, and not the net income or profits, of the borrower or lessee. This limitation does not apply, however, where the borrower or lessee leases substantially all of its interest in the property to tenants or subtenants, to the extent that the rental income derived by the borrower or lessee, as the case may be, would qualify as rents from real property had it been earned directly by a REIT, as described below.
Among the assets that we and our subsidiaries hold are mezzanine loans, which are loans secured by equity interests in an entity that directly or indirectly owns real property, rather than by a direct mortgage of the real property. Revenue Procedure 2003-65 issued by the IRS provides a safe harbor pursuant to which a mezzanine loan, if it meets each of the requirements contained in the Revenue Procedure, will be treated by the IRS as a real estate asset for purposes of the REIT asset tests described below, and interest derived from it will be treated as qualifying mortgage interest for purposes of the REIT 75% income test. Although the Revenue Procedure provides a safe harbor on which taxpayers may rely, it does not prescribe rules of substantive tax law. While we and our advisors believe, on the basis of relevant regulations and IRS rulings, that our mezzanine loans qualify as real estate assets and give rise to qualifying mortgage interest for purposes of the REIT asset and income requirements, or otherwise do not adversely affect our qualification as a REIT, such loans do not meet all of the requirements for reliance on the safe harbor, and there can be no assurance that the IRS will not challenge the tax treatment of these loans.
We also hold certain participation interests, or “B-Notes,” in mortgage loans and mezzanine loans originated by other lenders. A B-Note is an interest created in an underlying loan by virtue of a participation or similar agreement, to which the originator of the loan is generally a party, along with one or more participants. The borrower on the underlying loan is typically not a party to the participation agreement. The performance of a participant’s investment depends upon the performance of the underlying loan, and if the underlying borrower defaults, the participant typically has no recourse against the originator of the loan. The originator often retains a senior position in the underlying loan, and grants junior participations, which will be a first loss position in the event of a default by the borrower. We believe that our participation
 
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interests generally qualify as real estate assets for purposes of the REIT asset tests described below, and that interest derived from such investments will be treated as qualifying mortgage interest for purposes of the REIT 75% income test. The appropriate treatment of participation interests for U.S. federal income tax purposes is not entirely certain, however, and no assurance can be given that the IRS will not challenge our treatment of such participation interests.
Rents that we derive, including as a result of our ownership of preferred or common equity interests in a partnership that owns rental properties, will qualify as “rents from real property” in satisfying the gross income requirements described above, only if several conditions are met, including the following. If rent is partly attributable to personal property leased in connection with a lease of real property, the portion of the total rent that is attributable to the personal property will not qualify as “rents from real property” unless it constitutes 15% or less of the total rent received under the lease. In addition, the amount of rent must not be based in whole or in part on the income or profits of any person. Amounts received as rent, however, generally will not be excluded from rents from real property solely by reason of being based on fixed percentages of gross receipts or sales. Moreover, for rents received to qualify as “rents from real property,” the REIT generally must not operate or manage the property or furnish or render services to the tenants of such property, other than through an “independent contractor” from which the REIT derives no revenue. An independent contractor is generally a person that, after application of constructive ownership rules, does not own more than 35% of the shares of the REIT and, if it is a corporation, partnership, or other entity, the REIT does not own more than 35% of its shares, assets or net profits. We and our affiliates are permitted, however, to perform services that are “usually or customarily rendered” in connection with the rental of space for occupancy only and are not otherwise considered rendered to the occupant of the property. In addition, we and our affiliates may directly or indirectly provide non-customary services to tenants of properties without disqualifying all of the rent from the property if the payment for such services does not exceed 1% of the total gross income from the property. For purposes of this test, the income received from such non-customary services is deemed to be at least 150% of the direct cost of providing the services. Moreover, we are generally permitted to provide services to tenants or others through a TRS without disqualifying the rental income received from tenants for purposes of the REIT income requirements. Also, rental income will generally qualify as rents from real property only to the extent that we do not directly or constructively hold a 10% or greater interest, as measured by vote or value, in the lessee’s equity.
We may indirectly receive distributions from TRSs or other corporations that are not REITs or qualified REIT subsidiaries. These distributions generally are treated as dividend income to the extent of the earnings and profits of the distributing corporation. Such distributions will generally constitute qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test, but not for purposes of the 75% gross income test. Any dividends received from a REIT, including dividends derived by Arbor Realty from SR Inc. if SR Inc. qualifies as a REIT, will be qualifying income in Arbor Realty’s hands for purposes of both the 95% and 75% income tests.
Fees will generally be qualifying income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests if they are received in consideration for entering into an agreement to make a loan secured by real property and the fees are not determined by income and profits. Other fees generally will not be qualifying income for purposes of either gross income test and will not be favorably counted for purposes of either gross income test. Any fees earned by a TRS will not be included for purposes of the gross income tests.
Any income or gain that a REIT or its pass-through subsidiaries derives from instruments that hedge certain specified risks, such as the risk of changes in interest rates, will be excluded from gross income for purposes of calculating the 75% and 95% gross income tests (i.e., will be excluded from both the numerator and the denominator), provided that specified requirements are met. Such requirements include that the instrument be properly identified as a hedge along with the risk that it hedges within prescribed time periods. Income and gain from other hedging transactions will generally not be qualifying income for either the 95% or 75% gross income test. See “— Derivatives and Hedging Transactions.”
Certain foreign currency gains are excluded from gross income for purposes of one or both of the gross income tests. “Real estate foreign exchange gain” will be excluded from gross income for purposes of the 75% gross income test. Real estate foreign exchange gain generally includes foreign currency gain attributable to any item of income or gain that is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, foreign currency gain attributable to the acquisition or ownership of (or becoming or being the obligor under) obligations secured by mortgages on real property or on interest in real property, and certain foreign currency
 
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gain attributable to certain “qualified business units” of a REIT. “Passive foreign exchange gain” will be excluded from gross income for purposes of the 95% gross income test. Passive foreign exchange gain generally includes real estate foreign exchange gain as described above, and also includes foreign currency gain attributable to any item of income or gain that is qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test and foreign currency gain attributable to the acquisition or ownership of (or becoming or being the obligor under) obligations. Because passive foreign exchange gain includes real estate foreign exchange gain, real estate foreign exchange gain is excluded from gross income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income test. These exclusions for real estate foreign exchange gain and passive foreign exchange gain do not apply to foreign currency gain derived from dealing, or engaging in substantial and regular trading, in securities. Such gain is treated as non-qualifying income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests.
If we fail to satisfy one or both of the 75% or 95% gross income tests for any taxable year, we may nonetheless qualify as a REIT for the year if we are entitled to relief under applicable provisions of the Code. These relief provisions will generally be available if the failure to meet these tests was due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect, and we attach to our tax return a schedule setting forth each item of our gross income for such taxable year in accordance with any Treasury regulations yet to be issued. It is not possible to state whether we would be entitled to the benefit of these relief provisions in all circumstances. If these relief provisions are inapplicable to a particular set of circumstances, we may not qualify as a REIT. As discussed above under “Taxation of REITs in General,” even where these relief provisions apply, a tax would be imposed that is based upon the amount by which we fail to satisfy the particular gross income test.
Under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, the Secretary of the Treasury has been given broad authority to determine whether particular items of gain or income recognized after July 30, 2008, qualify or not under the 75% and 95% gross income tests, or are to be excluded from the measure of gross income for such purposes.
Asset Tests
At the close of each calendar quarter, a REIT must also satisfy five tests relating to the nature of its assets. First, at least 75% of the value of the total assets must be represented by some combination of “real estate assets,” cash, cash items (including certain money market funds), U.S. government securities, and, under some circumstances, stock or debt instruments purchased with new capital. For this purpose, real estate assets include interests in real property (such as land, buildings, leasehold interests in real property and certain ancillary personal property), stock of other corporations that qualify as REITs, mortgage loans (to the extent secured by interests in real property), certain kinds of mortgage backed securities, and debt instruments (whether or not secured by real property) that are issued by a “publicly offered REIT” (i.e., a REIT that is required to file annual and periodic reports with the SEC under the Exchange Act). This would include stock of SR Inc. that is indirectly owned by Arbor Realty, provided that SR Inc. qualifies as a REIT. Assets that do not qualify for purposes of the 75% asset test are subject to the additional asset tests described below.
Second, the value of any one issuer’s securities owned by the REIT may not exceed 5% of the value of the REIT’s total assets.
Third, the REIT may not own more than 10% of any one issuer’s outstanding securities, as measured by either voting power or value. The 5% and 10% asset tests do not apply to securities of TRSs, and the value prong of the 10% asset test does not apply to “straight debt” having specified characteristics and to certain other securities described below.
Fourth, the aggregate value of all securities of TRSs held by a REIT may not exceed 20% of the value of the REIT’s total assets.
Fifth, no more than 25% of the total value of a REIT’s assets may be represented by “nonqualified publicly offered REIT debt instruments” (i.e., real estate assets that would cease to be real estate assets if debt instruments issued by publicly offered REITs were not included in the definition of real estate assets).
Notwithstanding the general rule, as noted above, that for purposes of the REIT income and asset tests, a REIT is treated as owning its proportionate share of the underlying assets of a subsidiary partnership, if a REIT holds indebtedness issued by a partnership, the indebtedness will generally be subject to, and
 
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may cause a violation of the asset tests, unless the indebtedness is a qualifying mortgage asset, satisfies the rules for “straight debt,” or other conditions are met. Similarly, although stock of another REIT is a qualifying asset for purposes of the REIT asset tests, any non-mortgage debt that is issued by a REIT that is not “publicly offered” may not so qualify (such debt, however, will not be treated as “securities” for purposes of the value prong of the 10% asset test, as explained below).
Certain securities will not violate the value prong of the 10% asset test described above. Such securities include instruments that constitute “straight debt,” which term generally excludes, among other things, securities having certain contingency features. A security does not qualify as “straight debt” where a REIT (or a controlled TRS of the REIT) owns other securities of the same issuer which do not qualify as straight debt, unless the value of those other securities constitute, in the aggregate, 1% or less of the total value of that issuer’s outstanding securities. In addition to straight debt, the Code provides that certain other securities will not violate the value prong of the 10% asset test. Such securities include (a) any loan made to an individual or an estate, (b) certain rental agreements in which one or more payments are to be made in subsequent years (other than agreements between a REIT and certain persons related to the REIT under attribution rules), (c) any obligation to pay rents from real property, (d) securities issued by governmental entities that are not dependent in whole or in part on the profits of (or payments made by) a non-governmental entity, (f) any security (including debt securities) issued by another REIT, and (g) any debt instrument issued by a partnership if the partnership’s income is of a nature that it would satisfy the 75% gross income test described above under “— Income Tests.” In applying the value prong of the 10% asset test, a debt security issued by a partnership is not taken into account to the extent, if any, of the REIT’s proportionate interest in that partnership.
Any interests held by a REIT in a real estate mortgage investment conduit, or “REMIC,” are generally treated as qualifying real estate assets, and income derived by a REIT from interests in REMICs is generally treated as qualifying income for purposes of the REIT income tests described above. If less than 95% of the assets of a REMIC are real estate assets, however, then only a proportionate part of the REIT’s interest in the REMIC, and its income derived from the interest, qualifies for purposes of the REIT asset and income tests. Where a REIT holds a “residual interest” in a REMIC from which it derives “excess inclusion income,” the REIT will be required to either distribute the excess inclusion income or pay tax on it (or a combination of the two), even though the income may not be received in cash by the REIT. To the extent that distributed excess inclusion income is allocable to a particular stockholder, the income (i) would not be allowed to be offset by any net operating losses otherwise available to the stockholder, (ii) would be subject to tax as unrelated business taxable income in the hands of most types of stockholders that are otherwise generally exempt from U.S. federal income tax, and (iii) would result in the application of U.S. federal income tax withholding at the maximum rate (30%), without reduction for any otherwise applicable income tax treaty or other exemption, to the extent allocable to most types of foreign stockholders. See “Taxation of Stockholders.” Moreover, any excess inclusion income that we receive that is allocable to specified categories of tax-exempt investors which are not subject to unrelated business income tax, such as government entities, may be subject to corporate-level income tax in our hands, whether or not it is distributed. See “Taxable Mortgage Pools and Excess Inclusion Income.”
To the extent that we hold mortgage participations or mortgage backed securities that do not represent REMIC interests, such assets may not qualify as real estate assets, and the income generated from them might not qualify for purposes of either or both of the REIT income requirements, depending upon the circumstances and the specific structure of the investment.
We believe that our holdings of securities and other assets will comply with the foregoing REIT asset requirements, and we intend to monitor compliance on an ongoing basis. Certain of our mezzanine loans may qualify for the safe harbor in Revenue Procedure 2003-65, pursuant to which certain loans secured by a first priority security interest in ownership interests in a partnership or limited liability company will be treated as qualifying real estate assets for purposes of the REIT asset tests, as well as for purposes of the gross income tests described above. See “— Income Tests.” We may, however, hold some mezzanine loans that do not qualify for that safe harbor and that do not qualify as “straight debt” securities or for one of the other exclusions from the definition of “securities” for purposes of the 10% value test. We intend to make such investments in such a manner as not to fail the asset tests described above, and we believe that our existing investments satisfy such requirements.
 
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Independent appraisals generally are not obtained to support our conclusions as to the value of our total assets, or the value of any particular security or securities. Moreover, values of some assets, including instruments issued in securitization transactions, may not be susceptible to a precise determination, and values are subject to change in the future. Furthermore, the proper classification of an instrument as debt or equity for U.S. federal income tax purposes may be uncertain in some circumstances, which could affect the application of the REIT asset requirements. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that the IRS will not contend that our interests in our subsidiaries or in the securities of other issuers will not cause a violation of the REIT asset tests.
The rules regarding REITs include relief provisions that make it easier for REITs to satisfy the asset test requirements, or to maintain REIT qualification notwithstanding certain violations of the asset test and other requirements.
One such provisions allows a REIT which fails one or more of the asset requirements to nevertheless maintain its REIT qualification if (a) it provides the IRS with a description of each asset causing the failure, (b) the failure is due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect, (c) the REIT pays a tax equal to the greater of (i) $50,000 per failure, and (ii) the product of the net income generated by the assets that caused the failure multiplied by the highest applicable corporate tax rate, and (d) the REIT either disposes of the assets causing the failure within 6 months after the last day of the quarter in which it identifies the failure, or otherwise satisfies the relevant asset tests within that time frame.
A second relief provision applies to de minimis violations of 10% and 5% asset tests. A REIT may maintain its qualification despite a violation of such requirements if (a) the value of the assets causing the violation does not exceed the lesser of 1% of the REIT’s total assets or $10,000,000, and (b) the REIT either disposes of the assets causing the failure within 6 months after the last day of the quarter in which it identifies the failure or the relevant tests are otherwise satisfied within that time frame.
If we should fail to satisfy the asset tests at the end of a calendar quarter, such a failure would not cause us to lose our REIT qualification if we: (i) satisfied the asset tests at the close of the preceding calendar quarter, and (ii) the discrepancy between the value of our assets and the asset requirement was not wholly or partially caused by an acquisition of non-qualifying assets, but instead arose from changes in the market value of our assets. If the condition described in (ii) were not satisfied, we could still avoid disqualification by eliminating any discrepancy within 30 days after close of the calendar quarter in which it arose or by making use of the relief provisions described above. No assurances can be given that we would qualify for relief under the foregoing provisions.
Loan Modifications and Distressed Debt
The IRS issued Revenue Procedures 2011-16 and 2014-51, which contain provisions that are relevant where a REIT holds a mortgage loan which is modified in a transaction that is treated as the issuance of a new loan. In general, a modified loan will not be treated as less than fully secured by real property, and therefore will not give rise to interest income that does not qualify for purposes of the 75% gross income test or cause a portion of the loan to be a non-qualifying asset for purposes of the 75% asset test applicable to REITs, provided that the value of the real estate collateral was at least as great as the amount of the loan at the time it was originally acquired by the REIT and the modification was occasioned by default or we reasonably believed at the time of the modification that there was a significant risk of default and the modified loan presented a substantially reduced risk of default. Moreover, for purposes of the REIT asset tests, a loan, whether or not it is modified, will generally not be treated as less than fully secured by real property provided that the value of the real estate collateral, either currently or at the time the loan was originally acquired by the REIT, is at least as great as the value of the loan.
 
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Annual Distribution Requirements
In order to qualify as a REIT, an entity is required to distribute dividends, other than capital gain dividends, to its stockholders in an amount at least equal to:
(a)
the sum of:
(1) 90% of its “REIT taxable income” (computed without regard to the deduction for dividends paid and excluding its net capital gains), and
(2) 90% of the net income, if any, (after tax) from foreclosure property (as described below), minus
(b)
the excess of the sum of specified items of non-cash income over 5% of its “REIT taxable income” computed without regard to the deduction for dividends paid and excluding its net capital gains.
These distributions generally must be paid in the taxable year to which they relate, or in the following taxable year if declared before the REIT timely files its tax return for the year and if paid with or before the first regular dividend payment after such declaration. In addition, any dividend declared in October, November, or December of any year and payable to a stockholder of record on a specified date in any such month may be treated as both paid by the REIT and received by the stockholder on December 31 of such year, so long as the dividend is actually paid before the end of January of the next calendar year. In the case of a REIT that is not a “publicly offered REIT” (potentially including SR Inc.), in order for distributions to be counted as satisfying the annual distribution requirement, and to give rise to a tax deduction by the REIT, distributions must not be “preferential dividends.” A dividend is not a preferential dividend if it is pro rata among all outstanding shares of stock within a particular class and is in accordance with the preferences among different classes of stock as set forth in the organizational documents.
To the extent that a REIT distributes at least 90%, but less than 100%, of its “REIT taxable income,” as adjusted, it will be subject to tax at ordinary corporate tax rates on the retained portion. It may elect to retain, rather than distribute, its net long-term capital gains and pay tax on such gains. In this case, the REIT could elect to have its stockholders include their proportionate share of such undistributed long-term capital gains in income and receive a corresponding credit for their share of the tax paid by the REIT. Stockholders would then increase the adjusted basis of their REIT stock by the difference between the designated amounts of capital gains from the REIT that they include in their taxable income, and the tax paid on their behalf by the REIT with respect to that income.
To the extent that a REIT has any net operating losses carried forward from prior tax years, such losses may, subject to limitations, reduce the amount of distributions that it must make in order to comply with the REIT distribution requirements. Such losses, however, will generally not affect the character, in the hands of stockholders, of any distributions that are actually made by the REIT as ordinary dividends or capital gains. See “— Taxation of Stockholders — Taxation of Taxable U.S. Holders.”
If a REIT fails to distribute during each calendar year at least the sum of (a) 85% of its REIT ordinary income for such year, (b) 95% of its REIT capital gain net income for such year and (c) any undistributed taxable income from prior periods, it will be subject to a 4% excise tax on the excess of such required distribution over the sum of (x) the amounts actually distributed and (y) the amounts of income retained on which it has paid U.S. federal corporate income tax.
It is possible that, from time to time, we may not have sufficient cash to meet the distribution requirements due to timing differences between (a) the actual receipt of cash, including receipt of distributions from its subsidiaries, or the actual payment of deductible expenses, and (b) the inclusion by us of items in income or deduction, as applicable, for U.S. federal income tax purposes. For example, the Code contains various limitations on the deductibility of interest and other expenses and various rules that may accelerate income before the receipt of cash.
Potential sources of non-cash taxable income include income from equity interests in taxable mortgage pools, income from loans or mortgage-backed securities held as assets that are issued at a discount and require the accrual of taxable economic interest in advance of its receipt in cash, and income from loans on which
 
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the borrower is permitted to defer cash payments of interest and distressed loans on which we may be required to accrue taxable interest income even though the borrower is unable to make current servicing payments in cash. Differences in timing between the recognition of taxable income or deductions and the actual receipt or payment of cash could require us to (i) sell assets, (ii) borrow funds on a short-term or long-term basis, or (iii) pay dividends in the form of taxable in-kind distributions of property, to meet the 90% distribution requirement. Alternatively, we may declare a taxable distribution payable in cash or stock at the election of each stockholder, where the aggregate amount of cash to be distributed in such distribution may be subject to limitation. In such case, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, the amount of the distribution paid in stock will be equal to the amount of cash that could have been received instead of stock.
Based on IRS guidance concerning the classification of excess mortgage servicing rights (“Excess MSRs”), we intend to treat our Excess MSRs, which were transferred to us in connection with the Acquisition, as ownership interests in the interest payments made on the underlying pool of mortgage loans, akin to an “interest only” strip. Under this treatment, for purposes of determining the amount and timing of taxable income, each Excess MSR is treated as a bond that was issued with original issue discount on the date we acquired such Excess MSR. In general, we will be required to accrue original issue discount based on the constant yield to maturity of each Excess MSR, and to treat such original issue discount as taxable income in accordance with the applicable U.S. federal income tax rules. The constant yield of an Excess MSR will be determined, and we will be taxed based on, a prepayment assumption regarding future payments due on the mortgage loans underlying the Excess MSR. If the mortgage loans underlying an Excess MSR prepay at a rate different than that under the prepayment assumption, our recognition of original issue discount will be either increased or decreased depending on the circumstances. Thus, in a particular taxable year, we may be required to accrue an amount of income in respect of an Excess MSR that exceeds the amount of cash collected in respect of that Excess MSR. Furthermore, it is possible that, over the life of the investment in an Excess MSR, the total amount we pay for, and accrue with respect to, the Excess MSR may exceed the total amount we collect on such Excess MSR. No assurance can be given that we will be entitled to an ordinary loss or deduction for such excess, meaning that we may not be able to use any such loss or deduction to offset original issue discount recognized with respect to our Excess MSRs or other ordinary income recognized by us. As a result of this potential mismatch in character between the income and losses generated by our Excess MSRs, our REIT taxable income may be higher than it otherwise would have been in the absence of that mismatch, in which case we would be required to distribute larger amounts to our stockholders in order to maintain our status as a REIT.
A REIT may be able to rectify a failure to meet the distribution requirements for a year by paying “deficiency dividends” to stockholders in a later year, which may be included in the REIT’s deduction for dividends paid for the earlier year. In this case, the REIT may be able to avoid losing its REIT qualification or being taxed on amounts distributed as deficiency dividends. However, the REIT will be required to pay interest and a penalty based on the amount of any deduction taken for deficiency dividends.
Net Operating Loss Carryforwards
SR Inc. has generated net operating loss, or NOL, carryforwards that are expected to offset taxable income. However, SR Inc.’s ability to utilize NOL carryforwards to offset other income will be significantly limited in the event that SR Inc. undergoes, or has undergone, an ownership change within the meaning of Section 382 of the Code. In general, an ownership change occurs with respect to a corporation if 5% stockholders increase their aggregate ownership interest in the corporation by more than 50 percentage points within a prescribed testing period (generally three years). We do not believe that SR Inc. has experienced an “ownership change” to date. However, no assurance can be provided that SR Inc. will not experience an ownership change. In that event, SR Inc. would be limited in its ability to offset its income with its NOL carryforwards, which could result in SR Inc. or Arbor Realty not having sufficient cash from operations to satisfy the 90% distribution requirement, or paying corporate-level tax with respect to some or all of the income in lieu of paying a deductible dividend.
 
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Participation Interests in Excess Servicing Fees
On July 14, 2016, we completed the acquisition of the agency mortgage platform of Arbor Commercial Mortgage, LLC (the “Acquisition”), a national commercial real estate finance company that originates, sells and services a range of multifamily finance products. However, as REITs, Arbor Realty and SR Inc. are unable to hold directly certain of the acquired assets and operations in connection with the Acquisition. We therefore hold those assets and operations through one or more TRSs of SR Inc. As described above, a TRS is subject to regular corporate income tax on its net income. As a result, the net income generated by those operations generally is subject to regular corporate income tax.
Moreover, as described above, under the REIT asset tests (i) no more than 25% of our total gross assets may consist of nonqualifying assets, including the stock or other securities of one or more TRSs and other nonqualifying assets (such as goodwill and similar assets we acquired as a result of the Acquisition), and (ii) for 2018 and subsequent taxable years, no more than 20% of our total gross assets may consist of the stock or other securities of one or more TRSs. In addition, although dividends payable by TRSs constitute qualifying income for purposes of the 95% REIT gross income test, they are nonqualifying income for purposes of the 75% REIT gross income test. Accordingly, if the value of the business we acquired in connection with the Acquisition or the income generated thereby increases relative to the value of our other, REIT-compliant assets and income, Arbor Realty or SR Inc. may fail to satisfy one or more of the requirements applicable to REITs. Although the Acquisition is not expected to adversely affect the ability of Arbor Realty or SR Inc. to continue to qualify as a REIT, no assurances can be given in that regard.
In connection with the Acquisition, Hunton & Williams LLP delivered an opinion to us to the effect that certain participation interests in excess servicing fees that were transferred to SR Inc. will: (i) be classified as “stripped coupons” within the meaning of Section 1286(e)(3) of the Code; (ii) be classified as “interests in mortgages on real property” and therefore “real estate assets” for purposes of the REIT asset tests set forth in Sections 856(c)(4) and (c)(5)(B) of the Code; and (iii) generate qualifying income for purposes of the REIT income tests set forth in Sections 856(c)(2) and (c)(3) of the Code. It must be emphasized that the opinion of Hunton & Williams LLP is expressed as of the date given, is based on various assumptions, and is conditioned upon representations and covenants made by the management of SR Inc. and affiliated entities. You should be aware that opinions of counsel are not binding on the IRS, and no assurance can be given that the IRS will not challenge the conclusions set forth in such opinions. If the IRS were to successfully challenge the opinion of Hunton & Williams LLP, then Arbor Realty or SR Inc. could fail to qualify as a REIT.
Prohibited Transactions
Net income derived from a prohibited transaction is subject to a 100% tax. The term “prohibited transaction” generally includes a sale or other disposition of property (other than foreclosure property) that is held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business by a REIT, by a lower-tier partnership in which the REIT holds an equity interest or by a borrower that has issued a shared appreciation mortgage or similar debt instrument to the REIT. Whether property is held “primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business” depends on the particular facts and circumstances. Although we intend to structure any asset sales so that they are not treated as prohibited transactions, no assurance can be given that any particular property in which we hold a direct or indirect interest will not be treated as property held for sale to customers, or that certain safe-harbor provisions of the Code that could prevent such treatment will apply. The 100% tax will generally not apply to gains from the sale of property that is held through a TRS or other taxable corporation, although such income will be subject to tax in the hands of the corporation at regular U.S. federal corporate income tax rates.
Foreclosure Property
Foreclosure property is real property and any personal property incident to such real property (i) that is acquired by a REIT as the result of the REIT having bid in the property at foreclosure, or having otherwise reduced the property to ownership or possession by agreement or process of law, after there was a default (or default was imminent) on a lease of the property or a mortgage loan held by the REIT and secured by the property, (ii) for which the related loan or lease was acquired by the REIT at a time when default was not imminent or anticipated and (iii) for which such REIT makes a proper election to treat the property as
 
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foreclosure property. REITs generally are subject to tax at the maximum corporate rate on any net income from foreclosure property, including any gain from the disposition of the foreclosure property, other than income, such as certain rental income, that would otherwise be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test. Any gain from the sale of property for which a foreclosure property election has been made will not be subject to the 100% tax on gains from prohibited transactions described above, even if the property would otherwise constitute inventory or dealer property in the hands of the selling REIT. If we receive any income from foreclosure property that is not qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, we expect to make an election to treat the related property as foreclosure property, or to otherwise determine that the receipt of such non-qualifying income will not adversely affect our qualification as a REIT.
Derivatives and Hedging Transactions
We and our subsidiaries may enter into hedging transactions with respect to interest rate exposure on one or more assets or liabilities. Any such hedging transactions could take a variety of forms, including the use of derivative instruments such as interest rate swap contracts, interest rate cap or floor contracts, futures or forward contracts, and options. Except to the extent provided by Treasury regulations, any income from a hedging transaction (including gain from the sale, disposition, or termination of a position in such a transaction) will not constitute gross income for purposes of the 75% or 95% gross income test if we properly identify the transaction as specified in applicable Treasury regulations and we enter into such transaction (1) in the normal course of our business primarily to manage risk of interest rate changes or currency fluctuations with respect to borrowings made or to be made, or ordinary obligations incurred or to be incurred, to acquire or carry real estate assets, (2) primarily to manage risk of currency fluctuations with respect to any item of income or gain that would be qualifying income under the 75% or 95% gross income tests (or any asset that produces such income), or (3) in connection with the extinguishment of indebtedness with respect to which we have entered into a qualified hedging position described in clause (1) or the disposition of property with respect to which we have entered into a qualified hedging position described in clause (2), primarily to manage the risks of such hedging positions. To the extent that we enter into other types of hedging transactions, the income from those transactions is likely to be treated as non-qualifying income for purposes of both the 75% and the 95% gross income tests. Moreover, our position in a hedging contract or other derivative instrument, to the extent that it has positive value, may not be treated favorably for purposes of the REIT asset tests.
We intend to structure any hedging transactions in a manner that does not jeopardize our qualification as a REIT. We may conduct some or all of our hedging activities through a TRS or other corporate entity, the income from which may be subject to U.S. federal income tax, rather than by participating in the arrangements directly or through pass-through subsidiaries. No assurance can be given, however, that our hedging activities will not give rise to income that does not qualify for purposes of either or both of the REIT gross income tests, or that our hedging activities will not adversely affect our ability to satisfy the REIT qualification requirements.
Taxable Mortgage Pools and Excess Inclusion Income
An entity, or a portion of an entity, may be classified as a taxable mortgage pool (“TMP”) under the Code if:

substantially all of its assets consist of debt obligations or interests in debt obligations,

more than 50% of those debt obligations are real estate mortgages or interests in real estate mortgages as of specified testing dates,

the entity has issued debt obligations (liabilities) that have two or more maturities, and

the payments required to be made by the entity on its debt obligations (liabilities) “bear a relationship” to the payments to be received by the entity on the debt obligations that it holds as assets.
 
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Under Treasury regulations, if less than 80% of the assets of an entity (or a portion of an entity) consist of debt obligations, these debt obligations are considered not to comprise “substantially all” of its assets, and therefore the entity would not be treated as a TMP. Our financing and securitization arrangements may give rise to TMPs, with the consequences described below.
Where an entity, or a portion of an entity, is classified as a TMP, it is generally treated as a taxable corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes. In the case of a REIT, or a portion of a REIT, or a disregarded subsidiary of a REIT, that is a TMP, however, special rules apply. The TMP is not treated as a corporation that is subject to U.S. federal corporate income tax, and the TMP classification does not directly affect the qualification of the REIT. Rather, the consequences of the TMP classification would, in general, except as described below, be limited to the stockholders of the REIT.
A portion of the REIT’s income from the TMP arrangement could be treated as “excess inclusion income.” The REIT’s excess inclusion income, including any excess inclusion income from a residual interest in a REMIC, must be allocated among its stockholders in proportion to dividends paid. The REIT is required to notify stockholders of the amount of “excess inclusion income” allocated to them. A stockholder’s share of excess inclusion income:

cannot be offset by any net operating losses otherwise available to the stockholder,

is subject to tax as unrelated business taxable income in the hands of most types of stockholders that are otherwise generally exempt from U.S. federal income tax, and

results in the application of U.S. federal income tax withholding at the maximum rate (30%), without reduction for any otherwise applicable income tax treaty or other exemption, to the extent allocable to most types of foreign stockholders.
See “— Taxation of Stockholders.” To the extent that excess inclusion income is allocated to a tax-exempt stockholder of a REIT that is not subject to unrelated business income tax (such as a government entity or charitable remainder trust), the REIT will be subject to tax on this income at the highest applicable corporate tax rate. In that case, the REIT could reduce distributions to such stockholders by the amount of such tax paid by it that is attributable to such stockholder’s ownership. Treasury regulations provide that such a reduction in distributions does not give rise to a preferential dividend that could adversely affect the REIT’s compliance with its distribution requirements. See “— Annual Distribution Requirements.” The manner in which excess inclusion income is calculated, or would be allocated to stockholders, including allocations among shares of different classes of stock, is not clear under current law. As required by the IRS guidance, we intend to make such determinations using a reasonable method. Tax-exempt investors, foreign investors and taxpayers with net operating losses should carefully consider the tax consequences described above, and are urged to consult their tax advisors.
In the case of a subsidiary partnership that is not wholly-owned by us or by another entity, such as SR Inc., that is taxed as a REIT, if the partnership were a TMP, the foregoing rules would not apply. Rather, the partnership that is a TMP would be treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and potentially could be subject to U.S. federal corporate income tax or withholding tax. In addition, this characterization would alter our income and asset test calculations, and could adversely affect our compliance with those requirements. We intend to monitor the structure of any TMPs in which we have an interest to ensure that they will not adversely affect our qualification as a REIT. Moreover, we have implemented certain structures intended to cause any excess inclusion income to be allocated to a TRS rather than being passed through to our shareholders, and the TRS will be subject to corporate-level tax on any such income.
Failure to Qualify
If we fail to satisfy one or more requirements for REIT qualification other than the income or asset tests, we could avoid disqualification as a REIT if our failure is due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect and we pay a penalty of $50,000 for each such failure. Relief provisions are also available for failures of the income tests and asset tests, as described above in “— Income Tests” and “— Asset Tests”
If we fail to qualify for taxation as a REIT in any taxable year, and the relief provisions described above do not apply, we would be subject to tax on our taxable income at regular corporate rates.
 
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Distributions to stockholders in any year in which an entity fails to qualify as a REIT are not deductible by the entity, nor would they be required to be made. In this situation, to the extent of current and accumulated earnings and profits, distributions to stockholders would generally be taxable in the case of U.S. holders who are individuals, trusts and estates, at capital gains rates, and, subject to limitations of the Code, corporate distributees may be eligible for the dividends received deduction. Unless entitled to relief under specific statutory provisions, we would also be disqualified from re-electing to be taxed as a REIT for the four taxable years following the year during which qualification was lost. It is not possible to state whether, in all circumstances, we would be entitled to this statutory relief.
Tax Aspects of Investments in Partnerships
General
Arbor Realty and SR Inc. may hold investments through entities that are classified as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes. In general, partnerships are “pass-through” entities that are not subject to U.S. federal income tax. Rather, partners are allocated their proportionate shares of the items of income, gain, loss, deduction and credit of a partnership, and are potentially subject to tax on these items, without regard to whether the partners receive a distribution from the partnership. We will include in income our proportionate share of items from partnerships in which we hold an equity interest for purposes of the various REIT income tests and in the computation of our REIT taxable income. Moreover, for purposes of the REIT asset tests, we will generally include our proportionate share of assets held by subsidiary partnerships. See “Taxation of Arbor Realty — Effect of Subsidiary Entities — Ownership of Partnership Interests.”
Consequently, to the extent that we directly or indirectly hold a preferred or other equity interest in a partnership, the partnership’s assets and operations may affect our ability to qualify as a REIT, even though we may have no control, or only limited influence, over the partnership.
Entity Classification
Any investment in partnerships involves special tax considerations, including the possibility of a challenge by the IRS of the status of any subsidiary partnership as a partnership, as opposed to an association taxable as a corporation, for U.S. federal income tax purposes (for example, if the IRS were to assert that a subsidiary partnership is a TMP). See “Taxation of Arbor Realty — Taxable Mortgage Pools and Excess Inclusion Income.” If any of these entities were treated as an association for U.S. federal income tax purposes, it would be taxable as a corporation and therefore could be subject to an entity-level tax on its income. In such a situation, the character of our assets and items of gross income would change and could preclude us from satisfying the REIT asset tests or the gross income tests as discussed in “Taxation of Arbor Realty — Asset Tests” and “— Income Tests,” and in turn could prevent us from qualifying as a REIT, unless we are eligible for relief from the violation pursuant to relief provisions described above. See “Taxation of Arbor Realty — Asset Tests,” “— Income Tests” and “— Failure to Qualify,” above, for discussion of the effect of failure to satisfy the REIT tests for a taxable year, and of the relief provisions. In addition, any change in the status of any subsidiary partnership for tax purposes might be treated as a taxable event, in which case we could have taxable income that is subject to the REIT distribution requirements, without receiving any cash.
Allocations of Income, Gain, Loss and Deduction
A partnership agreement will generally determine the allocation of partnership income and loss among partners. Generally, Section 704(b) of the Code and the Treasury regulations thereunder require that partnership allocations respect the economic arrangement of the partners. If an allocation of partnership income or loss does not comply with the requirements of Section 704(b) of the Code and the Treasury regulations thereunder, the items subject to the allocation will be reallocated in accordance with the partners’ interests in the partnership. This reallocation will be determined by taking into account all the facts and circumstances relating to the economic arrangement of the partners with respect to such item. Our operating partnerships’ allocations of taxable income and loss are intended to comply with the requirements of Section 704(b) of the Code and the Treasury regulations thereunder.
 
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New Partnership Audit Rules
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 changed the rules applicable to U.S. federal income tax audits of partnerships. Under the new rules, among other changes and subject to certain exceptions, any audit adjustment to items of income, gain, loss, deduction, or credit of a partnership (and any partner’s distributive share thereof) is determined, and taxes, interest, or penalties attributable thereto are assessed and collected, at the partnership level. Although there is still uncertainty about how these new rules will be implemented, it is possible that they could result in partnerships in which we directly or indirectly invest being required to pay additional taxes, interest and penalties as a result of an audit adjustment, and we, as a direct or indirect partner of those partnerships could be required to bear the economic burden of those taxes, interest and penalties even though we, as a REIT, may not otherwise have been required to pay additional corporate-level taxes as a result of the related audit adjustment. The changes created by these new rules are sweeping and, in many respects, dependent on the promulgation of future regulations or other guidance by the U.S. Treasury. Investors are urged to consult with their tax advisors with respect to those changes and their potential impact on their investment in our common stock.
Taxation of Stockholders
Taxation of Taxable U.S. Holders
This section summarizes the taxation of U.S. holders that are not tax-exempt organizations. For these purposes, a “U.S. holder” is a holder of our stock that for U.S. federal income tax purposes is:

an individual who is a citizen or resident of the United States;

a corporation (including an entity treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes) created or organized in or under the laws of the United States, or of any state thereof, or the District of Columbia;

an estate, the income of which is includable in gross income for U.S. federal income tax purposes regardless of its source; or

any trust if (1) a U.S. court is able to exercise primary supervision over the administration of such trust and one or more U.S. persons have the authority to control all substantial decisions of the trust, or (2) it has a valid election in place to be treated as a U.S. person.
If a partnership, including for this purpose any entity treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes, holds stock issued by Arbor Realty, the tax treatment of a partner in the partnership will generally depend upon the status of the partner and the activities of the partnership. An investor that is a partnership and the partners in such partnership should consult their tax advisors about the U.S. federal income tax consequences of the acquisition, ownership and disposition of our stock.
Distributions.   As a REIT, the distributions that we make to our U.S. holders out of current or accumulated earnings and profits that we do not designate as capital gain dividends will generally be taken into account by such holders as ordinary income and will not be eligible for the dividends received deduction for corporations. With limited exceptions, our dividends are not eligible for taxation at the preferential income tax rates for qualified dividends from taxable C corporations received by U.S. holders that are individuals, trusts and estates. Such holders, however, are taxed at the preferential rates on dividends designated by and received from REITs to the extent that the dividends are attributable to:

income retained by the REIT in the prior taxable year on which the REIT was subject to corporate level income tax (less the amount of tax),

dividends received by the REIT from TRSs or other taxable C corporations, or

income in the prior taxable year from the sale of “built-in gain” property acquired by the REIT from a C corporation in a carryover basis transaction (less the amount of corporate tax borne by the REIT on such income).
 
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In addition, for taxable years that begin after December 31, 2017 and before January 1, 2026, stockholders that are individuals, trusts or estates are generally entitled to a deduction equal to 20% of the aggregate amount of ordinary income dividends received from a REIT (not including capital gain dividends, as described below, or dividends eligible for the reduced rates applicable to “qualified dividend income,” as described above), subject to certain limitations. Under final regulations issued by the IRS, in order to qualify for this deduction with respect to a dividend on our common shares, a shareholder must hold such shares for more than 45 days during the 91-day period beginning on the date which is 45 days before the date on which such shares become ex-dividend with respect to such dividend (taking into account certain special holding period rules that may, among other consequences, reduce a shareholder’s holding period during any period in which the shareholder has diminished its risk of loss with respect to the shares). Shareholders are urged to consult their tax advisors as to their ability to claim this deduction.
Distributions that we designate as capital gain dividends will generally be taxed to our U.S. holders as long-term capital gains, to the extent that such distributions do not exceed our actual net capital gain for the taxable year, without regard to the period for which the holder that receives such distribution has held its stock. We may elect to retain and pay taxes on some or all of our net long term capital gains, if any. In that case, we might elect to apply certain provisions of the Code that treat our U.S. holders as having received, solely for tax purposes, our undistributed capital gains. The U.S. holders would be taxable on this income, but would also receive a corresponding credit for the taxes that we paid on such undistributed capital gains. The U.S. holders would also be deemed to recontribute the after-tax amount of the income back to us, and would correspondingly increase the tax basis of their shares. See “Taxation of Arbor Realty — Annual Distribution Requirements.” Corporate U.S. holders may be required to treat up to 20% of some capital gain dividends as ordinary income. Long-term capital gains are generally taxable at reduced maximum federal rates in the case of U.S. holders that are individuals, trusts and estates, and ordinary income rates in the case of U.S. holders that are corporations. Capital gains attributable to the sale of depreciable real property held for more than 12 months are subject to a 25% maximum U.S. federal income tax rate for taxpayers who are taxed as individuals, to the extent of previously claimed depreciation deductions.
Distributions in excess of our current and accumulated earnings and profits will generally represent a return of capital, and will not be taxable to a U.S. holder, to the extent that the amount of such distributions does not exceed the adjusted tax basis of the holder’s shares in respect of which the distributions were made. Rather, the distribution will reduce the adjusted basis of the holder’s shares. To the extent that such distributions exceed the adjusted basis of a U.S. holder’s shares, the holder generally must include such distributions in income as long-term capital gain, or as short-term capital gain if the shares have been held for one year or less. In addition, any dividend that we declare in October, November or December of any year and that is payable to a holder of record on a specified date in any such month will be treated as both paid by us and received by the holder on December 31 of such year, provided that we actually pay the dividend before the end of January of the following calendar year.
To the extent that we have available net operating losses and capital losses carried forward from prior tax years, such losses may, subject to limitations, reduce the amount of distributions that we must make in order to comply with the REIT distribution requirements. See “Taxation of Arbor Realty — Annual Distribution Requirements.” Such losses, however, are not passed through to U.S. holders and do not offset income of holders from other sources, nor would such losses affect the character of any distributions that we make, which are generally subject to tax in the hands of holders to the extent that we have current or accumulated earnings and profits, as described above.
Dispositions of Stock.   Upon the sale or disposition of our stock, a U.S. holder will generally recognize capital gain or loss for U.S. federal income tax purposes in an amount equal to the difference between (i) the amount of cash and fair market value of any property received in the sale or disposition and (ii) the holder’s adjusted basis in the stock. In general, capital gains recognized by individuals, trusts and estates upon the sale or disposition of our stock will be subject to reduced U.S. federal income tax rates if the stock is held for more than one year, and will be taxed at ordinary income rates if the stock is held for one year or less. Gains recognized by U.S. holders that are corporations are subject to U.S. federal income tax at ordinary income rates, whether or not such gains are classified as long-term capital gains. Capital losses recognized by a U.S. holder upon the disposition of our stock that was held for more than one year at the time of disposition will be considered long-term capital losses. Capital losses are generally available only to
 
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offset capital gain income of the U.S. holder but not ordinary income (except in the case of individuals, who may apply up to $3,000 per year of the excess, if any, of capital losses over capital gains, to offset ordinary income). In addition, any loss upon a sale or exchange of shares of our stock by a U.S. holder who has held the shares for six months or less will be treated as a long-term capital loss to the extent of distributions that we make that are required to be treated by the holder as long-term capital gain.
If an investor recognizes a loss upon a disposition of our stock or other securities in an amount that exceeds a prescribed threshold, it is possible that the provisions of Treasury regulations involving “reportable transactions” could apply, with a resulting requirement to separately disclose the loss-generating transaction to the IRS. These regulations, though directed towards “tax shelters,” are broadly written, and apply to transactions that would not typically be considered tax shelters. The Code imposes significant penalties for failure to comply with these requirements. You should consult your tax advisors concerning any possible disclosure obligation with respect to the receipt or disposition of our stock or securities, or transactions that we might undertake directly or indirectly. Moreover, we and other participants in the transactions in which we are involved (including their advisors) might be subject to disclosure or other requirements pursuant to these regulations.
Passive Activity Losses and Investment Interest Limitations.   Distributions that we make and gains arising from the sale or exchange by a U.S. holder of our stock will not be treated as passive activity income. As a result, U.S. holders will not be able to apply any “passive losses” against income or gain relating to our stock. To the extent that distributions we make do not constitute a return of capital, they will be treated as investment income for purposes of computing the investment interest limitation.
Medicare Tax.   Certain U.S. stockholders 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 portion of their “net investment income,” which includes dividends received from us and capital gains from the sale or other disposition of our stock.
Taxation of Non-U.S. Holders
The rules governing U.S. federal income taxation of the ownership and disposition of our stock that are applicable to non-U.S. holders of our stock are complex, and no attempt is made herein to provide more than a brief summary of such rules. A “non-U.S. holder” is any person other than a U.S. holder, as defined above, or a partnership, including for this purpose any entity that is treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes. The discussion does not address all aspects of U.S. federal income tax law and does not address state, local or foreign tax consequences that may be relevant to a non-U.S. holder in light of its particular circumstances. In addition, this discussion is based on current law, which is subject to change, and assumes that Arbor Realty will qualify for taxation as a REIT. Non-U.S. holders should consult their tax advisors to determine the impact of U.S. federal, state, local and foreign tax laws with regard to the ownership and disposition of our stock (including reporting requirements) in light of their individual circumstances.
Ordinary Dividends.   The portion of dividends received by non-U.S. holders that (1) is payable out of our earnings and profits, (2) is not attributable to our capital gains, and (3) is not effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business of the non-U.S. holder, will generally be subject to U.S. withholding tax at the rate of 30%, unless reduced or eliminated by treaty. Reduced treaty rates and other exemptions are not available to the extent that income is attributable to excess inclusion income allocable to the non-U.S. holder. Accordingly, we will withhold at a rate of 30% on any portion of a dividend that is paid to a non-U.S. holder and attributable to that holder’s share of our excess inclusion income. See “Taxation of Arbor Realty — Taxable Mortgage Pools and Excess Inclusion Income.” As required by IRS guidance, we intend to disclose to holders if a portion of a dividend paid by us is attributable to excess inclusion income.
In general, non-U.S. holders will not be considered to be engaged in a U.S. trade or business solely as a result of their ownership of our stock. In cases where the dividend income from a non-U.S. holder’s investment in our stock is, or is treated as, effectively connected with the non-U.S. holder’s conduct of a U.S. trade or business, the non-U.S. holder generally will be subject to U.S. federal income tax at graduated rates, in the same manner as domestic holders are taxed with respect to such dividends. Such income must generally be reported on a U.S. income tax return filed by or on behalf of the non-U.S. holder. The income
 
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may also be subject to the 30% branch profits tax (unless reduced or eliminated by treaty) in the case of a non-U.S. holder that is a corporation.
Non-dividend Distributions.   Unless our stock constitutes a U.S. real property interest (a “USRPI”), distributions that we make which are not dividends out of our earnings and profits will generally not be subject to U.S. income tax (except that distributions in excess of both our earnings and profits and a shareholder’s basis in its shares will generally be subject to the discussion under “— Dispositions of Stock”). Although we believe that our stock is not a USRPI, no assurances can be given that our stock is not, or will not become, a USRPI. See below under “— Dispositions of Stock” for a discussion of whether our stock will constitute a USRPI. If we cannot determine at the time that a distribution is made whether or not the distribution will exceed current and accumulated earnings and profits, the distribution will be subject to withholding at the rate applicable to dividends. The non-U.S. holder may seek a refund from the IRS of any amounts withheld if it is subsequently determined that the distribution was, in fact, in excess of our current and accumulated earnings and profits. If our stock constitutes a USRPI, as described below, distributions that we make in excess of the sum of (a) the holder’s proportionate share of our earnings and profits, plus (b) the holder’s basis in its stock, will be taxed under the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 (“FIRPTA”) at the rate of tax, including any applicable capital gains rates, that would apply to a domestic holder of the same type (e.g., an individual or a corporation, as the case may be), and the collection of the tax may be enforced by a refundable withholding at a rate of 15% of the amount by which the distribution exceeds the holder’s share of our earnings and profits.
Capital Gain Dividends.   Under FIRPTA, a distribution that we make to a non-U.S. holder, to the extent attributable to gains from dispositions of USRPIs that we held directly or through pass-through subsidiaries (“USRPI capital gains”), will, except as described below, be considered effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business of the non-U.S. holder and will be subject to U.S. income tax at the rates applicable to U.S. individuals or corporations, without regard to whether we designate the distribution as a capital gain dividend. See above under “— Taxation of Non U.S. Holders — Ordinary Dividends,” for a discussion of the consequences of income that is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business. In addition, we will be required to withhold tax equal to 21% of the amount of dividends to the extent the dividends constitute USRPI capital gains. Distributions subject to FIRPTA may also be subject to a 30% branch profits tax (unless reduced or eliminated by treaty) in the hands of a non-U.S. holder that is a corporation. A distribution is not a USRPI capital gain if we held an interest in the underlying asset solely as a creditor. Capital gain dividends received by a non-U.S. holder that are attributable to dispositions of our assets other than USRPIs are not subject to U.S. federal income or withholding tax, unless (1) the gain is effectively connected with the non-U.S. holder’s U.S. trade or business, in which case the non-U.S. holder would be subject to the same treatment as U.S. holders with respect to such gain, or (2) the non-U.S. holder is a nonresident alien individual who was present in the United States for 183 days or more during the taxable year and has a “tax home” in the United States, in which case the non-U.S. holder will incur a 30% tax on his or her capital gains.
A capital gain dividend that would otherwise have been treated as a USRPI capital gain will not be so treated or be subject to FIRPTA, and generally will not be treated as income that is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business, and instead will be treated in the same manner as an ordinary dividend (see “— Taxation of Non-U.S. Holders — Ordinary Dividends”), provided that (1) the capital gain dividend is received with respect to a class of stock that is regularly traded on an established securities market located in the United States, and (2) the recipient non-U.S. holder does not own, actually or constructively, more than 10% of that class of stock at any time during the year ending on the date on which the capital gain dividend is received. We believe that our common stock is, and is likely to continue to be, “regularly traded” on an established securities exchange.
Dispositions of Stock.   Unless our stock constitutes a USRPI, a sale of our stock by a non-U.S. holder generally will not be subject to U.S. taxation under FIRPTA. Our stock will not be treated as a USRPI if less than 50% of our assets throughout a prescribed testing period consist of interests in real property located within the United States, excluding, for this purpose, interests in real property solely in a capacity as a creditor. It is not currently anticipated that our stock will constitute a USRPI. However, we cannot assure you that our stock will not become a USRPI.
 
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Even if the foregoing 50% test is not met, our stock nonetheless will not constitute a USRPI if we are a “domestically-controlled qualified investment entity.” A domestically-controlled qualified investment entity includes a REIT, less than 50% of value of which is treated as held directly or indirectly by non-U.S. holders at all times during a specified testing period (after applying certain presumptions regarding the ownership of our stock, as described in Section 897(h)(4)(E) of the Code). We believe that we are, and we expect to continue to be, a domestically-controlled qualified investment entity, and that a sale of our stock should not be subject to taxation under FIRPTA. No assurance can be given, however, that we are or will remain a domestically-controlled qualified investment entity.
In the event that we are not a domestically-controlled qualified investment entity, but our stock is “regularly traded,” as defined by applicable Treasury Department regulations, on an established securities market, a non-U.S. holder’s sale of our stock nonetheless would not be subject to tax under FIRPTA as a sale of a USRPI, provided that the selling non-U.S. holder held, actually and constructively, 10% or less of such class of stock at all times during a specified testing period. As noted above, we believe that our common stock is, and is likely to continue to be, “regularly traded” on an established securities exchange.
If gain on the sale of our stock were subject to taxation under FIRPTA, the non-U.S. holder would be required to file a U.S. federal income tax return and would be subject to the same treatment as a U.S. holder with respect to such gain and the purchaser of the stock could be required to withhold 15% of the purchase price and remit such amount to the IRS.
Gain from the sale of our stock that would not otherwise be subject to FIRPTA will nonetheless be taxable in the United States to a non-U.S. holder in two cases: (1) if the non-U.S. holder’s investment in our stock is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business conducted by such non-U.S. holder, the non-U.S. holder will be subject to the same treatment as a U.S. holder with respect to such gain, and a non-U.S. holder that is a corporation may also be subject to a branch profits tax at a rate of 30% (unless reduced or eliminated by treaty), or (2) if the non-U.S. holder is a nonresident alien individual who was present in the United States for 183 days or more during the taxable year and has a “tax home” in the United States, the nonresident alien individual will be subject to a 30% tax on the individual’s capital gain. In addition, even if we are a domestically-controlled qualified investment entity, upon disposition of our stock (subject to the 10% exception applicable to “regularly traded” stock described above), a non-U.S. holder may be treated as having gain from the sale or exchange of a USRPI if the non-U.S. holder (i) disposes of our stock within a 30-day period preceding the ex-dividend date of a distribution, any portion of which, but for the dispositions, would have been treated as gain from the sale or exchange of a USRPI; and (ii) acquires, or enters into a contract or option to acquire, other shares of our stock within 30 days after such ex-dividend date.
Special FIRPTA Rules.   FIRPTA contains special rules that provide exemptions from FIRPTA and otherwise modify the application of the foregoing FIRPTA rules for particular types of foreign investors, including “qualified foreign pension funds” and their wholly owned foreign subsidiaries and certain widely held, publicly traded “qualified collective investment vehicles.” Non-U.S. holders are urged to consult their tax advisors regarding the applicability of these or any other special FIRPTA rules to their particular investment in our common stock.
Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.   The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and existing guidance issued thereunder require withholding at a rate of 30% on dividends in respect of our common stock held by or through certain foreign financial institutions (including investment funds), unless such institution enters into an agreement with the Treasury to report, on an annual basis, information with respect to shares in, or accounts maintained by, the institution to the extent such shares or accounts are held by certain U.S. persons and 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 our common stock is held will affect the determination of whether such withholding is required. Similarly, dividends in respect of our common stock held by an investor that is a non-financial non-U.S. entity that does not qualify under certain exemptions will be subject to withholding at a rate of 30%, unless such entity either (1) certifies that such entity does not have any “substantial United States owners” or (2) provides certain information regarding the entity’s “substantial United States owners,” which the applicable withholding agent will in turn 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. We will
 
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not pay any additional amounts to stockholders in respect of any amounts withheld. Non-U.S. holders are encouraged to consult their tax advisors regarding the possible implications of the legislation on their investment in our common stock.
Estate Tax.   If our stock is owned or treated as owned by an individual who is not a citizen or resident (as specially defined for U.S. federal estate tax purposes) of the United States at the time of such individual’s death, the stock will be includable in the individual’s gross estate for U.S. federal estate tax purposes, unless an applicable estate tax treaty provides otherwise, and may therefore be subject to U.S. federal estate tax.
Foreign holders are urged to consult their tax advisors regarding the U.S. federal, state, local and foreign income and other tax consequences of owning our stock.
Taxation of Tax-Exempt Stockholders
Tax-exempt entities, including qualified employee pension and profit sharing trusts and individual retirement accounts, generally are exempt from U.S. federal income taxation. Such entities, however, may be subject to taxation on their unrelated business taxable income (“UBTI”). While some investments in real estate may generate UBTI, the IRS has ruled that dividend distributions from a REIT to a tax-exempt entity generally do not constitute UBTI. Based on that ruling, and provided that (1) a tax-exempt stockholder has not held our stock as “debt financed property” within the meaning of the Code (i.e., where the acquisition or holding of the property is financed through a borrowing by the tax-exempt stockholder), and (2) our stock is not otherwise used in an unrelated trade or business, distributions that we make and income from the sale of our stock generally should not give rise to UBTI to a tax-exempt stockholder.
Tax-exempt stockholders that are social clubs, voluntary employee benefit associations, supplemental unemployment benefit trusts, and qualified group legal services plans exempt from U.S. federal income taxation under sections 501(c)(7), (c)(9), (c)(17) and (c)(20) of the Code are subject to different UBTI rules, which generally require such stockholders to characterize distributions that we make as UBTI.
In certain circumstances, a pension trust that owns more than 10% of our stock could be required to treat a percentage of the dividends as UBTI, if we are a “pension-held REIT.” We will not be a pension-held REIT unless (1) we are required to “look through” one or more of our pension trust stockholders in order to satisfy the REIT closely held test, and (2) either (i) one pension trust owns more than 25% of the value of our stock, or (ii) one or more pension trusts, each individually holding more than 10% of the value of our stock, collectively owns more than 50% of the value of our stock. Certain restrictions on ownership and transfer of our stock should generally prevent a tax-exempt entity from owning more than 10% of the value of our stock, and, in general, should prevent us from becoming a pension-held REIT.
Tax-exempt stockholders are urged to consult their tax advisors regarding the federal, state, local and foreign tax consequences of owning our stock.
Other Tax Considerations
Legislative or Other Changes in Tax Law Affecting REITs
The present U.S. federal income tax treatment of REITs may be modified, possibly with retroactive effect, by legislative, judicial or administrative action at any time. The REIT rules are constantly under review by persons involved in the legislative process and by the IRS and the Treasury which may result in statutory changes as well as revisions to regulations and interpretations. For example, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (the “Act”) significantly changed the U.S. federal income tax laws applicable to businesses and their owners, including REITs and their shareholders. Technical corrections or other amendments to the Act or administrative guidance interpreting the Act may be forthcoming at any time. We cannot predict the long-term effect of the Act or any future law changes on REITs or their shareholders. Changes to the U.S. federal tax laws and interpretations thereof, whether under the Act or otherwise, could adversely affect an investment in our stock.
 
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State, Local and Foreign Taxes
We and our subsidiaries and stockholders may be subject to state, local or foreign taxation in various jurisdictions, including those in which we or they transact business, own property or reside. We may own properties located in numerous jurisdictions, and may be required to file tax returns in some or all of those jurisdictions. Our state, local or foreign tax treatment, and that of our stockholders, may not conform to the U.S. federal income tax treatment discussed above. We may pay foreign property taxes, and dispositions of foreign property or operations involving, or investments in, foreign property may give rise to foreign income or other tax liability in amounts that could be substantial. Any foreign taxes that we incur do not pass through to stockholders as a credit against their U.S. federal income tax liability. Prospective investors should consult their tax advisors regarding the application and effect of state, local and foreign income and other tax laws on an investment in our stock.
 
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PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION
We or the selling securityholders may sell the securities offered by this prospectus from time to time in one or more transactions, including without limitation;

directly to purchasers;

through agents;

to or through underwriters or dealers; or

through a combination of these methods.
A distribution of the securities offered by this prospectus may also be effected through the issuance of derivative securities, including without limitation, warrants, exchangeable securities, forward delivery contracts and the writing of options.
In addition, the manner in which we may sell some or all of the securities covered by this prospectus includes, without limitation, through:

a block trade in which a broker-dealer will attempt to sell as agent, but may position or resell a portion of the block, as principal, in order to facilitate the transaction;

purchases by a broker-dealer, as principal, and resale by the broker-dealer for its account;

ordinary brokerage transactions and transactions in which a broker solicits purchasers; or

privately negotiated transactions.
We may also enter into hedging transactions. For example, we may:

enter into transactions with a broker-dealer or affiliate thereof in connection with which such broker-dealer or affiliate will engage in short sales of the common stock pursuant to this prospectus, in which case such broker-dealer or affiliate may use shares of common stock received from us to close out its short positions;

sell securities short and redeliver such shares to close out our short positions;

enter into option or other types of transactions that require us to deliver common stock to a broker-dealer or an affiliate thereof, who will then resell or transfer the common stock under this prospectus; or

loan or pledge the common stock to a broker-dealer or an affiliate thereof, who may sell the loaned shares or, in an event of default in the case of a pledge, sell the pledged shares pursuant to this prospectus.
In addition, we may enter into derivative or hedging transactions with third parties, or sell securities not covered by this prospectus to third parties in privately negotiated transactions. In connection with such a transaction, the third parties may sell securities covered by and pursuant to this prospectus and an applicable prospectus supplement or pricing supplement, as the case may be. If so, the third party may use securities borrowed from us or others to settle such sales and may use securities received from us to close out any related short positions. We may also loan or pledge securities covered by this prospectus and an applicable prospectus supplement to third parties, who may sell the loaned securities or, in an event of default in the case of a pledge, sell the pledged securities pursuant to this prospectus and the applicable prospectus supplement or pricing supplement, as the case may be.
A prospectus supplement with respect to each series of securities will state the terms of the offering of the securities, including:

the terms of the offering;

the name or names of any underwriters or agents and the amounts of securities underwritten or purchased by each of them, if any;

the public offering price or purchase price of the securities and the net proceeds to be received by us from the sale;
 
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any delayed delivery arrangements;

any initial public offering price;

any underwriting discounts or agency fees and other items constituting underwriters’ or agents’ compensation;

any discounts or concessions allowed or reallowed or paid to dealers; and

any securities exchange on which the securities may be listed.
The offer and sale of the securities described in this prospectus by us, the underwriters or the third parties described above may be effected from time to time in one or more transactions, including privately negotiated transactions, either:

at a fixed price or prices, which may be changed;

at market prices prevailing at the time of sale;

at prices related to the prevailing market prices; or

at negotiated prices.
General
Any public offering price and any discounts, commissions, concessions or other items constituting compensation allowed or reallowed or paid to underwriters, dealers, agents or remarketing firms may be changed from time to time. Underwriters, dealers, agents and remarketing firms that participate in the distribution of the offered securities may be “underwriters” as defined in the Securities Act, as amended (the “Securities Act”). Any discounts or commissions they receive from us and any profits they receive on the resale of the offered securities may be treated as underwriting discounts and commissions under the Securities Act. We will identify any underwriters, agents or dealers and describe their commissions, fees or discounts in the applicable prospectus supplement or pricing supplement, as the case may be.
Underwriters and Agents
If underwriters are used in a sale, they will acquire the offered securities for their own account. The underwriters may resell the offered securities in one or more transactions, including negotiated transactions. These sales may be made at a fixed public offering price or prices, which may be changed, at market prices prevailing at the time of the sale, at prices related to such prevailing market price or at negotiated prices. We may offer the securities to the public through an underwriting syndicate or through a single underwriter. The underwriters in any particular offering will be mentioned in the applicable prospectus supplement or pricing supplement, as the case may be.
Unless otherwise specified in connection with any particular offering of securities, the obligations of the underwriters to purchase the offered securities will be subject to certain conditions contained in an underwriting agreement that we will enter into with the underwriters at the time of the sale to them.
The underwriters will be obligated to purchase all of the securities of the series offered if any of the securities are purchased, unless otherwise specified in connection with any particular offering of securities. Any initial public offering price and any discounts or concessions allowed, reallowed or paid to dealers may be changed from time to time.
We may designate agents to sell the offered securities. Unless otherwise specified in connection with any particular offering of securities, the agents will agree to use their best efforts to solicit purchases for the period of their appointment. We may also sell the offered securities to one or more remarketing firms, acting as principals for their own accounts or as agents for us. These firms will remarket the offered securities upon purchasing them in accordance with a redemption or repayment pursuant to the terms of the offered securities. A prospectus supplement or pricing supplement, as the case may be, will identify any remarketing firm and will describe the terms of its agreement, if any, with us and its compensation.
In connection with offerings made through underwriters or agents, we may enter into agreements with such underwriters or agents pursuant to which we receive our outstanding securities in consideration for the
 
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securities being offered to the public for cash. In connection with these arrangements, the underwriters or agents may also sell securities covered by this prospectus to hedge their positions in these outstanding securities, including in short sale transactions. If so, the underwriters or agents may use the securities received from us under these arrangements to close out any related open borrowings of securities.
Dealers
We may sell the offered securities to dealers as principals. We may negotiate and pay dealers’ commissions, discounts or concessions for their services. The dealer may then resell such securities to the public either at varying prices to be determined by the dealer or at a fixed offering price agreed to with us at the time of resale. Dealers engaged by us may allow other dealers to participate in resales.
Direct Sales
We may choose to sell the offered securities directly. In this case, no underwriters or agents would be involved.
Institutional Purchasers
We may authorize agents, dealers or underwriters to solicit certain institutional investors to purchase offered securities on a delayed delivery basis pursuant to delayed delivery contracts providing for payment and delivery on a specified future date. The applicable prospectus supplement or pricing supplement, as the case may be will provide the details of any such arrangement, including the offering price and commissions payable on the solicitations.
We will enter into such delayed contracts only with institutional purchasers that we approve. These institutions may include commercial and savings banks, insurance companies, pension funds, investment companies and educational and charitable institutions.
Indemnification; Other Relationships
We may have agreements with agents, underwriters, dealers and remarketing firms to indemnify them against certain civil liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act. Agents, underwriters, dealers and remarketing firms, and their affiliates, may engage in transactions with, or perform services for, us in the ordinary course of business. This includes commercial banking and investment banking transactions.
Market Making, Stabilization and Other Transactions
There is currently no market for any of the offered securities other than the common stock, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. If the offered securities are traded after their initial issuance, they may trade at a discount from their initial offering price, depending upon prevailing interest rates, the market for similar securities and other factors. While it is possible that an underwriter could inform us that it intended to make a market in the offered securities, such underwriter would not be obligated to do so, and any such market making could be discontinued at any time without notice. Therefore, no assurance can be given as to whether an active trading market will develop for the offered securities. We have no current plans for listing of the debt securities, preferred stock or warrants on any securities exchange or on the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. automated quotation system; any such listing with respect to any particular debt securities, preferred stock or warrants will be described in the applicable prospectus supplement or pricing supplement, as the case may be.
In connection with any offering, the underwriters may purchase and sell shares of common stock in the open market. These transactions may include short sales, syndicate covering transactions and stabilizing transactions. Short sales involve syndicate sales of common stock in excess of the number of shares to be purchased by the underwriters in the offering, which creates a syndicate short position. “Covered” short sales are sales of shares made in an amount up to the number of shares represented by the underwriters’ over-allotment option. In determining the source of shares to close out the covered syndicate short position, the underwriters will consider, among other things, the price of shares available for purchase in the open market as compared to the price at which they may purchase shares through the over-allotment option. Transactions
 
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to close out the covered syndicate short involve either purchases of the common stock in the open market after the distribution has been completed or the exercise of the over-allotment option. The underwriters may also make “naked” short sales of shares in excess of the over-allotment option. The underwriters must close out any naked short position by purchasing shares of common stock in the open market. A naked short position is more likely to be created if the underwriters are concerned that there may be downward pressure on the price of the shares in the open market after pricing that could adversely affect investors who purchase in the offering. Stabilizing transactions consist of bids for or purchases of shares in the open market while the offering is in progress for the purpose of pegging, fixing or maintaining the price of the securities.
In connection with any offering, the underwriters may also engage in penalty bids. Penalty bids permit the underwriters to reclaim a selling concession from a syndicate member when the securities originally sold by the syndicate member are purchased in a syndicate covering transaction to cover syndicate short positions. Stabilizing transactions, syndicate covering transactions and penalty bids may cause the price of the securities to be higher than it would be in the absence of the transactions. The underwriters may, if they commence these transactions, discontinue them at any time.
 
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LEGAL MATTERS
Unless otherwise indicated in any accompanying prospectus supplement, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Venable LLP will provide opinions regarding the authorization and validity of the securities. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP may also provide opinions regarding certain other matters. Any underwriters will be advised about legal matters by their own counsel, which will be named in an accompanying prospectus supplement.
 
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EXPERTS
Ernst & Young LLP, independent registered public accounting firm, has audited our consolidated financial statements included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, and the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2019, as set forth in their reports, which are incorporated by reference in this prospectus. Our financial statements are incorporated by reference in reliance on Ernst & Young LLP’s reports, given on their authority as experts in accounting and auditing.
 
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Arbor Realty (NYSE:ABR)
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