Neuberger Berman MLP Income Fund Announces Reduction in Leverage and Decrease in Distribution Rate
Neuberger Berman Investment Advisers LLC, Investor Information, 877.461.1899
New York, March 31, 2016 — Neuberger Berman MLP Fund Inc. (NYSE MKT: NML) (the “Fund”) announced today that it has amended its leverage financing facility (the “Facility”) to reduce the amount of available debt financing to bring the amount of available financing in line with the Fund’s current asset level. This reduction follows a period of volatility and price depreciation in the market for master limited partnerships (“MLPs”) that has affected the Fund’s net asset value and caused the Fund to reduce the amount of its outstanding borrowings.
The Fund also announced today a reduction in its monthly distribution rate and declared three monthly distributions at the reduced rate of $0.055 per share of common stock. The record, ex-date and payment dates for each distribution are below:
|Amount per Share
|April 13, 2016
|April 15, 2016
|April 29, 2016
|May 12, 2016
|May 16, 2016
|May 31, 2016
|June 13, 2016
|June 15, 2016
|June 30, 2016
Amendment to Facility and Reduction in Leverage
As previously announced, the Fund had secured the Facility for fixed- and floatingrate debt financing of up to $500 million. As noted above, the Fund reduced its leverage in response to adverse market conditions for MLPs, the effect of such market conditions on the value of the Fund’s investments and its ability to comply with certain terms of the Facility and the asset coverage requirements of the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended. As of March 31, 2016, the Fund’s outstanding borrowings represent approximately 20.50% of the Fund’s managed assets.
Under the amended terms of the Facility, the lender’s total commitment decreased from $500 million to $200 million and the terms of the commitment fees and duration of the floating-rate revolving portion of the Facility were adjusted. The Fund now has access to committed debt financing of up to $100 million in floating-rate debt financing and $100 million in fixed-rate debt financing. The fixed-rate portion now consists of two loans: $50 million due April 14, 2020 and $50 million due April 14, 2022. The interest rates charged under the Facility have not changed.
Reduction in Distribution Rate
After considering the challenges experienced in the market for MLPs, the amount of distributable cash flow expected to be received from the Fund’s investments in MLPs, the amount of leverage the Fund is expected to employ and the costs of leverage, and the expenses incurred in connection with the reduction in fixed-rate borrowings, management recommended and the Board approved a reduction in the Fund’s monthly distribution from $0.105 to $0.055 per share.
Consistent with its distribution policy, the Fund intends to make regular monthly cash distributions to common stock holders at a fixed rate per share, subject to adjustment from time to time. The Fund’s ability to maintain the distribution rate will depend on a number of factors, including the stability of distributions received from its investments, the expenses associated with its leverage and the level of other Fund expenses. The Fund intends to pay its regular monthly distributions out of its distributable cash flow, which generally consists of (1) cash and paid-in-kind distributions from MLPs or their affiliates, dividends from common stocks, interest from debt instruments and income from other investments held by NML, which in certain instances may also include return of capital, less (2) current or accrued operating expenses, including leverage costs, if any, and taxes on its taxable income. There is no assurance that the Fund will always be able to pay a distribution of any particular size or that a distribution will consist solely of the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits.
The Fund expects that a portion of its distributions to stockholders will constitute a non-taxable return of capital. A “return of capital” is a distribution by the Fund that exceeds the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits and which represents a return of a common stockholder’s original investment, and should not be confused with a dividend. To the extent the Fund pays a return of capital, a common stockholder's basis in Fund shares will be reduced, which will increase a capital gain or reduce a capital loss upon sale of those shares.
In compliance with Section 19 of the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, a notice would be provided for any distribution that does not consist solely of income. The notice would be for informational purposes, and would disclose, among other things, estimated portions of the distribution, if any, consisting of return of capital.
The Fund is subject to federal income tax on its taxable income, unlike most investment companies. Any taxes paid by the Fund will reduce the amount available to pay distributions to stockholders, and therefore investors in the Fund will likely receive lower distributions than if they invested directly in MLPs.
About Neuberger Berman
Neuberger Berman, founded in 1939, is a private, independent, employee-owned investment manager. The firm manages equities, fixed income, private equity and hedge fund portfolios for institutions and advisors worldwide. With offices in 18 countries, Neuberger Berman’s team is more than 2,100 professionals and the company was named by Pensions & Investments as a 2013, 2014 and 2015 Best Place to Work in Money Management. Tenured, stable and long-term in focus, the firm fosters an investment culture of fundamental research and independent thinking. It manages $240 billion in client assets as of December 31, 2015. For more information, please visit our website at www.nb.com.