Form 424B5 Two Harbors Investment Corp.

Prospectus [Rule 424(b)(5)]

Published: 2019-03-18 16:30:34
Submitted: 2019-03-18
a2238123z424b5.htm 424B5


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TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(5)
Registration No. 333- 223311

The information contained in this preliminary prospectus supplement is not complete and may be changed. This preliminary prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus are part of an effective registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This preliminary prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus are not an offer to sell these securities and are not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.

SUBJECT TO COMPLETION, DATED MARCH 18, 2019

PRELIMINARY PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT
(TO PROSPECTUS DATED FEBRUARY 28, 2018)

18,000,000 Shares

Two Harbors Investment Corp.

LOGO

Common Stock

        We are offering 18,000,000 shares of our common stock as described in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus.

        Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE, under the symbol "TWO." The closing price of our common stock on the NYSE on March 15, 2019 was $14.19 per share.

        The underwriters have a 30 day option to purchase up to 2,700,000 additional shares.

        We have elected to be taxed as a real estate investment trust, or REIT, for U.S. federal income tax purposes. To assist us in qualifying as a REIT, among other purposes, ownership of shares of our common stock by any person is limited, with certain exceptions, to 9.8% by value or by number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of the outstanding shares of our common stock and 9.8% by value or by number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of the aggregate of the outstanding shares of our capital stock. In addition, our charter contains various other restrictions on the ownership and transfer of our stock.

        
Investing in our common stock involves certain risks. You should carefully consider the information referred to under the caption "
Risk Factors
" in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, as well as the risks described in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, to read about factors you should consider before making an investment in our common stock.

        The underwriters have agreed to purchase our common stock from us at a price of $             per share, which will result in approximately $              million of net proceeds to us after deducting offering expenses. The underwriters propose to offer the shares of common stock from time to time for sale in negotiated transactions or otherwise, at market prices prevailing at the time of sale, at prices related to such prevailing market prices or at negotiated prices. See "
Underwriting
."

        Delivery of the shares will be made on or about March     , 2019.

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

Joint Book-Running Managers

Credit Suisse
 
J.P. Morgan
 
JMP Securities

   

The date of this prospectus supplement is March     , 2019.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT



PROSPECTUS

ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS
 
 
ii.
 

NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
 
 
ii
 

PROSPECTUS SUMMARY
 
 
1
 

RISK FACTORS
 
 
2
 

RATIO OF EARNINGS TO COMBINED FIXED CHARGES AND PREFERRED STOCK DIVIDENDS
 
 
2
 

USE OF PROCEEDS
 
 
2
 

DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK
 
 
3
 

DESCRIPTION OF DEPOSITARY SHARES
 
 
6
 

DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES
 
 
10
 

RESTRICTIONS ON OWNERSHIP AND TRANSFER
 
 
21
 

CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE MARYLAND GENERAL CORPORATION LAW AND TWO HARBOR'S CHARTER AND BYLAWS
 
 
24
 

U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS
 
 
29
 

SELLING SECURITYHOLDERS
 
 
51
 

PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION
 
 
52
 

LEGAL MATTERS
 
 
55
 

EXPERTS
 
 
55
 

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION
 
 
55
 

INCORPORATION OF CERTAIN DOCUMENTS BY REFERENCE
 
 
55
 

        
You should rely only on the information contained in or incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus, or any free writing prospectus that we may provide you. Neither we nor the underwriters have authorized anyone to provide you with information that is different. None of this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus or any free writing prospectus we may provide you constitutes, or may be used in connection with, an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy, any securities offered by this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus or any free writing prospectus we may provide you by any person in any jurisdiction in which it is unlawful for such person to make such an offer or solicitation. The information in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus, any free writing prospectus, and the documents incorporated by reference is accurate only as of their respective dates.

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ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT

        This prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus are part of a registration statement on Form S-3 that we filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, using a "shelf" registration process. This prospectus supplement is a supplement to the accompanying prospectus that is also a part of this document. In the accompanying prospectus, we provide you with a general description of the securities we may offer from time to time under our shelf registration statement. This prospectus supplement contains specific information about us and the terms on which we are offering and selling shares of our common stock. Both this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus include or incorporate by reference important information about us, our common stock, our debt securities and other information you should know before investing. This prospectus supplement also adds, updates, and changes information contained in the accompanying prospectus. To the extent that any statement made in this prospectus supplement is inconsistent with statements made in the accompanying prospectus, the statements made in the accompanying prospectus will be deemed modified or superseded by those made in this prospectus supplement. Before you purchase shares of our common stock, you should carefully read this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus and the registration statement, together with the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus.

        When used in this prospectus supplement, the terms "Two Harbors," "company," "issuer," "registrant," "we," "our," and "us" refer to Two Harbors Investment Corp. and its consolidated subsidiaries, unless otherwise specified.

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SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

        This prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus and the documents incorporated herein or therein, contain not only historical information, but also forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, or the Exchange Act, and that are subject to the safe harbors created by such sections. Forward-looking statements involve numerous risks and uncertainties. Our actual results may differ from our beliefs, expectations, estimates, and projections and, consequently, you should not rely on these forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. Forward-looking statements are not historical in nature and can be identified by words such as "anticipate," "estimate," "will," "should," "expect," "target," "believe," "intend," "seek," "plan," "goals," "future," "likely," "may," and similar expressions or their negative forms, or by references to strategy, plans, or intentions. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, including, among other things, the information referred to in this prospectus supplement under the caption "
Risk Factors
." Other risks, uncertainties, and factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected are described below and may be described from time to time in reports we file with the SEC, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K, as well as in the other information contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus or in any prospectus supplement. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

        Important factors, among others, that may affect our actual results include:

    changes in interest rates and the market value of our target assets;


    changes in prepayment rates of mortgages underlying our target assets;


    the occurrence, extent and timing of credit losses within our portfolio;


    our exposure to adjustable-rate and negative amortization mortgage loans underlying our target assets;


    the state of the credit markets and other general economic conditions, particularly as they affect the price of earning assets and the credit status of borrowers


    the concentration of the credit risks to which we are exposed;


    legislative and regulatory actions affecting our business;


    the availability and cost of our target assets;


    the availability and cost of financing for our target assets, including repurchase agreement financing, lines of credit, revolving credit facilities and financing through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, or the FHLB;


    declines in home prices;


    increases in payment delinquencies and defaults on the mortgages comprising and underlying our target assets;


    changes in liquidity in the market for real estate securities, the re-pricing of credit risk in the capital markets, inaccurate ratings of securities by rating agencies, rating agency downgrades of securities, and increases in the supply of real estate securities available-for-sale;


    changes in the values of securities we own and the impact of adjustments reflecting those changes on our consolidated statements of comprehensive (loss) income and balance sheets, including our stockholders' equity;

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    our ability to generate cash flow from our target assets;


    our ability to effectively execute and realize the benefits of strategic transactions and initiatives we have pursued or may in the future pursue;


    changes in the competitive landscape within our industry, including changes that may affect our ability to attract and retain personnel;


    our exposure to legal and regulatory claims, penalties or enforcement activities, including those arising from our ownership and management of mortgage servicing rights, or MSR, and prior securitization transactions;


    our exposure to counterparties involved in our MSR business and prior securitization transactions and our ability to enforce representations and warranties made by them;


    our ability to acquire MSR and successfully operate our seller-servicer subsidiary and oversee the activities of our subservicers;


    our ability to successfully diversify our business into new asset classes, and manage the new risks to which they may expose us;


    our ability to manage various operational and regulatory risks associated with our business;


    interruptions in or impairments to our communications and information technology systems;


    our ability to maintain appropriate internal controls over financial reporting;


    our ability to establish, adjust and maintain appropriate hedges for the risks in our portfolio;


    our ability to maintain our REIT qualification for U.S. federal income tax purposes; and


    limitations imposed on our business due to our REIT status and our status as exempt from registration under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended.

        All forward-looking statements included herein attributable to us or any person acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained or referred to in this section. Except to the extent required by applicable laws and regulations, we undertake no obligations to update these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this prospectus supplement or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. Before you make an investment decision, you should be aware that the occurrence of the events described in the "
Risk Factors
" section and elsewhere in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus and the documents incorporated herein or therein by reference, may adversely affect us.

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PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT SUMMARY

        
This summary highlights selected information about us. It may not contain all the information that may be important to you in deciding whether to invest in our common stock. You should read this entire prospectus supplement, including the risk factors, and the accompanying prospectus, together with the information incorporated by reference, including the risk factors, financial data and related notes, before making an investment decision.

Our Company

        Two Harbors Investment Corp. is a Maryland corporation focused on investing in, financing and managing Agency residential mortgage-backed securities, or Agency RMBS, non-Agency securities, mortgage servicing rights, or MSR, and other financial assets, which we collectively refer to as our target assets. We operate as a real estate investment trust, or REIT, as defined under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code. We are externally managed by PRCM Advisers LLC, or PRCM Advisers, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Pine River Capital Management L.P., or Pine River.

        Our objective is to provide attractive risk-adjusted total return to our stockholders over the long term, primarily through dividends and secondarily through capital appreciation. We selectively acquire and manage an investment portfolio of our target assets, which is constructed to generate attractive returns through market cycles. We focus on asset selection and implement a relative value investment approach across various sectors within the mortgage market. Our target assets include the following:

    Agency RMBS, meaning RMBS whose principal and interest payments are guaranteed by the Government National Mortgage Association (or Ginnie Mae), the Federal National Mortgage Association (or Fannie Mae), or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (or Freddie Mac);


    Non-Agency securities, meaning securities that are not issued or guaranteed by Ginnie Mae, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac;


    MSR; and


    Other financial assets comprising approximately 5% to 10% of the portfolio.

        We seek to deploy moderate leverage as part of our investment strategy. We generally finance our Agency RMBS and non-Agency securities through short- and long-term borrowings structured as repurchase agreements and advances from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, or the FHLB. We also finance our MSR through repurchase agreements and revolving credit facilities.

        We have elected to be treated as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes. To qualify as a REIT, we are required to meet certain investment and operating tests and annual distribution requirements. We generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income taxes on our taxable income to the extent that we annually distribute all of our net taxable income to stockholders, do not participate in prohibited transactions and maintain our intended qualification as a REIT. However, certain activities that we may perform may cause us to earn income which will not be qualifying income for REIT purposes. We have designated certain of our subsidiaries as taxable REIT subsidiaries, or TRSs, as defined in the Code, to engage in such activities, and we may form additional TRSs in the future. We also operate our business in a manner that will permit us to maintain our exemption from registration under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, or the 1940 Act.

        Our headquarters are located at 575 Lexington Avenue, Suite 2930, New York, New York 10022 and our telephone number is (612) 629-2500. We maintain a website at
www.twoharborsinvestment.com
; however, the information found on our website is not a part of this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus.

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THE OFFERING

        
The following summary is provided solely for your convenience and is not intended to be complete. You should read the full text and more specific details contained elsewhere in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. For purposes of this "offering summary," references to "we," "our," "us" and "Two Harbors" refer to Two Harbors Investment Corp. and not to its subsidiaries.

Common stock offered by us(1)
 
18,000,000 shares.

Common stock outstanding after this offering(1)
 

270,122,876 shares.

Use of proceeds
 

We expect to receive net proceeds from the sale of the common stock of approximately $            , after deducting estimated offering expenses. If the underwriters' option to purchase additional shares is exercised in full, our net proceeds from the offering will be approximately $            , after deducting estimated offering expenses.

 

We intend to use the net proceeds from this offering to purchase our target assets, including Agency RMBS, non-agency securities, MSR and other financial assets, in each case subject to our investment guidelines and to the extent consistent with maintaining our REIT qualification, and for general corporate purposes. See "
Use of Proceeds
."

Distribution policy
 

To satisfy the requirements to qualify as a REIT and generally not be subject to U.S. federal income and excise tax, we intend to continue to pay regular quarterly dividends of all or substantially all of our taxable income to holders of our common stock out of assets legally available therefor. U.S. federal income tax law requires that a REIT distribute with respect to each year at least 90% of its REIT taxable income, determined without regard to the deduction for dividends paid and excluding any net capital gain. See "
U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations
" in this prospectus supplement.

 

The timing and amount of any dividends we pay to holders of our common stock will be at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend upon various factors, including our actual and projected results of operations, financial condition, liquidity and business, our debt and preferred stock covenants, maintenance of our REIT qualification, applicable provisions of the Maryland General Corporation Law, or MGCL, and such other factors as our board of directors deems relevant.

Listing
 

Our common stock is listed on the NYSE under the symbol "TWO."

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Risk Factors
 

Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk, and prospective investors should carefully consider the matters discussed under "
Risk Factors
" in this prospectus supplement and the reports we file with the SEC pursuant to the Exchange Act, incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, before making a decision to invest in our common stock.

(1)
We have granted the underwriters a 30 day option to purchase up to 2,700,000 additional shares of our common stock. Unless otherwise indicated, all share amounts in this prospectus supplement assume no exercise of the underwriters' option.

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RISK FACTORS

        
An investment in shares of our common stock involves a high degree of risk. You should consider carefully the following risk factors and risk factors included in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and other information that we file from time to time with the SEC. Such risks are not the only risks we face. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to us or that we currently deem to be immaterial may also materially adversely affect us and the market value of our securities. The risks described could affect our business, financial condition, liquidity, results of operations, prospects, and the market value of our securities. In such a case, you may lose all or part of your original investment. You should consider carefully the risks described below and in these reports, as well as other information and data set forth in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference herein and therein before making an investment decision with respect to our securities.

Risks Related to the Securities of Two Harbors

Future issuances and sales of shares of our common stock may depress the market price of our common stock or have adverse consequences for our stockholders.

        We have 450,000,000 authorized shares of common stock and we may increase our authorized common stock without stockholder approval. As of March 15, 2019, 252,122,876 shares of common stock were issued and outstanding. In May 2015, our stockholders approved our Second Restated 2009 Equity Incentive Plan, or Equity Incentive Plan, which provides for grants of restricted common stock and other equity-based awards, subject to a ceiling of 6,500,000 shares available for issuance under the Equity Incentive Plan. As of December 31, 2018, an aggregate of 2,125,725 shares of common stock remained available for issuance to our independent directors and Pine River employees pursuant to the Equity Incentive Plan. Additionally, shares of our common stock have also been reserved for issuance in connection with the conversion of our 6.25% convertible senior notes due January 2022 and our 8.125% Series A Fixed-to-Floating Rate Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock par value $0.01 per share, or Series A Preferred Stock, our 7.625% Series B Fixed-to-Floating Rate Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, or Series B Preferred Stock, our 7.25% Series C Fixed-to-Floating Rate Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, or Series C Preferred Stock preferred, our 7.75% Series D Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, or Series D Preferred Stock and our 7.50% Series E Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, or Series E Preferred Stock.

        We cannot predict the effect, if any, of future issuances or sales of our common stock on the market price of our common stock. We also cannot predict the amounts and timing of restricted stock awards to be issued pursuant to our benefit plans, nor can we predict the amount and timing of any conversions of our convertible notes or our preferred stock into shares of our common stock. Any stock awards or conversions resulting in the issuance of substantial amounts of common stock, or the perception that such awards or conversions could occur, may adversely affect the market price for our common stock.

        Also, we may issue additional shares in subsequent public offerings or private placements to acquire new assets or for other purposes. We are not required to offer any such shares to existing stockholders on a preemptive basis. Therefore, it may not be possible for existing stockholders to participate in such future share issuances, which may dilute the existing stockholders' interests.

Any future offerings of our securities could dilute our existing stockholders and may rank senior for purposes of dividend and liquidating distributions.

        In order to grow our business, we may rely on additional issuances of securities which may rank senior and/or be dilutive to our stockholders. For example, we have issued preferred stock and convertible notes. Any election by holders of our convertible notes to convert their notes into shares of our common stock will dilute the interests of other stockholders. In addition, our outstanding preferred

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stock is convertible into our common stock in certain circumstances. In addition, upon liquidation, holders of our debt securities and any other senior preferred stock would receive a distribution of our available assets before holders of our common shares.

        In the future, we may again elect to raise capital through the issuance of convertible or non-convertible debt or equity securities. Upon liquidation, holders of our debt securities and preferred stock, if any, and lenders with respect to other borrowings will be entitled to our available assets prior to the holders of our common stock. Convertible debt and convertible preferred stock may have anti-dilution provisions which are unfavorable to our common stockholders. Additional equity offerings, including offerings through our at-the-market offering program, may dilute the holdings of our existing stockholders or reduce the market price of our common stock, or both. Any preferred stock, if issued, could have a preference on liquidating distributions or a preference on dividend payments that could limit our ability to pay dividends to our stockholders or favorable conversion rights. Sales of substantial amounts of our common stock or the sale of securities which have rights and preferences that are superior to our common stock, or the perception that these sales could occur, may have a material adverse effect on the price of our common stock. Because our decision to issue debt or equity securities in any future offering will depend on market conditions and other factors beyond our control, we cannot predict or estimate the amount, timing or nature of our future offerings. Thus, our stockholders bear the risk of our future offerings reducing the market price of our common stock and diluting the value of their holdings.

We have not established a minimum distribution payment level and we cannot assure you of our ability to pay distributions in the future.

        We intend to continue to pay quarterly distributions and to make distributions to our stockholders in an amount such that we distribute all or substantially all of our REIT taxable income in each year, subject to certain adjustments. We have not established a minimum distribution payment level and our ability to pay distributions may be adversely affected by a number of factors, including the risk factors described or incorporated by reference herein. All distributions will be made, subject to Maryland law, at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on our earnings, our financial condition, any debt covenants, maintenance of our REIT qualification and other factors as our board of directors may deem relevant from time to time. We cannot assure you that we will achieve results that will allow us to make a specified level of cash distributions and distributions in future periods may be lower than in prior quarterly periods.

The market price of our common stock could fluctuate and could cause you to lose a significant part of your investment.

        The market price of our common stock may be highly volatile and subject to wide fluctuations. In addition, the trading volume in our common stock may fluctuate and cause significant price variations to occur. The stock market has experienced and may in the future experience extreme price and volume fluctuations affecting the market price of many companies in industries similar or related to ours and that have been unrelated to these companies' operating performances. If the market price of our common stock declines significantly, you may be unable to resell your shares of our common stock at a gain. Further, fluctuations in the trading price of our common stock may adversely affect the liquidity of the trading market for our common stock and, in the event that we seek to raise capital through future equity financings, our ability to raise such equity capital. We cannot assure you that the market price of our common stock will not fluctuate or decline significantly in the future.

        The market price of our common stock may be influenced by many factors, some of which are beyond our control, including those described above and the following:

    changes in financial estimates by analysts;

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    fluctuations in our quarterly financial results or the quarterly financial results of companies perceived to be similar to us;


    general economic conditions;


    changes in market valuations of similar companies;


    regulatory developments in the United States; and


    additions or departures of key personnel at Pine River.

        Resulting fluctuations in the market price of our common stock could cause you to lose a significant part of your investment.

The allocation of the net proceeds of this offering among our target assets, and the timing of the deployment of these proceeds is subject to, among other things, then prevailing market conditions and the availability of target assets.

        Our allocation of the net proceeds of this offering among our target assets is subject to our investment guidelines and our REIT qualification. PRCM Advisers will make determinations as to the percentage of the net proceeds of this offering that will be invested in each of our target assets and the timing of the deployment of the net proceeds of this offering. These determinations will depend on then prevailing market conditions and may change over time in response to opportunities available in different interest rate, economic and credit environments. Until appropriate assets can be identified, PRCM Advisers may decide to use the net proceeds of this offering to pay down our short-term debt or to invest the net proceeds in interest-bearing short-term investments, including funds which are consistent with our REIT election. These investments are expected to provide a lower net return than we seek to achieve from our target assets. Prior to the time we have fully used the net proceeds of this offering to acquire our target assets, we may fund our quarterly dividends out of such net proceeds.

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U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS

        The following is a summary of the material U.S. federal income tax considerations relating to the qualification and taxation of Two Harbors as a REIT and the acquisition, holding and disposition of our common stock. The following summary supersedes and replaces in its entirety the discussions under "U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations" in the accompanying prospectus. For purposes of this section, references to "Two Harbors," "our," "us" or "we" mean only Two Harbors Investment Corp. and not any of its subsidiaries or other lower-tier entities except as otherwise indicated. This summary is based upon the Code, the regulations promulgated by the U.S. Treasury Department, or the Treasury regulations, current administrative interpretations and practices of the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, (including administrative interpretations and practices expressed in private letter rulings which are binding on the IRS only with respect to the particular taxpayers who requested and received those rulings) 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 considerations described below. No advance ruling has been or will be sought from the IRS regarding any matter discussed in this summary. The summary is also based upon the assumption that our operation, and the operation of our subsidiaries and other lower-tier and affiliated entities will, in each case, be in accordance with such entity's applicable organizational documents. This summary does not discuss the impact that U.S. state and local taxes and taxes imposed by non-U.S. jurisdictions could have on the matters discussed in this summary. This summary is for general information only, and does not purport to discuss all aspects of U.S. federal income taxation that may be important to a particular stockholder in light of its investment or tax circumstances or to stockholders subject to special tax rules, such as:

    U.S. expatriates;


    persons who mark-to-market our common stock;


    subchapter S corporations;


    U.S. stockholders (as defined below) whose functional currency is not the U.S. dollar;


    financial institutions;


    insurance companies;


    broker-dealers;


    regulated investment companies, or RICs;


    REITs;


    trusts and estates;


    stockholders who receive our common stock through the exercise of employee stock options or otherwise as compensation;


    persons holding our common stock as part of a "straddle," "hedge," "conversion transaction," "synthetic security" or other integrated investment;


    persons subject to the alternative minimum tax provisions of the Code;


    persons holding their interest in us through a partnership or similar pass-through entity;


    persons holding a 10% or more (by vote or value) beneficial interest in us;


    tax-exempt organizations;


    stockholders subject to special tax accounting rules as a result of their use of "applicable financial statements" (within the meaning of Section 451(b)(3) of the Code); and

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    non-U.S. stockholders (as defined below, and except as otherwise discussed below).

        This summary assumes that stockholders hold our common stock as capital assets, which generally means as property held for investment.

        THE U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX TREATMENT OF HOLDERS OF OUR COMMON STOCK DEPENDS IN SOME INSTANCES ON DETERMINATIONS OF FACT AND INTERPRETATIONS OF COMPLEX PROVISIONS OF U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX LAW FOR WHICH NO CLEAR PRECEDENT OR AUTHORITY MAY BE AVAILABLE. IN ADDITION, THE U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX TREATMENT OF HOLDING OUR COMMON STOCK TO ANY PARTICULAR STOCKHOLDER WILL DEPEND ON THE STOCKHOLDER'S PARTICULAR TAX CIRCUMSTANCES. YOU ARE URGED TO CONSULT YOUR TAX ADVISOR REGARDING THE U.S. FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL, AND FOREIGN INCOME AND OTHER TAX CONSEQUENCES TO YOU, IN LIGHT OF YOUR PARTICULAR INVESTMENT OR TAX CIRCUMSTANCES, OF ACQUIRING, HOLDING, AND DISPOSING OF TWO HARBORS COMMON STOCK.

U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations of Two Harbors as a REIT

Taxation of Two Harbors—General

        We have elected to be taxed as a REIT under Sections 856 through 860 of the Code, commencing with our taxable year ended December 31, 2009. We believe that we have been organized and we intend to operate in a manner that allows us to continue to qualify for taxation as a REIT under the Code.

        The law firm of Sidley Austin LLP has acted as our special counsel for tax matters in connection with this registration. We have received an opinion of Sidley Austin LLP to the effect that we have been organized and operated in conformity with the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT under the Code, and our actual method of operation has enabled, and our proposed method of operation will continue to enable us, to meet the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT under the Code. It must be emphasized that the opinion of Sidley Austin LLP is based on various assumptions relating to our organization and operation, including that all factual representations and statements set forth in all relevant documents, records and instruments are true and correct and that we will at all times operate in accordance with the method of operation described in our organizational documents and this document. Additionally, the opinion of Sidley Austin LLP is conditioned upon factual representations and covenants made by our management and the management of PRCM Advisers, regarding our organization, assets, present and future conduct of our business operations and other items regarding our ability to continue to meet the various requirements for qualification as a REIT, and assumes that such representations and covenants are accurate and complete and that we will take no action that could adversely affect our qualification as a REIT. While we believe we are organized and intend to continue to operate so that we will 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 our circumstances or applicable law, no assurance can be given by Sidley Austin LLP or us that we will so qualify for any particular year. Sidley Austin LLP will have no obligation to advise us or the holders of our common 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, or any court, 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 depend on our ability to meet, on a continuing basis, through actual results of operations, distribution levels, diversity of share ownership and various qualification requirements imposed upon REITs by the Code, the compliance with which will not be reviewed by Sidley Austin LLP. In addition, our ability to qualify as a REIT may depend in part upon the operating

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results, organizational structure and entity classification for U.S. federal income tax purposes of certain entities in which we invest. Our ability to qualify as a REIT also requires that we satisfy certain asset and income tests, some of which depend upon the fair market values of assets directly or indirectly owned by us or which serve as security for loans made by us. 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 the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT.

Taxation of REITs in General

        As indicated above, qualification and taxation as a REIT depend on our ability to meet, on a continuing basis, through actual results of operations, distribution levels, diversity of share ownership and various qualification requirements imposed upon REITs by the Code. The material qualification requirements are summarized below, under "—
Requirements for Qualification as a REIT
." While we believe that we will continue to operate so that we qualify as a REIT, no assurance can be given that the IRS will not challenge our qualification as a REIT or that we will be able to continue to operate in accordance with the REIT requirements in the future. See "—
Failure to Qualify
."

        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 net taxable income that is currently distributed to our stockholders. This treatment substantially eliminates the "double taxation" with respect to distributed income at the corporate and stockholder levels that results generally from investment in a corporation. Rather, income generated by a REIT and distributed to its stockholders generally is taxed only at the stockholder level, upon a distribution of dividends by the REIT. See "—
Taxation of Taxable U.S. Stockholders
."

        Individuals who are stockholders of corporations that are not REITs are generally taxed on qualifying corporate dividends at a reduced maximum rate (the same as long-term capital gains), thereby substantially reducing, though not completely eliminating, the double taxation that has historically applied to corporate dividends. With limited exceptions, however, dividends received by individual U.S. stockholders from us or from other entities that are taxed as REITs are taxed at rates applicable to ordinary income. However, under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, or TCJA, dividends received by individual U.S. stockholders from us that are neither attributable to "qualified dividend income" nor designated as "capital gain dividends", or Qualified REIT Dividends, will be eligible for a deduction equal to 20% of the amount of such dividends in taxable years beginning before January 1, 2026, provided the shareholder has satisfied the required holding period. See "—
Taxation of Taxable U.S. Stockholders
." Net operating losses, foreign tax credits and other tax attributes of a REIT generally do not pass through to the stockholders of the REIT, subject to special rules for certain items, such as capital gains, recognized by REITs. See "—
Taxation of Taxable U.S. Stockholders
."

        Even if we qualify for taxation as a REIT, however, we will be subject to U.S. federal income taxation as follows:

    We will be taxed at the regular U.S. federal corporate income tax rate on any undistributed 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 that we acquire in connection with a foreclosure of a mortgage loan or from certain leasehold terminations as "foreclosure property," we may thereby avoid (a) the 100% tax on gain from a resale of that property (if the sale would otherwise constitute a prohibited transaction) and (b) the inclusion of any income from such property not qualifying

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      for purposes of the REIT gross income tests discussed below, but the income from the sale or operation of the property may be subject to income tax at the corporate tax rate.

    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 other requirements are met, we will be subject to a 100% tax on an amount equal to (a) the greater of (1) the amount by which we fail the 75% gross income test or (2) the amount by which we fail the 95% gross income test, as the case may be, multiplied by (b) a fraction intended to reflect our profitability.


    If we fail to satisfy any of the REIT asset tests, as described below, other than a failure of the 5% or 10% REIT asset tests that does not exceed a statutory
    de minimis
    amount as described more fully below, but our failure is due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect and we nonetheless maintain our REIT qualification because of specified cure provisions, we will be required to pay a tax equal to the greater of $50,000 or the corporate tax rate of the net income generated by the non-qualifying assets during the period in which we failed to satisfy the asset tests.


    If we fail to satisfy any provision of the Code that would result in our failure to qualify as a REIT (other than a gross income or asset test requirement) and the violation is due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect, we may retain our REIT qualification but we will be required to pay a penalty of $50,000 for each such 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 (the foregoing sum is referred to as the required distribution), we will be subject to a 4% excise tax on the excess of the required distribution over the sum of (1) the amounts actually distributed (taking into account excess distributions from prior years), plus (2) retained amounts on which income tax is paid at the corporate level.


    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 our compliance with rules relating to the composition of our stockholders, as described below in "—
    Requirements for Qualification as a REIT
    ."


    A 100% excise tax may be imposed on some items of income and expense that are directly or constructively paid between us and any TRSs we may own if and to the extent that the IRS successfully adjusts the reported amounts of these items.


    If we acquire appreciated assets from a corporation that is not a REIT 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 non-REIT corporation, we will be subject to tax on such appreciation at the corporate income tax rate then applicable if we subsequently recognize gain on a disposition of any such assets during the 5-year period following their acquisition from the non-REIT corporation. The results described in this paragraph assume that the non-REIT corporation will not elect, in lieu of this treatment, to be subject to an immediate tax when the asset is acquired by us.


    We will generally be subject to tax on the portion of any excess inclusion income derived from an investment in residual interests in real estate mortgage investment conduits, or REMICs, to the extent our stock is held by specified tax-exempt organizations not subject to tax on unrelated business taxable income. Similar rules will apply if we own an equity interest in a taxable mortgage pool. To the extent that we own a REMIC residual interest or a taxable mortgage pool through a TRS, we will not be subject to this tax.

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    We may elect to retain and pay income tax on our net long-term capital gain. In that case, a stockholder would include its proportionate share of our undistributed long-term capital gain (to the extent we make a timely designation of such gain to the stockholder) in its income, would be deemed to have paid the tax that we paid on such gain, and would be allowed a credit for its proportionate share of the tax deemed to have been paid, and an adjustment would be made to increase the stockholder's basis in our common stock. Stockholders that are U.S. corporations will also appropriately adjust their earnings and profits for the retained capital gains in accordance with Treasury regulations to be promulgated.


    We may have subsidiaries or own interests in other lower-tier entities that are subchapter C corporations, including TRSs, the earnings of which would be subject to U.S. federal corporate income tax.

        In addition, we may be subject to a variety of taxes other than U.S. federal income tax, including payroll taxes and state and local income, franchise property and other taxes. We could also be subject to tax in situations and on transactions not presently contemplated.

Requirements for Qualification as a REIT

        The Code defines a REIT as a corporation, trust or association:

    that is managed by one or more trustees or directors;


    the beneficial ownership of which is evidenced by transferable stock or by transferable certificates of beneficial interest;


    that would be taxable as a domestic corporation but for the special Code provisions applicable to REITs;


    that is neither a financial institution nor an insurance company subject to specific provisions of the Code;


    the beneficial ownership of which is held by 100 or more persons during at least 335 days of a taxable year of 12 months, or during a proportionate part of a taxable year of less than 12 months;


    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 entities);


    which meets other tests described below, including with respect to the nature of its income and assets and the amount of its distributions; and


    that makes an election to be a REIT for the current taxable year or has made such an election for a previous taxable year that has not been terminated or revoked.

        The Code provides that the first through forth conditions must be met during the entire taxable year, and that the fifth condition 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. The fifth and sixth conditions do not need to be satisfied for the first taxable year for which an election to become a REIT has been made. Our charter provides restrictions regarding the ownership and transfer of our stock, which are intended, among other purposes, to assist in satisfying the share ownership requirements described in the fifth and sixth conditions. For purposes of the sixth condition, 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.

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        To monitor compliance with the share ownership requirements, we are generally required to maintain records regarding the actual ownership of our stock. To do so, we must demand written statements each year from the record stockholders of significant percentages of our stock, in which the record stockholders are to disclose the actual owners of the stock (
i.e
., the persons required to include in gross income the dividends paid by us). A list of those persons failing or refusing to comply with this demand must be maintained as part of our records. Failure by us to comply with these record-keeping requirements could subject us to monetary penalties. If we satisfy these requirements and after exercising reasonable diligence would not have known that the sixth condition is not satisfied, we will be deemed to have satisfied such condition. A stockholder that fails or refuses to comply with the demand is required by Treasury regulations to submit a statement with its tax return disclosing the actual ownership of the 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 a partnership, 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 gross income based on its
pro rata
share of capital interests in the partnership for purposes of the asset and gross income tests applicable to REITs, as described below. However, solely for purposes of the 10% value test, described below, the determination of a REIT's interest in partnership assets will be based on the REIT's proportionate interest in any securities issued by the partnership, excluding for these purposes, certain excluded securities as described in the Code. In addition, the assets and gross income of the partnership generally are deemed to retain the same character in the hands of the REIT. Thus, our proportionate share of the assets and items of income of partnerships in which we own an equity interest is treated as an asset and as an item of income for us for purposes of applying the REIT requirements described below. 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.

    Disregarded Subsidiaries

        If a REIT owns a corporate subsidiary that is a "qualified REIT subsidiary," 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, that is wholly owned by a REIT, by other disregarded subsidiaries or by a combination of the two. Single member limited liability companies that are wholly owned by a REIT are also generally disregarded as separate entities for U.S. federal income tax purposes, including for purposes of the REIT gross income and asset tests. Disregarded subsidiaries, along with partnerships in which we hold an equity interest, are sometimes referred to herein as "pass-through subsidiaries."

        In the event that a disregarded subsidiary ceases to be wholly owned by us (for example, if any equity interest in the subsidiary is acquired by a person other than us or another disregarded subsidiary of ours), 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 tests applicable to REITs, including the requirement that

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REITs generally may not own, directly or indirectly, more than 10% of the value or voting power of the outstanding securities of another corporation. See "—
Asset Tests
" and "—
Gross Income Tests
."

    Taxable REIT Subsidiaries

        A REIT, in general, may jointly elect with a subsidiary corporation, whether or not wholly owned, to treat the subsidiary corporation as a TRS. The separate existence of a TRS or other taxable corporation, unlike a disregarded subsidiary as discussed above, is not ignored for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Accordingly, such an entity would generally be subject to corporate income tax on its earnings, which may reduce the cash flow generated by us and our subsidiaries in the aggregate and our ability to make distributions to our stockholders.

        We and a number of subsidiaries have jointly elected for each of such subsidiaries to be treated as a TRS. This election allows each such subsidiary to invest in assets and engage in activities that could not be held or conducted directly by us without jeopardizing our qualification as a REIT.

        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 subsidiary is an asset in the hands of the REIT, and the REIT generally recognizes as income the dividends, if any, that it receives from the subsidiary. This treatment can affect the gross 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 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 or render commercially unfeasible (for example, activities that give rise to certain categories of income such as non-qualifying hedging income or inventory sales). If dividends are paid to us by one or more TRSs we may own, then a portion of the dividends that we distribute to stockholders who are taxed at individual rates generally will be eligible for taxation at preferential qualified dividend income tax rates rather than at ordinary income rates. See "—
Taxation of Taxable U.S. Stockholders
" and "—
Annual Distribution Requirements
."

        Certain restrictions imposed on TRSs are intended to ensure that such entities will be subject to appropriate levels of U.S. federal income taxation. For example, if amounts are paid to a REIT or deducted by a TRS due to transactions between a REIT, its tenants and/or the TRS, that exceed the amount that would be paid to or deducted by a party in an arm's-length transaction, the REIT generally will be subject to an excise tax equal to 100% of such excess.

Gross Income Tests

        In order to maintain our qualification as a REIT, we must annually satisfy two gross income tests. 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" and certain hedging and foreign currency transactions, must consist of defined types of income that we derive, directly or indirectly, from investments relating to real property or mortgage loans on real property or qualified temporary investment income. Qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test generally includes:

    rents from real property;


    interest on debt secured by a mortgage on real property or on interests in real property;


    dividends or other distributions on, and gain from the sale of, stock in other REITs;


    gain from the sale of real estate assets (other than a nonqualified publicly offered REIT debt instrument);


    income and gain derived from foreclosure property;

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    amounts, such as commitment fees, received in consideration for entering into an agreement to make a loan secured by real property, unless such amounts are determined by income and profits;


    income derived from a REMIC in proportion to the real estate assets held by the REMIC, unless at least 95% of the REMIC's assets are real estate assets, in which case all of the income derived from the REMIC; and


    income derived from certain kinds of temporary investments.

        Second, at least 95% of our gross income in each taxable year, excluding gross income from prohibited transactions and certain hedging and foreign currency 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.

        For purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests, a REIT is deemed to have earned a proportionate share of the income earned by any partnership, or any limited liability company treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes, in which it owns an interest, which share is determined by reference to its capital interest in such entity, and is deemed to have earned the income earned by any qualified REIT subsidiary or disregarded entity.

    Interest Income

        Interest income constitutes qualifying mortgage interest for purposes of the 75% gross income test 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 the mortgage loan, the interest income will be apportioned between the real property and the other property, and our income from the arrangement will qualify for purposes of the 75% gross income test only to the extent that the interest is allocable to the real property. Even if a loan is not secured by real property or is under secured, the income that it generates may nonetheless qualify for purposes of the 95% gross income test. If we acquire or originate a construction loan, for purposes of the foregoing apportionment, the fair market value of the real property includes the fair market value of the land plus the reasonably estimated cost of improvement or developments (other than personal property) which secure the construction loan.

        We may invest in Agency RMBS whose principal and interest payments are guaranteed by a U.S. government agency, such as Ginnie Mae, or a government sponsored entity, or GSE, that are pass-through certificates. We expect that these agency pass-through certificates will be treated as interests in grantor trusts for federal income tax purposes. Consequently, we will be treated as owning an undivided beneficial interest in the mortgage loans held by the grantor trust. The interest on such mortgage loans will be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests to the extent that the obligation is secured by real property, as discussed above.

        We may invest in RMBS that are not issued or guaranteed by a U.S. government agency or a GSE. We expect that our investments in non-agency RMBS will be treated as interests in REMICs for federal income tax purposes. In the case of a non-agency RMBS treated as an interest in a REMIC, such interest will generally qualify as a real estate asset. Income derived from REMIC interests will generally be treated as qualifying income for purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests described above.

        If, however, less than 95% of the assets of a REMIC consists of real estate assets (determined as if we held such assets), we would be treated as receiving our proportionate share of the income of the REMIC for purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests. In addition, some REMIC

S-14


securitizations include embedded interest rate swap or cap contracts or other derivative instruments that potentially could produce non-qualifying income.

        We expect that the interest income that we receive from our mortgage-related securities generally will be qualifying income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests. However, to the extent that we own non-REMIC collateralized mortgage obligations, or CMOs, or other debt instruments secured by mortgage loans (rather than by real property) or secured by non-real estate assets, or debt securities that are not secured by mortgages on real property or interests in real property, the interest income received with respect to such securities generally will be qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test, but not the 75% gross income test.

    Dividend Income

        We may receive distributions from TRSs or other corporations that are not REITs or qualified REIT subsidiaries. These distributions are generally classified as dividend income to the extent of the earnings and profits of the distributing corporation. Such distributions generally constitute qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test, but not the 75% gross income test. Any dividends received by us from a REIT will be qualifying income in our hands for purposes of both the 95% and 75% gross income tests.

    TBAs

        We may use "to-be-announced", or TBA, forward contracts as a means of investing and financing Agency RMBS. There is no direct authority with respect to the qualifications of income or gains from dispositions of TBAs as gains from the sale of real property (including interests in real property and interests in mortgages on real property) or other qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test. We intend to treat income and gains from our TBAs as qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, to the extent set forth in an opinion from Sidley Austin LLP substantially to the effect that, for purposes of the 75% gross income test, any gain recognized by us in connection with the settlement of TBAs should be treated as gain from the sale or disposition of the underlying Agency RMBS. Such opinions of counsel are not binding on the IRS, and there can be no assurance that the IRS will not successfully challenge the conclusions set forth therein. In addition, the opinion of Sidley Austin LLP is based on various assumptions relating to our TBAs and is conditioned upon fact-based representations and covenants made by our management regarding our TBAs. If the IRS were to successfully challenge the opinion of Sidley Austin LLP, we could be subject to a penalty tax or we could fail to remain qualified as a REIT if a sufficient portion of our assets consists of TBAs or a sufficient portion of our income consists of income or gains from the disposition of TBAs.

    Excess MSRs

        We may invest in excess MSRs. Based upon IRS guidance, we intend to treat interest received from excess MSRs as interest on obligations secured by mortgages on real property and, therefore, as qualifying for purposes of the 75% gross income test. However, it is possible that the IRS could assert that such interest income is not qualifying income under the 75% gross income test. In the event that such income was determined not to be qualifying income for the 75% gross income test, we could be subject to a penalty tax or we could fail to remain qualified as a REIT if a sufficient portion of our assets consists of excess MSRs or a sufficient portion of our income consists of income or gains from excess MSRs.

    Hedging Transactions

        We may enter into hedging transactions with respect to one or more of our assets or liabilities. Hedging transactions could take a variety of forms, including interest rate swap agreements, interest

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rate cap agreements, options, futures contracts, forward rate agreements or similar financial instruments. Except to the extent provided by Treasury regulations, any income from a hedging 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 (i) in the normal course of our business primarily to manage risk of interest rate or price 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, or (ii) 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% income tests. In addition, income from certain new hedging transactions that counteract prior qualifying hedging transactions described in (i) and (ii) above may not constitute gross income for purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests if we properly identify the new hedging transaction as specified in applicable Treasury regulations. 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 of the 75% and 95% gross income tests. We intend to structure any hedging transactions in a manner that does not jeopardize our qualification as a REIT.

    Failure to Satisfy the Gross Income Tests

        We intend to monitor our sources of income, including any non-qualifying income received by us, so as to ensure our compliance with the 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 still 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 our failure to meet these tests was due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect and, following the identification of such failure, we set forth a description of each item of our gross income that satisfies the gross income tests in a schedule for the taxable year filed in accordance with the Treasury regulations. 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 involving us, we will 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 upon the profit attributable to the amount by which we fail to satisfy the particular gross income test.

Phantom Income

        Due to the nature of the assets in which we will invest, we may be required to recognize taxable income from certain of our assets in advance of our receipt of cash flow on or proceeds from disposition of such assets, and we may be required to report taxable income in early periods that exceeds the economic income ultimately realized on such assets.

        We may acquire mortgage-backed securities in the secondary market for less than their face amount. For example, it is likely that we will invest in assets, including mortgage-backed securities, requiring us to accrue original issue discount, or OID, or recognize market discount income, that generate taxable income in excess of economic income or in advance of the corresponding cash flow from the assets referred to as "phantom income." We may also be required under the terms of the indebtedness that we incur to use cash received from interest payments to make principal payment on that indebtedness, with the effect that we will recognize income but will not have a corresponding amount of cash available for distribution to our stockholders.

        Due to each of these potential differences between income recognition or expense deduction and related cash receipts or disbursements, there is a significant risk that we may have substantial taxable income in excess of cash available for distribution. In that event, we may need to borrow funds or take other actions to satisfy the REIT distribution requirements for the taxable year in which this "phantom income" is recognized. See "—
Annual Distribution Requirements
."

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Asset Tests

        We, at the close of each calendar quarter, must also satisfy four tests relating to the nature of our assets.

    First, at least 75% of the value of our total assets must be represented by some combination of:


    cash and cash items;


    U.S. government securities;


    interests in real property;


    interests in mortgage loans secured by real property;


    stock (or transferable certificates of beneficial interest) in other REITs;


    debt instruments issued by publicly offered REITs;


    regular or residual interests in a REMIC. However, if less than 95% of the assets of a REMIC consist of assets that are qualifying real estate-related assets under the U.S. federal income tax laws, determined as if we held such assets, we will be treated as holding our proportionate share of the assets of such REMIC; and


    debt instruments issued by "publicly offered REITs".


    Second, of our investments not included in the 75% asset class, the value of any one issuer's securities owned by us may not exceed 5% of the value of our assets.


    Third, of our investments not included in the 75% asset class, we may not own more than 10% of any one issuer's outstanding securities, as measured by either voting power or value.


    Fourth, of our investments not included in the 75% asset class, the aggregate value of all securities of TRSs held by us may not exceed 20% of the value of our gross assets.


    Five, of our investments not included in the 75% asset class, debt instruments issued by publicly offered REITs, if they would not otherwise qualify as "real estate assets", cannot exceed 25% of the value of our total assets.

        The 5% and 10% asset tests do not apply to securities of TRSs and qualified REIT subsidiaries. The 10% value test does not apply to certain "straight debt" and other excluded securities, as described in the Code, including but not limited to any loan to an individual or an estate, any obligation to pay rents from real property and any security issued by a REIT. In addition, (i) a REIT's interest as a partner in a partnership is not considered a security for purposes of applying the 10% value test; (ii) any debt instrument issued by a partnership (other than straight debt or other excluded security) will not be considered a security issued by the partnership if at least 75% of the partnership's gross income is derived from sources that would qualify for the 75% REIT gross income test; and (iii) any debt instrument issued by a partnership (other than straight debt or other excluded security) will not be considered a security issued by the partnership to the extent of the REIT's interest as a partner in the partnership.

        For purposes of the 10% value test, "straight debt" means a written unconditional promise to pay on demand on a specified date a sum certain in money if:

    the debt is not convertible, directly or indirectly, into stock;


    the interest rate and interest payment dates are not contingent on profits, the borrower's discretion, or similar factors other than certain contingencies relating to the timing and amount of principal and interest payments, as described in the Code; and

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    in the case of an issuer which is a corporation or a partnership, securities that otherwise would be considered straight debt will not be so considered if we, and any of our "controlled taxable REIT subsidiaries" as defined in the Code, hold any securities of the corporate or partnership issuer which


    are not straight debt or other excluded securities (prior to the application of this rule); and


    have an aggregate value greater than 1% of the issuer's outstanding securities (including, for the purposes of a partnership issuer, its interest as a partner in the partnership).

        After initially meeting the asset tests at the close of any quarter, we will not lose our qualification as a REIT for failure to satisfy the asset tests at the end of a later quarter solely by reason of changes in asset values. If we fail to satisfy the asset tests because we acquire or increase our ownership interest in securities during a quarter, we can cure this failure by disposing of sufficient non-qualifying assets within 30 days after the close of that quarter. If we fail the 5% asset test, or the 10% vote or value asset tests at the end of any quarter and such failure is not cured within 30 days thereafter, we may dispose of sufficient assets (generally within six months after the last day of the quarter in which our identification of the failure to satisfy these asset tests occurred) to cure such a violation that does not exceed the lesser of 1% of our assets at the end of the relevant quarter or $10,000,000. If we fail any of the other asset tests or our failure of the 5% and 10% asset tests is in excess of the
de minimis
amount described above, as long as such failure was due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect, we may be permitted to avoid disqualification as a REIT, after the 30 day cure period, by taking steps including the disposition of sufficient assets to meet the asset test (generally within six months after the last day of the quarter in which our identification of the failure to satisfy the REIT asset test occurred) and paying a tax equal to the greater of $50,000 or the corporate income tax rate of the net income generated by the non-qualifying assets during the period in which we failed to satisfy the asset test.

        We may invest in Agency RMBS whose principal and interest payments are guaranteed by a U.S. government agency, such as Ginnie Mae, or a government sponsored entity, or GSE, that are pass-through certificates. We expect that these agency pass-through certificates will be treated as interests in grantor trusts for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Consequently, we will be treated as owning an undivided beneficial ownership interest in the mortgage loans held by the grantor trust and, therefore, we will treat the Agency RMBS as qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% asset test.

        We may invest in RMBS that are not issued or guaranteed by a U.S. government agency or a GSE. We expect that our investments in non-agency RMBS will be treated as interests in REMICs for U.S. federal income tax purposes. In the case of an RMBS treated as an interest in a REMIC, such interest will generally qualify as a real estate asset for purposes of the 75% asset test. If less than 95% of the assets of a REMIC are real estate assets, however, then only a proportionate part of our interest in the REMIC would qualify for purposes of the 75% asset test.

        We expect that the assets and mortgage-related securities that we own generally will be qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% asset test. However, to the extent that we own non-REMIC CMOs or other debt instruments secured by mortgage loans (rather than by real property) or secured by non-real estate assets, or debt securities that are not secured by mortgages on real property, those securities may not be qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% asset test.

    TBAs

        We may use "to-be-announced", or TBA, forward contracts as a means of investing and financing Agency RMBS. There is no direct authority with respect to the qualification of TBAs as real estate assets or U.S. government securities for purposes of the 75% asset test. We intend to treat our TBAs as qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% asset test, to the extent set forth in an opinion from Sidley Austin LLP substantially to the effect that, for purposes of the 75% asset test, our ownership of a TBA

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should be treated as ownership of the underlying Agency RMBS. Such opinion of counsel is not binding on the IRS, and there can be no assurance that the IRS will not successfully challenge the conclusions set forth therein. In addition, the opinion of Sidley Austin LLP is based on various assumptions relating to our TBAs and is conditioned upon fact-based representations and covenants made by our management regarding our TBAs. If the IRS were to successfully challenge the opinion of Sidley Austin LLP, we could be subject to a penalty tax or we could fail to remain qualified as a REIT if a sufficient portion of our assets consists of TBAs or a sufficient portion of our income consists of income or gains from the disposition of TBAs.

    Excess MSRs

        We may invest in excess MSRs. Based on IRS guidance, we intend to treat excess MSRs as interest on obligations secured by mortgages on real property and, therefore, as qualifying for purposes of the 75% asset test. However, it is possible that the IRS could assert that such excess MSRs are not qualifying assets under the 75% asset test. In the event that such excess MSRs were determined not to be qualifying assets for the 75% asset test, we could be subject to a penalty tax or we could fail to remain qualified as a REIT if a sufficient portion of our assets consists of excess MSRs or a sufficient portion of our income consists of income or gains from excess MSRs.

    Repurchase Agreements

        In order to finance some of the assets that we hold or acquire, we may enter into repurchase agreements under which we will nominally sell certain of our assets to a counterparty and simultaneously enter into an agreement to repurchase the sold assets. Although the tax treatment of repurchase transactions is unclear, we take the position that, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, we are the owner of those assets that are the subject of any such repurchase agreement notwithstanding that we may transfer record ownership of those assets to the counterparty during the term of any such agreement. Because we enter into repurchase agreements the tax treatment of which is unclear,, the IRS could assert that we did not own the assets during the term of the repurchase agreement, in which case we could fail to qualify as a REIT.

Annual Distribution Requirements

        In order to qualify as a REIT, we are required to distribute dividends, other than capital gain dividends, to our stockholders in an amount at least equal to:

    the sum of:


    90% of our "REIT taxable income" (computed without regard to the deduction for dividends paid and our net capital gains); and


    90% of the net income (after tax), if any, from foreclosure property (as described below); minus


    the sum of specified items of non-cash income that exceeds a percentage of our income.

        These distributions must be paid in the taxable year to which they relate or in the following taxable year if such distributions are declared in October, November or December of the taxable year, are payable to stockholders of record on a specified date in any such month and are actually paid before the end of January of the following year. Such distributions are treated as both paid by us and received by each stockholder on December 31 of the year in which they are declared. In addition, at our election, a distribution for a taxable year may be declared before we timely file our tax return for the year and be paid with or before the first regular dividend payment after such declaration, provided that such payment is made during the 12-month period following the close of such taxable year. These

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distributions are taxable to our stockholders in the year in which paid, even though the distributions relate to our prior taxable year for purposes of the 90% distribution requirement.

        Except for distributions by "publicly offered REITs", distributions must not be "preferred dividends" in order for such distributions to be counted towards the distribution requirement. A dividend is not a preferential dividend if it is
pro rata
among all outstanding stock within a particular class and is in accordance with the preferences among different classes of stock as set forth in the organizational documents. We believe that we are and will continue to be a publicly offered REIT and, therefore, will not be subject to this limitation.

        To the extent that we distribute at least 90%, but less than 100%, of our "REIT taxable income," as adjusted, we will be subject to tax at the regular corporate tax rate on the retained portion. In addition, we may elect to retain, rather than distribute, our net long-term capital gains and pay tax on such gains. In this case, we could elect to have our stockholders include their proportionate share of such undistributed long-term capital gains in income and receive a corresponding credit for their proportionate share of the tax paid by us. Our stockholders would then increase the adjusted basis of their stock in us by the difference between the designated amounts included in their long-term capital gains and the tax deemed paid with respect to their proportionate shares.

        If we fail to distribute during each calendar year at least the sum of:

    85% of our REIT ordinary income for such year;


    95% of our REIT capital gain net income for such year; and


    any undistributed taxable income from prior periods.

        We will be subject to a 4% excise tax on the excess of such required distribution over the sum of (i) the amounts actually distributed (taking into account excess distributions from prior periods) and (ii) the amounts of income retained on which we have paid corporate income tax. We intend to make timely distributions so that we are not subject to the 4% excise tax.

        It is possible that we, from time to time, may not have sufficient cash to meet the distribution requirements due to timing differences between (i) the actual receipt of cash, including receipt of distributions from our subsidiaries and (ii) the inclusion of items in income by us for U.S. federal income tax purposes. For example, we may acquire debt instruments or notes whose stated redemption price may exceed its issue price as determined for U.S. federal income tax purposes (such excess, "original issue discount," or OID), such that we will be required to include in our income a portion of the OID each year that the instrument is held before we receive any corresponding cash. In the event that such timing differences occur, in order to meet the distribution requirements, it might be necessary to arrange for short-term, or possibly long-term, borrowings or to pay dividends in the form of taxable in-kind distributions of property, including taxable stock dividends. In the case of a taxable stock dividend, stockholders would be required to include the dividend as income and would be required to satisfy the tax liability associated with the distribution with cash from other sources including sales of our common stock. Both a taxable stock distribution and sale of common stock resulting from such distribution could adversely affect the price of our common stock.

        We 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 our deduction for dividends paid for the earlier year. In this case, we may be able to avoid losing our qualification as a REIT or being taxed on amounts distributed as deficiency dividends.

        However, we will be required to pay interest and a penalty based on the amount of any deduction taken for deficiency dividends.

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Recordkeeping Requirements

        We are required to maintain records and request on an annual basis information from specified stockholders. These requirements are designed to assist us in determining the actual ownership of our outstanding stock and maintaining our qualifications as a REIT.

Prohibited Transactions

        Net income we derive 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 as inventory or 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. We intend to conduct our operations so that no asset owned by us or our pass-through subsidiaries will be held as inventory or primarily for sale to customers, and that a sale of any assets owned by us directly or through a pass-through subsidiary will not be in the ordinary course of business. However, whether property is held as inventory or "primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business" depends on the particular facts and circumstances. No assurance can be given that any particular asset in which we hold a direct or indirect interest will not be treated as property held as inventory or primarily for sale to customers or that certain safe harbor provisions of the Code that prevent such treatment will apply. The 100% tax will 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 the regular corporate income tax rate.

Foreclosure Property

        Foreclosure property is real property and any personal property incident to such real property:

    that is acquired by a REIT as a result of the REIT having bid on 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;


    for which the related loan or lease was acquired by the REIT at a time when default was not imminent or anticipated; and


    for which such REIT makes a proper election to treat the property as foreclosure property. REITs generally are subject to tax at the corporate rate on any net income from foreclosure property, including any gain from the disposition of the foreclosure property, other than 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. We do not anticipate that we will receive any income from foreclosure property that is not qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, but, if we do receive any such income, we intend to elect to treat the related property as foreclosure property.

Failure to Qualify

        In the event that we violate a provision of the Code that would result in our failure to qualify as a REIT, we may nevertheless continue to qualify as a REIT. Specified relief provisions will be available to us to avoid such disqualification if:

    the violation is due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect;

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    we pay a penalty of $50,000 for each failure to satisfy a requirement for qualification as a REIT; and


    the violation does not include a violation under the gross income or asset tests described above (for which other specified relief provisions are available).

        This cure provision reduces the instances that could lead to our disqualification as a REIT for violations due to reasonable cause. If we fail to qualify for taxation as a REIT in any taxable year and none of the relief provisions of the Code apply, we will be subject to tax on our taxable income at the regular corporate rate. Distributions to our stockholders in any year in which we are not a REIT will not be deductible by us, nor will they be required to be made. In this situation, to the extent of current and accumulated earnings and profits, and, subject to limitations of the Code, distributions to our stockholders will generally be taxable in the case of our stockholders who are individual U.S. stockholders, as "qualified dividend income" at a reduced at a maximum rate, and dividends in the hands of our corporate U.S. stockholders may be eligible for the dividends received deduction. However, distributions to individual U.S. stockholders during any year in which we are not a REIT will not be eligible for the deduction equal to 20% of the amount of such dividends. Unless we are entitled to relief under specific statutory provisions, we will 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 will be entitled to statutory relief.

Taxation of Taxable U.S. Stockholders

        This section summarizes the taxation of U.S. stockholders who hold our stock that are not tax-exempt organizations. For these purposes, a U.S. stockholder is a beneficial owner of our stock who for U.S. federal income tax purposes is:

    a citizen or resident of the U.S.;


    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 U.S. or of a political subdivision thereof (including the District of Columbia);


    an estate whose income is subject to U.S. federal income taxation regardless of its source; or


    any trust if (i) 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 (ii) it has a valid election in place to be treated as a U.S. person.

        If an entity or arrangement treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes holds our stock, the U.S. federal income tax treatment of a partner generally will depend upon the status of the partner and the activities of the partnership. A partner of a partnership holding our common stock should consult its own tax advisor regarding the U.S. federal income tax consequences to the partner of the acquisition, ownership and disposition of our stock by the partnership.

Distributions

        Provided that we qualify as a REIT, distributions made to our taxable U.S. stockholders out of our current or accumulated earnings and profits, and not designated as capital gain dividends, will generally be taken into account by them as ordinary dividend income and will not be eligible for the dividends received deduction for corporations. However, under the TCJA, Qualified REIT Dividends may be eligible for a deduction equal to 20% of the amount of such dividends in taxable years beginning before January 1, 2026. To qualify for this deduction, the stockholder receiving a Qualified REIT Dividend must hold the dividend-paying REIT shares for at least 46 days (taking into account certain special holding period rules) of the 91-day period beginning 45 days before the shares become

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ex-dividend, and cannot be under an obligation to make related payments with respect to a position in substantially similar or related property. U.S. stockholders are urged to consult their tax advisors as to their ability to claim this deduction.

        In determining the extent to which a distribution with respect to our common stock constitutes a dividend for U.S. federal income tax purposes, our earnings and profits will be allocated first to distributions with respect to our preferred stock, if any, and then to our common stock. Dividends received from REITs are generally not eligible to be taxed at the preferential qualified dividend income rates applicable to individual U.S. stockholders who receive dividends from taxable subchapter C corporations.

        In addition, distributions from us that are designated as capital gain dividends will be taxed to U.S. stockholders as long-term capital gains, to the extent that they do not exceed our actual net capital gain for the taxable year, without regard to the period for which the U.S. stockholder has held our stock. To the extent that we elect under the applicable provisions of the Code to retain our net capital gains, U.S. stockholders will be treated as having received, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, our undistributed capital gains as well as a corresponding credit for taxes paid by us on such retained capital gains. U.S. stockholders will increase their adjusted tax basis in our common stock by the difference between their allocable share of such retained capital gain and their share of the tax paid by us. Long-term capital gains are generally taxable at reduced maximum federal rates in the case of U.S. stockholders who are individuals, and ordinary income rates for corporations.

        Distributions in excess of our current and accumulated earnings and profits will not be taxable to a U.S. stockholder to the extent that they do not exceed the adjusted tax basis of the U.S. stockholder's shares in respect of which the distributions were made, but rather will reduce the adjusted tax basis of those shares. To the extent that such distributions exceed the adjusted tax basis of an individual U.S. stockholder's shares, they will be included in income as long-term capital gain, or short-term capital gain if the shares have been held for one year or less. In addition, any dividend declared by us in October, November or December of any year and payable to a U.S. stockholder of record on a specified date in any such month will be treated as both paid by us and received by the U.S. stockholder on December 31 of such year, provided that the dividend is actually paid by us before the end of January of the following calendar year.

        With respect to U.S. stockholders who are taxed at the rates applicable to individuals, we may elect to designate a portion of our distributions paid to such U.S. stockholders as "qualified dividend income." A portion of a distribution that is properly designated as qualified dividend income is taxable to non-corporate U.S. stockholders at the same rates as capital gain, provided that the U.S. stockholder has held the common stock with respect to which the distribution is made for more than 60 days during the 121-day period beginning on the date that is 60 days before the date on which such common stock became ex-dividend with respect to the relevant distribution. The maximum amount of our distributions eligible to be designated as qualified dividend income for a taxable year is equal to the sum of:

    the qualified dividend income received by us during such taxable year from non-REIT C corporations (including any TRS in which we may own an interest);


    the excess of any "undistributed" REIT taxable income recognized during the immediately preceding year over the U.S. federal income tax paid by us with respect to such undistributed REIT taxable income; and


    the excess of any income recognized during the immediately preceding year attributable to the sale of a built-in-gain asset that was acquired in a carry-over basis transaction from a non-REIT C corporation over the U.S. federal income tax paid by us with respect to such built-in gain.

        In addition, the total amount of dividends that we may designate as "qualified dividend income" or "capital gain dividends" may not exceed our dividends paid for the taxable year. Generally, dividends

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that we receive will be treated as qualified dividend income for purposes of the first bullet above if the dividends are received from a domestic C corporation (other than a REIT or a RIC), any TRS we may form, or a "qualifying foreign corporation" and specified holding period requirements and other requirements are met.

        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 must be made in order to comply with the REIT distribution requirements. See "—
U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations of Two Harbors as a REIT
Taxation of Two Harbors—General
" and "—
U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations of Two Harbors as a REIT
Annual Distribution Requirements
." Such losses, however, are not passed through to U.S. stockholders and do not offset income of U.S. stockholders from other sources, nor do they affect the character of any distributions that are actually made by us, which are generally subject to tax in the hands of U.S. stockholders to the extent that we have current or accumulated earnings and profits.

Dispositions of Our Common Stock

        In general, a U.S. stockholder will realize gain or loss upon the sale or other taxable disposition of our common stock in an amount equal to the difference between the sum of the fair market value of any property and the amount of cash received in such disposition and the U.S. stockholder's adjusted tax basis in the common stock at the time of the disposition. In general, a U.S. stockholder's adjusted tax basis will equal the U.S. stockholder's acquisition cost, increased by the excess of net capital gains deemed distributed to the U.S. stockholder (discussed above) less tax deemed paid on such gain and reduced by returns of capital. In general, capital gains recognized by individuals and other non-corporate U.S. stockholders upon the sale or disposition of our common stock will be subject to a reduced maximum U.S. federal income tax rate, if our common stock is held for more than one year, and will be taxed at ordinary income rates if our common stock is held for one year or less. Gains recognized by U.S. stockholders that are corporations are subject to U.S. federal income tax at the regular corporate rate, whether or not classified as long-term capital gains.

        Stockholders are advised to consult with their tax advisors with respect to their capital gain tax liability. Capital losses recognized by a U.S. stockholder upon the disposition of our common stock held for more than one year at the time of disposition will be considered long-term capital losses, and are generally available only to offset capital gain income of the U.S. stockholder but not ordinary income (except in the case of individuals, who may offset up to $3,000 of ordinary income each year). In addition, any loss upon a sale or exchange of our common stock by a U.S. stockholder who has held the stock for six months or less, after applying holding period rules, will be treated as a long-term capital loss to the extent of distributions received from us that were required to be treated by the U.S. stockholder as long-term capital gain.

Passive Activity Losses and Investment Interest Limitations

        Distributions made by us and gain arising from the sale or exchange by a U.S. stockholder of our common stock will not be treated as passive activity income. As a result, U.S. stockholders will not be able to apply any "passive losses" against income or gain relating to our common stock. Distributions made by us, to the extent they do not constitute a return of capital, generally will be treated as investment income for purposes of computing the investment interest limitation. A U.S. stockholder that elects to treat capital gain dividends, capital gains from the disposition of stock or qualified dividend income as investment income for purposes of the investment interest limitation will be taxed at ordinary income rates on such amounts.

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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 dividends and other income, including capital gain from the sale or disposition of our common stock.

Taxation of Tax-Exempt U.S. Stockholders

        U.S. tax-exempt entities, including qualified employee pension and profit sharing trusts and individual retirement accounts, generally are exempt from U.S. federal income taxation. However, they are subject to taxation on their unrelated business taxable income, or UBTI. While many investments in real estate may generate UBTI, the IRS has ruled that dividend distributions from a REIT to a tax-exempt entity do not constitute UBTI. Based on that ruling, and provided that:

    a tax-exempt U.S. stockholder has not held our common 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),


    our common stock is not otherwise used in an unrelated trade or business, and


    we do not hold an asset that gives rise to excess inclusion income, distributions from us and income from the sale of our common stock generally should not give rise to UBTI to a tax-exempt U.S. stockholder.

        Tax-exempt U.S. 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, respectively, are subject to different UBTI rules, which generally will require them to characterize distributions from us as UBTI unless they are able to properly claim a deduction for amounts set aside or placed in reserve for specific purposes so as to offset the income generated by its investment in our common stock. These prospective investors should consult their tax advisors concerning these "set aside" and reserve requirements.

        In certain circumstances, a pension trust that (i) is described in Section 401(a) of the Code, (ii) is tax exempt under Section 501(a) of the Code, and (iii) owns more than 10% of our stock could be required to treat a percentage of the dividends from us as UBTI if we are a "pension-held REIT." We will not be a pension-held REIT unless (i) either (a) one pension trust owns more than 25% of the value of our stock, or (b) a group of pension trusts, each individually holding more than 10% of the value of our stock, collectively owns more than 50% of such stock; and (ii) we would not have qualified as a REIT but for the fact that Section 856(h)(3) of the Code provides that stock owned by such trusts shall be treated, for purposes of the requirement that not more than 50% of the value of the outstanding stock of a REIT is owned, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer "individuals" (as defined in the Code to include certain entities), as owned by the beneficiaries of such trusts. Certain restrictions limiting ownership and transfer of our stock should generally prevent a tax-exempt entity from owning more than 10% of the value of our stock, or us from becoming a pension-held REIT.

        Tax-exempt U.S. stockholders are urged to consult their tax advisors regarding the U.S. federal, state and local tax consequences of owning our stock.

Taxation of Non-U.S. Stockholders

        The following is a summary of certain U.S. federal income tax consequences of the acquisition, ownership and disposition of our common stock applicable to non-U.S. stockholders of our common stock. For these purposes, a non-U.S. stockholder is a beneficial owner of our stock who is neither a U.S. stockholder nor an entity that is treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

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The discussion is based on current law and is for general information only. It addresses only selective and not all aspects of U.S. federal income taxation of non-U.S. stockholders. In addition, this discussion assumes that:

    you will not have held more than 10% of our common stock (taking into account applicable constructive ownership rules) at any time during the five-year period ending on the date on which you dispose of our common stock or receive distributions from us;


    our common stock is and will continue to be "regularly traded" on an established securities market located in the United States within the meaning of the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980, or FIRPTA, although there can be no assurance that this will continue to be the case; and


    you are not a "qualified shareholder", as defined in Section 897(k)(3)(A) of the Code, which describes certain partnerships and other collective investment vehicles that satisfy various recordkeeping, administrative and other requirements.

        If you are a non-U.S. stockholder, and in particular a non-U.S. stockholder as to which any of these assumptions is not accurate, and in particular if you are a "qualified shareholder" within the meaning of FIRPTA, you should consult your own tax advisor concerning the tax consequence to you of sales of our stock and the receipt of dividends and other distributions from us.

General

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

Ordinary Dividends

        The portion of dividends received by non-U.S. stockholders payable out of our earnings and profits that are not effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business of the non-U.S. stockholder will generally be subject to U.S. federal withholding tax at the rate of 30%, unless reduced or eliminated by an applicable income tax treaty. Under some treaties, however, lower rates generally applicable to dividends do not apply to dividends from REITs. In addition, any portion of the dividends paid to non-U.S. stockholders that are treated as excess inclusion income will not be eligible for exemption from the 30% withholding tax or a reduced treaty rate. In the case of a taxable stock dividend with respect to which any withholding tax is imposed, we may have to withhold or dispose of part of the stock otherwise distributable in such dividend and use such stock or the proceeds of such disposition to satisfy the withholding tax imposed.

        In general, non-U.S. stockholders 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. stockholder's investment in our common stock is, or is treated as, effectively connected with the non-U.S. stockholder's conduct of a U.S. trade or business, the non-U.S. stockholder generally will be subject to U.S. federal income tax at graduated rates, in the same manner as U.S. stockholders are taxed with respect to such dividends, and may also be subject to the 30% branch profits tax on the

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income after the application of the income tax in the case of a non-U.S. stockholder that is a corporation.

Non-Dividend Distributions

        Unless either (i) the non-U.S. stockholder's investment in our common stock is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business conducted by such non-U.S. stockholder (in which case the non-U.S. stockholder will be subject to the same treatment as U.S. stockholders with respect to such gain) or (ii) the non-U.S. stockholder is a nonresident alien individual who was present in the U.S. for 183 days or more during the taxable year and has a "tax home" in the U.S. (in which case the non-U.S. stockholder will be subject to a 30% tax on the individual's net capital gain for the year), distributions by us which are not dividends out of our earnings and profits will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax. If we cannot determine at the time at which 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. However, the non-U.S. stockholder 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.

Capital Gain Dividends

        Capital gain dividends received by a non-U.S. stockholder from a REIT are generally not subject to U.S. federal income or withholding tax, unless either (i) the non-U.S. stockholder's investment in our common stock is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business conducted by such non-U.S. stockholder (in which case the non-U.S. stockholder will be subject to the same treatment as U.S. stockholders with respect to such gain) or (ii) the non-U.S. stockholder is a nonresident alien individual who was present in the U.S. for 183 days or more during the taxable year and has a "tax home" in the U.S. (in which case the non-U.S. stockholder will be subject to a 30% tax on the individual's net capital gain for the year). In addition, under FIRPTA, a distribution made by us to a non-U.S. stockholder, to the extent attributable to a gain from disposition of a "U.S. real property interest" held by us directly or through pass-through subsidiaries, will be treated as a distribution subject to the rules discussed above under "—Taxation of Non-U.S. Stockholders—Ordinary Dividends."

Dispositions of Our Common Stock

        Gain from the sale of our common stock will generally not be subject to U.S. federal income or withholding tax in the case of a non-U.S. stockholder, except in two cases: (i) if the non-U.S. stockholder's investment in our common stock is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business conducted by such non-U.S. stockholder, the non-U.S. stockholder will be subject to the same treatment as a U.S. stockholder with respect to such gain, or (ii) if the non-U.S. stockholder is a nonresident alien individual who was present in the U.S. for 183 days or more during the taxable year and has a "tax home" in the U.S., the nonresident alien individual will be subject to a 30% tax on the individual's capital gain.

Other U.S. Federal Income Tax Withholding and Reporting Requirements

        The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, provisions of the Code currently impose a 30% withholding tax on U.S.-source dividends, interest and other income items paid to (i) foreign financial institutions that do not agree to comply with certain diligence, reporting and withholding obligations with respect to their U.S. accounts and (ii) non-financial foreign entities that do not identify (or confirm the absence of) substantial U.S. owners. The withholding tax of 30% would apply to dividends and (subject to the following sentence) the gross proceeds of a disposition of our common stock paid to certain foreign entities unless various information reporting requirements are satisfied. Recently issued proposed Treasury Regulations, which non-U.S. stockholders may rely on, eliminate the

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FATCA withholding tax on gross proceeds, but such regulations are currently only in proposed form and are subject to change. For these purposes, a foreign financial institution generally is defined as any non-U.S. entity that (i) accepts deposits in the ordinary course of a banking or similar business, (ii) is engaged in the business of holding financial assets for the account of others, or (iii) is engaged or holds itself out as being engaged primarily in the business of investing, reinvesting, or trading in securities, partnership interests, commodities, or any interest in such assets.

Backup Withholding and Information Reporting

        We will report to our U.S. stockholders and the IRS the amount of dividends paid during each calendar year and the amount of any tax withheld. Under the backup withholding rules, a U.S. stockholder may be subject to backup withholding with respect to dividends paid unless the holder is a corporation or comes within other exempt categories and, when required, demonstrates this fact or provides a taxpayer identification number or social security number, certifies as to no loss of exemption from backup withholding and otherwise complies with applicable requirements of the backup withholding rules. A U.S. stockholder that does not provide his or her correct taxpayer identification number or social security number may also be subject to penalties imposed by the IRS. In addition, we may be required to withhold a portion of capital gain distributions to any U.S. stockholder who fails to certify its non-foreign status.

        We must report annually to the IRS and to each non-U.S. stockholder the amount of dividends paid to such holder and the tax withheld with respect to such dividends, regardless of whether withholding was required. Copies of the information returns reporting such dividends and withholding may also be made available to the tax authorities in the country in which the non-U.S. stockholder resides under the provisions of an applicable income tax treaty. A non-U.S. stockholder may be subject to backup withholding unless applicable certification requirements are met.

        Payment of the proceeds of a sale of our common stock within the U.S. is subject to both backup withholding and information reporting unless the beneficial owner certifies under penalties of perjury that it is a non-U.S. stockholder (and the payor does not have actual knowledge or reason to know that the beneficial owner is a U.S. person) or the stockholder otherwise establishes an exemption. Payment of the proceeds of a sale of our common stock conducted through certain U.S. related financial intermediaries is subject to information reporting (but not backup withholding) unless the financial intermediary has documentary evidence in its records that the beneficial owner is a non-U.S. stockholder and specified conditions are met or an exemption is otherwise established.

        Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Any amounts withheld under the backup withholding rules may be allowed as a refund or a credit against such stockholder's U.S. federal income tax liability provided the required information is furnished to the IRS.

State, Local and Foreign Taxes

        We and our 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. The state, local or foreign tax treatment of us and our stockholders may not conform to the U.S. federal income tax treatment discussed above. Prospective stockholders 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 common stock.

Legislative or other actions affecting REITs could materially and adversely affect us and our stockholders

        The rules dealing with U.S. federal income taxation are constantly under review by persons involved in the legislative process and by the IRS and the U.S. Treasury Department. Changes to the

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tax laws, with or without retroactive application, could materially and adversely affect us and our stockholders. We cannot predict how changes in the tax laws might affect us or our stockholders. New legislation, U.S. Treasury regulations, administrative interpretations or court decisions could significantly and negatively affect our ability to qualify as a REIT or the U.S. federal income tax consequences of such qualification.

        In addition, the TCJA made substantial changes to the Code. Among those changes are a significant permanent reduction in the generally applicable corporate tax rate, changes in the taxation of individuals and other non-corporate taxpayers that generally but not universally reduce their taxes on a temporary basis subject to "sunset" provisions, the elimination or modification of various currently allowed deductions (including additional limitations on the deductibility of business interest and substantial limitation on the deduction for state and local taxes imposed on individuals), and preferential taxation of certain income (including REIT dividends) derived by non-corporate taxpayers from "pass-through" entities. The TCJA also imposes certain additional limitations on the deduction of net operating losses, which may in the future cause us to make distributions that will be taxable to our stockholders to the extent of our current or accumulated earnings and profits in order to comply with the annual REIT distribution requirements. Finally, the TCJA also makes significant changes in the international tax rules, which among other things may require us to include in our taxable income, and to distribute, pre-2018 earnings of certain of our foreign subsidiaries, which earnings have previously been deferred from taxation in the United States. The effect of these, and the many other, changes made in the TCJA is highly uncertain, both in terms of their direct effect on the taxation of an investment in our common stock and their indirect effect on the value of our assets. Furthermore, many of the provisions of the TCJA will require guidance through the issuance of Treasury regulations in order to assess their effect. There may be a substantial delay before such regulations are promulgated, increasing the uncertainty as to the ultimate effect of the statutory amendments on us. It is also likely that there will be technical corrections legislation proposed with respect to the TCJA, the timing and effect of which cannot be predicted and may be adverse to us or our stockholders.

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USE OF PROCEEDS

        We expect to receive net proceeds from the sale of common stock totaling approximately $            , after deducting estimated offering expenses. If the underwriters' option to purchase additional shares is exercised in full, our net proceeds from the offering will be approximately $            , after deducting estimated offering expenses.

        We intend to use the net proceeds from this offering to purchase our target assets, including Agency RMBS, non-agency securities, MSR and other financial assets, in each case subject to our investment guidelines and to the extent consistent with maintaining our REIT qualification, and for general corporate purposes. PRCM Advisers will make determinations as to the percentage of the net proceeds of this offering that will be invested in each of our target assets and the timing of deployment of the net proceeds of this offering. These determinations will depend on prevailing market conditions and may change over time in response to opportunities available in different interest rate, economic and credit environments. Until appropriate assets can be identified, PRCM Advisers may decide to use the net proceeds to pay off our short-term debt or invest the net proceeds in interest-bearing short-term investments, including funds which are consistent with our REIT election. These investments are expected to provide a lower net return than we seek to achieve from our target assets. Prior to the time we have fully used the net proceeds of this offering to acquire our target assets, we may fund our quarterly dividends out of such net proceeds.

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CAPITALIZATION

        The following table sets forth our capitalization at December 31, 2018 on an actual basis and as adjusted to reflect the effect of the sale of our common stock in this offering, after deducting estimated offering expenses. You should read this table together with our consolidated financial statements and the related notes incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus.

 

 
As of December 31, 2018
 
 

 
Actual(1)
 
As
Adjusted
for This
Offering(2)
 
 

 
(Dollars in thousands)

 

Stockholders' equity:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Preferred stock, par value $0.01 per share; 50,000,000 shares authorized and 40,050,000 shares issued and outstanding, actual and adjusted ($1,001,250 aggregate liquidation preference)(3):
 
$
977,501
 
$
            
 

Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share; 450,000,000 shares authorized, 248,085,721 shares issued and outstanding, actual, and 266,085,721 shares issued and outstanding, as adjusted(4)
 
$
2,481
 
$
            
 

Additional paid in capital
 
$
4,809,616
 
$
            
 

Accumulated other comprehensive income
 
$
110,817
 
$
            
 

Cumulative earnings
 
$
2,332,371
 
$
            
 

Cumulative distributions to stockholders
 
$
(3,978,297
)
$
            
 

Total stockholders' equity
 
$
4,254,489
 
$
            
 

(1)
Does not include 4,037,155 shares of our common stock issued between December 31, 2018 and March 15, 2019.

(2)
Does not include the underwriters' option to purchase up to 2,700,000 additional shares or 4,037,155 shares issued between December 31, 2018 and March 15, 2019.

(3)
Preferred stock includes the following:
    Series A Preferred Stock: 5,750,000 issued and outstanding, actual and as adjusted ($143,750 aggregate liquidation preference);


    Series B Preferred Stock: 11,500,000 issued and outstanding, actual and as adjusted ($287,500 aggregate liquidation preference);


    Series C Preferred Stock: 11,800,000 issued and outstanding, actual and as adjusted ($295,000 aggregate liquidation preference);


    Series D Preferred Stock: 3,000,000 issued and outstanding, actual and as adjusted ($75,000 aggregate liquidation preference); and


    Series E Preferred Stock: 8,000,000 issued and outstanding, actual and as adjusted ($200,000 aggregate liquidation preference)

(4)
Does not include 20,483,082 shares of common stock reserved for issuance upon conversion of our Convertible Senior Notes due 2022, 15,473,595 shares of common stock reserved for issuance upon conversion of the Series A Preferred Stock, 29,217,475 shares of common stock reserved for issuance upon conversion of the Series B Preferred Stock, 38,286,870 shares of common stock reserved for issuance upon conversion of the Series C Preferred Stock, 5,008,350 shares of common stock reserved for issuance upon conversion of the Series D Preferred Stock, and 15,583,440 shares of common stock reserved for issuance upon conversion of the Series E Preferred Stock, all as of December 31, 2018.

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UNDERWRITING

        Subject to the terms and conditions of the underwriting agreement, the underwriters named below, through Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and JMP Securities LLC acting as representatives, have severally agreed to purchase from us the following respective number of shares of common stock at a price of $            per share:

Underwriter
 
Number of
Shares

Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC
 
 

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC
 
 

JMP Securities LLC
 
 

Total
 
18,000,000

        The underwriting agreement provides that the underwriters are obligated to purchase all the shares of common stock in the offering if any are purchased, other than those shares covered by the option to purchase additional shares described below. The underwriting agreement also provides that, if an underwriter defaults, the purchase commitments of non-defaulting underwriters may be increased or the offering may be terminated.

        We have granted to the underwriters a 30 day option to purchase on a pro rata basis up to 2,700,000 additional shares at the price set forth on the cover page.

        The underwriters may offer the shares of common stock from time to time for sale in one or more transactions on the NYSE, in the over-the-counter market, through negotiated transactions or otherwise at market prices prevailing at the time of sale, at prices related to prevailing market prices or at negotiated prices. The underwriters may effect such transactions by selling shares of common stock to or through dealers, and such dealers may receive compensation in the form of discounts, concessions or commissions from the underwriters and/or purchasers of shares of common stock for whom they may act as agents or to whom they may sell as principal.

        The expenses of the offering payable by us are estimated to be approximately $            .

        We and PRCM Advisers have agreed that we will not (i) sell, offer, contract to sell, pledge, register, grant any option to purchase or otherwise dispose of, directly or indirectly, any shares of common stock, or any securities convertible into, or exercisable, exchangeable or redeemable for common stock, (ii) enter into any swap or other arrangement that transfers to another, in whole or in part, any of the economic consequences of ownership of the common stock, whether any such transaction described in clause (i) or (ii) above is to be settled by delivery of common stock or such other securities, in cash or otherwise, or (iii) file any registration statement with the SEC relating to the offering of any shares of common stock or any securities convertible into or exercisable or exchangeable for common stock, except for the sales to the underwriters pursuant to the underwriting agreement, without the prior written consent of Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC for a period of 45 days after the date of this prospectus supplement. However, we may, during this 45-day "lock-up" period, (a) grant shares of common stock-based awards to our directors and personnel of PRCM Advisers under our 2009 equity incentive plan in the ordinary course consistent with past practice, and (b) issue and sell shares of common stock pursuant to our dividend reinvestment and direct share purchase plan.

        Each of our directors and executive officers and PRCM Advisers have agreed that they will not offer, sell, contract to sell, pledge or otherwise dispose of, directly or indirectly, any shares of our common stock or securities convertible into or exchangeable or exercisable for any shares of our common stock, enter into a transaction that would have the same effect, or enter into any swap, hedge or other arrangement that transfers, in whole or in part, any of the economic consequences of ownership of our common stock, whether any of these transactions are to be settled by delivery of our

S-32


common stock or other securities, in cash or otherwise, or publicly disclose the intention to make any offer, sale, pledge or disposition, or to enter into any transaction, swap, hedge or other arrangement, without, in each case, the prior written consent of Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC for a period of 45 days after the date of this prospectus supplement. However, each of our directors and executive officers may transfer or dispose of our shares during this 45-day "lock-up" period (a) in connection with selling or forfeiting shares during the "lock-up" period for the purposes of satisfying tax obligations owed by the director or executive officer upon the initial grant of a share-based award or any subsequent vesting with respect to such awards or (b) to a family member or trust, provided, that (i) such transfer shall not involve a disposition for value, (ii) the transferee agrees to be bound in writing by the terms of the lock-up agreement prior to such transfer, and (iii) no filing by any party (donor, donee, transferor or transferee) under the Exchange Act is required or shall be voluntarily made in connection with such transfer (other than a filing on a Form 5 made after the expiration of the 30-day "lock-up" period).

        We have agreed to indemnify the underwriters against liabilities under the Securities Act, or contribute to payments that the underwriters may be required to make in that respect.

        The shares of common stock are listed on the NYSE under the symbol "TWO."

        The underwriters or their affiliates have performed, and in the future may perform, commercial banking, investment banking and advisory services for us in the ordinary course of their business for which they have received, and in the future are expected to receive, customary fees. The underwriters or their affiliates have engaged in, and may in the future engage in, investment banking and other commercial dealings in the ordinary course of business with our affiliates. They have received, or may in the future receive, customary fees and commissions for these transactions.

        The underwriters and their affiliates may also make or hold a broad array of investments and actively traded debt and equity securities (or related derivative securities) and financial instruments (including bank loans) for their own account and for the accounts of their customers. These investments and securities activities may involve securities and/or instruments of ours or our affiliates. The underwriters and their affiliates may also communicate independent investment recommendations, market color or trading ideas and/or publish or express independent research views in respect of such assets, securities or instruments and may at any time hold, or recommend to clients that they should acquire, long and/or short positions in such assets, securities and instruments.

        The underwriters and/or their affiliates have from time to time entered, and may in the future enter, into master repurchase agreements, master securities forward transaction agreements, international swaps and derivative agreements and other similar agreements for the financing of our target assets. Additionally, the underwriters and/or their affiliates currently or in the future may provide prime brokerage services to the company and/or affiliates of the company.

        In connection with the offering the underwriters may engage in stabilizing transactions, over-allotment transactions, syndicate covering transactions and penalty bids in accordance with Regulation M under the Exchange Act.

    Stabilizing transactions permit bids to purchase the underlying security so long as the stabilizing bids do not exceed a specified maximum.


    Over-allotment involves sales by the underwriters of shares in excess of the number of shares the underwriters are obligated to purchase, which creates a syndicate short position. The short position may be either a covered short position or a naked short position. In a covered short position, the number of shares over-allotted by the underwriters is not greater than the number of shares that it may purchase in the over-allotment option. In a naked short position, the number of shares involved is greater than the number of shares in the over-allotment option.

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      The underwriters may close out any covered short position by either exercising its over-allotment option and/or purchasing shares in the open market.

    Syndicate covering transactions involve purchases of the common stock in the open market after the distribution has been completed in order to cover syndicate short positions. In determining the source of shares to close out the 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. If the underwriters sell more shares than could be covered by the over-allotment option, a naked short position, the position can only be closed out by buying shares in the open market. A naked short position is more likely to be created if the underwriters are concerned that there could 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.


    Penalty bids permit the underwriters to reclaim a selling concession from a syndicate member when the common stock originally sold by the syndicate member is purchased in a stabilizing or syndicate covering transaction to cover syndicate short positions.

        These stabilizing transactions, syndicate covering transactions and penalty bids may have the effect of raising or maintaining the market price of our common stock or preventing or retarding a decline in the market price of the common stock. As a result the price of our common stock may be higher than the price that might otherwise exist in the open market. These transactions may be effected on the NYSE or otherwise and, if commenced, may be discontinued at any time.

        A prospectus in electronic format may be made available on the web site maintained by the underwriters, if any, and the underwriters may distribute prospectuses electronically. The underwriters may agree to allocate a number of shares for sale to their online brokerage account holders. Internet distributions will be allocated by the underwriters that will make internet distributions on the same basis as other allocations.

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LEGAL MATTERS

        Certain legal matters relating to this offering will be passed upon for us by Stinson Leonard Street LLP, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Certain legal matters in connection with this offering will also be passed upon for us by Sidley Austin LLP, New York, New York, including the qualification of our company as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Certain legal matters relating to this offering will be passed upon for the underwriters by Ropes & Gray LLP.

EXPERTS

        The consolidated financial statements of Two Harbors incorporated by reference in Two Harbors' Annual Report (Form 10-K) for the year ended December 31, 2018, and the effectiveness of Two Harbors' internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2018 have been audited by Ernst & Young LLP, independent registered public accounting firm, as set forth in their reports thereon, included therein, and incorporated herein by reference. Such consolidated financial statements are incorporated herein by reference in reliance upon such reports given on the authority of such firm as experts in accounting and auditing.

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WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

        We have filed with the SEC a registration statement on Form S-3 under the Securities Act with respect to the securities offered by this prospectus supplement. As allowed by SEC rules, this prospectus supplement does not contain all of the information set forth in the registration statement and the exhibits thereto. We refer you to the registration statement and the exhibits thereto for further information. This prospectus supplement is qualified in its entirety by such other information.

        We file annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. Our SEC filings, including the registration statement of which this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus forms a part, are available to you via our website on the Internet with the address of
www.twoharborsinvestment.com
where you can also find additional information. All internet addresses provided in this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus are for information purposes only and are not intended to be hyperlinks. We are not incorporating by reference into this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus the information on our website or any other website, and you should not consider our website or any other website to be a part of this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus, or other offering materials.

INCORPORATION OF CERTAIN DOCUMENTS BY REFERENCE

        The SEC's rules allow us to "incorporate by reference" information into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, which means that we can disclose important information to you by referring you to another document filed separately with the SEC. The information incorporated by reference is deemed to be part of this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus from the date of filing those documents. Any reports filed by us with the SEC on or after the date of this prospectus supplement will automatically update and, where applicable, supersede any information contained in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus or in the documents listed below that are incorporated by reference. We have filed the documents listed below with the SEC under the Exchange Act and these documents are incorporated herein by reference (other than information in such documents that is furnished and not deemed to be filed):

    Our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, filed with the SEC on February 27, 2019;


    The information specifically incorporated by reference into our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017 from our Definitive Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A filed with the SEC on March 29, 2018;


    Our Current Reports on Form 8-K filed on February 1, 2019 and February 8, 2019 and our current report on Form 8-K/A filed on September 28, 2018;


    The description of our common stock included in our Registration Statement on Form 8-A filed on February 10, 2011, as amended by the Form 8-A/A filed on November 2, 2017.

        All documents we file (but not furnish) pursuant to Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act on or after the date of this prospectus supplement and prior to the termination of the offering of the securities to which this prospectus supplement relates (other than information in such documents that is furnished and not deemed to be filed) shall be deemed to be incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and to be a part hereof from the date of filing of those documents.

        We will provide to each person, including any beneficial owner, to whom a copy of this prospectus supplement is delivered, a copy of any or all of the information that has been incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement but not delivered with this prospectus supplement (other than the exhibits to such documents which are not specifically incorporated by reference therein); we will provide this information at no cost to the requester upon written or oral request to: Secretary, Two Harbors Investment Corp., 575 Lexington Avenue, Suite 2930, New York, New York 10022, or (612) 629-2500.

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PROSPECTUS

LOGO

Two Harbors Investment Corp.

Common Stock
Preferred Stock
Depositary Shares
Debt Securities



        We may offer, issue and sell, from time to time, shares of our common stock, preferred stock, depositary shares and debt securities, which may consist of debentures, notes, or other types of debt, in one or more offerings. We will provide specific terms of each issuance of these securities in supplements to this prospectus. We may offer and sell these securities to or through one or more underwriters, dealers and agents, or directly to purchasers, on a continuous or delayed basis. In addition, selling securityholders may sell these securities, from time to time, on terms described in the applicable prospectus supplement. You should read this prospectus and any supplement carefully before you decide to invest. This prospectus may not be used to consummate sales of these securities unless it is accompanied by a prospectus supplement.

        Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE, under the symbol "TWO."

        We have elected to be taxed as a real estate investment trust, or REIT, for U.S. federal income tax purposes. To assist us in qualifying as a REIT, among other purposes, ownership of shares of our common stock by any person is limited, with certain exceptions, to 9.8% by value or by number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of the outstanding shares of our common stock and 9.8% by value or by number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of the aggregate of the outstanding shares of our capital stock. In addition, our charter contains various other restrictions on the ownership and transfer of our stock.

        Our principal office is located at 575 Lexington Avenue, Suite 2930, New York, New York 10022. Our telephone number is (612) 629-2500.



        
Investing in our securities involves risk. You should carefully consider the information referred to under the caption "
Risk Factors
" on page 2 before you invest.

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



   

The date of this prospectus is February 28, 2018


TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 
Page
 

ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS
 
 
ii
 

NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
 
 

ii
 

PROSPECTUS SUMMARY
 
 

1
 

RISK FACTORS
 
 

2
 

RATIO OF EARNINGS TO COMBINED FIXED CHARGES AND PREFERRED STOCK DIVIDENDS
 
 

2
 

USE OF PROCEEDS
 
 

2
 

DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK
 
 

3
 

DESCRIPTION OF DEPOSITARY SHARES
 
 

6
 

DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES
 
 

10
 

RESTRICTIONS ON OWNERSHIP AND TRANSFER
 
 

21
 

CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE MARYLAND GENERAL CORPORATION LAW AND TWO HARBORS' CHARTER AND BYLAWS
 
 

24
 

U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS
 
 

29
 

SELLING SECURITYHOLDERS
 
 

51
 

PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION
 
 

52
 

LEGAL MATTERS
 
 

55
 

EXPERTS
 
 

55
 

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION
 
 

55
 

INCORPORATION OF CERTAIN DOCUMENTS BY REFERENCE
 
 

55
 

        You should rely only on the information contained in this document or to which we have referred you. We have not authorized anyone to provide you with information that is different. This document may only be used where it is legal to sell these securities. The information in this document may only be accurate on the date of this document.

i


ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS

        This prospectus is part of a registration statement that we filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC or Commission, using a "shelf" registration process. Under this shelf registration process, we may sell the securities described in this prospectus in one or more offerings. This prospectus provides you with a general description of the securities we may offer. Each time we offer to sell securities, we will provide a supplement to this prospectus that will contain specific information about the terms of that offering. The prospectus supplement may also add, update or change information contained in this prospectus. It is important for you to consider the information contained in this prospectus and any prospectus supplement together with additional information described under the heading "
Where You Can Find More Information
."

        You should rely only on the information incorporated by reference or set forth in this prospectus or the applicable prospectus supplement. We have not authorized anyone else to provide you with additional or different information. You should not assume that the information in this prospectus, the applicable prospectus supplement or any other offering material is accurate as of any date other than the dates on the front of those documents.

        When used in this prospectus, the terms "Two Harbors," "company," "issuer," "registrant," "we," "our," and "us" refer to Two Harbors Investment Corp. and its consolidated subsidiaries, unless otherwise specified.

NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

        This prospectus contains, or incorporates by reference, not only historical information, but also forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, or the Exchange Act, and that are subject to the safe harbors created by such sections. Forward-looking statements involve numerous risks and uncertainties. Our actual results may differ from our beliefs, expectations, estimates, and projections and, consequently, you should not rely on these forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. Forward-looking statements are not historical in nature and can be identified by words such as "anticipate," "estimate," "will," "should," "expect," "target," "believe," "intend," "seek," "plan," "goals," "future," "likely," "may," and similar expressions or their negative forms, or by references to strategy, plans, or intentions. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, including, among other things, the information referred to on page 2 of this prospectus under the caption "Risk Factors." Other risks, uncertainties, and factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected are described below and may be described from time to time in reports we file with the SEC, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K, as well as in the other information contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus or in any prospectus supplement. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

        Important factors, among others, that may affect our actual results include:

    changes in interest rates and the market value of our target assets;


    changes in prepayment rates of mortgages underlying our target assets;


    the occurrence, extent and timing of credit losses within our portfolio;


    our exposure to adjustable-rate and negative amortization mortgage loans underlying our target assets;


    the state of the credit markets and other general economic conditions, particularly as they affect the price of earning assets and the credit status of borrowers;

ii


    the concentration of the credit risks to which we are exposed;


    legislative and regulatory actions affecting our business;


    the availability and cost of our target assets;


    the availability and cost of financing for our target assets, including repurchase agreement financing, revolving credit facilities and financing through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, or the FHLB;


    declines in home prices;


    increases in payment delinquencies and defaults on the mortgages comprising and underlying our target assets;


    changes in liquidity in the market for real estate securities, the re-pricing of credit risk in the capital markets, inaccurate ratings of securities by rating agencies, rating agency downgrades of securities, and increases in the supply of real estate securities available-for-sale;


    changes in the values of securities we own and the impact of adjustments reflecting those changes on our statements of comprehensive income and balance sheets, including our stockholders' equity;


    our ability to generate cash flow from our target assets;


    our ability to effectively execute and realize the benefits of strategic transactions and initiatives we have pursued or may in the future pursue;


    changes in the competitive landscape within our industry, including changes that may affect our ability to attract and retain personnel;


    our exposure to legal and regulatory claims, including litigation arising from our ownership and management of mortgage servicing rights, or MSR, and prior securitization transactions;


    our exposure to counterparties involved in our MSR business and prior securitization transactions and our ability to enforce representations and warranties made by them;


    our ability to acquire MSR and successfully operate our seller-servicer subsidiary and oversee the activities of our subservicers;


    our ability to successfully diversify our business into new asset classes, and manage the new risks to which they may expose us;


    our ability to manage various operational and regulatory risks associated with our business;


    interruptions in or impairments to our communications and information technology systems;


    our ability to maintain appropriate internal controls over financial reporting;


    our ability to establish, adjust and maintain appropriate hedges for the risks in our portfolio;


    our ability to maintain our REIT qualification for U.S. federal income tax purposes; and


    limitations imposed on our business due to our REIT status and our status as exempt from registration under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, or the 1940 Act.

        All forward-looking statements included herein attributable to us or any person acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained or referred to in this section. Except to the extent required by applicable laws and regulations, we undertake no obligations to update these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this prospectus or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. Before you make an investment decision, you should be aware that the occurrence of the events described in the "Risk Factors" section and elsewhere in this prospectus and the documents incorporated herein by reference, may adversely affect us.

iii


 

PROSPECTUS SUMMARY

        
This summary highlights selected information about us. It may not contain all the information that may be important to you in deciding whether to invest in our securities. You should read this entire prospectus, together with the information incorporated by reference, including the risk factors, financial data and related notes, before making an investment decision.

Our Company

        Two Harbors Investment Corp. is a Maryland corporation focused on investing in, financing and managing Agency residential mortgage-backed securities, or Agency RMBS, non-Agency securities, mortgage servicing rights, or MSR, and other financial assets, which we collectively refer to as our target assets. We operate as a real estate investment trust, or REIT, as defined under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code. We are externally managed by PRCM Advisers LLC, or PRCM Advisers, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Pine River Capital Management L.P., or Pine River.

        Our objective is to provide attractive risk-adjusted total return to our stockholders over the long term, primarily through dividends and secondarily through capital appreciation. We selectively acquire and manage an investment portfolio of our target assets, which is constructed to generate attractive returns through market cycles. We focus on asset selection and implement a relative value investment approach across various sectors within the mortgage market. Our target assets include the following:

    Agency RMBS, meaning RMBS whose principal and interest payments are guaranteed by the Government National Mortgage Association (or Ginnie Mae), the Federal National Mortgage Association (or Fannie Mae), or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (or Freddie Mac);


    Non-Agency securities that are not issued or guaranteed by Ginnie Mae, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac;


    MSR; and


    Other financial assets comprising approximately 5% to 10% of the portfolio.

        We seek to deploy moderate leverage as part of our investment strategy. We generally finance our Agency RMBS and non-Agency securities through short- and long-term borrowings structured as repurchase agreements and advances from the FHLB. We also finance our MSR through repurchase agreements and revolving credit facilities.

        We have elected to be treated as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes. To qualify as a REIT, we are required to meet certain investment and operating tests and annual distribution requirements. We generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income taxes on our taxable income to the extent that we annually distribute all of our net taxable income to stockholders, do not participate in prohibited transactions and maintain our intended qualification as a REIT. However, certain activities that we may perform may cause us to earn income which will not be qualifying income for REIT purposes. We have designated certain of our subsidiaries as taxable REIT subsidiaries, or TRSs, as defined in the Code, to engage in such activities, and we may form additional TRSs in the future. We also operate our business in a manner that will permit us to maintain our exemption from registration under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, or the 1940 Act.

        Our headquarters are located at 575 Lexington Avenue, Suite 2930, New York, New York 10022 and our telephone number is (612) 629-2500. We maintain a website at
www.twoharborsinvestment.com
; however, the information found on our website is not a part of this prospectus.

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RISK FACTORS

        Investing in our securities involves a number of risks. Before making an investment decision, you should carefully read and consider the information set forth under the heading "
Risk Factors
" in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, any subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and any subsequent Current Reports on Form 8-K (which descriptions are incorporated by reference herein), as well as the other information contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus or in any prospectus supplement hereto before making a decision to invest in our securities. See "
Where You Can Find More Information
," below.

RATIO OF EARNINGS TO COMBINED FIXED CHARGES AND PREFERRED STOCK DIVIDENDS

        The following table shows our ratio of earnings to combined fixed charges and preferred stock dividends for each of the periods indicated.

 

 
Year Ended December 31,
 
(dollars in thousands)
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 

Income from continuing operations before income taxes
 
$
297,757
 
$
330,235
 
$
475,512
 
$
93,401
 
$
659,451
 

Fixed charges (interest expenses and preferred stock dividends)
 
 
375,310
 
 
213,284
 
 
141,790
 
 
107,450
 
 
100,407
 

Ratio of earnings to fixed charges and preferred stock dividends(1)
 
 
1.8
 
 
2.5
 
 
4.4
 
 
1.9
 
 
7.6
 

(1)
The ratios of earnings to combined fixed charges and preferred stock dividends were computed by dividing income from continuing operations before income taxes by fixed charges. For this purpose, earnings consist of net income from continuing operations and fixed charges. Fixed charges consist of our interest expense. Preferred Stock dividends consist of pre-tax amounts required to pay dividends in respect of our Series A, Series B and Series C preferred stock.

USE OF PROCEEDS

        Unless otherwise indicated in an accompanying prospectus supplement, we intend to use the net proceeds received from the sale of the securities offered by this prospectus and the related accompanying prospectus supplement for the purchase of our target assets, including Agency RMBS, non-Agency securities, and other financial assets, in each case subject to our investment guidelines and to the extent consistent with maintaining our REIT qualification, and for general corporate purposes. PRCM Advisers will make determinations as to the percentage of the net proceeds of this offering that will be invested in each of our target assets and the timing of deployment of the net proceeds of this offering. These determinations will depend on prevailing market conditions and may change over time in response to opportunities available in different interest rate, economic and credit environments. Until appropriate assets can be identified, PRCM Advisers may decide to use the net proceeds to pay off our short-term debt or invest the net proceeds in interest-bearing short-term investments, including funds which are consistent with our REIT election. These investments are expected to provide a lower net return than we seek to achieve from our target assets. Prior to the time we have fully used the net proceeds of this offering to acquire our target assets, we may fund our quarterly dividends out of such net proceeds.

        Unless otherwise indicated in an accompanying prospectus supplement, we will not receive any proceeds from the sale of securities by selling securityholders.

2


DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK

        
The following is a summary of the rights and preferences of our capital stock. While we believe that the following descriptions cover the material terms of our capital stock, the descriptions may not contain all of the information that is important to you. We encourage you to read carefully this entire prospectus, our charter and bylaws and the other documents we refer to for a more complete understanding of our capital stock. Copies of our charter and bylaws are incorporated by reference as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part. See "Where You Can Find More Information."

General

        Our charter provides that we may issue up to 450,000,000 shares of common stock, $0.01 par value per share, and 50,000,000 shares of preferred stock, $0.01 par value per share. Our charter authorizes our board of directors, with the approval of a majority of the entire board, to amend our charter to increase or decrease the aggregate number of authorized shares of stock or the number of shares of stock of any class or series without stockholder approval. As of February 23, 2018, there were 175,438,857 shares of common stock, 5,750,000 shares of Series A Preferred Stock, 11,500,000 shares of Series B Preferred Stock and 11,800,000 shares of Series C Preferred Stock issued and outstanding. Under Maryland law, stockholders are not generally liable for our debts or obligations.

Shares of Common Stock

        All issued and outstanding shares of our common stock are duly authorized, validly issued, fully paid and non-assessable. Subject to the preferential rights of any other class or series of shares of stock and to the provisions of our charter regarding the restrictions on ownership and transfer of shares of stock, holders of shares of common stock are entitled to receive dividends on such shares of common stock out of assets legally available therefor if, as and when authorized by our board of directors and declared by us, and the holders of shares of our common stock are entitled to share ratably in our assets 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 our known debts and liabilities.

        All issued and outstanding shares of our common stock have been issued by us and do not represent any interest in or obligation of Pine River. Further, the shares are not a deposit or other obligation of any bank, are not an insurance policy of any insurance company and are not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Company, any other governmental agency or any insurance company. The shares of common stock do not benefit from any insurance guaranty association coverage or any similar protection.

        Subject to the provisions of our charter regarding the restrictions on ownership and transfer of shares of stock and except as may otherwise be specified in the terms of any class or series of shares of preferred stock or common stock, each outstanding share of common stock entitles the holder to one vote on all matters submitted to a vote of stockholders, including the election of directors, and, except as provided with respect to any other class or series of shares of stock, the holders of such shares of common stock will possess the exclusive voting power. There is no cumulative voting in the election of our board of directors, and directors are elected by a majority of all votes cast at a meeting of stockholders duly called and at which a quorum is present, which means that the holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of common stock can elect all of the directors then standing for election, and the holders of the remaining shares will not be able to elect any directors. However, our Bylaws provide that, in the event that the Company's Secretary determines that, as of the record date for the stockholders' meeting, the number of nominees exceeds the number of directors to be elected, then directors will be elected by a plurality of the votes cast at a meeting of stockholders duly called and at which a quorum is present. In such case, each share may be voted for as many individuals as there are directors to be elected and for whose election the share is entitled to be cast.

3


        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 of our securities. Subject to the provisions of our charter regarding the restrictions on ownership and transfer of shares of stock, shares of common stock will have equal dividend, liquidation and other rights.

        Under the Maryland General Corporation Law, or MGCL, a Maryland corporation generally cannot dissolve, amend its charter, merge with another entity, transfer all or substantially all of its assets, engage in a share exchange or engage in similar transactions outside the ordinary course of business unless 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. Our charter provides that these matters (other than certain amendments to the provisions of our charter related to the removal of directors, the restrictions on ownership and transfer of shares of our stock and the requirement of a two-thirds vote for amendment to these provisions) may be approved by a majority of all of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter.

    Transfer Agent and Registrar

        The transfer agent and registrar for our common stock is Equiniti Trust Company.

Shares of Preferred Stock

        The following description sets forth general terms and provisions of the preferred stock to which any prospectus supplement may relate. The statements below describing the preferred stock are in all respects subject to and qualified in their entirety by reference to our charter, as amended and restated, bylaws, as amended and restated, and any articles supplementary to our charter, designating terms of a series of preferred stock. The preferred stock, when issued, will be validly issued, fully paid, and non-assessable. Because our board of directors has the power to establish the preferences, powers and rights of each series of preferred stock, our board of directors may afford the holders of any series of preferred stock preferences, powers and rights, voting or otherwise, senior to the rights of our common stockholders.

        The rights, preferences, privileges and restrictions of each series of preferred stock will be fixed by the articles supplementary to our charter relating to the series. A prospectus supplement, relating to each series, will specify the terms of the preferred stock, as follows:

    the title and stated value of the preferred stock;


    the voting rights of the preferred stock, if applicable;


    the preemptive rights of the preferred stock, if applicable;


    the restrictions on alienability of the preferred stock, if applicable;


    the number of shares offered, the liquidation preference per share and the offering price of the shares;


    liability to further calls or assessment of the preferred stock, if applicable;


    the dividend rate(s), period(s) and payment date(s) or method(s) of calculation applicable to the preferred stock;


    the date from which dividends on the preferred stock will accumulate, if applicable;


    the procedures for any auction and remarketing for the preferred stock;


    the provision for a sinking fund, if any, for the preferred stock;

4


    the provision for and any restriction on redemption, if applicable, of the preferred stock;


    the provision for and any restriction on repurchase, if applicable, of the preferred stock;


    any listing of the preferred stock on any securities exchange;


    the terms and provisions, if any, upon which the preferred stock will be convertible into common stock, including the conversion price(or manner of calculation) and conversion period;


    the terms under which the rights of the preferred stock may be modified, if applicable;


    any other specific terms, preferences, rights, limitations or restrictions of the preferred stock;


    a discussion of certain material federal income tax considerations applicable to the preferred stock;


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


    any limitation on issuance of any series of preferred stock ranking senior to or on a parity with the series of preferred stock as to dividend rights and rights upon the liquidation, dissolution or winding-up of our affairs; and


    any limitations on direct or beneficial ownership and restrictions on transfer of the preferred stock, in each case as may be appropriate to preserve our qualification as a REIT.

Power to Reclassify Our Unissued Shares of Stock

        Our charter authorizes our board of directors to classify and reclassify any unissued shares of common or preferred stock into other classes or series of shares of stock. Prior to issuance of shares of each class or series, our board of directors is required by Maryland law and by our charter to set, subject to our charter restrictions on ownership and transfer of shares of stock and to the express terms of any class or series of stock outstanding at the time, the terms, preferences, conversion or other rights, voting powers, restrictions, limitations as to dividends or other distributions, qualifications and terms and conditions of redemption for each class or series. Therefore, among other things, our board 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 change in control or other transaction that might involve a premium price for shares of our common stock or otherwise be in the best interest of our stockholders. No shares of preferred stock are presently outstanding, and we have no present plans to issue any shares of preferred stock.

Power to Increase or Decrease Authorized Shares of Common Stock and Issue Additional Shares of Common 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 issue additional authorized but unissued shares of common or preferred stock and to classify or reclassify unissued shares of common or preferred stock and thereafter to issue such classified or reclassified shares of stock will provide us with increased flexibility in structuring possible future financings and acquisitions and in meeting other needs that might arise. The additional classes or series, as well as the shares of common stock, will be available for issuance without further action by our stockholders, unless such action 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 our board of directors does not intend to do so, the board could authorize us to issue a class or series that could, depending upon the terms of the particular class or series, delay, defer or prevent a change in control or other transaction that might involve a premium price for shares of our common stock or otherwise be in the best interest of our stockholders.

5


DESCRIPTION OF DEPOSITARY SHARES

General

        We may issue depositary shares, each of which would represent a fractional interest of a share of a particular series of preferred stock. We will deposit shares of preferred stock represented by depositary shares under a separate deposit agreement among the company, a preferred stock depositary and the holders of the depositary shares. Subject to the terms of the deposit agreement, each owner of a depositary share will possess, in proportion to the fractional interest of a share of preferred stock represented by the depositary share, all the rights and preferences of the preferred stock represented by the depositary shares. Depositary receipts will evidence the depositary shares issued pursuant to the deposit agreement. Immediately after the company issues and delivers preferred stock to a preferred stock depositary, the preferred stock depositary will issue the depositary receipts.

Dividends and Other Distributions

        The depositary will distribute all cash dividends on the preferred stock to the record holders of the depositary shares. Holders of depositary shares generally must file proofs, certificates and other information and pay charges and expenses of the depositary in connection with distributions. If a distribution on the preferred stock is other than in cash and it is feasible for the depositary to distribute the property it receives, the depositary will distribute the property to the record holders of the depositary shares. If such a distribution is not feasible, the depositary, with our approval, may sell the property and distribute the net proceeds from the sale to the holders of the depositary shares.

Withdrawal of Stock

        Unless we have previously called the underlying preferred stock for redemption or the holder of the depositary shares has converted such shares, a holder of depositary shares may surrender them at the corporate trust office of the depositary in exchange for whole or fractional shares of the underlying preferred stock together with any money or other property represented by the depositary shares. Once a holder has exchanged the depositary shares, the holder may not redeposit the preferred stock and receive depositary shares again. If a depositary receipt presented for exchange into preferred stock represents more shares of preferred stock than the number to be withdrawn, the depositary will deliver a new depositary receipt for the excess number of depositary shares.

Redemption of Depositary Shares

        Whenever we redeem shares of preferred stock held by a depositary, the depositary will redeem the corresponding amount of depositary shares with funds it receives from us for the preferred stock. The depositary will notify the record holders of the depositary shares to be redeemed not less than 30 days nor more than 60 days before the date fixed for redemption at the holders' addresses appearing in the depositary's books. The redemption price per depositary share will be equal to the applicable fraction of the redemption price and any other amounts payable with respect to the preferred stock. If we intend to redeem less than all of the underlying preferred stock, we and the depositary will select the depositary shares to be redeemed on as nearly a pro rata basis as practicable without creating fractional depositary shares or by any other equitable method determined by us that preserves our REIT status.

        On the redemption date:

    all dividends relating to the shares of preferred stock called for redemption will cease to accrue;


    we and the depositary will no longer deem the depositary shares called for redemption to be outstanding; and

6


    all rights of the holders of the depositary shares called for redemption will cease, except the right to receive any money payable upon the redemption and any money or other property to which the holders of the depositary shares are entitled upon redemption.

Voting of the Preferred Stock

        When a depositary receives notice regarding a meeting at which the holders of the underlying preferred stock have the right to vote, it will mail that information to the holders of the depositary shares. Each record holder of depositary shares on the record date may then instruct the depositary to exercise its voting rights for the amount of preferred stock represented by that holder's depositary shares. The depositary will vote in accordance with these instructions. The depositary will abstain from voting to the extent it does not receive specific instructions from the holders of depositary shares. A depositary will not be responsible for any failure to carry out any instruction to vote, or for the manner or effect of any vote, as long as any action or non-action is in good faith and does not result from negligence or willful misconduct of the depositary.

Liquidation Preference

        In the event of our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, a holder of depositary shares will receive the fraction of the liquidation preference accorded each share of underlying preferred stock represented by the depositary share.

Conversion of Preferred Stock

        Depositary shares will not themselves be convertible into common stock or any other securities or property of the company. However, if the underlying preferred stock is convertible, holders of depositary shares may surrender them to the depositary with written instructions to convert the preferred stock represented by their depositary shares into whole shares of common stock, other shares of our preferred stock or other shares of stock, as applicable. Upon receipt of these instructions and any amounts payable in connection with a conversion, we will convert the preferred stock using the same procedures as those provided for delivery of preferred stock. If a holder of depositary shares converts only part of its depositary shares, the depositary will issue a new depositary receipt for any depositary shares not converted. We will not issue fractional shares of common stock upon conversion. If a conversion will result in the issuance of a fractional share, we will pay an amount in cash equal to the value of the fractional interest based upon the closing price of the common stock on the last business day prior to the conversion.

Amendment and Termination of a Deposit Agreement

        The company and the depositary may amend any form of depositary receipt evidencing depositary shares and any provision of a deposit agreement. However, unless the existing holders of at least two-thirds of the applicable depositary shares then outstanding have approved the amendment, we and the depositary may not make any amendment that:

    would materially and adversely alter the rights of the holders of depositary shares; or


    would be materially and adversely inconsistent with the rights granted to the holders of the underlying preferred stock.

        Subject to exceptions in the deposit agreement and except in order to comply with applicable law, no amendment may impair the right of any holders of depositary shares to surrender their depositary shares with instructions to deliver the underlying preferred stock and all money and other property represented by the depositary shares. Every holder of outstanding depositary shares at the time any

7


amendment becomes effective who continues to hold the depositary shares will be deemed to consent and agree to the amendment and to be bound by the amended deposit agreement.

        We may terminate a deposit agreement upon not less than 30 days prior written notice to the depositary if:

    the termination is necessary to preserve our REIT status; or


    a majority of each series of preferred stock affected by the termination consents to the termination.

        In addition, a deposit agreement will automatically terminate if:

    we have redeemed all underlying preferred stock subject to the agreement;


    a final distribution of the underlying preferred stock in connection with any liquidation, dissolution or winding up has occurred, and the depositary has distributed the distribution to the holders of the depositary shares; or


    each share of the underlying preferred stock has been converted into other capital stock of the company not represented by depositary shares.

Expenses of a Preferred Stock Depositary

        We will pay all transfer and other taxes and governmental charges and expenses arising in connection with a deposit agreement. In addition, we will generally pay the fees and expenses of a depositary in connection with the performance of its duties. However, holders of depositary shares will pay the fees and expenses of a depositary for any duties requested by the holders that the deposit agreement does not expressly require the depositary to perform.

Resignation and Removal of Depositary

        A depositary may resign at any time by delivering to us notice of its election to resign. We may also remove a depositary at any time. Any resignation or removal will take effect upon the appointment of a successor depositary. We will appoint a successor depositary within 60 days after delivery of the notice of resignation or removal. The successor must be a bank or trust company with its principal office in the U.S. and have a combined capital and surplus of at least $50 million.

Miscellaneous

        The depositary will forward to the holders of depositary shares any reports and communications from us with respect to the underlying preferred stock. Neither the depositary nor the company will be liable if any law or any circumstances beyond their control prevent or delay them from performing their obligations under a deposit agreement. The obligations of the company and a depositary under a deposit agreement will be limited to performing their duties in good faith and without negligence and, in regard to voting of preferred stock, gross negligence or willful misconduct. Neither the company nor a depositary will be required to prosecute or defend any legal proceeding with respect to any depositary shares or the underlying preferred stock unless they are furnished with satisfactory indemnity.

        The company and any depositary may rely on the written advice of counsel or accountants, or information provided by persons presenting shares of preferred stock for deposit, holders of depositary shares or other persons they believe in good faith to be competent, and on documents they believe in good faith to be genuine and signed by a proper party. In the event a depositary receives conflicting claims, requests or instructions from us and any holders of depositary shares, the depositary will be entitled to act on the claims, requests or instructions received from us.

8


Depositary

        The prospectus supplement will identify the depositary for the depositary shares.

Listing of the Depositary Shares

        The applicable prospectus supplement will specify whether or not the depositary shares will be listed on any securities exchange.

9


DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES

General

        The following description of the terms of our senior debt securities and subordinated debt securities, together, referred to as the debt securities, sets forth certain general terms and provisions of the debt securities to which any prospectus supplement may relate. Unless otherwise noted, the general terms and provisions of our debt securities discussed below apply to both our senior debt securities and our subordinated debt securities. Our debt securities may be issued from time to time in one or more series. The particular terms of any series of debt securities and the extent to which the general provisions may apply to a particular series of debt securities will be described in the prospectus supplement relating to that series.

        The senior debt securities will be issued under an indenture between us and The Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company, N.A., as "Senior Indenture Trustee," referred to as the senior indenture. The subordinated debt securities will be issued under an indenture between us and a Subordinated Indenture Trustee, referred to as the subordinated indenture and, together with the senior indenture, the indentures. The Senior Indenture Trustee and the Subordinated Indenture Trustee are both referred to, individually, as the Trustee. The senior debt securities will constitute our unsecured and unsubordinated obligations and the subordinated debt securities will constitute our unsecured and subordinated obligations. A detailed description of the subordination provisions is provided below under the caption "—Ranking and Subordination—Subordination." In general, however, if we declare bankruptcy, holders of the senior debt securities will be paid in full before the holders of subordinated debt securities will receive anything.

        The statements set forth below are brief summaries of certain provisions contained in the indentures, which summaries do not purport to be complete and are qualified in their entirety by reference to the indentures, which are filed as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part. Terms used herein that are otherwise not defined shall have the meanings given to them in the indentures. Such defined terms shall be incorporated herein by reference.

        The indentures will not limit the amount of debt securities that may be issued under the applicable indenture, and debt securities may be issued under the applicable indenture up to the aggregate principal amount that may be authorized from time to time by us. Any such limit applicable to a particular series will be specified in the prospectus supplement relating to that series.

        The prospectus supplement relating to any series of debt securities in respect of which this prospectus is being delivered will contain the following terms, among others, for each such series of debt securities:

    the title of the debt securities of such series;


    the person to whom any interest on a debt security of such series is payable, if other than the registered holder at the close of business on the regular record date for such interest;


    the date or dates on which the principal amount of the debt securities of such series is payable;


    the rate or rates (or manner of calculation thereof) at which the debt securities of such series will bear interest, if any, the date or dates from which interest will accrue and the interest payment dates and regular record dates for the debt securities of such series;


    the place or places where the principal of and any premium and interest on debt securities of such series is payable;


    the period or periods within which the redemption price or prices or the repayment price or prices, as the case may be, at which, and the terms and conditions upon which, the debt

10


      securities of such series may be redeemed or repaid at the company's option or the option of the holder of such debt securities;

    the obligation, if any, of the company to purchase the debt securities of such series pursuant to any sinking fund or analogous provisions or at the option of a holder of such debt securities and the period or periods within which, the price or prices at which and the terms and conditions upon which such debt securities of such series will be purchased, in whole or in part, pursuant to such obligation;


    if other than denominations of $1,000 and any integral multiple thereof, the denominations in which the debt securities of such series will be issuable;


    provisions, if any, with regard to the conversion or exchange of the debt securities of such series, at the option of the holders of such debt securities or the company, as the case may be, for or into new securities of a different series or other securities;


    if other than U.S. dollars, the currency or currencies or units based on or related to currencies in which the debt securities of such series will be denominated and in which payments of principal of, and any premium and interest on, such debt securities shall or may be payable;


    if the principal of (and premium, if any) or interest, if any, on the debt securities of such series are to be payable, at the election of the company or a holder of such debt securities, in a currency (including a composite currency) other than that in which such debt securities are stated to be payable, the period or periods within which, and the terms and conditions upon which, such election may be made;


    if the amount of payments of principal of (and premium, if any) or interest, if any, on the debt securities of such series may be determined with reference to an index based on a currency (including a composite currency) other than that in which such debt securities are stated to be payable, the manner in which such amounts shall be determined;


    any limit upon the aggregate principal amount of the debt securities of such series which may be authenticated and delivered under the applicable indenture;


    provisions, if any, related to the exchange of the debt securities of such series, at the option of the holders of such debt securities, for other securities of the same series of the same aggregate principal amount or of a different authorized series or different authorized denomination or denominations, or both;


    provisions, if any, relating to the appointment by us of an authenticating agent other than in the location of the office of the Trustee, with power to act on behalf of the Trustee with respect to the authentication and delivery of a series of debt securities in connection with such transactions as are specified in the indenture or any prospectus supplement;


    the portion of the principal amount of the debt securities of such series, if other than the principal amount thereof, which shall be payable upon declaration of acceleration of the maturity thereof or provable in bankruptcy, as more fully described under the section "—Events of Default, Notice and Waiver" below;


    any event of default with respect to the debt securities of such series, if not set forth in the applicable indenture, and any additions, deletions or other changes to the events of default set forth in the applicable indenture that shall be applicable to the debt securities of such series;


    any covenant solely for the benefit of the debt securities of such series and any additions, deletions or other changes to the provisions of the applicable indenture more fully described under the section "—Consolidation, Merger, Conveyance or Transfer on Certain Terms" below, under the section "—Certain Covenants" below, the section of the applicable indenture

11


      containing the defined terms or any definitions relating to such provisions of the applicable indenture that would otherwise be applicable to the debt securities of such series;

    if the provisions of the applicable indenture more fully described under the section "—Defeasance" below will not be applicable to the debt securities of such series, and if such provisions shall be applicable to any covenant or event of default specified in the prospectus supplement relating to such series of debt securities that has not already been established in the applicable indenture;


    whether the debt securities of such series will be issued in whole or in part in the form of global securities and, if so, the identity of the depositary with respect to such global securities and the terms and conditions, if any, upon which such global securities may be exchanged for other securities;


    if the debt securities of such series will be guaranteed, the terms and conditions of such guarantees and provisions for the accession of the guarantors to certain obligations under the applicable indenture;


    with respect to subordinated debt securities only, the amendment or modification of the subordination provisions in the subordinated indenture with respect to the debt securities of such series; and


    any other specific terms.

        We may issue debt securities of any series at various times and we may reopen any series for further issuances from time to time without notice to existing holders of securities of that series.

        Some of the debt securities may be issued as original issue discount, or OID, debt securities. OID debt securities bear no interest or bear interest at below-market rates. These are sold at a discount below their stated principal amount. If we issue these securities, the prospectus supplement relating to such series of debt securities will describe any special tax, accounting or other information which we think is important. We encourage you to consult with your own tax and financial advisors on these important matters.

        Unless we specify otherwise in the applicable prospectus supplement relating to such series of debt securities, the covenants contained in the indentures will not provide special protection to holders of debt securities if we enter into a highly leveraged transaction, recapitalization or restructuring.

        Unless otherwise set forth in the prospectus supplement relating to such series of debt securities, interest on outstanding debt securities will be paid to holders of record on the regular record date as specified in the applicable debt security. Unless otherwise specified in the prospectus supplement, debt securities will be issued in fully registered form only. Unless otherwise specified in the prospectus supplement, the principal amount of the debt securities will be payable at the corporate trust office of the Trustee in New York, New York. The debt securities may be presented for transfer or exchange at such office unless otherwise specified in the prospectus supplement, subject to the limitations provided in the applicable indenture, without any service charge, but we may require payment of a sum sufficient to cover any tax or other governmental charges payable in connection therewith.

Ranking and Subordination

    General

        The debt securities and the related guarantees will effectively rank junior in right of payment to any of our or the guarantors' current and future secured obligations to the extent of the value of the assets securing such obligations. The debt securities and the guarantees will be effectively subordinated to all existing and future liabilities, including indebtedness and trade payables, of our non-guarantor

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subsidiaries. Unless otherwise set forth in the prospectus supplement relating to such series of debt securities, the indentures will not limit the amount of unsecured indebtedness or other liabilities that can be incurred by our non-guarantor subsidiaries.

    Ranking of Debt Securities

        The senior debt securities described in this prospectus will be unsecured, senior obligations of the company and will rank equally with the company's other unsecured and unsubordinated obligations. Any guarantees of the senior debt securities will be unsecured and senior obligations of each of the guarantors, and will rank equally with all other unsecured and unsubordinated obligations of such guarantors. The subordinated debt securities will be unsecured, subordinated obligations of the company and any guarantees of the subordinated debt securities will be unsecured and subordinated obligations of each of the guarantors.

    Subordination

        If issued, the indebtedness evidenced by the subordinated debt securities will be subordinate to the prior payment in full of all our Senior Indebtedness (as defined below). During the continuance beyond any applicable grace period of any default in the payment of principal, premium, interest or any other payment due on any of our Senior Indebtedness, we may not make any payment of principal of, or premium, if any, or interest on the subordinated debt securities, except for certain sinking fund payments made in connection with the redemption of debt securities prior to such default and except for payments made in connection with a defeasance with monies deposited with the Trustee prior to such default. In addition, upon any payment or distribution of our assets to creditors upon any dissolution, winding up, liquidation or reorganization, the payment of the principal of, or premium, if any, and interest on the subordinated debt securities will be subordinated to the extent provided in the subordinated indenture in right of payment to the prior payment in full of all our Senior Indebtedness. Because of this subordination, if we dissolve or otherwise liquidate, holders of our subordinated debt securities may receive less, ratably, than holders of our Senior Indebtedness. The subordination provisions do not prevent the occurrence of an event of default under the subordinated indenture.

        The subordination provisions also apply in the same way to any guarantor with respect to the Senior Indebtedness of such guarantor.

        The term "Senior Indebtedness" of a person means with respect to such person the principal of, premium, if any, interest on, and any other payment due pursuant to any of the following, whether outstanding on the date of the subordinated indenture or incurred by that person in the future:

    all of the indebtedness of that person for borrowed money, including any indebtedness secured by a mortgage or other lien which is (1) given to secure all or part of the purchase price of property subject to the mortgage or lien, whether given to the vendor of that property or to another lender, or (2) existing on property at the time that person acquires it;


    all of the indebtedness of that person evidenced by notes, debentures, bonds or other similar instruments sold by that person for money;


    all of the lease obligations which are capitalized on the books of that person in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles;


    all indebtedness of others of the kinds described in the first two bullet points above and all lease obligations of others of the kind described in the third bullet point above, in each case, that the person, in any manner, assumes or guarantees or that the person in effect guarantees through an agreement to purchase, whether that agreement is contingent or otherwise; and

13


    all renewals, extensions or refundings of indebtedness of the kinds described in the first, second or fourth bullet point above and all renewals or extensions of leases of the kinds described in the third or fourth bullet point above;
    unless
    , in the case of any particular indebtedness, lease, renewal, extension or refunding, the instrument or lease creating or evidencing it or the assumption or guarantee relating to it expressly provides that such indebtedness, lease, renewal, extension or refunding is not superior in right of payment to the subordinated debt securities. Our senior debt securities, and any unsubordinated guarantee obligations of ours or any guarantor to which we and the guarantors are a party, including the guarantors' guarantees of our debt securities and other indebtedness for borrowed money, constitute Senior Indebtedness for purposes of the subordinated indenture.

        Pursuant to the subordinated indenture, the subordinated indenture may not be amended, at any time, to alter the subordination provisions of any outstanding subordinated debt securities without the consent of the requisite holders of each outstanding series or class of Senior Indebtedness (as determined in accordance with the instrument governing such Senior Indebtedness) that would be adversely affected thereby.

Consolidation, Merger, Conveyance or Transfer on Certain Terms

        Except as described in the applicable prospectus supplement relating to such debt securities, we will not consolidate with or merge into any other entity or convey or transfer our properties and assets substantially as an entirety to any entity, unless:

    (1)
    the entity formed by such consolidation or into which we are merged or the entity that acquires by conveyance or transfer our properties and assets substantially as an entirety shall be organized and existing under the laws of the U.S. or any State or the District of Columbia, and will expressly assume, by supplemental indenture, executed and delivered to the Trustee, in form reasonably satisfactory to the Trustee, the due and punctual payment of the principal of (and premium, if any) and interest on all the debt securities and the performance of every covenant of the applicable indenture (as supplemented from time to time) on our part to be performed or observed;

    (2)
    immediately after giving effect to such transaction, no Event of Default (as defined below), and no event which, after notice or lapse of time, or both, would become an Event of Default, shall have happened and be continuing; and

    (3)
    we have delivered to the Trustee an officers' certificate and an opinion of counsel each stating that such consolidation, merger, conveyance or transfer and such supplemental indenture comply with the requirements set forth in paragraphs (1) and (2) above and that all conditions precedent relating to such transaction have been complied with.

        Upon any consolidation or merger, or any conveyance or transfer of our properties and assets substantially as an entirety as set forth above, the successor person formed by such consolidation or into which we are merged or to which such conveyance or transfer is made shall succeed to, and be substituted for, and may exercise every right and power of ours under the applicable indenture with the same effect as if such successor had been named in the applicable indenture. In the event of any such conveyance or transfer, we, as the predecessor, shall be discharged from all obligations and covenants under the applicable indenture and the debt securities issued under such indenture and may be dissolved, wound up or liquidated at any time thereafter.

Certain Covenants

        Any covenants pertaining to a series of debt securities will be set forth in a prospectus supplement relating to such series of debt securities.

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        Except as described in the prospectus and any applicable prospectus supplement relating to such series of debt securities, the indentures and the debt securities do not contain any covenants or other provisions designed to afford holders of debt securities protection in the event of a recapitalization or highly leveraged transaction involving us.

Certain Definitions

        The following are certain of the terms defined in the indentures:

        "
Significant Subsidiary
" means any Subsidiary which would be a "significant subsidiary" as defined in Article 1, Rule 1-02 of Regulation S-X, promulgated pursuant to the Securities Act, as in effect on the date of the applicable indenture.

        "
Subsidiary
" means, with respect to any person, any corporation more than 50% of the voting stock of which is owned directly or indirectly by such person, and any partnership, association, joint venture or other entity in which such person owns more than 50% of the equity interests or has the power to elect a majority of the board of directors or other governing body.

Redemption

        Unless we specify otherwise in the applicable prospectus supplement, we may redeem any of the debt securities as a whole at any time or in part from time to time, at our option, on at least 15 days, but not more than 45 days, prior notice mailed to the registered address of each holder of the debt securities to be redeemed, at the price specified in the debt security at which it is to be redeemed. If specified in the applicable prospectus supplement for a series of debt securities, we may rescind the redemption of such debt securities upon the occurrence of any of the following: (a) a general suspension of trading or limitation on prices for securities on the securities exchange on which the shares of our stock are traded for more than 6.5 consecutive trading hours, (b) the decline of the Dow Jones Industrial Average or the S&P 500 (or any successor index) by more than certain percentages; (c) a banking moratorium or suspension of payments in respect of banks declared by federal or state authorities; or (d) an act of terrorism or commencement of war or armed hostilities or other national or international calamity involving the United States which in our reasonable judgment could have a material adverse effect on the market for our common stock.

        On and after the redemption date, interest will cease to accrue on the debt securities or any portion thereof called for redemption, unless we default in the payment of the Redemption Price, and any right to convert such debt securities shall terminate. On or before the redemption date, we shall deposit with a paying agent or the applicable Trustee, or segregate and hold in trust, money sufficient to pay the Redemption Price of the debt securities to be redeemed on such date. If we elect to redeem less than all of the debt securities of a series, then the Trustee will select the particular debt securities of such series to be redeemed in a manner it deems appropriate and fair.

Defeasance

        Except as otherwise set forth in the prospectus supplement relating to such series of debt securities, each indenture will provide that, at our option,

    (a)
    we and any applicable guarantors will be discharged from any and all obligations in respect of any series of debt securities (except in each case for certain obligations to register the transfer or exchange of debt securities, replace stolen, lost or mutilated debt securities, maintain paying agencies and hold monies for payment in trust), or

    (b)
    (i) we need not comply with certain covenants contained in the indenture and any prospectus supplement relating to such debt securities, including covenants relating to maintaining our legal existence and complying with certain restrictions on our ability to consolidate or merger

15


      with, or transfer our properties and assets substantially as an entirety to, another person, (ii) the guarantors will be released from the guarantees and (iii) certain Events of Default (other than those arising out of the failure to pay interest or principal on the debt securities of that series and certain events of bankruptcy, insolvency and reorganization) will no longer constitute Events of Default with respect to such series of debt securities,

in each case, if:

    (1)
    we deposit with the Trustee, in trust, money or the equivalent in securities of the government which issued the currency in which the debt securities are denominated or government agencies backed by the full faith and credit of such government, or a combination thereof, which through the payment of interest thereon and principal thereof in accordance with their terms will provide money in an amount sufficient to pay all the principal (including any mandatory sinking fund payments) of, and interest on, such series on the dates such payments are due in accordance with the terms of such series;

    (2)
    no event of default or event (including such deposit) which with notice or lapse of time would become an event of default with respect to the debt securities of such series shall have occurred and be continuing on the date of such deposit (other than an event of default resulting from the borrowing of funds to be applied to such deposit);

    (3)
    we deliver to the Trustee an opinion of counsel to the effect that the deposit and related defeasance would not cause the holders of such series to recognize income, gain or loss for federal income tax purposes and, in the case of a discharge pursuant to clause (a) above, accompanied by a ruling to such effect received from or published by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, or IRS;

    (4)
    we deliver to the Trustee an officers' certificate stating that such deposit was not made by us with the intent of preferring the holders over other creditors of ours or with the intent of defeating, hindering, delaying or defrauding creditors of ours or others;

    (5)
    we deliver to the Trustee an officers' certificate stating that all conditions precedent set forth in the indenture relating to the satisfaction and discharge of the indenture with respect to the debt securities of such series have been satisfied; and

    (6)
    we deliver to the Trustee an opinion of counsel to the effect that the satisfaction and discharge of the indenture with respect to the debt securities of such series is authorized and permitted under the indenture and all conditions precedent set forth in the indenture relating to such satisfaction and discharge have been satisfied.

Events of Default, Notice and Waiver

        Except as otherwise set forth in the prospectus supplement relating to such series of debt securities, each indenture will provide that, if an Event of Default specified therein with respect to any series of debt securities issued thereunder shall have happened and be continuing, either the Trustee thereunder or the holders of 331/3% in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of such series (or 331/3% in aggregate principal amount of all outstanding debt securities under such indenture, in the case of certain Events of Default affecting all series of debt securities issued under such indenture) may declare the principal of all the debt securities of such series to be due and payable;
provided
, that upon the occurrence of an event of default due to bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings, such amounts shall be immediately due and payable without action by the Trustee or the holders of such series of debt securities.

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        Except as otherwise set forth in the prospectus supplement relating to such series of debt securities, an "Event of Default" in respect of any series will be defined in the indentures as being any one of the following events:

    default for 30 days in payment of any interest with respect to such series;


    default in payment of principal of, or premium, if any, on, or any sinking or purchase fund or analogous obligation with respect to, debt securities of such series when due at their stated maturity, by declaration or acceleration, when called for redemption or otherwise;


    default for 90 days after written notice to us by the Trustee thereunder or to us and the Trustee by holders of 331/3% in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of such series in the performance, or breach, of any covenant or warranty pertaining to debt securities of such series;


    certain events of bankruptcy, insolvency and reorganization with respect to us or any Significant Subsidiary of ours which is organized under the laws of the U.S. or any political sub-division thereof or the entry of an order ordering the winding up or liquidation of our affairs; and


    any other event of default specified in the prospectus supplement for a series of debt securities.

        Each indenture will provide that the Trustee thereunder will, within 90 days after the occurrence of a default with respect to the debt securities of any series issued under such indenture, give to the holders of the debt securities of such series notice of all uncured and unwaived defaults known to it; provided, however, that, except in the case of default in the payment of principal of, premium, if any, or interest, if any, on any of the debt securities of such series, the Trustee will be protected in withholding such notice if it in good faith determines that the withholding of such notice is in the interests of the holders of the debt securities of such series. The term "default" for the purpose of this provision means any event which is, or after notice or lapse of time or both would become, an Event of Default with respect to debt securities of such series.

        Each indenture will contain provisions entitling the Trustee under such indenture, subject to the duty of the Trustee during an Event of Default to act with the required standard of care, to be indemnified to its reasonable satisfaction by the holders of the debt securities before proceeding to exercise any right or power under the applicable indenture at the request of holders of such debt securities.

        Each indenture will provide that the holders of a majority in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of any series issued under such indenture may direct the time, method and place of conducting proceedings for remedies available to the Trustee or exercising any trust or power conferred on the Trustee in respect of such series, subject to certain conditions.

        Except as otherwise set forth in the prospectus supplement relating to the debt securities, in certain cases, the holders of a majority in principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of any series may rescind, on behalf of the holders of all debt securities of such series, a declaration of acceleration resulting from an Event of Default with respect to the debt securities of such series except, among other things, a declaration of acceleration resulting from an Event of Default not theretofore cured in payment of the principal of, or premium, if any, or interest, if any, on any of the senior debt securities of such series or payment of any sinking or purchase fund or analogous obligations with respect to such senior debt securities.

        Each indenture will include a covenant that we will file annually with the Trustee a certificate of no default or specifying any default that exists.

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Modification of the Indentures

        Except as set forth in the prospectus supplement relating to the debt securities, we and the Trustee may, without the consent of the holders of the debt securities issued under the indenture governing such debt securities, enter into indentures supplemental to the applicable indenture for, among others, one or more of the following purposes:

    (1)
    to evidence the succession of another person to us or to a guarantor, if any, and the assumption by such successor of our or the guarantor's obligations under the applicable indenture and the debt securities of any series;

    (2)
    to add to our covenants or those of any guarantor, if any, or to surrender any of our rights or powers or those of any guarantor for the benefit of the holders of debt securities of any or all series issued under such indenture;

    (3)
    to cure any ambiguity, to correct or supplement any provision in the applicable indenture which may be inconsistent with any other provision therein, or to make any other provisions with respect to matters or questions arising under such indenture;

    (4)
    to add to the applicable indenture any provisions that may be expressly permitted by the Trust Indenture Act of 1939, as amended, or the TIA, excluding the provisions referred to in Section 316(a)(2) of the TIA as in effect at the date as of which the applicable indenture was executed or any corresponding provision in any similar federal statute hereafter enacted;

    (5)
    to establish the form or terms of any series of debt securities to be issued under the applicable indenture, to provide for the issuance of any series of debt securities and/or to add to the rights of the holders of debt securities;

    (6)
    to evidence and provide for the acceptance of any successor Trustee with respect to one or more series of debt securities or to add or change any of the provisions of the applicable indenture as shall be necessary to facilitate the administration of the trusts thereunder by one or more trustees in accordance with the applicable indenture;

    (7)
    to provide any additional Events of Default;

    (8)
    to provide for uncertificated securities in addition to or in place of certificated securities; provided that the uncertificated securities are issued in registered form for certain federal tax purposes;

    (9)
    to provide for the terms and conditions of converting those debt securities that are convertible into common stock or another such similar security;

    (10)
    to secure any series of debt securities;

    (11)
    to add guarantees in respect of any series or all of the debt securities;

    (12)
    to make any change necessary to comply with any requirement of the SEC in connection with the qualification of the applicable indenture or any supplemental indenture under the TIA; and

    (13)
    to make any other change that does not adversely affect the rights of the holders of the debt securities.

        No supplemental indenture for the purpose identified in clauses (2), (3) or (5) above may be entered into if to do so would adversely affect the rights of the holders of debt securities of any series issued under the same indenture in any material respect.

        Except as set forth in the prospectus supplement relating to such series of debt securities, each indenture will contain provisions permitting us and the Trustee under such indenture, with the consent

18


of the holders of a majority in principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of all series issued under such indenture to be affected voting as a single class, to execute supplemental indentures for the purpose of adding any provisions to or changing or eliminating any of the provisions of the applicable indenture or modifying the rights of the holders of the debt securities of such series to be affected, except that no such supplemental indenture may, without the consent of each of the holders of affected debt securities, among other things:

    change the maturity of the principal of, or the maturity of any premium on, or any installment of interest on, any such debt security, or reduce the principal amount or the interest or any premium of any such debt securities, or change the method of computing the amount of principal or interest on any such debt securities on any date or change any place of payment where, or the currency in which, any debt securities or any premium or interest thereon is payable, or impair the right to institute suit for the enforcement of any such payment on or after the maturity of principal or premium, as the case may be, or alter the provisions of the indenture so as to adversely affect the terms, if any, of conversion of any series of debt securities into our common stock or other marketable securities;


    reduce the percentage in principal amount of any such debt securities the consent of whose holders is required for any supplemental indenture, waiver of compliance with certain provisions of the applicable indenture or certain defaults under the applicable indenture;


    modify any of the provisions of the applicable indenture related to (i) the requirement that the holders of debt securities issued under such indenture consent to certain amendments of the applicable indenture, (ii) the waiver of past defaults and (iii) the waiver of certain covenants, except to increase the percentage of holders required to make such amendments or grant such waivers;


    amend or modify certain provisions of the indenture relating to guarantees, if any, and the obligations of guarantors thereunder; or


    impair or adversely affect the right of any holder to institute suit for the enforcement of any payment on, or with respect to, such senior debt securities on or after the maturity of such debt securities.

        In addition, the subordinated indenture will provide that we may not make any change in the terms of the subordination of the subordinated debt securities of any series in a manner adverse in any material respect to the holders of any series of subordinated debt securities without the consent of each holder of subordinated debt securities that would be adversely affected.

The Trustee

        The Trustee shall be named in the applicable prospectus supplement.

Governing Law

        The indentures will be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of New York.

Global Securities

        We may issue debt securities through global securities. A global security is a security, typically held by a depositary, that represents the beneficial interests of a number of purchasers of the security. If we do issue global securities, the following procedures will apply.

        We will deposit global securities with the depositary identified in the prospectus supplement. After we issue a global security, the depositary will credit on its book-entry registration and transfer system

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the respective principal amounts of the debt securities represented by the global security to the accounts of persons who have accounts with the depositary. These account holders are known as "participants." The underwriters or agents participating in the distribution of the debt securities will designate the accounts to be credited. Only a participant or a person who holds an interest through a participant may be the beneficial owner of a global security. Ownership of beneficial interests in the global security will be shown on, and the transfer of that ownership will be effected only through, records maintained by the depositary and its participants.

        We and the Trustee will treat the depositary or its nominee as the sole owner or holder of the debt securities represented by a global security. Except as set forth below, owners of beneficial interests in a global security will not be entitled to have the debt securities represented by the global security registered in their names. They also will not receive or be entitled to receive physical delivery of the debt securities in definitive form and will not be considered the owners or holders of the debt securities.

        Principal, any premium and any interest payments on debt securities represented by a global security registered in the name of a depositary or its nominee will be made to the depositary or its nominee as the registered owner of the global security. None of us, the Trustee or any paying agent will have any responsibility or liability for any aspect of the records relating to or payments made on account of beneficial ownership interests in the global security or maintaining, supervising or reviewing any records relating to the beneficial ownership interests.

        We expect that the depositary, upon receipt of any payments, will immediately credit participants' accounts with payments in amounts proportionate to their respective beneficial interests in the principal amount of the global security as shown on the depositary's records. We also expect that payments by participants to owners of beneficial interests in the global security will be governed by standing instructions and customary practices, as is the case with the securities held for the accounts of customers registered in "street names," and will be the responsibility of the participants.

        If the depositary is at any time unwilling or unable to continue as depositary and a successor depositary is not appointed by us within 90 days, we will issue registered securities in exchange for the global security. In addition, we may at any time in our sole discretion determine not to have any of the debt securities of a series represented by global securities. In that event, we will issue debt securities of that series in definitive form in exchange for the global securities.

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RESTRICTIONS ON OWNERSHIP AND TRANSFER

        In order for us to qualify as a REIT under the Code, shares of 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 limiting the ownership and transfer of shares of our common stock and other outstanding shares of stock. The relevant sections of our charter provide that, subject to the exceptions described below, no person or entity may own, or be deemed to own by virtue of the applicable constructive ownership provisions of the Code, more than 9.8% by value or number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of our outstanding shares of common stock (the common share ownership limit), or 9.8% by value or number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of the aggregate of the outstanding shares of our capital stock (the aggregate share ownership limit). The common share ownership limit and the aggregate share ownership limit are collectively referred to herein as the "ownership limits." A person or entity that becomes subject to the ownership limits by virtue of a violative transfer that results in a transfer to a trust, as set forth below, is referred to as a "purported beneficial transferee" if, had the violative transfer been effective, the person or entity would have been a record owner and beneficial owner or solely a beneficial owner of shares of our stock, or is referred to as a "purported record transferee" if, had the violative transfer been effective, the person or entity would have been solely a record owner of shares of our stock.

        The constructive ownership rules under the Code are complex and may cause shares of 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 9.8% by value or number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of our outstanding shares of common stock, or 9.8% by value or number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of our outstanding capital stock (or the acquisition of an interest in an entity that owns, actually or constructively, shares of our stock) by an individual or entity, could, nevertheless, cause that individual or entity, or another individual or entity, to own constructively in excess of 9.8% by value or number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of our outstanding shares of common stock, or 9.8% by value or number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of our outstanding capital stock and thereby subject the shares of common stock or total shares of stock to the applicable ownership limit.

        Our board of directors may, in its sole discretion, exempt a person from the above-referenced ownership limits. However, the board of directors may not exempt any person whose ownership of our outstanding stock would result in our being "closely held" within the meaning of Section 856(h) of the Code or otherwise would result in our failing to qualify as a REIT. In order to be considered by the board of directors for exemption, a person also must not own, directly or indirectly, an interest in any tenant (or a tenant of any entity which we own or control) that would cause us to own, directly or indirectly, more than a 9.9% interest in the tenant. The person seeking an exemption must represent to the satisfaction of our board of directors that such person will not violate these two restrictions. The person also must agree that any violation or attempted violation of these restrictions will result in the automatic transfer of the shares of stock causing the violation to a trust for the benefit of a charitable beneficiary. As a condition of its waiver, our board of directors may require an opinion of counsel or IRS ruling satisfactory to the board of directors with respect to our qualification as a REIT.

        In connection with an exemption from the ownership limits or at any other time, our board of directors may from time to time increase the ownership limits for one or more persons or entities and decrease the ownership limits for all others; provided, however, that any decrease will be effective as to

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existing holders who own common stock or total shares of stock, as applicable, in excess of such decreased ownership limit as described below; and provided further that the ownership limit may not be increased if, after giving effect to such increase, five or fewer individuals could own or constructively own in the aggregate, more than 49.9% in value of the shares then outstanding. Prior to the modification of the ownership limit, our board of directors may require such opinions of counsel, affidavits, undertakings or agreements as the board may deem necessary or advisable in order to determine or ensure our qualification as a REIT. A reduced ownership limit will not apply to any person or entity whose percentage ownership in shares of our common stock or total shares of stock, as applicable, is in excess of such decreased ownership limit until such time as such person's or entity's percentage of shares of our common stock or total shares of stock, as applicable, equals or falls below the decreased ownership limit, but any further acquisition of shares of our common stock or total shares of stock, as applicable, in excess of such percentage ownership of shares of our common stock or total shares of stock will be in violation of such ownership limit.

        Our charter provisions further prohibit:

    any person from beneficially or constructively owning, applying certain attribution rules of the Code, shares of our stock that would result in our 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 if such transfer would result in shares of our stock being beneficially owned by fewer than 100 persons (determined without reference to any rules of attribution).

        Any person who acquires or attempts or intends to acquire beneficial or constructive ownership of shares of our stock that will or may violate any of the foregoing restrictions on transferability and ownership will be required to give written notice of such event to us immediately or, in the case of a proposed or attempted transaction, at least 15 days prior to such proposed or attempted transaction, and provide us with such other information as we may request in order to determine the effect of such transfer on our qualification as a REIT. The foregoing provisions on transferability 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 transfer of shares of our stock would result in shares of our stock being beneficially owned by fewer than 100 persons, such transfer will be null and void and the intended transferee will acquire no rights in such shares. In addition, if any purported transfer of shares of our stock or any other event would otherwise result in any person violating the ownership limits or such other limit established by our board of directors or in our being "closely held" under Section 856(h) of the Code or otherwise failing to qualify as a REIT, then that number of shares (rounded up to the nearest whole share) that would cause such person to violate such restrictions will be automatically transferred to, and held by, a trust for the exclusive benefit of one or more charitable organizations selected by us and the intended transferee will acquire no rights in such shares. The automatic transfer will be effective as of the close of business on the business day prior to the date of the purported transfer or other event that results in a transfer to the trust. Any dividend or other distribution paid to the purported record 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 charitable beneficiary by 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 our being "closely held" under Section 856(h) of the Code or otherwise failing to qualify as a REIT, then our charter provides that the transfer of the shares will be null and void and the intended transferee will acquire no rights in such shares.

        Shares of 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 record transferee for the

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shares (or, if the event that resulted in the transfer to the trust did not involve a purchase of such shares of stock at market price, the last reported sales price reported on the NYSE (or other applicable exchange) on the day of the event which resulted in the transfer of such shares of stock to the trust) 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 stock held in the trust pursuant to the clauses discussed below. Upon a sale to us, the interest of the charitable beneficiary in the shares sold terminates, 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 shares of 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 ownership limits or such other limit as established by our board of directors. 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 record transferee for the shares (or, if the event which resulted in the transfer to the trust did not involve a purchase of such shares at market price, the last reported sales price reported on the NYSE (or other applicable exchange) on the day of the event which resulted in the transfer of such shares of stock to 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 immediately paid to the charitable beneficiary, together with any dividends or other distributions thereon. In addition, if prior to discovery by us that shares of stock have been transferred to a trust, such shares of stock are sold by a purported record transferee, then such shares will be deemed to have been sold on behalf of the trust and to the extent that the purported record transferee received an amount for or in respect of such shares that exceeds the amount that such purported record transferee was entitled to receive, such excess amount must be paid to the trustee upon demand. The purported beneficial transferee or purported record transferee has no rights in the shares held by the trustee.

        The trustee will be designated by us and will be unaffiliated with us and with any purported record transferee or purported beneficial transferee. Prior to the sale of any 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 shares held in trust and may also exercise all voting rights with respect to the shares held in trust. These rights will be exercised for the exclusive benefit of the charitable beneficiary. Any dividend or other distribution paid prior to our discovery that shares of stock have been transferred to the trust will be paid by the recipient to the trustee upon demand. Any dividend or other distribution authorized but unpaid will be paid when due to the trustee.

        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 record transferee prior to our discovery that the shares have been transferred to the trust; and


    to recast the vote in accordance with the desires of the trustee acting for the benefit of the charitable beneficiary of the trust.

        However, if we have already taken irreversible action, then the trustee may not rescind and recast the vote.

        If our board of directors determines in good faith that a proposed transfer would violate the restrictions on ownership and transfer of shares of our stock set forth in the charter, the board of directors will take such action as it deems advisable to refuse to give effect to or to prevent such transfer, including, but not limited to, causing us to redeem the shares of stock, refusing to give effect to the transfer on our books or instituting proceedings to enjoin the transfer.

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        Every owner of more than 5% (or such lower percentage as required by the Code or the regulations promulgated thereunder) of our stock, within 30 days after the end of each taxable year, is required to give us written notice, stating the name and address of such owner, the number of shares of our capital stock which he, she or it beneficially owns and a description of the manner in which the shares are held. Each such owner shall provide us with such additional information as we may request in order to determine the effect, if any, of such beneficial ownership on our status as a REIT and to ensure compliance with the aggregate share ownership limit. In addition, each stockholder shall upon demand be required to provide us with such information as we may request in good faith in order to determine our status as a REIT and to comply with the requirements of any taxing authority or governmental authority or to determine such compliance.

        These ownership limits could delay, defer or prevent a transaction or a change in control that might involve a premium price for the common stock or otherwise be in the best interests of the stockholders.

CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE MARYLAND GENERAL CORPORATION LAW AND TWO HARBORS' CHARTER AND BYLAWS

        
The following summary description of certain provisions of the MGCL and our charter and bylaws does not purport to be complete and is subject to and qualified in its entirety by reference to the MGCL and the actual provisions of our charter and our bylaws, copies of which are incorporated by reference 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 we have may be established by our board of directors but may not be less than the minimum number required by the MGCL, nor more than 15. Our bylaws currently provide that any vacancy may be filled only by a majority of the remaining directors. Any individual elected to fill such vacancy will serve until the next annual meeting of stockholders and until a successor is duly elected and qualifies.

        Pursuant to our bylaws, each of our directors is elected by our common stockholders entitled to vote to serve until the next annual meeting of stockholders and until his or her successor is duly elected and qualified. Holders of shares of common stock will have no right to cumulative voting in the election of directors. Consequently, at each annual meeting of stockholders, the holders of a majority of the shares of common stock entitled to vote will be able to elect all of our directors. However, our Bylaws provide that, in the event that the Company's Secretary determines that, as of the record date for the stockholders' meeting, the number of nominees exceeds the number of directors to be elected, then directors will be elected by a plurality of the votes cast at a meeting of stockholders duly called and at which a quorum is present. In such case, each share may be voted for as many individuals as there are directors to be elected and for whose election the share is entitled to be cast.

Removal of Directors

        Our charter provides that a director may be removed, with or without cause, only by the affirmative vote of the holders of shares entitled to cast at least two-thirds of all the votes of common stockholders entitled to be cast generally in the election of directors. This provision, when coupled with the power of our board of directors to fill vacancies on the board of directors, precludes stockholders from (1) removing incumbent directors except upon a substantial affirmative vote and (2) filling the vacancies created by such removal with their own nominees.

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Business Combinations

        Under the MGCL, certain "business combinations" (including a merger, consolidation, share exchange or, in certain circumstances, an asset transfer or issuance or reclassification of equity securities) between a Maryland corporation and an interested stockholder (defined generally 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 immediately prior to the date in question, was the beneficial owner of 10% or more of the voting power of the then-outstanding stock of the corporation) 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. Thereafter, any such business combination must be recommended by the board of directors of such corporation and approved by the affirmative vote of at least (a) 80% of the votes entitled to be cast by holders of outstanding voting shares of stock of the corporation and (b) 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, unless, among other conditions, the corporation's common stockholders receive a minimum price (as described 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 board of directors prior to the most recent date on which the interested stockholder became an interested stockholder. Our board of directors may provide that the board's approval is subject to compliance with any terms and conditions determined by the board. Pursuant to the statute, our board of directors has by resolution exempted business combinations between us and Pine River or its affiliates. In addition, in the future our board of directors may by resolution exempt business combinations between us and any other person, provided that such resolution is adopted prior to the most recent date on which the applicable interested stockholder becomes an interested stockholder. Consequently, the five-year prohibition and the supermajority vote requirements will not apply to business combinations between us and such persons. As a result, any person described above may be able to enter into business combinations with us that may not be in the best interest of our stockholders without compliance by us with the supermajority vote requirements and other provisions of the statute.

        The business combination statute may discourage others from trying to acquire control of us and increase the difficulty of consummating any offer.

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 except to the extent approved at a special meeting of stockholders by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter, 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 of such shares in the election of directors: (1) a person who makes 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 which, 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 entitle the acquirer to exercise or direct the exercise of voting power in electing directors within one of the following ranges of voting power: (A) one-tenth or more but less than one-third; (B) one-third or more but less than a majority; or (C) 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. A "control share

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acquisition" means the acquisition of control shares or of the power to direct the exercise of voting power of 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 our board of directors to call a special meeting of stockholders to be held within 50 days of demand to consider the voting rights of the shares. If no request for a meeting is made, the corporation may itself present the question at any stockholders meeting.

        If voting rights 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 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 the last control share acquisition by the acquirer or of any meeting of stockholders at which the voting rights of such shares are considered and not approved. 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 (a) shares acquired in a merger, consolidation or share exchange if the corporation is a party to the transaction or (b) 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. There is no assurance that such provision will not be amended or eliminated at any time in the future.

Subtitle 8

        Subtitle 8 of Title 3 of the MGCL permits a Maryland corporation with a class of equity securities registered under the Exchange Act and at least three independent directors to elect to be subject, by provision in its charter or bylaws or a resolution of its board of directors and notwithstanding any contrary provision in the charter or bylaws, to any or all of five provisions:

    a classified board;


    a two-thirds vote requirement for removing a director;


    a requirement that the number of directors be fixed only by vote of the directors;


    a requirement that a vacancy on the board be filled only by the remaining directors in office and for the remainder of the full term of the class of directors in which the vacancy occurred; and


    a majority requirement for the calling of a special meeting of stockholders.

        Our charter provides that, pursuant to Subtitle 8, vacancies on the board may be filled only by the affirmative vote of a majority of the remaining directors in office, even if the remaining directors do not constitute a quorum, and any director elected to fill a vacancy shall serve for the remainder of the full term of the directorship in which the vacancy occurred. Through provisions in our charter and bylaws unrelated to Subtitle 8, we already (1) require the affirmative vote of the holders of not less than two-thirds of all of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter for the removal of any director from the board, which removal will be allowed with or without cause, (2) vest in the board the exclusive power to fix the number of directorships and (3) require, unless called by the chairman of the board, chief executive officer, president or the board of directors, the written request of stockholders of not less than a majority of all the votes entitled to be cast at such a meeting to call a special meeting.

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Meetings of Stockholders

        Pursuant to our bylaws, a meeting of our stockholders for the election of directors and the transaction of any business will be held annually on a date and at the time set by our board of directors. In addition, the chairman of the board, chief executive officer, president or board of directors may call a special meeting of our stockholders. Subject to the provisions of our bylaws, a special meeting of our stockholders will also be called by the secretary upon the written request of the stockholders entitled to cast not less than a majority of all the votes entitled to be cast at the meeting.

Amendment to Our Charter and Bylaws

        Except for amendments related to removal of directors, the restrictions on ownership and transfer of shares of our stock and the requirement of a two-thirds vote for amendments to these provisions (each of which require the affirmative vote of the holders of not less than two-thirds of all the votes entitled to be cast on the matter and the approval of our board of directors), our charter may be amended only with the approval of the board of directors and the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority 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 and to make new bylaws. In addition, our stockholders may alter or repeal any provision of our bylaws and adopt new bylaws if any such alteration, repeal or adoption is approved by the affirmative vote of a majority of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter.

Dissolution of Two Harbors

        Our dissolution must be approved by a majority of the entire board of directors and the affirmative vote of holders of not less than a majority of all of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter.

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 other business to be considered by stockholders may be made only (1) pursuant to our notice of the meeting, (2) by or at the direction of our board of directors or (3) by a stockholder who was a stockholder of record both at the time of giving his notice and at the time of the meeting and who is entitled to vote at the meeting on the election of directors or on the proposal of other business, as the case may be, and has complied with the advance notice provisions 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. Nominations of individuals for election to our board of directors may be made only (1) by or at the direction of our board of directors or (2) provided that the board of directors has determined that directors will be elected at such meeting, by a stockholder who was a stockholder of record both at the time of giving his notice and at the time of the meeting and who is entitled to vote at the meeting and has complied with the advance notice provisions set forth in our bylaws.

Anti-takeover Effect of Certain Provisions of Maryland Law and of Our Charter and Bylaws

        Our charter and bylaws and Maryland law contain provisions that may delay, defer or prevent a change in control or other transaction that might involve a premium price for shares of our common stock or otherwise be in the best interests of our stockholders, including business combination provisions, supermajority vote requirements and advance notice requirements for director nominations and stockholder proposals. Likewise, if the provision in the bylaws opting out of the control share

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acquisition provisions of the MGCL were rescinded or if we were to opt into the classified board or other provisions of Subtitle 8, these provisions of the MGCL could have similar anti-takeover effects.

Exclusive Forum

        Our bylaws provide that, unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Maryland, or, if that court does not have jurisdiction, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, Baltimore Division, shall be the sole and exclusive forum for the following: any derivative action or proceeding brought on behalf of Two Harbors; any action asserting a claim of breach of any duty owed by any of our directors or officers or our other employees to us or to our stockholders; any action asserting a claim against us or any of our directors or officers or our other employees arising pursuant to any provision of the MGCL or our charter or bylaws; or any action asserting a claim against us or any of our directors or officers or our employees that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine. This choice of forum provision may limit a stockholder's ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that the stockholder believes is favorable for disputes with us or our directors, officers or other employees, which may discourage lawsuits against us and our directors, officers and employees. Alternatively, if a court were to find these provisions of our bylaws inapplicable to, or unenforceable in respect of, one or more of the specified types of actions or proceedings, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such matters in other jurisdictions, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

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 such a provision that eliminates such liability to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law.

        The MGCL requires us (unless our 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 or threatened to be made a party by reason of his or her service in that capacity. The MGCL permits a 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 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 (1) was committed in bad faith or (2) 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 in a suit by or in the right of the corporation in which the director or officer was adjudged liable to the corporation or in a proceeding in which the director or officer was adjudged liable on the basis that personal benefit was improperly received. A court may order indemnification if it determines that the director or officer is fairly and reasonably entitled to indemnification, even though the director or officer did not meet the prescribed standard of conduct or was adjudged liable on the basis that

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personal benefit was improperly received. However, indemnification for an adverse judgment in a suit by us or in our right, or for a judgment of liability on the basis that personal benefit was improperly received, is limited to expenses.

        In addition, the MGCL permits a corporation to advance reasonable expenses to a director or officer upon the corporation's receipt of:

    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 ourselves and our bylaws obligate us, to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law in effect from time to time, to indemnify and, without requiring a preliminary determination of the ultimate entitlement to indemnification, pay or reimburse reasonable expenses in advance of final disposition of a proceeding to:

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


    any individual who, while a director or officer of ours and at our request, serves or has served another corporation, REIT, partnership, joint venture, trust, employee benefit plan or other enterprise as a director, officer, partner or trustee of such corporation, REIT, partnership, joint venture, trust, employee benefit plan or other enterprise and who is made or threatened to be made a party to the proceeding by reason of his or her service in that capacity.

        Our charter and bylaws also permit us 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 ours or a predecessor of ours.

        We have entered into indemnification agreements with each of our directors and executive officers that provide for indemnification to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law. In addition, the operating agreements of our subsidiaries provide that we, as managing member, and our officers and directors are indemnified to the fullest extent permitted by law.

        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 SEC, this indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act and is therefore unenforceable.

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 qualify as a REIT.

U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS

        The following is a summary of the material U.S. federal income tax considerations relating to the qualification and taxation of Two Harbors as a REIT and the acquisition, holding and disposition of our common stock. For purposes of this section, references to "Two Harbors," "our," "us" or "we" mean only Two Harbors Investment Corp. and not any of its subsidiaries or other lower-tier entities except as otherwise indicated. This summary is based upon the Code, the regulations promulgated by the U.S. Treasury Department, or the Treasury Regulations, current administrative interpretations and

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practices of the IRS (including administrative interpretations and practices expressed in private letter rulings which are binding on the IRS only with respect to the particular taxpayers who requested and received those rulings) 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 considerations described below. No advance ruling has been or will be sought from the IRS regarding any matter discussed in this summary. The summary is also based upon the assumption that our operation, and the operation of our subsidiaries and other lower-tier and affiliated entities will, in each case, be in accordance with such entity's applicable organizational documents. This summary does not discuss the impact that U.S. state and local taxes and taxes imposed by non-U.S. jurisdictions could have on the matters discussed in this summary. This summary is for general information only, and does not purport to discuss all aspects of U.S. federal income taxation that may be important to a particular stockholder in light of its investment or tax circumstances or to stockholders subject to special tax rules, such as:

    U.S. expatriates;


    persons who mark-to-market our common stock;


    subchapter S corporations;


    U.S. stockholders (as defined below) whose functional currency is not the U.S. dollar;


    financial institutions;


    insurance companies;


    broker-dealers;


    regulated investment companies (or RICs);


    REITs;


    trusts and estates;


    holders who receive our common stock through the exercise of employee stock options or otherwise as compensation;


    persons holding our common stock as part of a "straddle," "hedge," "conversion transaction," "synthetic security" or other integrated investment;


    persons subject to the alternative minimum tax provisions of the Code;


    persons holding their interest in us through a partnership or similar pass-through entity;


    persons holding a 10% or more (by vote or value) beneficial interest in us;


    tax-exempt organizations; and


    non-U.S. stockholders (as defined below, and except as otherwise discussed below).

        This summary assumes that holders hold our common stock and warrants as capital assets, which generally means as property held for investment.

        THE U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX TREATMENT OF HOLDERS OF OUR COMMON STOCK DEPENDS IN SOME INSTANCES ON DETERMINATIONS OF FACT AND INTERPRETATIONS OF COMPLEX PROVISIONS OF U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX LAW FOR WHICH NO CLEAR PRECEDENT OR AUTHORITY MAY BE AVAILABLE. IN ADDITION, THE U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX TREATMENT OF HOLDING OUR COMMON STOCK TO ANY PARTICULAR STOCKHOLDER WILL DEPEND ON THE STOCKHOLDER'S

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PARTICULAR TAX CIRCUMSTANCES. YOU ARE URGED TO CONSULT YOUR TAX ADVISOR REGARDING THE U.S. FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL, AND FOREIGN INCOME AND OTHER TAX CONSEQUENCES TO YOU, IN LIGHT OF YOUR PARTICULAR INVESTMENT OR TAX CIRCUMSTANCES, OF ACQUIRING, HOLDING, AND DISPOSING OF TWO HARBORS COMMON STOCK.

U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations of Two Harbors as a REIT

Taxation of Two Harbors—General

        We have elected to be taxed as a REIT under Sections 856 through 860 of the Code, commencing with our taxable year ending December 31, 2009. We believe that we have been organized and we intend to operate in a manner that allows us to continue to qualify for taxation as a REIT under the Code.

        The law firm of Sidley Austin LLP has acted as our counsel for tax matters in connection with this registration. We have received an opinion of Sidley Austin LLP to the effect that we have been organized and operated in conformity with the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT under the Code, and our actual method of operation has enabled, and our proposed method of operation will continue to enable us, to meet the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT under the Code. It must be emphasized that the opinion of Sidley Austin LLP is based on various assumptions relating to our organization and operation, including that all factual representations and statements set forth in all relevant documents, records and instruments are true and correct and that we will at all times operate in accordance with the method of operation described in our organizational documents and this document. Additionally, the opinion of Sidley Austin LLP is conditioned upon factual representations and covenants made by our management and the management of PRCM Advisers, regarding our organization, assets, present and future conduct of our business operations and other items regarding our ability to continue to meet the various requirements for qualification as a REIT, and assumes that such representations and covenants are accurate and complete and that we will take no action that could adversely affect our qualification as a REIT. While we believe we are organized and intend to continue to operate so that we will 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 our circumstances or applicable law, no assurance can be given by Sidley Austin LLP or us that we will so qualify for any particular year. Sidley Austin LLP will have no obligation to advise us or the holders of our shares of common 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, or any court, 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 depend on our ability to meet, on a continuing basis, through actual results of operations, distribution levels, diversity of share ownership and various qualification requirements imposed upon REITs by the Code, the compliance with which will not be reviewed by Sidley Austin LLP. In addition, our ability to qualify as a REIT may depend in part upon the operating results, organizational structure and entity classification for U.S. federal income tax purposes of certain entities in which we invest. Our ability to qualify as a REIT also requires that we satisfy certain asset and income tests, some of which depend upon the fair market values of assets directly or indirectly owned by us or which serve as security for loans made by us. 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 the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT.

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Taxation of REITs in General

        As indicated above, qualification and taxation as a REIT depend on our ability to meet, on a continuing basis, through actual results of operations, distribution levels, diversity of share ownership and various qualification requirements imposed upon REITs by the Code. The material qualification requirements are summarized below, under "—
Requirements for Qualification as a REIT
." While we believe that we will continue to operate so that we qualify as a REIT, no assurance can be given that the IRS will not challenge our qualification as a REIT or that we will be able to continue to operate in accordance with the REIT requirements in the future. See "—
Failure to Qualify
."

        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 net taxable income that is currently distributed to our stockholders. This treatment substantially eliminates the "double taxation" at the corporate and stockholder levels that results generally from investment in a corporation. Rather, income generated by a REIT generally is taxed only at the stockholder level, upon a distribution of dividends by the REIT. See "—
Taxation of Taxable U.S. Stockholders
."

        Individuals who are stockholders of corporations that are not REITs are generally taxed on qualifying corporate dividends at a maximum rate of 20%, thereby substantially reducing, though not completely eliminating, the double taxation that has historically applied to corporate dividends. With limited exceptions, however, dividends received by individual U.S. stockholders from us or from other entities that are taxed as REITs are taxed at rates applicable to ordinary income, which will be as high as 37%. However, under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, or TCJA, dividends received by individual U.S. shareholders from us that are neither attributable to "qualified dividend income" nor designated as "capital gain dividends" will be eligible for a deduction equal to 20% of the amount of such dividends in taxable years beginning before January 1, 2026. Net operating losses, foreign tax credits and other tax attributes of a REIT generally do not pass through to the stockholders of the REIT, subject to special rules for certain items, such as capital gains, recognized by REITs. See "—
Taxation of Taxable U.S. Stockholders
."

        Even if we qualify for taxation as a REIT, however, we will be subject to U.S. federal income taxation as follows:

    We will be taxed at regular U.S. federal corporate income tax rates on any undistributed 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 that we acquire in connection with a foreclosure of a mortgage loan or from certain leasehold terminations as "foreclosure property," we may thereby avoid (a) the 100% tax on gain from a resale of that property (if the sale would otherwise constitute a prohibited transaction) and (b) the inclusion of any income from such property not qualifying for purposes of the REIT gross income tests discussed below, but the income from the sale or operation of the property may be subject to income tax at the corporate tax rate (currently 21%).


    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 other requirements are met, we will be subject to a 100% tax on an amount equal to (a) the greater of (1) the amount by which we fail the 75% gross income test or (2) the amount by which we fail the 95% gross income test, as the case may be, multiplied by (b) a fraction intended to reflect our profitability.

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    If we fail to satisfy any of the REIT asset tests, as described below, other than a failure of the 5% or 10% REIT asset tests that does not exceed a statutory de minimis amount as described more fully below, but our failure is due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect and we nonetheless maintain our REIT qualification because of specified cure provisions, we will be required to pay a tax equal to the greater of $50,000 or the corporate tax rate (currently 21%) of the net income generated by the non-qualifying assets during the period in which we failed to satisfy the asset tests.


    If we fail to satisfy any provision of the Code that would result in our failure to qualify as a REIT (other than a gross income or asset test requirement) and the violation is due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect, we may retain our REIT qualification but we will be required to pay a penalty of $50,000 for each such 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 (or the required distribution), we will be subject to a 4% excise tax on the excess of the required distribution over the sum of (1) the amounts actually distributed (taking into account excess distributions from prior years), plus (2) retained amounts on which income tax is paid at the corporate level.


    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 our compliance with rules relating to the composition of our stockholders, as described below in "—
    Requirements for Qualification as a REIT
    .


    A 100% excise tax may be imposed on some items of income and expense that are directly or constructively paid between us and any TRSs we may own if and to the extent that the IRS successfully adjusts the reported amounts of these items.


    If we acquire appreciated assets from a corporation that is not a REIT 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 non-REIT corporation, we will be subject to tax on such appreciation at the corporate income tax rate then applicable if we subsequently recognize gain on a disposition of any such assets during the 5-year period following their acquisition from the non-REIT corporation. The results described in this paragraph assume that the non-REIT corporation will not elect, in lieu of this treatment, to be subject to an immediate tax when the asset is acquired by us.


    We will generally be subject to tax on the portion of any excess inclusion income derived from an investment in residual interests in real estate mortgage investment conduits, or REMICs, to the extent our stock is held by specified tax-exempt organizations not subject to tax on unrelated business taxable income. Similar rules will apply if we own an equity interest in a taxable mortgage pool. To the extent that we own a REMIC residual interest or a taxable mortgage pool through a TRS, we will not be subject to this tax.


    We may elect to retain and pay income tax on our net long-term capital gain. In that case, a stockholder would include its proportionate share of our undistributed long-term capital gain (to the extent we make a timely designation of such gain to the stockholder) in its income, would be deemed to have paid the tax that we paid on such gain, and would be allowed a credit for its proportionate share of the tax deemed to have been paid, and an adjustment would be made to increase the stockholder's basis in our common stock. Stockholders that are U.S. corporations will also appropriately adjust their earnings and profits for the retained capital gains in accordance with Treasury Regulations to be promulgated.

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    We may have subsidiaries or own interests in other lower-tier entities that are subchapter C corporations, the earnings of which would be subject to U.S. federal corporate income tax.

        In addition, we may be subject to a variety of taxes other than U.S. federal income tax, including payroll taxes and state and local income, franchise property and other taxes. We could also be subject to tax in situations and on transactions not presently contemplated.

Requirements for Qualification as a REIT

        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 special 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 during at least 335 days of a taxable year of 12 months, or during a proportionate part of a taxable year of less than 12 months;

    (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 entities);

    (7)
    which meets other tests described below, including with respect to the nature of its income and assets and the amount of its distributions; and

    (8)
    that makes an election to be a REIT for the current taxable year or has made such an election for a previous taxable year that has not been terminated or revoked.

        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. Conditions (5) and (6) do not need to be satisfied for the first taxable year for which an election to become a REIT has been made. Our charter provides restrictions regarding the ownership and transfer of our shares, which are intended, among other purposes, 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 shares of stock, in which the record holders are to disclose the actual owners of the shares (i.e., the persons required to include in gross income the dividends paid by us). A list of those persons failing or refusing to comply with this demand must be maintained as part of our records. Failure by us to comply with these record-keeping requirements could subject us to monetary penalties. If we satisfy these requirements and after exercising reasonable diligence would not have known that condition (6) is not satisfied, we will be deemed to have satisfied such condition. A stockholder that fails or refuses to comply with the demand

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is required by Treasury Regulations to submit a statement with its tax return disclosing the actual ownership of the shares 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 a partnership, 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 gross income based on its pro rata share of capital interests in the partnership for purposes of the asset and gross income tests applicable to REITs, as described below. However, solely for purposes of the 10% value test, described below, the determination of a REIT's interest in partnership assets will be based on the REIT's proportionate interest in any securities issued by the partnership, excluding for these purposes, certain excluded securities as described in the Code. In addition, the assets and gross income of the partnership generally are deemed to retain the same character in the hands of the REIT. Thus, our proportionate share of the assets and items of income of partnerships in which we own an equity interest is treated as an asset and as an item of income for us for purposes of applying the REIT requirements described below. 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.

    Disregarded Subsidiaries

        If a REIT owns a corporate subsidiary that is a "qualified REIT subsidiary," 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, that is wholly-owned by a REIT, by other disregarded subsidiaries or by a combination of the two. Single member limited liability companies that are wholly-owned by a REIT are also generally disregarded as separate entities for U.S. federal income tax purposes, including for purposes of the REIT gross income and asset tests. Disregarded subsidiaries, along with partnerships in which we hold an equity interest, are sometimes referred to herein as "pass-through subsidiaries."

        In the event that a disregarded subsidiary ceases to be wholly-owned by us (for example, if any equity interest in the subsidiary is acquired by a person other than us or another disregarded subsidiary of ours), 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 tests applicable to REITs, including the requirement that REITs generally may not own, directly or indirectly, more than 10% of the value or voting power of the outstanding securities of another corporation. See "—
Asset Tests
" and "—
Gross Income Tests
."

    Taxable REIT Subsidiaries

        A REIT, in general, may jointly elect with a subsidiary corporation, whether or not wholly-owned, to treat the subsidiary corporation as a TRS. The separate existence of a TRS or other taxable corporation, unlike a disregarded subsidiary as discussed above, is not ignored for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Accordingly, such an entity would generally be subject to corporate income tax on its

35


earnings, which may reduce the cash flow generated by us and our subsidiaries in the aggregate and our ability to make distributions to our stockholders.

        We and a number of subsidiaries have jointly elected for each of such subsidiaries to be treated as a TRS. This election allows each such subsidiary to invest in assets and engage in activities that could not be held or conducted directly by us without jeopardizing our qualification as a REIT.

        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 subsidiary is an asset in the hands of the REIT, and the REIT generally recognizes as income the dividends, if any, that it receives from the subsidiary. This treatment can affect the gross 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 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 or render commercially unfeasible (for example, activities that give rise to certain categories of income such as non-qualifying hedging income or inventory sales). If dividends are paid to us by one or more TRSs we may own, then a portion of the dividends that we distribute to stockholders who are taxed at individual rates generally will be eligible for taxation at preferential qualified dividend income tax rates rather than at ordinary income rates. See "—
Taxation of Taxable U.S. Stockholders
" and "—
Annual Distribution Requirements
."

        Certain restrictions imposed on TRSs are intended to ensure that such entities will be subject to appropriate levels of U.S. federal income taxation. First, a TRS may not deduct interest payments made in any year to an affiliated REIT to the extent that such payments exceed, generally, 50% of the TRS's adjusted taxable income for that year (although the TRS may carry forward to, and deduct in, a succeeding year the disallowed interest amount if the 50% test is satisfied in that year). In addition, if amounts are paid to a REIT or deducted by a TRS due to transactions between a REIT, its tenants and/or the TRS, that exceed the amount that would be paid to or deducted by a party in an arm's-length transaction, the REIT generally will be subject to an excise tax equal to 100% of such excess.

Gross Income Tests

        In order to maintain our qualification as a REIT, we must annually satisfy two gross income tests. 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" and certain hedging and foreign currency transactions, must be derived from investments relating to real property or mortgages on real property, including "rents from real property," dividends received from and gains from the disposition of shares of other REITs, interest income derived from mortgage loans secured by real property (including certain types of mortgage-backed securities), and gains from the sale of real estate assets (other than a nonqualified publicly offered REIT debt instrument), as well as income from certain kinds of temporary investments. Second, at least 95% of our gross income in each taxable year, excluding gross income from prohibited transactions and certain hedging and foreign currency transactions, must be derived from some combination of income that qualifies under the 75% 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.

        For purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests, a REIT is deemed to have earned a proportionate share of the income earned by any partnership, or any limited liability company treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes, in which it owns an interest, which share is determined by reference to its capital interest in such entity, and is deemed to have earned the income earned by any qualified REIT subsidiary.

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    Interest Income

        Interest income constitutes qualifying mortgage interest for purposes of the 75% gross income test 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 the mortgage loan, the interest income will be apportioned between the real property and the other property, and our income from the arrangement will qualify for purposes of the 75% gross income test only to the extent that the interest is allocable to the real property. Even if a loan is not secured by real property or is under secured, the income that it generates may nonetheless qualify for purposes of the 95% gross income test. If we acquire or originate a construction loan, for purposes of the foregoing apportionment, the fair market value of the real property includes the fair market value of the land plus the reasonably estimated cost of improvement or developments (other than personal property) which secure the construction loan.

        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 (or 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 us.

        To the extent that we derive interest income from a loan where all or a portion of the amount of interest 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 any person. This limitation does not apply, however, to a mortgage loan where the borrower derives substantially all of its income from the property from the leasing of substantially all of its interest in the property to tenants, to the extent that the rental income derived by the borrower would qualify as rents from real property had it been earned directly by us.

        Any amount includible in our gross income with respect to a regular or residual interest in a REMIC generally is treated as interest on an obligation secured by a mortgage on real property. If, however, less than 95% of the assets of a REMIC consists of real estate assets (determined as if we held such assets), we will be treated as receiving directly our proportionate share of the income of the REMIC for purposes of determining the amount which is treated as interest on an obligation secured by a mortgage on real property. In addition, some REMIC securitizations include embedded interest rate swap or cap contracts or other derivative instruments that potentially could produce non-qualifying income to us.

        We believe that the interest, original issue discount, or OID, and market discount income that we receive from our mortgage-related securities generally will be qualifying income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests. However, to the extent that we own non-REMIC collateralized mortgage obligations or other debt instruments secured by mortgage loans (rather than by real property) or secured by non-real estate assets, or debt securities that are not secured by mortgages on real property or interests in real property, the interest income received with respect to such securities generally will be qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test, but not the 75% gross income test. In addition, the loan amount of a mortgage loan that we own may exceed the value of the real property securing the loan. In that case, income from the loan will be qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test, but the interest attributable to the amount of the loan that exceeds the value of the real property securing the loan will not be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test.

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    Dividend Income

        We may receive distributions from TRSs or other corporations that are not REITs or qualified REIT subsidiaries. These distributions are generally classified as dividend income to the extent of the earnings and profits of the distributing corporation. Such distributions generally constitute qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test, but not the 75% gross income test. Any dividends received by us from a REIT will be qualifying income in our hands for purposes of both the 95% and 75% gross income tests.

    TBAs

        We may utilize "to-be-announced", or TBA, forward contracts as a means of investing and financing Agency RMBS. There is no direct authority with respect to the qualifications of income or gains from dispositions of TBAs as gains from the sale of real property (including interests in real property and interests in mortgages on real property) or other qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test. We intend to treat income and gains from our TBAs as qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, to the extent set forth in an opinion from Sidley Austin LLP substantially to the effect that, for purposes of the 75% gross income test, any gain recognized by us in connection with the settlement of TBAs should be treated as gain from the sale or disposition of the underlying Agency RMBS. Such opinions of counsel are not binding on the IRS, and there can be no assurance that the IRS will not successfully challenge the conclusions set forth therein. In addition, the opinion of Sidley Austin LLP is based on various assumptions relating to our TBAs and is conditioned upon fact-based representations and covenants made by our management regarding our TBAs. If the IRS were to successfully challenge the opinion of Sidley Austin LLP, we could be subject to a penalty tax or we could fail to remain qualified as a REIT if a sufficient portion of our assets consists of TBAs or a sufficient portion of our income consists of income or gains from the disposition of TBAs.

    Hedging Transactions

        We may enter into hedging transactions with respect to one or more of our assets or liabilities. Hedging transactions could take a variety of forms, including interest rate swap agreements, interest rate cap agreements, options, futures contracts, forward rate agreements or similar financial instruments. Except to the extent provided by Treasury Regulations, any income from a hedging transaction we enter into (1) in the normal course of our business primarily to manage risk of interest rate or price 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, which is clearly identified as specified in Treasury Regulations before the close of the day on which it was acquired, originated, or entered into, including gain from the sale or disposition of such a transaction, or (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% income tests which is clearly identified as such before the close of the day on which it was acquired, originated, or entered into, will not constitute gross income for purposes of the 75% or 95% gross income test. In addition, income from certain new hedging transactions that counteract prior qualifying hedging transactions described in (1) and (2) above may not constitute gross income for purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests. 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 of the 75% and 95% gross income tests. We intend to structure any hedging transactions in a manner that does not jeopardize our qualification as a REIT.

    Failure to Satisfy the Gross Income Tests

        We intend to monitor our sources of income, including any non-qualifying income received by us, so as to ensure our compliance with the gross income tests. If we fail to satisfy one or both of the 75%

38


or 95% gross income tests for any taxable year, we may still 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 our failure to meet these tests was due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect and, following the identification of such failure, we set forth a description of each item of our gross income that satisfies the gross income tests in a schedule for the taxable year filed in accordance with the Treasury Regulations. 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 involving us, we will 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 upon the profit attributable to the amount by which we fail to satisfy the particular gross income test.

Phantom Income

        Due to the nature of the assets in which we will invest, we may be required to recognize taxable income from certain of our assets in advance of our receipt of cash flow on or proceeds from disposition of such assets, and we may be required to report taxable income in early periods that exceeds the economic income ultimately realized on such assets.

        We may acquire mortgage-backed securities in the secondary market for less than their face amount. For example, it is likely that we will invest in assets, including mortgage-backed securities, requiring us to accrue original issue discount, or OID, or recognize market discount income, that generate taxable income in excess of economic income or in advance of the corresponding cash flow from the assets referred to as "phantom income." We may also be required under the terms of the indebtedness that we incur to use cash received from interest payments to make principal payment on that indebtedness, with the effect that we will recognize income but will not have a corresponding amount of cash available for distribution to our stockholders.

        Due to each of these potential differences between income recognition or expense deduction and related cash receipts or disbursements, there is a significant risk that we may have substantial taxable income in excess of cash available for distribution. In that event, we may need to borrow funds or take other actions to satisfy the REIT distribution requirements for the taxable year in which this "phantom income" is recognized. See "—
Annual Distribution Requirements
."

Asset Tests

        We, at the close of each calendar quarter, must also satisfy four tests relating to the nature of our assets. First, at least 75% of the value of our total assets must be represented by some combination of "real estate assets," cash, cash items, 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, stock of other corporations that qualify as REITs, debt instruments issued by publicly offered REITs and certain kinds of mortgage-backed securities and mortgage loans. A regular or residual interest in a REMIC is generally treated as a real estate asset. If, however, less than 95% of the assets of a REMIC consists of real estate assets (determined as if we held such assets), we will be treated as owning our proportionate share of the assets of the REMIC. Assets that do not qualify for purposes of the 75% test are subject to the additional asset tests described below. Second, the value of any one issuer's securities owned by us may not exceed 5% of the value of our assets. Third, we may not own more than 10% of any one issuer's outstanding securities, as measured by either voting power or value. Fourth, the aggregate value of all securities of TRSs held by us may not exceed 20% of the value of our gross assets. Five, debt instruments issued by publicly offered REITs, if they would not otherwise qualify as "real estate assets", cannot exceed 25% of the value of our total assets.

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        The 5% and 10% asset tests do not apply to securities of TRSs and qualified REIT subsidiaries. The 10% value test does not apply to certain "straight debt" and other excluded securities, as described in the Code, including but not limited to any loan to an individual or an estate, any obligation to pay rents from real property and any security issued by a REIT. In addition, (a) a REIT's interest as a partner in a partnership is not considered a security for purposes of applying the 10% value test; (b) any debt instrument issued by a partnership (other than straight debt or other excluded security) will not be considered a security issued by the partnership if at least 75% of the partnership's gross income is derived from sources that would qualify for the 75% REIT gross income test; and (c) any debt instrument issued by a partnership (other than straight debt or other excluded security) will not be considered a security issued by the partnership to the extent of the REIT's interest as a partner in the partnership.

        For purposes of the 10% value test, "straight debt" means a written unconditional promise to pay on demand on a specified date a sum certain in money if (i) the debt is not convertible, directly or indirectly, into stock, (ii) the interest rate and interest payment dates are not contingent on profits, the borrower's discretion, or similar factors other than certain contingencies relating to the timing and amount of principal and interest payments, as described in the Code and (iii) in the case of an issuer which is a corporation or a partnership, securities that otherwise would be considered straight debt will not be so considered if we, and any of our "controlled taxable REIT subsidiaries" as defined in the Code, hold any securities of the corporate or partnership issuer which (a) are not straight debt or other excluded securities (prior to the application of this rule), and (b) have an aggregate value greater than 1% of the issuer's outstanding securities (including, for the purposes of a partnership issuer, its interest as a partner in the partnership).

        After initially meeting the asset tests at the close of any quarter, we will not lose our qualification as a REIT for failure to satisfy the asset tests at the end of a later quarter solely by reason of changes in asset values. If we fail to satisfy the asset tests because we acquire or increase our ownership interest in securities during a quarter, we can cure this failure by disposing of sufficient non-qualifying assets within 30 days after the close of that quarter. If we fail the 5% asset test, or the 10% vote or value asset tests at the end of any quarter and such failure is not cured within 30 days thereafter, we may dispose of sufficient assets (generally within six months after the last day of the quarter in which our identification of the failure to satisfy these asset tests occurred) to cure such a violation that does not exceed the lesser of 1% of our assets at the end of the relevant quarter or $10,000,000. If we fail any of the other asset tests or our failure of the 5% and 10% asset tests is in excess of the de minimis amount described above, as long as such failure was due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect, we may be permitted to avoid disqualification as a REIT, after the 30 day cure period, by taking steps including the disposition of sufficient assets to meet the asset test (generally within six months after the last day of the quarter in which our identification of the failure to satisfy the REIT asset test occurred) and paying a tax equal to the greater of $50,000 or the corporate income tax rate (currently 21%) of the net income generated by the non-qualifying assets during the period in which we failed to satisfy the asset test.

        We expect that the assets and mortgage-related securities that we own generally will be qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% asset test. However, to the extent that we own non-REMIC collateralized mortgage obligations or other debt instruments secured by mortgage loans (rather than by real property) or secured by non-real estate assets, or debt securities issued by C corporations that are not secured by mortgages on real property, those securities may not be qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% asset test. In addition, we may utilize TBAs as a means of investing and financing Agency RMBS. There is no direct authority with respect to the qualification of TBAs as real estate assets or U.S. government securities for purposes of the 75% asset test. We intend to treat our TBAs as qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% asset test, to the extent set forth in an opinion from Sidley Austin LLP substantially to the effect that, for purposes of the 75% asset test, our ownership of a TBA

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should be treated as ownership of the underlying Agency RMBS. Such opinion of counsel are not binding on the IRS, and there can be no assurance that the IRS will not successfully challenge the conclusions set forth therein. In addition, the opinion of Sidley Austin LLP is based on various assumptions relating to our TBAs and is conditioned upon fact-based representations and covenants made by our management regarding our TBAs. If the IRS were to successfully challenge the opinion of Sidley Austin LLP, we could be subject to a penalty tax or we could fail to remain qualified as a REIT if a sufficient portion of our assets consists of TBAs or a sufficient portion of our income consists of income or gains from the disposition of TBAs.

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

Annual Distribution Requirements

        In order to qualify as a REIT, we are required to distribute dividends, other than capital gain dividends, to our stockholders in an amount at least equal to:

    (a)
    the sum of:


    90% of our "REIT taxable income" (computed without regard to the deduction for dividends paid and our net capital gains); and


    90% of the net income (after tax), if any, from foreclosure property (as described below); minus

    (b)
    the sum of specified items of non-cash income that exceeds a percentage of our income.

        These distributions must be paid in the taxable year to which they relate or in the following taxable year if such distributions are declared in October, November or December of the taxable year, are payable to stockholders of record on a specified date in any such month and are actually paid before the end of January of the following year. Such distributions are treated as both paid by us and received by each stockholder on December 31 of the year in which they are declared. In addition, at our election, a distribution for a taxable year may be declared before we timely file our tax return for the year and be paid with or before the first regular dividend payment after such declaration, provided that such payment is made during the 12-month period following the close of such taxable year. These distributions are taxable to our stockholders in the year in which paid, even though the distributions relate to our prior taxable year for purposes of the 90% distribution requirement.

        Except for distributions by "publicly offered REITs", distributions must not be "preferred dividends" in order for such distributions to be counted towards the distribution requirement. 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. We believe that we are and will continue to be a publicly offered REIT and, therefore, will not be subject to this limitation.

        To the extent that we distribute at least 90%, but less than 100%, of our "REIT taxable income," as adjusted, we will be subject to tax at ordinary corporate tax rates on the retained portion. In addition, we may elect to retain, rather than distribute, our net long-term capital gains and pay tax on such gains. In this case, we could elect to have our stockholders include their proportionate share of such undistributed long-term capital gains in income and receive a corresponding credit for their

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proportionate share of the tax paid by us. Our stockholders would then increase the adjusted basis of their stock in us by the difference between the designated amounts included in their long-term capital gains and the tax deemed paid with respect to their proportionate shares.

        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 4% excise tax on the excess of such required distribution over the sum of (x) the amounts actually distributed (taking into account excess distributions from prior periods) and (y) the amounts of income retained on which we have paid corporate income tax. We intend to make timely distributions so that we are not subject to the 4% excise tax.

        It is possible that we, from time to time, 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 our subsidiaries and (b) the inclusion of items in income by us for U.S. federal income tax purposes. For example, we may acquire debt instruments or notes whose face value may exceed its issue price as determined for U.S. federal income tax purposes (such excess, "original issue discount," or OID), such that we will be required to include in our income a portion of the OID each year that the instrument is held before we receive any corresponding cash. In the event that such timing differences occur, in order to meet the distribution requirements, it might be necessary to arrange for short-term, or possibly long-term, borrowings or to pay dividends in the form of taxable in-kind distributions of property, including taxable stock dividends. In the case of a taxable stock dividend, stockholders would be required to include the dividend as income and would be required to satisfy the tax liability associated with the distribution with cash from other sources including sales of our common stock. Both a taxable stock distribution and sale of common stock resulting from such distribution could adversely affect the price of our common stock

        We 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 our deduction for dividends paid for the earlier year. In this case, we may be able to avoid losing our qualification as a REIT or being taxed on amounts distributed as deficiency dividends. However, we will be required to pay interest and a penalty based on the amount of any deduction taken for deficiency dividends.

Recordkeeping Requirements

        We are required to maintain records and request on an annual basis information from specified stockholders. These requirements are designed to assist us in determining the actual ownership of our outstanding stock and maintaining our qualifications as a REIT

Prohibited Transactions

        Net income we derive 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 as inventory or 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. We intend to conduct our operations so that no asset owned by us or our pass-through subsidiaries will be held as inventory or primarily for sale to customers, and that a sale of any assets owned by us directly or through a pass-through subsidiary will not be in the ordinary course of business. However, whether property is held as inventory or "primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business" depends on the particular facts and circumstances. No assurance can be given that any particular asset in which we hold a direct or indirect interest will not be treated as property held as inventory or primarily for sale to customers or that certain safe harbor provisions of the Code that

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prevent such treatment will apply. The 100% tax will 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 corporate income tax rates.

Foreclosure Property

        Foreclosure property is real property and any personal property incident to such real property (1) that is acquired by a REIT as a result of the REIT having bid on 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, (2) for which the related loan or lease was acquired by the REIT at a time when default was not imminent or anticipated and (3) for which such REIT makes a proper election to treat the property as foreclosure property. REITs generally are subject to tax at the corporate tax rate (currently 21%) on any net income from foreclosure property, including any gain from the disposition of the foreclosure property, other than 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. We do not anticipate that we will receive any income from foreclosure property that is not qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, but, if we do receive any such income, we intend to elect to treat the related property as foreclosure property.

Failure to Qualify

        In the event that we violate a provision of the Code that would result in our failure to qualify as a REIT, we may nevertheless continue to qualify as a REIT. Specified relief provisions will be available to us to avoid such disqualification if (1) the violation is due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect, (2) we pay a penalty of $50,000 for each failure to satisfy a requirement for qualification as a REIT and (3) the violation does not include a violation under the gross income or asset tests described above (for which other specified relief provisions are available). This cure provision reduces the instances that could lead to our disqualification as a REIT for violations due to reasonable cause. If we fail to qualify for taxation as a REIT in any taxable year and none of the relief provisions of the Code apply, we will be subject to tax on our taxable income at regular corporate rates. Distributions to our stockholders in any year in which we are not a REIT will not be deductible by us, nor will they be required to be made. In this situation, to the extent of current and accumulated earnings and profits, and, subject to limitations of the Code, distributions to our stockholders will generally be taxable in the case of our stockholders who are individual U.S. stockholders (as defined below), at a maximum rate of 20% and dividends in the hands of our corporate U.S. stockholders may be eligible for the dividends received deduction. In addition, distributions to individual U.S. shareholders during any year in which we are not a REIT will not be eligible for the deduction equal to 20% of the amount of such dividends. Unless we are entitled to relief under specific statutory provisions, we will 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 will be entitled to statutory relief.

Taxation of Taxable U.S. Stockholders

        This section summarizes the taxation of U.S. stockholders who hold our stock that are not tax-exempt organizations. For these purposes, a U.S. stockholder is a beneficial owner of our stock or warrants who for U.S. federal income tax purposes is:

    a citizen or resident of the U.S.;

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    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 U.S. or of a political subdivision thereof (including the District of Columbia);


    an estate whose income is subject to U.S. federal income taxation 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 an entity or arrangement treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes holds our stock, the U.S. federal income tax treatment of a partner generally will depend upon the status of the partner and the activities of the partnership. A partner of a partnership holding our common stock should consult its own tax advisor regarding the U.S. federal income tax consequences to the partner of the acquisition, ownership and disposition of our stock by the partnership.

    Distributions

        Provided that we qualify as a REIT, distributions made to our taxable U.S. stockholders out of our current or accumulated earnings and profits, and not designated as capital gain dividends, will generally be taken into account by them as ordinary dividend income and will not be eligible for the dividends received deduction for corporations. In determining the extent to which a distribution with respect to our common stock constitutes a dividend for U.S. federal income tax purposes, our earnings and profits will be allocated first to distributions with respect to our preferred stock, if any, and then to our common stock. Dividends received from REITs are generally not eligible to be taxed at the preferential qualified dividend income rates applicable to individual U.S. stockholders who receive dividends from taxable subchapter C corporations.

        In addition, distributions from us that are designated as capital gain dividends will be taxed to U.S. stockholders as long-term capital gains, to the extent that they do not exceed our actual net capital gain for the taxable year, without regard to the period for which the U.S. stockholder has held our stock. To the extent that we elect under the applicable provisions of the Code to retain our net capital gains, U.S. stockholders will be treated as having received, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, our undistributed capital gains as well as a corresponding credit for taxes paid by us on such retained capital gains. U.S. stockholders will increase their adjusted tax basis in our common stock by the difference between their allocable share of such retained capital gain and their share of the tax paid by us. Long-term capital gains are generally taxable at maximum federal rates of 20% in the case of U.S. stockholders who are individuals, and 21% for corporations. A U.S. stockholder that is an individual is subject to a 3.8% tax on the lesser of (i) his or her "net investment income" for the relevant taxable year or (ii) the excess of his or her modified gross income for the taxable year over a certain threshold amount depending on the individual's U.S. federal income tax filing status. A similar regime applies to certain estates and trusts. Net investment income generally would include dividends on our common stock and gain from the sale of our common stock.

        Distributions in excess of our current and accumulated earnings and profits will not be taxable to a U.S. stockholder to the extent that they do not exceed the adjusted tax basis of the U.S. stockholder's shares in respect of which the distributions were made, but rather will reduce the adjusted tax basis of those shares. To the extent that such distributions exceed the adjusted tax basis of an individual U.S. stockholder's shares, they will be included in income as long-term capital gain, or short-term capital gain if the shares have been held for one year or less. In addition, any dividend declared by us in October, November or December of any year and payable to a U.S. stockholder of record on a specified date in any such month will be treated as both paid by us and received by the U.S. stockholder on December 31 of such year, provided that the dividend is actually paid by us before the end of January of the following calendar year.

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        With respect to U.S. stockholders who are taxed at the rates applicable to individuals, we may elect to designate a portion of our distributions paid to such U.S. stockholders as "qualified dividend income." A portion of a distribution that is properly designated as qualified dividend income is taxable to non-corporate U.S. stockholders at the same rates as capital gain, provided that the U.S. stockholder has held the common stock with respect to which the distribution is made for more than 60 days during the 121-day period beginning on the date that is 60 days before the date on which such common stock became ex-dividend with respect to the relevant distribution. The maximum amount of our distributions eligible to be designated as qualified dividend income for a taxable year is equal to the sum of:

    (a)
    the qualified dividend income received by us during such taxable year from non-REIT C corporations (including any TRS in which we may own an interest);

    (b)
    the excess of any "undistributed" REIT taxable income recognized during the immediately preceding year over the U.S. federal income tax paid by us with respect to such undistributed REIT taxable income; and

    (c)
    the excess of any income recognized during the immediately preceding year attributable to the sale of a built-in-gain asset that was acquired in a carry-over basis transaction from a non-REIT C corporation over the U.S. federal income tax paid by us with respect to such built-in gain.

        In addition, the total amount of dividends that we may designate as "qualified dividend income" or "capital gain dividends" may not exceed our dividends paid for the taxable year. Generally, dividends that we receive will be treated as qualified dividend income for purposes of (a) above if the dividends are received from a domestic C corporation (other than a REIT or a RIC), any TRS we may form, or a "qualifying foreign corporation" and specified holding period requirements and other requirements are met.

        Under the TCJA, dividends received by individual U.S. shareholders from us that are neither attributable to "qualified dividend income" nor designated as "capital gain dividends" will be eligible for a deduction equal to 20% of the amount of such dividends in taxable years beginning before January 1, 2026.

        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 must be made in order to comply with the REIT distribution requirements. See "—
Taxation of Two Harbors—General
" and "—
Annual Distribution Requirements
." Such losses, however, are not passed through to U.S. stockholders and do not offset income of U.S. stockholders from other sources, nor do they affect the character of any distributions that are actually made by us, which are generally subject to tax in the hands of U.S. stockholders to the extent that we have current or accumulated earnings and profits.

    Dispositions of Our Common Stock

        In general, a U.S. stockholder will realize gain or loss upon the sale, redemption or other taxable disposition of our common stock in an amount equal to the difference between the sum of the fair market value of any property and the amount of cash received in such disposition and the U.S. stockholder's adjusted tax basis in the common stock at the time of the disposition. In general, a U.S. stockholder's adjusted tax basis will equal the U.S. stockholder's acquisition cost, increased by the excess of net capital gains deemed distributed to the U.S. stockholder (discussed above) less tax deemed paid on such gain and reduced by returns of capital. In general, capital gains recognized by individuals and other non-corporate U.S. stockholders upon the sale or disposition of shares of our common stock will be subject to a maximum U.S. federal income tax rate of 20%, if our common stock is held for more than one year, and will be taxed at ordinary income rates (of up to 37%) if our common stock is held for one year or less. Gains recognized by U.S. stockholders that are corporations are subject to U.S. federal income tax at a rate of 21%, whether or not classified as long-term capital gains.

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        Holders are advised to consult with their tax advisors with respect to their capital gain tax liability. Capital losses recognized by a U.S. stockholder upon the disposition of our common stock held for more than one year at the time of disposition will be considered long-term capital losses, and are generally available only to offset capital gain income of the U.S. stockholder but not ordinary income (except in the case of individuals, who may offset up to $3,000 of ordinary income each year). In addition, any loss upon a sale or exchange of shares of our common stock by a U.S. stockholder who has held the shares for six months or less, after applying holding period rules, will be treated as a long-term capital loss to the extent of distributions received from us that were required to be treated by the U.S. stockholder as long-term capital gain.

    Passive Activity Losses and Investment Interest Limitations

        Distributions made by us and gain arising from the sale or exchange by a U.S. stockholder of our common stock will not be treated as passive activity income. As a result, U.S. stockholders will not be able to apply any "passive losses" against income or gain relating to our common stock. Distributions made by us, to the extent they do not constitute a return of capital, generally will be treated as investment income for purposes of computing the investment interest limitation. A U.S. stockholder that elects to treat capital gain dividends, capital gains from the disposition of stock or qualified dividend income as investment income for purposes of the investment interest limitation will be taxed at ordinary income rates on such amounts.

Taxation of Tax-Exempt U.S. Stockholders

        U.S. tax-exempt entities, including qualified employee pension and profit sharing trusts and individual retirement accounts, generally are exempt from U.S. federal income taxation. However, they are subject to taxation on their unrelated business taxable income, which is referred to in this prospectus as UBTI. While many investments in real estate may generate UBTI, the IRS has ruled that dividend distributions from a REIT to a tax-exempt entity do not constitute UBTI. Based on that ruling, and provided that (1) a tax-exempt U.S. stockholder has not held our common 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), (2) our common stock is not otherwise used in an unrelated trade or business, and (3) we do not hold an asset that gives rise to excess inclusion income, distributions from us and income from the sale of our common stock generally should not give rise to UBTI to a tax-exempt U.S. stockholder.

        Tax-exempt U.S. 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, respectively, are subject to different UBTI rules, which generally will require them to characterize distributions from us as UBTI unless they are able to properly claim a deduction for amounts set aside or placed in reserve for specific purposes so as to offset the income generated by its investment in our common stock. These prospective investors should consult their tax advisors concerning these "set aside" and reserve requirements.

        In certain circumstances, a pension trust (1) that is described in Section 401(a) of the Code, (2) is tax exempt under Section 501(a) of the Code, and (3) that owns more than 10% of our stock could be required to treat a percentage of the dividends from us as UBTI if we are a "pension-held REIT." We will not be a pension-held REIT unless (1) either (A) one pension trust owns more than 25% of the value of our stock, or (B) a group of pension trusts, each individually holding more than 10% of the value of our stock, collectively owns more than 50% of such stock; and (2) we would not have qualified as a REIT but for the fact that Section 856(h)(3) of the Code provides that stock owned by such trusts shall be treated, for purposes of the requirement that not more than 50% of the value of the outstanding stock of a REIT is owned, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer "individuals" (as defined

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in the Code to include certain entities), as owned by the beneficiaries of such trusts. Certain restrictions limiting ownership and transfer of our stock should generally prevent a tax-exempt entity from owning more than 10% of the value of our stock, or us from becoming a pension-held REIT.

        Tax-exempt U.S. stockholders are urged to consult their tax advisors regarding the U.S. federal, state and local tax consequences of owning our stock.

Taxation of Non-U.S. Stockholders

        The following is a summary of certain U.S. federal income tax consequences of the acquisition, ownership and disposition of our common stock applicable to non-U.S. stockholders of our common stock. For these purposes, a non-U.S. stockholder is a beneficial owner of our stock or warrants who is neither a U.S. stockholder nor an entity that is treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes. The discussion is based on current law and is for general information only. It addresses only selective and not all aspects of U.S. federal income taxation of non-U.S. stockholders. In addition, this discussion assumes that:

    you will not have held more than 10% of our common stock (taking into account applicable constructive ownership rules) at any time during the five-year period ending on the date on which you dispose of our common stock or receive distributions from us;


    our common stock is and will continue to be "regularly traded" on an established securities market located in the United States within the meaning of the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980, or FIRPTA, although there can be no assurance that this will continue to be the case; and


    you are not a "qualified shareholder", as defined in Section 897(k)(3)(A) of the Code, which describes certain partnerships and other collective investment vehicles that satisfy various recordkeeping, administrative and other requirements.

        If you are a non-U.S. stockholder as to which any of these assumptions is not accurate, and in particular if you are a "qualified shareholder" within the meaning of FIRPTA, you should consult your own tax advisor concerning the tax consequence to you of sales of our stock and the receipt of dividends and other distributions from us.

    General

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

    Ordinary Dividends

        The portion of dividends received by non-U.S. stockholders payable out of our earnings and profits that are not effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business of the non-U.S. stockholder will generally be subject to U.S. federal withholding tax at the rate of 30%, unless reduced or eliminated by an applicable income tax treaty. Under some treaties, however, lower rates generally applicable to dividends do not apply to dividends from REITs. In addition, any portion of the dividends paid to non-U.S. stockholders that are treated as excess inclusion income will not be eligible for exemption

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from the 30% withholding tax or a reduced treaty rate. In the case of a taxable stock dividend with respect to which any withholding tax is imposed, we may have to withhold or dispose of part of the shares otherwise distributable in such dividend and use such shares or the proceeds of such disposition to satisfy the withholding tax imposed.

        In general, non-U.S. stockholders 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. stockholder's investment in our common stock is, or is treated as, effectively connected with the non-U.S. stockholder's conduct of a U.S. trade or business, the non-U.S. stockholder generally will be subject to U.S. federal income tax at graduated rates, in the same manner as U.S. stockholders are taxed with respect to such dividends, and may also be subject to the 30% branch profits tax on the income after the application of the income tax in the case of a non-U.S. stockholder that is a corporation.

    Other U.S. Federal Income Tax Withholding and Reporting Requirements

        The FATCA provisions of the Code currently impose a 30% withholding tax on U.S.-source dividends, interest and other income items and will impose such tax on proceeds from the sale, redemption or other disposition of property producing U.S.-source dividends and interest paid after December 31, 2018, to (i) foreign financial institutions that do not agree to comply with certain diligence, reporting and withholding obligations with respect to their U.S. accounts and (ii) non-financial foreign entities that do not identify (or confirm the absence of) substantial U.S. owners. The withholding tax of 30% would apply to dividends and the gross proceeds of a disposition of our common stock paid to certain foreign entities unless various information reporting requirements are satisfied. For these purposes, a foreign financial institution generally is defined as any non-U.S. entity that (i) accepts deposits in the ordinary course of a banking or similar business, (ii) is engaged in the business of holding financial assets for the account of others, or (iii) is engaged or holds itself out as being engaged primarily in the business of investing, reinvesting, or trading in securities, partnership interests, commodities, or any interest in such assets.

    Non-Dividend Distributions

        Unless either (i) the non-U.S. stockholder's investment in our common stock is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business conducted by such non-U.S. stockholder (in which case the non-U.S. stockholder will be subject to the same treatment as U.S. stockholders with respect to such gain) or (ii) the non-U.S. stockholder is a nonresident alien individual who was present in the U.S. for 183 days or more during the taxable year and has a "tax home" in the U.S. (in which case the non-U.S. stockholder will be subject to a 30% tax on the individual's net capital gain for the year), distributions by us which are not dividends out of our earnings and profits will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax. If we cannot determine at the time at which 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. However, the non-U.S. stockholder 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

    Capital Gain Dividends

        Capital gain dividends received by a non-U.S. stockholder from a REIT, to the extent not attributable to U.S. real property interests, are generally not subject to U.S. federal income or withholding tax, unless either (i) the non-U.S. stockholder's investment in our common stock is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business conducted by such non-U.S. stockholder (in which case the non-U.S. stockholder will be subject to the same treatment as U.S. stockholders with respect to such gain) or (ii) the non-U.S. stockholder is a nonresident alien individual who was present in the

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U.S. for 183 days or more during the taxable year and has a "tax home" in the U.S. (in which case the non-U.S. stockholder will be subject to a 30% tax on the individual's net capital gain for the year).

    Dispositions of Our Common Stock

        Gain from the sale of our common stock will be taxable in the U.S. to a non-U.S. stockholder in two cases: (i) if the non-U.S. stockholder's investment in our common stock is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business conducted by such non-U.S. stockholder, the non-U.S. stockholder will be subject to the same treatment as a U.S. stockholder with respect to such gain, or (ii) if the non-U.S. stockholder is a nonresident alien individual who was present in the U.S. for 183 days or more during the taxable year and has a "tax home" in the U.S., the nonresident alien individual will be subject to a 30% tax on the individual's capital gain.

Backup Withholding and Information Reporting

        We will report to our U.S. stockholders and the IRS the amount of dividends paid during each calendar year and the amount of any tax withheld. Under the backup withholding rules, a U.S. stockholder may be subject to backup withholding with respect to dividends paid unless the holder is a corporation or comes within other exempt categories and, when required, demonstrates this fact or provides a taxpayer identification number or social security number, certifies as to no loss of exemption from backup withholding and otherwise complies with applicable requirements of the backup withholding rules. A U.S. stockholder that does not provide his or her correct taxpayer identification number or social security number may also be subject to penalties imposed by the IRS. In addition, we may be required to withhold a portion of capital gain distributions to any U.S. stockholder who fails to certify its non-foreign status.

        We must report annually to the IRS and to each non-U.S. stockholder the amount of dividends paid to such holder and the tax withheld with respect to such dividends, regardless of whether withholding was required. Copies of the information returns reporting such dividends and withholding may also be made available to the tax authorities in the country in which the non-U.S. stockholder resides under the provisions of an applicable income tax treaty. A non-U.S. stockholder may be subject to backup withholding unless applicable certification requirements are met.

        Payment of the proceeds of a sale of our common stock within the U.S. is subject to both backup withholding and information reporting unless the beneficial owner certifies under penalties of perjury that it is a non-U.S. stockholder (and the payor does not have actual knowledge or reason to know that the beneficial owner is a U.S. person) or the holder otherwise establishes an exemption. Payment of the proceeds of a sale of our common stock conducted through certain U.S. related financial intermediaries is subject to information reporting (but not backup withholding) unless the financial intermediary has documentary evidence in its records that the beneficial owner is a non-U.S. stockholder and specified conditions are met or an exemption is otherwise established.

        Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Any amounts withheld under the backup withholding rules may be allowed as a refund or a credit against such holder's U.S. federal income tax liability provided the required information is furnished to the IRS.

State, Local and Foreign Taxes

        We and our 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. The state, local or foreign tax treatment of us and our stockholders may not conform to the U.S. federal income tax treatment discussed above. Prospective stockholders 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 common stock.

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Legislative or other actions affecting REITs could materially and adversely affect us and our stockholders.

        The rules dealing with U.S. federal income taxation are constantly under review by persons involved in the legislative process and by the IRS and the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Changes to the tax laws, with or without retroactive application, could materially and adversely affect us and our stockholders. We cannot predict how changes in the tax laws might affect us or our stockholders. New legislation, U.S. Treasury regulations, administrative interpretations or court decisions could significantly and negatively affect our ability to qualify as a REIT or the U.S. federal income tax consequences of such qualification.

        In addition, the recently enacted TCJA makes substantial changes to the Code. Among those changes are a significant permanent reduction in the generally applicable corporate tax rate, changes in the taxation of individuals and other non-corporate taxpayers that generally but not universally reduce their taxes on a temporary basis subject to "sunset" provisions, the elimination or modification of various currently allowed deductions (including additional limitations on the deductibility of business interest and substantial limitation on the deduction for state and local taxes imposed on individuals), and preferential taxation of income (including REIT dividends) derived by non-corporate taxpayers from "pass-through" entities. The TCJA also imposes certain additional limitations on the deduction of net operating losses, which may in the future cause us to make distributions that will be taxable to our stockholders to the extent of our current or accumulated earnings and profits in order to comply with the annual REIT distribution requirements. Finally, the TCJA also makes significant changes in the international tax rules, which among other things may require us to include in our taxable income, and to distribute, pre-2018 earnings of certain of our foreign subsidiaries, which earnings have previously been deferred from taxation in the United States. The effect of these, and the many other, changes made in the TCJA is highly uncertain, both in terms of their direct effect on the taxation of an investment in our common stock and their indirect effect on the value of our assets. Furthermore, many of the provisions of the TCJA will require guidance through the issuance of U.S. Treasury regulations in order to assess their effect. There may be a substantial delay before such regulations are promulgated, increasing the uncertainty as to the ultimate effect of the statutory amendments on us. It is also likely that there will be technical corrections legislation proposed with respect to the TCJA, the timing and effect of which cannot be predicted and may be adverse to us or our stockholders.

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SELLING SECURITYHOLDERS

        Selling securityholders are persons or entities that, directly or indirectly, have acquired or will from time to time acquire from us common stock, preferred stock, depositary shares or debt securities, as applicable, in various private transactions. Such selling securityholders may be parties to registration rights agreements with us, or we otherwise may have agreed or will agree to register their securities for resale. The initial purchasers of our securities, as well as their transferees, pledgees, donees or successors, all of whom we refer to as "selling securityholders," may from time to time offer and sell the securities pursuant to this prospectus and any applicable prospectus supplement.

        Unless otherwise set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement, we will not receive any proceeds from the sale of the securities by the selling securityholders, but in certain cases we may pay fees and expenses relating to the registration or an offering of such securities, such as registration and filing fees, fees and expenses for complying with federal and state securities laws and NYSE rules and regulations, and fees and expenses incurred in connection with a listing, if any, of any of the securities on any securities exchange or association.

        The selling securityholders may offer for sale all or some portion of the securities that they hold. To the extent that any of the selling securityholders are brokers or dealers, they are deemed to be, under interpretations of the SEC, "underwriters" within the meaning of the Securities Act.

        The applicable prospectus supplement will set forth the name of each of the selling securityholders, the number and classes of our securities beneficially owned by such selling securityholders that are covered by such prospectus supplement, the amount to be offered for the selling securityholder's account, and the amount and (if one percent or more) the percentage of the class to be owned by such selling securityholder after completion of the offering. The applicable prospectus supplement will also disclose whether any of the selling securityholders has held any position or office with, has been employed by or otherwise has had a material relationship with us during the three years prior to the date of the prospectus supplement.

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PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

        We and any selling securityholders may sell the securities offered by this prospectus from time to time in one or more transactions, including without limitation:

    to or through underwriters or dealers;


    directly to purchasers;


    in "at the market" offerings, within the meaning of Rule 415(a)(4) of the Securities Act to or through a market maker or into an existing trading market on an exchange or otherwise;


    to purchasers through agents;


    in block trades;


    through a combination of these methods; or


    through any other method permitted by applicable law and described in a prospectus supplement.

        In addition, we may issue the securities offered by this prospectus as a dividend or distribution to our existing stockholders or other securityholders.

        The prospectus supplement with respect to any offering of securities will include the following information:

    the terms of the offering;


    the names of any underwriters or agents;


    the name or names of any managing underwriter or underwriters;


    the public offering price or purchase price of the securities and the net proceeds to be received by us or the selling securityholders from the sale;


    any delayed delivery arrangements;


    any underwriting discounts or commissions 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.

Sale through Underwriters or Dealers

        If underwriters are used in the sale, the underwriters may resell the securities from time to time in one or more transactions, including negotiated transactions, at a fixed public offering price or at varying prices determined at the time of sale. Underwriters may offer securities to the public either through underwriting syndicates represented by one or more managing underwriters or directly by one or more firms acting as underwriters. Unless we inform you otherwise in the applicable prospectus supplement, the obligations of the underwriters to purchase the securities will be subject to certain conditions, and the underwriters will be obligated to purchase all of the offered securities if they purchase any of them. The underwriters may change from time to time any initial public offering price and any discounts or concessions allowed or reallowed or paid to dealers.

        We will describe the name or names of any underwriters, dealers or agents and the purchase price of the securities in a prospectus supplement relating to the securities.

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        In connection with the sale of the securities, underwriters may receive compensation from us or from purchasers of the securities, for whom they may act as agents, in the form of discounts, concessions or commissions. Underwriters may sell the securities to or through dealers, and these dealers may receive compensation in the form of discounts, concessions or commissions from the underwriters and/or commissions from the purchasers for whom they may act as agents, which is not expected to exceed that customary in the types of transactions involved. Underwriters, dealers and agents that participate in the distribution of the securities may be deemed to be underwriters, and any discounts or commissions they receive from us, and any profit on the resale of the securities they realize may be deemed to be underwriting discounts and commissions, under the Securities Act. The prospectus supplement will identify any underwriter or agent and will describe any compensation they receive from us.

        Underwriters could make sales in privately negotiated transactions and/or any other method permitted by law, including sales deemed to be an "at-the-market" offering, sales made directly on the NYSE, the existing trading market for our shares of common stock, or sales made to or through a market maker other than on an exchange. The name of any such underwriter or agent involved in the offer and sale of our shares of common stock, the amounts underwritten, and the nature of its obligations to take our shares of common stock will be described in the applicable prospectus supplement.

        Unless otherwise specified in the prospectus supplement, each series of the securities will be a new issue with no established trading market, other than our shares of common stock, which are currently listed on the NYSE. We currently intend to list any shares of common stock sold pursuant to this prospectus on the NYSE. We may elect to list any series of shares of preferred stock on an exchange, but are not obligated to do so. It is possible that one or more underwriters may make a market in a series of the securities, but underwriters will not be obligated to do so and may discontinue any market making at any time without notice. Therefore, we can give no assurance about the liquidity of the trading market for any of the securities.

        Under agreements we may enter into, we may indemnify underwriters, dealers, and agents who participate in the distribution of the securities against certain liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act, or contribute with respect to payments that the underwriters, dealers or agents may be required to make.

        To facilitate the offering of securities, certain persons participating in the offering may engage in transactions that stabilize, maintain, or otherwise affect the price of the securities. This may include over-allotments or short sales of the securities, which involve the sale by persons participating in the offering of more securities than we sold to them. In these circumstances, these persons would cover such over-allotments or short positions by making purchases in the open market or by exercising their over-allotment option, if any. In addition, these persons may stabilize or maintain the price of the securities by bidding for or purchasing securities in the open market or by imposing penalty bids, whereby selling concessions allowed to dealers participating in the offering may be reclaimed if securities sold by them are repurchased in connection with stabilization transactions. The effect of these transactions may be to stabilize or maintain the market price of the securities at a level above that which might otherwise prevail in the open market. These transactions may be discontinued at any time. From time to time, we may engage in transactions with these underwriters, dealers, and agents in the ordinary course of business.

        If indicated in the prospectus supplement, we may authorize underwriters or other persons acting as our agents to solicit offers by institutions to purchase securities from us pursuant to contracts providing for payment and delivery on a future date. Institutions with which we may make these delayed delivery contracts include commercial and savings banks, insurance companies, pension funds, investment companies, educational and charitable institutions and others. The obligations of any

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purchaser under any such delayed delivery contract will be subject to the condition that the purchase of the securities shall not at the time of delivery be prohibited under the laws of the jurisdiction to which the purchaser is subject. The underwriters and other agents will not have any responsibility with regard to the validity or performance of these delayed delivery contracts.

Direct Sales and Sales through Agents

        We may sell the securities directly. In this case, no underwriters or agents would be involved. We may also sell the securities through agents designated by us from time to time. In the applicable prospectus supplement, we will name any agent involved in the offer or sale of the offered securities, and we will describe any commissions payable to the agent. Unless we inform you otherwise in the applicable prospectus supplement, any agent will agree to use its reasonable best efforts to solicit purchases for the period of its appointment.

        We may sell the securities directly to institutional investors or others who may be deemed to be underwriters within the meaning of the Securities Act with respect to any sale of those securities. We will describe the terms of any sales of these securities in the applicable prospectus supplement.

Remarketing Arrangements

        Securities may also be offered and sold, if so indicated in the applicable prospectus supplement, in connection with a remarketing upon their purchase, in accordance with a redemption or repayment pursuant to their terms, or otherwise, by one or more remarketing firms, acting as principals for their own accounts or as agents for us. Any remarketing firm will be identified and the terms of its agreements, if any, with us and its compensation will be described in the applicable prospectus supplement.

General

        We may have agreements with the underwriters, dealers, agents and remarketing firms to indemnify them against certain civil liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act, or to contribute with respect to payments that the underwriters, dealers, agents or remarketing firms may be required to make. Underwriters, dealers, agents and remarketing firms may be customers of, engage in transactions with or perform services for us in the ordinary course of their businesses.

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LEGAL MATTERS

        Certain legal matters in connection with this prospectus will be passed upon for us by Stinson Leonard Street LLP, Minneapolis, Minnesota, including the validity of the offered securities. Certain legal matters in connection with this prospectus will also be passed upon for us by Sidley Austin LLP, including the qualification of our company as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

EXPERTS

        Ernst & Young LLP, independent registered public accounting firm, has audited our consolidated financial statements and schedules included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017, and the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2017, as set forth in their reports, which are incorporated by reference in this prospectus and elsewhere in the registration statement. Our financial statements and schedules are incorporated by reference in reliance on Ernst & Young LLP's reports, given on their authority as experts in accounting and auditing.

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

        We file annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. These filings are available for inspection and copying at the public reference room of the SEC, 100 F Street, N.E., Room 1580, Washington, D.C. 20549. Information about the operation of the public reference room may be obtained by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. Our SEC filings, including the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part, are also available to you on the SEC's website at
sec.report
. We also maintain a website on the Internet with the address of
www.twoharborsinvestment.com
where you can find additional information. All internet addresses provided in this prospectus or any prospectus supplement are for information purposes only and are not intended to be hyperlinks. We are not incorporating by reference into this prospectus or any prospectus supplement the information on our website or any other website, and you should not consider our website or any other website to be a part of this prospectus, any prospectus supplement or other offering materials.

INCORPORATION OF CERTAIN DOCUMENTS BY REFERENCE

        The SEC's rules allow us to "incorporate by reference" information into this prospectus, which means that we can disclose important information to you by referring you to another document filed separately with the SEC. The information incorporated by reference is deemed to be part of this prospectus from the date of filing those documents. Any reports filed by us with the SEC on or after the date of this prospectus will automatically update and, where applicable, supersede any information contained in this prospectus or incorporated by reference in this prospectus. We have filed the documents listed below with the SEC under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, or the Exchange Act, and these documents are incorporated herein by reference (other than information in such documents that is furnished and not deemed to be filed):

    Our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017, filed with the SEC on February 27, 2018;


    The information specifically incorporated by reference into our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016 from our Definitive Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A filed with the SEC on March 30, 2017;


    The description of our common stock included in our Registration Statement on Form 8-A filed on February 10, 2011, as amended by the Form 8-A/A filed on November 2, 2017;

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    The description of our Series A Preferred Stock included in our Registration Statement on Form 8-A filed on March 13, 2017;


    The description of our Series B Preferred Stock included in our Registration Statement on Form 8-A filed on July 17, 2017; and


    The description of our Series C Preferred Stock included in our Registration Statement on Form 8-A filed on November 22, 2017.

        All documents we file (but not furnish) pursuant to Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act on or after the date of this prospectus and prior to the termination of the offering of the securities to which this prospectus relates (other than information in such documents that is furnished and not deemed to be filed) shall be deemed to be incorporated by reference into this prospectus and to be a part hereof from the date of filing of those documents.

        We will provide to each person, including any beneficial owner, to whom a copy of this prospectus is delivered, a copy of any or all of the information that has been incorporated by reference in this prospectus but not delivered with this prospectus (other than the exhibits to such documents which are not specifically incorporated by reference therein); we will provide this information at no cost to the requester upon written or oral request to: Secretary, Two Harbors Investment Corp., 575 Lexington Avenue, Suite 2930, New York , New York 10022, or (612) 629-2500.

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18,000,000 Shares

Two Harbors Investment Corp.

LOGO

Common Stock

Prospectus Supplement

Credit Suisse
J.P. Morgan
JMP Securities

March     , 2019



Additional Files
FileSequenceDescriptionTypeSize
0001047469-19-001381.txt   Complete submission text file   662249
g476179.jpg 2 G476179.JPG GRAPHIC 27301
$TWO

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