"This management always pays excise tax on undistributed gains. "
They do? I don't think so. They pay the 90% of gains it takes to get the excise tax waived.
They don't have to cover 90% by EOY, either. They have 9 months following EOY to get to a total distribution for this calendar year of 90% of earnings for this calendar year. Or is it 6? Actually I think it's 6 after some date that's effectively 3 months after EOY for a different reason. Whichever, if they've distributed enough by September 2013 to cover it, even if they're just keeping the div constant as earnings decline in 2013, then they don't pay excise on 2012 earnings.