ptmn-10k_20191231.htm

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019

 

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from           to           

Commission File No. 814-00735

 

Portman Ridge Finance Corporation

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

Delaware

 

20-5951150

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification Number)

 

650 Madison Avenue, 23rd Floor

New York, New York 10022

(Address of principal executive offices)

(212) 891-2880

(Registrant's telephone number, including area code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of each class

 

Trading Symbol(s)

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share

 

PTMN

 

The NASDAQ Global Select Market

6.125% Notes due 2022

 

KCAPL

 

The NASDAQ Global Select Market

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes No

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act. Yes No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days: Yes No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “non-accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act:

 

Large accelerated filer

 

Accelerated filer

 

Non‑accelerated filer

 

 

Smaller Reporting Company

 

Emerging Growth Company

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes No

The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of June 28, 2019 was approximately $78,725,636 based upon a closing price of $2.25 reported for such date by The NASDAQ Global Select Market. This determination of affiliate status is not necessarily a conclusive determination for other purposes.

The number of outstanding shares of common stock of the registrant as of March 2, 2020 was 44,847,420.

 


 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement for the 2020 annual meeting of stockholders to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days following the end of the registrant’s fiscal year-end are incorporated by reference into Part III of this report.

NOTE ABOUT REFERENCES TO Portman Ridge Finance Corporation

In this Annual Report on Form 10-K, the “Company”, “Portman Ridge”, “we”, “us” and “our” refer to Portman Ridge Finance Corporation and its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Great Lakes KCAP Funding I LLC, Great Lakes Portman Ridge Funding, LLC, OHA Investment Sub, LLC, OHA Asset Holdings II, LP, Kohlberg Capital Funding I LLC, KCAP Senior Funding I, LLC and KCAP Senior Funding I Holdings, LLC, unless the context otherwise requires.

NOTE ABOUT TRADEMARKS

Portman Ridge Finance Corporation, our logo and other trademarks of Portman Ridge Finance Corporation are the property of Portman Ridge Finance Corporation. All other trademarks or trade names referred to in this Annual Report are the property of their respective owners.

 


 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

 

Page

 

 

Part I

 

Item 1.

 

Business

1

Item 1A.

 

Risk Factors

18

Item 1B.

 

Unresolved Staff Comments

40

Item 2.

 

Properties

40

Item 3.

 

Legal Proceedings

40

Item 4.

 

Mine Safety Disclosures

40

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part II

 

Item 5.

 

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

41

Item 6.

 

Selected Financial Data

43

Item 7.

 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

45

Item 7A.

 

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

66

Item 8.

 

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

67

Item 9.

 

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

67

Item 9A.

 

Controls and Procedures

67

Item 9B.

 

Other Information

68

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part III

 

Item 10.

 

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

69

Item 11.

 

Executive Compensation

69

Item 12.

 

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

69

Item 13.

 

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

69

Item 14.

 

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

69

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part IV

 

Item 15.

 

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

70

Signatures

71

Financial Statements

F-1

 

 

i


 

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT CONCERNING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements The matters discussed in this Annual Report, as well as in future oral and written statements by the Company, that are forward-looking statements are based on current management expectations that involve substantial risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from the results expressed in, or implied by, these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements relate to future events or our future financial performance. We generally identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “could,” “intend,” “target,” “project,” “contemplate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “potential,” or “continue” or the negative of these terms or other similar words, although not all forward-looking statements include these words. Important assumptions include our ability to originate new investments, achieve certain margins and levels of profitability, the availability of additional capital, our ability to successfully and profitably integrate acquired assets and companies, and the ability to maintain certain debt to asset ratios. In light of these and other uncertainties, the inclusion of a projection or forward-looking statement in this Annual Report should not be regarded as a representation by us that our plans or objectives will be achieved.

The forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K include statements as to:

 

our future operating results;

 

our business prospects and the prospects of our existing and prospective portfolio companies;

 

the return or impact of current and future investments;

 

our contractual arrangements and other relationships with third parties;

 

the dependence of our future success on the general economy and its impact on the industries in which we invest;

 

the financial condition and ability of our existing and prospective portfolio companies to achieve their objectives;

 

our expected financings and investments;

 

our regulatory structure and tax treatment;

 

our ability to operate as a business development company and a regulated investment company, including the impact of changes in laws or regulations governing our operations or the operations of our portfolio companies;

 

the adequacy of our cash resources and working capital;

 

the timing of cash flows, if any, from the operations of our portfolio companies;

 

the impact of a protracted decline in the liquidity of credit markets on our business;

 

the impact of fluctuations in interest rates on our business;

 

the valuation of our investments in portfolio companies, particularly those having no liquid trading market;

 

our ability to recover unrealized losses;

 

market conditions and our ability to access additional capital; and

 

the timing, form and amount of any dividend distributions.

For a discussion of factors that could cause our actual results to differ from forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report, please see the discussion under “Risk Factors” in Item 1A. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements made in this Annual Report relate only to events as of the date on which the statements are made. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this Annual Report unless required by law.

 

 

ii


 

PART I

Item 1.

Business

In this Annual Report on Form 10-K, the “Company”, “Portman Ridge”, “we”, “us” and “our” refer to Portman Ridge Finance Corporation and its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Great Lakes KCAP Funding I LLC, Great Lakes Portman Ridge Funding, LLC, OHA Investment Sub, LLC, OHA Asset Holdings II, LP, Kohlberg Capital Funding I LLC, KCAP Senior Funding I, LLC and KCAP Senior Funding I Holdings, LLC, unless the context otherwise requires.

GENERAL

Our Company

We were formed in August 2006 under the former name, Kohlberg Capital Corporation, and completed an initial public offering in December 2006. Until March 31, 2019, we operated as an internally managed business development company (“BDC”). On April 1, 2019, we converted to an external management structure and changed our name to Portman Ridge Finance Corporation, see “-The Externalization” below. We are an externally managed, non-diversified closed-end investment company that has elected to be regulated as a BDC under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”).

We originate, structure, and invest in secured term loans, bonds or notes and mezzanine debt primarily in privately-held middle market companies but may also invest in other investments such as loans to publicly-traded companies, high-yield bonds, and distressed debt securities (collectively the “Debt Securities Portfolio”). We also invest in joint ventures and debt and subordinated securities issued by collateralized loan obligation funds (“CLO Fund Securities”). In addition, from time to time we may invest in the equity securities of privately held middle market companies and may also receive warrants or options to purchase common stock in connection with our debt investments.

Our investments in CLO Fund Securities are primarily managed by our formerly wholly-owned asset management subsidiaries Trimaran Advisors and Trimaran Advisors Management, L.L.C. From time-to-time we have also made investments in CLO Fund Securities managed by other asset managers. Our collateralized loan obligation funds (“CLO Funds”) typically invest in broadly syndicated loans, high-yield bonds and other credit instruments. Our investments in CLO Fund Securities are anticipated to provide us with recurring cash distributions.

In our Debt Securities Portfolio, our investment objective is to generate current income and, to a lesser extent, capital appreciation from the investments in senior secured term loans, mezzanine debt and selected equity investments in privately-held middle market companies. We define the middle market as comprising companies with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (“EBITDA”) of $10 million to $50 million and/or total debt of $25 million to $150 million. We primarily invest in first and second lien term loans which, because of their priority in a company’s capital structure, we expect will have lower default rates and higher rates of recovery of principal if there is a default and which we expect will create a stable stream of interest income. We also primarily invest in loans to smaller private companies, publicly-traded companies, high-yield bonds, joint ventures, managed funds, partnerships, and distressed debt securities. The investments in our Debt Securities Portfolio are all or predominantly below investment grade, and have speculative characteristics with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal.

Our investment portfolio (excluding our investments in the CLO Funds, Joint Venture and short-term investments) at December 31, 2019 was spread across 24 different industries and 60 different entities with an average par balance per entity of approximately $3.2 million. Our investment portfolio totaled $277.9 million at fair value as of December 31, 2019.

Subject to market conditions, we intend to grow our portfolio of assets by raising additional capital, including through the prudent use of leverage available to us. As a BDC, we are limited in the amount of leverage we can incur under the 1940 Act. Effective March 29, 2019, we are allowed to borrow amounts such that our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, equals at least 150% after such borrowing. However, we continue to be prohibited by the indenture governing our 6.125% notes due 2022 (the “6.125% Notes due 2022”) from making distributions on our common stock if our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, falls below 200%. See Note 7 - “Borrowings” to our consolidated financial statements. Because we also recognize the need to have funds available for operating our business and to make investments, we seek to have adequate liquidity at all times to cover normal cyclical swings in funding availability and to allow us to meet abnormal and unexpected funding requirements. As a result, we may hold varying amounts of cash and other short-term investments from time-to-time for liquidity purposes.

We have elected to be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as a regulated investment company (“RIC”) under the Internal Revenue Code and intend to operate in a manner to maintain our RIC status. See “-Taxation as a Regulated Investment Company” below.

1


 

The Externalization

On April 1, 2019 (the “Closing”), we became externally managed (the “Externalization”) by Sierra Crest Investment Management LLC (the “Adviser”), an affiliate of BC Partners LLP, (“BC Partners”), pursuant to a stock purchase and transaction agreement (the “Externalization Agreement”) with BC Partners Advisors L.P. (“BCP”), an affiliate of BC Partners. In connection with the Externalization, our stockholders approved an investment advisory agreement (the “Advisory Agreement”) with the Adviser. See “-Advisory Agreement” below.

Pursuant to the Externalization Agreement with BCP, the Adviser became our investment adviser in exchange for a cash payment from BCP, or its affiliate, of $25 million, or $0.669672 per share of our common stock, directly to our stockholders. In addition, the Adviser (or its affiliate) will use up to $10 million of the incentive fee actually paid to the Adviser prior to the second anniversary of the Closing to buy newly issued shares of our common stock at the most recently determined net asset value per share of our common stock at the time of such purchase. For the period of one year from the first day of the first quarter following the quarter in which the Closing occurred, the Adviser will permanently forego up to the full amount of the incentive fees earned by the Adviser without recourse against or reimbursement by us, to the extent necessary in order to achieve aggregate net investment income per share of common stock for such one-year period to be at least equal to $0.40 per share, subject to certain adjustments. BCP and the Adviser’s total financial commitment to the transactions contemplated by the Externalization Agreement was $35.0 million.

On December 12, 2018, prior to externalization, we and BCP entered into a letter agreement (the “Asset Purchase Letter Agreement”) pursuant to which we and BCP each agreed to use commercially reasonable efforts to effect the sale by BCP (or its affiliates or advisory clients of its affiliates), in one or more transactions, of certain assets held by BCP (or its affiliates or advisory clients thereof) that, taken together, have an aggregate principal amount of approximately $75 million, less $25 million of aggregate amount of capital contributions made by us to the BCP Great Lakes Fund. In the second quarter of 2019 BCP’s obligations under the Asset Purchase Letter Agreement were satisfied.

On the date of the Closing, we changed our name from KCAP Financial, Inc. to Portman Ridge Finance Corporation and on April 2, 2019, began trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “PTMN.”

In connection with the Closing, all of our then-current directors resigned from their positions on our Board of Directors (the “Board”), with the exceptions of Dean Kehler and Christopher Lacovara. Prior to their resignations, the Board approved an increase in the size of the Board from seven members to eight members and appointed the following new individuals to serve on the Board: Graeme Dell; Alexander Duka; Ted Goldthorpe; George Grunebaum; David Moffitt; and Robert Warshauer. Additionally, in connection with the Closing all of the Company’s then-current officers resigned from their positions with the exceptions of Edward Gilpin and Daniel Gilligan. Effective as of the Closing, Ted Goldthorpe was appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer and Patrick Schafer was appointed as Chief Investment Officer of the Company. In May 2019, Mr. Gilligan resigned as Chief Compliance officer, and Andrew Devine was appointed Chief Compliance Officer.

OHAI Transaction

On December 18, 2019, we completed our acquisition of OHA Investment Corporation (“OHAI”). In accordance with the terms of the merger agreement, each share of common stock, par value $0.001 per share, of OHAI (the “OHAI Common Stock”) issued and outstanding was converted into the right to receive (i) an amount in cash, without interest, equal to approximately $0.42, and (ii) 0.3688 shares of common stock, par value $0.01 per share, of the Company (plus any applicable cash in lieu of fractional shares). Each share of OHAI Common Stock issued and outstanding received, as additional consideration funded by the Adviser, of an amount in cash, without interest, equal to approximately $0.15.

Pursuant to the merger agreement, if at any time within one year after the closing date of the transaction our common stock is trading at a price below 75% of its net asset value, we will initiate an open-market stock repurchase program of up to $10 million to support the trading price of the combined entity for up to one year from the date such program is announced. Our board approved a repurchase program on March 5, 2020. See “Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities – Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.”

Asset Manager Affiliates

On December 31, 2018 pursuant to an agreement with LibreMax Intermediate Holdings, LP (“LibreMax”), our wholly-owned subsidiary Commodore Holdings, LLC (“Commodore”) sold Katonah Debt Advisors, L.L.C. (“Katonah Debt Advisors”), Trimaran Advisors, L.L.C. (“Trimaran Advisors”), and Trimaran Advisors Management, L.L.C. (“Trimaran Advisors Management” and, together with Katonah Debt Advisors and Trimaran Advisors, the “Disposed Manager Affiliates”) to LibreMax for a cash purchase price of approximately $37.9 million  The Disposed Manager Affiliates manage certain CLO Funds.

As of December 31, 2019, our remaining asset management affiliates (the “Asset Manager Affiliates”) were comprised of Commodore, Katonah Management Holdings, LLC, Katonah X Management LLC (“Katonah X Management”), Katonah 2007-1 Management, LLC (“Katonah 2007-I Management”) and KCAP Management, LLC. Commodore, Katonah X Management and Katonah 2007-1 Management have no operations and are expected to be liquidated.

2


 

BC Partners’ Corporate Information

BC Partners’ principal executive offices are located at 650 Madison Avenue, 23rd Floor, New York, New York 10022, and our telephone number is (212) 891-2880.

Available Information

We maintain a website on the Internet at http:// www.portmanridge.com. The information contained in our website is not incorporated by reference into this Annual Report. We make copies of our periodic and current reports and other information meeting the informational requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) available on the Investor Relations-SEC Filings section of our website free of charge as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file the information with, or furnish it to, the SEC. The SEC maintains an Internet site at http://www.sec.gov that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information filed electronically by us with the SEC.

Investment Portfolio

Our investment portfolio generates investment income, which is generally used to pay principal and interest on our borrowings, our operating expenses, and to fund distributions to our stockholders. Our investment portfolio consists primarily of our Debt Securities Portfolio, investments in joint ventures and investments in CLO Fund Securities.

Debt Securities Portfolio.  We target privately-held middle market companies that have strong historical cash flows, experienced management teams and identifiable and defendable market positions in industries with positive dynamics. We generally target companies that generate positive cash flows because we look to cash flows as the primary source for servicing debt.

We employ a disciplined approach in the selection and monitoring of our investments. Generally, we target investments that will generate a current return through interest income to provide for stability in our shareholder distributions and place less reliance on realized capital gains from our investments. Our investment philosophy is focused on preserving capital with an appropriate return profile relative to risk. Our investment due diligence and selection generally focuses on an underlying issuer’s net cash flow after capital expenditures to service its debt rather than on multiples of net income, valuations or other broad benchmarks which frequently miss the nuances of an issuer’s business and prospective financial performance. We also generally avoid concentrations in any one industry or issuer. We manage risk by following our internal credit policies and procedures.

When we extend senior and junior secured term loans, we will generally take a security interest in the available assets of the portfolio company, including the equity interests of its subsidiaries, which we expect to help mitigate the risk that we will not be repaid. Nonetheless, there is a possibility that our lien could be subordinated to claims of other creditors. Structurally, mezzanine debt ranks subordinate in priority of payment to senior term loans and is often unsecured. Relative to equity, mezzanine debt ranks senior to common and preferred equity in a borrower’s capital structure. Typically, mezzanine debt has elements of both debt and equity instruments, offering the fixed returns in the form of interest payments associated with a loan, while providing an opportunity to participate in the capital appreciation of a borrower, if any, through an equity interest that is typically in the form of equity purchased at the time the mezzanine loan is originated or warrants to purchase equity at a future date at a fixed cost. Mezzanine debt generally earns a higher return than senior secured debt due to its higher risk profile and usually less restrictive covenants. From time to time we may receive warrants in connection with a mezzanine debt investment. The warrants associated with mezzanine debt are typically detachable, which allows lenders to receive repayment of their principal on an agreed amortization schedule on the debt security while retaining an equity interest in the borrower. Mezzanine debt with warrants also may include a “put” feature, which permits the holder to sell its equity interest back to the borrower at a price determined through an agreed formula.

Below are summary attributes for our Debt Securities Portfolio as of and for the year ended December 31, 2019:

 

represented approximately 67% of total investment portfolio;

 

contained credit instruments issued by corporate borrowers;

 

primarily comprised of senior secured and junior secured loans (33% and 33% of Debt Securities Portfolio, respectively);

 

spread across 24 different industries and 60 different entities;

 

average par balance per investment of approximately $3.2 million;

 

seven investments were on non-accrual status; and

 

the weighted average contractual interest rate on our loans and debt securities was approximately 10.9%, and the weighted average contractual interest rate on our loans and debt securities, adjusted for non-accrual investments, was approximately 9.0%.

3


 

Our Debt Securities Portfolio investments generally range between $1 million to $20 million, although particular investments may be larger or smaller. The size of individual investments will vary according to their priority in a company’s capital structure, with larger investments in more secure positions in an effort to maximize capital preservation. The size of our investments and maturity dates may vary as follows:

 

senior secured term loans from $2 to $20 million maturing in five to seven years;

 

second lien term loans from $5 to $15 million maturing in six to eight years;

 

senior unsecured loans from $5 to $23 million maturing in six to eight years;

 

mezzanine loans from $5 to $15 million maturing in seven to ten years; and

 

equity investments from $1 to $5 million.

Investment in Joint Ventures.  

KCAP Freedom 3 LLC. During the third quarter of 2017, the Company and Freedom 3 Opportunities LLC (“Freedom 3 Opportunities”), an affiliate of Freedom 3 Capital LLC, entered into an agreement to create KCAP Freedom 3 LLC (the “Joint Venture”). The Company and Freedom 3 Opportunities contributed approximately $37 million and $25 million, respectively, in assets to the Joint Venture, which in turn used the assets to capitalize a new fund, Great Lakes KCAP F3C Senior Funding L.L.C. (formerly known as KCAP F3C Senior Funding, L.L.C.) (the “Fund”) managed by KCAP Management, LLC, one of the Asset Manager Affiliates. In addition, the Fund used cash on hand and borrowings under a credit facility to purchase approximately $184 million of primarily middle-market loans form us and we used the proceeds from such sale to redeem approximately $147 million in debt issued by KCAP Senior Funding I, LLC (“KCAP Senior Funding”) The Fund invests primarily in middle-market loans and the Joint Venture partners may source middle-market loans from time-to-time for the Fund. During the fourth quarter of 2017, the Fund was refinanced through the issuance of senior and subordinated notes. The Joint Venture purchased 100% of the subordinated notes issued by the Fund. In connection with the refinancing, the Joint Venture made a cash distribution to us of approximately $12.6 million. Approximately $11.2 million of this distribution was a reduction in the cost basis of our investment in the Joint Venture. The final determination of the tax attributes of distributions from the Joint Venture is made on an annual (full calendar year) basis at the end of the year, therefore, any estimate of tax attributes of distributions made on an interim basis may not be representative of the actual tax attributes of distributions for the full year.

While we own a 60% interest in the Joint Venture, the Joint Venture is structured as an unconsolidated Delaware limited liability company. All portfolio and other material decisions regarding the Joint Venture must be submitted to its board of managers, which is comprised of four members, two of whom were selected by us and two of whom were selected by Freedom 3 Opportunities, and must be approved by at least one member appointed by us and one appointed by Freedom 3 Opportunities. In addition, certain matters may be approved by the Joint Venture’s investment committee, which is comprised of one member appointed by us and one member appointed by Freedom 3 Opportunities.

As of December 31, 2019, our investment in the KCAP Freedom 3 LLC Joint Venture was approximately $21.3 million at fair value.

BCP Great Lakes Partnership. BCP Great Lakes Fund LP (the “BCP Great Lakes Partnership”) has invested in BCP Great Lakes Holdings LP, a vehicle formed as a co-investment vehicle to facilitate the participation of certain co-investors to invest, directly or indirectly, in BCP Great Lakes Funding, LLC (the “Great Lakes Joint Venture”). We are a limited partner in the BCP Great Lakes Partnership and do not have any direct or indirect voting interests in the Great Lakes Joint Venture, and treat the investment as a joint venture since an affiliate of our Adviser manages BCP Great Lakes Holdings LP and controls a 50% voting interest in the Great Lakes Joint Venture. The investment strategy of BCP Great Lakes Funding, LLC is to underwrite and hold senior, secured unitranche loans made to middle-market companies. We do not pay any advisory fees in connection with our investment in the BCP Great Lakes Partnership.

In March 2019, prior to the Externalization, we increased our aggregate commitment to the BCP Great Lakes Partnership to $50 million, subject to certain limitations (including that we are not obligated to fund capital calls if such funding would cause the Company to be out of compliance with certain provisions of the 1940 Act). As of December 31, 2019, we had an aggregate $26.3 million unfunded commitment to the BCP Great Lakes Partnership, however, as of that date, our funding commitment was limited to approximately $11.3 million pursuant to the limitations described above. As of December 31, 2019, our investment in the BCP Great Lakes Partnership was approximately $23.8 million at fair value.

CLO Fund Securities.  Our investments in CLO Fund Securities are primarily made up of minority investments in the subordinated securities or preferred stock of CLO Funds managed by the Disposed Manager Affiliates. From time-to-time we have also made investments in CLO Fund Securities managed by other asset managers.

4


 

Below are summary attributes for our CLO Fund Securities, as of and for the year-ended December 31, 2019, unless otherwise specified:

 

CLO Fund Securities represented approximately 10% of total investment portfolio at December 31, 2019;

 

CLO Fund Securities Portfolio represented investments in subordinated securities or equity securities issued by CLO Funds;

 

all CLO Funds invested primarily in credit instruments issued by corporate borrowers;

 

U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) basis investment income of $6.4 million; cash distributions received of approximately $8.7 million (approximately $2.5 million taxable distributable income, $11.2 million tax return of capital to the company).

Asset Manager Affiliates. As discussed above, in connection with the LibreMax Transaction, on December 31, 2018, our wholly-owned subsidiary Commodore Holdings, LLC sold the Disposed Manager Affiliates, which represented substantially all of our investment in the Asset Manager Affiliates, to LibreMax. Commodore Holdings, LLC received cash proceeds of $37.9 million from the sale and distributed $33.8 million in cash to the Company. All of this cash distribution was recorded as a return of capital, and no realized gain or loss was recognized on this transaction.

Process

We review potential investment opportunities and conduct due diligence that typically includes a review of historical and prospective financial information, participation in a presentation held by the prospective portfolio company’s management and/or the transaction sponsor, a review of the prospective portfolio company’s product or service, an analysis and understanding of the drivers of the particular industry in which the prospective portfolio company operates, and an assessment of the debt service capabilities of the prospective portfolio company under a variety of assumed forecast scenarios.

Due to our ability to source transactions through multiple channels, we expect to continue to maintain a pipeline of opportunities to allow comparative risk return analysis and selectivity. By focusing on the drivers of revenue and cash flow, we develop our own underwriting cases, and multiple stress and event specific case scenarios for each company analyzed.

We focus on lending and investing opportunities in:

 

companies with EBITDA of $10 to $50 million;

 

companies with financing needs of $25 to $150 million;

 

companies purchased by well-regarded private equity sponsors;

 

non-sponsored companies with successful business models, management teams and systems; and

 

high-yield bonds and broadly syndicated loans to larger companies on a selective basis.

We source investment opportunities from:

 

private equity sponsors;

 

regional investment banks for non-sponsored companies;

 

financial advisers and other market intermediaries; and

 

other middle market lenders with whom we can participate in loans.

In our experience, good credit judgment is based on a thorough understanding of both the qualitative and quantitative factors that determine a company’s performance. Our analysis begins with an understanding of the fundamentals of the industry in which a company operates, including the current economic environment and the outlook for the industry. We also focus on the company’s relative position within the industry and our historical ability to weather economic cycles. Other key qualitative factors include the experience and depth of the management team and the financial sponsor, if any.

5


 

Only after we have a comprehensive understanding of the qualitative factors do we focus on quantitative metrics. We believe that with the context provided by the qualitative analysis, we can gain a better understanding of a company’s financial performance. We analyze a potential portfolio company’s sales growth and margins in the context of our competition as well as our ability to manage our working capital requirements and our ability to generate consistent cash flow. Based upon this historical analysis, we develop a set of projections which represents a reasonable underwriting case of most likely outcomes for the company over the period of our investment. We also look at potential downside cases to determine a company’s ability to service its debt in a stressed credit environment.

Elements of the qualitative analysis we use in evaluating investment opportunities include some combination of the following:

 

industry fundamentals;

 

competitive position and market share;

 

impact of historical down-cycles on the industry and us;

 

quality of financial and technology infrastructure;

 

sourcing risks and opportunities;

 

labor and union strategy;

 

technology risk;

 

diversity of customer base and product lines;

 

quality of financial sponsor (if applicable); and

 

acquisition and integration history.

Elements of the quantitative analysis we use in evaluating investment opportunities include some combination of the following:

 

income statement analysis of growth and margin trends;

 

cash flow analysis of capital expenditures and free cash flow;

 

financial ratio and market share standing among comparable companies;

 

financial projections: underwriting versus stress case;

 

event specific credit modeling;

 

credit profile trend;

 

future capital expenditure needs and asset sale plans;

 

downside protection to limit losses in an event of default;

 

risk adjusted returns and relative value analysis; and

 

enterprise and asset valuations.

The origination, structuring and credit approval processes are fully integrated. Our credit team is directly involved in all due diligence and analysis prior to the formal credit approval process by our Investment Committee.

Investment Committee

The Investment Committee serves to provide investment consistency and adherence to our core investment philosophy and policies.

Upon completion of the due diligence investigation, the underwriting team of investment professionals/analysts will prepare a credit underwriting memorandum that will summarize the contemplated transaction, present the investment highlights, analyze the risk in the transaction and mitigating factors to those risks, analyze the prospective portfolio’s historical financial statements, financial projections, industry and management team, and will then present this memorandum with its recommendations to the Investment Committee for review and approval.

The approval of a majority of the Investment Committee is required for all investments.

6


 

Monitoring

Our Board, including a majority of its independent directors, oversees and monitors our investment performance and, beginning with the second anniversary of the effective date of our Advisory Agreement, will annually review the compensation we pay to the Adviser.

Our Adviser has significant experience monitoring credit portfolios. Along with origination and credit analysis, portfolio management is one of the key elements of our business. Most of our investments will not be liquid and, therefore, we must prepare to act quickly if potential issues arise so that we can work closely with the Adviser and the private equity sponsor, if applicable, of the portfolio company to take any necessary remedial action. In addition, most of the Adviser’s senior management team, has substantial workout and restructuring experience.

In order to assist us in detecting issues with our Debt Securities Portfolio companies as early as possible, we perform a financial analysis at least quarterly on each portfolio company. This analysis typically includes:

 

A summary of the portfolio company’s current total credit exposure as well as our portion of this exposure.

 

A summary and update of the portfolio company’s financial condition and performance, including but not limited to, performance versus plan, deterioration/improvement in market position, or industry fundamentals, management changes or additions, and ongoing business strategy.

 

Reaffirmation of, or proposal to change, the risk rating of the underlying investment.

 

A summary of the portfolio company’s financial covenant results vis a vis financial covenant levels established in the credit agreement.

Watch list credits are followed closely and discussed more frequently than quarterly, as appropriate.

About the Adviser

The Adviser is an affiliate of BC Partners. LibreMax owns a minority stake in the Adviser. Subject to the overall supervision of the Board, the Adviser is responsible for managing our business and activities, including sourcing investment opportunities, conducting research, performing diligence on potential investments, structuring our investments, and monitoring our portfolio companies on an ongoing basis through a team of investment professionals.

The Adviser seeks to invest on our behalf in performing, well-established middle market businesses that operate across a wide range of industries (i.e., no concentration in any one industry). The Adviser employs fundamental credit analysis, targeting investments in businesses with relatively low levels of cyclicality and operating risk. The holding size of each position will generally be dependent upon a number of factors including total facility size, pricing and structure, and the number of other lenders in the facility. The Adviser has experience managing levered vehicles, both public and private, and seeks to enhance our returns through the use of leverage with a prudent approach that prioritizes capital preservation. The Adviser believes this strategy and approach offers attractive risk/return with lower volatility given the potential for fewer defaults and greater resilience through market cycles.

BC Partners is a leading buyout firm with a 30-year history investing across Europe and North America which has more than $25 billion in assets under management in private equity, private credit and real estate strategies. The assets under management for BC Partners are based on actively managed commitments of its managed funds and relevant vehicles formed for the purpose of co-investing alongside such funds. BC Partners operates a private equity investment platform (“BCP PE”) a credit investment platform (“BCP Credit”) and a real estate investment platform as fully integrated businesses. Our investment activity will take place primarily within the BCP Credit platform. Integration with the broader BC Partners platform allows BCP Credit to leverage a team of investment professionals across its private equity platform including its operations team. The BCP Credit Investment Team (the “Investment Team”) is led by Ted Goldthorpe who sits on both the BCP Credit and BCP PE investment committees. BCP Credit currently manages a private fund in the BCP Credit platform along with several separate managed accounts focused on credit investments and BC Partners Lending Corporation, a private BDC.

Advisory Agreement

The Adviser provides management services to us pursuant to the Advisory Agreement. Under the terms of the Investment Advisory Agreement, the Adviser is responsible for the following:

 

managing our assets in accordance with our investment objective, policies and restrictions;

 

determining the composition of our portfolio, the nature and timing of the changes to our portfolio and the manner of implementing such changes;

7


 

 

identifying, evaluating and negotiating the structure of our investments;

 

monitoring our investments;

 

determining the securities and other assets we will purchase, retain or sell;

 

assisting the Board with its valuation of our assets;

 

directing investment professionals of the Adviser to provide managerial assistance to our portfolio companies;

 

performing due diligence on prospective portfolio companies;

 

exercising voting rights in respect of portfolio securities and other investments for us;

 

serving on, and exercising observer rights for, boards of directors and similar committees of our portfolio companies; and

 

providing us with such other investment advisory, research and related services as we may, from time to time, reasonably require for the investment of capital.

The Adviser’s services under the Advisory Agreement are not exclusive, and it is free to furnish similar services to other entities so long as its services to us are not impaired.

Term

On April 1, 2019, we entered into the Advisory Agreement with the Adviser. Unless earlier terminated as described below, the Investment Advisory Agreement will remain in effect until April 1, 2021, a period of two years from the date it first became effective and will remain in effect from year-to-year thereafter if approved annually by a majority of the Board or by the holders of a majority of our outstanding shares, and, in each case, a majority of the independent directors.

The Advisory Agreement will automatically terminate within the meaning of the 1940 Act and related SEC guidance and interpretations in the event of its assignment. In accordance with the 1940 Act, without payment of any penalty, we may terminate the Advisory Agreement with the Adviser upon 60 days’ written notice. The decision to terminate the agreement may be made by a majority our Board or the stockholders holding a majority of the outstanding shares of our common stock. See “Advisory Agreement—Removal of Adviser” below. In addition, without payment of any penalty, the Adviser may generally terminate the Advisory Agreement upon 60 days’ written notice and, in certain circumstances, the Adviser may only be able to terminate the Advisory Agreement upon 120 days’ written notice.

Removal of Adviser

The Adviser may be removed our Board or by the affirmative vote of a Majority of the Outstanding Shares. “Majority of the Outstanding Shares” means the lesser of (1) 67% or more of the outstanding shares of our common stock present at a meeting, if the holders of more than 50% of the outstanding shares of our common stock are present or represented by proxy or (2) a majority of outstanding shares of our common stock.

Compensation of Adviser

Pursuant to the terms of the Advisory Agreement, we pay the Adviser (i) a base management fee (the “Base Management Fee”) and (ii) an incentive fee (the “Incentive Fee”). For the period from the date of the Advisory Agreement (the “Effective Date”) through the end of the first calendar quarter after the Effective Date, the Base Management Fee will be calculated at an annual rate of 1.50% of our gross assets, excluding cash and cash equivalents, but including assets purchased with borrowed amounts, as of the end of such calendar quarter. Subsequently, the Base Management Fee will be 1.50% of our average gross assets, excluding cash and cash equivalents, but including assets purchased with borrowed amounts, at the end of the two most recently completed calendar quarters; provided, however, that the Base Management Fee will be 1.00% of our average gross assets, excluding cash and cash equivalents, but including assets purchased with borrowed amounts, that exceed the product of (i) 200% and (ii) the value of our net asset value at the end of the most recently completed calendar quarter. The Incentive Fee consists of two parts: (1) a portion based on our pre-incentive fee net investment income (the “Income-Based Fee”) and (2) a portion based on the net capital gains received on our portfolio of securities on a cumulative basis for each calendar year, net of all realized capital losses and all unrealized capital depreciation on a cumulative basis, in each case calculated from the Effective Date, less the aggregate amount of any previously paid capital gains Incentive Fee (the “Capital Gains Fee”). The Income-Based Fee is 17.50% of pre-incentive fee net investment income with a 7.00% hurdle rate. The Capital Gains Fee is 17.50%. In connection with the Externalization, for the period of one year from the first day of the first quarter following the quarter in which the Closing occurred, the Adviser will permanently forego up to the full amount of the incentive fees earned by the Adviser without recourse against or reimbursement by us, to the extent necessary in order to achieve aggregate net investment income per share of common stock for such one-year period to be at least equal to $0.40 per share, subject to certain adjustments.

8


 

Pre-incentive fee net investment income means dividends (including reinvested dividends), interest and fee income accrued by us during the calendar quarter, minus operating expenses for the quarter (including the management fee, expenses payable under the administration agreement, and any interest expense and dividends paid on any issued and outstanding preferred stock, but excluding the incentive fee). Pre-incentive fee net investment income includes, in the case of investments with a deferred interest feature (such as original issue discount, debt instruments with payment-in-kind(“PIK”) interest and zero coupon securities), accrued income that we may not have received in cash. The Adviser is not obligated to return the incentive fee it receives on PIK interest that is later determined to be uncollectible in cash. See “Item 1A. Risk Factors— Risks Related to the Adviser and its Affiliates.” Pre-incentive fee net investment income does not include any realized capital gains, realized capital losses or unrealized capital appreciation or depreciation.

To determine the Income-Based Fee, pre-incentive fee net investment income is expressed as a rate of return on the value of our net assets at the end of the immediately preceding calendar quarter. Because of the structure of the incentive fee, it is possible that we may pay an incentive fee in a calendar quarter in which we incur a loss. For example, if we receive pre-incentive fee net investment income in excess of the quarterly hurdle rate, we will pay the applicable incentive fee even if we have incurred a loss in that calendar quarter due to realized capital losses and unrealized capital depreciation. In addition, because the quarterly hurdle rate is calculated based on our net assets, decreases in our net assets due to realized capital losses or unrealized capital depreciation in any given calendar quarter may increase the likelihood that the hurdle rate is reached and therefore the likelihood of us paying an incentive fee for the subsequent quarter. Our net investment income used to calculate this component of the incentive fee is also included in the amount of our gross assets used to calculate the management fee because gross assets are total assets (including cash received) before deducting liabilities (such as declared dividend payments).

The following is a graphical representation of the calculation of the Income-Based Fee:

Quarterly Income-Based Fee

(expressed as a percentage of the value of net assets)

 

0%

1.75%

2.121 %

 

 

 

← 0% →

← 100% →

← 17.5% →

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second component of the incentive fee, the Capital Gains Fee, payable at the end of each calendar year in arrears, equals 17.50% of cumulative realized capital gains through the end of such calendar year commencing with the calendar year ending December 31, 2019, computed net of all realized capital losses and unrealized capital depreciation on a cumulative basis, in each case calculated from the Effective Date, less the aggregate amount of any previously paid capital gains fee for prior periods. We will accrue, but will not pay, a Capital Gains incentive Fee with respect to unrealized appreciation because a Capital Gains incentive Fee would be owed to the Adviser if we were to sell the relevant investment and realize a capital gain. In no event will the capital gains incentive fee payable pursuant to the Investment Advisory Agreement be in excess of the amount permitted by the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended (the “Advisers Act”) including Section 205 thereof.

The fees that are payable under the Investment Advisory Agreement for any partial period will be appropriately prorated.

Limitations of Liability and Indemnification

Under the Advisory Agreement, the Adviser, its officers, managers, partners, agents, employees, controlling persons, members and any other person or entity affiliated with the Adviser, including without limitation its managing member, will not be liable to us for acts or omissions performed in accordance with and pursuant to the Advisory Agreement, except those resulting from acts constituting criminal conduct, gross negligence, willful misfeasance, bad faith or reckless disregard of the duties that the Adviser owes to us under the Advisory Agreement. In addition, as part of the Advisory Agreement, we have agreed to indemnify the Adviser and each of its officers, managers, partners, agents, employees, controlling persons, members and any other person or entity affiliated with the Adviser, including without limitation its general partner, and the Administrator from and against any damages, liabilities, costs and expenses, including reasonable legal fees and other expenses reasonably incurred, in or by reason of any pending, threatened or completed action, suit, investigation or other proceeding (including an action or suit by or in the right of the Company or its security holders) arising out of or otherwise based upon the performance of any of the Adviser’s duties or obligations under the Advisory Agreement or otherwise as an investment adviser of the Company, except where attributable to criminal conduct, gross negligence, willful misfeasance, bad faith or reckless disregard of such person’s duties under the Advisory Agreement.

9


 

Board Approval of the Advisory Agreement

On December 12, 2018, our then-current Board held an in-person meeting to consider and approve the Advisory Agreement and related matters. The Board was provided the information required to consider the Advisory Agreement, including: (a) the nature, quality and extent of the advisory and other services to be provided to us by the Adviser; (b) comparative data with respect to advisory fees or similar expenses paid by other BDCs with similar investment objectives; (c) our projected operating expenses and expense ratio compared to BDCs with similar investment objectives; (d) any existing and potential sources of indirect income to the Adviser from its relationship with us and the profitability of that relationship; (e) information about the services to be performed and the personnel performing such services under the Advisory Agreement; (f) the organizational capability and financial condition of the Adviser and its affiliates; (g) the Adviser’s practices regarding the selection and compensation of brokers that may execute our portfolio transactions and the brokers’ provision of brokerage and research services to the Adviser; and (h) the possibility of obtaining similar services from other third-party service providers or continuing to operate as an internally managed BDC.

The Board, including a majority of independent directors, will oversee and monitor our investment performance and, beginning with the second anniversary of the effective date of the Advisory Agreement, will annually review the compensation we pay to the Adviser.

Administration Agreement

Under the terms of the Administration Agreement between us and the Administrator, the Administrator will perform, or oversee the performance of, required administrative services, which includes providing office space, equipment and office services, maintaining financial records, preparing reports to stockholders and reports filed with the SEC, and managing the payment of expenses and the performance of administrative and professional services rendered by others. We will reimburse the Administrator for services performed for us pursuant to the terms of the Administration Agreement. In addition, pursuant to the terms of the Administration Agreement, the Administrator may delegate its obligations under the Administration Agreement to an affiliate or to a third party and we will reimburse the Administrator for any services performed for us by such affiliate or third party.

Payments under the Administration Agreement are equal to an amount that reimburses the Administrator for its costs and expenses in performing its obligations and providing personnel and facilities (including rent, office equipment and utilities) for our use under the Administration Agreement, including our allocable portion of the compensation paid to our chief compliance officer and chief financial officer and their respective staff who provide services to us. The Board, including the independent directors, will review the general nature of the services provided by the Administrator as well as the related cost to us for those services and consider whether the cost is reasonable in light of the services provided.

On April 1, 2019, the Board approved the Administration Agreement with the Administrator. Unless earlier terminated as described below, the Administration Agreement will remain in effect until April 1, 2021, a period of two years from the date it first became effective and will remain in effect from year-to-year thereafter if approved annually by a majority of the Board or by the holders of a Majority of the Outstanding Shares, and, in each case, a majority of the independent directors.

We may terminate the Administration Agreement, without payment of any penalty, upon 60 days’ written notice. The decision to terminate the agreement may be made by a majority of the Board or the stockholders holding a Majority of the Outstanding Shares. In addition, the Adviser may terminate the Administration Agreement, without payment of any penalty, upon 60 days’ written notice.

Payment of Our Expenses under Our Advisory and Administration Agreements

Except as specifically provided below, we anticipate that all investment professionals and staffs of the Adviser, when and to the extent engaged in providing investment advisory and management services to us, and the compensation and routine overhead expenses (including rent, office equipment and utilities), of such personnel allocable to such services, will be provided and paid for by the Adviser. We will bear an allocable portion of the compensation paid by the Adviser (or its affiliates) to our chief compliance officer and chief financial officer and their respective staffs (based on a percentage of time such individuals devote, on an estimated basis, to our business affairs). We will also bear all other costs and expenses of our operations, administration and transactions, including, but not limited to (i) investment advisory fees, including management fees and incentive fees, to the Adviser, pursuant to our Advisory Agreement; (ii) an allocable portion of overhead and other expenses incurred by the Adviser (or its affiliates) in performing its administrative obligations under our Advisory Agreement; and (iii) all other expenses of our operations and transactions including, without limitation, those relating to:

 

the cost of calculating our net asset value, including the cost of any third-party valuation services;

 

the cost of effecting any sales and repurchases of our common stock and other securities;

 

fees and expenses payable under any dealer manager or placement agent agreements, if any;

 

administration fees payable under our Administration Agreement and any sub-administration agreements, including related expenses;

 

debt service and other costs of borrowings or other financing arrangements;

10


 

 

costs of hedging;

 

expenses, including travel expense, incurred by the Adviser, or members of the investment team, or payable to third parties, performing due diligence on prospective portfolio companies and, if necessary, enforcing our rights;

 

transfer agent and custodial fees;

 

fees and expenses associated with marketing efforts;

 

federal and state registration fees, any stock exchange listing fees and fees payable to rating agencies;

 

federal, state and local taxes;

 

independent directors’ fees and expenses including certain travel expenses;

 

costs of preparing financial statements and maintaining books and records and filing reports or other documents with the SEC (or other regulatory bodies) and other reporting and compliance costs, including registration and listing fees, and the compensation of professionals responsible for the preparation of the foregoing;

 

the costs of any reports, proxy statements or other notices to stockholders (including printing and mailing costs), the costs of any stockholder or director meetings and the compensation of personnel responsible for the preparation of the foregoing and related matters;

 

commissions and other compensation payable to brokers or dealers;

 

research and market data;

 

fidelity bond, directors and officers errors and omissions liability insurance and other insurance premiums;

 

direct costs and expenses of administration, including printing, mailing, long distance telephone and staff;

 

fees and expenses associated with independent audits, outside legal and consulting costs;

 

costs of winding up our affairs;

 

costs incurred by either the Administrator or us in connection with administering our business, including payments under our Administration Agreement;

 

extraordinary expenses (such as litigation or indemnification); and

 

costs associated with reporting and compliance obligations under the 1940 Act and applicable federal and state securities laws.

Allocation of Investment Opportunities and Potential Conflicts of Interest

Co-Investment Relief

As a BDC, we are subject to certain regulatory restrictions in making investments. For example, BDCs generally are not permitted to co-invest with certain affiliated entities in transactions originated by the BDC or its affiliates in the absence of an exemptive order from the SEC. However, BDCs are permitted to, and may, simultaneously co-invest in transactions where price is the only negotiated term. On October 23, 2018, the SEC issued an exemptive order to an affiliate of the Adviser that permits us to co-invest, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, in certain private placement transactions, with other funds managed by us or our affiliates, including BC Partners Lending Corporation, BCP Special Opportunities Fund I LP, BCP Special Opportunities Fund II LP and any future funds that are advised  by the Adviser or its affiliated investment advisers. Under the terms of the exemptive order, in order for us to participate in a co-investment transaction a “required majority” (as defined in Section 57(o) of the 1940 Act) of our independent directors must conclude that (i) the terms of the proposed transaction, including the consideration to be paid, are reasonable and fair to us and our stockholders and do not involve overreaching with respect to us or our stockholders on the part of any person concerned, and (ii) the proposed transaction is consistent with the interests of our stockholders and is consistent with our investment objectives and strategies and certain criteria established by our Board.

11


 

DETERMINATION OF NET ASSET VALUE

We determine the net asset value per share of our common stock quarterly. The net asset value per share is equal to the value of our total assets minus liabilities and any preferred stock outstanding divided by the total number of shares of common stock outstanding.

Our net asset value per share was $3.40 and $4.23 as of December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018, respectively. Since we report our assets at fair value for each reporting period, net asset value also represents the amount of stockholders’ equity per share for the reporting period. Our net asset value is comprised mostly of investment assets less debt and other liabilities:

 

 

 

December 31, 2019

 

 

December 31, 2018

 

 

 

Fair Value(1)

 

 

per Share(1)

 

 

Fair Value(1)

 

 

per Share(1)

 

Investments at fair value:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Investments in short-term investments(2)

 

$

4,207,107

 

 

$

0.09

 

 

$

44,756,478

 

 

$

1.20

 

Investments in debt securities

 

 

186,802,908

 

 

 

4.17

 

 

 

147,861,744

 

 

 

3.96

 

Investments in CLO Fund Securities

 

 

31,968,202

 

 

 

0.71

 

 

 

44,325,000

 

 

 

1.19

 

Investments in equity securities

 

 

9,864,419

 

 

 

0.22

 

 

 

2,038,020

 

 

 

0.05

 

Investments in Asset Manager Affiliates

 

 

 

 

 

0.00

 

 

 

3,470,000

 

 

 

0.09

 

Investment in Joint Ventures

 

 

45,087,967

 

 

 

1.01

 

 

 

30,857,107

 

 

 

0.83

 

Investment in Derivatives

 

 

(33,437

)

 

 

(0.00

)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash

 

 

136,864

 

 

 

0.00

 

 

 

5,417,125

 

 

 

0.14

 

Restricted Cash(3)

 

 

4,967,491

 

 

 

0.11

 

 

 

3,907,341

 

 

 

0.10

 

All other assets

 

 

27,372,742

 

 

 

0.61

 

 

 

2,831,866

 

 

 

0.08

 

Total Assets

 

$

310,374,263

 

 

$

6.92

 

 

$

285,464,681

 

 

$

7.64

 

6.125% Notes Due 2022 (net of offering costs)

 

$

75,755,253

 

 

$

1.69

 

 

$

75,199,858

 

 

$

2.01

 

Great Lakes KCAP Funding I, LLC (net of offering costs)

 

 

 

 

 

0.00

 

 

 

25,200,331

 

 

 

0.68

 

Great Lakes Portman Ridge Funding LLC (net of offering costs)

 

 

78,108,535

 

 

 

1.74

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Payable for open trades

 

 

 

 

 

0.00

 

 

 

23,204,564

 

 

 

0.62

 

Other liabilities

 

 

4,311,905

 

 

 

0.10

 

 

 

3,838,917

 

 

 

0.10

 

Total Liabilities

 

 

158,175,693

 

 

 

3.53

 

 

 

127,443,670

 

 

 

3.41

 

NET ASSET VALUE

 

$

152,198,570

 

 

$

3.40

 

 

$

158,021,011

 

 

$

4.23

 

 

(1)

Our balance sheet at fair value and resultant net asset value are calculated on a basis consistent with GAAP. Our per share presentation of such amounts (other than net asset value per share) is an internally derived non-GAAP performance measure calculated by dividing the applicable balance sheet amount by outstanding shares. We believe that the per share amounts for such balance sheet items are helpful in analyzing our balance sheet both quantitatively and qualitatively.

(2)

Includes money market accounts and U.S. Treasury Bills.

(3)

Consists of cash held for interest and principal payments on our borrowings.

Valuation

As a BDC, we invest primarily in illiquid securities, including loans to and equity of private companies and interests in other illiquid securities, such as interests in CLO Fund Securities, joint ventures, derivatives, partnerships and distressed debt securities. These portfolio investments may be subject to restrictions on resale and will generally have no established trading market. As a result, our Board determines in good faith the fair value of our portfolio investments pursuant to a valuation policy developed in accordance with the Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Standards Codification 820, Fair Value Measurements and Disclosures (“ASC 820: Fair Value”), and a valuation process approved by our Board and in accordance with the 1940 Act. Our valuation policy is intended to provide a consistent basis for determining the fair value of the portfolio. Our Board is ultimately and solely responsible for making a good faith determination of the fair value of portfolio investments on a quarterly basis. We use an independent valuation firm to provide third party valuation consulting services to us and the Board of Directors. For additional information concerning valuation, see “Item 7: Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Valuation of Portfolio Investments”; and Notes 2 and 4 to the financial statements.

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Competition

Our primary competitors also provide financing to prospective portfolio companies. These include commercial investment banks, specialty finance companies, hedge funds, structured investment funds, and other BDCs. Our competitors may have a lower cost of funds, and many have access to funding sources that are not available to us. Many of these entities have greater managerial resources than we have, and the 1940 Act imposes certain regulatory restrictions on us as a BDC to which many of our competitors are not subject. For additional information concerning the competitive risks we face, see “Item 1A. Risk Factors — Risks Related to Our Business and Structure — We operate in a highly competitive market for investment opportunities.”

Employees

Since the Externalization, we have not had any employees and do not expect to have any employees.

REGULATION

The following discussion is a general summary of some of the material prohibitions and restrictions governing BDCs generally. It does not purport to be a complete description of all the laws and regulations affecting BDCs.

A BDC is a unique kind of investment company that primarily focuses on investing in or lending to private or relatively small publicly traded companies and making managerial assistance available to them. The 1940 Act contains prohibitions and restrictions relating to transactions between BDCs and their directors and officers and certain other related persons and requires that a majority of the directors be persons other than “interested persons,” as that term is defined in the 1940 Act. We have implemented certain procedures to ensure that we do not engage in any prohibited transactions with any persons affiliated with us.

In addition, the 1940 Act provides that we may not change the nature of our business so as to cease to be, or to withdraw our election as, a BDC unless approved by a majority of our outstanding voting securities. A majority of the outstanding voting securities of a company is defined under the 1940 Act as the lesser of (i) 67% or more of such company’s shares present at a meeting or represented by proxy if more than 50% of the outstanding shares of such company are present or represented by proxy or (ii) more than 50% of the outstanding shares of such company.

Qualifying Assets

Under the 1940 Act, a BDC may not acquire any asset other than assets of the type listed in Section 55(a) of the 1940 Act, or “Qualifying Assets,” unless, at the time the acquisition is made, Qualifying Assets represent at least 70% of the company’s total assets. The principal categories of Qualifying Assets relevant to our business are the following:

 

Securities of an “eligible portfolio company” purchased in transactions not involving any public offering. An “eligible portfolio company” is defined in the 1940 Act as any issuer which:

 

(a)

is organized under the laws of, and has its principal place of business in, the United States;

 

(b)

is not an investment company (other than a small business investment company wholly-owned by the BDC) or a company that would be an investment company but for certain exclusions under the 1940 Act; and

 

(c)

satisfies any of the following:

 

(i)

does not have any class of securities listed on a national securities exchange (or, if it has a class of securities listed on a national securities exchange, has an aggregate market value of outstanding voting and non-voting common equity of less than $250 million);

 

(ii)

is controlled by a BDC or a group of companies including a BDC and the BDC has an affiliated person who is a director of the eligible portfolio company;

 

(iii)

is a small and solvent company having total assets of not more than $4 million and capital and surplus of not less than $2 million; or

 

(iv)

does not have outstanding any class of securities with respect to which a broker or dealer may extend margin credit.

 

Securities of any eligible portfolio company that we control;

 

Securities purchased in a private transaction from a U.S. issuer that is not an investment company and is in bankruptcy and subject to reorganization;

 

Securities received in exchange for or distributed on or with respect to securities described above, or pursuant to the conversion of warrants or rights relating to such securities; and

 

Cash, cash equivalents, U.S. government securities or high-quality debt securities maturing in one year or less from the time of investment.

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Significant Managerial Assistance

A BDC must be organized and have its principal place of business in the United States and must be operated for the purpose of making investments in the types of securities described above. In addition, BDCs must generally offer to make available to such issuer of the securities (other than small and solvent companies described above) significant managerial assistance; except that, where we purchase such securities in conjunction with one or more other persons acting together, one of the other persons is the group may make available such managerial assistance. Making available significant managerial assistance means, among other things, any arrangement whereby the BDC, through its directors, officers or employees, offers to provide, and, if accepted, does so provide, guidance and counsel concerning the management, operations or business objectives and policies of a portfolio company through monitoring of portfolio company operations, selective participation in board and management meetings, consulting with and advising a portfolio company’s officers or other organizational or financial guidance.

Temporary Investments

Pending investment in other types of “Qualifying Assets,” as described above, our investments may consist of cash, cash equivalents, U.S. government securities or high quality debt securities maturing in one year or less from the time of investment, which we refer to, collectively, as temporary investments, so that at least 70% of our assets are “Qualifying Assets.” Typically, we invest in U.S. treasury bills or in repurchase agreements, provided that such agreements are fully collateralized by cash or securities issued by the U.S. government or its agencies. A repurchase agreement involves the purchase by an investor, such as us, of a specified security and the simultaneous agreement by the seller to repurchase it at an agreed upon future date and at a price which is greater than the purchase price by an amount that reflects an agreed-upon interest rate. There is no percentage restriction on the proportion of our assets that may be invested in such repurchase agreements. However, if more than 25% of our total assets constitute repurchase agreements that are treated, under applicable tax rules, as being issued by a single counterparty, we would not meet the diversification tests imposed on us by the Internal Revenue Code to qualify for tax treatment as a RIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Thus, we do not intend to enter into repurchase agreements treated as issued, under applicable tax rules, by a single counterparty in excess of this limit. We monitor the creditworthiness of the counterparties with which we enter into repurchase agreement transactions.

 

Indebtedness; Coverage Ratio

We are permitted, under specified conditions, to issue multiple classes of indebtedness and one class of stock senior to our common stock if our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, is at least equal to 200% (or 150% effective as of March 29, 2019) immediately after each such issuance. In addition, with respect to certain types of senior securities, we must make provisions to prohibit any dividend distribution to our stockholders or the repurchase of certain of our securities, unless we meet the applicable asset coverage ratios at the time of the dividend distribution or repurchase. On March 29, 2018, our Board, including a “required majority” (as such term is defined in Section 57(o) of the 1940 Act) of the Board, approved the modified asset coverage requirements set forth in Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act, as amended by the SBCA. As a result, our asset coverage requirement for senior securities was changed from 200% to 150%, effective as of March 29, 2019. However, despite the SBCA, we continue to be prohibited by the indenture governing our 6.125% Notes due 2022 from making distributions on our common stock if our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, falls below 200%. We may also borrow amounts up to 5% of the value of our total assets for temporary purposes. For a discussion of the risks associated with the resulting leverage, see “Item 1A. Risk Factors — Risks Related to Our Business and Structure — We borrow money, which magnifies the potential for gain or loss on amounts invested and may increase the risk of investing in us.”

Common Stock

We are not generally able to issue and sell our common stock at a price below net asset value per share. We may, however, sell our common stock, at a price below the current net asset value of the common stock if our Board determines that such sale is in our best interests and that of our stockholders, and our stockholders approve such sale. In any such case, the price at which our common stock is to be issued and sold may not be less than a price which, in the determination of our Board, closely approximates the market value of such common stock (less any distributing commission or discount). We may also make rights offerings to our stockholders at prices per share less than the net asset value per share, subject to applicable requirements of the 1940 Act. See “Item 1A. Risk Factors — Risks Relating to Our Business and Structure — Regulations governing our operation as a BDC affect our ability to, and the way in which we, raise additional capital.”

Code of Ethics

We adopted and maintain a code of ethics pursuant to Rule 17j-1 under the 1940 Act that establishes procedures for personal investments and restricts certain personal securities transactions. Personnel subject to the code may invest in securities for their personal investment accounts, including securities that may be purchased or held by us, so long as such investments are made in accordance with the code’s requirements. A copy of the code of ethics is available on the Corporate Governance section of the Company’s website at http://www.portmanridge.com. Our code of ethics is available on the EDGAR Database on the SEC’s Internet site at http://www.sec.gov. Copies may be obtained by electronic request to publicinfo@sec.gov

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Privacy Principles

We are committed to maintaining the privacy of our stockholders and safeguarding their non-public personal information. The following information is provided to help you understand what personal information we collect, how we protect that information and why, in certain cases, we may share information with select other parties.

Generally, we do not receive any non-public personal information relating to our stockholders, although some non-public personal information of our stockholders may become available to us. We do not disclose any non-public personal information about our stockholders or former stockholders to anyone, except as is necessary to service stockholder accounts, such as to a transfer agent, or as otherwise permitted by law.

We restrict access to non-public personal information about our stockholders to our employees with a legitimate business need for the information. We maintain safeguards designed to protect the non-public personal information of our stockholders.

Proxy Voting Policy and Procedures

Although the securities we hold are not typically voting securities, some of our investments could entitle us to voting rights. If this were to occur the Adviser would vote its portfolio securities in the best interest of our stockholders and the Adviser would review on a case-by-case basis each proposal submitted to a stockholder vote to determine its impact on the portfolio securities held by us. Although the Adviser would generally vote against proposals that it believes may have a negative impact on our portfolio securities, the Adviser may vote for such a proposal if it were to believe there exists a compelling long-term reason to do so.

Our voting decisions would be made by the Adviser, subject to authority assigned under our Advisory Agreement. To ensure that the Adviser’s vote would not be the product of a conflict of interest, we would require that (1) anyone involved in the decision making process disclose to our Board any potential conflict that he or she is aware of and any contact that he or she has had with any interested party regarding a vote; and (2) employees involved in the decision making process or vote administration are prohibited from revealing how we intend to vote on a proposal to reduce any attempted influence from interested parties.

 

Exclusion from CFTC Regulation

Rule 4.5 of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) permits investment advisers to BDCs to claim an exclusion from the definition of “commodity pool operator” under the Commodities Exchange Act (the “CEA”) with respect to a fund, provided certain requirements are met. In order to permit our Adviser to claim this exclusion with respect to us, we must limit our transactions in certain futures, options on futures and swaps deemed “commodity interests” under CFTC rules (excluding transactions entered into for “bona fide hedging purposes,” as defined under CFTC regulations) such that either: (i) the aggregate initial margin and premiums required to establish such futures, options on futures and swaps do not exceed 5% of the liquidation value of our portfolio, after taking into account unrealized profits and losses on such positions; or (ii) the aggregate net notional value of such futures, options on futures and swaps does not exceed 100% of the liquidation value of our portfolio, after taking into account unrealized profits and losses on such positions. In addition to meeting one of the foregoing trading limitations, we may not market our self as a commodity pool or otherwise as a vehicle for trading in the futures, options or swaps markets. Accordingly, we are not subject to regulation under the CEA or otherwise regulated by the CFTC. If the Adviser was unable to claim the exclusion with respect to us, the Adviser would become subject to registration and regulation as a commodity pool operator, which would subject the Adviser and us to additional registration and regulatory requirements and increased operating expenses.

Other

We are subject to examination by the SEC for compliance with the 1940 Act.

We are required to provide and maintain a bond issued by a reputable fidelity insurance company to protect us against larceny and embezzlement. Furthermore, as a BDC, we are prohibited from indemnifying any director or officer against any liability to our stockholders arising from willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of such person’s office.

We are required to adopt and implement written policies and procedures reasonably designed to prevent violation of the federal securities laws and to review these policies and procedures annually for their adequacy and the effectiveness of their implementation. We have a designated Chief Compliance Officer who is responsible for administering these policies and procedures.

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TAXATION AS A REGULATED INVESTMENT COMPANY

We have elected to be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), and intend to operate in a manner to maintain our RIC tax treatment. As a RIC, we generally will not have to pay corporate-level U.S. federal income taxes on any ordinary income or capital gains that we timely distribute to our stockholders as dividends. To qualify for tax treatment as a RIC, we must, among other things, meet certain source-of-income and asset diversification requirements (as described below). In addition, we must distribute to our stockholders, for each taxable year, at least 90% of our “investment company taxable income,” which is generally our net ordinary taxable income plus the excess of our realized net short-term capital gains over our realized net long-term capital losses (the “Annual Distribution Requirement”).

Taxation as a RIC

For any taxable year in which we qualify as a RIC and satisfy the Annual Distribution Requirement, we generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on the portion of our investment company taxable income and net capital gain, defined as net long-term capital gains in excess of net short-term capital losses, we distribute to stockholders. We will be subject to U.S. federal income tax at the regular corporate rates on any investment company taxable income or net capital gain not distributed (or deemed distributed) to our stockholders.

We will be subject to a 4% nondeductible U.S. federal excise tax on our undistributed income unless we distribute in a timely manner for each calendar year an amount at least equal to the sum of (a) 98% of our net ordinary income for that calendar year, (b) 98.2% of our capital gain net income for the one-year period ending October 31 in that calendar year and (c) any income or gains realized, but not distributed, in the preceding year and on which we paid no U.S. federal income tax (the “Excise Tax Avoidance Requirement”). For this purpose, however, any net ordinary income or capital gain net income retained by us that is subject to corporate-level U.S. federal income tax for the tax year ending in that calendar year will be considered to have been distributed by year end (or earlier if estimated taxes are paid). Although we generally endeavor to make sufficient distributions each taxable year to satisfy the Excise Tax Avoidance Requirement, we may incur a U.S. federal excise tax.

To qualify as a RIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes, we must, among other things:

 

have an election in effect to be treated as a business development company under the 1940 Act at all times during each taxable year;

 

derive in each taxable year at least 90% of our gross income from dividends, interest, payments with respect to certain securities loans, gains from the sale of stock or other securities or foreign currencies, or other income derived with respect to our business of investing in such stock, securities or currencies, and net income derived from interests in “qualified publicly traded partnerships” (which generally are partnerships that are traded on an established securities market or readily tradable on a secondary market (or the substantial equivalent thereof), other than partnerships that derive 90% of their income from interest, dividends and other permitted RIC income) (the “90% Income Test”); and

 

diversify our holdings so that at the end of each quarter of the taxable year:

 

°

at least 50% of the value of our assets consists of cash, cash equivalents, U.S. government securities, securities of other RICs, and other securities if such other securities of any one issuer do not represent more than 5% of the value of our assets or more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of the issuer; and

 

°

no more than 25% of the value of our assets is invested in the securities, other than U.S. government securities or securities of other RICs, of one issuer or of two or more issuers that are controlled, as determined under applicable tax rules, by us and that are engaged in the same or similar or related trades or businesses or in the securities of one or more qualified publicly traded partnerships (the “Diversification Tests”).

If we do not satisfy the requirements of the Diversification Tests as of the end of any quarter, we will not lose our status as a RIC provided that (i) we satisfied the requirements in a prior quarter and (ii) our failure to satisfy the requirements in the current quarter is not due in whole or in part to an acquisition of any security or other property.

We may invest in partnerships, including qualified publicly traded partnerships, which may result in our being subject to state, local or foreign income, franchise or withholding liabilities.

We may be required to recognize taxable income in circumstances in which we do not receive cash. For example, if we hold debt obligations that are treated under applicable tax rules as having original issue discount (such as debt instruments with payment-in-kind (“PIK”) interest or, in certain cases, with increasing interest rates or issued with warrants), we must include in income each year a portion of the original issue discount that accrues over the life of the obligation, regardless of whether cash representing such income is received by us in the same taxable year. Because any original issue discount accrued will be included in our investment company taxable income for the year of accrual, we may be required to make a distribution to our stockholders in order to satisfy the Annual Distribution Requirement, even though we will not have received any corresponding cash amount. If we are not able to obtain sufficient cash from other sources to satisfy the Annual Distribution Requirement, we may fail to qualify as a RIC and become subject to corporate-level U.S. federal income taxes on all of our taxable income without the benefit of the dividends-paid deduction.

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Although we do not presently expect to do so, we are authorized to borrow funds and to sell assets in order (i) to satisfy the Annual Distribution Requirement and to otherwise eliminate our liability for U.S. federal income and excise taxes and (ii) to satisfy the Diversification Tests. However, under the 1940 Act, we are not permitted to borrow additional funds or to make distributions to our stockholders while our debt obligations and other senior securities are outstanding unless a certain “asset coverage” test is met. See “Regulation — Indebtedness; Coverage Ratio.” Moreover, our ability to dispose of assets to meet the Annual Distribution Requirement, the Excise Tax Avoidance Requirement or the Diversification Tests may be limited by (a) the illiquid nature of our portfolio and/or (b) other requirements relating to our qualification as a RIC. If we dispose of assets in order to meet the Annual Distribution Requirement, the Excise Tax Avoidance Requirement, or the Diversification Tests, we may make such dispositions at times that, from an investment standpoint, are not advantageous.

Certain of our investment practices may be subject to special and complex U.S. federal income tax provisions that may, among other things, (a) treat dividends that would otherwise constitute qualified dividend income as non-qualified dividend income, (b) treat dividends that would otherwise be eligible for the corporate dividends received deduction as ineligible for such treatment, (c) disallow, suspend or otherwise limit the allowance of certain losses or deductions, (d) convert lower-taxed long-term capital gain into higher-taxed short-term capital gain or ordinary income, (e) convert an ordinary loss or a deduction into a capital loss (the deductibility of which is more limited), (f) cause us to recognize income or gain without a corresponding receipt of cash, (g) adversely affect the time as to when a purchase or sale of stock or securities is deemed to occur, (h) adversely alter the characterization of certain complex financial transactions and (i) produce income that will not be qualifying income for purposes of the 90% Income Test. We intend to monitor our transactions and may make certain tax elections to mitigate the effect of these provisions and prevent our disqualification as a RIC.

Gain or loss realized by us from warrants acquired by us as well as any loss attributable to the lapse of such warrants generally will be treated as capital gain or loss. Such capital gain or loss generally will be long- term or short-term, depending on how long we held a particular warrant.

Some of the income and fees that we may recognize will not be qualifying income for purposes of the 90% Income Test. In order to ensure that such income and fees do not disqualify us as a RIC for a failure to satisfy the 90% Income Test, we may hold assets that generate such income and provide services that generate such fees indirectly through one or more entities treated as corporations for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Such corporations will be required to pay corporate-level U.S. federal income taxes on their earnings, which ultimately will reduce our return on such income and fees.

Failure to Qualify as a RIC

If we were unable to qualify for treatment as a RIC, we would be subject to tax on all of our taxable income at regular corporate rates, regardless of whether we make any distributions to our stockholders. Distributions would not be required, and any distributions made out of our current or accumulated earnings and profits would be taxable to our stockholders as ordinary dividend income that, subject to certain limitations, may be eligible for the 20.0% maximum rate if paid to non-corporate stockholders. Subject to certain limitations under the Code, corporate distributees would be eligible for the dividends-received deduction. Distributions in excess of our current and accumulated earnings and profits would be treated first as a return of capital to the extent of the stockholder’s tax basis in our stock, and any remaining distributions would be treated as a capital gain provided the stockholder holds our stock as a capital asset. If we fail to qualify as a RIC for a period greater than two taxable years, to qualify as a RIC in a subsequent year we may be subject to regular corporate tax on any net built-in gains with respect to certain of our assets (i.e., the excess of the aggregate gains, including items of income, over aggregate losses that would have been realized with respect to such assets if we had been liquidated) that we elect to recognize on requalification or when recognized over the next five years.

DIVIDEND REINVESTMENT PLAN

We have adopted a dividend reinvestment plan that provides for reinvestment of our distributions on behalf of our stockholders, unless a stockholder elects to receive cash as provided below. As a result, if our Board authorizes, and we declare, a cash distribution, then our stockholders who have not “opted out” of our dividend reinvestment plan will have their cash distributions automatically reinvested in additional shares of our common stock, rather than receiving the cash.

No action is required on the part of a registered stockholder to have such shareholder’s cash distribution reinvested in shares of our common stock. A registered stockholder may elect to receive an entire distribution in cash by notifying American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, the plan administrator and our transfer agent and registrar, in writing so that such notice is received by the plan administrator no later than the record date for distributions to stockholders. The plan administrator will set up an account for shares acquired through the plan for each stockholder who has not elected to receive distributions in cash and hold such shares in non-certificated form. Upon request by a stockholder participating in the plan, received in writing not less than ten days prior to the record date, the plan administrator will, instead of crediting shares to the participant’s account, issue a certificate registered in the participant’s name for the number of whole shares of our common stock and a check for any fractional share.

Those stockholders whose shares are held by a broker or other financial intermediary may receive distributions in cash by notifying their broker or other financial intermediary of their election.

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We intend to use primarily newly issued shares to implement the plan, whether our shares are trading at a premium or at a discount to net asset value. However, we reserve the right to purchase shares in the open market in connection with our implementation of the plan. The number of shares to be issued to a stockholder is determined by dividing the total dollar amount of the dividend payable to such stockholder by the market price per share of our common stock at the close of regular trading on The NASDAQ Global Select Market on the dividend payment date. Market price per share on that date will be the closing price for such shares on The NASDAQ Global Select Market or, if no sale is reported for such day, at the average of their reported bid and asked prices. Shares purchased in open market transactions by the plan administrator of the dividend reinvestment plan will be allocated to a stockholder based upon the average purchase price, excluding any brokerage charges or other charges, of all shares of common stock purchased with respect to the distribution.

There are no brokerage charges or other charges to stockholders who participate in the plan. The plan administrator’s fees under the plan are paid by us. If a participant elects by written notice to the plan administrator to have the plan administrator sell part or all of the shares held by the plan administrator in the participant’s account and remit the proceeds to the participant, the plan administrator is authorized to deduct a $15.00 transaction fee plus a $0.10 per share brokerage commission from the proceeds.

If your distributions are reinvested, you will be required to pay tax on the distributions in the same manner as if the distributions were received in cash. The taxation of distributions will not be affected by the form in which you receive them.

Participants may terminate their accounts under the plan by notifying the plan administrator via its website at www.amstock.com, by filling out the transaction request form located at bottom of their statement and sending it to the plan administrator at the address set forth below or by calling the plan administrator at 1-866-668-8564.

The plan may be terminated by us upon notice in writing mailed to each participant at least 30 days prior to any record date for the payment of any dividend by us. All correspondence concerning the plan should be directed to, and additional information about the plan may be obtained from, the plan administrator by mail at American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, Attn. Dividend Reinvestment Department, P.O. Box 922, Wall Street Station, New York, NY 10269-0560 or by telephone at 1-866-668-8564.

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

Investing in our securities involves a high degree of risk. In addition to the other information contained in this annual report on Form 10-K, the following information should be carefully considered before making an investment in our securities. The risks set out below are not the only risks we face. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or not presently deemed material by us might also impair our operations and performance. If any of the following events occur, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected. In such case, our net asset value and the trading price of our securities could decline, and you may lose part or all of your investment.

Risks Related to Economic Conditions

Economic recessions or downturns may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations, and could impair the ability of our portfolio companies to repay loans.

Economic recessions or downturns may result in a prolonged period of market illiquidity which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Unfavorable economic conditions also could increase our funding costs, limit our access to the capital markets or result in a decision by lenders not to extend credit to us. These events could limit our investment originations, limit our ability to grow and negatively impact our operating results.

In the event of economic recessions and downturns, the financial results of middle-market companies, like those in which we invest, will likely experience deterioration, which could ultimately lead to difficulty in meeting debt service requirements and an increase in defaults. Additionally, the end markets for certain of our portfolio companies’ products and services would likely experience negative financial trends. The performances of certain of our portfolio companies have been, and may continue to be, negatively impacted by these economic or other conditions, which may ultimately result in our receipt of a reduced level of interest income from our portfolio companies and/or losses or charge offs related to our investments, and, in turn, may adversely affect distributable income. Further, adverse economic conditions may decrease the value of collateral securing some of our loans and the value of our equity investments. As a result, we may need to modify the payment terms of our investments, including changes in payment-in-kind interest provisions and/or cash interest rates. These factors may result in our receipt of a reduced level of interest income from our portfolio companies and/or losses or charge offs related to our investments, and, in turn, may adversely affect distributable income and have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.

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Capital markets may experience periods of disruption and instability and we cannot predict when these conditions will occur. Such market conditions could materially and adversely affect debt and equity capital markets in the United States and abroad, which could have a negative impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

From time-to-time, capital markets may experience periods of disruption and instability. For example, from 2008 to 2009, the global capital markets were unstable as evidenced by the lack of liquidity in the debt capital markets, significant write-offs in the financial services sector, the re-pricing of credit risk in the broadly syndicated credit market and the failure of major financial institutions. Despite actions of the U.S. federal government and various foreign governments, these events contributed to worsening general economic conditions that materially and adversely impacted the broader financial and credit markets and reduced the availability of debt and equity capital for the market as a whole and financial services firms in particular. There have been more recent periods of volatility and there can be no assurance that adverse market conditions will not repeat themselves in the future. If similar adverse and volatile market conditions repeat in the future, we and other companies in the financial services sector may have to access, if available, alternative markets for debt and equity capital in order to grow.

Moreover, the re-appearance of market conditions similar to those experienced from 2008 through 2009 for any substantial length of time or worsened market conditions, including as a result of U.S. government shutdowns or the perceived creditworthiness of the United States, could make it difficult for us to borrow money or to extend the maturity of or refinance any indebtedness we may have under similar terms and any failure to do so could have a material adverse effect on our business. Unfavorable economic and political conditions, including future recessions, political instability, geopolitical turmoil and foreign hostilities, and disease, pandemics and other serious health events, also could increase our funding costs, limit our access to the capital markets or result in a decision by lenders not to extend credit to us.

Recently, the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, in many countries continues to adversely impact global commercial activity, particularly in China, and has contributed to significant volatility in financial markets. The global impact of the outbreak has been rapidly evolving, and as cases of the virus have continued to be identified in additional countries, many countries have reacted by instituting quarantines and restrictions on travel. Such actions are creating disruption in global supply chains, and adversely impacting a number of industries, such as transportation, hospitality and entertainment. The outbreak could have a continued adverse impact on economic and market conditions and trigger a period of global economic slowdown. The rapid development and fluidity of this situation precludes any prediction as to the ultimate adverse impact of the novel coronavirus. Nevertheless, the novel coronavirus presents material uncertainty and risk with respect to our and our portfolio companies performance and financial results.

We may in the future have difficulty accessing debt and equity capital on attractive terms, or at all, and a severe disruption and instability in the global financial markets or deteriorations in credit and financing conditions may cause us to reduce the volume of loans we originate and/or fund, adversely affect the value of our portfolio investments or otherwise have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

The United Kingdom referendum decision to leave the European Union may create significant risks and uncertainty for global markets and our investments.

On January 31, 2020, the United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union (“Brexit”), with a transition period lasting until December 31, 2020.  During the transition period, existing arrangements between the United Kingdom and the European Union will remain in place while the United Kingdom and the European Union seek to negotiate a free trade agreement that will govern the trading relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union following the transition period. The longer term economic, legal, political and social framework to be put in place between the United Kingdom and the European Union remains unclear and may to lead to ongoing political and economic uncertainty and periods of exacerbated volatility in both the United Kingdom and in wider European markets for some time. The United Kingdom and Europe may also experience weakening in consumer, corporate and financial confidence. In particular, the decision made in the United Kingdom referendum may lead to a call for similar referenda in other European jurisdictions which may cause increased economic volatility and uncertainty in the European and global markets. This volatility and uncertainty may have an adverse effect on the economy generally and on the ability of us and our portfolio companies to execute our respective strategies and to receive attractive returns.

Terrorist attacks, acts of war or natural disasters may affect any market for our common stock, impact the businesses in which we invest and harm our business, operating results and financial condition.

Terrorist attacks, acts of war or natural disasters may disrupt our operations, as well as the operations of the businesses in which we invest. Such acts have created, and continue to create, economic and political uncertainties and have contributed to global economic instability. Further terrorist activities, military or security operations, or natural disasters could further weaken the domestic/global economies and create additional uncertainties, which may negatively impact the businesses in which we invest directly or indirectly and, in turn, could have a material adverse impact on our business, operating results and financial condition. Losses from terrorist attacks and natural disasters are generally uninsurable.

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Risks Related to Our Business and Structure

Ineffective internal controls could impact our business and operating results.

Our internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements because of its inherent limitations, including the possibility of human error, the circumvention or overriding of controls, or fraud. Even effective internal controls can provide only reasonable assurance with respect to the preparation and fair presentation of financial statements. If we fail to maintain the adequacy of our internal controls, including any failure to implement required new or improved controls, or if we experience difficulties in their implementation, our business and operating results could be harmed and we could fail to meet our financial reporting obligations.

The Adviser has limited prior experience managing a BDC or a RIC.

The Adviser has limited experience managing a BDC or a RIC and may not be able to successfully operate our business or achieve our investment objective. As a result, an investment in our common stock may entail more risk than the shares of common stock of a comparable company with a substantial operating history.

The 1940 Act and the Code impose numerous constraints on the operations of BDCs and RICs that do not apply to the other types of investment vehicles previously managed by the Adviser’s management team. For example, under the 1940 Act, BDCs are required to invest at least 70% of their total assets primarily in securities of qualifying U.S. private or thinly-traded public companies. Moreover, qualification for RIC tax treatment under Subchapter M of the Code requires, among other things, satisfaction of source-of-income, asset diversification and other requirements. The failure to comply with these provisions in a timely manner could prevent us from qualifying as a BDC or RIC or could force us to pay unexpected taxes and penalties, which could be material. The Adviser’s limited experience in managing a portfolio of assets under such constraints may hinder its ability to take advantage of attractive investment opportunities and, as a result, achieve our investment objective.

The Adviser and its affiliates, including our officers and some of our directors, face conflicts of interest caused by compensation arrangements with us and our affiliates, which could result in actions that are not in the best interests of our stockholders.

The Adviser and its affiliates will receive substantial fees from us in return for their services, including certain incentive fees based on the performance of our investments. These fees could influence the advice provided to us. Generally, the more equity we sell in private offerings and the greater the risk assumed by us with respect to our investments, the greater the potential for growth in our assets and profits, and, correlatively, the fees payable by us to the Adviser. These compensation arrangements could affect the Adviser or its affiliates’ judgment with respect to private offerings of equity and investments made by us, which allows the Adviser to earn increased asset management fees.

We may be obligated to pay the Adviser incentive compensation even if it incurs a net loss due to a decline in the value of our portfolio.

Our Advisory Agreement entitles the Adviser to receive incentive compensation on income regardless of any capital losses. In such case, we may be required to pay the Adviser incentive compensation for a fiscal quarter even if there is a decline in the value of our portfolio or if we incur a net loss for that quarter.

Any incentive fee payable by us that relates to our net investment income may be computed and paid on income that may include interest that has been accrued, but not yet received, including original issue discount, which may arise if we receive fees in connection with the origination of a loan or possibly in other circumstances, or contractual PIK interest, which represents contractual interest added to the loan balance and due at the end of the loan term. To the extent we do not distribute accrued PIK interest, the deferral of PIK interest has the simultaneous effects of increasing the assets under management and increasing the base management fee at a compounding rate, while generating investment income and increasing the incentive fee at a compounding rate. In addition, the deferral of PIK interest would also increase the loan-to-value ratio at a compounding rate if the issuer’s assets do not increase in value, and investments with a deferred interest feature, such as PIK interest, may represent a higher credit risk than loans on which interest must be paid in full in cash on a regular basis.

For example, if a portfolio company defaults on a loan that is structured to provide accrued interest, it is possible that accrued interest previously included in the calculation of the incentive fee will become uncollectible. The Adviser is not under any obligation to reimburse us for any part of the incentive fee it received that was based on accrued income that we never received as a result of a default by an entity on the obligation that resulted in the accrual of such income, and such circumstances would result in us paying an incentive fee on income that we never received.

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There may be conflicts of interest related to obligations that the Adviser’s senior management and investment team has to other clients.

The members of the senior management and investment team of the Adviser serve or may serve as officers, directors or principals of entities that operate in the same or a related line of business as us, or of investment funds managed by the same personnel. In serving in these multiple capacities, they may have obligations to other clients or investors in those entities, the fulfillment of which may not be in our best interests or in the best interest of our stockholders. Our investment objective may overlap with the investment objectives of such investment funds, accounts or other investment vehicles. In particular, we rely on the Adviser to manage our day-to-day activities and to implement our investment strategy. The Adviser and certain of its affiliates are presently, and plan in the future to continue to be, involved with activities that are unrelated to us. As a result of these activities, the Adviser, its officers and employees and certain of its affiliates will have conflicts of interest in allocating their time between us and other activities in which they are or may become involved, including the management of its affiliated funds. The Adviser and its officers and employees will devote only as much of its or their time to our business as the Adviser and its officers and employees, in their judgment, determine is reasonably required, which may be substantially less than their full time.

We rely, in part, on the Adviser to assist with identifying and executing upon investment opportunities and on our Board to review and approve the terms of our participation in co-investment transactions with the Adviser and its affiliates. The Adviser and its affiliates are not restricted from forming additional investment funds, entering into other investment advisory relationships or engaging in other business activities. These activities could be viewed as creating a conflict of interest in that the time and effort of the members of the Adviser, its affiliates and their officers and employees will not be devoted exclusively to our business, but will be allocated between us and such other business activities of the Adviser and its affiliates in a manner that the Adviser deems necessary and appropriate.

An affiliate of the Adviser manages BC Partners Lending Corporation, which is a BDC that will invest primarily in debt and equity of privately-held middle-market companies, similar to our targets for investment. Therefore, there may be certain investment opportunities that satisfy the investment criteria for BC Partners and us. BC Partners operates as a distinct and separate company and any investment in our common stock will not be an investment in BC Partners. In addition, certain of our executive officers serve in substantially similar capacities for BC Partners and three of our independent directors serve as independent directors of BC Partners Lending Corporation.

The time and resources that individuals employed by the Adviser devote to us may be diverted and we may face additional competition due to the fact that individuals employed by the Adviser are not prohibited from raising money for or managing other entities that make the same types of investments that we target.

Neither the Adviser nor individuals employed by the Adviser are generally prohibited from raising capital for and managing other investment entities that make the same types of investments that we target. As a result, the time and resources that these individuals may devote to us may be diverted. In addition, we may compete with any such investment entity for the same investors and investment opportunities. On October 23, 2018, the SEC issued an order granting an application for exemptive relief to an affiliate of the Adviser that allows BDCs managed by the Adviser, including us, to co-invest, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, in certain private placement transactions, with other funds managed by the Adviser or its affiliates, including BCP Special Opportunities Fund I LP and BCP Special Opportunities Fund II LP and any future funds that are advised by the Adviser t or its affiliated investment advisers. Affiliates of the Adviser, whose primary business includes the origination of investments, engage in investment advisory business with accounts that compete with us.

Our base management and incentive fees may induce the Adviser to make speculative investments or to incur leverage.

The incentive fee payable by us to the Adviser may create an incentive for the Adviser to make investments on our behalf that are risky or more speculative than would be the case in the absence of such compensation arrangement. The way in which the incentive fee payable to the Adviser is determined may encourage the Adviser to use leverage to increase the leveraged return on our investment portfolio. The part of the management and incentive fees payable to the Adviser that relates to our net investment income is computed and paid on income that may include interest income that has been accrued but not yet received in cash, such as market discount, debt instruments with PIK interest, preferred stock with PIK dividends and zero coupon securities. This fee structure may be considered to involve a conflict of interest for the Adviser to the extent that it may encourage the Adviser to favor debt financings that provide for deferred interest, rather than current cash payments of interest.

In addition, the fact that our base management fee is payable based upon our gross assets, which would include any borrowings for investment purposes, may encourage the Adviser to use leverage to make additional investments. Under certain circumstances, the use of leverage may increase the likelihood of defaulting on our borrowings, which would disfavor holders of our common stock. Such a practice could result in us investing in more speculative securities than would otherwise be in our best interests, which could result in higher investment losses, particularly during cyclical economic downturns.

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The Adviser relies on key personnel, the loss of any of whom could impair its ability to successfully manage us.

Our future success depends, to a significant extent, on the continued services of the officers and employees of the Adviser or its affiliates. Our Adviser’s capabilities in structuring the investment process, providing competent, attentive and efficient services to us, and facilitating access to financing on acceptable terms depend on the employment of investment professionals in adequate number and of adequate sophistication to match the corresponding flow of transactions. The departure of key personnel or of a significant number of the investment professionals or partners of our Adviser could have a material adverse effect on our ability to achieve our investment objective. Our Adviser may need to hire, train, supervise and manage new investment professionals to participate in our investment selection and monitoring process and may not be able to find investment professionals in a timely manner or at all.

The Adviser may retain additional consultants, advisors and/or operating partners to provide services to us, and such additional personnel will perform similar functions and duties for other organizations which may give rise to conflicts of interest.

BC Partners may work with or alongside one or more consultants, advisors (including senior advisors and CEOs) and/or operating partners who are retained by BC Partners on a consultancy or retainer or other basis, to provide services to us and other entities sponsored by BC Partners including the sourcing of investments and other investment-related and support services. The functions undertaken by such persons with respect to us and any of our investments will not be exclusive and such persons may perform similar functions and duties for other organizations which may give rise to conflicts of interest. Such persons may also be appointed to the board of directors of companies and have other business interests which give rise to conflicts of interest with the interests of us or a portfolio entity of us. Stockholders should note that such persons may retain compensation that will not offset the base management fee payable to the Adviser, including that: (i) such persons are permitted to retain all directors’ fees, monitoring fees and other compensation received by them in respect of acting as a director or officer of, or providing other services to, a portfolio entity and such amounts shall not be credited against the base management fee; and (ii) certain of such persons may be paid a deal fee, a consultancy fee or other compensation where they are involved in a specific project relating to us, which fee will be paid either by us or, if applicable, the relevant portfolio entity.

The compensation we pay to the Adviser was determined without independent assessment on our behalf, and these terms may be less advantageous to us than if such terms had been the subject of arm’s-length negotiations.

The compensation we pay to the Adviser was not entered into on an arm’s-length basis with an unaffiliated third party. As a result, the form and amount of such compensation may be less favorable to us than they might have been had these been entered into through arm’s-length transactions with an unaffiliated third party.

The Adviser’s influence on conducting our operations gives it the ability to increase its fees, which may reduce the amount of cash flow available for distribution to our stockholders.

The Adviser is paid a base management fee calculated as a percentage of our gross assets and unrelated to net income or any other performance base or measure. The Adviser may advise us to consummate transactions or conduct its operations in a manner that, in the Adviser’s reasonable discretion, is in the best interests of our stockholders. These transactions, however, may increase the amount of fees paid to the Adviser. The Adviser’s ability to influence the base management fee paid to it by us could reduce the amount of cash flow available for distribution to our stockholders.

We operate in a highly competitive market for investment opportunities.

A large number of entities compete with us to make the types of investments that we make. We compete with other BDCs, as well as a number of investment funds, investment banks and other sources of financing, including traditional financial services companies, such as commercial banks and finance companies. Many of our competitors are substantially larger and have considerably greater financial, marketing and other resources than we do. For example, some competitors may have a lower cost of funds and access to funding sources that are not available to us. This may enable some of our competitors to make commercial loans with interest rates that are lower than the rates we typically offer. We may lose prospective portfolio investments if we do not match our competitors’ pricing, terms and structure. If we do match our competitors’ pricing, terms or structure, we may experience decreased net interest income. In addition, some of our competitors may have higher risk tolerances or different risk assessments, which could allow them to consider a wider variety of investments, establish more relationships and build their market shares. Furthermore, many of our potential competitors are not subject to the regulatory restrictions that the 1940 Act imposes on us as a BDC. As a result of this competition, there can be no assurance that we will be able to identify and take advantage of attractive investment opportunities or that we will be able to fully invest our available capital. If we are not able to compete effectively, our business and financial condition and results of operations will be adversely affected.

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If the Adviser is unable to source investments effectively, we may be unable to achieve our investment objectives and provide returns to stockholders.

Our ability to achieve our investment objective depends on the Adviser’s ability to identify, evaluate and invest in suitable companies that meet our investment criteria. Accomplishing this result on a cost-effective basis is largely a function of the Adviser’s marketing capabilities, its management of the investment process, its ability to provide efficient services and its access to financing sources on acceptable terms. Failure to source investments effectively could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We may have difficulty paying distributions required to maintain our RIC status if we recognize income before or without receiving cash equal to such income.

In accordance with the Code, we include in income certain amounts that we have not yet received in cash, such as non-cash PIK interest, which represents contractual interest added to the loan balance and due at the end of the loan term. The increases in loan balances as a result of contracted non-cash PIK arrangements are included in income for the period in which such non-cash PIK interest was received, which is often in advance of receiving cash payment, and are separately identified on our statements of cash flows. We also may be required to include in income certain other amounts that we will not receive in cash. Any warrants that we receive in connection with our debt investments generally are valued as part of the negotiation process with the particular portfolio company. As a result, a portion of the aggregate purchase price for the debt investments and warrants is allocated to the warrants that we receive. This generally results in the associated debt investment having “original issue discount” for tax purposes, which we must recognize as ordinary income as it accrues. This increases the amounts we are required to distribute to maintain our qualification for tax treatment as a RIC. Because such original issue discount income might exceed the amount of cash received in a given year with respect to such investment, we might need to obtain cash from other sources to satisfy such distribution requirements. Other features of the debt instruments that we hold may also cause such instruments to generate original issue discount.

Since, in certain cases, we may recognize income before or without receiving cash representing such income, we may have difficulty meeting the annual distribution requirement necessary to maintain RIC tax treatment under the Code. Accordingly, we may have to sell some of our investments at times and/or at prices we would not consider advantageous, raise additional debt or equity capital or forgo new investment opportunities for this purpose. If we are not able to obtain cash from other sources, we may fail to qualify for RIC tax treatment and thus become subject to corporate-level U.S. federal income tax. For additional discussion regarding the tax implications of a RIC, see “Business — Regulation — Taxation as a Regulated Investment Company.”

Any unrealized losses we experience on our loan portfolio may be an indication of future realized losses, which could reduce our resources available to make distributions.

As a BDC, we are required to carry our investments at market value or, if no market value is ascertainable, at the fair value as determined in good faith by our Board pursuant to a valuation methodology approved by our Board. Decreases in the market values or fair values of our investments will be recorded as unrealized losses. An unrealized loss in our loan portfolio could be an indication of a portfolio company’s inability to meet its repayment obligations with respect to the affected loans. This could result in realized losses in the future and ultimately in reductions of our resources available to pay dividends or interest and principal on our securities and could cause you to lose all or part of your investment.

We may experience fluctuations in our quarterly and annual operating results and credit spreads.

We could experience fluctuations in our quarterly and annual operating results due to a number of factors, some of which are beyond our control, including our ability to make investments in companies that meet our investment criteria, the interest rate payable on the debt securities we acquire (which could stem from the general level of interest rates, credit spreads, or both), the default rate on such securities, prepayment upon the triggering of covenants in our middle market loans as well as our CLO Funds, our level of expenses, variations in and timing of the recognition of realized and unrealized gains or losses, the degree to which we encounter competition in our markets and general economic conditions. As a result of these factors, results for any period should not be relied upon as being indicative of performance in future periods.

We are exposed to risks associated with changes in interest rates and spreads.

Changes in interest rates may have a substantial negative impact on our investments, the value of our securities and our rate of return on invested capital. A reduction in the interest spreads on new investments could also have an adverse impact on our net interest income. An increase in interest rates could decrease the value of any investments we hold which earn fixed interest rates, including mezzanine securities and high-yield bonds, and also could increase our interest expense, thereby decreasing our net income. An increase in interest rates due to an increase in credit spreads, regardless of general interest rate fluctuations, could also negatively impact the value of any investments we hold in our portfolio.

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In addition, an increase in interest rates available to investors could make an investment in our securities less attractive than alternative investments, a situation which could reduce the value of our securities. Conversely, a decrease in interest rates may have an adverse impact on our returns by requiring us to seek lower yields on our debt investments and by increasing the risk that our portfolio companies will prepay our debt investments, resulting in the need to redeploy capital at potentially lower rates. A decrease in market interest rates may also adversely impact our returns on idle funds, which would reduce our net investment income.

The interest rates of our term loans to our portfolio companies that extend beyond 2021 might be subject to change based on recent regulatory changes.

LIBOR, the London interbank offered rate, is the basic rate of interest used in lending between banks on the London interbank market and is widely used as a reference for setting the interest rate on loans globally. We typically use LIBOR as a reference rate in term loans we extend to portfolio companies such that the interest due to us pursuant to a term loan extended to a partner company is calculated using LIBOR. Some of our term loan agreements with partner companies contain a stated minimum value for LIBOR.

In 2017, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates LIBOR, announced the desire to phase out LIBOR by the end of 2021. The U.S. Federal Reserve, in conjunction with the Alternative Reference Rates Committee, a steering committee comprised of large U.S. financial institutions, is considering replacing U.S.-dollar LIBOR with the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) a new index calculated by short-term repurchase agreements, backed by Treasury securities. Although there have been a few issuances utilizing SOFR or the Sterling Over Night Index Average, an alternative reference rate that is based on transactions, it is unknown whether these alternative reference rates will attain market acceptance as replacements for LIBOR. Any transition away from LIBOR to alternative reference rates is complex and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations, including as a result of any changes in the pricing of our investments, changes to the documentation for certain of our investments and the pace of such changes, disputes and other actions regarding the interpretation of current and prospective loan documentation or modifications to processes and systems.

If LIBOR ceases to exist, we may need to renegotiate any credit agreements extending beyond 2021 with our prospective portfolio companies that utilize LIBOR as a factor in determining the interest rate and may also need to renegotiate the terms of our credit facilities. Any such renegotiations may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations, including as a result of changes in interest rates payable to us by our portfolio companies or payable by us under our credit facilities.  There is currently no definitive information regarding the future utilization of LIBOR or of any particular replacement rate. As such, the potential effect of any such event on our cost of capital and net investment income cannot yet be determined.

We borrow money, which magnifies the potential for gain or loss on amounts invested and may increase the risk of investing in us.

Borrowings, also known as leverage, magnify the potential for gain or loss on amounts invested and, therefore, increase the risks associated with investing in us. We have issued senior securities, and in the future may borrow from, or issue additional senior securities (such as preferred or convertible securities or debt securities) to, banks and other lenders and investors. Subject to prevailing market conditions, we intend to grow our portfolio of assets by raising additional capital, including through the prudent use of leverage available to us. Lenders and holders of such senior securities would have fixed dollar claims on our assets that are superior to the claims of our common stockholders. Leverage is generally considered a speculative investment technique. Any increase in our income in excess of interest payable on our outstanding indebtedness would cause our net income to increase more than it would have had we not incurred leverage, while any decrease in our income would cause net income to decline more sharply than it would have had we not incurred leverage. Such a decline could negatively affect our ability to make distributions to our stockholders and service our debt obligations. In addition, our common stockholders will bear the burden of any increase in our expenses as a result of leverage. There can be no assurance that our leveraging strategy will be successful.

Our outstanding indebtedness imposes, and additional debt we may incur in the future will likely impose, financial and operating covenants that restrict our business activities, including limitations that could hinder our ability to finance additional loans and investments or to make the distributions required to maintain our status as a RIC. A failure to add new debt facilities or issue additional debt securities or other evidences of indebtedness in lieu of or in addition to existing indebtedness could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

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The following table illustrates the effect of leverage on returns from an investment in our common stock as of December 31, 2019, assuming various annual returns, net of expenses. The calculations in the table below are hypothetical and actual returns may be higher or lower than those appearing in the table below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assumed Return on our Portfolio (Net of Expenses)

  

(10)%

 

(5)%

 

0%

 

5%

  

10%

Corresponding return to common stockholder(2)

  

(26.0)%

 

(15.8)%

 

(5.6)%

 

4.6%

  

14.8%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1)

Assumes $310.4 million in total assets, $157.0 million in debt outstanding and $152.2 million in net assets as of as of December 31, 2019 and a weighted average interest rate of 5.4% as of December 31, 2019.

Our indebtedness could adversely affect our financial health and our ability to respond to changes in our business.

With certain limited exceptions, we are only allowed to borrow amounts or issue senior securities such that our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, is at least 200% (or the 150% asset coverage ratio effective as of March 29, 2019) immediately after such borrowing or issuance. The amount of leverage that we employ in the future will depend on our management’s and our Board’ assessment of market and other factors at the time of any proposed borrowing. There is no assurance that a leveraging strategy will be successful. As a result of the level of our leverage:

 

our exposure to risk of loss is greater if we incur debt or issue senior securities to finance investments because a decrease in the value of our investments has a greater negative impact on our equity returns and, therefore, the value of our business if we did not use leverage;

 

the decrease in our asset coverage ratio resulting from increased leverage and the covenants contained in documents governing our indebtedness (which may impose asset coverage or investment portfolio composition requirements that are more stringent than those imposed by the 1940 Act) limit our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and industry, as a result of which we could be required to liquidate investments at an inopportune time;

 

we are required to dedicate a portion of our cash flow to interest payments, limiting the availability of cash for dividends and other purposes; and

 

our ability to obtain additional financing in the future may be impaired.

We cannot be sure that our leverage will not have a material adverse effect on us. In addition, we cannot be sure that additional financing will be available when required or, if available, will be on terms satisfactory to us. Further, even if we are able to obtain additional financing, we may be required to use some or all of the proceeds thereof to repay our outstanding indebtedness.

Our Board has approved our ability to incur additional leverage as permitted by recent legislation.

The 1940 Act generally prohibits us from incurring indebtedness unless immediately after such borrowing we have an asset coverage for total borrowings of at least 200% (i.e., the amount of debt may not exceed 50% of the value of our assets). However, the recently enacted SBCA has modified the 1940 Act by allowing a BDC to increase the maximum amount of leverage it may incur from an asset coverage ratio of 200% to an asset coverage ratio of 150%, if certain requirements are met. In other words, prior to the enactment of the SBCA, a BDC could borrow $1 for investment purposes for every $1 of investor equity. Now, for those BDCs that satisfy the SBCA’s approval and disclosure requirements, the BDC can borrow $2 for investment purposes for every $1 of investor equity.

In accordance with the SBCA, on March 29, 2018, our Board, including a “required majority” approved the modified asset coverage requirements set forth in Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act. As a result, our asset coverage requirements for senior securities changed from 200% to 150%, effective March 29, 2019. However, despite the SBCA, we will continue to be prohibited by the indentures governing our 6.125% Notes from making distributions on our common stock if our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, falls below 200%. In any such event, we would be prohibited from making distributions required to maintain our status as a RIC.

Leverage magnifies the potential for loss on investments in our indebtedness and on invested equity capital. As we use leverage to partially finance our investments, you will experience increased risks of investing in our securities. If the value of our assets increases, then leveraging would cause the net asset value attributable to our common stock to increase more sharply than it would have had we not leveraged. Conversely, if the value of our assets decreases, leveraging would cause net asset value to decline more sharply than it otherwise would have had we not leveraged our business. Similarly, any increase in our income in excess of interest payable on the borrowed funds would cause our net investment income to increase more than it would without the leverage, while any decrease in our income would cause net investment income to decline more sharply than it would have had we not borrowed. Such a decline could negatively affect our ability to pay common stock dividends, scheduled debt payments or other payments related to our securities. Leverage is generally considered a speculative investment technique.

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We may default under the Revolving Credit Facility or any future borrowing facility we enter into or be unable to amend, repay or refinance any such facility on commercially reasonable terms, or at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

In the event we default under our revolving credit facility (the “Revolving Credit Facility”) or any other future borrowing facility, our business could be adversely affected as we may be forced to sell a portion of our investments quickly and prematurely at prices that may be disadvantageous to us in order to meet our outstanding payment obligations and/or support working capital requirements under the Revolving Credit Facility or such future borrowing facility, any of which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. In addition, following any such default, the agent for the lenders under the Revolving Credit Facility or such future borrowing facility could assume control of the disposition of any or all of our assets, including the selection of such assets to be disposed and the timing of such disposition, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Provisions in the Revolving Credit Facility or any other future borrowing facility may limit our discretion in operating our business.

The Revolving Credit Facility is, and any future borrowing facility may be, backed by all or a portion of our loans and securities on which the lenders will or, in the case of a future facility, may have a security interest. We may pledge up to 100% of our assets and may grant a security interest in all of our assets under the terms of any debt instrument we enter into with lenders. We expect that any security interests we grant will be set forth in a pledge and security agreement and evidenced by the filing of financing statements by the agent for the lenders. In addition, we expect that the custodian for our securities serving as collateral for such loan would include in its electronic systems notices indicating the existence of such security interests and, following notice of occurrence of an event of default, if any, and during its continuance, will only accept transfer instructions with respect to any such securities from the lender or its designee. If we were to default under the terms of any debt instrument, the agent for the applicable lenders would be able to assume control of the timing of disposition of any or all of our assets securing such debt, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

In addition, any security interests as well as negative covenants under the Revolving Credit Facility or any other borrowing facility may limit our ability to create liens on assets to secure additional debt and may make it difficult for us to restructure or refinance indebtedness at or prior to maturity or obtain additional debt or equity financing. In addition, if our borrowing base under the Revolving Credit Facility or any other borrowing facility were to decrease, we would be required to secure additional assets in an amount equal to any borrowing base deficiency. In the event that all of our assets are secured at the time of such a borrowing base deficiency, we could be required to repay advances under the Revolving Credit Facility or any other borrowing facility or make deposits to a collection account, either of which could have a material adverse impact on our ability to fund future investments and to make stockholder distributions.

In addition, under the Revolving Credit Facility or any future borrowing facility we will be subject to limitations as to how borrowed funds may be used, which may include restrictions on geographic and industry concentrations, loan size, payment frequency and status, average life, collateral interests and investment ratings, as well as regulatory restrictions on leverage, which may affect the amount of funding that may be obtained. There may also be certain requirements relating to portfolio performance, including required minimum portfolio yield and limitations on delinquencies and charge-offs, a violation of which could limit further advances and, in some cases, result in an event of default. An event of default under the Revolving Credit Facility or any other borrowing facility could result in an accelerated maturity date for all amounts outstanding thereunder, which could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition. This could reduce our revenues and, by delaying any cash payment allowed to us under the Revolving Credit Facility or any other borrowing facility until the lenders have been paid in full, reduce our liquidity and cash flow and impair our ability to grow our business and maintain our qualification as a RIC.

Because we intend to continue to distribute substantially all of our income and net realized capital gains to our stockholders, we will need additional capital to finance our growth.

In order to continue to qualify as a RIC, to avoid payment of excise taxes and to minimize or avoid payment of U.S. federal income taxes, we intend to continue to distribute to our stockholders substantially all of our net ordinary income and realized net capital gains (although we may retain certain net long-term capital gains, pay applicable U.S. federal income taxes with respect thereto, and elect to treat as deemed distributions to our stockholders). As a BDC, in order to incur new debt, we are generally required to meet a coverage ratio of total assets to total senior securities, which includes all of our borrowings and any preferred stock we may issue in the future, of at least 200% (or the 150% asset coverage ratio effective as of March 29, 2019), as measured immediately after issuance of such security. This requirement limits the amount that we may borrow. Because we will continue to need capital to grow our loan and investment portfolio, this limitation may prevent us from incurring debt and require us to issue additional equity at a time when it may be disadvantageous to do so. We cannot assure you that debt and equity financing will be available to us on favorable terms, or at all, and debt financings may be restricted by the terms of such borrowings. Also, as a business development company, we generally are not permitted to issue equity securities priced below net asset value without stockholder approval. If additional funds are not available to us, we could be forced to curtail or cease new lending and investment activities.

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We may from time to time expand our business through acquisitions, which could disrupt our business and harm our financial condition.

We may pursue potential acquisitions of, and investments in, businesses complementary to our business and from time to time engage in discussions regarding such possible acquisitions. Such acquisition and any other acquisitions we may undertake involve a number of risks, including:

 

failure of the acquired businesses to achieve the results we expect;

 

substantial cash expenditures;

 

diversion of capital and management attention from operational matters;

 

our inability to retain key personnel of the acquired businesses

 

incurrence of debt and contingent liabilities and risks associated with unanticipated events or liabilities; and

 

the potential disruption and strain on our existing business and resources that could result from our planned growth and continuing integration of our acquisitions.

If we fail to properly evaluate acquisitions or investments, we may not achieve the anticipated benefits of such acquisitions, we may incur costs in excess of what we anticipate, and management resources and attention may be diverted from other necessary or valuable activities. Any acquisition may not result in short-term or long-term benefits to us. If we are unable to integrate or successfully manage any business that we acquire, we may not realize anticipated cost savings, improved efficiencies or revenue growth, which may result in reduced profitability or operating losses.

We may invest through joint ventures, partnerships or other special purpose vehicles and our investments through these vehicles may entail greater risks, or risks that we otherwise would not incur, if we otherwise made such investments directly.

We may make indirect investments in portfolio companies through joint ventures, partnerships or other special purpose vehicles (“Investment Vehicles”). In general, the risks associated with indirect investments in portfolio companies through a joint venture, partnership or other special purpose vehicle are similar to those associated with a direct investment in a portfolio company. While we intend to analyze the credit and business of a potential portfolio company in determining whether or not to make an investment in an Investment Vehicle, we will nonetheless be exposed to the creditworthiness of the Investment Vehicle. In the event of a bankruptcy proceeding against the portfolio company, the assets of the portfolio company may be used to satisfy its obligations prior to the satisfaction of our investment in the Investment Vehicle (i.e., our investment in the Investment Vehicle could be structurally subordinated to the other obligations of the portfolio company). In addition, if we are to invest in an Investment Vehicle, we may be required to rely on our partners in the Investment Vehicle when making decisions regarding the Investment Vehicle’s investments, accordingly, the value of the investment could be adversely affected if our interests diverge from those of our partners in the Investment Vehicle.

Our Board may change our investment objective, operating policies and strategies without prior notice or stockholder approval.

Our Board has the authority to modify or waive certain of our operating policies and strategies without prior notice and without stockholder approval. However, absent stockholder approval, we may not change the nature of our business so as to cease to be, or withdraw our election as, a BDC. We cannot predict the effect any changes to our current operating policies and strategies would have on our business and operating results. Nevertheless, the effects may adversely affect our business and they could negatively impact our ability to pay you dividends and could cause you to lose all or part of your investment in our securities.

Our businesses may be adversely affected by litigation and regulatory proceedings.

From time to time, we may be subject to legal actions as well as various regulatory, governmental and law enforcement inquiries, investigations and subpoenas. In any such claims or actions, demands for substantial monetary damages may be asserted against us and may result in financial liability or an adverse effect on our reputation among investors. We may be unable to accurately estimate our exposure to litigation risk when we record balance sheet reserves for probable loss contingencies. As a result, any reserves we establish to cover any settlements or judgments may not be sufficient to cover our actual financial exposure, which may have a material impact on our results of operations or financial condition. In regulatory enforcement matters, claims for disgorgement, the imposition of penalties and the imposition of other remedial sanctions are possible.

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Regulations governing our operation as a BDC affect our ability to, and the way in which we, raise additional capital.

Our business requires a substantial amount of additional capital. We may acquire additional capital from the issuance of senior securities or other indebtedness, the issuance of additional shares of our common stock or from securitization transactions. However, we may not be able to raise additional capital in the future on favorable terms or at all. We may issue debt securities or preferred securities, which we refer to collectively as “senior securities,” and we may borrow money from banks or other financial institutions, up to the maximum amount permitted by the 1940 Act. The 1940 Act permits us to issue senior securities or incur indebtedness only in amounts such that our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, equals at least 200% (or the 150% asset coverage ratio effective as of March 29, 2019) immediately after such issuance or incurrence. With respect to certain types of senior securities, we must make provisions to prohibit any dividend distribution to our stockholders or the repurchase of certain of our securities, unless we meet the applicable asset coverage ratios at the time of the dividend distribution or repurchase. If the value of our assets declines, we may be unable to satisfy the asset coverage test. Furthermore, any amounts that we use to service our indebtedness would not be available for distributions to our common stockholders.

All of the costs of offering and servicing such debt or preferred stock (if issued by us in the future), including interest or preferential dividend payments thereon, will be borne by our common stockholders. The interests of the holders of any debt or preferred stock we may issue will not necessarily be aligned with the interests of our common stockholders. In particular, the rights of holders of our debt or preferred stock to receive interest, dividends or principal repayment will be senior to those of our common stockholders. Also, in the event we issue preferred stock, the holders of such preferred stock will have the ability to elect two members of our Board. In addition, we may grant a lender a security interest in a significant portion or all of our assets, even if the total amount we may borrow from such lender is less than the amount of such lender’s security interest in our assets.

We are not generally able to issue and sell our common stock at a price below net asset value per share. We may, however, sell our common stock at a price below the then-current net asset value of our common stock if our Board determines that such sale is in the best interests of us and our stockholders, and our stockholders approve, giving us the authority to do so. Although we currently do not have such authorization, we previously sought and received such authorization from our stockholders in the past and may seek such authorization in the future. In any such case, the price at which our securities are to be issued and sold may not be less than a price which, in the determination of our Board, closely approximates the market value of such securities (less any distributing commission or discount). We are also generally prohibited under the 1940 Act from issuing securities convertible into voting securities without obtaining the approval of our existing stockholders. Sales of common stock at prices below net asset value per share dilute the interests of existing stockholders, have the effect of reducing our net asset value per share and may reduce our market price per share. In addition to issuing securities to raise capital as described above; we may securitize a portion of the loans to generate cash for funding new investments. If we are unable to successfully securitize our loan portfolio, our ability to grow our business and fully execute our business strategy and our earnings (if any) may be adversely affected. Moreover, even successful securitization of our loan portfolio might expose us to losses, as the residual loans in which we do not sell interests tend to be those that are riskier and more apt to generate losses.

The application of the risk retention rules under Section 941 of the Dodd-Frank Act to CLOs may have broader effects on the CLO and loan markets in general, potentially resulting in fewer or less desirable investment opportunities for us.

Section 941 of the Dodd-Frank Act added a provision to the Exchange Act requiring the seller, sponsor or securitizer of a securitization vehicle to retain no less than five percent of the credit risk in assets it sells into a securitization and prohibiting such securitizer from directly or indirectly hedging or otherwise transferring the retained credit risk. The responsible federal agencies adopted final rules implementing these restrictions on October 22, 2014. The U.S. risk retention rules became effective with respect to CLOs two years after publication in the Federal Register. Under the final rules, the asset manager of a CLO is considered the sponsor of a securitization vehicle and is required to retain five percent of the credit risk in the CLO, which may be retained horizontally in the equity tranche of the CLO or vertically as a five percent interest in each tranche of the securities issued by the CLO.

On February 9, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (the “D.C. Circuit Court”) ruled in favor of an appeal brought by the Loan Syndications and Trading Association (the “LSTA”) against the SEC and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Applicable Governmental Agencies”) that managers of so-called “open market CLOs” are not “securitizers” under Section 941 of the Dodd-Frank Act and, therefore, are not subject to the requirements of the U.S. risk retention rules (the “Appellate Court Ruling”). The LSTA was appealing from a judgment entered by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (the “D.C. District Court”), which granted summary judgment in favor of the SEC and Federal Reserve and against the LSTA with respect to its challenges.

On April 5, 2018, the D.C. District Court entered an order implementing the Appellate Court Ruling and thereby vacated the U.S. risk retention rules insofar as they apply to CLO managers of “open market CLOs.” In addition, the Applicable Governmental Agencies did not request that the case be heard by the United States Supreme Court. Since the Applicable Governmental Agencies have not successfully challenged the Appellate Court Ruling and the D.C. District Court has issued the above described order implementing the Appellate Court Ruling, collateral managers of open market CLOs are no longer required to comply with the U.S. risk retention rules at this time. As such, it is possible that some collateral managers of open market CLOs will decide to dispose of the notes constituting the “eligible vertical interest” or “eligible horizontal interest” they were previously required to retain, or decide to take other action with respect to such notes that is not otherwise permitted by the U.S. risk retention rules. As a result of this decision, certain CLO managers of “open market CLOs” will no longer be required to comply with the U.S. risk retention rules solely because of their roles as managers of “open market CLOs”, and there may be no “sponsor” of such securitization transactions and no party may be required to acquire and retain an economic interest in the credit risk of the securitized assets of such transactions.

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There can be no assurance or representation that any of the transactions, structures or arrangements currently under consideration by or currently used by CLO market participants will comply with the U.S. risk retention rules to the extent such rules are reinstated or otherwise become applicable to open market CLOs. The ultimate impact of the U.S. risk retention rules on the loan securitization market and the leveraged loan market generally remains uncertain, and any negative impact on secondary market liquidity for securities comprising a CLO may be experienced due to the effects of the U.S. risk retention rules on market expectations or uncertainty, the relative appeal of other investments not impacted by the U.S. risk retention rules and other factors.

If we do not invest a sufficient portion of our assets in Qualifying Assets, we could be precluded from investing according to our current business strategy.

As a BDC, we may not acquire any assets other than Qualifying Assets for purposes of the 1940 Act unless, at the time of and after giving effect to such acquisition, at least 70% of our total assets are “qualifying assets”. See “Item 1: Business — Regulation”.

We believe that most of the senior loans and mezzanine investments that we acquire constitute “qualifying assets.” However, investments in the securities of CLO Funds generally do not constitute “qualifying assets,” and we may invest in other assets that are not “qualifying assets.” If we do not invest a sufficient portion of our assets in “qualifying assets,” we may be precluded from investing in what we believe are attractive investments, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Similarly, these rules could prevent us from making follow-on investments in existing portfolio companies (which could result in the dilution of our position).

Our ability to enter into transactions with our affiliates is restricted.

We are prohibited under the 1940 Act from participating in certain transactions with certain of our affiliates without the prior approval of the members of our independent directors and, in some cases, the SEC. Any person that owns, directly or indirectly, 5% or more of our outstanding voting securities is our affiliate for purposes of the 1940 Act and we are generally prohibited from buying or selling any securities (other than our securities) from or to such affiliate, absent the prior approval of our independent directors. The 1940 Act also prohibits certain “joint” transactions with certain of our affiliates, which could include investments in the same portfolio company (whether at the same or different times), without prior approval of our independent directors and, in some cases, the SEC. If a person acquires more than 25% of our voting securities, we will be prohibited from buying or selling any security (other than any security of which we are the issuer) from or to such person or certain of that person’s affiliates, or entering into prohibited joint transactions with such person, absent the prior approval of the SEC. Similar restrictions limit our ability to transact business with our officers or directors or their affiliates.

A failure on our part to maintain our status as a BDC or the application of additional regulatory burdens would significantly reduce our operating flexibility.

If we fail to maintain our status as a BDC, we might be regulated as a closed-end investment company that is required to register under the 1940 Act, which would subject us to additional regulatory restrictions and significantly decrease our operating flexibility. In addition, any such failure could cause an event of default under our outstanding indebtedness, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

 

 

In December 2019, the CFTC amended certain rules to require BDCs that trade “commodity interests” (as defined under CFTC rules) to a de minimis extent file an electronic notice of exclusion to not be deemed a “commodity pool operator” pursuant to CFTC regulations. This exclusion allows BDCs that trade commodity interests to forgo regulation under the CEA and the CFTC. If our Adviser is unable to claim this exclusion, or fails to do so in the future, with respect to us, the Adviser would become subject to registration and regulation as a commodity pool operator under the CEA. This additional regulation would subject our Adviser and us to additional registration and regulatory requirements, along with increasing operating expenses which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations or financial condition.

Our business and operations could be negatively affected if we become subject to any securities litigation or stockholder activism, which could cause us to incur significant expense, hinder execution of investment strategy and impact our stock price.

In the past, following periods of volatility in the market price of a company’s securities, securities class-action litigation has often been brought against that company. Stockholder activism, which could take many forms or arise in a variety of situations, has been increasing in the BDC space recently. While we are currently not subject to any securities litigation or stockholder activism, we may in the future become the target of securities litigation or stockholder activism. Securities litigation and stockholder activism, including potential proxy contests, could result in substantial costs and divert management’s and our Boards’ attention and resources from our business. Additionally, such securities litigation and stockholder activism could give rise to perceived uncertainties as to our future, adversely affect our relationships with service providers and make it more difficult to attract and retain qualified personnel. Also, we may be required to incur significant legal fees and other expenses related to any securities litigation and activist stockholder matters. Further, our stock price could be subject to significant fluctuation or otherwise be adversely affected by the events, risks and uncertainties of any securities litigation and stockholder activism.

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We will be subject to corporate-level U.S. federal income taxes if we are unable to qualify as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code.

To maintain RIC tax treatment under the Code, we must meet the following annual distribution, income source and asset diversification requirements:

 

The annual distribution requirement for a RIC will be satisfied if we distribute to our stockholders on an annual basis at least 90% of our net ordinary income and realized net short-term capital gains in excess of realized net long-term capital losses, if any. Because we use debt financing, we are subject to certain asset coverage ratio requirements under the 1940 Act and are (and may in the future become) subject to certain financial covenants under loan, indenture and credit agreements that could, under certain circumstances, restrict us from making distributions necessary to satisfy the distribution requirement. If we are unable to obtain cash from other sources, we could fail to qualify for RIC tax treatment and thus become subject to corporate-level U.S. federal income taxes.

 

The source income requirement will be satisfied if we obtain at least 90% of our income for each year from dividends, interest, gains from the sale of stock or securities or similar sources.

 

The asset diversification requirement will be satisfied if we meet certain asset diversification requirements at the end of each quarter of our taxable year. To satisfy this requirement, at least 50% of the value of our assets must consist of cash, cash equivalents, U.S. Government securities, securities of other RICs, and other acceptable securities; and no more than 25% of the value of our assets can be invested in the securities, other than U.S. government securities or securities of other RICs, of one issuer, of two or more issuers that are controlled, as determined under applicable Code rules, by us and that are engaged in the same or similar or related trades or businesses or of certain “qualified publicly traded partnerships.” If we do not satisfy the diversification requirements as of the end of any quarter, we will not lose our status as RIC provided that (i) we satisfied the requirements in a prior quarter and (ii) our failure to satisfy the requirements in the current quarter is not due in whole or in part to an acquisition of any security or other property.

Failure to meet these requirements may result in our having to dispose of certain investments quickly in order to prevent the loss of RIC status. Because most of our investments will be in private companies, and therefore will be illiquid, any such dispositions could be made at disadvantageous prices and could result in substantial losses. Moreover, if we fail to maintain RIC tax treatment for any reason and are subject to corporate-level U.S. federal income taxes, the resulting taxes could substantially reduce our net assets, the amount of income available for distribution and the amount of our distributions. Such a failure would have a material adverse effect on us and on our stockholders.

Risks Associated with Our Information Technology Systems

We rely on various information technology systems to manage our operations. Information technology systems are subject to numerous risks including unanticipated operating problems, system failures, rapid technological change, failure of the systems that operate as anticipated, reliance on third party computer hardware, software and IT service providers, computer viruses, telecommunication failures, data breaches, denial of service attacks, spamming, phishing attacks, computer hackers and other similar disruptions, any of which could materially adversely impact our consolidated financial condition and results of operations. Additional risks include, but are not limited to, the following:

Disruptions in current systems or difficulties in integrating new systems.

We regularly maintain, upgrade, enhance or replace our information technology systems to support our business strategies and provide business continuity. Replacing legacy systems with successor systems, making changes to existing systems or acquiring new systems with new functionality have inherent risks including disruptions, delays, or difficulties that may impair the effectiveness of our information technology systems.

Internal and external cyber threats, as well as other disasters, could impair our ability to conduct business effectively.

The occurrence of a disaster, such as a cyber-attack against us or against a third-party that has access to our data or networks, a natural catastrophe, an industrial accident, failure of our disaster recovery systems, or consequential employee error, could have an adverse effect on our ability to communicate or conduct business, negatively impacting our operations and financial condition. This adverse effect can become particularly acute if those events affect our electronic data processing, transmission, storage, and retrieval systems, or impact the availability, integrity, or confidentiality of our data.

We depend heavily upon computer systems to perform necessary business functions. Despite our implementation of a variety of security measures, our computer systems, networks, and data, like those of other companies, could be subject to cyber-attacks and unauthorized access, use, alteration, or destruction, such as from physical and electronic break-ins, unauthorized tampering employee impersonation, social engineering or “phishing” attempts. Like other companies, we may experience threats to our data and systems, including malware and computer virus attacks, unauthorized access, system failures and disruptions. If one or more of these events occurs, it could potentially jeopardize the confidential, proprietary, and other information processed, stored in, and transmitted through our computer systems and networks. Such an attack could cause interruptions or malfunctions in our operations, which could result in financial losses, litigation, regulatory penalties, client dissatisfaction or loss, reputational damage, and increased costs associated with mitigation of damages and remediation.

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Third parties with which we do business may also be sources of cybersecurity or other technological risk. We outsource certain functions and these relationships allow for the storage and processing of our information, as well as client, counterparty, employee, and borrower information. While we engage in actions to reduce our exposure resulting from outsourcing, ongoing threats may result in unauthorized access, loss, exposure, destruction, or other cybersecurity incident that affects our data, resulting in increased costs and other consequences as described above.

Risks Related to Our Investments

Our investments may be risky, and you could lose all or part of your investment.

We invest primarily in senior secured term loans, mezzanine debt, selected equity investments issued by middle market companies, CLO Funds, Joint Ventures and derivatives. The investments in our Debt Securities Portfolio are all or predominantly below investment grade, may be highly leveraged, and therefore have speculative characteristics with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal. Defaults by portfolio companies may harm our operating results.

Secured Loans. When we extend secured term loans, we generally take a security interest (either as a first lien position or as a second lien position) in the available assets of these portfolio companies, including the equity interests of their subsidiaries, which we expect to assist in mitigating the risk that we will not be repaid. However, there is a risk that the collateral securing our loans may decrease in value over time, may be difficult to sell in a timely manner, may be difficult to appraise and may fluctuate in value based upon the success of the business and market conditions, including as a result of the inability of the portfolio company to raise additional capital, and, in some circumstances, our lien could be subordinated to claims of other creditors. In addition, deterioration in a portfolio company’s financial condition and prospects, including its inability to raise additional capital, may be accompanied by deterioration in the value of the collateral for the loan. Consequently, the fact that a loan is secured does not guarantee that we will receive principal and interest payments according to the loan’s terms, or at all, or that we will be able to collect on the loan should we be forced to exercise our remedies.

Mezzanine Debt. Our mezzanine debt investments generally are subordinated to senior loans and generally are unsecured. This may result in an above average amount of risk and volatility or loss of principal.

These investments may entail additional risks that could adversely affect our investment returns. To the extent interest payments associated with such debt are deferred, such debt is subject to greater fluctuations in value based on changes in interest rates and such debt could subject us to phantom income. Since we generally do not receive any cash prior to maturity of the debt, the investment is of greater risk.

Equity Investments. We have made and expect to make selected equity investments in middle market companies. In addition, when we invest in senior secured loans or mezzanine debt, we may acquire warrants in the equity of the portfolio company. Our goal is ultimately to dispose of such equity interests and realize gains upon our disposition of such interests. However, the equity interests we receive may not appreciate in value and, in fact, may decline in value. Accordingly, we may not be able to realize gains from our equity interests, and any gains that we do realize on the disposition of any equity interests may not be sufficient to offset any other losses we experience.

Risks Associated with Middle Market Companies. Investments in middle market companies also involve a number of significant risks, including:

 

limited financial resources and inability to meet their obligations, which may be accompanied by a deterioration in the value of any collateral and a reduction in the likelihood of our realizing the value of any guarantees we may have obtained in connection with our investment;

 

shorter operating histories, narrower product lines and smaller market shares than larger businesses, which tend to render them more vulnerable to competitors’ actions and market conditions, as well as general economic downturns;

 

dependence on management talents and efforts of a small group of persons; therefore, the death, disability, resignation or termination of one or more of these persons could have a material adverse impact on our portfolio company and, in turn, on us;

 

less predictable operating results, being parties to litigation from time to time, engaging in rapidly changing businesses with products subject to a substantial risk of obsolescence and requiring substantial additional capital expenditures to support their operations, finance expansion or maintain their competitive position;

 

difficulty accessing the capital markets to meet future capital needs; and

 

generally less publicly available information about their businesses, operations and financial condition.

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CLO Fund Investments. Investments in CLO Funds also involve a number of significant risks, including:

 

CLOs typically are comprised of a portfolio of senior secured loans; payments on CLO investments are and will be payable solely from the cash-flows from such senior secured loans;

 

CLO investments are exposed to leveraged credit risk;

 

CLO Funds are highly leveraged;

 

there is the potential for interruption and deferral of cash-flow from CLO investments;

 

interest rates paid by corporate borrowers are subject to volatility;

 

the inability of a CLO collateral manager to reinvest the proceeds of the prepayment of senior secured loans may adversely affect us;

 

our CLO investments are subject to prepayments and calls, increasing re-investment risk;

 

we have limited control of the administration and amendment of any CLO in which we invest;

 

senior secured loans of CLOs may be sold and replaced resulting in a loss to us;

 

our financial results may be affected adversely if one or more of our significant equity or junior debt investments in a CLO vehicle defaults on its payment obligations or fails to perform as we expect; and

 

non-investment grade debt involves a greater risk of default and higher price volatility than investment grade debt.

Our portfolio investments for which there is no readily available market, including our investment in our Asset Manager Affiliates, our Joint Ventures and our investments in CLO Funds, are recorded at fair value as determined in good faith by our Board. As a result, there is uncertainty as to the value of these investments.

Our investments consist primarily of securities issued by privately-held companies, the fair value of which is not readily determinable. In addition, we are not permitted to maintain a general reserve for anticipated loan losses. Instead, we are required by the 1940 Act to specifically value each investment and record an unrealized gain or loss for any asset that we believe has increased or decreased in value. We value these securities at fair value as determined in good faith by our Board pursuant to a valuation methodology approved by our Board. These valuations are initially prepared by our management and reviewed by our Valuation Committee, which uses its best judgment in arriving at the fair value of these securities. However, the Board retains ultimate authority to determine the appropriate valuation for each investment.

We have engaged an independent valuation firm to provide third party valuation consulting services to our Board. Each quarter, the independent valuation firm performs third party valuations on our material investments in illiquid securities, such that they are reviewed at least once during a trailing 12 month period. These third party valuation estimates are one of the relevant data points in the Board’s determination of fair value. The Board intends to continue to engage an independent valuation firm in the future to provide certain valuation services, including the review of certain portfolio assets, as part of the quarterly and annual year-end valuation process. In addition to such third-party input, the types of factors that may be considered in valuing our investments include the nature and realizable value of any collateral, the portfolio company’s ability to make payments and its earnings, the markets in which the portfolio company does business, comparison to publicly-traded companies, discounted cash flow and other relevant factors. Substantially all of our investment in the Asset Manager Affiliates was sold on December 31, 2018. Prior thereto, our investment in our Asset Manager Affiliates was carried at fair value, which was determined after taking into consideration a percentage of assets under management and a discounted cash flow model incorporating different levels of discount rates depending on the hierarchy of fees earned (including the likelihood of realization of senior, subordinate and incentive fees) and prospective modeled performance. Such valuation included an analysis of comparable asset management companies. In addition, our investment in our Joint Venture is carried at fair value, which is determined based on the fair value of the investments held by the Joint Venture. Because such valuations, and particularly valuations of private investments and private companies, are inherently uncertain and may be based on estimates, our determinations of fair value may differ materially from the values that would be assessed if a ready market for these securities existed. Our net asset value could be adversely affected if our determinations regarding the fair value of our illiquid investments were materially higher than the values that we ultimately realize upon the disposal of such securities.

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We are a non-diversified investment company within the meaning of the 1940 Act, and therefore we may invest a significant portion of our assets in a relatively small number of issuers, which subjects us to a risk of significant loss if any of these issuers defaults on its obligations under any of its debt instruments or as a result of a downturn in the particular industry.

We are classified as a non-diversified investment company within the meaning of the 1940 Act, and therefore we may invest a significant portion of our assets in a relatively small number of issuers in a limited number of industries. Beyond the asset diversification requirements associated with our qualification as a RIC, we do not have fixed guidelines for diversification, and while we are not targeting any specific industries, relatively few industries may become significantly represented among our investments. To the extent that we assume large positions in the securities of a small number of issuers, our net asset value may fluctuate to a greater extent than that of a diversified investment company as a result of changes in the financial condition or the market’s assessment of the issuer, changes in fair value over time or a downturn in any particular industry. We may also be more susceptible to any single economic or regulatory occurrence than a diversified investment company.

Defaults by our portfolio companies could harm our operating results.

A portfolio company’s failure to satisfy financial or operating covenants imposed by us or other debt holders could lead to defaults and, potentially, acceleration of the time when the loans are due and foreclosure on its secured assets. Such events could trigger cross-defaults under other agreements and jeopardize a portfolio company’s ability to meet its obligations under the debt that we hold and the value of any equity securities we own. We may incur expenses to the extent necessary to seek recovery upon default or to negotiate new terms with a defaulting portfolio company. In addition, some of the loans in which we may invest may be "covenant-lite" loans. We use the term "covenant-lite" loans to refer generally to loans that do not have a complete set of financial maintenance covenants. Generally, "covenant-lite" loans provide borrower companies more freedom to negatively impact lenders because their covenants are incurrence-based, which means they are only tested and can only be breached following an affirmative action of the borrower, rather than by a deterioration in the borrower's financial condition. Accordingly, to the extent we invest in "covenant-lite" loans, we may have fewer rights against a borrower and may have a greater risk of loss on such investments as compared to investments in or exposure to loans with financial maintenance covenants.

As part of our lending activities, we may in certain opportunistic circumstances originate loans to companies that are experiencing significant financial or business difficulties, including companies involved in bankruptcy or other reorganization and liquidation proceedings. Any such investment would involve a substantial degree of risk. In any reorganization or liquidation proceeding relating to a company that we fund, we may lose all or part of the amounts advanced to the borrower or may be required to accept collateral with a value less than the amount of the loan advanced by us to the borrower.

When we are a debt or minority equity investor in a portfolio company, which generally is the case, we may not be in a position to control the entity, and its management may make decisions that could decrease the value of our investment.

Most of our investments are either debt or minority equity investments in our portfolio companies. Therefore, we are subject to the risk that a portfolio company may make business decisions with which we disagree, and the stockholders and management of such company may take risks or otherwise act in ways that do not serve our interests. As a result, a portfolio company may make decisions that could decrease the value of our portfolio holdings. In addition, we generally are not in a position to control any portfolio company by investing in its debt securities.

We may have limited access to information about privately held companies in which we invest.

We invest primarily in privately-held companies. Generally, little public information exists about these companies, and we are required to rely on the ability of our investment professionals to obtain adequate information to evaluate the potential returns from investing in these companies. These companies and their financial information are not subject to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and other rules that govern public companies. If we are unable to uncover all material information about these companies, we may not make a fully informed investment decision, and we may lose money on our investment.

Prepayments of our debt investments by our portfolio companies could negatively impact our operating results.

We are subject to the risk that the investments we make in our portfolio companies may be repaid prior to maturity. When this occurs, we generally reinvest these proceeds in temporary investments, pending their future investment in new portfolio companies. These temporary investments typically have substantially lower yields than the debt being prepaid and we could experience significant delays in reinvesting these amounts. Any future investment in a new portfolio company may also be at lower yields than the debt that was repaid. Consequently, our results of operations could be materially adversely affected if one or more of our portfolio companies elects to prepay amounts owed to us. Additionally, prepayments could negatively impact our return on equity, which could result in a decline in the market price of our common stock.

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We may be unable to invest the net proceeds raised from offerings and repayments from investments on acceptable terms, which would harm our financial condition and operating results.

Until we identify new investment opportunities, we intend to either invest the net proceeds of future offerings and repayments from investments in interest-bearing deposits or other short-term instruments or use the net proceeds from such offerings to reduce then-outstanding debt obligations. We cannot assure you that we will be able to find enough appropriate investments that meet our investment criteria or that any investment we complete using the proceeds from an offering will produce a sufficient return.

Our portfolio companies may incur debt that ranks equal with, or senior to, our investments in such companies.

We invest primarily in debt securities issued by our portfolio companies. In some cases portfolio companies are permitted to have other debt that ranks equal with, or senior to, the debt securities in which we invest. By their terms, such debt instruments may provide that the holders thereof are entitled to receive payment of interest or principal on or before the dates on which we are entitled to receive payments in respect of the debt securities in which we invest. Also, in the event of insolvency, liquidation, dissolution, reorganization or bankruptcy of a portfolio company, holders of debt instruments ranking senior to our investment in that portfolio company would typically be entitled to receive payment in full before we receive any distribution in respect of our investment. After repaying such senior creditors, such portfolio company may not have any remaining assets to use for repaying its obligation to us. In the case of debt ranking equal with debt securities in which we invest, we would have to share on an equal basis any distributions with other creditors holding such debt in the event of an insolvency, liquidation, dissolution, reorganization or bankruptcy of a portfolio company.

Second priority liens on collateral securing loans that we make to our portfolio companies may be subject to control by senior creditors with first priority liens. If there is a default, the value of the collateral may not be sufficient to repay in full both the first priority creditors and us.

Certain loans that we make are secured by a second priority security interest in the same collateral pledged by a portfolio company to secure senior debt owed by the portfolio company to other traditional lenders. Often the senior lender has procured covenants from the portfolio company prohibiting the incurrence of additional secured debt, without the senior lender’s consent. Prior to, and as a condition of, permitting the portfolio company to borrow money from us secured by the same collateral pledged to the senior lender, the senior lender will require assurances that it will control the disposition of any collateral in the event of bankruptcy or other default. In many such cases, the senior lender will require us to enter into an “intercreditor agreement” prior to permitting the portfolio company to borrow from us. Typically, the intercreditor agreements we are requested to execute expressly subordinate our debt instruments to those held by the senior lender and further provide that the senior lender shall control: (1) the commencement of foreclosure or other proceedings to liquidate and collect on the collateral; (2) the nature, timing and conduct of foreclosure or other collection proceedings; (3) the amendment of any collateral document; (4) the release of the security interests in respect of any collateral; and (5) the waiver of defaults under any security agreement. Because of the control we may cede to senior lenders under intercreditor agreements we may enter, we may be unable to realize the proceeds of any collateral securing some of our loans.

There may be circumstances where our debt investments could be subordinated to claims of other creditors or we could be subject to lender liability claims.

Even though we may have structured certain of our investments as senior loans, if one of our portfolio companies were to go bankrupt, depending on the facts and circumstances, including the size of our investment and the extent to which we actually provided managerial assistance to that portfolio company, a bankruptcy court might recharacterize our debt investment and subordinate all or a portion of our claim to that of other creditors. In addition, lenders can be subject to lender liability claims for actions taken by them where they become too involved in the borrower’s business or exercise control over the borrower. It is possible that we could become subject to a lender’s liability claim, including as a result of actions taken in rendering significant managerial assistance.

Our investments in equity securities involve a substantial degree of risk.

We purchase common stock and other equity securities, including warrants. Although equity securities have historically generated higher average total returns than fixed-income securities over the long term, equity securities have also experienced significantly more volatility in those returns. The equity securities we acquire may fail to appreciate and may decline in value or become worthless, and our ability to recover our investment depends on our portfolio company’s success. Investments in equity securities involve a number of significant risks, including the risk of further dilution as a result of additional issuances, inability to access additional capital and failure to pay current distributions. Investments in preferred securities involve special risks, such as the risk of deferred distributions, credit risk, illiquidity and limited voting rights.

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The lack of liquidity in our investments may adversely affect our business.

We may invest in securities issued by private companies. These securities may be subject to legal and other restrictions on resale or otherwise be less liquid than publicly-traded securities. The illiquidity of these investments may make it difficult for us to sell these investments when desired. In addition, if we are required to liquidate all or a portion of our portfolio quickly, we may realize significantly less than the value at which we had previously recorded these investments. Our investments are usually subject to contractual or legal restrictions on resale or are otherwise illiquid because there is usually no established trading market for such investments. The illiquidity of most of our investments may make it difficult for us to dispose of them at a favorable price, and, as a result, we may suffer losses.

Our investments in foreign securities may involve significant risks in addition to the risks inherent in U.S. investments.

Our investment strategy contemplates that a portion of our investments may be in securities of foreign companies. Investing in foreign companies may expose us to additional risks not typically associated with investing in U.S. companies. These risks include changes in exchange control regulations, political and social instability, expropriation, imposition of foreign taxes, less liquid markets and less available information than is generally the case in the United States, higher transaction costs, less government supervision of exchanges, brokers and issuers, less developed bankruptcy laws, difficulty in enforcing contractual obligations, lack of uniform accounting and auditing standards and greater price volatility.

Although it is anticipated that most of our investments will be denominated in U.S. dollars, our investments that are denominated in a foreign currency will be subject to the risk that the value of a particular currency may change in relation to the U.S. dollar. Among the factors that may affect currency values are trade balances, the level of short-term interest rates, differences in relative values of similar assets in different currencies, long-term opportunities for investment and capital appreciation and political developments.

The disposition of our investments may result in contingent liabilities.

We currently expect that a significant portion of our investments will involve lending directly to private companies. In connection with the disposition of an investment in private securities, we may be required to make representations about the business and financial affairs of the portfolio company typical of those made in connection with the sale of a business. We may also be required to indemnify the purchasers of such investment to the extent that any such representations turn out to be inaccurate or with respect to certain potential liabilities. These arrangements may result in contingent liabilities that ultimately yield funding obligations that must be satisfied through our return of certain distributions previously made to us.

We may not receive any return on our investment in the CLO Funds in which we have invested.

As of December 31, 2019, we had $32.0 million at fair value invested in the subordinated securities, preferred shares, or other securities issued by the CLO Funds. Subordinated securities are the most junior class of securities issued by the CLO Funds and are subordinated in priority of payment to every other class of securities issued by these CLO Funds. Therefore, they only receive cash distributions if the CLO Funds have made all cash interest payments to all other debt securities issued by the CLO Fund. The subordinated securities are also unsecured and rank behind all of the secured creditors, known or unknown, of the CLO Fund, including the holders of the senior securities issued by the CLO Fund. Consequently, to the extent that the value of a CLO Fund’s loan investments has been reduced as a result of conditions in the credit markets, or as a result of defaulted loans or individual fund assets, the value of the subordinated securities at their redemption could be reduced.

Risks Related to Our Common Stock

We may not be able to pay distributions to our stockholders, our distributions may not grow over time, and a portion of distributions paid to our stockholders may be a return of capital.

We intend to continue to make distributions on a quarterly basis to our stockholders out of assets legally available for distribution. We may not be able to achieve investment results that will allow us to make a specified level of cash distributions or year-to-year increases in cash distributions. Our ability to pay distributions might be adversely affected by, among other things, the impact of one or more of the risk factors described herein. In addition, the inability to satisfy the asset coverage test applicable to us as a BDC could limit our ability to pay distributions. In addition, due to the asset coverage test applicable to us as a BDC and covenants that we agreed to in connection with the issuance of the 6.125% Notes Due 2022 we are limited in our ability to make distributions in certain circumstances. In this regard, we agreed in connection with our issuance of 6.125% Notes Due 2022 that for the period of time during which the 6.125% Notes Due 2022  are outstanding, we will not violate (regardless of whether we are subject to) Section 18(a)(1)(B) as modified by Section 61(a)(1) of the 1940 Act. These provisions generally prohibit us from declaring any cash dividend or distribution upon our common stock, or purchasing any such common stock if our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, is below 200% at the time of the declaration of the dividend or distribution or the purchase and after deducting the amount of such dividend, distribution or purchase. Further, if we invest a greater amount of assets in equity securities that do not pay current dividends, it could reduce the amount available for distribution.

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All distributions will be paid at the discretion of our Board and will depend on our earnings, our financial condition, maintenance of our RIC status, compliance with applicable BDC regulations and such other factors as our Board may deem relevant from time to time. We cannot assure you that we will pay distributions to our stockholders in the future.

When we make quarterly distributions, we will be required to determine the extent to which such distributions are paid out of current or accumulated earnings, recognized capital gains or capital. To the extent there is a return of capital, investors will be required to reduce their basis in our stock for U.S. federal income tax purposes, which may result in higher tax liability when the shares are sold, even if they have not increased in value or have lost value. Our distributions have over the last several years included a significant return of capital component. For more information about our distributions over the last several years that have included a return of capital component, see Note 8 — “Distributable Taxable Income” to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report.

Investing in shares of our common stock may involve an above average degree of risk.

The investments we make in accordance with our investment objective may result in a higher amount of risk, volatility or loss of principal than alternative investment options. Our investments in portfolio companies may be highly speculative, and therefore, an investment in our common stock may not be suitable for investors with lower risk tolerance.

Shares of closed-end investment companies, including BDCs, frequently trade at a discount to their net asset value, and we cannot assure you that the market price of our common stock will not decline below the net asset value of the stock.

We cannot predict the price at which our common stock will trade. Shares of closed-end investment companies frequently trade at a discount to their net asset value and our stock may also be discounted in the market. This characteristic of closed-end investment companies is separate and distinct from the risk that our net asset value per share may decline. We cannot predict whether shares of our common stock will trade above, at or below our net asset value. The risk of loss associated with this characteristic of closed-end investment companies may be greater for investors expecting to sell shares of common stock soon after the purchase of such shares of common stock. In addition, if our common stock trades below its net asset value, we will generally not be able to issue additional shares of our common stock at its market price without first obtaining the approval of our stockholders and our independent directors.

Stockholders will experience dilution in their ownership percentage if they do not participate in our dividend reinvestment plan.

All distributions declared in cash payable to stockholders that are participants in our dividend reinvestment plan will generally be automatically reinvested in shares of our common stock unless the investor opts out of the plan. As a result, stockholders that do not elect to participate in our dividend reinvestment plan will experience dilution over time. Stockholders who do not elect to participate in our dividend reinvestment plan may experience accretion to the net asset value of their shares if our shares are trading at a premium to net asset value and dilution if our shares are trading at a discount to net asset value. The level of accretion or discount would depend on various factors, including the proportion of our stockholders who participate in the plan, the level of premium or discount at which our shares are trading and the amount of the distribution payable to stockholders.

Our share price may be volatile and may fluctuate substantially.

The market price and liquidity of the market for shares of our common stock may be significantly affected by numerous factors, some of which are beyond our control and may not be directly related to our operating performance. These factors include:

 

price and volume fluctuations in the overall stock market from time to time;

 

significant volatility in the market price and trading volume of securities of BDCs or other companies in our sector, which are not necessarily related to the operating performance of these companies or to us;

 

our inability to deploy or invest our capital;

 

fluctuations in interest rates;

 

any shortfall in revenue or net income or any increase in losses from levels expected by investors or securities analysts;

 

operating performance of companies comparable to us;

 

changes in regulatory policies or tax rules, particularly with respect to RICs or BDCs;

 

inability to maintain our qualification as a RIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes;

 

changes in earnings or variations in operating results;

 

changes in the value of our portfolio;

 

general economic conditions and trends; and

 

departure of key personnel.

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Certain provisions of the Delaware General Corporation Law and our certificate of incorporation and bylaws could deter takeover attempts and have an adverse impact on the price of our common stock.

The Delaware General Corporation Law, our certificate of incorporation and our bylaws contain provisions that may have the effect of discouraging a third party from making an acquisition proposal for us. Our Board is divided into three classes of directors serving staggered three-year terms, which could prevent stockholders from removing a majority of directors in any given election. Our Board may, without stockholder action, authorize the issuance of shares in one or more classes or series, including shares of preferred stock. These anti-takeover provisions may inhibit a change in control in circumstances that could give the holders of our common stock the opportunity to realize a premium over the market price of our common stock.

Risks Related to Our Notes

Our 6.125% Notes Due 2022 are unsecured and therefore are effectively subordinated to any secured indebtedness we have currently incurred or may incur in the future.

Our 6.125% Notes Due 2022 are not secured by any of our assets or any of the assets of our subsidiaries. As a result, the 6.125% Notes Due 2022  are effectively subordinated to any secured indebtedness we have currently incurred and may incur in the future (or any indebtedness that is initially unsecured to which we subsequently grant security) to the extent of the value of the assets securing such indebtedness. In any liquidation, dissolution, bankruptcy or other similar proceeding, the holders of any of our existing or future secured indebtedness and the secured indebtedness of our subsidiaries may assert rights against the assets pledged to secure that indebtedness in order to receive full payment of their indebtedness before the assets may be used to pay other creditors, including the holders of the 6.125% Notes Due 2022 .

The 6.125% Notes Due 2022 are structurally subordinated to the indebtedness and other liabilities of our subsidiaries and portfolio companies with respect to which we hold equity investments.

The 6.125% Notes Due 2022 are obligations exclusively of Portman Ridge Finance Corporation, and not of any of our subsidiaries. None of our subsidiaries are guarantors of the 6.125% Notes Due 2022, and the 6.125% Notes Due 2022 will not be required to be guaranteed by any subsidiary or asset management firm we may acquire or create in the future. Any assets of our subsidiaries will not be directly available to satisfy the claims of our creditors, including holders of the 6.125% Notes Due 2022. Except to the extent we are a creditor with recognized claims against our subsidiaries, all claims of creditors of our subsidiaries will have priority over our equity interests in such entities (and therefore the claims of our creditors, including holders of the 6.125% Notes Due 2022 ) with respect to the assets of such entities. Even if we are recognized as a creditor of one or more of these entities, our claims would still be effectively subordinated to any security interests in the assets of any such entity and to any indebtedness or other liabilities of any such entity senior to our claims. Consequently, the 6.125% Notes Due 2022 are structurally subordinated to all indebtedness and other liabilities of any of our subsidiaries and portfolio companies with respect to which we hold equity investments, or that we may in the future acquire or establish. These entities may incur substantial indebtedness in the future, all of which would be structurally senior to the 6.125% Notes Due 2022.

The indentures under which the 6.125% Notes Due 2022 are issued contain limited protection for holders of the 6.125% Notes Due 2022.

The indentures under which the 6.125% Notes Due 2022 are issued offer limited protection to holders of the 6.125% Notes Due 2022. The terms of the indentures and the 6.125% Notes Due 2022  do not restrict our or any of our subsidiaries, ability to engage in, or otherwise be a party to, a variety of corporate transactions, circumstances or events that could have a material adverse impact on your investment in the 6.125% Notes Due 2022 . In particular, the terms of the indenture and the 6.125% Notes Due 2022 do not place any restrictions on our or our subsidiaries, ability to:

 

issue securities or otherwise incur additional indebtedness or other obligations, including (1) any indebtedness or other obligations that would be equal in right of payment to the 6.125% Notes Due 2022 , (2) any indebtedness or other obligations that would be secured and therefore rank effectively senior in right of payment to the 6.125% Notes Due 2022  to the extent of the values of the assets securing such debt, (3) indebtedness of ours that is guaranteed by one or more of our subsidiaries or the Asset Manager Affiliates and which therefore is structurally senior to the 6.125% Notes Due 2022  and (4) securities, indebtedness or obligations issued or incurred by our subsidiaries or the Asset Manager Affiliates that would be senior to our equity interests in those entities and therefore rank structurally senior to the 6.125% Notes Due 2022  with respect to the assets of our subsidiaries and the Asset Manager Affiliates, in each case other than an incurrence of indebtedness or other obligation that would cause a violation of Section 18(a)(1)(A) as modified by Section 61(a)(1) of the 1940 Act or any successor provisions. These provisions generally prohibit us from making additional borrowings, including through the issuance of additional debt or the sale of additional debt securities, unless our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, equals at least 200% after such borrowings;

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pay dividends on, or purchase or redeem or make any payments in respect of, capital stock or other securities ranking junior in right of payment to the 6.125% Notes Due 2022 , including subordinated indebtedness, in each case other than dividends, purchases, redemptions or payments that would cause a violation of Section 18(a)(1)(B) as modified by Section 61(a)(1) of the 1940 Act or any successor provisions. These provisions generally prohibit us from declaring any cash dividend or distribution upon any class of our capital stock, or purchasing any such capital stock if our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, is below 200% at the time of the declaration of the dividend or distribution or the purchase and after deducting the amount of such dividend, distribution or purchase;

 

sell assets (other than certain limited restrictions on our ability to consolidate, merge or sell all or substantially all of our assets);

 

enter into transactions with affiliates;

 

create liens (including liens on the shares of our subsidiaries) or enter into sale and leaseback transactions;

 

make investments; or

 

create restrictions on the payment of dividends or other amounts to us from our subsidiaries.

In addition, the indenture does not require us to offer to purchase the 6.125% Notes Due 2022 in connection with a change of control or any other event.

Furthermore, the terms of the indenture and the 6.125% Notes Due 2022 do not protect holders of the 6.125% Notes Due 2022  in the event that we experience changes (including significant adverse changes) in our financial condition, results of operations or credit ratings, if any, as they do not require that we adhere to any financial tests or ratios or specified levels of net worth, revenues, income, cash flow, or liquidity other than as described above. Any changes to the 200% asset coverage ratio in the 1940 Act could affect the 6.125% Notes Due 2022. As discussed above, on March 29, 2018, our Board, including a “required majority” (as such term is defined in Section 57(o) of the 1940 Act) of the Board, approved the modified asset coverage requirements set forth in Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act, as amended by the SBCA. As a result, our asset coverage requirement for senior securities will be changed from 200% to 150%, effective as of March 29, 2019. However, despite the SBCA, we will continue to be prohibited by the indenture governing our 6.125% Notes Due 2022 from making distributions on our common stock if our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, falls below 200%. See “Item 1A. Risk Factors — Risks Related to Our Business and Structure — Our Board has approved our ability to incur additional leverage as permitted by recent legislation.”

Our ability to recapitalize, incur additional debt and take a number of other actions that are not limited by the terms of the 6.125% Notes Due 2022 may have important consequences for you as a holder of the 6.125% Notes Due 2022 including making it more difficult for us to satisfy our obligations with respect to the 6.125% Notes Due 2022 or negatively affecting the trading value of the 6.125% Notes Due 2022 .

Other debt we issue or incur in the future could contain more protections for its holders than the indentures and the 6.125% Notes Due 2022, including additional covenants and events of default. The issuance or incurrence of any such debt with incremental protections could affect the market for and trading levels and prices of the 6.125% Notes Due 2022.

Even though the 6.125% Notes Due 2022 are listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, an active trading market for the 6.125% Notes Due 2022 may not develop, or if it does develop, it may not be sustained, which could limit your ability to sell the 6.125% Notes Due 2022 or affect the market price of the 6.125% Notes Due 2022

We cannot provide any assurances that an active trading market will develop for the 6.125% Notes Due 2022, or that, if it does develop, it will be sustained or that you will be able to sell your 6.125% Notes Due 2022. The 6.125% Notes Due 2022 may trade at a discount from the price paid for the 6.125% Notes Due 2022 depending on prevailing interest rates, the market for similar securities, our credit ratings, if any, general economic conditions, our financial condition, performance and prospects and other factors.

Accordingly, we cannot assure you that a liquid trading market will develop for the 6.125% Notes Due 2022  or that, if an active trading market for the 6.125% Notes Due 2022  does develop, it will be sustained, that you will be able to sell your 6.125% Notes Due 2022  at a particular time or that the price you receive when you sell will be favorable. To the extent an active trading market does not develop, the liquidity and trading price for the 6.125% Notes Due 2022 may be harmed. Accordingly, you may be required to bear the financial risk of an investment in the 6.125% Notes Due 2022 for an indefinite period of time.

If we default on our obligations to pay our other indebtedness, we may not be able to make payments on the 6.125% Notes Due 2022.

Any default under the agreements governing our indebtedness, that is not waived by the required lenders, and the remedies sought by the holders of such indebtedness could make us unable to pay principal, premium, if any, and interest on the 6.125% Notes Due 2022  and could substantially decrease the market value of the 6.125% Notes Due 2022 . If we are unable to generate sufficient cash flow and are otherwise unable to obtain funds necessary to meet required payments of principal, premium, if any, and interest on our indebtedness, or if we otherwise fail to comply with the various covenants, including financial and operating covenants, in the instruments governing our indebtedness, we could be in default under the terms of the agreements governing such indebtedness. In the event of such default, the holders of such indebtedness could elect to declare all the funds borrowed thereunder to be due and payable, together with accrued and unpaid interest, the lender any debt we may incur in the future could elect to terminate its commitment, cease making further loans and institute foreclosure proceedings against our assets, and we could be forced into bankruptcy or liquidation. If our operating performance declines, we may in the future need to seek to obtain waivers from under any other debt that

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we may incur in the future to avoid being in default. If we breach our covenants under any debt and seek a waiver, we may not be able to obtain a waiver from the required lenders. If this occurs, we would be in default under any debt, the lender could exercise its rights as described above, and we could be forced into bankruptcy or liquidation. If we are unable to repay debt, lenders having secured obligations could proceed against the collateral securing the debt. Because any future debt we issue will likely have customary cross-default provisions, if such other debt is accelerated, we may be unable to repay or finance the amounts due.

Risks Related to Our Investment Advisory Relationship with the Adviser

Our Adviser selects our investments and our stockholders have no input with respect to investment decisions.

The Adviser selects our investments and our stockholders will have no input with respect to investment decisions. As a result, we will be subject to all of the business risks and uncertainties associated with the origination of new investments, including the risk that we will not achieve our investment objective and that the value of your investment could decline substantially or become worthless.

We are dependent upon the Adviser for our future success.

We have no employees and, as a result, we depend on the diligence, skill and network of business contacts of the Adviser’s investment professionals to source appropriate investments for us. We depend on members of the Adviser’s investment team to appropriately analyze our investments and the Adviser’s investment committee to approve and monitor our portfolio investments. The Adviser’s investment committee, together with the other members of its investment team, evaluate, negotiate, structure, close and monitor our investments. Our future success will depend on the continued availability of the members of the Adviser’s investment committee and the other investment professionals available to the Adviser. We do not have employment agreements with these individuals or other key personnel of the Adviser, and we cannot provide any assurance that unforeseen business, medical, personal or other circumstances would not lead any such individual to terminate his or her relationship with the Adviser. The loss of a material number of senior investment professionals to which the Adviser has access, could have a material adverse effect on our ability to achieve our investment objective as well as on our financial condition and results of operations. In addition, we cannot assure you that the Adviser will remain our investment adviser or that we will continue to have access to the Adviser’s investment professionals or its information and deal flow.

The structure under the Advisory Agreement may induce the Adviser to pursue speculative investments and incur leverage, which may not be in the best interests of our stockholders.

The incentive fees payable by us to the Adviser under the Advisory Agreement may create an incentive for the Adviser to pursue investments on our behalf that are riskier or more speculative than would be the case in the absence of such compensation arrangement. The incentive fees payable to the Adviser are calculated based on a percentage of our return on invested capital. This may encourage the Adviser to use leverage to increase the return on our investments. Under certain circumstances, the use of leverage may increase the likelihood of default, which would impair the value of our common stock. In addition, the Adviser receives the incentive fees based, in part, upon net capital gains realized on our investments. Unlike that portion of incentive fees based on income, there is no hurdle rate applicable to the portion of the incentive fees based on net capital gains. As a result, the Adviser may have a tendency to invest more capital in investments that are likely to result in capital gains as compared to income-producing securities. Such a practice could result in our investing in more speculative securities than would otherwise be the case, which could result in higher investment losses, particularly during economic downturns.

Moreover, because the base management fees payable to the Adviser under the Advisory Agreement are payable based on our gross assets, excluding cash and cash equivalents but including those assets purchased with borrowed amounts, the Adviser has a financial incentive to incur leverage which may not be consistent with our stockholders’ interests.

The Adviser’s liability is limited under the Advisory Agreement, and we are required to indemnify the Adviser against certain liabilities, which may lead the Adviser to act in a riskier manner on our behalf than it would when acting for its own account.

Under the Advisory Agreement, the Adviser will not assume any responsibility to us other than to render the services described in the Advisory Agreement, and it is not be responsible for any action of our Board in declining to follow the Adviser’s advice or recommendations. Pursuant to the Advisory Agreement, the Adviser and its officers, managers, partners, agents, employees, controlling persons, members and any other person or entity affiliated with the Adviser are not be liable to us for their acts under the Advisory Agreement, absent criminal conduct, willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence in the performance of their duties or by reason of the reckless disregard of their duties and obligations. We have agreed to indemnify, defend and protect the Adviser and its officers, managers, partners, agents, employees, controlling persons, members and any other person or entity affiliated with the Adviser with respect to all damages, liabilities, costs and expenses arising out of or otherwise based upon the performance of any of the Adviser’s duties or obligations under the Advisory Agreement or otherwise as the Adviser for us, and not arising out of criminal conduct, willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence in the performance of their duties or by reason of the reckless disregard of their duties and obligations under the Advisory Agreement. These protections may lead the Adviser to act in a riskier manner when acting on our behalf than it would when acting for its own account.

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The Adviser is able to resign upon 60 days’ written notice, and we may not be able to find a suitable replacement within that time, resulting in a disruption in our operations that could adversely affect our financial condition, business and results of operations.

We are an externally managed BDC pursuant to the Advisory Agreement. Pursuant to the Advisory Agreement, the Adviser has the right to resign upon 60 days’ written notice, whether a replacement has been found or not. If the Adviser resigns, it may be difficult to find a replacement with similar expertise and ability to provide the same or equivalent services on acceptable terms within 60 days, or at all. If a replacement is not found quickly, our business, results of operations and financial condition as well as our ability to pay distributions are likely to be adversely affected and the value of our shares may decline. In addition, the coordination of our internal management and investment activities is likely to suffer if we are unable to identify and reach an agreement with a single institution or group of executives having the expertise possessed by the Adviser. Even if a comparable service provider or individuals performing such services are retained, whether internal or external, their integration into our business and lack of familiarity with our investment objective may result in additional costs and time delays that may materially adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

We may not replicate our historical performance, or the historical success of other investment vehicles advised by the Adviser.

We cannot provide any assurance that we will replicate our own historical performance, the historical success of the Adviser or the historical performance of other investment vehicles that the Adviser and its investment team advised in the past. Accordingly, our investment returns could be substantially lower than the returns achieved by us in the past or by other clients of the Adviser. We can offer no assurance that the Adviser will be able to continue to implement our investment objective with the same degree of success as it has had in the past.

Risks Relating to the Merger

Sales of shares of our common stock after the completion of our acquisition of OHAI may cause the market price of our common stock to decline.

Former OHAI Stockholders may decide not to hold the shares of our common stock that they received pursuant to the merger agreement. Certain OHAI Stockholders, such as funds with limitations on their permitted holdings of stock in individual issuers, may be required to sell the shares of our common stock that they received pursuant to the merger agreement. In addition, our stockholders may decide not to hold their shares of common stock as a result of the merger. In each case, such sales of our common stock could have the effect of depressing the market price our common stock.

If we sell investments acquired as a result of the merger, it may result in capital gains and increase the incentive fees payable to the Adviser.

Investments that we acquired as a result of the merger are booked at a discount under ASC 805-50, Business Combinations–Related Issues. To the extent we sell one of these acquired investments at a price that is higher than its then-amortized cost, such sale would result in realized capital gain that would be factored in to the amount of the incentive fee on capital gains, if any, that is paid by us to the Adviser. If we sell a significant portion of the investments acquired as a result of the merger, it may materially increase the incentive fee on capital gains paid to the Adviser. The effect on the incentive fee on capital gains has been greater for acquired investments sold closer to the Closing.

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

None.

Item 2.

Properties

We do not own any real estate or other real property.

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

The Company is not currently a party to any material legal proceedings.

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

Not applicable.

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Item 5.

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Our common stock is quoted on The NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “PTMN.” We completed our initial public offering on December 11, 2006 at an initial public offering (“IPO”) price of $15.00 per share. Prior to such date there was no public market for our common stock.

HOLDERS

As of February 24, 2020, there were approximately 52 holders of record of our common stock. This number does not include shareholders for whom shares are held in “nominee” or “street name.”

 

DIVIDEND POLICY

We intend to continue to make quarterly distributions to our stockholders. Our quarterly distributions, if any, will be determined by our Board. To maintain our RIC status, we must timely distribute an amount equal to at least 90% of our tax basis ordinary income and realized net short-term capital gains in excess of realized net long-term capital losses, if any, reduced by deductible expenses, out of the assets legally available for distribution, for each year. To avoid certain excise taxes imposed on RICs, we are generally required to distribute during each calendar year an amount at least equal to the sum of (1) 98% of our ordinary income for the calendar year, (2) 98.2% of our capital gains in excess of capital losses for the one-year period ending on October 31 of the calendar year and (3) any ordinary income and net capital gains for preceding years that were not distributed during such years and on which we paid no corporate tax. If this requirement is not met, we will be required to pay a nondeductible excise tax equal to 4% of the amount by which the required distribution amount exceeds the actual distribution for the year. The taxable income on which an excise tax is paid is generally carried forward and distributed to stockholders in the next tax year. Depending on the level of taxable income earned in a tax year, we may choose to carry forward taxable income in excess of current year distributions into the next tax year and pay a 4% excise tax on such income, to the extent required.

We cannot assure you that we will achieve results that will permit the payment of any cash distributions and, because we issued public senior securities, we are prohibited from making distributions if doing so causes us to fail to maintain the asset coverage ratio stipulated by the 1940 Act. Similarly, we may be prohibited from making distributions by the terms of any of our other borrowings.

We maintain an “opt out” dividend reinvestment plan for our common stockholders. As a result, if we declare distributions, then stockholders’ cash distributions will be automatically reinvested in additional shares of our common stock, unless they specifically “opt out” of the dividend reinvestment plan so as to receive cash.

 

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Performance Graph

The following graph compares the return on our common stock with that of the Russell 2000 Index and the Nasdaq Financial 100 Index (IXF), for the period December 11, 2006 (the date of our initial public offering) to December 31, 2019. The graph assumes that, on December 11, 2006, a person invested $100 in each of our common stock, the Russell 2000 Index, and the IFX. The graph measures total shareholder return, which takes into account both changes in stock price and dividends. It assumes that dividends are reinvested.

Shareholder Return Performance Graph Cumulative

Total Return Since Initial Public Offering(1) (Through

December 31, 2019)

 

 

(1)

Total return includes reinvestment of distributions through December 31, 2019. The IXF is an index of diversified financial sector stocks and, as such, the Company believes that it is representative of our industry. The Russell 2000 is a broad based equity market index that tracks companies with a market capitalization that the Company believes are comparable to it.

ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

During the quarter ended December 31, 2019, we did not purchase any of our shares of common stock. Pursuant to the merger agreement entered into with OHAI, if at any time within one year after the closing date of the transaction the Company’s common stock is trading at a price below 75% of its net asset value, we will initiate an open-market stock repurchase program of up to $10 million to support the trading price of the combined entity for up to one year from the date such program is announced. In accordance with the merger agreement, on March 5, 2020 our board of directors authorized a stock repurchase program of up to $10 million effective March 6, 2020 and terminating on March 5, 2021. Under this repurchase program, shares may be repurchased from time to time in open market transactions, in privately negotiated transactions or otherwise subject to any agreement to which we are party including any restrictions in the indenture for our 6.125% Notes Due 2022. The timing and actual number of shares repurchased will depend on a variety of factors, including legal requirements, price, and economic and market conditions. This repurchase program may be suspended or discontinued at any time.

SALES OF UNREGISTERED SECURITIES

During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, we issued 73,482 shares of common stock pursuant to a dividend reinvestment plan. This issuance was not subject to the registration requirements of the Securities Act. See Note 10 “Stockholders’ Equity,” of our Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included herein.

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Item 6.

Selected Financial Data

The following selected consolidated financial data should be read in conjunction with Part II, Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, and Part II, Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The following selected financial and other data for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015 is derived from the audited consolidated financial statements for such years, included in Part II, Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

PORTMAN RIDGE FINANCE CORPORATION

SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

 

 

 

Year Ended

 

 

Year Ended

 

 

Year Ended

 

 

Year Ended

 

 

Year Ended

 

 

 

December 31,

 

 

December 31,

 

 

December 31,

 

 

December 31,

 

 

December 31,

 

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

Income Statement Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interest and related portfolio income:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interest and Dividends

 

$

21,498,294

 

 

$

22,494,890

 

 

$

26,363,383

 

 

$

34,131,571

 

 

$

39,811,558

 

Fees and other income

 

 

137,061

 

 

 

245,393

 

 

 

491,279

 

 

 

668,527

 

 

 

366,859

 

Dividends from Asset Manager Affiliates

 

 

 

 

 

1,246,510

 

 

 

460,000

 

 

 

1,400,000

 

 

 

5,348,554

 

Investment income – Joint Ventures

 

 

4,859,780

 

 

 

3,100,000

 

 

 

949,037

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total interest and related portfolio income

 

 

26,495,135

 

 

 

27,086,793

 

 

 

28,263,699

 

 

 

36,200,098

 

 

 

45,526,971

 

Expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Management fees

 

 

3,129,079

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Performance-based incentive fees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interest and amortization of debt issuance costs

 

 

8,261,445

 

 

 

7,403,436

 

 

 

7,661,407

 

 

 

9,110,603

 

 

 

11,727,880

 

Compensation

 

 

3,688,578

 

 

 

4,012,743

 

 

 

4,571,309

 

 

 

4,103,558

 

 

 

3,843,799

 

Administrative services expense

 

 

1,243,587

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other

 

 

7,098,757

 

 

 

5,666,137

 

 

 

5,011,852

 

 

 

4,495,942

 

 

 

5,772,502

 

Total operating expenses

 

 

23,421,446

 

 

 

17,082,316

 

 

 

17,244,568

 

 

 

17,710,103

 

 

 

21,344,181

 

Management and performance-based incentive fees waived

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net expenses

 

 

23,421,446

 

 

 

17,082,316

 

 

 

17,244,568

 

 

 

17,710,103

 

 

 

21,344,181

 

Net Investment Income

 

 

3,073,689

 

 

 

10,004,477

 

 

 

11,019,131

 

 

 

18,489,995

 

 

 

24,182,790

 

Realized and unrealized (losses) gains on investments and debt extinguishment:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net realized (losses)

 

 

(16,695,014

)

 

 

(16,672,029

)

 

 

(11,021,042

)

 

 

(6,341,678

)

 

 

(6,647,478

)

Net change in unrealized (losses) gains

 

 

1,121,364

 

 

 

(2,903,994

)

 

 

3,389,993

 

 

 

(13,188,048

)

 

 

(36,169,870

)

Total net (losses) gains

 

 

(15,573,650

)

 

 

(19,576,023

)

 

 

(7,631,049

)

 

 

(19,529,726

)

 

 

(42,817,348

)

Net (decrease) increase in net assets resulting from

   operations

 

$

(12,499,961

)

 

$

(9,571,546

)

 

$

3,388,082

 

 

$

(1,039,731

)

 

$

(18,634,558

)

43


 

 

 

 

Year Ended

 

 

Year Ended

 

 

Year Ended

 

 

Year Ended

 

 

Year Ended

 

 

 

December 31,

 

 

December 31,

 

 

December 31,

 

 

December 31,

 

 

December 31,

 

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

Per Share:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earnings per common share – basic

 

$

(0.33

)

 

$

(0.26

)

 

$

0.09

 

 

$

(0.03

)

 

$

(0.50

)

Earnings per common share – diluted

 

$

(0.33

)

 

$

(0.26

)

 

$

0.09

 

 

$

(0.03

)

 

$

(0.50

)

Net investment income per share – basic

 

$

0.08

 

 

$

0.27

 

 

$

0.30

 

 

$

0.50

 

 

$

0.65

 

Net investment income per share – diluted

 

$

0.08

 

 

$

0.27

 

 

$

0.30

 

 

$

0.50

 

 

$

0.65

 

Distributions declared per common share

 

$

0.32

 

 

$

0.40

 

 

$

0.46

 

 

$

0.57

 

 

$

0.78

 

Taxable Distributable Income per basic share

 

$

0.01

 

 

$

0.25

 

 

$

0.16

 

 

$

0.40

 

 

$

0.63

 

Balance Sheet Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Investment assets at fair value

 

$

277,897,166