497 1 d770706d497.htm 497 497
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Filed pursuant to Rule 497
Registration Statement No. 333-228720

 

PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT

(To Prospectus Dated February 5, 2019)

 

 

LOGO

$33,750,000

5.375% Notes due 2024

 

 

We are an externally managed specialty finance company that provides capital to lower middle market U.S. businesses (which we generally define as companies with annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (“EBITDA”) of $3 million to $15 million). We operate as a closed-end, non-diversified management investment company and have elected to be treated as a business development company (“BDC”) under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). For federal income tax purposes, we have elected to be treated as a regulated investment company (“RIC”) under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). Our investment objectives are to: (1) achieve and grow current income by investing in debt securities of established businesses that we believe will provide stable earnings and cash flow to pay expenses, make principal and interest payments on our outstanding indebtedness and make distributions to stockholders that grow over time; and (2) provide our stockholders with long-term capital appreciation in the value of our assets by investing in equity securities of established businesses that we believe can grow over time to permit us to sell our equity investments for capital gains.

We are offering $33,750,000 in aggregate principal amount of 5.375% notes due 2024 (the “Notes”). The Notes will mature on November 1, 2024. We will pay interest on the Notes on February 1, May 1, August 1 and November 1 of each year, beginning on November 1, 2019. We may redeem the Notes in whole or in part at any time or from time to time on or after November 1, 2021, at the redemption price as set forth under “ Description of the Notes—Optional Redemption ” in this prospectus supplement. Holders of the Notes will not have the option to have the Notes repaid prior to November 1, 2024. The Notes will be issued in minimum denominations of $25 and integral multiples of $25 in excess thereof.

The Notes will be our direct unsecured obligations and rank equal in right of payment with all outstanding and future unsecured, unsubordinated indebtedness issued by us. Because the Notes will not be secured by any of our assets, they will be effectively subordinated to all of our existing and future secured indebtedness (or any indebtedness that is initially unsecured as to which we subsequently grant a security interest) to the extent of the value of the assets securing such indebtedness. The Notes will be structurally subordinated to all existing and future indebtedness and other obligations of any of our subsidiaries, since the Notes will be obligations exclusively of Gladstone Capital Corporation and not of any of our subsidiaries. The Notes will be senior in right of payment to any existing or future outstanding series of our preferred stock. None of our subsidiaries is a guarantor of the Notes and the Notes will not be required to be guaranteed by any subsidiary we may acquire or create in the future.

We intend to list the Notes on the Nasdaq Global Select Market (“Nasdaq”) under the trading symbol “GLADL.” The Notes are expected to trade “flat,” which means that purchasers will not pay, and sellers will not receive, any accrued and unpaid interest on the Notes that is not reflected in the trading price.

 

 

Investing in our Notes involves a high degree of risk, including the risk of leverage. Before buying any Notes, you should read the material risks described in the “Risk Factors” section beginning on page S-12 of this prospectus supplement and beginning on page 13 of the accompanying prospectus.

THE NOTES ARE NOT DEPOSITS OR OTHER OBLIGATIONS OF A BANK AND ARE NOT INSURED BY THE FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION OR ANY OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCY.

This prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus, any free writing prospectus, and the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus contain important information you should know before investing in our Notes, including information about risks. Please read these documents before you invest and retain them for future reference. Additional information about us, including our annual, quarterly and current reports, has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), and can be accessed free of charge at its website at www.sec.gov. This information is also available free of charge by calling us collect at (703) 287-5893 or on the investor relations section of our corporate website located at www.gladstonecapital.com, which, except for the documents incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, is not part of this prospectus supplement nor the accompanying prospectus. You may also call us collect at this number to request other information or to make a shareholder inquiry. See “Where You Can Find More Information” on page S-38 of this prospectus supplement.

The SEC has not approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

     Per Note      Total(2)  

Public offering price

   $ 25.00      $ 33,750,000  

Sales load (underwriting discounts and commissions)

   $ 0.75      $ 1,012,500  

Proceeds, before expenses, to us(1)

   $ 24.25      $ 32,737,500  

 

(1) 

Total expenses of the offering payable by us, excluding underwriting discounts and commissions, are estimated to be $250,000. See “Underwriting” on page S-19 of this prospectus supplement.

(2) 

We have granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional $5,062,500 total aggregate principal amount of Notes offered by this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, solely to cover overallotments, if any, within 30 days from the date of this prospectus supplement. If the underwriters exercise this option in full, the total public offering price will be $38,812,500, the total underwriting discount (sales load and commissions) paid by us will be $1,164,375, and total proceeds, before expenses, will be $37,648,125.

Delivery of the Notes in book-entry form only through The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) will be made on or about October 10, 2019.

 

 

Joint Book-Running Managers

 

Janney Montgomery Scott   Ladenburg Thalmann   B. Riley FBR

Co-Managers

 

William Blair     Wedbush Securities

The date of this prospectus supplement is October 7, 2019


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

     Page  

Prospectus Supplement

  

About this Prospectus Supplement

     S-1  

Prospectus Supplement Summary

     S-2  

The Offering

     S-6  

Supplementary Risk Factors

     S-12  

Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

     S-16  

Use of Proceeds

     S-17  

Capitalization

     S-18  

Underwriting

     S-19  

Description of the Notes

     S-22  

Certain United States Federal Income Tax Consequences

     S-33  

Custodian, Transfer Agent, Dividend Disbursing Agent and Paying Agent

     S-38  

Legal Matters

     S-38  

Experts

     S-38  

Where You Can Find More Information

     S-38  

Incorporation by Reference

     S-39  

Prospectus

Prospectus Summary

     1  

The Offering

     5  

Fees and Expenses

     8  

Additional Information

     12  

Incorporation of Certain Information by Reference

     12  

Risk Factors

     13  

Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

     40  

Use of Proceeds

     41  

Price Range of Common Stock and Distributions

     41  

Common Share Price Data

     42  

Ratio of Earnings to Combined Fixed Charges and Mandatorily Redeemable Preferred Distributions

     43  

Consolidated Selected Financial Data

     44  

Selected Quarterly Data (unaudited)

     46  

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

     47  

Senior Securities

     74  

Business

     76  

Portfolio Companies

     93  

Management

     101  

Control Persons and Principal Stockholders

     117  

Dividend Reinvestment Plan

     120  

Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations

     122  

Regulation as a Business Development Company

     132  

Description of Our Securities

     135  

Certain Provisions of Maryland Law and of Our Charter and Bylaws

     142  

Share Repurchases

     146  

Plan of Distribution

     147  

Custodian, Transfer and Dividend Paying Agent and Registrar

     149  

Brokerage Allocation and Other Practices

     150  

Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures

     151  

Legal Matters

     152  

Experts

     152  

Financial Statements

     F-1  


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ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT

This prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus, any free writing prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus set forth the information that you should know before investing in the Notes. You should read these documents, which contain important information, before deciding whether to invest in the Notes.

This prospectus supplement, which describes the specific terms of this offering, also adds to and updates information contained in the accompanying prospectus. The accompanying prospectus gives more general information, some of which may not apply to this offering. If the description of this offering varies between this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, you should rely on the information contained in this prospectus supplement. However, if any statement in one of these documents is inconsistent with a statement in another document having a later date, the statement in the document having the later date modifies or supersedes the earlier statement.

You should rely only on the information contained in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus, any free writing prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and accompanying prospectus in making an investment decision. Neither we nor the underwriters have authorized any other person to provide you with different or inconsistent information. If anyone provides you with different or inconsistent information, you should not rely on it. The information appearing in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus, any free writing prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus is accurate only as of the respective dates of such information regardless of the time of delivery or any sale of the Notes. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since those dates.

We are not, and the underwriters are not, making an offer to sell the Notes in any jurisdiction where such an offer or sale is not permitted.

 

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PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT SUMMARY

The following summary highlights some of the information included in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. It is not complete and may not contain all the information that you may want to consider. You should review the more detailed information contained elsewhere in this prospectus supplement and in the accompanying prospectus prior to making an investment in our Notes, and especially the information set forth under the heading “Risk Factors” in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus.

In this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, except where the context suggests otherwise, the “Company,” “Gladstone Capital,” “we,” us” or “our” refer to Gladstone Capital Corporation; “Adviser” refers to Gladstone Management Corporation and “Administrator” refers to Gladstone Administration, LLC; and “Gladstone Companies” refers to our Adviser, the Administrator and its affiliated companies.

Gladstone Capital Corporation

We were incorporated under the General Corporation Laws of the State of Maryland on May 30, 2001 and completed our initial public offering on August 24, 2001. We are externally managed and operate as a closed-end, non-diversified management investment company and have elected to be treated as a BDC under the 1940 Act. For federal income tax purposes, we have elected to be treated as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code. We intend to continue to qualify as a RIC for federal income tax purposes and obtain favorable RIC tax treatment by meeting certain requirements, including minimum distribution requirements.

Our Investment Objectives and Strategy

We were established for the purpose of investing in debt and equity securities of established private businesses operating in the United States. Our investment objectives are to: (1) achieve and grow current income by investing in debt securities of established businesses that we believe will provide stable earnings and cash flow to pay expenses, make principal and interest payments on our outstanding indebtedness and make distributions to stockholders that grow over time; and (2) provide our stockholders with long-term capital appreciation in the value of our assets by investing in equity securities of established businesses that we believe can grow over time to permit us to sell our equity investments for capital gains. To achieve our objectives, our investment strategy is to invest in several categories of debt and equity securities, with each investment generally ranging from $8 million to $30 million, although investment size may vary depending upon our total assets or available capital at the time of investment. We expect that our investment portfolio over time will consist of approximately 90.0% in debt investments and 10.0% in equity investments, at cost. As of June 30, 2019, our investment portfolio was made up of approximately 90.0% debt investments and 10.0% equity investments, at cost.

We focus on investing in lower middle market companies (which we generally define as companies with annual EBITDA of $3 million to $15 million) in the United States that meet certain criteria, including the following: the sustainability of the business’ free cash flow and its ability to grow it over time, adequate assets for loan collateral, experienced management teams with a significant ownership interest in the borrower, reasonable capitalization of the borrower, including an ample equity contribution or cushion based on prevailing enterprise valuation multiples and, to a lesser extent, the potential to realize appreciation and gain liquidity in our equity position, if any. We lend to borrowers that need funds for growth capital or to finance acquisitions or recapitalize or refinance their existing debt facilities. We seek to avoid investing in high-risk, early-stage enterprises. Our targeted portfolio companies are generally considered too small for the larger capital marketplace.

We invest by ourselves or jointly with other funds and/or management of the portfolio company, depending on the opportunity. In July 2012, the SEC granted us an exemptive order (the “Co-Investment Order”) that expanded our ability to co-invest, under certain circumstances, with certain of our affiliates, including Gladstone



 

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Investment Corporation, a BDC also managed by the Adviser, and any future business development company or closed-end management investment company that is advised (or sub-advised if it controls the fund) by the Adviser, or any combination of the foregoing, subject to the conditions in the Co-Investment Order. Since 2012, we have opportunistically made several co-investments with Gladstone Investment Corporation pursuant to the Co-Investment Order. We believe the Co-Investment Order has enhanced our ability to further our investment objectives and strategies. If we are participating in an investment with one or more co-investors, our investment is likely to be smaller than if we were investing alone.

In general, our investments in debt securities have a term of no more than seven years, accrue interest at variable rates (based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate, or “LIBOR”) and, to a lesser extent, at fixed rates. We seek debt instruments that pay interest monthly or, at a minimum, quarterly, and which may include a yield enhancement, such as a success fee or deferred interest provision and are primarily interest only with all principal and any accrued but unpaid interest due at maturity. Generally, success fees accrue at a set rate and are contractually due upon a change of control of the portfolio company. Some debt securities have deferred interest whereby some portion of the interest payment is added to the principal balance so that the interest is paid together with the principal at maturity. This form of deferred interest is often called paid-in-kind (“PIK”) interest.

Typically, our equity investments take the form of preferred or common stock, limited liability company interests, or warrants or options to purchase the foregoing. Often, these equity investments occur in connection with our original investment, recapitalizing a business, or refinancing existing debt.

During the nine months ended June 30, 2019, we invested $111.2 million in 12 new portfolio companies and extended $11.2 million of investments to existing portfolio companies. In addition, during the nine months ended June 30, 2019, we exited nine portfolio companies through sales, early payoffs, or a merger. We received a total of $102.2 million in combined net proceeds and principal repayments from the aforementioned portfolio company exits as well as existing portfolio companies during the nine months ended June 30, 2019. This activity resulted in a net increase in our overall portfolio by three portfolio companies to 53 and a net decrease of $4.3 million in our portfolio at cost since September 30, 2018. From our initial public offering in August 2001 through June 30, 2019, we have made 526 different loans to, or investments in, 239 companies for a total of approximately $1.9 billion, before giving effect to principal repayments on investments and divestitures. We expect that our investment portfolio will primarily include the following categories of investments in private companies operating in the U.S.:

 

   

First Lien Secured Debt Securities: We seek to invest a portion of our assets in first lien secured debt securities also known as senior loans, senior term loans, lines of credit and senior notes. Using its assets as collateral, the borrower typically uses first lien debt to cover a substantial portion of the funding needs of the business. These debt securities usually take the form of first priority liens on all, or substantially all, of the assets of the business. First lien debt securities may include investments sourced from the syndicated loan market.

 

   

Second Lien Secured Debt Securities: We seek to invest a portion of our assets in second lien secured debt securities, also known as subordinated loans, subordinated notes and mezzanine loans. These second lien secured debt securities rank junior to the borrowers’ first lien secured debt securities and may be secured by second priority liens on all or a portion of the assets of the business. Additionally, we may receive other yield enhancements in addition to or in lieu of success fees such as warrants to buy common and preferred stock or limited liability interests in connection with these second lien secured debt securities. Second lien debt securities may include investments sourced from the syndicated loan market.

 

   

Preferred and Common Equity/Equivalents: In some cases we will purchase equity securities which consist of preferred and common equity or limited liability company interests, or warrants or options to



 

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acquire such securities, and are in combination with our debt investment in a business. Additionally, we may receive equity investments derived from restructurings on some of our existing debt investments. In some cases, we will own a significant portion of the equity and in other cases we may have voting control of the businesses in which we invest.

Under the 1940 Act, we may not acquire any asset other than assets of the type listed in Section 55(a) of the 1940 Act, which are referred to as “qualifying assets” and generally include each of the investment types listed above, unless, at the time the acquisition is made, qualifying assets represent at least 70.0% of our total assets. See “Regulation as a Business Development Company—Qualifying Assets” in the accompanying prospectus for a discussion of the types of qualifying assets in which we are permitted to invest pursuant to Section 55(a) of the 1940 Act.

Because the majority of the loans in our portfolio consist of term debt in private companies that typically cannot or will not expend the resources to have their debt securities rated by a credit rating agency, we expect that most, if not all, of the debt securities we acquire will be unrated. Investors should assume that these loans would be rated below what is today considered “investment grade” quality. Investments rated below investment grade are often referred to as high yield securities or junk bonds and may be considered higher risk, as compared to investment-grade debt instruments. In addition, many of the debt securities we hold typically do not amortize prior to maturity. With the exception of our policy to conduct our business as a BDC, our investment policies are not fundamental and may be changed without stockholder approval. See “ Business—Investment Process ” included in the accompanying prospectus for additional information on our investment practices.

Our Investment Adviser and Administrator

We are externally managed by the Adviser, an affiliate of ours, under an investment advisory and management agreement, and another of our affiliates, the Administrator provides administrative services to us pursuant to a contractual agreement. Each of the Adviser and Administrator are privately-held companies that are indirectly owned and controlled by David Gladstone, our chairman and chief executive officer. Mr. Gladstone and Terry Lee Brubaker, our vice chairman and chief operating officer, also serve on the board of directors of the Adviser, the board of managers of the Administrator, and serve as executive officers of the Adviser and the Administrator. The Administrator employs, among others, our chief financial officer and treasurer, chief valuation officer, chief compliance officer, general counsel and secretary (who also serves as the president of the Administrator) and their respective staffs. The Adviser and Administrator have extensive experience in our lines of business and also provide investment advisory and administrative services, respectively, to our affiliates, including, but not limited to: Gladstone Commercial Corporation, a publicly-traded real estate investment trust; Gladstone Investment Corporation, a publicly-traded BDC and RIC; and Gladstone Land Corporation, a publicly-traded real estate investment trust. In the future, the Adviser and Administrator may provide investment advisory and administrative services, respectively, to other funds and companies, both public and private.

The Adviser was organized as a corporation under the laws of the State of Delaware on July 2, 2002, and is an SEC registered investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. The Administrator was organized as a limited liability company under the laws of the State of Delaware on March 18, 2005. The Adviser and Administrator are headquartered in McLean, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C. The Adviser also has offices in other states.



 

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Recent Developments

Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock

Effective October 2, 2019, pursuant to the Articles Supplementary establishing and fixing the rights and preferences of the 6.00% Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock due 2024, par value $0.001 per share, liquidation preference $25.00 per share (“Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock”), we voluntarily redeemed all 2,070,000 outstanding shares of our Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock at a redemption price of $25.00 per share which represents the liquidation preference per share, plus accrued and unpaid dividends through October 1, 2019 in the amount of $0.004166 per share, for a payment per share of $25.004166 and an aggregate redemption price of approximately $51,758,624.



 

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THE OFFERING

This prospectus supplement sets forth certain terms of the Notes that we are offering pursuant to this prospectus supplement and supplements the accompanying prospectus that is attached to the back of this prospectus supplement. This section outlines the specific legal and financial terms of the Notes. You should read this section together with the section titled “Description of our Notes” and the more general description of our debt securities in the accompanying prospectus under the heading “Description of Our Securities—Debt Securities” before investing in the Notes.

 

Issuer

Gladstone Capital Corporation

 

Title of the securities

5.375% Notes due 2024

 

Initial aggregate principal amount being offered

$33,750,000

 

Overallotment option

The underwriters may also purchase from us up to an additional $5,062,500 aggregate principal amount of Notes to cover overallotments, if any, within 30 days of the date of this prospectus supplement.

 

Principal payable at maturity

100% of the aggregate principal amount. The outstanding principal amount of the Notes will be payable on the stated maturity date at the office of the trustee, paying agent, and security registrar for the Notes or at such other office as we may designate.

 

Type of Note

Fixed rate note

 

Listing

We intend to list the Notes on the Nasdaq, under the trading symbol “GLADL.”

 

Interest rate

5.375% per year

 

Day count basis

360-day year of twelve 30-day months

 

Original issue date

October 10, 2019

 

Stated maturity date

November 1, 2024

 

Date interest starts accruing

October 10, 2019

 

Interest payment dates

Each February 1, May 1, August 1 and November 1 commencing November 1, 2019. If an interest payment date falls on a non-business day, the applicable interest payment will be made on the next business day and no additional interest will accrue as a result of such delayed payment.

 

Interest periods

The initial interest period will be the period from and including October 10, 2019, to, but excluding, the initial interest payment date, and the subsequent interest periods will be the periods from and including an interest payment date to, but excluding, the next interest payment date or the stated maturity date, as the case may be.


 

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Regular record dates for interest

January 15, April 15, July 15 and October 15

 

Specified currency

U.S. Dollars

 

Place of payment

St. Paul, Minnesota and/or such other place(s) that may be specified in the indenture or a notice to holders.

 

Ranking of Notes

The Notes will be our direct unsecured obligations and will rank:

 

   

pari passu with our existing and future unsecured, unsubordinated indebtedness;

 

   

senior to any series of preferred stock that we may issue in the future;

 

   

senior to any of our future indebtedness that expressly provides it is subordinated to the Notes;

 

   

effectively subordinated to all our existing and future secured indebtedness (including indebtedness that is initially unsecured to which we subsequently grant security), to the extent of the value of the assets securing such indebtedness; and

 

   

structurally subordinated to all existing and future indebtedness and other obligations of any of our subsidiaries, including without limitation, the $118.6 million in borrowings outstanding as of October 7, 2019 under our Fifth Amended and Restated Credit Agreement with KeyBank National Association (the “Credit Facility”).

 

Denominations

We will issue the Notes in denominations of $25 and integral multiples of $25 in excess thereof.

 

Business day

Each Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday that is not a day on which banking institutions in New York City, Nashville, Tennessee or the place of payment are authorized or required by law or executive order to close.

 

Optional redemption

The Notes may be redeemed in whole or in part at any time or from time to time at our option on or after November 1, 2021, upon not less than 30 days nor more than 60 days written notice by mail prior to the date fixed for redemption thereof, at a redemption price of 100% of the outstanding principal amount of the Notes to be redeemed plus accrued and unpaid interest payments otherwise payable for the then-current quarterly interest period accrued to but not including the date fixed for redemption.

 

  You may be prevented from exchanging or transferring the Notes when they are subject to redemption. In case any Notes are to be redeemed in part only, the redemption notice will provide that, upon surrender of such Note, you will receive, without a charge, a new Note or Notes of authorized denominations representing the principal amount of your remaining unredeemed Notes. Any exercise of our option to redeem the Notes will be done in compliance with the indenture and the 1940 Act, to the extent applicable.


 

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  If we redeem only some of the Notes, the trustee or, with respect to global securities, DTC, will determine the method for selection of the particular Notes to be redeemed, in accordance with the indenture and the 1940 Act, to the extent applicable, and in accordance with the rules of any national securities exchange or quotation system on which the Notes are listed. Unless we default in payment of the redemption price, on and after the date of redemption, interest will cease to accrue on the Notes called for redemption.

 

Sinking fund

The Notes will not be subject to any sinking fund.

 

Repayment at option of Holders

Holders will not have the option to have the Notes repaid prior to the stated maturity date.

 

Defeasance and covenant defeasance

The Notes are subject to defeasance by us. “Defeasance” means that, by depositing with a trustee an amount of cash and/or government securities sufficient to pay all principal and interest, if any, on the Notes when due and satisfying any additional conditions required under the indenture relating to the Notes, we will be deemed to have been discharged from our obligations under the Notes. See “ Description of the Notes—Defeasance ” in this prospectus supplement.

 

  The Notes are subject to covenant defeasance by us. In the event of a “covenant defeasance,” upon depositing such funds and satisfying conditions similar to those for defeasance we would be released from certain covenants under the indenture relating to the Notes. The consequences to the holders of the Notes would be that, while they would no longer benefit from certain covenants under the indenture, and while the Notes could not be accelerated for any reason, the holders of the Notes nonetheless could look to the Company for repayment of the Notes if there were a shortfall in the funds deposited with the trustee or the trustee is prevented from making a payment. See “ Description of the Notes—Defeasance ” in this prospectus supplement.

 

Form of Notes

The Notes will be represented by global securities that will be deposited and registered in the name of DTC or its nominee. Except in limited circumstances, you will not receive certificates for the Notes. Beneficial interests in the Notes will be represented through book-entry accounts of financial institutions acting on behalf of beneficial owners as direct and indirect participants in DTC. Investors may elect to hold interests in the Notes through either DTC, if they are a participant, or indirectly through organizations which are participants in DTC.

 

Trustee, Paying Agent and Security Registrar

U.S. Bank National Association is the trustee, security registrar and paying agent. U.S. Bank National Association, in each of its capacities, including without limitation as trustee, security registrar and paying agent, assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or



 

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completeness of the information concerning us or our affiliates or any other party contained in this document or the related documents or for any failure by us or any other party to disclose events that may have occurred and may affect the significance or accuracy of such information, or for any information provided to it by us, including but not limited to settlement amounts and any other information.

 

  We may maintain banking relationships in the ordinary course of business with the trustee and its affiliates.

 

Other covenants

In addition to standard covenants relating to payment of principal and interest, maintaining an office where payments may be made or the Notes may be surrendered for payment and related matters, the following covenants shall apply to the Notes:

 

   

We agree that for the period of time during which the Notes are outstanding, we will not violate Section 18(a)(1)(A) as modified by Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act or any successor provisions, whether or not we continue to be subject to such provisions of the 1940 Act. Currently, these provisions generally prohibit us from incurring additional debt or issuing additional debt or preferred securities, unless our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, equals at least 150% after such incurrence or issuance.

 

   

We agree that for the period of time during which Notes are outstanding, we will not declare any dividend (except a dividend payable in stock of the issuer), or declare any other distribution, upon a class of our capital stock, or purchase any such capital stock, unless, in every such case, at the time of the declaration of any such dividend or distribution, or at the time of any such purchase, we have an asset coverage (as defined in the 1940 Act) of at least the threshold specified under Section 18(a)(1)(B) as modified by Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act or any successor provisions thereto of the 1940 Act, after deducting the amount of such dividend, distribution or purchase price, as the case may be, and in each case giving effect to any SEC no-action relief granted by the SEC to another BDC and upon which we may reasonably rely (or to us if we determine to seek such similar no-action or other relief) permitting the BDC to declare any cash dividend or distribution notwithstanding the prohibition contained in Section 18(a)(1)(B) as modified by Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act, in order to maintain such BDC’s status as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code.

 

   

If, at any time, we are not subject to the reporting requirements of Sections 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), to file any periodic reports with the SEC, we agree to furnish to holders of the Notes and the trustee, for the period of time during which the Notes are outstanding, our audited annual consolidated financial statements, within 90 days of our fiscal year end, and unaudited



 

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interim consolidated financial statements, within 45 days of our fiscal quarter end (other than our fourth fiscal quarter). All such financial statements will be prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with applicable Generally Accepted Accounting Principles in the United States of America (“GAAP”).

 

Events of default

The term “Event of Default” in respect of the Notes means any of the following:

 

   

We do not pay the principal of any Note when due and payable at maturity;

 

   

We do not pay interest on any Note when due and payable, and such default is not cured within 30 days of its due date;

 

   

We remain in breach of any other covenant in respect of the Notes for 60 days after we receive a written notice of default stating we are in breach (the notice must be sent by either the trustee or holders of at least 25% of the principal amount of the outstanding Notes);

 

   

We file for bankruptcy or certain other events of bankruptcy, insolvency or reorganization occur and remain undischarged or unstayed for a period of 60 days; or

 

   

On the last business day of each of twenty-four consecutive calendar months, the Notes have an asset coverage of less than 100%.

 

Use of Proceeds

We estimate that the net proceeds we receive from the sale of the $33,750,000 aggregate principal amount of Notes in this offering will be $32,487,500 (or $37,398,125 if the underwriters fully exercise their overallotment option) after deducting the underwriting discounts and commissions of $1,012,500 million (or $1,164,375 million if the underwriters fully exercise their overallotment option) payable by us and estimated offering expenses of approximately $250,000 payable by us.

 

  We intend to use the net proceeds from this offering to repay a portion of the amount outstanding under the Credit Facility, to fund new investment opportunities, and for other general corporate purposes. As of October 7, 2019, we had approximately $118.6 million of debt outstanding under our Credit Facility. See “Use of Proceeds” on page S-17.

 

Global Clearance and Settlement Procedures

Interests in the Notes will trade in DTC’s Same Day Funds Settlement System, and any permitted secondary market trading activity in such Notes will, therefore, be required by DTC to be settled in immediately available funds. None of the issuer, the Trustee or the paying agent will have any responsibility for the performance by DTC or its participants or indirect participants of their respective obligations under the rules and procedures governing their operations.


 

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Governing Law

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

 

Risk Factors

See “Risk Factors” on page S-12 of this prospectus supplement and beginning on page 13 of the accompanying prospectus for a discussion of risks you should carefully consider before deciding to invest in the Notes.


 

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SUPPLEMENTARY RISK FACTORS

Investing in the Notes involves a number of significant risks. You should carefully consider the risks described below and all other information contained in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus, any free writing prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus before making a decision to purchase our Notes. The risks and uncertainties described below are not the only ones facing us. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us, or not presently deemed material by us, may also impair our operations and performance.

If any of the following risks actually occur, our business, financial condition or results of operations could be materially adversely affected. If that happens, our net asset value and the trading price of our securities could decline and you may lose all or part of your investment.

Risks Related to the Offering

The Notes will be unsecured and therefore will be effectively subordinated to any secured indebtedness we have currently incurred or may incur in the future and will rank pari passu with, or equal to, all outstanding and future unsecured indebtedness issued by and us and our general liabilities (total liabilities, less debt).

The Notes will not be secured by any of our assets or any of the assets of our subsidiaries. As a result, the Notes are subordinated to any secured indebtedness we or our subsidiaries 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 Notes. In addition, the Notes will rank pari passu with, or equal to, all outstanding and future unsecured indebtedness issued by us and our general liabilities (total liabilities, less debt).

The Notes will be structurally subordinated to the indebtedness and other liabilities of our subsidiaries.

The Notes are obligations exclusively of the Company and not of any of our subsidiaries. None of our subsidiaries will be a guarantor of the Notes and the Notes are not required to be guaranteed by any subsidiaries we may acquire or create in the future. 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 subsidiaries (and therefore the claims of our creditors, including holders of the Notes) with respect to the assets of such subsidiaries. Even if we are recognized as a creditor of one or more of our subsidiaries, our claims would still be effectively subordinated to any security interests in the assets of any such subsidiary and to any indebtedness or other liabilities of any such subsidiary senior to our claims. Consequently, the Notes will be structurally subordinated to all indebtedness and other liabilities of any of our subsidiaries and any subsidiaries that we may in the future acquire or establish. As of October 7, 2019, there was $118.6 million outstanding under the Credit Facility. Borrowings under the Credit Facility are the obligation of Gladstone Business Loan, LLC (“Business Loan”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of ours, and are structurally senior to the Notes. In addition, our subsidiaries may incur substantial additional indebtedness in the future, all of which would be structurally senior to the Notes.

The indenture under which the Notes will be issued will contain limited protection for holders of the Notes.

The indenture under which the Notes will be issued offers limited protection to holders of the Notes. The terms of the indenture and the Notes 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 an adverse impact on your

 

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investment in the Notes. In particular, the terms of the indenture and the Notes will 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 Notes, (2) any indebtedness or other obligations that would be secured and therefore rank effectively senior in right of payment to the Notes 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 and which therefore is structurally senior to the Notes and (4) securities, indebtedness or obligations issued or incurred by our subsidiaries that would be senior to our equity interests in our subsidiaries and therefore rank structurally senior to the Notes with respect to the assets of our subsidiaries, 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)(2) of the 1940 Act or any successor provisions, whether or not we continue to be subject to such provisions of the 1940 Act, which generally prohibit us incurring additional debt or issuing additional debt or preferred securities, unless our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, equals at least 150% after such incurrence or issuance.;

 

   

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 Notes, including our preferred stock and any subordinated indebtedness, in each case other than dividends, purchases, redemptions or payments that would cause our asset coverage to fall below the threshold specified in Section 18(a)(1)(B) as modified by Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act or any successor provisions, giving effect to any no-action relief granted by the SEC to another BDC and upon which we may reasonably rely (or to us if we determine to seek such similar SEC no-action or other relief) permitting the BDC to declare any cash dividend or distribution notwithstanding the prohibition contained in Section 18(a)(1)(B) as modified by Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act in order to maintain the BDC’s status as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code;

 

   

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 and the Notes will not require us to make an offer to purchase the Notes in connection with a change of control or any other event.

Furthermore, the terms of the indenture and the Notes do not protect holders of the Notes 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 or our subsidiaries adhere to any financial tests or ratios or specified levels of net worth, revenues, income, cash flow, or liquidity.

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

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

 

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There is no existing trading market for the Notes and, even if Nasdaq approves the listing of the Notes, an active trading market for the Notes may not develop, which could limit your ability to sell the Notes and/or the market price of the Notes.

The Notes will be a new issue of debt securities for which there is no trading market. We intend to list the Notes on Nasdaq within 30 days of the original issue date under the symbol “GLADL.” However, there is no assurance that the Notes will be approved for listing on Nasdaq. Moreover, even if the listing of the Notes is approved, we cannot provide any assurances that an active trading market will develop or be maintained for the Notes or that you will be able to sell your Notes. If the Notes are traded after their initial issuance, they may trade at a discount from their initial offering price 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. The underwriters have advised us that they intend to make a market in the Notes, but they are not obligated to do so. The underwriters may discontinue any market-making in the Notes at any time at their sole discretion.

Accordingly, we cannot assure you that the Notes will be approved for listing on Nasdaq, that a liquid trading market will develop or be maintained for the Notes, that you will be able to sell your Notes 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 Notes may be harmed. Accordingly, you may be required to bear the financial risk of an investment in the Notes 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 Notes.

Any default under the agreements governing our indebtedness, including a default under the Credit Facility or other indebtedness to which we may be a party, that is not waived by the required lenders or holders, and the remedies sought by the holders of such indebtedness could make us unable to pay principal, premium, if any, and interest on the Notes and substantially decrease the market value of the Notes. 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 lenders under the Credit Facility or other debt we may incur in the future could elect to terminate their commitments, 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 refinance or restructure our debt, including the Notes, sell assets, reduce or delay capital investments, seek to raise additional capital or seek to obtain waivers from the required lenders under the Credit Facility or other debt that we may incur in the future to avoid being in default. If we are unable to implement one or more of these alternatives, we may not be able to meet our payment obligations under the Notes or our other debt. If we breach our covenants under the Credit Facility or other debt and seek a waiver, we may not be able to obtain a waiver from the required lenders or holders. If this occurs, we would be in default under the Credit Facility or other debt, the lenders or holders could exercise their rights as described above, and we could be forced into bankruptcy or liquidation. If we are unable to repay debt, lenders having secured obligations, including the lenders under the Credit Facility, could proceed against the collateral securing the debt. Because the Credit Facility has, and any future credit facilities will likely have, customary cross-default provisions, if the indebtedness under the Notes or the Credit Facility or under any future credit facility is accelerated, we may be unable to repay or finance the amounts due.

We may choose to redeem the Notes when prevailing interest rates are relatively low.

On or after November 1, 2021, we may choose to redeem the Notes from time to time, especially if prevailing interest rates are lower than the rate borne by the Notes. If prevailing rates are lower at the time of redemption,

 

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and we redeem the Notes, you likely would not be able to reinvest the redemption proceeds in a comparable security at an effective interest rate as high as the interest rate on the Notes being redeemed. Our redemption right also may adversely impact your ability to sell the Notes as the optional redemption date or period approaches.

Our management will have broad discretion in the use of the net proceeds from this offering and may allocate the net proceeds from this offering in ways that you and other stockholders may not approve.

Our management will have broad discretion in the use of the net proceeds, including for any of the purposes described in the section entitled “ Use of Proceeds,” and you will not have the opportunity as part of your investment decision to assess whether the net proceeds are being used in ways with which you may not agree or may not otherwise be considered appropriate. Because of the number and variability of factors that will determine our use of the net proceeds from this offering, their ultimate use may vary substantially from their currently intended use. The failure of our management to use these funds effectively could harm our business. Pending their use, we may invest the net proceeds from this offering in short-term, investment-grade, interest-bearing securities. These investments may not yield a favorable return to our stockholders.

 

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SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

All statements contained in this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus, other than historical facts, may constitute “forward-looking statements.” These statements may relate, among other things, to future events or our future performance or financial condition, our business prospects and the prospects of our portfolio companies, actual and potential conflicts of interest with our Adviser and its affiliates, the use of borrowed money to finance our investments, the adequacy of our financing sources and working capital, and our ability to co-invest, among other factors. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as “estimate,” “may,” “might,” “believe,” “will,” “provided,” “anticipate,” “future,” “could,” “growth,” “plan,” “intend,” “expect,” “should,” “would,” “if,” “seek,” “possible,” “potential,” “likely” or the negative of such terms or comparable terminology. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include:

 

   

the recurrence of adverse events in the economy and the capital markets;

 

   

risks associated with negotiation and consummation of pending and future transactions;

 

   

the loss of one or more of our executive officers, in particular David Gladstone, Terry Lee Brubaker or Robert L. Marcotte;

 

   

changes in our investment objectives and strategy;

 

   

availability, terms (including the possibility of interest rate volatility) and deployment of capital;

 

   

changes in our industry, interest rates, exchange rates, regulation or the general economy;

 

   

our business prospects and the prospects of our portfolio companies;

 

   

the degree and nature of our competition;

 

   

changes in governmental regulations, tax rates and similar matters;

 

   

our ability to exit an investment in a timely manner;

 

   

our ability to maintain our qualification as a RIC and as a BDC; and

 

   

those factors described in the “Risk Factors” section of this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus.

We caution readers not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. Actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in our forward-looking statements and future results could differ materially from our historical performance. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this prospectus supplement. Although we undertake no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise, you are advised to consult any additional disclosures that we may make directly to you or through reports we have filed, or in the future may file with the SEC, including subsequent annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K. The forward-looking statements contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus are excluded from the safe harbor protection provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”).

 

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USE OF PROCEEDS

The net proceeds from the sale of $33,750,000 aggregate principal amount of the Notes in this offering are $32,487,500 (or $37,398,125 if the underwriters fully exercise their overallotment option) after deducting the underwriting discounts and commissions of $1,012,500 (or $1,164,375 if the underwriters fully exercise their overallotment option) payable by us and estimated offering expenses of approximately $250,000 payable by us.

We intend to use the net proceeds from this offering to repay a portion of the amount outstanding under the Credit Facility, to fund new investment opportunities, and for other general corporate purposes. As of October 7, 2019, we had $118.6 million outstanding under the Credit Facility. Advances under the Credit Facility generally bear interest at a 30-day LIBOR plus 2.85% per annum, with an unused commitment fee of 0.50% when the average unused commitment amount for the reporting period is less than or equal to 50%, 0.75% when the average unused commitment amount for the reporting period is greater than 50% but less than or equal to 65%, and 1.00% when the average unused commitment amount for the reporting period is greater than 65%. The Credit Facility has a revolving period end date of January 15, 2021. If our Credit Facility is not renewed or extended by January 15, 2021, all principal and interest will be due and payable on or before April 15, 2022.

We intend to re-borrow under our Credit Facility to make investments in portfolio companies in accordance with our investment objectives depending on the availability of appropriate investment opportunities consistent with our investment objectives and market conditions.

Pending such uses, we will invest a portion of the net proceeds of this offering in short-term investments, such as cash and cash equivalents, which we expect will earn yields substantially lower than the interest income that we anticipate receiving in respect of investments in accordance with our investment objectives.

 

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CAPITALIZATION

The following table sets forth our capitalization as of June 30, 2019:

 

   

on an actual basis; and

 

   

on an as-adjusted basis to give effect to the sale of $33,750,000 aggregate principal amount of the Notes and the application of the estimated net proceeds of the offering, after deducting underwriters’ discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses of $1,012,500 and $250,000, respectively, payable by us (and assuming the underwriters’ overallotment option is not exercised). See “ Use of Proceeds

 

     As of June 30, 2019  
     Actual     As Adjusted***  
     (Unaudited)  
     (Dollars in thousands)  

Borrowings

    

Credit Facility at fair value (cost: $59,300, actual; $26,812, as adjusted)

   $ 59,473     $ 26,985 **** 

2023 Notes

   $ 55,643     $ 55,643  

Term Preferred Stock

    

6.00% Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock, $0.001 par value per share; $25 liquidation preference per share; 3,000,000 shares authorized and 2,070,000 shares issued and outstanding, actual and as adjusted**

   $ 50,285     $ 50,285

Notes offered hereby**

   $ —       $ 32,488  

Net Assets

    

Common stock, $0.001 par value per share, 44,560,000 shares authorized and 29,904,418 shares issued and outstanding, actual and as adjusted**

   $ 30     $ 30  

Capital in excess of par value

     354,942       354,942  

Cumulative net unrealized depreciation of investments

     (15,618     (15,618

Cumulative net unrealized depreciation of other

     (173     (173

Under distributed net investment income

     90       90  

Accumulated net realized losses

     (93,085     (93,085
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total Net Assets

   $ 246,186     $ 246,186  
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total Capitalization

   $ 411,587     $ 411,587  
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

*

The Company redeemed all of its outstanding Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock on October 2, 2019 through the drawdown of additional borrowings under the Credit Facility.

**

None of these outstanding shares are held by us or for our account.

***

Assumes a total of $1,012,500 of aggregate underwriting discounts and commissions and $250,000 of estimated offering costs payable by us in connection with this offering will be capitalized and amortized over the life of the Notes.

****

Subsequent to June 30, 2019, the Company borrowed approximately $51.8 million under the Credit Facility in order to redeem all of its Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock on October 2, 2019. This table does not reflect this additional borrowing.

The following are our outstanding classes of securities as of June 30, 2019:

 

(1) Title of Class

   (2) Amount
Authorized
     (3) Amount Held
by us or for Our
Account
     (4) Amount
Outstanding
Exclusive of
Amounts Shown
Under (3)
 

Common Stock

     44,560,000        —          —    

Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock*

     5,440,000        —          2,070,000  

2023 Notes

   $ 57,500,000        —          —    

 

*

The Company redeemed all of its outstanding Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock on October 2, 2019 through the drawdown of additional borrowings under the Credit Facility.

 

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UNDERWRITING

Janney Montgomery Scott LLC is acting as representative of the underwriters named below. Subject to the terms and conditions set forth in an underwriting agreement among us, the Adviser, the Administrator and the underwriters, we have agreed to sell to the underwriters, and each of the underwriters has agreed, severally and not jointly, to purchase from us, the principal amount of Notes set forth opposite its name below.

 

Underwriter    Principal
Amount of Notes
 

Janney Montgomery Scott LLC

   $ 13,500,000  

Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Inc.

     9,618,750  

B. Riley FBR, Inc.

     5,906,250  

William Blair & Company, L.L.C.

     2,868,750  

Wedbush Securities Inc.

     1,856,250  

Total

   $ 33,750,000  

Subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the underwriting agreement, the underwriters have agreed, severally and not jointly, to purchase all of the Notes sold under the underwriting agreement if any of the Notes are purchased. If an underwriter defaults, the underwriting agreement provides that the purchase commitments of the nondefaulting underwriters may be increased or the underwriting agreement may be terminated.

We, the Adviser and the Administrator have agreed to indemnify the underwriters against certain liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act, or to contribute to payments the underwriters may be required to make in respect of those liabilities.

The underwriting agreement provides that the obligations of the underwriters to purchase the Notes are subject to approval of legal matters by counsel to the underwriters and certain other conditions, including the receipt by the underwriters of officers’ certificates and legal opinions. The underwriters reserve the right to withdraw, cancel or modify offers to the public and to reject orders in whole or in part. Investors must pay for the Notes purchased in this offering on or about October 10, 2019.

Commissions and Discounts

An underwriting discount of 3.0% per Note will be paid by us. This underwriting discount will also apply to any Notes purchased pursuant to the overallotment option. The underwriters have advised us that they propose initially to offer the Notes to the public at the public offering price on the cover of this prospectus supplement and to certain other Financial Institution Regulatory Authority, Inc. members at that price less a concession not in excess of $0.50 per Note.

The following table shows the total underwriting discounts and commissions that we are to pay to the underwriters in connection with this offering. The information assumes either no exercise or full exercise by the underwriters of their overallotment option.

 

     Per Note      Without Option      With Option  

Public offering price

   $ 25.00      $ 33,750,000      $ 38,812,500  

Underwriting discounts and commissions

   $ 0.75      $ 1,012,500      $ 1,164,375  

Proceeds, before expenses

   $ 24.25      $ 32,737,500      $ 37,648,125  

The expenses of the offering, not including the underwriting discounts and commissions, are estimated at $250,000 and are payable by us. We will pay the fees and expenses (including reasonable legal fees and disbursements) incident to securing any required review by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. of the terms of the sale of the Notes in this offering in an amount not to exceed $7,500.

 

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Overallotment Option

We have granted an option to the underwriters to purchase up to an additional $5,062,500 aggregate principal amount of the Notes offered hereby at the public offering price, less the underwriting discounts and commissions, within 30 days from the date of this prospectus supplement solely to cover any overallotments. If the underwriters exercise this option, each will be obligated, subject to conditions contained in the underwriting agreement, to purchase a number of additional Notes proportionate to that underwriter’s initial principal amount reflected in the table above.

No Sales of Similar Securities

We have agreed not to directly or indirectly offer, sell, short sell or otherwise dispose of, or enter into any agreement to offer, sell, short sell or otherwise dispose of, any debt securities issued or guaranteed by us or other securities convertible into or exchangeable or exercisable for debt securities issued or guaranteed by us or derivative of debt securities issued or guaranteed by us for a period of 90 days after the date of this prospectus supplement without first obtaining the written consent of Janney Montgomery Scott LLC. This consent may be given at any time without public notice.

Listing

The Notes are a new issue of securities with no established trading market. We intend to list the Notes on the Nasdaq and will use our reasonable best efforts to maintain such listing. We expect trading in the Notes on the Nasdaq to begin within 30 days after the original issue date under the trading symbol “GLADL”. Currently there is no public market for the Notes.

We have been advised by certain of the underwriters that they presently intend to make a market in the Notes after completion of the offering as permitted by applicable laws and regulations. The underwriters are not obligated, however, to make a market in the Notes and any such market-making may be discontinued at any time in the sole discretion of the underwriters without any notice. Accordingly, no assurance can be given as to the liquidity of, or development of a public trading market for, the Notes. If an active public trading market for the Notes does not develop, the market price and liquidity of the Notes may be adversely affected.

Price Stabilization, Short Positions

In connection with the offering, the underwriters may purchase and sell Notes in the open market. These transactions may include overallotment, covering transactions and stabilizing transactions. Overallotment involves sales of securities in excess of the aggregate principal amount of securities to be purchased by the underwriters in the offering, which creates a short position for the underwriters. Covering transactions involve purchases of the securities in the open market after the distribution has been completed in order to cover short positions. Stabilizing transactions consist of certain bids or purchases of securities made for the purpose of preventing or retarding a decline in the market price of the securities while the offering is in progress.

The underwriters also may impose a penalty bid. This occurs when a particular underwriter repays to the underwriters a portion of the underwriting discount received by it because the representative has repurchased Notes sold by or for the account of such underwriter in stabilizing or short covering transactions.

Any of these activities may cause the price of the Notes to be higher than the price that otherwise would exist in the open market in the absence of such transactions. These transactions may be affected in the over-the-counter market or otherwise and, if commenced, may be discontinued at any time without any notice relating thereto.

Other Relationships

Certain of the underwriters and their affiliates have provided in the past and may provide from time to time in the future in the ordinary course of their business certain commercial banking, financial advisory, investment banking and other services to us, our portfolio companies or our affiliates for which they have received or will be

 

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entitled to receive separate fees. In particular, the underwriters or their affiliates may execute transactions with us, on behalf of us, any of our portfolio companies or our affiliates. In addition, the underwriters or their affiliates may act as arrangers, underwriters or placement agents for companies whose securities are sold to or whose loans are syndicated to us, our portfolio companies or our affiliates.

The underwriters or their affiliates may also trade in our securities, securities of our portfolio companies or other financial instruments related thereto for their own accounts or for the account of others and may extend loans or financing directly or through derivative transactions to us, any of our portfolio companies or our affiliates.

After the date of this prospectus supplement, the underwriters and their affiliates may from time to time obtain information regarding specific portfolio companies or us that may not be available to the general public. Any such information is obtained by the underwriters and their affiliates in the ordinary course of its business and not in connection with the offering of the Notes. In addition, after the offering period for the sale of the Notes, the underwriters or their affiliates may develop analyses or opinions related to us or our portfolio companies and buy or sell interests in one or more of our portfolio companies on behalf of their proprietary or client accounts and may engage in competitive activities. There is no obligation on behalf of these parties to disclose their respective analyses, opinions or purchase and sale activities regarding any portfolio company or regarding us to our noteholders or any other persons.

In the ordinary course of their various business activities, the underwriters and their respective affiliates may make or hold a broad array of investments and actively trade debt and equity securities (or related derivative securities) and financial instruments (including bank loans) for their own account and for the accounts of their customers. Such investments and securities activities may involve securities and/or instruments of ours or our affiliates. The underwriters and their affiliates may also make investment recommendations and/or publish or express independent research views in respect of such securities or financial instruments and may hold, or recommend to clients that they acquire, long and/or short positions in such securities and instruments.

The principal business addresses of the underwriters are: Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, 1717 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103; Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Inc., 277 Park Avenue, 12th floor, New York, New York 10172; and B. Riley FBR, Inc., 299 Park Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, New York 10171.

Alternative Settlement Cycle

It is expected that delivery of the notes will be made against payment therefor on or about October 10, 2019, which is the third business day following the date hereof (such settlement cycle being referred to as “T+3”). Under Rule 15c6-1 under the Exchange Act, trades in the secondary market generally are required to settle in two business days unless the parties to any such trade expressly agree otherwise. Accordingly, purchasers who wish to trade the notes on any date prior to the second business day before delivery thereof will be required, by virtue of the fact that the notes initially will settle in T+3, to specify an alternative settlement cycle at the time of any such trade to prevent failed settlement. Purchasers of the notes who wish to trade the notes prior to their date of delivery hereunder should consult their own advisors.

Other Jurisdictions

Other than in the United States, no action has been taken by us or the underwriters that would permit a public offering of the Notes offered by this prospectus supplement in any jurisdiction where action for that purpose is required. The Notes offered by this prospectus supplement may not be offered or sold, directly or indirectly, nor may this prospectus supplement or any other offering material or advertisements in connection with the offer and sale of any such Notes be distributed or published in any jurisdiction, except under circumstances that will result in compliance with the applicable rules and regulations of that jurisdiction. Persons into whose possession this prospectus supplement comes are advised to inform themselves about and to observe any restriction relating to the offering and the distribution of this prospectus supplement. This prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus do not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy the Notes offered by this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus in any jurisdiction in which such an offer or a solicitation is unlawful.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF THE NOTES

The Notes will be issued under a base indenture dated as of November 6, 2018 and a second supplemental indenture thereto to be dated as of October 10, 2019, to be entered into between us and U.S. Bank National Association, as trustee. We refer to the indenture and the second supplemental indenture collectively as the “indenture” and to U.S. Bank National Association as the “trustee.” The Notes are governed by the indenture, as required by federal law for all bonds and notes of companies that are publicly offered. An indenture is a contract between us and the financial institution acting as trustee on your behalf, and is subject to and governed by the Trust Indenture Act of 1939, as amended. The trustee has two main roles. First, the trustee can enforce your rights against us if we default. There are some limitations on the extent to which the trustee acts on your behalf, described in the second paragraph under “—Events of Default—Remedies if an Event of Default Occurs” below. Second, the trustee performs certain administrative duties for us with respect to the Notes.

This section includes a summary description of the material terms of the Notes and the indenture. Because this section is a summary, however, it does not describe every aspect of the Notes and the indenture. We urge you to read the indenture because it, and not this description, defines your rights as a holder of the Notes. The base indenture has been attached as an exhibit to the registration statement of which this prospectus supplement is a part and the second supplemental indenture will be attached as an exhibit to a post-effective amendment to the registration statement of which this prospectus supplement is a part, in each case, as filed with the SEC. See “ Where You Can Find More Information” in this prospectus supplement for information on how to obtain a copy of the indenture.

General

The Notes will mature on November 1, 2024. The principal payable at maturity will be 100% of the aggregate principal amount. The interest rate of the Notes is 5.375% per year and will be paid every February 1, May 1, August 1 and November 1, commencing November 1, 2019, and the regular record dates for interest payments will be every January 15, April 15, July 15 and October 15, commencing October 15, 2019. If an interest payment date falls on a non-business day, the applicable interest payment will be made on the next business day and no additional interest will accrue as a result of such delayed payment. The initial interest period will be the period from and including October 10, 2019, to, but excluding, the initial interest payment date, and the subsequent interest periods will be the periods from and including an interest payment date to, but excluding, the next interest payment date or the stated maturity date, as the case may be.

We will issue the Notes in denominations of $25 and integral multiples of $25 in excess thereof. The Notes will not be subject to any sinking fund and holders of the Notes will not have the option to have the Notes repaid prior to the stated maturity date.

The indenture does not limit the amount of debt (including secured debt) that may be issued by us or our subsidiaries under the indenture or otherwise, but does contain a covenant regarding our asset coverage that would have to be satisfied at the time of our incurrence of additional indebtedness. See “—Covenants” and “—Events of Default.” Other than as described under “—Covenants ” below, the indenture does not restrict us from paying dividends or issuing or repurchasing our other securities. Other than restrictions described under “—Merger or Consolidation” below, the indenture does not contain any covenants or other provisions designed to afford holders of the Notes protection in the event of a highly leveraged transaction involving us or if our credit rating declines as the result of a takeover, recapitalization, highly leveraged transaction or similar restructuring involving us that could adversely affect your investment in the Notes.

We may, without the consent of the holders of the Notes, issue additional notes under the indenture with the same terms (except for the issue date, public offering price, and if applicable, the initial interest payment date) and with the same CUSIP numbers as the Notes offered hereby in an unlimited aggregate principal amount; provided that such additional notes must be treated as part of the same issue as the Notes offered hereby for federal income tax purposes.

 

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Covenants

In addition to standard covenants relating to payment of principal and interest, maintaining an office where payments may be made or securities can be surrendered for payment and related matters, the following covenants will apply to the Notes:

 

   

We agree that for the period of time during which the Notes are outstanding, we will not violate Section 18(a)(1)(A) as modified by Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act or any successor provisions, whether or not we continue to be subject to such provisions of the 1940 Act. Currently, these provisions generally prohibit us from incurring additional debt or issuing additional debt or preferred securities, unless our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, equals at least 150% after such incurrence or issuance

 

   

We agree that for the period of time during which Notes are outstanding, we will not declare any dividend (except a dividend payable in stock of the issuer), or declare any other distribution, upon a class of our capital stock, or purchase any such capital stock, unless, in every such case, at the time of the declaration of any such dividend or distribution, or at the time of any such purchase, we have an asset coverage (as defined in the 1940 Act) of at least the threshold specified under Section 18(a)(1)(B) as modified by Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act or any successor provisions thereto of the 1940 Act, after deducting the amount of such dividend, distribution or purchase price, as the case may be, and in each case giving effect to any SEC no-action relief granted by the SEC to another BDC and upon which we may reasonably rely (or to us if we determine to seek such similar no-action or other relief) permitting the BDC to declare any cash dividend or distribution notwithstanding the prohibition contained in Section 18(a)(1)(B) as modified by Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act, in order to maintain such BDC’s status as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code.

 

   

If, at any time, we are not subject to the reporting requirements of Sections 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act to file any periodic reports with the SEC, we agree to furnish to holders of the Notes and the trustee, for the period of time during which the Notes are outstanding, our audited annual consolidated financial statements, within 90 days of our fiscal year end, and unaudited interim consolidated financial statements, within 45 days of our fiscal quarter end (other than our fourth fiscal quarter). All such financial statements will be prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with applicable GAAP.

Optional Redemption

The Notes may be redeemed in whole or in part at any time or from time to time at our option on or after November 1, 2021, upon not less than 30 days nor more than 60 days written notice by mail prior to the date fixed for redemption thereof, at a redemption price of 100% of the outstanding principal amount of the Notes to be redeemed plus accrued and unpaid interest payments otherwise payable thereon for the then-current quarterly interest period accrued to, but excluding, the date fixed for redemption.

You may be prevented from exchanging or transferring the Notes when they are subject to redemption. In case any Notes are held in certificated form and are to be redeemed in part only, the redemption notice will provide that, upon surrender of such Note, you will receive, without a charge, a new Note or Notes of authorized denominations representing the principal amount of your remaining unredeemed Notes. Any exercise of our option to redeem the Notes will be done in compliance with the indenture and the 1940 Act, to the extent applicable.

If we redeem only some of the Notes, the trustee or, with respect to global securities, DTC, will determine the method for selection of the particular Notes to be redeemed, in accordance with the indenture and the 1940 Act, to the extent applicable, and in accordance with the rules of any national securities exchange or quotation system on which the Notes are listed. Unless we default in payment of the redemption price, on and after the date of redemption, interest will cease to accrue on the Notes called for redemption.

 

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Global Securities

Each Note will be issued in book-entry form and represented by a global security that we deposit with and register in the name of DTC or its nominee. A global security may not be transferred to or registered in the name of anyone other than the depositary or its nominee, unless special termination situations arise. As a result of these arrangements, the depositary, or its nominee, will be the sole registered owner and holder of all the Notes represented by a global security, and investors will be permitted to own only beneficial interests in a global security. For more information about these arrangements, see “—Book-Entry Procedures” below.

Termination of a Global Security

If a global security is terminated for any reason, interests in it will be exchanged for certificates in non-book-entry form (certificated securities). After that exchange, the choice of whether to hold the certificated Notes directly or in street name will be up to the investor. Investors must consult their own banks or brokers to find out how to have their interests in a global security transferred on termination to their own names, so that they will be holders.

Conversion and Exchange

The Notes are not convertible into or exchangeable for other securities.

Payment and Paying Agents

We will pay interest to the person listed in the trustee’s records as the owner of the Notes at the close of business on a particular day in advance of each due date for interest, even if that person no longer owns the Note on the interest due date. That day, usually about two weeks in advance of the interest due date, is called the “record date.” Because we will pay all the interest for an interest period to the holders on the record date, holders buying and selling the Notes must work out between themselves the appropriate purchase price. The most common manner is to adjust the sales price of the Notes to prorate interest fairly between buyer and seller based on their respective ownership periods within the particular interest period. This prorated interest amount is called “accrued interest.”

Payments on Global Securities

We will make payments on the Notes so long as they are represented by a global security in accordance with the applicable policies of the depositary as in effect from time to time. Under those policies, we will make payments directly to the depositary, or its nominee, and not to any indirect holders who own beneficial interests in the global security. An indirect holder’s right to those payments will be governed by the rules and practices of the depositary and its participants, as described under “—Book-Entry Procedures ” below.

Payments on Certificated Securities

In the event the Notes become represented by certificated securities, we will make payments on the Notes as follows. We will pay interest that is due on an interest payment date to the holder of the Notes as shown on the trustee’s records as of the close of business on the regular record date. We will make all payments of principal and premium, if any, by check at the office of the applicable trustee in St. Paul, Minnesota and/or at other offices that may be specified in the indenture or a notice to holders against surrender of the Note.

Alternatively, if the holder asks us to do so, we will pay any amount that becomes due on the debt security by wire transfer of immediately available funds to an account at a bank in St. Paul, Minnesota, on the due date. To request payment by wire, the holder must give the applicable trustee or other paying agent appropriate transfer instructions at least 15 business days before the requested wire payment is due. In the case of any interest

 

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payment due on an interest payment date, the instructions must be given by the person who is the holder on the relevant regular record date. Any wire instructions, once properly given, will remain in effect unless and until new instructions are given in the manner described above.

Payment When Offices Are Closed

If any payment is due on the Notes on a day that is not a business day, we will make the payment on the next day that is a business day. Payments made on the next business day in this situation will be treated under the indenture as if they were made on the original due date. Such payment will not result in a default under the Notes or the indenture, and no interest will accrue on the payment amount from the original due date to the next day that is a business day.

Book-entry and other indirect holders should consult their banks or brokers for information on how they will receive payments on the Notes.

Events of Default

You will have rights if an Event of Default occurs in respect of the Notes and the Event of Default is not cured, as described later in this subsection.

The term “Event of Default” in respect of the Notes means any of the following:

 

   

We do not pay the principal of any Note when due and payable at maturity;

 

   

We do not pay interest on any Note when due and payable, and such default is not cured within 30 days of its due date;

 

   

We remain in breach of any other covenant in respect of the Notes for 60 days after we receive a written notice of default stating we are in breach (the notice must be sent by either the trustee or holders of at least 25% of the principal amount of the outstanding Notes);

 

   

We file for bankruptcy or certain other events of bankruptcy, insolvency or reorganization occur and remain undischarged or unstayed for a period of 60 days; or

 

   

On the last business day of each of twenty-four consecutive calendar months, the Notes have an asset coverage (as such term is defined in the 1940 Act) of less than 100%.

An Event of Default for the Notes may, but does not necessarily, constitute an Event of Default for any other series of debt securities issued under the same or any other indenture. The trustee may withhold notice to the holders of the Notes of any default, except in the payment of principal or interest, if it in good faith considers the withholding of notice to be in the best interests of the holders.

Remedies if an Event of Default Occurs

If an Event of Default has occurred and is continuing, the trustee or the holders of not less than 25% in principal amount of the Notes may declare the entire principal amount of all the Notes to be due and immediately payable, but this does not entitle any holder of Notes to any redemption payout or redemption premium. This is called a declaration of acceleration of maturity. In certain circumstances, a declaration of acceleration of maturity may be canceled by the holders of a majority in principal amount of the Notes if (1) we have deposited with the trustee all amounts due and owing with respect to the Notes (other than principal or any payment that has become due solely by reason of such acceleration) and certain other amounts, and (2) any other Events of Default have been cured or waived.

Except in cases of default, where the trustee has some special duties, the trustee is not required to take any action under the indenture at the request of any holders unless the holders offer the trustee protection from expenses and

 

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liability reasonably satisfactory to it (called an “indemnity”). If indemnity reasonably satisfactory to the trustee is provided, the holders of a majority in principal amount of the Notes may direct the time, method and place of conducting any lawsuit or other formal legal action seeking any remedy available to the trustee. The trustee may refuse to follow those directions in certain circumstances. No delay or omission in exercising any right or remedy will be treated as a waiver of that right, remedy or Event of Default.

Before you are allowed to bypass the trustee and bring your own lawsuit or other formal legal action or take other steps to enforce your rights or protect your interests relating to the Notes, the following must occur:

 

   

You must give the trustee written notice that an Event of Default has occurred and remains uncured;

 

   

The holders of at least 25% in principal amount of all the Notes must make a written request that the trustee take action because of the default and must offer the trustee indemnity, security, or both reasonably satisfactory to it against the cost and other liabilities of taking that action;

 

   

The trustee must not have taken action for 60 days after receipt of the above notice and offer of indemnity and/or security; and

 

   

The holders of a majority in principal amount of the Notes must not have given the trustee a direction inconsistent with the above notice during that 60-day period.

However, you are entitled at any time to bring a lawsuit for the payment of money due on your Notes on or after the due date.

Book-entry and other indirect holders should consult their banks or brokers for information on how to give notice or direction to or make a request of the trustee and how to declare or cancel an acceleration of maturity.

Each year, we will furnish to the trustee a written statement of certain of our officers certifying that to their knowledge we are in compliance with the indenture and the Notes, or else specifying any default.

Waiver of Default

The holders of a majority in principal amount of the Notes may waive any past defaults other than a default:

 

   

in the payment of principal (or premium, if any) or interest; or

 

   

in respect of a covenant that cannot be modified or amended without the consent of each holder of the Notes.

Merger or Consolidation

Under the terms of the indenture, we are generally permitted to consolidate or merge with another entity. We are also permitted to sell all or substantially all of our assets to another entity. However, we may not take any of these actions unless all the following conditions are met:

 

   

where we merge out of existence or convey or transfer our assets substantially as an entirety, the resulting entity must agree to be legally responsible for our obligations under the Notes;

 

   

immediately after giving effect to the transaction, no default or Event of Default shall have occurred and be continuing; and

 

   

we must deliver certain certificates and documents to the trustee.

An assumption by any person of obligations under the Notes and the indenture might be deemed for federal income tax purposes to be an exchange of the Notes for new Notes by the holders thereof, resulting in recognition of gain or loss for such purposes and possibly other adverse tax consequences to the holders. Holders should consult their own tax advisors regarding the tax consequences of such an assumption.

 

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Modification or Waiver

There are three types of changes we can make to the indenture and the Notes issued thereunder.

Changes Requiring Your Approval

First, there are changes that we cannot make to your Notes without your specific approval. The following is a list of those types of changes:

 

   

change the stated maturity of the principal of (or premium, if any, on) or any installment of principal of or interest on the Notes;

 

   

reduce any amounts due on the Notes or reduce the rate of interest on the Notes;

 

   

reduce the amount of principal payable upon acceleration of the maturity of a Note following a default;

 

   

change the place or currency of payment on a Note;

 

   

impair your right to sue for payment;

 

   

reduce the percentage of holders of Notes whose consent is needed to modify or amend the indenture; and

 

   

reduce the percentage of holders of Notes whose consent is needed to waive compliance with certain provisions of the indenture or to waive certain defaults or reduce the percentage of holders of Notes required to satisfy quorum or voting requirements at a meeting of holders of the Notes.

Changes Not Requiring Approval

The second type of change does not require any vote by the holders of the Notes. This type is limited to clarifications and certain other changes that would not adversely affect holders of the Notes in any material respect.

Changes Requiring Majority Approval

Any other change to the indenture and the Notes would require the following approval:

 

   

if the change affects only the Notes, it must be approved by the holders of a majority in principal amount of the Notes; and

 

   

if the change affects more than one series of debt securities issued under the same indenture, it must be approved by the holders of a majority in principal amount of all of the series affected by the change, with all affected series voting together as one class for this purpose.

In each case, the required approval must be given by written consent. The holders of a majority in principal amount of all of the series of debt securities issued under the indenture, voting together as one class for this purpose, may waive our compliance with some of our covenants in that indenture. However, we cannot obtain a waiver of a payment default or of any of the matters covered by the bullet points included above under “—Changes Requiring Your Approval.

Further Details Concerning Voting

When taking a vote, we will use the following rules to decide how much principal to attribute to the Notes:

The Notes will not be considered outstanding, and therefore not eligible to vote, if we have deposited or set aside in trust money for their payment or redemption or if we or any affiliate of ours own any Notes. The Notes will also not be eligible to vote if they have been fully defeased as described later under “—DefeasanceFull Defeasance” below.

 

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We will generally be entitled to set any day as a record date for the purpose of determining the holders of the Notes that are entitled to vote or take other action under the indenture. However, the record date may not be earlier than 30 days before the date of the first solicitation of holders to vote on or take such action and not later than the date such solicitation is completed. If we set a record date for a vote or other action to be taken by holders of the Notes, that vote or action may be taken only by persons who are holders of the Notes on the record date and must be taken within eleven months following the record date.

Book-entry and other indirect holders should consult their banks or brokers for information on how approval may be granted or denied if we seek to change the indenture or the Notes or request a waiver.

Satisfaction and Discharge

The indenture will be discharged and will cease to be of further effect with respect to the Notes when:

 

   

Either

 

   

all the Notes that have been authenticated have been delivered to the trustee for cancellation; or

 

   

all the Notes that have not been delivered to the trustee for cancellation:

 

   

have become due and payable, or

 

   

will become due and payable at their stated maturity within one year, or

 

   

are to be called for redemption within one year,

 

   

and we, in the case of the first, second and third sub-bullets above, have irrevocably deposited or caused to be deposited with the trustee as trust funds in trust solely for the benefit of the holders of the Notes, in amounts as will be sufficient, to pay and discharge the entire indebtedness (including all principal, premium, if any, and interest) on such Notes not previously delivered to the trustee for cancellation (in the case of Notes that have become due and payable on or prior to the date of such deposit) or to the stated maturity or redemption date, as the case may be;

 

   

we have paid or caused to be paid all other sums payable by us under the indenture with respect to the Notes; and

 

   

we have delivered to the trustee an officers’ certificate and legal opinion, each stating that all conditions precedent provided for in the indenture relating to the satisfaction and discharge of the indenture and the Notes have been complied with.

Defeasance

The following provisions will be applicable to the Notes. “Defeasance” means that, by depositing with a trustee an amount of cash and/or government securities sufficient to pay all principal and interest, if any, on the Notes when due and satisfying any additional conditions noted below, we will be deemed to have been discharged from our obligations under the Notes. In the event of a “covenant defeasance,” upon depositing such funds and satisfying similar conditions discussed below we would be released from certain covenants under the indenture relating to the Notes.

Covenant Defeasance

Under the indenture, we can make the deposit described below and be released from some of the restrictive covenants in the indenture under which the Notes were issued. This is called “covenant defeasance.” In that event, you would lose the protection of those restrictive covenants but would gain the protection of having

 

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money and government securities set aside in trust to repay your Notes. In order to achieve covenant defeasance, the following must occur:

 

   

Since the Notes are denominated in U.S. dollars, we must deposit in trust for the benefit of all holders of the Notes a combination of cash and U.S. government or U.S. government agency notes or bonds that will generate enough cash to make interest, principal and any other payments on the Notes on their various due dates;

 

   

We must deliver to the trustee a legal opinion of our counsel confirming that, under current U.S. federal income tax law, we may make the above deposit without causing you to be taxed on the Notes any differently than if we did not make the deposit;

 

   

We must deliver to the trustee a legal opinion of our counsel stating that the above deposit does not require registration by us under the 1940 Act, and a legal opinion and officers’ certificate stating that all conditions precedent to covenant defeasance have been complied with;

 

   

Defeasance must not result in a breach or violation of, or result in a default under, the indenture or any of our other material agreements or instruments; and

 

   

No default or Event of Default with respect to the Notes shall have occurred and be continuing and no defaults or events of default related to bankruptcy, insolvency or reorganization shall occur during the next 90 days.

If we accomplish covenant defeasance, you can still look to us for repayment of the Notes if there were a shortfall in the trust deposit or the trustee is prevented from making payment. In fact, if one of the remaining Events of Default occurred (such as our bankruptcy) and the Notes became immediately due and payable, there might be a shortfall. Depending on the event causing the default, you may not be able to obtain payment of the shortfall.

Full Defeasance

The Notes are subject to full defeasance. Full defeasance means that we can legally release ourselves from all payment and other obligations on the Notes, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, including, but not limited to that (a) we have received from, or there has been published by, the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) a ruling, or (b) there is a change in U.S. federal income tax law, in either case to the effect that the holders of the Notes and any coupons appertaining thereto will not recognize income, gain or loss for U.S. federal income tax purposes as a result of such defeasance and will be subject to U.S. federal income tax on the same amounts, in the same manner and at the same times as would have been the case if such defeasance had not occurred (called “full defeasance”), and that we put in place the following other arrangements for you to be repaid:

 

   

Since the Notes are denominated in U.S. dollars, we must deposit in trust for the benefit of all holders of the Notes a combination of money and U.S. government or U.S. government agency notes or bonds that will generate enough cash to make interest, principal and any other payments on the Notes on their various due dates;

 

   

We must deliver to the trustee a legal opinion confirming that there has been a change in current U.S. federal tax law or an IRS ruling that allows us to make the above deposit without causing you to be taxed on the Notes any differently than if we did not make the deposit;

 

   

We must deliver to the trustee a legal opinion of our counsel stating that the above deposit does not require registration by us under the 1940 Act, and a legal opinion and officers’ certificate stating that all conditions precedent to defeasance have been complied with;

 

   

Defeasance must not result in a breach or violation of, or constitute a default under, the indenture or any of our other material agreements or instruments; and

 

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No default or Event of Default with respect to the Notes shall have occurred and be continuing and no defaults or events of default related to bankruptcy, insolvency or reorganization shall occur during the next 90 days.

If we ever did accomplish full defeasance, as described above, you would have to rely solely on the trust deposit for repayment of the Notes. You could not look to us for repayment in the unlikely event of any shortfall. Conversely, the trust deposit would most likely be protected from claims of our lenders and other creditors if we ever became bankrupt or insolvent.

Form, Exchange and Transfer of Certificated Registered Securities

If registered Notes cease to be issued in book-entry form, they will be issued:

 

   

only in fully registered certificated form;

 

   

without interest coupons; and

 

   

unless we indicate otherwise, in denominations of $25 and amounts that are multiples of $25.

Holders may exchange their certificated securities for Notes of smaller denominations or combined into fewer Notes of larger denominations, as long as the total principal amount is not changed and as long as the denomination is equal to or greater than $25.

Holders may exchange or transfer their certificated securities at the office of the trustee. We have appointed the trustee to act as our agent for registering Notes in the names of holders transferring Notes. We may appoint another entity to perform these functions or perform them ourselves.

Holders will not be required to pay a service charge to transfer or exchange their certificated securities, but they may be required to pay any tax (including a withholding tax) or other governmental charge associated with the transfer or exchange. The transfer or exchange will be made only if our transfer agent is satisfied with the holder’s proof of legal ownership.

We may appoint additional transfer agents or cancel the appointment of any particular transfer agent. We may also approve a change in the office through which any transfer agent acts.

If any certificated securities of a particular series are redeemable and we redeem less than all the Notes, we may block the transfer or exchange of those Notes selected for redemption during the period beginning 15 days before the day we mail the notice of redemption and ending on the day of that mailing, in order to freeze the list of holders to prepare the mailing. We may also refuse to register transfers or exchanges of any certificated Notes selected for redemption, except that we will continue to permit transfers and exchanges of the unredeemed portion of any Note that will be partially redeemed.

If registered Notes are issued in book-entry form, only the depositary will be entitled to transfer and exchange the Notes as described in this subsection, since it will be the sole holder of the Notes.

Resignation of Trustee

The trustee may resign or be removed with respect to the Notes provided that a successor trustee is appointed to act with respect to the Notes. In the event that two or more persons are acting as trustee with respect to different series of indenture securities under the indenture, each of the trustees will be a trustee of a trust separate and apart from the trust administered by any other trustee.

Governing Law

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

 

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Indenture Provisions—Ranking

The Notes will be our direct unsecured obligations and will rank:

 

   

pari passu with our existing and future unsecured, unsubordinated indebtedness;

 

   

senior to any series of preferred stock that we may issue in the future;

 

   

senior to any of our future indebtedness that expressly provides it is subordinated to the Notes; and

 

   

effectively subordinated to all of our existing and future secured indebtedness (including indebtedness that is initially unsecured to which we subsequently grant security), to the extent of the value of the assets securing such indebtedness; and

 

   

structurally subordinated to all existing and future indebtedness and other obligations of any of our subsidiaries and any other future subsidiaries of the Company, including, without limitation, borrowings under the Credit Facility.

The Trustee under the Indenture

U.S Bank National Association serves as the trustee, paying agent, and security registrar under the indenture. Separately, our securities are held by U.S. Bank National Association pursuant to a custody agreement.

Book-Entry Procedures

The Notes will be represented by global securities that will be deposited and registered in the name of DTC or its nominee. This means that, except in limited circumstances, you will not receive certificates for the Notes. Beneficial interests in the Notes will be represented through book-entry accounts of financial institutions acting on behalf of beneficial owners as direct and indirect participants in DTC. Investors may elect to hold interests in the Notes through either DTC, if they are a participant, or indirectly through organizations that are participants in DTC.

The Notes will be issued as fully registered securities registered in the name of Cede & Co. (DTC’s partnership nominee) or such other name as may be requested by an authorized representative of DTC. One fully registered certificate will be issued for each issuance of the Notes, in the aggregate principal amount thereof, and will be deposited with DTC. Interests in the Notes will trade in DTC’s Same Day Funds Settlement System, and any permitted secondary market trading activity in such Notes will, therefore, be required by DTC to be settled in immediately available funds. None of the Company, the trustee or the paying agent will have any responsibility for the performance by DTC or its participants or indirect participants of their respective obligations under the rules and procedures governing their operations.

DTC is a limited-purpose trust company organized under the New York Banking Law, a “banking organization” within the meaning of the New York Banking Law, a member of the Federal Reserve System, a “clearing corporation” within the meaning of the New York Uniform Commercial Code, and a “clearing agency” registered pursuant to the provisions of Section 17A of the Exchange Act. DTC holds and provides asset servicing for over 3.5 million issues of U.S. and non-U.S. equity, corporate and municipal debt issues, and money market instruments from over 100 countries that DTC’s participants (“Direct Participants”) deposit with DTC. DTC also facilitates the post-trade settlement among Direct Participants of sales and other securities transactions in deposited securities through electronic computerized book-entry transfers and pledges between Direct Participants’ accounts. This eliminates the need for physical movement of securities certificates. Direct Participants include both U.S. and non-U.S. securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations, and certain other organizations. DTC is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (“DTCC”).

DTCC is the holding company for DTC, National Securities Clearing Corporation and Fixed Income Clearing Corporation, all of which are registered clearing agencies. DTCC is owned by the users of its regulated

 

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subsidiaries. Access to the DTC system is also available to others such as both U.S. and non-U.S. securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies and clearing corporations that clear through or maintain a custodial relationship with a Direct Participant, either directly or indirectly (“Indirect Participants”). DTC has a Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services’ rating of AA+. The DTC Rules applicable to its participants are on file with the SEC. More information about DTC can be found at www.dtcc.com and www.dtc.org.

Purchases of the Notes under the DTC system must be made by or through Direct Participants, which will receive a credit for the Notes on DTC’s records. The ownership interest of each actual purchaser of each security, or the “Beneficial Owner,” is in turn to be recorded on the Direct and Indirect Participants’ records. Beneficial Owners will not receive written confirmation from DTC of their purchase. Beneficial Owners are, however, expected to receive written confirmations providing details of the transaction, as well as periodic statements of their holdings, from the Direct or Indirect Participant through which the Beneficial Owner entered into the transaction. Transfers of ownership interests in the Notes are to be accomplished by entries made on the books of Direct and Indirect Participants acting on behalf of Beneficial Owners. Beneficial Owners will not receive certificates representing their ownership interests in the Notes, except in the event that use of the book-entry system for the Notes is discontinued.

To facilitate subsequent transfers, all Notes deposited by Direct Participants with DTC are registered in the name of DTC’s partnership nominee, Cede & Co. or such other name as may be requested by an authorized representative of DTC. The deposit of the Notes with DTC and their registration in the name of Cede & Co. or such other DTC nominee do not effect any change in beneficial ownership. DTC has no knowledge of the actual Beneficial Owners of the Notes; DTC’s records reflect only the identity of the Direct Participants to whose accounts the Notes are credited, which may or may not be the Beneficial Owners. The Direct and Indirect Participants will remain responsible for keeping account of their holdings on behalf of their customers.

Conveyance of notices and other communications by DTC to Direct Participants, by Direct Participants to Indirect Participants, and by Direct Participants and Indirect Participants to Beneficial Owners will be governed by arrangements among them, subject to any statutory or regulatory requirements as may be in effect from time to time.

Redemption notices shall be sent to DTC. If less than all of the Notes within an issue are being redeemed, DTC’s practice is to determine by lot the amount of the interest of each Direct Participant in such issue to be redeemed.

Redemption proceeds, distributions, and interest payments on the Notes will be made to Cede & Co., or such other nominee as may be requested by an authorized representative of DTC. DTC’s practice is to credit Direct Participants’ accounts upon DTC’s receipt of funds and corresponding detail information from us or the trustee on the payment date in accordance with their respective holdings shown on DTC’s records. Payments by Participants to Beneficial Owners will be governed by standing instructions and customary practices, as is the case with securities held for the accounts of customers in bearer form or registered in “street name,” and will be the responsibility of such Participant and not of DTC nor its nominee, the trustee, or us, subject to any statutory or regulatory requirements as may be in effect from time to time. Payment of redemption proceeds, distributions, and interest payments to Cede & Co. (or such other nominee as may be requested by an authorized representative of DTC) is the responsibility of us or the trustee, but disbursement of such payments to Direct Participants will be the responsibility of DTC, and disbursement of such payments to the Beneficial Owners will be the responsibility of Direct and Indirect Participants.

DTC may discontinue providing its services as securities depository with respect to the Notes at any time by giving reasonable notice to us or to the trustee. Under such circumstances, in the event that a successor securities depository is not obtained, certificates are required to be printed and delivered. We may decide to discontinue use of the system of book-entry-only transfers through DTC (or a successor securities depository). In that event, certificates will be printed and delivered to DTC.

The information in this section concerning DTC and DTC’s book-entry system has been obtained from sources that we believe to be reliable, but we take no responsibility for its accuracy.

 

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CERTAIN UNITED STATES FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSEQUENCES

The following discussion summarizes certain material U.S. federal income tax consequences of acquiring, owning and disposing of the Notes. The discussion is based upon the Code; current, temporary and proposed U.S. Treasury Regulations issued thereunder (the “Treasury Regulations”); the legislative history of the Code; IRS rulings, pronouncements, interpretations and practices; and judicial decisions now in effect, all of which are subject to change at any time. Any such change may be applied retroactively in a manner that could adversely affect a holder of the Notes. This discussion is limited to persons purchasing the Notes for cash at original issue and at the offering price on the cover page of this prospectus supplement. Furthermore, this discussion assumes that each holder holds the Notes as “capital assets” within the meaning of Section 1221 of the Code (generally, property held for investment). It does not reflect every possible tax outcome or consequence that could result from acquiring, owning or disposing of the Notes. For example, special rules not discussed here may apply to you if you are:

 

   

a broker-dealer, dealer or trader in securities or currencies;

 

   

a controlled foreign corporation;

 

   

a passive foreign investment company;

 

   

an S corporation;

 

   

a bank, thrift or other financial institution;

 

   

a regulated investment company, a real estate investment trust or other financial conduit entity (or shareholder of such entity);

 

   

an accrual method taxpayer subject to special tax accounting rules as a result of its use of financial statements;

 

   

an insurance company;

 

   

a tax-exempt organization, retirement plan, individual retirement account or tax deferred account;

 

   

subject to the alternative minimum tax provisions of the Code;

 

   

holding the Notes as part of a hedge, straddle, conversion, integrated or other risk reduction or constructive sale transaction;

 

   

holding the Notes through a partnership or other pass-through entity;

 

   

a “United States person” (within the meaning of the Code) whose “functional currency” is not the U.S. dollar; or

 

   

a U.S. expatriate or former long-term resident.

In addition, this discussion does not reflect state, local or non-U.S. tax consequences that may apply to you based on your particular circumstances and residence. This discussion also does not address any U.S. federal tax consequences, such as the estate tax or gift tax, other than U.S. federal income tax consequences. You should consult your own tax advisors to determine the tax consequences particular to your situation, including any applicable state, local or foreign income and other tax consequences, which may result from your acquisition, ownership or disposition of the Notes.

As used herein, “U.S. holder” means a beneficial owner of the Notes that is, for U.S. federal income tax purposes:

 

   

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

 

   

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

 

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an estate, the income of which is subject to U.S. federal income tax regardless of its source; or

 

   

a trust that (1) is subject to the primary supervision of a U.S. court and the control of one or more “United States persons” (within the meaning of the Code) that have the authority to control all substantial decisions of the trust, or (2) has a valid election in effect under applicable Treasury Regulations to be treated as a United States person.

If any entity treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes holds the Notes, the tax treatment of an owner of such entity generally will depend upon the status of the owner and the activities of the entity. If you are an owner of an entity treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes, you should consult your tax advisor regarding the tax consequences of the entity’s purchase, ownership and disposition of the Notes. This discussion does not address the special treatment under U.S. federal income tax law that could result if we invested in tax-exempt securities or certain other investment assets. For purposes of this discussion, “non-U.S. holder” means a beneficial owner of the Notes that is neither a U.S. holder nor an entity treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

Prospective holders considering purchasing the Notes should consult their own tax advisors concerning the application of the U.S. federal tax laws to their individual circumstances, as well as any consequences to such holders relating to purchasing, owning and disposing of the Notes under the laws of any other taxing jurisdiction.

U.S. Holders

If you are not a U.S. holder, this section does not apply to you.

Interest. The following discussion assumes that the Notes will be issued with no original issue discount or a de minimis amount of original issue discount for U.S. federal income tax purposes. A U.S. holder generally will be required to recognize and include in gross income any stated interest as ordinary income at the time it is paid or accrued on the Notes in accordance with such U.S. holder’s method of accounting for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

Sale or other taxable disposition of the Notes. A U.S. holder will recognize gain or loss on the sale, exchange, redemption, retirement or other taxable disposition of a Note equal to the difference between the sum of the cash and the fair market value of any property received in exchange therefor (less a portion allocable to any accrued and unpaid stated interest, which generally will be taxable as ordinary income if not previously included in such U.S. holder’s income) and the U.S. holder’s adjusted tax basis in the Note. A U.S. holder’s adjusted tax basis in a Note (or a portion thereof) generally will be the U.S. holder’s cost therefor. This gain or loss generally will be long-term capital gain or loss if the U.S. holder has held the Notes for more than one year at the time of such disposition.

Additional tax on net investment income. An additional surtax at a rate of 3.8% is imposed on the amount of “net investment income,” in the case of an individual, or undistributed “net investment income,” in the case of an estate or trust (other than a charitable trust), which exceeds certain threshold amounts. “Net investment income” as defined for this purpose generally includes interest payments and gain recognized from the sale or other taxable disposition of the Notes. U.S. holders should consult their own tax advisors regarding the effect, if any, of this surtax on their ownership and disposition of the Notes.

Information reporting and backup withholding. A U.S. holder may be subject to information reporting and backup withholding when such U.S. holder receives interest and principal payments on the Notes or proceeds upon the sale or other disposition of such Notes (including a redemption or retirement of the Notes). Certain U.S. holders (including, among others, corporations and certain tax-exempt organizations) generally are not subject to information reporting or backup withholding. A U.S. holder will be subject to backup withholding if such holder is not otherwise exempt and any of the following is true:

 

   

such U.S. holder fails to furnish its taxpayer identification number, or “TIN,” which, for an individual is ordinarily his or her social security number;

 

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the IRS notifies the payor that such U.S. holder furnished an incorrect TIN;

 

   

such U.S. holder is notified by the IRS of a failure to properly report payments of interest or dividends; or

 

   

such U.S. holder fails to certify, under penalties of perjury, that such holder has furnished a correct TIN and that the IRS has not notified such U.S. holder that it is subject to backup withholding.

A U.S. holder should consult its tax advisor regarding its qualification for an exemption from backup withholding and the procedures for obtaining such an exemption, if applicable. Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Any amounts withheld under the backup withholding rules from a payment to a U.S. holder generally will be allowed as a credit against the U.S. holder’s U.S. federal income tax liability or may be refunded, provided the required information is furnished in a timely manner to the IRS.

Non-U.S. Holders

If you are not a non-U.S. holder, this section does not apply to you.

Interest. Interest paid to a non-U.S. holder on its Notes that is not effectively connected with such non-U.S. holder’s conduct of a United States trade or business (and, if any applicable treaty so provides, is not attributable to the conduct of a trade or business through a permanent establishment or fixed base in the United States) will not be subject to U.S. federal withholding tax, provided that:

 

   

such holder does not directly or indirectly, actually or constructively, own 10% or more of the total combined voting power of all classes of our voting stock;

 

   

such holder is not a controlled foreign corporation that is related to us through actual or constructive stock ownership;

 

   

such holder is not a bank that received such Note on an extension of credit made pursuant to a loan agreement entered into in the ordinary course of its trade or business; and

 

   

either (1) the non-U.S. holder certifies in a statement provided to us or the paying agent generally on IRS Form W-8BEN, or IRS Form W-8BEN-E, under penalties of perjury, that it is not a “United States person” (within the meaning of the Code) and provides its name and address, (2) a securities clearing organization, bank or other financial institution that holds customers’ securities in the ordinary course of its trade or business and holds the Note on behalf of the non-U.S. holder certifies to us or the paying agent under penalties of perjury that it, or the financial institution between it and the non-U.S. holder, has received from the non-U.S. holder a statement generally on IRS Form W-8BEN, or IRS Form W-8BEN-E, under penalties of perjury, that such holder is not a United States person and provides us or the paying agent with a copy of such statement or (3) the non-U.S. holder holds its Note directly through a “qualified intermediary” and certain conditions are satisfied.

A non-U.S. holder generally will also be exempt from withholding tax on interest if such amount is effectively connected with such non-U.S. holder’s conduct of a United States trade or business and the non-U.S. holder provides us with appropriate certification (as discussed below under the caption “—United States trade or business”).

Subject to the discussion below under “—United States trade or business,” if a non-U.S. holder does not satisfy the requirements above, interest paid to such non-U.S. holder generally will be subject to a 30% U.S. federal withholding tax. Such rate may be reduced or eliminated under a tax treaty between the United States and the non-U.S. holder’s country of residence. To claim a reduction or exemption under a tax treaty, a non-U.S. holder must generally complete an IRS Form W-8BEN or an IRS Form W-8BEN-E (or applicable successor form) and claim the reduction or exemption on the form.

Sale or other taxable disposition of the Notes. A non-U.S. holder generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax or withholding tax on gain recognized on the sale, exchange, redemption, retirement or other taxable

 

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disposition of a note so long as (i) the gain is not effectively connected with the conduct by the non-U.S. holder of a United States trade or business (or, if a tax treaty applies, the gain is not attributable to a United States permanent establishment maintained by such non-U.S. holder) and (ii) in the case of a non-U.S. holder who is an individual, such non-U.S. holder is not present in the United States for 183 days or more in the taxable year of disposition and certain other requirements are not met. A non-U.S. holder who is an individual and does not meet this exemption should consult his or her tax advisor regarding the potential liability for U.S. federal income tax on such holder’s gain realized on a note.

United States trade or business. If interest paid on a note or gain from a disposition of a note is effectively connected with a non-U.S. holder’s conduct of a United States trade or business (and, if an income tax treaty applies, the non-U.S. holder maintains a United States permanent establishment to which such amounts are generally attributable), the non-U.S. holder generally will be subject to U.S. federal income tax on the interest or gain on a net basis in the same manner as if it were a U.S. holder. If a non-U.S. holder is subject to U.S. federal income tax on the interest on a net basis, the 30% withholding tax described above will not apply (assuming an appropriate certification is timely provided, generally on IRS Form W-8ECI). A non-U.S. holder that is a corporation may be subject to a branch profits tax equal to 30% of its effectively connected earnings and profits for the taxable year, subject to certain adjustments, unless it qualifies for a lower rate under an applicable income tax treaty. For this purpose, interest on a note or gain from a disposition of a note will be included in earnings and profits if the interest or gain is effectively connected with the conduct by the corporation of a United States trade or business.

Backup withholding and information reporting. A non-U.S. holder generally will not be subject to backup withholding and information reporting with respect to payments that we make to the non-U.S. holder, provided that we do not have actual knowledge or reason to know that such holder is a “United States person,” within the meaning of the Code, and the non-U.S. holder has given us the statement described above under “Non-U.S. Holders—Interest.” In addition, a non-U.S. holder will not be subject to backup withholding or information reporting with respect to the proceeds of the sale or other disposition of the Notes (including a retirement or redemption of such Notes) within the United States or conducted through certain U.S.-related brokers, if the payor receives the statement described above and does not have actual knowledge or reason to know that such holder is a United States person or the holder otherwise establishes an exemption. However, we may be required to report annually to the IRS and to the non-U.S. holder the amount of, and the tax withheld with respect to, any interest paid to the non-U.S. holder, regardless of whether any tax was actually withheld. Copies of these information returns may also be made available under the provisions of a specific treaty or agreement to the tax authorities of the country in which the non-U.S. holder resides.

A non-U.S. holder generally will be entitled to credit any amounts withheld under the backup withholding rules against the holder’s U.S. federal income tax liability or may claim a refund provided that the required information is furnished to the IRS in a timely manner.

Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. Sections 1471 through 1474 of the Code and the Treasury Regulations and other published guidance promulgated thereunder (which are commonly referred to as “FATCA”) generally impose withholding taxes on certain types of payments made to “foreign financial institutions” and certain other non-U.S. entities unless additional certification, information reporting and other specified requirements are satisfied. Failure to comply with the FATCA reporting requirements could result in withholding tax being imposed on payments of interest and sales proceeds to foreign intermediaries and certain non-U.S. holders. If the payee is a foreign financial institution and is subject to the diligence and reporting requirements in (1) above, it must enter into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Treasury requiring, among other things, that it undertake to identify accounts held by certain “specified United States persons” or “United States owned foreign entities” (each as defined in the Code), annually report certain information about such accounts and withhold 30% on payments to non-compliant foreign financial institutions and certain other account holders. An intergovernmental agreement between the United States and an applicable foreign country, or future Treasury regulations or other guidance, may modify these requirements. Accordingly, the entity through which the Notes

 

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are held will affect the determination of whether such withholding is required. While existing Treasury regulations would require FATCA withholding on payments of the gross proceeds from the sale of any property that could produce U.S. source interest or dividends, the U.S. Treasury Department has recently released proposed regulations that eliminated this requirement. Pursuant to these proposed regulations, a taxpayer may (but is not required to) rely on this proposed change to FATCA withholding until final regulations are issued or until such proposed regulations are rescinded. The FATCA withholding tax will apply to all withholdable payments without regard to whether the beneficial owner of the payment would otherwise be entitled to an exemption from imposition of withholding tax pursuant to an applicable tax treaty with the United States or U.S. domestic law. If payment of this withholding tax is made, holders that are otherwise eligible for an exemption from, or reduction of, U.S. federal withholding taxes with respect to such interest or proceeds will be required to seek a credit or refund from the IRS to obtain the benefit of such exemption or reduction, if any. We will not pay additional amounts to holders of the Notes in respect of any amounts withheld. Prospective holders should consult their own tax advisors regarding the potential application of withholding under FATCA to their investment in the Notes.

 

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CUSTODIAN, TRANSFER AGENT, DIVIDEND DISBURSING AGENT AND PAYING AGENT

The custodian of our assets is The Bank of New York Mellon Corp. The custodian’s address is: 500 Ross Street, Suite 935, Pittsburgh, PA 15262. Our assets are held under bank custodianship in compliance with the 1940 Act. Securities held through our wholly owned subsidiary, Gladstone Business Loan, are held under a custodian agreement with The Bank of New York Mellon Corp., which acts as collateral custodian pursuant to the Credit Facility with KeyBank and certain other parties. The address of the collateral custodian is 500 Ross Street, Suite 935, Pittsburgh, PA 15262. Computershare acts as our transfer and dividend paying agent and registrar. The principal business address of Computershare Inc. is 250 Royall Street, Canton, Massachusetts 02021, telephone number 781-575-2000. Computershare also maintains an internet website at www.computershare.com.

LEGAL MATTERS

Certain legal matters will be passed upon for us by Proskauer Rose LLP, Washington, D.C. Certain matters of Maryland law, including matters regarding the securities offered by this prospectus supplement, will be passed upon for us by Venable LLP, Baltimore, Maryland. Certain legal matters will be passed upon for the underwriters by Dechert LLP, Washington, D.C. Proskauer Rose LLP and Dechert LLP may rely as to certain matters of Maryland law upon the opinion of Venable LLP.

EXPERTS

The financial statements as of September 30, 2018 and September 30, 2017 and for each of the three years in the period ended September 30, 2018 and management’s assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting (which is included in Management’s Annual Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting) as of September 30, 2018 included in this Prospectus have been so included in reliance on the report of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, given on the authority of said firm as experts in auditing and accounting. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP’s business address is 1800 Tysons Blvd., McLean, VA 22102.

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

This prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus constitute part of a registration statement on Form N-2 that we have filed with the SEC, together with any and all amendments and related exhibits under the Securities Act. This prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus do not contain all of the information set forth in the registration statement, some of which is contained in exhibits to the registration statement as permitted by the rules and regulations of the SEC. For further information with respect to us and the Notes we are offering under this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, we refer you to the registration statement, including the exhibits filed as a part of the registration statement. Statements contained in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus concerning the contents of any contract or any other document are not necessarily complete. If a contract or other document has been filed as an exhibit to the registration statement, please see the copy of the contract or document that has been filed. Each statement in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus relating to a contract or document filed as an exhibit is qualified in all respects by the filed exhibit.

We file with or submit to the SEC annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information meeting the informational requirements of the Exchange Act. This information is available free of charge on our website at www.GladstoneCapital.com. Except for the documents incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, information contained on our website is not incorporated into this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus and you should not consider such information to be part

 

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of this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus. The SEC maintains an Internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information filed electronically by us with the SEC, which are available on the SEC’s website free of charge at www.sec.gov. You can request a copy of any of our SEC filings, including those incorporated by reference herein or in the accompanying prospectus, at no cost, by writing or telephoning us at the address or telephone number above.

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE

This prospectus supplement is part of a registration statement that we have filed with the SEC. Pursuant to the Small Business Credit Availability Act, we are allowed to “incorporate by reference” the information that we file with the SEC, which means that we can disclose important information to you by referring you to those documents. The information incorporated by reference is considered to comprise a part of this prospectus supplement, and later information that we file with the SEC will automatically update and, where applicable, supersede this information. We incorporate by reference in this prospectus supplement the documents listed below:

 

   

our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2019, filed with the SEC on May 1, 2019;

 

   

our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2019, filed with the SEC on August 5, 2019;

 

   

our Current Reports on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on July 10, 2019, August 21, 2019 and October 2, 2019; and

 

   

the description of our Common Stock referenced in our Registration Statement on Form 8-A, as filed with the SEC on August 23, 2001, including any amendment or report filed for the purpose of updating such description prior to the termination of the offering of the common stock registered hereby.

We also incorporate by reference into this prospectus supplement additional documents that we may file with the SEC under Section 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act, from the date of this prospectus supplement until all of the securities offered by this prospectus supplement have been sold or the offering of these securities is otherwise terminated, provided, however, that information “furnished” under Item 2.02 or Item 7.01 of Form 8-K or other information “furnished” to the SEC which is not deemed filed is not incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and in the accompanying prospectus.

You may obtain copies of any of these filings from us as described below, through the SEC or through the SEC’s website as described below. Documents incorporated by reference are available without charge, excluding all exhibits unless an exhibit has been specifically incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement, by writing or calling our Investor Relations Department at the following address and telephone number:

Investor Relations

Gladstone Capital Corporation

1521 Westbranch Drive, Suite 100

McLean, Virginia 22102

(703) 287-5893

 

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PROSPECTUS

 

 

LOGO

$300,000,000

COMMON STOCK

PREFERRED STOCK

SUBSCRIPTION RIGHTS

WARRANTS

DEBT SECURITIES

 

 

We may offer, from time to time, up to $300,000,000 aggregate initial offering price of our common stock, $0.001 par value per share, preferred stock, $0.001 par value per share, subscription rights, warrants representing rights to purchase shares of our common or preferred stock, or debt securities, or concurrent, separate offerings of these securities, (collectively “Securities”), in one or more offerings. The Securities may be offered at prices and on terms to be disclosed in one or more supplements to this prospectus. In the case of our common stock and warrants or rights to acquire such common stock hereunder, the offering price per share of our common stock by us, less any underwriting commissions or discounts, will not be less than the net asset value per share of our common stock at the time of the offering except (i) in connection with a rights offering to our existing common stockholders, (ii) with the consent of the holders of the majority of our outstanding voting securities, as defined in the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”), or (iii) under such other circumstances as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) may permit. You should read this prospectus and the applicable prospectus supplement carefully before you invest in our Securities.

We operate as an externally managed, closed-end, non-diversified management investment company and have elected to be treated as a business development company (“BDC”) under the 1940 Act. For federal income tax purposes, we have elected to be treated as a regulated investment company (“RIC”) under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). Our investment objectives are to: (1) achieve and grow current income by investing in debt securities of established lower middle market companies that we believe will provide stable earnings and cash flow to pay expenses, make principal and interest payments on our outstanding indebtedness and make distributions to stockholders that grow over time; and (2) provide our stockholders with long-term capital appreciation in the value of our assets by investing in equity securities of established businesses that we believe can grow over time to permit us to sell our equity investments for capital gains.

Our Securities may be offered directly to one or more purchasers, including existing stockholders in a rights offering, through agents designated from time to time by us, or to or through underwriters or dealers, “at-the-market” to or through a market maker into an existing trading market or otherwise directly to one or more purchasers or through agents or through a combination of methods of sale. The prospectus supplement relating to the offering will identify any agents or underwriters involved in the sale of our Securities, and will disclose any applicable purchase price, fee, commission or discount arrangement between us and our agents or underwriters or among our underwriters or the basis upon which such amount may be calculated. See “Plan of Distribution.” We may not sell any of our Securities through agents, underwriters or dealers without delivery of a prospectus supplement describing the method and terms of the offering of such Securities. Our common stock is traded on The Nasdaq Global Select Market (“Nasdaq”) under the symbol “GLAD.” As of January 15, 2019, the last reported sales price for our common stock was $8.58. Our 6.00% Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock (“Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock”) is also traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol “GLADN.” As of January 15, 2019, the last reported sales price for our Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock was $25.00. Our 6.125% Notes due 2023 (“2023 Notes”) are also traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol “GLADD.” As of January 15, 2019, the last reported sales price for our 2023 Notes was $24.95.

This prospectus contains information you should know before investing in our Securities, including information about risks. Please read it before you invest and keep it for future reference. Additional information about us, including our annual, quarterly, current reports, proxy statements and other information, has been filed with the SEC and can be accessed at its website at www.sec.gov. This information is also available free of charge by writing to us at Investor Relations, Gladstone Capital Corporation, 1521 Westbranch Drive, Suite 100, McLean, VA 22102, by calling our toll-free investor relations line at 1-866-214-7543 or on our website at www.gladstonecapital.com. You may also call us collect at (703) 287-5893 to request this or other information or to make stockholder inquiries. See “Additional Information.” Information contained on our website is not incorporated by reference into this prospectus, and you should not consider that information to be part of this prospectus. This prospectus may not be used to consummate sales of securities unless accompanied by a prospectus supplement.

The securities in which we invest generally would be rated below investment grade if they were rated by rating agencies. Below investment grade securities, which are often referred to as “junk,” have predominantly speculative characteristics with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal. They may also be difficult to value and are illiquid.

An investment in our Securities involves certain risks, including, among other things, risks relating to investments in securities of small, private and developing businesses. We describe some of these risks in the section entitled “Risk Factors,” which begins on page 13. Common stock of closed-end investment companies frequently trades at a discount to net asset value and this may increase the risk of loss to purchasers of our Securities. You should carefully consider these risks together with all of the other information contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus and any prospectus supplement before making a decision to purchase our Securities.

The SEC has not approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

The date of this prospectus is February 5, 2019


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

     Page  

Prospectus Summary

     1  

The Offering

     5  

Fees and Expenses

     8  

Additional Information

     12  

Incorporation of Certain Information by Reference

     12  

Risk Factors

     13  

Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

     40  

Use of Proceeds

     41  

Price Range of Common Stock and Distributions

     41  

Common Share Price Data

     42  

Ratio of Earnings to Combined Fixed Charges and Mandatorily Redeemable Preferred Distributions

     43  

Consolidated Selected Financial Data

     44  

Selected Quarterly Data (unaudited)

     46  

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

     47  

Senior Securities

     74  

Business

     76  

Portfolio Companies

     93  

Management

     101  

Control Persons and Principal Stockholders

     117  

Dividend Reinvestment Plan

     120  

Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations

     122  

Regulation as a Business Development Company

     132  

Description of Our Securities

     135  

Certain Provisions of Maryland Law and of Our Charter and Bylaws

     142  

Share Repurchases

     146  

Plan of Distribution

     147  

Custodian, Transfer and Dividend Paying Agent and Registrar

     149  

Brokerage Allocation and Other Practices

     150  

Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures

     151  

Legal Matters

     152  

Experts

     152  

Financial Statements

     F-1  

We have not authorized any dealer, salesman or other person to give any information or to make any representation other than those contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus or any accompanying supplement to this prospectus. You must not rely upon any information or representation not contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus or any accompanying prospectus supplement as if we had authorized it. This prospectus and any prospectus supplement do not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of any offer to buy any security other than the registered securities to which they relate, nor do they constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities in any jurisdiction to any person to whom it is unlawful to make such an offer or solicitation in such jurisdiction. The information contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus and any prospectus supplement is accurate as of the dates on their respective covers only. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since such dates. We will update these documents to reflect material changes only as required by law.

This prospectus is part of a registration statement that we have filed with the SEC using the “shelf” registration process. Under the shelf registration process, we may offer, from time to time, up to $300,000,000 of our Securities on terms to be determined at the time of the offering. This prospectus provides you with a general description of the Securities that we may offer. Each time we use this prospectus to offer Securities, we will provide a prospectus supplement that will contain specific information about the terms of that offering. The prospectus supplement may also add, update or change information contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus. To the extent required by law, we will amend or supplement the information contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement to reflect any material changes to such information subsequent to the date of the prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement and prior to the completion of any offering pursuant to the prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement. Please carefully read this prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement together with the additional information described under “Additional Information, “Incorporation of Certain Information by Reference” and “Risk Factors” before you make an investment decision.

 

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PROSPECTUS SUMMARY

The following summary highlights some of the information in this prospectus. It is not complete and may not contain all the information that you may want to consider. You should read the entire prospectus and any prospectus supplement carefully, including the section entitled “Risk Factors.” Except where the context suggests otherwise, the terms “we,” “us,” “our,” the “Company” and “Gladstone Capital” refer to Gladstone Capital Corporation; “Adviser” refers to Gladstone Management Corporation; “Administrator” refers to Gladstone Administration, LLC; “Gladstone Commercial” refers to Gladstone Commercial Corporation; “Gladstone Investment” refers to Gladstone Investment Corporation; “Gladstone Land” refers to Gladstone Land Corporation; “Gladstone Securities” refers to Gladstone Securities, LLC; “Affiliated Public Funds” refers collectively to Gladstone Commercial, Gladstone Investment and Gladstone Land and “Gladstone Companies” refers to the Affiliated Public Funds, Adviser, Administrator and their affiliated companies.

General

We were incorporated under the Maryland General Corporation Law on May 30, 2001. We operate as an externally managed, closed-end, non-diversified management investment company, and have elected to be treated as a business development company (“BDC”) under the 1940 Act. In addition, for federal income tax purposes we have elected to be treated as a regulated investment company (“RIC”) under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). To continue to qualify as a RIC for federal income tax purposes and obtain favorable RIC tax treatment, we must meet certain requirements, including certain minimum distribution requirements.

Our shares of common stock and Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock are traded on Nasdaq under the trading symbols “GLAD” and “GLADN,” respectively, and our 2023 Notes trade on Nasdaq under the trading symbol “GLADD.”

Our Investment Objectives and Strategy

We were established for the purpose of investing in debt and equity securities of established private businesses operating in the U.S. Our investment objectives are to: (1) achieve and grow current income by investing in debt securities of established lower middle market companies (which we generally define as companies with annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (“EBITDA”) of $3 million to $15 million) in the U.S. that we believe will provide stable earnings and cash flow to pay expenses, make principal and interest payments on our outstanding indebtedness and make distributions to stockholders that grow over time; and (2) provide our stockholders with long-term capital appreciation in the value of our assets by investing in equity securities of established businesses that we believe can grow over time to permit us to sell our equity investments for capital gains. To achieve our investment objectives, our investment strategy is to invest in several categories of debt and equity securities, with each investment generally ranging from $8 million to $30 million, although investment size may vary, depending upon our total assets or available capital at the time of investment. We expect that our investment portfolio over time will consist of approximately 90.0% debt investments and 10.0% equity investments, at cost. As of September 30, 2018, our investment portfolio was made up of approximately 91.4% debt investments and 8.6% equity investments, at cost.

We focus on investing in lower middle market companies in the U.S. that meet certain criteria, including, but not limited to, the following: the sustainability of the business’ free cash flow and its ability to grow it over time, adequate assets for loan collateral, experienced management teams with a significant ownership interest in the borrower, reasonable capitalization of the borrower, including an ample equity contribution or cushion based on prevailing enterprise valuation multiples and, to a lesser extent, the potential to realize appreciation and gain liquidity in our equity position, if any. We lend to borrowers that need funds for growth capital or to finance



 

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acquisitions or recapitalize or refinance their existing debt facilities. We seek to avoid investing in high-risk, early-stage enterprises. Our targeted portfolio companies are generally considered too small for the larger capital marketplace.

We invest by ourselves or jointly with other funds and/or management of the portfolio company, depending on the opportunity. In July 2012, the SEC granted us an exemptive order (the “Co-Investment Order”) that expanded our ability to co-invest, under certain circumstances, with certain of our affiliates, including Gladstone Investment and any future business development company or closed-end management investment company that is advised (or sub-advised if it controls the fund) by the Adviser, or any combination of the foregoing, subject to the conditions in the Co-Investment Order. Since 2012, we have opportunistically made several co-investments with Gladstone Investment pursuant to the Co-Investment Order. We believe the Co-Investment Order has enhanced and will continue to enhance our ability to further our investment objectives and strategies. If we are participating in an investment with one or more co-investors, whether or not an affiliate of ours, our investment is likely to be smaller than if we were investing alone.

In general, our investments in debt securities have a term of no more than seven years, accrue interest at variable rates (based on the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”)) and, to a lesser extent, at fixed rates. We seek debt instruments that pay interest monthly or, at a minimum, quarterly, and which may include a yield enhancement, such as a success fee or deferred interest provision and may include interest only with all principal and any accrued but unpaid interest due at maturity. Generally, success fees accrue at a set rate and are contractually due upon a change of control of the business. Some debt securities have deferred interest whereby some portion of the interest payment is added to the principal balance so that the interest is paid, together with the principal, at maturity. This form of deferred interest is often called paid-in-kind (“PIK”) interest. Typically, our equity investments take the form of preferred or common stock, limited liability company interests, or warrants or options to purchase the foregoing. Often, these equity investments occur in connection with our original investment, recapitalizing a business, or refinancing existing debt.

Since our initial public offering in 2001 and through September 30, 2018, we have invested in over 226 different companies, while making 188 consecutive monthly or quarterly cash distributions to common stockholders. We expect that our investment portfolio will primarily include the following three categories of investments in private companies operating in the U.S.:

 

   

First Lien Secured Debt Securities: We seek to invest a portion of our assets in first lien secured debt securities also known as senior loans, senior term loans, lines of credit and senior notes. Using its assets as collateral, the borrower typically uses first lien debt to cover a substantial portion of the funding needs of the business. These debt securities usually take the form of first priority liens on all, or substantially all, of the assets of the business. First lien debt securities may include investments sourced from the syndicated loan market.

 

   

Second Lien Secured Debt Securities: We seek to invest a portion of our assets in second lien secured debt securities, also known as subordinated loans, subordinated notes and mezzanine loans. These second lien secured debt securities rank junior to the borrowers’ first lien secured debt securities and may be secured by second priority liens on all or a portion of the assets of the business. Additionally, we may receive other yield enhancements in addition to or in lieu of success fees such as warrants to buy common and preferred stock or limited liability interests in connection with these second lien secured debt securities. Second lien debt securities may include investments sourced from the syndicated loan market.

 

   

Preferred and Common Equity/Equivalents: In some cases we will purchase equity securities which consist of preferred and common equity or limited liability company interests, or warrants or options to acquire such securities, and are in combination with our debt investment in a business. Additionally,



 

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we may receive equity investments derived from restructurings on some of our existing debt investments. In some cases, we will own a significant portion of the equity and in other cases we may have voting control of the businesses in which we invest.

Under the 1940 Act, we may not acquire any asset other than assets of the type listed in Section 55(a) of the 1940 Act, which are referred to as “qualifying assets” and generally include each of the investment types listed above, unless, at the time the acquisition is made, qualifying assets represent at least 70.0% of our total assets. See “Regulation as a Business Development Company—Qualifying Assets” for a discussion of the types of qualifying assets in which we are permitted to invest pursuant to Section 55(a) of the 1940 Act.

Because the majority of the loans in our portfolio consist of term debt in private companies that typically cannot or will not expend the resources to have their debt securities rated by a credit rating agency, we expect that most, if not all, of the debt securities we acquire will be unrated. Investors should assume that these loans would be rated below what is today considered “investment grade” quality. Investments rated below investment grade are often referred to as high yield securities or junk bonds and may be considered higher risk, as compared to investment-grade debt instruments. In addition, many of the debt securities we hold typically do not amortize prior to maturity.

Our Investment Adviser and Administrator

We are externally managed by the Adviser, an affiliate of ours, under an investment advisory and management agreement (the “Advisory Agreement”) and the Administrator, another of our affiliates, provides administrative services to us pursuant to a contractual agreement (the “Administration Agreement”). Each of the Adviser and Administrator are privately-held companies that are indirectly owned and controlled by David Gladstone, our chairman and chief executive officer. Mr. Gladstone and Terry Lee Brubaker, our vice chairman and chief operating officer, also serve on the board of directors of the Adviser, the board of managers of the Administrator, and serve as executive officers of the Adviser and the Administrator. The Administrator employs, among others, our chief financial officer and treasurer, chief valuation officer, chief compliance officer, general counsel and secretary (who also serves as the president, general counsel and secretary of the Administrator) and their respective staffs. The Adviser and Administrator have extensive experience in our lines of business and also provide investment advisory and administrative services, respectively, to our affiliates, including, but not limited to: Gladstone Commercial, a publicly-traded real estate investment trust; Gladstone Investment, a publicly-traded BDC and RIC; and Gladstone Land, a publicly-traded real estate investment trust (collectively the “Affiliated Public Funds”). In the future, the Adviser and Administrator may provide investment advisory and administrative services, respectively, to other funds and companies, both public and private.

The Adviser was organized as a corporation under the laws of the State of Delaware on July 2, 2002, and is a SEC registered investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. The Administrator was organized as a limited liability company under the laws of the State of Delaware on March 18, 2005. The Adviser and Administrator are headquartered in McLean, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C., at 1521 Westbranch Drive, Suite 100, McLean, Virginia 22102. The Adviser also has offices in several other states.

Recent Developments

Debt Offering

In November 2018, we completed a public debt offering of $57.5 million aggregate principal amount of 6.125% Notes due 2023 (the “2023 Notes”), inclusive of the overallotment, for net proceeds of $55.5 million after deducting underwriting discounts, commissions and offering expenses borne by us. The Notes will mature on November 1, 2023, and may be redeemed in whole or in part at any time or from time to time at the Company’s option on or after November 1, 2020. The 2023 Notes are traded under the ticker symbol “GLADD” on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.



 

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Distributions

On October 9, 2018, our Board of Directors declared the following monthly cash distributions to common and preferred stockholders:

 

Record Date

   Payment Date    Distribution per
Common Share
     Distribution per
Series 2024 Term
Preferred Share
 

October 19, 2018

   October 31, 2018    $ 0.07      $ 0.125  

November 20, 2018

   November 30, 2018      0.07        0.125  

December 20, 2018

   December 31, 2018      0.07        0.125  
     

 

 

    

 

 

 
   Total for the Quarter    $ 0.21      $ 0.375  
     

 

 

    

 

 

 

On January 8, 2019, our Board of Directors declared the following monthly cash distributions to common and preferred stockholders:

 

Record Date

   Payment Date    Distribution per
Common Share
     Distribution per
Series 2024 Term
Preferred Share
 

January 18, 2019

   January 31, 2019    $ 0.07      $ 0.125  

February 20, 2019

   February 28, 2019      0.07        0.125  

March 20, 2019

   March 29, 2019      0.07        0.125  
     

 

 

    

 

 

 
   Total for the Quarter    $ 0.21      $ 0.375  
     

 

 

    

 

 

 


 

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THE OFFERING

We may offer, from time to time, up to $300,000,000 of our Securities, on terms to be determined at the time of the offering. Our Securities may be offered at prices and on terms to be disclosed in one or more prospectus supplements. In the case of an offering of our common stock and warrants or rights to acquire such common stock hereunder in any offering, the offering price per share, exclusive of any underwriting commission or discount, will not be less than the net asset value (“NAV”) per share of our common stock at the time of the offering except (i) in connection with a rights offering to our existing stockholders, (ii) with the consent of the majority of our outstanding voting securities, as defined in the 1940 Act, or (iii) under such other circumstances as the SEC may permit. If we were to sell shares of our common stock below our then current NAV per share, such sales would result in an immediate dilution to the NAV per share. This dilution would occur as a result of the sale of shares at a price below the then current NAV per share of our common stock and a proportionately greater decrease in a stockholder’s interest in our earnings and assets and voting interest in us than the increase in our assets resulting from such issuance.

Our Securities may be offered directly to one or more purchasers, including existing stockholders in a rights offering, by us or through agents designated from time to time by us, or to or through underwriters or dealers. The prospectus supplement relating to the offering will disclose the terms of the offering, including the name or names of any agents or underwriters involved in the sale of our Securities by us, the purchase price, and any fee, commission or discount arrangement between us and our agents or underwriters or among our underwriters or the basis upon which such amount may be calculated. See “Plan of Distribution.” We may not sell any of our Securities through agents, underwriters or dealers without delivery of a prospectus supplement describing the method and terms of the offering of our Securities.

Set forth below is additional information regarding the offering of our Securities:

 

Common Stock Trading Symbol (Nasdaq)

GLAD                                                                                                         

 

6.00% Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock Trading Symbol (Nasdaq)

GLADN                                                                                                         

 

6.125% Notes due 2023 Trading Symbol (Nasdaq)

GLADD                                                                                                         

 

Use of Proceeds

Unless otherwise specified in a prospectus supplement, we intend to use the net proceeds from the sale of our Securities first to pay down existing debt, then to make investments in lower middle market companies in accordance with our investment objectives, with any remaining proceeds to be used for other general corporate purposes. See “Use of Proceeds.

 

Dividends and Distributions

We have paid monthly distributions to the holders of our common stock since October 2003 (and prior to that quarterly distributions since January 2002) and generally intend to continue to do so. In September 2017 we issued, and in October 2017 we made our first distribution on, our Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock and have paid monthly distributions thereafter. The amount of monthly distributions on our capital stock is generally determined by our Board of Directors on a quarterly basis and is based on management’s estimate of the



 

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fiscal year’s taxable income. See “Price Range of Common Stock and Distributions.” Because our distributions to common stockholders are based on estimates of taxable income that may differ from actual results, future distributions payable to our common stockholders may also include, and past distributions have included, a return of capital. Such return of capital distributions may increase an investor’s tax liability for capital gains upon the sale of our shares by reducing the investor’s tax basis for such shares. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to an Investment in Our Securities—Distributions to our stockholders have included and may in the future include a return of capital.” Certain additional amounts may be deemed as distributed to common stockholders for income tax purposes and may also constitute a return of capital.

 

Taxation

We intend to continue to elect to be treated for federal income tax purposes as a RIC. So long as we continue to qualify, we generally will pay no corporate-level federal income taxes on any ordinary income or capital gains that we distribute to our stockholders. To maintain our RIC status, we must meet specified source-of-income and asset diversification requirements and distribute, for each of our taxable years, at least 90.0% of our taxable ordinary income and realized net short-term capital gains in excess of realized net long-term capital losses, if any, out of assets legally available for distribution. See “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations.

 

Trading at a Discount

Common stock of closed-end investment companies frequently trades at a discount to NAV. The possibility that our common stock may trade at a discount to our NAV is separate and distinct from the risk that our NAV per share of common stock may decline. We cannot predict whether our common stock will trade above, at or below NAV, although during the past three years, our common stock has often traded, and at times significantly, below NAV. See “Risk Factors—Risks related to an Investment in our Securities—Shares of closed-end investment companies frequently trade at a discount from NAV.”

 

Certain Anti-Takeover Provisions

Our Board of Directors is divided into three classes of directors serving staggered three-year terms. This structure is intended to provide us with a greater likelihood of continuity of management, which may be necessary for us to realize the full value of our investments. A classified board of directors also may serve to deter hostile takeovers or proxy contests, as may certain provisions of Maryland law and other measures we have adopted. See “Certain Provisions of Maryland Law and of Our Charter and Bylaws.

 

Dividend Reinvestment Plan

Our transfer agent, Computershare, Inc., offers a dividend reinvestment plan for our common stockholders. This is an “opt in” dividend reinvestment plan, meaning that stockholders may elect to have their cash dividends automatically reinvested in additional shares of our common stock. Stockholders who do not elect to do so



 

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will receive their dividends in cash. Stockholders who receive distributions in the form of stock will be subject to the same federal, state and local tax consequences as stockholders who elect to receive their distributions in cash. See “Dividend Reinvestment Plan” and “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations.” There is no dividend reinvestment plan for our Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock.

 

Management Arrangements

Gladstone Management Corporation serves as the investment adviser, and Gladstone Administration, LLC serves as the administrator. For a description of the Adviser, the Administrator, the Affiliated Public Funds and the contractual arrangements with these companies, see “Business—Transactions with Related Parties” and “Management—Certain Transactions.


 

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FEES AND EXPENSES

The following table is intended to assist you in understanding the costs and expenses that an investor in this offering will bear directly or indirectly. We caution you that some of the percentages indicated in the table below are estimates and may vary. Except where the context suggests otherwise, whenever this prospectus contains a reference to fees or expenses paid by “us” or “Gladstone Capital,” or that “we” will pay fees or expenses, stockholders will indirectly bear such fees or expenses as investors in Gladstone Capital. The following annualized percentages were calculated based on actual expenses incurred in the quarter ended September 30, 2018 and average net assets attributable to common stockholders for the quarter ended September 30, 2018.

 

Stockholder Transaction Expenses:

  

Sales load (as a percentage of offering price)(1)

     —  

Offering expenses (as a percentage of offering price)(1)

     —  

Dividend reinvestment plan expenses (per sales transaction fee)(2)

    

Up to $25.00

Transaction Fee


 

Total stockholder transaction expenses(1)

     —  

Annual expenses (as a percentage of net assets attributable to common stock)(3):

  

Base Management fee(4)

     2.89

Loan servicing fee(5)

     2.10

Incentive fee (20% of realized capital gains and 20% of pre-incentive fee net investment income)(6)

     2.07

Interest payments on borrowed funds(7)

     2.73

Dividend expense on mandatorily redeemable preferred stock(8)

     1.38

Other expenses(9)

     1.22
  

 

 

 

Total annual expenses(10)

     12.39

 

(1)

The amounts set forth in this table do not reflect the impact of any sales load, sales commission or other offering expenses borne by Gladstone Capital and its stockholders. The prospectus supplement relating to an offering of securities pursuant to this prospectus will disclose the estimated offering price and the estimated offering expenses and total stockholder transaction expenses borne by Gladstone Capital and its stockholders as a percentage of the offering price. In the event that securities to which this prospectus relates are sold to or through underwriters, the prospectus supplement will also disclose the applicable sales load.

(2)

The expenses of the dividend reinvestment plan, if any, are included in stock record expenses, a component of “other expenses.” If a participant elects by written notice to the plan agent prior to termination of his or her account to have the plan agent sell part or all of the shares held by the plan agent in the participant’s account and remit the proceeds to the participant, the plan agent is authorized to deduct a transaction fee, plus per share brokerage commissions, from the proceeds. The participants in the dividend reinvestment plan will bear a pro rata share of brokerage commissions incurred with respect to open market purchases, if any. See “Dividend Reinvestment Plan” for information on the dividend reinvestment plan.

(3)

The percentages presented in this table are gross of credits to any fees.

(4)

In accordance with our Advisory Agreement, our annual base management fee is 1.75% (0.4375% quarterly) of our average gross assets, which are defined as total assets of Gladstone Capital, including investments made with proceeds of borrowings, less any uninvested cash or cash equivalents resulting from borrowings, and adjusted appropriately for any share issuances or repurchases. In accordance with the requirements of the SEC, the table above shows Gladstone Capital’s management fee as a percentage of average net assets attributable to common shareholders. For purposes of the table, the gross base management fee has been converted to 2.89% of the average net assets as of September 30, 2018 by dividing the total dollar amount of the management fee by Gladstone Capital’s average net assets. The base management fee for the quarter ended September 30, 2018 before application of any credits was $1.8 million.



 

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From time to time, the Adviser has non-contractually, unconditionally and irrevocably agreed to reduce the 1.75% base management fee on syndicated loan participations to 0.5%, to the extent that proceeds resulting from borrowings were used to purchase such syndicated loan participations. For the quarter ended September 30, 2018, this credit to the base management fee was $0.1 million.

Under the Advisory Agreement, the Adviser has provided and continues to provide managerial assistance to our portfolio companies. It may also provide services other than managerial assistance to our portfolio companies and receive fees therefor. Such services may include, but are not limited to: (i) assistance obtaining, sourcing or structuring credit facilities, long term loans or additional equity from unaffiliated third parties; (ii) negotiating important contractual financial relationships; (iii) consulting services regarding restructuring of the portfolio company and financial modeling as it relates to raising additional debt and equity capital from unaffiliated third parties; and (iv) primary role in interviewing, vetting and negotiating employment contracts with candidates in connection with adding and retaining key portfolio company management team members. Generally, at the end of each quarter, 100.0% of these fees are non-contractually, unconditionally and irrevocably credited against the base management fee that we would otherwise be required to pay to the Adviser; however, a small percentage of certain of such fees, primarily for valuation of the portfolio company, is retained by the Adviser in the form of reimbursement at cost for certain tasks completed by personnel of the Adviser. For the quarter ended September 30, 2018, the base management fee credit was $0.1 million. See “Management—Certain Transactions.”

(5)

The Adviser services, administers and collects on the loans held by Gladstone Business Loan, LLC (“Business Loan”), in return for which the Adviser receives a 1.5% annual loan servicing fee payable monthly by Business Loan based on the monthly aggregate balance of loans held by Business Loan in accordance with our Fifth Amended and Restated Credit Agreement, with KeyBank National Association (“KeyBank”), as administrative agent, lead arranger and a lender, as amended (the “Credit Facility”). For the three months ended September 30, 2018, the total loan servicing fee was $1.3 million. The entire loan servicing fee paid to the Adviser by Business Loan is generally non-contractually, unconditionally and irrevocably credited against the base management fee otherwise payable to the Adviser since Business Loan is a consolidated subsidiary of the Company, and overall, the base management fee (including any loan servicing fee) cannot exceed 1.75% of total assets (as reduced by cash and cash equivalents pledged to creditors) during any given fiscal year pursuant to the Advisory Agreement. See “Management—Certain Transactions—Investment Advisory and Management Agreement” and footnote 6 below.

(6)

In accordance with our Advisory Agreement, the incentive fee consists of two parts: an income-based fee and a capital gains-based fee. The income-based fee is payable quarterly in arrears, and equals 20.0% of the excess, if any, of our pre-incentive fee net investment income that exceeds a 1.75% quarterly (7.0% annualized) hurdle rate of our net assets, subject to a “catch-up” provision measured as of the end of each calendar quarter. The “catch-up” provision requires us to pay 100.0% of our pre-incentive fee net investment income with respect to that portion of such income, if any, that exceeds the hurdle rate but is less than 125.0% of the quarterly hurdle rate (or 2.1875%) in any calendar quarter (8.75% annualized). The catch-up provision is meant to provide the Adviser with 20.0% of our pre-incentive fee net investment income as if a hurdle rate did not apply when our pre-incentive fee net investment income exceeds 125.0% of the quarterly hurdle rate in any calendar quarter (8.75% annualized). The income-based incentive fee is computed and paid on income that may include interest that is accrued but not yet received in cash. Our pre-incentive fee net investment income used to calculate this part of the income-based incentive fee is also included in the amount of our gross assets used to calculate the 1.75% base management fee (see footnote 4 above). The capital gains-based incentive fee equals 20.0% of our net realized capital gains since our inception, if any, computed net of all realized capital losses and unrealized capital depreciation since our inception, less any prior payments, and is payable at the end of each fiscal year. We have not recorded any capital gains-based incentive fee from our inception through September 30, 2018. The income-based incentive fee for the quarter ended September 30, 2018 was $1.3 million.



 

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From time to time, the Adviser has non-contractually, unconditionally and irrevocably agreed to waive a portion of the incentive fees, to the extent net investment income did not cover 100.0% of the distributions to common stockholders during the period. For the quarter ended September 30, 2018, the incentive fee credit was $0.8 million. There can be no guarantee that the Adviser will continue to credit any portion of the fees under the Advisory Agreement in the future.

Examples of how the incentive fee would be calculated are as follows:

 

   

Assuming pre-incentive fee net investment income of 0.55%, there would be no income-based incentive fee because such income would not exceed the hurdle rate of 1.75%.

 

   

Assuming pre-incentive fee net investment income of 2.00%, the income-based incentive fee would be as follows:

= 100% × (2.00% - 1.75%)

= 0.25%

 

   

Assuming pre-incentive fee net investment income of 2.30%, the income-based incentive fee would be as follows:

= (100% × (“catch-up”: 2.1875% - 1.75%)) + (20% × (2.30% - 2.1875%))

= (100% × 0.4375%) + (20% × 0.1125%)

= 0.4375% + 0.0225%

= 0.46%

 

   

Assuming net realized capital gains of 6% and realized capital losses and unrealized capital depreciation of 1%, the capital gains-based incentive fee would be as follows:

= 20% × (6% - 1%)

= 20% × 5%

= 1%

For a more detailed discussion of the calculation of the two-part incentive fee, see “Business—Transactions with Related Parties—Investment Advisory and Management Agreement.”

 

(7)

Includes amortization of deferred financing costs. As of September 30, 2018, we had $110.0 million in borrowings outstanding on our Credit Facility.

(8)

Includes amortization of deferred financing costs related to our Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock, as well as amounts paid to preferred stockholders during the three months ended September 30, 2018. See “Description of our Securities—Term Preferred Stock” for additional information.

(9)

Includes our overhead expenses, including payments under the Administration Agreement based on our projected allocable portion of overhead and other expenses estimated to be incurred by the Administrator in performing its obligations under the Administration Agreement for the current fiscal year. See “Management—Certain Transactions—Administration Agreement.”

(10)

Total annualized gross expenses, based on actual amounts incurred for the quarter ended September 30, 2018, would be $30.4 million. After all non-contractual, unconditional and irrevocable credits described in footnote 4, footnote 5 and footnote 6 above are applied to the base management fee, the loan servicing fee, and the incentive fee, total annualized expenses after fee credits, based on actual amounts incurred for the quarter ended September 30, 2018, would be $21.4 million or 8.74% as a percentage of net assets.



 

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Examples

The following examples demonstrate the projected dollar amount of total cumulative expenses that would be incurred over various periods with respect to a hypothetical investment in our Securities. In calculating the following expense amounts, we have assumed we would have no additional leverage and that our quarterly operating expenses would remain at the levels set forth in the table above and are gross of credits to any fees. The amounts set forth below do not reflect the impact of sales load or offering expenses to be borne by Gladstone Capital or its stockholders. In the prospectus supplement relating to an offering of securities pursuant to this prospectus, the examples below will be restated to reflect the impact of the estimated offering expenses borne by Gladstone Capital and its stockholders and, in the event that securities to which this prospectus relates are sold to or through underwriters, the impact of the applicable sales load. The examples below and the expenses in the table above should not be considered a representation of our future expenses, and actual expenses (including the cost of debt, incentive fees, if any, and other expenses) may be greater or less than those shown. While the example assumes, as required by the SEC, a 5% annual return, our performance will vary and may result in a return greater or less than 5%.

 

     1 Year      3 Years      5 Years      10 Years  

You would pay the following expenses on a $1,000 investment:

           

assuming a 5% annual return consisting entirely of ordinary income (1)(2)

   $ 123      $ 342      $ 531      $ 895  

assuming a 5% annual return consisting entirely of capital gains (2)(3)

   $ 132      $ 364      $ 559      $ 924  

 

(1)

While the example assumes, as required by the SEC, a 5% annual return, our performance will vary and may result in a return greater or less than 5%. Additionally, we have assumed that the entire amount of such 5% annual return would constitute ordinary income as we have not historically realized positive capital gains (computed net of all realized capital losses) on our investments. Because the assumed 5% annual return is significantly below the hurdle rate of 7% (annualized) that we must achieve under the Advisory Agreement to trigger the payment of an income-based incentive fee, we have assumed, for purposes of this example, that no income-based incentive fee would be payable if we realized a 5% annual return on our investments.

(2)

While the example assumes reinvestment of all dividends and distributions at NAV, participants in our dividend reinvestment plan will receive a number of shares of our common stock, determined by dividing the total dollar amount of the dividend payable to a participant by the average cost of shares of our common stock purchased in the open market in the period beginning on or before the payment date of the distribution and ending when the plan agent has expended for such purchases all of the cash that would have been otherwise payable to participants. See “Dividend Reinvestment Plan” for additional information regarding our dividend reinvestment plan.

(3)

For purposes of this example, we have assumed that the entire amount of such 5% annual return would constitute capital gains and that no accumulated capital losses or unrealized depreciation exist that would have to be overcome first before a capital gains based incentive fee is payable.



 

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

We have filed with the SEC a registration statement on Form N-2 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), with respect to the Securities to be offered from time to time by this prospectus and the accompanying prospectus supplement. This prospectus, which is a part of the registration statement, does not contain all of the information set forth in the registration statement or exhibits and schedules thereto. For further information with respect to our business and our Securities, reference is made to the registration statement, including the amendments, exhibits and schedules thereto.

We also file reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). Copies of such reports and amendments to those reports, if any, filed or furnished pursuant to the Exchange Act are available free of charge through our website at www.GladstoneCapital.com as soon as reasonably practicable after such materials are electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC. Information on our website should not be considered part of this prospectus. A request for any of these reports may also be submitted to us by sending a written request addressed to Investor Relations, Gladstone Capital Corporation, 1521 Westbranch Drive, Suite 100, McLean, VA 22102, or by calling our toll-free investor relations line at 1-866-366-5745. The SEC also maintains a website that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC at www.sec.gov.

INCORPORATION OF CERTAIN INFORMATION BY REFERENCE

This prospectus is part of a registration statement that we have filed with the SEC. Commencing March 24, 2019, we will be allowed to “incorporate by reference” the information that we file with the SEC, which means that we can disclose important information to you by referring you to those documents. The information incorporated by reference is considered to comprise a part of this prospectus from the date we file that document. Any reports filed by us with the SEC on or after March 24, 2019 and before the date that any offering of any Securities by means of this prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement is terminated will automatically update and, where applicable, supersede any information contained in this prospectus or incorporated by reference in this prospectus.

We incorporate by reference into this prospectus additional documents that we may file with the SEC under Section 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act, from March 24, 2019 until all of the Securities offered by this prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement have been sold or we otherwise terminate the offering of these Securities; provided, however, that information “furnished” under Item 2.02 or Item 7.01 of Form 8-K or other information “furnished” to the SEC which is not deemed filed is not incorporated by reference in this prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement. Information that we file with the SEC subsequent to March 23, 2019 will automatically update and may supersede information in this prospectus, any accompanying prospectus supplement and information previously filed with the SEC.

You may request a copy of these filings (other than exhibits, unless the exhibits are specifically incorporated by reference into these documents) at no cost by writing or calling Investor Relations at the following address and telephone number:

Investor Relations

Gladstone Capital Corporation

1521 Westbranch Drive, Suite 100

McLean, Virginia 22102

1-866-366-5745

You should rely only on the information incorporated by reference or provided in this prospectus or any prospectus supplement. We have not authorized anyone to provide you with different or additional information, and you should not rely on such information if you receive it. We are not making an offer of or soliciting an offer to buy, any securities in any state or other jurisdiction where such offer or sale is not permitted. You should not assume that the information in this prospectus or in the documents incorporated by reference is accurate as of any date other than the date on the front of this prospectus or those documents.

 

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RISK FACTORS

You should carefully consider the risks described below and all other information contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus (or any prospectus supplement) before making a decision to purchase our Securities. The risks and uncertainties described below are not the only ones facing us. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us, or not presently deemed material by us, may also impair our operations and performance.

If any of the following risks actually occur, our business, financial condition or results of operations could be materially adversely affected. If that happens, the trading price of our Securities and NAV of our common stock could decline, and you may lose all or part of your investment. We believe the risk factors described below are the principal risk factors associated with an investment in our Securities as well as those factors generally associated with an investment company with investment objectives, investment policies, capital structure or trading markets similar to ours.

Risks Related to the Economy

Market conditions could negatively impact our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.

The market in which we operate is affected by a number of factors that are largely beyond our control but can nonetheless have a potentially significant, negative impact on us. These factors include, among other things:

 

   

changes in interest rates and credit spreads;

 

   

the availability of credit, including the price, terms and conditions under which it can be obtained;

 

   

the quality, pricing and availability of suitable investments and credit losses with respect to our investments;

 

   

the ability to obtain accurate market-based valuations;

 

   

loan values relative to the value of the underlying assets;

 

   

default rates on the loans underlying our investments and the amount of related losses;

 

   

prepayment rates, delinquency rates and legislative / regulatory changes with respect to our investments and loans, and the timing and amount of servicer advances;

 

   

competition;

 

   

the actual and perceived state of the economy and public capital markets generally;

 

   

the national and global political environment, including foreign relations and trading policies;

 

   

the impact of potential changes to the tax code; and

 

   

the attractiveness of other types of investments relative to investments in lower middle market companies generally.

Changes in these factors are difficult to predict, and a change in one factor can affect other factors resulting in adverse effects to our financial condition.

Volatility in the capital markets may make it more difficult to raise capital and may adversely affect the valuations of our investments.

Given the volatility and dislocation that the capital markets have experienced from time to time, many BDCs have faced, and may in the future face, a challenging environment in which to raise capital. We may in the future

 

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have difficulty accessing debt and equity capital, and a severe disruption in the global financial markets or deterioration in credit and financing conditions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, significant changes in the capital markets have had, and may in the future have, a negative effect on the valuations of our investments and on the potential for liquidity events involving our investments. An inability to raise capital, and any required sale of our investments for liquidity purposes, could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Market interest rates may have an effect on the value of our securities.

One of the factors that will influence the price of our securities will be the distribution yield on our securities (as a percentage of the price of our securities) relative to market interest rates. An increase in market interest rates, which are currently at low levels relative to historical rates, may lead prospective purchasers of our securities to expect a higher distribution yield. In addition, higher interest rates would likely increase our borrowing costs and potentially decrease funds available for distribution. As a result, higher market interest rates could cause the market price of our securities to decrease.

Rising interest rates may negatively impact our investments and have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

In recent years, the Federal Reserve Board (the “Fed”) has incrementally raised the target range for the federal funds rate, with additional increases possible over the next year. As interest rates increase, generally, the cost of borrowing increases, affecting our ability to make new investments on favorable terms or at all. More generally, interest rate fluctuations and changes in credit spreads on floating rate loans may have a negative impact on our investments and investment opportunities and, accordingly, may have a material adverse effect on our rate of return on invested capital, our net investment income, our net asset value and the market price of our securities. A substantial portion of our debt investments have variable interest rates that reset periodically and are generally based on LIBOR, so an increase in interest rates from the current interest rate may make it more difficult for our portfolio companies to service their obligations under the debt investments that we hold. To the extent that interest rates increase, this may negatively impact the operating performance of our portfolio companies due to increasing debt service obligations and, therefore, may affect our results of operations. In addition, to the extent that an increase in interest rates makes it difficult or impossible to make payments on outstanding indebtedness to us or other financial sponsors or refinance debt that is maturing in the near term, some of our portfolio companies may be unable to repay such debt at maturity and may be forced to sell assets, undergo a recapitalization or seek bankruptcy protection. There can be no guaranty the Fed will raise rates at the gradual pace they originally proposed, nor can there be any assurance that markets will not adversely react to rate increases. The increase in interest rates could have a negative effect on our investments, which could negatively impact our operating results, financial condition, and cash flows.

We may experience fluctuations in our quarterly and annual results based on the impact of inflation in the U.S.

The majority of our portfolio companies are in industries that are directly impacted by inflation, such as consumer goods and services and manufacturing. Our portfolio companies may not be able to pass on to customers increases in their costs of operations which could greatly affect their operating results, impacting their ability to repay our loans. In addition, any projected future decreases in our portfolio companies’ operating results due to inflation could adversely impact the fair value of those investments. Any decreases in the fair value of our investments could result in future unrealized losses and therefore reduce our net assets resulting from operations.

Volatility of oil and natural gas prices could impair certain of our portfolio companies’ operations and ability to satisfy obligations to their respective lenders and investors, including us, which could negatively impact our financial condition.

Our portfolio includes a concentration of companies related to the oil and gas industry with the fair value of these investments representing approximately $50.2 million, or 12.9% of our total portfolio at fair value as of

 

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September 30, 2018. These businesses provide services to oil and gas companies and are indirectly impacted by the prices of, and demand for, oil and natural gas, which have recently experienced volatility, including significant decline in prices, and such volatility could continue or increase in the future. A substantial or extended decline in oil and natural gas demand or prices may adversely affect the business, financial condition, cash flows, liquidity or results of operations of these portfolio companies and might impair their ability to meet capital expenditure obligations and financial commitments. A prolonged or continued decline in oil prices could therefore have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Risks Related to Our Investments

We operate in a highly competitive market for investment opportunities.

There has been increased competitive pressure in the BDC and investment company marketplace for first and second lien secured debt, resulting in lower yields for increasingly riskier investments. A large number of entities compete with us and make the types of investments that we seek to make in lower middle market companies. We compete with public and private buyout funds, commercial and investment banks, commercial financing companies, and, to the extent that they provide an alternative form of financing, hedge funds. Many of our competitors are substantially larger and have considerably greater financial, technical and marketing 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. In addition, some of our competitors may have higher risk tolerances or different risk assessments, which would allow them to consider a wider variety of investments and establish more relationships than us. Furthermore, many of our competitors are not subject to the regulatory restrictions that the 1940 Act imposes on us as a BDC. The competitive pressures we face could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Also, as a result of this competition, we may not be able to take advantage of attractive investment opportunities from time to time and we can offer no assurance that we will be able to identify and make investments that are consistent with our investment objective. We do not seek to compete based on the interest rates we offer, and we believe that some of our competitors may make loans with interest rates that will be comparable to or lower than the rates we offer. We may lose investment opportunities if we do not match our competitors’ pricing, terms, and structure. However, if we match our competitors’ pricing, terms, and structure, we may experience decreased net interest income and increased risk of credit loss.

Our investments in lower middle market companies are extremely risky and could cause you to lose all or a part of your investment.

Investments in lower middle market companies are subject to a number of significant risks including the following:

 

   

Lower middle market companies are likely to have greater exposure to economic downturns than larger businesses. Our portfolio companies may have fewer resources than larger businesses, and thus any economic downturns or recessions are more likely to have a material adverse effect on them. If one of our portfolio companies is adversely impacted by a recession, its ability to repay our loan or engage in a liquidity event, such as a sale, recapitalization or initial public offering would be diminished.

 

   

Lower middle market companies may have limited financial resources and may not be able to repay the loans we make to them. Our strategy includes providing financing to portfolio companies that typically do not have readily available access to financing. While we believe that this provides an attractive opportunity for us to generate profits, this may make it difficult for the portfolio companies to repay their loans to us upon maturity. A borrower’s ability to repay its loan may be adversely affected by numerous factors, including the failure to meet its business plan, a downturn in its industry, or negative economic conditions. Deterioration in a borrower’s financial condition and prospects usually will be accompanied by deterioration in the value of any collateral and a reduction in the likelihood of us realizing on any guaranties we may have obtained from the borrower’s management. As of September 30, 2018, loans to one portfolio company were on non-accrual status with an aggregate debt

 

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cost basis of approximately $26.9 million, or 6.9% of the cost basis of all debt investments in our portfolio. While we are working with the portfolio company to improve their profitability and cash flows, there can be no assurance that our efforts will prove successful. Although we will sometimes seek to be the senior, secured lender to a borrower, in some of our loans we expect to be subordinated to a senior lender, and our interest in any collateral would, accordingly, likely be subordinate to another lender’s security interest.

 

   

Lower middle market companies typically have narrower product lines and smaller market shares than large businesses. Because our target portfolio companies are lower middle market businesses, they will tend to be more vulnerable to competitors’ actions and market conditions, as well as general economic downturns. In addition, our portfolio companies may face intense competition, including competition from companies with greater financial resources, more extensive development, manufacturing, marketing, and other capabilities and a larger number of qualified managerial, and technical personnel.

 

   

There is generally little or no publicly available information about these businesses. Because we seek to invest in privately owned businesses, there is generally little or no publicly available operating and financial information about our potential portfolio companies. As a result, we rely on our officers, the Adviser and its employees, Gladstone Securities and certain consultants to perform due diligence investigations of these portfolio companies, their operations, and their prospects. We may not learn all of the material information we need to know regarding these businesses through our investigations to make a well-informed investment decision.

 

   

Lower middle market companies generally have less predictable operating results. We expect that our portfolio companies may have significant variations in their operating results, may from time to time be exposed to litigation, may be engaged in rapidly changing businesses with products subject to a substantial risk of obsolescence, may require substantial additional capital to support their operations, to finance expansion or to maintain their competitive position, may otherwise have a weak financial position, or may be adversely affected by changes in the business cycle. Our portfolio companies may not meet net income, cash flow, and other coverage tests typically imposed by their senior lenders. A borrower’s failure to satisfy financial or operating covenants imposed by senior lenders could lead to defaults and, potentially, foreclosure on its senior credit facility, which could additionally trigger cross-defaults in other agreements. If this were to occur, it is possible that the borrower’s ability to repay any of our loans would be jeopardized.

 

   

Lower middle market companies are more likely to be dependent on one or two persons. Typically, the success of a lower middle market business also depends on the management talents and efforts of one or two persons or a small group of persons. The death, disability, or resignation of one or more of these persons could have a material adverse impact on our borrower and, in turn, on us.

 

   

Lower middle market companies may have limited operating histories. While we intend to target stable companies with proven track records, we may make loans to new companies that meet our other investment criteria. Portfolio companies with limited operating histories will be exposed to all of the operating risks that new businesses face and may be particularly susceptible to, among other risks, market downturns, competitive pressures and the departure of key executive officers.

 

   

Debt securities of lower middle market companies typically are not rated by a credit rating agency. Typically a lower middle market private business cannot or will not expend the resources to have their debt securities rated by a credit rating agency. We expect that most, if not all, of the debt securities we acquire will be unrated. Investors should assume that these loans would be at rates below what is today considered “investment grade” quality. Investments rated below investment grade are often referred to as high yield securities or junk bonds and may be considered high risk as compared to investment-grade debt instruments.

 

   

Lower middle market companies may be highly leveraged. Some of our portfolio companies may be highly leveraged, which may have adverse consequences to these companies and to us as an investor.

 

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These companies may be subject to restrictive financial and operating covenants and the leverage may impair these companies’ ability to finance their future operations and capital needs. As a result, these companies’ flexibility to respond to changing business and economic conditions and to take advantage of business opportunities may be limited. Further, a leveraged company’s income and net assets will tend to increase or decrease at a greater rate than if borrowed money were not used.

Because the loans we make and equity securities we receive when we make loans are not publicly traded, there is uncertainty regarding the value of our privately held securities that could adversely affect our determination of our NAV.

Our portfolio investments are, and we expect will continue to be, in the form of securities that are not publicly traded. The fair value of securities and other investments that are not publicly traded may not be readily determinable. Our Board of Directors has ultimate responsibility for reviewing and determining, in good faith, the fair value of our investments for which market quotations are not readily available, based on our valuation policy, which has been approved by our Board of Directors. Our Board of Directors reviews valuation recommendations that are provided by the Valuation Team. In valuing our investment portfolio, several techniques are used, including, a total enterprise value approach, a yield analysis, market quotes, and independent third party assessments. Currently, ICE Data Pricing and Reference Data, LLC (formerly Standard & Poor’s Securities Evaluation, Inc.) provides estimates of fair value on our proprietary debt investments and we use another independent valuation firm to provide valuation inputs for our significant equity investments, including earnings multiple ranges, as well as other information. In addition to these techniques, other factors are considered when determining fair value of our investments, including but limited to: the nature and realizable value of the collateral, including external parties’ guaranties; any relevant offers or letters of intent to acquire the portfolio company; and the markets in which the portfolio company operates.

Fair value measurements of our investments may involve subjective judgments and estimates and due to the inherent uncertainty of determining these fair values, the fair value of our investments may fluctuate from period to period. Additionally, changes in the market environment and other events that may occur over the life of the investment may cause the gains or losses ultimately realized on these investments to be different than the valuations currently assigned. Further, such investments are generally subject to legal and other restrictions on resale or otherwise are less liquid than publicly traded securities. If we were required to liquidate a portfolio investment in a forced or liquidation sale, we could realize significantly less than the value at which it is recorded.

Our NAV would be adversely affected if the fair value of our investments that are approved by our Board of Directors are higher than the values that we ultimately realize upon the disposal of such securities.

The valuation process for certain of our portfolio holdings creates a conflict of interest.

A substantial portion of our portfolio investments are made in the form of securities that are not publicly traded. As a result, our Board of Directors determines the fair value of these securities in good faith pursuant to the valuation policy. In connection with that determination, the Valuation Team prepares portfolio company valuations based upon the most recent portfolio company financial statements available and projected financial results of each portfolio company. The participation of the Adviser’s investment professionals in our valuation process, and the pecuniary interest in the Adviser by Mr. Gladstone, may result in a conflict of interest as the management fees that we pay the Adviser are based on our gross assets less uninvested cash or cash equivalents from borrowings, and adjusted appropriately for any share issuances or repurchases during the period.

The lack of liquidity of our privately held investments may adversely affect our business.

We will generally make investments in private companies whose securities are not traded in any public market. Substantially all of the investments we presently hold and the investments we expect to acquire in the future are,

 

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and will be, subject to legal and other restrictions on resale and will otherwise be less liquid than publicly traded securities. The illiquidity of our investments may make it difficult for us to quickly obtain cash equal to the value at which we record our investments if the need arises. This could cause us to miss important investment opportunities. In addition, if we are required to liquidate all or a portion of our portfolio quickly, we may record substantial realized losses upon liquidation. We may also face other restrictions on our ability to liquidate an investment in a portfolio company to the extent that we, the Adviser, or our respective officers, employees or affiliates have material non-public information regarding such portfolio company.

Due to the uncertainty inherent in valuing these securities, the Valuation Team’s determinations of fair value may differ materially from the values that could be obtained if a ready market for these securities existed. Our NAV could be materially affected if the Valuation Team’s determinations regarding the fair value of our investments that are ultimately approved by our Board of Directors are materially different from the values that we ultimately realize upon our disposal of such securities.

When we are a debt or minority equity investor in a portfolio company, which we expect will generally be 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.

We anticipate that most of our investments will continue to be either debt or minority equity investments in our portfolio companies. Therefore, we are and will remain subject to the risk that a portfolio company may make business decisions with which we disagree, and the shareholders and management of such company may take risks or otherwise act in ways that do not serve our best interests. As a result, a portfolio company may make decisions that could decrease the value of our portfolio holdings.

In addition, we will generally not be in a position to control any portfolio company by investing in its debt securities. This is particularly true when we invest in syndicated loans, which are loans made by a larger group of investors whose investment objectives may not be completely aligned with ours. As of September 30, 2018, syndicated loans made up approximately 9.6% of our portfolio at cost, or $41.0 million. We therefore are subject to the risk that other lenders in these investments may make decisions that could decrease the value of our portfolio holdings.

The interest rates of some of our term loans to our portfolio companies are priced using a spread over LIBOR, which may be phased out in the future.

LIBOR 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. In general, our investments in debt securities have a term of five to seven years, accrue interest at variable rates based on LIBOR and, to a lesser extent, at fixed rates. As of September 30, 2018, based on the total principal balance of debt outstanding, our portfolio consisted of approximately 90.6% of loans at variable rates with floors and approximately 9.4% at fixed rates.

On July 27, 2017, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates LIBOR, announced that it intends to phase out LIBOR by the end of 2021. It is unclear if at that time whether or not LIBOR will cease to exist or if new methods of calculating LIBOR will be established such that it continues to exist after 2021. The Fed, in conjunction with the Alternative Reference Rates Committee, a steering committee comprised of large U.S. financial institutions, announced replacement of U.S. dollar LIBOR with a new index calculated by short-term repurchase agreements, backed by U.S. Treasury securities called the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”). The first publication of SOFR was released in April 2018. Whether or not SOFR attains market traction as a LIBOR replacement tool remains in question and the future of LIBOR at this time is uncertain. If LIBOR ceases to exist, we may need to renegotiate the loan documents with our portfolio companies that utilize LIBOR as a factor in determining the interest rate to replace LIBOR with the new standard that is established.

 

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We typically invest in transactions involving acquisitions, buyouts and recapitalizations of companies, which will subject us to the risks associated with change in control transactions.

Our strategy, in part, includes making debt and minority equity investments in companies in connection with acquisitions, buyouts and recapitalizations, which subjects us to the risks associated with change in control transactions. Change in control transactions often present a number of uncertainties. Companies undergoing change in control transactions often face challenges retaining key employees and maintaining relationships with customers and suppliers. While we hope to avoid many of these difficulties by participating in transactions where the management team is retained and by conducting thorough due diligence in advance of our decision to invest, if our portfolio companies experience one or more of these problems, we may not realize the value that we expect in connection with our investments, which would likely harm our operating results and financial condition.

Our portfolio companies may incur debt that ranks equally with, or senior to, our investments in such companies and/or we could be subject to lender liability claims.

We invest primarily in debt securities issued by our portfolio companies. In some cases portfolio companies will be permitted to have other debt that ranks equally 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 and 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. In addition, even though we have structured some of our investments as senior loans, if one of our portfolio companies were to go bankrupt, depending on the facts and circumstances, including the extent to which we actually provided managerial assistance to that portfolio company, a bankruptcy court might re-characterize our debt investments and subordinate all, or a portion, of our claims to that of other creditors. After repaying such senior creditors, such portfolio company may not have any remaining assets to use to repay its obligation to us. We may also be subject to lender liability claims for actions taken by us with respect to a borrower’s business or in instances in which we exercised 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. In the case of debt ranking equally 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.

Prepayments of our investments by our portfolio companies could adversely impact our results of operations and reduce our return on equity.

In addition to risks associated with delays in investing our capital, we are also subject to the risk that investments we make in our portfolio companies may be repaid prior to maturity. For the year ended September 30, 2018, we received prepayments of investments totaling $58.9 million. We will generally first use any proceeds from prepayments to repay any borrowings outstanding on our Credit Facility. In the event that funds remain after repayment of our outstanding borrowings, then we will generally reinvest these proceeds in government securities, pending their future investment in new debt and/or equity securities. These government securities will typically have substantially lower yields than the debt securities being prepaid and we could experience significant delays in reinvesting these amounts. As a result, our results of operations could be materially adversely affected if one or more of our portfolio companies elect 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.

Our portfolio is concentrated in a limited number of companies and industries, which subjects us to an increased risk of significant loss if any one of these companies does not repay us or if the industries experience downturns.

As of September 30, 2018, we had investments in 50 portfolio companies, of which there were five investments that comprised approximately $122.8 million, or 31.5% of our total investment portfolio, at fair value. A

 

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consequence of a concentration in a limited number of investments is that the aggregate returns we realize may be substantially adversely affected by the unfavorable performance of a small number of such investments or a substantial write-down of any one investment. Beyond our regulatory and income tax diversification requirements, we do not have fixed guidelines for industry concentration and our investments could potentially be concentrated in relatively few industries. In addition, while we do not intend to invest 25.0% or more of our total assets in a particular industry or group of industries at the time of investment, it is possible that as the values of our portfolio companies change, one industry or a group of industries may comprise in excess of 25.0% of the value of our total assets. As a result, a downturn in an industry in which we have invested a significant portion of our total assets could have a materially adverse effect on us. As of September 30, 2018, our largest industry concentrations of our total investments at fair value were in diversified/conglomerate service companies, representing 20.3%; healthcare, education and childcare companies, representing 13.8%; and oil and gas companies, representing 12.9%. Therefore, we are susceptible to the economic circumstances in these industries, and a downturn in one or more of these industries could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

Our investments are typically long term and will require several years to realize liquidation events.

Since we generally make five to seven year term loans and hold our loans and related warrants or other equity positions until the loans mature, you should not expect realization events, if any, to occur over the near term. In addition, we expect that any warrants or other equity positions that we receive when we make loans may require several years to appreciate in value and we cannot give any assurance that such appreciation will occur.

The disposition of our investments may result in contingent liabilities.

Currently, all of our investments involve private securities. 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 underlying 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.

Portfolio company litigation or other litigation or claims against us or our personnel could result in additional costs and the diversion of management time and resources.

In the course of investing in and often providing significant managerial assistance to certain of our portfolio companies, certain persons employed by the Adviser may serve as directors on the boards of such companies. To the extent that litigation arises out of our investments in these companies, even if without merit, we or such employees may be named as defendants in such litigation, which could result in additional costs, including defense costs, and the diversion of management time and resources. Additionally, other litigation or claims against us or our personnel could result in additional costs, including defense costs, and the diversion of management time and resources. We may be unable to accurately estimate our exposure to litigation risk if 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, financial condition, or cash flows.

While we believe we would have valid defenses to potential claims brought due to our investment in any portfolio company, and will defend any such claims vigorously, we may nevertheless expend significant amounts of money in defense costs and expenses. Further, if we enter into settlements or suffer an adverse outcome in any litigation, we could be required to pay significant amounts. In addition, if any of our portfolio companies become subject to direct or indirect claims or other obligations, such as defense costs or damages in litigation or settlement, our investment in such companies could diminish in value and we could suffer indirect losses.

 

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Further, these matters could cause us to expend significant management time and effort in connection with assessment and defense of any claims.

We may not realize gains from our equity investments and other yield enhancements.

When we make an investment, we may receive warrants to purchase stock issued by the borrower or other yield enhancements, such as success fees. Our goal is to ultimately dispose of these equity interests and realize gains upon our disposition of such interests. We expect that, over time, the gains we realize on these warrants and other yield enhancements will offset any losses we experience on loan defaults. However, any equity interests we receive may not appreciate in value and, in fact, may decline in value and any other yield enhancements, such as success fees, may not be realized. Accordingly, we may not be able to realize gains from our equity interests or other yield enhancements and any gains we do recognize may not be sufficient to offset losses we experience on our loan portfolio.

Any unrealized depreciation we experience on our investment portfolio may be an indication of future realized losses, which could reduce our income available for distribution.

As a BDC we are required to carry our investments at market value or, if no market value is ascertainable, at fair value as determined in good faith by or under the direction of our Board of Directors. We will record decreases in the market values or fair values of our investments as unrealized depreciation. Since our inception, we have, at times, incurred a cumulative net unrealized depreciation of our portfolio. Any unrealized depreciation in our investment portfolio could result in realized losses in the future and ultimately in reductions of our income available for distribution to stockholders in future periods.

Risks Related to Our External Financing

In addition to regulatory limitations on our ability to raise capital, our Credit Facility contains various covenants which, if not complied with, could accelerate our repayment obligations under the facility, thereby materially and adversely affecting our liquidity, financial condition, results of operations and ability to pay distributions.

We will have a continuing need for capital to finance our investments. As of September 30, 2018, we had $110.0 million in borrowings, at cost, outstanding under our Credit Facility, which provides for maximum borrowings of $190.0 million, with a revolving period end date of January 15, 2021. Our Credit Facility permits us to fund additional loans and investments as long as we are within the conditions set forth in the credit agreement. Our Credit Facility contains covenants that require our wholly-owned subsidiary Business Loan to maintain its status as a separate legal entity, prohibit certain significant corporate transactions (such as mergers, consolidations, liquidations or dissolutions) and restrict material changes to our credit and collection policies without lenders’ consent. The Credit Facility also limits distributions to our stockholders on a fiscal year basis to the sum of our net investment income, net capital gains and amounts deemed to have been paid during the prior year in accordance with Section 855(a) of the Code. We are also subject to certain limitations on the type of loan investments we can make, including restrictions on geographic concentrations, sector concentrations, loan size, interest rate type, payment frequency and status, average life and lien property. Our Credit Facility further requires us to comply with other financial and operational covenants, which obligate us to, among other things, maintain certain financial ratios, including asset and interest coverage, and a minimum number of 25 obligors in the borrowing base. Additionally, we are subject to a performance guaranty that requires us to maintain (i) a minimum net worth (defined in our Credit Facility to include our mandatorily redeemable preferred stock) of $205.0 million plus 50.0% of all equity and subordinated debt raised after May 1, 2015 less 50% of any equity and subordinated debt retired or redeemed after May 1, 2015, which equates to $232.8 million as of September 30, 2018, (ii) asset coverage with respect to “senior securities representing indebtedness” of at least 200%, in accordance with Section 18 of the 1940 Act and (iii) our status as a BDC under the 1940 Act and as a RIC under the Code. As of September 30, 2018, and as defined in the performance guaranty of our Credit Facility, we were in compliance with all of our Credit Facility covenants; however, our continued compliance depends on many factors, some of which are beyond our control.

 

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Given the continued uncertainty in the capital markets, the cumulative unrealized depreciation in our portfolio may increase in future periods and threaten our ability to comply with the minimum net worth covenant and other covenants under our Credit Facility. Our failure to satisfy these covenants could result in foreclosure by our lenders, which would accelerate our repayment obligations under the facility and thereby have a material adverse effect on our business, liquidity, financial condition, results of operations and ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

Any inability to renew, extend or replace our Credit Facility on terms favorable to us, or at all, could adversely impact our liquidity and ability to fund new investments or maintain distributions to our stockholders.

The revolving period end date of our Credit Facility is January 15, 2021 (the “Revolving Period End Date”) and if our Credit Facility is not renewed or extended by the Revolving Period End Date, all principal and interest will be due and payable on or before April 15, 2022. Subject to certain terms and conditions, our Credit Facility may be expanded to a total of $265.0 million through the addition of other lenders to the facility. However, if additional lenders are unwilling to join the facility on its terms, we will be unable to expand the facility and thus will continue to have limited availability to finance new investments under our Credit Facility. There can be no guarantee that we will be able to renew, extend or replace our Credit Facility upon its Revolving Period End Date on terms that are favorable to us, if at all. Our ability to expand our Credit Facility, and to obtain replacement financing at or before the Revolving Period End Date, will be constrained by then-current economic conditions affecting the credit markets. In the event that we are not able to expand our Credit Facility, or to renew, extend or refinance our Credit Facility by the Revolving Period End Date, this could have a material adverse effect on our liquidity and ability to fund new investments, our ability to make distributions to our stockholders and our ability to qualify as a RIC under the Code.

If we are unable to secure replacement financing, we may be forced to sell certain assets on disadvantageous terms, which may result in realized losses, and such realized losses could materially exceed the amount of any unrealized depreciation on these assets as of our most recent balance sheet date, which would have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. Such circumstances would also increase the likelihood that we would be required to redeem some or all of our outstanding mandatorily redeemable preferred stock, which could potentially require us to sell more assets. In addition to selling assets, or as an alternative, we may issue equity in order to repay amounts outstanding under our Credit Facility. Based on the recent trading prices of our stock, such an equity offering may have a substantial dilutive impact on our existing stockholders’ interest in our earnings, assets and voting interest in us. If we are not able to renew, extend or refinance our Credit Facility prior to its maturity, it could result in significantly higher interest rates and related charges and may impose significant restrictions on the use of borrowed funds to fund investments or maintain distributions to stockholders.

Our business plan is dependent upon external financing, which is constrained by the limitations of the 1940 Act.

We completed an equity offering of our Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock in September 2017 and sold 2,341,296 common shares under our at-the-market program during the year ended September 30, 2018. In addition, in November 2018, we completed a public debt offering of $57.5 million aggregate principal amount of the 2023 Notes, inclusive of the overallotment. However, there can be no assurance that we will be able to raise capital through issuing equity in the near future. Our business requires a substantial amount of cash to operate and grow. We may acquire such additional capital from the following sources:

 

   

Senior Securities. We may issue “senior securities representing indebtedness” (including borrowings under our Credit Facility and our 2023 Notes) and “senior securities that are stock,” such as our Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock, up to the maximum amount permitted by the 1940 Act. The 1940 Act currently permits us, as a BDC, to issue such senior securities in amounts such that our asset coverage, as defined in Section 18(h) of the 1940 Act, is at least 200% (as the law applies to the Company currently) or 150% (as the law will apply to the Company effective April 10, 2019; refer to “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—

 

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Overview—Regulatory Compliance” for a discussion of changes to the asset coverage requirements pursuant to the Small Business Credit Availability Act (“SBCAA”)) on such senior security immediately after each issuance of such senior security. As a result of incurring indebtedness (in whatever form), we will be exposed to the risks associated with leverage. Although borrowing money for investments increases the potential for gain, it also increases the risk of a loss. A decrease in the value of our investments will have a greater impact on the value of our common stock to the extent that we have borrowed money to make investments. There is a possibility that the costs of borrowing could exceed the income we receive on the investments we make with such borrowed funds. In addition, our ability to pay distributions, issue senior securities or repurchase shares of our common stock would be restricted if the asset coverage on each of our senior securities is not at least 200% or 150%, as applicable. If the aggregate value of our assets declines, we might be unable to satisfy that 200% or 150% requirement, as applicable. To satisfy the 200% or 150%, as applicable, asset coverage requirement in the event that we are seeking to pay a distribution, we might either have to (i) liquidate a portion of our loan portfolio to repay a portion of our indebtedness or (ii) issue common stock. This may occur at a time when a sale of a portfolio asset may be disadvantageous, or when we have limited access to capital markets on agreeable terms. In addition, any amounts that we use to service our indebtedness or for offering expenses will not be available for distributions to stockholders. Furthermore, if we have to issue common stock at below NAV per common share, any non-participating stockholders will be subject to dilution, as described below. Pursuant to Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act, we are permitted, under specified conditions, to issue multiple classes of “senior securities representing indebtedness.” However, pursuant to Section 18(c) of the 1940 Act, we are permitted to issue only one class of “senior securities that are stock.”

 

   

Common and Convertible Preferred Stock. Because we are constrained in our ability to issue debt or senior securities for the reasons given above, we are dependent on the issuance of equity as a financing source. If we raise additional funds by issuing more common stock, the percentage ownership of our stockholders at the time of the issuance would decrease and our existing common stockholder may experience dilution. In addition, under the 1940 Act, we will generally not be able to issue additional shares of our common stock at a price below NAV per common share to purchasers, other than to our existing stockholders through a rights offering, without first obtaining the approval of our stockholders and our independent directors. If we were to sell shares of our common stock below our then-current NAV per common share, such sales would result in an immediate dilution to the NAV per common share. This dilution would occur as a result of the sale of shares at a price below the then-current NAV per share of our common stock and a proportionately greater decrease in a stockholder’s interest in our earnings and assets and voting percentage than the increase in our assets resulting from such issuance. For example, if we issue and sell an additional 10.0% of our common stock at a 5.0% discount from NAV, a stockholder who does not participate in that offering for its proportionate interest will suffer NAV dilution of up to 0.5% or $5 per $1,000 of NAV. This imposes constraints on our ability to raise capital when our common stock is trading below NAV per common share, as it generally has in previous years. As noted above, the 1940 Act prohibits the issuance of multiple classes of “senior securities that are stock.” As a result, we would be prohibited from issuing convertible preferred stock to the extent that such a security was deemed to be a separate class of stock from our outstanding Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock.

We financed certain of our investments with borrowed money and capital from the issuance of senior securities, which will magnify the potential for gain or loss on amounts invested and may increase the risk of investing in us.

The use of leverage, including through the issuance of senior securities that are debt or stock, magnifies the potential for gain or loss on amounts invested, and, if we incur additional leverage as permitted by the SBCAA, this potential will be further magnified. We have incurred leverage in the past and currently incur leverage through the Credit Facility, shares of our mandatorily redeemable preferred stock and the 2023 Notes and, from time to time, intend to incur additional leverage to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act. The use of leverage

 

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is generally considered a speculative investment technique and increases the risks associated with investing in our securities. In the future, we may borrow from, and issue senior securities, to banks and other lenders. Holders of these senior securities will have fixed dollar claims on our assets that are superior to the claims of our common stockholders, and we would expect such holders to seek recovery against our assets in the event of a default. The following table illustrates the effect of leverage on returns from an investment in our common stock assuming various annual returns on our portfolio, 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)
 
       (10.0 )%      (5.0 )%      0.0     5.0      10.0
    

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Corresponding return to common stockholder(A)

       (18.36 )%      (9.94 )%      (1.51 )%      6.91      15.34

 

(A) 

The hypothetical return to common stockholders is calculated by multiplying our total assets as of September 30, 2018 by the assumed rates of return and subtracting all interest accrued on our debt for the year ended September 30, 2018, adjusted for the dividends on our Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock; and then dividing the resulting difference by our total assets attributable to common stock. Based on $399.5 million in total assets, $110.0 million drawn on our Credit Facility (at cost), $51.8 million in aggregate liquidation preference of our Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock, and $237.1 million in net assets, each as of September 30, 2018.

Based on the outstanding balance on our Credit Facility of $110.0 million at cost, as of September 30, 2018, the effective annual interest rate of 5.1% as of that date, and aggregate liquidation preference of our Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock of $51.8 million, our investment portfolio at fair value would have had to produce an annual return of at least 2.2% to cover annual interest payments on the outstanding debt and dividends on our Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock.

A change in interest rates may adversely affect our profitability and our hedging strategy may expose us to additional risks.

We anticipate using a combination of equity and long-term and short-term borrowings to finance our investment activities. As a result, a portion of our income will depend upon the difference between the rate at which we borrow funds and the rate at which we loan these funds. Higher interest rates on our borrowings will decrease the overall return on our portfolio.

As of September 30, 2018, based on the total principal balance of debt outstanding, our portfolio consisted of approximately 90.6% of loans at variable rates with floors and approximately 9.4% at fixed rates.

As of September 30, 2018, we did not have any hedging arrangement, such as interest rate hedges. While hedging activities may insulate us against adverse fluctuations in interest rates, they may also limit our ability to participate in the benefits of lower interest rates with respect to the hedged portfolio. Adverse developments resulting from changes in interest rates or any future hedging transactions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Our ability to receive payments pursuant to an interest rate cap agreement is linked to the ability of the counter-party to that agreement to make the required payments. To the extent that the counter-party to the agreement is unable to pay pursuant to the terms of the agreement, we may lose the hedging protection of the interest rate cap agreement. For additional information on market interest rate fluctuations, see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.”

 

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Risks Related to Our Regulation and Structure

We will be subject to corporate-level tax if we are unable to satisfy Code requirements for RIC qualification.

To maintain our qualification as a RIC, we must meet income source, asset diversification, and annual distribution requirements. The annual distribution requirement is satisfied if we distribute at least 90.0% of our investment company taxable income to our stockholders on an annual basis. Because we use leverage, we are subject to certain asset coverage ratio requirements under the 1940 Act and could, under certain circumstances, be restricted from making distributions necessary to qualify as a RIC. Warrants we receive with respect to debt investments will create “original issue discount,” which we must recognize as ordinary income over the term of the debt investment or PIK interest which is accrued generally over the term of the debt investment but not paid in cash, both of which will increase the amounts we are required to distribute to maintain RIC status. Because such OIDs and PIK interest will not produce distributable cash for us at the same time as we are required to make distributions, we will need to use cash from other sources to satisfy such distribution requirements. The asset diversification requirements must be met at the end of each calendar quarter. If we fail to meet these tests, we may need to quickly dispose of certain investments to prevent the loss of RIC status. Since most of our investments will be illiquid, such dispositions, if even possible, may not be made at prices advantageous to us and, in fact, may result in substantial losses. If we fail to qualify as a RIC for any reason and become fully subject to corporate income tax, the resulting corporate taxes could substantially reduce our net assets, the amount of income available for distribution, and the actual amount distributed. Such a failure would have a material adverse effect on us and our shares. Refer to “Business—Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—RIC Status” for additional information regarding asset coverage ratio and RIC requirements and to “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Overview—Regulatory Compliance” for a discussion of changes to the asset coverage requirements pursuant to the SBCAA.

Some of our debt investments may include success fees that would generate payments to us if the business is ultimately sold. Because the satisfaction of these success fees, and the ultimate payment of these fees, is uncertain, we generally only recognize them as income when the payment is received. Success fee amounts are characterized as ordinary income for tax purposes and, as a result, we are required to distribute such amounts to our stockholders in order to maintain RIC status.

If we do not invest a sufficient portion of our assets in qualifying assets, we could fail to qualify as a BDC or be precluded from investing according to our current business strategy.

As a BDC, we may not acquire any assets other than “qualifying assets” unless, at the time of and after giving effect to such acquisition, at least 70% of our total assets are qualifying assets, as defined in Section 55(a) of the 1940 Act.

We believe that most of the investments that we may acquire in the future will constitute qualifying assets. However, we may be precluded from investing in what we believe to be attractive investments if such investments are not qualifying assets for purposes of the 1940 Act. If we do not invest a sufficient portion of our assets in qualifying assets, we could violate the 1940 Act provisions applicable to BDCs. As a result of such violation, specific rules under the 1940 Act could prevent us, for example, from making follow-on investments in existing portfolio companies (which could result in the dilution of our position) or could require us to dispose of investments at inappropriate times in order to come into compliance with the 1940 Act. If we need to dispose of such investments quickly, it could be difficult to dispose of such investments on favorable terms. We may not be able to find a buyer for such investments and, even if we do find a buyer, we may have to sell the investments at a substantial loss. Any such outcomes would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

If we do not maintain our status as a BDC, we would be subject to regulation as a registered closed-end investment company under the 1940 Act and our Credit Facility could be subject to termination. As a registered closed-end investment company, we would be subject to substantially more regulatory restrictions under the

 

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1940 Act, which would significantly decrease our operating flexibility. Refer to “Business—Regulation as a Business Development Company—Qualifying Assets” for additional information regarding qualifying assets.

Changes in laws or regulations governing our operations, or changes in the interpretation thereof, and any failure by us to comply with laws or regulations governing our operations may adversely affect our business.

We and our portfolio companies are subject to regulation by laws at the local, state and federal levels. These laws and regulations, as well as their interpretation, may be changed from time to time. Accordingly, any change in these laws or regulations, or their interpretation, or any failure by us or our portfolio companies to comply with these laws or regulations may adversely affect our business. For additional information regarding the regulations to which we are subject, see “Business—Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations” and “Business— Regulation as a Business Development Company.”

We are subject to restrictions that may discourage a change of control. Certain provisions contained in our charter and Maryland law may prohibit or restrict a change of control and adversely impact the price of our shares.

Our Board of Directors is divided into three classes, with the term of the directors in each class expiring every third year. At each annual meeting of stockholders, the successors to the class of directors whose term expires at such meeting will be elected to hold office for a term expiring at the annual meeting of stockholders held in the third year following the year of their election. After election, a director may only be removed by our stockholders for cause. Election of directors for staggered terms with limited rights to remove directors makes it more difficult for a hostile bidder to acquire control of us. The existence of this provision may negatively impact the price of our securities and may discourage third-party bids to acquire our securities. This provision may reduce any premiums paid to stockholders in a change in control transaction.

Certain provisions of Maryland law applicable to us prohibit business combinations with:

 

   

any person who beneficially owns 10.0% or more of the voting power of our common stock (an “interested stockholder”);

 

   

an affiliate of ours who at any time within the two-year period prior to the date in question was an interested stockholder; or

 

   

an affiliate of an interested stockholder.

These prohibitions last for five years after the most recent date on which the interested stockholder became an interested stockholder. Thereafter, any business combination with the interested stockholder must be recommended by our Board of Directors and approved by the affirmative vote of at least 80.0% of the votes entitled to be cast by holders of our outstanding shares of common stock and two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast by holders of our common stock other than shares held by the interested stockholder. These requirements could have the effect of inhibiting a change in control even if a change in control were in our stockholders’ interest. These provisions of Maryland law do not apply, however, to business combinations that are approved or exempted by our Board of Directors prior to the time that someone becomes an interested stockholder.

Our charter permits our Board of Directors to issue up to 50.0 million shares of capital stock. In addition, our Board of Directors, without any action by our stockholders, may amend our charter from time to time to increase or decrease the aggregate number of shares or the number of shares of any class or series of stock that we have authority to issue. Our Board of Directors may classify or reclassify any unissued common stock or preferred stock and establish the preferences, conversion or other rights, voting powers, restrictions, limitations as to distributions, qualifications and terms or conditions of redemption of any such stock. Thus, our Board of Directors could authorize the issuance of preferred stock with terms and conditions that could have a priority as to distributions and amounts payable upon liquidation over the rights of the holders of our common stock, which

 

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it did in connection with our issuance of approximately 2.1 million shares of Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock. Preferred stock, including our Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock, could also have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change in control of us, including an extraordinary transaction (such as a merger, tender offer or sale of all or substantially all of our assets) that might provide a premium price for holders of our common stock.

We may not be permitted to declare a dividend or make any distribution to stockholders or repurchase shares until such time as we satisfy the asset coverage tests under the provisions of the 1940 Act that apply to BDCs. As a BDC, we have the ability to issue senior securities only in amounts such that our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, equals at least 200% (or 150%, provided certain conditions are met) after each issuance of senior securities. If the value of our assets declines, we may be unable to satisfy this test. If that happens, we may be required to sell a portion of our investments and, depending on the nature of our leverage, repay a portion of our debt at a time when such sales and/or repayments may be disadvantageous.

Regulations governing our operation as a BDC and RIC will affect our ability to raise, and the way in which we raise, additional capital or borrow for investment purposes, which may have a negative effect on our growth. As a result of the annual distribution requirement to qualify as a RIC, we may need to periodically access the capital markets to raise cash to fund new investments. We may issue “senior securities representing indebtedness,” including borrowing money from banks or other financial institutions or “senior securities that are stock,” such as our mandatorily redeemable preferred stock, only in amounts such that our asset coverage on each senior security, as defined in the 1940 Act, equals at least 200% or 150% (effective April 10, 2019; refer to “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Overview—Regulatory Compliance” for a discussion of changes to the asset coverage requirements pursuant to the SBCAA) after each such incurrence or issuance. Further, we may not be permitted to declare a dividend or make any distribution to our outstanding stockholders or repurchase shares until such time as we satisfy these tests. Our ability to issue different types of securities is also limited. Compliance with these requirements may unfavorably limit our investment opportunities and reduce our ability in comparison to other companies to profit from favorable spreads between the rates at which we can borrow and the rates at which we can lend. As a BDC, therefore, we intend to continuously issue equity at a rate more frequent than our privately owned competitors, which may lead to greater stockholder dilution. We have incurred leverage to generate capital to make additional investments. If the value of our assets declines, we may be unable to satisfy the asset coverage test under the 1940 Act, which could prohibit us from paying distributions and could prevent us from qualifying as a RIC. If we cannot satisfy the asset coverage test, we may be required to sell a portion of our investments and, depending on the nature of our debt financing, repay a portion of our indebtedness at a time when such sales and repayments may be disadvantageous.

Recently-enacted legislation allows us to incur additional leverage under the 1940 Act, distinct from certain of our obligations under our Credit Facility and our Term Preferred Stock.

Historically, as a BDC, under the 1940 Act, we are generally required to maintain asset coverage of 200% for senior securities representing indebtedness (i.e., debt) or stock (i.e., preferred stock). On March 23, 2018, President Trump signed into legislation the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, also known as the “omnibus spending package.” Included in Title VIII therein is the SBCAA that includes certain regulations under the federal securities laws impacting BDCs. Among other items, the SBCAA allows a BDC to increase the amount of debt it may incur by modifying the asset coverage percentage from 200% to 150% (subject to specific approval and disclosure requirements).

On April 10, 2018, our Board of Directors, including a “required majority” (as such term is defined in Section 57(o) of the 1940 Act) thereof, approved the modified asset coverage requirements set forth in Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act, as amended by the SBCAA. As a result, the Company’s asset coverage requirements for senior securities will be changed from 200% to 150%, effective one year after the date of the Board of Director’s approval; or on April 10, 2019. Under the current 200% asset coverage standard, we may borrow debt or issue senior securities in the amount of $1.00 for every $1.00 of equity in the Company. Starting

 

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from April 10, 2019, under the 150% asset coverage standard, we may borrow debt or issue senior securities in the amount of $2.00 for every $1.00 of equity in the Company. This reduction in the asset coverage ratio will allow us to double the amount of debt that we may incur and, therefore, your risk of an investment in us may increase. In addition, our management fee is based on our average gross assets, which include investments made with proceeds of borrowings, and, as a result, if we were to incur additional leverage, management fees paid to the Adviser would increase.

Notwithstanding the modified asset coverage leverage ratio under the 1940 Act described above, we remain subject to a minimum asset coverage requirement of 200% with respect to certain provisions of our Credit Facility and our Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock. If we drop below the 200% minimum asset coverage requirement, we may under certain circumstances be required to repay all outstanding indebtedness under our Credit Facility and redeem our Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock. In addition, in the event we fall below the 200% minimum asset coverage requirement, we may need to renegotiate our Credit Facility and issue additional series of term preferred stock with a lower asset coverage requirement. Such events, if they were to occur, could have a significant adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

Risks Related to Our External Management

We are dependent upon our key management personnel and the key management personnel of the Adviser, particularly David Gladstone, Terry Lee Brubaker and Robert L. Marcotte and on the continued operations of the Adviser, for our future success.

We have no employees. Our chief executive officer, chief operating officer, chief financial officer and treasurer, and the employees of the Adviser, do not spend all of their time managing our activities and our investment portfolio. We are particularly dependent upon David Gladstone, Terry Lee Brubaker, and Robert L. Marcotte for their experience, skills and networks. Our executive officers and the employees of the Adviser allocate some, and in some cases a material portion, of their time to businesses and activities that are not related to our business. We have no separate facilities and are completely reliant on the Adviser, which has significant discretion as to the implementation and execution of our business strategies and risk management practices. We are subject to the risk of discontinuation of the Adviser’s operations or termination of the Advisory Agreement and the risk that, upon such event, no suitable replacement will be found. We believe that our success depends to a significant extent upon the Adviser and that discontinuation of its operations or the loss of its key management personnel could have a material adverse effect on our ability to achieve our investment objectives.

Our success depends on the Adviser’s ability to attract and retain qualified personnel in a competitive environment.

The Adviser experiences competition in attracting and retaining qualified personnel, particularly investment professionals and senior executives, and we may be unable to maintain or grow our business if we cannot attract and retain such personnel. The Adviser’s ability to attract and retain personnel with the requisite credentials, experience and skills depends on several factors including, but not limited to, its ability to offer competitive wages, benefits and professional growth opportunities. The Adviser competes with investment funds (such as private equity funds and mezzanine funds) and traditional financial services companies for qualified personnel, many of which have greater resources than us. Searches for qualified personnel may divert management’s time from the operation of our business. Strain on the existing personnel resources of the Adviser, in the event that it is unable to attract experienced investment professionals and senior executives, could have a material adverse effect on our business.

In addition, we depend upon the Adviser to maintain its relationships with private equity sponsors, placement agents, investment banks, management groups and other financial institutions, and we expect to rely to a significant extent upon these relationships to provide us with potential investment opportunities. If the Adviser or members of our investment team fail to maintain such relationships, or to develop new relationships with other

 

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sources of investment opportunities, we will not be able to grow our investment portfolio. In addition, individuals with whom the Adviser has relationships are not obligated to provide us with investment opportunities, and we can offer no assurance that these relationships will generate investment opportunities for us in the future.

The Adviser can resign on 60 days’ 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.

The Adviser has the right to resign under the Advisory Agreement at any time upon not less than 60 days’ written notice, whether we have found a replacement or not. If the Adviser resigns, we may not be able to find a new investment adviser or hire internal management with similar expertise and ability to provide the same or equivalent services on acceptable terms within 60 days, or at all. If we are unable to do so quickly, our operations are likely to experience a disruption, our financial condition, business and results of operations as well as our ability to pay distributions are likely to be adversely affected and the market price 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 and its affiliates. Even if we are able to retain comparable management, whether internal or external, the integration of such management and their lack of familiarity with our investment objective may result in additional costs and time delays that may adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

The Adviser’s liability is limited under the Advisory Agreement, and we are required to indemnify our investment 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.

The Adviser has not assumed any responsibility to us other than to render the services described in the Advisory Agreement, and it will not be responsible for any action of our Board of Directors 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 will not be liable to us for their acts under the Advisory Agreement, absent 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. 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 an investment adviser for us, and not arising out of 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.

Our incentive fee may induce the Adviser to make certain investments, including speculative investments.

The management compensation structure that has been implemented under the Advisory Agreement may cause the Adviser to invest in high-risk investments or take other risks. In addition to its management fee, the Adviser is entitled under the Advisory Agreement to receive incentive compensation based in part upon our achievement of specified levels of income. In evaluating investments and other management strategies, the opportunity to earn incentive compensation based on net income may lead the Adviser to place undue emphasis on the maximization of net income at the expense of other criteria, such as preservation of capital, maintaining sufficient liquidity, or management of credit risk or market risk, in order to achieve higher incentive compensation. Investments with higher yield potential are generally riskier or more speculative. This could result in increased risk to the value of our investment portfolio.

 

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We may be obligated to pay the Adviser incentive compensation even if we incur a loss.

The Advisory Agreement entitles the Adviser to incentive compensation for each fiscal quarter in an amount equal to a percentage of the excess of our investment income for that quarter (before deducting incentive compensation, net operating losses and certain other items) above a threshold return for that quarter. When calculating our incentive compensation, our pre-incentive fee net investment income excludes realized and unrealized capital losses that we may incur in the fiscal quarter, even if such capital losses result in a net loss on our statement of operations for that quarter. Thus, 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 we incur a net loss for that quarter. For additional information on incentive compensation under the Advisory Agreement with the Adviser, see “Business—Transactions with Related Parties.

We may be required to pay the Adviser incentive compensation on income accrued, but not yet received in cash.

That part of the incentive fee payable by us that relates to our net investment income is computed and paid on income that may include interest that has been accrued but not yet received in cash, such as debt instruments with PIK interest or OID. If a portfolio company defaults on a loan, it is possible that such accrued interest previously used in the calculation of the incentive fee will become uncollectible. Consequently, we may make incentive fee payments on income accruals that we may not collect in the future and with respect to which we do not have a clawback right against the Adviser. Our OID investments totaled $20.7 million as of September 30, 2018, at cost, which are all syndicated loan investments. For the year ended September 30, 2018, we recognized $0.2 million of OID income and the unamortized balance of OID investments as of September 30, 2018 totaled $0.4 million. As of September 30, 2018, we had five investments which had a PIK interest component and we recorded PIK interest income of $3.8 million during the year ended September 30, 2018. We collected $0.8 million in PIK interest in cash for the year ended September 30, 2018.

The Adviser’s failure to identify and invest in securities that meet our investment criteria or perform its responsibilities under the Advisory Agreement would likely adversely affect our ability for future growth.

Our ability to achieve our investment objectives will depend on our ability to grow, which in turn will depend on the Adviser’s ability to identify and invest in securities that meet our investment criteria. Accomplishing this result on a cost-effective basis will be largely a function of the Adviser’s structuring of the investment process, its ability to provide competent and efficient services to us, and our access to financing on acceptable terms. The senior management team of the Adviser has substantial responsibilities under the Advisory Agreement. In order to grow, the Adviser will need to hire, train, supervise, and manage new employees successfully. Any failure to manage our future growth effectively would likely have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

There are significant potential conflicts of interest, including with the Adviser, which could impact our investment returns.

Our executive officers and directors, and the officers and directors 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 we do or of investment funds managed by our affiliates. Accordingly, they may have obligations to investors in those entities, the fulfillment of which might not be in the best interests of us or our stockholders. For example, Mr. Gladstone, our chairman and chief executive officer, is the chairman of the board and chief executive officer of each of the Gladstone Companies. In addition, Mr. Brubaker, our vice chairman and chief operating officer, is the vice chairman and chief operating officer of each of the Gladstone Companies. Mr. Marcotte is an executive managing director of the Adviser. While portfolio managers and the officers and other employees of the Adviser will devote as much time to the management of us as appropriate to enable the Adviser to perform its duties in accordance with the Advisory Agreement, the portfolio managers and other of the Adviser’s officers may have conflicts in allocating their time and services among us, on the one hand, and other investment vehicles managed

 

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by the Adviser, on the other hand. These activities could be viewed as creating a conflict of interest insofar as the time and effort of the portfolio managers and the officers and employees of the Adviser will not be devoted exclusively to our business but will instead be allocated between our business and the management of these other investment vehicles. Moreover, the Adviser may establish or sponsor other investment vehicles which from time to time may have potentially overlapping investment objectives with ours and accordingly may invest in, whether principally or secondarily, asset classes we target. While the Adviser generally has broad authority to make investments on behalf of the investment vehicles that it advises, the Adviser has adopted investment allocation procedures to address these potential conflicts and intends to direct investment opportunities to the Affiliated Public Fund with the investment strategy that most closely fits the investment opportunity. Nevertheless, the management of the Adviser may face conflicts in the allocation of investment opportunities to other entities managed by the Adviser. As a result, it is possible that we may not be given the opportunity to participate in certain investments made by other funds managed by the Adviser.

In certain circumstances, we may make investments in a portfolio company in which one of our affiliates has or will have an investment, subject to satisfaction of any regulatory restrictions and, where required, to the prior approval of our Board of Directors. As of September 30, 2018, our Board of Directors has approved the following types of co-investment transactions:

 

   

Our affiliate, Gladstone Commercial, may, under certain circumstances, lease property to portfolio companies that we do not control. We may pursue such transactions only if (i) the portfolio company is not controlled by us or any of our affiliates, (ii) the portfolio company satisfies the tenant underwriting criteria of Gladstone Commercial, and (iii) the transaction is approved by a majority of our independent directors and a majority of the independent directors of Gladstone Commercial. We expect that any such negotiations between Gladstone Commercial and our portfolio companies would result in lease terms consistent with the terms that the portfolio companies would be likely to receive were they not portfolio companies of ours.

 

   

We may invest simultaneously with our affiliate Gladstone Investment in senior loans in the broadly syndicated market whereby neither we nor any affiliate has the ability to dictate the terms of the loans.

 

   

Pursuant to the Co-Investment Order, under certain circumstances, we may co-invest with Gladstone Investment and any future BDC or closed-end management investment company that is advised by the Adviser (or sub-advised by the Adviser if it controls the fund), or any combination of the foregoing, subject to the conditions included therein.

Certain of our officers, who are also officers of the Adviser, may from time to time serve as directors of certain of our portfolio companies. If an officer serves in such capacity with one of our portfolio companies, such officer will owe fiduciary duties to stockholders of the portfolio company, which duties may from time to time conflict with the interests of our stockholders.

In the course of our investing activities, we will pay base management and incentive fees to the Adviser and will reimburse the Administrator for certain expenses it incurs. As a result, investors in our common stock will invest on a “gross” basis and receive distributions on a “net” basis after expenses, resulting in, among other things, a lower rate of return than one might achieve through our investors themselves making direct investments. As a result of this arrangement, there may be times when the management team of the Adviser has interests that differ from those of our stockholders, giving rise to a conflict. In addition, as a BDC, we make available significant managerial assistance to our portfolio companies and provide other services to such portfolio companies. While, neither we nor the Adviser currently receives fees in connection with managerial assistance, the Adviser and Gladstone Securities have, at various times, provided other services to certain of our portfolio companies and received fees for these other services.

 

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The Adviser is not obligated to provide a credit of the base management fee or incentive fee, which could negatively impact our earnings and our ability to maintain our current level of distributions to our stockholders.

The Advisory Agreement provides for a base management fee based on our gross assets and an incentive fee which consists of two parts: an income-based incentive fee and a capital gains-based incentive fee. Our Board of Directors has historically accepted and may accept in the future quarterly or annual non-contractual, unconditional and irrevocable credits to reduce the annual base management fee. Further, our Board of Directors has accepted on a quarterly basis non-contractual, unconditional and irrevocable credits from the Adviser to reduce the income-based incentive fee to the extent net investment income did not cover 100.0% of distributions to common stockholders. Any waived fees may not be recouped by the Adviser in the future. However, the Adviser is not required to issue these or other credits of fees under the Advisory Agreement, and to the extent our investment portfolio grows in the future, we expect these management and incentive fees will increase. If the Adviser does not issue these credits in future quarters, it could negatively impact our earnings and may compromise our ability to maintain our current level of distributions to our stockholders, which could have a material adverse impact on our stock price.

Our business model is dependent upon developing and sustaining strong referral relationships with investment bankers, business brokers and other intermediaries and any change in our referral relationships may impact our business plan.

We are dependent upon informal relationships with investment bankers, business brokers and traditional lending institutions to provide us with deal flow. If we fail to maintain our relationship with such funds or institutions, or if we fail to establish strong referral relationships with other funds, we will not be able to grow our portfolio of investments and fully execute our business plan.

Our base management fee may induce the Adviser to incur leverage.

The fact that our base management fee is payable based upon our gross assets, which would include any investments made with proceeds of borrowings, may encourage the Adviser to use leverage to make additional investments. Under certain circumstances, the use of increased leverage may increase the likelihood of default, which would disfavor holders of our securities. Given the subjective nature of the investment decisions made by the Adviser on our behalf, we will not be able to monitor this potential conflict of interest.

Risks Related to an Investment in Our Securities

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

We may experience fluctuations in our quarterly and annual operating results due to a number of factors, including, among others, variations in our investment income, the interest rates payable on the debt securities we acquire, the default rates on such securities, variations in and the timing of the recognition of realized and unrealized gains or losses, the level of our expenses, the degree to which we encounter competition in our markets, and general economic conditions, including the impacts of inflation. The majority of our portfolio companies are in industries that are directly impacted by inflation, such as manufacturing and consumer goods and services. Our portfolio companies may not be able to pass on to customers increases in their costs of production which could greatly affect their operating results, impacting their ability to repay our loans. In addition, any projected future decreases in our portfolio companies’ operating results due to inflation could adversely impact the fair value of those investments. Any decreases in the fair value of our investments could result in future realized and unrealized losses and therefore reduce our net assets resulting from operations. As a result of these factors, results for any period should not be relied upon as being indicative of performance in future periods.

There is a risk that you may not receive distributions or that distributions may not grow over time.

We intend to distribute at least 90.0% of our investment company taxable income to our stockholders by paying monthly distributions. We cannot assure you that we will achieve investment results that will allow us to make a

 

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specified level of cash distributions or year-to-year increases in cash distributions. Furthermore, we expect to retain some or all net realized long-term capital gains by first offsetting them with realized capital losses, and secondly through a deemed distribution to supplement our equity capital and support the growth of our portfolio, although our Board of Directors may determine in certain cases to distribute these gains to our common stockholders. In addition, our Credit Facility and the 2023 Notes restrict the amount of distributions we are permitted to make. We cannot assure you that we will achieve investment results or maintain a tax status that will allow or require any specified level of cash distributions.

Investing in our securities 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 than alternative investment options and a higher risk of volatility or loss of principal. Our investments in portfolio companies may be highly speculative, and therefore, an investment in our securities may not be suitable for someone with lower risk tolerance.

Distributions to our stockholders have included and may in the future include a return of capital.

Quarterly, our Board of Directors declares monthly distributions based on then-current estimates of taxable income for each fiscal year, which may differ, and in the past have differed, from actual results. Because our distributions are based on estimates of taxable income that may differ from actual results, future distributions payable to our stockholders may also include a return of capital. Moreover, to the extent that we distribute amounts that exceed our current and accumulated earnings and profits, these distributions constitute a return of capital. A return of capital represents a return of a stockholder’s original investment in shares of our stock and should not be confused with a distribution from earnings and profits. Although return of capital distributions may not be taxable, such distributions may increase an investor’s tax liability for capital gains upon the sale of our shares by reducing the investor’s tax basis for such shares. Such returns of capital reduce our asset base and also adversely impact our ability to raise debt capital as a result of the leverage restrictions under the 1940 Act, which could have material adverse impact on our ability to make new investments.

The issuance of subscription rights to our existing stockholders may dilute the ownership and voting powers of existing stockholders in our common stock, dilute the NAV of their shares and have a material adverse effect on the trading price of our common stock.

There are significant capital raising constraints applicable to us under the 1940 Act when our common stock is trading below its NAV per share. In the event that we issue subscription rights to our existing stockholders to subscribe for and purchase additional shares of our common stock, there is a significant possibility that the rights offering will dilute the ownership interest and voting power of stockholders who do not fully exercise their subscription rights. Stockholders who do not fully exercise their subscription rights should expect that they will, upon completion of the rights offering, own a smaller proportional interest in us than would otherwise be the case if they fully exercised their subscription rights. In addition, because the subscription price of the rights offering is likely to be less than our most recently determined NAV per common share, our common stockholders are likely to experience an immediate dilution of the per share NAV of their shares as a result of the offer. As a result of these factors, any future rights offerings of our common stock, or our announcement of our intention to conduct a rights offering, could have a material adverse impact on the trading price of our common stock.

Shares of closed-end investment companies frequently trade at a discount from NAV.

Shares of closed-end investment companies frequently trade at a discount from NAV per common share. Since our inception, our common stock has at times traded above NAV, and at times below NAV per share. This characteristic of shares of closed-end investment companies is separate and distinct from the risk that our NAV per share will decline. As with any stock, the price of our shares will fluctuate with market conditions and other factors. If shares are sold, the price received may be more or less than the original investment. Whether investors

 

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will realize gains or losses upon the sale of our shares will not depend directly upon our NAV, but will depend upon the market price of the shares at the time of sale. Since the market price of our shares will be affected by such factors as the relative demand for and supply of the shares in the market, general market and economic conditions and other factors beyond our control, we cannot predict whether the shares will trade at, below, or above our NAV.

Under the 1940 Act, we are generally not able to issue additional shares of our common stock at a price below NAV per share to purchasers other than our existing stockholders through a rights offering without first obtaining the approval of the holders of a majority of our outstanding voting securities and our independent directors. Additionally, when our common stock is trading below its NAV per share, our dividend yield may exceed the weighted average returns that we would expect to realize on new investments that would be made with the proceeds from the sale of such stock, making it unlikely that we would determine to issue additional shares in such circumstances. Thus, for as long as our common stock may trade below NAV, we will be subject to significant constraints on our ability to raise capital through the issuance of common stock. Additionally, an extended period of time in which we are unable to raise capital may restrict our ability to grow and adversely impact our ability to increase or maintain our distributions.

Common stockholders may incur dilution if we sell shares of our common stock in one or more offerings at prices below the then-current NAV per share of our common stock.

We did not request that our stockholders approve the Company’s ability to issue shares of common stock at a price below NAV per share at our annual meetings of stockholders held on February 9, 2017 and February 8, 2018 and are not requesting that our stockholders approve the Company’s ability to issue shares of common stock at a price below NAV at the Company’s 2019 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held February 7, 2019. Absent such stockholder approval, we are not able to access the capital markets in an offering at prices below the then-current NAV per share due to restrictions applicable to BDCs under the 1940 Act. Should we decide to issue shares of common stock at a price below NAV per share in the future, we will seek the requisite approval of our stockholders at such time.

If we were to sell shares of our common stock below NAV per share, such sales would result in an immediate dilution to the NAV per share. This dilution would occur as a result of the sale of shares at a price below the then-current NAV per share of our common stock and a proportionately greater decrease in a stockholder’s interest in our earnings and assets and voting interest in us than the increase in our assets resulting from such issuance. The greater the difference between the sale price and the NAV per share at the time of the offering, the more significant the dilutive impact would be. Because the number of shares of common stock that could be so issued and the timing of any issuance is not currently known, the actual dilutive effect, if any, cannot be currently predicted. However, if, for example, we sold an additional 10.0% of our common stock at a 5.0% discount from NAV, a stockholder who did not participate in that offering for its proportionate interest would suffer NAV dilution of up to 0.5% or $5 per $1,000 of NAV.

If we fail to pay dividends on our Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock for two years, the holders of our Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock will be entitled to elect a majority of our directors.

The 1940 Act requires, and the terms of our Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock provide for, annual dividends in the amount of $1.50 per outstanding share of Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock. In accordance with the terms of our Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock, if dividends thereon are unpaid in an amount equal to at least two years of dividends, the holders of Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock will be entitled to elect a majority of our Board of Directors.

 

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Holders of our preferred stock and debt securities and future holders of any securities ranking senior to our common stock have dividend, distribution and liquidation rights that are senior to the rights of the holders of our common stock.

The shares of Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock have dividend, distribution and liquidation rights that are senior to the rights of the holders of our common stock. Further, in the future, we may attempt to increase our capital resources by making additional offerings of preferred equity securities or issuing additional debt securities. Upon liquidation, holders of our preferred stock, holders of our debt securities, and lenders with respect to other borrowings, including the Credit Facility, would receive a distribution of our available assets in full prior to the holders of our common stock. Because our decision to issue securities in any future offering will depend on market conditions and other factors beyond our control, we cannot predict or estimate the amount, timing or nature of our future offerings. Thus, our common stockholders bear the risk of our future offerings reducing the per share trading price of our common stock and diluting their interest in us.

Risks Related to Our Debt Securities

Our debt securities are unsecured and therefore are effectively subordinated to any secured indebtedness we have incurred or may incur in the future and will rank pari passu with, or equal to, all outstanding and future unsecured indebtedness issued by us and our general liabilities (total liabilities, less debt).

Our debt securities, including the 2023 Notes, are not secured by any of our assets or any of the assets of our subsidiaries. As a result, our debt securities are subordinated to any secured indebtedness we or our subsidiaries 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 our debt securities. In addition, our debt securities rank pari passu with, or equal to, all outstanding and future unsecured indebtedness issued by us and our general liabilities (total liabilities, less debt).

Our debt securities will be structurally subordinated to the indebtedness and other liabilities of our subsidiaries.

Our debt securities, including the 2023 Notes, are obligations exclusively of the Company and not of any of our subsidiaries. None of our subsidiaries is a guarantor of our debt securities and our debt securities are not required to be guaranteed by any subsidiaries we may acquire or create in the future. 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 subsidiaries (and therefore the claims of our creditors, including holders of our debt securities) with respect to the assets of such subsidiaries. Even if we are recognized as a creditor of one or more of our subsidiaries, our claims would still be effectively subordinated to any security interests in the assets of any such subsidiary and to any indebtedness or other liabilities of any such subsidiary senior to our claims. Consequently, our debt securities are structurally subordinated to all indebtedness and other liabilities of any of our subsidiaries and any subsidiaries that we may in the future acquire or establish. As of September 30, 2018, there was $110.0 million outstanding under the Credit Facility. Borrowings under the Credit Facility are the obligation of Business Loan, and are structurally senior to our debt securities, including the 2023 Notes. In addition, our subsidiaries may incur substantial additional indebtedness in the future, all of which would be structurally senior to our debt securities, including the 2023 Notes.

The indenture under which our debt securities issued contains limited protection for holders of our debt securities.

The indenture under which our debt securities, including the 2023 Notes, are issued offers limited protection to holders of such securities. The terms of the indenture do not restrict our or any of our subsidiaries’ ability to

 

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engage in, or otherwise be a party to, a variety of corporate transactions, circumstances or events that could have an adverse impact on your investment in our debt securities. In particular, the terms of the indenture 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 our debt securities, (2) any indebtedness or other obligations that would be secured and therefore effectively rank senior in right of payment to our debt securities to the extent of the values of the assets securing such debt, (3) our indebtedness that is guaranteed by one or more of our subsidiaries and which therefore is structurally senior to our debt securities and (4) securities, indebtedness or obligations issued or incurred by our subsidiaries that would be senior to our equity interests in our subsidiaries and therefore rank structurally senior to our debt securities with respect to the assets of our subsidiaries, 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 such provisions of Section 61(a) of the 1940 Act as may be applicable to us from time to time or any successor provisions, whether or not we continue to be subject to such provisions of the 1940 Act, which generally prohibit us incurring additional debt or issuing additional debt or preferred securities, unless our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, equals at least 200% (or 150% effective April 10, 2019) after such incurrence or issuance. See the risk factor “—Recently-enacted legislation allows us to incur additional leverage under the 1940 Act, distinct from certain of our obligations under our Credit Facility and our term preferred stock” below;

 

   

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 our debt securities, including our preferred stock and any subordinated indebtedness, in each case other than dividends, purchases, redemptions or payments that would cause our asset coverage to fall below the threshold specified in Section 18(a)(1)(B) as modified by such provisions of Section 61(a) of the 1940 Act as may be applicable to us from time to time or any successor provisions, giving effect to any no-action relief granted by the SEC to another BDC (or to us if we determine to seek such similar SEC no-action or other relief) permitting the BDC to declare any cash dividend or distribution notwithstanding the prohibition contained in Section 18(a)(1)(B) as modified by such provisions of Section 61(a) of the 1940 Act as may be applicable to us from time to time in order to maintain the BDC’s status as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code;

 

   

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 make an offer to purchase our debt securities in connection with a change of control or any other event.

Furthermore, the terms of the indenture do not protect holders of our debt securities 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 or our subsidiaries adhere to any financial tests or ratios or specified levels of net worth, revenues, income, cash flow, or liquidity.

Our ability to recapitalize, incur additional debt (including additional debt that matures prior to the maturity of our debt securities), and take a number of other actions that are not limited by the terms of our debt securities

 

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may have important consequences for you as a holder of our debt securities, including making it more difficult for us to satisfy our obligations with respect to our debt securities or negatively affecting the trading value of our debt securities.

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

If we default on our obligations to pay our other indebtedness, we may not be able to make payments on our debt securities.

Any default under the agreements governing our indebtedness, including a default under the Credit Facility or other indebtedness to which we may be a party, that is not waived by the required lenders or holders, and the remedies sought by the holders of such indebtedness could make us unable to pay principal and interest on our debt securities and substantially decrease the market value of our debt securities. If we are unable to generate sufficient cash flow and are otherwise unable to obtain funds necessary to meet required payments of principal 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 lenders under the Credit Facility or other debt we may incur in the future could elect to terminate their commitments, 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 refinance or restructure our debt, sell assets, reduce or delay capital investments, seek to raise additional capital or seek to obtain waivers from the required lenders under the Credit Facility or other debt that we may incur in the future to avoid being in default. If we are unable to implement one or more of these alternatives, we may not be able to meet our payment obligations under our debt securities or other borrowings. If we breach our covenants under the Credit Facility or other debt and seek a waiver, we may not be able to obtain a waiver from the required lenders or holders. If this occurs, we would be in default under the Credit Facility or other debt, the lenders or holders could exercise their rights as described above, and we could be forced into bankruptcy or liquidation. If we are unable to repay debt, lenders having secured obligations, including the lenders under the Credit Facility, could proceed against the collateral securing the debt. Because the Credit Facility has, and any future credit facilities will likely have, customary cross-default provisions, if the indebtedness under our debt securities or the Credit Facility or under any future credit facility is accelerated, we may be unable to repay or finance the amounts due.

We may choose to redeem our debt securities when prevailing interest rates are relatively low.

We may choose to redeem debt securities subject to redemption from time to time, especially if prevailing interest rates are lower than the rate borne by such debt securities. If prevailing rates are lower at the time of redemption, you likely would not be able to reinvest the redemption proceeds in a comparable security at an effective interest rate as high as the interest rate on the debt securities being redeemed. Our redemption right also may adversely impact your ability to sell our debt securities as the optional redemption date or period approaches.

A downgrade, suspension or withdrawal of the credit rating assigned by a rating agency to us or our securities, could cause the liquidity or market value of our debt securities to decline significantly.

Any credit rating assigned to us or our debt securities represents an assessment by the assigning rating agency of our ability to pay our debts when due. Consequently, real or anticipated changes in our credit ratings will generally affect the market value of our debt securities. These credit ratings may not reflect the potential impact of risks relating to the structure or marketing of our debt securities. Credit ratings are paid for by the issuer and

 

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are not a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any security, and may be revised or withdrawn at any time by the issuing organization in its sole discretion.

Your interest in us may be diluted if you do not fully exercise your subscription rights in any rights offering. In addition, if the subscription price is less than our net asset value per share, then you will experience an immediate dilution of the aggregate net asset value of your shares.

In the event we issue subscription rights, stockholders who do not fully exercise their subscription rights should expect that they will, at the completion of a rights offering pursuant to this prospectus, own a smaller proportional interest in us than would otherwise be the case if they fully exercised their rights. We cannot state precisely the amount of any such dilution in share ownership because we do not know at this time what proportion of the shares will be purchased as a result of such rights offering.

In addition, if the subscription price is less than the net asset value per share of our common stock, then our stockholders would experience an immediate dilution of the aggregate net asset value of their shares as a result of the offering. The amount of any decrease in net asset value is not predictable because it is not known at this time what the subscription price and net asset value per share will be on the expiration date of a rights offering or what proportion of the shares will be purchased as a result of such rights offering. Such dilution could be substantial.

Other Risks

Cybersecurity risks and cyber incidents may adversely affect our business by causing a disruption to our operations, or the operations of businesses in which we invest, a compromise or corruption of our confidential information and/or damage to our business relationships, all of which could negatively impact our business, financial condition and operating results.

Maintaining our network security is of critical importance because our systems store highly confidential financial models and portfolio company information. Although we have implemented, and will continue to implement, security measures, our technology platform may be vulnerable to intrusion, computer viruses or similar disruptive problems caused by cyber-attacks. A cyber incident is considered to be any adverse event that threatens the confidentiality, integrity or availability of our information resources or those of our portfolio companies. These incidents may be an intentional attack or an unintentional event and could involve gaining unauthorized access to our information systems or those of our portfolio companies for purposes of misappropriating assets, stealing confidential information, corrupting data or causing operational disruption. The result of these incidents may include disrupted operations, misstated or unreliable financial data, liability for stolen assets or information, increased cybersecurity protection and insurance costs, litigation and damage to our business relationships or those of our portfolio companies. As our and our portfolio companies’ reliance on technology has increased, so have the risks posed to our information systems, both internal and those provided to us by third-party service providers, and the information systems of our portfolio companies. We have implemented processes, procedures and internal controls to help mitigate cybersecurity risks and cyber intrusions, but these measures, as well as our increased awareness of the nature and extent of a risk of a cyber incident, do not guarantee that a cyber incident will not occur and/or that our financial results, operations or confidential information will not be negatively impacted by such an incident. In addition, any such incident, disruption or other loss of information could result in legal claims or proceedings, liability under laws that protect the privacy of personal information, and regulatory penalties, disrupt our operations, and damage our and our Adviser’s reputations, resulting in a loss of confidence in our services and our Adviser’s services, which could adversely affect our business.

We are dependent on information systems and systems failures could significantly disrupt our business, which may, in turn, negatively affect the market price of our common stock and our ability to pay dividends.

Our business is dependent on our and third parties’ communications and information systems. Any failure or interruption of those systems, including as a result of the termination of an agreement with any third-party

 

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service providers, could cause delays or other problems in our activities. Our financial, accounting, data processing, backup or other operating systems and facilities may fail to operate properly or become disabled or damaged as a result of a number of factors including events that are wholly or partially beyond our control and adversely affect our business. There could be:

 

   

sudden electrical or telecommunications outages;

 

   

natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes;

 

   

disease pandemics;

 

   

events arising from local or larger scale political or social matters, including terrorist acts; and

 

   

cyber-attacks.

These events, in turn, could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and negatively affect the market price of our common stock and our ability to pay dividends to our stockholders.

 

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SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

All statements contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus or any prospectus supplement, other than historical facts, may constitute “forward-looking statements.” These statements may relate to, among other things, future events or our future operating results, our business prospects and the prospects of our portfolio companies, actual and potential conflicts of interest with our Adviser and its affiliates, the use of borrowed money to finance our investments, the adequacy of our financing sources and working capital, and our ability to co-invest, among other factors. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as “estimate,” “may,” “might,” “believe,” “will,” “provided,” “anticipate,” “future,” “could,” “growth,” “plan,” “project,” “intend,” “expect,” “should,” “would,” “if,” “seek,” “possible,” “potential,” “likely” or the negative or other variations of such terms or comparable terminology. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include but are not limited to:

 

   

the recurrence of adverse changes in the economy and the capital markets;

 

   

risks associated with negotiation and consummation of pending and future transactions;

 

   

the loss of one or more of our executive officers, in particular David Gladstone, Robert L. Marcotte or Terry Lee Brubaker;

 

   

changes in our investment objectives and strategy;

 

   

availability, terms (including the possibility of interest rate volatility) and deployment of capital;

 

   

changes in our industry, interest rates, exchange rates, regulation or the general economy;

 

   

our business prospects and the prospects of our portfolio companies;

 

   

the degree and nature of our competition;

 

   

changes in governmental regulations, tax rates and similar matters;

 

   

our ability to exit an investment in a timely manner;

 

   

our ability to maintain our qualification as a RIC and as a BDC; and

 

   

those factors described in the “Risk Factors” section of this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus.

We caution readers not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statement, which speak only as of the date made. Actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in our forward-looking statements and future results could differ materially from our historical performance. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this prospectus. Although we undertake no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise, you are advised to consult any additional disclosures that we may make directly to you or through reports we have filed, or in the future may file with the SEC, including subsequent annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K. The forward-looking statements contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus are excluded from the safe harbor protection provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and Section 27A of the Securities Act.

 

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USE OF PROCEEDS

Unless otherwise specified in any prospectus supplement accompanying this prospectus, we expect to use the net proceeds from the sale of the Securities first to pay down existing debt, then to make investments in lower middle market businesses in accordance with our investment objectives, with any remaining proceeds to be used for other general corporate purposes. For the year ended September 30, 2018, indebtedness under our Credit Facility, which matures on April 15, 2022, had a weighted average interest rate of approximately 5.1%, excluding effects of amortization on our deferred financing costs. We anticipate that substantially all of the net proceeds of any offering of Securities will be utilized in the manner described above within three months of the completion of such offering. Pending such utilization, we intend to invest the net proceeds of any offering of Securities primarily in cash, cash equivalents, U.S. government securities, and other high-quality debt investments that mature in one year or less from the date of investment, consistent with the requirements for continued qualification as a RIC for federal income tax purposes.

PRICE RANGE OF COMMON STOCK AND DISTRIBUTIONS

We currently intend to distribute in the form of cash dividends, for each taxable year, a minimum of 90.0% of our annual ordinary income plus the excess of net short-term capital gains over net long-term capital losses, if any, to our stockholders in the form of monthly dividends. We intend to retain some or all of our realized capital gains first to the extent we have available capital loss carryforwards and second, through treating the retained amount as a deemed distribution for tax purposes. We report the estimated tax characterization of each dividend when declared while the actual tax characterization of dividends for each calendar year are reported to each stockholder on IRS Form 1099-DIV. There is no assurance that we will achieve investment results or maintain a tax status that will permit any specified level of cash distributions or year-to-year increases in cash distributions. At the option of a holder of record of common stock, all cash distributions paid with respect to our common stock can be reinvested automatically under our dividend reinvestment plan in additional whole and fractional shares of our common stock. A stockholder whose shares are held in the name of a broker or other nominee should contact the broker or nominee regarding participation in a dividend reinvestment plan. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Regulation and Structure—We will be subject to corporate-level tax if we are unable to satisfy Code requirements for RIC qualification;” “Dividend Reinvestment Plan;” and “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations.”

Our shares of common stock and mandatorily redeemable preferred stock are traded on the Nasdaq under the trading symbols “GLAD” and “GLADN,” respectively and our 2023 Notes trade on Nasdaq under the trading symbol “GLADD.” There can be no assurance that any premium to NAV will be attained or maintained. As of January 14, 2019 there were 38 stockholders of record, meaning individuals or entities that we carry in our records as the registered holder (although not necessarily the beneficial owner) of our common stock.

 

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The following table sets forth the range of high and low intraday sale prices of our common stock as reported on the Nasdaq and the distributions declared by us for the last two completed fiscal years and the current fiscal year through January 15, 2019.

COMMON SHARE PRICE DATA

 

            Sales Price                      
     NAV(1)      High      Low      Declared
Common
Distributions
     Premium
(Discount) of
High to
NAV(2)
    Premium
(Discount) of
Low to

NAV(2)
 

Fiscal Year ended September 30, 2017

                

First Quarter

   $ 8.36      $ 9.62      $ 7.33      $ 0.21        15.1     (12.3 )% 

Second Quarter

     8.33        9.92        8.67        0.21        19.1       4.1  

Third Quarter

     8.38        10.12        9.15        0.21        20.8       9.2  

Fourth Quarter

     8.40        9.95        8.98        0.21        18.5       6.9  

Fiscal Year ended September 30, 2018

                

First Quarter

     8.48        9.92        8.95        0.21        17.0       5.5  

Second Quarter

     8.62        9.50        7.80        0.21        10.2       (9.5

Third Quarter

     8.86        9.29        8.57        0.21        4.9       (3.3

Fourth Quarter

     8.32        9.87        9.02        0.21        18.6       8.4  

Fiscal Year ending September 30, 2019

                

First Quarter

     *        9.65        6.41        0.21        *       *  

Second Quarter (through January 15, 2019)

     *        8.60        7.21        0.21        *       *  

 

(1)

NAV per share is determined as of the last day in the relevant quarter and therefore may not reflect the NAV per share on the date of the high and low intraday sale prices. The NAV per shares shown are based on outstanding shares at the end of each period.

(2)

The (discounts) premiums to NAV per share set forth in these columns represent the high or low, as applicable, intraday sale price per share for the relevant quarter minus the NAV per share as of the end of such quarter, and therefore may not reflect the (discount) premium to NAV per share on the date of the high and low intraday sale prices.

*

Not yet available, as the NAV per share as of the end of this quarter has not yet been determined.

The following are our outstanding classes of securities as of December 31, 2018.

 

(1)Title of Class

   (2)Amount
Authorized
     (3)Amount Held
by us or for
Our
Account
     (4)Amount
Outstanding
Exclusive of
Amount Shown
Under Column (3)
 

Common Stock

     44,560,000 shares        —          28,504,745 shares  

6.00% Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock

     5,440,000 shares        —          2,070,000 shares  

6.125% Notes due 2023

     $57,500,000           $57,500,000  

 

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RATIO OF EARNINGS TO COMBINED FIXED CHARGES AND MANDATORILY REDEEMABLE PREFERRED DISTRIBUTIONS

For the years ended September 30, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014, the ratios of three income metrics to fixed charges of the Company, computed as set forth below, were as follows:

 

     Year Ended September 30,  
     2018      2017      2016      2015     2014  

Net investment income plus fixed charges to fixed charges

     3.3x        3.6x        3.4x        3.0x       3.5x  

Net investment income plus net realized losses plus fixed charges to fixed charges(A)

     0.7x        3.0x        4.3x        (0.8x     1.9x  

Net increase (decrease) in net assets resulting from operations plus fixed charges to fixed charges

     2.9x        3.1x        2.4x        1.9x       2.6x  

For purposes of computing the ratios, fixed charges include interest expense on borrowings, dividend expense on mandatorily redeemable preferred stock and amortization of deferred financing fees.

 

(A) 

Due to realized losses on certain investments during the year ended September 30, 2015, the ratio of net investment income plus net realized losses plus fixed charges to fixed charges was less than 1:1. We would have needed to generate additional net investment income of approximately $17.0 million during the year ended September 30, 2015 to achieve a coverage ratio of 1:1.

 

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CONSOLIDATED SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

The following consolidated selected financial data for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014 are derived from our audited Consolidated Financial Statements. The other data included in the second table below is unaudited. The data should be read in conjunction with our accompanying Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements and notes thereto and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” included elsewhere in this prospectus.

GLADSTONE CAPITAL CORPORATION

CONSOLIDATED SELECTED FINANCIAL AND OTHER DATA

(DOLLAR AMOUNTS IN THOUSANDS, EXCEPT PER SHARE AMOUNTS)

 

    Year Ended September 30,  
    2018     2017     2016     2015     2014  

Statement of Operations Data:

         

Total Investment Income

  $ 45,581     $ 39,233     $ 39,112     $ 38,058     $ 36,585  

Total Expenses, Net of Credits from Adviser

    22,493       17,800       19,625       20,358       18,217  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net Investment Income

    23,088       21,433       19,487       17,700       18,368  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net Realized and Unrealized (Loss) Gain

    (4,440     (4,253     (8,120     (9,216     (7,135
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net Increase in Net Assets Resulting from Operations

  $ 18,648     $ 17,180     $ 11,367     $ 8,484     $ 11,233  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Per Share Data:

         

Net Investment Income per Common Share—Basic and Diluted(A)

  $ 0.85     $ 0.84     $ 0.84     $ 0.84     $ 0.87  

Net Increase in Net Assets Resulting from Operations per Common Share—Basic and Diluted(A)

    0.69       0.67       0.49       0.40       0.53  

Distributions Declared and Paid Per Common Share(B)

    0.84       0.84       0.84       0.84       0.84  

Statement of Assets and Liabilities Data:

         

Total Assets

  $ 399,508     $ 365,860     $ 337,178     $ 382,482     $ 301,429  

Net Assets

    237,092       219,650       201,207       191,444       199,660  

Net Asset Value Per Common Share

    8.32       8.40       8.62       9.06       9.51  

Common Shares Outstanding

    28,501,980       26,160,684       23,344,422       21,131,622       21,000,160  

Weighted Common Shares Outstanding—Basic and Diluted

    27,104,077       25,495,117       23,200,642       21,066,844       21,000,160  

Senior Securities Data:

         

Total borrowings, at cost(C)

  $ 110,000     $ 93,000     $ 71,300     $ 127,300     $ 36,700  

Mandatorily redeemable preferred stock(C)(D)

    51,750       51,750       61,000       61,000       61,000  

 

(A) 

Per share data is based on the weighted average common stock outstanding for both basic and diluted.

(B) 

The tax character of distributions is determined on an annual basis. For further information on the estimated character of our distributions to common stockholders, please refer to Note 9—Distributions to Common Stockholders in the accompanying Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this prospectus.

 

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(C) 

See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” for more information regarding our level of indebtedness.

(D) 

Represents the total liquidation preference of our mandatorily redeemable term preferred stock.

 

     Year Ended September 30,  
     2018     2017     2016     2015     2014  

Other Unaudited Data:

          

Number of Portfolio Companies

     50       47       45       48       45  

Average Size of Portfolio Company Investment at Cost

   $ 8,549     $ 8,754     $ 8,484     $ 8,547     $ 7,762  

Principal Amount of New Investments

     67,936       99,241       79,401       102,299       81,731  

Disbursements to Existing Portfolio Companies

     38,679       12,851       10,145       33,824       20,314  

Proceeds from Loan Repayments, Investments Sold and Exits(A)

     67,944       83,444       121,144       40,273       72,560  

Weighted Average Yield on Investments, excluding loans on non-accrual status(B)

     11.80     11.57     11.08     10.93     11.47

Weighted Average Yield on Investments, including loans on non-accrual status(C)

     10.72       10.61       10.27       9.84       9.99  

Total Return(D)

     9.53       27.90       11.68       2.40       9.62  

 

(A)

Includes non-cash reductions in cost basis.

(B) 

Weighted average yield on investments, excluding loans on non-accrual status, equals interest income on investments divided by the weighted average interest-bearing principal balance throughout the fiscal year.

(C) 

Weighted average yield on investments, including loans on non-accrual status, equals interest income on investments divided by the weighted average total principal balance throughout the fiscal year.

(D)

Total return equals the change in the ending market value of our common stock from the beginning of the fiscal year, taking into account dividends reinvested in accordance with the terms of the dividend reinvestment plan. Total return does not take into account distributions that may be characterized as a return of capital. For further information on the estimated character of our distributions to common stockholders, refer to Note 9—Distributions to Common Stockholders elsewhere in this prospectus.

 

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SELECTED QUARTERLY DATA (UNAUDITED)

(DOLLAR AMOUNTS IN THOUSANDS,

EXCEPT PER SHARE AMOUNTS)

The following tables set forth certain quarterly financial information for each of the quarters in the two years ended September 30, 2018. The information was derived from our unaudited consolidated financial statements. Results for any quarter are not necessarily indicative of results for the past fiscal year or for any future quarter.

 

     Quarter Ended  
     December 31,
2017
     March 31,
2018
     June 30,
2018
     September 30,
2018
 

Total investment income

   $ 10,859      $ 11,086      $ 12,379      $ 11,257  

Net investment income

     5,577        5,613        5,996        5,902  

Net increase (decrease) in net assets resulting from operations

     7,160        9,304        12,093        (9,909

Net Increase (Decrease) in Net Assets Resulting From Operations per Weighted Average Common Share (Basic and Diluted)

   $ 0.27      $ 0.35      $ 0.45      $ (0.35

 

     Quarter Ended  
     December 31,
2016
     March 31,
2017
     June 30,
2017
     September 30,
2017
 

Total investment income

   $ 9,974      $ 8,793      $ 9,632      $ 10,834  

Net investment income

     5,207        5,359        5,379        5,488  

Net Increase in net assets resulting from operations

     916        4,656        6,163        5,445  

Net Increase in Net Assets Resulting From Operations per Weighted Average Common Share (Basic and Diluted)

   $ 0.04      $ 0.18      $ 0.24      $ 0.21  

 

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MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF

FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

The following analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with our accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements and the notes thereto contained elsewhere in this prospectus. Historical financial condition and results of operations and percentage relationships among any amounts in the financial statements are not necessarily indicative of financial condition, results of operations or percentage relationships for any future periods. Except per share amounts, dollar amounts in the tables included herein are in thousands unless otherwise indicated. Our actual results, performance or achievements, or industry results, could differ materially from those we express in the following discussion as a result of a variety of factors, including the risks and uncertainties we have referred to under the headings “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” and “Risk Factors” in this prospectus.

OVERVIEW

General

We were incorporated under the Maryland General Corporation Law on May 30, 2001. We operate as an externally managed, closed-end, non-diversified management investment company, and have elected to be treated as a BDC under the 1940 Act. In addition, for federal income tax purposes we have elected to be treated as a RIC under the Code. To continue to qualify as a RIC for federal income tax purposes and obtain favorable RIC tax treatment, we must meet certain requirements, including certain minimum distribution requirements.

We were established for the purpose of investing in debt and equity securities of established private businesses operating in the U.S. Our investment objectives are to: (1) achieve and grow current income by investing in debt securities of established businesses that we believe will provide stable earnings and cash flow to pay expenses, make principal and interest payments on our outstanding indebtedness and make distributions to stockholders that grow over time; and (2) provide our stockholders with long-term capital appreciation in the value of our assets by investing in equity securities of established businesses that we believe can grow over time to permit us to sell our equity investments for capital gains. To achieve our investment objectives, our investment strategy is to invest in several categories of debt and equity securities, with each investment generally ranging from $8 million to $30 million, although investment size may vary, depending upon our total assets or available capital at the time of investment. We expect that our investment portfolio over time will consist of approximately 90.0% debt investments and 10.0% equity investments, at cost. As of September 30, 2018, our investment portfolio was made up of approximately 91.4% debt investments and 8.6% equity investments, at cost.

We focus on investing in lower middle market companies (which we generally define as companies with annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $3 million to $15 million) in the U.S. that meet certain criteria, including, but not limited to, the following: the sustainability of the business’ free cash flow and its ability to grow it over time, adequate assets for loan collateral, experienced management teams with a significant ownership interest in the borrower, reasonable capitalization of the borrower, including an ample equity contribution or cushion based on prevailing enterprise valuation multiples and, to a lesser extent, the potential to realize appreciation and gain liquidity in our equity position, if any. We lend to borrowers that need funds for growth capital or to finance acquisitions or recapitalize or refinance their existing debt facilities. We seek to avoid investing in high-risk, early-stage enterprises. Our targeted portfolio companies are generally considered too small for the larger capital marketplace. We invest by ourselves or jointly with other funds and/or management of the portfolio company, depending on the opportunity and have opportunistically made several co-investments with our affiliate Gladstone Investment, a BDC also managed by our Adviser, pursuant to an exemptive order granted by the SEC. We believe this ability to co-invest will continue to enhance our ability to further our investment objectives and strategies. If we are participating in an investment with one or more co-investors, our investment is likely to be smaller than if we were investing alone.

 

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Business

Portfolio and Investment Activity

In general, our investments in debt securities have a term of no more than seven years, accrue interest at variable rates (generally based on the one-month LIBOR) and, to a lesser extent, at fixed rates. We seek debt instruments that pay interest monthly or, at a minimum, quarterly, may have a success fee or deferred interest provision and are primarily interest only, with all principal and any accrued but unpaid interest due at maturity. Generally, success fees accrue at a set rate and are contractually due upon a change of control of a portfolio company, typically from an exit or sale. Some debt securities have deferred interest whereby some portion of the interest payment is added to the principal balance so that the interest is paid, together with the principal, at maturity. This form of deferred interest is often called PIK interest.

Typically, our equity investments consist of common stock, preferred stock, limited liability company interests, or warrants to purchase the foregoing. Often, these equity investments occur in connection with our original investment, recapitalizing a business, or refinancing existing debt.

During the year ended September 30, 2018, we invested $67.9 million in ten new portfolio companies and extended $38.7 million of investments to existing portfolio companies. In addition, during the year ended September 30, 2018, we exited seven portfolio companies through sales and early payoffs. We received a total of $66.9 million in combined net proceeds and principal repayments from the aforementioned portfolio company exits as well as existing portfolio companies during the year ended September 30, 2018. This activity resulted in a net increase in our overall portfolio by three portfolio companies to 50 and a net increase of $16.0 million in our portfolio at cost since September 30, 2017. From our initial public offering in August 2001 through September 30, 2018, we have made 495 different loans to, or investments in, 226 companies for a total of approximately $1.8 billion, before giving effect to principal repayments on investments and divestitures.

During the year ended September 30, 2018, the following significant transactions occurred:

 

   

In October 2017, we sold our investment in Flight Fit N Fun LLC for a realized gain of $0.6 million. In connection with the sale, we received net cash proceeds of approximately $9.4 million, including the repayment of our debt investment of $7.8 million at par.

 

   

In October 2017, we invested $11.0 million in Applied Voice & Speech Technologies, Inc. through secured first lien debt.

 

   

In October 2017, our investment in PSC Industrial Holdings, LLC paid off at par for net cash proceeds of $3.5 million.

 

   

In November 2017, we invested $7.5 million in Arc Drilling Holdings LLC through a combination of secured first lien debt and equity.

 

   

In November 2017, we invested $7.5 million in Gray Matter Systems, LLC through secured second lien debt. In March 2018, we invested an additional $3.6 million in Gray Matter Systems, LLC, through secured second lien debt.

 

   

In November 2017, our investment in DataPipe, Inc. paid off at par for net cash proceeds of $2.0 million.

 

   

In November 2017, we invested $5.0 million in DigiCert Holdings, Inc. through secured second lien debt. In March 2018, we sold $2.0 million of this investment for net cash proceeds of $2.0 million.

 

   

In November 2017, we invested $4.0 million in Red Ventures, LLC through secured second lien debt.

 

   

In November 2017, we invested $1.0 million in ABG Intermediate Holdings 2, LLC through secured second lien debt. In January 2018, we sold this investment for net cash proceeds of $1.0 million.

 

   

In December 2017, we invested $20.0 million in Impact! Chemical Technologies, Inc. through secured first lien debt.

 

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In January 2018, we invested $8.1 million in XMedius Solutions Inc. through secured first lien debt.

 

   

In February 2018, we invested an additional $4.0 million in an existing portfolio company, Lignetics, Inc., through secured first lien debt.

 

   

In March, July and September 2018, an existing portfolio company, EL Academies, Inc., drew $1.4 million, $4.4 million and $3.2 million, respectively, on the unused portion of its secured first lien delayed draw term loan.

 

   

In March 2018, we sold our $1.0 million investment in Neustar, Inc. for net cash proceeds of $1.0 million.

 

   

In April 2018, we invested $3.0 million in CHA Holdings, Inc. through secured second lien debt.

 

   

In May 2018, our investment in TapRoot Partners, Inc. paid off, which resulted in prepayment fees of $0.5 million and success fee income of $0.4 million. In connection with the pay off, we received net cash proceeds of $22.9 million, including the repayment of our debt investment of $22.0 million at par.

 

   

In May 2018, we invested an additional $10.0 million in an existing portfolio company, Merlin International, Inc., through secured second lien debt.

 

   

In June 2018, we invested an additional $7.0 million in an existing portfolio company, IA Tech, LLC, through secured first lien debt.

 

   

In July 2018, our investment in NetSmart Technologies, Inc. paid off at par for net cash proceeds of $3.7 million.

 

   

In July 2018, the holding company for Impact! Chemical Technologies, Inc. (“Impact”) merged with and into the holding company for WadeCo Specialties, Inc. (“WadeCo”) to form Chemical & Injection Holdings Company, LLC (“Chemical & Injection Holdings”). Our preferred equity ownership related to WadeCo with a cost basis of $0.6 million, was converted into preferred equity ownership in the newly formed Chemical & Injection Holdings with the same cost basis. Our existing debt investments in Impact and WadeCo remained unchanged in conjunction with the merger.

 

   

In September 2018, we restructured our $30.0 million investment in Sunshine Media Holdings (“Sunshine”) resulting in a $28.2 million realized loss and a new $2.0 million investment in TNCP Intermediate HoldCo, LLC.

 

   

In November 2018, we invested $16.7 million in Antenna Research Associates, Inc. through secured first lien debt and equity.

 

   

In December 2018, we invested $1.0 million in CPM Holdings, Inc. through secured second lien debt.

Refer to Note 15—Subsequent Events in the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for portfolio activity occurring subsequent to September 30, 2018.

Capital Raising

We have been able to meet our capital needs through extensions of and increases to the Credit Facility and by accessing the capital markets in the form of public equity offerings of common and preferred stock. We have successfully extended the Credit Facility’s revolving period multiple times, most recently to January 2021, and currently have a total commitment amount of $190.0 million. Additionally, we issued 2.1 million shares of our Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock at a public offering price of $25 per share, for gross proceeds of $51.8 million in September 2017, inclusive of the overallotment, and approximately 2.2 million shares of our common stock for gross proceeds of $17.3 million in October 2016, inclusive of the November 2016 overallotment. Additionally, during the year ended September 30, 2018, we sold 2,341,296 shares of our common stock under our at-the-market program at a weighted-average price of $9.39 per share and raised $22.0 million of gross proceeds. Refer to “Liquidity and Capital Resources—Equity—Common Stock” and “Liquidity and Capital

 

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Resources — Equity — Term Preferred Stock” for further discussion of our common stock and mandatorily redeemable preferred stock and “Liquidity and Capital Resources — Revolving Credit Facility” for further discussion of the Credit Facility.

Although we were able to access the capital markets historically and in recent years, we believe uncertain market conditions could affect the trading price of our capital stock and thus may inhibit our ability to finance new investments through the issuance of equity. When our common stock trades below NAV per common share, as it has often done in previous years, our ability to issue equity is constrained by provisions of the 1940 Act, which generally prohibits the issuance and sale of our common stock below NAV per common share without first obtaining approval from our stockholders and our independent directors, other than through sales to our then-existing stockholders pursuant to a rights offering.

On November 13, 2018, the closing market price of our common stock was $9.28, an 11.5% premium to our September 30, 2018 NAV per share of $8.32.

Refer to Note 15—Subsequent Events in the notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for a discussion of additional capital raised in connection with issuance of the 2023 Notes.

Regulatory Compliance

Our ability to seek external debt financing, to the extent that it is available under current market conditions, is further subject to the asset coverage limitations of the 1940 Act, which require us to have an asset coverage (as defined in Sections 18 and 61 of the 1940 Act) of at least 200% (currently) or 150% (effective April 10, 2019) on our “senior securities representing indebtedness” and our “senior securities that are stock.”

On April 10, 2018, our Board of Directors, including a “required majority” (as such term is defined in Section 57(o) of the 1940 Act) thereof, approved the modified asset coverage requirements set forth in Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act, as amended by the SBCAA. As a result, the Company’s asset coverage requirements for senior securities will be changed from 200% to 150%, effective one year after the date of the Board of Directors’ approval; or April 10, 2019. Under the current 200% asset coverage standard, we may borrow debt or issue senior securities in the amount of $1.00 for every $1.00 of equity in the Company. Starting from April 10, 2019, under the 150% asset coverage standard, we may borrow debt or issue senior securities in the amount of $2.00 for every $1.00 of equity in the Company. Notwithstanding the modified asset coverage requirement under the 1940 Act described above, we are separately subject to a minimum asset coverage requirement of 200% with respect to certain provisions of our Credit Facility and our Series 2024 Term Preferred Stock.

As of September 30, 2018, our asset coverage on our “senior securities representing indebtedness” was 359.0% and our asset coverage on our “senior securities that are stock” was 244.4%.

Recent Developments

Debt Offering

In November 2018, we completed a public debt offering of $57.5 million aggregate principal amount of 6.125% Notes due 2023 (the “2023 Notes”), inclusive of the overallotment, for net proceeds of $55.5 million after deducting underwriting discounts, commissions and offering expenses borne by us. The Notes will mature on November 1, 2023, and may be redeemed in whole or in part at any time or from time to time at the Company’s option on or after November 1, 2020. The 2023 Notes are traded under the ticker symbol “GLADD” on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.

 

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Distributions

On October 9, 2018, our Board of Directors declared the following monthly cash distributions to common and preferred stockholders:

 

Record Date

   Payment Date    Distribution per
Common Share
     Distribution per
Series 2024 Term
Preferred Share
 

October 19, 2018

   October 31, 2018    $ 0.07      $ 0.125  

November 20, 2018

   November 30, 2018      0.07        0.125  

December 20, 2018

   December 31, 2018      0.07        0.125  
     

 

 

    

 

 

 
   Total for the Quarter    $ 0.21      $ 0.375  
     

 

 

    

 

 

 

Portfolio and Investment Activity

In October 2018, our investment in TWS Acquisition Corporation paid off at par for net cash proceeds of $2.0 million.

In October and November 2018, we invested a total of $1.6 million in 8th Avenue Food & Provisions, Inc. through secured second lien debt.

In November 2018, we invested $2.0 million in GOBP Holdings, Inc. (d/b/a Grocery Outlet) through secured second lien debt.

In November 2018, our investment in Red Ventures, LLC paid off at par for net cash proceeds of $3.1 million.

In November 2018, we invested $16.7 million in Antenna Research Associates, Inc. through secured first lien debt and equity.

In December 2018, we invested $1.0 million in CPM Holdings, Inc. through secured second lien debt.

 

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RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

Comparison of the Year Ended September 30, 2018 to the Year Ended September 30, 2017

 

     For the Year Ended September 30,  
     2018     2017     $ Change     %Change  

INVESTMENT INCOME

        

Interest income

   $ 43,958     $ 37,073     $ 6,885       18.6

Other income

     1,623       2,160       (537     (24.9
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total investment income

     45,581       39,233       6,348       16.2  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

EXPENSES

        

Base management fee

     7,033       5,781       1,252       21.7  

Loan servicing fee

     5,042       4,146       896       21.6  

Incentive fee

     5,348       4,779       569       11.9  

Administration fee

     1,250       1,102       148       13.4  

Interest expense on borrowings

     5,858       3,073       2,785       90.6  

Dividend expense on mandatorily redeemable preferred stock

     3,105       4,152       (1,047     (25.2

Amortization of deferred financing fees

     1,014       1,094       (80     (7.3

Other expenses

     1,966       1,945       21       1.1  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Expenses, before credits from Adviser

     30,616       26,072       4,544       17.4  

Credit to base management fee—loan servicing fee

     (5,042     (4,146     (896     21.6  

Credit to fees from Adviser—other

     (3,081 )      (4,126     1,045       (25.3
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total expenses, net of credits

     22,493       17,800       4,693       26.4  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

NET INVESTMENT INCOME

     23,088       21,433       1,655       7.7  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

NET REALIZED AND UNREALIZED (LOSS) GAIN

        

Net realized loss on investments

     (26,063     (3,475     (22,588     650.0  

Net realized loss on other

     (133     (1,288     1,155       (89.7

Net unrealized appreciation of investments

     21,641       625       21,016       3,362.6  

Net unrealized appreciation (depreciation) of other

     115       (115     230       (200.0
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss from investments and other

     (4,440 )      (4,253     (187     4.4  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

NET INCREASE IN NET ASSETS RESULTING FROM OPERATIONS

   $ 18,648     $ 17,180     $ 1,468       8.5
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

PER BASIC AND DILUTED COMMON SHARE

        

Net investment income

   $ 0.85     $ 0.84     $ 0.01       1.2
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net increase in net assets resulting from operations

   $ 0.69     $ 0.67     $ 0.02       3.0
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Investment Income

Interest income increased by 18.6% for the year ended September 30, 2018, as compared to the prior year. This increase was due primarily to an increase in the weighted average balance outstanding on our interest-bearing portfolio and an increase in the weighted average yield on our interest-bearing portfolio. The weighted average principal balance of our interest-bearing investment portfolio during the year ended September 30, 2018, was $372.2 million, compared to $320.1 million for the prior year, an increase of $52.1 million, or 16.3%. The weighted average yield on our interest-bearing investments is based on the current stated interest rates on interest-bearing investments which increased to 11.8% for the year ended September 30, 2018 compared to 11.6% for the year ended September 30, 2017, inclusive of any allowances on interest receivables made during those periods.

 

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As of September 30, 2018, one portfolio company, Francis Drilling Fluids, Ltd. (“FDF”) was on non-accrual status, with an aggregate debt cost basis of approximately $26.9 million, or 6.9% of the cost basis of all debt investments in our portfolio. As of September 30, 2017, two portfolio companies, Sunshine and Alloy Die Casting Co. (“ADC”), were on non-accrual status, with an aggregate debt cost basis of approximately $27.9 million, or 7.5% of the cost basis of all debt investments in our portfolio.

Other income decreased by 24.9% during the year ended September 30, 2018, as compared to the prior year. This decrease was primarily due to a $1.1 million decrease in success fees recognized year over year. For the year ended September 30, 2018, other income consisted primarily of $0.6 million in prepayment fees received, $0.5 million in dividend income, and $0.4 million in success fees recognized. For the year ended September 30, 2017, other income consisted primarily of $1.5 million in success fees recognized, $0.3 million in dividend income, and $0.3 million in prepayment fees received.

The following tables list the investment income for our five largest portfolio company investments at fair value during the respective years:

 

     As of September 30, 2018     Year Ended September 30, 2018  

Portfolio Company

   Fair Value      % of Portfolio     Investment
Income
     % of Total
Investment
Income
 

IA Tech, LLC

   $ 30,900        7.9   $ 3,208        7.0

NetFortris Corp.

     24,325        6.2       2,522        5.5  

Lignetics, Inc.

     23,040        5.9       2,410        5.3  

Impact! Chemical Technologies, Inc.(A)

     22,472        5.8       1,849        4.1  

EL Academies, Inc.

     22,018        5.7       1,535        3.4  
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Subtotal—five largest investments

     122,755        31.5       11,524        25.3  

Other portfolio companies

     267,291        68.5       34,018        74.7  
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total Investment Portfolio

   $ 390,046        100.0   $ 45,542        100.0
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

     As of September 30, 2017     Year Ended September 30, 2017  

Portfolio Company

   Fair Value      % of Portfolio     Investment
Income
     % of Total
Investment
Income
 

NetFortris Corp.(A)

   $ 24,240        6.9   $ 1,566        4.0

IA Tech, LLC

     23,633        6.7       2,813        7.2  

HB Capital Resources, Ltd.(A)

     22,110        6.3       1,107        2.8  

WadeCo Specialties, Inc.

     22,016        6.2       1,936        4.9  

Lignetics, Inc.

     18,949        5.4       1,862        4.8  
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Subtotal—five largest investments

     110,948        31.5       9,284        23.7  

Other portfolio companies

     241,425        68.5       29,922        76.3  
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total Investment Portfolio

   $ 352,373        100.0   $ 39,206        100.0
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

(A) 

New investment during applicable period.

Expenses

Expenses, net of any non-contractual, unconditional and irrevocable credits to fees from the Adviser, increased $4.7 million, or 26.4%, for the year ended September 30, 2018 as compared to the prior year period. This increase was primarily due to a $2.9 million increase in our net base management and incentive fees to the Adviser and a $2.8 million increase in interest expense on borrowings, partially offset by a $1.0 million decrease in dividend expense on mandatorily redeemable preferred stock.

 

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Interest expense increased by 90.6% during the year ended September 30, 2018, as compared to the prior year, due primarily to an increase in the weighted average balance outstanding on our Credit Facility. The weighted average balance outstanding during the year ended September 30, 2018, was $114.7 million, as compared to $58.4 million in the prior year, an increase of 96.4%. The effective interest rate on our Credit Facility, including unused commitment fees incurred but excluding the impact of deferred financing costs, was 5.1% during the year ended September 30, 2018, compared to 5.3% during the prior year. The decrease in the effective interest rate was driven by a decrease in the marginal interest rate on our Credit Facility effective March 9, 2018 and a decrease in unused commitment fees paid in the current year due to a greater amount outstanding on the credit facility. These factors were partially offset by an increase in LIBOR as compared to the prior year.

The net base management fee earned by the Adviser increased by $1.7 million, or 42.2%, during the year ended September 30, 2018, as compared to the prior year, resulting from an increase in average total assets subject to the base management fee and a decrease in credits from the Adviser year over year.

The net income-based incentive fee increased by $1.2 million, or 48.3%, for the year ended September 30, 2018, as compared to the prior year, due to higher pre-incentive fee net investment income, partially offset by an increase in net assets, which drives the hurdle, over the prior year. Our Board of Directors accepted a non-contractual, unconditional and irrevocable credit from the Adviser of $1.7 million to reduce the income-based incentive fee to the extent net investment income did not cover 100.0% of our distributions to common stockholders during the year ended September 30, 2018. The credit granted during the year ended September 30, 2017, totaled $2.3 million.

The base management, loan servicing and incentive fees, and associated non-contractual, unconditional and irrevocable credits, are computed quarterly, as described under “Transactions with the Adviser” in Note 4—Related Party Transactions of the accompanying Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements and are summarized in the following table:

 

       Year Ended September 30,    
             2018                     2017          

Average total assets subject to base management fee(A)

   $ 401,886     $ 330,343  

Multiplied by annual base management fee of 1.75%

     1.75     1.75
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Base management fee(B)

     7,033       5,781  

Portfolio company fee credit

     (1,020     (1,588

Syndicated loan fee credit

     (364     (221
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net Base Management Fee

   $ 5,649     $ 3,972  
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Loan servicing fee(B)

   $ 5,042     $ 4,146  

Credit to base management fee – loan servicing fee(B)

     (5,042     (4,146
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net Loan Servicing Fee

   $ —       $ —    
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Incentive fee (B)

   $ 5,348     $ 4,779  

Incentive fee credit

     (1,697     (2,317
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net Incentive Fee

   $ 3,651     $ 2,462  
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Portfolio company fee credit

   $ (1,020   $ (1,588

Syndicated loan fee credit

     (364     (221

Incentive fee credit

     (1,697     (2,317
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Credit to Fees from Adviser—Other(B)

   $ (3,081   $ (4,126
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

(A)

Average total assets subject to the base management fee is defined as total assets, including investments made with proceeds of borrowings, less any uninvested cash or cash equivalents resulting from borrowings,

 

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  valued at the end of the four most recently completed quarters within the respective years and adjusted appropriately for any share issuances or repurchases during the applicable year.
(B)

Reflected, on a gross basis, as a line item on our accompanying Consolidated Statement of Operations located elsewhere in this prospectus.

Realized Loss and Unrealized Appreciation

Net Realized Loss on Investments

For the year ended September 30, 2018, we recorded a net realized loss on investments of $26.1 million, which resulted primarily from the restructure of our investment in Sunshine, previously on non-accrual status, and the associated recognition of a $28.2 million realized loss. This was partially offset by a $0.7 million realized gain from the sale of a portion of our equity investment in Funko Acquisition Holdings, LLC (“Funko”) and a $0.6 million realized gain associated with the sale of our investment in Flight Fit N Fun LLC.

For the year ended September 30, 2017, we recorded a net realized loss on investments of $3.5 million, which resulted primarily from the sale of substantially all the assets of RBC Acquisition Corp. (“RBC”) for a $2.3 million realized loss and the write-off of $5.0 million on our investment in Sunshine, partially offset by the sale of Behrens Manufacturing, LLC (“Behrens”) for a $2.5 million realized gain and a $1.2 million realized gain related to an additional earn-out from Funko, LLC, which we exited in the prior year.

Net Realized Loss on Other

We incurred a loss on extinguishment of debt of $1.3 million during the year ended September 30, 2017, which resulted from the write-off of unamortized deferred issuance costs at the time of redemption of our 6.75% Series 2021 Term Preferred Stock, par value $0.001 per share (“Series 2021 Preferred Stock”) in September 2017.

 

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Net Unrealized Appreciation of Investments

During the year ended September 30, 2018, we recorded net unrealized appreciation of investments in the aggregate amount of $21.6 million. The net realized gain (loss) and unrealized appreciation (depreciation) across our investments for the year ended September 30, 2018, were as follows:

 

     Year Ended September 30, 2018  

Portfolio Company

   Realized Gain
(Loss)
    Unrealized
Appreciation
(Depreciation)
    Reversal of
Unrealized
Depreciation
(Appreciation)
    Net Gain (Loss)  

Edge Adhesives Holdings, Inc.

   $ —       $ 2,830     $ —       $ 2,830  

United Flexible, Inc.

     —         2,475       —         2,475  

Alloy Die Casting Co.

     —         2,341       —         2,341  

AG Transportation Holdings, LLC

     —         2,083       —         2,083  

Targus Cayman HoldCo, Ltd.

     —         1,677       —         1,677  

PIC 360, LLC

     —         1,306       —         1,306  

Funko Acquisition Holdings, LLC

     745       869       (356     1,258  

Sea Link International IRB, Inc.

     —         559       —         559  

Leeds Novamark Capital I, L.P.

     —         526       —         526  

Merlin International, Inc.

     —         450       —         450  

WadeCo Specialties, Inc.

     —         385       —         385  

EL Academies, Inc.

     —         379       —         379  

Precision International, LLC

     —         306       —         306  

RBC Acquisition Corp.

     284             —         284  

IA Tech, LLC

     —         267       —         267  

Triple H Food Processors, LLC

     —         236       —         236  

Canopy Safety Brands, LLC

     —         195       —         195  

Funko, LLC

     127             —         127  

Flight Fit N Fun LLC

     630             (725     (95

HB Capital Resources, Ltd.

     —         330       (440     (110

Vision Government Solutions, Inc.

     —         (412     —         (412

Frontier Financial Group, Inc.

     —         (500     —         (500

GFRC Holdings, LLC

     —         (519     —         (519

Meridian Rack & Pinion, Inc.

     —         (671     —         (671

Vacation Rental Pros Property Management, LLC

     —         (1,020     —         (1,020

Defiance Integrated Technologies, Inc.

     —         (1,768     —         (1,768

Sunshine Media Holdings

     (28,169     (1,319     27,660       (1,828

Arc Drilling Holding LLC

     —         (2,006     —         (2,006

New Trident Holdcorp, Inc.

     —         (2,794     —         (2,794

LWO Acquisitions Company, LLC

     —         (3,190     —         (3,190

Francis Drilling Fluids, Ltd.

     —         (7,436     —         (7,436

Other, net (<$250)

     320       28       (105     243  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total:

   $ (26,063   $ (4,393   $ 26,034     $ (4,422
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

The primary drivers of our net unrealized appreciation for the year ended September 30, 2018, were the reversal of previously recorded depreciation on our investment in Sunshine upon restructure and improved performance on certain of our portfolio companies, namely Edge Adhesives Holdings, Inc. These factors were partially offset by a decline in performance of certain of our other portfolio companies, namely FDF.

 

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During the year ended September 30, 2017, we recorded net unrealized appreciation of investments in the aggregate amount of $0.6 million. The net realized gain (loss) and unrealized appreciation (depreciation) across our investments for the year ended September 30, 2017, were as follows:

 

     Year Ended September 30, 2017  

Portfolio Company

   Realized Gain
(Loss)
    Unrealized
Appreciation
(Depreciation)
    Reversal of
Unrealized
Depreciation
(Appreciation)
    Net Gain (Loss)  

WadeCo Specialties, Inc.

   $ —       $ 2,900     $ —       $ 2,900  

SourceHOV LLC

     (218     1,756       97       1,635  

Funko, LLC

     1,273       (106     —         1,167  

Targus Cayman HoldCo, Ltd.

     —         662       —         662  

LWO Acquisitions Company, LLC

     —         608       —         608  

Flight Fit N Fun LLC

     —         456       —         456  

IA Tech, LLC

     —         403       —         403  

Vitera Healthcare Solutions, LLC

     —         213       115       328  

PIC 360, LLC

     —         315       —         315  

B+T Group Acquisition Inc.

     —         305       —         305  

Travel Sentry, Inc.

     —         255       —         255  

Leeds Novamark Capital I, L.P.

     —         229       —         229  

NetFortris Corp.

     (14     239       —         225  

PSC Industrial Holdings Corp.

     —         219       —         219  

United Flexible, Inc.

     —         177       —         177  

Drumcree, LLC

     —         169       (15     154  

Merlin International, Inc.

     —         150       —         150  

Vision Government Solutions, Inc.

     —         141       —         141  

TWS Acquisition Corporation

     —         127       —         127  

Westland Technologies, Inc.

     126       —         —         126  

Meridian Rack & Pinion, Inc.

     —         (246     —         (246

L Discovery

     —         (265     —         (265

Edge Adhesives Holdings, Inc.

     —         (468     —         (468

FedCap Partners, LLC

     —         (514     —         (514

Behrens Manufacturing, LLC

     2,544       —         (3,211     (667

New Trident Holdcorp, Inc.

     —         (878     —         (878

Defiance Integrated Technologies, Inc.

     —         (1,125     —         (1,125

RBC Acquisition Corp.

     (2,330     —         1,119       (1,211

Vertellus Holdings LLC

     109       (1,456     —         (1,347

Francis Drilling Fluids, Ltd.

     —         (2,066     —         (2,066

Alloy Die Casting, Corp.

     —         (2,303     —         (2,303

Sunshine Media Holdings

     (5,000     (995     3,612       (2,383

Other, net (<$250)

     35       33       (27     41  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total:

   $ (3,475   $ (1,065   $ 1,690     $ (2,850
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

The primary drivers of our net unrealized appreciation for the year ended September 30, 2017, were an increase in the value of WadeCo, increased performance on certain of our portfolio companies, and the reversal of previously recorded depreciation on our investment in Sunshine upon partial write-off. These factors were partially offset by a decline in performance and decrease in comparable multiples used in the valuation of certain of our other portfolio companies and the reversal of $3.2 million of previously recorded unrealized appreciation on our investment in Behrens upon exit.

 

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As of September 30, 2018, the fair value of our investment portfolio was less than its cost basis by approximately $37.4 million and our entire investment portfolio was valued at 91.2% of cost, as compared to cumulative net unrealized depreciation of $59.1 million and a valuation of our entire portfolio at 85.6% of cost as of September 30, 2017. This year over year increase in the cumulative unrealized depreciation on investments represents net unrealized appreciation of $21.6 million for the year ended September 30, 2018.

The cumulative net unrealized depreciation of our investments does not have an impact on our current ability to pay distributions to stockholders; however, it may be an indication of future realized losses, which could ultimately reduce our income available for distribution to stockholders.

Net Unrealized (Appreciation) Depreciation of Other

During the year ended September 30, 2018, we recorded $0.1 million of unrealized appreciation on our Credit Facility at fair value as compared to $0.1 million of unrealized depreciation during the year ended September 30, 2017.

 

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Comparison of the Year Ended September 30, 2017 to the Year Ended September 30, 2016

 

     For the Year Ended September 30,  
     2017     2016     $ Change     %Change  

INVESTMENT INCOME

        

Interest income

   $ 37,073     $ 35,219     $ 1,854       5.3

Other income

     2,160       3,893       (1,733     (44.5
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total investment income

     39,233       39,112       121       0.3  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

EXPENSES

        

Base management fee

     5,781       5,684       97       1.7  

Loan servicing fee

     4,146       3,890       256       6.6  

Incentive fee

     4,779       4,514       265       5.9  

Administration fee

     1,102       1,182       (80     (6.8

Interest expense on borrowings

     3,073       2,899       174       6.0  

Dividend expense on mandatorily redeemable preferred stock

     4,152       4,118       34       0.8  

Amortization of deferred financing fees

     1,094       1,075       19       1.8  

Other expenses

     1,945       2,459       (514     (20.9
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Expenses, before credits from Adviser

     26,072       25,821       251       1.0  

Credit to base management fee—loan servicing fee

     (4,146     (3,890     (256     6.6  

Credit to fees from Adviser—other

     (4,126 )      (2,306     (1,820     78.9  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total expenses, net of credits

     17,800       19,625       (1,825     (9.3
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

NET INVESTMENT INCOME

     21,433       19,487       1,946       10.0  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

NET REALIZED AND UNREALIZED (LOSS) GAIN

        

Net realized (loss) gain on investments

     (3,475     7,216       (10,691     (148.2

Net realized loss on other

     (1,288     (64     (1,224     (1,912.5

Net unrealized appreciation (depreciation) of investments

     625       (15,334     15,959       104.1  

Net unrealized (depreciation) appreciation of other

     (115 )      62       (177     (285.5
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss from investments and other

     (4,253 )      (8,120     3,867       47.6  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

NET INCREASE IN NET ASSETS RESULTING FROM OPERATIONS

   $ 17,180     $ 11,367     $ 5,813       51.1
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

PER BASIC AND DILUTED COMMON SHARE

        

Net investment income

   $ 0.84     $ 0.84     $ —         —  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net increase in net assets resulting from operations

   $ 0.67     $ 0.49     $ 0.18       36.7
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Investment Income

Interest income increased by 5.3% for the year ended September 30, 2017, as compared to the prior year. This increase was due primarily to an increase in the weighted average yield on our interest-bearing portfolio. The weighted average yield on our interest-bearing investments is based on the current stated interest rate on interest-bearing investments which increased to 11.6% for the year ended September 30, 2017 compared to 11.1% for the year ended September 30, 2016, inclusive of any allowances on interest receivables made during those periods. The weighted average principal balance of our interest-bearing investment portfolio during the year ended September 30, 2017, was $320.1 million, compared to $317.0 million for the prior year, an increase of $3.1 million, or 1.0%.

As of September 30, 2017, certain loans to two portfolio companies, Sunshine and ADC, were on non-accrual status, with an aggregate debt cost basis of approximately $27.9 million, or 7.5% of the cost basis of all debt investments in our portfolio. As of September 30, 2016, certain loans to two portfolio companies, Sunshine and

 

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Vertellus Holdings, LLC, were on non-accrual status, with an aggregate debt cost basis of approximately $26.5 million, or 7.7% of the cost basis of all debt investments in our portfolio.

Other income decreased by 44.5% during the year ended September 30, 2017, as compared to the prior year. This decrease was primarily due to a $1.9 million decrease in success fees recognized year over year. For the year ended September 30, 2017, other income consisted primarily of $1.5 million in success fees recognized, $0.3 million in dividend income, and $0.3 million in prepayment fees received. For the year ended September 30, 2016, other income consisted primarily of $3.4 million in success fees recognized, $0.3 million in dividend income, and $0.2 million in prepayment fees.

The following tables list the investment income for our five largest portfolio company investments at fair value during the respective years:

 

     As of September 30, 2017     Year Ended September 30, 2017  

Portfolio Company

   Fair Value      % of Portfolio     Investment
Income
     % of Total
Investment
Income
 

NetFortris Corp.(A)

   $ 24,240        6.9   $ 1,566        4.0

IA Tech, LLC

     23,633        6.7       2,813        7.2  

HB Capital Resources, Ltd.(A)

     22,110        6.3       1,107        2.8  

WadeCo Specialties, Inc.

     22,016        6.2       1,936        4.9  

Lignetics, Inc.

     18,949        5.4       1,862        4.8  
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Subtotal—five largest investments

     110,948        31.5       9,284        23.7  

Other portfolio companies

     241,425        68.5       29,922        76.3  
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total Investment Portfolio

   $ 352,373        100.0   $ 39,206        100.0
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

     As of September 30, 2016     Year Ended September 30, 2016  

Portfolio Company

   Fair Value      % of Portfolio     Investment
Income
     % of Total
Investment
Income
 

RBC Acquisition Corp.

   $ 37,345        11.6   $ 3,347        8.6

IA Tech, LLC(A)

     23,230        7.2       888        2.3  

WadeCo Specialties, Inc.

     18,980        5.9       2,059        5.3  

United Flexible, Inc.

     17,744        5.5       2,108        5.4  

Lignetics, Inc.

     14,821        4.6       1,708        4.3  
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Subtotal—five largest investments

     112,120        34.8       10,110        25.9  

Other portfolio companies

     209,994        65.2       28,997        74.1  
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total Investment Portfolio

   $ 322,114        100.0   $ 39,107        100.0
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

(A) 

New investment during applicable period.

Expenses

Expenses, net of credits from the Adviser, decreased by 9.3% for the year ended September 30, 2017 as compared to the prior year. This decrease was primarily due to decreases in our net base management and incentive fees to the Advisor.

Interest expense increased by 6.0% during the year ended September 30, 2017, as compared to the prior year, due to an increase in the LIBOR component of the effective interest rate partially offset by a lower weighted average balance outstanding. The effective interest rate on our Credit Facility, excluding the impact of deferred financing costs, was 5.3% during the year ended September 30, 2017 compared to 4.5% during the prior year period. The

 

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weighted average balance outstanding on our Credit Facility during the year ended September 30, 2017, was approximately $58.4 million, as compared to $64.0 million in the prior year period, a decrease of 8.8%.

Other expenses decreased by 20.9% during the year ended September 30, 2017, as compared to the prior year, primarily due to decreases in shareholder related costs and professional fees.

Net base management fee earned by the Adviser decreased by $0.8 million, or 17.4%, during the year ended September 30, 2017, as compared to the prior year period, resulting from an increase in portfolio company fee credits due to new investments made in the current year period.

Our Board of Directors accepted non-contractual, unconditional and irrevocable credits from the Adviser to reduce the income-based incentive fee to the extent net investment income did not cover 100.0% of our distributions to common stockholders during the years ended September 30, 2017 and 2016, which credits totaled $2.3 million and $1.4 million, respectively.

The base management, loan servicing and incentive fees, and associated non-contractual, unconditional and irrevocable credits, are computed quarterly, as described under “Transactions with the Adviser” in Note 4—Related Party Transactions of the accompanying Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements and are summarized in the following table:

 

     Year Ended September 30,  
          2017               2016       

Average total assets subject to base management fee(A)

   $ 330,343     $ 324,800  

Multiplied by annual base management fee of 1.75%

     1.75 %      1.75
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Base management fee(B)

     5,781       5,684  

Portfolio company fee credit

     (1,588     (785

Syndicated loan fee credit

     (221 )      (92
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net Base Management Fee

   $ 3,972     $ 4,807  
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Loan servicing fee(B)

   $ 4,146     $ 3,890  

Credit to base management fee – loan servicing fee(B)

     (4,146 )      (3,890
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net Loan Servicing Fee

   $ —       $ —    
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Incentive fee (B)

   $ 4,779     $ 4,514  

Incentive fee credit

     (2,317 )      (1,429
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net Incentive Fee

   $ 2,462     $ 3,085  
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Portfolio company fee credit

   $ (1,588   $ (785

Syndicated loan fee credit

     (221     (92

Incentive fee credit

     (2,317 )      (1,429
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Credit to Fees from Adviser—Other(B)

   $ (4,126 )    $ (2,306
  

 

 

   

 

 

 
(C)

Average total assets subject to the base management fee is defined as total assets, including investments made with proceeds of borrowings, less any uninvested cash or cash equivalents resulting from borrowings, valued at the end of the four most recently completed quarters within the respective years and adjusted appropriately for any share issuances or repurchases during the applicable year.

(D)

Reflected, on a gross basis, as a line item on our accompanying Consolidated Statement of Operations located elsewhere in this prospectus.

 

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Realized Loss and Unrealized Appreciation

Net Realized Loss on Investments

For the year ended September 30, 2017, we recorded a net realized loss on investments of $3.5 million, which resulted primarily from the sale of substantially all the assets of RBC for a $2.3 million realized loss and the write-off of $5.0 million on our investment in Sunshine, partially offset by the sale of Behrens for a $2.5 million realized gain and a $1.2 million realized gain related to an additional earn-out from Funko, LLC, which we exited in the prior year.

For the year ended September 30, 2016, we recorded a net realized gain on investments of $7.2 million, which resulted primarily from the sales of Funko, LLC, Southern Petroleum Laboratories, Inc., Westland Technologies, Inc., and Ashland Acquisitions, LLC (“Ashland”) for a combined realized gain of $18.7 million and net proceeds of $35.4 million. This realized gain was partially offset by a combined realized loss of $11.7 million recognized from the sale of Heartland Communications Group and the restructures of Targus Group International, Inc. (“Targus”) and Precision Acquisition Group Holdings, Inc. during the year ended September 30, 2016. We also recognized a realized loss of $0.6 million during the year ended September 30, 2016 related to a settlement associated with WP Evenflo Group Holdings, Inc., which we previously exited at a realized gain of $1.0 million in September 2014.

Net Realized Loss on Other

We incurred a loss on extinguishment of debt of $1.3 million during the year ended September 30, 2017, which resulted from the write-off of unamortized deferred issuance costs at the time of redemption of our Series 2021 Preferred Stock in September 2017. During the year ended September 30, 2016, we recorded a net realized loss of $0.1 million due to the expiration of our interest rate cap agreement in January 2016.

Net Unrealized Appreciation of Investments

During the year ended September 30, 2017, we recorded net unrealized appreciation of investments in the aggregate amount of $0.6 million. The net realized gain (loss) and unrealized appreciation (depreciation) across our investments for the year ended September 30, 2017, were as follows:

 

     Year Ended September 30, 2017  

Portfolio Company

   Realized Gain
(Loss)
    Unrealized
Appreciation
(Depreciation)
    Reversal of
Unrealized
Depreciation
(Appreciation)
    Net Gain (Loss)  

WadeCo Specialties, Inc.

   $ —       $ 2,900     $ —       $ 2,900  

SourceHOV LLC

     (218     1,756       97       1,635  

Funko, LLC

     1,273       (106     —         1,167  

Targus Cayman HoldCo, Ltd.

     —         662       —         662  

LWO Acquisitions Company, LLC

     —         608       —         608  

Flight Fit N Fun LLC

     —         456       —         456  

IA Tech, LLC

     —         403       —         403  

Vitera Healthcare Solutions, LLC

     —         213       115       328  

PIC 360, LLC