10-K 1 owl-10k_20191231.htm 10-K owl-10k_20191231.htm

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

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

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019

OR

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

Commission File Number 814-01190

 

OWL ROCK CAPITAL CORPORATION

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its Charter)

 

Maryland

 

47-5402460

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

 

 

 

399 Park Avenue, 38th Floor, New York, New York

 

10022

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

(Zip Code)

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (212) 419-3000

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

Title of each class

Trading Symbol

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock, $0.01 par value per share

ORCC

The New York Stock Exchange

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

None

 

Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. YES NO 

Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act.    YES NO 

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

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

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

Large accelerated filer

Emerging growth company  

Small reporting company    

Non-accelerated filer  

Accelerated filer                    

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.    

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).   YES   NO 

The aggregate market value of the common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of June 30, 2019 has not been provided because trading of the registrant’s common stock on The New York Stock Exchange did not commence until July 18, 2019.

The number of shares of the registrant’s common stock, $.01 par value per share, outstanding at February 19, 2020 was 394,952,667.

 

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Table of Contents

 

 

 

 

 

Page

PART I

 

 

 

 

Item 1.

 

Business

 

2

Item 1A.

 

Risk Factors

 

28

Item 1B.

 

Unresolved Staff Comments

 

57

Item 2.

 

Properties

 

57

Item 3.

 

Legal Proceedings

 

57

Item 4.

 

Mine Safety Disclosures

 

57

 

 

 

 

 

PART II

 

 

 

 

Item 5.

 

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

 

58

Item 6.

 

Selected Financial Data

 

63

Item 7.

 

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

 

64

Item 7A.

 

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

 

118

Item 8.

 

Consolidated Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

 

F-1

Item 9.

 

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

 

119

Item 9A.

 

Controls and Procedures

 

119

Item 9B.

 

Other Information

 

119

 

 

 

 

 

PART III

 

 

 

 

Item 10.

 

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

 

120

Item 11.

 

Executive Compensation

 

131

Item 12.

 

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

 

132

Item 13.

 

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

 

133

Item 14.

 

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

 

135

 

 

 

 

 

PART IV

 

 

 

 

Item 15.

 

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

 

137

Item 16.

 

Form 10-K Summary

 

142

Signatures

 

 

 

143

 

 

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CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

 

This report contains forward-looking statements that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors and undue reliance should not be placed thereon. These forward-looking statements are not historical facts, but rather are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about Owl Rock Capital Corporation (the “Company,” “we” or “our”), our current and prospective portfolio investments, our industry, our beliefs and opinions, and our assumptions. Words such as “anticipates,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “will,” “may,” “continue,” “believes,” “seeks,” “estimates,” “would,” “could,” “should,” “targets,” “projects,” “outlook,” “potential,” “predicts” and variations of these words and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond our control and difficult to predict and could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or forecasted in the forward-looking statements, including without limitation:

 

 

an economic downturn could impair our portfolio companies’ ability to continue to operate, which could lead to the loss of some or all of our investments in such portfolio companies;

 

an economic downturn could disproportionately impact the companies that we intend to target for investment, potentially causing us to experience a decrease in investment opportunities and diminished demand for capital from these companies;

 

an economic downturn could also impact availability and pricing of our financing and our ability to access the debt and equity capital markets;

 

a contraction of available credit and/or an inability to access the equity markets could impair our lending and investment activities;

 

interest rate volatility, including the decommissioning of LIBOR, could adversely affect our results, particularly if we elect to use leverage as part of our investment strategy;

 

currency fluctuations could adversely affect the results of our investments in foreign companies, particularly to the extent that we receive payments denominated in foreign currency rather than U.S. dollars;

 

our future operating results;

 

our business prospects and the prospects of our portfolio companies;

 

our contractual arrangements and relationships with third parties;

 

the ability of our portfolio companies to achieve their objectives;

 

competition with other entities and our affiliates for investment opportunities;

 

the speculative and illiquid nature of our investments;

 

the use of borrowed money to finance a portion of our investments as well as any estimates regarding potential use of leverage;

 

the adequacy of our financing sources and working capital;

 

the loss of key personnel;

 

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

 

the ability of Owl Rock Capital Advisors LLC (“the Adviser” or “our Adviser”) to locate suitable investments for us and to monitor and administer our investments;

 

the ability of the Adviser to attract and retain highly talented professionals;

 

our ability to qualify for and maintain our tax treatment as a regulated investment company (“RIC”) under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), and as a business development company (“BDC”);

 

the effect of legal, tax and regulatory changes; and

 

other risks, uncertainties and other factors previously identified in the reports and other documents we have filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).

 

Although we believe that the assumptions on which these forward-looking statements are based are reasonable, any of those assumptions could prove to be inaccurate, and as a result, the forward-looking statements based on those assumptions also could be inaccurate. In light of these and other uncertainties, the inclusion of a projection or forward-looking statement in this report should not be regarded as a representation by us that our plans and objectives will be achieved. These forward-looking statements apply only as of the date of this report. Moreover, we assume no duty and do not undertake to update the forward-looking statements. Because we are an investment company, the forward-looking statements and projections contained in this report are excluded from the safe harbor protection provided by Section 21E of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”).

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PART I

 

Item 1. Business

Our Company

Owl Rock Capital Corporation was formed on October 15, 2015 as a corporation under the laws of the State of Maryland. We are a specialty finance company focused on lending to U.S. middle-market companies. Since we began investment activities in April 2016 through December 31, 2019, our Adviser and its affiliates have originated $19.0 billion aggregate principal amount of investments, of which $17.4 billion of aggregate principal amount of investments prior to any subsequent exits or repayments, was retained by either us or a fund advised by our Adviser or its affiliates. Our capital will be used by our portfolio companies to support growth, acquisitions, market or product expansion, refinancings and/or recapitalizations.

On July 22, 2019, we closed our initial public offering ("IPO"), issuing 10 million shares of our common stock at a public offering price of $15.30 per share, and on August 2, 2019, the underwriters exercised their option to purchase an additional 1.5 million shares of our common stock at a purchase price of $15.30 per share.  Net of underwriting fees and offering costs, we received total cash proceeds of $164.0 million. Our common stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) under the symbol “ORCC” on July 18, 2019.

We define “middle market companies” to generally mean companies with earnings before interest expense, income tax expense, depreciation and amortization (“EBITDA”) between $10 million and $250 million annually, and/or annual revenue of $50 million to $2.5 billion at the time of investment. We may on occasion invest in smaller or larger companies if an attractive opportunity presents itself, especially when there are dislocations in the capital markets, including the high yield and syndicated loan markets. Our target credit investments will typically have maturities between three and ten years and generally range in size between $20 million and $250 million. The investment size will vary with the size of our capital base. As of December 31, 2019, excluding certain investments that fall outside of our typical borrower profile, our portfolio companies representing 96.9% of our total portfolio based on fair value, had weighted average annual revenue of $427 million and weighted average annual EBITDA of $79 million.

We invest in senior secured or unsecured loans, subordinated loans or mezzanine loans and, to a lesser extent, equity and equity-related securities including warrants, preferred stock and similar forms of senior equity, which may or may not be convertible into a portfolio company’s common equity. Our investment objective is to generate current income and, to a lesser extent, capital appreciation by targeting investment opportunities with favorable risk-adjusted returns. While we believe that current market conditions favor extending credit to middle market companies in the United States, our investment strategy is intended to generate favorable returns across credit cycles with an emphasis on preserving capital. As of December 31, 2019, based on fair value, our portfolio consisted of 80.9% first lien debt investments, 18.0% second-lien debt investments, 1.0% investment funds and vehicles and 0.1% equity investments. All of our debt investments based on fair value as of December 31, 2019 are floating rate in nature and subject to interest rate floors. As of December 31, 2019 we had investments in 98 portfolio companies, with an average investment size in each of our portfolio companies of approximately $89.8 million based on fair value.

As of December 31, 2019, our portfolio was invested across 27 different industries. The largest industries in our portfolio as of December 31, 2019 were distribution and healthcare providers and services, which represented, as a percentage of our portfolio, 8.6% and 8.3%, respectively, based on fair value.

We are an externally managed, closed-end management investment company that has elected to be regulated as a BDC under the Investment Company Act of 1940 Act, as amended (the “1940 Act”). We have elected to be treated, and intend to qualify annually, as a RIC under the Code for U.S. federal income tax purposes. As a BDC and a RIC, we are required to comply with certain regulatory requirements. As a BDC, at least 70% of our assets must be assets of the type listed in Section 55(a) of the 1940 Act, as described herein. We will not invest more than 20% of our total assets in companies whose principal place of business is outside the United States. See “— Regulation as a Business Development Company” and “— Certain U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations.

We generally intend to distribute, out of assets legally available for distribution, substantially all of our available earnings, on a quarterly basis, as determined by our Board in its sole discretion.

To achieve our investment objective, we will leverage the Adviser’s investment team’s extensive network of relationships with other sophisticated institutions to source, evaluate and, as appropriate, partner with on transactions. There are no assurances that we will achieve our investment objective.

We may borrow money from time to time if immediately after such borrowing, the ratio of our total assets (less total liabilities other than indebtedness represented by senior securities) to our total indebtedness represented by senior securities plus preferred stock, if any, is at least 200% (or 150% if certain conditions are met). This means that generally, we can borrow up to $1 for every $1 of investor equity (or, if certain conditions are met, we can borrow up to $2 for every $1 of investor equity).

We currently have in place a senior secured revolving credit facility (the “Revolving Credit Facility”) and four special purchase vehicle asset credit facilities (the “SPV Asset Facility I,” the “SPV Asset Facility II,” the “SPV Asset Facility III,” and the “SPV Asset Facility IV,” respectively), and in the future may enter into additional credit facilities. In addition, we have issued unsecured notes

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maturing in 2023 (the “2023 Notes”) in a private placement and unsecured notes maturing in 2024 and 2025 (the “2024 Notes” and the “2025 Notes,” respectively) in registered offerings and in the future may issue additional unsecured notes. We have also entered into two term debt securitization transactions, also known as collateralized loan obligation transactions (“CLO I,” and “CLO II,” respectively) and in the future may enter into additional collateralized loan obligation transactions. We expect to use our credit facilities and other borrowings, along with proceeds from the rotation of our portfolio, to finance our investment objectives. See “Regulation as a Business Development Company” for discussion of BDC regulation and other regulatory considerations. Subsequent to December 31, 2019, we issued unsecured notes maturing in July 2025. See “ITEM 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of OperationS — Debt.”

The Adviser and Administrator – Owl Rock Capital Advisors LLC

Owl Rock Capital Advisors LLC serves as our investment adviser pursuant to an investment advisory agreement between us and the Adviser, which was originally entered into on March 1, 2016 (the "Original Investment Advisory Agreement") and which, with the approval of the Board, including a majority of our independent directors, was amended and restated on February 27, 2019 (as amended and restated, the "Investment Advisory Agreement") to reduce the fees that the Company will pay the Adviser following an Exchange Listing (which includes our IPO). See “Investment Advisory Agreement” below. The Adviser also serves as our Administrator pursuant to an Administration Agreement between us and the Adviser which was entered into on March 1, 2016 (the "Administration Agreement"). See "Administration Agreement" below. The Adviser is registered with the SEC as an investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended (the “Advisers Act”). The Adviser is an indirect subsidiary of Owl Rock Capital Partners LP (“Owl Rock Capital Partners”).  Owl Rock Capital Partners is led by its three co-founders, Douglas I. Ostrover, Marc S. Lipschultz and Craig W. Packer.  The Adviser’s investment team (the “Investment Team”) is also led by Douglas I. Ostrover, Marc S. Lipschultz and Craig W. Packer and is supported by certain members of the Adviser’s senior executive team and the investment committee (the “Investment Committee”). The Investment Committee is comprised of Douglas I. Ostrover, Marc S. Lipschultz, Craig W. Packer and Alexis Maged. The Adviser has limited operating history. Subject to the overall supervision of the Board, the Adviser manages our day-to-day operations, and provides investment advisory and management services to us.

The Adviser also serves as investment adviser to Owl Rock Capital Corporation II. Owl Rock Capital Corporation II is a corporation formed under the laws of the State of Maryland that, like us, has elected to be treated as a BDC under the 1940 Act. Owl Rock Capital Corporation II’s investment objective is similar to ours, which is to generate current income, and to a lesser extent, capital appreciation by targeting investment opportunities with favorable risk-adjusted returns. As of December 31, 2019, Owl Rock Capital Corporation II had raised gross proceeds of approximately $963.7 million, including seed capital contributed by the Adviser in September 2016 and approximately $10.0 million in gross proceeds raised from certain individuals and entities affiliated with the Adviser.

The Adviser is affiliated with Owl Rock Technology Advisors LLC (“ORTA”) and Owl Rock Capital Private Fund Advisors LLC (“ORPFA” and collectively with the Adviser and ORTA, the “Owl Rock Advisers”), which also are investment advisers and subsidiaries of Owl Rock Capital Partners. The Adviser, ORTA, ORPFA and Owl Rock Capital Partners are referred to, collectively, as “Owl Rock.” ORTA’s and ORPFA’s investment teams are led by Douglas I. Ostrover, Marc S. Lipschultz and Craig W. Packer. ORTA serves as investment adviser to Owl Rock Technology Finance Corp. and ORPFA serves as investment adviser to, among other clients, Owl Rock First Lien Master Fund, L.P.

Owl Rock Technology Finance Corp. is a BDC and its investment objective is to maximize total return by generating current income from its debt investments and other income producing securities, and capital appreciation from its equity and equity-linked investments. Owl Rock Technology Finance Corp. has adopted a policy to invest, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of the value of its assets in technology-related companies. Owl Rock Technology Finance Corp. conducts private offerings of its common stock to investors in reliance on exemptions from the registration requirements of the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”). As of December 31, 2019, Owl Rock Technology Finance Corp. had approximately $2.5 billion in total capital commitments from investors of which approximately $0.8 billion had been drawn.

Owl Rock First Lien Master Fund intends to originate and make loans to, and make debt investments in, U.S. middle market companies.

In addition to Owl Rock Capital Corporation II, Owl Rock Technology Finance Corp. and Owl Rock First Lien Master Fund, L.P., the Adviser and its affiliates may provide management or investment advisory services to entities that have overlapping objectives with us. The Adviser and its affiliates may face conflicts in the allocation of investment opportunities to us and others. In order to address these conflicts, the Owl Rock Advisers have put in place an allocation policy that addresses the allocation of investment opportunities as well as co-investment restrictions under the 1940 Act.

In addition, we, the Adviser and certain of its affiliates have been granted exemptive relief by the SEC to co-invest with other funds managed by the Adviser or its affiliates in a manner consistent with our investment objective, positions, policies, strategies and restrictions as well as regulatory requirements and other pertinent factors. Pursuant to such exemptive relief, we generally are permitted to co-invest with certain of our affiliates if a “required majority” (as defined in Section 57(o) of the 1940 Act) of our independent directors make certain conclusions in connection with a co-investment transaction, including that (1) the terms of the transaction, including the consideration to be paid, are reasonable and fair to us and our shareholders and do not involve overreaching

3


of us or our shareholders on the part of any person concerned, (2) the transaction is consistent with the interests of our shareholders and is consistent with our investment objective and strategies, and (3) the investment by our affiliates would not disadvantage us, and our participation would not be on a basis different from or less advantageous than that on which our affiliates are investing. The Owl Rock Advisers’ allocation policy incorporates the conditions of the exemptive relief. As a result of the exemptive relief, there could be significant overlap in our investment portfolio and the investment portfolio of Owl Rock Capital Corporation II, Owl Rock Technology Finance Corp. and/or other funds established by the Adviser or its affiliates that could avail themselves of the exemptive relief. See “Item 1A. Risk Factors —Risks Related to our Adviser and its Affiliates — We may compete for capital and investment opportunities with other entities managed by our Adviser or its affiliates, subjecting our Adviser to certain conflicts of interest.

The Adviser or its affiliates may engage in certain origination activities and receive attendant arrangement, structuring or similar fees.  See “Item 1A. Risk Factors —Risks Related to our Adviser and its Affiliates The Adviser and its affiliates may face conflicts of interest with respect to services performed for issuers in which we invest.”

The Adviser's address is 399 Park Avenue, 38th floor, New York, NY 10022.

Market Trends

We believe the middle-market lending environment provides opportunities for us to meet our goal of making investments that generate attractive risk-adjusted returns based on a combination of the following factors:

Limited Availability of Capital for Middle-Market Companies. We believe that regulatory and structural changes in the market have reduced the amount of capital available to U.S. middle-market companies. In particular, we believe there are currently fewer providers of capital to middle market companies. We believe that many commercial and investment banks have, in recent years, de-emphasized their service and product offerings to middle-market businesses in favor of lending to large corporate clients and managing capital markets transactions. In addition, these lenders may be constrained in their ability to underwrite and hold bank loans and high yield securities for middle-market issuers as they seek to meet existing and future regulatory capital requirements. We also believe that there is a lack of market participants that are willing to hold meaningful amounts of certain middle-market loans. As a result, we believe our ability to minimize syndication risk for a company seeking financing by being able to hold its loans without having to syndicate them, coupled with reduced capacity of traditional lenders to serve the middle-market, present an attractive opportunity to invest in middle-market companies.

Capital Markets Have Been Unable to Fill the Void in U.S. Middle Market Finance Left by Banks. While underwritten bond and syndicated loan markets have been robust in recent years, middle market companies are less able to access these markets for reasons including the following:

High-Yield Market – Middle market companies generally are not issuing debt in an amount large enough to be an attractively sized bond. High yield bonds are generally purchased by institutional investors who, among other things, are focused on the liquidity characteristics of the bond being issued. For example, mutual funds and exchange traded funds (“ETFs”) are significant buyers of underwritten bonds. However, mutual funds and ETFs generally require the ability to liquidate their investments quickly in order to fund investor redemptions and/or comply with regulatory requirements. Accordingly, the existence of an active secondary market for bonds is an important consideration in these entities’ initial investment decision. Because there is typically little or no active secondary market for the debt of U.S. middle market companies, mutual funds and ETFs generally do not provide debt capital to U.S. middle market companies. We believe this is likely to be a persistent problem and creates an advantage for those like us who have a more stable capital base and have the ability to invest in illiquid assets.

Syndicated Loan Market – While the syndicated loan market is modestly more accommodating to middle market issuers, as with bonds, loan issue size and liquidity are key drivers of institutional appetite and, correspondingly, underwriters’ willingness to underwrite the loans. Loans arranged through a bank are done either on a “best efforts” basis or are underwritten with terms plus provisions that permit the underwriters to change certain terms, including pricing, structure, yield and tenor, otherwise known as “flex”, to successfully syndicate the loan, in the event the terms initially marketed are insufficiently attractive to investors. Furthermore, banks are generally reluctant to underwrite middle market loans because the arrangement fees they may earn on the placement of the debt generally are not sufficient to meet the banks’ return hurdles. Loans provided by companies such as ours provide certainty to issuers in that we can commit to a given amount of debt on specific terms, at stated coupons and with agreed upon fees. As we are the ultimate holder of the loans, we do not require market “flex” or other arrangements that banks may require when acting on an agency basis.

Robust Demand for Debt Capital. We believe U.S. middle market companies will continue to require access to debt capital to refinance existing debt, support growth and finance acquisitions. In addition, we believe the large amount of uninvested capital held by funds of private equity firms, estimated by Preqin Ltd., an alternative assets industry data and research company, to be $1.26 trillion as of March 2019 will continue to drive deal activity. We expect that private equity sponsors will continue to pursue acquisitions and leverage their equity investments with secured loans provided by companies such as us.

The Middle Market is a Large Addressable Market. According to GE Capital’s National Center for the Middle Market 4th quarter 2019 Middle Market Indicator, there are approximately 200,000 U.S. middle market companies, which have approximately 47.9 million aggregate employees. Moreover, the U.S. middle market accounts for one-third of private sector gross domestic product

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(“GDP”). GE defines U.S. middle market companies as those between $10 million and $1 billion in annual revenue, which we believe has significant overlap with our definition of U.S. middle market companies.

Attractive Investment Dynamics. An imbalance between the supply of, and demand for, middle market debt capital creates attractive pricing dynamics. We believe the directly negotiated nature of middle market financings also generally provides more favorable terms to the lender, including stronger covenant and reporting packages, better call protection, and lender-protective change of control provisions. Additionally, we believe BDC managers’ expertise in credit selection and ability to manage through credit cycles has generally resulted in BDCs experiencing lower loss rates than U.S. commercial banks through credit cycles. Further, we believe that historical middle market default rates have been lower, and recovery rates have been higher, as compared to the larger market capitalization, broadly distributed market, leading to lower cumulative losses.

Conservative Capital Structures. Following the credit crisis, which we define broadly as occurring between mid-2007 and mid-2009, lenders have generally required borrowers to maintain more equity as a percentage of their total capitalization, specifically to protect lenders during economic downturns. With more conservative capital structures, U.S. middle market companies have exhibited higher levels of cash flows available to service their debt. In addition, U.S. middle market companies often are characterized by simpler capital structures than larger borrowers, which facilitates a streamlined underwriting process and, when necessary, restructuring process.

Attractive Opportunities in Investments in Loans. We invest in senior secured or unsecured loans, subordinated loans or mezzanine loans and, to a lesser extent, equity and equity-related securities. We believe that opportunities in senior secured loans are significant because of the floating rate structure of most senior secured debt issuances and because of the strong defensive characteristics of these types of investments. Given the current low interest rate environment, we believe that debt issues with floating interest rates offer a superior return profile as compared with fixed-rate investments, since floating rate structures are generally less susceptible to declines in value experienced by fixed-rate securities in a rising interest rate environment. Senior secured debt also provides strong defensive characteristics. Senior secured debt has priority in payment among an issuer’s security holders whereby holders are due to receive payment before junior creditors and equity holders. Further, these investments are secured by the issuer’s assets, which may provide protection in the event of a default.

Potential Competitive Advantages

We believe that the Adviser’s disciplined approach to origination, fundamental credit analysis, portfolio construction and risk management should allow us to achieve attractive risk-adjusted returns while preserving our capital. We believe that we represent an attractive investment opportunity for the following reasons:

Experienced Team with Expertise Across all Levels of the Corporate Capital Structure. The members of the Investment Committee have over 25 years of experience in private lending and investing at all levels of a company’s capital structure, particularly in high yield securities, leveraged loans, high yield credit derivatives and distressed securities, as well as experience in operations, corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions. The members of the Investment Committee have diverse backgrounds with investing experience through multiple business and credit cycles. Moreover, certain members of the Investment Committee and other executives and employees of the Adviser and its affiliates have operating and/or investing experience on behalf of business development companies. We believe this experience provides the Adviser with an in-depth understanding of the strategic, financial and operational challenges and opportunities of middle market companies and will afford it numerous tools to manage risk while preserving the opportunity for attractive risk-adjusted returns on our investments.

Distinctive Origination Platform. To date, a substantial majority of our investments have been sourced directly. We believe that our origination platform provides us the ability to originate investments without the assistance of investment banks or other traditional Wall Street intermediaries. The Investment Team includes over 50 investment professionals and is responsible for originating, underwriting, executing and managing the assets of our direct lending transactions and for sourcing and executing opportunities directly. The Investment Team has significant experience as transaction originators and building and maintaining strong relationships with private equity sponsors and companies.

The Investment Team also maintains direct contact with banks, corporate advisory firms, industry consultants, attorneys, investment banks, “club” investors and other potential sources of lending opportunities. We believe the Adviser’s ability to source through multiple channels allows us to generate investment opportunities that have more attractive risk-adjusted return characteristics than by relying solely on origination flow from investment banks or other intermediaries and to be more selective investors.

Since its inception through December 31, 2019, the Adviser and its affiliates have reviewed over 4,200 opportunities and sourced potential investment opportunities from over 445 private equity sponsors and venture capital firms. We believe that the Adviser receives “early looks” and “last looks” based on its relationships, allowing it to be highly selective in the transactions it pursues.

Potential Long-Term Investment Horizon. We believe our potential long-term investment horizon gives us flexibility, allowing us to maximize returns on our investments. We invest using a long-term focus, which we believe provides us with the opportunity to increase total returns on invested capital, as compared to other private company investment vehicles or investment vehicles with daily liquidity requirements (e.g., open-ended mutual funds and ETFs).

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Defensive, Income-Orientated Investment Philosophy. The Adviser employs a defensive investment approach focused on long-term credit performance and principal protection. This investment approach involves a multi-stage selection process for each investment opportunity as well as ongoing monitoring of each investment made, with particular emphasis on early detection of credit deterioration. This strategy is designed to minimize potential losses and achieve attractive risk adjusted returns.  

Active Portfolio Monitoring. The Adviser closely monitors the investments in our portfolio and takes a proactive approach to identifying and addressing sector- or company-specific risks. The Adviser receives and reviews detailed financial information from portfolio companies no less than quarterly and seeks to maintain regular dialogue with portfolio company management teams regarding current and forecasted performance. Although we may invest in “covenant lite” loans, which generally do not have a complete set of financial maintenance covenants, we anticipate that many of our investments will have financial covenants that we believe will provide an early warning of potential problems facing our borrowers, allowing lenders, including us, to identify and carefully manage risk. Further, we anticipate that many of our equity investments will provide us the opportunity to nominate a member or observer to the board of directors of the portfolio company, which we believe will allow us to closely monitor the performance of our portfolio companies.

Investment Selection

The Adviser has identified the following investment criteria and guidelines that it believes are important in evaluating prospective portfolio companies. However, not all of these criteria and guidelines will be met, or will be equally important, in connection with each of our investments.

Established Companies with Positive Cash Flow. We seek to invest in companies with sound historical financial performance which we believe tend to be well-positioned to maintain consistent cash flow to service and repay their obligations and maintain growth in their businesses or market share in all market conditions, including in the event of a recession. The Adviser typically focuses on upper middle-market companies with a history of profitability on an operating cash flow basis. The Adviser does not intend to invest in start-up companies that have not achieved sustainable profitability and cash flow generation or companies with speculative business plans.

Strong Competitive Position in Industry. The Adviser analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of target companies relative to their competitors. The factors the Adviser considers include relative product pricing, product quality, customer loyalty, substitution risk, switching costs, patent protection, brand positioning and capitalization. We seek to invest in companies that have developed leading positions within their respective markets, are well positioned to capitalize on growth opportunities and operate businesses, exhibit the potential to maintain sufficient cash flows and profitability to service their obligations in a range of economic environments or are in industries with significant barriers to entry. We seek companies that demonstrate advantages in scale, scope, customer loyalty, product pricing or product quality versus their competitors that, when compared to their competitors, may help to protect their market position and profitability.

Experienced Management Team. We seek to invest in companies that have experienced management teams. We also seek to invest in companies that have proper incentives in place, including management teams having significant equity interests to motivate management to act in concert with our interests as an investor.

Diversified Customer and Supplier Base. We generally seek to invest in companies that have a diversified customer and supplier base. Companies with a diversified customer and supplier base are generally better able to endure economic downturns, industry consolidation, changing business preferences and other factors that may negatively impact their customers, suppliers and competitors.

Exit Strategy. While certain debt investments may be repaid through operating cash flows of the borrower, we expect that the primary means by which we exit our debt investments will be through methods such as strategic acquisitions by other industry participants, an initial public offering of common stock, a recapitalization, a refinancing or another transaction in the capital markets.

Prior to making an equity investment in a prospective portfolio company, we analyze the potential for that company to increase the liquidity of its equity through a future event that would enable us to realize appreciation in the value of our equity interest. Liquidity events may include an initial public offering, a private sale of our equity interest to a third party, a merger or an acquisition of the company or a purchase of our equity position by the company or one of its stockholders.

In addition, in connection with our investing activities, we may make commitments with respect to an investment in a potential portfolio company substantially in excess of our final investment. In such situations, while we may initially agree to fund up to a certain dollar amount of an investment, we may sell a portion of such amount, such that we are left with a smaller investment than what was reflected in our original commitment.

Financial Sponsorship. We seek to participate in transactions sponsored by what we believe to be high-quality private equity and venture capital firms. We believe that a financial sponsor’s willingness to invest significant sums of equity capital into a company is an explicit endorsement of the quality of their investment. Further, financial sponsors of portfolio companies with significant investments at risk have the ability and a strong incentive to contribute additional capital in difficult economic times should operational issues arise.

6


Investments in Different Portfolio Companies and Industries. We seek to invest broadly among portfolio companies and industries, thereby potentially reducing the risk of any one company or industry having a disproportionate impact on the value of our portfolio; however, there can be no assurances in this regard. We seek to invest not more than 20% of our portfolio in any single industry classification and target portfolio companies that comprise 1-2% of our portfolio (with no individual portfolio company generally expected to comprise greater than 5% of our portfolio).

Investment Process Overview

Origination and Sourcing. The Investment Team has an extensive network from which to source deal flow and referrals. Specifically, the Adviser sources portfolio investments from a variety of different investment sources, including among others, private equity sponsors, management teams, financial intermediaries and advisers, investment bankers, family offices, accounting firms and law firms. The Adviser believes that its experience across different industries and transaction types makes the Adviser particularly qualified to source, analyze and execute investment opportunities.

Due Diligence Process. The process through which an investment decision is made involves extensive research into the company, its industry, its growth prospects and its ability to withstand adverse conditions. If one or more members of the Investment Team responsible for the transaction determines that an investment opportunity should be pursued, the Adviser will engage in an intensive due diligence process. Though each transaction may involve a somewhat different approach, the Adviser’s diligence of each opportunity could include:

 

understanding the purpose of the loan, the key personnel, the sources and uses of the proceeds;

 

meeting the company’s management and key personnel, including top level executives, to get an insider’s view of the business, and to probe for potential weaknesses in business prospects;

 

checking management’s backgrounds and references;

 

performing a detailed review of historical financial performance, including performance through various economic cycles, and the quality of earnings;

 

contacting customers and vendors to assess both business prospects and standard practices;

 

conducting a competitive analysis, and comparing the company to its main competitors on an operating, financial, market share and valuation basis;

 

researching the industry for historic growth trends and future prospects as well as to identify future exit alternatives;

 

assessing asset value and the ability of physical infrastructure and information systems to handle anticipated growth;

 

leveraging the Adviser’s internal resources and network with institutional knowledge of the company’s business;

 

assessing business valuation and corresponding recovery analysis;

 

reviewing environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) considerations including consulting the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board’s Engagement Guide for ESG considerations; and

 

investigating legal and regulatory risks and financial and accounting systems and practices.

Selective Investment Process. After an investment has been identified and preliminary diligence has been completed, an investment committee memorandum is prepared. This report is reviewed by the members of the Investment Team in charge of the potential investment. If these members of the Investment Team are in favor of the potential investment, then a more extensive due diligence process is employed. Additional due diligence with respect to any investment may be conducted on our behalf by attorneys, independent accountants, and other third-party consultants and research firms prior to the closing of the investment, as appropriate on a case-by-case basis.

Structuring and Execution. Approval of an investment requires the unanimous approval of the Investment Committee. Once the Investment Committee has determined that a prospective portfolio company is suitable for investment, the Adviser works with the management team of that company and its other capital providers, including senior, junior and equity capital providers, if any, to finalize the structure and terms of the investment.

Inclusion of Covenants. Covenants are contractual restrictions that lenders place on companies to limit the corporate actions a company may pursue. Generally, the loans in which we expect to invest will have financial maintenance covenants, which are used to proactively address materially adverse changes in a portfolio company’s financial performance. However, to a lesser extent, we may invest in “covenant-lite” loans. We use the term “covenant-lite” to refer generally to loans that do not have a complete set of financial maintenance covenants. Generally, “covenant-lite” loans provide borrower companies more freedom to negatively impact lenders because their covenants are incurrence-based, which means they are only tested and can only be breached following an affirmative action of the borrower, rather than by a deterioration in the borrower’s financial condition. Accordingly, to the extent we invest in

7


“covenant-lite” loans, we may have fewer rights against a borrower and may have a greater risk of loss on such investments as compared to investments in or exposure to loans with financial maintenance covenants.

Portfolio Monitoring. The Adviser monitors our portfolio companies on an ongoing basis. The Adviser monitors the financial trends of each portfolio company to determine if it is meeting its business plans and to assess the appropriate course of action with respect to our investment in each portfolio company. The Adviser has a number of methods of evaluating and monitoring the performance and fair value of our investments, which may include the following:

 

assessment of success of the portfolio company in adhering to its business plan and compliance with covenants;

 

periodic and regular contact with portfolio company management and, if appropriate, the financial or strategic sponsor, to discuss financial position, requirements and accomplishments;

 

comparisons to other companies in the portfolio company’s industry;

 

attendance at, and participation in, board meetings; and

 

review of periodic financial statements and financial projections for portfolio companies.

Structure of Investments

Our investment objective is to generate current income and, to a lesser extent, capital appreciation by targeting investment opportunities with favorable risk-adjusted returns.

We expect that generally our portfolio composition will be majority debt or income producing securities, which may include “covenant-lite” loans, with a lesser allocation to equity or equity-linked opportunities. In addition, we may invest a portion of our portfolio in opportunistic investments, which will not be our primary focus, but will be intended to enhance returns to our shareholders. These investments may include high-yield bonds and broadly-syndicated loans. Our portfolio composition may fluctuate from time to time based on market conditions and interest rates.

Covenants are contractual restrictions that lenders place on companies to limit the corporate actions a company may pursue. Generally, the loans in which we expect to invest will have financial maintenance covenants, which are used to proactively address materially adverse changes in a portfolio company’s financial performance. However, to a lesser extent, we may invest in “covenant-lite” loans. We use the term “covenant-lite” to refer generally to loans that do not have a complete set of financial maintenance covenants. Generally, “covenant-lite” loans provide borrower companies more freedom to negatively impact lenders because their covenants are incurrence-based, which means they are only tested and can only be breached following an affirmative action of the borrower, rather than by a deterioration in the borrower’s financial condition. Accordingly, to the extent we invest in “covenant-lite” loans, we may have fewer rights against a borrower and may have a greater risk of loss on such investments as compared to investments in or exposure to loans with financial maintenance covenants.

Debt Investments. The terms of our debt investments are tailored to the facts and circumstances of each transaction. The Adviser negotiates the structure of each investment to protect our rights and manage our risk. We intend to invest in the following types of debt:

 

First-lien debt. First-lien debt typically is senior on a lien basis to other liabilities in the issuer’s capital structure and has the benefit of a first-priority security interest in assets of the issuer. The security interest ranks above the security interest of any second-lien lenders in those assets. Our first-lien debt may include stand-alone first-lien loans, “unitranche” loans (including “last out” portions of such loans), and secured corporate bonds with similar features to these categories of first-lien loans. As of December 31, 2019, 43% of our first lien debt was comprised of unitranche loans.

 

Stand-alone first lien loans. Stand-alone first-lien loans are traditional first-lien loans. All lenders in the facility have equal rights to the collateral that is subject to the first-priority security interest.

 

Unitranche loans. Unitranche loans (including “last out” portion of such loans) combine features of first-lien, second-lien and mezzanine debt, generally in a first-lien position. In many cases, we may provide the issuer most, if not all, of the capital structure above their equity. The primary advantages to the issuer are the ability to negotiate the entire debt financing with one lender and the elimination of intercreditor issues. “Last out” first-lien loans have a secondary priority behind super-senior “first out” first-lien loans in the collateral securing the loans in certain circumstances. The arrangements for a “last out” first-lien loan are set forth in an “agreement among lenders,” which provides lenders with “first out” and “last out” payment streams based on a single lien on the collateral. Since the “first out” lenders generally have priority over the “last out” lenders for receiving payment under certain specified events of default, or upon the occurrence of other triggering events under intercreditor agreements or agreements among lenders, the “last out” lenders bear a greater risk and, in exchange, receive a higher effective interest rate, through arrangements among the lenders, than the “first out” lenders or lenders in stand-alone first-lien loans. Agreements among lenders also typically provide greater voting rights to the “last out” lenders than the intercreditor agreements to which second-lien lenders often are subject. Among the types of

8


 

first-lien debt in which we may invest, “last out” first-lien loans generally have higher effective interest rates than other types of first-lien loans, since “last out” first-lien loans rank below standalone first-lien loans.

 

Second-lien debt. Our second-lien debt may include secured loans, and, to a lesser extent, secured corporate bonds, with a secondary priority behind first-lien debt. Second-lien debt typically is senior on a lien basis to unsecured liabilities in the issuer’s capital structure and has the benefit of a security interest over assets of the issuer, though ranking junior to first-lien debt secured by those assets. First-lien lenders and second-lien lenders typically have separate liens on the collateral, and an intercreditor agreement provides the first-lien lenders with priority over the second-lien lenders’ liens on the collateral.

 

Mezzanine debt. Structurally, mezzanine debt usually ranks subordinate in priority of payment to first-lien and second-lien debt, is often unsecured, and may not have the benefit of financial covenants common in first-lien and second-lien debt. However, mezzanine debt ranks senior to common and preferred equity in an issuer’s capital structure. Mezzanine debt investments generally offer lenders fixed returns in the form of interest payments, which could be paid-in-kind, and may provide lenders an opportunity to participate in the capital appreciation, if any, of an issuer through an equity interest. This equity interest typically takes the form of an equity co-investment or warrants. Due to its higher risk profile and often less restrictive covenants compared to senior secured loans, mezzanine debt generally bears a higher stated interest rate than first-lien and second-lien debt.

Our debt investments are typically structured with the maximum seniority and collateral that we can reasonably obtain while seeking to achieve our total return target. The Adviser seeks to limit the downside potential of our investments by:

 

requiring a total return on our investments (including both interest and potential equity appreciation) that compensates us for credit risk;

 

negotiating covenants in connection with our investments consistent with preservation of our capital. Such restrictions may include affirmative covenants (including reporting requirements), negative covenants (including financial covenants), lien protection, change of control provisions and board rights, including either observation rights or rights to a seat on the board under some circumstances; and

 

including debt amortization requirements, where appropriate, to require the timely repayment of principal of the loan, as well as appropriate maturity dates.  

Within our portfolio, the Adviser aims to maintain the appropriate proportion among the various types of first-lien loans, as well as second-lien debt and mezzanine debt, to allow us to achieve our target returns while maintaining our targeted amount of credit risk.

Equity Investments. Our investment in a portfolio company could be or may include an equity or equity linked interest, such as a warrant or profit participation right. In certain instances, we will make direct equity investments, although those situations are generally limited to those cases where we are also making an investment in a more senior part of the capital structure of the issuer.

Investment Portfolio

As of December 31, 2019 and 2018, we had made investments with an aggregate fair value of $8.8 billion and $5.8 billion, respectively, in 98 and 73 portfolio companies, respectively. Investments consisted of the following at December 31, 2019 and 2018:

 

 

 

December 31, 2019

 

 

December 31, 2018

 

($ in thousands)

 

Amortized Cost

 

 

Fair Value

 

 

Net Unrealized Gain (Loss)

 

 

Amortized Cost

 

 

Fair Value

 

 

Net Unrealized Gain (Loss)

 

First-lien senior secured debt investments

 

$

7,136,866

 

 

$

7,113,356

 

 

$

(23,510

)

 

$

4,566,573

 

 

$

4,554,835

 

 

$

(11,738

)

Second-lien senior secured debt investments

 

 

1,590,439

 

 

 

1,584,917

 

 

 

(5,522

)

 

 

1,119,507

 

 

 

1,109,366

 

 

 

(10,141

)

Unsecured debt investments

 

 

-

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

23,000

 

 

 

22,183

 

 

 

(817

)

Equity investments(1)

 

 

12,663

 

 

 

12,875

 

 

 

212

 

 

 

11,215

 

 

 

11,063

 

 

 

(152

)

Investment funds and vehicles(2)

 

 

88,888

 

 

 

88,077

 

 

 

(811

)

 

 

91,138

 

 

 

86,622

 

 

 

(4,516

)

Total Investments

 

$

8,828,856

 

 

$

8,799,225

 

 

$

(29,631

)

 

$

5,811,433

 

 

$

5,784,069

 

 

$

(27,364

)

________________

 

(1)

Includes equity investment in Wingspire Capital Holdings LLC (“Wingspire”). See “ITEM 8. – FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA – Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements – Note 3. Agreements and Related Party Transactions” for more information regarding Wingspire Capital Holdings LLC.

 

(2)

Includes equity investment in Sebago Lake.  See “ITEM 8. – FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA – Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements – Note 4. Investments” for more information regarding Sebago Lake.

9


 

As of December 31, 2019 and 2018, we had outstanding commitments to fund unfunded investments totaling $891.7 million and $790.1 million, respectively.

The industry composition of investments at fair value at December 31, 2019 and 2018 was as follows:

 

 

 

December 31, 2019

 

 

December 31, 2018

 

 

Advertising and media

 

 

2.6

 

%

 

4.2

 

%

Aerospace and defense

 

 

3.3

 

 

 

 

 

Automotive

 

 

1.7

 

 

 

2.6

 

 

Buildings and real estate

 

 

6.6

 

 

 

5.2

 

 

Business services

 

 

5.4

 

 

 

7.6

 

 

Chemicals

 

 

2.6

 

 

 

1.7

 

 

Consumer products

 

 

2.7

 

 

 

1.8

 

 

Containers and packaging

 

 

2.1

 

 

 

0.7

 

 

Distribution

 

 

8.6

 

 

 

10.6

 

 

Education

 

 

3.5

 

 

 

3.0

 

 

Energy equipment and services

 

 

0.2

 

 

 

1.6

 

 

Financial services (1)

 

 

1.6

 

 

 

1.9

 

 

Food and beverage

 

 

7.2

 

 

 

8.4

 

 

Healthcare providers and services

 

 

8.3

 

 

 

6.5

 

 

Healthcare technology

 

 

3.4

 

 

 

0.7

 

 

Household products

 

 

1.5

 

 

 

0.9

 

 

Infrastructure and environmental services

 

 

2.7

 

 

 

3.4

 

 

Insurance

 

 

5.7

 

 

 

0.6

 

 

Internet software and services

 

 

8.1

 

 

 

9.5

 

 

Investment funds and vehicles (2)

 

 

1.0

 

 

 

1.5

 

 

Leisure and entertainment

 

 

2.0

 

 

 

3.8

 

 

Manufacturing

 

 

2.9

 

 

 

1.8

 

 

Oil and gas

 

 

2.3

 

 

 

4.9

 

 

Professional services

 

 

8.1

 

 

 

11.4

 

 

Specialty retail

 

 

2.7

 

 

 

2.8

 

 

Telecommunications

 

 

0.5

 

 

 

0.6

 

 

Transportation

 

 

2.7

 

 

 

2.3

 

 

Total

 

 

100.0

 

%

 

100.0

 

%

________________

 

(1)

Includes equity investment in Wingspire. See “ITEM 8. – FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA – Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements – Note 3. Agreements and Related Party Transactions” for more information regarding Wingspire.

 

(2)

Includes investment in Sebago Lake. See “ITEM 8. – FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA – Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements – Note 4. Investments” for more information regarding Sebago Lake.

 

The geographic composition of investments at fair value at December 31, 2019 and 2018 was as follows:

 

 

 

December 31, 2019

 

 

December 31, 2018

 

 

United States:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Midwest

 

 

19.5

 

%

 

17.3

 

%

Northeast

 

 

18.7

 

 

 

22.0

 

 

South

 

 

42.8

 

 

 

36.7

 

 

West

 

 

15.3

 

 

 

20.1

 

 

Belgium

 

 

1.0

 

 

 

1.6

 

 

Canada

 

 

0.9

 

 

 

0.9

 

 

United Kingdom

 

 

1.8

 

 

 

1.4

 

 

Total

 

 

100.0

 

%

 

100.0

 

%

Sebago Lake LLC

Sebago Lake, a Delaware limited liability company, was formed as a joint venture between us and The Regents of the University of California (“Regents”) and commenced operations on June 20, 2017. Sebago Lake’s principal purpose is to make investments, primarily in senior secured loans that are made to middle-market companies or in broadly syndicated loans. Both us and Regents (the

10


“Members”) have a 50% economic ownership in Sebago Lake. Each of the Members initially agreed to contribute up to $100 million to Sebago Lake. On July 26, 2018, each of the Members increased their contribution to Sebago Lake up to an aggregate of $125 million. As of December 31, 2019, each Member has funded $88.9 million of their $125 million subscriptions. Sebago Lake is managed by the Members, each of which have equal voting rights. Investment decisions must be approved by each of the Members.

We have determined that Sebago Lake is an investment company under Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 946; however, in accordance with such guidance, we will generally not consolidate our investment in a company other than a wholly owned investment company subsidiary or a controlled operating company whose business consists of providing services to the Company. Accordingly, we do not consolidate our non-controlling interest in Sebago Lake.

During the year ended December 31, 2018, we acquired one investment from Sebago Lake at fair market value. The transaction generated a realized gain of $0.1 million for Sebago Lake. During the period ended December 31, 2017, we sold our investment in three portfolio companies at fair market value to Sebago Lake generating a realized gain of $0.5 million.

As of December 31, 2019 and 2018, Sebago Lake had total investments in senior secured debt at fair value, as determined by an independent valuation firm, of $478.5 million and $531.5 million, respectively. The following table is a summary of Sebago Lake’s portfolio as of December 31, 2019 and 2018:

 

($ in thousands)

 

December 31, 2019

 

 

December 31, 2018

 

Total senior secured debt investments(1)

 

$

484,439

 

 

$

545,553

 

Weighted average spread over LIBOR(1)

 

 

4.56

%

 

 

4.66

%

Number of portfolio companies

 

16

 

 

16

 

Largest funded investment to a single borrower(1)

 

$

50,000

 

 

$

49,768

 

________________

 

(1)

At par.

See “Item 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONSPortfolio and Investment Activity – Sebago Lake LLC.”

Capital Resources and Borrowings

We anticipate generating cash in the future from the issuance of common stock and debt securities and cash flows from operations, including interest received on our debt investments.

Additionally, we are permitted, under specified conditions, to issue multiple classes of indebtedness and one class of shares senior to our common stock if our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, is at least equal to 200% (or 150% if certain requirements are met) immediately after each such issuance. As of December 31, 2019 and 2018, our asset coverage was 293% and 225%, respectively. See “Regulation as a Business Development Company – Senior Securities; Coverage Ratio” below.

Furthermore, while any indebtedness and senior securities remain outstanding, we must take provisions to prohibit any distribution to our shareholders (which may cause us to fail to distribute amounts necessary to avoid entity-level taxation under the Code), or the repurchase of such securities or shares unless we meet the applicable asset coverage ratios at the time of the distribution or repurchase. In addition, we must also comply with positive and negative covenants customary for these types of indebtedness or senior securities.

11


Our debt obligations consisted of the following as of December 31, 2019 and 2018:

 

 

 

December 31, 2019

 

($ in thousands)

 

Aggregate Principal Committed

 

 

Outstanding Principal

 

 

Amount Available(1)

 

 

Net Carrying Value(2)

 

Revolving Credit Facility(3)(5)

 

$

1,170,000

 

 

$

480,861

 

 

$

664,410

 

 

$

473,655

 

SPV Asset Facility I

 

 

400,000

 

 

 

300,000

 

 

 

100,000

 

 

 

297,246

 

SPV Asset Facility II

 

 

350,000

 

 

 

350,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

346,395

 

SPV Asset Facility III

 

 

500,000

 

 

 

255,000

 

 

 

245,000

 

 

 

251,548

 

SPV Asset Facility IV

 

 

300,000

 

 

 

60,250

 

 

 

239,750

 

 

 

57,201

 

CLO I

 

 

390,000

 

 

 

390,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

386,405

 

CLO II

 

 

260,000

 

 

 

260,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

258,028

 

2023 Notes(4)

 

 

150,000

 

 

 

150,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

150,113

 

2024 Notes(4)

 

 

400,000

 

 

 

400,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

400,955

 

2025 Notes

 

 

425,000

 

 

 

425,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

416,686

 

Total Debt

 

$

4,345,000

 

 

$

3,071,111

 

 

$

1,249,160

 

 

$

3,038,232

 

 

________________

 

(1)

The amount available reflects any limitations related to each credit facility’s borrowing base.

 

(2)

The carrying value of the Company’s Revolving Credit Facility, SPV Asset Facility I, SPV Asset Facility II, SPV Asset Facility III, SPV Asset Facility IV, CLO I, CLO II, 2023 Notes, 2024 Notes and 2025 Notes are presented net of deferred financing costs of $7.2 million, $2.8 million, $3.6 million, $3.5 million, $3.0 million, $3.6 million, $2.0 million, $1.4 million, $8.9 million and $8.3 million, respectively.

 

(3)

Includes the unrealized translation gain (loss) on borrowings denominated in foreign currencies.

 

(4)

Inclusive of change in fair market value of effective hedge.

 

(5)

The amount available is reduced by $24.7 million of outstanding letters of credit.  

 

 

 

December 31, 2018

 

($ in thousands)

 

Aggregate Principal Committed

 

 

Outstanding Principal

 

 

Amount Available(1)

 

 

Net Carrying Value(2)

 

Subscription Credit Facility(3)

 

$

900,000

 

 

$

883,000

 

 

$

4,487

 

 

$

881,795

 

Revolving Credit Facility(4)

 

 

600,000

 

 

 

308,643

 

 

 

291,357

 

 

 

304,229

 

SPV Asset Facility I

 

 

400,000

 

 

 

400,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

396,352

 

SPV Asset Facility II

 

 

550,000

 

 

 

550,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

543,713

 

SPV Asset Facility III

 

 

500,000

 

 

 

300,000

 

 

 

200,000

 

 

 

294,995

 

2023 Notes(5)

 

 

150,000

 

 

 

150,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

146,633

 

Total Debt

 

$

3,100,000

 

 

$

2,591,643

 

 

$

495,844

 

 

$

2,567,717

 

________________

 

(1)

The amount available reflects any limitations related to each credit facility’s borrowing base.

 

(2)

The carrying value of the Company’s Subscription Credit Facility, Revolving Credit Facility, SPV Asset Facility I, SPV Asset Facility II, SPV Asset Facility III and the 2023 Notes are presented net of deferred unamortized debt issuance costs of $1.2 million, $4.4 million, $3.6 million, $6.3 million, $5.0 million and $1.8 million, respectively.

 

(3)

The amount available is reduced by $12.5 million of outstanding letters of credit.

 

(4)

Includes the unrealized translation gain (loss) on borrowings denominated in foreign currencies.

 

(5)

Inclusive of change in fair value of effective hedge.  

 

See “Item 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS —Financial Condition, Liquidity and Capital Resources Debt”.

Dividend Policy

To qualify for tax treatment as a RIC, we must distribute (or be treated as distributing) in each taxable year dividends of an amount equal to at least 90% of our investment company taxable income (which includes, among other items, dividends, interest, the excess of any net short-term capital gains over net long-term capital losses, as well as other taxable income, excluding any net capital gains reduced by deductible expenses) and 90% of our net tax-exempt income for that taxable year. As a RIC, we generally will not be subject to corporate-level U.S. federal income tax on our investment company taxable income and net capital gains that we distribute to shareholders. We may be subject to a nondeductible 4% U.S. federal excise tax if we do not distribute (or are treated as distributing) in each calendar year an amount at least equal to the sum of:

12


 

98% of our net ordinary income, excluding certain ordinary gains and losses, recognized during a calendar year;

 

98.2% of our capital gain net income, adjusted for certain ordinary gains and losses, recognized for the twelve-month period ending on October 31 of such calendar year; and

 

100% of any income or gains recognized, but not distributed, in preceding years.

 

We have previously incurred, and can be expected to incur in the future, such excise tax on a portion of our income and gains. While we intend to distribute income and capital gains to minimize exposure to the 4% excise tax, we may not be able to, or may not choose to, distribute amounts sufficient to avoid the imposition of the tax entirely. In that event, we will be liable for the tax only on the amount by which we do not meet the foregoing distribution requirement. See “ITEM 1A RISK FACTORS – Federal Income Tax Risks – We will be subject to corporate-level U.S federal income tax if we are unable to qualify and maintain our tax treatment as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code or if we make investments through taxable subsidiaries.”

On February 19, 2020, the Board declared a distribution of $0.31 per share, for shareholders of record on March 31, 2020 payable on or before May 15, 2020. This distribution is in addition to the special dividend of $0.08 per share previously declared on May 28, 2019 for shareholders of record on March 31, 2020 payable on or before May 15, 2020.

The following table reflects the distributions declared on shares of our common stock during the year ended December 31, 2019:

 

 

 

December 31, 2019

 

Date Declared

 

Record Date

 

Payment Date

 

Distribution per Share

 

October 30, 2019

 

December 31, 2019

 

January 31, 2020

 

$

0.31

 

May 28, 2019 (special dividend)

 

December 31, 2019

 

January 31, 2020

 

$

0.04

 

May 28, 2019

 

September 30, 2019

 

November 15, 2019

 

$

0.31

 

May 28, 2019 (special dividend)

 

September 30, 2019

 

November 15, 2019

 

$

0.02

 

June 4, 2019

 

June 14, 2019

 

August 15, 2019

 

$

0.44

 

February 27, 2019

 

March 31, 2019

 

May 14, 2019

 

$

0.33

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On May 28, 2019, the Board also declared the following special distributions:

 

Record Date

 

Distribution Date (on or before)

 

Special Distribution

Amount (per share)

 

June 30, 2020

 

August 14, 2020

 

$

0.08

 

September 30, 2020

 

November 13, 2020

 

$

0.08

 

December 31, 2020

 

January 19, 2021

 

$

0.08

 

 

The following table reflects the distributions declared on shares of our common stock during the year ended December 31, 2018:

 

 

 

December 31, 2018

 

Date Declared

 

Record Date

 

Payment Date

 

Distribution per Share

 

November 6, 2018

 

December 31, 2018

 

January 31, 2019

 

$

0.36

 

August 7, 2018

 

September 30, 2018

 

November 15, 2018

 

$

0.39

 

June 22, 2018

 

June 30, 2018

 

August 15, 2018

 

$

0.34

 

March 2, 2018

 

March 31, 2018

 

April 30, 2018

 

$

0.33

 

 

The following table reflects the distributions declared on shares of our common stock during the year ended December 31, 2017:

 

 

 

December 31, 2017

 

Date Declared

 

Record Date

 

Payment Date

 

Distribution per Share

 

November 7, 2017

 

December 31, 2017

 

January 31, 2018

 

$

0.34

 

November 7, 2017

 

November 7, 2017

 

November 14, 2017

 

$

0.32

 

August 8, 2017

 

August 8, 2017

 

August 15, 2017

 

$

0.26

 

May 9, 2017

 

May 9, 2017

 

May 15, 2017

 

$

0.24

 

March 7, 2017

 

March 7, 2017

 

March 15, 2017

 

$

0.19

 

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Dividend Reinvestment Plan

We have adopted a dividend reinvestment plan, pursuant to which we will reinvest all cash distributions declared by the Board on behalf of our shareholders who do not elect to receive their distribution in cash as provided below. As a result, if the Board authorizes, and we declare, a cash dividend or other distribution, then our shareholders who have not opted out of our dividend reinvestment plan will have their cash distributions automatically reinvested in additional shares of our common stock as described below, rather than receiving the cash dividend or other distribution. Any fractional share otherwise issuable to a participant in the dividend reinvestment plan will instead be paid in cash.

Prior to our IPO, the number of shares to be issued to a shareholder under the dividend reinvestment plan was determined by dividing the total dollar amount of the distribution payable to such shareholder by the net asset value per share of our common stock, as of the last day of our calendar quarter immediately preceding the date such distribution was declared.

In connection with our IPO, we entered into our second amended and restated dividend reinvestment plan, pursuant to which, if newly issued shares are used to implement the dividend reinvestment plan, the number of shares to be issued to a shareholder will be determined by dividing the total dollar amount of the cash dividend or distribution payable to a shareholder by the market price per share of our common stock at the close of regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange on the payment date of a distribution, or if no sale is reported for such day, the average of the reported bid and ask prices. However, if the market price per share on the payment date of a cash dividend or distribution exceeds the most recently computed net asset value per share, we will issue shares at the greater of (i) the most recently computed net asset value per share and (ii) 95% of the current market price per share (or such lesser discount to the current market price per share that still exceeded the most recently computed net asset value per share). For example, if the most recently computed net asset value per share is $15.00 and the market price on the payment date of a cash dividend is $14.00 per share, we will issue shares at $14.00 per share. If the most recently computed net asset value per share is $15.00 and the market price on the payment date of a cash dividend is $16.00 per share, we will issue shares at $15.20 per share (95% of the current market price). If the most recently computed net asset value per share is $15.00 and the market price on the payment date of a cash dividend is $15.50 per share, we will issue shares at $15.00 per share, as net asset value is greater than 95% ($14.73 per share) of the current market price. Pursuant to our second amended and restated dividend reinvestment plan, if shares are purchased in the open market to implement the dividend reinvestment plan, the number of shares to be issued to a shareholder shall be determined by dividing the dollar amount of the cash dividend payable to such shareholder by the weighted average price per share for all shares purchased by the plan administrator in the open market in connection with the dividend.

No action is required on the part of a registered shareholder to have his, her or its cash dividend or other distributions reinvested in shares of our common stock. A registered shareholder is able to elect to receive an entire cash dividend or other distribution in cash by notifying the Adviser in writing so that such notice is received by the Adviser no later than ten days prior to the record date for distributions to the shareholders.

There are no brokerage charges or other charges to shareholders who participate in the plan.

The plan is terminable by us upon notice in writing mailed to each shareholder of record at least 30 days prior to any record date for the payment of any distribution by us.

During each quarter, but in no event later than 30 days after the end of each calendar quarter, our transfer agent or another designated agent will mail and/or make electronically available to each participant in the dividend reinvestment plan, a statement of account describing, as to such participant, the distributions received during such quarter, the number of shares of our common stock purchased during such quarter, and the per share purchase price for such shares. Annually, as required by the Code, we (or the applicable withholding agent) will include tax information for income earned on shares under the dividend reinvestment plan on a Form 1099-DIV that is mailed to shareholders subject to IRS tax reporting. We reserve the right to amend, suspend or terminate the dividend reinvestment plan. Any distributions reinvested through the issuance of shares through our dividend reinvestment plan will increase our gross assets on which the base management fee and the incentive fee are determined and paid under the Investment Advisory Agreement. State Street Bank and Trust Company acts as the administrator of the dividend reinvestment plan.

Additional information about the dividend reinvestment plan may be obtained by contacting shareholder services for Owl Rock Capital Corporation at (212) 419-3000.

Repurchase Offers

Stock Repurchase Plan

On July 7, 2019, our Board approved a stock repurchase plan (the “Company 10b5-1 Plan”), to acquire up to $150 million in the aggregate of our common stock at prices below our net asset value per share over a specified period, in accordance with the guidelines specified in Rule 10b-18 and Rule 10b5-1 of the Exchange Act. We put the Company 10b5-1 Plan in place because we believe that, in the current market conditions, if our common stock is trading below our then-current net asset value per share, it is in the best interest of our shareholders for us to reinvest in our portfolio.

The Company 10b5-1 Plan is intended to allow us to repurchase our common stock at times when we otherwise might be prevented from doing so under insider trading laws. The Company 10b5-1 Plan requires Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, as our agent, to

14


repurchase shares of common stock on our behalf when the market price per share is below the most recently reported net asset value per share (including any updates, corrections or adjustments publicly announced by us to any previously announced net asset value per share). Under the Company 10b5-1 Plan, the agent will increase the volume of purchases made as the price of our common stock declines, subject to volume restrictions. The timing and amount of any stock repurchases will depend on the terms and conditions of the Company 10b5-1 Plan, the market price of our common stock and trading volumes, and no assurance can be given that any particular amount of common stock will be repurchased.

The purchase of shares pursuant to the Company 10b5-1 Plan is intended to satisfy the conditions of Rule 10b5-1 and Rule 10b-18 under the Exchange Act, and will otherwise be subject to applicable law, including Regulation M, which may prohibit purchases under certain circumstances.

The Company 10b5-1 Plan commenced on August 19, 2019 and terminates upon the earliest to occur of (i) 18-months (tolled for periods during which the Company 10b5-1 Plan is suspended), (ii) the end of the trading day on which the aggregate purchase price for all shares purchased under the Company 10b5-1 Plan equals $150 million and (iii) the occurrence of certain other events described in the Company 10b5-1 Plan. As of December 31, 2019, no purchases have been made under the Company 10b5-1 Plan.

Tender Offers

During the year ended December 31, 2019, we did not make any offers to repurchase issued and outstanding shares.

During the year ended December 31, 2018, we did not make any offers to repurchase issued and outstanding shares.

During the year ended December 31, 2017, we offered to repurchase up to $50 million of issued and outstanding shares of common stock at a purchase price of $15.09 per share. The offer to repurchase commenced on March 15, 2017 and expired on April 11, 2017. No shares were repurchased in connection with the repurchase offer.

Competition

Our primary competitors in providing financing to middle market companies include public and private funds, other BDCs, commercial and investment banks, commercial finance companies and, to the extent they provide an alternative form of financing, private equity and hedge funds. Many of our competitors are substantially larger and have considerably greater financial, technical, and marketing resources than we do. Some competitors may have 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 could allow them to consider a wider variety of investments and establish more relationships than us. Further, many of our competitors are not subject to the regulatory restrictions that the 1940 Act imposes on us as a business development company, or to the distribution and other requirements we must satisfy to qualify for RIC tax treatment. See Item 1A. Risk Factors — Risk Relating to Our Business — We may face increasing competition for investment opportunities, which could delay further deployment of our capital, reduce returns and result in losses.”

Investment Advisory Agreement

The description below of the Investment Advisory Agreement is only a summary and is not necessarily complete. The description set forth below is qualified in its entirety by reference to the Investment Advisory Agreement.

Under the terms of the Investment Advisory Agreement, the Adviser is responsible for the following:

 

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

 

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

 

making investment decisions for us, including negotiating the terms of investments in, and dispositions of, portfolio securities and other instruments on its behalf;

 

monitoring our investments;

 

performing due diligence on prospective portfolio companies;

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

15


Term

The Investment Advisory Agreement was approved by the Board on February 19, 2020, as described further below under “Business – Board Approval of the Investment Advisory Agreement.” Unless earlier terminated as described below, the Investment Advisory Agreement will remain in effect from year-to-year if approved annually by a majority of the Board or by the holders of a majority of our outstanding voting securities and, in each case, a majority of the independent directors.

The Investment Advisory Agreement will automatically terminate within the meaning of the 1940 Act and related SEC guidance and interpretations in the event of its assignment. In accordance with the 1940 Act, without payment of penalty, we may terminate the Investment Advisory Agreement with the Adviser upon 60 days’ written notice. The decision to terminate the agreement may be made by a majority of the Board or the shareholders holding a Majority of the Outstanding Shares of our common stock. “Majority of the Outstanding Shares” means the lesser of (1) 67% or more of the outstanding shares of common stock present at a meeting, if the holders of more than 50% of the outstanding shares of common stock are present or represented by proxy or (2) a majority of outstanding shares of common stock. In addition, without payment of penalty, the Adviser may generally terminate the Investment Advisory Agreement upon 60 days’ written notice.

Compensation of the Adviser

We pay the Adviser an investment advisory fee for its services under the Investment Advisory Agreement consisting of two components: a Management Fee and an Incentive Fee. The cost of both the Management Fee and the Incentive Fee will ultimately be borne by our shareholders.

The Management Fee is payable quarterly in arrears. Prior to July 18, 2019 (the “Listing Date”), the Management Fee was payable at an annual rate of 0.75% of our (i) average gross assets, excluding cash and cash equivalents but including assets purchased with borrowed amounts, at the end of our two most recently completed calendar quarters plus (ii) the average of any shareholder’s remaining unfunded Capital Commitments to us at the end of the two most recently completed calendar quarters. Following the Listing Date, the Management Fee is payable at an annual rate of 1.5% of our average gross assets excluding cash and cash equivalents but including assets purchased with borrowed amounts, at the end of the two most recently completed calendar quarters payable quarterly in arrears. The Management Fee for any partial month or quarter, as the case may be, will be appropriately prorated and adjusted for any share issuances or repurchases during the relevant calendar months or quarters, as the case may be. For purposes of the Investment Advisory Agreement, gross assets means our total assets determined on a consolidated basis in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States, excluding cash and cash equivalents, but including assets purchased with borrowed amounts.

Pursuant to the Investment Advisory Agreement, the Adviser was not entitled to an Incentive Fee prior to the Listing Date. Following the Listing Date, the Incentive Fee consists of two components that are independent of each other, with the result that one component may be payable even if the other is not. A portion of the Incentive Fee is based on our income and a portion is based on our capital gains, each as described below. The portion of the Incentive Fee based on income is determined and paid quarterly in arrears commencing with the first calendar quarter following the Listing Date, and equals 100% of the pre-Incentive Fee net investment income in excess of a 1.5% quarterly “hurdle rate,” until the Adviser has received 17.5% of the total pre-Incentive Fee net investment income for that calendar quarter and, for pre-Incentive Fee net investment income in excess of 1.82% quarterly, 17.5% of all remaining pre-Incentive Fee net investment income for that calendar quarter. The 100% “catch-up” provision for pre-Incentive Fee net investment income in excess of the 1.5% “hurdle rate” is intended to provide the Adviser with an incentive fee of 17.5% on all pre-Incentive Fee net investment income when that amount equals 1.82% in a calendar quarter (7.27% annualized), which is the rate at which catch-up is achieved. Once the “hurdle rate” is reached and catch-up is achieved, 17.5% of any pre-Incentive Fee net investment income in excess of 1.82% in any calendar quarter is payable to the Adviser.

Pre-Incentive Fee net investment income means dividends (including reinvested dividends), interest and fee income accrued by us during the calendar quarter, minus operating expenses for the calendar quarter (including the Management Fee, expenses payable under the Administration Agreement, as discussed below, and any interest expense and dividends paid on any issued and outstanding preferred stock, but excluding the Incentive Fee). Pre-Incentive Fee net investment income includes, in the case of investments with a deferred interest feature (such as original issue discount, debt instruments with pay-in-kind interest (“PIK”) and zero coupon securities), accrued income that we may not have received in cash. The Adviser is not obligated to return the Incentive Fee it receives on PIK interest that is later determined to be uncollectible in cash. Pre-Incentive Fee net investment income does not include any realized capital gains, realized capital losses or unrealized capital appreciation or depreciation.

To determine whether pre-Incentive Fee net investment income exceeds the hurdle rate, pre-Incentive Fee net investment income is expressed as a rate of return on the value of our net assets at the end of the immediately preceding calendar quarter commencing with the first calendar quarter following the Listing Date. Because of the structure of the Incentive Fee, it is possible that we may pay an Incentive Fee in a calendar quarter in which we incur a loss. For example, if we receive pre-Incentive Fee net investment income in excess of the quarterly hurdle rate, we will pay the applicable Incentive Fee even if we have incurred a loss in that calendar quarter due to realized and unrealized capital losses. In addition, because the quarterly hurdle rate is calculated based on our net assets, decreases in our net assets due to realized or unrealized capital losses in any given calendar quarter may increase the likelihood that the hurdle rate is reached and therefore the likelihood of us paying an Incentive Fee for that calendar quarter. Our net investment

16


income used to calculate this component of the Incentive Fee is also included in the amount of our gross assets used to calculate the Management Fee because gross assets are total assets (including cash received) before deducting liabilities (such as declared dividend payments).

The following is a graphical representation of the calculation of the income-related portion of the incentive fee:

Quarterly Subordinated Incentive Fee on

Pre-Incentive Fee Net Investment Income

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

 

 

0%

 

1.5%

 

1.82%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

← 0% →

 

← 100% →

 

← 17.5% →

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second component of the Incentive Fee, the Capital Gains Incentive Fee, payable at the end of each calendar year in arrears, equals 17.5% (reduced from 20% payable pursuant to the Original Investment Advisory Agreement) of cumulative realized capital gains from the Listing Date to the end of each calendar year, less cumulative realized capital losses and unrealized capital depreciation from the Listing Date to the end of each calendar year. Each year, the fee paid for the Capital Gains Incentive Fee is net of the aggregate amount of any previously paid Capital Gains Incentive Fee for prior periods. We will accrue, but will not pay, a Capital Gains Incentive Fee with respect to unrealized appreciation because a Capital Gains Incentive Fee would be owed to the Adviser if we were to sell the relevant investment and realize a capital gain. For the sole purpose of calculating the Capital Gains Incentive Fee, the cost basis as of the Listing Date for all of our investments made prior to the Listing Date will be equal to the fair market value of such investments as of the last day of the quarter in which the Listing Date occurred; provided, however, that in no event will the Capital Gains Fee payable pursuant to the Investment Advisory Agreement be in excess of the amount permitted by the Advisers Act, including Section 205 thereof.

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

Fee Waiver

On February 27, 2019, the Adviser agreed at all times prior to the fifteen-month anniversary of an Exchange Listing (which includes the IPO), to waive (i) any portion of the Management Fee that is in excess of 0.75% of the Company’s gross assets, excluding cash and cash-equivalents but including assets purchased with borrowed amounts at the end of the two most recently completed calendar quarters, calculated in accordance with the Investment Advisory Agreement, and (ii) the entire Incentive Fee (including, for the avoidance of doubt, both the portion of the incentive fee based on the Company's income and the capital gains incentive fee).

Limitations of Liability and Indemnification

The Adviser and its officers, managers, partners, agents, employees, controlling persons, members and any other person or entity affiliated with the Adviser, including without limitation its sole member, are not liable to us for any action taken or omitted to be taken by the Adviser in connection with the performance of any of its duties or obligations under the Investment Advisory Agreement or otherwise as our investment adviser (except to the extent specified in Section 36(b) of the U.S. Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, concerning loss resulting from a breach of fiduciary duty (as the same is finally determined by judicial proceedings) with respect to the receipt of compensation for services).

We will indemnify the Adviser and its officers, managers, partners, agents, employees, controlling persons, members and any other person or entity affiliated with the Adviser, including without limitation its general partner or managing member (collectively, the “Indemnified Parties”) and hold them harmless from and against all damages, liabilities, costs and expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees and amounts reasonably paid in settlement) incurred by the Indemnified Parties in or by reason of any pending, threatened or completed action, suit, investigation or other proceeding (including an action or suit by or in the right of us or our security holders) arising out of or otherwise based upon the performance of any of the Adviser’s duties or obligations under the Investment Advisory Agreement or otherwise as our investment adviser. However, the Indemnified Parties shall not be entitled to indemnification in respect of, any liability to us or our shareholders to which the Indemnified Parties would otherwise be subject by reason of criminal conduct, willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence in the performance of the Adviser’s duties or by reason of the reckless disregard of the Adviser’s duties and obligations under the Investment Advisory Agreement.

Board Approval of the Investment Advisory Agreement

On February 19, 2020, the Board held an in-person meeting to consider and approve the continuation of the Investment Advisory Agreement and related matters. The Board was provided information it required to consider the Investment Advisory Agreement, including: (a) the nature, quality and extent of the advisory and other services to be provided to us by the Adviser; (b) comparative

17


data with respect to advisory fees or similar expenses paid by other BDCs, which could include employees of the Adviser or its affiliates; (c) our projected operating expenses and expense ratio compared to BDCs with similar investment objectives; (d) any existing and potential sources of indirect income to the Adviser from its relationship with us and the profitability of that relationship; (e) information about the services to be performed and the personnel performing such services under the Investment Advisory Agreement; (f) the organizational capability and financial condition of the Adviser and its affiliates; and (g) the possibility of obtaining similar services from other third-party service providers or through an internally managed structure.

Based on the information reviewed and the discussion thereof, the Board, including a majority of the non-interested directors, determined that the investment advisory fee rates are reasonable in relation to the services provided and approved the continuation of the Investment Advisory Agreement as being in the best interests of our shareholders.

Administration Agreement

The description below of the Administration Agreement is only a summary and is not necessarily complete. The description set forth below is qualified in its entirety by reference to the Administration Agreement.

Under the terms of the Administration Agreement, the Adviser performs, or oversees the performance of, administrative services for us, which includes, but is not limited to, providing office space, equipment and office services, maintaining financial records, preparing reports to shareholders and reports filed with the SEC, managing the payment of expenses and the performance of administrative and professional services rendered by others, which could include employees of the Adviser or its affiliates. We will reimburse the Adviser for services performed for us pursuant to the terms of the Administration Agreement. In addition, pursuant to the terms of the Administration Agreement, the Adviser may delegate its obligations under the Administration Agreement to an affiliate or to a third party and we will reimburse the Adviser for any services performed for us by such affiliate or third party.

The continuation of the Administration Agreement was approved by the Board on February 19, 2020. Unless earlier terminated as described below, the Administration Agreement will remain in effect year-to-year if approved annually by a majority of the Board or by the holders of a majority of our outstanding voting securities and, in each case, a majority of the independent directors. We may terminate the Administration Agreement, without payment of any penalty, upon 60 days' written notice. The decision to terminate the agreement may be made by a majority of the Board or the shareholders holding a Majority of the Outstanding Shares of our common stock. In addition, the Adviser may terminate the Administration Agreement, without payment of any penalty, upon 60 days' written notice. To the extent that the Adviser outsources any of its functions we will pay the fees associated with such functions without profit to the Adviser.

The Administration Agreement provides that the Adviser and its affiliates' respective officers, directors, members, managers, stockholders and employees are entitled to indemnification from us from and against any claims or liabilities, including reasonable legal fees and other expenses reasonably incurred, arising out of or in connection with our business and operations or any action taken or omitted on our behalf pursuant to authority granted by the Administration Agreement, except where attributable to willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence in the performance of such person's duties or reckless disregard of such person's obligations and duties under the Administration Agreement.

Payment of Our Expenses under the Investment Advisory and Administration Agreements

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

 

the cost of our organization and offerings;

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

costs of hedging;

18


 

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

 

transfer agent and custodial fees;

 

fees and expenses associated with marketing efforts;

 

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

 

federal, state and local taxes;

 

independent directors’ fees and expenses including certain travel expenses;

 

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

 

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

 

commissions and other compensation payable to brokers or dealers;

 

research and market data;

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

costs of winding up;

 

costs incurred in connection with the formation or maintenance of entities or vehicles to hold our assets for tax or other purposes;

 

extraordinary expenses (such as litigation or indemnification); and

 

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

Affiliated Transactions

We may be prohibited under the 1940 Act from conducting certain transactions with our affiliates without prior approval of the directors who are not interested persons, and in some cases, the prior approval of the SEC.  We, the Adviser and certain of its affiliates have been granted exemptive relief by the SEC to co-invest with other funds managed by the Adviser or its affiliates, including Owl Rock Capital Corporation II and Owl Rock Technology Finance Corp., in a manner consistent with our investment objective, positions, policies, strategies and restrictions as well as regulatory requirements and other pertinent factors. Pursuant to such exemptive relief, we are generally permitted to co-invest with certain of our affiliates if a “required majority” (as defined in Section 57(o) of the 1940 Act) of the Board make certain conclusions in connection with a co-investment transaction, including that (1) the terms of the transaction, including the consideration to be paid, are reasonable and fair to us and our shareholders and do not involve overreaching by us or our shareholders on the part of any person concerned, (2) the transaction is consistent with the interests of our shareholders and is consistent with our investment objective and strategies, and (3) the investment by our affiliates would not disadvantage us, and our participation would not be on a basis different from or less advantageous than that on which our affiliates are investing. The Owl Rock Advisers’ allocation policy incorporates the conditions of the exemptive relief and seeks to ensure equitable allocation of investment opportunities between the Company and other funds managed by the Adviser or its affiliates. As a result of the exemptive relief, there could be significant overlap in our investment portfolio and the investment portfolio of Owl Rock Capital Corporation II and/or other funds established by the Adviser or its affiliates that could avail themselves of the exemptive relief.

License Agreement

We have also entered into a license agreement (the “License Agreement”) with an affiliate of Owl Rock Capital Partners, pursuant to which we were granted a non-exclusive license to use the name “Owl Rock.” Under the License Agreement, we have a right to use the Owl Rock name for so long as the Adviser or one of its affiliates remains our investment adviser. Other than with respect to this limited license, we have no legal right to the “Owl Rock” name or logo.

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Emerging Growth Company

We are an emerging growth company as defined in the Jumpstart our Business Startups Act of 2012 (the “JOBS Act”) and we are eligible to take advantage of certain specified reduced disclosure and other requirements that are otherwise generally applicable to public companies that are not “emerging growth companies” including, but not limited to, not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (the “Sarbanes-Oxley Act”). We expect to remain an emerging growth company for up to five years following the completion of our initial public offering or until the earliest of (i) the last day of the first fiscal year in which our annual gross revenues exceed $1.07 billion, (ii) December 31 of the fiscal year that we become a “large accelerated filer” as defined in Rule 12b-2 under the Exchange Act which would occur if the market value of our common stock that is held by non-affiliates exceeds $700.0 million as of the last business day of our most recently completed second fiscal quarter and we have been publicly reporting for at least 12 months or (iii) the date on which we have issued more than $1.0 billion in non-convertible debt securities during the preceding three-year period. In addition, we will take advantage of the extended transition period provided in Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act for complying with new or revised accounting standards.

Employees

We do not currently have any employees and do not expect to have any employees. Services necessary for our business are provided by individuals who are employees of the Adviser or its affiliates, pursuant to the terms of the Investment Advisory Agreement and the Administration Agreement. Each of our executive officers is employed by the Adviser or its affiliates. Our day-to-day investment operations are managed by the Adviser. The services necessary for the origination and administration of our investment portfolio are provided by investment professionals employed by the Adviser or its affiliates. The Investment Team is focused on origination and transaction development and the ongoing monitoring of our investments. In addition, we reimburse the Adviser for the allocable portion of the compensation paid by the Adviser (or its affiliates) to our chief compliance officer and chief financial officer and their respective staffs (based on the percentage of time such individuals devote, on an estimated basis, to our business and affairs and as otherwise set forth in the Administrative Agreement). See “— Investment Advisory Agreement” and “— Administration Agreement.”

Regulation as a Business Development Company

We have elected to be regulated as a BDC under the 1940 Act. The 1940 Act contains prohibitions and restrictions relating to transactions between BDCs and their affiliates (including any investment advisers or sub-advisers), principal underwriters and affiliates of those affiliates or underwriters and requires that a majority of the directors be persons other than "interested persons," as that term is defined in the 1940 Act.

In addition, the 1940 Act provides that we may not change the nature of our business so as to cease to be, or to withdraw our election as, a BDC unless approved by a Majority of the Outstanding Shares of our common stock.

We are not generally able to issue and sell our common stock at a price below net asset value per share. We may, however, issue and sell our common stock, or warrants, options or rights to acquire our common stock, at a price below the then-current net asset value of our common stock if (1) our board of directors determines that such sale is in our best interests and the best interests of our shareholders, and (2) our shareholders have approved our policy and practice of making such sales within the preceding 12 months. In any such case, the price at which our securities are to be issued and sold may not be less than a price which, in the determination of our board of directors, closely approximates the market value of such securities.

As a BDC, the ratio of our total assets (less total liabilities other than indebtedness represented by senior securities) to our total indebtedness represented by senior securities plus preferred stock, if any, must be at least 200%. However, legislation enacted in March 2018 has modified the 1940 Act by allowing a BDC to increase the maximum amount of leverage it may incur from an asset coverage ratio of 200% to an asset coverage ratio of 150%, if certain requirements are met. This means that generally, we can borrow up to $1 for every $1 of investor equity (or, if certain conditions are met, we can borrow up to $2 for every $1 of investor equity). The reduced asset coverage requirement would permit a BDC to double the amount of leverage it could incur. We are permitted to increase our leverage capacity if shareholders representing at least a majority of the votes cast, when quorum is met, approve a proposal to do so. If we receive such shareholder approval, we would be permitted to increase our leverage capacity on the first day after such approval. Alternatively, we may increase the maximum amount of leverage we may incur to an asset coverage ratio of 150% if the "required majority" (as defined in Section 57(o) of the 1940 Act) of the independent members of our Board of Directors approve such increase with such approval becoming effective after one year. In either case, we would be required to make certain disclosures on our website and in SEC filings regarding, among other things, the receipt of approval to increase our leverage, our leverage capacity and usage, and risks related to leverage. In addition, before incurring any such additional leverage, we would have to renegotiate or receive a waiver from the contractual leverage limitations under our existing credit facilities and notes.

We may also be prohibited under the 1940 Act from knowingly participating in certain transactions with our affiliates without the prior approval of our board of directors who are not interested persons and, in some cases, prior approval by the SEC.

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We may invest up to 100% of our assets in securities acquired directly from issuers in privately negotiated transactions. With respect to such securities, we may, for the purpose of public resale, be deemed an “underwriter” as that term is defined in the Securities Act.

Our intention is to not write (sell) or buy put or call options to manage risks associated with the publicly traded securities of our portfolio companies, except that we may enter into hedging transactions to manage the risks associated with interest rate or currency fluctuations. However, we may purchase or otherwise receive warrants to purchase the common stock of our portfolio companies in connection with acquisition financing or other investments. Similarly, in connection with an acquisition, we may acquire rights to require the issuers of acquired securities or their affiliates to repurchase them under certain circumstances.

We do not intend to acquire securities issued by any investment company that exceed the limits imposed by the 1940 Act. Under these limits, except for registered money market funds, we generally cannot acquire more than 3% of the voting stock of any registered investment company, invest more than 5% of the value of our total assets in the securities of one investment company, or invest more than 10% of the value of our total assets in the securities of more than one investment company. With regard to that portion of our portfolio invested in securities issued by investment companies, if any, it should be noted that such investments might subject our shareholders to additional expenses as they will be indirectly responsible for the costs and expenses of such companies.

None of our investment policies are fundamental, and thus may be changed without shareholder approval.

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

(1) Securities purchased in transactions not involving any public offering from the issuer of such securities, which issuer (subject to certain limited exceptions) is an eligible portfolio company, or from any person who is, or has been during the preceding 13 months, an affiliated person of an eligible portfolio company, or from any other person, subject to such rules as may be prescribed by the SEC. An eligible portfolio company is defined in the 1940 Act as any issuer which:

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

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

(c) satisfies any of the following:

(i) does not have any class of securities that is traded on a national securities exchange;

(ii) has a class of securities listed on a national securities exchange, but has an aggregate market value of outstanding voting and non-voting common equity of less than $250 million;

(iii) is controlled by a business development company or a group of companies including a business development company and the business development company has an affiliated person who is a director of the eligible portfolio company; or

(iv) is a small and solvent company having total assets of not more than $4 million and capital and surplus of not less than $2 million.

(2) Securities of any eligible portfolio company controlled by the Company.

(3) Securities purchased in a private transaction from a U.S. issuer that is not an investment company or from an affiliated person of the issuer, or in transactions incident thereto, if the issuer is in bankruptcy and subject to reorganization or if the issuer, immediately prior to the purchase of its securities was unable to meet its obligations as they came due without material assistance other than conventional lending or financing arrangements.

(4) Securities of an eligible portfolio company purchased from any person in a private transaction if there is no ready market for such securities and the Company already owns 60% of the outstanding equity of the eligible portfolio company.

(5) Securities received in exchange for or distributed on or with respect to securities described in (1) through (4) above, or pursuant to the exercise of warrants or rights relating to such securities.

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

In addition, a business development company must be operated for the purpose of making investments in the types of securities described in (1), (2) or (3) above.

Control, as defined by the 1940 Act, is presumed to exist where a BDC beneficially owns more than 25% of the outstanding voting securities of the portfolio company, but may exist in other circumstances based on the facts and circumstances.

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The regulations defining qualifying assets may change over time. The Company may adjust its investment focus as needed to comply with and/or take advantage of any regulatory, legislative, administrative or judicial actions.

Managerial Assistance to Portfolio Companies. A BDC must have been organized and have its principal place of business in the United States and must be operated for the purpose of making investments in the types of securities described above. However, in order to count portfolio securities as qualifying assets for the purpose of the 70% test, the BDC must either control the issuer of the securities or must offer to make available to the issuer of the securities (other than small and solvent companies described above) significant managerial assistance; except that, where the BDC purchases such securities in conjunction with one or more other persons acting together, one of the other persons in the group may make available such managerial assistance. Where the BDC purchases such securities in conjunction with one or more other persons acting together, the BDC will satisfy this test if one of the other persons in the group makes available such managerial assistance, although this may not be the sole method by which the BDC satisfies the requirement to make available managerial assistance. Making available significant managerial assistance means, among other things, any arrangement whereby the BDC, through its directors, officers or employees, offers to provide and, if accepted, does so provide, significant guidance and counsel concerning the management, operations or business objectives and policies of a portfolio company through monitoring of portfolio company operations, selective participation in board and management meetings, consulting with and advising a portfolio company’s officers or other organizational or financial guidance.

Temporary Investments. Pending investment in other types of qualifying assets, as described above, our investments can consist of cash, cash equivalents, U.S. government securities or high quality debt securities maturing in one year or less from the time of investment, which are referred to herein, collectively, as temporary investments, so that 70% of our assets would be qualifying assets. We may invest in highly rated commercial paper, U.S. government agency notes, U.S. Treasury bills or in repurchase agreements relating to such securities that are fully collateralized by cash or securities issued by the U.S. government or its agencies. A repurchase agreement involves the purchase by an investor, such as us, of a specified security and the simultaneous agreement by the seller to repurchase it at an agreed-upon future date and at a price that is greater than the purchase price by an amount that reflects an agreed-upon interest rate. Consequently, repurchase agreements are functionally similar to loans. There is no percentage restriction on the proportion of our assets that may be invested in such repurchase agreements. However, the 1940 Act and certain diversification tests in order to qualify as a RIC for federal income tax purposes typically require us to limit the amount we invest with any one counterparty. Accordingly, we do not intend to enter into repurchase agreements with a single counterparty in excess of this limit. The Adviser will monitor the creditworthiness of the counterparties with which we may enter into repurchase agreement transactions.

Warrants. Under the 1940 Act, a BDC is subject to restrictions on the issuance, terms and amount of warrants, options or rights to purchase shares of capital stock that it may have outstanding at any time. Under the 1940 Act, we may generally only offer warrants provided that (i) the warrants expire by their terms within ten years, (ii) the exercise or conversion price is not less than the current market value at the date of issuance, (iii) shareholders authorize the proposal to issue such warrants, and the Board approves such issuance on the basis that the issuance is in our best interests and the shareholders best interests and (iv) if the warrants are accompanied by other securities, the warrants are not separately transferable unless no class of such warrants and the securities accompanying them has been publicly distributed. The 1940 Act also provides that the amount of our voting securities that would result from the exercise of all outstanding warrants, as well as options and rights, at the time of issuance may not exceed 25% of our outstanding voting securities. In particular, the amount of capital stock that would result from the conversion or exercise of all outstanding warrants, options or rights to purchase capital stock cannot exceed 25% of the BDC’s total outstanding shares of capital stock.

Senior Securities; Coverage Ratio. We are generally permitted, under specified conditions, to issue multiple classes of indebtedness and one class of stock senior to our common stock if immediately after such borrowing or issuance, the ratio of our total assets (less total liabilities other than indebtedness represented by senior securities) to our total indebtedness represented by senior securities plus preferred stock, if any, is at least 200%. However, legislation enacted in March 2018 has modified the 1940 Act by allowing a BDC to increase the maximum amount of leverage it may incur from an asset coverage ratio of 200% to an asset coverage ratio of 150%, if certain requirements are met. This means that generally, a BDC can borrow up to $1 for every $1 of investor equity or, if certain requirements are met and it reduces its asset coverage ratio, it can borrow up to $2 for every $1 of investor equity. The reduced asset coverage requirement would permit a BDC to double the amount of leverage it could incur. We are permitted to increase our leverage capacity if shareholders representing at least a majority of the votes cast, when quorum is met, approve a proposal to do so. If we receive such shareholder approval, we would be permitted to increase our leverage capacity on the first day after such approval. Alternatively, we may increase the maximum amount of leverage we may incur to an asset coverage ratio of 150% if the “required majority” (as defined in Section 57(o) of the 1940 Act) of the independent members of our Board of Directors approve such increase with such approval becoming effective after one year. In either case, we would be required to make certain disclosures on our website and in SEC filings regarding, among other things, the receipt of approval to increase our leverage, our leverage capacity and usage, and risks related to leverage. In addition, before incurring any such additional leverage, we would have to renegotiate or receive a waiver from the contractual leverage limitations under our existing credit facilities.

In addition, while any senior securities remain outstanding, we will be required to make provisions to prohibit any dividend distribution to our shareholders or the repurchase of such securities or shares unless we meet the applicable asset coverage ratios at the time of the dividend distribution or repurchase. We will also be permitted to borrow amounts up to 5% of the value of our total assets for temporary or emergency purposes, which borrowings would not be considered senior securities. For a discussion of the risks

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associated with leverage, see “ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS — Risks Related to Business Development Companies — Regulations governing our operation as a business development company and RIC affect our ability to raise capital 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 business development company, the necessity of raising additional capital may expose us to risks, including risks associated with leverage.”

Codes of Ethics. We and the Adviser have each adopted a code of ethics pursuant to Rule 17j-1 under the 1940 Act and Rule 204A-1 under the Advisers Act, respectively, that establishes procedures for personal investments and restricts certain personal securities transactions. Personnel subject to the code are permitted to invest in securities for their personal investment accounts, including securities that may be purchased or held by us, so long as such investments are made in accordance with the code’s requirements. Our code of ethics is available, free of charge, on our website at www.owlrockcapitalcorporation.com. In addition, the code of ethics is available on the EDGAR Database on the SEC's website at http://www.sec.gov.

Affiliated Transactions. We may be prohibited under the 1940 Act from conducting certain transactions with our affiliates without the prior approval of our directors who are not interested persons and, in some cases, the prior approval of the SEC. We, the Adviser, and certain affiliates have applied for and been granted exemptive relief by the SEC to co-invest with other funds managed by the Adviser or its affiliates in a manner consistent with our investment objective, positions, policies, strategies and restrictions as well as regulatory requirements and other pertinent factors. Pursuant to such exemptive relief, we generally are permitted to co-invest with certain of our affiliates if a “required majority” (as defined in Section 57(o) of the 1940 Act) of our independent directors makes certain conclusions in connection with a co-investment transactions, including that (1) the terms of the transaction, including the consideration to be paid, are reasonable and fair to us and our shareholders and do not involve overreaching of us or our shareholders on the part of any person concerned, (2) the transaction is consistent with the interests of our shareholders and is consistent with our investment objective and strategies, and (3) the investment by our affiliates would not disadvantage us, and our participation would not be on a basis different from or less advantageous than that on which our affiliates are investing. The Owl Rock Advisor’s allocation policy incorporates the conditions of the exemptive relief and seeks to ensure equitable allocation of investment opportunities between the Company and/or other funds managed by the Adviser or its affiliates over time. As a result of exemptive relief, there could be significant overlap in the Company’s investment portfolio and the investment portfolio of other funds established by the Adviser or its affiliates that could avail themselves of the exemptive relief.

Cancellation of the Investment Advisory Agreement. Under the 1940 Act, the Investment Advisory Agreement will automatically terminate in the event of its assignment, as defined in the 1940 Act, by the Adviser. The Investment Advisory Agreement may be terminated at any time, without penalty, by us upon not less than 60 days’ written notice to the Adviser and may be terminated at any time, without penalty, by the Adviser upon 60 days’ written notice to us. The holders of a Majority of our Outstanding Shares may also terminate the Investment Advisory Agreement without penalty upon not less than 60 days’ written notice. Unless terminated earlier as described above, the Investment Advisory Agreement will remain in effect for a period of two years from the date it first become effective and will remain in effect from year-to-year thereafter if approved annually by our Board or by the affirmative vote of the holders of a Majority of our Outstanding Shares, and, in either case, if also approved by a majority of our directors who are not “interested persons” as defined in the 1940 Act.

Other. We have adopted an investment policy that complies with the requirements applicable to us as a BDC. We expect to be periodically examined by the SEC for compliance with the 1940 Act, and will be subject to the periodic reporting and related requirements of the Exchange Act.

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

We are also required to designate a chief compliance officer and to adopt and implement written policies and procedures reasonably designed to prevent violation of the federal securities laws and to review these policies and procedures annually for their adequacy and the effectiveness of their implementation.

We are not permitted to change the nature of our business so as to cease to be, or to withdraw our election as, a BDC unless approved by a Majority of the Outstanding Shares of our common stock.

We intend to operate as a non-diversified management investment company; however, we are currently and may, from time to time, in the future, be considered a diversified management investment company pursuant to the definitions set forth in the 1940 Act.

Our common stock is listed on the NYSE under the symbol “ORCC.” As a listed company on the NYSE, we are subject to various listing standards including corporate governance listing standards. We believe we are in material compliance with these rules.

Certain U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations

The following discussion is a general summary of certain U.S. federal income tax considerations applicable to us and to an investment in our common stock. This discussion does not purport to be a complete description of the income tax considerations applicable to such an investment. For example, this discussion does not describe tax consequences that we have assumed to be

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generally known by investors or certain considerations that may be relevant to certain types of holders subject to special treatment under U.S. federal income tax laws, including persons who hold our common stock as part of a straddle or a hedging, integrated or constructive sale transaction, persons subject to the alternative minimum tax, tax-exempt organizations, insurance companies, brokers or dealers in securities, pension plans and trusts, persons whose functional currency is not the U.S. dollar, U.S. expatriates, regulated investment companies, real estate investment trusts, personal holding companies, persons who acquire an interest in the Company in connection with the performance of services, and financial institutions. Such persons should consult with their own tax advisers as to the U.S. federal income tax consequences of an investment in our common stock, which may differ substantially from those described herein. This discussion assumes that shareholders hold our common stock as capital assets (within the meaning of the Code).

The discussion is based upon the Code, Treasury regulations, and administrative and judicial interpretations, each as of the date of this report and all of which are subject to change, possibly retroactively, which could affect the continuing validity of this discussion. We have not sought and will not seek any ruling from the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) regarding any matter discussed herein. Prospective investors should be aware that, although we intend to adopt positions we believe are in accord with current interpretations of the U.S. federal income tax laws, the IRS may not agree with the tax positions taken by us and that, if challenged by the IRS, our tax positions might not be sustained by the courts. This summary does not discuss any aspects of U.S. estate, alternative minimum, or gift tax or foreign, state or local tax. It also does not discuss the special treatment under U.S. federal income tax laws that could result if we invested in tax-exempt securities or certain other investment assets.

For purposes of this discussion, a “U.S. Shareholder” generally is a beneficial owner of our common stock that is for U.S. federal income tax purposes:

 

a citizen or individual resident of the United States;

 

a corporation (or other entity treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes) organized in or under the laws of the U.S. or of any political subdivision thereof;

 

a trust that is subject to the supervision of a court within the U.S. and the control of one or more U.S. persons or that has a valid election in effect under applicable U.S. Treasury Regulations to be treated as a U.S. person; or

 

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

A “Non-U.S. Shareholder” is a beneficial owner of our common stock that is not a U.S. Shareholder or a partnership for U.S. tax purposes.

If a partnership (including an entity treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes) holds our common stock, the tax treatment of a partner in the partnership will generally depend upon the status of the partner and the activities of the partnership. Any partner of a partnership holding our common stock should consult its tax advisers with respect to the purchase, ownership and disposition of such shares.

Tax matters are very complicated and the tax consequences to an investor of an investment in our common stock will depend on the facts of his, her or its particular situation.

Taxation as a Regulated Investment Company

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

If we qualify as a RIC, and satisfy the Annual Distribution Requirement, then we will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on the portion of our income we distribute (or are deemed to distribute) to our shareholders. We will be subject to U.S. federal income tax at the regular corporate rates on any income or capital gains not distributed (or deemed distributed) to our shareholders.

We will be subject to a 4% nondeductible U.S. federal excise tax on certain undistributed income unless we distribute in a timely manner an amount at least equal to the sum of (i) 98% of our net ordinary income for each calendar year, (ii) 98.2% of the amount by which our capital gains exceed our capital losses (adjusted for certain ordinary losses) for the one-year period ending October 31 in that calendar year and (iii) certain undistributed amounts from previous years on which we paid no U.S. federal income tax (the “Excise Tax Avoidance Requirement”). While we intend to distribute any income and capital gains in order to avoid imposition of this 4% U.S. federal excise tax, we may not be successful in avoiding entirely the imposition of this tax. In that case, we will be liable for the tax only on the amount by which we do not meet the foregoing distribution requirement.

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

 

continue to qualify as a BDC under the 1940 Act at all times during each taxable year;

 

derive in each taxable year at least 90% of our gross income from dividends, interest, payments with respect to loans of certain securities, gains from the sale of stock or other securities or foreign currencies, net income from certain “qualified publicly traded partnerships,” or other income derived with respect to our business of investing in such stock or securities (the “90% Income Test”); and

 

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

 

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

 

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

We may be required to recognize taxable income in circumstances in which we do not receive cash. For example, if we hold debt obligations that are treated under applicable tax rules as having original issue discount (such as debt instruments with PIK interest or, in certain cases, increasing interest rates or issued with warrants), we must include in income each year a portion of the original issue discount that accrues over the life of the obligation, regardless of whether cash representing such income is received by us in the same taxable year. We may also have to include in income other amounts that we have not yet received in cash, such as PIK interest and deferred loan origination fees that are paid after origination of the loan. Because any original issue discount or other amounts accrued will be included in our investment company taxable income for the year of accrual, we may be required to make a distribution to our shareholders in order to satisfy the Annual Distribution Requirement, even though we will not have received the corresponding cash amount.

Although we do not presently expect to do so, we are authorized to borrow funds, to sell assets and to make taxable distributions of our stock and debt securities in order to satisfy distribution requirements. Our ability to dispose of assets to meet our distribution requirements may be limited by (i) the illiquid nature of our portfolio and/or (ii) other requirements relating to our status as a RIC, including the Diversification Tests. If we dispose of assets in order to meet the Annual Distribution Requirement or the Excise Tax Avoidance Requirement, we may make such dispositions at times that, from an investment standpoint, are not advantageous. If we are unable to obtain cash from other sources to satisfy the Annual Distribution Requirement, we may fail to qualify for tax treatment as a RIC and become subject to tax as an ordinary corporation.

Under the 1940 Act, we are not permitted to make distributions to our shareholders while our debt obligations and other senior securities are outstanding unless certain “asset coverage” tests are met. If we are prohibited from making distributions, we may fail to qualify for tax treatment as a RIC and become subject to tax as an ordinary corporation.

Certain of our investment practices may be subject to special and complex U.S. federal income tax provisions that may, among other things: (i) disallow, suspend or otherwise limit the allowance of certain losses or deductions; (ii) convert lower taxed long-term capital gain into higher taxed short-term capital gain or ordinary income; (iii) convert an ordinary loss or a deduction into a capital loss (the deductibility of which is more limited); (iv) cause us to recognize income or gain without a corresponding receipt of cash; (v) adversely affect the time as to when a purchase or sale of securities is deemed to occur; (vi) adversely alter the characterization of certain complex financial transactions; and (vii) produce income that will not be qualifying income for purposes of the 90% Income Test described above. We will monitor our transactions and may make certain tax decisions in order to mitigate the potential adverse effect of these provisions.

A RIC is limited in its ability to deduct expenses in excess of its “investment company taxable income” (which is, generally, ordinary income plus the excess of net short-term capital gains over net long-term capital losses). If our expenses in a given year exceed investment company taxable income, we would experience a net operating loss for that year. However, a RIC is not permitted to carry forward net operating losses to subsequent years. In addition, expenses can be used only to offset investment company taxable income, not net capital gain. Due to these limits on the deductibility of expenses, we may, for tax purposes, have aggregate taxable income for several years that we are required to distribute and that is taxable to our shareholders even if such income is greater than the aggregate net income we actually earned during those years. Such required distributions may be made from our cash assets or by liquidation of investments, if necessary. We may realize gains or losses from such liquidations. In the event we realize net capital gains from such transactions, a shareholder may receive a larger capital gain distribution than it would have received in the absence of such transactions.

Investment income received from sources within foreign countries, or capital gains earned by investing in securities of foreign issuers, may be subject to foreign income taxes withheld at the source. In this regard, withholding tax rates in countries with which the United States does not have a tax treaty can be as high as 35% or more. The United States has entered into tax treaties with many

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foreign countries that may entitle us to a reduced rate of tax or exemption from tax on this related income and gains. The effective rate of foreign tax cannot be determined at this time since the amount of our assets to be invested within various countries is not now known. We do not anticipate being eligible for the special election that allows a RIC to treat foreign income taxes paid by such RIC as paid by its stockholders.

If we purchase shares in a "passive foreign investment company," or PFIC, we may be subject to U.S. federal income tax on a portion of any "excess distribution" or gain from the disposition of such shares even if such income is distributed as a taxable dividend by us to our stockholders. Additional charges in the nature of interest may be imposed on us in respect of deferred taxes arising from such distributions or gains. If we invest in a PFIC and elect to treat the PFIC as a "qualified electing fund" under the Code, or QEF, in lieu of the foregoing requirements, we will be required to include in income each year a portion of the ordinary earnings and net capital gain of the QEF, even if such income is not distributed to us. Alternatively, we can elect to mark-to-market at the end of each taxable year our shares in a PFIC; in this case, we will recognize as ordinary income any increase in the value of such shares and as ordinary loss any decrease in such value to the extent it does not exceed prior increases included in income. Under either election, we may be required to recognize in a year income in excess of our distributions from PFICs and our proceeds from dispositions of PFIC stock during that year, and such income will nevertheless be subject to the Annual Distribution Requirement and will be taken into account for purposes of the 4% U.S. federal excise tax. We intend to limit and/or manage our holdings in PFICs to minimize our liability for any taxes and related interest charges.

Foreign exchange gains and losses realized by us in connection with certain transactions involving non-dollar debt securities, certain foreign currency futures contracts, foreign currency option contracts, foreign currency forward contracts, foreign currencies, or payables or receivables denominated in a foreign currency are subject to Code provisions that generally treat such gains and losses as ordinary income and losses and may affect the amount, timing and character of distributions to our stockholders. Any such transactions that are not directly related to our investment in securities (possibly including speculative currency positions or currency derivatives not used for hedging purposes) could, under future Treasury regulations, produce income not among the types of "qualifying income" from which a RIC must derive at least 90% of its annual gross income.

In accordance with certain applicable Treasury regulations and guidance published by the IRS, a RIC may treat a distribution of its own stock as fulfilling its RIC distribution requirements if each stockholder may elect to receive his or her entire distribution in either cash or stock of the RIC, subject to a limitation that the aggregate amount of cash to be distributed to all stockholders must be at least 20% of the aggregate declared distribution. If too many stockholders elect to receive cash, the cash available for distribution must be allocated among stockholders electing to receive cash (with the balance of the distribution paid in stock). In no event will any stockholder, electing to receive cash, receive less than the lesser of (a) the portion of the distribution such stockholder elected to receive in cash, or (b) an amount equal to his or her entire distribution times the percentage limitation on cash available for distribution. If these and certain other requirements are met, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, the amount of the dividend paid in stock will be equal to the amount of cash that could have been received instead of stock. We have no current intention of paying dividends in shares of our stock in accordance with these Treasury regulations or published guidance.

If we fail to qualify for treatment as a RIC, and certain amelioration provisions are not applicable, we would be subject to tax on all of our taxable income (including our net capital gains) at regular corporate rates. We would not be able to deduct distributions to our shareholders, nor would they be required to be made. Distributions, including distributions of net long-term capital gain, would generally be taxable to our shareholders as ordinary dividend income to the extent of our current and accumulated earnings and profits. Subject to certain limitations under the Code, our corporate shareholders would be eligible to claim a dividend received deduction with respect to such dividend our non-corporate shareholders would generally be able to treat such dividends as "qualified dividend income," which is subject to reduced rates of U.S. federal income tax. Distributions in excess of our current and accumulated earnings and profits would be treated first as a return of capital to the extent of the shareholder's tax basis, and any remaining distributions would be treated as a capital gain. In order to requalify as a RIC, in addition to the other requirements discussed above, we would be required to distribute all of our previously undistributed earnings attributable to the period we failed to qualify as a RIC by the end of the first year that we intend to requalify as a RIC. If we fail to requalify as a RIC for a period greater than two taxable years, we may be subject to regular corporate tax on any net built-in gains with respect to certain of our assets (i.e., the excess of the aggregate gains, including items of income, over aggregate losses that would have been realized with respect to such assets if we had been liquidated) that we elect to recognize on requalification or when recognized over the next five years.

Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures

We have delegated our proxy voting responsibility to the Adviser. The Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures of the Adviser are described below. The guidelines are reviewed periodically by the Adviser and our non-interested directors, and, accordingly, are subject to change.

As an investment adviser registered under the Advisers Act, the Adviser has a fiduciary duty to act solely in the best interests of its clients. As part of this duty, the Adviser recognizes that it must vote client securities in a timely manner free of conflicts of interest and in the best interests of its clients. These policies and procedures for voting proxies for the Adviser’s investment advisory clients are intended to comply with Section 206 of, and Rule 206(4)-6 under, the Advisers Act.

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Proxy Policies

The Adviser will seek to vote all proxies relating to our portfolio securities in the best interest of our shareholders. The Adviser reviews on a case-by-case basis each proposal submitted to a shareholder vote to determine its impact on the portfolio securities held by the Company. Although the Adviser will generally vote against proposals that may have a negative impact on its clients’ portfolio securities, the Adviser may vote for such a proposal if there exists compelling long-term reasons to do so.

The Adviser’s proxy voting decisions are made by senior officers who are responsible for monitoring each of our investments. To ensure that the Adviser’s vote is not the product of a conflict of interest, the Adviser requires that: (i) anyone involved in the decision making process disclose to the Adviser’s chief compliance officer any potential conflict that he or she is aware of and any contact that he or she has had with any interested party regarding a proxy vote; and (ii) employees involved in the decision-making process or vote administration are prohibited from revealing how the Adviser intends to vote on a proposal in order to reduce any attempted influence from interested parties.

Proxy Voting Records

You may obtain information about how the Adviser voted proxies by making a written request for proxy voting information to: Owl Rock Capital Corporation, Attention: Investor Relations, 399 Park Avenue, 38th Floor, New York, NY 10022, or by calling Owl Rock Capital Corporation at (212) 419-3000.

Privacy Policy

We are committed to maintaining the confidentiality, integrity and security of non-public personal information relating to investors. The following information is provided to help you understand what personal information we collect, how we protect that information and why, in certain cases, we may share information with select other parties.

Generally, we do not collect any non-public personal information other than certain biographical information which is used only so that we can service your account, send you annual reports, proxy statements, and other information required by law. With regard to this information, we maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards designed to protect the non-public personal information of our investors.

We may share information that we collect regarding an investor with certain of our service providers for legitimate business purposes, for example, in order to process trades or mail information to investors. In addition, we may disclose information that we collect regarding an investor as required by law or in connection with regulatory or law enforcement inquiries.

Reporting Obligations

We will furnish our shareholders with annual reports containing audited financial statements, quarterly reports, and such other periodic reports as we determine to be appropriate or as may be required by law.

We make available free of charge on our website (www.owlrockcapitalcorporation.com) our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and our current reports on Form 8-K. The SEC also maintains a website (www.sec.gov) that contains  such information. The reference to our website is an inactive textual reference only and the information contained on our website is not a part of this registration statement.

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Item 1A. Risk Factors

Investing in our common stock involves a number of significant risks. You should consider carefully the following information before making an investment in our common stock. The risks below are not the only risks we face. 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 events occur, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

 

Risks Related to Our Business

We have a limited operating history.

We were formed on October 15, 2015 and are subject to all of the business risks and uncertainties associated with any business with a limited operating history, including the risk that we will not achieve or sustain our investment objective and that the value of your investment could decline substantially or your investment could become worthless.

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

We may acquire a significant percentage of our portfolio company investments from privately held companies in directly negotiated transactions. Substantially all of these investments are subject to legal and other restrictions on resale or are otherwise less liquid than exchange-listed securities or other securities for which there is an active trading market.

We typically would be unable to exit these investments unless and until the portfolio company has a liquidity event such as a sale, refinancing, or initial public offering.

The illiquidity of our investments may make it difficult or impossible for us to sell such investments if the need arises. In addition, if we are required to liquidate all or a portion of our portfolio quickly, we may realize significantly less than the value at which we have previously recorded our investments, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Moreover, investments purchased by us that are liquid at the time of purchase may subsequently become illiquid due to events relating to the issuer, market events, economic conditions or investor perceptions.

Defaults under our current borrowings or any future borrowing facility or notes may adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Our borrowings may include customary covenants, including certain limitations on our incurrence of additional indebtedness and on our ability to make distributions to our shareholders, or redeem, repurchase or retire shares of stock, upon the occurrence of certain events and certain financial covenants related to asset coverage and liquidity and other maintenance covenants, as well as customary events of default. In the event we default under the terms of our current or future borrowings, our business could be adversely affected as we may be forced to sell a portion of our investments quickly and prematurely at what may be disadvantageous prices to us in order to meet our outstanding payment obligations and/or support working capital requirements under the terms of our current or future borrowings, any of which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. An event of default under the terms of our current or any future borrowings could result in an accelerated maturity date for all amounts outstanding thereunder, and in some instances, lead to a cross-default under other borrowings. This could reduce our liquidity and cash flow and impair our ability to grow our business.

Collectively, substantially all of our assets are currently pledged as collateral under our credit facilities. If we were to default on our obligations under the terms of our credit facilities or any future secured debt instrument the agent for the applicable creditors would be able to assume control of the disposition of any or all of our assets securing such debt, including the selection of such assets to be disposed and the timing of such disposition, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.  

Provisions in our current borrowings or any other future borrowings may limit discretion in operating our business.

Any security interests and/or negative covenants required by a credit facility we enter into or notes we issue may limit our ability to create liens on assets to secure additional debt and may make it difficult for us to restructure or refinance indebtedness at or prior to maturity or obtain additional debt or equity financing.

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

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

In addition, we may be subject to limitations as to how borrowed funds may be used, which may include restrictions on geographic and industry concentrations, loan size, payment frequency and status, average life, collateral interests and investment ratings, as well as regulatory restrictions on leverage which may affect the amount of funding that may be obtained. There may also be certain requirements relating to portfolio performance, including required minimum portfolio yield and limitations on delinquencies and charge-offs, a violation of which could limit further advances and, in some cases, result in an event of default. An event of default under a credit facility could result in an accelerated maturity date for all amounts outstanding thereunder, which could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition and could lead to cross default under other credit facilities. This could reduce our liquidity and cash flow and impair our ability to manage our business.

Under the terms of the Revolving Credit Facility, we have agreed not to incur any additional secured indebtedness other than in certain limited circumstances in which the incurrence is permitted under the Revolving Credit Facility. In addition, if our borrowing base under the Revolving Credit Facility were to decrease, we would be required to secure additional assets or repay advances under the Revolving Credit Facility which could have a material adverse impact on our ability to fund future investments and to make distributions.

In addition, under the terms of our credit facilities, we are subject to limitations as to how borrowed funds may be used, as well as regulatory restrictions on leverage which may affect the amount of funding that we may obtain. There may also be certain requirements relating to portfolio performance, a violation of which could limit further advances and, in some cases, result in an event of default. This could reduce our liquidity and cash flow and impair our ability to grow our business.

The Note Purchase Agreement, pursuant to which the 2023 Notes were issued, includes prohibitions on certain fundamental changes at the Company or any subsidiary guarantor.

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

As part of our business strategy, we may borrow from and issue senior debt securities to banks, insurance companies and other lenders or investors. Holders of these senior securities will have fixed-dollar claims on our assets that are superior to the claims of our shareholders. If the value of our assets decreases, leverage would cause our net asset value to decline more sharply than it otherwise would have if we did not employ leverage. Similarly, any decrease in our income would cause net income to decline more sharply than it would have had we not borrowed. Such a decline could negatively affect our ability to make common stock dividend payments.

Our ability to service any borrowings that we incur will depend largely on our financial performance and will be subject to prevailing economic conditions and competitive pressures. Moreover, the management fee will be payable based on our average gross assets excluding cash and cash equivalents but including assets purchased with borrowed amounts, which may give our Adviser an incentive to use leverage to make additional investments. See “— Our fee structure may create incentives for our Adviser to make speculative investments or use substantial leverage.” The amount of leverage that we employ will depend on our Adviser’s and our Board’s assessment of market and other factors at the time of any proposed borrowing. We cannot assure you that we will be able to obtain credit at all or on terms acceptable to us, which could affect our return on capital.

In addition to having fixed-dollar claims on our assets that are superior to the claims of our common shareholders, obligations to lenders may be secured by a first priority security interest in our portfolio of investments and cash.

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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. Leverage generally magnifies the return of shareholders when the portfolio return is positive and magnifies their losses when the portfolio return is negative. The calculations in the table below are hypothetical, and actual returns may be higher or lower than those appearing in the table below.  

 

 

 

Assumed Return on Our Portfolio (Net of Expenses)

 

 

 

-10%

 

 

-5%

 

 

0%

 

 

5%

 

 

10%

 

Corresponding return to common shareholder(1)

 

 

-17.86

%

 

 

-10.16

%

 

 

-2.47

%

 

 

5.23

%

 

 

12.93

%

________________

(1)

Assumes, as of December 31, 2019, (i) $9.2 billion in total assets, (ii) $3.1 billion in outstanding indebtedness, (iii) 6.0 billion in net assets and (iv) weighted average interest rate, excluding fees (such as fees on undrawn amounts and amortization of financing costs), of 4.8%.

 

See “ITEM 7 – MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS — Financial Condition, Liquidity and Capital Resources” for more information regarding our borrowings.

Price declines in the corporate leveraged loan market may adversely affect the fair value of our portfolio, reducing our net asset value through increased net unrealized depreciation and the incurrence of realized losses.

Conditions in the U.S. corporate debt market may experience disruption or deterioration in the future, which may cause pricing levels to decline or be volatile. As a result, our net asset value could decline through an increase in unrealized depreciation and incurrence of realized losses in connection with the sale or other disposition of our investments, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

If we are unable to obtain additional debt financing, or if our borrowing capacity is materially reduced, our business could be materially adversely affected.

We may want to obtain additional debt financing, or need to do so upon maturity of our credit facilities, in order to obtain funds which may be made available for investments. The revolving period under the Revolving Credit Facility ends on January 31, 2020, and the Revolving Credit Facility matures on April 2, 2024. The SPV Asset Facility I, the 2023 Notes, the SPV Asset Facility II, the SPV Asset Facility III, the 2024 Notes, the 2025 Notes, the SPV Asset Facility IV, CLO I Transaction and CLO II Transaction mature on December 21, 2022, June 21, 2023, October 10, 2026, December 14, 2023, April 15, 2024, March 30, 2025, August 2, 2029, May 20, 2031 and January 20, 2031, respectively. If we are unable to increase, renew or replace any such facilities and enter into new debt financing facilities or other debt financing on commercially reasonable terms, our liquidity may be reduced significantly. In addition, if we are unable to repay amounts outstanding under any such facilities and are declared in default or are unable to renew or refinance these facilities, we may not be able to make new investments or operate our business in the normal course. These situations may arise due to circumstances that we may be unable to control, such as lack of access to the credit markets, a severe decline in the value of the U.S. dollar, an economic downturn or an operational problem that affects us or third parties, and could materially damage our business operations, results of operations and financial condition.

To the extent that we borrow money, the potential for gain or loss on amounts invested in us will be magnified and may increase the risk of investing in us. Borrowed money may also adversely affect the return on our assets, reduce cash available to service our debt or for distribution to our shareholders, and result in losses.

The use of borrowings, also known as leverage, increases the volatility of investments by magnifying the potential for gain or loss on invested equity capital. To the extent that we use leverage to partially finance our investments through borrowing from banks and other lenders, you will experience increased risks of investing in our securities. If the value of our assets decreases, leverage would cause our net asset value to decline more sharply than it otherwise would if we had not borrowed and employed leverage. Similarly, any decrease in our income would cause net income to decline more sharply than it would have if we had not borrowed and employed leverage. Such a decline could negatively affect our ability to service our debt or make distributions to our shareholders. In addition, our shareholders will bear the burden of any increase in our expenses as a result of our use of leverage, including interest expenses and any increase in the base management or incentive fees payable to our Adviser attributable to the increase in assets purchased using leverage.

The amount of leverage that we employ will depend on our Adviser’s and our Board’s assessment of market and other factors at the time of any proposed borrowing. There can be no assurance that leveraged financing will be available to us on favorable terms or at all. However, to the extent that we use leverage to finance our assets, our financing costs will reduce cash available for distributions to shareholders. Moreover, we may not be able to meet our financing obligations and, to the extent that we cannot, we risk the loss of some or all of our assets to liquidation or sale to satisfy the obligations. In such an event, we may be forced to sell assets at significantly depressed prices due to market conditions or otherwise, which may result in losses.

As a business development company, generally, the ratio of our total assets (less total liabilities other than indebtedness represented by senior securities) to our total indebtedness represented by senior securities plus any preferred stock, if any, must be at least 200%; however, legislation enacted in March 2018 has modified the 1940 Act by allowing a BDC to increase the maximum

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amount of leverage it may incur from an asset coverage ratio of 200% to an asset coverage ratio of 150%, if certain requirements are met. This means that generally, we can borrow up to $1 for every $1 of investor equity (or, if certain conditions are met, we can borrow up to $2 for every $1 of investor equity). The reduced asset coverage requirement would permit a BDC to double the amount of leverage it could incur. For additional information about the asset coverage requirements, see “Regulation — Senior Securities”. If this ratio declines below 200% (or 150% if certain requirements are met), we cannot incur additional debt and could be required to sell a portion of our investments to repay some indebtedness when it may be disadvantageous to do so. This could have a material adverse effect on our operations, and we may not be able to service our debt or make distributions.

Global economic, political and market conditions may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, including our revenue growth and profitability.

The worldwide financial markets, as well as various social and political tensions in the United States and around the world, may contribute to increased market volatility, may have long term effects on the United States and worldwide financial markets, and may cause economic uncertainties or deterioration in the United States and worldwide. We monitor developments and seek to manage our investments in a manner consistent with achieving our investment objective, but there can be no assurance that we will be successful in doing so.

In August 2011 and then affirmed in August 2013, Standard & Poor’s Rating Services lowered its long term sovereign credit rating on the U.S. from “AAA” to “AA+”. Additionally, in January of 2012, Standard & Poor’s Rating Services lowered its long term sovereign credit rating for several large European countries. These ratings negatively impacted global markets and economic conditions. Although U.S. lawmakers have taken steps to avoid further downgrades, U.S. budget deficit concerns and similar conditions in Europe, China and elsewhere have increased the possibility of additional credit rating downgrades and worsening global economic and market conditions. The current political climate has also intensified concerns about a potential trade war between the United States and China in connection with each country’s recent proposed tariffs on the other country’s products. There can be no assurance that current or future governmental measures to mitigate these conditions will be effective. These conditions, government actions and future developments may cause interest rates and borrowing costs to rise, which may adversely affect our ability to access debt financing on favorable terms and may increase the interest costs of our borrowers, hampering their ability to repay us. Continued or future adverse economic conditions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

In October 2014, the Federal Reserve announced that it was concluding its bond buying program, or quantitative easing, which was designed to stimulate the economy and expand the Federal Reserve’s holdings of long term securities, suggesting that key economic indicators, such as the unemployment rate, had showed signs of improvement since the inception of the program. It is possible that, without quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve, these developments, along with the United States government’s credit and deficit concerns and other global economic conditions, could cause interest rates and borrowing costs to rise, which may negatively impact our ability to access the debt markets on favorable terms. Additionally, in December 2016, the Federal Reserve raised its federal funds target rate. However, if key economic indicators, such as the unemployment rate or inflation, do not progress at a rate consistent with the Federal Reserve’s objectives, the target range for the federal funds rate may further increase and cause interest rates and borrowing costs to rise, which may negatively impact our ability to access the debt markets on favorable terms and may also increase the costs of our borrowers, hampering their ability to repay us.

Economic recessions or downturns could impair our portfolio companies and harm our operating results.

Many of our portfolio companies may be susceptible to economic slowdowns or recessions and may be unable to repay our debt investments during these periods. Therefore, our non-performing assets may increase, and the value of our portfolio is likely to decrease during these periods. Adverse economic conditions may also decrease the value of any collateral securing our loans. A severe recession may further decrease the value of such collateral and result in losses of value in our portfolio and a decrease in our revenues, net income, assets and net worth.

Unfavorable economic conditions also could increase our funding costs, limit our access to the capital markets or result in a decision by lenders not to extend credit to us on terms we deem acceptable. These events could prevent us from increasing investments and harm our operating results.

The occurrence of recessionary conditions and/or negative developments in the domestic and international credit markets may significantly affect the markets in which we do business, the value of our investments, and our ongoing operations, costs and profitability. Any such unfavorable economic conditions, including rising interest rates, may also increase our funding costs, limit our access to capital markets or negatively impact our ability to obtain financing, particularly from the debt markets. In addition, any future financial market uncertainty could lead to financial market disruptions and could further impact our ability to obtain financing. These events could limit our investment originations, limit our ability to grow and negatively impact our operating results and financial condition.

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Our ability to achieve our investment objective depends on our Adviser’s ability to manage and support our investment process. If our Adviser were to lose a significant number of its key professionals, or terminate the Advisory Agreement, our ability to achieve our investment objective could be significantly harmed.

We do not have any employees. Additionally, we have no internal management capacity other than our appointed executive officers and will be dependent upon the investment expertise, skill and network of business contacts of our Adviser to achieve our investment objective. Our Adviser will evaluate, negotiate, structure, execute, monitor, and service our investments. Our success will depend to a significant extent on the continued service and coordination of our Adviser, including its key professionals. The departure of a significant number of key professionals from our Adviser could have a material adverse effect on our ability to achieve our investment objective.

Our ability to achieve our investment objective also depends on the ability of our Adviser to identify, analyze, invest in, finance, and monitor companies that meet our investment criteria. Our Adviser’s capabilities in structuring the investment process, and providing competent, attentive and efficient services to us depend on the involvement of investment professionals of adequate number and sophistication to match the corresponding flow of transactions. To achieve our investment objective, our Adviser may need to retain, hire, train, supervise, and manage new investment professionals to participate in our investment selection and monitoring process. Our Adviser may not be able to find qualified investment professionals in a timely manner or at all. Any failure to do so could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

In addition, the Investment Advisory Agreement has a termination provision that allows the agreement to be terminated by us on 60 days’ notice without penalty by the vote of a Majority of the Outstanding Shares of our common stock or by the vote of our independent directors. Furthermore, the Investment Advisory Agreement automatically terminates in the event of its assignment, as defined in the 1940 Act, by the Adviser. If the Adviser resigns or is terminated, or if we do not obtain the requisite approvals of shareholders and our Board to approve an agreement with the Adviser after an assignment, 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 prior to the termination of the Investment Advisory Agreement, or at all. If we are unable to do so quickly, our operations are likely to experience a disruption and costs under any new agreements that we enter into could increase. Our financial condition, business and results of operations, as well as our ability to meet our payment obligations under our indebtedness and pay distributions, are likely to be adversely affected, and the value of our common stock may decline.

Because our business model depends to a significant extent upon the Adviser’s relationships with corporations, financial institutions and investment firms, the inability of our Adviser to maintain or develop these relationships, or the failure of these relationships to generate investment opportunities, could adversely affect our business.

Our Adviser depends on its relationships with corporations, financial institutions and investment firms, and we will rely to a significant extent upon these relationships to provide us with potential investment opportunities.

If our Adviser fails to maintain its existing relationships or develop new relationships or sources of investment opportunities, we may not be able to grow our investment portfolio. In addition, individuals with whom our Adviser has relationships are not obligated to provide us with investment opportunities, and, therefore, there is no assurance that such relationships will generate investment opportunities for us.

We may face increasing competition for investment opportunities, which could delay further deployment of our capital, reduce returns and result in losses.

We may compete for investments with other business development companies and investment funds (including registered investment companies, private equity funds and mezzanine funds), including Owl Rock Capital Corporation II, Owl Rock Technology Finance Corp., the Owl Rock First Lien Master Fund, L.P. and other clients of the Adviser or its affiliates, as well as traditional financial services companies such as commercial banks and other sources of funding. Moreover, alternative investment vehicles, such as hedge funds, continue to increase their investment focus in our target market of privately owned U.S. companies. We may experience increased competition from banks and investment vehicles who may continue to lend to the middle market. Additionally, the Federal Reserve and other bank regulators may periodically provide incentives to U.S. commercial banks to originate more loans to U.S. middle market private companies. As a result of these market participants and regulatory incentives, competition for investment opportunities in privately owned U.S. companies is strong and may intensify. 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 capital and access to funding sources that are not available to us. In addition, some competitors may have higher risk tolerances or different risk assessments than us. These characteristics could allow our competitors to consider a wider variety of investments, establish more relationships and offer better pricing and more flexible structuring than we are able to do.

We may lose investment opportunities if we do not match our competitors’ pricing, terms, and investment structure criteria. If we are forced to match these competitors’ investment terms criteria, we may not be able to achieve acceptable returns on our investments or may bear substantial risk of capital loss. A significant increase in the number and/or the size of our competitors in our target market could force us to accept less attractive investment terms. Furthermore, many competitors are not subject to the regulatory restrictions that the 1940 Act imposes on us as a business development company or the source of income, asset diversification and distribution requirements we must satisfy to maintain our RIC tax treatment. The competitive pressures we face,

32


and the manner in which we react or adjust to competitive pressures, may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, effective yield on investments, investment returns, leverage ratio, and cash flows. As a result of this competition, we may not be able to take advantage of attractive investment opportunities from time to time. Also, we may not be able to identify and make investments that are consistent with our investment objective.

Our investment portfolio will be recorded at fair value as determined in good faith in accordance with procedures established by our Board and, as a result, there is and will be uncertainty as to the value of our portfolio investments.

Under the 1940 Act, we are required to carry our portfolio investments at market value or, if there is no readily available market value, at fair value as determined in accordance with procedures established by our Board. There is not a public market or active secondary market for many of the types of investments in privately held companies that we hold and intend to make. Our investments may not be publicly traded or actively traded on a secondary market but, instead, may be traded on a privately negotiated over-the-counter secondary market for institutional investors, if at all. As a result, we will value these investments quarterly at fair value as determined in good faith in accordance with valuation policy and procedures approved by our Board.

The determination of fair value, and thus the amount of unrealized appreciation or depreciation we may recognize in any reporting period, is to a degree subjective, and our Adviser has a conflict of interest in making recommendations of fair value. We will value our investments quarterly at fair value as determined in good faith by our Board, based on, among other things, input of the Adviser, our Audit Committee and independent third-party valuation firm(s) engaged at the direction of the Board. The types of factors that may be considered in determining the fair values of our investments include the nature and realizable value of any collateral, the portfolio company’s ability to make payments and its earnings, the markets in which the portfolio company does business, comparison to publicly traded companies, discounted cash flow, current market interest rates and other relevant factors. Because such valuations, and particularly valuations of private securities and private companies, are inherently uncertain, the valuations may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time due to changes in current market conditions. The determinations of fair value in accordance with procedures established by our Board may differ materially from the values that would have been used if an active market and market quotations existed for such investments. Our net asset value could be adversely affected if the determinations regarding the fair value of the investments were materially higher than the values that we ultimately realize upon the disposal of such investments.

Our Board may change our operating policies and strategies without prior notice or shareholder approval, the effects of which may be adverse to our shareholders.

Our Board has the authority to modify or waive current operating policies, investment criteria and strategies without prior notice and without shareholder approval. We cannot predict the effect any changes to current operating policies, investment criteria and strategies would have on our business, net asset value, operating results and the value of our securities. However, the effects might be adverse, which could negatively impact our ability to pay you distributions and cause you to lose all or part of your investment.

Changes in laws or regulations governing our operations may adversely affect our business or cause us to alter our business strategy.

We and our portfolio companies will be subject to regulation at the local, state, and federal levels. Changes to the laws and regulations governing our permitted investments may require a change to our investment strategy. Such changes could differ materially from our strategies and plans as set forth in this report and may shift our investment focus from the areas of expertise of our Adviser. Thus, any such changes, if they occur, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and the value of your investment in us.

Changes to United States tariff and import/export regulations may have a negative effect on our portfolio companies and, in turn, harm us.

Significant changes to U.S. trade policy, including changes to current legislation and trade agreements and the imposition of tariffs have been discussed by the current U.S. presidential administration and certain members of Congress. Recently, the administration has imposed tariffs on a range of goods imported into the U.S., and a few countries have retaliated with tariffs against the United States. These retaliatory actions could trigger extended "trade wars" between the U.S. and its trading partners, resulting in additional barriers to the international market, inclusive of customers, vendors, and potential investors. Under these circumstances, the cost of goods for some portfolio companies could increase, resulting in lower consumer demand for their goods and reduced cash flows. While it is unknown whether and to what extent new legislation will be enacted into law, the enactment or amendment of trade legislation and/or renegotiation of trade agreements may impose additional compliance costs on portfolio companies, restrict their ability to participate in international markets and otherwise disrupt their current operations.

We are an “emerging growth company” under the JOBS Act, and we cannot be certain if the reduced disclosure requirements applicable to emerging growth companies will make our securities stock less attractive to investors.

We are and we will remain an “emerging growth company” as defined in the JOBS Act until the earlier of (a) the last day of the fiscal year (i) following the fifth anniversary of the completion of our initial public offering of common equity securities, (ii) in which we have total annual gross revenue of at least $1.07 billion, or (iii) in which we are deemed to be a large accelerated filer, which means the market value of our common stock that is held by non-affiliates exceeds $700 million as of the prior June 30th, and (b) the

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date on which we have issued more than $1.0 billion in non-convertible debt securities during the prior three-year period. For so long as we remain an “emerging growth company” we may take advantage of certain exemptions from various reporting requirements that are applicable to other public companies that are not “emerging growth companies” including, but not limited to, not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. We cannot predict if investors will find our securities and debt less attractive because we will rely on some or all of these exemptions.

In addition, Section 107 of the JOBS Act also provides that an “emerging growth company” can take advantage of the extended transition period provided in Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act for complying with new or revised accounting standards. In other words, an “emerging growth company” can delay the adoption of certain accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. We intend to take advantage of such extended transition periods.

Our status as an “emerging growth company” under the JOBS Act may make it more difficult to raise capital as and when we need it.

Because of the exemptions from various reporting requirements provided to us as an “emerging growth company” and because we will have an extended transition period for complying with new or revised financial accounting standards, we may be less attractive to investors and it may be difficult for us to raise additional capital as and when we need it. Investors may be unable to compare our business with other companies in our industry if they believe that our financial accounting is not as transparent as other companies in our industry. If we are unable to raise additional capital as and when we need it, our financial condition and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.

We expend significant financial and other resources to comply with the requirements of being a public entity.

As a public entity, we are subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act and requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The Exchange Act requires that we file annual, quarterly and current reports with respect to our business and financial condition. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires that we maintain effective disclosure controls and procedures and internal controls over financial reporting, which are discussed below. In order to maintain and improve the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures and internal controls, significant resources and management oversight are required. We have implemented procedures, processes, policies and practices for the purpose of addressing the standards and requirements applicable to public companies. These activities may divert management’s attention from other business concerns, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

The systems and resources necessary to comply with public company reporting requirements will increase further once we cease to be an “emerging growth company” under the JOBS Act. As long as we remain an emerging growth company, we intend to take advantage of certain exemptions from various reporting requirements that are applicable to other public companies, including, but not limited to, not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. We expect to remain an emerging growth company for up to five years following the completion of our initial public offering of common equity securities or until the earliest of (i) the last day of the first fiscal year in which our annual gross revenues exceed $1.07 billion, (ii) December 31 of the fiscal year that we become a “large accelerated filer” as defined in Rule 12b-2 under the Exchange Act which would occur if the market value of our common stock that is held by non-affiliates exceeds $700.0 million as of the last business day of our most recently completed second fiscal quarter and we have been publicly reporting for at least 12 months or (iii) the date on which we have issued more than $1.0 billion in non-convertible debt securities during the preceding three-year period.

We may experience fluctuations in our operating results.

We may experience fluctuations in our operating results due to a number of factors, including our ability or inability to make investments in companies that meet our investment criteria, interest rates and default rates on the debt investments we make, the level of our expenses, variations in and the timing of the recognition of realized gains or losses, unrealized appreciation or depreciation, the degree to which we encounter competition in our markets, and general economic conditions. These occurrences could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, the value of your investment in us and our ability to pay distributions to you and our other shareholders.

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

As a business development company, we are required to carry our investments at market value or, if no market value is ascertainable, at the fair value as determined in good faith in accordance with procedures established by our Board. Decreases in the market values or fair values of our investments relative to amortized cost will be recorded as unrealized depreciation. Any unrealized losses in our portfolio could be an indication of a portfolio company’s inability to meet its repayment obligations to us with respect to the affected loans. This could result in realized losses in the future and ultimately in reductions of our income available for distribution in future periods. In addition, decreases in the market value or fair value of our investments will reduce our net asset value. See “ITEM 7 – MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS — Critical Accounting Policies — Investments at Fair Value.”

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We are subject to limited restrictions with respect to the proportion of our assets that may be invested in a single issuer.

We intend to operate as a non-diversified management investment company; however, we are currently and may, from time to time, in the future, be considered a diversified management investment company pursuant to the definitions set forth in the 1940 Act. In addition, we are subject to the asset diversification requirements associated with our qualification as a RIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes. While we are not targeting any specific industries, our investments may be focused on relatively few industries. To the extent that we hold large positions in a small number of issuers, or within a particular industry, our net asset value may be subject to greater fluctuation. We may also be more susceptible to any single economic or regulatory occurrence or a downturn in particular industry.

We are dependent on information systems and systems failures could significantly disrupt our business, which may, in turn, negatively affect our liquidity, financial condition or results of operations.

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 service providers, could cause delays or other problems in our activities. Our financial, accounting, data processing, portfolio monitoring, 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. 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;

• outages due to idiosyncratic issues at specific service providers; and

• cyber-attacks.

These events, in turn, could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and negatively affect the net asset value of our common stock and our ability to pay distributions to our shareholders.

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

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

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

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

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

A cyber incident is considered to be any adverse event that threatens the confidentiality, integrity or availability of the information resources of us or 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 business relationships. As our and our portfolio companies'

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reliance on technology has increased, so have the risks posed to our information systems, both internal and those provided 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.

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

Because we borrow money to make investments, our net investment income will depend, in part, upon the difference between the rate at which we borrow funds and the rate at which we invest those funds. As a result, we can offer no assurance that a significant change in market interest rates will not have a material adverse effect on our net investment income.

A reduction in the interest rates on new investments relative to interest rates on current investments could have an adverse impact on our net investment income. However, an increase in interest rates could decrease the value of any investments we hold which earn fixed interest rates and also could increase our interest expense, thereby decreasing our net income. Also, an increase in interest rates available to investors could make an investment in our common stock less attractive if we are not able to increase our dividend rate, which could reduce the value of our common stock. Further, rising interest rates could also adversely affect our performance if such increases cause our borrowing costs to rise at a rate in excess of the rate that our investments yield.

In periods of rising interest rates, to the extent we borrow money subject to a floating interest rate, our cost of funds would increase, which could reduce our net investment income. Further, rising interest rates could also adversely affect our performance if we hold investments with floating interest rates, subject to specified minimum interest rates (such as a LIBOR floor), while at the same time engaging in borrowings subject to floating interest rates not subject to such minimums. In such a scenario, rising interest rates may increase our interest expense, even though our interest income from investments is not increasing in a corresponding manner as a result of such minimum interest rates.

If general interest rates rise, there is a risk that the portfolio companies in which we hold floating rate securities will be unable to pay escalating interest amounts, which could result in a default under their loan documents with us. Rising interest rates could also cause portfolio companies to shift cash from other productive uses to the payment of interest, which may have a material adverse effect on their business and operations and could, over time, lead to increased defaults. In addition, rising interest rates may increase pressure on us to provide fixed rate loans to our portfolio companies, which could adversely affect our net investment income, as increases in our cost of borrowed funds would not be accompanied by increased interest income from such fixed-rate investments.

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

LIBOR, the London Interbank Offered Rate, is the basic rate of interest used in lending transactions between banks on the London interbank market and is widely used as a reference for setting the interest rate on loans globally. We typically use LIBOR as a reference rate in term loans we extend to portfolio companies such that the interest due to us pursuant to a term loan extended to a portfolio company is calculated using LIBOR. The terms of our debt investments generally include minimum interest rate floors which are calculated based on LIBOR.

The United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates LIBOR, announced that it will not compel panel banks to contribute to LIBOR after 2021. It is unclear if at that time LIBOR will cease to exist or if new methods of calculating LIBOR will be established such that it continues to exist after 2021. Central banks and regulators in a number of major jurisdictions (for example, United States, United Kingdom, European Union, Switzerland and Japan) have convened working groups to find, and implement the transition to, suitable replacements for interbank offered rates (“IBORs”). To identify a successor rate for U.S. dollar LIBOR, the Alternative Reference Rates Committee (“ARRC”), a U.S.-based group convened by the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, was formed. The ARRC has identified the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) as its preferred alternative rate for LIBOR. SOFR is a measure of the cost of borrowing cash overnight, collateralized by U.S. Treasury securities, and is based on directly observable U.S. Treasury-backed repurchase transactions. Although SOFR appears to be the preferred replacement rate for U.S. dollar LIBOR, at this time, it is not possible to predict the effect of any such changes, any establishment of alternative reference rates or other reforms to LIBOR that may be enacted in the United States, United Kingdom or elsewhere. The elimination of LIBOR or any other changes or reforms to the determination or supervision of LIBOR could have an adverse impact on the market for or value of any LIBOR-linked securities, loans, and other financial obligations or extensions of credit held by or due to us or on our overall financial condition or results of operations. In addition, if LIBOR ceases to exist, we may need to renegotiate the credit agreements extending beyond 2021 with our portfolio companies that utilize LIBOR as a factor in determining the interest rate, in order to replace LIBOR with the new standard that is established, which may have an adverse effect on our overall financial condition or results of operations. Following the replacement of LIBOR, some or all of these credit agreements may bear interest at a  lower interest rate, which could have an adverse impact on our results of operations. Moreover, if LIBOR ceases to exist, we may need to renegotiate certain terms of our credit facilities. If we are unable to do so, amounts drawn under our credit facilities may bear interest at a higher rate, which would increase the cost of our borrowings and, in turn, affect our results of operations.

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

The decision made in the United Kingdom referendum to leave the European Union has led to volatility in global financial markets, and in particular in the markets of the United Kingdom and across Europe, and may also lead to weakening in consumer, corporate and financial confidence in the United Kingdom and Europe. The United Kingdom and European Union announced in March 2018 an agreement in principle to transitional provisions under which European Union law would remain in force in the United Kingdom until the end of December 2020, but this remains subject to the successful conclusion of an agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union. In the absence of such an agreement there would be no transitional provisions and the United Kingdom would exit the European Union and the relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union would be based on the World Trade Organization rules (a “hard Brexit”). On October 28, 2019, the United Kingdom came to an agreement with the European Union to delay the deadline for withdrawal; however, the United Kingdom parliament did not approve the withdrawal agreement by January 31, 2020 and there was a hard Brexit on that date. While it is not currently possible to determine the extent of the impact a hard Brexit may have on our  investments, certain measures are being proposed and/or will be introduced, at the European Union level or at the member state level, which are designed to minimize disruption in the financial markets.

            Notwithstanding the foregoing, the extent and process by which the United Kingdom will ultimately exit the European Union, and the longer term economic, legal, political and social framework to be put in place between the United Kingdom and the European Union are unclear at this stage and are likely to lead to ongoing political and economic uncertainty and periods of exacerbated volatility in both the United Kingdom and in wider European markets for some time. In particular, the decision made in the United Kingdom referendum may lead to a call for similar referenda in other European jurisdictions which may cause increased economic volatility and uncertainty in the European and global markets. This volatility and uncertainty may have an adverse effect on the economy generally and on our ability, and the ability of our portfolio companies, to execute our respective strategies and to receive attractive returns.

In particular, currency volatility may mean that our returns and the returns of our portfolio companies will be adversely affected by market movements and may make it more difficult, or more expensive, for us to implement appropriate currency hedging. Potential declines in the value of the British Pound and/or the euro against other currencies, along with the potential downgrading of the United Kingdom’s sovereign credit rating, may also have an impact on the performance of any of our portfolio companies located in the United Kingdom or Europe.

The amount of any distributions we may make on our common stock is uncertain. We may not be able to pay you distributions, or be able to sustain distributions at any particular level, and our distributions per share, if any, may not grow over time, and our distributions per share may be reduced. We have not established any limit on the extent to which we may use borrowings, if any, and we may use offering proceeds to fund distributions (which may reduce the amount of capital we ultimately invest in portfolio companies).

Subject to our Board’s discretion and applicable legal restrictions, we intend to authorize and declare cash distributions on a monthly or quarterly basis and pay such distributions on a monthly or quarterly basis. We expect to pay distributions out of assets legally available for distribution. However, we cannot assure you that we will achieve investment results that will allow us to make a consistent targeted level of cash distributions or year-to-year increases in cash distributions. Our ability to pay distributions might be adversely affected by the impact of the risks described herein. In addition, the inability to satisfy the asset coverage test applicable to us as a business development company under the 1940 Act can limit our ability to pay distributions. Distributions from offering proceeds also could reduce the amount of capital we ultimately invest in debt or equity securities of portfolio companies. We cannot assure you that we will pay distributions to our shareholders in the future.

Distributions on our common stock may exceed our taxable earnings and profits. Therefore, portions of the distributions that we pay may represent a return of capital to you. A return of capital is a return of a portion of your original investment in shares of our common stock. As a result, a return of capital will (i) lower your tax basis in your shares and thereby increase the amount of capital gain (or decrease the amount of capital loss) realized upon a subsequent sale or redemption of such shares, and (ii) reduce the amount of funds we have for investment in portfolio companies. We have not established any limit on the extent to which we may use offering proceeds to fund distributions.

We may pay our distributions from offering proceeds in anticipation of future cash flow, which may constitute a return of your capital and will lower your tax basis in your shares, thereby increasing the amount of capital gain (or decreasing the amount of capital loss) realized upon a subsequent sale or redemption of such shares, even if such shares have not increased in value or have, in fact, lost value. Distributions from offering proceeds also could reduce the amount of capital we ultimately have available to invest in portfolio companies.

We are subject to risks related to corporate social responsibility.

Our business faces increasing public scrutiny related to environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) activities. We risk damage to our brand and reputation if we fail to act responsibly in a number of areas, such as environmental stewardship, corporate governance and transparency and considering ESG factors in our investment processes. Adverse incidents with respect to ESG activities could impact the value of our brand, the cost of our operations and relationships with investors, all of which could adversely

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affect our business and results of operations. Additionally, new regulatory initiatives related to ESG could adversely affect our business.

 

Risks Related to Our Adviser and Its Affiliates

The Adviser and its affiliates have limited experience managing a business development company.

Our Adviser and its affiliates have limited experience managing a vehicle regulated as a business development company and may not be able to operate our business successfully or achieve our investment objective. As a result, an investment in our securities may entail more risk than the securities of a comparable company with a substantial operating history.

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

The Adviser and its affiliates, including our officers and some of our directors, may face conflicts of interest caused by compensation arrangements with us and our affiliates, which could result in increased risk-taking by us.

The Adviser and its affiliates will receive substantial fees from us in return for their services. Following the Listing Date, these fees may include certain incentive fees based on the amount of appreciation of our investments. These fees could influence the advice provided to us. Generally, the more equity we sell in public offerings and the greater the risk assumed by us with respect to our investments, including through the use of leverage, the greater the potential for growth in our assets and profits, and, correlatively, the fees payable by us to our Adviser. These compensation arrangements could affect our Adviser’s or its affiliates’ judgment with respect to public offerings of equity and investments made by us, which allow our Adviser to earn increased asset management fees.

The time and resources that individuals associated with our Adviser devote to us may be diverted, and we may face additional competition due to the fact that neither our Adviser nor its affiliates is prohibited from raising money for or managing another entity that makes the same types of investments that we target.

The Adviser and its affiliates currently manage Owl Rock Capital Corporation II, Owl Rock Technology Finance Corp. and Owl Rock First Lien Master Fund, L.P. and are not prohibited from raising money for and managing future investment entities that make the same or similar types of investments as those we target. As a result, the time and resources that our Adviser devotes to us may be diverted, and during times of intense activity in other investment programs they may devote less time and resources to our business than is necessary or appropriate. In addition, we may compete with any such investment entity also managed by the Adviser or its affiliates for the same investors and investment opportunities.

The Adviser and its affiliates may face conflicts of interest with respect to services performed for issuers in which we invest.

Our Adviser and its affiliates may provide a broad range of financial services to companies in which we invest, including providing arrangement, syndication, origination, structuring and other services to our portfolio companies, and will generally be paid fees for such services, in compliance with applicable law, by the portfolio company. Any compensation received by our Adviser or its affiliates for providing these services will not be shared with us and may be received before we realize a return on our investment. Our Adviser and its affiliates may face conflicts of interest with respect to services performed for these companies, on the one hand, and investments recommended to us, on the other hand.

The Adviser or its affiliates may have incentives to favor their respective other accounts and clients over us, which may result in conflicts of interest that could be harmful to us.

Because our Adviser and its affiliates manage assets for, or may in the future manage assets for, other investment companies, pooled investment vehicles and/or other accounts (including institutional clients, pension plans, co-invest vehicles and certain high net worth individuals), certain conflicts of interest are present. For instance, the Adviser and its affiliates may receive asset management performance based, or other fees from certain accounts that are higher than the fees received by our Adviser from us. In those instances, a portfolio manager for our Adviser has an incentive to favor the higher fee and/or performance-based fee accounts over us.

In addition, a conflict of interest exists to the extent our Adviser, its affiliates, or any of their respective executives, portfolio managers or employees have proprietary or personal investments in other investment companies or accounts or when certain other investment companies or accounts are investment options in our Adviser’s or its affiliates’ employee benefit plans. In these circumstances, our Adviser has an incentive to favor these other investment companies or accounts over us. Our Board will seek to monitor these conflicts but there can be no assurances that such monitoring will fully mitigate any such conflicts.

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Our fee structure may create incentives for our Adviser to make speculative investments or use substantial leverage.

The incentive fee payable by us to our Adviser after the Listing Date may create an incentive for our Adviser to make investments on our behalf that are risky or more speculative than would be the case in the absence of such compensation arrangements. The way in which the incentive fee is determined may encourage our Adviser to use leverage to increase the leveraged return on our investment portfolio.

In addition, the fact that our base management fee is payable based upon our average gross assets (which includes any borrowings used for investment purposes) may encourage our Adviser to use leverage to make additional investments. Such a practice could make such investments more risky than would otherwise be the case, which could result in higher investment losses, particularly during cyclical economic downturns. Under certain circumstances, the use of substantial leverage (up to the limits prescribed by the 1940 Act) may increase the likelihood of our defaulting on our borrowings, which would be detrimental to holders of our securities.

We may compete for capital and investment opportunities with other entities managed by our Adviser or its affiliates, subjecting our Adviser to certain conflicts of interests.

Our Adviser will experience conflicts of interest in connection with the management of our business affairs relating to and arising from a number of matters, including: the allocation of investment opportunities by our Adviser and its affiliates; compensation to our Adviser; services that may be provided by our Adviser and its affiliates to issuers in which we invest; investments by us and other clients of our Adviser, subject to the limitations of the 1940 Act; the formation of additional investment funds managed by our Adviser; differing recommendations given by our Adviser to us versus other clients; our Adviser’s use of information gained from issuers in our portfolio for investments by other clients, subject to applicable law; and restrictions on our Adviser’s use of “inside information” with respect to potential investments by us.

Specifically, we may compete for investments with affiliated business development companies or funds that are also advised by our Adviser, such as Owl Rock Capital Corporation II and Owl Rock Technology Finance Corp., subjecting our Adviser and its affiliates to certain conflicts of interest in evaluating the suitability of investment opportunities and making or recommending investments on our behalf. To mitigate these conflicts, the Owl Rock Advisers will seek to execute such transactions for all of the participating investment accounts, including us, on a fair and equitable basis and in accordance with the Owl Rock Adviser’s allocation policy, taking into account such factors as the relative amounts of capital available for new investments; cash on hand; existing commitments and reserves; the investment programs and portfolio positions of the participating investment accounts, including portfolio construction, diversification and concentration considerations; the investment objectives, guidelines and strategies of each client; the clients for which participation is appropriate’ each client’s life cycle; targeted leverage level; targeted asset mix and any other factors deemed appropriate.

We may be prohibited under the 1940 Act from participating in certain transactions with our affiliates without the prior approval of our directors who are not interested persons and, in some cases, the prior approval of the SEC. We, our Adviser and certain affiliates have been granted exemptive relief by the SEC to permit us to co-invest with other funds managed by our Adviser or certain of its affiliates, including Owl Rock Capital Corporation II and Owl Rock Technology Finance Corp., in a manner consistent with our investment objective, positions, policies, strategies and restrictions as well as regulatory requirements and other pertinent factors. Pursuant to such exemptive relief, we generally are permitted to co-invest with certain of our affiliates if a “required majority” (as defined in Section 57(o) of the 1940 Act) of our independent directors make certain conclusions in connection with a co-investment transaction, including that (1) the terms of the transaction, including the consideration to be paid, are reasonable and fair to us and our shareholders and do not involve overreaching of us or our shareholders on the part of any person concerned, (2) the transaction is consistent with the interests of our shareholders and is consistent with our investment objective and strategies, and (3) the investment by our affiliates would not disadvantage us, and our participation would not be on a basis different from or less advantageous than that on which our affiliates are investing. The Owl Rock Adviser’s allocation policy seeks to ensure equitable allocation of investment opportunities between us and/or other funds managed by our Adviser or its affiliates. As a result of the exemptive relief, there could be significant overlap in our investment portfolio and the investment portfolio of other funds established by the Adviser or its affiliates that could avail themselves of the exemptive relief.

Actions by the Adviser or its affiliates on behalf of their other accounts and clients may be adverse to us and our investments and harmful to us.

Our Adviser and its affiliates manage assets for accounts other than us, including private funds (for purposes of this section, “Adviser Funds”) including, but not limited to, Owl Rock Capital Corporation II, Owl Rock Technology Finance Corp. and Owl Rock First Lien Master Fund, L.P. Actions taken by our Adviser or its affiliates on behalf of its Adviser Funds may be adverse to us and our investments, which could harm our performance. For example, we may invest in the same credit obligations as other Adviser Funds, although, to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act, our investments may include different obligations or levels of the capital structure of the same issuer. Decisions made with respect to the securities held by one Adviser Fund may cause (or have the potential to cause) harm to the different class of securities of the issuer held by other Adviser Funds (including us).

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Our access to confidential information may restrict our ability to take action with respect to some investments, which, in turn, may negatively affect our results of operations.

We, directly or through our Adviser, may obtain confidential information about the companies in which we have invested or may invest or be deemed to have such confidential information. Our Adviser may come into possession of material, non-public information through its members, officers, directors, employees, principals or affiliates. The possession of such information may, to our detriment, limit the ability of us and our Adviser to buy or sell a security or otherwise to participate in an investment opportunity. In certain circumstances, employees of our Adviser may serve as board members or in other capacities for portfolio or potential portfolio companies, which could restrict our ability to trade in the securities of such companies. For example, if personnel of our Adviser come into possession of material non-public information with respect to our investments, such personnel will be restricted by our Adviser’s information-sharing policies and procedures or by law or contract from sharing such information with our management team, even where the disclosure of such information would be in our best interests or would otherwise influence decisions taken by the members of the management team with respect to that investment. This conflict and these procedures and practices may limit the freedom of our Adviser to enter into or exit from potentially profitable investments for us, which could have an adverse effect on our results of operations. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that we will be able to fully leverage the resources and industry expertise of our Adviser in the course of its duties. Additionally, there may be circumstances in which one or more individuals associated with our Adviser will be precluded from providing services to us because of certain confidential information available to those individuals or to other parts of our Adviser.

We may be obligated to pay our Adviser incentive fees even if we incur a net loss due to a decline in the value of our portfolio and even if our earned interest income is not payable in cash.

Upon the Listing Date, the Investment Advisory Agreement entitles our Adviser to receive an incentive fee based on our pre-incentive fee net investment income regardless of any capital losses. In such case, we may be required to pay our Adviser an incentive fee for a fiscal quarter even if there is a decline in the value of our portfolio or if we incur a net loss for that quarter.

Any incentive fee payable by us that relates to the pre-incentive fee net investment income may be computed and paid on income that may include interest that has been accrued but not yet received or interest in the form of securities received rather than cash (“payment-in-kind” or “PIK” income”). PIK income will be included in the pre-incentive fee net investment income used to calculate the incentive fee to our Adviser even though we do not receive the income in the form of cash. If a portfolio company defaults on a loan that is structured to provide accrued interest income, it is possible that accrued interest income previously included in the calculation of the incentive fee will become uncollectible. Our Adviser is not obligated to reimburse us for any part of the incentive fee it received that was based on accrued interest income that we never receive as a result of a subsequent default.

The quarterly incentive fee on income is recognized and paid without regard to: (i) the trend of pre-incentive fee net investment income as a percent of adjusted capital over multiple quarters in arrears which may in fact be consistently less than the quarterly preferred return, or (ii) the net income or net loss in the current calendar quarter, the current year or any combination of prior periods.

For federal income tax purposes, we may be required to recognize taxable income in some circumstances in which we do not receive a corresponding payment in cash and to make distributions with respect to such income to maintain our tax treatment as a RIC and/or minimize corporate-level U.S. federal income or excise tax. Under such circumstances, we may have difficulty meeting the Annual Distribution Requirement necessary to maintain RIC tax treatment under the Code. This difficulty in making the required distribution may be amplified to the extent that we are required to pay the incentive fee on income with respect to such accrued income. As a result, we may have to sell some of our investments at times and/or at prices we would not consider advantageous, raise additional debt or equity capital, or forgo new investment opportunities for this purpose. If we are not able to obtain cash from other sources, we may fail to qualify for RIC tax treatment and thus become subject to corporate-level U.S. federal income tax.

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

We are prohibited under the 1940 Act from participating in certain transactions with certain of our affiliates without the prior approval of a majority of our independent directors and, in some cases, the SEC. Any person that owns, directly or indirectly, 5% or more of our outstanding voting securities will be our affiliate for purposes of the 1940 Act, and we will generally be prohibited from buying or selling any securities from or to such affiliate on a principal basis, absent the prior approval of our Board and, in some cases, the SEC. The 1940 Act also prohibits certain “joint” transactions with certain of our affiliates, including other funds or clients advised by the Adviser or its affiliates, which in certain circumstances could include investments in the same portfolio company (whether at the same or different times to the extent the transaction involves a joint investment), without prior approval of our Board and, in some cases, the SEC. If a person acquires more than 25% of our voting securities, we will be prohibited from buying or selling any security from or to such person or certain of that person’s affiliates, or entering into prohibited joint transactions with such persons, absent the prior approval of the SEC. Similar restrictions limit our ability to transact business with our officers or directors or their affiliates or anyone who is under common control with us. The SEC has interpreted the business development company regulations governing transactions with affiliates to prohibit certain joint transactions involving entities that share a common investment adviser. As a result of these restrictions, we may be prohibited from buying or selling any security from or to any portfolio company that is controlled by a fund managed by either of our Adviser or its affiliates without the prior approval of the SEC, which may limit the scope of investment or disposition opportunities that would otherwise be available to us.

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On February 7, 2017, we, the Adviser and certain of our affiliates received exemptive relief from the SEC to permit us to co-invest with other funds managed by the Adviser or its affiliates in a manner consistent with our investment objective, positions, policies, strategies and restrictions as well as regulatory requirements and other pertinent factors. Pursuant to such exemptive relief, we generally are permitted to co-invest with certain of our affiliates if a “required majority” (as defined in Section 57(o) of the 1940 Act) of our independent directors make certain conclusions in connection with a co-investment transaction, including that (1) the terms of the transaction, including the consideration to be paid, are reasonable and fair to us and our shareholders and do not involve overreaching of us or our shareholders on the part of any person concerned, (2) the transaction is consistent with the interests of our shareholders and is consistent with our investment objective and strategies, and (3) the investment by our affiliates would not disadvantage us, and our participation would not be on a basis different from or less advantageous than that on which our affiliates are investing

In situations when co-investment with the Adviser or its affiliates other clients is not permitted under the 1940 Act and related rules, existing or future staff guidance, or the terms and conditions of the exemptive relief granted to us by the SEC, our Adviser will need to decide which client or clients will proceed with the investment. Generally, we will not be entitled to make a co-investment in these circumstances and, to the extent that another client elects to proceed with the investment, we will not be permitted to participate. Moreover, except in certain circumstances, we will not invest in any issuer in which an affiliate’s other client holds a controlling interest.

We may make investments that could give rise to a conflict of interest.

We do not expect to invest in, or hold securities of, companies that are controlled by an affiliate’s other clients. However, our Adviser or an affiliate’s other clients may invest in, and gain control over, one of our portfolio companies. If our Adviser or an affiliate’s other client, or clients, gains control over one of our portfolio companies, it may create conflicts of interest and may subject us to certain restrictions under the 1940 Act. As a result of these conflicts and restrictions our Adviser may be unable to implement our investment strategies as effectively as they could have in the absence of such conflicts or restrictions. For example, as a result of a conflict or restriction, our Adviser may be unable to engage in certain transactions that it would otherwise pursue. In order to avoid these conflicts and restrictions, our Adviser may choose to exit such investments prematurely and, as a result, we may forego any positive returns associated with such investments. In addition, to the extent that an affiliate’s other client holds a different class of securities than us as a result of such transactions, our interests may not be aligned.

The recommendations given to us by our Adviser may differ from those rendered to their other clients.

Our Adviser and its affiliates may give advice and recommend securities to other clients which may differ from advice given to, or securities recommended or bought for, us even though such other clients’ investment objectives may be similar to ours, which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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

Our Adviser has not assumed any responsibility to us other than to render the services described in the Investment Advisory Agreement (and, separately, under the Administration Agreement), and it will not be responsible for any action of our Board in declining to follow our Adviser’s advice or recommendations. Pursuant to the Investment Advisory Agreement, our Adviser and its directors, officers, shareholders, members, agents, employees, controlling persons, and any other person or entity affiliated with, or acting on behalf of our Adviser will not be liable to us for their acts under the Investment Advisory Agreement, absent willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence in the performance of their duties. We have also agreed to indemnify, defend and protect our Adviser and its directors, officers, shareholders, members, agents, employees, controlling persons and any other person or entity affiliated with, or acting on behalf of our Adviser with respect to all damages, liabilities, costs and expenses resulting from acts of our Adviser not arising out of willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence in the performance of their duties. However, in accordance with Section 17(i) of the 1940 Act, neither the Adviser nor any of its affiliates, directors, officers, members, employees, agents, or representatives may be protected against any liability to us or our investors to which it would otherwise be subject by reason of willful malfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of its office. These protections may lead our Adviser to act in a riskier manner when acting on our behalf than it would when acting for its own account.

There are risks associated with any potential merger with or purchase of assets of another fund.

The Adviser may in the future recommend to the Board that we merge with or acquire all or substantially all of the assets of one or more funds including a fund that could be managed by the Adviser (including another BDC). We do not expect that the Adviser would recommend any such merger or asset purchase unless it determines that it would be in our best interests, with such determination dependent on factors it deems relevant, which may include our historical and projected financial performance and any that of any proposed merger partner, portfolio composition, potential synergies from the merger or asset sale, available alternative options and market conditions. In addition, no such merger or asset purchase would be consummated absent the meeting of various conditions required by applicable law or contract, at such time, which may include approval of the board of directors and common equity holders of both funds. If the Adviser is the investment adviser of both funds, various conflicts of interest would exist with respect to any such transaction. Such conflicts of interest may potentially arise from, among other things, differences between the

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compensation payable to the Adviser by us and by the entity resulting from such a merger or asset purchase or efficiencies or other benefits to the Adviser as a result of managing a single, larger fund instead of two separate funds.

The Adviser’s failure to comply with pay-to-play laws, regulations and policies could have an adverse effect on the Adviser, and thus, us.

A number of U.S. states and municipal pension plans have adopted so-called “pay-to-play” laws, regulations or policies which prohibit, restrict or require disclosure of payments to (and/or certain contacts with) state officials by individuals and entities seeking to do business with state entities, including those seeking investments by public retirement funds. The SEC has adopted a rule that, among other things, prohibits an investment adviser from providing advisory services for compensation to a government client for two years after the adviser or certain of its executives or employees makes a contribution to certain elected officials or candidates. If the Adviser, any of its employees or affiliates or any service provider acting on its behalf, fails to comply with such laws, regulations or policies, such non-compliance could have an adverse effect on the Adviser, and thus, us.

Risks Related to Business Development Companies

The requirement that we invest a sufficient portion of our assets in qualifying assets could preclude us from investing in accordance with our current business strategy; conversely, the failure to invest a sufficient portion of our assets in qualifying assets could result in our failure to maintain our status as a business development company.

As a business development company, the 1940 Act prohibits us from acquiring any assets other than certain qualifying assets unless, at the time of and after giving effect to such acquisition, at least 70% of our total assets are qualifying assets. Therefore, we may be precluded from investing in what we believe are attractive investments if such investments are not qualifying assets. Conversely, if we fail to invest a sufficient portion of our assets in qualifying assets, we could lose our status as a business development company, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Similarly, these rules could prevent us from making additional investments in existing portfolio companies, which could result in the dilution of our position, or could require us to dispose of investments at an inopportune time to comply with the 1940 Act. If we were forced to sell non-qualifying investments in the portfolio for compliance purposes, the proceeds from such sale could be significantly less than the current value of such investments.

 

Failure to maintain our status as a business development company would reduce our operating flexibility.

If we do not remain a business development company, we might be regulated as a closed-end investment company under the 1940 Act, which would subject us to substantially more regulatory restrictions and correspondingly decrease our operating flexibility.

Regulations governing our operation as a business development company and RIC affect our ability to raise capital 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 business development company, the necessity of raising additional capital may expose us to risks, including risks associated with leverage.

As a result of the Annual Distribution Requirement to qualify for tax treatment as a RIC, we may need to access the capital markets periodically to raise cash to fund new investments in portfolio companies. Currently, we may issue “senior securities,” including borrowing money from banks or other financial institutions only in amounts such that the ratio of our total assets (less total liabilities other than indebtedness represented by senior securities) to our total indebtedness represented by senior securities plus preferred stock, if any, equals at least 200% (or 150% if certain requirements are met) after such incurrence or issuance. If we issue senior securities, we will be exposed to risks associated with leverage, including an increased risk of loss. Our ability to issue different types of securities is also limited. Compliance with RIC distribution 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. Therefore, we intend to seek to continuously issue equity securities, which may lead to shareholder dilution.

We may borrow to fund investments. If the value of our assets declines, we may be unable to satisfy the asset coverage test under the 1940 Act, which would prohibit us from paying distributions and could prevent us from qualifying for tax treatment as a RIC, which would generally result in a corporate-level U.S. federal income tax on any income and net gains. 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 may be disadvantageous.

In addition, we anticipate that as market conditions permit, we may securitize our loans to generate cash for funding new investments. To securitize loans, we may create a wholly owned subsidiary, contribute a pool of loans to the subsidiary and have the subsidiary issue primarily investment grade debt securities to purchasers who would be expected to be willing to accept a substantially lower interest rate than the loans earn. We would retain all or a portion of the equity in the securitized pool of loans. Our retained equity would be exposed to any losses on the portfolio of loans before any of the debt securities would be exposed to such losses.

 

 

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Risks Related to Our Investments

 

Our investments in portfolio companies may be risky, and we could lose all or part of our investments.

Our strategy focuses primarily on originating and making loans to, and making debt and equity investments in, U.S. middle market companies, with a focus on originated transactions sourced through the networks of our Adviser. Short transaction closing timeframes associated with originated transactions coupled with added tax or accounting structuring complexity and international transactions may result in higher risk in comparison to non-originated transactions.

First-Lien Debt. When we make a first-lien loan, we generally take a security interest in the available assets of the portfolio company, including the equity interests of its subsidiaries, which we expect to help mitigate the risk that we will not be repaid. However, there is a risk that the collateral securing our loans may decrease in value over time, may be difficult to sell in a timely manner, may be difficult to appraise, and may fluctuate in value based upon the success of the business and market conditions, including as a result of the inability of the portfolio company to raise additional capital. In some circumstances, our lien is, or could become, subordinated to claims of other creditors. Consequently, the fact that a loan is secured does not guarantee that we will receive principal and interest payments according to the loan’s terms, or at all, or that we will be able to collect on the loan should we need to enforce our remedies.

Unitranche Loans. In addition, in connection with any unitranche loans (including “last out” portions of such loans) in which we may invest, we would enter into agreements among lenders. Under these agreements, our interest in the collateral of the first-lien loans may rank junior to those of other lenders in the loan under certain circumstances. This may result in greater risk and loss of principal on these loans.

Second-Lien and Mezzanine Debt. Our investments in second-lien and mezzanine debt generally are subordinated to senior loans and will either have junior security interests or be unsecured. As such, other creditors may rank senior to us in the event of insolvency. This may result in greater risk and loss of principal.

Equity Investments. When we invest in first-lien debt, second-lien debt or mezzanine debt, we may acquire equity securities, such as warrants, options and convertible instruments, as well. In addition, we may invest directly in the equity securities of portfolio companies. We seek to dispose of these equity interests and realize gains upon our disposition of these interests. However, the equity interests we receive may not appreciate in value and, in fact, may decline in value. Accordingly, we may not be able to realize gains from our equity interests, and any gains that we do realize on the disposition of any equity interests may not be sufficient to offset any other losses we experience.

Most debt securities in which we intend to invest will not be rated by any rating agency and, if they were rated, they would be rated as below investment grade quality and are commonly referred to as “high yield” or “junk”. Debt securities rated below investment grade quality are generally regarded as having predominantly speculative characteristics and may carry a greater risk with respect to a borrower’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal. In addition, some of the loans in which we may invest may be “covenant-lite” loans. We use the term “covenant-lite” loans to refer generally to loans that do not have a complete set of financial maintenance covenants. Generally, “covenant-lite” loans provide borrower companies more freedom to negatively impact lenders because their covenants are incurrence-based, which means they are only tested and can only be breached following an affirmative action of the borrower, rather than by a deterioration in the borrower’s financial condition. Accordingly, to the extent we invest in “covenant-lite” loans, we may have fewer rights against a borrower and may have a greater risk of loss on such investments as compared to investments in or exposure to loans with financial maintenance covenants.

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

We may make indirect investments in portfolio companies through joint ventures, partnerships or other special purpose vehicles (“Investment Vehicles”) including Sebago Lake LLC. In general, the risks associated with indirect investments in portfolio companies through a joint venture, partnership or other special purpose vehicle are similar to those associated with a direct investment in a portfolio company. While we intend to analyze the credit and business of a potential portfolio company in determining whether to make an investment in an Investment Vehicle, we will nonetheless be exposed to the creditworthiness of the Investment Vehicle. In the event of a bankruptcy proceeding against the portfolio company, the assets of the portfolio company may be used to satisfy its obligations prior to the satisfaction of our investment in the Investment Vehicle (i.e., our investment in the Investment Vehicle could be structurally subordinated to the other obligations of the portfolio company). In addition, if we are to invest in an Investment Vehicle, we may be required to rely on our partners in the Investment Vehicle when making decisions regarding such Investment Vehicle’s investments, accordingly, the value of the investment could be adversely affected if our interests diverge from those of our partners in the Investment Vehicle.

If the assets securing the loans that we make decrease in value, then we may lack sufficient collateral to cover losses.

To attempt to mitigate credit risks, we intend to take a security interest in the available assets of our portfolio companies. There is no assurance that we will obtain or properly perfect our liens.

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There is a risk that the collateral securing our loans may decrease in value over time, may be difficult to sell in a timely manner, may be difficult to appraise and may fluctuate in value based upon the success of the business and market conditions, including as a result of the inability of a portfolio company to raise additional capital. In some circumstances, our lien could be subordinated to claims of other creditors. Consequently, the fact that a loan is secured does not guarantee that we will receive principal and interest payments according to the loan’s terms, or that we will be able to collect on the loan should we be forced to enforce our remedies.

We may suffer a loss if a portfolio company defaults on a loan and the underlying collateral is not sufficient.

In the event of a default by a portfolio company on a secured loan, we will only have recourse to the assets collateralizing the loan. If the underlying collateral value is less than the loan amount, we will suffer a loss. In addition, we may make loans that are unsecured, which are subject to the risk that other lenders may be directly secured by the assets of the portfolio company. In the event of a default, those collateralized lenders would have priority over us with respect to the proceeds of a sale of the underlying assets. In cases described above, we may lack control over the underlying asset collateralizing our loan or the underlying assets of the portfolio company prior to a default, and as a result the value of the collateral may be reduced by acts or omissions by owners or managers of the assets.

In the event of bankruptcy of a portfolio company, we may not have full recourse to its assets in order to satisfy our loan, or our loan may be subject to “equitable subordination.” This means that depending on the facts and circumstances, including the extent to which we actually provided significant “managerial assistance,” if any, to that portfolio company, a bankruptcy court might re-characterize our debt holding and subordinate all or a portion of our claim to that of other creditors. In addition, certain of our loans are subordinate to other debt of the portfolio company. If a portfolio company defaults on our loan or on debt senior to our loan, or in the event of a portfolio company bankruptcy, our loan will be satisfied only after the senior debt receives payment. Where debt senior to our loan exists, the presence of intercreditor arrangements may limit our ability to amend our loan documents, assign our loans, accept prepayments, exercise our remedies (through “standstill” periods) and control decisions made in bankruptcy proceedings relating to the portfolio company. Bankruptcy and portfolio company litigation can significantly increase collection losses and the time needed for us to acquire the underlying collateral in the event of a default, during which time the collateral may decline in value, causing us to suffer losses.

If the value of collateral underlying our loan declines or interest rates increase during the term of our loan, a portfolio company may not be able to obtain the necessary funds to repay our loan at maturity through refinancing. Decreasing collateral value and/or increasing interest rates may hinder a portfolio company’s ability to refinance our loan because the underlying collateral cannot satisfy the debt service coverage requirements necessary to obtain new financing. If a borrower is unable to repay our loan at maturity, we could suffer a loss which may adversely impact our financial performance.

The credit ratings of certain of our investments may not be indicative of the actual credit risk of such rated instruments.

Rating agencies rate debt securities based upon their assessment of the likelihood of the receipt of principal and interest payments. Rating agencies do not consider the risks of fluctuations in market value or other factors that may influence the value of debt securities. Therefore, the credit rating assigned to a particular instrument may not fully reflect the true risks of an investment in such instrument. Credit rating agencies may change their methods of evaluating credit risk and determining ratings. These changes may occur quickly and often. While we may give some consideration to ratings, ratings may not be indicative of the actual credit risk of our investments in rated instruments.

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

We are subject to the risk that the investments we make in our portfolio companies may be repaid prior to maturity. When this occurs, we will generally reinvest these proceeds in temporary investments, pending their future investment in new portfolio companies. These temporary investments will typically have substantially lower yields than the debt being prepaid and we could experience significant delays in reinvesting these amounts.

Any future investment in a new portfolio company may also be at lower yields than the debt that was repaid. 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, net of prepayment fees, could negatively impact our return on equity. This risk will be more acute when interest rates decrease, as we may be unable to reinvest at rates as favorable as when we made our initial investment.

A redemption of convertible securities held by us could have an adverse effect on our ability to achieve our investment objective.

A convertible security may be subject to redemption at the option of the issuer at a price established in the convertible security’s governing instrument. If a convertible security held by us is called for redemption, we will be required to permit the issuer to redeem the security, convert it into the underlying common stock or sell it to a third party. Any of these actions could have an adverse effect on our ability to achieve our investment objective.

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To the extent original issue discount (OID) and payment-in-kind (PIK) interest income constitute a portion of our income, we will be exposed to risks associated with the deferred receipt of cash representing such income.

Our investments may include OID and PIK instruments. To the extent OID and PIK constitute a portion of our income, we will be exposed to risks associated with such income being required to be included in income for financial reporting purposes in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“U.S. GAAP”) and taxable income prior to receipt of cash, including the following:

• Original issue discount instruments may have unreliable valuations because the accruals require judgments about collectability or deferred payments and the value of any associated collateral;

• Original issue discount instruments may create heightened credit risks because the inducement to the borrower to accept higher interest rates in exchange for the deferral of cash payments typically represents, to some extent, speculation on the part of the borrower;

• For U.S. GAAP purposes, cash distributions to shareholders that include a component of OID income do not come from paid-in capital, although they may be paid from the offering proceeds. Thus, although a distribution of OID income may come from the cash invested by the shareholders, the 1940 Act does not require that shareholders be given notice of this fact;

• The presence of OID and PIK creates the risk of non-refundable cash payments to our Adviser in the form of incentive fees on income based on non-cash OID and PIK accruals that may never be realized; and

• In the case of PIK, “toggle” debt, which gives the issuer the option to defer an interest payment in exchange for an increased interest rate in the future, the PIK election has the simultaneous effect of increasing the investment income, thus increasing the potential for realizing incentive fees.

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

Our strategy focuses on investing primarily in the debt of privately owned U.S. companies with a focus on originated transactions sourced through the networks of our Adviser. Our portfolio companies may have, or may be permitted to incur, other debt that ranks equally with, or senior to, the debt in which we invest. By their terms, such debt instruments may entitle the holders to receive payment of interest or principal on or before the dates on which we are entitled to receive payments with respect to the debt instruments in which we invest. Also, in the event of insolvency, liquidation, dissolution, reorganization or bankruptcy of a portfolio company, any 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. After repaying such senior creditors, such portfolio company may not have any remaining assets to use for repaying its obligation to us. In the case of debt ranking equally with debt instruments 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 the relevant portfolio company and our portfolio company may not have sufficient assets to pay all equally ranking credit even if we hold senior, first-lien debt.

If we cannot obtain debt financing or equity capital on acceptable terms, our ability to acquire investments and to expand our operations will be adversely affected.

The net proceeds from the sale of our shares will be used for our investment opportunities, and, if necessary, the payment of operating expenses and the payment of various fees and expenses such as base management fees, incentive fees, other fees and distributions. Any working capital reserves we maintain may not be sufficient for investment purposes, and we may require additional debt financing or equity capital to operate. We are required to distribute at least 90% of our net ordinary income and net short-term capital gains in excess of net long-term capital losses, if any, to our shareholders to maintain our tax treatment as a RIC. Accordingly, in the event that we need additional capital in the future for investments or for any other reason we may need to access the capital markets periodically to issue debt or equity securities or borrow from financial institutions in order to obtain such additional capital. These sources of funding may not be available to us due to unfavorable economic conditions, which could increase our funding costs, limit our access to the capital markets or result in a decision by lenders not to extend credit to us. Consequently, if we cannot obtain further debt or equity financing on acceptable terms, our ability to acquire additional investments and to expand our operations will be adversely affected. As a result, we would be less able to diversify our portfolio and achieve our investment objective, which may negatively impact our results of operations and reduce our ability to make distributions to our shareholders.

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

Certain debt investments that we will make in portfolio companies will be secured on a second priority lien basis by the same collateral securing senior debt of such companies. We also make debt investments in portfolio companies secured on a first priority basis. The first priority liens on the collateral will secure the portfolio company’s obligations under any outstanding senior debt and may secure certain other future debt that may be permitted to be incurred by the portfolio company under the agreements governing the debt. In the event of a default, the holders of obligations secured by the first priority liens on the collateral will generally control the liquidation of and be entitled to receive proceeds from any realization of the collateral to repay their obligations in full before us.

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In addition, the value of the collateral in the event of liquidation will depend on market and economic conditions, the availability of buyers and other factors. There can be no assurance that the proceeds, if any, from the sale or sales of all of the collateral would be sufficient to satisfy the debt obligations secured by the first priority or second priority liens after payment in full of all obligations secured by the first priority liens on the collateral. If such proceeds are not sufficient to repay amounts outstanding under the debt obligations secured by the first priority or second priority liens, then we, to the extent not repaid from the proceeds of the sale of the collateral, will only have an unsecured claim against the portfolio company’s remaining assets, if any.

We may also make unsecured debt investments in portfolio companies, meaning that such investments will not benefit from any interest in collateral of such companies. Liens on any such portfolio company’s collateral, if any, will secure the portfolio company’s obligations under its outstanding secured debt and may secure certain future debt that is permitted to be incurred by the portfolio company under its secured debt agreements. The holders of obligations secured by such liens will generally control the liquidation of, and be entitled to receive proceeds from, any realization of such collateral to repay their obligations in full before us. In addition, the value of such collateral in the event of liquidation will depend on market and economic conditions, the availability of buyers and other factors. There can be no assurance that the proceeds, if any, from sales of such collateral would be sufficient to satisfy our unsecured debt obligations after payment in full of all secured debt obligations. If such proceeds were not sufficient to repay the outstanding secured debt obligations, then our unsecured claims would rank equally with the unpaid portion of such secured creditors’ claims against the portfolio company’s remaining assets, if any.

The rights we may have with respect to the collateral securing the debt investments we make in our portfolio companies with senior debt outstanding may also be limited pursuant to the terms of one or more inter-creditor agreements that we enter into with the holders of senior debt. Under such an inter-creditor agreement, at any time obligations that have the benefit of the first priority liens are outstanding, any of the following actions that may be taken in respect of the collateral will be at the direction of the holders of the obligations secured by the first priority liens: the ability to cause the commencement of enforcement proceedings against the collateral; the ability to control the conduct of such proceedings; the approval of amendments to collateral documents; releases of liens on the collateral; and waivers of past defaults under collateral documents. We may not have the ability to control or direct such actions, even if our rights are adversely affected.

Certain of our investments may be adversely affected by laws relating to fraudulent conveyance or voidable preferences.

Certain of our investments could be subject to federal bankruptcy law and state fraudulent transfer laws, which vary from state to state, if the debt obligations relating to certain investments were issued with the intent of hindering, delaying or defrauding creditors or, in certain circumstances, if the issuer receives less than reasonably equivalent value or fair consideration in return for issuing such debt obligations. If the debt proceeds are used for a buyout of shareholders, this risk is greater than if the debt proceeds are used for day-to-day operations or organic growth. If a court were to find that the issuance of the debt obligations was a fraudulent transfer or conveyance, the court could void or otherwise refuse to recognize the payment obligations under the debt obligations or the collateral supporting such obligations, further subordinate the debt obligations or the liens supporting such obligations to other existing and future indebtedness of the issuer or require us to repay any amounts received by us with respect to the debt obligations or collateral. In the event of a finding that a fraudulent transfer or conveyance occurred, we may not receive any repayment on such debt obligations.

Under certain circumstances, payments to us and distributions by us to our shareholders may be reclaimed if any such payment or distribution is later determined to have been a fraudulent conveyance, preferential payment or similar transaction under applicable bankruptcy and insolvency laws. Furthermore, investments in restructurings may be adversely affected by statutes relating to, among other things, fraudulent conveyances, voidable preferences, lender liability and the court’s discretionary power to disallow, subordinate or disenfranchise particular claims or recharacterize investments made in the form of debt as equity contributions.

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

Although we intend to structure certain of our investments as senior debt, if one of our portfolio companies were to go bankrupt, depending on the facts and circumstances, including the extent to which we provided managerial assistance to that portfolio company or a representative of us or our Adviser sat on the board of directors of such portfolio company, a bankruptcy court might recharacterize our debt investment and subordinate all or a portion of our claim to that of other creditors. In situations where a bankruptcy carries a high degree of political significance, our legal rights may be subordinated to other creditors.

In addition, a number of U.S. judicial decisions have upheld judgments obtained by borrowers against lending institutions on the basis of various evolving legal theories, collectively termed “lender liability.” Generally, lender liability is founded on the premise that a lender has violated a duty (whether implied or contractual) of good faith, commercial reasonableness and fair dealing, or a similar duty owed to the borrower or has assumed an excessive degree of control over the borrower resulting in the creation of a fiduciary duty owed to the borrower or its other creditors or shareholders. Because of the nature of our investments in portfolio companies (including that, as a business development company, we may be required to provide managerial assistance to those portfolio companies if they so request upon our offer), we may be subject to allegations of lender liability.

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