tcrd-10k_20171231.htm

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, DC 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

(Mark One)

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

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017

OR

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

For the transition period from                       to                     

Commission file number 814-00789

 

THL CREDIT, INC.

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)

 

 

Delaware

 

27-0344947

(State or Other Jurisdiction of

Incorporation or Organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

 

 

 

100 Federal St., 31st Floor, Boston, MA

 

02110

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

 

(Zip Code)

Registrant’s Telephone Number, Including Area Code: 800-450-4424

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

 

Title of Each Class

 

Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered

Common Stock, par value $0.001 per share

 

NASDAQ Global Select Market

6.75% Senior Notes due 2021

 

The New York Stock Exchange

6.75% Senior Notes due 2022

 

The New York Stock Exchange

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

 

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 Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes      No  

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

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted 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 and post such files).    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of the Registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.    

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 definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer

 

Accelerated filer

Non-Accelerated filer

(Do not check if a smaller reporting company)

Smaller reporting company

 

 

 

Emerging growth company

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 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 Securities Exchange Act of 1934).    Yes      No  

The aggregate market value of common stock held by non-affiliates of the Registrant as of the last business day of the Registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter was approximately $326.1 million based on the closing price on that date of $9.95 on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. For the purposes of calculating this amount only, all directors and executive officers of the Registrant have been treated as affiliates.

As of March 5, 2018, there were 32,673,590 shares of the Registrant’s common stock outstanding.

Documents Incorporated by Reference

Portions of the Registrant’s definitive Proxy Statement relating to its 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, to be filed pursuant to Regulation 14A with the Securities and Exchange Commission, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K as indicated herein.

 

 


 

THL CREDIT, INC.

FORM 10-K FOR THE YEAR ENDED December 31, 2017

Table of Contents

 

PART I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 1.

  

Business

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

Item 1A.

 

Risk Factors

 

34

 

 

 

 

 

Item 1B.

 

Unresolved Staff Comments

 

63

 

 

 

 

 

Item 2.

 

Properties

 

63

 

 

 

 

 

Item 3.

 

Legal proceedings

 

63

 

 

 

 

 

Item 4.

 

Mine Safety Disclosures

 

63

 

 

 

 

 

PART II

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 5.

 

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

 

64

 

 

 

 

 

Item 6.

 

Selected Financial Data

 

69

 

 

 

 

 

Item 7.

 

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

 

71

 

 

 

 

 

Item 7A.

 

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

 

125

 

 

 

 

 

Item 8.

 

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

 

127

 

 

 

 

 

Item 9.

 

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

 

201

 

 

 

 

 

Item 9A.

 

Controls and Procedures

 

201

 

 

 

 

 

Item 9B.

 

Other Information

 

202

 

 

 

 

 

PART III

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 10.

 

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

 

203

 

 

 

 

 

Item 11.

 

Executive Compensation

 

203

 

 

 

 

 

Item 12.

 

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

 

203

 

 

 

 

 

Item 13.

 

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions and Director Independence

 

203

 

 

 

 

 

Item 14.

 

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

 

203

 

 

 

 

 

PART IV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 15.

 

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

 

204

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Signatures

 

 

 

207

 

 

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PART I

In this annual report on Form 10-K, except where the context suggests otherwise, the terms “we,” “us,” “our” and “THL Credit” refer to THL Credit, Inc.; “THL Credit Advisors,” the “Advisor” or the “Administrator” refers to THL Credit Advisors LLC; “Greenway” refers to THL Credit Greenway Fund LLC; “Greenway II” refers to THL Credit Greenway Fund II LLC and related investment vehicle; “THL Credit Opportunities” refers to THL Credit Opportunities, L.P.; “BDC Holdings” refers to THL Credit Partners BDC Holdings, L.P.; “Logan JV” refers to THL Credit Logan JV LLC. Some of the statements in this annual report constitute forward-looking statements, which relate to future events, future performance or financial condition. These forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainties and actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements for any reason, including those factors discussed in “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this report.

Item 1.

Business

We are an externally managed, non-diversified closed-end management investment company incorporated in Delaware on May 26, 2009, that has elected to be regulated as a business development company, or BDC, under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, or the 1940 Act. In addition, we have elected to be treated for tax purposes as a regulated investment company, or RIC, under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code. Our investment activities are managed by THL Credit Advisors LLC, or THL Credit Advisors, and supervised by our board of directors, a majority of whom are independent of THL Credit Advisors and its affiliates. As a BDC, we are required to comply with certain regulatory requirements. See “-Business Development Company Regulation” for discussion of BDC regulation and other regulatory considerations. We are also registered as an investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended, or the Advisers Act.

Our investment objective is to generate both current income and capital appreciation, primarily through investments in privately negotiated debt and equity securities of lower middle market companies. We are a direct lender to lower middle market companies and invest primarily in directly originated first lien senior secured loans, including unitranche investments. In certain instances, we also make second lien secured loans and subordinated, or mezzanine, debt investments, which may include an associated equity component such as warrants, preferred stock or similar securities, and direct equity investments. Our first lien senior secured loans may be structured as traditional first lien senior secured loans or as unitranche loans. Unitranche structures may combine characteristics of traditional first lien senior secured as well as second lien and subordinated loans and our unitranche loans will expose us to the risks associated with second lien and/or subordinated loans to the extent we invest in the “last-out” tranche or subordinated tranche (or piece) of the unitranche loan. We also may provide advisory services to managed funds.

We intend to co-invest, subject to the conditions included in the exemptive order we received from the SEC, with certain of our affiliates. See “-Material Conflicts of Interests” below. We believe that such co-investments may afford us additional investment opportunities and an ability to achieve greater diversification.

We define lower middle market companies to mean both public and privately-held companies with annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, generally between $5 million and $25 million. We expect to generate returns primarily through a combination of contractual interest payments on debt investments, equity appreciation, origination and similar fees. We can offer no assurances that we will achieve our investment objective.

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Since April 2010, after we completed our initial public offering and commenced principal operations, through December 31, 2017, we have been responsible for making, on behalf of ourselves, managed funds and separately managed account, over approximately an aggregate $1,979 million in commitments to 100 separate portfolio companies through a combination of both initial and follow-on investments. Since April 2010 through December 31, 2017, we, along with our managed funds and separately managed accounts, have received $1,296 million of proceeds from the realization of investments. The Company alone has received $1,067 million of proceeds from the realization of its investments.

As a BDC, we are generally required to invest at least 70% of our total assets primarily in securities of private and certain U.S. public companies (other than certain financial institutions), cash, cash equivalents and U.S. government securities and other high quality debt investments that mature in one year or less.

We are permitted to borrow money from time to time within the levels permitted by the 1940 Act (which generally allows us to incur leverage for up to one half of our assets). We have used, and expect to continue to use, our credit facilities and other borrowings, along with proceeds from the rotation of our portfolio and proceeds from public and private securities to finance our investment objectives. See “-Business Development Company Regulations” for discussion of BDC regulation and other regulatory considerations.

Organizational Overview

The Company was organized as a Delaware corporation on May 26, 2009 and initially funded on July 23, 2009. We commenced principal operations on April 21, 2010. The Company has formed substantially owned subsidiaries which serve as tax blockers that hold equity or equity-like investments in portfolio companies organized as limited liability companies or other forms of pass-through entities. The Company also has formed substantially owned subsidiaries which serve as the administrative agents on certain investment transactions, including THL Corporate Finance, Inc.

 

(1)

THL Credit Advisors LLC is owned and controlled by certain employees of THL Credit Advisors and THL Credit SLS Senior Loan Strategies LLC, or SLS, and a partnership consisting of certain of the partners of THL Partners (defined below).

(2)

SLS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of THL Credit Advisors that focuses principally in investing in broadly syndicated senior loans.

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(3)

Greenway I is an investment fund with $150 million of capital committed by affiliates of a single institutional investor, together with a nominal amount committed by the Company, all of which has been paid in and invested by Greenway I, which is managed by us.

(4)

Greenway II is an investment fund and, together with a related vehicle, has $187.0 million of capital committed by third party investors, all of which has been paid in and invested by Greenway II, together with a nominal amount committed by the Company, which is managed by us.

(5)

Logan JV is a joint venture entered into between the Company and Perspecta Trident LLC, or Perspecta, an affiliate of Perspecta Trust LLC, which invests primarily in senior secured first lien term loans. Logan JV has $250 million of capital commitments, of which the Company committed $200 million and Perspecta committed $50 million.

(6)

THL Credit Strategic Funding LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of THL Credit Advisors that focuses principally on investing in directly originated lower middle market loans that may require seasoning for other managed funds or accounts.

THL Credit Advisors LLC

Our investment activities are managed by our investment adviser, THL Credit Advisors. THL Credit Advisors is responsible for sourcing potential investments, conducting research on prospective investments, analyzing investment opportunities, structuring our investments, and monitoring our investments and portfolio companies on an ongoing basis. We pay THL Credit Advisors a management fee as a percentage of our gross assets and may pay incentive fees as a percentage of our ordinary income and capital gains.

THL Credit Advisors was formed as a Delaware limited liability company on June 26, 2009 and is registered as an investment adviser under the Advisers Act. THL Credit Advisors is an alternative credit investment manager for both direct lending and tradable credit investments through public and private vehicles, commingled funds including collateralized loan obligations, and separately managed accounts. THL Credit Advisors and its credit-focused affiliates managed assets of $11.6 billion as of December 31, 2017 across its two primary investment strategies: Direct Lending and Tradable Credit.

THL Credit Advisors benefits from a scaled and integrated business that draws on a diverse resource base and the credit and industry expertise of the entire platform. Fundamental credit analysis, rigorous and disciplined underwriting, well-structured investments and ongoing monitoring are the hallmarks of its credit culture.

THL Credit Advisors’ Direct Lending strategy invests primarily in secured loans consisting of first lien senior secured, including unitranche investments, and, to a lesser extent, second lien facilities. In certain instances, THL Credit Advisors’ Direct Lending strategy also makes subordinated debt investments and equity investments such as warrants, preferred stock or other similar securities.

THL Credit Advisors’ Tradable Credit strategy manages investments in secured bank loans, structured credit and high-yield securities through CLOs, separate accounts, sub-advisory and various fund formats, including private funds, certain CLOs and as sub-advisor to THL Credit Senior Loan Fund (NYSE: TSLF) (“TSLF”), a nondiversified, closed-end management investment company. The Advisor may serve as investment advisor to additional private funds, registered closed-end funds and CLOs in the future.

THL Credit Advisors is headquartered in Boston, with additional origination teams in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York, allowing it to be close to its portfolio companies as well as its origination and syndication sources. Over the years, THL Credit Advisors has developed deep and diverse national relationships that it leverages to maximize investment opportunities across its strategies.

THL Credit Advisor’s Direct Lending investment committee, which serves as our investment committee, is comprised of Christopher J. Flynn, Terrence W. Olson, W. Montgomery Cook, James R. Fellows and Howard H. Wu (the “Investment Committee Members”).

5


 

THL Credit Advisors has received an exemptive order from the SEC permitting it to negotiate, subject to the conditions of the order, co-investments among us and certain of its other investment advisory clients. See “Material Conflicts of Interests” below.

THL Credit Advisors also serves as our Administrator and leases office space to us and provides us with equipment and office services. The tasks of the Administrator include overseeing our financial records, preparing reports to our stockholders and reports filed with the SEC and generally monitoring the payment of our expenses and the performance of administrative and professional services rendered to us by others.

Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. (“THL Partners”)

The Advisor is owned in part by a partnership consisting of certain of the partners of THL Partners. THL Partners is one of the world’s oldest and most experienced private equity firms. Since its founding in 1974, the firm has raised over $22 billion of equity capital and invested in more than 140 portfolio companies with an aggregate value of over $200 billion. THL Partners invests in growth-oriented businesses, headquartered primarily in North America, across three sectors: Business & Financial Services, Consumer & Healthcare, and Media, Information Services and Technology. The firm partners with portfolio company management to identify and implement operational and strategic improvements to accelerate sustainable revenue and profit growth. THL Partners strives to build companies of lasting value and generate superior investment returns. We believe we benefit from THL Credit Advisors’ relationship with THL Partners. THL Credit Advisors has access to the industry knowledge of THL Partners’ investment team to consult with the THL Partners team on specific industry issues, trends and other complementary matters.

Investment Approach

Our investment approach consists of the following four separate and distinct phases: (1) sourcing; (2) selecting; (3) structuring; and (4) supervising investments. Sourcing involves our efforts to generate as vast a universe of relevant and actionable investment opportunities as possible. Selecting represents our decision-making process regarding which of those investments to pursue. Structuring summarizes our creative approach to deploying capital on a case-by-case basis in a way that maximizes value. Supervising is a reference to our ongoing rigorous credit monitoring.

Sourcing

The elements of our sourcing efforts will include: (i) determining the market in which we intend to participate; (ii) identifying the opportunities within that market; (iii) having a clear strategy; (iv) knowing the competition; and (v) distinguishing our competitive advantages.

Determining the Market

We invest primarily in debt securities of sponsored issuers based in the lower middle market mainly in the United States. Our debt investments are composed of directly originated first lien senior secured loans, including unitranche investments. In certain instances, we also may make second lien loans and subordinated or mezzanine debt investments, which may include an associated equity component such as warrants, preferred stock and other similar securities, and direct equity co-investments. Our first lien senior secured loans may be structured as traditional first lien senior secured loans or as unitranche loans. Unitranche structures may combine characteristics of traditional first lien senior secured as well as second lien and/or subordinated loans and our unitranche loans will expose us to the risks associated with second lien and subordinated loans to the extent we invest in the “last-out” tranche. We also may provide advisory services to managed funds.

6


 

Market opportunity

We believe the environment for investing in lower middle market companies is attractive for several reasons, including:

Improved company fundamentals creating favorable lending trends. We believe that lower middle market companies are experiencing improved fundamentals driven by a stabilized economy and an increase in confidence. Lower middle market companies have recently displayed improvements in operating performance, resulting in stronger credit quality. Default levels remain relatively low, and volatility in the broader capital markets has eased, resulting in more lower middle market companies seeking growth capital at attractive lender credit metrics.

Meaningful availability of investable capital at private equity firms. Recent private equity data show over $1 trillion of cash reserves that private equity fund managers are actively looking to allocate to transactions involving new or existing portfolio companies.1  Private equity funds will often prefer to support these transactions with debt securities, including first lien and second lien loans from sources such as us.

 

Consolidation among commercial banks has reduced their focus on middle market business. We believe that many bank lenders have de-emphasized their service and product offerings to lower middle market companies in favor of lending to large corporate clients, managing capital markets transactions and providing other non-credit services to their customers. Further, many financial institutions and traditional lenders are faced with constrained balance sheets and are requiring existing issuers to reduce leverage. As a result, it allows us a greater opportunity to originate proprietary investment opportunities; a situation that we believe the Investment Professionals are equipped to capitalize upon as a result of their extensive experience.

 

Increased lending regulation has limited the ability of traditional lenders to provide capital to middle market companies. Heightened scrutiny of large bank institutions by regulatory bodies has prompted lending guidelines that have sought to limit leverage, deter banks from lengthening payment timelines and restrict banks from holding certain CLO securities. In response, banks have been participating less in the middle market lending arena, opening up opportunities for alternative lenders such as us. In addition to new lending activity, as companies look to refinance existing loans that do not abide by the current guidelines, the market opportunity should continue to expand.

Middle market companies are increasingly seeking lenders with long-term capital to provide flexible solutions for their debt and equity financing needs. Lower middle market companies continue to seek lenders with long-term capital to provide flexible solutions for their debt and equity financing needs. We believe that many middle market companies prefer to execute transactions with private capital providers such as us, rather than execute high-yield bond or equity transactions in the public markets, which may necessitate increased financial and regulatory compliance and reporting obligations. Further, we believe many middle market companies are inclined to seek capital from a small number of skilled, reliable and predictable providers with access to permanent capital that can satisfy their specific needs and serve as value-added financial partners with an understanding of, and longer-term view oriented towards the growth of their businesses. We aim to develop a constructive partnership with its portfolio companies to help them navigate economic cycles and operational issues which will arise.

The large yet fragmented middle market may offer lenders more attractive economic terms compared to the more efficient, syndicated markets. Investing in debt securities in the middle market may offer more favorable returns relative to their investment risk, when compared to investments in public high yield or syndicated bank loan securities. Furthermore, private equity sponsors focused on the middle market seek lenders with domain expertise and certainty of closing rather than running a fully efficient arranger process. Directly originated investments in the middle market may, in our experience, permit higher yields on investments and may also benefit from other more favorable terms relative to the broadly syndicated market, including lower leverage, tighter covenant packages, stronger call protection, and greater control of a work-out process in the case of a default.

 

1 

Source:  2018 Preqin Global Private Equity & Venture Capital Report.

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Investment strategy

We believe a strategy focused primarily on debt securities in middle market companies has a number of compelling attributes. First, the market for these instruments is relatively inefficient, allowing an experienced investor an opportunity to produce high risk-adjusted returns. Second, downside risk can be managed through an extensive credit-oriented underwriting process, creative structuring techniques and intensive portfolio monitoring. We believe private debt investments generally require the highest level of credit and legal due diligence among debt or credit asset classes. Lastly, compared with equity investments, returns on debt investments tend to be less volatile given the substantial current return component and seniority in the capital structure relative to equity. Though it is not part of our investment strategy, we currently have, and may acquire in the future, control investments in portfolio companies. See “Item 1A—Risk Factors—“Our equity ownership in a portfolio company may represent a control investment. Our ability to exit a control investment may be limited”.

We will consider opportunities within all industries and do not have fixed guidelines for industry concentration. As of December 31, 2017, our portfolio investments spanned several industries and the largest industries represented and the percentage of our investment portfolio at fair value were as follows: (i) consumer products 19.25%; (ii) industrials and manufacturing at 15.32%; (iii) financial services at 12.76%; (iv) IT services at 9.23%; and (v) healthcare at 7.51%.

Competition

Our primary competitors to providing financing to middle market companies will include other BDCs, public and private funds, commercial and investment banks, CLO funds, commercial finance companies and, to the extent they provide an alternative form of financing, private equity and hedge funds. Some of our competitors are substantially larger and have considerably greater financial and marketing resources than we do. For example, 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.

Competitive advantages

We believe that we possess the following competitive advantages over many other capital providers to middle market companies:

Experienced management team. As stated above, the Investment Committee Members are experienced and many have worked together extensively and together with their past investment experiences have invested through multiple business and credit cycles in a variety of credit products with the objective of generating attractive, long-term, risk-adjusted returns. Each of the Investment Committee Members brings a unique investment perspective and skill-set by virtue of their complementary collective experiences as both debt and equity investors.

Proactive Sourcing Platform. We take a proactive, hands-on, and creative approach to investment sourcing. Our disciplined origination process includes proprietary tools and resources and employs a national platform with a regional focus. With offices in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York, the Investment Committee Members have a deep and diverse relationship network in the debt capital and private equity markets. These activities and relationships provide an important channel through which we generate investment opportunities consistent with our investment strategy.

Significant institutional expertise and brand recognition gained from investing over $2 billion in over 100 companies between June 2009 and December 31, 2017, across our direct lending credit strategy. We have developed the institutional knowledge and operational infrastructure required to successfully achieve our investment objectives. We benefit from proprietary deal flow from strong relationships with sponsors cultivated over eight years of doing business in the middle market. Our comprehensive underwriting methodology and monitoring processes have been implemented across all five regional offices. Additionally, the Investment Committee Members are supported by an experienced operational and administrative team.

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Relationship with THL Partners. We are managed by THL Credit Advisors, the credit affiliate of THL Partners. As such, we have access to the relationship network and industry knowledge of THL Partners to enhance transaction sourcing capabilities. This also provides us with the opportunity to consult with investment team from THL Partners on specific industry issues, trends and other complementary matters.

Investments teams with a regional focus set up in Industry Verticals. We take a proactive, hands-on, and creative approach to investment sourcing. Our disciplined origination process includes proprietary tools and resources and employs a national platform with a regional focus. With offices in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, New York and Los Angeles, we have a deep and diverse relationship network. Given our five-office footprint, we are closer to smaller, regional sponsors and have cultivated deep relationships with these private equity firms. In many cases, regional sponsors prefer to partner with local lenders. Once an investment opportunity is sourced by one of our fives offices, the opportunity is transitioned to a lead underwriter while the individual who originated the opportunity remains closely involved in a relationship management capacity. We cover three primary industry verticals: Business & Financial Services (New York), Consumer & Healthcare (Boston, Dallas, Chicago and Los Angeles) and Information Services & Media (Los Angeles). Given our emphasis on three primary industry verticals, we have a strong preference for industry or sector-focused funds and/or sponsors who specialize in only several sectors as opposed to generalist private equity firms. Many middle market sponsors do not staff an internal capital markets resource (i.e., one who maintains a database and network of debt financing partners/arrangers); as such, a sponsor’s deal team leader without this resource is directly responsible for arranging debt financing as part of his/her deal process on a case-by-case basis. Middle market sponsors with this profile appreciate the value proposition of partnering with a trusted, local relationship and respected lender with deep domain expertise.

Selecting

Selecting investments to pursue requires us to have an employable investment philosophy, know our key metrics, have a process to consistently measure those metrics, and implement a repeatable underwriting process that enables our investment committee to make well-reasoned decisions.

Investment Philosophy

Our investment philosophy focuses on capital preservation, relative value, and establishing close relationships with portfolio companies. It is our expectation that this multifaceted focus should generate consistent, attractive, risk-adjusted returns coupled with low volatility.

Capital Preservation. We believe that the key to capital preservation is comprehensive and fundamental credit analysis. We take a long term view of our investments and portfolio with the perspective that most of our investments may need to endure through economic cycles. We refrain from market timing and generally do not enter into investments with the sole intention of realizing short term gains based on changes in market prices. However, we will not hesitate to sell an investment if we believe that it is deteriorating in value and that more recovery will be obtained by selling rather than holding the investment.

Relative Value. Relative value is an essential part of every investment decision. Relative value is determined in a variety of ways including comparisons to other opportunities available in the same asset class and with portfolio companies in the same or similar industries. Relative value is also analyzed across asset classes (senior vs. subordinate, secured vs. unsecured, debt vs. equity) to ensure that the return of a potential investment is appropriate relative to its position in the capital structure.

Key Investment Metrics

Our value-oriented investment philosophy is primarily focused on maximizing yield relative to risk. Upon identifying a potential opportunity, we perform an initial screen to determine whether pursuing intensive due diligence is merited. As part of this process, we have identified several criteria we believe are important in evaluating and investing in prospective portfolio companies. These criteria provide general guidelines for our investment decisions. However, each prospective portfolio company in which we choose to invest may not meet all of these criteria.

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Value orientation/positive cash flow. Our investment philosophy places a premium on fundamental credit analysis and has a distinct value orientation. We will generally focus on companies in which we can invest at relatively low multiples of operating cash flow and that are profitable at the time of investment on an operating cash flow basis. Although we obtain liens on collateral when appropriate and available, we are primarily focused on the predictability of future cash flow. We generally do not intend to invest in start-up companies or companies with speculative business plans.

Seasoned management with significant equity ownership. Strong, committed management teams are important to the success of an investment and we focus on companies where strong management teams are either already in place or where new management teams have been identified. Additionally, we generally require the portfolio companies to have in place compensation provisions that appropriately incentivize management to succeed and to act in our interests as investors.

Strong competitive position. We seek to invest in companies that have developed competitive advantages and defensible market positions within their respective markets, provide a needed product or service and are well positioned to capitalize on growth opportunities.

Exit strategy. We seek companies that we believe will generate consistent cash flow to repay our loans and reinvest in their respective businesses. We expect such internally generated cash flow in portfolio companies to be a key means by which we exit from our investments over time. In addition, we invest in companies whose business models and expected future cash flows offer attractive exit possibilities for the equity component of our returns. These companies include candidates for strategic acquisition by other industry participants and companies that may repay our investments through an initial public offering of common stock or another capital market transaction.

Due Diligence and Investment Process

We employ a rigorous and disciplined underwriting and due diligence process. Our process includes a comprehensive understanding of a portfolio company’s industry, market, operational, financial, organizational and legal position and prospects. In addition to our own analysis, we frequently use the service of third parties (either those of the sponsor, if applicable, or those which we retain) for quality of earnings reports, environmental diligence, legal reviews, industry and customer surveys, and background checks. We conduct thorough reference and background checks on senior management for all investments, including, but not limited to reference calls to several constituencies including senior management of past employers, business associates, customers, industry experts, such as equity research analysts and, when appropriate, competitors.

We seek portfolio companies that have proven management teams that have a vested interest in the company in the form of a meaningful level of equity ownership, that generate stable and predictable cash flow, and whose market position is defensible. We invest in companies with the expectation that we will own the investment through a complete business cycle, and possibly a recession, and we determine the appropriate amount of debt for the company accordingly. In addition, we view a sale of the company which might result in a refinancing of our investment as a possibility but not an expectation. Our intention is to craft strong and lender-friendly credit agreements with covenants, events of default, remedies and inter-creditor agreements being an integral part of our legal documents.

Our due diligence typically includes the following elements (although not all elements necessarily form part of every due diligence project):

Portfolio Company Characteristics: key levers of the business including a focus on drivers of cash flow and growth; revenue visibility; customer and supplier concentrations; historical revenue and margin trends; fixed versus variable costs; free cash flow analysis; portfolio company performance in view of industry performance; and sensitivity analysis around various future performance scenarios (with a focus on downside scenario analysis);

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Industry Analysis: including the portfolio company’s position within the context of the general economic environment and relevant industry cycles; industry size and growth rates; competitive landscape; barriers to entry and potential new entrants; product position and defensibility of market share; technological, regulatory and similar threats; and pricing power and cost considerations;

Management: including the quality, breadth and depth of the portfolio company’s management; track record and prior experience; background checks; reputation; compensation and equity incentives; corporate overhead; motivation; and interviews with management, employees, customers and vendors;

Financial Analysis: an understanding of relevant financial ratios and statistics, including various leverage, liquidity, free cash flow and fixed charge coverage ratios; impact on ratios in various future performance scenarios and comparison of applicable ratios to industry competitors; satisfaction with the auditor of the financial statements; and quality of earnings analysis;

Capital Structure: diverse considerations regarding leverage (including understanding seniority and leverage multiples); ability to service debt; collateral and security protections; covenants and guarantees; equity investment amounts and participants (where applicable); and review of other significant structural terms and pertinent legal documentation; and,

Collateral and Enterprise Value: analysis of relevant collateral coverage, including assets on a liquidation basis and enterprise value on a going concern basis; matrix analysis of cash flow and valuation multiples under different scenarios along with recovery estimates; and comparison to recent transaction multiples and valuations.

Underwriting Process

We employ an extensive due diligence approach tailored to each particular investment opportunity. To begin, we review the information memorandum that the company presenting the investment opportunity or its intermediary has prepared, and discuss the opportunity at a high level with the company’s management team, the sponsor or the intermediary, as applicable. Based on that initial high-level review, the investment team submits a customized due diligence questionnaires request to the company or intermediary. Sometimes the company or intermediary responds directly with materials, and other times there is an online data room that the investment team is invited to review. If the investment opportunity involves a sponsor that has performed a diligence review of the company, the investment team reviews the sponsor’s due diligence reports and analyses. The investment team supplements the document review with phone calls and meetings with the intermediary, sponsor and company’s management team, as applicable. Members of the investment team may also speak with business contacts who are industry experts who provide color on industry and market trends, without discussing the specific investment opportunity. Such industry experts may include employees of THL Partners or their portfolio companies, and persons in THL Credit Advisors’ and THL Partners’ vast network of business contacts. Members of the investment team build a preliminary financial model and review financial statements as part of the analysis on whether the opportunity is attractive.

If the investment team believes the opportunity to be compelling or worth further discussion with the larger group, it will prepare a screening memo outlining the opportunity, including a company overview, situation overview, financial summary, investment thesis, risk factors and recommendations for next steps. The screening memo will be reviewed and discussed by all investment professionals (including the investment committee). Members of the investment committee in particular will ask detailed questions about the investment opportunity of the investment team. While no formal vote of the investment committee occurs at this stage, if any member of the investment committee expresses significant concerns about the investment opportunity then the investment team will be unlikely to proceed further.

During such discussions, the investment team will compile diligence questions raised by the larger group, and formulate a strategy for engaging outside consultants, legal and financial advisors and additional industry experts, as needed.

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Following such a discussion, if the investment professionals (including the investment committee) believe the opportunity to be compelling, the investment team will then pursue the next stages of diligence and draft a term sheet or initial indication of interest when appropriate. Such documentation will then be presented to the sponsor or intermediary, as appropriate, and shared with the company.

If the investment team decides that the opportunity offers an attractive risk-adjusted return and we are competitively positioned to be awarded the deal, it will begin to work towards final approval by the investment committee by performing confirmatory due diligence. As part of this process, members of the investment team will conduct, among others, in-person meetings with management, in-depth review of historical financial data, thorough reviews of loan documents and material contracts as well as research relating to the company’s industry, customers, suppliers and competitors.

THL Credit Advisors’ in-house counsel will engage outside legal counsel for the opportunity, as well as industry-specific consultants, if appropriate, and accountants. If the investment opportunity involves a sponsor, the investment team may coordinate with the sponsor on engaging such consultants and accountants, and if the investment opportunity involves a co-investor, the investment team will coordinate with the co-investor on engaging all such advisors. Legal counsel will perform legal due diligence, the accountants will perform accounting due diligence, including a quality of earnings report if one does not yet exist, and the industry-specific consultants will diligence various areas such as regulatory restrictions, specific vendor or customer relationships and background checks on the management team.

The investment team will then present its complete findings in the form of a comprehensive memo to the investment committee and ask for official approval of the proposed investment.

Investment Committee

The purpose of the investment committee is to evaluate and approve, as deemed appropriate, all investments by us. The committee process is intended to bring the diverse experience and perspectives of the committee’s members to the analysis and consideration of every investment. The committee also serves to provide investment consistency and adherence to THL Credit Advisors’ investment philosophies and policies. The investment committee also determines appropriate investment sizing and suggests ongoing monitoring requirements.

In addition to reviewing investments, the investment committee meetings serve as a forum to discuss credit views and outlooks. Potential transactions and investment sourcing are also reviewed on a regular basis. Members of our investment team are encouraged to share information and views on credits with the investment committee early in their analysis. This process improves the quality of the analysis and assists the deal team members to work more efficiently.

Each transaction is presented to the investment committee in a formal written report. Each potential sale or exit of an existing investment is also presented to the investment committee. Our investment committee currently consists of Christopher J. Flynn, Terrence W. Olson, W. Montgomery Cook, James R. Fellows and Howard H. Wu. To approve a new investment, or to exit or sell an existing investment, the consent of a majority of the members of the committee is required.

Structuring

Our approach to structuring involves us choosing the most appropriate variety of securities for each particular investment; and negotiating the best and most favorable terms.

Investment Structure

In order to achieve our investment objective, we invest primarily in directly originated first lien senior secured loans, including unitranche investments. In certain instances, we also make second lien loans and subordinated, or mezzanine, debt investments, which may include an associated equity component such as

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warrants, preferred stock or similar securities, and direct equity investments. Typically, our investments will be approximately $10 million to $35 million of capital per transaction and have maturities of five to seven years. In determining whether a prospective investment satisfies our investment criteria, we generally seek a high total return potential on a risk-adjusted basis, although there can be no assurance we will find investments satisfying that criterion or that any such investments will perform in accordance with expectations.

We generally do not intend to invest in startup companies, operationally distressed situations or companies with speculative business plans. In addition, we may invest up to 30% of our portfolio in opportunistic investments which will be intended to diversify or complement the remainder of our portfolio and to enhance our returns to stockholders. These investments may include high yield bonds, private equity investments, securities of public companies that are broadly traded and securities of non-U.S. companies. We expect that these public companies generally will have debt securities that are non-investment grade.

Once we have determined that a prospective portfolio company is suitable for investment, we will work with the management of that portfolio company and its other capital providers, including, as applicable, senior, junior, and equity capital providers, to structure an investment. We will negotiate among these parties to agree on how our investment is expected to perform relative to the other capital in the portfolio company’s capital structure. Investments will include stringent structural and credit protections. The legal review process and documentation will be of paramount importance. Internal counsel of THL Credit Advisors will be closely involved in every investment that we make. Investment professionals working with internal counsel drive the principal negotiation of legal terms in connection with the issuance of term sheets. They continue to be involved in negotiations, along with outside counsel who lead the transactions, throughout the legal documentation process. This involvement on each transaction will provide consistent structural and credit protections across investments.

Security types we invest in include:

First Lien Senior Secured Loans We invest in first lien or senior secured loans, and expect such loans to have terms of three to seven years. A first-lien loan is typically 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 loans may include stand-alone first-lien loans, “last out” unitranche loans, split-collateral loans, and secured corporate bonds with similar features to these categories of first-lien 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.

 

“Last out” unitranche loans. The “last out” tranche in a unitranche facility is subject to a waterfall that provides that the “first-out” tranche will be paid out prior to the “last-out” tranche in the event of certain trigger events which customarily would include an enforcement action against collateral. Further, the “last-out” tranche in a unitranche facility may provide certain agreements with respect to the allocation of interest and amortization payments among the tranches. These arrangements may be set forth in an “agreement among lenders,” and/or in the underlying credit agreement, 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.

 

“Split Collateral” loans are credit facilities in which the lenders have a first lien on certain assets and a second lien on other assets. Customarily, one credit facility enjoys a first lien on fixed assets such as equipment and real estate and a second lien on cash and accounts receivable and another credit facility, customarily a working capital facility, has a first lien on cash and accounts receivable and a second lien other assets. Agents on behalf of each credit facility customarily enter into an intercreditor agreement which sets forth each agent’s priority collateral and governs when among the two agents such agent may exercise certain rights and remedies.

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Second Lien Loans We structure our second lien investments as secured loans with a second priority lien on the assets of the portfolio company. We obtain security interests in the assets of the portfolio company that serve as collateral in support of the repayment of such loans. This collateral serves as collateral in support of the repayment of these loans. Second lien loans may provide for moderate loan amortization in the initial years of the facility, with the majority of the amortization deferred until loan maturity, although there can be no assurance we will find investments providing for such amortization.

Mezzanine Loans We structure our subordinated, or mezzanine investments, primarily as unsecured, subordinated loans that provide for relatively high, fixed interest rates that will provide us with current interest income. Generally, mezzanine loans rank subordinate in priority of payment to senior debt, such as senior bank debt, and are often unsecured. However, mezzanine loans rank senior to common and preferred equity in a borrowers’ capital structure. Mezzanine loans typically have interest-only payments in the early years, with amortization of principal deferred to the later years and may include an associated equity component such as warrants, preferred stock or other similar securities. The warrants associated with mezzanine loans are typically detachable, which allows lenders to receive repayment of their principal on an agreed amortization schedule while retaining their equity interest in the borrower. Also, in some cases our mezzanine loans will be collateralized by a subordinated lien on some or all of the assets of the borrower. Typically, our mezzanine loans will have maturities of five to ten years. In determining whether a prospective mezzanine loan investment satisfies our investment criteria, we generally seek a high total return potential, although there can be no assurance we will find investments satisfying that criterion or that any such investments will perform in accordance with expectations.

Logan JV We have invested in Logan JV, which as of December 31, 2017 consisted of a portfolio of loans to 110 different borrowers in industries similar to the companies in our portfolio. Logan JV invests primarily in lower yielding broadly syndicated and directly originated debt securities that are secured by a first lien on some or all of the issuer’s assets, including traditional senior debt and any related revolving or similar credit facility. This is generally the same collateral as our senior secured loans. See Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation—THL Credit Logan JV LLC and the financial statements attached as an exhibit hereto.

Investment Terms

We tailor the terms of each investment to the facts and circumstances of the transaction and the prospective portfolio company, negotiating a structure that protects our rights and manages our risk while creating incentives for the company to achieve its business plan and improve its profitability. We seek 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; and

 

negotiating covenants in connection with our investments that afford our portfolio companies as much flexibility in managing their businesses as possible, consistent with preservation of our capital. Such restrictions may include affirmative and negative covenants, default penalties, lien protection, change of control provisions and board rights, including either observation or rights to a seat on the board under some circumstances or participation rights. The intention will be to craft strong and investor-friendly agreements with covenants, events of default, remedies and intercreditor agreements, if applicable, being an integral part of such documents.

Our investments may include equity features, such as warrants or options to buy a minority interest in the portfolio company. Any warrants we receive with our debt securities generally require only a nominal cost to exercise, and thus, as a portfolio company appreciates in value, we may achieve additional investment return from this equity interest. We may structure the warrants to provide provisions protecting our rights as a minority interest holder, as well as puts, or rights to sell such securities back to the company, upon the occurrence of specified events. In many cases, we also obtain registration rights in connection with these equity interests, which may include demand and “piggyback” registration rights.

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Supervising

Supervision of our investments involves employing active monitoring methods; and developing strong underlying management teams at each portfolio company.

Monitoring

We employ the use of board observation and information rights, regular dialogue with company management and sponsors, and detailed internally generated monitoring reports to actively monitor performance. Additionally, we have developed a monitoring template that promotes compliance with these standards and that is used as a tool to assess investment performance relative to plan.

As part of the monitoring process, the Advisor assesses the risk profile of each of our investments and assigns each portfolio investment a score of a 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5.

The revised investment performance scores, or IPS, are as follows:

1 – The portfolio investment is performing above our underwriting expectations.

2 – The portfolio investment is performing as expected at the time of underwriting. All new investments are initially scored a 2.

3 – The portfolio investment is operating below our underwriting expectations, and requires closer monitoring. The company may be out of compliance with financial covenants, however, principal or interest payments are generally not past due.

4 – The portfolio investment is performing materially below our underwriting expectations and returns on our investment are likely to be impaired. Principal or interest payments may be past due, however, full recovery of principal and interest payments are expected.

5 – The portfolio investment is performing substantially below expectations and the risk of the investment has increased substantially. The company is in payment default and the principal and interest payments are not expected to be repaid in full.

For purposes of clarity, underwriting as referenced herein may be redetermined after the initial investment as a result of a transformative credit event or other material event whereby such initial underwriting is deemed by the Advisor to be no longer appropriate for the purpose of assessing investment performance relative to plan. For any investment receiving a score of a 3 or lower THL Credit Advisors will increase their level of focus and prepare regular updates for the investment committee summarizing current operating results, material impending events and recommended actions.

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Our Advisor monitors and, when appropriate, changes the investment scores assigned to each investment in our portfolio. In connection with our investment valuation process, the Advisor and board of directors review these investment scores on a quarterly basis. Our average portfolio company investment score was 2.24 and 2.36 at December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016, respectively. The following is a distribution of the investment scores of our portfolio investments at December 31, 2017 and 2016 (in millions):

 

 

 

December 31, 2017

 

 

December 31, 2016

 

Investment Score

 

Amortized

Cost

 

 

% of Total

Portfolio

based on

Amortized Cost

 

 

Fair Value

 

 

% of Total

Portfolio

based on FV

 

 

Amortized

Cost

 

 

% of Total

Portfolio

based on

Amortized Cost

 

 

Fair Value

 

 

% of Total

Portfolio

based on FV

 

1(a)

 

$

63.1

 

 

 

9.9

%

 

$

69.4

 

 

 

11.4

%

 

$

48.5

 

 

 

7.3

%

 

$

62.9

 

 

 

9.4

%

2(b)

 

 

436.1

 

 

 

68.1

%

 

 

437.9

 

 

 

71.9

%

 

358.1

 

 

 

53.4

%

 

 

364.6

 

 

 

54.5

%

3(c)

 

 

69.4

 

 

 

10.8

%

 

 

60.7

 

 

 

10.0

%

 

 

237.0

 

 

 

35.3

%

 

 

219.6

 

 

 

32.8

%

4(d)

 

 

28.4

 

 

 

4.4

%

 

 

20.0

 

 

 

3.3

%

 

 

 

 

 

0.0

%

 

 

 

 

 

0.0

%

5(e)

 

 

43.4

 

 

 

6.8

%

 

 

20.7

 

 

 

3.4

%

 

 

27.0

 

 

 

4.0

%

 

 

22.1

 

 

 

3.3

%

Total

 

$

640.4

 

 

 

100.0

%

 

$

608.7

 

 

 

100.0

%

 

$

670.6

 

 

 

100.0

%

 

$

669.2

 

 

 

100.0

%

 

(a)

As of December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016 Investment Score “1”, based upon fair value, included $0.0 million and $20.2 million, respectively, of loans to companies in which we also hold equity securities.

(b)

As of December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016, Investment Score “2”, based upon fair value, included $147.3 million and $110.7 million, respectively, of loans to companies in which we also hold equity securities.

(c)

As of December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016, Investment Score “3”, based upon fair value, included $48.9 million and $95.6 million, respectively, of loans to companies in which we also hold equity securities.

(d)

As of December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016, Investment Score “4”, based upon fair value, included no loans to companies in which we also hold equity securities.

(e)

As of December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016, Investment Score “5”, based upon fair value, included $12.6 million and $12.4 million, respectively, of loans to companies in which we also hold equity securities.

Loans are placed on non-accrual status when principal or interest payments are past due 30 days or more and/or when it is no longer probable that principal or interest will be collected. However, we may make exceptions to this policy if the loan has sufficient collateral value and is in the process of collection. As of December 31, 2017, we had loans on non-accrual status with an amortized cost basis of $56.3 million and a fair value of $21.0 million. For the year ended December 31, 2017, loans from two additional issuers were put on non-accrual status with one existing loan coming off non-accrual status as part of a realization of the investment. As of December 31, 2016, we had loans on non-accrual status with an amortized cost basis of $13.8 million and fair value of $6.9 million. Once a loan is place on non-accrual, our Advisor takes steps to maximize recovery on our investment, including through restricting or disposition of our positions. We record the reversal of any previously accrued income against the same income category reflected in the Consolidated Statements of Operations.

Investment management agreement

THL Credit Advisors serves as our investment adviser. THL Credit Advisors is registered as an investment adviser under the Advisers Act. Subject to the overall supervision of our board of directors, THL Credit Advisors manages the day-to-day operations of, and provide investment advisory and management services to, THL Credit, Inc. The address of THL Credit Advisors is 100 Federal Street, 31st Floor, Boston, Massachusetts 02110.

Under the terms of our investment management agreement, THL Credit Advisors:

 

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

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identifies, evaluates and negotiates the structure of the investments we make (including performing due diligence on our prospective portfolio companies); and

 

closes, monitors and administers the investments we make, including the exercise of any voting or consent rights.

THL Credit Advisors’ services under the investment management 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.

Pursuant to our investment management agreement, we pay THL Credit Advisors a fee for investment advisory and management services consisting of a base management fee and a two-part incentive fee.

Management Fee

The base management fee is calculated at an annual rate of 1.5% of our gross assets payable quarterly in arrears on a calendar quarter basis. For purposes of calculating the base management fee, “gross assets” is determined without deduction for any liabilities. The base management fee is calculated based on the value of the Company’s gross assets at the end of the most recently completed calendar quarter, and appropriately adjusted for any share issuances or repurchases during the current calendar quarter.

For the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, THL Credit Advisors earned base management fees of $10.4 million, $11.0 million and $11.8 million, respectively, from us.

Incentive Fee on Net Investment Income

On November 7, 2017, we announced that we had accepted the Advisor’s proposal to irrevocably waive the receipt of incentive fees related to net investment income, that it would otherwise be entitled to receive under the investment management agreement, for the period commencing on July 1, 2017 and ending on December 31, 2017. Such waived incentive fees will not be subject to recoupment.

Subsequently, we accepted the Advisor’s proposal to waive 100% of the incentive fees accrued for the period commencing on January 1, 2018 and ending on December 31, 2018 (such waiver, “Incentive Fee Waiver”). Such waived incentive fees shall not be subject to recoupment.

Further, commencing January 1, 2018, we accepted the Advisor’s proposal to calculate the incentive fee on net investment income in a manner intended to reduce the future amount of any incentive fees and more closely align our incentive fee arrangement with the performance of the Company. Below is a description of how we will calculate the Advisor’s incentive fee on net investment income under this new arrangement as well as a description of the calculation under the original arrangement.

New Incentive Fee on Net Investment Income

Commencing January 1, 2018, we will calculate the incentive fee on net investment income as indicated below (“Reduced Incentive Fee on Net Investment Income”) and waive such portion of the Reduced Incentive Fee on Net Investment Income that is in excess of the incentive fee on net investment income as set forth in the investment management agreement that the Advisor would otherwise be entitled to receive. In order to ensure that we will pay the Advisor less aggregate fees on a cumulative basis, as calculated beginning January 1, 2018, we will, at the end of each quarter, also calculate the incentive fee on net investment income owed by us to the Advisor based on the formula in place prior to January 1, 2018 effect to the waiver (“Incentive Fee on Net Investment Income Prior to Fee Waiver Agreement”). If, at any time beginning January 1, 2018, the aggregate fees on a cumulative basis, as calculated based on the formula in place after January 1, 2018, would be greater than the aggregate fees on a cumulative basis, as calculated based on the Incentive Fee on Net Investment Income Prior to Fee Waiver Agreement, the Advisor shall only be entitled to the lesser of those two amounts. See the section Incentive Fee on Net Investment Income Calculated Prior to the Fee Waiver Agreement for the details of the calculation under the investment management agreement.

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On January 1, 2018, the Reduced Incentive Fee on Net Investment Income will be calculated by reference to the most recent trailing twelve quarter period or, if shorter, the number of quarters that have occurred since January 1, 2018 (“Trailing Twelve Quarter Period”), rather than on the standalone quarterly basis as set forth in the investment management agreement.  Specifically, the net investment income component will be calculated, and payable, quarterly in arrears at the end of each calendar quarter by reference to our aggregate preincentive fee net investment income, as adjusted as described below, from the calendar quarter then ending and the eleven preceding calendar quarters (or if shorter, the number of quarters that have occurred since January 1, 2018).  Preincentive fee net investment income is expressed as a rate of return on the value of our net assets (defined as total assets less indebtedness and before taking into account any incentive fees payable during the period) at the beginning of each applicable calendar quarter comprising of the relevant Trailing Twelve Quarters. The hurdle amount for incentive fee based on preincentive fee net investment income will continue to be determined on a quarterly basis and equal to 2.0% (which is 8.0% annualized) but shall be multiplied by the net asset value attributable to our common stock at the beginning of each applicable calendar quarter comprising the relevant Trailing Twelve Quarters (also referred to as “minimum income level”). The hurdle amount will be calculated after making appropriate adjustments for subscriptions (which includes all issuances by us of shares of our common stock, including issuances pursuant to our dividend reinvestment plan) and distributions that occurred during the relevant Trailing Twelve Quarters.

The calculation of preincentive fee net investment income shall continue to mean interest income, amortization of original issue discount, commitment and origination fees, dividend income and any other income (including any other fees, such as, structuring, diligence, managerial assistance and consulting fees or other fees that we receive from portfolio companies) accrued during the calendar quarter, minus our operating expenses for the quarter (including the base management fee, expenses payable under our administration agreement (discussed below), and any interest expense and any dividends paid on any issued and outstanding preferred stock, but excluding the incentive fee and any offering expenses and other expenses not charged to operations but excluding certain reversals to the extent such reversals have the effect of reducing previously accrued incentive fees based on the deferral of non-cash interest. Furthermore, preincentive fee net investment income will continue to include, in the case of investments with a deferred interest feature (such as original issue discount, debt instruments with PIK interest and zero coupon securities), accrued income that we have not yet received in cash.

The incentive fee based on preincentive net investment income for each quarter will be determined as follows:

 

The Investment Advisor receives no incentive fee for any calendar quarter in which our preincentive fee net investment income does not exceed the minimum income level.

 

Subject to the Incentive Fee Cap below, the Advisor receives 100% of our preincentive fee net investment income for the Trailing Twelve Quarters with respect to that portion of the preincentive net investment income for such quarter, if any, that exceeds the minimum income level but is less than 2.5% (which is 10.0% annualized) (also referred to as the “catch-up” provision); and

 

20.0% of our preincentive fee net investment income, if any, greater than 2.5% (10.0% annualized) for the Trailing Twelve Quarters.

The amount of the incentive fee on preincentive net investment income that will be paid for a particular quarter will equal the excess of the incentive fee so calculated minus the aggregate incentive fees on preincentive net investment income that were paid in respect of the eleven calendar quarters (or if shorter, the appropriate number of quarters that have occurred since January 1, 2018) included in the relevant Trailing Twelve Quarters but not in excess of the Incentive Fee Cap (as described below).

The foregoing incentive fee will be subject to an Incentive Fee Cap (as defined below). The “Incentive Fee Cap” for any quarter is an amount equal to (a) 20% of the Cumulative Net Return (as defined below) during the relevant Trailing Twelve Quarters, minus (b) the aggregate incentive fees based on income that were paid in respect of the first eleven calendar quarters (or the portion thereof) included in the relevant Trailing Twelve Quarters. “Cumulative Net Return” means (x) preincentive net investment income in respect of the relevant Trailing Twelve Quarters minus (y) any Net Capital Loss, if any, in respect of the relevant Trailing Twelve

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Quarters. If, in any quarter, the Incentive Fee Cap is zero or a negative value, we will pay no incentive fee based on income to our Advisor for such quarter. If, in any quarter, the Incentive Fee Cap for such quarter is a positive value but is less than the incentive fee based on pre-incentive net investment income that is payable to our Advisor for such quarter (before giving effect to the Incentive Fee Cap) calculated as described above, we will pay an incentive fee based on preincentive net investment income to our Advisor equal to the Incentive Fee Cap for such quarter. If, in any quarter, the Incentive Fee Cap for such quarter is equal to or greater than the incentive fee based on preincentive net investment income that is payable to our Advisor for such quarter (before giving effect to the Incentive Fee Cap) calculated as described above, we will pay an incentive fee based on income to our Advisor equal to the incentive fee calculated as described above for such quarter without regard to the Incentive Fee Cap.

“Net Capital Loss” in respect of a particular period means the difference, if positive, between (i) aggregate capital losses, whether realized or unrealized, in such period and (ii) aggregate capital gains, whether realized or unrealized, in such period.

For the avoidance of doubt, the purpose of the Reduced Incentive Fee on Net Investment Income is to reduce aggregate incentive fees payable to Advisor by us, effective as of January 1, 2018. In order to ensure that we will pay the Advisor less aggregate fees on a cumulative basis, as calculated beginning January 1, 2018, we will, at the end of each quarter, also calculate the incentive fee on net investment income owed by us to Advisor based on the formula in place prior to January 1, 2018. If, at any time beginning January 1, 2018, the aggregate fees on a cumulative basis, as calculated based on the formula in place after January 1, 2018 after giving effect to the Incentive Fee Waiver, would be greater than the aggregate fees on a cumulative basis, as calculated based on the formula in place prior to January 1, 2018, the Advisor shall only be entitled to the lesser of those two amounts until such time as the requisite number of shareholders approve such amended incentive fee calculation.

The following is a graphical representation of the calculation of the Incentive Fee based on income:

Incentive Fee based on Income

Percentage of Ordinary Income comprising the Incentive Fee based on Income

(expressed as an annualized rate(1) of return on the value of net assets as of the beginning

of each of the quarters included in the Trailing Twelve Quarters)

 

 

(1)

The Incentive Fee is determined on a quarterly basis but has been annualized for purposes of the above diagram. The diagram also does not reflect the Incentive Fee Cap.

Example of Calculation of the Incentive Fee based on Income Assumptions

Assumptions(1)

 

Quarter 1

 

Net Asset Value at the start of Quarter 1 = $100.0 million

 

Quarter 1 Ordinary Income = $6.0 million

 

Quarter 1 Net Capital Gain = $1.0 million

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Quarter 1 Hurdle Amount = $2.0 million (calculated based on an annualized 8.0% hurdle rate)

 

Quarter 1 Catch-up Amount = $2.5 million (calculated based on an annualized 10.0% rate)

 

Quarter 2

 

Net Asset Value at the start of Quarter 2 = $100.0 million

 

Quarter 2 Ordinary Income = $1.5 million

 

Quarter 2 Net Capital Gain = $1.0 million

 

Quarter 2 Hurdle Amount = $2.0 million (calculated based on an annualized 8.0% hurdle rate)

 

Quarter 2 Catch-up Amount = $2.5 million (calculated based on an annualized 10.0% rate)

 

Quarter 3

 

Net Asset Value at the start of Quarter 3 = $100.0 million

 

Quarter 3 Ordinary Income = $2.0 million

 

Quarter 3 Net Capital Loss = ($6.0) million

 

Quarter 3 Hurdle Amount = $2.0 million (calculated based on an annualized 8.0% hurdle rate)

 

Quarter 3 Catch-up Amount = $2.5 million (calculated based on an annualized 10.0% rate)

 

Quarter 4

 

Net Asset Value at the start of Quarter 4 = $100.0 million

 

Quarter 4 Ordinary Income = $3.5 million

 

Quarter 4 Net Capital Gain = $3.0 million

 

Quarter 3 Hurdle Amount = $2.0 million (calculated based on an annualized 8.0% hurdle rate)

 

Quarter 3 Catch-up Amount = $2.5 million (calculated based on an annualized 10.0% rate)

 

(1) 

For illustrative purposes, Net Asset Value is assumed to be $100.0 million as of the beginning of all four quarters and does not give effect to gains or losses in the preceding quarters.

Determination of Incentive Fee based on income

In Quarter 1, the Ordinary Income of $6.0 million exceeds the Hurdle Amount of $2.0 million and the Catch-up Amount of $2.5 million. There are no Net Capital Losses. As a result, an Incentive Fee based on income of $1.2 million ((100% of $0.5 million) + (20% of $3.5 million)) is payable to our Investment Adviser for Quarter 1.

In Quarter 2, the Quarter 2 Ordinary Income of $1.5 million does not exceed the Quarter 2 Hurdle Amount of $2.0 million, but the aggregate Ordinary Income for the Trailing Twelve Quarters of $7.5 million exceeds the aggregate Hurdle Amount for the Trailing Twelve Quarters of $4.0 million and the aggregate Catch-up Amount for the Trailing Twelve Quarters of $5.0 million. There are no Net Capital Losses. As a result, an Incentive Fee based on income of $300,000 ($1.5 million ((100% of $1.0 million) + (20% of 2.5 million)) minus $1.2 million paid in Quarter 1) is payable to our Investment Adviser for Quarter 2.

In Quarter 3, the aggregate Ordinary Income of the Trailing Twelve Quarters of $9.5 million exceeds the aggregate Hurdle Amount for the Trailing Twelve Quarters of $6.0 million and the aggregate Catch-up Amount for the Trailing Twelve Quarters of $7.5 million. However, there is an aggregate Net Capital Loss of ($4.0) million for the Trailing Twelve Quarters. As a result, the Incentive Fee Cap would apply. The Incentive Fee Cap equals $(0.4 million), calculated as follows:

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(20% x ($9.5 million minus $4.0 million)) minus $1.5 million paid in Quarters 1 and 2. Because the Incentive Fee Cap is a negative value, there is no Incentive Fee based on income payable to our Investment Adviser for Quarter 3.

In Quarter 4, the aggregate Ordinary Income of the Trailing Twelve Quarters of $13.0 million exceeds the aggregate Hurdle Amount for the Trailing Twelve Quarters of $8.0 million and the aggregate Catch-up Amount for the Trailing Twelve Quarters of $10.0 million. The calculation of the Incentive Fee based on income would be $1.1 million ($2.6 million (100% of $2.0 million) + (20% of $3.0 million) minus $1.5 million paid in Quarters 1 and 2). However, there is an aggregate Net Capital Loss of ($1.0) million for the Trailing Twelve Quarters. As a result, the Incentive Fee Cap would apply. The Incentive Fee Cap equals $900,000 calculated as follows:

(20% x ($13.0 million minus $1.0 million)) minus $1.5 million. Because the Incentive Fee Cap is positive but less than the Incentive Fee based on income of $1.1 million calculated prior to applying the Incentive Fee Cap, an Incentive Fee based on income of $900,000 is payable to our Investment Adviser for Quarter 4.

Prior Incentive Fee on Net Investment Income

The incentive fee has two components, ordinary income and capital gains, calculated as follows:

The ordinary income component is calculated, and payable, quarterly in arrears based on our preincentive fee net investment income for the immediately preceding calendar quarter, subject to a cumulative total return requirement and to deferral of non-cash amounts. The preincentive fee net investment income, which is expressed as a rate of return on the value of our net assets attributable to our common stock, for the immediately preceding calendar quarter, will have a 2.0% (which is 8.0% annualized) hurdle rate (also referred to as “minimum income level”). Preincentive fee net investment income means interest income, dividend income and any other income (including any other fees, such as commitment, origination, structuring, diligence, managerial assistance and consulting fees or other fees that we receive from portfolio companies) accrued during the calendar quarter, minus our operating expenses for the quarter (including the base management fee, expenses payable under our administration agreement (discussed below), and any interest expense and any dividends paid on any issued and outstanding preferred stock, but excluding the incentive fee and any offering expenses and other expenses not charged to operations but excluding certain reversals to the extent such reversals have the effect of reducing previously accrued incentive fees based on the deferral of non-cash interest. Preincentive fee net investment income includes, in the case of investments with a deferred interest feature (such as original issue discount, debt instruments with PIK interest and zero coupon securities), accrued income that we have not yet received in cash. The Advisor receives no incentive fee for any calendar quarter in which our preincentive fee net investment income does not exceed the minimum income level. Subject to the cumulative total return requirement described below, the Advisor receives 100% of our preincentive fee net investment income for any calendar quarter with respect to that portion of the preincentive net investment income for such quarter, if any, that exceeds the minimum income level but is less than 2.5% (which is 10.0% annualized) of net assets (also referred to as the “catch-up” provision) and 20.0% of our preincentive fee net investment income for such calendar quarter, if any, greater than 2.5% (10.0% annualized) of net assets. The foregoing incentive fee is subject to a total return requirement, which provides that no incentive fee in respect of our preincentive fee net investment income is payable except to the extent 20.0% of the cumulative net increase in net assets resulting from operations over the then current and 11 preceding calendar quarters exceeds the cumulative incentive fees accrued and/or paid for the 11 preceding quarters. In other words, any ordinary income incentive fee that is payable in a calendar quarter is limited to the lesser of (i) 20% of the amount by which our preincentive fee net investment income for such calendar quarter exceeds the 2.0% hurdle, subject to the “catch-up” provision, and (ii) (x) 20% of the cumulative net increase in net assets resulting from operations for the then current and 11 preceding quarters minus (y) the cumulative incentive fees accrued and/or paid for the 11 preceding calendar quarters. For the foregoing purpose, the “cumulative net increase in net assets resulting from operations” is the amount, if positive, of the sum of our preincentive fee net investment income, base management fees, realized gains and losses and unrealized appreciation and depreciation for the then current and 11 preceding calendar quarters. In addition, the portion of such incentive fee that is attributable to deferred interest (sometimes referred to as payment-in-kind interest, or PIK, or original issue discount, or OID) will be paid to THL Credit Advisors, together with interest thereon from

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the date of deferral to the date of payment, only if and to the extent we actually receive such interest in cash, and any accrual thereof will be reversed if and to the extent such interest is reversed in connection with any write-off or similar treatment of the investment giving rise to any deferred interest accrual. There is no accumulation of amounts on the hurdle rate from quarter to quarter and accordingly there is no clawback of amounts previously paid if subsequent quarters are below the quarterly hurdle rate and there is no delay of payment if prior quarters are below the quarterly hurdle rate.

Preincentive fee net investment income does not include any realized capital gains, realized capital losses or unrealized capital appreciation or depreciation. Because of the structure of the incentive fee, it is possible that we may pay an incentive fee in a quarter where we incur a loss, subject to the total return requirement and deferral of non-cash amounts. For example, if we receive preincentive fee net investment income in excess of the quarterly minimum hurdle rate, we will pay the applicable incentive fee even if we have incurred a loss in that quarter due to realized and unrealized capital losses. Our net investment income used to calculate this component of the incentive fee is also included in the amount of our gross assets used to calculate the 1.5% base management fee. These calculations will be appropriately prorated for any period of less than three months and adjusted for any share issuances or repurchases during the current quarter.

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

Quarterly Incentive Fee Based on Net Investment Income

Pre-incentive fee net investment income (expressed as a percentage of the value of net assets)

 

Pre-incentive fee net investment income allocated to first component of incentive fee

For the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, we incurred $3.2 million, $4.5 million and $11.9 million, net of incentive fees waived of $0.8 million, $0 and $0, respectively, of incentive fees related to ordinary income. As of December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016, $0.1 million and $2.2 million, respectively, of such incentive fees were currently payable to the Advisor. As of December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016, $1.0 million and $1.0 million, respectively of incentive fees incurred by us were generated from deferred interest (i.e. PIK, certain discount accretion and deferred interest) and are not payable until such amounts are received in cash.

Pre-incentive fee capital gains allocated to second component of incentive fee

The second component of the incentive fee (capital gains incentive fee) is determined and payable in arrears as of the end of each calendar year (or upon termination of the investment management agreement, as of the termination date). This component is equal to 20.0% of our cumulative aggregate realized capital gains from inception through the end of that calendar year, computed net of the cumulative aggregate realized capital losses and cumulative aggregate unrealized capital depreciation through the end of such year. The aggregate amount of any previously paid capital gains incentive fees is subtracted from such capital gains incentive fee calculated. There was no capital gains incentive fee payable to our Advisor under the investment management agreement as of December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016.

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Payment of our expenses

All investment professionals and staff of THL Credit Advisors, when and to the extent engaged in providing investment advisory and management services to us; and the compensation and routine overhead expenses of such personnel allocable to such services (including health insurance, 401(k) plan benefits, payroll taxes and other compensation related matters), are provided and paid for by THL Credit Advisors. We bear all other costs and expenses of our operations and transactions, including those relating to:

 

our organization;

 

calculating our net asset value and net asset value per share (including the cost and expenses of any independent valuation firm);

 

expenses, including travel-related expenses, incurred by THL Credit Advisors or payable to third parties in originating investments for the portfolio, performing due diligence on prospective portfolio companies, monitoring our investments and, if necessary, enforcing our rights;

 

interest payable on debt, if any, incurred to finance our investments;

 

the costs of future offerings of common shares and other securities, if any;

 

the base management fee and any incentive management fee;

 

distributions on our shares;

 

Administrator Expenses payable under our administration agreement;

 

transfer agent and custody fees and expenses;

 

the allocated costs incurred by THL Credit Advisors as our administrator in providing managerial assistance to those portfolio companies that request it;

 

amounts payable to third parties relating to, or associated with, evaluating, making and disposing of investments;

 

brokerage fees and commissions;

 

registration fees;

 

listing fees;

 

taxes;

 

independent director fees and expenses;

 

costs of preparing and filing reports or other documents with the SEC;

 

the costs of any reports, proxy statements or other notices to our stockholders, including printing costs;

 

costs of holding stockholder meetings;

 

our fidelity bond;

 

directors and officers/errors and omissions liability insurance, and any other insurance premiums;

 

litigation, indemnification and other non-recurring or extraordinary expenses;

 

direct costs and expenses of administration and operation, including audit and legal costs;

 

fees and expenses associated with marketing efforts, including to investors, sponsors and other origination sources;

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dues, fees and charges of any trade association of which we are a member; and

 

all other expenses reasonably incurred by us or THL Credit Advisors in connection with administering our business, such as the allocable portion of overhead under our administration agreement, including rent and other allocable portions of the cost of certain of our officers and their respective staffs.

We reimburse THL Credit Advisors for a portion of the costs and expenses incurred by THL Credit Advisors for office space rental, office equipment and utilities deemed allocable to the performance by THL Credit Advisors of its duties under the investment management agreement, as well as any costs and expenses incurred by THL Credit Advisors relating to any non-investment advisory, administrative or operating services provided by THL Credit Advisors to us or in the form of managerial assistance to portfolio companies that request it.

THL Credit Advisors may pay amounts owed by us to third party providers of goods or services. We will subsequently reimburse THL Credit Advisors for such amounts paid on our behalf.

Limitation of liability and indemnification

The investment management agreement provides that THL Credit Advisors and its officers, directors, employees and affiliates are not liable to us or any of our stockholders for any act or omission by it or its employees in the supervision or management of our investment activities or for any loss sustained by us or our stockholders, except that the foregoing exculpation does not extend to any act or omission constituting willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of its obligations under the investment management agreement. The investment management agreement also provides for indemnification by us of THL Credit Advisors’ members, directors, officers, employees, agents and control persons for liabilities incurred by it in connection with their services to us, subject to the same limitations and to certain conditions.

Duration and termination

The investment management agreement was approved by our board of directors on March 2, 2018, as described further below under “Business—Board Approval of the Investment Advisory Agreement.” Unless terminated earlier as described below, it will remain in effect from year to year if approved annually by our board of directors or by the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of our outstanding voting securities, including, in either case, approval by a majority of our directors who are not interested persons. The investment management agreement will automatically terminate in the event of its assignment. The investment management agreement may be terminated by either party without penalty upon not less than 60 days written notice to the other. Any termination by us must be authorized either by our board of directors or by vote of our stockholders. See “Risk Factors—Risks relating to our business.” We are dependent upon senior management personnel of our investment adviser for our future success, and if our investment adviser is unable to retain qualified personnel or if our investment adviser loses any member of its senior management team, our ability to achieve our investment objective could be significantly harmed.

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Board Approval of the Investment Advisory Agreement

At a meeting of our Board of Directors held on March 2, 2018, our board of directors unanimously voted to approve the investment advisory agreement. In reaching a decision to approve the investment advisory agreement, the board of directors reviewed a significant amount of information and considered, among other things:

 

the nature, quality and extent of the advisory and other services to be provided to us by THL Credit Advisors;

 

the fee structures of comparable externally managed business development companies that engage in similar investing activities;

 

our projected operating expenses and expense ratio compared to business development companies with similar investment objectives;

 

any existing and potential sources of indirect income to THL Credit Advisors from its relationship with us and the profitability of that relationship, including through the investment advisory agreement;

 

information about the services to be performed and the personnel performing such services under the investment advisory agreement;

 

the organizational capability and financial condition of THL Credit Advisors and its affiliates; and

 

various other matters.

Based on the information reviewed and the discussions detailed above, the board of directors, including all of the directors who are not “interested persons” as defined in the 1940 Act, concluded that the investment advisory fee rates and terms are reasonable in relation to the services provided and approved the investment advisory agreement as being in the best interests of our stockholders.

Administration Agreement

We have entered into an administration agreement with THL Credit Advisors, which we refer to as the “administration agreement,” under which the Administrator provides administrative services to us. For providing these services, facilities and personnel, we reimburse the Administrator for our allocable portion of overhead and other expenses incurred by the Administrator in performing its obligations under the administration agreement, including rent and our allocable portion of the cost of certain of our officers and their respective staffs.

The Administrator may pay amounts owed by us to third-party providers of goods or services. We will subsequently reimburse the Administrator for such amounts paid on our behalf.

Additionally, at our request, the Administrator provides on our behalf significant managerial assistance to our portfolio companies to which we are required to provide such assistance.

License agreement

We and THL Credit Advisors have entered into a license agreement with THL Partners under which THL Partners has granted to us and THL Credit Advisors a non-exclusive, personal, revocable worldwide non-transferable license to use the trade name and service mark THL, which is a proprietary mark of THL Partners, for specified purposes in connection with our respective businesses. This license agreement is royalty-free, which means we are not charged a fee for our use of the trade name and service mark THL. The license agreement is terminable either in its entirety or with respect to us or THL Credit Advisors by THL Partners at any time in its sole discretion upon 60 days prior written notice, and is also terminable with respect to either us or THL Credit Advisors by THL Partners in the case of certain events of non-compliance. After the expiration of its first one year term, the entire license agreement is terminable by either us or THL Credit Advisors at our or its sole discretion upon 60 days prior written notice. Upon termination of the license agreement, we and THL Credit Advisors must cease to use the name and mark THL, including any use in our respective legal names, filings,

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listings and other uses that may require us to withdraw or replace our names and marks. Other than with respect to the limited rights contained in the license agreement, we and THL Credit Advisors have no right to use, or other rights in respect of, the THL name and mark. We are an entity operated independently from THL Partners, and third parties who deal with us have no recourse against THL Partners

Staffing

We do not currently have any employees and do not expect to have any employees. Our Advisor and Administrator have hired and expect to continue to hire professionals with skills applicable to our business plan and investment objective, including experience in middle market investment, leveraged finance and capital markets. Each of our executive officers is an employee and executive officer of our Advisor or its wholly owned subsidiary, THL Credit Senior Loan Strategies LLC (“SLS”). Our day-to-day investment operations are managed by our Advisor. The services necessary for the origination and administration of our investment portfolio are provided by investment professionals employed by either the Advisor or SLS. Our Advisor’s investment professionals focus on origination and transaction development and the ongoing monitoring of our investments. We reimburse the Advisor, in its capacity as our Administrator, for costs and expenses incurred by our Administrator for office space rental, office equipment and utilities allocable to our Administrator under the administration agreement, as well as any costs and expenses incurred by our Advisor relating to any non-investment advisory, administrative or operating services provided by our Advisor to us. In addition, we reimburse our Administrator for our allocable portion of expenses it incurs in performing its obligations under the administration agreement, including rent and our allocable portion of the cost of certain of our officers and their respective staffs.

Material Conflicts of Interest

We entered into an investment management agreement on April 1, 2010 under which the Advisor, subject to the overall supervision of our board of directors manages the day-to-day operations of, and provides investment advisory services to us. The Advisor and its affiliates may also manage other funds in the future that may have investment mandates that are similar, in whole or in part, with ours. For example, the Advisor may serve as investment adviser to one or more private funds or registered closed-end funds, and presently serves as an investment adviser to certain CLOs and is a subadviser to a closed-end fund, THL Credit Senior Loan Fund (NYSE: TSLF). In addition, our officers may serve in similar capacities for one or more private funds or registered closed-end funds. The Advisor’s policies are designed to manage and mitigate the conflicts of interest associated with the allocation of investment opportunities if we are able to co-invest, either pursuant to SEC interpretive positions or an exemptive order, with other funds managed by the Adviser and its affiliates. In addition, we note that any affiliated fund currently formed or formed in the future and managed by the Advisor or its affiliates may have overlapping investment objectives with our own and, accordingly, may invest in asset classes similar to those targeted by us. However, in certain instances due to regulatory, tax, investment, or other restrictions, certain investment opportunities may not be appropriate for either us or other funds managed by the Advisor.

The 1940 Act generally prohibits BDCs from making certain negotiated co-investments with affiliates absent an order from the SEC permitting the BDC to do so. Unless otherwise provided in the allocation policy, if an investment opportunity is appropriate for both us and other investment funds and the investment opportunity requires more than the price to be negotiated, the investment opportunity will be made available to the other investment fund or us on an alternating basis based on the date of closing of each such investment opportunity and each fund’s available capital. As a result, the Advisor and/or its affiliates may face conflicts in allocating investment opportunities between us and such other entities. Although the Advisor and its affiliates will endeavor to allocate investment opportunities in a fair and equitable manner and consistent with applicable allocation procedures, it is possible that we may not be given the opportunity to participate in investments made by investment funds managed by the Advisor or its affiliates.

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The SEC has granted us the relief we sought in an exemptive application that expands our ability to co-invest in portfolio companies with certain other funds managed by the Adviser or its affiliates (“Affiliated Funds”) in a manner consistent with our investment objective, positions, policies, strategies and restrictions as well as regulatory requirements and other pertinent factors, subject to compliance with certain conditions (the “Order”). Pursuant to the Order, we are permitted to co-invest with Affiliated Funds if, among other things, a “required majority” (as defined in Section 57(o) of the 1940 Act) or our independent directors make certain conclusions in connection with a co-investment transaction, including that (1) the terms of the transactions, including the consideration to be paid, are reasonable and fair to us and our stockholders and do not involve overreaching of us or our stockholders on the part of any person concerned, and (2) the transaction is consistent with the interests of our stockholders and is consistent with our investment objective and strategies.

Business Development Company Regulations

We have elected to be regulated as a BDC under the 1940 Act. We have also elected to be treated for tax purposes as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code. 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 our outstanding voting securities” as defined in the 1940 Act. A majority of the outstanding voting securities of a company is defined under the 1940 Act as the lesser of: (a) 67% or more of such company’s voting securities present at a meeting if more than 50% of the outstanding voting securities of such company are present or represented by proxy, or (b) more than 50% of the outstanding voting securities of such company. We do not anticipate any substantial change in the nature of our business.

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 stockholders, and (2) our stockholders 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. At our Annual Meeting of Stockholders on June 6, 2017, our stockholders approved a proposal authorizing us to sell up to 25% of our common stock at a price below our then-current net asset value per share, subject to approval by our board of directors for the offering. The authorization expires on the earlier of June 6, 2018 or the date of our 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, which is expected to be held in June 2018. Our stockholders also approved a proposal to authorize us to offer and issue debt with warrants or debt convertible into shares of our common stock at an exercise or conversion price that, at the time such warrants or convertible debt are issued, will not be less than the market value per share but may be below our then-current net asset value per share.

As a BDC, we are required to meet a coverage ratio of the value of total assets to senior securities, which include all of our borrowings and any preferred stock we may issue in the future, of at least 200%. 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.

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 of 1933, or the Securities Act. 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 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

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investment company. With regard to that portion of our portfolio invested in securities issued by investment companies, it should be noted that such investments might indirectly subject our stockholders to additional expenses as they will indirectly be responsible for the costs and expenses of such companies. None of our investment policies are fundamental and any may be changed without stockholder 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 the following:

 

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:

 

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

 

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

 

satisfies either of the following:

 

has a market capitalization of less than $250 million or does not have any class of securities listed on a national securities exchange; or

 

is controlled by a BDC or a group of companies including a BDC, the BDC actually exercises a controlling influence over the management or policies of the eligible portfolio company, and, as a result thereof, the BDC has an affiliated person who is a director of the eligible portfolio company.

 

Securities of any eligible portfolio company which we control.

 

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.

 

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

 

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

 

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

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.

Significant 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 in “Business—Business Development Company Regulations—Qualifying assets” above. Business development companies generally must

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offer to make available to the issuer of the securities significant managerial assistance, except in circumstances where either (i) the business development company controls such issuer of securities or (ii) the business development company purchases such securities in conjunction with one or more other persons acting together and one of the other persons in the group makes available such managerial assistance. Making available 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.

Temporary investments

Pending investment in other types of “qualifying assets,” as described above, our investments may consist of cash, cash equivalents, U.S. government securities or high-quality debt securities maturing in one year or less from the time of investment, which we refer to, collectively, as temporary investments, so that 70% of our assets are 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 which 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. Our investment Advisor monitors the creditworthiness of the counterparties with which we enter into repurchase agreement transactions.

Warrants and Options

Under the 1940 Act, a BDC is subject to restrictions on the amount of warrants, options, restricted stock 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) our stockholders authorize the proposal to issue such warrants, and our board of directors approves such issuance on the basis that the issuance is in the best interests of THL Credit and its stockholders 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

We are permitted, under specified conditions, to issue multiple classes of indebtedness and one class of stock senior to our common stock if our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, is at least equal to 200% immediately after each such issuance. In addition, while any preferred stock or publicly traded debt securities are outstanding, we must make provisions to prohibit any distribution to our stockholders or the repurchase of such securities or shares unless we meet the applicable asset coverage ratios at the time of the distribution or repurchase. We may also borrow amounts up to 5% of the value of our total assets for temporary or emergency purposes without regard to asset coverage. For a discussion of the risks associated with leverage, see “Risks—Risks related to our operations as a BDC.”

No-action relief from registration as a commodity pool operator

We are relying on a no-action letter (the “No-Action Letter”) issued by the staff of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”) as a basis to avoid registration with the CFTC as a commodity pool operator

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(“CPO”). The No-Action Letter allows an entity to engage in CFTC-regulated transactions (“commodity interest transactions”) that are “bona fide hedging” transactions (as that term is defined and interpreted by the CFTC and its staff), but prohibit an entity from entering into commodity interest transactions if they are non-bona fide hedging transactions, unless immediately after entering such non-bona fide hedging transaction (a) the sum of the amount of initial margin deposits on the entity’s existing futures or swaps positions and option or swaption premiums does not exceed 5% of the market value of the entity’s liquidating value, after taking into account unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such transactions, or (b) the aggregate net notional value of the entity’s commodity interest transactions would not exceed 100% of the market value of the entity’s liquidating value, after taking into account unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such transactions. We are required to operate pursuant to these trading restrictions if we intend to continue to rely on the No-Action Letter as a basis to avoid CPO registration.

Proxy voting policies and procedures

We have delegated our proxy voting responsibility to THL Credit Advisors. The Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures of THL Credit Advisors are set forth below. The guidelines are reviewed periodically by THL Credit Advisors and our independent directors, and, accordingly, are subject to change.

Introduction

THL Credit Advisors is registered as an investment adviser under the Advisers Act. As an investment adviser registered under the Advisers Act, THL Credit Advisors has fiduciary duties to us. As part of this duty, THL Credit Advisors recognizes that it must vote client securities in a timely manner free of conflicts of interest and in our best interests and the best interests of our stockholders. THL Credit Advisors’ Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures have been formulated to ensure decision-making consistent with these fiduciary duties.

These policies and procedures for voting proxies for our investment advisory clients are intended to comply with Section 206 of, and Rule 206(4)-6 under, the Advisers Act.

Proxy policies

THL Credit Advisors evaluates routine proxy matters, such as proxy proposals, amendments or resolutions on a case-by-case basis. Routine matters are typically proposed by management and THL Credit Advisors will normally support such matters so long as they do not measurably change the structure, management control, or operation of the corporation and are consistent with industry standards as well as the corporate laws of the state of incorporation.

THL Credit Advisors also evaluates non-routine matters on a case-by-case basis. Non-routine proposals concerning social issues are typically proposed by stockholders who believe that the corporation’s internally adopted policies are ill-advised or misguided. If THL Credit Advisors has determined that management is generally socially responsible, THL Credit Advisors will generally vote against these types of non-routine proposals. Non-routine proposals, to the extent they occur, concerning financial or corporate issues are usually offered by management and seek to change a corporation’s legal, business or financial structure. THL Credit Advisors will generally vote in favor of such proposals provided the position of current stockholders is preserved or enhanced. Non-routine proposals concerning stockholder rights are made regularly by both management and stockholders. They can be generalized as involving issues that transfer or realign board or stockholder voting power. THL Credit Advisors typically would oppose any proposal aimed solely at thwarting potential takeovers by requiring, for example, super-majority approval. At the same time, THL Credit Advisors believes stability and continuity promote profitability. THL Credit Advisors’ guidelines in this area seek a middle road and individual proposals will be carefully assessed in the context of their particular circumstances.

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If a vote may involve a material conflict of interest, prior to approving such vote, THL Credit Advisors must consult with its chief compliance officer to determine whether the potential conflict is material and if so, the appropriate method to resolve such conflict. If the conflict is determined not to be material, THL Credit Advisors’ employees shall vote the proxy in accordance with THL Credit Advisors’ proxy voting policy.

Proxy voting records

You may obtain information about how we voted proxies by making a written request for proxy voting information to:

General Counsel

THL Credit, Inc.

100 Federal Street, 31st Floor

Boston, MA 02110

Code of ethics

We have adopted a code of ethics pursuant to Rule 17j-1 under the 1940 Act and we have also approved our investment adviser’s code of ethics under Rule 17j-1 under the 1940 Act and Rule 204A-1 of the Advisers Act. These codes establish procedures for personal investments and restrict certain personal securities transactions. Personnel subject to the code may invest in securities for their personal investment accounts so long as such investments are made in accordance with the code’s requirements. You may read and copy our code of ethics and our code of ethics and business conduct at the SEC’s Public Reference Room located at 100 F Street, NE, Washington, DC 20549. You may obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. In addition, our code of ethics and our code of ethics and business conduct are available on the EDGAR Database on the SEC’s Internet site at http://www.sec.gov and are available on our corporate governance webpage at http://investor.thlcreditbdc.com/corporate-governance.

Privacy Principles

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

Generally, we do not receive any nonpublic personal information relating to our stockholders, although certain nonpublic personal information of our stockholders may become available to us. We do not disclose any nonpublic personal information about our stockholders or former stockholders to anyone, except as permitted by law or as is necessary in order to service stockholder accounts (for example, to a transfer agent or third party administrator).

We restrict access to nonpublic personal information about our stockholders to our investment adviser’s employees with a legitimate business need for the information. We maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards designed to protect the nonpublic personal information of our stockholders.

Compliance with Corporate Governance Regulations

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (the “Sarbanes-Oxley Act”) imposes a wide variety of regulatory requirements on publicly-held companies and their insiders. Many of these requirements affect us. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act has required us to review our policies and procedures to determine whether we comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the regulations promulgated thereunder. We will continue to monitor our compliance with all future regulations that are adopted under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and will take actions necessary to ensure that we are in compliance therewith.

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In addition, The NASDAQ Global Select Market has adopted various corporate governance requirements as part of its listing standards. We believe we are in compliance with such corporate governance listing standards. We will continue to monitor our compliance with all future listing standards and will take actions necessary to ensure that we are in compliance therewith.

Other

We have adopted an investment policy that mirrors the requirements applicable to us as a BDC under the 1940 Act.

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

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

We and THL Credit Advisors have adopted and implemented written policies and procedures reasonably designed to prevent violation of the federal securities laws, and will review these policies and procedures annually for their adequacy and the effectiveness of their implementation. We and THL Credit Advisors have designated a chief compliance officer to be responsible for administering the policies and procedures.

You may read and copy any materials we file with the SEC at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, NE, Washington, DC 20549, on official business days during the hours of 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. You may obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at (202) 551-8090. The SEC maintains an Internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC. The address of that site is http://www.sec.gov.

Our internet address is www.thlcreditbdc.com. We make available free of charge on our website our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the SEC.

Certain U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations

We have elected to be treated as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code. As a RIC, we generally do not have to pay corporate-level federal income taxes on any income that we distribute to our stockholders from our taxable earnings and profits. To maintain our qualification as a RIC, we must, among other things, meet certain source of income and asset diversification requirements (as described below). In addition, in order maintain RIC tax treatment, we must distribute to our stockholders, for each taxable year, at least 90% of our “investment company taxable income,” which is generally our net ordinary income plus the excess, if any, of realized net short-term capital gains over realized net long-term capital losses (the “Annual Distribution Requirement”).

Taxation as a Regulated Investment Company

If we:

 

maintain our qualification as a RIC; and

 

satisfy the Annual Distribution Requirement,

then generally 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 stockholders. 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 stockholders.

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In order to maintain our qualification as a RIC for 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 certain securities loans, gains from the sale of stock or other securities, 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 securities, other than U.S. Government securities or securities of other RICs, of one issuer, of two or more issuers that are controlled, as determined under applicable Code rules, by us and that are engaged in the same or similar or related trades or businesses or of certain “qualified publicly traded partnerships” (the “Diversification Tests”).

We will be subject to a 4% nondeductible federal excise tax on certain undistributed income unless we distribute in a timely manner an amount at least equal to the sum of (1) 98% of our net ordinary income for each calendar year, (2) 98.2% of our capital gain net income for each calendar year and (3) any income recognized, but not distributed, in preceding years and on which we paid no federal income tax (the “Excise Tax Avoidance Requirement”). We may choose to retain a portion of our ordinary income and/or capital gain net income in any year and pay the 4% U.S. federal excise tax on the retained amounts. For federal income tax purposes, we may be required to recognize taxable income in circumstances in which we do not receive a corresponding payment in 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 debt instruments that were 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 deferred loan origination fees that are paid after origination of the loan or are paid in non-cash compensation such as warrants or stock. Certain consolidated subsidiaries of the Company are subject to U.S. federal and state income taxes. These taxable entities are not consolidated with the Company for income tax purposes and may generate income tax liabilities or assets from temporary differences in the recognition of items for financial reporting and income tax purposes at the subsidiaries.

Because any original issue discount or other amounts accrued will be included in our investment company taxable income for the year of the accrual, we may be required to make a distribution to our stockholders in order to satisfy the Annual Distribution Requirement, even though we will not have received any corresponding cash amount. As a result, we may have difficulty meeting the Annual Distribution Requirement, which is necessary to maintain our RIC tax treatment under the Code. 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 income tax.

We are authorized to borrow funds and to sell assets in order to satisfy our RIC distribution requirements. However, under the 1940 Act, we are not permitted to make distributions to our stockholders while our debt obligations and other senior securities are outstanding unless certain “asset coverage” tests are met. Moreover, our ability to dispose of assets to meet our RIC distribution requirements may be limited by (1) the illiquid nature of our portfolio and/or (2) 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.

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Certain of our investment practices may be subject to special and complex federal income tax provisions that may, among other things, (1) treat dividends that would otherwise qualify for the dividends received deduction or constitute qualified dividend income as ineligible for such treatment, (2) disallow, suspend or otherwise limit the allowance of certain losses or deductions, (3) convert lower-taxed long-term capital gain into higher-taxed short-term capital gain or ordinary income, (4) convert an ordinary loss or a deduction into a capital loss (the deductibility of which is more limited), (5) cause us to recognize income or gain without receipt of a corresponding distribution of cash, (6) adversely affect the time as to when a purchase or sale of stock or securities is deemed to occur, (7) adversely alter the characterization of certain complex financial transactions and (8) produce income that will not be qualifying income for purposes of the 90% Income Test. We will monitor our transactions and may make certain tax elections to mitigate the potential adverse effect of these provisions, but there can be no assurance that any adverse effects of these provisions will be mitigated.

 

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

Before you invest in our securities, you should be aware of various risks, including those described below. You should carefully consider these risk factors, together with all of the other information included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, before you decide whether to make an investment in our securities. The risks set out below are not the only risks we face, but they are the principal risks associated with an investment in the Company. If any of the following events occur, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially adversely affected. In such case, our net asset value and the trading price of our common stock could decline, and you may lose all or part of your investment.

Risks Related To Our Business

We may suffer credit losses.

Investment in lower middle market companies is highly speculative and involves a high degree of risk of credit loss, and therefore our securities may not be suitable for someone with a low tolerance for risk. These risks are likely to increase during an economic recession.

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

Our investments generally are made in private companies. Substantially all of these securities are subject to legal and other restrictions on resale or will be otherwise less liquid than publicly traded securities. The illiquidity of our investments may make it difficult 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 had previously recorded our investments. Further, we may face other restrictions on our ability to liquidate an investment in a portfolio company to the extent that we or an affiliated manager have material non-public information regarding such portfolio company.

There will be uncertainty as to the value of our portfolio investments.

A large percentage of our portfolio investments are in the form of securities that are not publicly traded. The fair value of securities and other investments that are not publicly traded may not be readily determinable. We value these securities on a quarterly basis in accordance with our valuation policy, which is at all times consistent with U.S. generally accepted accounting policies (“GAAP”). Our board of directors utilizes the services of third-party valuation firms to aid it in determining the fair value of these securities. The board of directors discusses valuations and determines the fair value in good faith based on the input of our investment adviser and the respective third-party valuation firms. The factors that may be considered in fair value pricing 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, comparisons to publicly traded companies, discounted cash flow and other relevant factors. Because such valuations, and particularly valuations of private securities and private companies, are inherently uncertain, may fluctuate over short periods of time and may be based on estimates, our determinations of fair value may differ materially from the values that would have been

34


 

used if a ready market for these securities existed. Our net asset value could be adversely affected if our determinations regarding the fair value of our investments were materially higher than the values that we ultimately realize upon the disposal of such securities.

Our financial condition and results of operations depend on our ability to manage future growth effectively.

Our ability to achieve our investment objective depends on our ability to acquire suitable investments and monitor and administer those investments, which depends, in turn, on THL Credit Advisors ability to identify, invest in and monitor companies that meet our investment criteria.

Accomplishing this result on a cost-effective basis is largely a function of the structuring of our investment process and the ability of our investment adviser to provide competent, attentive and efficient services to us. Our executive officers and the members of our investment adviser’s investment committee have substantial responsibilities in connection with their roles at THL Credit and with the other THL Credit funds, as well as responsibilities under the investment advisory and management agreement. They may also be called upon to provide significant managerial assistance to certain of our portfolio companies. These demands on their time, which will increase as the number of investments grow, may distract them or slow the rate of investment. In order to grow, THL Credit Advisors will need to hire, train, supervise, manage and retain new employees. However, we cannot assure you that we will be able to do so effectively. Any failure to manage our future growth effectively could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

In addition, as we grow, we may open up new offices in new geographic regions that may increase our direct operating expenses without corresponding revenue growth.

We may experience fluctuations in our periodic operating results.

We could experience fluctuations in our periodic operating results due to a number of factors, including the interest rates payable on the debt securities we acquire, the default rates on such securities, the level of our expenses (including the interest rates payable on our borrowings), the dividend rates payable on preferred stock we issue, variations in and the timing of the recognition of realized and unrealized gains or losses, the degree to which we encounter competition in our markets and general economic conditions. As a result of these factors, results for any period should not be relied upon as being indicative of performance in future periods.

We are exposed to risks associated with changes in interest rates, including fluctuations in interest rates which could adversely affect our profitability.

General interest rate fluctuations may have a substantial negative impact on our investments and investment opportunities, and, accordingly, may have a material adverse effect on our investment objective and rate of return on investment capital. A portion of our income will depend upon the difference between the rate at which we borrow funds and the interest rate on the debt securities in which we invest. Because we will borrow money to make investments and may issue debt securities, preferred stock or other securities, our net investment income is dependent upon the difference between the rate at which we borrow funds or pay interest or dividends on such debt securities, preferred stock or other securities and the rate at which we invest these funds. Typically, we anticipate that our interest earning investments will accrue and pay interest at both variable and fixed rates, and that our interest-bearing liabilities will accrue interest at variable and fixed rates. The benchmarks used to determine the floating rates earned on our interest earning investments are London Interbank Offered Rate, or LIBOR, and Canadian Dollar Offer Rate, or CDOR, with maturities that range between one and twelve months and alternate base rate, or ABR, (commonly based on the Prime Rate or the Federal Funds Rate), with no fixed maturity date. As a result, there can be no assurance that a significant change in market interest rates will not have a material adverse effect on our net investment income. We use a combination of equity and long-term and short-term borrowings to finance our investment activities.

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A significant increase in market interest rates could harm our ability to attract new portfolio companies and originate new loans and investments. We expect that a majority of our investments in debt will continue to be at floating rates with a floor. However, in the event that we make investments in debt at variable rates, a significant increase in market interest rates could also result in an increase in our non-performing assets and a decrease in the value of our portfolio because our floating-rate loan portfolio companies may be unable to meet higher payment obligations. In periods of rising interest rates, our cost of funds would increase, resulting in a decrease in our net investment income. In addition, a decrease in interest rates may reduce net income, because new investments may be made at lower rates despite the increased demand for our capital that the decrease in interest rates may produce. We may, but will not be required to, hedge against the risk of adverse movement in interest rates in our short-term and long-term borrowings relative to our portfolio of assets. If we engage in hedging activities, it may limit our ability to participate in the benefits of lower interest rates with respect to the hedged portfolio. Adverse developments resulting from changes in interest rates or hedging transactions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

A rise in the general level of interest rates can be expected to lead to higher interest rates applicable to our debt investments. Accordingly, an increase in interest rates would make it easier for us to meet or exceed the incentive fee hurdle rate and may result in a substantial increase of the amount of incentive fees payable to our investment adviser with respect to our pre-incentive fee net investment income.

Any failure on our part to maintain our status as a BDC would reduce our operating flexibility.

If we fail to continue to qualify as a BDC, we might be regulated as a closed-end investment company under the 1940 Act, which would subject us to substantially more regulatory restrictions under the 1940 Act and correspondingly decrease our operating flexibility and could significantly increase our costs of doing business. Furthermore, any failure to comply with the requirements imposed on BDCs by the 1940 Act could cause the SEC to bring an enforcement action against us.

Because we have substantial indebtedness, there could be increased risk in investing in our company.

Lenders have fixed dollar claims on our assets that are superior to the claims of stockholders, and we have granted, and may in the future grant, lenders a security interest in our assets in connection with borrowings. In the case of a liquidation event, those lenders would receive proceeds before our stockholders. In addition, borrowings, also known as leverage, magnify the potential for gain or loss on amounts invested and, therefore, increase the risks associated with investing in our securities. Leverage is generally considered a speculative investment technique. If the value of our assets increases, then leveraging would cause the net asset value attributable to our common stock to increase more than it otherwise would have had we not leveraged.

Conversely, if the value of our assets decreases, leveraging would cause the net asset value attributable to our common stock to decline more than it otherwise would have had we not leveraged. Similarly, any increase in our revenue in excess of interest expense on our borrowed funds would cause our net income to increase more than it would without the leverage. Any decrease in our revenue would cause our net income to decline more than it would have had we not borrowed funds and could negatively affect our ability to make distributions on common stock. Our ability to service any debt that we incur will depend largely on our financial performance and will be subject to prevailing economic conditions and competitive pressures. We and, indirectly, our stockholders will bear the cost associated with our leverage activity.

As of December 31, 2017, there was $275.0 million of commitments under our revolving credit agreement, or Revolving Facility, of which $167.3 million was funded.

The Revolving Facility has a maturity date of December 2022 (with a one year term out period beginning in December 2021). The one year term out period is the one year period between the revolver termination date, or the end of the availability period, and the maturity date. During this time, we are required to make mandatory prepayments on our loans from the proceeds we receive from the sale of assets, extraordinary receipts, returns of capital or the issuances of equity or debt. The Revolving Facility includes an accordion feature permitting us to expand the commitments, if certain conditions are satisfied; provided, however, that the aggregate amount is capped at $500.0 million. ING serves as administrative agent, lead arranger and bookrunner under the Revolving Facility.

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On November 18, 2014, we closed a public offering of $50.0 million in aggregate principal amount of 6.75% notes, or the 2021 Notes, which included the subsequent exercise of an overallotment. The 2021 Notes mature on November 15, 2021, and may be redeemed in whole or in part at any time or from time to time at the Company’s option on or after November 15, 2017. The 2021 Notes bear interest at a rate of 6.75% per year.

On December 14, 2015 and November 21, 2016, we closed public offerings of $35.0 million and $25.0 million, respectively, in aggregate principal amount of 6.75% notes, or the 2022 Notes, which included the subsequent exercise of an overallotment. The 2022 Notes mature on December 30, 2022, and may be redeemed in whole or in part at any time or from time to time at the Company’s option on or after December 30, 2018. The 2022 Notes bear interest at a rate of 6.75% per year.

Collectively, the 2021 Notes and the 2022 Notes are referred to as the “Notes”.

As a BDC, generally we are not permitted to incur indebtedness unless immediately after such borrowing we have an asset coverage for total borrowings of at least 200% (i.e., the amount of debt may not exceed 50% of the value of our assets). In addition, we may not be permitted to declare any cash dividend or other distribution on our outstanding common shares, or purchase any such shares, unless, at the time of such declaration or purchase, we have asset coverage of at least 200% after deducting the amount of such dividend, distribution, or purchase price. If this ratio declines below 200%, we may not be able to incur additional debt and may need to sell a portion of our investments to repay some debt when it is disadvantageous to do so, and we may not be able to make distributions. As of December 31, 2017, there was $167.3 million of borrowings outstanding under the Revolving Facility and $110.0 million outstanding on the Notes at a weighted average interest rate of per 5.11% annum. As of December 31, 2017, our asset coverage ratio was over 200%.

The following table is designed to illustrate the effect on the return to a holder of our common stock on the leverage created by our use of borrowing at December 31, 2017 of $277.3 million at an average interest rate of 5.11%, and assuming hypothetical annual returns on our portfolio of minus 10 to plus 10 percent. The table also assumes that we maintain a constant level of leverage and a constant weighted average interest rate. The amount of leverage we use will vary from time to time. As can be seen, leverage generally increases the return to stockholders when the portfolio return is positive and decreases return to stockholders when the portfolio return is negative. Actual returns may be greater or less than those appearing in the table below.

 

Assumed return on portfolio (net of expenses)(1)

 

 

(10.00

)%

 

 

(5.00

)%

 

 

0.00

%

 

 

5.00

%

 

 

10.00

%

Corresponding return to common stockholders(2)

 

 

(15.45

)%

 

 

(9.78

)%

 

 

(4.12

)%

 

 

1.55

%

 

 

7.21

%

 

(1)

The assumed portfolio return is required by regulation of the SEC and is not a prediction of, and does not represent, our projected or actual performance.

(2)

In order to compute the “corresponding return to common stockholders”, the “assumed return on portfolio” is multiplied by the total value of our assets at the beginning of the period ($389.8 million as of December 31, 2016) to obtain an assumed return to us. From this amount, all interest expense expected to be accrued during the period ($14.2 million) is subtracted to determine the return available to stockholders. The return available to stockholders is then divided by the total value of our net assets as of the end of the period ($344.0 million) to determine the “corresponding return to common stockholders.”

This example is for illustrative purposes only, and actual interest rates on our Facility borrowing are likely to fluctuate. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Financial Condition, Liquidity and Capital resources—Credit Facility” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Financial Condition, Liquidity and Capital resources—Notes” for additional information about the Facilities and Notes.

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

As of December 31, 2017, all of our assets were pledged as collateral under the Revolving Facility. In the event we default under the Revolving Facility or any other future borrowing facility, our business could be adversely affected as we may be forced to sell all or 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 Revolving Facility or such future borrowing facility, any of which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. In addition, following any such default, the agent for the lenders under the Revolving Facility or such future borrowing facility could assume control of the disposition of any or all of our assets, including the selection of such assets to be disposed and the timing of such disposition, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Moreover, such deleveraging of our company could significantly impair our ability to effectively operate our business in the manner in which we have historically operated. As a result, we could be forced to curtail or cease new investment activities and lower or eliminate the dividends that we have historically paid to our stockholders.

We may in the future determine to fund a portion of our investments with preferred stock, which would magnify the potential for gain or loss and the risks of investing in us in the same way as our borrowings.

Preferred stock, which is another form of leverage, has the same risks to our common stockholders as borrowings because the dividends on any preferred stock we issue must be cumulative. Payment of such dividends and repayment of the liquidation preference of such preferred stock must take preference over any dividends or other payments to our common stockholders, and preferred stockholders are not subject to any of our expenses or losses and are not entitled to participate in any income or appreciation in excess of their stated preference.

Our use of borrowed funds to make investments exposes us to risks typically associated with leverage.

We borrow money and may issue additional debt securities or preferred stock to leverage our capital structure. As a result:

 

our common shares would be exposed to incremental risk of loss; therefore, a decrease in the value of our investments would have a greater negative impact on the value of our common shares than if we did not use leverage;

 

any depreciation in the value of our assets may magnify losses associated with an investment and could totally eliminate the value of an asset to us;

 

if we do not appropriately match the assets and liabilities of our business and interest or dividend rates on such assets and liabilities, adverse changes in interest rates could reduce or eliminate the incremental income we make with the proceeds of any leverage;

 

our ability to pay dividends on our common stock may be restricted if our asset coverage ratio, as currently provided in the 1940 Act, is not at least 200%, and any amounts used to service indebtedness or preferred stock would not be available for such dividends;

 

any credit facility would be subject to periodic renewal by our lenders, whose continued participation cannot be guaranteed;

 

such securities would be governed by an indenture or other instrument containing covenants restricting our operating flexibility or affecting our investment or operating policies, and may require us to pledge assets or provide other security for such indebtedness;

 

we, and indirectly our common stockholders, bear the entire cost of issuing and paying interest or dividends on such securities;

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if we issue preferred stock, the special voting rights and preferences of preferred stockholders may result in such stockholders’ having interests that are not aligned with the interests of our common stockholders, and the rights of our preferred stockholders to dividends and liquidation preferences will be senior to the rights of our common stockholders;

 

any convertible or exchangeable securities that we issue may have rights, preferences and privileges more favorable than those of our common shares; and

 

any custodial relationships associated with our use of leverage would conform to the requirements of the 1940 Act, and no creditor would have veto power over our investment policies, strategies, objectives or decisions except in an event of default or if our asset coverage was less than 200%.

Under the provisions of the 1940 Act, we are permitted, as a BDC, to issue senior securities only in amounts such that our asset coverage ratio equals at least 200% after each issuance of senior securities. If the value of our assets declines, we may be unable to satisfy this test and we may be required to sell a portion of our investments and, depending on the nature of our leverage, repay a portion of our senior securities at a time when such sales may be disadvantageous.

Pending legislation may allow us to incur additional leverage.

As a BDC, under the 1940 Act we generally are not permitted to incur indebtedness unless immediately after such borrowing we have an asset coverage for total borrowings of at least 200% (i.e., the amount of debt may not exceed 50% of the value of our assets). We are also subject to asset coverage requirements for total borrowings under our Revolving Facility. The Financial CHOICE Act of 2017, which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in June 2017, would modify this section of the 1940 Act and increase the amount of debt that BDCs may incur by modifying the asset coverage percentage from 200% to 150%. A bipartisan companion bill was introduced in the Senate in January of 2018. As a result, subject to the passage of such legislation and the terms thereof, we may be able to incur additional indebtedness in the future and therefore your risk of an investment in us may increase.

To the extent original issue discount and PIK interest constitute a portion of our income, we will be exposed to typical risks associated with such income being required to be included in taxable and accounting income prior to receipt of cash representing such income.

Our investments may include original issue discount, or OID, instruments and contractual PIK, interest, which represents contractual interest added to a loan balance and due at the end of such loan’s term. To the extent OID or PIK interest constitute a portion of our income, we are exposed to typical risks associated with such income being required to be included in taxable and accounting income prior to receipt of cash. Such risks include:

 

The higher interest rates of OID and PIK instruments reflect the payment deferral and increased credit risk associated with these instruments, and OID and PIK instruments generally represent a significantly higher credit risk than coupon loans.

 

Even if the accounting conditions for income accrual are met, the borrower could still default when our actual collection is supposed to occur at the maturity of the obligation.

 

OID and PIK instruments may have unreliable valuations because their continuing accruals require continuing judgments about the collectability of the deferred payments and the value of any associated collateral. OID and PIK income may also create uncertainty about the source of our cash distributions.

 

For accounting purposes, any cash distributions to shareholders representing OID and PIK income are not treated as coming from paid-in capital, even though the cash to pay them comes from the offering proceeds. As a result, despite the fact that a distribution representing OID and PIK income could be paid out of amounts invested by our stockholders, the 1940 Act does not require that stockholders be given notice of this fact by reporting it as a return of capital.

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PIK interest has the effect of generating investment income at a compounding rate, thereby further increasing the incentive fees payable to the Advisor. Similarly, all things being equal, the deferral associated with PIK interest also decreases the loan-to-value ratio at a compounding rate.

We may have difficulty paying our required distributions if we recognize income before or without receiving cash representing such income.

For federal income tax purposes, we may include in income certain amounts that we have not yet received in cash, such as original issue discount, which may arise if we receive warrants in connection with making a loan, or possibly in other circumstances, or PIK interest, which represents contractual interest added to the loan balance and due at the end of the loan term. Such original issue discount, which could be significant relative to our overall investment activities, or increases in loan balances as a result of PIK arrangements are included in income before we receive any corresponding cash payments. In addition, the PIK interest of many subordinated loans effectively operates as negative amortization of loan principal, thereby increasing credit risk exposure over the life of the loan because more will be owed at the end of the term of the loan than was owed when the loan was initially originated. We also may be required to include in income certain other amounts that we do not receive in cash.

Since we may recognize income before or without receiving cash representing such income, we may have difficulty meeting the tax requirement to distribute at least 90% of our ordinary income and realized net short- term capital gains in excess of realized net long-term capital losses, if any, to maintain our tax treatment as a RIC. Accordingly, we may have to sell some of our investments at times we would not consider advantageous, raise additional debt or equity capital or reduce new investment originations to meet these distribution requirements.

We may pay an incentive fee on income we do not receive in cash.

That part of the incentive fee payable by us that relates to our net investment income is computed on income that may include interest and other fee income that has been accrued but not yet received in cash. If a portfolio company defaults on a loan, it is possible that accrued interest previously used in the calculation of the incentive fee will become uncollectible. Consequently, while we may make incentive fee payments on income accruals that we may not collect in the future and with respect to which we do not have a formal clawback right against our investment adviser per se, the amount of accrued income written off in any period will reduce the income in the period in which such write-off was taken and thereby reduce such period’s incentive fee payment, but only to the extent that such an incentive fee is payable for that period because the write-off will not be carried forward to reduce any incentive fee payable in subsequent quarters.

The portion of incentive fee that are attributable to deferred interest (sometimes referred to as payment in-kind interest, or PIK) will be paid to our Advisor, together with interest thereon from the date of deferral to the date of payment, only if and to the extent we actually receive such interest in cash, and any accrual thereof will be reversed if and to the extent such interest is reversed in connection with any write-off or similar treatment of the investment giving rise to any deferred interest accrual.  

The highly competitive market in which we operate may limit our investment opportunities.

A number of entities compete with us to make the types of investments that we make. We compete with other BDCs, public and private funds, commercial and investment banks, CLO funds, commercial finance companies, and, to the extent they provide an alternative form of financing, private equity and hedge funds. Additionally, because competition for investment opportunities generally has increased among alternative investment vehicles such as hedge funds, entities have begun to invest in areas in which they had not traditionally invested. As a result of these new entrants, competition for investment opportunities intensified in recent years and may intensify further in the future. Some of our existing and potential competitors are substantially larger and have considerably greater financial, technical and marketing resources than we do. For example, some competitors may have a lower cost of funds and access to funding sources that are not available to us. In addition, some of our competitors may have higher risk tolerances or different risk assessments, which could allow them to consider a wider variety of investments and establish more relationships than us. Furthermore, many of our

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competitors are not subject to the regulatory restrictions that the 1940 Act imposes on us as a BDC and that the Code imposes on us as a RIC. We cannot assure you that the competitive pressures we face will not have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Also, as a result of this existing and potentially increasing competition, we may not be able to take advantage of attractive investment opportunities from time to time, and we can offer no assurance that we will be able to identify and make investments that are consistent with our investment objective.

With respect to the investments we make, we do not seek to compete based primarily on the interest rates we offer, and we believe that some of our competitors may make loans with interest rates that are lower than the rates we offer. With respect to all investments, we may lose some investment opportunities if we do not match our competitors’ pricing, terms and structure. However, if we match our competitors’ pricing, terms and structure, we may experience decreased net interest income, lower yields and increased risk of credit loss. We may also compete for investment opportunities with investment funds, accounts and investment vehicles managed by THL Credit Advisors. Although THL Credit Advisors will allocate opportunities in accordance with its policies and procedures, allocations to such investment funds, accounts and investment vehicles will reduce the amount and frequency of opportunities available to us and may not be in the best interests of us and our stockholders.

We are dependent upon senior management personnel of our investment adviser for our future success, and if our investment adviser is unable to retain qualified personnel or if our investment adviser loses any member of its senior management team, our ability to achieve our investment objective could be significantly harmed.

We depend on the members of senior management of THL Credit Advisors, particularly the members of the investment committee of THL Credit Advisors’ direct lending platform, or the Investment Committee Members. The Investment Committee Members and other investment professionals make up our investment team and are responsible for the identification, final selection, structuring, closing and monitoring of our investments. These Investment Committee Members have critical industry experience and relationships that we will rely on to implement our business plan. Our future success depends on the continued service of the investment adviser’s senior management team. The departure of any of the members of THL Credit Advisors’ senior management or a significant number of the Investment Committee Members could have a material adverse effect on our ability to achieve our investment objective. As a result, we may not be able to operate our business as we expect, and our ability to compete could be harmed, which could cause our operating results to suffer. In addition, we can offer no assurance that THL Credit Advisors will remain our investment adviser or our administrator.

Our investment adviser has the right to resign on 60 days’ notice, and we may not be able to find a suitable replacement within that time, resulting in a disruption in our operations that could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

THL Credit Advisors has the right, under our investment management agreement, to resign at any time upon not more than 60 days’ written notice, whether we have found a new replacement or not. If our investment adviser resigns, we may not be able to find a new investment adviser or hire internal management with similar expertise and ability to provide the same or equivalent services on acceptable terms within 60 days, or at all. If we are unable to do so quickly, our operations are likely to experience a disruption, our financial condition, business and results of operations as well as our ability to pay distributions are likely to be adversely affected and the market price of our shares may decline. In addition, the coordination of our internal management and investment activities is likely to suffer if we are unable to identify and reach an agreement with a single institution or group of executives having the expertise possessed by our investment adviser and its affiliates. Even if we are able to retain comparable management, whether internal or external, the integration of such management and their lack of familiarity with our investment objective may result in additional costs and time delays that may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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Because we expect to distribute substantially all of our net investment income and net realized capital gains to our stockholders, we will need additional capital to finance our growth and such capital may not be available on favorable terms or at all.

We have elected to be taxed for federal income tax purposes as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code. If we meet certain requirements, including source of income, asset diversification and distribution requirements, and if we continue to qualify as a BDC, we will continue to qualify for tax treatment as a RIC under the Code and will not have to pay corporate-level income taxes on income we distribute to our stockholders as dividends, allowing us to substantially reduce or eliminate our corporate-level income tax liability. As a BDC, we are generally required to meet a coverage ratio of total assets to total senior securities, which includes all of our borrowings and any preferred stock we may issue in the future, of at least 200% at the time we issue any debt or preferred stock. This requirement limits the amount that we may borrow. Because we will continue to need capital to grow our investment portfolio, this limitation may prevent us from incurring debt or preferred stock and require us to raise additional equity at a time when it may be disadvantageous to do so. We cannot assure you that debt and equity financing will be available to us on favorable terms, or at all, and debt financings may be restricted by the terms of any of our outstanding borrowings. In addition, as a BDC, we are generally not permitted to issue common stock priced below net asset value without stockholder approval. If additional funds are not available to us, we could be forced to curtail or cease new lending and investment activities, and our net asset value could decline.

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

Our board of directors has the authority to modify or waive certain of our operating policies and strategies without prior notice and without stockholder approval (except as required by the 1940 Act). However, absent stockholder approval, we may not change the nature of our business so as to cease to be, or withdraw our election as, a BDC. We cannot predict the effect any changes to our current operating policies and strategies would have on our business, operating results or value of our stock. Nevertheless, the effects could adversely affect our business and impact our ability to make distributions and cause you to lose all or part of your investment.

Our investment adviser and its affiliates, senior management and employees have certain conflicts of interest.

Our investment adviser, its senior management and employees serve or may serve as investment advisers, officers, directors or principals of entities that operate in the same or a related line of business. For example, THL Credit Advisors serves as investment adviser to one or more private funds and registered closed-end funds. In addition, our officers may serve in similar capacities for one or more registered closed-end funds. Accordingly, these individuals may have obligations to investors in those entities or funds, the fulfillment of which might not be in our best interests or the best interests of our stockholders. In addition, certain of the personnel employed by our investment adviser or focused on our business may change in ways that are detrimental to our business. Any affiliated investment vehicle formed in the future and managed by THL Credit Advisors or its affiliates may invest in asset classes similar to those targeted by us. As a result, THL Credit Advisors may face conflicts in allocating investment opportunities between us and such other entities. Although THL Credit Advisors will endeavor to allocate investment opportunities in a fair and equitable manner, it is possible that we may not be given the opportunity to participate in such investments. In certain circumstances, negotiated co-investments may be made only if we receive an order from the SEC permitting us to do so. The SEC has granted us the Order we sought in an exemptive application that expands our ability to co-invest in portfolio companies with Affiliated Funds in a manner consistent with our investment objective, positions, policies, strategies and restrictions as well as regulatory requirements and other pertinent factors, subject to compliance with the conditions to the Order. Pursuant to the Order, we are permitted to co-invest with Affiliated Funds if, among other things, a “required majority” (as defined in Section 57 (o) of the 1940 Act) or our independent directors make certain conclusions in connection with a co-investment transaction, including that (1) the terms of the transactions, including the consideration to be paid, are reasonable and fair to us and our stockholders and do not involve overreaching of us or our stockholders on the part of any person concerned, and (2) the transaction is consistent with the interests of our stockholders and is consistent with our investment objective and strategies.

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Our base management fee may induce our investment adviser to incur leverage.

Our base management fee is calculated on the basis of our total assets, including assets acquired with the proceeds of leverage. This may encourage the Advisor to use leverage to increase the aggregate amount of and the return on our investments, even when it may not be appropriate to do so, and to refrain from delivering when it would otherwise be appropriate to do so. Under certain circumstances, the use of increased leverage may increase the likelihood of default, which would impair the value of our common stock. Given the subjective nature of the investment decisions made by our investment adviser on our behalf, we will not be able to monitor this conflict of interest.

Our incentive fee may induce our investment adviser to make certain investments, including speculative investments.

The incentive fee payable by us to THL Credit Advisors may create an incentive for THL Credit Advisors to make investments on our behalf that are risky or more speculative than would be the case in the absence of such compensation arrangement. The way in which the incentive fee payable to THL Credit Advisors is determined, which is calculated separately in two components as a percentage of the interest and other ordinary income in excess of a quarterly minimum hurdle rate and as a percentage of the realized gain on invested capital, may encourage our THL Credit Advisors to use leverage or take additional risk to increase the return on our investments. Under certain circumstances, the use of leverage may increase the likelihood of default, which would disfavor the holders of our common stock, or of securities convertible into our common stock or warrants representing rights to purchase our common stock or securities convertible into our common stock. In addition, THL Credit Advisors receives the incentive fee based, in part, upon net capital gains realized on our investments. Unlike the portion of the incentive fee based on ordinary income, there is no minimum level of gain applicable to the portion of the incentive fee based on net capital gains. As a result, THL Credit Advisors may have an incentive to invest more in investments that are likely to result in capital gains as compared to income producing securities or to advance or delay realizing a gain in order to enhance its incentive fee. This practice could result in our investing in more speculative securities than would otherwise be the case, which could result in higher investment losses, particularly during economic downturns. A rise in the general level of interest rates can be expected to lead to higher interest rates applicable to certain of our debt investments and may accordingly result in a substantial increase of the amount of incentive fees payable to our investment adviser with respect to our pre-incentive fee net investment income.

We may invest, to the extent permitted by law, in the securities and instruments of other investment companies, including private funds, and, to the extent we so invest, we will bear our ratable share of any such investment company’s expenses, including management and performance fees. We will also remain obligated to pay management and incentive fees to THL Credit Advisors with respect to the assets invested in the securities and instruments of other investment companies. With respect to each of these investments, each of our common stockholders will bear his or her share of the management and incentive fee of THL Credit Advisors as well as indirectly bear the management and performance fees and other expenses of any investment companies in which we invest.

We may be obligated to pay our investment adviser incentive compensation payments even if we have incurred unrecovered cumulative losses from more than three years prior to such payments and may pay more than 20% of our net capital gains as incentive compensation payments because we cannot recover payments made in previous years.

Our investment adviser will be entitled to incentive compensation for each fiscal quarter in an amount equal to a percentage of the excess of our investment income for that quarter (before deducting incentive compensation) above a threshold return for that quarter and subject to a total return requirement. The general effect of this total return requirement is to prevent payment of the foregoing incentive compensation except to the extent 20.0% of the cumulative net increase in net assets resulting from operations over the then current and 11 preceding calendar quarters exceeds the cumulative incentive fees accrued and/or paid for the 11 preceding calendar quarters. Consequently, we may pay an incentive fee if we incurred losses more than three years prior to the current

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calendar quarter even if such losses have not yet been recovered in full. Thus, we may be required to pay our investment adviser incentive compensation for a fiscal quarter even if there is a decline in the value of our portfolio or we incur a net loss for that quarter. If we pay an incentive fee of 20.0% of our realized capital gains (net of all realized capital losses and unrealized capital depreciation on a cumulative basis) and thereafter experience additional realized capital losses or unrealized capital depreciation, we will not be able to recover any portion of the incentive fee previously paid.

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

Our business is dependent on our and third parties’ communications and information systems. Any failure or interruption of those systems, including as a result of the termination of an agreement with any third-party service providers, could cause delays or other problems in our activities. Our financial, accounting, data processing, backup or other operating systems and facilities may fail to operate properly or become disabled or damaged as a result of a number of factors including events that are wholly or partially beyond our control and adversely affect our business. There could be:

 

sudden electrical or telecommunications outages;

 

natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes;

 

disease pandemics;

 

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

 

cyber-attacks.

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

The failure in cyber security systems, as well as the occurrence of events unanticipated in our disaster recovery systems and management continuity planning could impair our ability to conduct business effectively.

The occurrence of a disaster such as a cyber-attack, a natural catastrophe, an industrial accident, a terrorist attack or war, events unanticipated in our disaster recovery systems, or a support failure from external providers, could have an adverse effect on our ability to conduct business and on our results of operations and financial condition, particularly if those events affect our computer-based data processing, transmission, storage, and retrieval systems or destroy data. If a significant number of our managers were unavailable in the event of a disaster, our ability to effectively conduct our business could be severely compromised.

We depend heavily upon computer systems to perform necessary business functions. Despite our implementation of a variety of security measures, our computer systems could be subject to cyber-attacks and unauthorized access, such as physical and electronic break-ins or unauthorized tampering. Like other companies, we may experience threats to our data and systems, including malware and computer virus attacks, unauthorized access, system failures and disruptions. If one or more of these events occurs, it could potentially jeopardize the confidential, proprietary and other information processed and stored in, and transmitted through, our computer systems and networks, or otherwise cause interruptions or malfunctions in our operations, which could result in damage to our reputation, financial losses, litigation, increased costs, regulatory penalties and/or customer dissatisfaction or loss.

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Risks Related To Our Investments

We invest primarily in debt and equity securities of lower middle market companies and we may not realize gains from our equity investments.

Our investment objective is to generate both current income and capital appreciation, primarily through investments in privately negotiated debt and equity securities of lower middle market companies. We are a direct lender to lower middle market companies that invests primarily in directly originated first lien senior secured and second lien loans, including unitranche investments. In certain instances, we make subordinated debt investments, which may include an associated equity component such as warrants, preferred stock or similar securities, and direct equity co-investments. We may also provide advisory services to managed funds.

Our goal is ultimately to dispose of such equity interests and realize gains upon our disposition of such interests. However, the equity interests we receive may not appreciate in value and, in fact, may decline in value. Accordingly, we may not be able to realize gains from our equity interests, and any gains that we do realize on the disposition of any equity interests may not be sufficient to offset any other losses we experience.

Our investments in prospective private and lower middle market portfolio companies are risky, and we could lose all or part of our investment.

Investment in private and lower middle market companies involves a number of significant risks. Generally, little public information exists about these companies, and we are required to rely on the ability of THL Credit Advisors’ investment professionals to obtain adequate information to evaluate the potential returns from investing in these companies. If we are unable to uncover all material information about these companies, we may not make a fully informed investment decision, and we may lose money on our investments. Lower middle market companies may have limited financial resources and may be unable to meet their obligations under their debt securities that we hold, which may be accompanied by a deterioration in the value of any collateral and a reduction in the likelihood of our realizing any guarantees we may have obtained in connection with our investment. In addition, they typically have shorter operating histories, narrower product lines and smaller market shares than larger businesses, which tend to render them more vulnerable to competitors’ actions and market conditions, as well as general economic downturns. Additionally, lower middle market companies are more likely to depend on the management talents and efforts of a small group of persons; therefore, the death, disability, resignation or termination of one or more of these persons could have a material adverse impact on our portfolio company and, in turn, on us. Lower middle market companies also generally have less predictable operating results, may from time to time be parties to litigation, may be engaged in rapidly changing businesses with products subject to a substantial risk of obsolescence and may require substantial additional capital to support their operations, finance expansion or maintain their competitive position. In addition, our executive officers, directors and our investment adviser may, in the ordinary course of business, be named as defendants in litigation arising from our investments in the portfolio companies.

Our investments in lower credit quality obligations are risky and highly speculative, and we could lose all or part of our investment.

Most of our debt investments are likely to be in lower grade obligations. The lower grade investments in which we invest may be rated below investment grade by one or more nationally-recognized statistical rating agencies at the time of investment or may be unrated but determined by the Advisor to be of comparable quality. Debt securities rated below investment grade are commonly referred to as “junk bonds” and are considered speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal. The debt in which we invest typically is not rated by any rating agency, but we believe that if such investments were rated, they would be below investment grade (rated lower than “Baa3” by Moody’s Investors Service, lower than “BBB-” by Fitch Ratings or lower than “BBB-” by Standard & Poor’s). We may invest without limit in debt of any rating, as well as debt that has not been rated by any nationally recognized statistical rating organization.

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Investment in lower grade investments involves a substantial risk of loss. Lower grade securities or comparable unrated securities are considered predominantly speculative with respect to the issuer’s ability to pay interest and principal and are susceptible to default or decline in market value due to adverse economic and business developments. The market values for lower grade debt tend to be very volatile and are less liquid than investment grade securities. For these reasons, your investment in our company is subject to the following specific risks: increased price sensitivity to a deteriorating economic environment; greater risk of loss due to default or declining credit quality; adverse company specific events are more likely to render the issuer unable to make interest and/or principal payments; and if a negative perception of the lower grade debt market develops, the price and liquidity of lower grade securities may be depressed. This negative perception could last for a significant period of time.

We may not be in a position to exercise control over our portfolio companies or to prevent decisions by management of our portfolio companies that could decrease the value of our investments.

We do not generally intend to take controlling equity positions in our portfolio companies. To the extent that we do not hold a controlling equity interest in a portfolio company, we are subject to the risk that such portfolio company may make business decisions with which we disagree, and the stockholders and management of such portfolio company may take risks or otherwise act in ways that are adverse to our interests. Due to the lack of liquidity for the debt and equity investments that we typically hold in our portfolio companies, we may not be able to dispose of our investments in the event we disagree with the actions of a portfolio company, and may therefore suffer a decrease in the value of our investments.

In addition, we may not be in a position to control any portfolio company by investing in its debt securities. As a result, we are subject to the risk that a portfolio company in which we invest may make business decisions with which we disagree and the management of such company, as representatives of the holders of their common equity, may take risks or otherwise act in ways that do not serve our interests as debt investors.

Our portfolio companies may be highly leveraged.

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

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

We have invested a portion of our capital in second lien and subordinated loans and the “last-out” tranche of unitranche loans issued by our portfolio companies and intend to continue to do so in the future. The portfolio companies usually have, or may be permitted to incur, other debt that ranks equally with, or senior to, the debt securities in which we invest. Such subordinated investments are subject to greater risk of default than senior obligations as a result of adverse changes in the financial condition of the obligor or in general economic conditions. By their terms, such debt instruments may provide that the holders are entitled to receive payment of interest or principal on or before the dates on which we are entitled to receive payments in respect of the debt securities in which we invest. These debt instruments would usually prohibit the portfolio companies from paying interest on or repaying our investments in the event and during the continuance of a default under the debt. Also, in the event of insolvency, liquidation, dissolution, reorganization or bankruptcy of a portfolio company, holders of debt instruments ranking senior to our investment in that portfolio company would typically be entitled to receive payment in full before we receive any distribution in respect of our investment. After repaying such senior creditors, such portfolio company may not have any remaining assets to use for repaying its obligation to us. In the case of debt ranking equally with debt securities in which we invest, we would have to share any distributions on an equal and ratable basis with other creditors holding such debt in the event of an insolvency, liquidation, dissolution, reorganization or bankruptcy of the relevant portfolio company.

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Certain loans that we make to portfolio companies may be secured on a second priority basis by the same collateral securing senior secured debt of such companies. In addition, we have made in the past, and may make in the future, unsecured loans to portfolio companies, meaning that such loans will not benefit from any interest in collateral of such companies. Liens on a portfolio company’s collateral, if any, 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 loans. 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. 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 loan obligations secured by the 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 loan obligations secured by the 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.

The rights we may have with respect to the collateral securing certain loans we make to our portfolio companies may also be limited pursuant to the terms of one or more intercreditor agreements or agreements among lenders. Under these agreements, we may forfeit certain rights with respect to the collateral to holders with prior claims. These rights may include the right to commence enforcement proceedings against the collateral, the right to control the conduct of those enforcement proceedings, the right to approve amendments to collateral documents, the right to release liens on the collateral and certain rights to receive interest and certain amortization payments that would be allocated to other lenders under the credit facility. We may not have the ability to control or direct such actions, even if as a result our rights as lenders are adversely affected.

The interest rates of our floating-rate 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 floating-rate 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.

On July 27, 2017, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates LIBOR, announced that it intends to phase out LIBOR by the end of 2021. It is unclear if at that time whether LIBOR will cease to exist or if new methods of calculating LIBOR will be established such that it continues to exist after 2021. The U.S. Federal Reserve, in conjunction with the Alternative Reference Rates Committee, a steering committee comprised of large U.S. financial institutions, is considering replacing U.S. dollar LIBOR with a new index calculated by short term repurchase agreements, backed by Treasury securities. The future of LIBOR at this time is uncertain. 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 to replace LIBOR with the new standard that is established.

Economic downturns or recessions could impair the value of the collateral for our loans to our portfolio companies and consequently increase the possibility of an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Many of our portfolio companies are susceptible to economic recessions and may be unable to repay our loans during such periods. Therefore, our non-performing assets are likely to increase and the value of our portfolio is likely to decrease during such periods. Adverse economic conditions may also decrease the value of collateral securing some of our loans and the value of our equity investments.

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Economic slowdowns or recessions could lead to financial losses in our portfolio and a decrease in revenues, net income and assets. 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.

A portfolio company’s failure to satisfy financial or operating covenants imposed by us or other lenders could lead to defaults and, potentially, termination of the portfolio company’s loans and foreclosure on its secured assets, which could trigger cross-defaults under other agreements and jeopardize the portfolio company’s ability to meet its obligations under the debt securities that we hold. We may incur expenses to the extent necessary to seek recovery upon default or to negotiate new terms with a defaulting portfolio company. In addition, if a portfolio company goes bankrupt, even though we may have structured our investment as mezzanine debt, or senior secured debt, 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. These events could harm our financial condition and operating results.

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 sometimes make loans that are unsecured, where other lenders may be directly secured by the assets of the same portfolio company. In the event of a default or an enforcement action against the assets of the portfolio company that constitute collateral for such other lenders, those collateralized lenders would have priority over us with respect to the proceeds of a sale of such 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. 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 in full. Where debt senior to our loan exists, the presence of intercreditor arrangements may limit our ability to amend our loan documents, assign our loans to affiliates of the portfolio company, 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.

We may be exposed to special risks associated with bankruptcy cases.

One or more of our portfolio companies may be involved in bankruptcy or other reorganization or liquidation proceedings. Many of the events within a bankruptcy case are adversarial and often beyond the control of the creditors. While creditors generally are afforded an opportunity to object to significant actions, we cannot assure you that a bankruptcy court would not approve actions that may be contrary to our interests. There also are instances where creditors can lose their ranking and priority if they are considered to have taken over management of a borrower.

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To the extent that portfolio companies in which we have invested through a unitranche facility are involved in bankruptcy proceedings, the outcome of such proceedings may be uncertain. For example, it is unclear whether a bankruptcy court would enforce an agreement among lenders which sets the priority of payments among unitranche lenders. In such a case, the “first out” lenders in the unitranche facility may not receive the same degree of protection as they would if the agreement among lenders was enforced.

The reorganization of a company can involve substantial legal, professional and administrative costs to a lender and the borrower. It is subject to unpredictable and lengthy delays and during the process a company’s competitive position may erode, key management may depart and a company may not be able to invest adequately. In some cases, the debtor company may not be able to reorganize and may be required to liquidate assets. The debt of companies in financial reorganization will, in most cases, not pay current interest, may not accrue interest during reorganization and may be adversely affected by an erosion of the issuer’s fundamental value.

In addition, lenders can be subject to lender liability claims for actions taken by them where they become too involved in the borrower’s business or exercise control over the borrower. For example, we could become subject to a lender liability claim (alleging that we misused our influence on the borrower for the benefit of its lenders), if, among other things, the borrower requests significant managerial assistance from us and we provide that assistance. To the extent we and an affiliate both hold investments in the same portfolio company that are of a different character, we may also face restrictions on our ability to become actively involved in the event that that portfolio company becomes distressed as a result of the restrictions imposed on transactions involving affiliates under the 1940 Act. In such cases, we may be unable to exercise rights we may otherwise have to protect our interests as security holders in such portfolio company.

Our loans could be subject to equitable subordination by a court which would increase our risk of loss with respect to such loans.

Courts may apply the doctrine of equitable subordination to subordinate the claim or lien of a lender against a borrower to claims or liens of other creditors of the borrower, when the lender or its affiliates is found to have engaged in unfair, inequitable or fraudulent conduct. The courts have also applied the doctrine of equitable subordination when a lender or its affiliates is found to have exerted inappropriate control over a client, including control resulting from the ownership of equity interests in a client. We have made or received through restructuring direct equity investments or received warrants in connection with loans representing approximately 10.1% of the aggregate amortized cost basis of our portfolio as of December 31, 2017. Payments on one or more of our loans, particularly a loan to a client in which we also hold an equity interest, may be subject to claims of equitable subordination. If we were deemed to have the ability to control or otherwise exercise influence over the business and affairs of one or more of our portfolio companies resulting in economic hardship to other creditors of that company, this control or influence may constitute grounds for equitable subordination and a court may treat one or more of our loans as if it were unsecured or common equity in the portfolio company. In that case, if the portfolio company were to liquidate, we would be entitled to repayment of our loan on a pro-rata basis with other unsecured debt or, if the effect of subordination was to place us at the level of common equity, then on an equal basis with other holders of the portfolio company’s common equity only after all of its obligations relating to its debt and preferred securities had been satisfied.

Our failure to make follow-on investments in our portfolio companies could impair the value of our portfolio.

Following an initial investment in a portfolio company, we may make additional investments in that portfolio company as “follow-on” investments in order to: (1) increase or maintain in whole or in part our equity ownership percentage; (2) exercise warrants, options or convertible securities that were acquired in the original or subsequent financing; (3) attempt to preserve or enhance the value of our initial investment; or (4) to finance an acquisition or other material transaction. We have the discretion to make any follow-on investments, subject to the availability of capital resources. We may elect not to make follow-on investments or otherwise lack sufficient funds to make those investments. Our failure to make follow-on investments may, in some circumstances,

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jeopardize the continued viability of a portfolio company and our initial investment, or may result in a missed opportunity for us to increase our participation in a successful operation. Even if we have sufficient capital to make a desired follow-on investment, we may elect not to make such follow-on investment because we may not want to increase our concentration of risk, because we prefer other opportunities, because we are inhibited by compliance with BDC requirements or because we desire to maintain our tax status. In addition, our ability to make follow-on investments may also be limited by THL Credit Advisors’ allocation policy.

Our ability to invest in public companies may be limited in certain circumstances.

To maintain our status as a BDC, we are not permitted to acquire any assets other than “qualifying assets” specified in the 1940 Act unless, at the time the acquisition is made, at least 70% of our total assets are qualifying assets (with certain limited exceptions). Subject to certain exceptions for follow-on investments and distressed companies, an investment in an issuer that has outstanding securities listed on a national securities exchange may be treated as a qualifying asset only if such issuer has a market capitalization that is less than $250 million at the time of such investment and meets the other specified requirements.

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

Our investment strategy contemplates that a portion of our investments may be in securities of foreign companies in order to provide diversification or to complement our U.S. investments although we are required generally to invest at least 70% of our assets in companies organized and having their principal place of business within the U.S. and its possessions. Investing in foreign companies may expose us to additional risks not typically associated with investing in U.S. companies. These risks include changes in exchange control regulations, political and social instability, expropriation, imposition of foreign taxes, less liquid markets and less available information than is generally the case in the United States, higher transaction costs, less government supervision of exchanges, brokers and issuers, less developed bankruptcy laws, difficulty in enforcing contractual obligations, lack of uniform accounting and auditing standards and greater price volatility. These risks many be more pronounced for portfolio companies located or operating primarily in emerging markets, whose economies, markets and legal systems may be less developed.

Although it is anticipated that most of our investments will be denominated in U.S. dollars, our investments that are denominated in a foreign currency will be subject to the risk that the value of a particular currency may change in relation to the U.S. dollar. Among the factors that may affect currency values are trade balances, the level of short-term interest rates, differences in relative values of similar assets in different currencies, long-term opportunities for investment and capital appreciation and political developments. We may employ hedging techniques to minimize these risks, but we can offer no assurance that we will, in fact, hedge currency risk or, that if we do, such strategies will be effective. As a result, a change in currency exchange rates may adversely affect our profitability.

Hedging transactions may expose us to additional risks.

While we may enter into transactions to seek to reduce currency exchange rate and interest rate risks, unanticipated changes in currency exchange rates or interest rates may result in poorer overall investment performance than if we had not engaged in any such hedging transactions. In addition, the degree of correlation between price movements of the instruments used in a hedging strategy and price movements in the portfolio positions being hedged may vary. Moreover, for a variety of reasons, we may not seek or be able to establish a perfect correlation between such hedging instruments and the portfolio holdings being hedged. Any such imperfect correlation may prevent us from achieving the intended hedge and expose us to risk of loss. In addition, it may not be possible to hedge fully or perfectly against currency fluctuations affecting the value of securities denominated in non-U.S. currencies because the value of those securities is likely to fluctuate as a result of factors not related to currency fluctuations.

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We may incur greater risk with respect to investments we acquire through assignments or participations of interests.

Although we originate a substantial portion of our loans, we may acquire loans through assignments or participations of interests in such loans. The purchaser of an assignment typically succeeds to all the rights and obligations of the assigning institution and becomes a lender under the credit agreement with respect to such debt obligation. However, the purchaser’s rights can be more restricted than those of the assigning institution, and we may not be able to unilaterally enforce all rights and remedies under an assigned debt obligation and with regard to any associated collateral. A participation typically results in a contractual relationship only with the institution participating out the interest and not directly with the borrower. Sellers of participations typically include banks, broker-dealers, other financial institutions and lending institutions. In purchasing participations, we generally will have no right to enforce compliance by the borrower with the terms of the loan agreement against the borrower, and we may not directly benefit from the collateral supporting the debt obligation in which we have purchased the participation. As a result, we will be exposed to the credit risk of both the borrower and the institution selling the participation. In addition, to the extent that the lead institution fails and any borrower collateral is used to reduce the balance of a participated loan, we will be regarded as a creditor of the lead institution and will not benefit from the exercise of any set-off rights by the lead institution or its receiver.

Further, in purchasing participations in lending syndicates, we will not be able to conduct the same level of due diligence on a borrower or the quality of the loan with respect to which we are buying a participation as we would conduct if we were investing directly in the loan. This difference may result in us being exposed to greater credit or fraud risk with respect to such loans than we expected when initially purchasing the participation.

Cyclicality within the energy sector may adversely affect some of our portfolio companies.

Industries within the energy sector are cyclical with fluctuations in commodity prices and demand for, and production of commodities driven by a variety of factors. The highly cyclical nature of the industries within the energy sector may lead to volatile changes in commodity prices, which may adversely affect the earnings of energy companies in which we may invest and the performance and valuation of our portfolio.

Changes in healthcare laws and other regulations applicable to some of our portfolio companies’ businesses may constrain their ability to offer their products and services.

Changes in healthcare or other laws and regulations applicable to the businesses of some of our portfolio companies may occur that could increase their compliance and other costs of doing business, require significant systems enhancements, or render their products or services less profitable or obsolete, any of which could have a material adverse effect on their results of operations. There has also been an increased political and regulatory focus on healthcare laws in recent years, and new legislation could have a material effect on the business and operations of some of our portfolio companies.

Our investments in the consumer products and services sector are subject to various risks including cyclical risks associated with the overall economy.

General risks of companies in the consumer products and services sector include cyclicality of revenues and earnings, economic recession, currency fluctuations, changing consumer tastes, extensive competition, product liability litigation and increased government regulation. Generally, spending on consumer products and services is affected by the health of consumers. Companies in the consumer products and services sectors are subject to government regulation affecting the permissibility of using various food additives and production methods, which regulations could affect company profitability. A weak economy and its effect on consumer spending would adversely affect companies in the consumer products and services sector.

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Our investments in the financial services sector are subject to various risks including volatility and extensive government regulation.

These risks include the effects of changes in interest rates on the profitability of financial services companies, the rate of corporate and consumer debt defaults, price competition, governmental limitations on a company’s loans, other financial commitments, product lines and other operations and recent ongoing changes in the financial services industry (including consolidations, development of new products and changes to the industry’s regulatory framework). The deterioration of the credit markets starting in late 2007 generally has caused an adverse impact in a broad range of markets, including U.S. and international credit and interbank money markets generally, thereby affecting a wide range of financial institutions and markets. In particular, events in the financial sector in late 2008 resulted, and may continue to result, in an unusually high degree of volatility in the financial markets, both domestic and foreign. This situation has created instability in the financial markets and caused certain financial services companies to incur large losses. Insurance companies have additional risks, such as heavy price competition, claims activity and marketing competition, and can be particularly sensitive to specific events such as man-made and natural disasters (including weather catastrophes), terrorism, mortality risks and morbidity rates.

Our investments in technology companies are subject to many risks, including volatility, intense competition, shortened product life cycles, litigation risk and periodic downturn.

We have invested and will continue investing in technology companies, many of which may have narrow product lines and small market shares, which tend to render them more vulnerable to competitors’ actions and market conditions, as well as to general economic downturns. The revenues, income (or losses), and valuations of technology-related companies can and often do fluctuate suddenly and dramatically. In addition, technology-related markets are generally characterized by abrupt business cycles and intense competition, where the leading companies in any particular category may hold a highly concentrated percentage of the overall market share. Therefore, our portfolio companies may face considerably more risk of loss than do companies in other industry sectors. Because of rapid technological change, the selling prices of products and services provided by technology-related companies have historically decreased over their productive lives. As a result, the selling prices of products and services offered by technology related companies may decrease over time, which could adversely affect their operating results, their ability to meet obligations under their debt securities and the value of their equity securities. This could, in turn, materially adversely affect the value of the technology-related companies in our portfolio.

Our equity ownership in a portfolio company may represent a control investment. Our ability to exit a control investment may be limited.

We currently have, and may acquire in the future, control investments in portfolio companies. Our ability to divest ourselves from a debt or equity investment in a controlled portfolio company could be restricted due to illiquidity in a private stock, limited trading volume on a public company’s stock, inside information on a company’s performance, insider blackout periods, or other factors that could prohibit us from disposing of the investment as we would if it were not a control investment. Additionally, we may choose not to take certain actions to protect a debt investment in a control investment portfolio company. As a result, we could be limited in our ability to exit a control investment at an ideal time, which could diminish the value we are able to receive upon exiting such control investment.

Risks In The Current Environment

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

The U.S. and global capital markets experienced extreme volatility and disruption during the economic downturn that began in mid-2007, and the U.S. economy was in a recession for several consecutive calendar

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quarters during the same period. In 2010, a financial crisis emerged in Europe, triggered by high budget deficits and rising direct and contingent sovereign debt, which created concerns about the ability of certain nations to continue to service their sovereign debt obligations. Risks resulting from such debt crisis and any future debt crisis in Europe or any similar crisis elsewhere could have a detrimental impact on the global economic recovery, sovereign and non-sovereign debt in certain countries and the financial condition of financial institutions generally. In July and August 2015, Greece reached agreements with its creditors for bailouts that provide aid in exchange for certain austerity measures. These and similar austerity measures may adversely affect world economic conditions and have an adverse impact on our business and that of our portfolio companies. In the second quarter of 2015, stock prices in China experienced a significant drop, resulting primarily from continued sell-off of shares trading in Chinese markets. In August 2015, Chinese authorities sharply devalued China's currency. In June 2016, the United Kingdom held a referendum in which voters approved an exit from the European Union, and the implications of the United Kingdom’s pending withdrawal from the European Union are unclear at present. In November 2016, voters in the United States elected a new president and the implications of a new presidential administration are unclear at present. These market and economic disruptions affected, and these and other similar market and economic disruptions may in the future affect, the U.S. capital markets, which could adversely affect our business and that of our portfolio companies and the broader financial and credit markets and have reduced the availability of debt and equity capital for the market as a whole and to financial firms, in particular. At various times, these disruptions resulted in, and may in the future result, a lack of liquidity in parts of the debt capital markets, significant write-offs in the financial services sector and the repricing of credit risk. These conditions may reoccur for a prolonged period of time again or materially worsen in the future, including as a result of U.S. government shutdowns or further downgrades to the U.S. government’s sovereign credit rating or the perceived credit worthiness of the United States or other large global economies. Unfavorable economic conditions, including future recessions, 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. We may in the future have difficulty accessing debt and equity capital on attractive terms, or at all, and a severe disruption and instability in the global financial markets or deteriorations in credit and financing conditions may cause us to reduce the volume of loans we originate and/or fund, adversely affect the value of our portfolio investments or otherwise have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

As a result of the 2016 U.S. election, the Republican Party currently controls both the executive and legislative branches of government, which increases the likelihood that legislation may be adopted that could significantly affect the regulation of U.S. financial markets. Areas subject to potential change, amendment or repeal include the Dodd-Frank Act, the Consumer Protection Act, the Volcker Rule, and the authority of the Federal Reserve and the Financial Stability Oversight Council. The United States may also potentially withdraw from or renegotiate various trade agreements and take other actions that would change current trade policies of the United States. We cannot predict which, if any, of these actions will be taken or, if taken, their effect on the financial stability of the United States. Such actions could have a significant adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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

The recent 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 extent and process by which the United Kingdom will 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.

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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.

Legislative tax reform may have a negative effect.

Legislative or other actions relating to taxes could have a negative effect on the Company. The rules dealing with U.S. federal income taxation are constantly under review by persons involved in the legislative process, the IRS and the U.S. Treasury Department. In December 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate passed tax reform legislation, which was signed by the President. Such legislation will make many changes to the Internal Revenue Code, including significant changes to the taxation of business entities, the deductibility of interest expense, and the tax treatment of capital investment. We cannot predict with certainty how any changes in the tax laws might affect the Company, investors, or the Company’s portfolio investments. New legislation and any U.S. Treasury regulations, administrative interpretations or court decisions interpreting such legislation could significantly and negatively affect the Company’s ability to qualify for tax treatment as a RIC or the U.S. federal income tax consequences to the Company and its investors of such qualification, or could have other adverse consequences. Investors are urged to consult with their tax advisor regarding tax legislative, regulatory, or administrative developments and proposals and their potential effect on an investment in the Company’s securities.

Risks Related To Our Operations As A BDC

Our ability to enter into transactions with our affiliates will be restricted.

Because we have elected to be treated as a BDC under the 1940 Act, we are prohibited under the 1940 Act from participating in certain transactions with certain of our affiliates without the prior approval of our independent directors and, in some cases, of 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 are generally prohibited from buying or selling any security from or to such affiliate, absent the prior approval of our independent directors. The 1940 Act also prohibits certain “joint” transactions with certain of our affiliates, which could include investments in the same portfolio company (whether at the same or different times), without prior approval of our independent directors and, in some cases, of the SEC. The Staff has granted us relief pursuant to the Order. Pursuant to the Order, we are permitted to co-invest with Affiliated Funds 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 proposed transaction, including the consideration to be paid, are reasonable and fair to us and our stockholders and do not involve overreaching of us or our stockholders on the part of any person concerned, (2) the transaction is consistent with the interests of our stockholders and is consistent with our investment objectives and strategies. We intend to co-invest, subject to the conditions included in the Order. We believe that such co-investments may afford us additional investment opportunities and an ability to achieve greater diversification. We are prohibited from buying or selling any security from or to any person who owns more than 25% of our voting securities or certain of that person’s affiliates, 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.

Regulations governing our operation as a BDC may limit our ability to, and the way in which we raise additional capital, which could have a material adverse impact on our liquidity, financial condition and results of operations.

Our business may in the future require a substantial amount of capital. We may acquire additional capital from the issuance of senior securities (including debt and preferred stock) or the issuance of additional shares of our common stock. However, we may not be able to raise additional capital in the future on favorable terms or at all. Additionally, we may only issue senior securities up to the maximum amount permitted by the 1940 Act. The 1940 Act permits us to issue senior securities only in amounts such that our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940

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Act, equals at least 200% after such issuance or incurrence. If our assets decline in value and we fail to satisfy this test, we may be required to liquidate a portion of our investments and repay a portion of our indebtedness at a time when such sales or repayment may be disadvantageous, which could have a material adverse impact on our liquidity, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Senior Securities (including debt and preferred stock). As a result of issuing senior securities, we would also be exposed to typical risks associated with leverage, including an increased risk of loss. If we issue preferred securities, such securities would rank “senior” to common stock in our capital structure, resulting in preferred stockholders having separate voting rights, dividend and liquidation rights, and possibly other rights, preferences or privileges more favorable than those granted to holders of our common stock. Furthermore, the issuance of preferred securities could have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a transaction or a change of control that might involve a premium price for our common stockholders or otherwise be in your best interest.

 

Additional Common Stock. Our board of directors may decide to issue common stock to finance our operations rather than issuing debt or other senior securities. As a BDC, we are generally not able to issue our common stock at a price below net asset value without first obtaining required approvals from our stockholders and our independent directors. At our Annual Meeting of Stockholders on June 6, 2017, our stockholders approved a proposal authorizing us to sell up to 25% of our common stock at a price below the Company’s net asset value per share, subject to approval by our board of directors of the offering. Except in connection with the exercise of warrants or the conversion of convertible securities, in any such case the price at which our securities are to be issued and sold may not be less than a price, that in the determination of our board of directors, closely approximates the market value of such securities at the relevant time. We may also make subscription rights offerings or warrants representing rights to purchase shares of our securities to our stockholders at prices per share less than the net asset value per share, subject to the requirements of the 1940 Act. If we raise additional funds by issuing more common stock or senior securities convertible into, or exchangeable for, our common stock, the percentage ownership of our stockholders at that time would decrease, and such stockholders may experience dilution.

Additionally, if we do raise additional capital in one or more subsequent financings, until we are able to invest the net proceeds of such any financing in suitable investments, we will invest in temporary investments, such as cash, cash equivalents, U.S. government securities and other high-quality debt investments that mature in one year or less, which we expect will earn yields lower than the interest, dividend or other income that we anticipate receiving in respect of investments in debt and equity securities of our target portfolio companies. As a result, our ability to pay dividends in the years of operation during which we have such net proceeds available to invest will be based on our ability to invest our capital in suitable portfolio companies in a timely manner. Further, the management fee payable to our investment adviser, THL Credit Advisors, will not be reduced while our assets are invested in such temporary investments.

Changes in the laws or regulations governing our business, or changes in the interpretations thereof, and any failure by us to comply with these laws or regulations, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations or financial condition.

Changes in the laws or regulations or the interpretations of the laws and regulations that govern BDCs, RICs or non-depository commercial lenders could significantly affect our operations and our cost of doing business. We are subject to federal, state and local laws and regulations and are subject to judicial and administrative decisions that affect our operations, including our loan originations, maximum interest rates, fees and other charges, disclosures to portfolio companies, the terms of secured transactions, collection and foreclosure procedures and other trade practices. If these laws, regulations or decisions change, or if we expand our business into jurisdictions that have adopted more stringent requirements than those in which we currently conduct business, we may have to incur significant expenses in order to comply, or we might have to restrict our operations. In addition, if we do not comply with applicable laws, regulations and decisions, we may lose licenses needed for the conduct of our business and may be subject to civil fines and criminal penalties.

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If we do not invest a sufficient portion of our assets in qualifying assets, we could fail to qualify as a BDC or be precluded from investing according to our current business strategy, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

As a BDC, we may not acquire any assets other than “qualifying assets” unless, at the time of and after giving effect to such acquisition, at least 70% of our total assets are qualifying assets. See “-Business Development Company Regulation.” We believe that most of the investments that we may acquire in the future will constitute qualifying assets. However, we may be precluded from investing in what we believe are attractive investments if such investments are not qualifying assets for purposes of the 1940 Act. If we do not invest a sufficient portion of our assets in qualifying assets, we could be found to be in violation of the 1940 Act provisions applicable to BDCs and possibly lose our status as a BDC, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Similarly, these rules could prevent us from making follow-on investments in existing portfolio companies (which could result in the dilution of our position) or could require us to dispose of investments at inopportune times in order to come into compliance with the 1940 Act. If we need to dispose of such investments quickly, it may be difficult to dispose of such investments on favorable terms. For example, we may have difficulty in finding a buyer and, even if we do find a buyer, we may have to sell the investments at a substantial loss.

There is a risk that we may not make distributions or that our distributions may not grow over time.

We cannot assure you that we will achieve investment results that will allow us to make a specified level of cash distributions or periodically increase our dividend rate.

As a BDC, we are required to carry our investments at market value or, if no market value is ascertainable, at fair value as determined in good faith by or under the direction of our board of directors. Decreases in the market values or fair values of our investments will be recorded as unrealized depreciation. Any unrealized depreciation in our investment portfolio could be an indication of a portfolio company’s potential inability to meet its repayment obligations to us. This could result in realized losses in the future and ultimately in reductions of our income available for distribution in future periods.

If we are unable to qualify for tax treatment as a RIC, we will be subject to corporate-level income tax, which would have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

We intend to continue to qualify for tax treatment as a RIC under the Code. As a RIC we do not have to pay federal income taxes on our income (including realized gains) that is distributed to our stockholders, provided that we satisfy certain distribution and other requirements. Accordingly, we are not permitted under accounting rules to establish reserves for taxes on our unrealized capital gains. If we fail to qualify for RIC tax treatment in any year, to the extent that we had unrealized gains, we would have to establish reserves for taxes, which would reduce our net asset value and the amount potentially available for distribution. In addition, if we, as a RIC, were to decide to make a deemed distribution of net realized capital gains and retain the net realized capital gains, we would have to establish appropriate reserves for taxes that we would have to pay on behalf of stockholders. It is possible that establishing reserves for taxes could have a material adverse effect on the value of our common stock.

To maintain our tax treatment as a RIC under the Code, which is required in order for us to distribute our income without being taxed at the corporate level, we must maintain our status as a BDC and meet certain source-of-income, asset diversification and annual distribution requirements and including:

 

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

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

 

The asset diversification requirement will be satisfied if we meet certain asset diversification requirements at the end of each quarter of our taxable year. To satisfy these requirements, at least 50% of the value of our assets must consist of cash, cash equivalents, U.S. government securities, securities of other RICs, and other acceptable securities; and no more than 25% of the value of our assets can be invested in the securities, other than U.S. government securities or securities of other RICs, of one issuer, of two or more issuers that are controlled, as determined under applicable Internal Revenue Code rules, by us and that are engaged in the same or similar or related trades or businesses or of certain “qualified publicly traded partnerships.” Failure to meet these requirements may result in our having to dispose of certain investments quickly in order to prevent the loss of RIC status. Because most of our investments will be in private companies, and, therefore, will be relatively illiquid, any such dispositions could be made at disadvantageous prices and could result in substantial losses.

Satisfying these requirements may require us to take actions we would not otherwise take, such as selling investments at unattractive prices to satisfy diversification, distribution or source of income requirements. In addition, while we are authorized to borrow funds in order to make distributions, under the 1940 Act we are not permitted to make distributions to stockholders while we have debt obligations or other senior securities outstanding unless certain “asset coverage” tests are met. If we fail to qualify as a RIC for any reason and become or remain subject to corporate-level income tax, the resulting corporate taxes could substantially reduce our net assets, the amount of income available for distribution and the amount of our distributions. Such a failure would have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial conditions, and thus, our stockholders.

Risks Related To An Investment In Our Securities

Our common stock price may be volatile and may fluctuate substantially.

As with any stock, the price of our common stock will fluctuate with market conditions and other factors. Our common stock is intended for long-term investors and should not be treated as a trading vehicle. Shares of closed-end management investment companies, which are structured similarly to us, frequently trade at a discount from their net asset value. Our shares may trade at a price that is less than the offering price. This risk may be greater for investors who sell their shares in a relatively short period of time after completion of the offering.

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

 

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

 

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

 

loss of RIC status;

 

changes in earnings or variations in operating results;

 

changes in the value of our portfolio of investments;

 

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

 

departure of key personnel from our investment adviser;

 

operating performance of companies comparable to us;

 

general economic trends and other external factors; and

 

loss of a major funding source.

57


 

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

The General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware and our certificate of incorporation contain provisions that may discourage, delay or make more difficult a change in control of us or the removal of our directors. Among other provisions, our directors may be removed for cause by the affirmative vote of 75% of the holders of our outstanding capital stock and removed with or without cause by the approval of 66.7% of the remaining directors. Our board of directors also is authorized to issue preferred stock in one or more series. In addition, our certificate of incorporation requires the favorable vote of a majority of our board of directors followed by the favorable vote of the holders of at least 75% of our outstanding shares of common stock, to approve, adopt or authorize certain transactions, including mergers and the sale, lease or exchange of all or any substantial part of our assets with 10% or greater holders of our outstanding common stock and their affiliates or associates, unless the transaction has been approved by at least 80% of our board of directors, in which case approval by “a majority of the outstanding voting securities” (as defined in the 1940 Act) will be required. These measures may delay, defer or prevent a transaction or a change in control that might otherwise be in the best interests of our stockholders and could have the effect of depriving stockholders of an opportunity to sell their shares at a premium over prevailing market prices.

Our common stock may trade below its net asset value per share, which limits our ability to raise additional equity capital.

If our common stock is trading below its net asset value per share, we will generally not be able to issue additional shares of our common stock at its market price without first obtaining the approval for such issuance from our stockholders and our independent directors. Shares of BDCs, including shares of our common stock, have traded at discounts to their net asset values. As of December 31, 2017, our net asset value per share was $10.51. The last reported sale price of a share of our common stock on the NASDAQ Global Select Market on March 5, 2018 was $8.46. At our Annual Meeting of Stockholders on June 6, 2017, our stockholders approved a proposal authorizing us to sell up to 25% of our common stock at a price below our then-current net asset value per share, subject to approval by our board of directors for the offering. The authorization expires on the earlier of June 6, 2018 and the date of our 2017 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. Our stockholders also approved a proposal to authorize us to offer and issue debt with warrants or debt convertible into shares of our common stock at an exercise or conversion price that, at the time such warrants or convertible debt are issued, will not be less than the market value per share but may be below our then-current net asset value per share. If our common stock trades below net asset value, the higher the cost of equity capital may result in it being unattractive to raise new equity, which may limit our ability to grow. The risk of trading below net asset value is separate and distinct from the risk that our net asset value per share may decline. We cannot predict whether shares of our common stock will trade above, at or below our net asset value.

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

The Notes are not secured by any of our assets or any of the assets of our subsidiaries. As a result, the Notes are effectively subordinated to any secured indebtedness we or our subsidiaries have currently incurred and may incur in the future (or any indebtedness that is initially unsecured to which we subsequently grant security) to the extent of the value of the assets securing such indebtedness. In any liquidation, dissolution, bankruptcy or other similar proceeding, the holders of any of our existing or future secured indebtedness and the secured indebtedness of our subsidiaries may assert rights against the assets pledged to secure that indebtedness in order to receive full payment of their indebtedness before the assets may be used to pay other creditors, including the holders of the Notes. As of December 31, 2017, we had $167.3 million outstanding under the Revolving Facility. The indebtedness under the Revolving Facility is effectively senior to the Notes to the extent of the value of the assets securing such indebtedness.

58


 

The net asset value per share of our common stock may be diluted if we sell shares of our common stock in one or more offerings at prices below the then current net asset value per share of our common stock or securities to subscribe for or convertible into shares of our common stock.

At our Annual Meeting of Stockholders on June 6, 2017, our stockholders approved a proposal authorizing us to sell up to 25% of our common stock at a price below the Company’s net asset value per share, subject to approval by our board of directors of the offering. Although any such sale must be approved by our board of directors, there is no limit on the amount of dilution that may occur as a result of such sale. If we were to issue shares at a price below net asset value, such sales would result in an immediate dilution to existing common stockholders, which would include a reduction in the net asset value per share as a result of the issuance. This dilution would also include a proportionately greater decrease in a stockholder’s interest in our earnings and assets and voting interest in us than the increase in our assets resulting from such issuance.

In addition, at our 2017 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, our stockholders authorized us to offer and issue debt with warrants or debt convertible into shares of our common stock at an exercise or conversion price that, at the time such warrants or convertible debt are issued, will not be less than the market value per share but may be below our then current net asset value.

Any decision to sell shares of our common stock below its then current net asset value per share or securities to subscribe for or convert into shares of our common stock would be subject to the determination by our board of directors that such issuance is in our and our stockholders’ best interests.

If we were to sell shares of our common stock below its then current net asset value per share, such sales would result in an immediate dilution to the net asset value per share of our common stock. This dilution would occur as a result of the sale of shares at a price below the then current net asset value per share of our common stock and a proportionately greater decrease in the stockholders’ interest in our earnings and assets and their voting interest in us than the increase in our assets resulting from such issuance. Because the number of shares of common stock that could be so issued and the timing of any issuance is not currently known, the actual dilutive effect cannot be predicted.

In addition, if we issue warrants or securities to subscribe for or convert into shares of our common stock, subject to certain limitations, the exercise or conversion price per share could be less than net asset value per share at the time of exercise or conversion (including through the operation of anti-dilution protections). Because we would incur expenses in connection with any issuance of such securities, such issuance could result in a dilution of the net asset value per share at the time of exercise or conversion. This dilution would include reduction in net asset value per share as a result of the proportionately greater decrease in the stockholders’ interest in our earnings and assets and their voting interest than the increase in our assets resulting from such issuance.

We incur significant costs as a result of being a publicly traded company.

As a publicly traded company, we incur legal, accounting and other expenses, including costs associated with the periodic reporting requirements applicable to a company whose securities are registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, as well as additional corporate governance requirements, including requirements under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, and other rules implemented by the SEC.

The trading market or market value of our publicly issued debt securities may fluctuate.

Our publicly issued debt securities may or may not have an established trading market. We cannot assure you that a trading market for our publicly issued debt securities will ever develop or be maintained if developed. In addition to our creditworthiness, many factors may materially adversely affect the trading market for, and market value of, our publicly issued debt securities. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following:

 

the time remaining to the maturity of these debt securities;

 

the outstanding principal amount of debt securities with terms identical to these debt securities;

 

the ratings assigned by national statistical ratings agencies;

59


 

 

the general economic environment;

 

the supply of debt securities trading in the secondary market, if any;

 

the redemption or repayment features, if any, of these debt securities;

 

the level, direction and volatility of market interest rates generally; and

 

market rates of interest higher or lower than rates borne by the debt securities.

You should also be aware that there may be a limited number of buyers when you decide to sell your debt securities. This too may materially adversely affect the market value of the debt securities or the trading market for the debt securities.

Terms relating to redemption may materially adversely affect your return on any debt securities that we may issue.

If your debt securities are redeemable at our option, we may choose to redeem your debt securities at times when prevailing interest rates are lower than the interest rate paid on your debt securities. In addition, if your debt securities are subject to mandatory redemption, we may be required to redeem your debt securities also at times when prevailing interest rates are lower than the interest rate paid on your debt securities. In this circumstance, you may not be able to reinvest the redemption proceeds in a comparable security at an effective interest rate as high as your debt securities being redeemed.

If we issue preferred stock, debt securities or convertible debt securities, the net asset value and market value of our common stock may become more volatile.

We cannot assure you that the issuance of preferred stock and/or debt securities would result in a higher yield or return to the holders of our common stock. The issuance of preferred stock, debt securities or convertible debt would likely cause the net asset value and market value of our common stock to become more volatile. If the dividend rate on the preferred stock, or the interest rate on the debt securities, were to approach the net rate of return on our investment portfolio, the benefit of leverage to the holders of our common stock would be reduced. If the dividend rate on the preferred stock, or the interest rate on the debt securities, were to exceed the net rate of return on our portfolio, the use of leverage would result in a lower rate of return to the holders of common stock than if we had not issued the preferred stock or debt securities. Any decline in the net asset value of our investment would be borne entirely by the holders of our common stock. Therefore, if the market value of our portfolio were to decline, the leverage would result in a greater decrease in net asset value to the holders of our common stock than if we were not leveraged through the issuance of preferred stock. This decline in net asset value would also tend to cause a greater decline in the market price for our common stock.

There is also a risk that, in the event of a sharp decline in the value of our net assets, we would be in danger of failing to maintain required asset coverage ratios which may be required by the preferred stock, debt securities, convertible debt or units or of a downgrade in the ratings of the preferred stock, debt securities, convertible debt or units or our current investment income might not be sufficient to meet the dividend requirements on the preferred stock or the interest payments on the debt securities. If we do not maintain our required asset coverage ratios, we may not be permitted to declare dividends. In order to counteract such an event, we might need to liquidate investments in order to fund redemption of some or all of the preferred stock, debt securities or convertible debt. In addition, we would pay (and the holders of our common stock would bear) all costs and expenses relating to the issuance and ongoing maintenance of the preferred stock, debt securities, convertible debt or any combination of these securities. Holders of preferred stock, debt securities or convertible debt may have different interests than holders of common stock and may at times have disproportionate influence over our affairs.

60


 

Holders of any preferred stock that we may issue will have the right to elect members of the board of directors and have class voting rights on certain matters.

The 1940 Act requires that holders of shares of preferred stock must be entitled as a class to elect two directors at all times and to elect a majority of the directors if dividends on such preferred stock are in arrears by two years or more, until such arrearage is eliminated. In addition, certain matters under the 1940 Act require the separate vote of the holders of any issued and outstanding preferred stock, including changes in fundamental investment restrictions and conversion to open-end status and, accordingly, preferred stockholders could veto any such changes. Restrictions imposed on the declarations and payment of dividends or other distributions to the holders of our common stock and preferred stock, both by the 1940 Act and by requirements imposed by rating agencies, might impair our ability to maintain our qualification as a RIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

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

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

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

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

The Notes are obligations exclusively of THL Credit, Inc. and not of any of our subsidiaries. None of our subsidiaries are a guarantor of the Notes and the Notes are not required to be guaranteed by any subsidiaries we may acquire or create in the future. Except to the extent we are a creditor with recognized claims against our subsidiaries, all claims of creditors of our subsidiaries will have priority over our equity interests in such subsidiaries (and therefore the claims of our creditors, including holders of the Notes) with respect to the assets of such subsidiaries. Even if we are recognized as a creditor of one or more of our subsidiaries, our claims would still be effectively subordinated to any security interests in the assets of any such subsidiary and to any indebtedness or other liabilities of any such subsidiary senior to our claims. Consequently, the Notes are structurally subordinated to all indebtedness and other liabilities of any of our subsidiaries and any subsidiaries that we may in the future acquire or establish. In addition, our subsidiaries may incur substantial additional indebtedness in the future, all of which would be structurally senior to the Notes.

The indenture under which our Notes were issued contains limited protection for holders of our Notes.

The indenture under which the Notes were issued offers limited protection to holders of the Notes. The terms of the indenture and the Notes do not restrict our or any of our subsidiaries’ ability to engage in, or otherwise be a party to, a variety of corporate transactions, circumstances or events that could have an adverse impact on your investment in the Notes. In particular, the terms of the indenture and the Notes will not place any restrictions on our or our subsidiaries’ ability to:

 

issue securities or otherwise incur additional indebtedness or other obligations, including (1) any indebtedness or other obligations that would be equal in right of payment to the Notes, (2) any indebtedness or other obligations that would be secured and therefore rank effectively senior in right of payment to the Notes to the extent of the values of the assets securing such debt, (3) indebtedness of ours that is guaranteed by one or more of our subsidiaries and which therefore is structurally senior to

61


 

 

the Notes and (4) securities, indebtedness or obligations issued or incurred by our subsidiaries that would be senior to our equity interests in our subsidiaries and therefore rank structurally senior to the Notes with respect to the assets of our subsidiaries, in each case other than an incurrence of indebtedness or other obligation that would cause a violation of Section 18(a)(1)(A) as modified by Section 61(a)(1) of the 1940 Act or any successor provisions, whether or not we continue to be subject to such provisions of the 1940 Act, but giving effect, in either case, to any exemptive relief granted to us by the SEC (these provisions generally prohibit us from making additional borrowings, including through the issuance of additional debt or the sale of additional debt securities, unless our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, equals at least 200% after such borrowings);

 

pay dividends on, or purchase or redeem or make any payments in respect of, capital stock or other securities ranking junior in right of payment to the Notes;

 

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

 

enter into transactions with affiliates;

 

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

 

make investments; or

 

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

In addition, the indenture will not require us to offer to purchase the Notes in connection with a change of control or any other event. Furthermore, the terms of the indenture and the Notes do not protect holders of the Notes in the event that we experience changes (including significant adverse changes) in our financial condition, results of operations or credit ratings, as they do not require that we or our subsidiaries adhere to any financial tests or ratios or specified levels of net worth, revenues, income, cash flow, or liquidity.

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

Certain of our current debt instruments include more protections for their holders than the indenture and the Notes. In addition, other debt we issue or incur in the future could contain more protections for its holders than the indenture and the Notes, including additional covenants and events of default. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Financial condition, liquidity and capital resources—Credit Facility.” The issuance or incurrence of any such debt with incremental protections could affect the market for and trading levels and prices of the Notes.

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

Any default under the agreements governing our indebtedness, including a default under the Revolving Facility or other indebtedness to which we may be a party that is not waived by the required lenders or holders, and the remedies sought by the holders of such indebtedness could make us unable to pay principal, premium, if any, and interest on the Notes and substantially decrease the market value of the Notes. If we are unable to generate sufficient cash flow and are otherwise unable to obtain funds necessary to meet required payments of principal, premium, if any, and interest on our indebtedness, or if we otherwise fail to comply with the various covenants, including financial and operating covenants, in the instruments governing our indebtedness, we could be in default under the terms of the agreements governing such indebtedness. In the event of such default, the holders of such indebtedness could elect to declare all the funds borrowed thereunder to be due and payable, together with accrued and unpaid interest, the lenders under the Revolving Facility or other debt we may incur in the future could elect to terminate their commitments, cease making further loans and institute foreclosure

62


 

proceedings against our assets, and we could be forced into bankruptcy or liquidation. If our operating performance declines, we may in the future need to seek to obtain waivers from the required lenders under the Revolving Facility or other debt that we may incur in the future to avoid being in default. If we breach our covenants under the Revolving Facility or other debt and seek a waiver, we may not be able to obtain a waiver from the required lenders or holders. If this occurs, we would be in default under the Revolving Facility or other debt, the lenders or holders could exercise their rights as described above, and we could be forced into bankruptcy or liquidation. If we are unable to repay debt, lenders having secured obligations, including the lenders under the Revolving Facility, could proceed against the collateral securing the debt. Because the Revolving Facility have, and any future credit facilities will likely have, customary cross-default provisions, if the indebtedness under the Notes, the Revolving Facility under any future credit facility is accelerated, we may be unable to repay or finance the amounts due.

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

None.

Item 2.

Properties

We do not own any real estate or other physical properties materially important to our operation. Our headquarters are currently located at 100 Federal Street, 31st Floor, Boston, MA 02110. THL Credit Advisors furnishes us office space and we reimburse it for such costs on an allocated basis.

Item 3.

Legal proceedings

As of December 31, 2017, we are not a defendant in any material pending legal proceeding, and no such material proceedings are known to be contemplated. However, from time to time, we may be party to certain legal proceedings incidental to the normal course of our business including the enforcement of our rights under the contracts with our portfolio companies. Third parties may also seek to impose liability on us in connection with the activities of our portfolio companies.

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

Not applicable.

 

63


 

PART II

Item 5.

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

Price Range of Common Stock

Our common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “TCRD.” The following table sets forth, for the periods indicated, the range of high and low sales prices for our common stock, as reported on The NASDAQ Global Select Market:

 

 

High

 

Low

 

Fiscal year ended December 31, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

First quarter

$

10.56

 

$

9.49

 

Second quarter

$

10.10

 

$

9.52

 

Third Quarter

$

10.23

 

$

9.08

 

Fourth Quarter

$

9.61

 

$

8.93

 

Fiscal year ended December 31, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

First quarter

$

10.89

 

$

8.67

 

Second quarter

$

11.34

 

$

10.12

 

Third Quarter

$

11.80

 

$

9.51

 

Fourth Quarter

$

10.41

 

$

8.99

 

 

The last reported price for our common stock on March 5, 2018 was $8.46 per share. As of March 5, 2018, we had 2 stockholders of record, which did not include stockholders for whom shares are held in nominee or “street” name.

Stock Performance Graph

This graph compares the return on our common stock with that of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index and the NASDAQ Financial 100 Index for the period from April 21, 2010 (initial public offering) through December 31, 2017. The graph assumes that on April 21, 2010, $100 was invested in each of our common stock, the S&P 500 Index and the NASDAQ Financial 100 Index. The graph measures total stockholder return, which takes into account both changes in stock price and dividends. It assumes that dividends paid are invested in like securities.

64


 

The following graph compares the total return on our common stock with that of the S&P 500 Index and the NASDAQ Financial 100.

 

 

The graph and other information furnished under this Part II Item 5 of this Form 10-K shall not be deemed to be “soliciting material” or to be “filed” with the SEC or subject to Regulation 14A or 14C, or to the liabilities of Section 18 of the 1934 Act. The stock price performance included in the above graph is not necessarily indicative of future stock price performance.

Sales of unregistered securities

There was $0.003 million of dividends reinvested during the year ended December 31, 2017 under the dividend reinvestment plan. There was $0.003 million of dividends reinvested for the year ended December 31, 2016 and there were no dividends reinvested for the year ended 2015, respectively.

Issuer purchases of equity securities

On March 7, 2017 our board of directors authorized a $20.0 million stock repurchase program, which was extended on March 2, 2018. Unless extended by our board of directors, the stock repurchase program will expire on March 2, 2019 and may be modified or terminated at any time for any reason without prior notice. We have provided our stockholders with notice of our intention to repurchase shares of our common stock in accordance with 1940 Act requirements. We will retire immediately all such shares of common stock that we purchase in connection with the stock repurchase program.

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During the year ended December 31, 2017, we purchased 252,081 shares at a weighted average price per share of $9.89, inclusive of commissions. This represents a discount of approximately 15.02% to average net asset value per share for the year ended December 31, 2017. The following table presents information with respect to our purchases of our common stock during the year ended December 31, 2017 (in millions, except for per price paid per share):

 

Period

 

Total Number of

Shares

Purchased

 

 

Average

Price Paid

Per Share

 

 

Total Number of Shares

Purchased as Part of

Publicly Announced

Program

 

 

Maximum Dollar Value

of Shares That May

Yet Be Purchased

Under Publicly

Announced Plans

 

January 1, 2017 through January 31, 2017

 

 

 

 

$

 

 

 

 

 

$

20,962,548

 

February 1, 2017 through February 28, 2017

 

 

 

 

$

 

 

 

 

 

$

20,962,548

 

March 1, 2017 through March 31, 2017

 

 

 

 

$

 

 

 

 

 

$

20,000,000

 

April 1, 2017 through April 30, 2017

 

 

 

 

$

 

 

 

 

 

$

20,000,000

 

May 1, 2017 through May 31, 2017

 

 

88,800

 

 

$

9.97

 

 

 

88,800

 

 

$

19,911,200

 

June 1, 2017 through June 30, 2017

 

 

61,200

 

 

$

10.07

 

 

 

61,200

 

 

$

19,850,000

 

July 1, 2017 through July 31, 2017

 

 

 

 

$

 

 

 

 

 

$

19,850,000

 

August 1, 2017 through August 31, 2017

 

 

102,081

 

 

$

9.71

 

 

 

102,081

 

 

$

19,747,919

 

September 1, 2017 through September 30,

   2017

 

 

 

 

$

 

 

 

 

 

$

19,747,919

 

October 1, 2017 through October 31,

   2017

 

 

 

 

$

 

 

 

 

 

$

19,747,919

 

November 1, 2017 through November 30,

   2017

 

 

 

 

$

 

 

 

 

 

$

19,747,919

 

December 1, 2017 through December 31,

   2017

 

 

 

 

$

 

 

 

 

 

$

19,747,919

 

 

 

 

252,081

 

 

$

9.89

 

 

 

252,081

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distributions

We have elected to be taxed as a regulated investment company under Subchapter M of the Code. In order to maintain our status as a regulated investment company, we are required to distribute at least 90% of our investment company taxable income. To avoid a 4% excise tax on undistributed earnings, we are required to distribute each calendar year the sum of (i) 98% of our ordinary income for such calendar year (ii) 98.2% of our net capital gains for the one-year period ending October 31 of that calendar year (iii) any income recognized, but not distributed, in preceding years and on which we paid no federal income tax. We intend to make distributions to stockholders on a quarterly basis of substantially all of our net investment income. Although we intend to make distributions of net realized capital gains, if any, at least annually, out of assets legally available for such distributions, we may in the future decide to retain such capital gains for investment. In addition, the extent and timing of special dividends, if any, will be determined by our board of directors and will largely be driven by portfolio specific events and tax considerations at the time.

In addition, we may be limited in our ability to make distributions due to the BDC asset coverage test for borrowings applicable to us as a BDC under the 1940 Act.

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The following table summarizes our distributions declared and paid or to be paid on all shares, including distributions reinvested, if any:

 

Date Declared

 

Record Date

 

Payment Date

 

Amount Per Share

 

August 5, 2010

 

September 2, 2010

 

September 30, 2010

 

$

0.05

 

November 4, 2010

 

November 30, 2010

 

December 28, 2010

 

$

0.10

 

December 14, 2010

 

December 31, 2010

 

January 28, 2011

 

$

0.15

 

March 10, 2011

 

March 25, 2011

 

March 31, 2011

 

$

0.23

 

May 5, 2011

 

June 15, 2011

 

June 30, 2011

 

$

0.25

 

July 28, 2011

 

September 15, 2011

 

September 30, 2011

 

$

0.26

 

October 27, 2011

 

December 15, 2011

 

December 30, 2011

 

$

0.28

 

March 6, 2012

 

March 20, 2012

 

March 30, 2012

 

$

0.29

 

March 6, 2012

 

March 20, 2012

 

March 30, 2012

 

$

0.05

 

May 2, 2012

 

June 15, 2012

 

June 29, 2012

 

$

0.30

 

July 26, 2012

 

September 14, 2012

 

September 28, 2012

 

$

0.32

 

November 2, 2012

 

December 14, 2012

 

December 28, 2012

 

$

0.33

 

December 20, 2012

 

December 31, 2012

 

January 28, 2013

 

$

0.05

 

February 27, 2013

 

March 15, 2013

 

March 29, 2013

 

$

0.33

 

May 2, 2013

 

June 14, 2013

 

June 28, 2013

 

$

0.34

 

August 2, 2013

 

September 16, 2013

 

September 30, 2013

 

$

0.34

 

August 2, 2013

 

September 16, 2013

 

September 30, 2013

 

$

0.08

 

October 30, 2013

 

December 16, 2013

 

December 31, 2013

 

$

0.34

 

March 4, 2014

 

March 17, 2014

 

March 31, 2014

 

$

0.34

 

May 7, 2014

 

June 16, 2014

 

June 30, 2014

 

$

0.34

 

August 7, 2014

 

September 15, 2014

 

September 30, 2014

 

$

0.34

 

November 4, 2014

 

December 15, 2014

 

December 31, 2014

 

$

0.34

 

March 6, 2015

 

March 20, 2015

 

March 31, 2015

 

$

0.34

 

May 5, 2015

 

June 15, 2015

 

June 30, 2015

 

$

0.34

 

August 4, 2015

 

September 15, 2015

 

September 30, 2015

 

$

0.34

 

November 3, 2015

 

December 15, 2015

 

December 31, 2015

 

$

0.34

 

March 8, 2016

 

March 21, 2016

 

March 31, 2016

 

$

0.34

 

May 3, 2016

 

June 15, 2016

 

June 30, 2016

 

$

0.34

 

August 2, 2016

 

September 15, 2016

 

September 30, 2016

 

$

0.34

 

November 8, 2016

 

December 15, 2016

 

December 30, 2016

 

$

0.27

 

March 7, 2017

 

March 20, 2017

 

March 31, 2017

 

$

0.27

 

May 5, 2017

 

June 15, 2017

 

June 30, 2017

 

$

0.27

 

August 1, 2017

 

September 15, 2017

 

September 29, 2017

 

$

0.27

 

November 7, 2017

 

December 15, 2017

 

December 29, 2017

 

$

0.27

 

March 2, 2018

 

March 20, 2018

 

March 30, 2018

 

$

0.27

 

 

We may not be able to achieve operating results that will allow us to make distributions at a specific level or to increase the amount of these distributions from time to time. If we do not distribute a certain percentage of our income annually, we will suffer adverse tax consequences, including possible loss of our status as a regulated investment company. We cannot assure stockholders that they will receive any distributions at a particular level.

We maintain an “opt in” dividend reinvestment plan for our common stockholders. As a result, unless stockholders specifically elect to have their dividends automatically reinvested in additional shares of common stock, stockholders will receive all such dividends in cash. Under the terms of our dividend reinvestment plan, dividends will primarily be paid in newly issued shares of common stock. However, we reserve the right to purchase shares in the open market in connection with the implementation of the plan. This feature of the plan means that, under certain circumstances, we may issue shares of our common stock at a price below net asset value per share, which could cause our stockholders to experience dilution.

67


 

Distributions in excess of our current and accumulated profits and earnings would be treated first as a return of capital to the extent of the stockholder’s tax basis, and any remaining distributions would be treated as a capital gain. The determination of the tax attributes of our distributions will be made annually as of the end of our fiscal year based upon our taxable income for the full year and distributions paid for the full year. Therefore, a determination made on a quarterly basis may not be representative of the actual tax attributes of our distributions for a full year. Each year, a statement on Form 1099-DIV identifying the source of the distribution will be sent to our U.S. stockholders of record. Our board of directors presently intends to declare and pay quarterly dividends. Our ability to pay dividends could be affected by future business performance, liquidity, capital needs, alternative investment opportunities and loan covenants.

The tax character of distributions declared and paid in 2017 represented $35.4 million from ordinary income, $0 from capital gains and $0 from tax return of capital. The tax character of distributions declared and paid in 2016 represented $42.8 million from ordinary income, $0 from capital gains and $0 from tax return of capital. Generally accepted accounting principles require adjustments to certain components of net assets to reflect permanent differences between financial and tax reporting. These adjustments have no effect on net asset value per share. Permanent differences between financial and tax reporting at December 31, 2017 and 2016 were ($0.9) million and ($0.1) million, respectively.

We may generate qualified interest income and short-term capital gains that may be exempt from United States withholding tax on foreign accounts. A regulated investment company, or RIC, is permitted to designate distributions in the form of dividends that represent interest income (commonly referred to as qualified interest income) and short-term capital gains as exempt from U.S. withholding tax when paid to non-U.S. stockholders with proper documentation. As of December 31, 2017, the percentage of 2017 income estimated as qualified interest income for tax purposes was 80.4%.

68


 

Item 6.

Selected Financial Data

The following selected financial data should be read together with our consolidated financial statements and the related notes and the discussion under “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” which is included elsewhere in this annual report on Form 10-K. Financial information is presented for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013 in thousands, except for per share data. The Consolidated Statements of Operations, Per share, and the Consolidated Statement of Assets and Liabilities data for the years ending 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013 has been derived from our consolidated financial statements that were audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, our independent registered public accounting firm. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” below for more information.

 

 

For the years ended

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

 

2013

 

Statement of Operations data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total investment income

$

78,773

 

 

$

84,585

 

 

$

94,195

 

 

$

91,928

 

 

$

74,650

 

Incentive fees

 

3,185

 

 

 

4,461

 

 

 

11,894

 

 

 

11,184

 

 

 

10,682