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EX-31.2 - EX-31.2 - Owl Rock Capital Corp IIorccii-ex312_14.htm
EX-31.1 - EX-31.1 - Owl Rock Capital Corp IIorccii-ex311_15.htm
EX-21.1 - EX-21.1 - Owl Rock Capital Corp IIorccii-ex211_80.htm
EX-10.15 - EX-10.15 - Owl Rock Capital Corp IIorccii-ex1015_168.htm
EX-4.5 - EX-4.5 - Owl Rock Capital Corp IIorccii-ex45_81.htm

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 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, 2019

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: 814-01219

 

OWL ROCK CAPITAL CORPORATION II

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)

 

 

Maryland

 

47-5416332

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

 

 

 

399 Park Avenue, 38th Floor

New York, New York

 

10022

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

(Zip Code)

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

 

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

Title of each class

Trading Symbol(s)

Name of each exchange on which registered

None

None

None

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

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

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

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

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See 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

 

  

  

Small 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.

The aggregate market value of common stock held by non-affiliates as of June 30, 2019 has not been provided because there is no established market for the registrant’s shares of common stock.

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

As of February 25, 2020, the registrant had 118,779,709 shares of common stock, $0.01 par value per share, outstanding.

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Table of Contents

 

 

 

 

Page

PART I.

 

 

 

 

Item 1.

 

Business

 

4

Item 1A.

 

Risk Factors

 

37

Item 1B.

 

Unresolved Staff Comments

 

68

Item 2.

 

Properties

 

68

Item 3.

 

Legal Proceedings

 

68

Item 4.

 

Mine Safety Disclosures

 

68

PART II.

 

 

 

 

Item 5.

 

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

 

69

Item 6.

 

Selected Financial Data

 

75

Item 7.

 

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

 

76

Item 7A.

 

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

 

120

Item 8.

 

Consolidated Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

 

F-1

Item 9.

 

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

 

122

Item 9A.

 

Controls and Procedures

 

122

Item 9B.

 

Other Information

 

122

 

 

 

 

 

PART III.

 

 

 

 

Item 10.

 

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

 

123

Item 11.

 

Executive Compensation

 

135

Item 12.

 

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

 

136

Item 13.

 

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

 

137

Item 14.

 

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

 

139

 

PART IV.

 

 

 

 

Item 15.

 

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

 

141

Item 16.

 

Form 10-K Summary

 

143

Signatures

 

144

 

 

 

ii


CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

our future operating results;

 

our business prospects and the prospects of our portfolio companies;

 

our contractual arrangements and relationships with third parties;

 

the ability of our portfolio companies to achieve their objectives;

 

competition with other entities and our affiliates for investment opportunities;

 

the speculative and illiquid nature of our investments;

 

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

 

the adequacy of our financing sources and working capital;

 

the loss of key personnel;

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

the effect of legal, tax and regulatory changes; and

 

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

 

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

 

 



 

PART I

Item 1. Business.

Our Company

Owl Rock Capital Corporation II was formed on October 15, 2015 as a corporation under the laws of the State of Maryland. We are an externally managed, closed-end management investment company that has elected to be regulated as a BDC under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). We have elected to be treated, and intend to qualify annually, as a RIC under the Code for U.S. federal income tax purposes. As a BDC and a RIC, we are required to comply with certain regulatory requirements. As a BDC, at least 70% of our assets must be assets of the type listed in Section 55(a) of the 1940 Act, as described herein. We will not invest more than 30% of our total assets in companies whose principal place of business is outside the United States. See “— Regulation as a Business Development Company” and “— Certain U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations.

We are externally managed by Owl Rock Capital Advisors, which is a registered investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended (the “Advisers Act”). The Adviser is responsible for sourcing potential investments, conducting due diligence on prospective investments, analyzing investment opportunities, structuring investments and monitoring our portfolio on an ongoing basis. Since our Adviser began its investment activities in April 2016 through December 31, 2019, our Adviser and its affiliates have originated $19.0 billion aggregate principal amount of investments, and $17.4 billion aggregate principal amount of investments prior to any subsequent exits or repayments, was retained by either us or a corporation or fund advised by our Adviser or its affiliates.

Our investment objective is to generate current income and, to a lesser extent, capital appreciation by targeting investment opportunities with favorable risk-adjusted returns. Our investment strategy focuses primarily on originating and making loans to, and making debt and equity investments in, U.S. middle market companies. We invest in senior secured or unsecured loans, subordinated loans or mezzanine loans and, to a lesser extent, equity and equity-related securities which includes common and preferred stock, securities convertible into common stock, and warrants. We define “middle market companies” to generally mean companies with earnings before interest expense, income tax expense, depreciation and amortization (“EBITDA”) between $10 million and $250 million annually, and/or annual revenue of $50 million to $2.5 billion at the time of investment. We may on occasion invest in smaller or larger companies if an attractive opportunity presents itself, especially when there are dislocations in the capital markets, including the high yield and large syndicated loan markets. We generally invest in companies with a low loan-to-value ratio, which we consider to be 50% of below. Our target credit investments will typically have maturities between three and ten years and generally range in size between $10 million and $125 million, although the investment size will vary with the size of our capital base. As of December 31, 2019, excluding certain investments that fall outside our typical borrower profile, our portfolio companies representing 96.7% of our total portfolio based on fair value, had weighted average annual revenue of $454 million and weighted average annual EBITDA of $96 million.

While our investment strategy focuses primarily on middle market companies in the United States, including senior secured loans, we also may invest up to 30% of our portfolio in investments of non-qualifying portfolio companies. Specifically, as part of this 30% basket, we may consider investments in investment funds that are operating pursuant to certain exceptions to the 1940 Act, as well as in debt and equity of companies located outside of the United States and debt and equity of public companies that do not meet the definition of eligible portfolio companies because their market capitalization of publicly traded equity securities exceeds the levels provided for in the 1940 Act.

As of December 31, 2019, based on fair value, our portfolio consisted of 82.7% first lien debt investments, 17.2% second-lien debt investments and 0.1% equity investments. Approximately 100.0% of our debt investments based on fair value as of December 31, 2019 are floating rate in nature, the majority of which are subject to an interest rate floor. As of December 31, 2019, we had investments in 89 portfolio companies, with an average investment size in each of our portfolio companies of approximately $16.2 million based on fair value.

As of December 31, 2019, our portfolio was invested across 26 different industries. The largest industries in our portfolio as of December 31, 2019 were healthcare providers and services and professional services, which represented, as a percentage of our portfolio, 7.9% and 7.8%, respectively, based on fair value.

We commenced a continuous public offering for up to 264,000,000 shares of our common stock on April 4, 2017. On January 29, 2020, we commenced our follow-on continuous public offering (the ”follow-on offering”) for up to 160,000,000 shares of our common stock. See “Continuous Public Offering.” On September 30, 2016, the Adviser purchased 100 shares of our common stock at $9.00 per share, which represented the initial public offering price of $9.47 per share, net of combined upfront selling commissions and dealer manager fees. The Adviser will not tender these shares for repurchase as long as the Adviser remains our investment adviser. There is no current intention for the Adviser to discontinue in its role. On April 4, 2017, we received subscription agreements

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totaling $10.0 million for the purchase of shares of our common stock from a private placement from certain individuals and entities affiliated with the Adviser. Pursuant to the terms of those subscription agreements, the individuals and entities affiliated with the Adviser agreed to pay for such shares of common stock upon demand by one of our executive officers. On April 4, 2017, we sold 277,778 shares pursuant to such subscription agreements and met the minimum offering requirement for our continuous public offering of $2.5 million. The purchase price of these shares sold in the private placement was $9.00 per share, which represented the initial public offering price of $9.47 per share, net of selling commissions and dealer manager fees. In April 2017, we commenced operations and made our first portfolio company investment. Since meeting the minimum offering requirement and commencing our continuous public offering and through December 31, 2019, we have issued 104,001,760 shares of our common stock for gross proceeds of approximately $963.7 million. As of February 25, 2020, we had raised total gross proceeds of approximately $1.1 billion, including seed capital contributed by our Adviser in September 2016 and approximately $10.0 million in gross proceeds raised in the private placement from certain individuals and entities affiliated with the Adviser.

We generally intend to distribute, out of assets legally available for distribution, substantially all of our available earnings, on a monthly basis, as determined by our board of directors (“the Board” or “our Board”) in its discretion.

To achieve our investment objective, we will leverage the Adviser’s investment team’s expertise, skill and network of business contacts. There are no assurances that we will achieve our investment objective.

From time to time, we may be exposed to significant market risk. Our investment portfolio may be concentrated. We are subject to certain investment restrictions with respect to leverage and type of investment. See “ITEM 1A. Risk Factors.”

We may borrow money from time to time if immediately after such borrowing, the ratio of our total assets (less total liabilities other than indebtedness represented by senior securities) to our total indebtedness represented by senior securities plus preferred stock, if any, is at least 200% (or 150% if certain conditions are met). This means that generally, we can borrow up to $1 for every $1 of investor equity (or, if certain conditions are met, we can borrow up to $2 for every $1 of investor equity). We have entered into an SPV asset (the “SPV Asset Facility”) and a promissory note (the “Promissory Note”) and in the future may enter into additional credit facilities. In addition, we have issued unsecured notes maturing in 2024 (the “2024 Notes”).  We expect to use our credit facilities and other borrowings, along with proceeds from the rotation of our portfolio and proceeds from our continuous public offering to finance our investment objectives. See “Regulations as a Business Development Company” for discussion of BDC regulation and other regulatory considerations. See “ITEM 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of OperationS — Debt” for a discussion of the SPV Asset Facility and the Promissory Note.

The Adviser and Administrator – Owl Rock Capital Advisors LLC

Owl Rock Capital Advisors LLC serves as our investment adviser pursuant to the Second Amended and Restated Investment Advisory Agreement (the “Investment Advisory Agreement”) between us and the Adviser. See “Investment Advisory Agreement” below.  The Adviser also serves as our Administrator pursuant to an Administration Agreement between us and the Adviser, which was entered into on February 6, 2017 (the “Administration Agreement”). See “ADMINISTRATION AGREEMENT” below.

The Adviser is a Delaware limited liability company that has registered with the SEC as an investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended (the “Advisers Act”). The Adviser is an indirect subsidiary of Owl Rock Capital Partners LP (“Owl Rock Capital Partners”).  Owl Rock Capital Partners is led by its three co-founders, Douglas I. Ostrover, Marc S. Lipschultz and Craig W. Packer.  The Adviser’s investment team (the “Investment Team”) is also led by Douglas I. Ostrover, Marc S. Lipschultz and Craig W. Packer and is supported by certain members of the Adviser’s senior executive team and the investment committee (the “Investment Committee”). All investment decisions require the unanimous approval of the Investment Committee, which is currently comprised of Douglas I. Ostrover, Marc S. Lipschultz, Craig W. Packer and Alexis Maged. Subject to the overall supervision of the Board, the Adviser manages our day-to-day operations, and provides investment advisory and management services to us.

The Adviser also serves as investment adviser to Owl Rock Capital Corporation. Owl Rock Capital Corporation was formed on October 15, 2015 as a corporation under the laws of the State of Maryland and has elected to be treated as a BDC under the 1940 Act. Its investment objective is similar to our investment objective, which is to generate current income, and to a lesser extent, capital appreciation by targeting investment opportunities with favorable risk-adjusted returns. On July 18, 2019, Owl Rock Capital Corporation’s common stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "ORCC" and on July 22, 2019, Owl Rock Capital Corporation closed its initial public offering.

The Adviser is affiliated with Owl Rock Technology Advisors LLC (“ORTA”) and Owl Rock Capital Private Fund Advisors LLC (“ORPFA” and collectively with the Adviser and ORTA, the “Owl Rock Advisers”), which also are investment advisers and subsidiaries of Owl Rock Capital Partners. The Adviser, ORTA, ORPFA and Owl Rock Capital Partners are referred to, collectively,

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as “Owl Rock.” ORTA’s and ORPFA’s investment teams are led by Douglas I. Ostrover, Marc S. Lipschultz and Craig W. Packer. ORTA serves as investment adviser to Owl Rock Technology Finance Corp. and ORPFA serves as investment adviser, among other clients, to Owl Rock First Lien Master Fund, L.P.

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

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

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

We, the Adviser and certain of its affiliates have been granted exemptive relief by the SEC to co-invest with other funds managed by the Adviser or its affiliates in a manner consistent with our investment objective, positions, policies, strategies and restrictions as well as regulatory requirements and other pertinent factors. Pursuant to such exemptive relief, we generally are permitted to co-invest with certain of our affiliates if a “required majority” (as defined in Section 57(o) of the 1940 Act) of our independent directors make certain conclusions in connection with a co-investment transaction, including that (1) the terms of the transaction, including the consideration to be paid, are reasonable and fair to us and our shareholders and do not involve overreaching of us or our shareholders on the part of any person concerned, (2) the transaction is consistent with the interests of our shareholders and is consistent with our investment objective and strategies, and (3) the investment by our affiliates would not disadvantage us, and our participation would not be on a basis different from or less advantageous than that on which our affiliates are investing. The Owl Rock Advisers’ allocation policy incorporates the conditions of the exemptive relief. As a result of the exemptive relief, there could be significant overlap in our investment portfolio and the investment portfolio of Owl Rock Capital Corporation, Owl Rock Technology Finance Corp. and/or other funds established by the Adviser or its affiliates that could avail themselves of the exemptive relief. See “Item 1A. Risk Factors —Risks Related to our Adviser and its Affiliates — We may compete for capital and investment opportunities with other entities managed by our Adviser or its affiliates, subjecting the Adviser to certain conflicts of interest.

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

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

Market Trends

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

The Middle Market is a Large Addressable Market. According to GE Capital’s National Center for the Middle Market 4th quarter 2019 Middle Market Indicator, there are approximately 200,000 U.S. middle market companies, which have approximately 47.9 million aggregate employees. Moreover, the U.S. middle market accounts for one-third of private sector gross domestic product (“GDP”). GE defines U.S. middle market companies as those between $10 million and $1 billion in annual revenue, which we believe has significant overlap with our definition of U.S. middle market companies.

 

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

 

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

 

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

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holders are due to receive payment before junior creditors and equity holders. Further, these investments are secured by the issuer’s assets, which may provide protection in the event of a default.

Potential Competitive Strengths

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Further, we anticipate that many of our equity investments will provide us the opportunity to nominate a member or observer to the board of directors of the portfolio company, which we believe will allow us to closely monitor the performance of our portfolio companies.


8


 

Investment Selection

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


9


 

Investment Process Overview

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

checking management’s backgrounds and references;

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

assessing business valuation and corresponding recovery analysis,

 

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

10


 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

attendance at, and participation in, board meetings; and

 

 

review of monthly and quarterly financial statements and financial projections for portfolio companies.

 


11


 

Structure of Investments

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

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

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

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

 

First-lien debt. First-lien debt 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 debt may include stand-alone first-lien loans, “unitranche” loans (including “last out” portions of such loans), and secured corporate bonds with similar features to these categories of first lien loans.  As of December 31, 2019, 43% of our first lien debt was comprised of unitranche loans.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

12


 

 

Mezzanine debt. Structurally, mezzanine debt usually ranks subordinate in priority of payment to first-lien and second-lien debt, is often unsecured, and may not have the benefit of financial covenants common in first-lien and second-lien

debt. However, mezzanine debt ranks senior to common and preferred equity in an issuer’s capital structure. Mezzanine debt investments generally offer lenders fixed returns in the form of interest payments, which could be paid in-kind, and may provide lenders an opportunity to participate in the capital appreciation, if any, of an issuer through an equity interest. This equity interest typically takes the form of an equity co-investment or warrants. Due to its higher risk profile and often less restrictive covenants compared to senior secured loans, mezzanine debt generally bears a higher stated interest rate than first-lien and second-lien debt.

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

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

Equity Investments.

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

Investment Portfolio

As of December 31, 2019 and 2018, we had made investments with an aggregate fair value of $1.4 billion and $0.7 billion, respectively, in 89 and 59 portfolio companies, respectively. Investments consisted of the following at December 31, 2019 and 2018:

 

 

 

December 31, 2019

 

 

December 31, 2018

 

($ in thousands)

 

Amortized Cost

 

 

Fair Value

 

 

Unrealized Gain/(Loss)

 

 

Amortized Cost

 

 

Fair Value

 

 

Unrealized Gain/(Loss)

 

First-lien senior secured debt investments

 

$

1,192,787

 

 

$

1,191,620

 

 

$

(1,167

)

 

$

599,832

 

 

$

598,222

 

 

$

(1,610

)

Second-lien senior secured debt investments

 

 

248,541

 

 

 

248,196

 

 

 

(345

)

 

 

108,470

 

 

 

107,717

 

 

 

(753

)

Unsecured debt investments

 

 

-

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

22,000

 

 

 

21,218

 

 

 

(782

)

Equity investments

 

 

1,679

 

 

 

1,710

 

 

 

31

 

 

 

1,679

 

 

 

1,655

 

 

 

(24

)

Total Investments

 

$

1,443,007

 

 

$

1,441,526

 

 

$

(1,481

)

 

$

731,981

 

 

$

728,812

 

 

$

(3,169

)

 

As of December 31, 2019 and 2018, we had outstanding commitments to fund unfunded investments totaling $146.8 million and $89.9 million, respectively.


13


 

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

 

 

 

December 31, 2019

 

 

December 31, 2018

 

 

Advertising and media

 

 

3.0

 

%

 

6.0

 

%

Aerospace and defense

 

 

5.9

 

 

 

6.7

 

 

Automotive

 

 

1.6

 

 

 

3.1

 

 

Buildings and real estate

 

 

5.6

 

 

 

3.9

 

 

Business services

 

 

6.4

 

 

 

5.8

 

 

Chemicals

 

 

2.8

 

 

 

2.5

 

 

Consumer products

 

 

1.4

 

 

 

0.1

 

 

Containers and packaging

 

 

1.9

 

 

 

1.5

 

 

Distribution

 

 

5.4

 

 

 

7.0

 

 

Education

 

 

4.3

 

 

 

3.0

 

 

Energy equipment and services

 

 

0.1

 

 

 

1.4

 

 

Financial services

 

 

2.1

 

 

 

2.0

 

 

Food and beverage

 

 

5.5

 

 

 

8.1

 

 

Healthcare providers and services

 

 

7.9

 

 

 

5.5

 

 

Healthcare technology

 

 

5.2

 

 

 

1.5

 

 

Household products

 

 

1.7

 

 

 

0.6

 

 

Infrastructure and environmental services

 

 

1.0

 

 

 

1.1

 

 

Insurance

 

 

7.4

 

 

 

-

 

 

Internet software and services

 

 

7.3

 

 

 

8.7

 

 

Leisure and entertainment

 

 

1.9

 

 

 

3.3

 

 

Manufacturing

 

 

3.9

 

 

 

1.2

 

 

Oil and gas

 

 

2.0

 

 

 

4.3

 

 

Professional services

 

 

7.8

 

 

 

12.7

 

 

Specialty retail

 

 

4.2

 

 

 

3.7

 

 

Telecommunications

 

 

0.5

 

 

 

2.1

 

 

Transportation

 

 

3.2

 

 

 

4.2

 

 

Total

 

 

100.0

 

%

 

100.0

 

%

 

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

 

 

 

December 31, 2019

 

 

December 31, 2018

 

 

United States:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Midwest

 

 

19.8

 

%

 

22.6

 

%

Northeast

 

 

16.1

 

 

 

20.5

 

 

South

 

 

43.3

 

 

 

31.4

 

 

West

 

 

16.3

 

 

 

21.4

 

 

Belgium

 

 

2.2

 

 

 

2.2

 

 

Canada

 

 

0.5

 

 

 

-

 

 

United Kingdom

 

 

1.8

 

 

 

1.9

 

 

Total

 

 

100.0

 

%

 

100.0

 

%

14


 

Capital Resources and Borrowings

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

Additionally, we are permitted, under specified conditions, to issue multiple classes of indebtedness and one class of shares senior to our common stock if our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, is at least equal to 200% (or 150% if certain requirements are met) immediately after each such issuance. As of December 31, 2019 and 2018, our asset coverage was 269% and 240%, respectively. See “Regulation as a Business Development Company – Senior Securities” below.

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

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

 

 

 

December 31, 2019

 

($ in thousands)

 

Aggregate Principal Committed

 

 

Outstanding Principal

 

 

Amount Available(1)

 

 

Net Carrying Value(2)

 

SPV Asset Facility

 

$

750,000

 

 

$

265,672

 

 

$

272,778

 

 

$

259,932

 

2024 Notes

 

 

300,000

 

 

 

300,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

295,293

 

Promissory Note

 

 

50,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

50,000

 

 

 

 

Total Debt

 

$

1,100,000

 

 

$

565,672

 

 

$

322,778

 

 

$

555,225

 

________________

 

(1)

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

 

(2)

The carrying value of our SPV Asset Facility and 2024 Notes are presented net of deferred financing costs of $5.7 million and $4.7 million, respectively.

 

 

 

December 31, 2018

 

($ in thousands)

 

Aggregate Principal Committed

 

 

Outstanding Principal

 

 

Amount Available(1)

 

 

Net Carrying Value(2)

 

SPV Asset Facility

 

$

400,000

 

 

$

302,500

 

 

$

26,352

 

 

$

298,798

 

Promissory Note

 

 

35,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

35,000

 

 

 

 

Total Debt

 

$

435,000

 

 

$

302,500

 

 

$

61,352

 

 

$

298,798

 

________________

 

 

(1)

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

 

(2)

The carrying value of our SPV Asset Facility is presented net of deferred financing costs of $3.7 million.

 

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


15


 

Dividend Policy

Subject to our board of directors' discretion and applicable legal restrictions, we intend to authorize and declare cash distributions to our shareholders on a weekly basis and pay such distributions on a monthly basis. Because we have elected to be treated and intend to maintain our tax treatment as a RIC, we intend to distribute (or be treated as distributing) in each taxable year dividends of an amount equal to at least 90% of our investment company taxable income (which includes, among other items, dividends, interest, the excess of any net short-term capital gains over net long-term capital losses, as well as other taxable income, excluding any net capital gains reduced by deductible expenses) and 90% of our net tax-exempt income for that taxable year. As a RIC, we generally will not be subject to corporate-level U.S. federal income tax on our investment company taxable income and net capital gains that we distribute to shareholders as dividends. We may be subject to a nondeductible 4% U.S. federal excise tax, if we do not distribute (or are treated as distributing) in each calendar year an amount at least equal to the sum of:

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

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

We may fund our cash distributions to shareholders from any sources of funds available to us, including fee waivers or deferrals by our Adviser that may be subject to repayment, as well as cash otherwise available. We have not established limits on the amount of funds we may use from any available sources to make distributions; however, we will not borrow funds for the purpose of making distributions if the amount of such distributions would exceed our accrued and received revenues ("Net Revenues"), which we define as accrued and received revenues, less paid and accrued operating expenses with respect to such revenues and costs, for the previous four quarters. Distributions may be supported by our Adviser in the form of operating expense support payments pursuant to the Expense Support and Conditional Reimbursement Agreement, or the Expense Support Agreement, we have entered into with the Adviser and the deferral or waiver of investment advisory fees. See "ITEM 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of OperationS —Expense Support and Conditional Reimbursement Agreement" for additional information regarding the Expense Support Agreement. We may be obligated to repay our Adviser over several years, and these repayments, if any, will reduce the future distributions that you would otherwise be entitled to receive from us. You should understand that such distributions may not be based on our investment performance. There can be no assurance that we will achieve the performance necessary to sustain our distributions, or that we will be able to pay distributions at a specific rate, or at all. Our Adviser has no obligation to waive or defer its advisory fees or otherwise reimburse expenses in future periods.

 

The following table presents cash distributions per share that were declared during the year ended December 31, 2019:

 

 

 

Distributions

 

($ in thousands)

 

Per Share

 

 

Amount

 

2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 31, 2019 (thirteen record dates)

 

$

0.17

 

 

$

9,119

 

June 30, 2019 (thirteen record dates)

 

 

0.17

 

 

 

11,455

 

September 30, 2019 (thirteen record dates)

 

 

0.17

 

 

 

13,564

 

December 31, 2019 (thirteen record dates)

 

 

0.17

 

 

 

16,045

 

Total

 

$

0.68

 

 

$

50,183

 

 


16


 

The following table presents cash distributions per share that were declared during the year ended December 31, 2018:

 

 

 

Distributions

 

($ in thousands)

 

Per Share

 

 

Amount

 

2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 31, 2018 (thirteen record dates)

 

$

0.17

 

 

$

2,075

 

June 30, 2018 (thirteen record dates)

 

 

0.17

 

 

 

3,390

 

September 30, 2018 (thirteen record dates)

 

 

0.17

 

 

 

4,987

 

December 31, 2018 (thirteen record dates)

 

 

0.17

 

 

 

6,861

 

Total

 

$

0.68

 

 

$

17,313

 

 

The following table presents cash distributions per share that were declared during the year ended December 31, 2017:

 

 

 

Distributions

 

($ in thousands)

 

Per Share

 

 

Amount

 

2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 30, 2017 (twelve record dates)

 

$

0.15

 

 

$

124

 

September 30, 2017 (thirteen record dates)

 

 

0.17

 

 

 

480

 

December 31, 2017 (thirteen record dates)

 

 

0.17

 

 

 

1,060

 

Total

 

$

0.49

 

 

$

1,664

 

Continuous Public Offering

We commenced a continuous public offering of up to 264,000,000 shares of our common stock on April 4, 2017. On January 29, 2020, we commenced the follow-on offering for up to 160,000,000 shares of our common stock. As of December 31, 2019 we were selling shares or our common stock at an offering price of $9.49 per share.  If our net asset value increases above our net proceeds per share, we will sell our shares at a higher price as necessary to ensure that shares are not sold at a net price, after deducting upfront selling commissions and dealer manager fees, that is below our net asset value per share. Also, in the event of a material decline in our net asset value per share, which we consider to be a 2.5% decrease below our current net offering price, we will reduce our offering price in order to establish a new net offering price per share that is not more than 2.5% above our net asset value.

Since commencing our continuous public offering and through December 31, 2019, we have issued 104,001,760 shares of our common stock for gross proceeds of approximately $963.7 million. As of  February 25, 2020, we have raised total gross proceeds of approximately $1.1 billion, including seed capital contributed by our Adviser in September 2016 and approximately $10.0 million in gross proceeds raised in a private placement from certain individuals and entities affiliated with Owl Rock Capital Advisors.

Distribution Reinvestment Plan

We have adopted a distribution reinvestment plan, pursuant to which we will reinvest all cash distributions declared by the Board on behalf of our shareholders who elect to participate, or “opt-in.” As a result, if the Board authorizes, and we declare, a cash dividend or other distribution, then our shareholders who have opted in to our distribution reinvestment plan will have their cash distribution automatically reinvested in additional shares of our common stock as described below, rather than receiving the cash distribution or other distribution.

Participation in the distribution reinvestment plan will commence with the next distribution paid after receipt of an investor’s written election to participate in the plan and to all other calendar months thereafter, provided such notification is received by the plan administrator no later than the record date to which such distribution relates.

The number of shares to be issued to a shareholder participating in the distribution reinvestment plan will be determined by dividing the total dollar amount of the distribution payable to each shareholder by a price per share equivalent to the current net public offering price that the shares are sold in our continuous public offering at the closing immediately following the distribution date. In the event that our offering is suspended or terminated, then the reinvestment purchase price will be the net asset value per share. Shares issued pursuant to our distribution reinvestment plan will have the same voting rights as the shares of our common stock.


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Share Repurchase Program

 

In the third quarter of 2017, we began offering, and on a quarterly basis intend to continue offering, to repurchase shares of our common stock on such terms as may be determined by our Board in its complete discretion. Our Board has complete discretion to determine whether we will engage in any share repurchase, and if so, the terms of such repurchase. At the discretion of our Board, we may use cash on hand, cash available from borrowings, and cash from the sale of our investments as of the end of the applicable period to repurchase shares.  We have not established limits on the amount of funds we may use from any available sources to repurchase shares; however, we will not borrow funds for the purpose of repurchasing shares if the amount of such repurchase would exceed our accrued and received Net Revenues for the previous four quarters.

 

We intend to limit the number of shares to be repurchased in each quarter to the lesser of (a) 2.5% of the weighted average number of shares of our common stock outstanding in the prior 12-month period and (b) the number of shares we can repurchase with the proceeds we receive from the sale of shares of our common stock under our distribution reinvestment plan. All shares purchased by us pursuant to the terms of each offer to repurchase will be retired and thereafter will be authorized and unissued shares.

 

Any periodic repurchase offers are subject in part to our available cash and compliance with the BDC and RIC qualification and diversification rules promulgated under the 1940 Act and the Code, respectively. While we intend to continue to conduct quarterly tender offers as described above, we are not required to do so and may suspend or terminate the share repurchase program at any time.

 

On August 22, 2017, we conducted a tender offer to repurchase up to $14 thousand of our issued and outstanding common stock, par value $0.01 per share, at a price equal to $9.04 per share (which reflects our net offering price per share in effect as of September 20, 2017). The offer to purchase expired on September 19, 2017. No shares were repurchased in connection with the offer to purchase.

 

On November 13, 2017, we conducted a tender offer to repurchase up to $121 thousand of our issued and outstanding common stock, par value $0.01 per share, at a price equal to $9.04 per share (which reflects our net offering price per share in effect as of December 13, 2017). The offer to purchase expired on December 12, 2017. No shares were repurchased in connection with the offer to purchase.

 

On March 12, 2018, we conducted a tender offer to repurchase up to $528 thousand of our issued and outstanding common stock, par value $0.01 per share, at a price equal to $9.07 per share (which reflects the net offering price per share in effect as of April 11, 2018). The offer expired on April 6, 2018, with 4,425 shares purchased in connection with the repurchase offer.

 

On May 21, 2018, we conducted a tender offer to repurchase up to $1.3 million of our issued and outstanding common stock, par value $0.01 per share, at a price equal to $9.07 per share (which reflects the net offering price per share in effect as of June 20, 2018). The offer expired on June 18, 2018, with 11,973 shares purchased in connection with the repurchase offer.

 

On August 20, 2018, we conducted a tender offer to repurchase up to $2.6 million of our issued and outstanding common stock, par value $0.01 per share, at a price equal to $9.08 per share (which reflects the net offering price per share in effect as of September 19, 2018). The offer expired on September 17, 2018, with 118,465 shares purchased in connection with the repurchase offer.

On November 19, 2018, we conducted a tender offer to repurchase up to $3.6 million of our issued and outstanding common stock, par value $0.01 per share, at a price equal to $9.09 per share (which reflects the net offering price per share in effect as of December 19, 2018). The offer expired on December 17, 2018, with 33,243 shares purchased in connection with the repurchase offer.

 

On March 4, 2019, we conducted a tender offer to repurchase up to $6.2 million of our issued and outstanding common stock, par value $0.01 per share, at a price equal to $9.06 per share (which reflects the net offering price per share in effect as of April 3, 2019). The offer expired on March 29, 2019, with approximately 119,874 shares purchased in connection with the repurchase offer.

 

On May 13, 2019, we conducted a tender offer to repurchase up to $9.0 million of our issued and outstanding common stock, par value $0.01 per share, at a price equal to $9.07 per share (which reflects the net offering price per share in effect as of June 12, 2019). The offer expired on June 10, 2019, with approximately 100,108 shares purchased in connection with the repurchase offer.

 

On August 19, 2019, we conducted a tender offer to repurchase up to $13.1 million of our issued and outstanding common stock, par value $0.01 per share, at a price equal to $9.08 per share (which reflects the net offering price per share in effect as of September 18, 2019). The offer expired on September 16, 2019, with approximately 234,693 shares purchased in connection with the repurchase offer.

 

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On November 18, 2019, we conducted a tender offer to repurchase up to $17.0 million of our issued and outstanding common stock, par value $0.01 per share, at a price equal to $9.02 per share (which reflects the net offering price per share in effect as of December 18, 2019). The offer expired on December 16, 2019, with approximately 396,914 shares purchased in connection with the repurchase offer.

To the extent that the number of shares of our common stock tendered to us for repurchase exceeds the number of shares that we are able to purchase, we will repurchase shares on a pro rata basis. Further, we will have no obligation to repurchase shares if the repurchase would violate the restrictions on distributions under federal law or Maryland law. The limitations and restrictions described above may prevent us from accommodating all repurchase requests made in any quarter. Our share repurchase program has many limitations, including the limitations described above, and should not in any way be viewed as the equivalent of a secondary market.

We will offer to repurchase shares on such terms as may be determined by our Board in its complete and absolute discretion unless, in the judgment of our independent directors, such repurchases would not be in the best interests of our shareholders or would violate applicable law. There is no assurance that our Board will exercise its discretion to offer to repurchase shares or that there will be sufficient funds available to accommodate all of our shareholders’ requests for repurchase. As a result, we may repurchase less than the full amount of shares that you request to have repurchased. If we do not repurchase the full amount of your shares that you have requested to be repurchased, or we determine not to make repurchases of our shares, you will likely not be able to dispose of your shares, even if we underperform. Any periodic repurchase offers will be subject in part to our available cash and compliance with the RIC qualification and diversification rules and the 1940 Act. Shareholders will not pay a fee to us in connection with our repurchase of shares under the share repurchase program.

Competition

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

Investment Advisory Agreement

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

monitoring our investments;

 

performing due diligence on prospective portfolio companies;

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

19


 

Term

The Investment Advisory Agreement was approved by the Board on February 19, 2020, as described further below under “Business – Board Approval of Investment Advisory Agreement.” Unless earlier terminated as described below, the Investment Advisory Agreement will remain in effect from year-to-year thereafter if approved annually by a majority of the Board or by the holders of a majority of our outstanding voting securities and, in each case, by a majority of independent directors who are not “interested persons” of us as defined in the 1940 Act.

 

The Investment Advisory Agreement will automatically terminate in the event of its assignment, as defined in the 1940 Act, by the Adviser. In accordance with the 1940 Act, without payment of any penalty, we may terminate the Investment Advisory Agreement with the Adviser upon 60 days’ written notice and a majority vote of the of directors who are not “interested persons” of us or the shareholders holding a majority (as defined under the 1940 Act) of the outstanding shares of our common stock. The decision to terminate the agreement may be made by a majority of the Board or the shareholders holding a Majority of the Outstanding Shares of our common stock. “Majority of the Outstanding Shares” means the lesser of (1) 67% or more of the outstanding shares of common stock present at a meeting, if the holders of more than 50% of the outstanding shares of common stock are present or represented by proxy or (2) a majority of outstanding shares of common stock. In addition, without payment of any penalty, the Adviser may terminate the Investment Advisory Agreement upon 120 days’ written notice.

Compensation of the Adviser

Pursuant to the Investment Advisory Agreement with Owl Rock Capital Advisors, subject to the overall supervision of our Board and in accordance with the 1940 Act, Owl Rock Capital Advisors receives an investment advisory fee from us, consisting of two components — a base management fee and an incentive fee. Prior to February 19, 2020, the base management fee was calculated at an annual rate of 1.75% based on the average value of our gross assets excluding cash and cash-equivalents but including assets purchased with borrowed amounts at the end of the two most recently completed calendar quarters. Beginning February 19, 2020, the annual rate will be reduced to 1.50% of the average value of our gross assets excluding cash and cash-equivalents but including assets purchased with borrowed amounts at the end of the two most recently completed calendar quarters. Although we do not anticipate making significant investments in derivatives and swaps similar to our direct investment in portfolio companies, the fair value of any such derivatives and swaps, which will not necessarily equal the notional value of such derivatives and swaps, will be included in our calculation of gross assets. The base management fee is payable quarterly in arrears. All or any part of the base management fee not taken as to any quarter will be deferred without interest and may be taken in any such quarter prior to the occurrence of a liquidity event. Base management fees for any partial quarter are prorated based on the number of days in the quarter.

The incentive fee consists of two parts: (i) an incentive fee on income and (ii) an incentive fee on capital gains. Each part of the incentive fee is outlined below.

The incentive fee on income will be calculated and payable quarterly in arrears and will be based upon our pre-incentive fee net investment income for the immediately preceding calendar quarter. In the case of a liquidation of the Company or if the Investment Advisory Agreement is terminated, the fee will also become payable as of the effective date of the event.

The incentive fee on income for each calendar quarter will be calculated as follows:

 

 

 

No incentive fee on income will be payable in any calendar quarter in which the pre-incentive fee net investment income does not exceed a quarterly return to investors of 1.5% per quarter on our adjusted capital. We refer to this as the quarterly preferred return.

 

 

 

All of our pre-incentive fee net investment income, if any, that exceeds the quarterly preferred return, but is less than or equal to 1.818% (or 1.875% prior to February 19, 2020), which we refer to as the upper level breakpoint, on our adjusted capital in any quarter, will be payable to our Adviser. We refer to this portion of the incentive fee on income as the catch up. It is intended to provide an incentive fee of 17.5% (or 20% prior to February 19, 2020) on all of our pre-incentive fee net investment income when the pre-incentive fee net investment income reaches 1.818% (or 1.875% prior to February 19, 2020) on our adjusted capital in any quarter, measured as of the end of the immediately preceding calendar quarter. The quarterly preferred return of 1.5% and upper level breakpoint of 1.818% (or 1.875% prior to February 19, 2020) are also adjusted for the actual number of days each calendar quarter.

 

 

 

For any quarter in which our pre-incentive fee net investment income exceeds 1.818% (or 1.875% prior to February 19, 2020) on our adjusted capital, the incentive fee on income will equal 17.5% (or 20% prior to February 19, 2020) of the amount of our pre-incentive fee net investment income, because the quarterly preferred return and catch up will have been achieved.

 

20


 

 

 

Pre-incentive fee net investment income is defined as investment income and any other income, accrued during the calendar quarter, minus operating expenses for the quarter, including the base management fee, expenses payable under the

Investment Advisory Agreement and the Administration Agreement, any interest expense and dividends paid on any issued and outstanding preferred stock, but excluding the incentive fee. Pre-incentive fee net investment income does not include any expense support payments or any reimbursement by the Company of expense support payments, or any realized capital gains, realized capital losses or unrealized capital appreciation or depreciation.

 

 

 

For purposes of computing the incentive fee on income, although we do not anticipate making significant investments in derivatives and swaps, the calculation methodology will look through any such derivatives or swaps as if we owned the reference assets directly. Therefore, net interest, if any, associated with a derivative or swap (which is defined as the difference between (i) the interest income and transaction fees received in respect of the reference assets of the derivative or swap and (ii) all interest and other expenses paid by us to the derivative or swap counterparty) will be included in the calculation of quarterly pre-incentive fee net investment income for purposes of the incentive fee on income. The notional value of any such derivatives or swaps is not used for these purposes.

 

 

 

Adjusted capital is defined as cumulative proceeds generated from sales of our common stock, including proceeds from our distribution reinvestment plan, net of sales load (upfront selling commissions and dealer manager fees) reduced for (i) distributions paid to our shareholders that represent a return of capital on a tax basis and (ii) amounts paid for share repurchases pursuant to our share repurchase program, if any, measured as of the end of the immediately preceding calendar quarter.

 

The following is a graphical representation of the calculation of the quarterly incentive fee on income:

Quarterly Incentive Fee on

Pre-Incentive Fee Net Investment Income

(expressed as a percentage of adjusted capital)

 

0%

1.5%1.818%

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

  

  

  

 

¬ 0% ®

 

 

¬ 100% ®

  

 

¬ 17.5% ®

Percentage of Pre-Incentive Fee Net Investment Income

Allocated to Quarterly Incentive Fee

The incentive fee on capital gains will be determined and payable in arrears as of the end of each calendar year during which the Investment Advisory Agreement is in effect. In the case of a liquidation, or if the Investment Advisory Agreement is terminated, the fee will also become payable as of the effective date of such event. The annual fee will equal (i) 17.5% (or 20% prior to February 19, 2020) of our realized capital gains on a cumulative basis from inception through the end of such calendar year, computed net of all realized capital losses and unrealized capital depreciation on a cumulative basis, less (ii) the aggregate amount of any previously paid incentive fees on capital gains as calculated in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“U.S. GAAP”).

For purposes of computing the incentive fee on capital gains, the calculation methodology will look through derivatives or swaps as if we owned the reference assets directly. Therefore, realized gains and realized losses on the disposition of any reference assets, as well as unrealized depreciation on reference assets retained in the derivative or swap, will be included on a cumulative basis in the calculation of the incentive fee on capital gains.

Because of the structure of the incentive fee on income and the incentive fee on capital gains, it is possible that we may pay such fees in a quarter where we incur a net loss. For example, if we receive pre-incentive fee net investment income in excess of the 1.5% on adjusted capital for a quarter, we will pay the applicable incentive fee even if we incurred a net loss in the quarter due to a realized or unrealized capital loss. Our Adviser will not be under any obligation to reimburse us for any part of the incentive fee they receive that is based on prior period accrued income that we never received as a result of any borrower’s default or a subsequent realized loss of our portfolio.

The fees that are payable under the Investment Advisory Agreement for any partial period will be appropriately prorated. The fees are calculated using detailed policies and procedures approved by our Adviser and our Board, including a majority of the independent directors, and such policies and procedures are consistent with the description of the calculation of the fees set forth above.

21


 

Our Adviser may elect to defer or waive all or a portion of the fees that would otherwise be paid to it in its sole discretion. Any portion of a fee not taken as to any month, quarter or year will be deferred without interest and may be taken in any such other month prior to the occurrence of a liquidity event as our Adviser may determine in its sole discretion.

Fee Waivers

On June 8, 2018, the Adviser agreed to waive (A) any portion of the management fee that was in excess of 1.50% of our gross assets, excluding cash and cash-equivalents but including assets purchased with borrowed amounts at the end of the two most recently completed calendar quarters, calculated in accordance with the Investment Advisory Agreement, (B) any portion of the incentive fee on net investment income that was in excess of 17.5% of our pre-incentive fee net investment income, which was calculated in accordance with the Investment Advisory Agreement but based on a quarterly preferred return of 1.50% per quarter and an upper level breakpoint of 1.818%, and (C) any portion of the incentive fee on capital gains that was in excess of 17.5% of our realized capital gains, if any, on a cumulative basis from inception through the end of such calendar year, net of all realized capital losses and unrealized capital depreciation on a cumulative basis, minus the aggregate amount of any previously paid incentive fee on capital gains as calculated in accordance with U.S. GAAP (the “Waiver”). Any portion of the management fee, incentive fee on net investment income and incentive fee on capital gains waived is not subject to recoupment.

On February 19, 2020, our Board approved the Investment Advisory Agreement, which reduced the management fee and incentive fee to the amounts specified in the Waiver.

Organization and Offering Costs

Under the terms of the Investment Advisory Agreement, the Adviser is entitled to receive up to 1.5% of gross offering proceeds raised in the continuous public offering until all organization and offering costs paid by the Adviser or its affiliates have been recovered. The offering expenses consist of corporate and organizational expenses relating to offerings of shares of common stock, subject to limitations included in Investment Advisory Agreement; the cost of calculating our net asset value, including the cost of any third-party valuation services; the cost of effecting any sales and repurchases of the common stock and other securities; fees and expenses payable under any dealer manager agreements, if any; debt service and other costs of borrowings or other financing arrangements; costs of hedging; expenses, including travel expense, incurred by the Adviser, or members of the Investment Team, or payable to third parties, performing due diligence on prospective portfolio companies and, if necessary, enforcing our rights; escrow agent, transfer agent and custodial fees and expenses; fees and expenses associated with marketing efforts; federal and state registration fees, any stock exchange listing fees and fees payable to rating agencies; federal, state and local taxes; independent directors’ fees and expenses, including certain travel expenses; costs of preparing financial statements and maintaining books and records and filing reports or other documents with the SEC (or other regulatory bodies) and other reporting and compliance costs, including registration fees, listing fees and licenses, and the compensation of professionals responsible for the preparation of the foregoing; the costs of any reports, proxy statements or other notices to shareholders (including printing and mailing costs); the costs of any shareholder or director meetings and the compensation of personnel responsible for the preparation of the foregoing and related matters; commissions and other compensation payable to brokers or dealers; research and market data; fidelity bond, directors and officers errors and omissions liability insurance and other insurance premiums; direct costs and expenses of administration, including printing, mailing, long distance telephone and staff; fees and expenses associated with independent audits, outside legal and consulting costs; costs of winding up; costs incurred in connection with the formation or maintenance of entities or vehicles to hold our assets for tax or other purposes; extraordinary expenses (such as litigation or indemnification); and costs associated with reporting and compliance obligations under the Advisers Act and applicable federal and state securities laws. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained herein, we shall reimburse the Adviser (or its affiliates) for an allocable portion of the compensation paid by the Adviser (or its affiliates) to our Chief Compliance Officer and Chief Financial Officer and their respective staffs (based on a percentage of time such individuals devote, on an estimated basis, to the business affairs). Any such reimbursements will not exceed actual expenses incurred by the Adviser and its affiliates. The Adviser is responsible for the payment of our organization and offering expenses to the extent that these expenses exceed 1.5% of the aggregate gross offering proceeds, without recourse against or reimbursement by us.

Indemnification of the Adviser

The Adviser (and any of its affiliates, directors, officers, members, employees, agents, or representatives) will not be liable to us for any action taken or omitted to be taken by the Adviser in connection with the performance of any of its duties or obligations under the Investment Advisory Agreement or otherwise as our investment adviser, except to the extent specified in Section 36(b) of the 1940 Act concerning loss resulting from a breach of fiduciary duty (as the same is finally determined by judicial proceedings) with respect to the receipt of compensation for services, and we will indemnify, defend and protect the Adviser (and its affiliates, directors, officers, members, employees, agents, and representatives, each of whom will be deemed a third party beneficiary hereof) (collectively, the "Indemnified Parties") and hold them harmless from and against all damages, liabilities, costs and expenses

22


 

(including reasonable attorneys' fees and amounts reasonably paid in settlement) incurred by the Indemnified Parties in or by reason of any pending, threatened or completed action, suit, investigation or other proceeding (including an action or suit by or in the right of the Company or our shareholders) arising out of or otherwise based upon the performance of any of the Adviser's duties or obligations under the Investment Advisory Agreement or otherwise as our investment adviser. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, we will not provide for indemnification of an Indemnified Party for any liability or loss suffered by such Indemnified Party, nor will we provide that an Indemnified Party be held harmless for any loss or liability suffered by us, unless: (1) we have determined, in good faith, that the course of conduct that caused the loss or liability was in our best interest; (2) the Indemnified Party was acting on our behalf or performing services for us; (3) such liability or loss was not the result of (i) negligence or misconduct, in the case that the Indemnified Party is the Adviser, an affiliate of the Adviser or one of our officers, or (ii) gross negligence or willful misconduct, in the case that the Indemnified Party is a director who is also not one of our officers or the Adviser or an affiliate of the Adviser; and (4) the indemnification or agreement to hold harmless is recoverable only out of our net assets and not from our shareholders.

Board Approval of the Investment Advisory Agreement

The Board held an in-person meeting on February 19, 2020 to consider and approve the Investment Advisory Agreement and related matters. The Board was provided information it required to consider the Investment Advisory Agreement, including: (a) the nature, quality and extent of the advisory and other services to be provided to us by the Adviser; (b) the fee structures of comparable externally managed BDCs, which could include employees of the Adviser or its affiliates; (c) our projected operating expenses and expense ratio compared to BDCs with similar investment objectives; (d) information about the services to be performed and the personnel performing such services under the Investment Advisory Agreement; (f) the organizational capability and financial condition of the Adviser and its affiliates; and (g) the possibility of obtaining similar services from other third-party service providers or through an internally managed structure.

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

Administration Agreement

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

On February 6, 2017, we entered into an Administration Agreement with the Adviser. Under the terms of the Administration Agreement, Owl Rock Capital Advisors performs, or oversees the performance of, administrative services for us, which includes providing office space, equipment and office services, maintaining financial records, preparing reports to shareholders and reports, but is not limited to filed with the SEC, managing the payment of expenses and the performance of administrative and professional services rendered by others, which could include employees of the Adviser or its affiliates. In addition, pursuant to the terms of the Administration Agreement, the Adviser may delegate its obligations under the Administration Agreement to an affiliate or to a third party and we will reimburse the Adviser for any services performed for us by such affiliate or third party.

We will reimburse Owl Rock Capital Advisors for expenses necessary to perform services related to our administration and operations, including Owl Rock Capital Advisors' allocable portion of the compensation and related expenses of our Chief Compliance Officer, Chief Financial Officer and their respective staffs. The amount of this reimbursement will be the lesser of (1) Owl Rock Capital Advisors' actual costs incurred in providing such services and (2) the amount that we estimate we would be required to pay alternative service providers for comparable services in the same geographic location. Owl Rock Capital Advisors will be required to allocate the cost of such services to us based on factors such as assets, revenues, time allocations and/or other reasonable metrics. Our board of directors will review the methodology employed in determining how the expenses are allocated to us and the proposed allocation of administrative expenses among us and certain affiliates of Owl Rock Capital Advisors. Our board of directors will assess the reasonableness of such reimbursements for expenses allocated to us based on the breadth, depth and quality of such services as compared to the estimated cost to us of obtaining similar services from third-party service providers known to be available. In addition, our board of directors will consider whether any single third-party service provider would be capable of providing all such services at comparable cost and quality. Finally, our board of directors will, among other things, compare the total amount paid to Owl Rock Capital Advisors for such services as a percentage of our net assets to the same ratio as reported by other comparable business development companies. We will not reimburse Owl Rock Capital Advisors for any services for which it receives a separate fee, for example rent, depreciation, utilities, capital equipment or other administrative items allocated to a controlling person of Owl Rock Capital Advisors.

The continuation of the Administration Agreement was approved by the Board on February 19, 2020. Unless earlier terminated as described below, the Administration Agreement will remain in effect year-to-year thereafter if approved annually by a majority of the Board or by the holders of a majority of our outstanding voting securities and, in each case, a majority of the independent directors.

23


 

We may terminate the Administration Agreement, without payment of any penalty, upon 60 days' written notice. The decision to terminate the agreement may be made by a majority of the Board or the shareholders holding a majority of the outstanding shares of our common stock. In addition, the Adviser may terminate the Administration Agreement, without payment of any penalty, upon 60 days' written notice. To the extent that Owl Rock Capital Advisors outsources any of its functions we will pay the fees associated with such functions without profit to Owl Rock Capital Advisors.

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

Payment of Our Expenses under the Investment Advisory and Administration Agreements

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

 

expenses deemed to be “organization and offering expenses” for purposes of Conduct Rule 2310(a)(12) of Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (exclusive of commissions, the dealer manager fee, any discounts and other similar expenses paid by investors at the time of sale of our stock);

 

the cost of corporate and organizational expenses relating to offerings of shares of our common stock;

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

costs of hedging;

 

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

 

escrow agent, transfer agent and custodial fees;

 

fees and expenses associated with marketing efforts;

 

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

 

federal, state and local taxes;

 

independent directors’ fees and expenses including certain travel expenses;

 

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

 

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

 

commissions and other compensation payable to brokers or dealers;

 

research and market data;

24


 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

costs of winding up;

 

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

 

extraordinary expenses (such as litigation or indemnification); and

 

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

Dealer Manager Agreement

 

On February 8, 2017, we entered into a Dealer Manager Agreement (the “Original Dealer Manager Agreement”) with Owl Rock Capital Securities LLC (“Owl Rock Securities”), an affiliate of the Adviser. On October 1, 2019, we entered into the Follow-on Dealer Manager Agreement with Owl Rock Securities (together with the Original Dealer Manager Agreement, the “Dealer Manager Agreement”). Under the terms of the Dealer Manager Agreement, Owl Rock Securities serves as the dealer manager for our continuous offering. As dealer manager, Owl Rock Securities will earn a maximum sales load of up to 5.0% of the price per share for combined upfront selling commissions and dealer manager fees, a portion or all of which may be reallowed to selling broker-dealers. In connection with purchases of shares pursuant to our distribution reinvestment plan, the upfront selling commissions and dealer manager fees will not be paid.

 

Owl Rock Securities is an affiliate of Owl Rock Capital Partners and will not make an independent review of us or our continuous offering. This relationship may create conflicts in connection with the dealer manager’s due diligence obligations under the federal securities laws. Although the dealer manager will examine the information in any prospectus for accuracy and completeness, due to its affiliation with the Adviser, no independent review of us will be made in connection with the distribution of our shares.

 

Owl Rock Securities is registered as a broker-dealer registered with the SEC and is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation.

 

The Dealer Manager Agreement may be terminated at any time, without the payment of any penalty, by vote of a majority of our directors who are not “interested persons”, as defined in the 1940 Act, and who have no direct or indirect financial interest in the operation of our distribution plan or the Dealer Manager Agreement or by vote a majority of the outstanding voting securities, on not more than 60 days’ written notice to Owl Rock Securities and the Adviser. The Dealer Manager Agreement will automatically terminate in the event of its assignment, as defined in the 1940 Act.

 

Expense Support and Conditional Reimbursement Agreement

 

On February 6, 2017, we entered into an Expense Support and Conditional Reimbursement Agreement (the “Expense Support Agreement”) with the Adviser, the purpose of which is to ensure that no portion of our distributions to shareholders will represent a return of capital for tax purposes. The Expense Support Agreement became effective as of April 4, 2017, the date that we met the minimum offering requirement.

 

On a quarterly basis, the Adviser shall reimburse us for “Operating Expenses” (as defined below) in an amount equal to the excess of our cumulative distributions paid to our shareholders in each quarter over “Available Operating Funds” (as defined below) received by us on account of our investment portfolio during such quarter. Any payments required to be made by the Adviser pursuant to the preceding sentence are referred to herein as an “Expense Payment”.

 

Pursuant to the Expense Support Agreement, “Operating Expenses” means all of our operating costs and expenses incurred, as determined in accordance with U.S. GAAP for investment companies. “Available Operating Funds” means the sum of (i) our estimated investment company taxable income (including realized net short-term capital gains reduced by realized net long-term capital losses), (ii) our realized net capital gains (including the excess of realized net long-term capital gains over realized net short-term capital losses) and (iii) dividends and other distributions paid to us on account of preferred and common equity investments in portfolio companies, if any (to the extent such amounts listed in clause (iii) are not included under clauses (i) and (ii) above).

 

25


 

The Adviser’s obligation to make an Expense Payment shall automatically become a liability of the Adviser and the right to such Expense Payment will be an asset of ours on the last business day of the applicable quarter. The Expense Payment for any quarter will be paid by the Adviser to us in any combination of cash or other immediately available funds, and/or offset against amounts due from us to the Adviser no later than the earlier of (i) the date on which we close our books for such quarter, or (ii) forty-five days after the end of such quarter.

 

Following any quarter in which Available Operating Funds exceed the cumulative distributions paid by us in respect of such quarter (the amount of such excess being hereinafter referred to as “Excess Operating Funds”), we will pay such Excess Operating Funds, or a portion thereof, in accordance the stipulations below, as applicable, to the Adviser, until such time as all Expense Payments made by Adviser to us within three years prior to the last business day of such quarter have been reimbursed. Any payments required to be made by us are referred to as a “Reimbursement Payment”.

 

The amount of the Reimbursement Payment for any quarter shall equal the lesser of (i) the Excess Operating Funds in respect of such quarter and (ii) the aggregate amount of all Expense Payments made by the Adviser to us within three years prior to the last business day of such quarter that have not been previously reimbursed by us to the Adviser. The payment will be reduced to the extent that such Reimbursement Payments, together with all other Reimbursement Payments paid during the fiscal year, would cause Other Operating Expenses defined as our total Operating Expenses, excluding base management fees, incentive fees, organization and offering expenses, distribution and shareholder servicing fees, financing fees and costs, interest expense, brokerage commissions and extraordinary expenses on an annualized basis and net of any Expense Payments received by us during the fiscal year exceeds the lesser of: (i) 1.75% of our average net assets attributable to the shares of our common stock for the fiscal year-to-date period after taking such Expense Payments into account; and (ii) the percentage of our average net assets attributable to shares of our common stock represented by Other Operating Expenses during the fiscal year in which such Expense Payment was made (provided, however, that this clause (ii) shall not apply to any Reimbursement Payment which relates to an Expense Payment made during the same fiscal year).

 

No Reimbursement Payment for any quarter will be made if: (1) the “Effective Rate of Distributions Per Share” (as defined below) declared by us at the time of such Reimbursement Payment is less than the Effective Rate of Distributions Per Share at the time the Expense Payment was made to which such Reimbursement Payment relates, or (2) our “Operating Expense Ratio” (as defined below) at the time of such Reimbursement Payment is greater than the Operating Expense Ratio at the time the Expense Payment was made to which such Reimbursement Payment relate. Pursuant to the Expense Support Agreement, “Effective Rate of Distributions Per Share” means the annualized rate (based on a 365 day year) of regular cash distributions per share exclusive of returns of capital, distribution rate reductions due to distribution and shareholder fees, and declared special dividends or special distributions, if any. The “Operating Expense Ratio” is calculated by dividing Operating Expenses, less organizational and offering expenses, base management and incentive fees owed to Adviser, and interest expense, by our net assets.

 

The specific amount of expenses reimbursed by the Adviser, if any, will be determined at the end of each quarter. We or the Adviser may terminate the Expense Support Agreement at any time, with or without notice. The Expense Support Agreement will automatically terminate in the event of (a) the termination of the Investment Advisory Agreement, or (b) a determination by our Board to dissolve or liquidate the Company. Upon termination of the Expense Support Agreement, we will be required to fund any Expense Payments that have not been reimbursed by us to the Adviser. 

 


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As of December 31, 2019, the amount of Expense Support Payments provided by the Adviser since inception is $12.6 million. Management believes that the Reimbursement Payments by us to the Adviser were not probable under the terms of the Expense Support Agreement as of December 31, 2019. The following table reflects the Expense Support Payments that may be subject to reimbursement pursuant to the Expense Support Agreement:

 

For the Quarter Ended

 

Amount of Expense Support

 

 

Recoupment of Expense Support

 

 

Unreimbursed Expense Support

 

 

Effective Rate of Distribution per Share(1)

 

 

Reimbursement Eligibility Expiration

 

Operating Expense Ratio(2)

 

($ in thousands)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 30, 2017

 

$

1,061

 

 

$

1,061

 

 

$

 

 

7.0%

 

 

N/A

 

16.81%

 

September 30, 2017

 

 

1,023

 

 

 

258

 

 

 

765

 

 

7.0%

 

 

September 30, 2020

 

6.15%

 

December 31, 2017

 

 

856

 

 

 

 

 

 

856

 

 

7.0%

 

 

December 31, 2020

 

2.83%

 

March 31, 2018

 

 

1,871

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,871

 

 

6.9%

 

 

March 31, 2021

 

2.27%

 

June 30, 2018

 

 

775

 

 

 

 

 

 

775

 

 

6.9%

 

 

June 30, 2021

 

1.53%

 

March 31, 2019

 

 

1,835

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,835

 

 

7.0%

 

 

March 31, 2022

 

0.91%

 

June 30, 2019

 

 

1,776

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,776

 

 

7.0%

 

 

June 30, 2022

 

0.79%

 

September 30, 2019

 

 

1,081

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,081

 

 

7.0%

 

 

September 30, 2022

 

0.72%

 

December 31, 2019

 

 

2,351

 

 

 

 

 

 

2,351

 

 

7.0%

 

 

December 31, 2022

 

0.69%

 

Total

 

$

12,629

 

 

$

1,319

 

 

$

11,310

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

________________

 

(1)

The effective rate of distribution per share is expressed as a percentage equal to the projected annualized distribution amount as of the end of the applicable period (which is calculated by annualizing the regular weekly cash distributions per share as of such date without compounding), divided by the Company’s gross offering price per share as of such date.

 

(2)

The operating expense ratio is calculated by dividing operating expenses, less organizational and offering expenses, base management and incentive fees owed to the Adviser, and interest expense, by the Company’s net assets.

Affiliated Transactions

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

License Agreement

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


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Term

The Board expects to contemplate a liquidity event for our shareholders three to four years after the completion of our continuous public offering. We will consider the offering period to be complete as of the termination date of the most recent public equity offering if we have not conducted a public equity offering in any continuous two year period. A liquidity event could include: (i) a listing of shares on a national securities exchange; (ii) a merger or another transaction approved by the Board in which shareholders will receive cash or shares of a publicly traded company; or (iii) a sale of all or substantially all of its assets either on a complete portfolio basis or individually followed by a liquidation and distribution of cash to its shareholders. A liquidity event may include a sale, merger or rollover transaction with one or more affiliated investment companies managed by the Adviser.  A liquidity event involving a merger or sale of all or substantially all of our assets would require the approval of our shareholders in accordance with our charter. Certain types of liquidity events, such as one involving a listing of shares on a national securities exchange, would allow us to retain our investment portfolio intact. If we determine to list securities on a national securities exchange, we expect to, although are not required to, maintain our external management structure. If we have not consummated a liquidity event by the five-year anniversary of the completion of our continuous public offering, the Board will consider (subject to any necessary Shareholder approvals and applicable requirements of the 1940 Act) liquidating us and distributing cash to our shareholders, and dissolving us in an orderly manner. The Board, as part of its ongoing duties, will review and evaluate any potential liquidity events and options as they become available and their favorability given current market conditions; however, there is no assurance that a liquidity event will be completed at any particular time or at all.

Emerging Growth Company

We qualify as an emerging growth company as defined in the Jumpstart our Business Startups Act of 2012 (the “JOBS Act”). As an emerging growth company we may take advantage of specified reduced reporting and other burdens that are otherwise applicable generally to public companies. These provisions include an exemption from the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (the “Sarbanes-Oxley Act”) for so long as we qualify as an emerging growth company. Specifically, under the JOBS Act, emerging growth companies are not required to (1) provide an auditor's attestation report on management's assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, (2) comply with new requirements adopted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or the PCAOB, (3) comply with new audit rules adopted by the PCAOB after April 5, 2012 (unless the SEC determines otherwise), (4) provide certain financial statements and disclosures relating to executive compensation generally required for larger public companies or (5) hold shareholder advisory votes on executive compensation.

In addition, Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act and Section 13(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, as amended by Section 102(b) of the JOBS Act provide that an emerging growth company can take advantage of the extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards. We intend to take advantage of such extended transition periods. We will remain an emerging growth company until the earliest of (a) up to five years measured from the date of the first sale of common equity securities pursuant to an effective registration statement, (b) the last day of the first fiscal year in which our annual gross revenues are $1.07 billion or more, (c) the date  we become a “large accelerated filer” as defined in Rule 12b-2 under the Exchange Act which would occur if the market value of our common stock that is held by non-affiliates exceeds $700 million as of the last business day of our most recently completed second fiscal quarter or (d) the date on which we have issued more than $1 billion in non-convertible debt during the preceding three-year period.

Employees

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


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Regulation as a Business Development Company

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


29


 

Qualifying Assets. Under the 1940 Act, a business development company 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:

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

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

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

(c) satisfies any of the following:

(i) does not have any class of securities listed on a national securities exchange;

(ii) has any class of securities listed on a national securities exchange subject to a $250 million market capitalization maximum; or;

(iii) is controlled by a business development company or a group of companies including a business development company, the business development company actually exercise a controlling influence over the management or policies of the eligible portfolio company, and, as a result the business development company has an affiliated person who is a director of the eligible portfolio company.

(2) Securities of any eligible portfolio company which we control.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Managerial Assistance to Portfolio Companies. A business development company 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 (a), (b) or (c) above. However, in order to count portfolio securities as qualifying assets for the purpose of the 70% test, the business development company must either control the issuer of the securities or must offer to make available to the issuer of the securities (other than small and solvent companies described above) significant managerial assistance. Where the business development company purchases such securities in conjunction with one or more other persons acting together, the business development company will satisfy this test if one of the other persons in the group makes available such managerial assistance, although this may not be the sole method by which the business development company satisfies the requirement to make available managerial assistance. Making available significant managerial assistance means, among other things, any arrangement whereby the business development company, 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.

30


 

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

Warrants. Under the 1940 Act, a business development company 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) shareholders authorize the proposal to issue such warrants, and the Board approves such issuance on the basis that the issuance is in the best interest of us and our shareholders 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 business development company’s total outstanding shares of capital stock.

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

In addition, while any senior securities remain outstanding, we will be required to make provisions to prohibit any dividend distribution to our shareholders or the repurchase of such securities or shares unless we meet the applicable asset coverage ratios at the time of the dividend distribution or repurchase. We will also be permitted to borrow amounts up to 5% of the value of our total assets for temporary or emergency purposes, which borrowings would not be considered senior securities. For a discussion of the risks associated with leverage, see “ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS — Risks Related to Business Development Companies — Regulations governing our operation as a business development company and RIC affect our ability to raise capital and the way in which we raise additional capital or borrow for investment purposes, which may have a negative effect on our growth. As a business development company, the necessity of raising additional capital may expose us to risks, including risks associated with leverage.”

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

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

Cancellation of the Investment Advisory Agreement. Under the 1940 Act, the Investment Advisory Agreement will automatically terminate in the event of its assignment, as defined in the 1940 Act, by the Adviser. The Investment Advisory Agreement may be terminated at any time, without penalty, by us upon not less than 60 days’ written notice to the Adviser and may be terminated at any time, without penalty, by the Adviser upon 120 days’ written notice to us. The holders of a Majority of Our Outstanding voting securities may also terminate the Investment Advisory Agreement without penalty upon not less than 60 days’ written notice. Unless terminated earlier as described above, the Investment Advisory Agreement will remain in effect for a period of two years from the date it first become effective and will remain in effect from year-to-year thereafter if approved annually by our Board or by the affirmative vote of the holders of a Majority of our Outstanding voting securities, and, in either case, if also approved by a majority of our directors who are not “interested persons” as defined in the 1940 Act.

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

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

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

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

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


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Certain U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations

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

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

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

 

a citizen or individual resident of the United States;

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

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


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Taxation as a Regulated Investment Company

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Investment income received from sources within foreign countries, or capital gains earned by investing in securities of foreign issuers, may be subject to foreign income taxes withheld at the source. In this regard, withholding tax rates in countries with which the United States does not have a tax treaty can be as high as 35% or more. The United States has entered into tax treaties with many foreign countries that may entitle us to a reduced rate of tax or exemption from tax on this related income and gains. The effective rate of foreign tax cannot be determined at this time since the amount of our assets to be invested within various countries is not now known. We do not anticipate being eligible for the special election that allows a RIC to treat foreign income taxes paid by such RIC as paid by its stockholders.

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

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

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

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

Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures

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

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

Proxy Policies

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

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

Proxy Voting Records

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

Privacy Policy

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

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

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

Reporting Obligations

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

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

 

Item 1A. Risk Factors.

Investing in our common stock involves a number of significant risks. You should consider carefully the following information before making an investment in our common stock. The risks below are not the only risks we face. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or not presently deemed material by us may also impair our operations and performance. If any of the following events occur, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected. In such cases, the net asset value of our common stock could decline, and you may lose all or part of your investment.

Risks Related to Our Business

We have a limited operating history.

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

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

We may acquire a significant percentage of our portfolio company investments from privately held companies in directly negotiated transactions. Substantially all of these investments are subject to legal and other restrictions on resale or are otherwise less liquid than exchange-listed securities or other securities for which there is an active trading market. We typically would be unable to exit these investments unless and until the portfolio company has a liquidity event such as a sale, refinancing, or initial public offering.

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

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

Defaults under the SPV Asset Facility or any future borrowing facility may adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

In the event we default under the SPV Asset Facility, or any other future borrowing facility, our business could be adversely affected as we may be forced to sell a portion of our investments quickly and prematurely at what may be disadvantageous prices to us in order to meet our outstanding payment obligations and/or support working capital requirements under the SPV Asset 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. An event of default under the SPV Asset Facility or any other future borrowing facility could result in an accelerated maturity date for all amounts outstanding thereunder. This could reduce our liquidity and cash flow and impair our ability to grow our business. Substantially all of our assets are currently pledged as collateral under the SPV Asset Facility. If we were to default on our obligations under the terms of the SPV Asset Facility or any future debt instrument the agent for the applicable lenders would be able to assume control of the disposition of any or all of our assets securing such debt, including the selection of such assets to be disposed and the timing of such disposition, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

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

Any security interests and/or negative covenants required by a credit facility we enter into may limit our ability to create liens on assets to secure additional debt and may make it difficult for us to restructure or refinance indebtedness at or prior to maturity or obtain additional debt or equity financing. For example, under the terms of the SPV Asset Facility, we have agreed not to incur any additional secured indebtedness other than in certain limited circumstances as permitted under the SPV Asset Facility. In addition, if our borrowing base under the SPV Asset Facility were to decrease, we would be required to secure additional assets in an amount sufficient to cure any borrowing base deficiency. In the event that all of our assets are secured at the time of such a borrowing base deficiency, we would be required to repay advances under the SPV Asset Facility which could have a material adverse impact on our ability to fund future investments and to make distributions.

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Amounts drawn under the SPV Asset Facility bear interest at LIBOR plus a 2.5% spread and after a ramp-up period, the spread is also payable on any undrawn amounts. The SPV Asset Facility contains customary covenants, including certain financial maintenance covenants, limitations on the activities of our subsidiaries, including limitations on incurrence of incremental indebtedness, and customary events of default. The SPV Asset Facility is secured by a perfected first priority security interest in the Company's equity interests in our subsidiaries and in the assets of our subsidiaries and on any payments received by our subsidiaries in respect of those assets. Upon the occurrence of certain value adjustment events relating to the assets securing the SPV Asset Facility, the subsidiaries will also be required to provide certain cash collateral. Assets pledged to the lenders will not be available to pay the debts of the Company.

 

The following table illustrates the effect of leverage on returns from an investment in our common stock assuming various annual returns on our portfolio, net of expenses. Leverage generally magnifies the return of shareholders when the portfolio return is positive and magnifies their losses when the portfolio return is negative. The calculations in the table below are hypothetical, and actual returns may be higher or lower than those appearing in the table below.

 

 

Assumed Return on Our Portfolio (Net of Expenses)

 

 

 

-10%

 

 

-5%

 

 

0%

 

 

5%

 

 

10%

 

Corresponding return to common shareholder(1)

 

 

-18.80

%

 

 

-10.82

%

 

 

-2.83

%

 

 

5.15

%

 

 

13.13

%

________________

 

(1)

Assumes, as of December 31, 2019, (i) $1.5 billion in total assets, (ii) $0.6 billion in outstanding indebtedness, (iii) $1.0 billion in net assets and (iv) weighted average interest rate, excluding fees (such as fees on undrawn amounts and amortization of financing costs), of 4.8%.

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

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

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

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

We may want to obtain additional debt financing, or need to do so upon maturity of our credit facilities, in order to obtain funds which may be made available for investments. The SPV Asset Facility, 2024 Notes and Promissory Notes mature on November 30, 2021, November 26, 2024 and December 31, 2020, respectively. If we are unable to increase, renew or replace any such facilities and enter into new debt financing facilities or other debt financing on commercially reasonable terms, our liquidity may be reduced significantly. In addition, if we are unable to repay amounts outstanding under any such facilities and are declared in default or are unable to renew or refinance these facilities, we may not be able to make new investments or operate our business in the normal course. These situations may arise due to circumstances that we may be unable to control, such as lack of access to the credit markets, a severe decline in the value of the U.S. dollar, an economic downturn or an operational problem that affects us or third parties, and could materially damage our business operations, results of operations and financial condition.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Many of our portfolio companies may be susceptible to economic slowdowns or recessions and may be unable to repay our debt investments during these periods. Therefore, our non-performing assets may increase, and the value of our portfolio is likely to decrease during these periods. Adverse economic conditions may also decrease the value of any collateral securing our loans. A severe recession may further decrease the value of such collateral and result in losses of value in our portfolio and a decrease in our revenues, net income, assets and net worth. Unfavorable economic conditions also could increase our funding costs, limit our access to the capital markets or result in a decision by lenders not to extend credit to us on terms we deem acceptable. These events could prevent us from increasing investments and harm our operating results.

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

Terrorist attacks, acts of war, global health emergencies or natural disasters may impact the businesses in which we invest and harm our business, operating results and financial condition.

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

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

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

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

In addition, the Investment Advisory Agreement has a termination provision that allows the agreement to be terminated by us on 60 days’ notice without penalty by the vote of a majority of the outstanding shares of our common stock or by the vote of our independent directors. The Investment Advisory Agreement generally may be terminated at any time, without penalty, by the Adviser upon 120 days’ notice to us. Furthermore, the Investment Advisory Agreement automatically terminates in the event of its assignment, as defined in the 1940 Act, by the Adviser. If the Adviser resigns or is terminated, or if we do not obtain the requisite approvals of shareholders and our Board to approve an agreement with the Adviser after an assignment, we may not be able to find a new investment adviser or hire internal management with similar expertise and ability to provide the same or equivalent services on acceptable terms prior to the termination of the Investment Advisory Agreement, or at all. If we are unable to do so quickly, our operations are likely to experience a disruption and costs under any new agreements that we enter into could increase. Our financial condition, business and results of operations, as well as our ability to meet our payment obligations under our indebtedness and pay distributions, are likely to be adversely affected, and the value of our common stock may decline.

The amount of any distributions we may make on our common stock is uncertain. We may not be able to pay you distributions, or be able to sustain distributions at any particular level, and our distributions per share, if any, may not grow over time, and our distributions per share may be reduced. We have not established any limits on the amount of funds we may use from any available sources to make distributions; however, we will not borrow funds for the purpose of making distributions if the amount of such distributions would exceed our accrued and received Net Revenues for the previous four quarters.

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

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

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

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

Our Adviser depends on its relationships with corporations, financial institutions and investment firms, and we will rely to a significant extent upon these relationships to provide us with potential investment opportunities. If our Adviser fails to maintain its existing relationships or develop new relationships or sources of investment opportunities, we may not be able to grow our investment portfolio. In addition, individuals with whom our Adviser has relationships are not obligated to provide us with investment opportunities, and, therefore, there is no assurance that such relationships will generate investment opportunities for us.

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

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

We may lose investment opportunities if we do not match our competitors’ pricing, terms, and investment structure criteria. If we are forced to match these competitors’ investment terms criteria, we may not be able to achieve acceptable returns on our investments or may bear substantial risk of capital loss. A significant increase in the number and/or the size of our competitors in our target market could force us to accept less attractive investment terms. Furthermore, many competitors are not subject to the regulatory restrictions that the 1940 Act imposes on us as a business development company or the source of income, asset diversification and distribution requirements we must satisfy to maintain our RIC tax treatment. The competitive pressures we face, and the manner in which we react or adjust to competitive pressures, may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, effective yield on investments, investment returns, leverage ratio, and cash flows. As a result of this competition, we may not be able to take advantage of attractive investment opportunities from time to time. Also, we may not be able to identify and make investments that are consistent with our investment objective.

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

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

The determination of fair value, and thus the amount of unrealized appreciation or depreciation we may recognize in any reporting period, is to a degree subjective, and our Adviser has a conflict of interest in making recommendations of fair value. We will value our investments quarterly at fair value as determined in good faith by our Board, based on, among other things, input from our Adviser and our Audit Committee. Our Board will utilize the services of an independent third-party valuation firm(s) engaged at the direction of our Board, including Duff and Phelps, LLC, to aid us in determining the fair value of our investments. The types of factors that may be considered in determining the fair values of our investments include the nature and realizable value of any collateral, the portfolio company’s ability to make payments and its earnings, the markets in which the portfolio company does business, comparison to publicly traded companies, discounted cash flow, current market interest rates and other relevant factors. Because such valuations, and particularly valuations of private securities and private companies, are inherently uncertain, the valuations may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time due to changes in current market conditions. The determinations of

42


 

fair value in accordance with procedures established by our Board may differ materially from the values that would have been used if an active market and market quotations existed for such investments. Our net asset value could be adversely affected if the determinations regarding the fair value of the investments were materially higher than the values that we ultimately realize upon the disposal of such investments.

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

Our Board has the authority to modify or waive current operating policies, investment criteria and strategies without prior notice and without shareholder approval. We cannot predict the effect any changes to current operating policies, investment criteria and strategies would have on our business, net asset value, operating results and the value of our securities. However, the effects might be adverse, which could negatively impact our ability to pay you distributions and cause you to lose all or part of your investment. Moreover, we will have significant flexibility in investing the net proceeds of our continuous public offering and may use the net proceeds from our continuous public offering in ways with which our investors may not agree.

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

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

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

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

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

We are and we will remain an “emerging growth company” as defined in the JOBS Act until the earlier of (a) the last day of the fiscal year (i) following the fifth anniversary of the completion of our initial offering, (ii) in which we have total annual gross revenue of at least $1.0 billion, or (iii) in which we are deemed to be a large accelerated filer, which means the market value of our common stock that is held by non-affiliates exceeds $700 million as of the prior June 30th, and (b) the date on which we have issued more than $1.07 billion in non-convertible debt during the prior three-year period. For so long as we remain an “emerging growth company” we may take advantage of certain exemptions from various reporting requirements that are applicable to other public companies that are not “emerging growth companies” including, but not limited to, not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. We cannot predict if investors will find our securities less attractive because we will rely on some or all of these exemptions.

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

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

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

We may experience fluctuations in our operating results.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

sudden electrical or telecommunications outages;

 

natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes;

 

disease pandemics;

 

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

 

outages due to idiosyncratic issues at specific service providers; and

 

cyber-attacks.

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

A cyber incident is considered to be any adverse event that threatens the confidentiality, integrity or availability of the information resources of us or our portfolio companies. These incidents may be an intentional attack or an unintentional event and could involve gaining unauthorized access to our information systems or those of our portfolio companies for purposes of misappropriating assets, stealing confidential information, corrupting data or causing operational disruption. The result of these incidents may include disrupted operations, misstated or unreliable financial data, liability for stolen assets or information, increased cybersecurity protection and insurance costs, litigation and damage to business relationships. As our and our portfolio companies' reliance on technology has increased, so have the risks posed to our information systems, both internal and those provided by third-party service providers, and the information systems of our portfolio companies. We have implemented processes, procedures and internal controls to help mitigate cybersecurity risks and cyber intrusions, but these measures, as well as our increased awareness of the nature and extent of a risk of a cyber-incident, do not guarantee that a cyber-incident will not occur and/or that our financial results, operations or confidential information will not be negatively impacted by such an incident.

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

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

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

In periods of rising interest rates, to the extent we borrow money subject to a floating interest rate, our cost of funds would increase, which could reduce our net investment income. Further, rising interest rates could also adversely affect our performance if we hold investments with floating interest rates, subject to specified minimum interest rates (such as a LIBOR floor), while at the

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same time engaging in borrowings subject to floating interest rates not subject to such minimums. In such a scenario, rising interest rates may increase our interest expense, even though our interest income from investments is not increasing in a corresponding manner as a result of such minimum interest rates.

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

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

 

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

 

The United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates LIBOR, announced that it intends to phase out LIBOR by the end of 2021. It is unclear if at that time LIBOR will cease to exist or if new methods of calculating LIBOR will be established such that it continues to exist after 2021. 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 called the Secured Overnight Financing Rate ("SOFR"). The first publication of SOFR was released in April 2018. Whether or not SOFR attains market traction as a LIBOR replacement remains a question and the future of LIBOR at this time is uncertain. At this time, it is not possible to predict the effect of any such changes, any establishment of alternative reference rates or any other reforms to LIBOR that may be enacted. The elimination of LIBOR or any other changes or reforms to the determination or supervision of LIBOR could have an adverse impact on the market for or value of any LIBOR-linked securities, loans, and other financial obligations or extensions of credit held by or due to us or on our overall financial condition or results of operations. In addition, if LIBOR ceases to exist, we may need to renegotiate the credit agreements extending beyond 2021 with our portfolio companies that utilize LIBOR as a factor in determining the interest rate, in order to replace LIBOR with the new standard that is established, which may have an adverse effect on our overall financial condition or results of operations. Following the replacement of LIBOR, some or all of these credit agreements may bear interest a lower interest rate, which could have an adverse impact on our results of operations. Moreover, if LIBOR ceases to exist, we may need to renegotiate certain terms of our credit facilities. If we are unable to do so, amounts drawn under our credit facilities may bear interest at a higher rate, which would increase the cost of our borrowings and, in turn, affect our results of operations.

We are subject to risks related to corporate social responsibility.

 

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

Risks Related to Our Adviser and Its Affiliates

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

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

The 1940 Act and the Code impose numerous constraints on the operations of BDCs and RICs that do not apply to the other types of investment vehicles previously managed by the personnel of our Adviser and its affiliates. For example, under the 1940 Act, BDCs are generally required to invest at least 70% of their total assets primarily in securities of qualifying U.S. private or thinly traded companies. Moreover, qualification for RIC tax treatment under Subchapter M of the Code requires satisfaction of source-of-income,

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asset diversification and other requirements. Any failure by us to comply with these provisions could prevent us from maintaining our qualification as a business development company or tax treatment as a RIC or could force us to pay unexpected taxes and penalties, which could be material. Our Adviser’s and its affiliates’ limited experience in managing a portfolio of assets under such constraints may hinder their ability to take advantage of attractive investment opportunities and, as a result, make it more difficult for us to achieve our investment objective.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Because our Adviser and its affiliates manage assets for, or may in the future manage assets for, other investment companies, pooled investment vehicles and/or other accounts (including institutional clients, pension plans, co-invest vehicles and certain high net worth individuals), certain conflicts of interest are present. For instance, the Adviser and its affiliates may receive asset management performance-based, or other fees from certain accounts that are higher than the fees received by our Adviser from us. In those instances, a portfolio manager for our Adviser has an incentive to favor the higher fee and/or performance-based fee accounts over us. In addition, a conflict of interest exists to the extent our Adviser, its affiliates, or any of their respective executives, portfolio managers or employees have proprietary or personal investments in other investment companies or accounts or when certain other investment companies or accounts are investment options in our Adviser’s or its affiliates’ employee benefit plans. In these circumstances, our Adviser has an incentive to favor these other investment companies or accounts over us. Our Board will seek to monitor these conflicts but there can be no assurances that such monitoring will fully mitigate any such conflicts.

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

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

In addition, the fact that our base management fee is payable based upon our average gross assets (which includes any borrowings for investment purposes) may encourage our Adviser to use leverage to make additional investments. Such a practice could make such

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investments more risky than would otherwise be the case, which could result in higher investment losses, particularly during cyclical economic downturns. Under certain circumstances, the use of substantial leverage (up to the limits prescribed by the 1940 Act) may increase the likelihood of our defaulting on our borrowings, which would be detrimental to holders of our securities.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We, directly or through our Adviser, may obtain confidential information about the companies in which we have invested or may invest or be deemed to have such confidential information. Our Adviser may come into possession of material, non-public information through its members, officers, directors, employees, principals or affiliates. The possession of such information may, to our detriment, limit the ability of us and our Adviser to buy or sell a security or otherwise to participate in an investment opportunity. In certain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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