Company Quick10K Filing
Goldman Sachs BDC
10-K 2020-12-31 Filed 2021-02-25
10-Q 2020-09-30 Filed 2020-11-05
10-Q 2020-06-30 Filed 2020-08-10
10-Q 2020-03-31 Filed 2020-05-11
10-K 2019-12-31 Filed 2020-02-20
10-Q 2019-09-30 Filed 2019-11-07
10-Q 2019-06-30 Filed 2019-08-01
10-Q 2019-03-31 Filed 2019-05-09
10-K 2018-12-31 Filed 2019-02-28
10-Q 2018-09-30 Filed 2018-11-01
10-Q 2018-06-30 Filed 2018-08-02
10-Q 2018-03-31 Filed 2018-05-03
10-K 2017-12-31 Filed 2018-02-22
10-Q 2017-09-30 Filed 2017-11-02
10-Q 2017-06-30 Filed 2017-08-03
10-Q 2017-03-31 Filed 2017-05-04
10-K 2016-12-31 Filed 2017-02-28
10-Q 2016-09-30 Filed 2016-11-03
10-Q 2016-06-30 Filed 2016-08-04
10-Q 2016-03-31 Filed 2016-05-09
10-K 2015-12-31 Filed 2016-03-02
10-Q 2015-09-30 Filed 2015-11-05
10-Q 2015-06-30 Filed 2015-08-06
10-Q 2015-03-31 Filed 2015-05-14
8-K 2021-02-12 Other Events
8-K 2021-01-26 Officers
8-K 2021-01-20 Regulation FD, Exhibits
8-K 2020-11-19
8-K 2020-11-19
8-K 2020-11-05
8-K 2020-10-12
8-K 2020-10-12
8-K 2020-10-06
8-K 2020-10-02
8-K 2020-09-22
8-K 2020-09-16
8-K 2020-09-10
8-K 2020-08-10
8-K 2020-07-09
8-K 2020-06-17
8-K 2020-06-11
8-K 2020-05-11
8-K 2020-04-20
8-K 2020-03-19
8-K 2020-03-16
8-K 2020-02-24
8-K 2020-02-20
8-K 2020-02-20
8-K 2020-02-06
8-K 2020-01-22
8-K 2019-12-09
8-K 2019-11-07
8-K 2019-10-03
8-K 2019-08-01
8-K 2019-07-15
8-K 2019-05-17
8-K 2019-05-09
8-K 2019-04-17
8-K 2019-02-28
8-K 2019-02-05
8-K 2018-11-01
8-K 2018-10-04
8-K 2018-09-17
8-K 2018-08-24
8-K 2018-08-02
8-K 2018-07-13
8-K 2018-07-09
8-K 2018-07-02
8-K 2018-06-18
8-K 2018-06-15
8-K 2018-05-03
8-K 2018-05-03
8-K 2018-04-05
8-K 2018-03-02
8-K 2018-02-22
8-K 2018-01-23
8-K 2018-01-02

GSBD 10K Annual Report

Part I.
Item 1. Business
Item 1A. Risk Factors
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 2. Properties
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
Part II.
Item 5. Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Item 6. Selected Financial Data.
Item 7.Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Item 8. Consolidated Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
Part I. Financial Information
Item 1. Financial Statements
Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure
Item 9A. Controls and Procedures
Item 9B. Other Information
Part III.
Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance
Item 11. Executive Compensation.
Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters
Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence
Item 14. Principal Accounting Fees and Services
Part IV.
Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules
Item 16. Form 10 - K Summary
EX-10.11 gsbd-ex1011_191.htm
EX-14.1 gsbd-ex141_192.htm
EX-14.2 gsbd-ex142_193.htm
EX-23.1 gsbd-ex231_400.htm
EX-31.1 gsbd-ex311_6.htm
EX-31.2 gsbd-ex312_8.htm
EX-32.1 gsbd-ex321_7.htm

Goldman Sachs BDC Earnings 2020-12-31

Balance SheetIncome StatementCash Flow

10-K 1 gsbd-10k_20201231.htm 10-K gsbd-10k_20201231.htm

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

FORM 10-K

 

 

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

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020

or

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

Commission file number 814-00998

 

 

Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc.

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)

 

Delaware

46-2176593

(State or Other Jurisdiction of

Incorporation or Organization)

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

 

 

200 West Street, New York, New York

10282

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

(Zip Code)

 

Registrant’s Telephone Number, Including Area Code: (212) 902-0300

 

Not Applicable

Former Name, Former Address and Former Fiscal Year, If Changed Since Last Report.

 

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

 

Title of each class 

 

Trading Symbol(s) 

 

Name of each exchange

on which registered

Common Stock, par value

$0.001 per share

 

GSBD

 

The New York Stock Exchange

 

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

 

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

 

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:

X

Accelerated filer:

Non-accelerated filer:

Smaller reporting company:

Emerging growth company:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

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

As of June 30, 2020, the aggregate market value of the common stock of the registrant held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $548.19 million.

As of February 25, 2021, there were 101,592,171 shares of the registrant’s common stock outstanding.

 

Documents incorporated by reference: Portions of Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc.’s Proxy Statement for its 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders are incorporated by reference in the Annual Report on Form 10-K in response to Part III, Items 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14.

 


Table of Contents

GOLDMAN SACHS BDC, INC.

Index to Annual Report on Form 10-K for

Year Ended December 31, 2020

 

 

 

PAGE

 

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

3

PART I.

 

ITEM 1.

Business

4

ITEM 1A.

Risk Factors

25

ITEM 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

51

ITEM 2.

Properties

51

ITEM 3.

Legal Proceedings

51

ITEM 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

51

 

 

PART II.

 

ITEM 5.

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

52

ITEM 6.

Selected Financial Data

55

ITEM 7.

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

56

ITEM 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

71

ITEM 8.

Consolidated Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

72

ITEM 9.

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

119

ITEM 9A

Controls and Procedures

119

ITEM 9B.

Other Information

119

 

 

PART III.

 

ITEM 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

119

ITEM 11.

Executive Compensation

119

ITEM 12.

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

119

ITEM 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

119

ITEM 14.

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

120

 

 

PART IV.

 

ITEM 15.

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

120

ITEM 16.

Form 10-K Summary

122

 

 

 

2

 

 


Table of Contents

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This report contains forward-looking statements that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. You can identify these statements by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “project,” “target,” “estimate,” “intend,” “continue” or “believe” or the negatives of, or other variations on, these terms or comparable terminology. You should read statements that contain these words carefully because they discuss our plans, strategies, prospects and expectations concerning our business, operating results, financial condition and other similar matters. We believe that it is important to communicate our future expectations to our investors. Our forward-looking statements include information in this report regarding general domestic and global economic conditions, our future financing plans, our ability to operate as a business development company (“BDC”) and the expected performance of, and the yield on, our portfolio companies. There may be events in the future, however, that we are not able to predict accurately or control. The factors listed under “Risk Factors” in this annual report on Form 10-K, as well as any cautionary language in this report, provide examples of risks, uncertainties and events that may cause our actual results to differ materially from the expectations we describe in our forward-looking statements. The occurrence of the events described in these risk factors and elsewhere in this report could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial position. Any forward-looking statement made by us in this report speaks only as of the date of this report. Factors or events that could cause our actual results to differ from our forward-looking statements may emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict all of them. You are advised to consult any additional disclosures that we may make directly to you or through reports that we in the future may file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including annual reports on Form 10-K, registration statements on Form N-2, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K. Under Section 21E(b)(2)(B) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 do not apply to statements made in periodic reports we file under the Exchange Act, such as this annual report on Form 10-K.

The following factors are among those that may cause actual results to differ materially from our forward-looking statements:

 

 

our future operating results;

 

the impact of the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic on our business and our portfolio companies, including our and their ability to access capital and liquidity;

 

changes in political, economic or industry conditions, the interest rate environment or conditions affecting the financial and capital markets, including the effect of the current COVID-19 pandemic;

 

uncertainty surrounding the financial and political stability of the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union and China, including the effect of the current COVID-19 pandemic;

 

our business prospects and the prospects of our portfolio companies;

 

the impact of investments that we expect to make;

 

the impact of increased competition;

 

our contractual arrangements and relationships with third parties;

 

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

 

the ability of our current and prospective portfolio companies to achieve their objectives;

 

the relative and absolute performance of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P., the investment adviser (the “Investment Adviser”) of the Company;

 

the use of borrowed money to finance a portion of our investments;

 

our ability to make distributions;

 

the adequacy of our cash resources and working capital;

 

changes in interest rates, including the decommissioning of London InterBank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”);

 

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

 

the impact of future acquisitions and divestitures;

 

the effect of changes in tax laws and regulations and interpretations thereof;

 

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

 

actual and potential conflicts of interest with the Investment Adviser and its affiliates;

 

general price and volume fluctuations in the stock market;

 

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

 

the impact on our business from new or amended legislation or regulations;

 

the availability of credit and/or our ability to access the equity and capital markets;

 

currency fluctuations, particularly to the extent that we receive payments denominated in currency other than U.S. dollars; and

 

the ability to realize the anticipated benefits of the Merger (as defined below).

 

 

 

3

 

 


Table of Contents

PART I.

Unless indicated otherwise in this annual report on Form 10-K or the context so requires, references to “GS BDC,” “Company,” “we,” “us,” “our,” and the “Company,” mean Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc., together with its consolidated subsidiaries, or, for periods prior to our conversion from a Delaware limited liability company to a Delaware corporation (the “Conversion”), Goldman Sachs Liberty Harbor Capital, LLC. The terms “GSAM,” our “Adviser” or our “Investment Adviser” refer to Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P., a Delaware limited partnership. The term “Group Inc.” refers to The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. “GS & Co.” refers to Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and its predecessors. The term “Goldman Sachs” refers to Group Inc., together with GS &Co., GSAM and its other subsidiaries and affiliates.

ITEM 1.

    BUSINESS

The Company

We are a specialty finance company focused on lending to middle-market companies. We are a closed-end management investment company that has elected to be regulated as a BDC under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”). In addition, we have elected to be treated, and expect to qualify annually, as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code, commencing with our taxable year ended December 31, 2013. From our formation in 2012 through December 31, 2020, we originated more than $4.21 billion in aggregate principal amount of debt and equity investments prior to any subsequent exits and repayments. We seek to generate current income and, to a lesser extent, capital appreciation primarily through direct originations of secured debt, including first lien, unitranche, including last-out portions of such loans, and second lien debt, and unsecured debt, including mezzanine debt, as well as through select equity investments.

“Unitranche” loans are first lien loans that may extend deeper in a company’s capital structure than traditional first lien debt and may provide for a waterfall of cash flow priority between different lenders in the unitranche loan. In a number of instances, we may find another lender to provide the “first-out” portion of such loan and retain the “last-out” portion of such loan, in which case, the “first-out” portion of the loan would generally receive priority with respect to payment of principal, interest and any other amounts due thereunder over the “last-out” portion that we would continue to hold. In exchange for the greater risk of loss, the “last-out” portion generally earns a higher interest rate than the “first-out” portion. We use the term “mezzanine” to refer to debt that ranks senior only to a borrower’s equity securities and ranks junior in right of payment to all of such borrower’s other indebtedness. We may make multiple investments in the same portfolio company.

We invest primarily in U.S. middle-market companies, which we believe are underserved by traditional providers of capital such as banks and the public debt markets. In this report, we generally use the term “middle market companies” to refer to companies with between $5 million and $200 million of annual earnings before interest expense, income tax expense, depreciation and amortization (“EBITDA”) excluding certain one-time, and non-recurring items that are outside the operations of these companies. However, we may from time to time invest in larger or smaller companies. We generate revenues primarily through receipt of interest income from the investments we hold. In addition, we may generate income from various loan origination and other fees, dividends on direct equity investments and capital gains on the sales of investments. Fees received from portfolio companies (directors’ fees, consulting fees, administrative fees, tax advisory fees and other similar compensation) are paid to us, unless, to the extent required by applicable law or exemptive relief therefrom, we only receive our allocable portion of such fees when invested in the same portfolio company as another client account managed by our Investment Adviser (including Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC (“GS PMMC”) and Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit II LLC (“GS PMMC II”), collectively with other accounts managed by our Investment Adviser, the “Accounts”). The companies in which we invest use our capital for a variety of purposes, including to support organic growth, fund acquisitions, make capital investments or refinance indebtedness.

The Merger with Goldman Sachs Middle Market Lending Corp.

On October 12, 2020, we completed our previously announced merger with Goldman Sachs Middle Market Lending Corp. (“GS MMLC”) pursuant to the Amended and Restated Agreement and Plan of Merger (the “Merger Agreement”), dated as of June 11, 2020. In accordance with the terms of the Merger Agreement, at the effective time of the Merger, each outstanding share of GS MMLC common stock was converted into the right to receive, for each share of GS MMLC common stock, that number of shares of the Company’s common stock, par value $0.001 per share (“Common Stock”), with a net asset value (“NAV”) equal to the NAV per share of GS MMLC common stock, in each case calculated as of October 9, 2020. As a result of the Merger, we issued an aggregate of 61,037,311 shares of Common Stock to former GS MMLC stockholders. In connection with the Merger, GSAM reimbursed each of us and GS MMLC, in each case in an amount of $4.00 million, for all fees and expenses incurred and payable by us or GS MMLC, in connection with or related to the Merger (including all documented fees and expenses of counsel, accountants, experts and consultants to us or the special committee of our board of directors (the “Board of Directors”), on the one hand, or GS MMLC or the special committee of its board of directors, on the other hand). For more information about the Merger, see Note 13 “Merger with GS MMLC” to our consolidated financial statements included in this report.

4

 

 


Table of Contents

Available Information

We file with or submit to the SEC periodic and current reports, proxy statements and other information meeting the informational requirements of the Exchange Act. We maintain a website at www.GoldmanSachsBDC.com and make all of our annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other publicly filed information available, free of charge, on or through our website. Information contained on our website is not incorporated by reference into this annual report on Form 10-K, and you should not consider information contained on our website to be part of this annual report on Form 10-K or any other report we file with the SEC. You may also obtain such information by contacting us, in writing at: 200 West Street New York, New York 10282, or by telephone (collect) at (212) 902-0300. The SEC maintains an Internet site at http://www.sec.gov that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information filed electronically by us with the SEC. Copies of these reports, proxy and information statements and other information may be obtained by electronic request at the following e-mail address: publicinfo@sec.gov.

Investment Strategy

Our origination strategy focuses on leading the negotiation and structuring of the loans or securities in which we invest and holding the investments in our portfolio to maturity. In many cases we are the sole investor in the loan or security in our portfolio. Where there are multiple investors, we generally seek to control or obtain significant influence over the rights of investors in the loan or security. We generally seek to make investments that have maturities between three and ten years and range in size between $10 million and $75 million, although we may make larger or smaller investments on occasion.

Investment Portfolio

Our portfolio (excluding our investment in a money market fund, if any, managed by an affiliate of Group Inc.) consisted of the following:

 

 

 

December 31, 2020

 

 

 

Amortized

Cost

 

 

Fair

Value

 

 

Percentage of

Total Portfolio

at Fair Value

 

 

 

(in millions)

 

 

 

 

 

First Lien/Senior Secured Debt

 

$

2,489.28

 

 

$

2,526.97

 

 

 

78.0

%

First Lien/Last-Out Unitranche

 

 

138.96

 

 

 

143.23

 

 

 

4.4

 

Second Lien/Senior Secured Debt

 

 

458.92

 

 

 

457.73

 

 

 

14.1

 

Unsecured Debt

 

 

1.05

 

 

 

0.33

 

 

 

0.0

 

Preferred Stock

 

 

19.87

 

 

 

48.08

 

 

 

1.5

 

Common Stock

 

 

73.74

 

 

 

65.40

 

 

 

2.0

 

Warrants

 

 

0.76

 

 

 

1.03

 

 

 

0.0

 

Total Investments

 

$

3,182.58

 

 

$

3,242.77

 

 

 

100.0

%

As of December 31, 2020, our portfolio consisted of 265 investments in 123 portfolio companies across 39 different industries. The largest industries in our portfolio, based on fair value as of December 31, 2020, were Health Care Technology, Software, Interactive Media & Services and Health Care Providers & Services, which represented 10.5%, 10.1%, 8.4% and 7.9%, respectively, of our portfolio at fair value. The geographic composition of our portfolio at fair value as of December 31, 2020 was United States 97.6%, Ireland 1.6%, Canada 0.8%, Germany 0.0% and Singapore 0.0%.

 

The weighted average yield by asset type of our total portfolio (excluding our investment in a money market fund, if any, managed by an affiliate of Group Inc.), at amortized cost and fair value, was as follows:

 

 

December 31, 2020

 

 

 

Amortized Cost

 

 

Fair Value

 

Weighted Average Yield(1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Lien/Senior Secured Debt(2)

 

 

8.3

%

 

 

8.6

%

First Lien/Last-Out Unitranche(2) (3)

 

 

9.3

 

 

 

9.4

 

Second Lien/Senior Secured Debt(2)

 

 

10.4

 

 

 

10.7

 

Unsecured Debt(2)

 

 

0.0

 

 

 

0.0

 

Preferred Stock(4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Stock(4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warrants(4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Portfolio

 

 

8.4

%

 

 

8.6

%

 

(1)

The weighted average yield at amortized cost of our portfolio excludes the purchase discount and amortization related to the Merger and does not represent the total return to our stockholders.

(2)

Computed based on (a) the annual actual interest rate or yield earned plus amortization of fees and discounts on the performing debt and other income producing investments as of the reporting date, divided by (b) the total investments (including investments on non-accrual and non-income producing investments) at amortized cost or fair value. This calculation excludes exit fees that are receivable upon repayment of certain loan investments.

(3)

The calculation includes incremental yield earned on the “last-out” portion of the unitranche loan investments.

(4)

Computed based on (a) the stated coupon rate, if any, for each income-producing investment, divided by (b) the total investments (including investments on non-accrual and non-income producing investments) at amortized cost or fair value.

5

 

 


Table of Contents

The following table presents certain selected information regarding our investment portfolio (excluding our investment in a money market fund, if any, managed by an affiliate of Group Inc.)

 

 

December 31, 2020

 

Number of portfolio companies

 

 

123

 

Percentage of performing debt bearing a floating rate(1)

 

 

99.1

%

Percentage of performing debt bearing a fixed rate(1)(2)

 

 

0.9

%

Weighted average yield on debt and income producing investments, at amortized cost(3)

 

 

8.7

%

Weighted average yield on debt and income producing investments, at fair value(3)

 

 

8.9

%

Weighted average leverage (net debt/EBITDA)(4)

 

6.0x

 

Weighted average interest coverage(4)

 

2.6x

 

Median EBITDA(4)

$

34.20 million

 

 

(1)

Measured on a fair value basis. Excludes investments, if any, placed on non-accrual.

(2)

Includes income producing preferred stock investments.

(3)

Computed based on (a) the annual actual interest rate or yield earned plus amortization of fees and discounts on the performing debt and other income producing investments as of the reporting date, divided by (b) the total performing debt and other income producing investments (excluding investments on non-accrual). Excludes the purchase discount and amortization related to the Merger

(4)

For a particular portfolio company, we calculate the level of contractual indebtedness net of cash (“net debt”) owed by the portfolio company and compare that amount to measures of cash flow available to service the net debt. To calculate net debt, we include debt that is both senior and pari passu to the tranche of debt owned by us but exclude debt that is legally and contractually subordinated in ranking to the debt owned by us. We believe this calculation method assists in describing the risk of our portfolio investments, as it takes into consideration contractual rights of repayment of the tranche of debt owned by us relative to other senior and junior creditors of a portfolio company. We typically calculate cash flow available for debt service at a portfolio company by taking EBITDA for the trailing twelve month period. Weighted average net debt to EBITDA is weighted based on the fair value of our debt investments and excluding investments where net debt to EBITDA may not be the appropriate measure of credit risk, such as cash collateralized loans and investments that are underwritten and covenanted based on recurring revenue.

 

For a particular portfolio company, we also calculate the level of contractual interest expense owed by the portfolio company, and compare that amount to EBITDA (“interest coverage ratio”). We believe this calculation method assists in describing the risk of our portfolio investments, as it takes into consideration contractual interest obligations of the portfolio company. Weighted average interest coverage is weighted based on the fair value of our performing debt investments, excluding investments where interest coverage may not be the appropriate measure of credit risk, such as cash collateralized loans and investments that are underwritten and covenanted based on recurring revenue.

 

Median EBITDA is based on our debt investments, excluding investments where net debt to EBITDA may not be the appropriate measure of credit risk, such as cash collateralized loans and investments that are underwritten and covenanted based on recurring revenue.

 

Portfolio company statistics are derived from the most recently available financial statements of each portfolio company as of the reported end date. Statistics of the portfolio companies have not been independently verified by us and may reflect a normalized or adjusted amount. As of December 31, 2020, investments where net debt to EBITDA may not be the appropriate measure of credit risk represented 33.1% of total debt investments. Portfolio company statistics are derived from the most recently available financial statements of each portfolio company as of the respective reported end date. Portfolio company statistics have not been independently verified by us and may reflect a normalized or adjusted amount.

 

Corporate Structure

We were formed as a private fund in September 2012 and commenced operations in November 2012, using seed capital contributions we received from Group Inc. In March 2013, we elected to be treated as a BDC. We have elected to be treated, and expect to qualify annually, as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code, commencing with our taxable year ended December 31, 2013. On March 18, 2015, our common stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) under the symbol “GSBD”. On March 23, 2015, we closed our initial public offering (“IPO”), issuing 6,000,000 shares of common stock at a public offering price of $20.00 per share. Net of offering and underwriting costs, we received cash proceeds of $114.57 million. On April 21, 2015, we issued an additional 900,000 shares of our common stock pursuant to the exercise of the underwriters’ over-allotment option in connection with the IPO. On May 24, 2017, we sold 3,250,000 shares of our common stock at a public offering price of $22.50 per share. Net of underwriting costs and offering expenses, we received cash proceeds of $69.65 million. On May 26, 2017, we issued an additional 487,500 shares of our common stock pursuant to the underwriters’ exercise of the option to purchase additional shares that we granted in connection with the May 24, 2017 sale of our common stock. Net of underwriting costs, we received additional cash proceeds of $10.64 million. On October 12, 2020, as a result of the Merger, we issued an aggregate of 61,037,311 shares of Common Stock to former GS MMLC stockholders. As of December 31, 2020, Group Inc. owned 6.39 % of our common stock.

Our Investment Adviser

GSAM serves as our Investment Adviser and has been registered as an investment adviser with the SEC since 1990. Subject to the supervision of our Board of Directors, a majority of which is made up of independent directors (including an independent Chairman), GSAM manages our day-to-day operations and provides us with investment advisory and management services and certain administrative services.

GSAM is a subsidiary of Group Inc., a public company that is a bank holding company (a “BHC”), financial holding company (a “FHC”) and a world-wide, full-service financial services organization. Group Inc. is the general partner and owner of GSAM. GSAM has been providing financial solutions for investors since 1988 and had over $1.9 trillion of assets under supervision as of December 31, 2020.

6

 

 


Table of Contents

The GSAM Private Credit Group

The Private Credit Group of GSAM (the “GSAM Private Credit Group”) is responsible for identifying investment opportunities, conducting research and due diligence on prospective investments, negotiating and structuring our investments and monitoring and servicing our investments. The GSAM Private Credit Group was comprised of 28 investment professionals, as of December 31, 2020, all of whom are dedicated to our investment strategy and other funds that share a similar investment strategy with the Company. The GSAM Private Credit Group sits with a broader team known as the “GSAM Credit Alternatives Team” which has additional responsibilities other than those relating to the us. In addition, GSAM has risk management, legal, accounting, tax, information technology and compliance personnel, among others, who provide services to us. We benefit from the expertise provided by these personnel in our operations.

The GSAM Private Credit Group is dedicated primarily to private corporate credit investment opportunities in North America and utilizes a bottom-up, fundamental research approach to lending. The senior members of the GSAM Private Credit Group have been working together since 2006 and have an average of over 19 years of experience in leveraged finance and private transactions.

Investment Committee

 

All investment decisions are made by the investment committee of GSAM’s Private Credit Group (the “Investment Committee”), which currently consists of five voting members: Brendan McGovern, Jon Yoder, David Yu, Jordan Walter and Michael Mastropaolo, as well as three non-voting members with operational and/or legal expertise. The Investment Committee is responsible for approving all of our investments. The Investment Committee also monitors investments in our portfolio and approves all asset dispositions. We expect to benefit from the extensive and varied relevant experience of the investment professionals serving on the Investment Committee, which includes expertise in privately originated and publicly traded leveraged credit, stressed and distressed debt, bankruptcy, mergers and acquisitions and private equity. The voting members of the Investment Committee collectively have over 50 years of experience in middle-market investment and activities related to middle-market investing. The membership of the Investment Committee may change from time to time.

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

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

Investments

We seek to create a portfolio that includes primarily direct originations of secured debt, including first lien, unitranche, including last-out portions of such loans, and second lien debt, and unsecured debt, including mezzanine debt, as well as through select equity investments. We expect to make investments through both primary originations and open-market secondary purchases. We currently do not limit our focus to any specific industry. If we are successful in achieving our investment objective, we believe that we will be able to provide our stockholders with consistent dividend distributions and attractive risk adjusted total returns.

As of December 31, 2020, our portfolio (which term does not include our investment in a money market fund managed by an affiliate of Group Inc.) on a fair value basis, was comprised of approximately 96.5% secured debt investments (82.4% in first lien debt (including 4.4% in first lien/last-out unitranche loans) and 14.1% in second lien debt), 0.0% in unsecured debt investments, 1.5% in preferred stock, 2.0% in common stock and 0.0% in warrants. We expect that our portfolio will continue to include secured debt, including first lien, unitranche, including last-out portions of such loans, and second lien debt, unsecured debt (including mezzanine debt) and, to a lesser extent, equities. In addition to investments in U.S. middle-market companies, we may invest a portion of our capital in opportunistic investments, such as in large U.S. companies, foreign companies, stressed or distressed debt, structured products or private equity. Such investments are intended to enhance our risk adjusted returns to stockholders, and the proportion of these types of investments will change over time given our views on, among other things, the economic and credit environment in which we are operating, although these types of investments generally will constitute less than 30% of our total assets.

In the future, we may also securitize a portion of our investments in any or all of our assets. We expect that our primary use of funds will be to make investments in portfolio companies, distribute cash to holders of our common stock and pay our operating expenses, including debt service to the extent we borrow or issue senior securities to fund our investments.

7

 

 


Table of Contents

On January 4, 2017, the SEC granted GS PMMC, GS MMLC (which was merged with us on October 12, 2020), GS PMMC II and us exemptive relief to co-invest with other funds managed by the GSAM Credit Alternatives investment team in a manner consistent with our investment objectives, positions, policies, strategies and restrictions as well as regulatory requirements and other pertinent factors. Additionally, if our Investment Adviser forms other funds in the future, we may co-invest on a concurrent basis with such other affiliates, subject to compliance with the exemptive relief, applicable regulations and regulatory guidance, as well as applicable allocation procedures.

Investment Criteria

We are committed to a value-oriented philosophy implemented by our Investment Adviser, which manages our portfolio and seeks to minimize the risk of capital loss without foregoing the potential for capital appreciation. We have identified several criteria, discussed below, that GSAM believes are important in identifying and investing in prospective portfolio companies.

These criteria provide general guidelines for our investment decisions. However, not all of these criteria will be met by each prospective portfolio company in which we choose to invest. Generally, we seek to use our experience and access to market information to identify investment candidates and to structure investments quickly and effectively.

 

Value orientation and positive cash flow. Our investment philosophy places a premium on fundamental analysis and has a distinct value orientation. We focus on companies in which we can invest at relatively low multiples of operating cash flow and that are profitable at the time of investment on an operating cash flow basis. Typically, we do not expect to invest in start-up companies or companies having speculative business plans.

 

Experienced management and established financial sponsor relationships. We generally require that our portfolio companies have an experienced management team. We also require the portfolio companies to have proper incentives in place to induce management to succeed and to act in concert with our interests as investors. In addition, we focus our investments in companies backed by strong financial sponsors that have a history of creating value and with whom members of our Investment Adviser have an established relationship.

 

Strong and defensible competitive market position. We seek to invest in target companies that have developed leading market positions within their respective markets and are well-positioned to capitalize on growth opportunities. We also seek companies that demonstrate significant competitive advantages versus their competitors, which should help to protect their market position and profitability while enabling us to protect our principal and avoid capital losses.

 

Viable exit strategy. We seek to invest in companies that GSAM believes will provide a steady stream of cash flow to repay our loans and reinvest in their respective businesses. We expect that such internally generated cash flow, leading to the payment of interest on, and the repayment of the principal of, our investments in portfolio companies to be a key means by which we exit from our investments over time. In addition, we also seek to invest in companies whose business models and expected future cash flows offer attractive exit possibilities. These companies include candidates for strategic acquisition by other industry participants and companies that may repay our investments through an initial public offering of common stock or other capital markets transactions.

 

Due diligence. Our Investment Adviser takes a bottom-up, fundamental research approach to our potential investments. It believes it is critical to conduct extensive due diligence on investment targets and in evaluating new investments. Our Investment Adviser conducts a rigorous due diligence process that is applied to prospective portfolio companies and draws from its experience, industry expertise and network of contacts. In conducting due diligence, our Investment Adviser uses information provided by companies, financial sponsors and publicly available information as well as information from relationships with former and current management teams, consultants, competitors and investment bankers.

Our due diligence typically includes, but is not limited to: (i) review of historical and prospective financial information; (ii) review of the capital structure; (iii) analysis of the business and industry in which the company operates; (iv) on-site visits; (v) interviews with management, employees, customers and vendors of the potential portfolio company; (vi) review of loan documents; (vii) background checks; and (viii) research relating to the portfolio company’s management, industry, markets, products and services and competitors.

Upon the completion of due diligence and a decision to proceed with an investment in a company, the team leading the investment presents the investment opportunity to our Investment Committee. This committee determines whether to pursue the potential investment. All new investments are required to be reviewed by the Investment Committee. The members of the Investment Committee are employees of our Investment Adviser and they do not receive separate compensation from us or our Investment Adviser for serving on the Investment Committee. Additional due diligence with respect to any investment may be conducted on our behalf (and at our expense) by attorneys prior to the closing of the investment, as well as other outside advisers, as appropriate.

 

8

 

 


Table of Contents

Investment Structure

Once we determine that a prospective portfolio company is suitable for investment, we work with the management of that company and its other capital providers, including senior, junior and equity capital providers, to structure an investment. We negotiate among these parties and use creative and flexible approaches to structure our investment relative to the other capital in the portfolio company’s capital structure.

We expect our secured debt to have terms of approximately three to ten years. We generally obtain security interests in the assets of our portfolio companies that will serve as collateral in support of the repayment of this debt. This collateral may take the form of first or second priority liens on the assets of a portfolio company.

We use the term “mezzanine” to refer to debt that ranks senior only to a borrower’s equity securities and ranks junior in right of payment to all of such borrower’s other indebtedness. Mezzanine debt typically has interest-only payments in the early years, payable in cash or in-kind, with amortization of principal deferred to the later years of the mezzanine debt. In some cases, we may enter into mezzanine debt that, by its terms, converts into equity (or is issued along with warrants for equity) or additional debt securities or defers payments of interest for the first few years after our investment. Typically, our mezzanine debt investments have maturities of three to ten years.

We also invest in unitranche loans, which are loans that combine features of first-lien, second-lien and mezzanine debt, generally in a first-lien position. In a number of instances, we may find another lender to provide the “first-out” portion of such loan and retain the “last-out” portion of such loan, in which case, the “first-out” portion of the loan would generally receive priority with respect to payment of principal, interest and other amounts due thereunder over the “last-out” portion that we would continue to hold.

In the case of our secured debt and unsecured debt, including mezzanine debt investments, we seek to tailor the terms of the investments to the facts and circumstances of the transactions and the prospective portfolio companies, negotiating a structure that protects our rights and manages our risk while creating incentives for the portfolio companies to achieve their business plan and improve their profitability. For example, in addition to seeking a senior position in the capital structure of our portfolio companies, we seek to limit the downside potential of our investments by (i) requiring a total return on our investments (including both interest and potential equity appreciation) that compensates us for credit risk; (ii) incorporating “put” rights and call protection into the investment structure; and (iii) negotiating covenants in connection with our investments that afford our portfolio companies as much flexibility in managing their businesses as possible, consistent with preservation of our capital. Such restrictions may include affirmative and negative covenants, default penalties, lien protection, change of control provisions and board rights, including either observation or participation rights. Our investments may include equity features, such as direct investments in the equity or convertible securities of portfolio companies or warrants or options to buy a minority interest in a portfolio company. Any warrants we may receive with our debt securities generally require only a nominal cost to exercise, so as a portfolio company appreciates in value, we may achieve additional investment return from these equity investments. We may structure the warrants to provide provisions protecting our rights as a minority-interest holder, as well as puts, or rights to sell such securities back to the company, upon the occurrence of specified events. In many cases, we may also obtain registration rights in connection with these equity investments, which may include demand and “piggyback” registration rights.

We expect to hold most of our investments to maturity or repayment but may sell certain investments earlier if a liquidity event takes place, such as the sale or refinancing of a portfolio company. We also may turn over our investments to better position the portfolio as market conditions change.

Allocation of Opportunities

Our investment objectives and investment strategies are similar to those of other client accounts managed by our Investment Adviser (including GS PMMC and GS PMMC II), and an investment appropriate for us may also be appropriate for those Accounts. This creates potential conflicts in allocating investment opportunities among us and such other Accounts, particularly in circumstances where the availability of such investment opportunities is limited, where the liquidity of such investment opportunities is limited or where co-investments by us and other Accounts are not permitted under applicable law.

We are prohibited under the Investment Company Act from participating in certain transactions with our affiliates without the prior approval of our independent directors (“Independent Directors”) and, in some cases, of the SEC. Any person that owns, directly or indirectly, five percent or more of our outstanding voting securities is our affiliate for purposes of the Investment Company Act, and we are generally prohibited from buying or selling any assets from or to, or entering into certain “joint” transactions (which could include investments in the same portfolio company) with such affiliates, absent the prior approval of the Independent Directors. Our Investment Adviser and its affiliates, including persons that control, or are under common control with, us or our Investment Adviser, are also considered our affiliates under the Investment Company Act, and we are generally prohibited from buying or selling any assets from or to, or entering into “joint” transactions with, such affiliates without exemptive relief from the SEC.

 

9

 

 


Table of Contents

Subject to applicable law, we may invest alongside Goldman Sachs and its Accounts. In certain circumstances, negotiated co-investments by us and other Accounts may be made only pursuant to an order from the SEC permitting us to do so. Together with our Investment Adviser, GS PMMC, GS MMLC (which was merged with us on October 12, 2020) and GS PMMC II, we applied for and received an exemptive order from the SEC that permits us to participate in negotiated co-investment transactions with certain affiliates (including GS PMMC and GS PMMC II), each of whose investment adviser is GSAM. After the date of the exemptive order, co-investments may be made subject to certain conditions, including that co-investments are made in a manner consistent with our investment objectives, positions, policies, strategies and restrictions, as well as regulatory requirements and pursuant to the conditions required by the exemptive relief and the co-investments are allocated fairly among participants. As a result of such order, there could be significant overlap in our investment portfolio and the investment portfolios of GS PMMC, GS PMMC II and/or other funds managed by our Investment Adviser. If our Investment Adviser identifies an investment and we are unable to rely on our exemptive relief for that particular opportunity, our Investment Adviser will be required to determine which Accounts should make the investment at the potential exclusion of other Accounts. In such circumstances, the Investment Adviser will adhere to its investment allocation policy in order to determine the Account to which to allocate the opportunity. The policy provides that our Investment Adviser allocate opportunities through a rotation system or in such other manner as our Investment Adviser determines to be equitable. Accordingly, it is possible that we may not be given the opportunity to participate in investments made by other Accounts.

We may also invest alongside other Accounts advised by our Investment Adviser and its affiliates in certain circumstances where doing so is consistent with applicable law and SEC staff guidance and interpretations. For example, we may invest alongside such Accounts consistent with guidance promulgated by the staff of the SEC permitting us and such other Accounts to purchase interests in a single class of privately placed securities so long as certain conditions are met, including that our Investment Adviser, acting on our behalf and on behalf of its other clients, negotiates no term other than price. We may also invest alongside our Investment Adviser’s other clients as otherwise permissible under SEC staff guidance and interpretations, applicable regulations and the allocation policy of our Investment Adviser.

To address these potential conflicts, our Investment Adviser has developed allocation policies and procedures that provide that personnel of our Investment Adviser making portfolio decisions for Accounts will make purchase and sale decisions and allocate investment opportunities among Accounts consistent with its fiduciary obligations. To the extent permitted by applicable law, these policies and procedures may result in the pro rata allocation of limited opportunities across eligible Accounts managed by a particular portfolio management team, but in many other cases the allocations reflect numerous other factors as described below. Accounts managed outside of the GSAM Private Credit Group are generally viewed separately for allocation purposes. There will be cases where certain Accounts receive an allocation of an investment opportunity when we do not and vice versa.

In some cases, due to information barriers that are in place, other Accounts may compete with us for specific investment opportunities without being aware that we are competing against each other. Goldman Sachs has a conflicts system in place above these information barriers to identify potential conflicts early in the process and determine if an allocation decision needs to be made. If the conflicts system detects a potential conflict, the legal and compliance departments of Goldman Sachs assess investment opportunities to determine whether a particular investment opportunity is required to be allocated to a particular Account (including us) or is prohibited from being allocated to a particular Account. Subject to a determination by the legal and compliance departments (if applicable), portfolio management teams are then charged with ensuring that investment opportunities are allocated to the appropriate Account.

Personnel of our Investment Adviser involved in decision-making for Accounts may make allocation related decisions for us and other Accounts by reference to one or more factors, including: the Account’s portfolio and its investment horizons, objectives, guidelines and restrictions (including legal and regulatory restrictions); strategic fit and other portfolio management considerations, including different desired levels of investment for different strategies; the expected future capacity of the applicable Accounts; limits on our Investment Adviser’s brokerage discretion; cash and liquidity considerations; and the availability of other appropriate investment opportunities. Suitability considerations, reputational matters and other considerations may also be considered. The application of these considerations may cause differences in the performance of different Accounts that have similar strategies. In addition, in some cases our Investment Adviser may make investment recommendations to Accounts where the Accounts make the investment independently of our Investment Adviser, which may result in a reduction in the availability of the investment opportunity for other Accounts (including us) irrespective of our Investment Adviser’s policies regarding allocation of investments. Additional information about our Investment Adviser’s allocation policies is set forth in Item 6 (“Performance-based Fees and Side-by-Side Management—Side-by-Side Management of Advisory Accounts; Allocation of Opportunities”) of our Investment Adviser’s Form ADV.

Our Investment Adviser, including the GSAM Credit Alternatives Team, may, from time to time, develop and implement new trading strategies or seek to participate in new investment opportunities and trading strategies. These opportunities and strategies may not be employed in all Accounts or may be employed pro rata among Accounts, even if the opportunity or strategy is consistent with the objectives of such Accounts.

During periods of unusual market conditions, our Investment Adviser may deviate from its normal trade allocation practices. For example, this may occur with respect to the management of unlevered and/or long-only Accounts that are typically managed on a side-by-side basis with levered and/or long-short Accounts.

10

 

 


Table of Contents

We may or may not receive opportunities referred by Goldman Sachs businesses and affiliates, but in no event do we have any rights with respect to such opportunities. Subject to applicable law, including the Investment Company Act, such opportunities or any portion thereof may be offered to other Accounts, Goldman Sachs, all or certain investors in us, or such other persons or entities as determined by Goldman Sachs in its sole discretion. We will have no rights and will not receive any compensation related to such opportunities. Certain of such opportunities may be referred to us by employees or other personnel of GS & Co., or by third-parties. If we invest in any such opportunities, GS & Co. or such third-parties may be entitled, to the extent permitted by applicable law, including the limitations set forth in Section 57(k) of the Investment Company Act, to compensation from us or from the borrowers in connection with such investments. Any compensation we pay in connection with such referrals will be an operating expense and will accordingly be borne by us (and will not serve to offset any Management Fee or Incentive Fee (each as defined below) payable to the Investment Adviser).

In connection with certain of our investments, following our Investment Adviser’s determination that the appropriate portion of an applicable investment opportunity has been offered to us and other Accounts in accordance with the Investment Adviser’s allocation policy and applicable legal requirements, including the Investment Company Act and, if applicable, the terms of the SEC exemptive order on co-investments disclosed herein (collectively, “Applicable Law”), we and/or our Investment Adviser may have the opportunity to offer all or a portion of the excess amounts of such investment opportunity to other persons or entities. These opportunities include, for example, where our Investment Adviser has determined that while it is in our best interests to acquire the full amount of an investment available to it if the alternative is to not make the investment at all, it is further in our best interests of, due to diversification, portfolio management, leverage management, investment profile, risk tolerance or other exposure guidelines or limitations, cash flow or other considerations, for us to hold less economic exposure to the investment than such full amount. Subject to Applicable Law, such opportunities may be structured as an investment alongside us or as a purchase of a portion of the investment from us (through a syndication, participation or otherwise).

In all cases, subject to Applicable Law, our Investment Adviser has broad discretion in determining to whom and in what relative amounts to offer such opportunities, and factors our Investment Adviser may take into account, in its sole discretion, include whether such potential recipient is able to assist or provide a benefit to us in connection with the potential transaction or otherwise, whether our Investment Adviser believes the potential recipient is able to execute a transaction quickly, whether the potential recipient is expected to provide expertise or other advantages in connection with a particular investment, whether our Investment Adviser is aware of such potential recipient’s expertise or interest in these types of opportunities generally or in a subset of such opportunities or, the potential recipient’s target investment sizing. Recipients of these opportunities may, in accordance with Applicable Law, include one or more investors in us, one or more investors in other funds managed by the GSAM Credit Alternatives Team, clients or potential clients of Goldman Sachs, or funds or accounts established for any such persons. These opportunities may give rise to potential conflicts of interest. These opportunities will be offered to the recipients thereof on such terms as our Investment Adviser determines in its sole discretion, subject to Applicable Law, including on a no-fee basis or at prices higher or lower than those paid by us. As a result of these and other reasons, returns with respect to an opportunity may exceed investors’ returns with respect to our investment in the same opportunity.

For a further explanation of the allocation of opportunities and other conflicts and the risks related thereto, please see “Item 1A. Risk Factors—Our Business and Structure—Potential conflicts of interest with other businesses of Goldman Sachs could impact our investment returns.”

Market Opportunity

The GSAM Private Credit Group believes there is an attractive investment opportunity to invest in U.S. middle-market companies. Specifically:

 

The middle-market represents a large target market opportunity. According to the National Center for the Middle Market and the CIA World Factbook, the U.S. middle market is comprised of approximately 200,000 companies that represent approximately 33% of the private sector gross domestic product, employing approximately 48 million people.1 The GSAM Private Credit Group believes that there is an attractive investment environment for GSBD to provide loans to U.S. middle market companies.

 

There have been secular changes in ownership structures of middle-market companies. The GSAM Private Credit Group has observed a transformation in the ownership structures of private and public companies. The number of U.S. private-equity companies is at its highest level since 2000. Conversely, the number of listed U.S. domestic companies has dramatically declined over the same time period, yet the average market capitalization of listed U.S. companies has grown. The GSAM Private Credit Group believes that this has resulted in a shift in the ownership of middle-market companies and thus creating a larger market opportunity for us to provide debt capital to the companies that we expect to target.

 

There is a large amount of un-invested private equity capital for middle-market companies. There is a large amount of un-invested private equity capital for North America buyout funds. The GSAM Private Credit Group believes this creates additional capacity for us as the GSAM Private Credit Group expects private equity firms will seek to leverage their investments by combining equity capital with debt capital.

 

Changes in business strategy by banks have further reduced the supply of capital to middle-market companies. The trend of consolidation of regional banks into money center banks has reduced the focus of these businesses on middle-market lending. Money center banks traditionally focus on lending and providing other services to large corporate clients to whom they can deploy larger amounts of capital more efficiently. The GSAM Private Credit Group believes that this has resulted in fewer bank lenders to U.S. middle-market companies and reduced the availability of debt capital to the companies that we expect to target.

 

1 

Estimate for 2020 by the National Center for the Middle Market, which defined middle market as companies with annual revenue of $10 million—$1 billion. See http://www.middlemarketcenter.org.

 


11

 

 


Table of Contents

 

The capital markets have been unable to fill the void in middle-market finance left by banks. While underwritten bond and syndicated loan markets have been robust in recent years, middle-market companies are rarely able to access these markets as participants are generally highly focused on the liquidity characteristics of the bond or loan being issued. For example, mutual funds and exchange traded funds (“ETFs”) are significant buyers of underwritten bonds and broadly syndicated loans. However, mutual funds and ETFs generally require the ability to liquidate their investments quickly in order to fund investor redemptions. Accordingly, the existence of an active secondary market for their investments is an important consideration in the initial investment decision. Because there is typically no active secondary market for the debt of U.S. middle-market companies, mutual funds and ETFs generally do not provide capital to U.S. middle-market companies. The GSAM Private Credit Group believes that this is likely to be a persistent problem for the capital markets and creates an advantage for investors like us who have a more stable capital base and can therefore invest in illiquid assets.

 

It is difficult for new lending platforms to enter the middle market and fill the capital void because it is very fragmented. While the middle market is a very large component of the U.S. economy, it is a highly fragmented space with thousands of companies operating in many different geographies and industries. Typically, companies that need capital find lenders and investors based on pre-existing relationships, referrals and word of mouth. Developing the many relationships and wide-spread recognition required to become source of capital to the middle market is a time consuming, highly resource-intensive endeavor. As a result, the GSAM Private Credit Group believes that it is difficult for new lending platforms to successfully enter the middle market, thereby providing insulation from rapid shifts in the supply of capital to the middle market that might otherwise disrupt pricing of capital.

Competitive Advantages

The Goldman Sachs Platform: Group Inc. is a leading global financial institution that provides a broad range of financial services to a substantial and diversified client base, including companies and high net worth individuals, among others. The firm is headquartered in New York, and maintains offices across the United States and in all major financial centers around the world. Group Inc.’s asset management subsidiary, GSAM, is one of the world’s leading investment managers with over 702 investment professionals and approximately $1.9 trillion in assets under supervision as of December 31, 2020.2 GSAM’s investment teams, including the GSAM Private Credit Group, capitalize on the relationships, market insights, risk management expertise, technology and infrastructure of Goldman Sachs. The GSAM Private Credit Group believes the Goldman Sachs platform delivers a meaningful competitive advantage in the following ways:

 

Origination of Investment Opportunities: Goldman Sachs has a preeminent network of relationships and the ability to provide valued intellectual, as well as financial, capital to middle-market borrowers which the GSAM Private Credit Group believes significantly enhances its origination capability. The GSAM Private Credit Group believes that many borrowers prefer to do business with Goldman Sachs and its advised funds because of its ability to offer further services to middle-market companies as they grow in their life cycle, including financial advice, acquisition opportunities and capital markets expertise. The GSAM Private Credit Group is also able to leverage the Goldman Sachs platform to provide borrowers with access to Goldman Sachs’ broad client network, which can be utilized to find new customers and partners as they seek to grow and execute their strategic plans.

 

Evaluation of Investment Opportunities: The GSAM Private Credit Group is comprised of seasoned professionals with significant private credit investing experience. The team draws on a diverse array of skill sets, spanning fundamental credit and portfolio management, as well as legal and transactional structuring expertise. The GSAM Private Credit Group is trained in, and utilizes, proprietary investment practices and procedures developed over many decades by Goldman Sachs, including those related to performing due diligence on prospective portfolio investments and reviewing the backgrounds of potential partners. Further, Goldman Sachs is an active participant in a wide array of industries, both in service to clients operating in many different industries and acting as a principal or customer in such industries. Accordingly, Goldman Sachs houses a tremendous amount of industry knowledge and experience. Subject to internal information barriers and related limitations, the GSAM Private Credit Group is able to draw upon these industry insights and expertise as it evaluates investment opportunities.

 

Risk Monitoring of Investments: The GSAM Private Credit Group has significant processes and procedures in place, including proprietary information technology systems, to monitor and evaluate the performance of its investments at the asset level. In addition, the GSAM Private Credit Group benefits from Goldman Sachs’ extensive risk management capabilities, which have been developed and honed over many investment cycles. The GSAM Private Credit Group’s portfolio is regularly reviewed and stressed under various scenarios by senior risk management personnel within Goldman Sachs. These scenarios are drawn from the expertise developed by Goldman Sachs for its own balance sheet. This risk monitoring is designed to minimize the risk of capital loss and maintain an investment portfolio that is expected to perform in a broad range of economic conditions.

 

2 

Assets Under Supervision (AUS) includes assets under management and other client assets for which Goldman Sachs does not have full discretion.


12

 

 


Table of Contents

Operating and Regulatory Structure

We have elected to be treated as a BDC under the Investment Company Act. As a BDC, we are generally prohibited from acquiring assets other than qualifying assets unless, after giving effect to any acquisition, at least 70% of our total assets are qualifying assets. Qualifying assets generally include securities of eligible portfolio companies, cash, cash equivalents, U.S. government securities and high-quality debt instruments maturing in one year or less from the time of investment. Under the rules of the Investment Company Act, “eligible portfolio companies” include (i) private U.S. operating companies, (ii) public U.S. operating companies whose securities are not listed on a national securities exchange (e.g., the NYSE) or registered under the Exchange Act, and (iii) public U.S. operating companies having a market capitalization of less than $250 million. Public U.S. operating companies whose securities are quoted on the over-the-counter bulletin board and through OTC Markets Group Inc. are not listed on a national securities exchange and therefore are eligible portfolio companies.

We have elected to be treated, and expect to qualify annually, as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code, commencing with our taxable year ended December 31, 2013. As a RIC, we generally will not be required to pay corporate-level U.S. federal income taxes on any net ordinary income or capital gains that we timely distribute to our stockholders as dividends if we meet certain source of income, distribution and asset diversification requirements. We intend to timely distribute to our stockholders substantially all of our annual taxable income for each year, except that we may retain certain net capital gains for reinvestment and we may choose to carry forward taxable income for distribution in the following year and pay any applicable tax. In addition, the distributions we pay to our stockholders in a year may exceed our net ordinary income and capital gains for that year and, accordingly, a portion of such distributions may constitute a return of capital for U.S. federal income tax purposes. See “Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities—Distributions.”

Ongoing relationships with portfolio companies

Monitoring

Our Investment Adviser monitors our portfolio companies on an ongoing basis. It monitors the financial trends of each portfolio company to determine if they are meeting their respective business plans and to assess the appropriate course of action for each company. Our Investment Adviser has several methods of evaluating and monitoring the performance and fair value of our investments, which may include the following:

 

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

 

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

 

comparisons to our other portfolio companies in the industry, if any;

 

attendance at and participation in board meetings or presentations by portfolio companies; and

 

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

 

As part of the monitoring process, our Investment Adviser also employs an investment rating system to categorize our investments. In addition to various risk management and monitoring tools, the Investment Adviser grades the credit risk of all investments on a scale of 1 to 4 no less frequently than quarterly. This system is intended primarily to reflect the underlying risk of a portfolio investment relative to our initial cost basis in respect of such portfolio investment (i.e., at the time of origination or acquisition), although it may also take into account under certain circumstances the performance of the portfolio company’s business, the collateral coverage of the investment and other relevant factors. The grading system is as follows:

 

Grade 1 investments involve the least amount of risk to our initial cost basis. The trends and risk factors for this investment since origination or acquisition are generally favorable, which may include the performance of the portfolio company or a potential exit;

 

Grade 2 investments involve a level of risk to our initial cost basis that is similar to the risk to our initial cost basis at the time of origination or acquisition. This portfolio company is generally performing as expected and the risk factors to our ability to ultimately recoup the cost of our investment are neutral to favorable. All investments or acquired investments in new portfolio companies are initially assessed a grade of 2;

 

Grade 3 investments indicate that the risk to our ability to recoup the initial cost basis of such investment has increased materially since origination or acquisition, including as a result of factors such as declining performance and non-compliance with debt covenants; however, payments are generally not more than 120 days past due; and

 

Grade 4 investments indicate that the risk to our ability to recoup the initial cost basis of such investment has substantially increased since origination or acquisition, and the portfolio company likely has materially declining performance. For debt investments with an investment grade of 4, in most cases, most or all of the debt covenants are out of compliance and payments are substantially delinquent. For investments graded 4, it is anticipated that we will not recoup our initial cost basis and may realize a substantial loss of our initial cost basis upon exit.

Our Investment Adviser grades the investments in our portfolio at least quarterly, and it is possible that the grade of a portfolio investment may be reduced or increased over time. For investments graded 3 or 4, the Investment Adviser enhances its level of scrutiny over the monitoring of such portfolio company.

13

 

 


Table of Contents

Managerial Assistance

As a BDC, we must offer, and must provide upon request, significant managerial assistance to certain of our eligible portfolio companies within the meaning of Section 55 of the Investment Company Act. This assistance could involve, among other things, monitoring the operations of our portfolio companies, participating in board and management meetings, consulting with and advising officers of portfolio companies and providing other organizational and financial guidance. Our Investment Adviser or an affiliate thereof may provide such managerial assistance on our behalf to portfolio companies that request such assistance. We may receive fees for these services. See “—Managerial Assistance to Portfolio Companies.”

Competition

Our primary competitors provide financing to middle-market companies and include other BDCs, commercial and investment banks, commercial financing companies, collateralized loan obligations (“CLOs”), private funds, including hedge funds, and, to the extent they provide an alternative form of financing, private equity funds. Some of our existing and potential competitors are substantially larger and have considerably greater financial, technical and marketing resources than we do. For example, some competitors may have a lower cost of funds and access to funding sources that are not available to us.

In addition, some of our competitors may have higher risk tolerances or different risk assessments, which could allow them to consider a wider variety of investments and establish more relationships than us. Furthermore, many of our competitors are not subject to the regulatory restrictions that the Investment Company Act imposes on us as a BDC.

While we expect to use the industry information of GSAM’s investment professionals to which we have access to assess investment risks and determine appropriate pricing for our investments in portfolio companies, we do not seek to compete primarily based on the interest rates we offer and GSAM believes that some of our competitors may make loans with interest rates that are comparable to or lower than the rates we offer. Rather, we compete with our competitors based on our reputation in the market, our existing investment platform, the seasoned investment professionals of our Investment Adviser, our experience and focus on middle-market companies, our disciplined investment philosophy, our extensive industry focus and relationships and our flexible transaction structuring.

Staffing

We do not currently have any employees. Our day-to-day operations are managed by our Investment Adviser. Our Investment Adviser has hired and expects to continue to hire professionals with skills applicable to our business plan, including experience in middle-market investing, leveraged finance and capital markets.

Properties

We do not own any real estate or other properties materially important to our operations. Our principal executive offices are located at 200 West Street, New York, New York 10282. We believe that our office facilities are suitable and adequate for our business as it is contemplated to be conducted.

 

Legal Proceedings

We and our Investment Adviser are not currently subject to any material legal proceedings, although we may, from time to time, be involved in litigation arising out of operations in the normal course of business or otherwise.

Our Administrator

Pursuant to our Administration Agreement, our administrator is responsible for providing various accounting and administrative services to us. Our administrator is entitled to fees as described in “—Administration Agreement.” To the extent that our administrator outsources any of its functions, the administrator will pay any compensation associated with such functions. See “—Administration Agreement.”

Dividend Reinvestment Plan

We have a dividend reinvestment plan that provides for reinvestment of all cash distributions declared by our Board of Directors unless a stockholder elects to “opt out” of the plan. As a result, if our Board of Directors declares a cash distribution, then the stockholders who have not “opted out” of the dividend reinvestment plan will have their cash distributions automatically reinvested in additional shares of common stock, rather than receiving the cash distribution. Due to regulatory considerations, Group Inc. has opted out of the dividend reinvestment plan, and GS & Co. has opted out of the dividend reinvestment plan in respect of any shares of our common stock acquired through our 10b5-1 plan (the “10b5-1 Plan”). For further details, see Note 9 “Net Assets” to our consolidated financial statements included in this report.  

All correspondence concerning the plan should be directed to the plan agent at Computershare Trust Company, N.A, P.O. Box 505000, Louisville, KY 40233, with overnight correspondence being directed to the plan agent at Computershare Trust Company, N.A, 462 South 4th Street, Suite 1600, Louisville, KY 40202; by calling 855-807-2742; or through the plan agent’s website at www.computershare.com/investor. Participants who hold their shares through a broker or other nominee should direct correspondence or questions concerning the dividend reinvestment plan to their broker or nominee.

14

 

 


Table of Contents

 

Management Agreements

Investment Management Agreement

We have entered into an investment management agreement (as amended and restated as of June 15, 2018, the “Investment Management Agreement”) with the Investment Adviser, pursuant to which the Investment Adviser manages our investment program and related activities.

Management Services

Pursuant to the terms of our Investment Management Agreement, GSAM, subject to the overall supervision of our Board of Directors, manages our day-to-day investment-related operations and provides investment management services to us.

Subject to compliance with applicable law and published SEC guidance, nothing contained in the Investment Management Agreement in any way precludes, restricts or limits the activities of our Investment Adviser or any of its respective subsidiaries or affiliated parties. See “Item 1A. Risk Factors—Our Business and Structure—Our Investment Adviser, its principals, investment professionals and employees and the members of its Investment Committee have certain conflicts of interest.”

Management Fee

We pay the Investment Adviser a management fee (the “Management Fee”), which accrues and is payable quarterly in arrears. The Management Fee is calculated at an annual rate of 1.00% (0.25% per quarter), in each case, of the average value of our gross assets (excluding cash or cash equivalents (such as investments in money market funds) but including assets purchased with borrowed amounts) at the end of each of the two most recently completed calendar quarters. The Management Fee for any partial quarter will be appropriately prorated based on the actual number of days elapsed relative to the total number of days in such calendar quarter.

 

For the year ended December 31, 2020, Management Fees amounted to $16.85 million, of which the Investment Adviser has voluntarily agreed to waive $3.81 million. As of December 31, 2020, $5.95 million remained payable. For the year ended December 31, 2019, Management Fees amounted to $14.70 million.

Incentive Fee

The incentive fee (the “Incentive Fee”) payable to our Investment Adviser consists of two components that are determined independent of each other, with the result that one component may be payable even if the other is not.

A portion of the Incentive Fee is based on our income and a portion is based on our capital gains, each as described below. Our Investment Adviser is entitled to receive the Incentive Fee based on income from us if our Ordinary Income (as defined below) exceeds a quarterly “hurdle rate” of 1.75%. For this purpose, the hurdle is computed by reference to our NAV and does not take into account changes in the market price of our common stock.

Beginning with the calendar quarter that commenced on January 1, 2015, the Incentive Fee based on income is determined and paid quarterly in arrears at the end of each calendar quarter by reference to our aggregate net investment income, as adjusted as described below, from the calendar quarter then ending and the eleven preceding calendar quarters (or if shorter, the number of quarters that have occurred since January 1, 2015) (such period, the “Trailing Twelve Quarters”). The Incentive Fee based on capital gains is determined and paid annually in arrears at the end of each calendar year by reference to an Annual Period (as defined below).

The hurdle amount for the Incentive Fee based on income is determined on a quarterly basis and is equal to 1.75% multiplied by our NAV at the beginning of each applicable calendar quarter comprising the relevant Trailing Twelve Quarters. The hurdle amount is calculated after making appropriate adjustments for subscriptions (which includes all issuances by us of shares of our common stock, including issuances pursuant to our dividend reinvestment plan) and distributions that occurred during the relevant Trailing Twelve Quarters. The Incentive Fee for any partial period will be appropriately prorated.

Quarterly Incentive Fee Based on Income. For the portion of the Incentive Fee based on income, we pay our Investment Adviser a quarterly Incentive Fee based on the amount by which (A) aggregate net investment income (“Ordinary Income”) in respect of the relevant Trailing Twelve Quarters exceeds (B) the hurdle amount for such Trailing Twelve Quarters. The amount of the excess of (A) over (B) described in this paragraph for such Trailing Twelve Quarters is referred to as the “Excess Income Amount.” Ordinary Income is net of all fees and expenses, including the Management Fee but excluding any Incentive Fee.

The Incentive Fee based on income for each quarter is determined as follows:

 

No Incentive Fee based on income is payable to our Investment Adviser for any calendar quarter for which there is no Excess Income Amount;

 

100% of the Ordinary Income, if any, that exceeds the hurdle amount, but is less than or equal to an amount, which we refer to as the “Catch-up Amount,” determined as the sum of 2.1875% multiplied by our NAV at the beginning of each applicable calendar quarter comprising the relevant Trailing Twelve Quarters is included in the calculation of the Incentive Fee based on income; and

 

20% of the Ordinary Income that exceeds the Catch-up Amount is included in the calculation of the Incentive Fee based on income.

15

 

 


Table of Contents

The amount of the Incentive Fee based on income that is paid to our Investment Adviser for a particular quarter is equal to the excess of the Incentive Fee so calculated minus the aggregate Incentive Fees based on income that were paid in respect of the first eleven calendar quarters (or the portion thereof) included in the relevant Trailing Twelve Quarters but not in excess of the Incentive Fee Cap (as described below).

The Incentive Fee based on income that is paid to our Investment Adviser for a particular quarter is subject to a cap (the “Incentive Fee Cap”). The Incentive Fee Cap for any quarter is an amount equal to (a) 20% of the Cumulative Net Return (as defined below) during the relevant Trailing Twelve Quarters minus (b) the aggregate Incentive Fees based on income that were paid in respect of the first eleven calendar quarters (or the portion thereof) included in the relevant Trailing Twelve Quarters.

“Cumulative Net Return” means (x) the Ordinary Income in respect of the relevant Trailing Twelve Quarters minus (y) any Net Capital Loss (as defined below), if any, in respect of the relevant Trailing Twelve Quarters. If, in any quarter, the Incentive Fee Cap is zero or a negative value, we will pay no Incentive Fee based on income to our Investment Adviser for such quarter. If, in any quarter, the Incentive Fee Cap for such quarter is a positive value but is less than the Incentive Fee based on income that is payable to our Investment Adviser for such quarter (before giving effect to the Incentive Fee Cap) calculated as described above, we will pay an Incentive Fee based on income to our Investment Adviser equal to the Incentive Fee Cap for such quarter. If, in any quarter, the Incentive Fee Cap for such quarter is equal to or greater than the Incentive Fee based on income that is payable to our Investment Adviser for such quarter (before giving effect to the Incentive Fee Cap) calculated as described above, we will pay an Incentive Fee based on income to our Investment Adviser equal to the Incentive Fee calculated as described above for such quarter without regard to the Incentive Fee Cap.

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

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

Incentive Fee based on Income

Percentage of Ordinary Income comprising the Incentive Fee based on Income

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

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

 

 

(1)

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

Annual Incentive Fee Based on Capital Gains. The portion of the Incentive Fee based on capital gains is calculated on an annual basis. For the period beginning on January 1 of each calendar year and ending on December 31 of the calendar year or, in the case of our first and last year, the appropriate portion thereof (each, an “Annual Period”), we pay our Investment Adviser an Incentive Fee equal to (A) 20% of the difference, if positive, of the sum of our aggregate realized capital gains, if any, computed net of our aggregate realized capital losses, if any, and our aggregate unrealized capital depreciation, in each case from April 1, 2013 until the end of such Annual Period minus (B) the cumulative amount of Incentive Fees based on capital gains previously paid to our Investment Adviser from April 1, 2013. For the avoidance of doubt, unrealized capital appreciation is excluded from the calculation in clause (A), above.

We accrue, but not pay, a portion of the Incentive Fee based on capital gains with respect to net unrealized appreciation. Under generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America (“GAAP”), we are required to accrue an Incentive Fee based on capital gains that includes net realized capital gains and losses and net unrealized capital appreciation and depreciation on investments held at the end of each period. In calculating the accrual for the Incentive Fee based on capital gains, we consider the cumulative aggregate unrealized capital appreciation in the calculation, since an Incentive Fee based on capital gains would be payable if such unrealized capital appreciation were realized, even though such unrealized capital appreciation is not permitted to be considered in calculating the fee actually payable under the Investment Management Agreement. This accrual is calculated using the aggregate cumulative realized capital gains and losses and aggregate cumulative unrealized capital appreciation or depreciation. If such amount is positive at the end of a period, then we record a capital gains incentive fee equal to 20% of such amount, minus the aggregate amount of actual Incentive Fees based on capital gains paid in all prior periods. If such amount is negative, then there is no accrual for such period. There can be no assurance that such unrealized capital appreciation will be realized in the future. For the avoidance of doubt, the Incentive Fee examples below reflect the calculation of the Incentive Fee payable under the Investment Management Agreement rather than accruals of the Incentive Fee as required by GAAP.

For the year ended December 31, 2020, Incentive Fees based on income amounted to $35.85 million. As of December 31, 2020, $2.67 million remained payable. For the year ended December 31, 2019, Incentive Fees based on income amounted to $9.22 million. For the years ended December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019, we did not accrue any Incentive Fees based on capital gains.

16

 

 


Table of Contents

In connection with the Merger, GSAM has agreed to waive a portion of its Incentive Fee based on income to the extent incurred, for a period of nine quarters, commencing with the quarter ended December 31, 2019 and through and including the quarter ending December 31, 2021, otherwise payable by us under the Investment Management Agreement by and between us and GSAM, as applicable, for each such quarter in an amount sufficient to ensure that our net investment income per weighted share outstanding for such quarter is at least $0.48 per share. For the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, GSAM agreed to waive $23.07 million and $0.39 million of Incentive Fees. Additionally, GSAM voluntarily agreed to waive $10.11 million of Incentive Fees for the year ended December 31, 2020 attributable to the purchase discount resulting from the Merger.

Example of Calculation of the Incentive Fee based on Income Assumptions

Assumptions(1)

 

Quarter 1

 

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

 

Quarter 1 Ordinary Income = $6.0 million

 

Quarter 1 Net Capital Gain = $1.0 million

 

Quarter 1 Hurdle Amount = $1.75 million (calculated based on an annualized 7.00% hurdle rate)

 

Quarter 1 Catch-up Amount = $2.1875 million (calculated based on an annualized 8.75% rate)

 

Quarter 2

 

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

 

Quarter 2 Ordinary Income = $1.5 million

 

Quarter 2 Net Capital Gain = $1.0 million

 

Quarter 2 Hurdle Amount = $1.75 million (calculated based on an annualized 7.00% hurdle rate)

 

Quarter 2 Catch-up Amount = $2.1875 million (calculated based on an annualized 8.75% rate)

 

Quarter 3

 

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

 

Quarter 3 Ordinary Income = $2.0 million

 

Quarter 3 Net Capital Loss = ($6.0) million

 

Quarter 3 Hurdle Amount = $1.75 million (calculated based on an annualized 7.00% hurdle rate)

 

Quarter 3 Catch-up Amount = $2.1875 million (calculated based on an annualized 8.75% rate)

 

Quarter 4

 

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

 

Quarter 4 Ordinary Income = $3.5 million

 

Quarter 4 Net Capital Gain = $3.0 million

 

Quarter 4 Hurdle Amount = $1.75 million (calculated based on an annualized 7.00% hurdle rate)

 

Quarter 4 Catch-up Amount = $2.1875 million (calculated based on an annualized 8.75% rate)

(1) 

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

Determination of Incentive Fee based on income

In Quarter 1, the Ordinary Income of $6.0 million exceeds the Hurdle Amount of $1.75 million and the Catch-up Amount of $2.1875 million. There are no Net Capital Losses. As a result, an Incentive Fee based on income of $1.2 million ((100% of $437,500) + (20% of $3,812,500)) is payable to our Investment Adviser for Quarter 1.

In Quarter 2, the Ordinary Income of $1.5 million does not exceed the Hurdle Amount of $1.75 million, but the aggregate Ordinary Income for the Trailing Twelve Quarters of $7.5 million exceeds the aggregate Hurdle Amount for the Trailing Twelve Quarters of $3.5 million and the aggregate Catch-up Amount for the Trailing Twelve Quarters of $4.375 million. There are no Net Capital Losses. As a result, an Incentive Fee based on income of $300,000 ($1.5 million ((100% of $875,000) + (20% of 3,125,000)) minus $1.2 million paid in Quarter 1) is payable to our Investment Adviser for Quarter 2.

In Quarter 3, the aggregate Ordinary Income of the Trailing Twelve Quarters of $9.5 million exceeds the aggregate Hurdle Amount for the Trailing Twelve Quarters of $5.25 million and the aggregate Catch-up Amount for the Trailing Twelve Quarters of $6.5625 million. However, there is an aggregate Net Capital Loss of ($4.0) million for the Trailing Twelve Quarters. As a result, the Incentive Fee Cap would apply. The Incentive Fee Cap equals $(400,000), calculated as follows: (20% x ($9.5 million minus $4.0 million)) minus $1.5 million paid in Quarters 1 and 2. Because the Incentive Fee Cap is a negative value, there is no Incentive Fee based on income payable to our Investment Adviser for Quarter 3.

In Quarter 4, the aggregate Ordinary Income of the Trailing Twelve Quarters of $13.0 million exceeds the aggregate Hurdle Amount for the Trailing Twelve Quarters of $7.0 million and the aggregate Catch-up Amount for the Trailing Twelve Quarters of $8.75 million. The calculation of the Incentive Fee based on income would be $1.1 million ($2.6 million (100% of $1.75 million) + (20% of $4.25 million) minus $1.5 million paid in Quarters 1 and 2). However, there is an aggregate Net Capital Loss of ($1.0) million for the Trailing Twelve Quarters. As a result, the Incentive Fee Cap would apply. The Incentive Fee Cap equals $900,000 calculated as follows: (20% x ($13.0 million minus $1.0 million)) minus $1.5 million. Because the Incentive Fee Cap is positive but less than the Incentive Fee based on income of $1.1 million calculated prior to applying the Incentive Fee Cap, an Incentive Fee based on income of $900,000 is payable to our Investment Adviser for Quarter 4.

17

 

 


Table of Contents

Examples of Calculation of Incentive Fee based on Capital Gains

Assumptions

 

Year 1: $20 million investment made in Company A (“Investment A”), $30 million investment made in Company B (“Investment B”) and $25 million investment made in Company C (“Investment C”)

 

Year 2: Investment A sold for $30 million, fair value of Investment B determined to be $25 million and fair value of Investment C determined to be $27 million

 

Year 3: fair value of Investment B determined to be $29 million and Investment C sold for $30 million

 

Year 4: fair value of Investment B determined to be $40 million

Determination of Incentive Fee based on capital gains

The Incentive Fee based on capital gains, if any, would be:

 

Year 1: None

 

Year 2: $1.0 million

The portion of the Incentive Fee based on capital gains equals (A) 20% of the difference, if positive, of the sum of our aggregate realized capital gains, if any, computed net of our aggregate realized capital losses, if any, and our aggregate unrealized capital depreciation, if any, in each case from April 1, 2013 until the end of the applicable Annual Period minus (B) the cumulative amount of Incentive Fees based on capital gains previously paid to our Investment Adviser from April 1, 2013.

Therefore, using the assumptions above, the Incentive Fee based on capital gains equals (A) 20% x ($10.0 million—$5.0 million) minus (B) $0.

Therefore, the Incentive Fee based on capital gains equals $1.0 million.

 

Year 3: $1.8 million, which is calculated as follows:

The Incentive Fee based on capital gains equals (A) 20% x ($15.0 million—$1.0 million) minus (B) $1.0 million.

Therefore, the Incentive Fee based on capital gains equals $1.8 million.

 

Year 4: $200,000, which is calculated as follows:

The Incentive Fee based on capital gains equals (x) (A) 20% x ($15.0 million—$0 million) minus (B) $2.8 million.

Therefore, the Incentive Fee based on capital gains equals $200,000.

Board Approval of the Investment Advisory and Management Agreement

Our Board of Directors determined at a virtual meeting held on August 4, 2020 to approve the continuation of the Investment Management Agreement. In its consideration of the renewal of the Investment Management Agreement, the Board of Directors focused on information it had received relating to, among other things: (i) the nature, quality and extent of the advisory and other services provided to us by the Investment Adviser; (ii) the contractual terms of the Investment Management Agreement, including the structure of the Management Fee imposed on gross assets (excluding cash) and the Incentive Fee imposed on net investment income and capital gains; (iii) comparative data with respect to the advisory fees and other expenses paid by other externally managed BDCs with similar investment objectives and strategies; (iv) information about the services performed and the personnel performing such services under the Investment Management Agreement; (v) comparative data with respect to our investment performance and the performance of other BDCs with comparable investment objectives and strategies; (vi) the Investment Adviser’s revenues and pre-tax profit margins with respect to its management of us; (vii) any existing and potential benefits to the Investment Adviser or its affiliates from its relationship with us; (viii) other potential benefits to us as a result of our relationship with the Investment Adviser; and (ix) such other matters as the Board of Directors determined were relevant to their consideration of the Investment Management Agreement.

In connection with their consideration of the renewal of the Investment Management Agreement, our Board of Directors gave weight to each of the factors described above, but did not identify any one particular factor as controlling their decision. After deliberation and consideration of all of the information provided, including the factors described above, the Board of Directors concluded, in the exercise of their business judgment, that the management fees paid by us were reasonable in light of the services provided to us by the Investment Adviser, the Investment Adviser’s costs, and our current and reasonably foreseeable asset levels. The Board of Directors unanimously concluded that the Investment Adviser’s continued management likely would benefit us and our stockholders and that the Investment Management Agreement should be approved and continued with respect to us until August 31, 2021.

For the year ended December 31, 2019, we paid our Investment Adviser a total of $21.46 million in fees pursuant to the Investment Management Agreement, which consisted of $14.48 million in Management Fees and $6.98 million in Incentive Fees. For the year ended December 31, 2020, we paid our Investment Adviser a total of $12.60 million in fees pursuant to the Investment Management Agreement, which consisted of $10.75 million in Management Fees and $1.85 million in Incentive Fees. Additionally, for the year ended December 31, 2020, we paid our Investment Adviser a total of $10.83 million in fees pursuant to GS MMLC’s investment management agreement with the Investment Adviser, which consisted of $4.16 million in Management Fees and $6.67 million in Incentive Fees, and which were assumed in the Merger. The investment advisory agreement between the Investment Adviser and GS MMLC was terminated in connection with the closing of the Merger.

18

 

 


Table of Contents

 

Duration and Termination

The Investment Management Agreement will remain in full force and effect for successive annual periods, but only so long as such continuance is specifically approved at least annually by (a) the vote of a majority of our Independent Directors and (b) by a vote of a majority of our Board of Directors or of a majority of our outstanding voting securities, as defined in the Investment Company Act. The Investment Management Agreement may, on 60 days’ written notice to the other party, be terminated in its entirety at any time without the payment of any penalty, by our Board of Directors, by vote of a majority of our outstanding voting stock or by our Investment Adviser. The Investment Management Agreement shall automatically terminate in the event of its assignment. See “Item 1A. Risk Factors—Competition—We are dependent upon management personnel of our Investment Adviser for our future success.”

Limitation of Liability of Our Investment Adviser and the Company

The Investment Management Agreement provides that our Investment Adviser shall not be liable for any error of judgment or mistake of law or for any loss suffered by us in connection with the matters to which the Investment Management Agreement relates, except a loss resulting from our Investment Adviser’s willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence in the performance of its duties or from reckless disregard by our Investment Adviser of its obligations and duties under the Investment Management Agreement. Any person, even though also employed by our Investment Adviser, who may be or become an employee of and paid by us will be deemed, when acting within the scope of such employment, to be acting in such employment solely for us and not as our Investment Adviser’s employee or agent. These protections may lead our Investment Adviser to act in a riskier manner when acting on our behalf than it would when acting for its own account. See “Item 1A. Risk Factors—Our Business and Structure—Our Investment Adviser will be paid the Management Fee even if the value of your investment declines and our Investment Adviser’s Incentive Fee may create incentives for it to make certain kinds of investments.”

Organization of our Investment Adviser

Our Investment Adviser is registered as an investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended (the “Advisers Act”). The principal executive offices of our Investment Adviser are located at 200 West Street, New York, New York 10282.

Expenses

Our Investment Adviser pays all costs incurred by it in connection with the performance of its duties under the Investment Management Agreement. Our Investment Adviser pays the compensation and expenses of all its personnel and makes available, without expense to us, the services of such of its partners, officers and employees as may duly be elected as our officers or directors, subject to their individual consent to serve and to any limitations imposed by law. Our Investment Adviser is not required to pay any of our expenses other than those specifically allocated to it, including as set forth below. In particular, but without limiting the generality of the foregoing, our Investment Adviser is not required to pay: (i) our operational and organizational expenses; (ii) fees and expenses, including travel expenses, incurred by our Investment Adviser or payable to third parties related to our investments, including, among others, professional fees (including the fees and expenses of consultants and experts) and fees and expenses from evaluating, monitoring, researching and performing due diligence on investments and prospective investments; (iii) interest payable on debt, if any, incurred to finance our investments; (iv) fees and expenses incurred by us in connection with membership in investment company organizations; (v) brokers’ commissions; (vi) fees and expenses associated with calculating our NAV (including the costs and expenses of any independent valuation firm); (vii) legal, auditing or accounting expenses; (viii) taxes or governmental fees; (ix) the fees and expenses of our administrator, transfer agent or sub-transfer agent; (x) the cost of preparing stock certificates or any other expenses, including clerical expenses of issue, redemption or repurchase of our shares; (xi) the expenses of and fees for registering or qualifying our shares for sale and of maintaining our registration and registering us as a broker or a dealer; (xii) the fees and expenses of our directors who are not affiliated with our Investment Adviser; (xiii) the cost of preparing and distributing reports, proxy statements and notices to our stockholders, the SEC and other regulatory authorities; (xiv) costs of holding stockholder meetings; (xv) listing fees; (xvi) the fees or disbursements of custodians of our assets, including expenses incurred in the performance of any obligations enumerated by our certificate of incorporation or bylaws insofar as they govern agreements with any such custodian; (xvii) insurance premiums; or (xviii) costs incurred in connection with any claim, litigation, arbitration, mediation, government investigation or dispute in connection with our business and the amount of any judgment or settlement paid in connection therewith, or the enforcement of our rights against any person and indemnification or contribution expenses payable by us to any person and other extraordinary expenses not incurred in the ordinary course of our business. Our Investment Adviser is not required to pay expenses of activities which are primarily intended to result in sales of our shares, including, all costs and expenses associated with the preparation and distribution of any offering memorandum, subscription agreements, registration statements, prospectuses or stockholder application forms.

 

Our Investment Adviser may impose a voluntary cap on the amount of expenses that will be borne by us on a monthly or annual basis. Any such expense cap may be increased, decreased, waived or eliminated at any time at our Investment Adviser’s sole discretion.

To the extent that expenses to be borne by us pursuant to the Investment Management Agreement are paid by our Investment Adviser, we will reimburse our Investment Adviser for such expenses, provided, however, that our Investment Adviser may elect, from time to time and in its sole discretion, to bear certain of our expenses set forth above, including organizational and other expenses.

Transfer Agent

Computershare Trust Company, N.A. serves as our transfer agent (the “Transfer Agent”), dividend agent and registrar.

19

 

 


Table of Contents

Administration Agreement

Pursuant to the Administration Agreement with State Street Bank and Trust Company, our administrator, our administrator is responsible for providing various accounting and administrative services to us. The Administration Agreement provides that the administrator is not liable to us for any damages or other losses arising out of the performance of its services thereunder except under certain circumstances, and contains provisions for the indemnification of the administrator by us against liabilities to other parties arising in connection with the performance of its services to us. We pay the administrator fees for its services as we determine are commercially reasonable in our sole discretion. We also reimburse the administrator for all reasonable expenses. To the extent that our administrator outsources any of its functions, the administrator pays any compensation associated with such functions. We are not obligated to retain our administrator. The Administration Agreement may be terminated by either party without penalty upon 30 days’ written notice to the other party. The terms of any administration agreement that we may enter with any subsequent administrator may differ materially from the terms of the Administration Agreement with State Street Bank and Trust Company in effect prior to such retention, including providing for a fee structure that results in us, directly or indirectly, bearing higher fees for similar services and other terms that are potentially less advantageous to us. Our stockholders will not be entitled to receive prior notice of the engagement of an alternate administrator or of the terms of any agreement that is entered into with such administrator.

License Agreement

We are party to a license agreement with an affiliate of Goldman Sachs pursuant to which we have been granted a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to use the “Goldman Sachs” name. Under this agreement, we do not have a right to use the Goldman Sachs name if GSAM or another affiliate of Goldman Sachs is not our Investment Adviser or if our continued use of such license results in a violation of applicable law, results in a regulatory burden or has adverse regulatory consequences. Other than with respect to this limited license, we have no legal right to the “Goldman Sachs” name.

Regulation

We have elected to be treated as a BDC under the Investment Company Act. As with other companies regulated by the Investment Company Act, a BDC must adhere to certain substantive regulatory requirements. The Investment Company 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 Investment Company Act. In addition, the Investment Company Act provides that we may not change the nature of our business so as to cease to be, or to withdraw our election as, a BDC unless approved by a majority of our outstanding voting securities. A majority of the outstanding voting securities of a company is defined under the Investment Company Act as the vote: (i) of 67% or more of the voting securities present at such meeting, if the holders of more than 50% of the outstanding voting securities of such company are present or represented by proxy, or (ii) of more than 50% of the outstanding voting securities of such company, whichever is less.

Any issuance of preferred stock must comply with the requirements of the Investment Company Act. The Investment Company Act requires, among other things, that (1) immediately after issuance and before any dividend or other distribution is made with respect to our common stock and before any purchase of common stock is made, such preferred stock together with all other senior securities must not exceed an amount equal to 50% of our total assets after deducting the amount of such dividend, distribution or purchase price, as the case may be, and (2) the holders of shares of preferred stock, if any are issued, must be entitled as a class to elect two directors at all times and to elect a majority of the directors if dividends on such preferred stock are in arrears by two full years or more. Certain other matters under the Investment Company Act require a separate class vote of the holders of any issued and outstanding preferred stock. For example, holders of preferred stock would be entitled to vote separately as a class from the holders of common stock on a proposal involving a plan of reorganization adversely affecting such securities.

 

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 a “principal underwriter” as that term is defined under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). We may purchase or otherwise receive warrants, which offer an opportunity (not a requirement) to purchase common stock of a portfolio company in connection with an acquisition financing or other investments. Similarly, we may acquire rights that obligate an issuer of acquired securities or their affiliates to repurchase the securities at certain times, under certain circumstances. We do not intend to acquire securities issued by any investment company whereby our investment would exceed the limits imposed by the Investment Company Act. Under these limits, we generally cannot (1) acquire more than 3% of the total outstanding voting stock of any registered investment company, (2) invest more than 5% of the value of our total assets in the securities of one registered investment company or (3) invest more than 10% of the value of our total assets in the securities of registered investment companies in general. These limitations do not apply where we acquire interests in a money market fund as long as we do not pay a sales charge or service fee in connection with the purchase. With respect to the portion of our portfolio invested in securities issued by investment companies, it should be noted that such investments might subject our stockholders to additional expenses. None of our policies described above are fundamental and each such policy may be changed without stockholder approval, subject to any limitations imposed by the Investment Company Act.

Private funds that are excluded from the definition of “investment company” pursuant to either Section 3(c)(1) or 3(c)(7) of the Investment Company Act are also subject to certain of the limits under the Investment Company Act noted above. Specifically, such private funds may not acquire directly or through a controlled entity more than 3% of our total outstanding voting stock (measured at the time of the acquisition). Investment companies registered under the Investment Company Act are also subject to the restriction as well as other limitations under the Investment Company Act that would restrict the amount that they are able to invest in our securities. As a result, certain investors would be required to hold a smaller position in our shares than if they were not subject to such restrictions.

20

 

 


Table of Contents

 

Qualifying Assets

Under the Investment Company Act, a BDC may not acquire any asset other than assets of the type listed in Section 55(a) of the Investment Company Act, which are referred to as “qualifying assets,” unless, at the time the acquisition is made, qualifying assets (not including certain assets specified in the Investment Company Act) represent at least 70% of the company’s total assets. The principal categories of qualifying assets relevant to our proposed 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 exceptions) is an eligible portfolio company, or from any person who is, or has been during the preceding thirteen months, an affiliated person of an eligible portfolio company, or from any other person, subject to such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by the SEC. An eligible portfolio company is defined in the Investment Company 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 (“SBIC”) wholly owned by the BDC) or a company that would be an investment company but for certain exclusions under the Investment Company Act; and

 

(c)

satisfies any of the following:

 

does not have any class of securities listed on a national securities exchange or has a class of securities listed on a national securities exchange but has an aggregate market value of outstanding common equity of less than $250 million;

 

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

 

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

 

(2)

Securities of any eligible portfolio company that 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 thereto, if the issuer is in bankruptcy and subject to reorganization or if the issuer, immediately prior to the purchase of its securities, was unable to meet its obligations as they came due without material assistance other than conventional lending or financing arrangements.

 

(4)

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

 

(5)

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

 

(6)

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

Managerial Assistance to Portfolio Companies

A BDC must be organized and have its principal place of business in the United States and must be operated for the purpose of making investments in the types of securities described in (1), (2) or (3) above under “Qualifying Assets.” However, in order to count portfolio securities as qualifying assets for the purpose of the 70% test, the BDC must also either control the issuer of the securities or offer to make available to the issuer of the securities (other than small and solvent companies described above) significant managerial assistance; except that, where the BDC purchases such securities in conjunction with one or more other persons acting together, one of the other persons in the group may make available such managerial assistance (as long as the BDC does not make available significant managerial assistance solely in this fashion). Making available significant managerial assistance means, among other things, any arrangement whereby the BDC, through its directors, officers or employees, offers to provide, and, if accepted, does so provide, significant guidance and counsel concerning the management, operations or business objectives and policies of a portfolio company.

Temporary Investments

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

21

 

 


Table of Contents

Indebtedness and Senior Securities

As a BDC, we are permitted, under specified conditions, to issue multiple classes of indebtedness and one class of shares of stock senior to our common stock if our asset coverage ratio, as defined under the Investment Company Act, is at least equal to 200%, or 150% if certain requirements are met, immediately after each such issuance. The Small Business Credit Availability Act modified the applicable provisions of the Investment Company Act to reduce the required asset coverage ratio applicable to BDCs to 150%, subject to certain approval and disclosure requirements. On June 15, 2018, our stockholders approved the application of the reduced asset coverage requirements in Section 61(a)(2) of the Investment Company Act to us. As a result of this approval, we are now permitted to borrow amounts such that our asset coverage ratio, as defined in the Investment Company Act, is at least 150% after such borrowing (if certain requirements are met), rather than 200%, as previously required. In addition, except in limited circumstances, while any indebtedness and senior securities remain outstanding, we must make provisions to prohibit any distribution to our stockholders or the repurchase of such securities or stock unless we meet the applicable asset coverage ratios at the time of the distribution or repurchase. We may also borrow amounts up to 5% of the value of our total assets for temporary or emergency purposes without regard to asset coverage. A loan is presumed to be made for temporary purposes if it is repaid within 60 days and is not extended or renewed; otherwise it is presumed to not be for temporary purposes. For a discussion of the risks associated with leverage, see “Item 1A. Risk Factors—Our Business and Structure—Regulations governing our operation as a BDC affect our ability to, and the way in which we, raise additional capital. These constraints may hinder our Investment Adviser’s ability to take advantage of attractive investment opportunities and to achieve our investment objective.”

Code of Ethics

We have adopted a Code of Ethics pursuant to Rule 17j-1 under the Investment Company Act and we have also approved our Investment Adviser’s Code of Ethics that it adopted in accordance with Rule 17j-1 and Rule 204A-1 under the Advisers Act. These Codes of Ethics establish, among other things, procedures for personal investments and restrict certain personal securities transactions, including transactions in securities that are held by us. Personnel subject to each code may invest in securities for their personal investment accounts, so long as such investments are made in accordance with the code’s requirements. The Codes of Ethics are available on the EDGAR Database on the SEC’s Internet site at http://www.sec.gov. Copies may also be obtained by electronic request to publicinfo@sec.gov.

Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures

We have delegated the voting of portfolio securities to our Investment Adviser. For client accounts for which our Investment Adviser has voting discretion, our Investment Adviser has adopted policies and procedures (the “Proxy Voting Policy”) for the voting of proxies. Under the Proxy Voting Policy, our Investment Adviser’s guiding principles in performing proxy voting are to make decisions that favor proposals that tend to maximize a company’s shareholder value and are not influenced by conflicts of interest. To implement these guiding principles for investments in publicly traded equities, our Investment Adviser has developed customized proxy voting guidelines (the “Guidelines”) that it generally applies when voting on behalf of client accounts. These Guidelines address a wide variety of individual topics, including, among other matters, shareholder voting rights, anti-takeover defenses, board structures, the election of directors, executive and director compensation, reorganizations, mergers, issues of corporate social responsibility and various shareholder proposals.

The Proxy Voting Policy, including the Guidelines, is reviewed periodically to assure that it continues to be consistent with our Investment Adviser’s guiding principles. The Guidelines embody the positions and factors our Investment Adviser generally considers important in casting proxy votes.

Our Investment Adviser has retained a third-party proxy voting service (the “Proxy Service”), currently Institutional Shareholder Services, to assist in the implementation and administration of certain proxy voting-related functions including operational, recordkeeping, and reporting services. The Proxy Service also prepares a written analysis and recommendation (a “Recommendation”) of each proxy vote that reflects the Proxy Service’s application of the Guidelines to particular proxy issues. While it is our Investment Adviser’s policy generally to follow the Guidelines and Recommendations from the Proxy Service, our Investment Adviser’s portfolio management teams (the “Portfolio Management Teams”) may, on certain proxy votes, seek approval to diverge from the Guidelines or a Recommendation by following an “override” process. Such decisions are subject to a review and approval process, including a determination that the decision is not influenced by any conflict of interest. A Portfolio Management Team that receives approval through the override process to cast a proxy vote that diverges from the Guidelines and/or a Recommendation may vote differently than other Portfolio Management Teams that did not seek to override the vote. In forming their views on particular matters, the Portfolio Management Teams are also permitted to consider applicable regional rules and practices, including codes of conduct and other guides, regarding proxy voting, in addition to the Guidelines and Recommendations. Our Investment Adviser may hire other service providers to replace or supplement the Proxy Service with respect to any of the services our Investment Adviser currently receives from the Proxy Service.

From time to time, our Investment Adviser may face regulatory, compliance, legal or logistical limits with respect to voting securities that it may purchase or hold for client accounts, which can affect our Investment Adviser’s ability to vote such proxies, as well as the desirability of voting such proxies. Among other limits, federal, state and foreign regulatory restrictions or company specific ownership limits, as well as legal matters related to consolidated groups, may restrict the total percentage of an issuer’s voting securities that our Investment Adviser can hold for clients and the nature of our Investment Adviser’s voting in such securities. Our Investment Adviser’s ability to vote proxies may also be affected by, among other things: (i) late receipt of meeting notices; (ii) requirements to vote proxies in person; (iii) restrictions on a foreigner’s ability to exercise votes; (iv) potential difficulties in translating the proxy; (v) requirements to provide local agents with unrestricted powers of attorney to facilitate voting instructions; and (vi) requirements that investors who exercise their voting rights surrender the right to dispose of their holdings for some specified period in proximity to the shareholder meeting.

22

 

 


Table of Contents

Our Investment Adviser conducts periodic due diligence meetings with the Proxy Service which include a review of the Proxy Service’s general organizational structure, new developments with respect to research and technology, work flow improvements and internal due diligence with respect to conflicts of interest.

Our Investment Adviser has adopted policies and procedures designed to prevent conflicts of interest from influencing its proxy voting decisions that our Investment Adviser makes on behalf of a client account and to help assure that such decisions are made in accordance with our Investment Adviser’s fiduciary obligations to its clients. These policies and procedures include our Investment Adviser’s use of the Guidelines and Recommendations from the Proxy Service, the override approval process previously discussed, and the establishment of information barriers between our Investment Adviser and other Goldman Sachs’ businesses. Notwithstanding such proxy voting policies and procedures, actual proxy voting decision of our Investment Adviser may have the effect of benefitting the interest of other clients or businesses of other divisions or units of Goldman Sachs and/or its affiliates, provided that our Investment Adviser believes such voting decisions to be in accordance with its fiduciary obligations.

Voting decisions with respect to fixed income securities and the securities of privately held issuers generally will be made by our Investment Adviser based on its assessment of the particular transactions or other matters at issue.

Information regarding how we vote proxies relating to portfolio securities during the twelve-month period ended December 31, 2020 is available upon request by writing to Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc., Attention: Itai Baron, Investor Relations, 200 West Street, New York, New York 10282.

Privacy Principles

The following information is provided to help investors understand what personal information we collect, how we protect that information and why, in certain cases, we may share information with select other parties.

We generally will not receive any nonpublic personal information relating to stockholders who purchase our common stock. We may collect nonpublic personal information regarding our existing investors from sources such as subscription agreements, investor questionnaires and other forms; individual investors’ account histories; and correspondence between us and individual investors. We may share information that we collect regarding an investor with our affiliates and the employees of such affiliates for everyday business purposes, for example, to service the investor’s accounts and, unless an investor opts out, provide the investor with information about other products and services offered by us or our affiliates that may be of interest to the investor. In addition, we may disclose information that we collect regarding investors to third parties who are not affiliated with us (i) as authorized by our investors in investor subscription agreements or our organizational documents; (ii) as required by applicable law or in connection with a properly authorized legal or regulatory investigation, subpoena or summons, or to respond to judicial process or government regulatory authorities having property jurisdiction; (iii) as required to fulfill investor instructions; or (iv) as otherwise permitted by applicable law to perform support services for investor accounts or process investor transactions with us or our affiliates.

Any party not affiliated with us that receives nonpublic personal information relating to investors from us is required to adhere to confidentiality agreements and to maintain appropriate safeguards to protect your information. Additionally, for officers, employees and agents of ours and our affiliates, access to such information is restricted to those who need such access to provide services to us and investors. We maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to seek to guard investor nonpublic personal information. For a discussion of the risks associated with cyber incidents, see “Item 1A—Risk Factors—Operational—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.”

 

Other

We may also be prohibited under the Investment Company Act from knowingly participating in certain transactions with our affiliates without the prior approval of the members of our Board of Directors who are not interested persons and, in some cases, prior approval by the SEC. The SEC has interpreted the prohibition on transactions by BDCs with affiliates to prohibit “joint” transactions among entities that share a common investment adviser or under common control with the investment adviser. The staff of the SEC has granted no-action relief permitting purchases of a single class of privately placed securities provided that the adviser negotiates no term other than price and certain other conditions are met. Except in certain limited circumstances, we will be unable to invest in any issuer in which another client sponsored or managed by our Investment Adviser has previously invested, including GS PMMC and GS PMMC II. On January 4, 2017, the SEC granted GS PMMC, GS MMLC (which was merged with us on October 12, 2020), GS PMMC II and us, as well as certain other funds that may be managed by GSAM, including the GSAM Credit Alternatives investment team, in the future, exemptive relief to make negotiated co-investments, subject to certain terms and conditions in the exemptive relief. As a result of the exemptive relief, there could be significant overlap in our portfolio and the investment portfolios of GS PMMC, GS PMMC II and/or other funds established by the GSAM Credit Alternatives Team that are able to rely on the order.

As a BDC, the SEC will periodically examine us for compliance with the Investment Company Act.

We are required to provide and maintain a bond issued by a reputable fidelity insurance company, to protect against larceny and embezzlement, covering each of our officers and employees, who may singly, or jointly with others, have access to our securities or funds. Furthermore, as a BDC, we are prohibited from protecting any director, officer, investment adviser or underwriter against any liability to us or our stockholders arising from willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of such person’s office.

23

 

 


Table of Contents

We and our Investment Adviser are each required to adopt and implement written policies and procedures reasonably designed to prevent violation of the federal securities laws, review these policies and procedures annually for their adequacy and the effectiveness of their implementation and designate a chief compliance officer to be responsible for administering the policies and procedures.

Compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, as amended (the “Sarbanes-Oxley Act”), imposes a wide variety of regulatory requirements on publicly held companies and their insiders. Many of these requirements affect us. For example:

 

our principal executive officer and principal financial officer must certify the accuracy of the financial statements contained in our periodic reports;

 

our periodic reports must disclose the conclusions of our principal executive and principal financial officers about the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures;

 

our management must prepare an annual report regarding its assessment of our internal control over financial reporting, which must be audited by our independent registered public accounting firm; and

 

our periodic reports must disclose whether there were any changes in our internal controls over financing reporting that has materially affected, or is reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal controls over financial reporting.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires us to review our policies and procedures to determine whether we comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the regulations promulgated thereunder. We will continue to monitor our compliance with all future regulations that are adopted under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and will take actions necessary to ensure that we are in compliance therewith.

Compliance with Listing Requirements

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

Compliance with the Bank Holding Company Act

 

As a BHC and FHC, the activities of Group Inc. and its affiliates are subject to certain restrictions imposed by the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended (the “BHCA”), and related regulations. BHCs and FHCs are subject to supervision and regulation by the Federal Reserve Board (the “Federal Reserve”). Because Group Inc. may be deemed to “control” us within the meaning of the BHCA, restrictions under the BHCA could apply to us as well. Accordingly, the BHCA and other applicable banking laws, rules, regulations and guidelines, and their interpretation and administration by the appropriate regulatory agencies, including the Federal Reserve, may restrict our investments, transactions and operations and may restrict the transactions and relationships between our Investment Adviser, Group Inc. and their affiliates, on the one hand, and us on the other hand. For example, the BHCA regulations applicable to Group Inc. and us may, among other things, restrict our ability to make certain investments or the size of certain investments, impose a maximum holding period on some or all of our investments and restrict our and our Investment Adviser’s ability to participate in the management and operations of the companies in which we invest. In addition, certain BHCA regulations may require aggregation of the positions owned, held or controlled by related entities. Thus, in certain circumstances, positions held by Group Inc. and its affiliates (including our Investment Adviser) for client and proprietary accounts may need to be aggregated with positions held by us. In this case, where BHCA regulations impose a cap on the amount of a position that may be held, Goldman Sachs may utilize available capacity to make investments for its proprietary accounts or for the accounts of other clients, which may require us to limit and/or liquidate certain investments. Additionally, Goldman Sachs may in the future, in its sole discretion and without notice to investors, engage in activities impacting us and/or our Investment Adviser in order to comply with the BHCA or other legal requirements applicable to, or reduce or eliminate the impact or applicability of any bank regulatory or other restrictions on, Goldman Sachs, us or other funds and accounts managed by our Investment Adviser and its affiliates. In addition, Goldman Sachs may cease in the future to qualify as a FHC, which may subject us to additional restrictions. Moreover, there can be no assurance that the bank regulatory requirements applicable to Goldman Sachs and us, or the interpretation thereof, will not change, or that any such change will not have a material adverse effect on us. See “Item 1A. Risk Factors—Legal and Regulatory—Our activities may be limited as a result of potentially being deemed to be controlled by a bank holding company.”

 

 

 

24

 

 


Table of Contents

ITEM 1A.    RISK FACTORS

Investing in our securities involves certain risks relating to our structure and investment objective. You should carefully consider these risk factors, together with all of the other information included in this report, before you decide whether to make an investment in our securities. The risks set forth below are not the only risks we face, and we may face other risks that we have not yet identified, which we do not currently deem material or which are not yet predictable. If any of the following risks occur, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially adversely affected. In such case, our NAV and the trading price of our securities could decline, and you may lose all or part of your investment.

 

Summary Risk Factors

 

Investing in our securities involves a high degree of risk. The following is a summary of certain of the principal risks that should be carefully considered before investing in our securities:

 

Market Developments and General Business Environment 

 

Political, social and economic uncertainty, including uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic, creates and exacerbates risks.

 

The capital markets are currently in a period of disruption and economic uncertainty. Such market conditions have materially and adversely affected debt and equity capital markets, which have had, and may continue to have, a negative impact on our business and operations.

 

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

 

Legal and Regulatory

 

Our operation as a BDC imposes numerous constraints on us and significantly reduces our operating flexibility. In addition, if we fail to maintain our status as a BDC, we might be regulated as a closed-end investment company, which would subject us to additional regulatory restrictions.

 

We will be subject to corporate-level U.S. federal income tax on all of our income if we are unable to maintain our qualification for tax treatment as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code, which would have a material adverse effect on our financial performance.

 

Regulations governing our operation as a BDC affect our ability to, and the way in which we, raise additional capital. These constraints may hinder our Investment Adviser’s ability to take advantage of attractive investment opportunities and to achieve our investment objective.

 

We incur significant costs as a result of being a public company.

 

Efforts to comply with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act involve significant expenditures, and noncompliance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act may adversely affect us and the market price of our securities.

 

Changes in laws or regulations governing our operations or the operations of our portfolio companies, changes in the interpretation thereof or newly enacted laws or regulations, or any failure by us or our portfolio companies to comply with these laws or regulations, could require changes to certain of our or our portfolio companies’ business practices, negatively impact our or our portfolio companies’ operations, cash flows or financial condition, impose additional costs on us or our portfolio companies or otherwise adversely affect our business or the business of our portfolio companies.

 

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

 

Our activities may be limited as a result of potentially being deemed to be controlled by a bank holding company.

 

Commodity Futures Trading Commission rules may have a negative impact on us and our Investment Adviser.

 

Our ability to enter into transactions involving derivatives and financial commitment transactions may be limited.

 

Certain investors are limited in their ability to make significant investments in us.

 

Competition

 

We are dependent upon management personnel of our Investment Adviser for our future success.

 

We operate in a highly competitive market for investment opportunities.

 

Operational

 

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

 

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.

 

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.

 

Our Business and Structure

 

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

 

Our Investment Adviser, its principals, investment professionals and employees and the members of its Investment Committee have certain conflicts of interest.

 

Goldman Sachs’ financial and other interests may incentivize Goldman Sachs to favor other Accounts.

 

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

25

 

 


Table of Contents

 

Our ability to grow depends on our ability to raise additional capital.

 

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

 

Our Investment Adviser will be paid the Management Fee even if the value of your investment declines and our Investment Adviser’s Incentive Fee may create incentives for it to make certain kinds of investments.

 

The Incentive Fee based on income takes into account our past performance.

 

Potential conflicts of interest with other businesses of Goldman Sachs could impact our investment returns.

 

Goldman Sachs has influence, and may continue to exert influence, over our management and affairs and over most votes requiring stockholder approval.

 

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

 

Our Investment Adviser can resign on 60 days’ notice. We may not be able to find a suitable replacement within that time, resulting in a disruption in our operations that could adversely affect our financial condition, business and results of operations.

 

Our Investment Adviser’s responsibilities and its liability to us are limited under the Investment Management Agreement, which may lead our Investment Adviser to act in a riskier manner on our behalf than it would when acting for its own account.

 

We may experience fluctuations in our quarterly results.

 

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

 

We may be unable to realize the benefits anticipated by the Merger, including estimated cost savings, or it may take longer than anticipated to achieve such benefits.

 

Portfolio Company Investments

 

Our investments are very risky and highly speculative.

 

Investing in middle-market companies involves a number of significant risks.

 

Many of our portfolio securities do not have a readily available market price, and we value these securities at fair value as determined in good faith under procedures adopted by our Board of Directors, which valuation is inherently subjective and may not reflect what we may actually realize for the sale of the investment.

 

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

 

Our portfolio may be focused in a limited number of portfolio companies, which will subject us to a risk of significant loss if any of these companies default on their obligations under any of their debt instruments or if there is a downturn in a particular industry.

 

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

 

We may be subject to risks associated with investments in real estate loans.

 

We may be subject to risks associated with investments in energy companies.

 

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

 

Our portfolio companies may prepay loans, which may reduce stated yields in the future if the capital returned cannot be invested in transactions with equal or greater expected yields.

 

Investments in common and preferred equity securities, many of which are illiquid with no readily available market, involve a substantial degree of risk.

 

By originating loans to companies that are experiencing significant financial or business difficulties, we may be exposed to distressed lending risks.

 

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

 

Declines in market prices and liquidity in the corporate debt markets can result in significant net unrealized depreciation of our portfolio, which in turn would affect our results of operations.

 

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

 

Our portfolio companies may have incurred or issued, or may in the future incur or issue, debt or equity securities that rank equally with, or senior to, our investments in such companies, which could have an adverse effect on us in any liquidation of the portfolio company.

 

Our portfolio companies may be highly leveraged.

 

Our investments in non-U.S. companies may involve significant risks in addition to the risks inherent in U.S. investments.

 

We may expose ourselves to risks if we engage in hedging transactions.

 

We may form one or more CLOs, which may subject us to certain structured financing risks.

 

Our Securities

 

Investing in our securities involves an above average degree of risk.

 

The market price of our securities may fluctuate significantly.

 

Shares of closed-end investment companies, including BDCs, frequently trade at a discount to their NAV per share.

 

Sales of substantial amounts of our common stock in the public market may have a material adverse effect on the market price of our common stock.

 

Our stockholders may experience dilution upon the conversion of our Convertible Notes.

 

Our stockholders will experience dilution in their ownership percentage if they opt out of our dividend reinvestment plan.

 

Our stockholders that do not opt out of our dividend reinvestment plan should generally expect to have current tax liabilities without receiving cash to pay such liabilities.

 

We may in the future determine to issue preferred stock, which could adversely affect the market value of our common stock.

26

 

 


Table of Contents

 

Certain provisions of our certificate of incorporation and bylaws and the Delaware General Corporation Law (“DGCL”), as well as other aspects of our structure, including the substantial ownership interest of Group Inc., could deter takeover attempts and have an adverse impact on the price of our common stock.

 

We may not be able to pay you distributions on our common stock or preferred stock, our distributions to you may not grow over time and a portion of our distributions to you may be a return of capital for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

 

The tax treatment of a non-U.S. stockholder in its jurisdiction of tax residence will depend entirely on the laws of such jurisdiction, and may vary considerably from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

 

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

 

Our stockholders may receive shares of our common stock or preferred stock as distributions, which could result in adverse tax consequences to them.

 

If we are not treated as a “publicly offered regulated investment company,” as defined in the Code, U.S. stockholders that are individuals, trusts or estates will be taxed as though they received a distribution of some of our expenses.

 

Non-U.S. stockholders may be subject to withholding of U.S. federal income tax on dividends we pay.

 

Purchases of our common stock pursuant to the 10b5-1 Plan or otherwise may result in the price of our common stock being higher than the price that otherwise might exist in the open market.

 

Purchases of our common stock by us under the 10b5-1 Plan or otherwise may result in dilution to our NAV per share.

 

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

 

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

 

Our credit ratings may not reflect all risks of an investment in our debt securities.

 

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

 

There is a risk that investors in our equity securities may not receive distributions or that our distributions may not grow over time and that investors in our debt securities may not receive all of the interest income to which they are entitled.

Market Developments and General Business Environment

Political, social and economic uncertainty, including uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic, creates and exacerbates risks.

Social, political, economic and other conditions and events will occur that create uncertainty and have significant impacts on issuers, industries, governments and other systems, including the financial markets, to which the Company and its investments are exposed. In addition, global economies and financial markets are increasingly interconnected, and political, economic and other conditions and events in one country, region, or financial market may adversely impact issuers in a different country, region or financial market. Furthermore, the occurrence of, among other events, natural or man-made disasters, severe weather or geological events, fires, floods, earthquakes, outbreaks of disease (such as COVID-19, avian influenza or H1N1/09), epidemics, pandemics, malicious acts, cyber-attacks, terrorist acts or the occurrence of climate change, also adversely impact our performance from time to time. Such events may result in, and have resulted in, closing borders, securities exchange closures, health screenings, healthcare service delays, quarantines, cancellations, supply chain disruptions, lower consumer demand, market volatility and general uncertainty. Such events have adversely impacted, and may continue to adversely impact our portfolio companies and markets and economies over the short- and long-term, including in ways that cannot necessarily be foreseen. We have been, and may continue to be negatively impacted if the value of our portfolio company holdings were harmed by such political or economic conditions or events. Moreover, such negative political and economic conditions and events have disrupted, and could continue to disrupt the processes necessary for our operations. This has created, and may continue to create widespread business continuity issues for us and our portfolio companies and heightened cybersecurity, information security and operational risks as a result of, among other things, remote work arrangements.

For example, in December 2019, COVID-19 emerged in China and has since spread rapidly to other countries, including the United States. This outbreak has led, and for an unknown period of time will continue to lead, to disruptions in local, regional, national and global markets and economies affected thereby. The global impact of the outbreak is rapidly evolving, and many countries have reacted by instituting quarantines, prohibitions on travel and the closure of offices, businesses, schools, retail stores and other public venues. While several countries, as well as certain states in the United States, have liberalized public health restrictions as to further reopen their economies, recurring COVID-19 outbreaks have led to the re-introduction of such restrictions in certain states in the United States and globally and could continue to lead to the re-introduction of such restrictions elsewhere. Even after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, the U.S. economy and most other major global economies may continue to experience a recession, and we anticipate our business and operations could be materially adversely affected by a prolonged recession in the U.S. and other major markets. With respect to the U.S. credit markets (in particular for middle market loans), this outbreak has resulted in, and until fully resolved is likely to continue to result in, the following, among other things: (i) government imposition and/or re-imposition of various forms of shelter-in-place orders and the closing of "non-essential" businesses, resulting in significant disruption to the businesses of many middle-market loan borrowers including supply chains, demand and practical aspects of their operations, as well as furloughs or lay-offs of employees (while such measures are hoped to be temporary, their impact may persist or become permanent); (ii) increased draws by borrowers on revolving lines of credit; (iii) increased requests by borrowers for amendments, forbearance agreements and waivers of provisions of their credit agreements in order to avoid default, increased defaults by such borrowers and/or increased difficulty in obtaining refinancing at the maturity dates of their loans; (iv) volatility and disruption of these markets including greater volatility in pricing and spreads and difficulty in valuing loans during periods of increased volatility, and liquidity issues; and (v) rapidly evolving proposals and/or actions by state and federal governments to address problems in functioning of the markets and by businesses and the economy in general which will not necessarily adequately address the problems facing the loan market and middle market businesses. The COVID-19 outbreak is having, and any future outbreaks could have, an adverse impact on the markets and the

27

 

 


Table of Contents

economy in general, which could have a material adverse impact on, among other things, the ability of lenders to originate loans, the volume and type of loans originated, and the volume and type of amendments and waivers granted to borrowers and remedial actions taken in the event of a borrower default, each of which could negatively impact the amount and quality of loans available for investment by us and returns to us, among other things. As of the date of this annual report on Form 10-K, it is impossible to determine the scope of this outbreak, or any future outbreaks, how long any such outbreak, market disruption or uncertainties may last, the effect any governmental actions will have or the full potential impact on us and our portfolio companies. Further, even after the pandemic subsides, the U.S. economy, as well as most other major global economies may continue to experience a recession, and we anticipate our business could be materially and adversely affected by a prolonged recession in the U.S. and other major markets.

Although it is impossible to predict the precise nature and consequences of these events, or of any political or policy decisions and regulatory changes occasioned by emerging events or uncertainty on applicable laws or regulations that impact us, our portfolio companies and our investments, it is clear that these types of events are impacting and will, for at least some time, continue to impact us and our portfolio companies. In many instances, the impact will be adverse and profound. For example, middle market companies in which we may invest are being significantly impacted by these emerging events and the uncertainty caused by these events. The effects of a public health emergency may materially and adversely impact (i) the value and performance of us and our portfolio companies, (ii) the ability of our borrowers to continue to meet loan covenants or repay loans provided by us on a timely basis or at all, which may require us to restructure our investments or write down the value of our investments, (iii) our ability to comply with the covenants and other terms of our debt obligations and to repay such obligations, on a timely basis or at all, (iv) our ability to comply with certain regulatory requirements, such as asset coverage requirements under the Investment Company Act, (v) our ability to maintain our distributions at their current level or to pay them at all or (vi) our ability to source, manage and divest investments and achieve our investment objectives, all of which could result in significant losses to us. We will also be negatively affected if the operations and effectiveness of any of our portfolio companies (or any of the key personnel or service providers of the foregoing) is compromised or if necessary or beneficial systems and processes are disrupted.

Disruptions in the capital markets caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have increased the spread between the yields realized on risk-free and higher risk securities, resulting in illiquidity in parts of the capital markets. These and future market disruptions and/or illiquidity can be expected to have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. Unfavorable economic conditions also would be expected to increase our funding costs, limit our access to the capital markets or result in a decision by lenders not to extend credit to us. These events have limited and could continue to limit our investment originations, limit our ability to grow and have a material negative impact on our and our portfolio companies’ operating results and the fair values of our debt and equity investments.

The capital markets are currently in a period of disruption and economic uncertainty. Such market conditions have materially and adversely affected debt and equity capital markets, which have had, and may continue to have, a negative impact on our business and operations.

The U.S. capital markets have experienced extreme disruption following the global outbreak of COVID-19. Such disruptions have been evidenced by volatility in global stock markets as a result of, among other things, uncertainty regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and the fluctuating price of commodities such as oil. Despite actions of the U.S. federal government and foreign governments, these events have contributed to worsening general economic conditions that are materially and adversely impacting broader financial and credit markets and reducing the availability of debt and equity capital for the market as a whole. These conditions could continue for a prolonged period of time or worsen in the future.

Significant changes or volatility in the capital markets have negatively affected, and may continue to negatively affect, the valuations of our investments. While most of our investments are not publicly traded, applicable accounting standards require us to assume as part of our valuation process that our investments are sold in a principal market to market participants (even if we plan to hold an investment to maturity). Our valuations, and particularly valuations of private investments and private companies, are inherently uncertain, fluctuate over short periods of time and are often based on estimates, comparisons and qualitative evaluations of private information that may not reflect the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and measures taken in response thereto. Any public health emergency, including the COVID-19 pandemic or an outbreak of other existing or new epidemic diseases, or the threat thereof, and the resulting financial and economic market uncertainty could have a significant adverse impact on us and the fair value of our investments and our portfolio companies.

Significant changes in the capital markets, such as the disruption in economic activity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, have limited and could continue to limit our investment originations, limit our ability to grow and have a material negative impact on our and our portfolio companies’ operating results and the fair values of our debt and equity investments. Additionally, the recent disruption in economic activity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has had, and may continue to have, a negative effect on the potential for liquidity events involving our investments. The illiquidity of our investments may make it difficult for us to sell such investments to access capital, if required. As a result, we could realize significantly less than the value at which we have recorded our investments if we were required to sell them to increase our liquidity. An inability on our part to raise incremental capital, and any required sale of all or a portion of our investments as a result, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Further, current market conditions may make it difficult to raise equity capital, extend the maturity of or refinance our existing indebtedness or obtain new indebtedness with similar terms and any failure to do so could have a material adverse effect on our business. The debt capital available to us in the future, if available at all, may bear a higher interest rate and may be available only on terms and conditions less favorable than those of our existing debt and such debt may need to be incurred in a rising interest rate environment. If we are unable to raise new debt or refinance our existing debt, then our equity investors will not benefit from the potential for increased returns on equity resulting from leverage, and we may be unable to make new commitments or to fund existing commitments to our portfolio companies. Any inability to extend the maturity of or refinance our existing debt, or to obtain new debt, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

28

 

 


Table of Contents

 

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 in June 2016 to leave the European Union (commonly known as “Brexit”) has caused, and may continue to cause, increased 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 political, regulatory, consumer, corporate and financial confidence in the United Kingdom and Europe. On January 31, 2020, the United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union and the United Kingdom entered a transition period that expired on December 31, 2020. During this transition phase, the United Kingdom and the European Union sought to negotiate and finalize a new, more permanent trade deal. On December 24, 2020, negotiators representing the United Kingdom and the European Union came to a preliminary trade agreement, the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (“TCA”), which is an agreement on the terms governing certain aspects of the European Union’s and United Kingdom’s relationship following the end of the transition period. On December 30, 2020, the United Kingdom and the European Union signed the TCA, which was ratified by the British Parliament on the same day. The TCA has been provisionally applied since January 1, 2021 but cannot formally enter into force until ratified by the European Parliament. In the event that the European Parliament does not ratify the TCA before February 28, 2021, the relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union would be based on the World Trade Organization rules. However, even under the TCA, many aspects of the United Kingdom-European Union trade relationship remain subject to further negotiation. Due to political uncertainty, it is not possible to anticipate the form or nature of the future trading relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union. While certain measures have been proposed and/or implemented within the United Kingdom and at the European Union level or at the member state level, which are designed to minimize disruption in the financial markets, it is not currently possible to determine whether such measures would achieve their intended effects. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the extent of the impact of the withdrawal and the resulting economic arrangements in the United Kingdom and in global markets as well as any associated adverse consequences remain unclear and may lead to ongoing political and economic uncertainty and periods of exacerbated volatility in both the United Kingdom and in wider European markets for some time. The mid-to-long term uncertainty may have a negative effect on the performance of any investments in issuers that are economically tied to the United Kingdom or Europe. Additionally, the decision made in the United Kingdom referendum may lead to a call for similar referenda in other European jurisdictions which may cause increased economic volatility and uncertainty in the European and global markets. This volatility and uncertainty may have an adverse effect on the economy generally and on the ability of us and our portfolio companies to execute our respective strategies and to receive attractive returns.

Legal and Regulatory

Our operation as a BDC imposes numerous constraints on us and significantly reduces our operating flexibility. In addition, if we fail to maintain our status as a BDC, we might be regulated as a closed-end investment company, which would subject us to additional regulatory restrictions.

The Investment Company Act imposes numerous constraints on the operations of BDCs. For example, BDCs generally are required to invest at least 70% of their total assets primarily in securities of qualifying U.S. private companies or thinly traded public companies, cash, cash equivalents, U.S. government securities and other high-quality debt investments that mature in one year or less from the time of investment. These constraints may hinder our Investment Adviser’s ability to take advantage of attractive investment opportunities and to achieve our investment objective. Furthermore, any failure to comply with the requirements imposed on BDCs by the Investment Company Act could cause the SEC to bring an enforcement action against us and/or expose us to claims of private litigants.

We may be precluded from investing in what our Investment Adviser believes are attractive investments if such investments are not qualifying assets for purposes of the Investment Company Act. If we do not invest a sufficient portion of our assets in qualifying assets, we will be prohibited from making any additional investment that is not a qualifying asset and could be forced to forgo attractive investment opportunities. Similarly, these rules could prevent us from making follow-on investments in existing portfolio companies (which could result in the dilution of our position).

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

We will be subject to corporate-level U.S. federal income tax on all of our income if we are unable to maintain our qualification for tax treatment as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code, which would have a material adverse effect on our financial performance.

Although we have elected to be treated, and expect to qualify annually, as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code, we cannot assure you that we will be able to maintain RIC status. To maintain RIC status and be relieved of U.S. federal income taxes on income and gains distributed to our stockholders, we must meet the annual distribution, source-of-income and asset diversification requirements described below.

 

 

The annual distribution requirement for a RIC will generally be satisfied if we distribute to our stockholders on an annual basis at least 90% of our investment company taxable income (generally, our net ordinary income plus the excess of our realized net short-term capital gains over realized net long-term capital losses, determined without regard to the dividends paid deduction) for each taxable year. Because we use debt financing, we are subject to an asset coverage ratio requirement under the Investment Company Act, and we are subject to certain covenants contained in our credit agreements and other debt financing agreements. This asset coverage ratio requirement and these covenants could, under certain circumstances, restrict us from making distributions to our stockholders that are necessary for us to satisfy the

29

 

 


Table of Contents

 

distribution requirement. If we are unable to obtain cash from other sources, and thus are unable to make sufficient distributions to our stockholders, we could fail to maintain our RIC tax treatment and thus become subject to corporate-level U.S. federal income tax (and any applicable U.S. state and local taxes).

 

The source-of-income requirement will be satisfied if at least 90% of our gross income for each year is derived from dividends, interest, gains from the sale of stock or securities or foreign currencies, payments with respect to loans of certain securities, net income derived from an interest in a “qualified publicly traded partnership” or other income derived with respect to our business of investing in such stock or securities or foreign currencies.

 

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

If we fail to maintain our RIC status for any reason, and we do not qualify for certain relief provisions under the Code, we would be subject to corporate-level U.S. federal income tax (and any applicable U.S. state and local taxes). In this event, the resulting taxes and any resulting penalties could substantially reduce our net assets, the amount of our income available for distribution and the amount of our distributions to our stockholders, which would have a material adverse effect on our financial performance.

Regulations governing our operation as a BDC affect our ability to, and the way in which we, raise additional capital. These constraints may hinder our Investment Adviser’s ability to take advantage of attractive investment opportunities and to achieve our investment objective.

Regulations governing our operation as a BDC affect our ability to raise additional capital, and the ways in which we can do so. Raising additional capital may expose us to risks, including the typical risks associated with leverage, and may result in dilution to our current stockholders. The Investment Company Act limits our ability to borrow amounts or issue debt securities or preferred stock, which we refer to collectively as “senior securities,” to amounts such that our asset coverage ratio, as defined under the Investment Company Act, equals at least 150% immediately after such borrowing or issuance if certain requirements are met (except in connection with certain trading practices or investments), rather than 200%, as previously required and as described below. Consequently, if the value of our assets declines, we may be required to sell a portion of our investments and, depending on the nature of our leverage, repay a portion of our indebtedness at a time when this may be disadvantageous to us and, as a result, our stockholders. The Small Business Credit Availability Act modified the applicable provisions of the Investment Company Act to reduce the required asset coverage ratio applicable to BDCs to 150%, subject to certain approval and disclosure requirements. Under the legislation, BDCs are able to increase their leverage capacity if stockholders approve a proposal to do so. At our 2018 annual meeting of stockholders held on June 15, 2018, our stockholders approved the proposal to apply the modified asset coverage requirements in Section 61(a)(2) of the Investment Company Act to us. As a result of this approval, (1) we are now required to maintain asset coverage for our senior securities of 150% rather than 200% and (2) we and GSAM have reduced the Management Fee from 1.50% (0.375% per quarter) to 1.00% (0.25% per quarter) 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. Considerations and risks related to increased leverage include: (a) the potential for magnified gains and losses on amounts invested, (b) increased debt service costs, (c) the potential for increased Incentive Fees for GSAM and (d) fewer proceeds remaining for distributions for stockholders in the case of a liquidation event.

We are generally not able to issue and sell our common stock at a price per share below NAV per share. We may, however, sell our common stock, or warrants, options or rights to acquire our common stock, at a price below the then-current NAV per share of our common stock (i) with the consent of a majority of our common stockholders (and a majority of our common stockholders who are not affiliates of ours) and (ii) if, among other things, a majority of our Independent Directors and a majority of our directors who have no financial interest in the transaction determine that a sale is in the best interests of us and our stockholders. If our common stock trades at a discount to NAV, this restriction could adversely affect our ability to raise capital.

We incur significant costs as a result of being a public company.

We incur legal, accounting and other expenses, including costs associated with the periodic reporting requirements applicable to a company whose securities are registered under the Exchange Act, as well as additional corporate governance requirements, including requirements under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. These requirements may place a strain on our systems and resources. The Exchange Act requires that we file annual, quarterly and current reports with respect to our business and financial condition. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires that we maintain effective disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting, which requires significant resources and management oversight. See “Item 1. Business—Compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.” We are implementing additional procedures, processes, policies and practices for the purpose of addressing the standards and requirements applicable to public companies. These activities may divert management’s attention from other business concerns, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. We have incurred, and expect to incur in the future, significant additional annual expenses related to these steps and directors’ and officers’ liability insurance, director fees, reporting requirements of the SEC, transfer agent fees, additional administrative expenses payable to our administrator to compensate it for hiring additional accounting, legal and administrative personnel, increased auditing and legal fees and similar expenses associated with being a public company.

 

30

 

 


Table of Contents

Efforts to comply with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act involve significant expenditures, and noncompliance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act may adversely affect us and the market price of our securities.

We are subject to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and the related rules and regulations promulgated by the SEC. Under current SEC rules, we are required to report on internal control over financial reporting pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and regulations of the SEC thereunder, and our independent registered public accounting firm must audit this report. We are required to review on an annual basis our internal control over financial reporting, and on a quarterly and annual basis to evaluate and disclose changes in our internal control over financial reporting.

As a result, we incur additional expenses that may negatively impact our financial performance and our ability to make distributions. This process also may result in a diversion of management’s time and attention. We cannot be certain as to the timing of completion of any evaluation, testing and remediation actions or the impact of the same on our operations, and we may not be able to ensure that the process is effective or that our internal control over financial reporting is or will be effective in a timely manner. In the event that we are unable to maintain or achieve compliance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and related rules, we and the market price of our common stock would be adversely affected.

Changes in laws or regulations governing our operations or the operations of our portfolio companies, changes in the interpretation thereof or newly enacted laws or regulations, or any failure by us or our portfolio companies to comply with these laws or regulations, could require changes to certain of our or our portfolio companies’ business practices, negatively impact our or our portfolio companies’ operations, cash flows or financial condition, impose additional costs on us or our portfolio companies or otherwise adversely affect our business or the business of our portfolio companies.

We and our portfolio companies are subject to regulation at the local, state, federal and, in some cases, foreign levels. These laws and regulations, as well as their interpretation, are likely to change from time to time, and new laws and regulations may be enacted. Accordingly, any change in these laws or regulations, changes in their interpretation, or newly enacted laws or regulations, or any failure by us or our portfolio companies to comply with these laws or regulations, could require changes to certain of our or our portfolio companies’ business practices, negatively impact our or our portfolio companies’ operations, cash flows or financial condition, impose additional costs on us or our portfolio companies or otherwise adversely affect our business or the business of our portfolio companies. In addition to the legal, tax and regulatory changes that are expected to occur, there may be unanticipated changes and uncertainty regarding any such changes. The legal, tax and regulatory environment for BDCs, investment advisers and the instruments that they utilize (including derivative instruments) is continuously evolving. In addition, there is significant uncertainty regarding certain legislation and the regulations that have been adopted (and future regulations that will need to be adopted pursuant to such legislation) and, consequently, the full impact that such legislation will ultimately have on us and the markets in which we trade and invest is not fully known. Such uncertainty and any resulting confusion may itself be detrimental to the efficient functioning of the markets and the success of certain investment strategies.

Legislative and regulatory proposals directed at the financial services industry that are proposed or pending in the U.S. Congress, may negatively impact the operations, cash flows or financial condition of us and our portfolio companies, impose additional costs on us and our portfolio companies, intensify the regulatory supervision of us and our portfolio companies or otherwise adversely affect our business or the business of our portfolio companies.

Over the last several years, there also has been an increase in regulatory attention to the extension of credit outside of the traditional banking sector, raising the possibility that some portion of the non-bank financial sector will be subject to new regulation. While it cannot be known at this time whether any regulation will be implemented or what form it will take, increased regulation of non-bank credit extension could negatively impact our operations, cash flows or financial condition, impose additional costs on us, intensify the regulatory supervision of us or otherwise adversely affect our business.

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

As a BDC, we are prohibited under the Investment Company Act from knowingly participating in certain transactions with our affiliates without the prior approval of a majority of our Independent Directors who have no financial interest in the transaction, or in some cases, the prior approval of the SEC. For example, any person that owns, directly or indirectly, 5% or more of our outstanding voting securities is deemed our affiliate for purposes of the Investment Company Act and, if this is the only reason such person is our affiliate, we are generally prohibited from buying any asset from or selling any asset (other than our capital stock) to such affiliate, absent the prior approval of such directors. The Investment Company Act also prohibits “joint” transactions with an affiliate, which could include joint investments in the same portfolio company, without approval of our Independent Directors or in some cases the prior approval of the SEC. Moreover, except in certain limited circumstances, we are prohibited from buying any asset from or selling any asset to a holder of more than 25% of our voting securities, absent prior approval of the SEC. The analysis of whether a particular transaction constitutes a joint transaction requires a review of the relevant facts and circumstances then existing.

In certain circumstances, negotiated co-investments may be made only pursuant to an order from the SEC permitting us to do so. On January 4, 2017, we received an exemptive order from the SEC that permits us to participate in negotiated co-investment transactions with certain affiliates (including GS PMMC, GS MMLC (which was merged with us on October 12, 2020) and GS PMMC II), each of whose investment adviser is GSAM, in a manner consistent with our investment objectives, positions, policies, strategies and restrictions, as well as regulatory requirements and pursuant to the conditions required by the exemptive relief. As a result of our exemptive order, there could be significant overlap in our investment portfolio and the investment portfolios of GS PMMC II and/or other funds managed by our Investment Adviser. Additionally, if our Investment Adviser forms other funds in the future, we may co-invest on a concurrent basis with such other affiliates, subject to compliance with the exemptive relief, applicable regulations and regulatory guidance, as well as applicable allocation procedures.

31

 

 


Table of Contents

Our activities may be limited as a result of potentially being deemed to be controlled by a bank holding company.

Goldman Sachs is a BHC under the BHCA and therefore subject to supervision and regulation by the Federal Reserve. In addition, Goldman Sachs is a FHC under the BHCA, which is a status available to BHCs that meet certain criteria. FHCs may engage in a broader range of activities than BHCs that are not FHCs. However, the activities of FHCs and their affiliates remain subject to certain restrictions imposed by the BHCA and related regulations. Because Goldman Sachs may be deemed to “control” us within the meaning of the BHCA, these restrictions could apply to us as well. Accordingly, the BHCA and other applicable banking laws, rules, regulations and guidelines, and their interpretation and administration by the appropriate regulatory agencies, including the Federal Reserve, may restrict our investments, transactions and operations and may restrict the transactions and relationships between our Investment Adviser, Goldman Sachs and their affiliates, on the one hand, and us on the other hand. For example, the BHCA regulations applicable to Goldman Sachs and us may, among other things, restrict our ability to make certain investments or the size of certain investments, impose a maximum holding period on some or all of our investments and restrict our and our Investment Adviser’s ability to participate in the management and operations of the companies in which we invest. In addition, certain BHCA regulations may require aggregation of the positions owned, held or controlled by related entities. Thus, in certain circumstances, positions held by Goldman Sachs and its affiliates (including our Investment Adviser) for client and proprietary accounts may need to be aggregated with positions held by us. In this case, where BHCA regulations impose a cap on the amount of a position that may be held, Goldman Sachs may utilize available capacity to make investments for its proprietary accounts or for the accounts of other clients, which may require us to limit and/or liquidate certain investments.

These restrictions may materially adversely affect us by, among other things, affecting our Investment Adviser’s ability to pursue certain strategies within our investment program or trade in certain securities. In addition, Goldman Sachs may cease in the future to qualify as an FHC, which may subject us to additional restrictions. Moreover, there can be no assurance that the bank regulatory requirements applicable to Goldman Sachs and us, or the interpretation thereof, will not change, or that any such change will not have a material adverse effect on us.

Goldman Sachs may in the future, in its sole discretion and without notice to investors, engage in activities impacting us and/or our Investment Adviser in order to comply with the BHCA or other legal requirements applicable to, or reduce or eliminate the impact or applicability of any bank regulations or other restrictions on, Goldman Sachs, us or other funds and accounts managed by our Investment Adviser and its affiliates. Goldman Sachs may seek to accomplish this result by causing GSAM to resign as our Investment Adviser, voting for changes to our Board of Directors, causing Goldman Sachs personnel to resign from our Board of Directors, reducing the amount of Goldman Sachs’ investment in us (if any), revoking our right to use the Goldman Sachs name or any combination of the foregoing, or by such other means as it determines in its sole discretion. Any replacement investment adviser appointed by us may be unaffiliated with Goldman Sachs.

 

Commodity Futures Trading Commission rules may have a negative impact on us and our Investment Adviser.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”) and the SEC have issued final rules establishing that certain swap transactions are subject to CFTC regulation. Engaging in such swap or other commodity interest transactions such as futures contracts or options on futures contracts may cause us to fall within the definition of “commodity pool” under the Commodity Exchange Act and related CFTC regulations. Our Investment Adviser has claimed relief from CFTC registration and regulation as a commodity pool operator pursuant to CFTC Rule 4.5 with respect to our operations, with the result that we will be limited in our ability to use futures contracts or options on futures contracts or engage in swap transactions. Specifically, CFTC Rule 4.5 imposes strict limitations on using such derivatives other than for hedging purposes, whereby the use of derivatives not used solely for hedging purposes is generally limited to situations where (i) the aggregate initial margin and premiums required to establish such positions does not exceed five percent of the liquidation value of our portfolio, after taking into account unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such contracts it has entered into; or (ii) the aggregate net notional value of such derivatives does not exceed 100% of the liquidation value of our portfolio. Moreover, we anticipate entering into transactions involving such derivatives to a very limited extent solely for hedging purposes or otherwise within the limitations of CFTC Rule 4.5.

Our ability to enter into transactions involving derivatives and financial commitment transactions may be limited.

In November 2020, the SEC adopted a rulemaking regarding the ability of a BDC (or a registered investment company) to use derivatives and other transactions that create future payment or delivery obligations (except reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions). Under the newly adopted rules, BDCs that use derivatives will be subject to a value-at-risk (“VaR”) leverage limit, a derivatives risk management program and testing requirements and requirements related to board reporting. These new requirements will apply unless the BDC qualifies as a “limited derivatives user,” as defined under the adopted rules. Under the new rule, a BDC may enter into an unfunded commitment agreement that is not a derivatives transaction, such as an agreement to provide financing to a portfolio company, if the BDC has, among other things, a reasonable belief, at the time it enters into such an agreement, that it will have sufficient cash and cash equivalents to meet its obligations with respect to all of its unfunded commitment agreements, in each case as it becomes due. Collectively, these requirements may limit our ability to use derivatives and/or enter into certain other financial contracts.

Certain investors are limited in their ability to make significant investments in us.

Private funds that are excluded from the definition of “investment company” either pursuant to Section 3(c)(1) or 3(c)(7) of the Investment Company Act are restricted from acquiring directly or through a controlled entity more than 3% of our total outstanding voting stock (measured at the time of the acquisition, including through conversion of convertible securities). Investment companies registered under the Investment Company Act and BDCs are also subject to this restriction as well as other limitations under the Investment Company Act that would restrict the amount that they are able to invest in our securities. As a result, certain investors may be precluded from acquiring additional shares, at a time that they might desire to do so.

32

 

 


Table of Contents

Competition

We are dependent upon management personnel of our Investment Adviser for our future success.

We do not have any employees. We depend on the experience, diligence, skill and network of business contacts of the GSAM Credit Alternatives investment team. The GSAM Credit Alternatives investment team, together with other investment professionals that our Investment Adviser currently retains or may subsequently retain, identifies, evaluates, negotiates, structures, closes, monitors and manages our investments. Our future success will depend to a significant extent on the continued service and coordination of our Investment Adviser’s senior investment professionals. The departure of any of our Investment Adviser’s key personnel, including members of the Investment Committee, or of a significant number of the investment professionals of our Investment Adviser, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations. In addition, we cannot assure you that our Investment Adviser will remain our investment adviser or that we will continue to have access to our Investment Adviser or its investment professionals. See “—Our Investment Adviser can resign on 60 days’ notice. We may not be able to find a suitable replacement within that time, resulting in a disruption in our operations that could adversely affect our financial condition, business and results of operations.”

We operate in a highly competitive market for investment opportunities.

A number of entities, including GS PMMC and GS PMMC II, compete with us to make the types of investments that we make in middle-market companies. We compete with other BDCs, commercial and investment banks, commercial financing companies, CLOs, private funds, including hedge funds, and, to the extent they provide an alternative form of financing, private equity funds. Many of our competitors are more experienced, substantially larger and have considerably greater financial, technical and marketing resources than we do. Some competitors may have a lower cost of funds and access to funding sources that are not available to us. In addition, some of our competitors may have higher risk tolerances or different risk assessments, which could allow them to consider a wider variety of investments and establish more relationships than us. Furthermore, certain of our competitors are not subject to the regulatory restrictions that the Investment Company Act imposes on us as a BDC and that the Code imposes on us as a RIC. Additionally, an investment opportunity may be appropriate for one or more of us and GS PMMC and GS PMMC II or any other investment fund managed by our affiliates and co-investment may not be possible. In these instances GSAM will adhere to its investment allocation policy in order to determine to which entity to allocate the opportunity. Also, as a result of this competition, we may not be able to secure attractive investment opportunities from time to time.

 

We do not seek to compete primarily based on the interest rates we offer and GSAM believes that some of our competitors may make loans with interest rates that are comparable to or lower than the rates we offer. Rather, we compete with our competitors based on our reputation in the market, our existing investment platform, the seasoned investment professionals of our Investment Adviser, our experience and focus on middle-market companies, our disciplined investment philosophy, our extensive industry focus and relationships and our flexible transaction structuring. For a more detailed discussion of these competitive advantages, see “Item 1. Business—Competitive Advantages.”

We may lose investment opportunities if we do not match our competitors’ pricing, terms and structure. If we match our competitors’ pricing, terms and structure, we may experience decreased net interest income and increased risk of credit loss. As a result of operating in such a competitive environment, we may make investments that are on less favorable terms than what we may have originally anticipated, which may impact our return on these investments. We cannot assure investors that the competitive pressures we face will not have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Operational

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

 

 

sudden electrical or telecommunications outages;

 

natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes;

 

disease pandemics;

 

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

 

cyber-attacks.

In addition to our dependence on information systems, poor operating performance by our service providers could adversely impact us.

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

33

 

 


Table of Contents

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.

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 a third party or our own personnel gaining unauthorized access to our information systems or those of our portfolio companies for purposes of obtaining ransom payments, 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 loss or misappropriation of data, stolen assets or information, increased cybersecurity protection and insurance costs, litigation and damage to our reputation or 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 Goldman Sachs and third-party service providers, and the information systems of our portfolio companies. Goldman Sachs and these third-party service providers 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.

Our Business and Structure

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 market situation, as well as various social and political tensions in the United States and around the world, have contributed and may continue to 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.

Our business is directly influenced by the economic cycle, and could be negatively impacted by a downturn in economic activity in the U.S. as well as globally. Fiscal and monetary actions taken by U.S. and non-U.S. government and regulatory authorities could have a material adverse impact on our business. To the extent uncertainty regarding the U.S. or global economy negatively impacts consumer confidence and consumer credit factors, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected. Moreover, Federal Reserve policy, including with respect to certain interest rates, along with the general policies of the current Presidential administration, may also adversely affect the value, volatility and liquidity of dividend- and interest-paying securities. 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.

While the Federal Reserve recently decreased its federal funds target rate in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, 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 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.

Legislation may be adopted that could significantly affect the regulation of U.S. financial markets. Areas subject to potential change, amendment or repeal include the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) and the authority of the Federal Reserve and the Financial Stability Oversight Council. These or other regulatory changes could result in greater competition from banks and other lenders with which we compete for lending and other investment opportunities. The United States may also potentially withdraw from or renegotiate various trade agreements and take other actions that would change current trade policies of the United States. We cannot predict which, if any, of these actions will be taken or, if taken, their effect on the financial stability of the United States. Such actions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our Investment Adviser, its principals, investment professionals and employees and the members of its Investment Committee have certain conflicts of interest.

34

 

 


Table of Contents

Our Investment Adviser, its principals, affiliates, investment professionals and employees, the members of its Investment Committee and our officers and directors serve or may serve now or in the future as investment advisers, officers, directors, principals of, or in other capacities with respect to, public or private entities (including other BDCs and other investment funds) that operate in the same or a related line of business as us. For example, we have the same management and Investment Committee team as GS PMMC and GS PMMC II. Therefore, we expect these individuals may have obligations to investors in such other BDCs, the fulfillment of which might not be in our best interests or the best interests of our stockholders and we expect that investment opportunities will satisfy the investment criteria for both us and such other BDCs. In addition, GSAM and its affiliates also manage other Accounts, and expect to manage other vehicles in the future, that have investment mandates that are similar, in whole or in part, to ours and, accordingly, may invest in asset classes similar to those targeted by us. As a result, the Investment Adviser and/or its affiliates may face conflicts in allocating investment opportunities between us and such other entities. The fact that our investment advisory fees may be lower than those of certain other funds advised by GSAM could result in this conflict of interest affecting us adversely relative to such other funds.

Subject to applicable law, we may invest alongside Goldman Sachs and its Accounts. In certain circumstances, negotiated co-investments by us and other Accounts may be made only pursuant to an order from the SEC permitting us to do so. Together with our Investment Adviser, GS PMMC, GS MMLC (which was merged with us on October 12, 2020) and GS PMMC II, we applied for and received an exemptive order from the SEC that permits us to participate in negotiated co-investment transactions with certain affiliates (including GS PMMC and GS PMMC II), each of whose investment adviser is GSAM, after the date of the exemptive order, subject to certain conditions, such as that co-investments be made in a manner consistent with our investment objectives, positions, policies, strategies and restrictions, as well as regulatory requirements and pursuant to the conditions required by the exemptive relief, and are allocated fairly among participants. As a result of such order, there could be significant overlap in our investment portfolio and the investment portfolios of GS PMMC, GS PMMC II and/or other funds managed by our Investment Adviser. If we are unable to rely on our exemptive relief for a particular opportunity, when our Investment Adviser identifies certain investments, it will be required to determine which Accounts should make the investment at the potential exclusion of other Accounts. In such circumstances, the Investment Adviser will adhere to its investment allocation policy in order to determine the Account to which to allocate the opportunity. The policy currently provides that our Investment Adviser allocate opportunities through a rotation system or in such other manner as our Investment Adviser determines to be equitable. Accordingly, it is possible that we may not be given the opportunity to participate in investments made by other Accounts. See “—Legal and Regulatory—Our ability to enter into transactions with our affiliates is restricted.”

Goldman Sachs’ financial and other interests may incentivize Goldman Sachs to favor other Accounts.

Our Investment Adviser receives performance-based compensation in respect of its investment management activities on our behalf, which rewards our Investment Adviser for positive performance of our investment portfolio. As a result, our Investment Adviser may make investments for us that present a greater potential for return but also a greater risk of loss or that are more speculative than would be the case in the absence of performance-based compensation. In addition, our Investment Adviser may simultaneously manage other Accounts (including other BDCs (including GS PMMC and GS PMMC II)) for which our Investment Adviser may be entitled to receive greater fees or other compensation (as a percentage of performance or otherwise) than it receives in respect of us. In addition, subject to applicable law, Goldman Sachs may invest in other Accounts (including other business development companies (including GS PMMC and GS PMMC II)), and such investments may constitute substantial percentages of such other Accounts’ outstanding equity interests. Therefore, our Investment Adviser may have an incentive to favor such other Accounts over us. To address these types of conflicts, our Investment Adviser has adopted policies and procedures under which investment opportunities will be allocated in a manner that it believes is consistent with its obligations as an Investment Adviser. However, the amount, timing, structuring or terms of an investment by us may differ from, and performance may be different than, the investments and performance of other Accounts.

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

Our ability to achieve our investment objective depends on our Investment Adviser’s ability to identify, invest in and monitor companies that meet our investment criteria. Accomplishing this result on a cost-effective basis is largely a function of the structuring of our investment process and the ability of our Investment Adviser to provide competent, attentive and efficient services to us. Our executive officers and the members of the Investment Committee have substantial responsibilities in connection with their roles at our Investment Adviser, with respect to GS PMMC and GS PMMC II, and other clients of our Investment Adviser, as well as responsibilities under the Investment Management Agreement. We may also be called upon to provide significant managerial assistance to certain of our portfolio companies. These demands on their time, which will increase as the number of investments grow, may distract them or slow the rate of investment. In order to grow, our Investment Adviser may need to hire, train, supervise, manage and retain new employees. However, we cannot assure you that they will be able to do so effectively. Any failure to manage our future growth effectively could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our ability to grow depends on our ability to raise additional capital.

We will need to periodically access the capital markets to raise cash to fund new investments. If we do not have adequate capital available for investment, our performance could be adversely affected. In addition, we have elected to be treated, and expect to qualify annually, as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code, commencing with our taxable year ended December 31, 2013. To maintain our status as a RIC, among other requirements, we are required to timely distribute to our stockholders at least 90% of our investment company taxable income (determined without regard to the dividends paid deduction), which is generally our net ordinary income plus the excess of realized net short-term capital gains over realized net long-term capital losses, if any, for each taxable year. Consequently, such distributions will not be available to fund new investments. We expect to use debt financing and issue additional securities to fund our growth, if any. Unfavorable economic or capital market conditions may increase our funding costs, limit our access to the capital markets or result in a decision by lenders not to extend credit to us. An inability to successfully access the capital markets could limit our ability to grow our business and fully execute our business strategy and could decrease our earnings, if any. We may pursue growth through acquisitions or strategic investments in new businesses. Completion and timing of any such

35

 

 


Table of Contents

acquisitions or strategic investments may be subject to a number of contingencies and risks. There can be no assurance that the integration of an acquired business will be successful or that an acquired business will prove to be profitable or sustainable.

 

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 common stockholders. If the value of our assets decreases, leveraging would cause NAV 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 distributions to our common stockholders. In addition, we would have to service any additional debt that we incur, including interest expense on debt and dividends on preferred stock that we may issue, as well as the fees and costs related to the entry into or amendments to debt facilities. These expenses (which may be higher than the expenses on our current borrowings due to the rising interest rate environment) would decrease net investment income, and our ability to pay such expenses will depend largely on our financial performance and will be subject to prevailing economic conditions and competitive pressures. Moreover, leverage will increase the Management Fee payable to our Investment Adviser, which is based on our gross assets, including those assets acquired through the use of leverage but excluding cash and cash equivalents. Additionally, we will be able to incur additional leverage if we are able to obtain exemptive relief from the SEC to exclude the debt of any SBIC subsidiary we may form in the future from the leverage requirements otherwise applicable to BDCs. We have not yet applied to the Small Business Administration (the “SBA”) for approval to form a SBIC and have not yet applied for exemptive relief from the SEC. We can offer no assurances as to whether or when we will be able to form a SBIC subsidiary or obtain such exemptive relief.

In addition to having fixed-dollar claims on our assets that are superior to the claims of our common stockholders, any obligations to the lenders will be secured by a first priority security interest in our portfolio of investments and cash. In the case of a liquidation event, those lenders would receive proceeds to the extent of their security interest before any distributions are made to our stockholders. Furthermore, our senior secured revolving credit agreement with Truist Bank (formerly known as SunTrust Bank), as administrative agent, and Bank of America, N.A., as syndication agent (as amended, the “Revolving Credit Facility”) imposes, and any credit agreement or other debt financing agreement into which we may enter may impose, financial and operating covenants that restrict our investment activities (including restrictions on industry concentrations), remedies on default and similar matters. In connection with borrowings, our lenders may also require us to pledge assets.

Lastly, we may be unable to obtain our desired leverage, which would, in turn, affect your return on investment.

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

 

Assumed Return on Our Portfolio (Net of Expenses)

 

 

(10.00

)%

 

 

(5.00

)%

 

 

0.00

%

 

 

5.00

%

 

 

10.00

%

Corresponding Return to Common Stockholder (1)

 

 

(23.84

)%

 

 

(13.54

)%

 

 

(3.23

)%

 

 

7.08

%

 

 

17.39

%

 

(1)

Based on (i) $3,329.68 million in total assets including debt issuance costs as of December 31, 2020, (ii) $1,644.38 million in outstanding indebtedness as of December 31, 2020, (iii) $1,615.14 million in net assets as of December 31, 2020 and (iv) an annualized average interest rate on our indebtedness, as of December 31, 2020, excluding fees (such as fees on undrawn amounts and amortization of financing costs), of 3.17%.

Our Investment Adviser will be paid the Management Fee even if the value of your investment declines and our Investment Adviser’s Incentive Fee may create incentives for it to make certain kinds of investments.

The Management Fee is payable even in the event the value of your investment declines. The Management Fee is calculated as a percentage of the average value of our gross assets including borrowed funds (excluding cash or cash equivalents) at the end of the prior two completed calendar quarters. Accordingly, the Management Fee is payable regardless of whether the value of our gross assets and/or your investment has decreased during the then-current quarter and creates an incentive for the Investment Adviser to incur leverage.

In addition, the Incentive Fee payable by us to our Investment Adviser may create an incentive for our Investment Adviser to make investments on our behalf that are risky or more speculative than would be the case in the absence of such a compensation arrangement and also to incur leverage, which will tend to enhance returns where our portfolio has positive returns. Our Investment Adviser receives the Incentive Fee based, in part, upon capital gains realized on our investments. As a result, our Investment Adviser may have an incentive to invest more in companies whose securities are likely to yield capital gains, as compared to income-producing securities. Such a practice could result in our investing in more speculative securities than would otherwise be the case, which could result in higher investment losses, particularly during cyclical economic downturns.

The Incentive Fee payable by us to our Investment Adviser also may create an incentive for our Investment Adviser to invest on our behalf in instruments that have a deferred interest feature. Under these investments, we accrue the interest over the life of the investment but do not receive the cash income from the investment until the end of the term. Our net investment income used to calculate the income portion of our Incentive Fee, however, includes accrued interest. Thus, a portion of this Incentive Fee is based on income that we have not yet received in cash. This risk could be increased because our Investment Adviser is not obligated to reimburse us for any Incentive Fees received even if we subsequently incur losses or never receive in cash the accrued income (including accrued income with respect to original issue discount (“OID”), payment-in-kind (“PIK”) interest and zero coupon securities).

36

 

 


Table of Contents

If we increase leverage, the management fees payable to our Investment Adviser will be higher than if we did not use leverage, irrespective of the return on the incremental assets. In addition, as leverage generally would magnify positive returns, if any, on our portfolio, as noted above, the use of leverage may cause our net investment income to exceed the quarterly hurdle rate for the Incentive Fee on income payable to our Investment Adviser at a lower average return on our portfolio.

The Incentive Fee based on income takes into account our past performance.

The Incentive Fee based on income will be determined and paid quarterly in arrears at the end of each calendar quarter by reference to our aggregate net investment income, as adjusted, from the calendar quarter then ending and the eleven preceding calendar quarters (or if shorter, the number of quarters that have occurred since January 1, 2015) (such period the “Trailing Twelve Quarters”). The effect of calculating the Incentive Fee using reference to the Trailing Twelve Quarters is that, in certain limited circumstances, an Incentive Fee based on income will be payable to our Investment Adviser although our net income for such quarter did not exceed the hurdle rate or the Incentive Fee will be higher than it would have been if calculated based on our performance for the applicable quarter without taking into account the Trailing Twelve Quarters. For example, if we experience a net loss for any particular quarter, an Incentive Fee may still be paid to our Investment Adviser if such net loss is less than the net loss for the most recent quarter that preceded the Trailing Twelve Quarters. In such circumstances, our Investment Adviser would be entitled to an Incentive Fee whereas it would not have been entitled to an Incentive Fee if calculated solely on the basis of our performance for the applicable quarter.

Potential conflicts of interest with other businesses of Goldman Sachs could impact our investment returns.

There are significant potential conflicts of interest that could negatively impact our investment returns. A number of these potential conflicts of interest with affiliates of our Investment Adviser and Group Inc. are discussed in more detail elsewhere in this report.

Group Inc., including its affiliates and personnel, is a BHC and a worldwide, full-service investment banking, broker-dealer, asset management and financial services organization, and a major participant in global financial markets that provides a wide range of financial services to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and high-net-worth individuals. As such, it acts as an investor, investment banker, research provider, investment manager, financier, adviser, market maker, trader, prime broker, derivatives dealer, lender, counterparty, agent and principal. In those and other capacities, Goldman Sachs and its affiliates advise clients in all markets and transactions and purchase, sell, hold and recommend a broad array of investments, including securities, derivatives, loans, commodities, currencies, credit default swaps, indices, baskets and other financial instruments and products for its own accounts or for the accounts of their customers, and have other direct and indirect interests, in the global fixed income, currency, commodity, equity, bank loans and other markets in which we invest or may invest. Such additional businesses and interests will likely give rise to potential conflicts of interest and may restrict the way we operate our business. For example, (1) we may not be able to conduct transactions relating to investments in portfolio companies because our Investment Adviser is not permitted to obtain or use material nonpublic information in effecting purchases and sales in public securities transactions for us or (2) Goldman Sachs, the clients it advises, and its personnel may engage (or consider engaging) in commercial arrangements or transactions with us (subject to any limitations under the law), and/or may compete for commercial arrangements or transactions in the same types of companies, assets, securities or other assets or instruments as us. Transactions by, advice to and activities of such accounts (including potentially Goldman Sachs acting on a proprietary basis), may involve the same or related companies, securities or other assets or instruments as those in which we invest and may negatively affect us (including our ability to engage in a transaction or other activities) or the prices or terms at which our transactions or other activities may be effected. For example, Goldman Sachs may be engaged to provide advice to an account that is considering entering into a transaction with us, and Goldman Sachs may advise the account not to pursue the transaction with us, or otherwise in connection with a potential transaction provide advice to the account that would be adverse to us. See “Our Investment Adviser, its principals, investment professionals and employees and the members of its Investment Committee have certain conflicts of interest” and “Legal and RegulatoryOur ability to enter into transactions with our affiliates is restricted.” In addition, GS & Co. may, to the extent permitted by applicable law, including the limitations set forth in Section 57(k) of the Investment Company Act, receive compensation from us or from the borrowers if we make any investments based on opportunities that such employees or personnel of GS & Co. have referred to us. Such compensation might incentivize GS & Co. or its employees or personnel to refer opportunities or to recommend investments that might otherwise be unsuitable for us. Further, any such compensation paid by us, or paid by the borrower (to which we would otherwise have been entitled) in connection with such investments, may negatively impact our returns. Furthermore, Goldman Sachs is currently, and in the future expects to be, raising capital for new public and private investment vehicles that have, or when formed will have, the primary purpose of middle-market direct lending. These investment vehicles, as well as existing investment vehicles (including GS PMMC and GS PMMC II), will compete with us for investments. Although our Investment Adviser and its affiliates will endeavor to allocate investment opportunities among their clients, including us, in a fair and equitable manner and consistent with applicable allocation procedures, it is expected that, in the future, we may not be given the opportunity to participate in investments made by other Accounts or that we may participate in such investments to a lesser extent due to participation by such other Accounts.

 

In addition, Goldman Sachs or another investment account or vehicle managed or controlled by Goldman Sachs may hold securities, loans or other instruments of a portfolio company in a different class or a different part of the capital structure than securities, loans or other instruments of such portfolio company held by us. As a result, Goldman Sachs or such other investment account or vehicle may pursue or enforce rights or activities, or refrain from pursuing or enforcing rights or activities, on behalf of its own account, that could have an adverse effect on us. In addition, to the extent Goldman Sachs has invested in a portfolio company for its own account, Goldman Sachs may limit the transactions engaged in by us with respect to such portfolio company or issuer for reputational, legal, regulatory or other reasons.

Goldman Sachs has influence, and may continue to exert influence, over our management and affairs and over most votes requiring stockholder approval.

37

 

 


Table of Contents

Group Inc. has owned a significant portion of our common stock since the inception of our operations. As of December 31, 2020, Group Inc. owned 6.39% of our outstanding common stock. GS & Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Group Inc., has acquired shares of our common stock pursuant to a 10b5-1 plan, and may in the future acquire additional shares of our common stock in the open market, but GS & Co. will limit its collective ownership with Group Inc. to below 25.0% of our outstanding common stock. Therefore, Group Inc. is able to exert, and may be able to continue to exert, influence over our management and policies and have significant voting influence on most votes requiring stockholder approval. This concentration of ownership may also have the effect of delaying, preventing or deterring a change of control of us, could deprive our stockholders of an opportunity to receive a premium for their common stock as part of a sale of us and might ultimately affect the market price of our common stock. Our Investment Adviser has the authority to vote securities held by Group Inc., including on matters that may present a conflict of interest between our Investment Adviser and other stockholders.

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

Our Board of Directors has the authority to modify or waive certain of our operating policies and strategies without prior notice (except as required by the Investment Company Act or other applicable laws) and without stockholder approval. However, absent stockholder approval, we may not change the nature of our business so as to cease to be, or withdraw our election as, a BDC. We cannot predict the effect any changes to our current operating policies and strategies would have on our business, operating results and market price of our securities. Nevertheless, the effects may adversely affect our business and impact our ability to make distributions or make payments with respect to our indebtedness.

Our Investment Adviser can resign on 60 days’ notice. We may not be able to find a suitable replacement within that time, resulting in a disruption in our operations that could adversely affect our financial condition, business and results of operations.

Our Investment Adviser has the right, under the Investment Management Agreement, to resign at any time upon 60 days’ written notice, regardless of whether we have found a replacement. If our Investment Adviser resigns, we may not be able to find a new external investment adviser or hire internal management with similar expertise and ability to provide the same or equivalent services on acceptable terms within 60 days, or at all. If we are unable to do so quickly, our operations are likely to experience a disruption, our financial condition, business and results of operations as well as our ability to pay distributions are likely to be adversely affected, and the market price of our securities may decline.

Our Investment Adviser’s responsibilities and its liability to us are limited under the Investment Management Agreement, which may lead our Investment Adviser to act in a riskier manner on our behalf than it would when acting for its own account.

Our Investment Adviser has not assumed any responsibility to us other than to render the services described in the Investment Management Agreement, and it will not be responsible for any action of our Board of Directors in declining to follow our Investment Adviser’s advice or recommendations. Pursuant to the Investment Management Agreement, our Investment Adviser and its directors, members, stockholders, partners, officers, employees or controlling persons will not be liable to us for its acts under the Investment Management Agreement, absent willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence in the performance of its duties, or by reason of its reckless disregard of its obligations and duties under the Investment Management Agreement. These protections may lead our Investment Adviser to act in a riskier manner when acting on our behalf than it would when acting for its own account. See “Our Investment Adviser will be paid the Management Fee even if the value of your investment declines and our Investment Adviser’s Incentive Fee may create incentives for it to make certain kinds of investments.”

 

We may experience fluctuations in our quarterly results.

We could experience fluctuations in our quarterly operating results due to a number of factors, including interest rates payable on debt investments we make, default rates on such investments, the level of our expenses, variations in and the timing of the recognition of realized and unrealized gains or losses, the degree to which we encounter competition in certain markets and general economic conditions. As a result of these factors, results for any period should not be relied upon as being indicative of performance in future periods or the full fiscal year.

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

Our debt investments may be based on floating rates, such as LIBOR, the Euro Interbank Offered Rate, the Federal Funds Rate or the Prime Rate. General interest rate fluctuations may have a substantial negative impact on our investments, the value of our securities and our rate of return on invested capital. Currently, most of our floating rate investments are linked to LIBOR and it is unclear how increased regulatory oversight and the future of LIBOR may affect market liquidity and the value of the financial obligations to be held by or issued to us that are linked to LIBOR, or how such changes could affect our investments and transactions and financial condition or results of operations. Central banks and regulators in a number of major jurisdictions (for example, the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, Switzerland and Japan) have convened working groups to find, and implement the transition to, suitable replacements for interbank offered rates (“IBORs”). The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (the “FCA”), which regulates LIBOR, has announced that it intends not to compel panel banks to contribute to LIBOR after 2021. The E.U. Benchmarks Regulation imposed conditions under which only compliant benchmarks may be used in new contracts after 2021. To identify a successor rate for U.S. dollar LIBOR, the Alternative Reference Rates Committee (“ARRC”), a U.S.-based group convened by the Federal Reserve and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, was formed. The ARRC has identified the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) as its preferred alternative rate for LIBOR. SOFR is a measure of the cost of borrowing cash overnight, collateralized by the U.S. Treasury securities, and is based on directly observable U.S. Treasury-backed repurchase transactions. In addition, on March 25, 2020, the FCA reaffirmed the central assumption that firms cannot rely on LIBOR being published after the end of 2021. However, the outbreak of COVID-19 may adversely impact the timing of many firms’ transition planning, and we continue to assess the potential impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on our transition plans. Although SOFR appears to be the preferred replacement rate for U.S. dollar LIBOR, at this time, it is not possible to predict the effect of any such changes, any establishment of alternative reference rates, whether the COVID-19 outbreak will have further effect on LIBOR transition timelines or plans, or other reforms to

38

 

 


Table of Contents

LIBOR that may be enacted in the United States, United Kingdom or elsewhere. Furthermore, on November 30, 2020, Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (ICE) announced that the ICE Benchmark Administration Limited (IBA), a wholly-owned subsidiary of ICE and the administrator of LIBOR, will consider extending the LIBOR transition deadline to June 30, 2023. The announcement was supported by the FCA and the Federal Reserve. Despite the announcement, regulators continue to emphasize the importance of LIBOR transition planning. The elimination of LIBOR or any other changes or reforms to the determination or supervision of LIBOR or alternative reference rates 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. 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. As such, some or all of these credit agreements may bear a lower interest rate, which would adversely impact our financial condition or results of operations. Moreover, if LIBOR ceases to exist, we may need to renegotiate certain terms of our Revolving Credit Facility. If we are unable to do so, amounts drawn under the Revolving Credit Facility may bear interest at a higher rate, which would increase the cost of our borrowings and, in turn, affect our results of operations.

Because we have borrowed money, and may issue preferred stock to finance investments, our net investment income depends, in part, upon the difference between the rate at which we borrow funds or pay distributions on preferred stock and the rate that our investments yield. 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 also have an adverse impact on our net interest income. However, an increase in interest rates could decrease the value of any investments we hold which earn fixed interest rates, including subordinated loans, senior and junior secured and unsecured debt securities and loans and high yield bonds, 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 such increases cause our borrowing costs to rise at a rate in excess of the rate that our investments yield. Further, rising interest rates could also adversely affect our performance if we hold investments with floating interest rates, subject to specified minimum interest rates (such as a LIBOR floor), while at the same time engaging in borrowings subject to floating interest rates not subject to such minimums. In such a scenario, rising interest rates may increase our interest expense, even though our interest income from investments is not increasing in a corresponding manner as a result of such minimum interest rates.

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

A change in the general level of interest rates can be expected to lead to a change in the interest rate we receive on many of our debt investments. Accordingly, a change in the interest rate could make it easier for us to meet or exceed the performance threshold in the Investment Management Agreement and may result in a substantial increase in the amount of incentive fees payable to our Investment Adviser with respect to the portion of the Incentive Fee based on income.

Interest rates in the United States are currently at historically low levels. Certain countries have experienced negative interest rates on certain fixed-income instruments. Very low or negative interest rates may magnify interest rate risk. Changing interest rates, including rates that fall below zero, may have unpredictable effects on markets, may result in heightened market volatility and may detract from our performance to the extent we are exposed to such interest rates and/or volatility.

 

We may be unable to realize the benefits anticipated by the Merger, including estimated cost savings, or it may take longer than anticipated to achieve such benefits.

The realization of certain benefits anticipated as a result of the Merger will depend in part on the integration of GS MMLC’s investment portfolio with ours and the integration of GS MMLC’s business with ours. There can be no assurance that GS MMLC’s investment portfolio or business can be operated profitably or integrated successfully into our operations in a timely fashion or at all. The dedication of management resources to such integration may detract attention from the day-to-day business of the combined company and there can be no assurance that there will not be substantial costs associated with the transition process or there will not be other material adverse effects as a result of these integration efforts. Such effects, including, but not limited to, incurring unexpected costs or delays in connection with such integration and failure of GS MMLC’s investment portfolio to perform as expected, could have a material adverse effect on the financial results of the combined company.

We also expect to achieve certain cost savings from the Merger when the two companies have fully integrated their portfolios. It is possible that the estimates of the potential cost savings could ultimately be incorrect. The cost savings estimates also assume we will be able to combine the operations of us and GS MMLC in a manner that permits those cost savings to be fully realized. If the estimates turn out to be incorrect or if we are not able to successfully combine GS MMLC’s investment portfolio or business with our operations, the anticipated cost savings may not be fully realized or realized at all or may take longer to realize than expected.

39

 

 


Table of Contents

Portfolio Company Investments

Our investments are very risky and highly speculative.

We invest primarily through direct originations of secured debt, including first lien, unitranche, and last-out portions of such loans; second lien debt; unsecured debt, including mezzanine debt; and select equity investments. The securities in which we invest typically are not rated by any rating agency, and if they were rated, they would be below investment grade (rated lower than “Baa3” by Moody’s Investors Service and lower than “BBB-” by Fitch Ratings or S&P), which is an indication of having predominantly speculative characteristics with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal. Investments that are rated below investment grade are sometimes referred to as “junk bonds,” “high yield bonds” or “leveraged loans.” Therefore, our investments may result in an above average amount of risk and volatility or loss of principal. We also may invest in other assets, including U.S. government securities and structured securities. These investments entail additional risks that could adversely affect our investment returns.

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

 

Unsecured Debt, including Mezzanine Debt. Our unsecured debt investments, including mezzanine debt investments, generally will be subordinated to senior debt in the event of an insolvency. This may result in an above average amount of risk and loss of principal.

Equity Investments. When we invest in secured debt or unsecured debt, including mezzanine debt, we may acquire equity securities from the company in which we make the investment. In addition, we may invest in the equity securities of portfolio companies independent of any debt investment. Our goal is ultimately to dispose of such equity interests and realize gains upon our disposition of such interests. However, the equity interests we hold may not appreciate in value and, in fact, may decline in value. Accordingly, we may not be able to realize gains from our equity interests, and any gains that we do realize on the disposition of any equity interests may not be sufficient to offset any other losses we experience.

Investing in middle-market companies involves a number of significant risks.

Investing in middle-market companies involves a number of significant risks, including:

 

 

such companies may have limited financial resources and may be unable to meet their obligations under their debt securities that we hold, which may be accompanied by a deterioration in the value of any collateral and a reduction in the likelihood of us realizing any guarantees we may have obtained in connection with our investment;

 

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

 

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

 

such companies generally have less predictable operating results, may from time to time be parties to litigation, may be engaged in rapidly changing businesses with products subject to a substantial risk of obsolescence and may require substantial additional capital to support their operations, finance expansion or maintain their competitive position;

 

there is generally little public information about these companies, they and their financial information are not subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act and other regulations that govern public companies and we may be unable to uncover all material information about these companies, which may prevent us from making a fully informed investment decision and cause us to lose money on our investments;

 

our executive officers, directors and Investment Adviser may, in the ordinary course of business, be named as defendants in litigation arising from our investments in the portfolio companies; and

 

such companies may have difficulty accessing the capital markets to meet future capital needs, which may limit their ability to grow or to repay their outstanding indebtedness, including any debt securities held by us, upon maturity.

Many of our portfolio securities do not have a readily available market price, and we value these securities at fair value as determined in good faith under procedures adopted by our Board of Directors, which valuation is inherently subjective and may not reflect what we may actually realize for the sale of the investment.

The majority of our investments are, and are expected to continue to be, in debt instruments that do not have readily ascertainable market prices. The fair value of assets that are not publicly traded or whose market prices are not readily available are determined in good faith under procedures adopted by our Board of Directors. Our Board of Directors utilizes the services of independent third-party valuation firms (“Independent Valuation Advisors”) in determining the fair value of a portion of the securities in our portfolio as of each quarter end. Investment professionals from our

40

 

 


Table of Contents

Investment Adviser also prepare portfolio company valuations using sources and/or proprietary models depending on the availability of information on our assets and the type of asset being valued, all in accordance with our valuation policy. The participation of our Investment Adviser in our valuation process could result in a conflict of interest, since the Management Fee is based in part on our gross assets and also because our Investment Adviser is receiving a performance-based Incentive Fee.

Because fair valuations, and particularly fair valuations of private securities and private companies, are inherently uncertain, may fluctuate over short periods of time and are often based to a large extent on estimates, comparisons and qualitative evaluations of private information, it may be more difficult for investors to value accurately our investments and could lead to undervaluation or overvaluation of our common stock. In addition, the valuation of these types of securities may result in substantial write-downs and earnings volatility.

Our NAV as of a particular date may be materially greater than or less than the value that would be realized if our assets were to be liquidated as of such date. For example, if we were required to sell a certain asset or all or a substantial portion of our assets on a particular date, the actual price that we would realize upon the disposition of such asset or assets could be materially less than the value of such asset or assets as reflected in our NAV. Volatile market conditions could also cause reduced liquidity in the market for certain assets, which could result in liquidation values that are materially less than the values of such assets as reflected in our NAV.

 

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

Various restrictions render our investments relatively illiquid, which may adversely affect our business. As we generally make investments in private companies, substantially all of these investments are subject to legal and other restrictions on resale or are otherwise less liquid than publicly traded securities. Our Investment Adviser is not permitted to obtain or use material non-public information in effecting purchases and sales in public securities transactions for us, which could create an additional limitation on the liquidity of our investments. The illiquidity of our investments may make it difficult for us to sell such investments if the need arises. Therefore, if we are required to or desire to liquidate all or a portion of our portfolio quickly, we could realize significantly less than the value at which we have recorded our investments or could be unable to dispose of our investments in a timely manner or at such times as we deem advisable.

Our portfolio may be focused in a limited number of portfolio companies, which will subject us to a risk of significant loss if any of these companies default on their obligations under any of their debt instruments or if there is a downturn in a particular industry.

We are classified as a non-diversified investment company within the meaning of the Investment Company Act, which means that we are not limited by the Investment Company Act with respect to the proportion of our assets that we may invest in securities of a single issuer, excluding limitations on investments in certain other financial and investment companies. To the extent that we assume large positions in the securities of a small number of issuers or industries, our NAV may fluctuate to a greater extent than that of a diversified investment company as a result of changes in the financial condition or the market’s assessment of the issuer. We may also be more susceptible to any single economic or regulatory occurrence than a diversified investment company. In addition, the aggregate returns we realize may be significantly adversely affected if a small number of investments perform poorly or if we need to write down the value of any one investment. Additionally, a downturn in any particular industry in which we are invested could significantly affect our aggregate returns. Further, any industry in which we are meaningfully concentrated at any given time could be subject to significant risks that could adversely impact our aggregate returns. For example, as of December 31, 2020, Health Care Technology, together with Health Care Providers & Services and Health Care Equipment & Supplies, represented 23.1% of our portfolio at fair value. Our investments in Health Care Technology, Health Care Providers & Services and Health Care Equipment & Supplies are subject to substantial risks, including, but not limited to, the risk that the laws and regulations governing the business of health care companies, and interpretations thereof, may change frequently. Current or future laws and regulations could force our portfolio companies engaged in health care, to change their policies related to how they operate, restrict revenue, change costs, change reserve levels and change business practices. In addition, as of December 31, 2020, Software represented 10.1% of our portfolio at fair value. Our investments in Software is subject to substantial risks, including, but not limited to, intense competition, changing technology, shifting user needs, frequent introductions of new products and services, competitors in different industries and ranging from large established companies to emerging startups, decreasing average selling prices of products and services resulting from rapid technological changes, cybersecurity risks and cyber incidents and various legal and regulatory risks.

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

We do not generally hold controlling equity positions in our portfolio companies. While we are obligated as a BDC to offer to make managerial assistance available to our portfolio companies, there can be no assurance that management personnel of our portfolio companies will accept or rely on such assistance. To the extent that we do not hold a controlling equity interest in a portfolio company, we are subject to the risk that such portfolio company may make business decisions with which we disagree, and the stockholders and management of such portfolio company may take risks or otherwise act in ways that are adverse to our interests. Due to the lack of liquidity for the debt and equity investments that we typically hold in our portfolio companies, we may not be able to dispose of our investments in the event we disagree with the actions of a portfolio company and may therefore suffer a decrease in the value of our investments.

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

We may be subject to risks associated with investments in real estate loans.

41

 

 


Table of Contents

Our Investment Adviser, on our behalf, may periodically invest in loans related to real estate and real estate-related assets, and such investments will be subject to the risks inherent to investment in real estate-related assets generally. These risks include, but are not limited to, regional, national and international economic conditions, the supply and demand for properties, the financial resources of tenants, buyers and sellers of properties, changes in building, environmental, zoning and other laws and regulations, changes in real property tax rates, changes in interest rates and the availability of financing, which may render the sale or refinancing of properties difficult or impracticable, environmental liabilities, uninsured losses, acts of God, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, acts of war (declared and undeclared), strikes and other factors which are beyond the control of our Investment Adviser and us.

We may be subject to risks associated with investments in energy companies.

The energy industry has been in a period of disruption and volatility that has been characterized by fluctuations in oil and gas prices and production levels. This disruption and volatility has led to, and future disruptions and volatility may lead to, decreases in the credit quality and performance of our potential debt and equity investments in energy companies, which could, in turn, negatively impact the fair value of our investments in energy companies. Any prolonged decline in oil and gas prices or production levels could adversely impact the ability of our potential portfolio companies in the energy industry to satisfy financial or operating covenants that may be imposed by us and other lenders or to make payments to us as and when due, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, energy companies are subject to supply and demand fluctuations in the markets in which they operate, which are impacted by numerous factors, including weather, use of renewable fuel sources, natural disasters, governmental regulation and general economic conditions, in addition to the effects of increasing regulation and general operational risks, any of which could have a material adverse effect on the performance and value of our energy-related investments as well as our cash flows from such investments.

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

Following an initial investment in a portfolio company, we may make additional investments in that portfolio company as “follow-on” investments, in order to:

 

 

increase or maintain in whole or in part our equity ownership percentage or debt participation;

 

exercise warrants, options or convertible securities that were acquired in the original or subsequent financing; or

 

attempt to preserve or enhance the value of our investment.

We may elect not to make follow-on investments or may lack sufficient funds to make those investments.

We will have the discretion to make any follow-on investments, subject to the availability of capital resources. The failure to make follow-on investments may, in some circumstances, jeopardize the continued viability of a portfolio company and our initial investment, or may result in a missed opportunity for us to increase our participation in a successful operation. Even if we have sufficient capital to make a desired follow-on investment, we may elect not to make a follow-on investment because we may not want to increase our concentration of risk, because we prefer other opportunities or because we are inhibited by compliance with BDC requirements, compliance with covenants contained in the agreements governing our indebtedness or compliance with the requirements for maintenance of our RIC status.

Our portfolio companies may prepay loans, which may reduce stated yields in the future if the capital returned cannot be invested in transactions with equal or greater expected yields.

Certain of the loans we make are prepayable at any time, with some prepayable at no premium to par. We cannot predict when such loans may be prepaid. Whether a loan is prepaid will depend both on the continued positive performance of the portfolio company and the existence of favorable financing market conditions that permit such company to replace existing financing with less expensive capital. In periods of rising interest rates, the risk of prepayment of floating rate loans may increase if other financing sources are available. As market conditions change frequently, it is unknown when, and if, this may be possible for each portfolio company. In the case of some of these loans, having the loan prepaid early may reduce the achievable yield for us in the future below the current yield disclosed for our portfolio if the capital returned cannot be invested in transactions with equal or greater expected yields.

Investments in common and preferred equity securities, many of which are illiquid with no readily available market, involve a substantial degree of risk.

Although common stock has historically generated higher average total returns than fixed income securities over the long term, common stock also has experienced significantly more volatility in those returns. Our equity investments may fail to appreciate and may decline in value or become worthless, and our ability to recover our investment will depend on our portfolio company’s success. Investments in equity securities involve a number of significant risks, including:

 

 

any equity investment we make in a portfolio company could be subject to further dilution as a result of the issuance of additional equity interests and to serious risks as a junior security that will be subordinate to all indebtedness (including trade creditors) or senior securities in the event that the issuer is unable to meet its obligations or becomes subject to a bankruptcy process;

 

to the extent that the portfolio company requires additional capital and is unable to obtain it, we may not recover our investment; and

 

in some cases, equity securities in which we invest will not pay current dividends, and our ability to realize a return on our investment, as well as to recover our investment, will be dependent on the success of the portfolio company.

42

 

 


Table of Contents

Even if the portfolio company is successful, our ability to realize the value of our investment may be dependent on the occurrence of a liquidity event, such as a public offering or the sale of the portfolio company. It is likely to take a significant amount of time before a liquidity event occurs or we can otherwise sell our investment. In addition, the equity securities we receive or invest in may be subject to restrictions on resale during periods in which it could be advantageous to sell them.

There are special risks associated with investing in preferred securities, including:

 

 

preferred securities may include provisions that permit the issuer, at its discretion, to defer distributions for a stated period without any adverse consequences to the issuer. If we own a preferred security that is deferring its distributions, we may be required to report income for tax purposes before we receive such distributions;

 

preferred securities are subordinated to debt in terms of priority to income and liquidation payments, and therefore will be subject to greater credit risk than debt; 

 

preferred securities may be substantially less liquid than many other securities, such as common stock or U.S. government securities; and

 

generally, preferred security holders have no voting rights with respect to the issuing company, subject to limited exceptions.

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

We may invest, to the extent permitted by law, in the equity securities of investment funds that are operating pursuant to certain exceptions to the Investment Company Act and, to the extent we so invest, will bear our ratable share of any such company’s expenses, including management and performance fees. We will also remain obligated to pay the Management Fee and Incentive Fee to our Investment Adviser with respect to the assets invested in the securities and instruments of such companies. With respect to each of these investments, each of our common stockholders will bear his or her share of the Management Fee and Incentive Fee due to our Investment Adviser as well as indirectly bearing the management and performance fees and other expenses of any such investment funds or advisers.

By originating loans to companies that are experiencing significant financial or business difficulties, we may be exposed to distressed lending risks.

As part of our lending activities, we may originate loans to companies that are experiencing significant financial or business difficulties, including companies involved in bankruptcy or other reorganization and liquidation proceedings. Although the terms of such financing may result in significant financial returns to us, they involve a substantial degree of risk. The level of analytical sophistication, both financial and legal, necessary for successful financing to companies experiencing significant business and financial difficulties is unusually high. There is no assurance that we will correctly evaluate the value of the assets collateralizing our loans or the prospects for a successful reorganization or similar action. In any reorganization or liquidation proceeding relating to a company that we fund, we may lose all or part of the amounts advanced to the borrower or may be required to accept collateral with a value less than the amount of the loan advanced by us to the borrower.

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

Many of the events within a bankruptcy case are adversarial and often beyond the control of the creditors. While creditors generally are afforded an opportunity to object to significant actions, there can be no assurance that a