Hercules Capital
Hercules Capital, Inc. (Form: 497, Received: 09/08/2017 17:00:25)
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Filed Pursuant to Rule 497
Registration No. 333-214767

 

PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT

(To prospectus dated September 7, 2017)

 

 

LOGO

 

Up to 12,000,000 Shares

Common Stock

 

 

We have entered into an equity distribution agreement, dated September 8, 2017, or the Equity Distribution Agreement, with JMP Securities LLC, or JMP Securities, relating to the shares of common stock offered by this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE, under the trading symbol “HTGC.” The last reported sale price on the NYSE on September 5, 2017 was $12.22 per share. The net asset value per share of our common stock at June 30, 2017 (the last date prior to the date of this prospectus supplement on which we determined net asset value) was $9.87.

We are an internally managed, non-diversified, closed-end investment company that has elected to be regulated as a business development company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended. Our investment objective is to maximize our portfolio total return by generating current income from our debt investments and capital appreciation from our warrant and equity-related investments.

The Equity Distribution Agreement provides that we may offer and sell up to 12,000,000 shares of our common stock from time to time through JMP Securities, as our sales agent. Sales of our common stock, if any, under this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus may be made in negotiated transactions or transactions that are deemed to be “at the market,” as defined in Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, including sales made directly on the NYSE or similar securities exchange or sales made to or through a market maker other than on an exchange, at prices related to the prevailing market prices or at negotiated prices.

JMP Securities will receive a commission from us to be negotiated from time to time, but in no event in excess of 2.0% of the gross sales price of any shares of our common stock sold through JMP Securities under the Equity Distribution Agreement. JMP Securities is not required to sell any specific number or dollar amount of common stock, but will use its commercially reasonable efforts consistent with its sales and trading practices to sell the shares of our common stock offered by this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. See “ Plan of Distribution ” beginning on page S-15 of this prospectus supplement. The sales price per share of our common stock offered by this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, less JMP Securities’ commission, will not be less than the net asset value per share of our common stock at the time of such sale.

Please read this prospectus supplement, and the accompanying prospectus, before investing, and keep it for future reference. The prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus contain important information about us that a prospective investor should know before investing in our common stock. We file annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information about us with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC. This information is available free of charge by contacting us at 400 Hamilton Avenue, Suite 310, Palo Alto, California 94301, or by telephone by calling collect at (650) 289-3060 or on our website at www.htgc.com. The information on our website is not incorporated by reference into this prospectus or the accompanying prospectus. The SEC also maintains a website at www.sec.gov that contains such information.

An investment in our common stock involves risks, including the risk of a total loss of investment. In addition, the companies in which we invest are subject to special risks. See the “ Risk Factors ” section beginning on page 14 of the accompanying prospectus to read about risks that you should consider before investing in our common stock, including the risk of leverage.

Neither the SEC nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

JMP Securities

The date of this prospectus supplement is September 8, 2017.


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You should rely only on the information contained in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. We have not, and JMP Securities has not, authorized any other person to provide you with different information. If anyone provides you with different or inconsistent information, you should not rely on it. We are not, and JMP Securities is not, making an offer to sell these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted. You should assume that the information contained in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus is accurate only as of the date on the front cover of this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, as applicable. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since that date.

This document is in two parts. The first part is this prospectus supplement, which describes the terms of this offering and also adds to and updates information contained in the accompanying prospectus. The second part is the accompanying prospectus, which gives more general information and disclosure. To the extent the information contained in this prospectus supplement differs from the information contained in the accompanying prospectus, the information in this prospectus supplement shall control. You should read this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus together with the additional information described under the heading, “Available Information” before investing in our common stock.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Prospectus Supplement

 

     Page  

Fees and Expenses

     S-1  

Forward-Looking Statements; Market Data

     S-3  

Prospectus Supplement Summary

     S-5  

The Offering

     S-11  

Use of Proceeds

     S-12  

Price Range of Common Stock

     S-13  

Capitalization

     S-14  

Plan of Distribution

     S-15  

Legal Matters

     S-17  

Experts

     S-17  

Available Information

     S-17  

Prospectus

 

     Page  

Summary

     1  

Fees and Expenses

     10  

Selected Consolidated Financial Data

     12  

Risk Factors

     14  

Forward-Looking Statements

     61  

Use of Proceeds

     62  

Price Range of Common Stock and Distributions

     63  

Ratio of Earnings to Fixed Charges

     66  

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

     67  

Business

     125  

Portfolio Companies

     138  

Senior Securities

     162  

Management

     165  

 

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     Page  

Corporate Governance

     176  

Executive Compensation

     181  

Control Persons and Principal Stockholders

     201  

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions

     203  

Certain United States Federal Income Tax Considerations

     204  

Regulation

     214  

Determination of Net Asset Value

     220  

Sales of Common Stock Below Net Asset Value

     224  

Dividend Reinvestment Plan

     229  

Description of Capital Stock

     230  

Description of Our Preferred Stock

     237  

Description of Our Subscription Rights

     239  

Description of Warrants

     241  

Description of Our Debt Securities

     243  

Plan of Distribution

     256  

Brokerage Allocation and Other Practices

     258  

Custodian, Transfer and Dividend Paying Agent and Registrar

     258  

Legal Matters

     258  

Experts

     258  

Available Information

     259  

Index to Financial Statements

     F-1  

 

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FEES AND EXPENSES

The following table is intended to assist you in understanding the various costs and expenses that an investor in our common stock will bear directly or indirectly. However, we caution you that some of the percentages indicated in the table below are estimates and may vary. The footnotes to the fee table state which items are estimates. Except where the context suggests otherwise, whenever this prospectus contains a reference to fees or expenses paid by “you” or “us” or that “we” will pay fees or expenses, stockholders will indirectly bear such fees or expenses as investors in Hercules Capital, Inc.

 

Stockholder Transaction Expenses (as a percentage of the public offering price):

  

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

     2.00

Offering expenses

     0.15 % (2)  

Dividend reinvestment plan fees

     —   (3)  
  

 

 

 

Total stockholder transaction expenses (as a percentage of the public offering price)

     2.15
  

 

 

 

Annual Expenses (as a percentage of net assets attributable to common stock): (4)

  

Operating expenses

     5.71 % (5)(6)  

Interest and fees paid in connection with borrowed funds

     5.53 % (7)  
  

 

 

 

Total annual expenses

     11.24 % (8)  
  

 

 

 

 

(1) Represents the estimated commission with respect to the shares of common stock being sold in this offering. JMP Securities will be entitled to compensation up to 2.00% of the gross proceeds of the sale of any shares of our common stock under the Equity Distribution Agreement, with the exact amount of such compensation to be mutually agreed upon by the Company and JMP Securities from time to time. There is no guarantee that there will be any sales of our common stock pursuant to this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus.
(2) The percentage reflects estimated offering expenses of approximately $222,000, assuming all shares are offered under this prospectus supplement.
(3) The expenses associated with the administration of our dividend reinvestment plan are included in “Operating expenses.” We pay all brokerage commissions incurred with respect to open market purchases, if any, made by the administrator under the plan. For more details about the plan, see “Dividend Reinvestment Plan” in the accompanying prospectus.
(4) “Net assets attributable to common stock” equals the weighted average net assets for the six-months ended June 30, 2017, which is approximately $834.2 million.
(5) “Operating expenses” represent our estimated operating expenses by annualizing our actual operating expenses incurred for the six-months ended June 30, 2017, including all fees and expenses of our consolidated subsidiaries and excluding interests and fees on indebtedness. This percentage for the year ended December 31, 2016 was 6.21%. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis and Results of Operations,” “Management,” and “Executive Compensation” in the accompanying prospectus.
(6) We do not have an investment adviser and are internally managed by our executive officers under the supervision of our Board of Directors. As a result, we do not pay investment advisory fees, but instead we pay the operating costs associated with employing investment management professionals.
(7) “Interest and fees paid in connection with borrowed funds” represents our estimated interest, fees and credit facility expenses by annualizing our actual interest, fees and credit facility expenses incurred for the six-months ended June 30, 2017, including our Wells Facility, Union Bank Facility, the 2024 Notes, the 2022 Convertible Notes, the 2021 Asset-Backed Notes and the SBA debentures, each of which is defined herein. This percentage for the year ended December 31, 2016 was 5.04%.
(8) “Total annual expenses” is the sum of “operating expenses,” and “interest and fees paid in connection with borrowed funds.” This percentage for the year ended December 31, 2016 was 11.25%. “Total annual expenses” is presented as a percentage of weighted average net assets attributable to common stockholders, because the holders of shares of our common stock (and not the holders of our debt securities or preferred stock, if any) bear all of our fees and expenses, including the fees and expenses of our wholly-owned consolidated subsidiaries, all of which are included in this fee table presentation.

 

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Example

The following example demonstrates the projected dollar amount of total cumulative expenses that would be incurred over various periods with respect to a hypothetical investment in our common stock. These amounts are based upon our payment of annual operating expenses at the levels set forth in the table above and assume no additional leverage.

 

     1 Year      3 Years      5 Years      10 Years  

You would pay the following expenses on a $1,000 common stock investment, assuming a 5% annual return

   $ 128      $ 322      $ 494      $ 840  

The example and the expenses in the tables above should not be considered a representation of our future expenses, and actual expenses may be greater or lesser than those shown. Moreover, while the example assumes, as required by the applicable rules of the SEC, a 5% annual return, our performance will vary and may result in a return greater or lesser than 5%. In addition, while the example assumes reinvestment of all distributions at net asset value (“NAV”), participants in our dividend reinvestment plan may receive shares valued at the market price in effect at that time. This price may be at, above or below NAV. See “Dividend Reinvestment Plan” in the accompanying prospectus for additional information regarding our dividend reinvestment plan.

 

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FORWARD- LOOKING STATEMENTS

The matters discussed in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, as well as in future oral and written statements by management of Hercules Capital, Inc., that are forward-looking statements are based on current management expectations that involve substantial risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from the results expressed in, or implied by, these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements relate to future events or our future financial performance. We generally identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “could,” “intends,” “target,” “projects,” “contemplates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential” or “continue” or the negative of these terms or other similar expressions. Important assumptions include our ability to originate new investments, achieve certain margins and levels of profitability, the availability of additional capital, and the ability to maintain certain debt to asset ratios. In light of these and other uncertainties, the inclusion of a projection or forward-looking statement in this prospectus should not be regarded as a representation by us that our plans or objectives will be achieved. The forward-looking statements contained in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus include statements as to:

 

   

our current and future management structure;

 

   

our future operating results;

 

   

our business prospects and the prospects of our prospective portfolio companies;

 

   

the impact of investments that we expect to make;

 

   

our informal relationships with third parties including in the venture capital industry;

 

   

the expected market for venture capital investments and our addressable market;

 

   

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

 

   

our ability to access debt markets and equity markets;

 

   

the ability of our portfolio companies to achieve their objectives;

 

   

our expected financings and investments;

 

   

our regulatory structure and tax status;

 

   

our ability to operate as a business development company, a small business investment company, or SBIC, and a regulated investment company, or RIC;

 

   

the adequacy of our cash resources and working capital;

 

   

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

 

   

the timing, form and amount of any distributions;

 

   

the impact of fluctuations in interest rates on our business;

 

   

the valuation of any investments in portfolio companies, particularly those having no liquid trading market; and

 

   

our ability to recover unrealized losses.

For a discussion of factors that could cause our actual results to differ from forward-looking statements contained in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, please see the discussion under “Risk Factors” in the accompanying prospectus. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements made in this prospectus relate only to events as of the date on which the statements are made. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this prospectus.

 

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Industry and Market Data

We have compiled certain industry estimates presented in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus from internally generated information and data. While we believe our estimates are reliable, they have not been verified by any independent sources. The estimates are based on a number of assumptions, including increasing investment in venture capital and private equity-backed companies. Actual results may differ from projections and estimates, and this market may not grow at the rates projected, or at all. If this market fails to grow at projected rates, our business and the market price of our securities, including our common stock, could be materially adversely affected.

 

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PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT SUMMARY

This summary highlights some of the information in this prospectus supplement and may not contain all of the information that is important to you. For a more complete understanding of this offering, we encourage you to read this entire prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus and the documents that are referenced in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, together with any accompanying supplements. In this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, unless the context otherwise requires, the “Company,” “Hercules,” “HTGC,” “we,” “us” and “our” refer to Hercules Capital, Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiaries and its affiliated securitization trusts.

Our Company

We are a specialty finance company focused on providing senior secured loans to high-growth, innovative venture capital-backed companies in a variety of technology, life sciences and sustainable and renewable technology industries. Our investment objective is to maximize our portfolio’s total return by generating current income from our debt investments and capital appreciation from our warrant and equity-related investments. We are an internally-managed, non-diversified closed-end investment company that has elected to be regulated as a business development company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, or the 1940 Act. Effective January 1, 2006, we elected to be treated for tax purposes as a RIC under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code.

As of June 30, 2017, our total assets were approximately $1.6 billion, of which our investments comprised $1.4 billion at fair value and $1.5 billion at cost. Since inception through June 30, 2017, we have made debt and equity commitments of approximately $6.9 billion to our portfolio companies.

We also make investments in qualifying small businesses through our two wholly-owned SBICs. Our SBIC subsidiaries, Hercules Technology II, L.P., or HT II, and Hercules Technology III, L.P., or HT III, hold approximately $104.8 million and $271.5 million in assets, respectively, and accounted for approximately 5.8% and 14.9% of our total assets, respectively, prior to consolidation at June 30, 2017. At June 30, 2017, we have issued $190.2 million in SBA-guaranteed debentures in our SBIC subsidiaries. See “Regulation—Small Business Administration Regulations” in the accompanying prospectus for additional information regarding our SBIC subsidiaries.

As of June 30, 2017, our investment professionals, including Manuel A. Henriquez, our co-founder, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, are currently comprised of 34 professionals who have, on average, more than 15 years of experience in venture capital, structured finance, commercial lending or acquisition finance with the types of technology-related companies that we are targeting. We believe that we can leverage the experience and relationships of our management team to successfully identify attractive investment opportunities, underwrite prospective portfolio companies and structure customized financing solutions.

 



 

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Organizational Chart

The following chart summarizes our organizational structure as of September 5, 2017. This chart is provided for illustrative purposes only.

 

 

LOGO

Our Market Opportunity

We believe that technology-related companies compete in one of the largest and most rapidly growing sectors of the U.S. economy and that continued growth is supported by ongoing innovation and performance improvements in technology products as well as the adoption of technology across virtually all industries in response to competitive pressures. We believe that an attractive market opportunity exists for a specialty finance company focused primarily on investments in structured debt with warrants in technology-related companies for the following reasons:

 

   

Technology-related companies have generally been underserved by traditional lending sources;

 

   

Unfulfilled demand exists for structured debt financing to technology-related companies due to the complexity of evaluating risk in these investments; and

 

   

Structured debt with warrants products are less dilutive and complement equity financing from venture capital and private equity funds.

Technology-Related Companies are Underserved by Traditional Lenders. We believe many viable technology-related companies backed by financial sponsors have been unable to obtain sufficient growth financing from traditional lenders, including financial services companies such as commercial banks and finance companies because traditional lenders have continued to consolidate and have adopted a more risk-averse approach to lending. More importantly, we believe traditional lenders are typically unable to underwrite the risk associated with these companies effectively.

 



 

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The unique cash flow characteristics of many technology-related companies typically include significant research and development expenditures and high projected revenue growth thus often making such companies difficult to evaluate from a credit perspective. In addition, the balance sheets of these companies often include a disproportionately large amount of intellectual property assets, which can be difficult to value. Finally, the speed of innovation in technology and rapid shifts in consumer demand and market share add to the difficulty in evaluating technology-related companies.

Due to the difficulties described above, we believe traditional lenders generally refrain from entering the structured debt financing marketplace, instead preferring the risk-reward profile of asset based lending. Traditional lenders generally do not have flexible product offerings that meet the needs of technology-related companies. The financing products offered by traditional lenders typically impose on borrowers many restrictive covenants and conditions, including limiting cash outflows and requiring a significant depository relationship to facilitate rapid liquidation.

Unfulfilled Demand for Structured Debt Financing to Technology-Related Companies. Private debt capital in the form of structured debt financing from specialty finance companies continues to be an important source of funding for technology-related companies. We believe that the level of demand for structured debt financing is a function of the level of annual venture equity investment activity.

We believe that demand for structured debt financing is currently underserved. The venture capital market for the technology-related companies in which we invest has been active. Therefore, to the extent we have capital available, we believe this is an opportune time to be active in the structured lending market for technology-related companies.

Structured Debt with Warrants Products Complement Equity Financing From Venture Capital and Private Equity Funds. We believe that technology-related companies and their financial sponsors will continue to view structured debt securities as an attractive source of capital because it augments the capital provided by venture capital and private equity funds. We believe that our structured debt with warrants products provide access to growth capital that otherwise may only be available through incremental investments by existing equity investors. As such, we provide portfolio companies and their financial sponsors with an opportunity to diversify their capital sources. Generally, we believe many technology-related companies at all stages of development target a portion of their capital to be debt in an attempt to achieve a higher valuation through internal growth. In addition, because financial sponsor-backed companies have reached a more mature stage prior to reaching a liquidity event, we believe our investments could provide the debt capital needed to grow or recapitalize during the extended period sometimes required prior to liquidity events.

Our Business Strategy

Our strategy to achieve our investment objective includes the following key elements:

Leverage the Experience and Industry Relationships of Our Management Team and Investment Professionals. We have assembled a team of experienced investment professionals with extensive experience as venture capitalists, commercial lenders, and originators of structured debt and equity investments in technology-related companies.

Mitigate Risk of Principal Loss and Build a Portfolio of Equity-Related Securities. We expect that our investments have the potential to produce attractive risk-adjusted returns through current income, in the form of interest and fee income, as well as capital appreciation from warrant and equity-related securities. We believe that we can mitigate the risk of loss on our debt investments through the combination of loan principal amortization, cash interest payments, relatively short maturities (typically between 24 – 48 months), security interests in the assets of our portfolio companies, and on select investment covenants requiring prospective

 



 

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portfolio companies to have certain amounts of available cash at the time of our investment and the continued support from a venture capital or private equity firm at the time we make our investment.

Provide Customized Financing Complementary to Financial Sponsors’ Capital. We offer a broad range of investment structures and possess expertise and experience to effectively structure and price investments in technology-related companies.

Invest at Various Stages of Development. We provide growth capital to technology-related companies at all stages of development, including select publicly listed companies and select special opportunity lower middle market companies that require additional capital to fund acquisitions, recapitalizations and refinancings and established-stage companies.

Benefit from Our Efficient Organizational Structure. We believe that the perpetual nature of our corporate structure enables us to be a long-term partner for our portfolio companies in contrast to traditional investment funds, which typically have a limited life. In addition, because of our access to the equity markets, we believe that we may benefit from a lower cost of capital than that available to private investment funds.

Deal Sourcing Through Our Proprietary Database. We have developed a proprietary and comprehensive structured query language-based database system to track various aspects of our investment process including sourcing, originations, transaction monitoring and post-investment performance.

Recent Developments

Evaluation of Alternative Management Structures

On May 3, 2017, we filed preliminary proxy materials with the SEC for a special meeting of stockholders to seek approval for a proposed advisory agreement with Hamilton Advisers LLC. However, after receiving feedback from our stockholders, on May 15, 2017, we decided to postpone the proposed special meeting of stockholders indefinitely and formally withdrew the proxy materials containing our proposal seeking stockholder approval of our plans to externalize our management structure to expand our ongoing review process. We, along with our professional advisors, are currently evaluating alternatives with respect to our management structure. The evaluation process is still ongoing, and we are continuing to move forward in evaluating various options, but we currently have no definitive timeline for completion. While internal management has served us well since our formation, our board of directors (the “Board of Directors”) has concluded that there are limitations to that management structure that may operate to our disadvantage. To that end, we are exploring the possibility of externalizing our management structure as a means of addressing those concerns; and, we are also examining various alternatives that could be pursued with respect to externalization if we determine that externalization is the proper course to follow. We and our independent directors are working with advisors to assist in these efforts. This program will result in us incurring additional and unusual expense until this project is concluded. Should we determine to pursue externalization, which would be subject to approval by our stockholders, it could involve some disruption (at least on a temporary basis) and expense during the period of transition.

Distribution Declaration

On July 26, 2017, our Board of Directors declared a cash distribution of $0.31 per share to be paid on August 21, 2017 to stockholders of record as of August 14, 2017. This distribution represented our forty-eighth consecutive distribution since our initial public offering, bringing the total cumulative distribution to date to $13.40 per share.

 



 

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Closed and Pending Commitments

As of September 5, 2017, we have:

 

   

Closed debt and equity commitments of approximately $93.2 million to new and existing portfolio companies and funded approximately $78.5 million subsequent to June 30, 2017.

 

   

Pending commitments (signed non-binding term sheets) of approximately $54.0 million. The table below summarizes our year-to-date closed and pending commitments as follows:

 

Closed Commitments and Pending Commitments (in millions)

  

January 1—June 30, 2017 Closed Commitments

   $ 397.0  

July 1—September 5, 2017 Closed Commitments(a)

   $ 93.2  

Pending Commitments (as of September 5, 2017)(b)

   $ 54.0  
  

 

 

 

Closed and Pending Commitments as of September 5, 2017

   $ 544.2  
  

 

 

 

 

a. Closed Commitments may include renewals of existing credit facilities. Not all Closed Commitments result in future cash requirements. Commitments generally fund over the two succeeding quarters from close.
b. Not all pending commitments (signed non-binding term sheets) are expected to close and they do not necessarily represent any future cash requirements.

Portfolio Company Developments

As of September 5, 2017, we held warrants or equity positions in six companies that have filed registration statements on Form S-1 with the SEC in contemplation of potential initial public offerings. All six companies filed confidentially under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 (the “JOBS Act”). There can be no assurance that these companies will complete their initial public offerings in a timely manner or at all. In addition, subsequent to June 30, 2017, our portfolio companies announced or completed the following liquidity events:

 

  1. JumpStart Games, Inc. was acquired by NetDragon Websoft Holdings Limited, a global leader in building internet communities. The acquisition was completed by NetDragon in Hong Kong on July 4, 2017. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Hercules initially committed $13.0 million in venture debt financing to JumpStart in March 2014. Hercules is scheduled to receive quarterly interest payments through June 30, 2018; and the potential to receive principal repayment of a portion of its outstanding obligation at maturity on June 30, 2018, subject to adjustments of JumpStart.

 

  2. Nasty Gal , a Los Angeles, CA-based fashion retail website for girls that sells vintage clothing, shoes and accessories, was acquired in February 2017 by Boohoo.com, a Manchester, England-based online fashion retailer, for $20.0 million in consideration for Nasty Gal’s intellectual property assets and customer databases. Hercules initially committed $20.0 million in venture debt financing. On February 28, 2017, Hercules received a partial payment of $12.6 million from the sale of Nasty Gal assets, with full repayment expected upon close of escrow. In July 2017, Hercules received final payment. The Company realized an IRR of approximately 19.1% from its loan repayments and equity/warrant gains.

 

  3. Jaguar Animal Health, Inc. (NASDAQ: JAGX) entered a binding merger agreement on May 26, 2017 with Napo Pharmaceuticals, a company that focuses on the development and commercialization of proprietary pharmaceuticals for the global marketplace in collaboration with local partners. In addition, Jaguar Animal Health and Napo Pharmaceuticals announced the filing of two Orphan Drug Designation Applications with U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for Mytesi for serious unmet medical needs.

The merger became effective on July 31, 2017, at which point Jaguar Animal Health’s name changed to Jaguar Health, Inc. and Napo began operating as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Jaguar. Although

 



 

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Jaguar’s name has changed, the public company will continue to trade under the same Nasdaq ticker symbol: JAGX.

 

  4. In August 2017, Hercules’ portfolio companies Cempra, Inc. (NASDAQ: CEMP), a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on developing differentiated anti-infectives for acute care and community settings to meet critical medical needs in the treatment of infectious diseases, and Melinta Therapeutics, Inc. , a privately held company focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing novel antibiotics to treat serious bacterial infections, announced that the companies had entered into a definitive agreement under which Melinta will merge with a subsidiary of Cempra. The merger is expected to create a NASDAQ-listed company committed to discovering, developing and commercializing important anti-infective therapies for patients and physicians in areas of significant unmet need. The merger is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017, subject to the approval of the stockholders of each company as well as other customary conditions.

 

  5. In August 2017, Hercules’ portfolio company CashStar, Inc. , a leading provider of gift card commerce solutions at the forefront of mobile payments and digital gifting innovation, was acquired by Blackhawk Network, Inc., a global financial technology company and a leader in connecting brands and people through branded value solutions, for $175.0 million in cash.

 

  6. In September 2017, Hercules’ portfolio company  Cloud Technology Partners, Inc. , a born-in-the-cloud services company with strong enterprise experience, announced that Hewlett Packard Enterprise intends to acquire the company to accelerate IT services growth as they transition from a traditional hardware business to a hybrid IT strategy. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Departure of Officer

On June 26, 2017, Andrew Olson announced his resignation, effective July 21, 2017, from his position as Vice President of Finance and Senior Controller. Gerard R. Waldt, Jr., the Company’s current Assistant Controller, will assume the position of Controller.

General Information

Our principal executive offices are located at 400 Hamilton Avenue, Suite 310, Palo Alto, California 94301, and our telephone number is (650) 289-3060. We also have offices in Boston, MA, New York, NY, Washington, DC, Santa Monica, CA, Hartford, CT, and San Diego, CA. We maintain a website on the Internet at www.htgc.com. We make available, free of charge, on our website our proxy statement, annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the SEC. Information contained on our website is not incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus, and you should not consider that information to be part of this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus.

We file annual, quarterly and current periodic reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act. This information is available at the SEC’s public reference room at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549. You may obtain information about the operation of the SEC’s public reference room by calling the SEC at (202) 551-8090. In addition, the SEC maintains an Internet website, at www.sec.gov, that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers, including us, who file documents electronically with the SEC.

 



 

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THE OFFERING

 

Common stock offered by us

Up to 12,000,000 shares of our common stock

 

Common stock outstanding prior to this offering

82,864,802 shares

 

Manner of offering

“At the market” offering that may be made from time to time through JMP Securities, as sales agent, using commercially reasonable efforts. See “Plan of Distribution” in this prospectus supplement.

 

Use of proceeds

We expect to use the net proceeds from this offering to fund investments in debt and equity securities in accordance with our investment objectives, retiring certain debt obligations and for other general corporate purposes.

 

  Pending such uses and investments, we will invest a portion of the net proceeds of this offering primarily in cash, cash equivalents, U.S. government securities or high-quality debt securities maturing in one year or less from the time of investment. Our ability to achieve our investment objectives may be limited to the extent that the net proceeds of this offering, pending full investment, are held in lower yielding short-term instruments. See “Use of Proceeds” in this prospectus supplement.

 

Distribution

To the extent that we have income available, we intend to distribute quarterly distributions to our stockholders. The amount of our distributions, if any, will be determined by our Board of Directors. Any distributions to our stockholders will be declared out of assets legally available for distribution. See “Price Range of Common Stock and Distributions” in the accompanying prospectus.

 

Taxation

We have elected to be treated for federal income tax purposes as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code. As a RIC, we generally do not have to pay corporate-level federal income taxes on any ordinary income or capital gains that we distribute to our stockholders as distributions. To maintain our RIC tax status, we must meet specified source-of-income and asset diversification requirements and distribute annually at least 90% of our ordinary income and realized net short-term capital gains in excess of realized net long-term capital losses, if any. See “Price Range of Common Stock and Distributions” in the accompanying prospectus and “Certain United States Federal Income Tax Considerations” in the accompanying prospectus.

 

New York Stock Exchange symbol

“HTGC”

 

Risk factors

An investment in our common stock is subject to risks and involves a heightened risk of total loss of investment. In addition, the companies in which we invest are subject to special risks. See “Risk Factors” beginning on page 14 of the accompanying prospectus to read about factors you should consider, including the risk of leverage, before investing in our common stock.

 



 

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USE OF PROCEEDS

Sales of our common stock, if any, under this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus may be made in negotiated transactions or transactions that are deemed to be “at the market” as defined in Rule 415 under the Securities Act, including sales made directly on the NYSE or sales made to or through a market maker other than on an exchange. There is no guarantee that there will be any sales of our common stock pursuant to this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. Actual sales, if any, of our common stock under this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus may be less than as set forth in this paragraph depending on, among other things, the market price of our common stock at the time of any such sale. As a result, the actual net proceeds we receive may be more or less than the amount of net proceeds estimated in this prospectus supplement. Assuming the sale of the remaining 12,000,000 shares of common stock offered under this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, at the last reported sale price of $12.22 per share for our common stock on the NYSE as of September 5, 2017, we estimate that the net proceeds of this offering will be approximately $143.5 million after deducting the estimated sales commission payable to JMP Securities and our estimated offering expenses.

We intend to use the net proceeds from this offering to fund investments in debt and equity securities in accordance with our investment objectives, retiring certain debt obligations and for other general corporate purposes.

We intend to seek to invest the net proceeds received in this offering as promptly as practicable after receipt thereof consistent with our investment objective. We anticipate that substantially all of the net proceeds from any offering of our securities will be used as described above within three to six months, depending on market conditions. We anticipate that the remainder will be used for working capital and general corporate purposes, including potential payments or distributions to shareholders. Pending such uses and investments, we will invest a portion of the net proceeds of this offering primarily in cash, cash equivalents, U.S. government securities or high-quality debt securities maturing in one year or less from the time of investment. Our ability to achieve our investment objectives may be limited to the extent that the net proceeds of this offering, pending full investment, are held in lower yielding short-term instruments.

 

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PRICE RANGE OF COMMON STOCK

Our common stock is traded on the NYSE under the symbol “HTGC.”

The following table sets forth the range of high and low sales prices of our common stock, the sales price as a percentage of NAV and the distributions declared by us for each fiscal quarter. The stock quotations are interdealer quotations and do not include markups, markdowns or commissions.

 

         

 

 

Price Range

    Premium/
Discount of
High Sales
Price to NAV
    Premium/
Discount of
Low Sales
Price to NAV
    Cash
Distribution
per Share
 
    NAV (1)     High     Low        

2015

           

First quarter

  $ 10.47     $ 15.27     $ 13.47       45.8     28.7   $ 0.310  

Second quarter

  $ 10.26     $ 13.37     $ 11.25       30.3     9.6   $ 0.310  

Third quarter

  $ 10.02     $ 12.23     $ 9.99       22.1     -0.3   $ 0.310  

Fourth quarter

  $ 9.94     $ 12.44     $ 10.23       25.2     2.9   $ 0.310  

2016

           

First quarter

  $ 9.81     $ 12.39     $ 10.03       26.3     2.2   $ 0.310  

Second quarter

  $ 9.66     $ 12.43     $ 11.74       28.7     21.6   $ 0.310  

Third quarter

  $ 9.86     $ 14.00     $ 12.42       41.9     25.9   $ 0.310  

Fourth quarter

  $ 9.90     $ 14.25     $ 12.90       43.9     30.2   $ 0.310  

2017

           

First quarter

  $ 9.76     $ 15.43     $ 14.12       58.1     44.7   $ 0.310  

Second quarter

  $ 9.87     $ 15.56     $ 12.66       57.6     28.3   $ 0.310  

Third quarter (through September 5, 2017)

    *     $ 13.50     $ 12.20       *       *       **  

 

(1) Net asset value per share is generally determined as of the last day in the relevant quarter and therefore may not reflect the NAV per share on the date of the high and low sales prices. The NAVs shown are based on outstanding shares at the end of each period.
* Net asset value has not yet been calculated for this period.
** Cash distribution per share has not yet been determined for this period.

The last reported price for our common stock on September 5, 2017 was $12.22 per share.

Shares of business development companies may trade at a market price that is less than the value of the net assets attributable to those shares. The possibility that our shares of common stock will trade at a discount from NAV or at premiums that are unsustainable over the long term are separate and distinct from the risk that our NAV will decrease. At times, our shares of common stock have traded at a premium to NAV and at times our shares of common stock have traded at a discount to the net assets attributable to those shares. It is not possible to predict whether the shares offered hereby will trade at, above, or below NAV.

 

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CAPITALIZATION

The Equity Distribution Agreement provides that we may offer and sell up to 12,000,000 shares of our common stock from time to time through JMP Securities, as our sales agent for the offer and sale of such common stock. The table below assumes that we will sell the remaining 12,000,000 shares at a price of $12.22 per share (the last reported sale price per share of our common stock on the NYSE on September 5, 2017) but there is no guarantee that there will be any sales of our common stock pursuant to this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. Actual sales, if any, of our common stock under this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus may be less than as set forth in the table below. In addition, the price per share of any such sale may be greater or less than $12.22, depending on the market price of our common stock at the time of any such sale. The following table sets forth our capitalization as of June 30, 2017:

 

   

on an actual basis; and

 

   

on an as adjusted basis giving effect to the transactions noted above and the assumed sale of 12,000,000 shares of our common stock at a price of $12.22 per share (the last reported sale price per share of our common stock on the NYSE on September 5, 2017) less commissions and expenses.

This table should be read in conjunction with “Use of Proceeds” in this prospectus supplement and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our financial statements and notes thereto included in the accompanying prospectus. The adjusted information is illustrative only.

 

     As of June 30, 2017  
     Actual     As
Adjusted
 
     (in thousands)  

Investments at fair value

   $ 1,395,469     $ 1,395,469  

Cash and cash equivalents

   $ 160,412     $ 303,898  

Debt:

    

Accounts payable and accrued liabilities

   $ 22,193     $ 22,193  

Long-term SBA debentures

     187,824       187,824  

Convertible Notes

     222,898       222,898  

2021 Asset-Backed Notes

     86,865       86,865  

2024 Notes

     251,478       251,478  
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total debt

   $ 771,258     $ 771,258  
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Stockholders’ equity:

    

Common stock, par value $0.001 per share; 200,000,000 shares authorized; 82,818,602 shares issued and outstanding, actual, 94,818,602 shares issued and outstanding, as adjusted, respectively

   $ 83     $ 95  

Capital in excess of par value

     892,930       1,036,404  

Unrealized depreciation on investments

     (106,941     (106,941

Accumulated realized gains on investments

     35,128       35,128  

Distributions in excess of investment income

     (3,749     (3,749
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total stockholders’ equity

   $ 817,451     $ 960,937  
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total capitalization

   $ 1,588,709     $ 1,732,195  
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

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PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

JMP Securities LLC is acting as our sales agent in connection with the offer and sale of shares of our common stock pursuant to this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. Upon written instructions from us, JMP Securities LLC will use its commercially reasonable efforts consistent with its sales and trading practices to sell, as our sales agent, our common stock under the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the Equity Distribution Agreement. We will instruct JMP Securities LLC as to the amount of common stock to be sold by it. We may instruct JMP Securities LLC not to sell common stock if the sales cannot be effected at or above the price designated by us in any instruction. The sales price per share of our common stock offered by this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, less JMP Securities LLC’s commission, will not be less than the net asset value per share of our common stock at the time of such sale. We or JMP Securities LLC may suspend the offering of shares of common stock upon proper notice and subject to other conditions.

Sales of our common stock, if any, under this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus may be made in negotiated transactions or transactions that are deemed to be “at the market,” as defined in Rule 415 under the Securities Act, including sales made directly on the NYSE or similar securities exchange or sales made to or through a market maker other than on an exchange at prices related to the prevailing market prices or at negotiated prices.

JMP Securities LLC will provide written confirmation of a sale to us no later than the opening of the trading day on the NYSE following each trading day in which shares of our common stock are sold under the Equity Distribution Agreement. Each confirmation will include the number of shares of common stock sold on the preceding day, the net proceeds to us and the compensation payable by us to JMP Securities LLC in connection with the sales.

JMP Securities LLC will receive a commission from us to be negotiated from time to time but in no event in excess of 2.0% of the gross sales price of any shares of our common stock sold through JMP Securities LLC under the Equity Distribution Agreement. We estimate that the total expenses for the offering, excluding compensation payable to JMP Securities LLC under the terms of the Equity Distribution Agreement, will be approximately $222,000 assuming all shares are offered under this prospectus supplement (including up to $10,000 in reimbursement of the underwriters’ counsel fees in connection with the review of the terms of the offering by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.).

Settlement for sales of shares of common stock will occur on the third trading day following the date on which such sales are made, or on some other date that is agreed upon by us and JMP Securities LLC in connection with a particular transaction, in return for payment of the net proceeds to us. There is no arrangement for funds to be received in an escrow, trust or similar arrangement.

We will report at least quarterly the number of shares of our common stock sold through JMP Securities LLC under the Equity Distribution Agreement and the net proceeds to us.

In connection with the sale of the common stock on our behalf, JMP Securities LLC may be deemed to be an “underwriter” within the meaning of the Securities Act, and the compensation of JMP Securities LLC may be deemed to be underwriting commissions or discounts. We have agreed to provide indemnification and contribution to JMP Securities LLC against certain civil liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act.

The offering of our shares of common stock pursuant to the Equity Distribution Agreement will terminate upon the earlier of (i) the sale of all common stock subject to the Equity Distribution Agreement or (ii) the termination of the Equity Distribution Agreement. The Equity Distribution Agreement may be terminated by us in our sole discretion under the circumstances specified in the Equity Distribution Agreement by giving notice to JMP Securities LLC. In addition, JMP Securities LLC may terminate the Equity Distribution Agreement under the circumstances specified in the Equity Distribution Agreement by giving notice to us.

 

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Potential Conflicts of Interest

JMP Securities LLC and its affiliates have provided, or may in the future provide, various investment banking, commercial banking, financial advisory, brokerage and other services to us and our affiliates for which services they have received, and may in the future receive, customary fees and expense reimbursement. JMP Securities LLC and its affiliates may, from time to time, engage in transactions with and perform services for us in the ordinary course of their business for which they may receive customary fees and reimbursement of expenses. In the ordinary course of their various business activities, JMP Securities LLC and its affiliates may make or hold a broad array of investments and actively trade debt and equity securities (or related derivative securities) and financial instruments (including bank loans) for their own account and for the accounts of their customers and such investment and securities activities may involve securities and/or instruments of our company.

The principal business address of JMP Securities LLC is 600 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA 94111.

 

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LEGAL MATTERS

Certain legal matters in connection with the securities offered hereby will be passed upon for us by Dechert LLP, Washington, D.C. Certain legal matters in connection with the securities offered hereby will be passed upon for JMP Securities by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

EXPERTS

The consolidated financial statements as of December 31, 2016 and 2015 and for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2016 and management’s assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting (which is included in Management’s Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting) as of December 31, 2016 included in the accompanying prospectus have been so included in reliance on the report of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, given on the authority of said firm as experts in auditing and accounting.

AVAILABLE INFORMATION

We have filed with the SEC a registration statement on Form N-2, together with all amendments and related exhibits, under the Securities Act, with respect to our securities offered by this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. The registration statement contains additional information about us and our securities being offered by this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus.

We file annual, quarterly and current periodic reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC under the Exchange Act. You may inspect and copy these reports, proxy statements and other information, as well as the registration statement of which this prospectus supplement and accompanying prospectus form a part and the related exhibits and schedules, at the Public Reference Room of the SEC at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549-0102. You may obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 202-551-8090. The SEC maintains an Internet website that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information filed electronically by us with the SEC which are available on the SEC’s Internet website at http://www.sec.gov. Copies of these reports, proxy and information statements and other information may be obtained, after paying a duplicating fee, by electronic request at the following E-mail address: publicinfo@sec.gov, or by writing the SEC’s Public Reference Section, Washington, D.C. 20549-0102.

 

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$600,000,000

 

 

LOGO

Common Stock

Preferred Stock

Warrants

Subscription Rights

Debt Securities

This prospectus relates to the offer, from time to time, in one or more offerings or series, up to $600,000,000 of shares of our common stock, par value $0.001 per share, preferred stock, par value $0.001 per share, warrants representing rights to purchase shares of our common stock, preferred stock or debt securities, subscription rights or debt securities, which we refer to, collectively, as the “securities.” The preferred stock, debt securities, subscription rights and warrants offered hereby may be convertible or exchangeable into shares of our common stock. We may sell our securities through underwriters or dealers, “at-the-market” to or through a market maker into an existing trading market or otherwise directly to one or more purchasers, including existing stockholders in a rights offering, or through agents or through a combination of methods of sale, including auctions. The identities of such underwriters, dealers, market makers or agents, as the case may be, will be described in one or more supplements to this prospectus. The securities may be offered at prices and on terms to be described in one or more supplements to this prospectus.

In the event we offer common stock, the offering price per share will not be less than the net asset value per share of our common stock at the time we make the offering except (1) in connection with a rights offering to our existing stockholders, (2) with the consent of the holders of the majority of our voting securities and approval of our Board of Directors, or (3) under such circumstances as the Securities and Exchange Commission may permit. See “Risk Factors” for more information.

We are a specialty finance company focused on providing senior secured loans to high-growth, innovative venture capital-backed companies in a variety of technology, life sciences and sustainable and renewable technology industries. We primarily finance privately-held companies backed by leading venture capital and private equity firms and publicly-traded companies that lack access to public capital or are sensitive to equity ownership dilution. We source our investments through our principal office located in Palo Alto, CA, as well as through additional offices in Boston, MA, New York, NY, Washington, DC, Santa Monica, CA, Hartford, CT and San Diego, CA. Our goal is to be the leading structured debt financing provider for venture capital-backed companies in technology-related industries requiring sophisticated and customized financing solutions. We invest primarily in structured debt with warrants and, to a lesser extent, in senior debt and equity investments. We use the term “structured debt with warrants” to refer to any debt investment, such as a senior or subordinated secured loan, that is coupled with an equity component, including warrants, options or other rights to purchase common or preferred stock. Our structured debt with warrants investments typically are secured by some or all of the assets of the portfolio company. We invest primarily in private companies but also have investments in public companies.

Our investment objective is to maximize our portfolio total return by generating current income from our debt investments and capital appreciation from our warrant and equity-related investments. We are an internally-managed, non-diversified closed-end investment company that has elected to be regulated as a business development company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended.

Our common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE, under the symbol “HTGC.” On August 30, 2017, the last reported sale price of a share of our common stock on the NYSE, was $12.31. The net asset value per share of our common stock at June 30, 2017 (the last date prior to the date of this prospectus on which we determined net asset value) was $9.87.

 

 

An investment in our securities may be speculative and involves risks including a heightened risk of total loss of investment. In addition, the companies in which we invest are subject to special risks. See “ Risk Factors ” beginning on page 14 to read about risks that you should consider before investing in our securities, including the risk of leverage.

Please read this prospectus before investing and keep it for future reference. It contains important information about us that a prospective investor ought to know before investing in our securities. We file annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information about us with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The information is available free of charge by contacting us at 400 Hamilton Avenue, Suite 310, Palo Alto, California 94301 or by telephone calling collect at (650) 289-3060 or on our website at www.htgc.com. The SEC also maintains a website at www.sec.gov that contains such information.

 

 

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

This prospectus may not be used to consummate sales of any securities unless accompanied by a prospectus supplement.

The date of this prospectus is September 7, 2017


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You should rely only on the information contained in this prospectus. We have not authorized any dealer, salesperson or other person to provide you with different information or to make representations as to matters not stated in this prospectus. If anyone provides you with different or inconsistent information, you should not rely on it. This prospectus is not an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy, any securities by any person in any jurisdiction where it is unlawful for that person to make such an offer or solicitation or to any person in any jurisdiction to whom it is unlawful to make such an offer or solicitation. The information in this prospectus is accurate only as of its date, and under no circumstances should the delivery of this prospectus or the sale of any securities imply that the information in this prospectus is accurate as of any later date or that the affairs of Hercules Capital, Inc. have not changed since the date hereof. This prospectus will be updated to reflect material changes.

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

     Page  

Summary

     1  

Fees and Expenses

     10  

Selected Consolidated Financial Data

     12  

Risk Factors

     14  

Forward-Looking Statements

     61  

Use of Proceeds

     62  

Price Range of Common Stock and Distributions

     63  

Ratio of Earnings to Fixed Charges

     66  

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

     67  

Business

     125  

Portfolio Companies

     138  

Senior Securities

     162  

Management

     165  

Corporate Governance

     176  

Executive Compensation

     181  

Control Persons and Principal Stockholders

     201  

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions

     203  

Certain United States Federal Income Tax Considerations

     204  

Regulation

     214  

Determination of Net Asset Value

     220  

Sales of Common Stock Below Net Asset Value

     224  

Dividend Reinvestment Plan

     229  

Description of Capital Stock

     230  

Description of Our Preferred Stock

     237  

Description of Our Subscription Rights

     239  

Description of Warrants

     241  

Description of Our Debt Securities

     243  

Plan of Distribution

     256  

Brokerage Allocation and Other Practices

     258  

Custodian, Transfer and Dividend Paying Agent and Registrar

     258  

Legal Matters

     258  

Experts

     258  

Available Information

     259  

Index to Financial Statements

     F-1  

 

 

Hercules Capital, Inc., our logo and other trademarks of Hercules Capital, Inc. mentioned in this prospectus are the property of Hercules Capital, Inc. All other trademarks or trade names referred to in this prospectus are the property of their respective owners.


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ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS

This prospectus is part of a registration statement that we have filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission using the “shelf” registration process. Under the shelf registration process, which constitutes a delayed offering in reliance on Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), we may offer, from time to time, up to $600,000,000 of our common stock, preferred stock, warrants representing rights to purchase shares of our common stock, preferred stock or debt securities, subscription rights or debt securities on the terms to be determined at the time of the offering. We may sell our securities through underwriters or dealers, “at-the-market” to or through a market maker, into an existing trading market or otherwise directly to one or more purchasers, including existing stockholders in a rights offering, or through agents or through a combination of methods of sale. The identities of such underwriters, dealers, market makers or agents, as the case may be, will be described in one or more supplements to this prospectus. The securities may be offered at prices and on terms described in one or more supplements to this prospectus. This prospectus provides you with a general description of the securities that we may offer. Each time we use this prospectus to offer securities, we will provide a prospectus supplement that will contain specific information about the terms of that offering. Please carefully read this prospectus and any such supplements together with the additional information described under “Where You Can Find Additional Information” in the “Summary” and “Risk Factors” sections before you make an investment decision.

A prospectus supplement may also add to, update or change information contained in this prospectus.


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SUMMARY

This summary highlights some of the information in this prospectus and may not contain all of the information that is important to you. For a more complete understanding of this offering, we encourage you to read this entire prospectus and the documents that are referenced in this prospectus, together with any accompanying supplements. In this prospectus, unless the context otherwise requires, the “Company,” “Hercules,” “HTGC,” “we,” “us” and “our” refer to Hercules Capital, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiaries and its affiliated securitization trusts on or after February 25, 2016 and “Hercules Technology Growth Capital, Inc.” and its wholly owned subsidiaries and its affiliated securitization trusts prior to February 25, 2016 unless the context otherwise requires.

Our Company

We are a specialty finance company focused on providing senior secured loans to high-growth, innovative venture capital-backed companies in a variety of technology, life sciences and sustainable and renewable technology industries. Our investment objective is to maximize our portfolio’s total return by generating current income from our debt investments and capital appreciation from our warrant and equity-related investments. We are an internally managed, non-diversified, closed-end investment company that has elected to be regulated as a business development company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, or the 1940 Act. Effective January 1, 2006, we elected to be treated for tax purposes as a regulated investment company, or RIC, under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code.

As of June 30, 2017, our total assets were approximately $1.6 billion, of which our investments comprised $1.4 billion at fair value and $1.5 billion at cost. Since inception through June 30, 2017, we have made debt and equity commitments of approximately $6.9 billion to our portfolio companies.

We also make investments in qualifying small businesses through our two wholly-owned small business investment companies, or SBICs. Our SBIC subsidiaries, Hercules Technology II, L.P., or HT II, and Hercules Technology III, L.P., or HT III, hold approximately $104.8 million and $271.5 million in assets, respectively, and accounted for approximately 5.8% and 14.9% of our total assets, respectively, prior to consolidation at June 30, 2017. At June 30, 2017, we have issued $190.2 million in SBA-guaranteed debentures in our SBIC subsidiaries. See “Regulation—Small Business Administration Regulations” for additional information regarding our SBIC subsidiaries. As of June 30, 2017, our investment professionals, including Manuel A. Henriquez, our co-founder, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, are currently comprised of 34 professionals who have, on average, more than 15 years of experience in venture capital, structured finance, commercial lending or acquisition finance with the types of technology-related companies that we are targeting. We believe that we can leverage the experience and relationships of our management team to successfully identify attractive investment opportunities, underwrite prospective portfolio companies and structure customized financing solutions.

 



 

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The following chart shows the ownership structure and relationship of certain entities with us.

 

 

LOGO

Our Market Opportunity

We believe that technology-related companies compete in one of the largest and most rapidly growing sectors of the U.S. economy and that continued growth is supported by ongoing innovation and performance improvements in technology products as well as the adoption of technology across virtually all industries in response to competitive pressures. We believe that an attractive market opportunity exists for a specialty finance company focused primarily on investments in structured debt with warrants in technology- related companies for the following reasons:

 

   

technology-related companies have generally been underserved by traditional lending sources;

 

   

unfulfilled demand exists for structured debt financing to technology-related companies due to the complexity of evaluating risk in these investments; and

 

   

structured debt with warrants products are less dilutive and complement equity financing from venture capital and private equity funds.

Technology-Related Companies are Underserved by Traditional Lenders . We believe many viable technology-related companies backed by financial sponsors have been unable to obtain sufficient growth financing from traditional lenders, including financial services companies such as commercial banks and finance companies because traditional lenders have continued to consolidate and have adopted a more risk-averse approach to lending. More importantly, we believe traditional lenders are typically unable to underwrite the risk associated with these companies effectively.

The unique cash flow characteristics of many technology-related companies typically include significant research and development expenditures and high projected revenue growth thus often making such companies

 



 

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difficult to evaluate from a credit perspective. In addition, the balance sheets of these companies often include a disproportionately large amount of intellectual property assets, which can be difficult to value. Finally, the speed of innovation in technology and rapid shifts in consumer demand and market share add to the difficulty in evaluating technology-related companies.

Due to the difficulties described above, we believe traditional lenders generally refrain from entering the structured debt financing marketplace, instead preferring the risk-reward profile of asset based lending. Traditional lenders generally do not have flexible product offerings that meet the needs of technology-related companies. The financing products offered by traditional lenders typically impose on borrowers many restrictive covenants and conditions, including limiting cash outflows and requiring a significant depository relationship to facilitate rapid liquidation.

Unfulfilled Demand for Structured Debt Financing to Technology-Related Companies . Private debt capital in the form of structured debt financing from specialty finance companies continues to be an important source of funding for technology-related companies. We believe that the level of demand for structured debt financing is a function of the level of annual venture equity investment activity.

We believe that demand for structured debt financing is currently underserved. The venture capital market for the technology-related companies in which we invest has been active. Therefore, to the extent we have capital available, we believe this is an opportune time to be active in the structured lending market for technology-related companies.

Structured Debt with Warrants Products Complement Equity Financing From Venture Capital and Private Equity Funds. We believe that technology-related companies and their financial sponsors will continue to view structured debt securities as an attractive source of capital because it augments the capital provided by venture capital and private equity funds. We believe that our structured debt with warrants products provide access to growth capital that otherwise may only be available through incremental investments by existing equity investors. As such, we provide portfolio companies and their financial sponsors with an opportunity to diversify their capital sources. Generally, we believe many technology-related companies at all stages of development target a portion of their capital to be debt in an attempt to achieve a higher valuation through internal growth. In addition, because financial sponsor-backed companies have reached a more mature stage prior to reaching a liquidity event, we believe our investments could provide the debt capital needed to grow or recapitalize during the extended period sometimes required prior to liquidity events.

Our Business Strategy

Our strategy to achieve our investment objective includes the following key elements:

Leverage the Experience and Industry Relationships of Our Management Team and Investment Professionals . We have assembled a team of experienced investment professionals with extensive experience as venture capitalists, commercial lenders, and originators of structured debt and equity investments in technology-related companies. Our investment professionals have, on average, more than 15 years of experience as equity investors in, and/or lenders to, technology-related companies. In addition, our team members have originated structured debt, debt with warrants and equity investments in over 380 technology-related companies, representing approximately $6.9 billion in commitments from inception to June 30, 2017, and have developed a network of industry contacts with investors and other participants within the venture capital and private equity communities. In addition, members of our management team also have operational, research and development and finance experience with technology-related companies. We have established contacts with leading venture capital and private equity fund sponsors, public and private companies, research institutions and other industry participants, which we believe will enable us to identify and attract well-positioned prospective portfolio companies.

 



 

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We focus our investing activities generally in industries in which our investment professionals have investment experience. We believe that our focus on financing technology-related companies will enable us to leverage our expertise in structuring prospective investments, to assess the value of both tangible and intangible assets, to evaluate the business prospects and operating characteristics of technology-related companies and to identify and originate potentially attractive investments with these types of companies.

Mitigate Risk of Principal Loss and Build a Portfolio of Equity-Related Securities . We expect that our investments have the potential to produce attractive risk-adjusted returns through current income, in the form of interest and fee income, as well as capital appreciation from warrant and equity-related securities. We believe that we can mitigate the risk of loss on our debt investments through the combination of loan principal amortization, cash interest payments, relatively short maturities (typically between 24-48 months), security interests in the assets of our portfolio companies, and on select investment covenants requiring prospective portfolio companies to have certain amounts of available cash at the time of our investment and the continued support from a venture capital or private equity firm at the time we make our investment. Although we do not currently engage in hedging transactions, we may engage in hedging transactions in the future utilizing instruments such as forward contracts, currency options and interest rate swaps, caps, collars, and floors.

Historically our structured debt investments to technology-related companies typically include warrants or other equity interests, giving us the potential to realize equity-like returns on a portion of our investment. In addition, in some cases, we receive the right to make additional equity investments in our portfolio companies, including the right to convert some portion of our debt into equity, in connection with future equity financing rounds. We believe these equity interests will create the potential for meaningful long-term capital gains in connection with the future liquidity events of these technology-related companies.

Provide Customized Financing Complementary to Financial Sponsors’ Capital . We offer a broad range of investment structures and possess expertise and experience to effectively structure and price investments in technology-related companies. Unlike many of our competitors that only invest in companies that fit a specific set of investment parameters, we have the flexibility to structure our investments to suit the particular needs of our portfolio companies. We offer customized financing solutions ranging from senior debt, including below-investment grade debt instruments (also known as “junk bonds”), to equity capital, with a focus on structured debt with warrants.

We use our relationships in the financial sponsor community to originate investment opportunities. Because venture capital and private equity funds typically invest solely in the equity securities of their portfolio companies, we believe that our debt investments will be viewed as an attractive and complimentary source of capital, both by the portfolio company and by the portfolio company’s financial sponsor. In addition, we believe that many venture capital and private equity fund sponsors encourage their portfolio companies to use debt financing for a portion of their capital needs as a means of potentially enhancing equity returns, minimizing equity dilution and increasing valuations prior to a subsequent equity financing round or a liquidity event.

Invest at Various Stages of Development . We provide growth capital to technology-related companies at all stages of development, including select publicly listed companies and select special opportunity lower middle market companies that require additional capital to fund acquisitions, recapitalizations and refinancings and established-stage companies. We believe that this provides us with a broader range of potential investment opportunities than those available to many of our competitors, who generally focus their investments on a particular stage in a company’s development. Because of the flexible structure of our investments and the extensive experience of our investment professionals, we believe we are well positioned to take advantage of these investment opportunities at all stages of prospective portfolio companies’ development.

Benefit from Our Efficient Organizational Structure. We believe that the perpetual nature of our corporate structure enables us to be a long-term partner for our portfolio companies in contrast to traditional investment

 



 

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funds, which typically have a limited life. In addition, because of our access to the equity markets, we believe that we may benefit from a lower cost of capital than that available to private investment funds. We are not subject to requirements to return invested capital to investors nor do we have a finite investment horizon. Capital providers that are subject to such limitations are often required to seek a liquidity event more quickly than they otherwise might, which can result in a lower overall return on an investment.

Deal Sourcing Through Our Proprietary Database . We have developed a proprietary and comprehensive structured query language-based (“SQL”) database system to track various aspects of our investment process including sourcing, originations, transaction monitoring and post-investment performance. As of June 30, 2017, our proprietary SQL-based database system included approximately 48,000 technology-related companies and approximately 9,600 venture capital firms, private equity sponsors/investors, as well as various other industry contacts. This proprietary SQL system allows us to maintain, cultivate and grow our industry relationships while providing us with comprehensive details on companies in the technology-related industries and their financial sponsors.

Dividend Reinvestment Plan

We maintain an “opt-out” dividend reinvestment plan that provides for reinvestment of our distribution on behalf of our stockholders, unless a stockholder elects to receive cash. See “Dividend Reinvestment Plan.” Those stockholders whose shares are held by a broker or other financial intermediary may receive distributions in cash by notifying their broker or other financial intermediary of their election.

Taxation

Effective January 1, 2006, we elected to be treated for tax purposes as a RIC under the Code. As a RIC, we generally will not be subject to corporate-level federal income taxes on any ordinary income or capital gains that we distribute as dividends for U.S. federal income tax purposes to our stockholders, which allows us to reduce or eliminate our corporate level tax. See “Certain United States Federal Income Tax Considerations.” To maintain our ability to be subject to tax as a RIC, we must meet specified source-of-income and asset diversification requirements and distribute each taxable year dividends for U.S. federal income tax purposes of an amount generally at least equal to 90% of the sum of our net ordinary income and realized net short-term capital gains in excess of realized net long-term capital losses, if any, out of assets legally available for distribution. There is no assurance that we will meet these tests and be able to maintain our RIC status. If we do not qualify as a RIC, we would be subject to tax as a C corporation.

Assuming we continue to be treated as a RIC under the Code, distributions from our taxable earnings (including net realized securities gains) paid to our U.S. resident shareholders generally will be subject to U.S. federal income tax at rates applicable to ordinary income or capital gains, as appropriate, and all or a portion of such distributions paid to qualifying shareholders not resident in the U.S. ( i.e. , foreign shareholders) generally would not be subject U.S. nonresident withholding tax. See “Certain United States Federal Income Tax Considerations.”

Use of Proceeds

We intend to use the net proceeds from selling our securities for general corporate purposes, which includes investing in debt and equity securities, repayment of indebtedness and other general corporate purposes. The supplement to this prospectus relating to an offering will more fully identify the use of proceeds from such offering.

 



 

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Leverage

We borrow funds to make additional investments, and we have granted, and may in the future grant, a security interest in our assets to a lender in connection with any such borrowings, including any borrowings by any of our subsidiaries. We use this practice, which is known as “leverage,” to attempt to increase returns to our common stockholders. However, leverage involves significant risks. See “Risk Factors.” With certain limited exceptions, we are only allowed to borrow amounts such that our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, equals at least 200% after such borrowing. We received an exemptive order from the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, that allows us to exclude all SBA leverage from our asset coverage ratio. The amount of leverage that we employ will depend on our assessment of market and other factors at the time of any proposed borrowing. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Financial Condition, Liquidity, and Capital Resources” for additional information related to our outstanding debt.

Distributions

As a RIC, we are required to distribute dividends for U.S. federal income tax purposes each taxable year to our stockholders of an amount at least equal to 90% of the sum of our net ordinary income and realized net short-term capital gains in excess of realized net long-term capital losses, if any. We are not subject to corporate level income taxation on income we timely distribute as dividends for U.S. federal income tax purposes to our stockholders. See “Certain United States Federal Income Tax Considerations.” We pay regular quarterly distributions based upon an estimate of annual taxable income available for distribution to stockholders as well as the amount of any taxable income carried over from the prior taxable year for distribution in the current taxable year.

Principal Risk Factors

Investing in our common stock may be speculative and involves certain risks relating to our structure and our investment objective that you should consider before deciding whether to invest. In addition, we expect that our portfolio will continue to consist primarily of securities issued by privately-held technology-related companies, which generally require additional capital to become profitable. These investments may involve a high degree of business and financial risk, and they are generally illiquid. Our portfolio companies typically will require additional outside capital beyond our investment in order to succeed or to fully repay the amounts owed to us. A large number of entities compete for the same kind of investment opportunities as we seek.

We borrow funds to make our investments in portfolio companies. As a result, we are exposed to the risks of leverage, which may be considered a speculative investment technique. Borrowings magnify the potential for gain and loss on amounts invested and, therefore increase the risks associated with investing in our common stock. Also, we are subject to certain risks associated with valuing our portfolio, changing interest rates, accessing additional capital, fluctuating quarterly results, and operating in a regulated environment. See “Risk Factors” for a discussion of factors you should carefully consider before deciding whether to invest in our securities.

Certain Anti-Takeover Provisions

Our charter and bylaws, as well as certain statutes and regulations, contain provisions that may have the effect of discouraging a third party from making an acquisition proposal for our company. This could delay or prevent a transaction that could give our stockholders the opportunity to realize a premium over the price for their securities.

 



 

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Recent Developments

Evaluation of Alternative Management Structures

On May 3, 2017, we filed preliminary proxy materials with the SEC for a special meeting of stockholders to seek approval for a proposed advisory agreement with Hamilton Advisers LLC. However, after receiving feedback from our stockholders, on May 15, 2017, we decided to postpone the proposed special meeting of stockholders indefinitely and formally withdrew the proxy materials containing our proposal seeking stockholder approval of our plans to externalize our management structure to expand our ongoing review process. We, along with our professional advisors, are currently evaluating alternatives with respect to our management structure. The evaluation process is still ongoing, and we are continuing to move forward in evaluating various options, but we currently have no definitive timeline for completion. While internal management has served us well since our formation, our board of directors (the “Board of Directors”) has concluded that there are limitations to that management structure that may operate to our disadvantage. To that end, we are exploring the possibility of externalizing our management structure as a means of addressing those concerns; and, we are also examining various alternatives that could be pursued with respect to externalization if we determine that externalization is the proper course to follow. We and our independent directors are working with advisors to assist in these efforts. This program will result in us incurring additional and unusual expense until this project is concluded. Should we determine to pursue externalization, which would be subject to approval by our stockholders, it could involve some disruption (at least on a temporary basis) and expense during the period of transition.

Distribution Declaration

On July 26, 2017, our Board of Directors declared a cash distribution of $0.31 per share to be paid on August 21, 2017 to stockholders of record as of August 14, 2017. This distribution represented our forty-eighth consecutive distribution since our initial public offering, bringing the total cumulative distribution to date to $13.40 per share.

Closed and Pending Commitments

As of August 30, 2017, we have:

 

   

Closed debt and equity commitments of approximately $93.2 million to new and existing portfolio companies and funded approximately $73.5 million subsequent to June 30, 2017.

 

   

Pending commitments (signed non-binding term sheets) of approximately $20.0 million. The table below summarizes our year-to-date closed and pending commitments as follows:

 

Closed Commitments and Pending Commitments (in millions)

  

January 1—June 30, 2017 Closed Commitments

   $ 397.0  

July 1—August 30, 2017 Closed Commitments (a)

   $ 93.2  

Pending Commitments (as of August 30, 2017) (b)

   $ 20.0  
  

 

 

 

Closed and Pending Commitments as of August 30, 2017

   $ 510.2  
  

 

 

 

 

a. Closed Commitments may include renewals of existing credit facilities. Not all Closed Commitments result in future cash requirements. Commitments generally fund over the two succeeding quarters from close.
b. Not all pending commitments (signed non-binding term sheets) are expected to close and they do not necessarily represent any future cash requirements.

Portfolio Company Developments

As of August 30, 2017, we held warrants or equity positions in six companies that have filed registration statements on Form S-1 with the SEC in contemplation of potential initial public offerings. All six companies

 



 

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filed confidentially under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 (the “JOBS Act”). There can be no assurance that these companies will complete their initial public offerings in a timely manner or at all. In addition, subsequent to June 30, 2017, our portfolio companies announced the following liquidity events:

 

  1. JumpStart Games, Inc. was acquired by NetDragon Websoft Holdings Limited, a global leader in building internet communities. The acquisition was completed by NetDragon in Hong Kong on July 4, 2017. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Hercules initially committed $13.0 million in venture debt financing to JumpStart in March 2014. Hercules is scheduled to receive quarterly interest payments through June 30, 2018; and the potential to receive principal repayment of a portion of its outstanding obligation at maturity on June 30, 2018, subject to adjustments of JumpStart.

 

  2. Nasty Gal, a Los Angeles, CA-based fashion retail website for girls that sells vintage clothing, shoes and accessories, was acquired in February 2017 by Boohoo.com, a Manchester, England-based online fashion retailer, for $20.0 million in consideration for Nasty Gal’s intellectual property assets and customer databases. Hercules initially committed $20.0 million in venture debt financing. On February 28, 2017, Hercules received a partial payment of $12.6 million from the sale of Nasty Gal assets, with full repayment expected upon close of escrow. In July 2017, Hercules received final payment. The Company realized an IRR of approximately 19.1% from its loan repayments and equity/warrant gains.

 

  3. Jaguar Animal Health, Inc. (NASDAQ: JAGX) entered a binding merger agreement on May 26, 2017 with Napo Pharmaceuticals, a company that focuses on the development and commercialization of proprietary pharmaceuticals for the global marketplace in collaboration with local partners. In addition, Jaguar Animal Health and Napo Pharmaceuticals announced the filing of two Orphan Drug Designation Applications with U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for Mytesi for serious unmet medical needs.

The merger became effective on July 31, 2017, at which point Jaguar Animal Health’s name changed to Jaguar Health, Inc. and Napo began operating as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Jaguar. Although Jaguar’s name has changed, the public company will continue to trade under the same Nasdaq ticker symbol: JAGX.

Departure of Officer

On June 26, 2017, Andrew Olson announced his resignation, effective July 21, 2017, from his position as Vice President of Finance and Senior Controller. Gerard R. Waldt, Jr., the Company’s current Assistant Controller, will assume the position of Controller.

General Information

Our principal executive offices are located at 400 Hamilton Avenue, Suite 310, Palo Alto, California 94301, and our telephone number is (650) 289-3060. We also have offices in Boston, MA, New York, NY, Washington, DC, Santa Monica, CA, Hartford, CT and San Diego, CA. We maintain a website on the Internet at www.htgc.com. We make available, free of charge, on our website our proxy statement, annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the SEC. Information contained on our website is not incorporated by reference into this prospectus, and you should not consider that information to be part of this prospectus.

 



 

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We file annual, quarterly and current periodic reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC, under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act. This information is available at the SEC’s public reference room at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549. You may obtain information about the operation of the SEC’s public reference room by calling the SEC at (202) 551-8090. In addition, the SEC maintains an Internet website, at www.sec.gov, that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers, including us, who file documents electronically with the SEC.

 



 

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FEES AND EXPENSES

The following table is intended to assist you in understanding the various costs and expenses that an investor in our common stock will bear directly or indirectly. However, we caution you that some of the percentages indicated in the table below are estimates and may vary. The footnotes to the fee table state which items are estimates. Except where the context suggests otherwise, whenever this prospectus contains a reference to fees or expenses paid by “you” or “us” or that “we” will pay fees or expenses, stockholders will indirectly bear such fees or expenses as investors in Hercules Capital, Inc.

 

Stockholder Transaction Expenses (as a percentage of the public offering price):

  

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

     —  

Offering expenses

     —   % (2)  

Dividend reinvestment plan fees

     —   % (3)  
  

 

 

 

Total stockholder transaction expenses (as a percentage of the public offering price)

     —   % (4)  
  

 

 

 

Annual Expenses (as a percentage of net assets attributable to common stock): (5)

  

Operating expenses

     5.71 % (6)(7)  

Interest and fees paid in connection with borrowed funds

     5.53 % (8)  
  

 

 

 

Total annual expenses

     11.24 % (9)  
  

 

 

 

 

(1) In the event that our securities are sold to or through underwriters, a corresponding prospectus supplement to this prospectus will disclose the applicable sales load.
(2) In the event that we conduct an offering of our securities, a corresponding prospectus supplement to this prospectus will disclose the estimated offering expenses.
(3) The expenses associated with the administration of our dividend reinvestment plan are included in “Operating expenses.” We pay all brokerage commissions incurred with respect to open market purchases, if any, made by the administrator under the plan. For more details about the plan, see “Dividend Reinvestment Plan.”
(4) Total stockholder transaction expenses may include sales load and will be disclosed in a future prospectus supplement, if any.
(5) “Net assets attributable to common stock” equals the weighted average net assets for the six-months ended June 30, 2017, which is approximately $834.2 million.
(6) “Operating expenses” represent our estimated operating expenses by annualizing our actual operating expenses incurred for the six-months ended June 30, 2017, including all fees and expenses of our consolidated subsidiaries and excluding interests and fees on indebtedness. This percentage for the year ended December 31, 2016 was 6.21%. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Management.”
(7) We do not have an investment adviser and are internally managed by our executive officers under the supervision of our Board of Directors. As a result, we do not pay investment advisory fees, but instead we pay the operating costs associated with employing investment management professionals.
(8) “Interest and fees paid in connection with borrowed funds” represents our estimated interest, fees and credit facility expenses by annualizing our actual interest fees, and credit facility expenses incurred for the six-months ended June 30, 2017, including our Wells Facility, Union Bank Facility, the 2024 Notes, the 2022 Convertible Notes, the 2021 Asset-Backed Notes and the SBA debentures, each of which is defined herein. This percentage for the year ended December 31, 2016 was 5.04%.
(9) “Total annual expenses” is the sum of “operating expenses,” and “interest and fees paid in connection with borrowed funds.” This percentage for the year ended December 31, 2016 was 11.25%. “Total annual expenses” is presented as a percentage of weighted average net assets attributable to common stockholders, because the holders of shares of our common stock (and not the holders of our debt securities or preferred stock, if any) bear all of our fees and expenses, including the fees and expenses of our wholly-owned consolidated subsidiaries, all of which are included in this fee table presentation.

 

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Example

The following example demonstrates the projected dollar amount of total cumulative expenses that would be incurred over various periods with respect to a hypothetical investment in our common stock. These amounts are based upon our payment of annual operating expenses at the levels set forth in the table above and assume no additional leverage.

 

     1 Year      3 Years      5 Years      10 Years  

You would pay the following expenses on a $1,000 common stock investment, assuming a 5% annual return

   $ 109      $ 307      $ 483      $ 836  

The example and the expenses in the tables above should not be considered a representation of our future expenses, and actual expenses may be greater or lesser than those shown. Moreover, while the example assumes, as required by the applicable rules of the SEC, a 5% annual return, our performance will vary and may result in a return greater or lesser than 5%. In addition, while the example assumes reinvestment of all distributions at net asset value (“NAV”), participants in our dividend reinvestment plan may receive shares valued at the market price in effect at that time. This price may be at, above or below NAV. See “Dividend Reinvestment Plan” for additional information regarding our dividend reinvestment plan.

 

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SELECTED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA

The selected consolidated financial data should be read in conjunction with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” “Senior Securities” and the consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere herein. The selected balance sheet data as of the end of fiscal year 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012 and the financial statement of operations data for fiscal 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012 has been derived from our audited financial statements, which have been audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, our independent registered public accounting firm, but not all of which are presented in this Form N-2.” The historical data are not necessarily indicative of results to be expected for any future period. The selected financial and other data for the six months ended June 30, 2017 and other quarterly financial information is derived from our unaudited financial statements, but in the opinion of management, reflects all adjustments (consisting only of normal recurring adjustments) that are necessary to present fairly the results of such interim periods. Interim results as of and for the six months ended June 30, 2017 are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected for the year ending December 31, 2017.

 

     For the Six-Months
Ended June 30,
(unaudited)
    For the Year Ended December 31,  

(in thousands, except per share amounts)

   2017     2016     2016     2015     2014     2013      2012  

Investment income:

               

Interest

   $ 83,367     $ 76,095     $ 158,727     $ 140,266     $ 126,618     $ 123,671      $ 87,603  

Fees

     11,450       6,382       16,324       16,866       17,047       16,042        9,917  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total investment income

     94,817       82,477       175,051       157,132       143,665       139,713        97,520  

Operating expenses:

               

Interest

     18,861       14,589       32,016       30,834       28,041       30,334        19,835  

Loan fees

     4,186       2,267       5,042       6,055       5,919       4,807        3,917  

General and administrative:

               

Legal expenses

     2,867       2,677       4,823       3,079       1,366       1,440        799  

Other expenses

     5,947       5,303       11,283       13,579       8,843       7,914        7,309  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total general and administrative

     8,814       7,980       16,106       16,658       10,209       9,354        8,108  

Employee Compensation:

               

Compensation and benefits

     11,262       10,016       22,500       20,713       16,604       16,179        13,326  

Stock-based compensation

     3,742       4,174       7,043       9,370       9,561       5,974        4,227  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total employee compensation

     15,004       14,190       29,543       30,083       26,165       22,153        17,553  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

     46,865       39,026       82,707       83,630       70,334       66,648        49,413  

Other income (loss)

     —         —       8,000       (1     (1,581     —        —    
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Net investment income

     47,952       43,451       100,344       73,501       71,750       73,065        48,107  

Net realized gain (loss) on investments

     (2,475     (4,443     4,576       5,147       20,112       14,836        3,168  

Net change in unrealized appreciation (depreciation) on investments

     (17,916     (15,238     (36,217     (35,732     (20,674     11,545        (4,516 )
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total net realized and unrealized gain (loss)

     (20,391     (19,681     (31,641     (30,585     (562     26,381        (1,348 )
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Net increase (decrease) in net assets resulting from operations

   $ 27,561     $ 23,770     $ 68,703     $ 42,916     $ 71,188     $ 99,446      $ 46,759  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Change in net assets per common share (basic)

   $ 0.33     $ 0.32     $ 0.91     $ 0.60     $ 1.12     $ 1.67      $ 0.93  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Distributions declared per common share:

   $ 0.62     $ 0.62     $ 1.24     $ 1.24     $ 1.24     $ 1.11      $ 0.95  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

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    For the Six-Months
Ended June 30,
(unaudited)
    For the Year Ended December 31,  

(in thousands, except per share amounts)

  2017     2016     2016     2015     2014     2013     2012  

Balance sheet data:

             

Investments, at value

  $ 1,395,469     $ 1,291,310     $ 1,423,942     $ 1,200,638     $ 1,020,737     $ 910,295     $ 906,300  

Cash and cash equivalents

    160,412       13,478       13,044       95,196       227,116       268,368       182,994  

Total assets

    1,588,709       1,331,815       1,464,204       1,334,761       1,299,223       1,221,715       1,123,643  

Total liabilities

    771,258       613,435       676,260       617,627       640,359       571,708       607,675  

Total net assets

    817,451       718,380       787,943       717,134       658,864       650,007       515,968  

Other Data:

             

Total return (3)

    (2.04 %)     7.24 %     26.87     (9.70 %)      (1.75 %)      58.49     28.28 %

Total debt investments, at value

    1,287,623       1,211,782       1,328,803       1,110,209       923,906       821,988       827,540  

Total warrant investments, at value

    32,530       25,091       27,485       22,987       25,098       35,637       29,550  

Total equity investments, at value

    75,316       65,905       67,654       67,442       71,733       52,670       49,210  

Unfunded Commitments (2)

    57,595       71,157       59,683       75,402       147,689       69,091       19,265  

Net asset value per share (1)

  $ 9.87     $ 9.66     $ 9.90     $ 9.94     $ 10.18     $ 10.51     $ 9.75  

 

(1) Based on common shares outstanding at period end
(2) Amount represents unfunded commitments, including undrawn revolving facilities, which are available at the request of the portfolio company. Amount excludes unfunded commitments which are unavailable due to the borrower having not met certain milestones.
(3) The total return equals the change in the ending market value over the beginning of the period price per share plus distributions paid per share during the period, divided by the beginning price assuming the distribution is reinvested on the date of the issuance. The total return does not reflect any sales load that must be paid by investors.

The following tables set forth certain quarterly financial information for each of the last eight quarters ended December 31, 2016 and the quarters ending March 31, 2017 and June 30, 2017. This information was derived from the Company’s unaudited consolidated financial statements. Results for any quarter are not necessarily indicative of results for the full year or for any further quarter.

 

     For the Quarter Ended
(unaudited)
 

(in thousands, except per share data)

   June 30,
2017
     March 31,
2017
 

Total investment income

   $ 48,452      $ 46,365  

Net investment income

     25,275        22,678  

Net increase (decrease) in net assets resulting from operations

     33,149        (5,588 )

Change in net assets resulting from operations per common share (basic)

   $ 0.40      $ (0.07 )

 

     Quarter Ended  

(in thousands, except per share data)

   March 31,
2016
     June 30,
2016
     September 30,
2016
     December 31,
2016
 

Total investment income

   $ 38,939      $ 43,538      $ 45,102      $ 47,472  

Net investment income

     20,097        23,354        23,776        33,117  

Net increase in net assets resulting from operations

     14,295        9,475        30,812        14,121  

Change in net assets resulting from operations per common share (basic)

   $ 0.20      $ 0.13      $ 0.41      $ 0.18  

 

     Quarter Ended  
     March 31,
2015
     June 30,
2015
     September 30,
2015
     December 31,
2015
 

Total investment income

   $ 32,494      $ 38,126      $ 47,132      $ 39,380  

Net investment income

     12,993        16,781        23,590        20,137  

Net increase in net assets resulting from operations

     21,919        2,752        4,075        14,170  

Change in net assets resulting from operations per common share (basic)

   $ 0.33      $ 0.03      $ 0.05      $ 0.20  

 

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RISK FACTORS

Investing in our securities may be speculative and involves a high degree of risk. You should consider carefully the risks described below and all other information contained in this prospectus, including our financial statements and the related notes and the schedules and exhibits to this prospectus. The risks set forth below are not the only risks we face. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or not presently deemed material by us may also impair our operations and performance. If any of the following 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.

Risks Related to our Business Structure

We are evaluating alternative management structures.

We, along with our professional advisors, are currently evaluating alternatives with respect to our management structure. While internal management has served us well since our formation, the Board of Directors has concluded that there are limitations to that management structure that may operate to our disadvantage. As an internally managed business development company, the size and categories of our assets under management is limited. Assuming we remain internally managed, we are and will be unable to offer as wide a variety of financial products to prospective portfolio companies and sponsors as an externally managed business development company, which has a greater ability to spread its operating costs over a larger, more diversified asset base, enabling the funds it advises to benefit from cost savings and greater management resources. Additionally, as an internally managed business development company, our ability to offer more competitive and flexible compensation structures, such as offering both a profit sharing plan and an equity incentive plan, is subject to the limitations imposed by the 1940 Act, which limits our ability to attract and retain talented investment management professionals. As such, if we remain an internally managed business development company, these limitations could inhibit our ability to grow, pursue our business plan and attract and retain professional talent, any or all of which may have a negative impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

To that end, we are exploring the possibility of externalizing our management structure as a means of addressing those concerns; and, we are also examining various alternatives that could be pursued with respect to externalization if we determine that externalization is the proper course to follow. We and our independent directors are working with advisors to assist in these efforts. This program will result in us incurring additional and unusual expense until this project is concluded. Should we determine to pursue externalization, which would be subject to approval by our stockholders, it could involve some disruption (at least on a temporary basis) and expense during the period of transition including, among other things, those arising from the transition of our current employees and investment professionals, along with the transition for the responsibility of the provision of certain key services for our business moving from the Company to an external investment adviser and/or administrator. There can be no assurance regarding the outcome of our examination of alternatives, including with respect to whether the Board of Directors recommends externalization to our stockholders, the terms of any external management agreement (including with respect to fees) or the identity of any external manager that may be recommended by the Board of Directors.

As an internally managed business development company, we are subject to certain restrictions that may adversely affect our business.

We are currently evaluating alternatives with respect to our management structure, including externalizing our management structure. We have not decided on any course of action, and there can be no assurance regarding the outcome of our examination of alternatives, including with respect to whether we decide to recommend externalization of our management to our stockholders. If we remain an internally managed business development company, we will continue to be subject to certain restrictions that may place us at a competitive disadvantage to other similar business development companies that are externally managed. As an internally

 

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managed business development company, the size and categories of our assets under management is limited, and we are unable to offer as wide a variety of financial products to prospective portfolio companies and sponsors (potentially limiting the size and diversification of our asset base). We therefore may not achieve efficiencies of scale and greater management resources available to externally managed business development companies. Additionally, as an internally managed business development company, our ability to offer more competitive and flexible compensation structures, such as offering both a profit sharing plan and an equity incentive plan, is subject to the limitations imposed by the 1940 Act, which limits our ability to attract and retain talented investment management professionals. As such, if we remain an internally managed business development company, these limitations could inhibit our ability to grow, pursue our business plan and attract and retain professional talent, any or all of which may have a negative impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

If we externalize our management structure, we will be dependent upon key personnel of the external adviser.

If we externalize our management structure, the external adviser will depend on the efforts, skills, reputations and business contacts of its key personnel, the information and deal flow they and others generate during the normal course of their activities and the synergies among the diverse fields of expertise and knowledge held by the external adviser’s professionals. The loss of the services of any of them could have a material adverse effect on us and could harm the external adviser’s ability to manage our business.

If we externalize our management structure, our external adviser may experience conflicts of interest in connection with the management of the Company.

If we externalize our management structure, our external adviser may experience conflicts of interest in connection with the management of the Company, including, but not limited to, the following:

 

   

The members, officers and other personnel of the external adviser allocate their time, resources and other services between the Company and other investment and business activities in which they may be involved. This may include providing a broad range of financial services to companies in which we invest, in compliance with applicable law, and generally being paid fees for such services. Accordingly, they may have obligations to such other entities, the fulfillment of which obligations may not be in the best interests of us or our stockholders;

 

   

The external adviser may compete with certain of its affiliates, including other entities it manages, for investments for us, subjecting the external adviser to potential conflicts of interest in evaluating the suitability of investment opportunities and making or recommending acquisitions on our behalf;

 

   

The compensation payable by us to the external adviser will be approved by the Board of Directors consistent with the exercise of the requisite standard of care applicable to trustees under state law. Such compensation is payable, in most cases, regardless of the quality of the assets acquired, the services provided to us or whether we make distributions to stockholders. There is the possibility that if we are managed by an external investment adviser, we will be subject to higher fees and expenses, but such arrangements will not be determined until the specific fee arrangement entered into with the external adviser is finalized;

 

   

Affiliated investment vehicles formed in the future and managed by the external adviser or its affiliates may have overlapping investment objectives with our own and, accordingly, may invest in asset classes similar to those targeted by us. As a result, the external adviser may face conflicts in allocating investment opportunities between us and such other entities;

 

   

The external adviser and its affiliates may not be not restricted from forming additional investment funds, from entering into other investment advisory relationships (including, among others, relationships with clients that are employee benefit plans subject to ERISA and related regulations), or from engaging in other business activities without the prior approval of our stockholders or our Board

 

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of Directors, even though such activities may be in competition with us and/or may involve substantial time and resources of the external adviser, which could detract from the external adviser’s time spent on our business;

 

   

The external adviser and its affiliates may give advice and recommend securities to other clients which may differ from, or be contrary to, advice given to, or securities recommended or bought for, us even though their investment objectives may be similar to ours; and

 

   

To the extent not restricted by confidentiality requirements or applicable law, the external adviser may apply experience and information gained in providing services to our portfolio companies in providing services to competing companies invested in by affiliates’ other clients.

As an internally managed business development company, we are dependent upon key management personnel for their time availability and for our future success, particularly Manuel A. Henriquez, and if we are not able to hire and retain qualified personnel, or if we lose any member of our senior management team, our ability to implement our business strategy could be significantly harmed.

As an internally managed business development company, our ability to achieve our investment objectives and to make distributions to our stockholders depends upon the performance of our senior management. We depend upon the members of our senior management, particularly Mr. Henriquez, as well as other key personnel for the identification, final selection, structuring, closing and monitoring of our investments. These employees have critical industry experience and relationships on which we rely to implement our business plan. If we lose the services of Mr. Henriquez or any senior management members, we may not be able to operate the business as we expect, and our ability to compete could be harmed, which could cause our operating results to suffer. Furthermore, we do not have an employment agreement with Mr. Henriquez or our senior management that restricts them from creating new investment vehicles subject to compliance with applicable law. We believe our future success will depend, in part, on our ability to identify, attract and retain sufficient numbers of highly skilled employees. If we do not succeed in identifying, attracting and retaining such personnel, we may not be able to operate our business as we expect.

As an internally managed business development company, our compensation structure is determined and set by our Board of Directors. This structure currently includes salary and bonus and incentive compensation, which is issued through grants and subsequent vesting of restricted stock. We are not generally permitted by the 1940 Act to employ an incentive compensation structure that directly ties performance of our investment portfolio and results of operations to compensation owing to our granting of restricted stock as incentive compensation.

Members of our senior management may receive offers of more flexible and attractive compensation arrangements from other companies, particularly from investment advisers to externally managed business development companies that are not subject to the same limitations on incentive-based compensation that we, as an internally managed business development company are subject to. We do not currently have agreements with our senior management that prohibit them from leaving and competing with our business. In addition, the evaluation of alternative management structures discussed above may lead to changes in our management structure. A departure by one or more members of our senior management could have a negative impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our business model depends to a significant extent upon strong referral relationships with venture capital and private equity fund sponsors, and our inability to develop or maintain these relationships, or the failure of these relationships to generate investment opportunities, could adversely affect our business.

We expect that members of our management team will maintain their relationships with venture capital and private equity firms, and we will rely to a significant extent upon these relationships to provide us with our deal flow. If we fail to maintain our existing relationships, our relationships become strained as a result of enforcing our rights with respect to non-performing portfolio companies in protecting our investments or we fail to develop

 

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new relationships with other firms or sources of investment opportunities, then we will not be able to grow our investment portfolio. In addition, persons with whom members of our management team have relationships are not obligated to provide us with investment opportunities and, therefore, there is no assurance that such relationships will lead to the origination of debt or other investments.

We may be the target of litigation.

We may be the target of securities litigation in the future, particularly if the trading price of our common stock and our debt securities fluctuates significantly. We could also generally be subject to litigation, including derivative actions by our stockholders. Any litigation could result in substantial costs and divert management’s attention and resources from our business and cause a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We operate in a highly competitive market for investment opportunities, and we may not be able to compete effectively.

A number of entities compete with us to make the types of investments that we plan to make in prospective portfolio companies. We compete with a large number of venture capital and private equity firms, as well as with other investment funds, business development companies, investment banks and other sources of financing, including traditional financial services companies such as commercial banks and finance companies. Many of our competitors are substantially larger and have considerably greater financial, technical, marketing and other resources than we do. For example, some competitors may have a lower cost of funds and/or access to funding sources that are not available to us. This may enable some competitors to make loans with interest rates that are comparable to or lower than the rates that we typically offer.

A significant increase in the number and/or the size of our competitors, including traditional commercial lenders and other financing sources, in technology-related industries could force us to accept less attractive investment terms. We may be unable to capitalize on certain opportunities if we do not match competitors’ pricing, terms and structure. If we do match competitors’ pricing, terms or structure, we may experience decreased net interest income and increased risk of credit losses. 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, establish more relationships and build their market shares. An increasing number of competitors may also have the effect of compressing our margins, which could harm our ability to retain employees, increase our operating costs, and decrease the amount and frequency of future distributions. Furthermore, many potential competitors are not subject to the regulatory restrictions that the 1940 Act imposes on us as a business development company or that the Code imposes on us as a RIC. If we are not able to compete effectively, our business, financial condition, and results of operations will be adversely affected. As a result of this competition, there can be no assurance that we will be able to identify and take advantage of attractive investment opportunities, or that we will be able to fully invest our available capital.

If we are unable to manage our future growth effectively, we may be unable to achieve our investment objective, which could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations and cause the value of your investment to decline.

Our ability to achieve our investment objective will depend on our ability to sustain growth. Sustaining growth will depend, in turn, on our senior management team’s ability to identify, evaluate, finance and invest in suitable companies that meet our investment criteria. Accomplishing this result on a cost-effective basis is largely a function of our marketing capabilities, our management of the investment process, our ability to provide efficient services and our access to financing sources on acceptable terms. Organizational growth and scale-up of our investments could strain our existing managerial, investment, financial and other resources. Management of the Company’s growth divert financial resources from other projects. Failure to manage our future growth effectively could lead to a decrease in our future distributions and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

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Because we intend to distribute substantially all of our income to our stockholders in order to qualify as a RIC, we will continue to need additional capital to finance our growth. If additional funds are unavailable or not available on favorable terms, our ability to grow will be impaired.

In order to satisfy the tax requirements applicable to a RIC, to avoid being subject to excise taxes and to minimize or avoid being subject to income taxes, we intend to make distributions to our stockholders treated as dividends for U.S. federal income tax purposes generally of an amount at least equal to substantially all of our net ordinary income and realized net capital gains except for certain realized net capital gains, which we may retain, pay applicable income taxes with respect thereto and elect to treat as deemed distributions to our stockholders. As a business development company, we generally are required to meet a coverage ratio of total assets to total borrowings and other senior securities, which includes all of our borrowings and any preferred stock that we may issue in the future, of at least 200%. This requirement limits the amount that we may borrow. This limitation may prevent us from incurring debt and require us to raise additional equity at a time when it may be disadvantageous to do so. We cannot assure you that debt and equity financing will be available to us on favorable terms, or at all, and debt financings may be restricted by the terms of any of our outstanding borrowings. If we are unable to incur additional debt, we may be required to raise additional equity at a time when it may be disadvantageous to do so. In addition, shares of closed-end investment companies have recently traded at discounts to their NAV. This characteristic of closed-end investment companies is separate and distinct from the risk that our NAV per share may decline. We cannot predict whether shares of our common stock will trade above, at or below our NAV. If our common stock trades below its NAV, we generally will not be able to issue additional shares of our common stock at its market price without first obtaining the approval for such issuance from our stockholders and our independent directors. If additional funds are not available to us, we could be forced to curtail or cease new lending and investment activities, and our NAV could decline. In addition, our results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.

Because most of our investments typically are not in publicly-traded securities, there is uncertainty regarding the value of our investments, which could adversely affect the determination of our NAV.

At June 30, 2017, portfolio investments, whose fair value is determined in good faith by the Board of Directors, were approximately 87.8% of our total assets. We expect our investments to continue to consist primarily of securities issued by privately-held companies, the fair value of which is not readily determinable. In addition, we are not permitted to maintain a general reserve for anticipated loan losses. Instead, we are required by the 1940 Act to specifically value each investment and record an unrealized gain or loss for any asset that we believe has increased or decreased in value.

There is no single standard for determining fair value in good faith. We value these securities at fair value as determined in good faith by our Board of Directors, based on the recommendations of our Audit Committee. In making a good faith determination of the value of these securities, we generally start with the cost basis of each security, which includes the amortized original issue discount, or OID, and payment-in-kind, or PIK, interest, if any. The Audit Committee uses its best judgment in arriving at the fair value of these securities. As a result, determining fair value requires that judgment be applied to the specific facts and circumstances of each portfolio investment while applying a valuation process for the types of investments we make, which includes but is not limited to deriving a hypothetical exit price.

However, the Board of Directors retains ultimate authority as to the appropriate valuation of each investment. Because such valuations are inherently uncertain and may be based on estimates, our determinations of fair value may differ materially from the values that would be assessed if a ready market for these securities existed. We adjust quarterly the valuation of our portfolio to reflect the Board of Directors’ determination of the fair value of each investment in our portfolio. Any changes in fair value are recorded in our statement of operations as net change in unrealized appreciation or depreciation. Our NAV could be adversely affected if our determinations regarding the fair value of our investments were materially higher than the values that we ultimately realize upon the disposal of such securities.

 

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

Lenders have fixed dollar claims on our assets that are superior to the claims of stockholders, and we have granted, and may in the future grant, lenders a security interest in our assets in connection with borrowings. In the case of a liquidation event, those lenders would receive proceeds before our stockholders. In addition, borrowings, also known as leverage, magnify the potential for gain or loss on amounts invested and, therefore, increase the risks associated with investing in our securities. Leverage is generally considered a speculative investment technique. If the value of our assets increases, then leverage would cause the NAV attributable to our common stock to increase more than it otherwise would have had we not leveraged. Conversely, if the value of our assets decreases, leverage would cause the NAV attributable to our common stock to decline more than it otherwise would have had we not used leverage. Similarly, any increase in our revenue in excess of interest expense on our borrowed funds would cause our net income to increase more than it would without the leverage. Any decrease in our revenue would cause our net income to decline more than it would have had we not borrowed funds and could negatively affect our ability to make distributions on common stock. Our ability to service any debt that we incur will depend largely on our financial performance and will be subject to prevailing economic conditions and competitive pressures. We and, indirectly, our stockholders will bear the cost associated with our leverage activity. If we are not able to service our substantial indebtedness, our business could be harmed materially.

Our secured credit facilities with Wells Fargo Capital Finance LLC (the “Wells Facility”) and MUFG Union Bank, N.A. (the “Union Bank Facility,” and together with the Wells Facility, our “Credit Facilities”), our 2024 Notes and our 2021 Asset-Backed Notes (as each term is defined below) contain financial and operating covenants that could restrict our business activities, including our ability to declare dividend distributions if we default under certain provisions.

As of June 30, 2017, we had no borrowings outstanding under the Wells Facility and the Union Bank Facility. In addition, as of June 30, 2017, we had approximately $190.2 million of indebtedness outstanding incurred by our SBIC subsidiaries, approximately $258.5 million in aggregate principal amount of 6.25% notes due 2024 (the “2024 Notes”), approximately $230.0 million in aggregate principal amount of 4.375% convertible notes due 2022 (the “2022 Convertible Notes”) and approximately $87.7 million in aggregate principal amount of fixed rate asset-backed notes issued in November 2014 (the “2021 Asset-Backed Notes”) in connection with our $237.4 million debt securitization (the “2014 Debt Securitization”).

There can be no assurance that we will be successful in obtaining any additional debt capital on terms acceptable to us or at all. If we are unable to obtain debt capital, then our equity investors will not benefit from the potential for increased returns on equity resulting from leverage to the extent that our investment strategy is successful and we may be limited in our ability to make new commitments or fundings to our portfolio companies.

As a business development company, generally, we are not permitted to incur indebtedness unless immediately after such borrowing we have an asset coverage for total borrowings of at least 200% (i.e., the amount of debt may not exceed 50% of the value of our assets). In addition, we may not be permitted to declare any cash distribution on our outstanding common shares, or purchase any such shares, unless, at the time of such declaration or purchase, we have asset coverage of at least 200% after deducting the amount of such distribution or purchase price. If this ratio declines below 200%, we may not be able to incur additional debt and may need to sell a portion of our investments to repay some debt when it is disadvantageous to do so, and we may not be able to make distributions. As of June 30, 2017 our asset coverage ratio under our regulatory requirements as a business development company was 241.9% excluding our SBIC debentures as a result of our exemptive order from the SEC that allows us to exclude all SBA leverage from our asset coverage ratio and was 206.7% when including all SBA leverage.

Based on assumed leverage equal to 93.8% of our net assets as of June 30, 2017, our investment portfolio would have been required to experience an annual return of at least 3.1% to cover annual interest payments on our additional indebtedness.

 

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

 

     Annual Return on Our Portfolio  
     (Net of Expenses)  
     -10%     -5%     0%     5%     10%  

Corresponding return to stockholder (1)

     (25.54 %)      (15.83 %)      (6.11 %)      3.61     (13.33 %) 

 

(1) Assumes $1.6 billion in total assets, $766.4 million in debt outstanding, $817.5 million in stockholders’ equity, and an average cost of funds of 6.5%, which is the approximate average cost of borrowed funds, including our Credit Facilities, 2022 Convertible Notes, 2024 Notes, our SBA debentures and our 2021 Asset-Backed Notes for the period ended June 30, 2017. Actual interest payments may be different.

It is likely that the terms of any current or future long-term or revolving credit or warehouse facility we may enter into in the future could constrain our ability to grow our business.

Under our borrowings and our Credit Facilities, current lenders have, and any future lender or lenders may have, fixed dollar claims on our assets that are senior to the claims of our stockholders and, thus, will have a preference over our stockholders with respect to our assets pledged as collateral under the Credit Facilities. Our Credit Facilities and borrowings also subject us to various financial and operating covenants, including, but not limited to, maintaining certain financial ratios and minimum tangible net worth amounts. Future credit facilities and borrowings will likely subject us to similar or additional covenants. In addition, we may grant a security interest in our assets in connection with any such credit facilities and borrowings.

Our Credit Facilities generally contain customary default provisions such as a minimum net worth amount, a profitability test, and a restriction on changing our business and loan quality standards. In addition, our Credit Facilities require or are expected to require the repayment of all outstanding debt on the maturity which may disrupt our business and potentially the business of our portfolio companies that are financed through the facilities. An event of default under these facilities would likely result, among other things, in termination of the availability of further funds under the facilities and accelerated maturity dates for all amounts outstanding under the facilities, which would likely disrupt our business and, potentially, the business of the portfolio companies whose loans we finance through the facilities. This could reduce our revenues and, by delaying any cash payment allowed to us under our facilities until the lender has been paid in full, reduce our liquidity and cash flow and impair our ability to grow our business and our ability to make distributions sufficient to maintain our ability to be subject to tax as a RIC.

The terms of future available financing may place limits on our financial and operation flexibility. If we are unable to obtain sufficient capital in the future, we may be forced to reduce or discontinue our operations, not be able to make new investments, or otherwise respond to changing business conditions or competitive pressures.

In addition to regulatory requirements that restrict our ability to raise capital, our Credit Facilities and the 2024 Notes contain various covenants which, if not complied with, could require accelerated repayment under the facility or require us to repurchase the 2024 Notes thereby materially and adversely affecting our liquidity, financial condition, results of operations and ability to pay distributions.

The credit agreements governing our Credit Facilities and the 2024 Notes require us to comply with certain financial and operational covenants. These covenants require us to, among other things, maintain certain financial ratios, including asset coverage, debt to equity and interest coverage. Our ability to continue to comply with these covenants in the future depends on many factors, some of which are beyond our control. There are no assurances that we will be able to comply with these covenants. Failure to comply with these covenants would result in a default which, if we were unable to obtain a waiver from the lenders under our Credit Facilities and could accelerate repayment under the facilities or the 2024 Notes and thereby have a material adverse impact on our liquidity, financial condition, results of operations and ability to pay a sufficient amount of distributions and

 

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maintain our ability to be subject to tax as a RIC. We may not have enough available cash or be able to obtain financing at the time we are required to make repurchases. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition of Results of Operations—Borrowings.”

We may be unable to obtain debt capital on favorable terms or at all, in which case we would not be able to use leverage to increase the return on our investments.

If we are unable to obtain debt capital, then our equity investors will not benefit from the potential for increased returns on equity resulting from leverage to the extent that our investment strategy is successful and we may be limited in our ability to make new commitments or fundings to our portfolio companies. An inability to obtain debt capital may also limit our ability to refinance existing indebtedness, particularly during periods of adverse credit market conditions when refinancing indebtedness may not be available under interest rates and other terms acceptable to us or at all.

We are subject to certain risks as a result of our interests in connection with the 2014 Debt Securitization and our equity interest in the 2014 Securitization Issuer.

On November 13, 2014, in connection with the 2014 Debt Securitization and the offering of the 2021 Asset-Backed Notes by Hercules Capital Funding Trust 2014-1 (the “2014 Securitization Issuer”), we sold and/or contributed to Hercules Capital Funding 2014-1 LLC, as trust depositor (the “2014 Trust Depositor”), certain senior loans made to certain of our portfolio companies (the “2014 Loans”), which the 2014 Trust Depositor in turn sold and/or contributed to the 2014 Securitization Issuer in exchange for 100% of the equity interest in the 2014 Securitization Issuer, cash proceeds and other consideration. Following these transfers, the 2014 Securitization Issuer, and not the 2014 Trust Depositor or us, held all of the ownership interest in the 2014 Loans.

As a result of the 2014 Debt Securitization, we hold, indirectly through the 2014 Trust Depositor, 100% of the equity interests in the 2014 Securitization Issuer. As a result, we consolidate the financial statements of the 2014 Trust Depositor and the 2014 Securitization Issuer, as well as our other subsidiaries, in our consolidated financial statements. Because the 2014 Trust Depositor and the 2014 Securitization Issuer is disregarded as an entity separate from its owners for U.S. federal income tax purposes, the sale or contribution by us to the 2014 Trust Depositor, and by the 2014 Trust Depositor to the 2014 Securitization Issuer, as applicable, did not constitute a taxable event for U.S. federal income tax purposes. If the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) were to take a contrary position, there could be a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.

Further, a failure of the 2014 Securitization Issuer to be treated as a disregarded entity for U.S. federal income tax purposes would constitute an event of default pursuant to the indenture under the 2014 Debt Securitization, upon which the trustee under the 2014 Debt Securitization (the “2014 Trustee”), may and will at the direction of a supermajority of the holders of the 2021 Asset-Backed Notes (the “2021 Noteholders”), declare the 2021 Asset-Backed Notes, to be immediately due and payable and exercise remedies under the applicable indenture, including (i) to institute proceedings for the collection of all amounts then payable on the 2021 Asset-Backed Notes, or under the applicable indenture, enforce any judgment obtained, and collect from the 2014 Securitization Issuer and any other obligor upon the 2021 Asset-Backed Notes monies adjudged due; (ii) institute proceedings from time to time for the complete or partial foreclosure of the applicable indenture with respect to the property of the 2014 Securitization Issuer; (iii) exercise any remedies as a secured party under the relevant Uniform Commercial Code and take other appropriate action under applicable law to protect and enforce the rights and remedies of the 2014 Trustee and the 2021 Noteholders; or (iv) sell the property of the 2014 Securitization Issuer or any portion thereof or rights or interest therein at one or more public or private sales called and conducted in any matter permitted by law. Any such exercise of remedies could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.

 

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An event of default in connection with the 2014 Debt Securitization could give rise to a cross-default under our other material indebtedness.

The documents governing our other material indebtedness contain customary cross-default provisions that could be triggered if an event of default occurs in connection with the 2014 Debt Securitization. An event of default with respect to our other indebtedness could lead to the acceleration of such indebtedness and the exercise of other remedies as provided in the documents governing such other indebtedness. This could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows and may result in our inability to make distributions sufficient to maintain our ability to be subject to tax as a RIC.

We may not receive cash distributions in respect of our indirect ownership interests in the 2014 Securitization Issuer.

Apart from fees payable to us in connection with our role as servicer of the 2014 Loans and the reimbursement of related amounts under the documents governing the 2014 Debt Securitization, we receive cash in connection with the 2014 Debt Securitization only to the extent that the 2014 Trust Depositor receives payments in respect of its equity interests in the 2014 Securitization Issuer. The respective holders of the equity interests in the 2014 Securitization Issuer are the residual claimants on distributions, if any, made by the 2014 Securitization Issuer after the respective 2021 Noteholders and other claimants have been paid in full on each payment date or upon maturity of the 2021 Asset-Backed Notes, subject to the priority of payments under the 2014 Debt Securitization documents governing the 2014 Debt Securitization. To the extent that the value of a 2014 Securitization Issuer’s portfolio of loans is reduced as a result of conditions in the credit markets (relevant in the event of a liquidation event), other macroeconomic factors, distressed or defaulted loans or the failure of individual portfolio companies to otherwise meet their obligations in respect of the loans, or for any other reason, the ability of the 2014 Securitization Issuer to make cash distributions in respect of the 2014 Trust Depositor’s equity interests would be negatively affected and consequently, the value of the equity interests in the 2014 Securitization Issuer would also be reduced. In the event that we fail to receive cash indirectly from the 2014 Securitization Issuer, we could be unable to make distributions, if at all, in amounts sufficient to maintain our ability to be subject to tax as a RIC.

The interests of the 2021 Noteholders may not be aligned with our interests.

The 2021 Asset-Backed Notes are debt obligations ranking senior in right of payment to the rights of the holder of the equity interests in the 2014 Securitization Issuer, as residual claimants in respect of distributions, if any, made by the 2014 Securitization Issuer. As such, there are circumstances in which the interests of the 2021 Noteholders may not be aligned with the interests of holders of the equity interests in the 2014 Securitization Issuer. For example, under the terms of the documents governing the 2014 Debt Securitization, the 2021 Noteholders have the right to receive payments of principal and interest prior to holders of the equity interests.

For as long as the 2021 Asset-Backed Notes remain outstanding, the respective 2021 Noteholders have the right to act in certain circumstances with respect to the 2014 Loans in ways that may benefit their interests but not the interests of the respective holders of the equity interests in the 2014 Securitization Issuer, including by exercising remedies under the documents governing the 2014 Debt Securitization.

If an event of default occurs, the 2021 Noteholders will be entitled to determine the remedies to be exercised, subject to the terms of the documents governing the 2014 Debt Securitization. For example, upon the occurrence of an event of default with respect to the 2021 Asset-Backed Notes, the 2014 Trustee may and will at the direction of the holders of a supermajority of the applicable 2021 Asset-Backed Notes declare the principal, together with any accrued interest, of the notes to be immediately due and payable. This would have the effect of accelerating the principal on such notes, triggering a repayment obligation on the part of the 2014 Securitization Issuer. The 2021 Asset-Backed Notes then outstanding will be paid in full before any further payment or distribution on the equity interest is made. There can be no assurance that there will be sufficient funds through collections on the 2014 Loans or through the proceeds of the sale of the 2014 Loans in the event of a bankruptcy or insolvency to repay in full the obligations under the 2021 Asset-Backed Notes, or to make any distribution to holders of the equity interests in the 2014 Securitization Issuer.

 

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Remedies pursued by the 2021 Noteholders could be adverse to our interests as the indirect holder of the equity interests in the 2014 Securitization Issuer. The 2021 Noteholders have no obligation to consider any possible adverse effect on such other interests. Thus, there can be no assurance that any remedies pursued by the 2021 Noteholders will be consistent with the best interests of the 2014 Trust Depositor or that we will receive, indirectly through the 2014 Trust Depositor, any payments or distributions upon an acceleration of the 2021 Asset-Backed Notes. Any failure of the 2014 Securitization Issuer to make distributions in respect of the equity interests that we indirectly hold, whether as a result of an event of default and the acceleration of payments on the 2021 Asset-Backed Notes or otherwise, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows and may result in our inability to make distributions sufficient to maintain our ability to be subject to tax as a RIC.

Certain events related to the performance of 2014 Loans could lead to the acceleration of principal payments on the 2021 Asset-Backed Notes.

The following constitute rapid amortization events (“Rapid Amortization Events”) under the documents governing the 2014 Debt Securitization: (i) the aggregate outstanding principal balance of delinquent 2014 Loans, and restructured 2014 Loans that would have been delinquent 2014 Loans had such loans not become restructured loans exceeds 10% of the current aggregate outstanding principal balance of the 2014 Loans for a period of three consecutive months; (ii) the aggregate outstanding principal balance of defaulted 2014 Loans exceeds 5% of the initial outstanding principal balance of the 2014 Loans determined as November 13, 2014 for a period of three consecutive months; (iii) the aggregate outstanding principal balance of the 2021 Asset-Backed Notes exceeds the borrowing base for a period of three consecutive months; (iv) the 2014 Securitization Issuer’s pool of 2014 Loans contains 2014 Loans to ten or fewer obligors; and (v) the occurrence of an event of default under the documents governing the 2014 Debt Securitization. After a Rapid Amortization Event has occurred, subject to the priority of payments under the documents governing the 2014 Debt Securitization, principal collections on the 2014 Loans will be used to make accelerated payments of principal on the 2021 Asset-Backed Notes until the principal balance of the 2021 Asset-Back Notes is reduced to zero. Such an event could delay, reduce or eliminate the ability of the 2014 Securitization Issuer to make distributions in respect of the equity interests that we indirectly hold, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows and may result in our inability to make distributions sufficient to maintain our ability to be subject to tax as a RIC.

We have certain repurchase obligations with respect to the 2014 Loans transferred in connection with the 2014 Debt Securitization.

As part of the 2014 Debt Securitization, we entered into a sale and contribution agreement and a sale and servicing agreement under which we would be required to repurchase any 2014 Loan (or participation interest therein) which was sold to the 2014 Securitization Issuer in breach of certain customary representations and warranty made by us or by the 2014 Trust Depositors with respect to such 2014 Loan or the legal structure of the 2014 Debt Securitization. To the extent that there is a breach of such representations and warranties and we fail to satisfy any such repurchase obligation, a 2014 Trustee may, on behalf of the 2014 Securitization Issuer, bring an action against us to enforce these repurchase obligations.

Our investments in a portfolio company, whether debt, equity, or a combination thereof, may lead to our receiving material non-public information (“MNPI”) or obtaining ‘control’ of the target company. Our ability to exit an investment where we have MNPI or control could be limited and could result in a realized loss on the investment.

If we receive MNPI, or a controlling interest in a portfolio company, our ability to divest ourselves from a debt or equity investment could be restricted. Causes of such restriction could include market factors, such as liquidity in a private stock, or limited trading volume in a public company’s securities, or regulatory factors, such as the receipt of MNPI or insider blackout periods, where we are under legal obligation not to sell. Additionally,

 

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we may choose not to take certain actions to protect a debt investment in a control investment portfolio company. As a result, we could experience a decrease in the value of our portfolio company holdings and potentially incur a realized loss on the investment.

Regulations governing our operations as a business development company may affect our ability to, and the manner in which, we raise additional capital, which may expose us to risks.

Our business will require a substantial amount of capital. We may acquire additional capital from the issuance of senior securities, including borrowings, securitization transactions or other indebtedness, or the issuance of additional shares of our common stock. However, we may not be able to raise additional capital in the future on favorable terms or at all. We may issue debt securities, other evidences of indebtedness or preferred stock, and we may borrow money from banks or other financial institutions, which we refer to collectively as “senior securities,” up to the maximum amount permitted by the 1940 Act. Under the 1940 Act, we are not permitted to incur indebtedness unless immediately after such borrowing we have an asset coverage for total borrowings of at least 200% (i.e., the amount of debt may not exceed 50% of the value of our assets). In addition, we may not be permitted to declare any cash distribution on our outstanding common shares, or purchase any such shares, unless, at the time of such declaration or purchase, we have asset coverage of at least 200% after deducting the amount of such distribution or purchase price. Our ability to pay distributions or issue additional senior securities would be restricted if our asset coverage ratio were not at least 200%. Legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives during the 114th Congress proposed to modify this section of the 1940 Act and increase the amount of debt that business development companies may incur by modifying the asset coverage percentage from 200% to 150%. If such legislation is passed, we may be able to incur additional indebtedness in the future and, therefore, your risk of an investment in our securities may increase.

If the value of our assets declines, we may be unable to satisfy this test. If that happens, we may be required to liquidate a portion of our investments and repay a portion of our indebtedness at a time when such transaction may be disadvantageous. As a result of issuing senior securities, we would also be exposed to risks associated with leverage, including an increased risk of loss. If we issue preferred stock, the preferred stock would rank “senior” to common stock in our capital structure, preferred stockholders would have separate voting rights and might have rights, preferences, or privileges more favorable than those of our common stockholders and the issuance of preferred stock could have the effect of delaying, deferring, or preventing a transaction or a change of control that might involve a premium price for holders of our common stock or otherwise be in your best interest. It is likely that any senior securities or other indebtedness we issue will be governed by an indenture or other instrument containing covenants restricting our operating flexibility. Additionally, some of these securities or other indebtedness may be rated by rating agencies, and in obtaining a rating for such securities and other indebtedness, we may be required to abide by operating and investment guidelines that further restrict operating and financial flexibility.

To the extent that we are constrained in our ability to issue debt or other senior securities, we will depend on issuances of common stock to finance operations. Other than in certain limited situations such as rights offerings, as a business development company, we are generally not able to issue our common stock at a price below NAV without first obtaining required approvals from our stockholders and our independent directors. If we raise additional funds by issuing more common stock or senior securities convertible into, or exchangeable for, our common stock, then the percentage ownership of our stockholders at that time will decrease, and you might experience dilution. Moreover, we can offer no assurance that we will be able to issue and sell additional equity securities in the future, on favorable terms or at all.

When we are a debt or minority equity investor in a portfolio company, we may not be in a position to control the entity, and management of the company may make decisions that could decrease the value of our portfolio holdings.

We make both debt and minority equity investments; therefore, we are subject to the risk that a portfolio company may make business decisions with which we disagree, and the stockholders and management of such

 

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company may take risks or otherwise act in ways that do not serve our interests. As a result, a portfolio company may make decisions that could decrease the value of our portfolio holdings.

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

As a business development company, we may not acquire any assets other than “qualifying assets” as defined under the 1940 Act, unless, at the time of and after giving effect to such acquisition, at least 70% of our total assets are qualifying assets. See “Regulation.”

We believe that most of the senior loans we make will constitute qualifying assets. However, we may be precluded from investing in what we believe are attractive investments if such investments are not qualifying assets for purposes of the 1940 Act. If we do not invest a sufficient portion of our assets in qualifying assets, we could lose our status as a business development company, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, a rise in the equity markets may result in increased market valuations of certain of our existing and prospective portfolio companies, which may lead to new investments with such companies being qualified as non-eligible portfolio company assets and would require we invest in qualified assets or risk losing our status as a business development company. Similarly, these rules could prevent us from making follow-on investments in existing portfolio companies (which could result in the dilution of our position) or could require us to dispose of investments at inopportune times in order to comply with the 1940 Act. If we need to dispose of such investments quickly, it would be difficult to dispose of such investments on favorable terms. For example, we may have difficulty in finding a buyer and, even if we do find a buyer, we may have to sell the investments at a substantial loss.

A failure on our part to maintain our qualification as a business development company would significantly reduce our operating flexibility.

If we fail to continuously qualify as a business development company, we might be subject to regulation as a registered closed-end investment company under the 1940 Act, which would significantly decrease our operating flexibility, and lead to situations where we might have to restrict our borrowings, reduce our leverage, sell securities and pursue other activities that we are allowed to engage in as a business development company. In addition, failure to comply with the requirements imposed on business development companies by the 1940 Act could cause the SEC to bring an enforcement action against us. For additional information on the qualification requirements of a business development company, see “Regulation.”

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

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

 

   

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

 

   

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

 

   

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

 

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

 

   

The deferral of PIK interest may have a negative impact on our liquidity as it represents non-cash income that may require cash distributions to our stockholders in order to maintain our ability to be subject to tax as a RIC.

If we are unable to satisfy Code requirements for qualification as a RIC, then we will be subject to corporate-level income tax, which would adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

We elected to be treated as a RIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes with the filing of our federal corporate income tax return for 2006. We will not qualify for the tax treatment allowable to RICs if we are unable to comply with the source of income, asset diversification and distribution requirements contained in Subchapter M of the Code, or if we fail to maintain our election to be regulated as a business development company under the 1940 Act. If we fail to qualify as a RIC for any reason and become subject to a corporate-level income tax, the resulting taxes could substantially reduce our net assets, the amount of income available for distribution to our stockholders and the actual amount of our distributions. Such a failure would have a material adverse effect on us, the NAV of our common stock and the total return, if any, earned from your investment in our common stock.

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

In accordance with U.S. federal tax requirements, we are required to include in income for tax purposes certain amounts that we have not yet received in cash, such as OID and contractual PIK interest arrangements, which represent contractual interest added to a loan balance and due at the end of such loan’s term. In addition to the cash yields received on our loans, in some instances, our loans generally include one or more of the following: exit fees, balloon payment fees, commitment fees, success fees or prepayment fees. In some cases our loans also include contractual PIK interest arrangements. The increases in loan balances as a result of contractual PIK arrangements are included in income for the period in which such PIK interest was accrued, which is often in advance of receiving cash payment, and are separately identified on our statements of cash flows. We also may be required to include in income for tax purposes certain other amounts prior to receiving the related cash.

Any warrants that we receive in connection with our debt investments will generally be valued as part of the negotiation process with the particular portfolio company. As a result, a portion of the aggregate purchase price for the debt investments and warrants will be allocated to the warrants that we receive. This will generally result in OID for tax purposes, which we must recognize as ordinary income, increasing the amount that we are required to distribute in order to be subject to tax as a RIC. Because these warrants generally will not produce distributable cash for us at the same time as we are required to make distributions in respect of the related OID, if ever, we would need to obtain cash from other sources or to pay a portion of our distributions using shares of newly issued common stock, consistent with IRS guidelines and the Code, to satisfy such distribution requirements.

Other features of the debt instruments that we hold may also cause such instruments to generate OID in excess of current cash interest received. Since in certain cases we may recognize income before or without receiving cash representing such income, we may have difficulty meeting the RIC tax requirement to make distributions each taxable year to our stockholders treated as dividends for U.S. federal income tax purposes generally of an amount equal to at least 90% of our investment company taxable income, determined without regard to any deduction for dividends paid. Under such circumstances, we may have to sell some of our assets, raise additional debt or equity capital or reduce new investment originations to meet these distribution

 

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requirements. If we are unable to obtain cash from other sources and are otherwise unable to satisfy such distribution requirements, we may fail to qualify to be subject to tax as a RIC and, thus, become subject to a corporate-level income tax on all our taxable income (including any net realized securities gains).

Furthermore, we may invest in the equity securities of non-U.S. corporations (or other non-U.S. entities classified as corporations for U.S. federal income tax purposes) that could be treated under the Code and U.S. Treasury regulations as “passive foreign investment companies” (“PFICs”) and/or “controlled foreign corporations” (“CFCs”). The rules relating to investment in these types of non-U.S. entities are designed to ensure that U.S. taxpayers are either, in effect, taxed currently (or on an accelerated basis with respect to corporate level events) or taxed at increased tax rates at distribution or disposition. In certain circumstances, these rules also could require us to recognize taxable income or gains where we do not receive a corresponding payment in cash. Furthermore, under recently proposed Treasury Regulations, certain income derived by us either from a PFIC with respect to which we have made a certain U.S. tax election or from a CFC would generally constitute qualifying income for purposes of determining our ability to be subject to tax as a RIC only to the extent the PFIC or CFC respectively makes distributions of that income to us. As such, we may be restricted in our ability to make QEF elections with respect to our holdings in issuers that could either be treated as PFICs or CFCs in order to limit our tax liability or maximize our after-tax return from these investments.

Our portfolio investments may present special tax issues.

Investments in below-investment grade debt instruments and certain equity securities may present special tax issues for us. U.S. federal income tax rules are not entirely clear about issues such as when we may cease to accrue interest, OID or market discount, when and to what extent deductions may be taken for bad debts or worthless debt in equity securities, how payments received on obligations in default should be allocated between principal and interest income, as well as whether exchanges of debt instruments in a bankruptcy or workout context are taxable. Such matters could cause us to recognize taxable income for U.S. federal income tax purposes, even in the absence of cash or economic gain, and require us to make taxable distributions to our stockholders to maintain our RIC status or preclude the imposition of either U.S. federal corporate income or excise taxation. Additionally, because such taxable income may not be matched by corresponding cash received by us, we may be required to borrow money or dispose of other investments to be able to make distributions to our stockholders. These and other issues will be considered by us, to the extent determined necessary, in order that we minimize the level of any U.S. federal income or excise tax that we would otherwise incur. See “Certain United States Federal Income Tax Considerations—Taxation as a Regulated Investment Company.”

Legislative or regulatory tax changes could adversely affect you.

At any time, the U.S. federal income tax laws governing RICs or the administrative interpretations of those laws or regulations may be amended. Any of those new laws, regulations or interpretations may take effect retroactively and could adversely affect the taxation of us or of you as a stockholder. Therefore, changes in tax laws, regulations or administrative interpretations or any amendments thereto could diminish the value of an investment in our shares or the value or the resale potential of our investments.

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

We intend to make distributions on a quarterly basis to our stockholders. We cannot assure you that we will achieve investment results, or our business may not perform in a manner that will allow us to make a specified level of distributions or year-to-year increases in cash distributions. In addition, due to the asset coverage test applicable to us as a business development company, we may be limited in our ability to make distributions. Also, our Credit Facilities limit our ability to declare distributions to our stockholders if we default under certain provisions of our Credit Facilities. Furthermore, while we may have undistributed earnings, those earnings may not yield distributions because we may incur unrealized losses or otherwise be unable to distribute such earnings.

 

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We have and may in the future choose to pay distributions in our own stock, in which case you may be required to pay tax in excess of the cash you receive.

Under applicable Treasury regulations and other administrative authorities issued by the IRS, RICs are permitted to treat certain distributions payable in their stock, as taxable dividends that will satisfy their annual distribution obligations for U.S. federal income tax and excise tax purposes provided that stockholders have the opportunity to elect to receive all or a portion of such distribution in cash. Taxable stockholders receiving distributions will be required to include the full amount of such distributions as ordinary income (or as long-term capital gain to the extent such distribution is properly designated as a capital gain dividend) to the extent of our current and accumulated earnings and profits for U.S. federal income tax purposes. As a result, a U.S. stockholder may be required to pay tax with respect to such distributions in excess of any cash received. If a U.S. stockholder sells the stock it receives as a distribution in order to pay this tax, the sales proceeds may be less than the amount included in income with respect to the distribution, depending on the market price of our stock at the time of the sale. Furthermore, with respect to non-U.S. stockholders, we may be required to withhold U.S. federal income tax with respect to such distributions, including in respect of all or a portion of such distribution that is payable in stock. In addition, if a significant number of our stockholders determine to sell shares of our stock in order to pay taxes owed on such distributions, then such sales may put downward pressure on the trading price of our stock. We may in the future determine to distribute taxable distributions that are partially payable in our common stock.

We are exposed to risks associated with changes in interest rates, including fluctuations in interest rates which could adversely affect our profitability or the value of our portfolio

General interest rate fluctuations may have a substantial negative impact on our investments and investment opportunities, and, accordingly, may have a material adverse effect on our investment objective and rate of return on investment capital. A portion of our income will depend upon the difference between the rate at which we borrow funds and the interest rate on the debt securities in which we invest. Because we will borrow money to make investments and may issue debt securities, preferred stock or other securities, our net investment income is dependent upon the difference between the rate at which we borrow funds or pay interest or dividends on such debt securities, preferred stock or other securities and the rate at which we invest these funds. Typically, we anticipate that our interest-earning investments will accrue and pay interest at both variable and fixed rates, and that our interest-bearing liabilities will generally accrue interest at fixed rates.

A significant increase in market interest rates could harm our ability to attract new portfolio companies and originate new loans and investments. In addition to potentially increasing the cost of our debt, increasing interest rates may also have a negative impact on our portfolio companies’ ability to repay or service their loans, which could enhance the risk of loan defaults. We expect that most of our current initial investments in debt securities will be at floating rate with a floor. However, in the event that we make investments in debt securities at variable rates, a significant increase in market interest rates could also result in an increase in our non-performing assets and a decrease in the value of our portfolio because our floating-rate loan portfolio companies may be unable to meet higher payment obligations. As of June 30, 2017, approximately 94.5% of our loans were at floating rates or floating rates with a floor and 5.5% of the loans were at fixed rates.

In periods of rising interest rates, our cost of funds would increase, resulting in a decrease in our net investment income. In addition, a decrease in interest rates may reduce net income, because new investments may be made at lower rates despite the increased demand for our capital that the decrease in interest rates may produce. We may, but will not be required to, hedge against the risk of adverse movement in interest rates in our short-term and long-term borrowings relative to our portfolio of assets. If we engage in hedging activities, it may limit our ability to participate in the benefits of lower interest rates with respect to the hedged portfolio. Adverse developments resulting from changes in interest rates or hedging transactions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

 

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

If we engage in hedging transactions, we may expose ourselves to risks associated with such transactions. We may utilize instruments such as forward contracts, currency options and interest rate swaps, caps, collars and floors to seek to hedge against fluctuations in the relative values of our portfolio positions from changes in currency exchange rates and market interest rates. Hedging against a decline in the values of our portfolio positions does not eliminate the possibility of fluctuations in the values of such positions or prevent losses if the values of such positions decline. However, such hedging can establish other positions designed to gain from those same developments, thereby offsetting the decline in the value of such portfolio positions. Such hedging transactions may also limit the opportunity for gain if the values of the underlying portfolio positions should increase. It may not be possible to hedge against an exchange rate or interest rate fluctuation that is so generally anticipated that we are not able to enter into a hedging transaction at an acceptable price. Moreover, for a variety of reasons, we may not seek to establish a perfect correlation between such hedging instruments and there can be no assurance that any such hedging arrangements will achieve the desired effect. During the six-months ended June 30, 2017, we did not engage in any hedging activities.

Legislation may allow us to incur additional leverage.

As a business development company, under the 1940 Act generally we are not permitted to incur indebtedness unless immediately after such borrowing we have an asset coverage for total borrowings of at least 200% (i.e., the amount of debt may not exceed 50% of the value of our assets). If recent legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives is passed, or similar legislation is introduced, it would modify this section of the 1940 Act and increase the amount of debt that business development companies may incur. As a result, we may be able to incur additional indebtedness in the future and therefore your risk of an investment in us may increase. However, the ultimate form and likely outcome of such legislation or any similar legislation cannot be predicted.

Two of our wholly-owned subsidiaries are licensed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, and as a result, we will be subject to SBA regulations, which could limit our capital or investment decisions.

Our wholly-owned subsidiaries HT II and HT III are licensed to act as SBICs and are regulated by the SBA. HT II and HT III hold approximately $104.8 million and $271.5 million in assets, respectively, and they accounted for approximately 5.8% and 14.9% of our total assets, respectively, prior to consolidation at June 30, 2017. The SBIC licenses allow our SBIC subsidiaries to obtain leverage by issuing SBA-guaranteed debentures, subject to the issuance of a capital commitment by the SBA and other customary procedures.

The SBA regulations require that a licensed SBIC be periodically examined and audited by the SBA to determine its compliance with the relevant SBA regulations. The SBA prohibits, without prior SBA approval, a “change of control” of an SBIC or transfers that would result in any person (or a group of persons acting in concert) owning 10.0% or more of a class of capital stock of a licensed SBIC. If either HT II or HT III fail to comply with applicable SBA regulations, the SBA could, depending on the severity of the violation, limit or prohibit HT II’s or HT III’s use of debentures, declare outstanding debentures immediately due and payable, and/ or limit HT II or HT III from making new investments. Such actions by the SBA would, in turn, negatively affect us because HT II and HT III are our wholly owned subsidiaries.

HT II and HT III were in compliance with the terms of the SBIC’s leverage as of June 30, 2017 as a result of having sufficient capital as defined under the SBA regulations. Compliance with SBA requirements may cause HT II and HT III to forego attractive investment opportunities that are not permitted under SBA regulations. See “Regulation—Small Business Administration Regulations.”

 

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SBA regulations limit the outstanding dollar amount of SBA guaranteed debentures that may be issued by an SBIC or group of SBICs under common control.

The SBA regulations currently limit the dollar amount of SBA-guaranteed debentures that can be issued by any one SBIC to $150.0 million or to a group of SBICs under common control to $350.0 million.

An SBIC may not borrow an amount in excess of two times (and in certain cases, up to three times) its regulatory capital. As of June 30, 2017, we have issued $190.2 million in SBA-guaranteed debentures in our SBIC subsidiaries, which is the maximum combined capacity for our SBIC subsidiaries under our existing licenses. During times that we reach the maximum dollar amount of SBA-guaranteed debentures permitted, and if we require additional capital, our cost of capital is likely to increase, and there is no assurance that we will be able to obtain additional financing on acceptable terms.

Moreover, the current status of our SBIC subsidiaries as SBICs does not automatically assure that our SBIC subsidiaries will continue to receive SBA-guaranteed debenture funding. Receipt of SBA leverage funding is dependent upon our SBIC subsidiaries continuing to be in compliance with SBA regulations and policies and available SBA funding. The amount of SBA leverage funding available to SBICs is dependent upon annual Congressional authorizations and in the future may be subject to annual Congressional appropriations. There can be no assurance that there will be sufficient debenture funding available at the times desired by our SBIC subsidiaries.

The debentures guaranteed by the SBA have a maturity of ten years and require semi-annual payments of interest. Our SBIC subsidiaries will need to generate sufficient cash flow to make required interest payments on the debentures. If our SBIC subsidiaries are unable to meet their financial obligations under the debentures, the SBA, as a creditor, will have a superior claim to our SBIC subsidiaries’ assets over our stockholders in the event we liquidate our SBIC subsidiaries or the SBA exercises its remedies under such debentures as the result of a default by us.

Our wholly-owned SBIC subsidiaries may be unable to make distributions to us that will enable us to maintain RIC status, which could result in the imposition of an entity-level tax.

In order for us to continue to qualify for RIC tax treatment and to minimize corporate-level taxes, we will be required to distribute substantially all of our investment company taxable income, determined without regard to any deduction for dividends paid, and net capital gains, including income from certain of our subsidiaries, which includes the income from our SBIC subsidiaries. We will be partially dependent on our SBIC subsidiaries for cash distributions to enable us to meet the RIC distribution requirements. Our SBIC subsidiaries may be limited by the Small Business Investment Act of 1958, as amended, and SBA regulations governing SBICs, from making certain distributions to us that may be necessary to maintain our ability to be subject to tax as a RIC. We may have to request a waiver of the SBA’s restrictions for our SBIC subsidiaries to make certain distributions to maintain our ability to be subject to tax as a RIC. We cannot assure you that the SBA will grant such waiver. If our SBIC subsidiaries are unable to obtain a waiver, compliance with the SBA regulations may result in loss of RIC tax treatment and a consequent imposition of an entity-level tax on us.

If we fail to maintain an effective system of internal control over financial reporting, we may not be able to accurately report our financial results or prevent fraud. As a result, stockholders could lose confidence in our financial and other public reporting, which would harm our business and the trading price of our common stock.

Effective internal controls over financial reporting are necessary for us to provide reliable financial reports and, together with adequate disclosure controls and procedures, are designed to prevent fraud. Any failure to implement required new or improved controls, or difficulties encountered in their implementation could cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations. In addition, any testing by us conducted in connection with Section 404

 

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of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, as amended, or the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, or the subsequent testing by our independent registered public accounting firm (when undertaken, as noted below), may reveal deficiencies in our internal controls over financial reporting that are deemed to be material weaknesses or that may require prospective or retroactive changes to our consolidated financial statements or identify other areas for further attention or improvement. Inferior internal controls could also cause investors and lenders to lose confidence in our reported financial information, which could have a negative effect on the trading price of our common stock.

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

Our Board of Directors has the authority, except as otherwise provided in the 1940 Act, to modify or waive certain of our operating policies and strategies without prior notice 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 business development company. We cannot predict the effect any changes to our current operating policies and strategies would have on our business, operating results and the market price of our common stock. Nevertheless, any such changes could materially and adversely affect our business and impair our ability to make distributions to our stockholders.

Changes in laws or regulations governing our business could negatively affect the profitability of our operations.

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

Our business is subject to increasingly complex corporate governance, public disclosure and accounting requirements that could adversely affect our business and financial results.

We are subject to changing rules and regulations of federal and state government as well as the stock exchange on which our common stock is listed. These entities, including the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the SEC and the NYSE have issued a significant number of new and increasingly complex requirements and regulations over the course of the last several years and continue to develop additional regulations and requirements in response to laws enacted by Congress. On July 21, 2010, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Protection Act, as amended, or the Dodd-Frank Act, was enacted. There are significant corporate governance and executive compensation-related provisions in the Dodd-Frank Act, and the SEC has adopted, and will continue to adopt, additional rules and regulations that may impact us. Our efforts to comply with these requirements have resulted in, and are likely to continue to result in, an increase in expenses and a diversion of management’s time from other business activities.

In addition, our failure to maintain compliance with such rules, or for our management to appropriately address issues relating to our compliance with such rules fully and in a timely manner, exposes us to an increasing risk of inadvertent non-compliance. While the Company’s management team takes reasonable efforts to ensure that the Company is in full compliance with all laws applicable to its operations, the increasing rate and

 

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extent of regulatory change increases the risk of a failure to comply, which may result in our ability to operate our business in the ordinary course or may subject us to potential fines, regulatory findings or other matters that may materially impact our business.

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

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

Results may fluctuate and may not be indicative of future performance.

Our operating results may fluctuate and, therefore, you should not rely on current or historical period results to be indicative of our performance in future reporting periods. Factors that could cause operating results to fluctuate include, but are not limited to, variations in the investment origination volume and fee income earned, changes in the accrual status of our debt investments, variations in timing of prepayments, variations in and the timing of the recognition of net realized gains or losses and changes in unrealized appreciation or depreciation, the level of our expenses, the degree to which we encounter competition in our markets, and general economic conditions.

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

Our business operations rely upon secure information technology systems for data processing, storage and reporting. Despite careful security and controls design, implementation and updating, our information technology systems could become subject to cyber-attacks. Network, system, application and data breaches could result in operational disruptions or information misappropriation, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

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

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

Terrorist attacks, acts of war or natural disasters may affect any market for our securities, impact the businesses in which we invest and harm our business, operating results and financial condition.

Terrorist acts, acts of war 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

 

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uncertainties and have contributed to global economic instability. Future terrorist activities, military or security operations, 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 and natural disasters are generally uninsurable.

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

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

 

   

sudden electrical or telecommunication outages;

 

   

natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes;

 

   

disease pandemics;

 

   

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

 

   

cyber-attacks.

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

We may be subject to restrictions on our ability to make distributions to our stockholders.

Restrictions imposed on the declaration of dividends or other distributions to holders of our common stock, by both the 1940 Act and by requirements imposed by rating agencies, might impair our ability to be subject to tax as a RIC. While we intend to prepay our Notes and other debt to the extent necessary to enable us to distribute our income as required to maintain our ability to be subject to tax as a RIC, there can be no assurance that such actions can be effected in time or in a manner to satisfy the requirements set forth in the Code.

Further downgrades of the U.S. credit rating, automatic spending cuts or another government shutdown could negatively impact our liquidity, financial condition and earnings.

Recent U.S. debt ceiling and budget deficit concerns have increased the possibility of additional credit-rating downgrades and economic slowdowns, or a recession in the U.S. Although U.S. lawmakers passed legislation to raise the federal debt ceiling on multiple occasions, ratings agencies have lowered or threatened to lower the long-term sovereign credit rating on the United States. The impact of this or any further downgrades to the U.S. government’s sovereign credit rating or its perceived creditworthiness could adversely affect the U.S. and global financial markets and economic conditions. These developments could cause interest rates and borrowing costs to rise, which may negatively impact our ability to access the debt markets on favorable terms. In addition, disagreement over the federal budget has caused the U.S. federal government to shut down for periods of time. Continued adverse political and economic conditions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

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Risks Related to Current Economic and Market Conditions

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

The global capital markets have experienced a period of disruption as evidenced by a lack of liquidity in the debt capital markets, write-offs in the financial services sector, the re-pricing of credit risk and the failure of certain major financial institutions. While the capital markets have improved, these conditions could deteriorate again in the future. During such market disruptions, we may have difficulty raising debt or equity capital, especially as a result of regulatory constraints.

Market conditions may in the future make it difficult to extend the maturity of or refinance our existing indebtedness and any failure to do so could have a material adverse effect on our business. The illiquidity of our investments may make it difficult for us to sell such investments if required. As a result, we may realize significantly less than the value at which we have recorded our investments. In addition, significant changes in the capital markets, including the disruption and volatility, have had, and may in the future have, a negative effect on the valuations of our investments and on the potential for liquidity events involving our investments. An inability to raise capital, and any required sale of our investments for liquidity purposes, could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Various social and political tensions in the United States and around the world, including in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Russia, may continue to contribute to increased market volatility, may have long-term effects on the United States and worldwide financial markets, and may cause further economic uncertainties or deterioration in the United States and worldwide. Several European Union (“EU”) countries, including Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and Portugal, continue to face budget issues, some of which may have negative long-term effects for the economies of those countries and other EU countries. There is also continued concern about national-level support for the euro and the accompanying coordination of fiscal and wage policy among European Economic and Monetary Union member countries. In July and August 2015, Greece reached agreements with its creditors for bailouts that provide aid in exchange for certain austerity measures. These and similar austerity measures may adversely affect world economic conditions and have an impact on our business and that of our portfolio companies. In the second quarter of 2015, stock prices in China experienced a significant drop, resulting primarily from continued sell-off of trading in Chinese markets. In August 2015, Chinese authorities sharply devalued China’s currency.

The broader fundamentals of the United States economy remain mixed. In the event that the United States economy contracts, it is likely that the financial results of small to mid-sized companies, like many of our portfolio companies, could experience deterioration or limited growth from current levels, which could ultimately lead to difficulty in meeting their debt service requirements and an increase in defaults. In addition, a prolonged continuation of the decline in oil and natural gas prices experienced over the last two years would adversely affect the credit quality of our debt investments and the underlying operating performance of our equity investments in energy-related businesses. Consequently, we can provide no assurance that the performance of certain portfolio companies will not be negatively impacted by economic cycles, industry cycles or other conditions, which could also have a negative impact on our future results.

The government of the United Kingdom (“U.K.”) held an in-or-out referendum on the U.K.’s membership in the EU on June 23, 2016. The referendum resulted in a vote in favor of the exit of the U.K. from the EU (“Brexit”). A process of negotiation will follow that will determine the future terms of the U.K.’s relationship with the EU. The uncertainty in the wake of the referendum could have a negative impact on both the U.K. economy and the economies of other countries in Europe. The Brexit process also may lead to greater volatility in the global currency and financial markets, which could adversely affect us. In connection with investments in non-U.S. issuers, we may engage in foreign currency exchange transactions but is not required to hedge its

 

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currency exposure. As such, we make investments that are denominated in British pound sterling or euros. Our assets are generally valued in U.S. dollars, and the depreciation of the British pound sterling and/or the euro in relation to the U.S. dollar in anticipation of Brexit would adversely affect our investments denominated in British pound sterling or euros that are not fully hedged regardless of the performance of their underlying issuers. Global central banks may maintain historically low interest rates longer than was anticipated prior to the Brexit vote, which could adversely affect our income and the level of our distributions.

These market and economic disruptions affect, and these and other similar market and economic disruptions may in the future affect, the U.S. capital markets, which could adversely affect our business and that of our portfolio companies. We cannot predict the duration of the effects related to these or similar events in the future on the United States economy and securities markets or on our investments. 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.

Depending on funding requirements, we may need to raise additional capital to meet our unfunded commitments either through equity offerings or through additional borrowings.

As of June 30, 2017, we had approximately $57.6 million of unfunded commitments, including undrawn revolving facilities, which were available at the request of the portfolio company and unencumbered by milestones.

Our unfunded contractual commitments may be significant from time to time. A portion of these unfunded contractual commitments are dependent upon the portfolio company reaching certain milestones before the debt commitment becomes available. Furthermore, our credit agreements contain customary lending provisions which allow us relief from funding obligations for previously made commitments in instances where the underlying company experiences materially adverse events that affect the financial condition or business outlook for the company. These commitments will be subject to the same underwriting and ongoing portfolio maintenance as are the on-balance sheet financial instruments that we hold. Since these commitments may expire without being drawn upon, the total commitment amount does not necessarily represent future cash requirements. Closed commitments generally fund 70-80% of the committed amount in aggregate over the life of the commitment. We believe that our assets provide adequate cover to satisfy all of our unfunded comments and we intend to use cash flow from normal and early principal repayments and proceeds from borrowings and notes to fund these commitments. However, there can be no assurance that we will have sufficient capital available to fund these commitments as they come due.

Our ability to secure additional financing and satisfy our financial obligations under indebtedness outstanding from time to time will depend upon our future operating performance, which is subject to the prevailing general economic and credit market conditions, including interest rate levels and the availability of credit generally, and financial, business and other factors, many of which are beyond our control. The prolonged continuation or worsening of current economic and capital market conditions could have a material adverse effect on our ability to secure financing on favorable terms, if at all.

Changes relating to the LIBOR calculation process may adversely affect the value of our portfolio of the LIBOR-indexed, floating-rate debt securities.

In the recent past, concerns have been publicized that some of the member banks surveyed by the British Bankers’ Association (“BBA”) in connection with the calculation of the London Interbank Offered Rate, or LIBOR, across a range of maturities and currencies may have been under-reporting or otherwise manipulating the inter-bank lending rate applicable to them in order to profit on their derivatives positions or to avoid an appearance of capital insufficiency or adverse reputational or other consequences that may have resulted from reporting inter-bank lending rates higher than those they actually submitted. A number of BBA member banks entered into settlements with their regulators and law enforcement agencies with respect to alleged manipulation of LIBOR, and investigations by regulators and governmental authorities in various jurisdictions are ongoing.

 

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Actions by the BBA, regulators or law enforcement agencies as a result of these or future events, may result in changes to the manner in which LIBOR is determined. Potential changes, or uncertainty related to such potential changes may adversely affect the market for LIBOR-based securities, including our portfolio of LIBOR-indexed, floating-rate debt securities. In addition, any further changes or reforms to the determination or supervision of LIBOR may result in a sudden or prolonged increase or decrease in reported LIBOR, which could have an adverse impact on the market for LIBOR-based securities or the value of our portfolio of LIBOR-indexed, floating-rate debt securities.

Risks Related to Our Investments

Our investments are concentrated in certain industries and in a number of technology-related companies, which subjects us to the risk of significant loss if any of these companies default on their obligations under any of their debt securities that we hold, or if any of the technology-related industry sectors experience a downturn.

We have invested and intend to continue investing in a limited number of technology-related companies and, we have recently seen an increase in the number of investments representing approximately 5% or more of our net asset value. A consequence of this limited number of investments is that 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. Beyond the asset diversification requirements to which we are subject as a business development company and a RIC, we do not have fixed guidelines for diversification or limitations on the size of our investments in any one portfolio company and our investments could be concentrated in relatively few issuers. In addition, we have invested in and intend to continue investing, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of the value of our total assets (including the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes) in technology-related companies.

As of June 30, 2017, approximately 76.1% of the fair value of our portfolio was composed of investments in five industries: 31.5% investments in the drug discovery & development industry, 18.2% investments in the software industry, 10.4% investments in the media/content/info industry, 8.8% investments in the drug delivery industry, and 7.2% investments in the internet consumer & business services industry.

As a result, a downturn in technology-related industry sectors and particularly those in which we are heavily concentrated could materially adversely affect our financial condition.

We are a non-diversified investment company within the meaning of the 1940 Act, and therefore we generally are not limited with respect to the proportion of our assets that may be invested in securities of a single issuer.

We are classified as a non-diversified investment company within the meaning of the 1940 Act, which means that we are not limited by the 1940 Act with respect to the proportion of our assets that we may invest in securities of a single issuer, excluding limitations on investments in other investment companies. To the extent that we assume large positions in the securities of a small number of issuers, 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. Beyond the asset diversification requirements to which we are subject as a business development company and a RIC, we do not have fixed guidelines for portfolio diversification, and our investments could be concentrated in relatively few portfolio companies or industries.

 

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Our financial results could be negatively affected if a significant portfolio investment fails to perform as expected.

Our total investment in companies may be significant individually or in the aggregate. As a result, if a significant investment in one or more companies fails to perform as expected, our financial results could be more negatively affected and the magnitude of the loss could be more significant than if we had made smaller investments in more companies. The following table shows the fair value of the totals of investments held in portfolio companies at June 30, 2017 that represent greater than 5% of our net assets:

 

     June 30, 2017  

(in thousands)

   Fair Value      Percentage of Net
Assets
 

Machine Zone, Inc.

   $ 108,996        13.3

Axovant Sciences Ltd.

     56,570        6.9

Insmed, Incorporated

     56,296        6.9

Paratek Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (p.k.a. Transcept Pharmaceuticals, Inc.)

     51,998        6.4

Fuze, Inc.

     49,990        6.1

Proterra, Inc.

     42,130        5.2

Machine Zone, Inc. is a technology company that is best known for building mobile Massively Multiplayer Online games with a focus on community-based gameplay.

Axovant Sciences Ltd. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on acquiring, developing and commercializing novel therapeutics for the treatment of dementia.

Insmed, Incorporated is a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the development of inhaled pharmaceuticals for the site-specific treatment of serious lung diseases.

Paratek Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative therapies based upon its expertise in novel tetracycline chemistry.

Fuze, Inc. is a technology company that provides a cloud-based unified communications-as-a-service platform to server message block, mid-market, and small enterprise customers worldwide.

Proterra, Inc. designs and manufactures zero-emission vehicles that enable bus fleet operators to eliminate the dependency on fossil fuels and significantly reduce operating costs.

Our financial results could be materially adversely affected if these portfolio companies or any of our other significant portfolio companies encounter financial difficulty and fail to repay their obligations or to perform as expected.

Our investments may be in portfolio companies that have limited operating histories and resources.

We expect that our portfolio will continue to consist of investments that may have relatively limited operating histories. These companies may be particularly vulnerable to U.S. and foreign economic downturns may have more limited access to capital and higher funding costs, may have a weaker financial position and may need more capital to expand or compete. These businesses also may experience substantial variations in operating results. They may face intense competition, including from larger, more established companies with greater financial, technical and marketing resources. Furthermore, some of these companies do business in regulated industries and could be affected by changes in government regulation applicable to their given industry. Accordingly, these factors could impair their cash flow or result in other events, such as bankruptcy, which could limit their ability to repay their obligations to us, and may adversely affect the return on, or the recovery of, our investment in these companies. We cannot assure you that any of our investments in our portfolio companies will be successful. We may lose our entire investment in any or all of our portfolio companies.

 

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Investing in publicly traded companies can involve a high degree of risk and can be speculative.

We have invested, and expect to continue to invest, a portion of our portfolio in publicly traded companies or companies that are in the process of completing their initial public offering (“IPO”). As publicly traded companies, the securities of these companies may not trade at high volumes, and prices can be volatile, particularly during times of general market volatility, which may restrict our ability to sell our positions and may have a material adverse impact on us.

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

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

Our investment strategy focuses on technology-related companies, which are subject to many risks, including volatility, intense competition, shortened product life cycles, changes in regulatory and governmental programs and periodic downturns, and you could lose all or part of your investment.

We have invested and will continue investing primarily in technology-related companies, many of which may have narrow product lines and small market shares, which tend to render them more vulnerable to competitors’ actions and market conditions, as well as to general economic downturns. The revenues, income (or losses), and valuations of technology-related companies can and often do fluctuate suddenly and dramatically. In addition, technology-related industries are generally characterized by abrupt business cycles and intense competition. Overcapacity in technology-related industries, together with cyclical economic downturns, may result in substantial decreases in the market capitalization of many technology-related companies. Such decreases in market capitalization may occur again, and any future decreases in technology-related company valuations may be substantial and may not be temporary in nature. Therefore, our portfolio companies may face considerably more risk of loss than do companies in other industry sectors.

Because of rapid technological change, the average selling prices of products and some services provided by technology-related companies have historically decreased over their productive lives. As a result, the average selling prices of products and services offered by technology-related companies may decrease over time, which could adversely affect their operating results, their ability to meet obligations under their debt securities and the value of their equity securities. This could, in turn, materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our investments in sustainable and renewable technology companies are subject to substantial operational risks, such as underestimated cost projections, unanticipated operation and maintenance expenses, loss of government subsidies, and inability to deliver cost-effective alternative energy solutions compared to traditional energy products. In addition, sustainable and renewable technology companies employ a variety of means of increasing cash flow, including increasing utilization of existing facilities, expanding operations through new construction or acquisitions, or securing additional long-term contracts. Thus, some energy companies may be subject to construction risk, acquisition risk or other risks arising from their specific business strategies. Furthermore, production levels for solar, wind and other renewable energies may be dependent upon adequate sunlight, wind, or biogas production, which can vary from market to market and period to period, resulting in volatility in production levels and profitability. Demand for sustainable and renewable technology is also influenced by the available supply and prices for other energy products, such as coal, oil and natural gases. A change in prices in these energy products could reduce demand for alternative energy.

A natural disaster may also impact the operations of our portfolio companies, including our technology-related portfolio companies. The nature and level of natural disasters cannot be predicted and may be exacerbated

 

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by global climate change. A portion of our technology-related portfolio companies rely on items assembled or produced in areas susceptible to natural disasters, and may sell finished goods into markets susceptible to natural disasters. A major disaster, such as an earthquake, tsunami, flood or other catastrophic event could result in disruption to the business and operations of our technology-related portfolio companies.

We will invest in technology-related companies that are reliant on U.S. and foreign regulatory and governmental programs. Any material changes or discontinuation, due to change in administration or U.S. Congress or otherwise could have a material adverse effect on the operations of a portfolio company in these industries and, in turn, impair our ability to timely collect principal and interest payments owed to us to the extent applicable.

We have invested in and may continue investing in technology-related companies that do not have venture capital or private equity firms as equity investors, and these companies may entail a higher risk of loss than do companies with institutional equity investors, which could increase the risk of loss of your investment.

Our portfolio companies will often require substantial additional equity financing to satisfy their continuing working capital and other cash requirements and, in most instances, to service the interest and principal payments on our investment. Portfolio companies that do not have venture capital or private equity investors may be unable to raise any additional capital to satisfy their obligations or to raise sufficient additional capital to reach the next stage of development. Portfolio companies that do not have venture capital or private equity investors may be less financially sophisticated and may not have access to independent members to serve on their boards, which means that they may be less successful than portfolio companies sponsored by venture capital or private equity firms. Accordingly, financing these types of companies may entail a higher risk of loss than would financing companies that are sponsored by venture capital or private equity firms.

Sustainable and renewable technology companies are subject to extensive government regulation and certain other risks particular to the sectors in which they operate and our business and growth strategy could be adversely affected if government regulations, priorities and resources impacting such sectors change or if our portfolio companies fail to comply with such regulations.

As part of our investment strategy, we plan to invest in portfolio companies in sustainable and renewable technology sectors that may be subject to extensive regulation by foreign, U.S. federal, state and/or local agencies. Changes in existing laws, rules or regulations, or judicial or administrative interpretations thereof, or new laws, rules or regulations could have an adverse impact on the business and industries of our portfolio companies. In addition, changes in government priorities or limitations on government resources could also adversely impact our portfolio companies. We are unable to predict whether any such changes in laws, rules or regulations will occur and, if they do occur, the impact of these changes on our portfolio companies and our investment returns. Furthermore, if any of our portfolio companies fail to comply with applicable regulations, they could be subject to significant penalties and claims that could materially and adversely affect their operations, which would also impact our ability to realize value since our exit from the investment may be subject to the portfolio company obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals. Our portfolio companies may be subject to the expense, delay and uncertainty of the regulatory approval process for their products and, even if approved, these products may not be accepted in the marketplace.

In addition, there is considerable uncertainty about whether foreign, U.S., state and/or local governmental entities will enact or maintain legislation or regulatory programs that mandate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions or provide incentives for sustainable and renewable technology companies. Without such regulatory policies, investments in sustainable and renewable technology companies may not be economical and financing for sustainable and renewable technology companies may become unavailable, which could materially adversely affect the ability of our portfolio companies to repay the debt they owe to us. Any of these factors could materially and adversely affect the operations and financial condition of a portfolio company and, in turn, the ability of the portfolio company to repay the debt they owe to us.

 

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

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

Continuation of the decline in oil and natural gas prices for a prolonged period of time could have a material adverse effect on us.

A prolonged continuation of the decline in oil and natural gas prices would adversely affect (i) the credit quality of our debt investments in certain of our portfolio companies and (ii) the underlying operating performance of our portfolio companies’ business that are heavily dependent upon the prices of, and demand for, oil and natural gas. A decrease in credit quality and the operating performance would, in turn, negatively affect the fair value of these investments, which would consequently negatively affect our net asset value. Should the decline in oil and natural gas prices experienced over the last two years persist, it is likely that the ability of these portfolio companies to satisfy financial or operating covenants imposed by us or other lenders will be adversely affected, thereby negatively impacting their financial condition and their ability to satisfy their debt service and other obligations to us. Likewise, should the decline in oil and natural gas prices persist, it is likely that our energy-related portfolio companies’ and other affected companies’ cash flow and profit generating capacities would also be adversely affected thereby negatively impacting their ability to pay us dividends or distributions on our equity investments.

Our investments in the life sciences industry are subject to extensive government regulation, litigation risk and certain other risks particular to that industry.

We have invested and plan to continue investing in companies in the life sciences industry that are subject to extensive regulation by the Food and Drug Administration, or the FDA, and to a lesser extent, other federal, state and other foreign agencies. If any of these portfolio companies fail to comply with applicable regulations, they could be subject to significant penalties and claims that could materially and adversely affect their operations. Portfolio companies that produce medical devices or drugs are subject to the expense, delay and uncertainty of the regulatory approval process for their products and, even if approved, these products may not be accepted in the marketplace. In addition, governmental budgetary constraints effecting the regulatory approval process, new laws, regulations or judicial interpretations of existing laws and regulations might adversely affect a portfolio company in this industry. Portfolio companies in the life sciences industry may also have a limited number of suppliers of necessary components or a limited number of manufacturers for their products, and therefore face a risk of disruption to their manufacturing process if they are unable to find alternative suppliers when needed. Any of these factors could materially and adversely affect the operations of a portfolio company in this industry and, in turn, impair our ability to timely collect principal and interest payments owed to us.

Our investments in the drug discovery industry are subject to numerous risks, including competition, extensive government regulation, product liability and commercial difficulties.

Our investments in the drug discovery industry are subject to numerous risks. The successful and timely implementation of the business model of our drug discovery portfolio companies depends on their ability to adapt to changing technologies and introduce new products. As competitors continue to introduce competitive products, the development and acquisition of innovative products and technologies that improve efficacy, safety, patient’s and clinician’s ease of use and cost-effectiveness are important to the success of such portfolio companies. The success of new product offerings will depend on many factors, including the ability to properly anticipate and satisfy customer needs, obtain regulatory approvals on a timely basis, develop and manufacture products in an economic and timely manner, obtain or maintain advantageous positions with respect to intellectual property, and differentiate products from those of competitors. Failure by our portfolio companies to introduce planned products or other new products or to introduce products on schedule could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

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Further, the development of products by drug discovery companies requires significant research and development, clinical trials and regulatory approvals. The results of product development efforts may be affected by a number of factors, including the ability to innovate, develop and manufacture new products, complete clinical trials, obtain regulatory approvals and reimbursement in the U.S. and abroad, or gain and maintain market approval of products. In addition, regulatory review processes by U.S. and foreign agencies may extend longer than anticipated as a result of decreased funding and tighter fiscal budgets. Further, patents attained by others can preclude or delay the commercialization of a product. There can be no assurance that any products now in development will achieve technological feasibility, obtain regulatory approval, or gain market acceptance. Failure can occur at any point in the development process, including after significant funds have been invested. Products may fail to reach the market or may have only limited commercial success because of efficacy or safety concerns, failure to achieve positive clinical outcomes, inability to obtain necessary regulatory approvals, failure to achieve market adoption, limited scope of approved uses, excessive costs to manufacture, the failure to establish or maintain intellectual property rights, or the infringement of intellectual property rights of others.

Future legislation, and/or regulations and policies adopted by the FDA or other U.S. or foreign regulatory authorities may increase the time and cost required by some of our portfolio companies to conduct and complete clinical trials for the product candidates that they develop, and there is no assurance that these companies will obtain regulatory approval to market and commercialize their products in the U.S. and in foreign countries.

The FDA has established regulations, guidelines and policies to govern the drug development and approval process, as have foreign regulatory authorities, which affect some of our portfolio companies. Any change in regulatory requirements due to the adoption by the FDA and/or foreign regulatory authorities of new legislation, regulations, or policies may require some of our portfolio companies to amend existing clinical trial protocols or add new clinical trials to comply with these changes. Such amendments to existing protocols and/or clinical trial applications or the need for new ones, may significantly impact the cost, timing and completion of the clinical trials.

In addition, increased scrutiny by the U.S. Congress of the FDA’s and other authorities approval processes may significantly delay or prevent regulatory approval, as well as impose more stringent product labeling and post-marketing testing and other requirements. Foreign regulatory authorities may also increase their scrutiny of approval processes resulting in similar delays. Increased scrutiny and approvals processes may limit the ability of our portfolio companies to market and commercialize their products in the U.S. and in foreign countries.

Life sciences companies, including drug development companies, device manufacturers, service providers and others, are also subject to material pressures when there are changes in the outlook for healthcare insurance markets. The ability for individuals, along with private and public insurers, to account for the costs of paying for healthcare insurance can place strain on the ability of new technology, devices and services to enter those markets, particularly when they are new or untested. As a result, it is not uncommon for changes in the insurance market place to lead to a slower rate of adoption, price pressure and other forces that may materially limit the success of companies bringing such technologies to market. Changes in the health insurance sector might then have an impact on the value of companies in our portfolio or our ability to invest in the sector generally.

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

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

 

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Additionally, because of the continued uncertainty surrounding the healthcare industry under the Trump Administration, including the potential for further legal challenges or repeal of existing legislation, we cannot quantify or predict with any certainty the likely impact on our portfolio companies, our business model, prospects, financial condition or results of operations. We also anticipate that Congress, state legislatures, and third-party payors may continue to review and assess alternative healthcare delivery and payment systems and may in the future propose and adopt legislation or policy changes or implementations effecting additional fundamental changes in the healthcare delivery system. We cannot assure you as to the ultimate content, timing, or effect of changes, nor is it possible at this time to estimate the impact of any such potential legislation on certain of our portfolio companies, our business model, prospects, financial condition or results of operations.

Price declines and illiquidity in the corporate debt markets could adversely affect the fair value of our portfolio investments, reducing our NAV through increased net unrealized depreciation.

As a business development company, we are required to carry our investments at market value or, if no market value is ascertainable, at fair market value as determined in good faith by or under the direction of our Board of Directors. As part of the valuation process, we may take into account the following types of factors, if relevant, in determining the fair value of our investments: the enterprise value of a portfolio company (an estimate of the total fair value of the portfolio company’s debt and equity), the nature and realizable value of any collateral, the portfolio company’s ability to make payments and its earnings and discounted cash flow, the markets in which the portfolio company does business, a comparison of the portfolio company’s securities to similar publicly traded securities, changes in the interest rate environment and the credit markets generally that may affect the price at which similar investments may be made in the future and other relevant factors. When an external event such as a purchase transaction, public offering or subsequent equity sale occurs, we use the pricing indicated by the external event to corroborate our valuation. 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 on holding an investment through its maturity). As a result, volatility in the capital markets can also adversely affect our investment valuations. Decreases in the market values or fair values of our investments are recorded as unrealized depreciation. The effect of all of these factors on our portfolio can reduce our NAV by increasing net unrealized depreciation in our portfolio.

Depending on market conditions, we could incur substantial realized losses and may suffer substantial unrealized depreciation in future periods, which could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Economic recessions or slowdowns could impair the ability of our portfolio companies to repay loans, which, in turn, could increase our non-performing assets, decrease the value of our portfolio, reduce our volume of new loans and have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.

Many of our portfolio companies may be susceptible to economic slowdowns or recessions in both the U.S. and foreign countries, and may be unable to repay our loans during such periods. Therefore, during such periods, our non-performing assets are likely to increase and the value of our portfolio is likely to decrease. Adverse economic conditions also may decrease the value of collateral securing some of our loans and the value of our equity investments. Economic slowdowns or recessions could lead to financial losses in our portfolio and a decrease in revenues, net income and assets. Unfavorable economic conditions also could increase our funding costs, limit our access to the capital markets or result in a decision by lenders not to extend credit to us. These events could prevent us from increasing investments and harm our operating results.

In particular, intellectual property owned or controlled by our portfolio companies may constitute an important portion of the value of the collateral of our loans to our portfolio companies. Adverse economic conditions may decrease the demand for our portfolio companies’ intellectual property and consequently its value in the event of a bankruptcy or required sale through a foreclosure proceeding. As a result, our ability to fully recover the amounts owed to us under the terms of the loans may be impaired by such events.

 

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A portfolio company’s failure to satisfy financial or operating covenants imposed by us or other lenders could lead to defaults and, potentially, termination of the portfolio company’s loans and foreclosure on its secured assets, which could trigger cross-defaults under other agreements and jeopardize the portfolio company’s ability to meet its obligations under the debt securities that we hold. We may incur expenses to the extent necessary to seek recovery upon default or to negotiate new terms with a defaulting portfolio company.

Our portfolio companies may be unable to repay or refinance outstanding principal on their loans at or prior to maturity, and rising interests rates may make it more difficult for portfolio companies to make periodic payments on their loans.

Our portfolio companies may be unable to repay or refinance outstanding principal on their loans at or prior to maturity. This risk and the risk of default is increased to the extent that the loan documents do not require the portfolio companies to pay down the outstanding principal of such debt prior to maturity. In addition, if general interest rates rise, there is a risk that our portfolio companies will be unable to pay escalating interest amounts, which could result in a default under their loan documents with us. Any failure of one or more portfolio companies to repay or refinance its debt at or prior to maturity or the inability of one or more portfolio companies to make ongoing payments following an increase in contractual interest rates could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

The disposition of our investments may result in contingent liabilities.

We currently expect that a portion of our investments will involve private securities. In connection with the disposition of an investment in private securities, we may be required to make representations about the business and financial affairs of the portfolio company typical of those made in connection with the sale of a business. We may also be required to indemnify the purchasers of such investment to the extent that any such representations turn out to be inaccurate or with respect to certain potential liabilities. These arrangements may result in contingent liabilities that ultimately yield funding obligations that must be satisfied through our return of certain distributions previously made to us.

The health and performance of our portfolio companies could be adversely affected by political and economic conditions in the countries in which they conduct business.

Some of the products of our portfolio companies are developed, manufactured, assembled, tested or marketed outside the U.S. Any conflict or uncertainty in these countries, including due to natural disasters, public health concerns, political unrest or safety concerns, among other things, could harm their business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, if the government of any country in which their products are developed, manufactured or sold sets technical or regulatory standards for products developed or manufactured in or imported into their country that are not widely shared, it may lead some of their customers to suspend imports of their products into that country, require manufacturers or developers in that country to manufacture or develop products with different technical or regulatory standards and disrupt cross-border manufacturing, marketing or business relationships which, in each case, could harm their businesses.

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

As a business development company, we are required to carry our investments at market value or, if no market value is ascertainable, at fair value as determined in good faith by our Board of Directors. Decreases in the market values or fair values of our investments will be recorded as unrealized depreciation. Any unrealized depreciation in our investment portfolio could be an indication of a portfolio company’s inability to meet its repayment obligations to us with respect to the affected investments. This could result in realized losses in the future and ultimately in reductions of our income available for distribution in future periods and could materially adversely affect our ability to service our outstanding borrowings.

 

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A lack of IPO or merger and acquisition opportunities may cause companies to stay in our portfolio longer, leading to lower returns, unrealized depreciation, or realized losses.

A lack of IPO or merger and acquisition (“M&A”) opportunities for venture capital-backed companies could lead to companies staying longer in our portfolio as private entities still requiring funding. This situation may adversely affect the amount of available funding for early-stage companies in particular as, in general, venture-capital firms are being forced to provide additional financing to late-stage companies that cannot complete an IPO or M&A transaction. In the best case, such stagnation would dampen returns, and in the worst case, could lead to unrealized depreciation and realized losses as some companies run short of cash and have to accept lower valuations in private fundings or are not able to access additional capital at all. A lack of IPO or M&A opportunities for venture capital-backed companies can also cause some venture capital firms to change their strategies, leading some of them to reduce funding of their portfolio companies and making it more difficult for such companies to access capital and to fulfill their potential, which can result in unrealized depreciation and realized losses in such companies by other companies such as ourselves who are co-investors in such companies.

The majority of our portfolio companies will need multiple rounds of additional financing to repay their debts to us and continue operations. Our portfolio companies may not be able to raise additional financing, which could harm our investment returns.

The majority of our portfolio companies will often require substantial additional equity financing to satisfy their continuing working capital and other cash requirements and, in most instances, to service the interest and principal payments on our investment. Each round of venture financing is typically intended to provide a company with only enough capital to reach the next stage of development. We cannot predict the circumstances or market conditions under which our portfolio companies will seek additional capital. It is possible that one or more of our portfolio companies will not be able to raise additional financing or may be able to do so only at a price or on terms unfavorable to us, either of which would negatively impact our investment returns. Some of these companies may be unable to obtain sufficient financing from private investors, public capital markets or traditional lenders. This may have a significant impact if the companies are unable to obtain certain federal, state or foreign agency approval for their products or the marketing thereof, of if regulatory review processes extend longer than anticipated, and the companies need continued funding for their operations during these times. Accordingly, financing these types of companies may entail a higher risk of loss than would financing companies that are able to utilize traditional credit sources.

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

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

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

In addition, because we invest in technology-related companies, a substantial portion of the assets securing our investment may be in the form of intellectual property, if any, inventory and equipment and, to a lesser extent, cash and accounts receivable. Intellectual property, if any, that is securing our loan could lose value if, among other things, the company’s rights to the intellectual property are challenged or if the company’s license to the intellectual property is revoked or expires, the technology fails to achieve its intended results or a new technology makes the intellectual property functionally obsolete. Inventory may not be adequate to secure our loan if our valuation of the inventory at the time that we made the loan was not accurate or if there is a reduction in the demand for the inventory.

 

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Similarly, any equipment securing our loan may not provide us with the anticipated security if there are changes in technology or advances in new equipment that render the particular equipment obsolete or of limited value, or if the company fails to adequately maintain or repair the equipment. Any one or more of the preceding factors could materially impair our ability to recover earned interest and principal in a foreclosure.

At June 30, 2017, approximately 40.2% of our portfolio company debt investments were secured by a first priority security in all of the assets of the portfolio company, including their intellectual property, 45.7% of the debt investments were to portfolio companies that were prohibited from pledging or encumbering their intellectual property, or subject to a negative pledge and, 14.1% of the our portfolio company debt investments were secured by a second priority security interest in all of the portfolio company’s assets, other than intellectual property. At June 30, 2017 we had no equipment only liens on any of our portfolio companies.

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

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

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

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

The inability of our portfolio companies to commercialize their technologies or create or develop commercially viable products or businesses would have a negative impact on our investment returns.

The possibility that our portfolio companies will not be able to commercialize their technology, products or business concepts presents significant risks to the value of our investment. Additionally, although some of our portfolio companies may already have a commercially successful product or product line when we invest, technology-related products and services often have a more limited market- or life-span than have products in

 

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other industries. Thus, the ultimate success of these companies often depends on their ability to continually innovate, or raise additional capital, in increasingly competitive markets. Their inability to do so could affect our investment return. In addition, the intellectual property held by our portfolio companies often represents a substantial portion of the collateral, if any, securing our investments. We cannot assure you that any of our portfolio companies will successfully acquire or develop any new technologies, or that the intellectual property the companies currently hold will remain viable. Even if our portfolio companies are able to develop commercially viable products, the market for new products and services is highly competitive and rapidly changing. Neither our portfolio companies nor we have any control over the pace of technology development. Commercial success is difficult to predict, and the marketing efforts of our portfolio companies may not be successful.

An investment strategy focused on privately-held companies presents certain challenges, including the lack of available information about these companies, a dependence on the talents and efforts of only a few key portfolio company personnel and a greater vulnerability to economic downturns.

We invest primarily in privately-held companies. Generally, very little public information exists about these companies, and we are required to rely on the ability of our management and investment teams to obtain adequate information to evaluate the potential returns from investing in these companies. Such small, privately held companies as we routinely invest in may also lack quality infrastructures, thus leading to poor disclosure standards or control environments. If we are unable to uncover all material information about these companies, then we may not make a fully informed investment decision, and we may not receive the expected return on our investment or lose some or all of the money invested in these companies.

Also, privately-held companies frequently have less diverse product lines and a smaller market presence than do larger competitors. Privately-held companies are, thus, generally more vulnerable to economic downturns and may experience more substantial variations in operating results than do larger competitors. These factors could affect our investment returns and our results of operations and financial condition.

In addition, our success depends, in large part, upon the abilities of the key management personnel of our portfolio companies, who are responsible for the day-to-day operations of our portfolio companies. Competition for qualified personnel is intense at any stage of a company’s development, and high turnover of personnel is common in technology-related companies. The loss of one or more key managers can hinder or delay a company’s implementation of its business plan and harm its financial condition. Our portfolio companies may not be able to attract and retain qualified managers and personnel. Any inability to do so may negatively impact our investment returns and our results of operations and financial condition.

If our portfolio companies are unable to protect their intellectual property rights, or are required to devote significant resources to protecting their intellectual property rights, then our investments could be harmed.

Our future success and competitive position depend in part upon the ability of our portfolio companies to obtain and maintain proprietary technology used in their products and services, which will often represent a significant portion of the collateral, if any, securing our investment. The portfolio companies will rely, in part, on patent, trade secret and trademark law to protect that technology, but competitors may misappropriate their intellectual property, and disputes as to ownership of intellectual property may arise. Portfolio companies may, from time to time, be required to institute litigation in order to enforce their patents, copyrights or other intellectual property rights, to protect their trade secrets, to determine the validity and scope of the proprietary rights of others or to defend against claims of infringement. Such litigation could result in substantial costs and diversion of resources. Similarly, if a portfolio company is found to infringe upon or misappropriate a third party’s patent or other proprietary rights, that portfolio company could be required to pay damages to such third party, alter its own products or processes, obtain a license from the third party and/or cease activities utilizing such proprietary rights, including making or selling products utilizing such proprietary rights. Any of the foregoing events could negatively affect both the portfolio company’s ability to service our debt investment and the value of any related debt and equity securities that we own, as well as any collateral securing our investment.

 

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We generally will not control our portfolio companies.

In some instances, we may control our portfolio companies or provide our portfolio companies with significant managerial assistance. However, we generally do not, and do not expect to, control the decision making in many of our portfolio companies, even though we may have board representation or board observation rights, and our debt agreements may contain certain restrictive covenants. As a result, we are subject to the risk that a portfolio company in which we invest will make business decisions with which we disagree and the management of such company, as representatives of the holders of their common equity, will take risks or otherwise act in ways that do not serve our interests as debt investors. Due to the lack of liquidity for our investments in non-traded companies, we may not be able to dispose of our interests in our portfolio companies as readily as we would like or at an appropriate valuation. As a result, a portfolio company may make decisions that would decrease the value of our portfolio holdings.

Our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows could be negatively affected if we are unable to recover our principal investment as a result of a negative pledge or lack of a security interest on the intellectual property of our venture growth stage companies.

In some cases, we collateralize our loans with a secured collateral position in a portfolio company’s assets, which may include a negative pledge or, to a lesser extent, no security on their intellectual property. In the event of a default on a loan, the intellectual property of the portfolio company will most likely be liquidated to provide proceeds to pay the creditors of the company. There can be no assurance that our security interest, if any, in the proceeds of the intellectual property will be enforceable in a court of law or bankruptcy court or that there will not be others with senior or pari passu credit interests.

Our relationship with certain portfolio companies may expose us to our portfolio companies’ trade secrets and confidential information which may require us to be parties to non-disclosure agreements and restrict us from engaging in certain transactions.

Our relationship with some of our portfolio companies may expose us to our portfolio companies’ trade secrets and confidential information (including transactional data and personal data about their employees and clients) which may require us to be parties to non-disclosure agreements and restrict us from engaging in certain transactions. Unauthorized access or disclosure of such information may occur, resulting in theft, loss or other misappropriation. Any theft, loss, improper use, such as insider trading or other misappropriation of confidential information could have a material adverse impact on our competitive positions, our relationship with our portfolio companies and our reputation and could subject us to regulatory inquiries, enforcement and fines, civil litigation (which may cause us to incur significant expense or expose us to losses) and possible financial liability or costs.

Portfolio company litigation could result in additional costs, the diversion of management time and resources and have an adverse impact on the fair value of our investment.

To the extent that litigation arises with respect to any of our portfolio companies, we may be named as a defendant, which could result in additional costs and the diversion of management time and resources. Furthermore, if we are providing managerial assistance to the portfolio company or have representatives on the portfolio company’s board of directors, our costs and diversion of our management’s time and resources in assessing the portfolio company could be substantial in light of any such litigation regardless of whether we are named as a defendant. In addition, litigation involving a portfolio company may be costly and affect the operations of the portfolio company’s business, which could in turn have an adverse impact on the fair value of our investment in such company.

We may not be able to realize our entire investment on equipment-based loans, if any, in the case of default.

We may from time-to-time provide loans that will be collateralized only by equipment of the portfolio company. If the portfolio company defaults on the loan we would take possession of the underlying equipment to

 

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satisfy the outstanding debt. The residual value of the equipment at the time we would take possession may not be sufficient to satisfy the outstanding debt and we could experience a loss on the disposition of the equipment. At June 30, 2017, we had no equipment-based loans.

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

Our investment strategy contemplates that a portion of our investments may be in securities of foreign companies. Our total investments at value in foreign companies were approximately $126.0 million or 8.9% of total investments at June 30, 2017. Investing in foreign companies may expose us to additional risks not typically associated with investing in U.S. companies. These risks include changes in exchange control regulations, political and social instability, expropriation, imposition of foreign taxes, less liquid markets and less available information than is generally the case in the U.S., higher transaction costs, less government supervision of exchanges, brokers and issuers, less developed bankruptcy laws, difficulty in enforcing contractual obligations, lack of uniform accounting and auditing standards and greater price volatility, among other things.

If our investments do not meet our performance expectations, you may not receive distributions.

We intend to make distributions on a quarterly basis to our stockholders. We may not be able to achieve operating results that will allow us to make distributions at a specific level or to increase the amount of these distributions from time to time. In addition, due to the asset coverage test applicable to us as a business development company, we may be limited in our ability to make distributions. Also, restrictions and provisions in any future credit facilities may limit our ability to make distributions. As a RIC, if we do not distribute a certain percentage of our income each taxable year, we will suffer adverse tax consequences, including failure to obtain, or possible loss of, the U.S. federal income tax benefits allowable to RICs. We cannot assure you that you will receive distributions at a particular level or at all.

We may not have sufficient funds to make follow-on investments. Our decision not to make a follow-on investment may have a negative impact on a portfolio company in need of such an investment or may result in a missed opportunity for us.

After our initial investment in a portfolio company, we may be called upon from time to time to provide additional funds to such company or have the opportunity or need to increase our investment in a successful situation or attempt to preserve or enhance the value of our initial investment, for example, the exercise of a warrant to purchase common stock, or a negative situation, to protect an existing investment. We have the discretion to make any follow-on investments, subject to the availability of capital resources and regulatory considerations. We may elect not to make follow-on investments or otherwise lack sufficient funds to make those investments. Any decision we make not to make a follow-on investment or any inability on our part to make such an investment may have a negative impact on a portfolio company in need of such an investment or may result in a missed opportunity for us to increase our participation in a successful operation and may dilute our equity interest or otherwise reduce the expected yield on our investment. Moreover, a follow-on investment may limit the number of companies in which we can make initial investments. In determining whether to make a follow-on investment, our management will exercise its business judgment and apply criteria similar to those used when making the initial investment. There is no assurance that we will make, or will have sufficient funds to make, follow-on investments and this could adversely affect our success and result in the loss of a substantial portion or all of our investment in a portfolio company.

The lack of liquidity in our investments may adversely affect our business and, if we need to sell any of our investments, we may not be able to do so at a favorable price. As a result, we may suffer losses.

We generally invest in debt securities with terms of up to seven years and hold such investments until maturity, and we do not expect that our related holdings of equity securities will provide us with liquidity

 

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opportunities in the near-term. We invest and expect to continue investing in companies whose securities have no established trading market and whose securities are and will be subject to legal and other restrictions on resale or whose securities are and will be less liquid than are publicly-traded securities. The illiquidity of these investments may make it difficult for us to sell these investments when desired. In addition, if we are required to liquidate all or a portion of our portfolio quickly, we may realize significantly less than the value at which we had previously recorded these investments. As a result, we do not expect to achieve liquidity in our investments in the near-term. However, to maintain our qualification as a business development company and as a RIC, we may have to dispose of investments if we do not satisfy one or more of the applicable criteria under the respective regulatory frameworks.

Our portfolio companies may incur debt or issue equity securities that rank equally with, or senior to, our investments in such companies.

We invest primarily in debt securities issued by our portfolio companies. In some cases, portfolio companies will be permitted to incur other debt, or issue other equity securities, that rank equally with, or senior to, our investment. Such instruments may provide that the holders thereof are entitled to receive payment of distributions, interest or principal on or before the dates on which we are entitled to receive payments in respect of our investments. These debt instruments would usually prohibit the portfolio companies from paying interest on or repaying our investments in the event and during the continuance of a default under such debt. Also, in the event of insolvency, liquidation, dissolution, reorganization or bankruptcy of a portfolio company, holders of securities ranking senior to our investment in that portfolio company would typically be entitled to receive payment in full before we receive any distribution in respect of our investment. After repaying such holders, the portfolio company might not have any remaining assets to use for repaying its obligation to us. In the case of securities ranking equally with our investments, we would have to share on a pari passu basis any distributions with other security holders in the event of an insolvency, liquidation, dissolution, reorganization or bankruptcy of the relevant portfolio company.

The rights we may have with respect to the collateral securing any junior priority loans we make to our portfolio companies may also be limited pursuant to the terms of one or more intercreditor agreements that we enter into with the holders of senior debt. Under such an intercreditor agreement, at any time that senior obligations are outstanding, we may forfeit certain rights with respect to the collateral to the holders of the senior obligations. These rights may include the right to commence enforcement proceedings against the collateral, the right to control the conduct of such enforcement proceedings, the right to approve amendments to collateral documents, the right to release liens on the collateral and the right to waive past defaults under collateral documents. We may not have the ability to control or direct such actions, even if as a result our rights as junior lenders are adversely affected.

Our warrant and equity-related investments are highly speculative, and we may not realize gains from these investments. If our warrant and equity-related investments do not generate gains, then the return on our invested capital will be lower than it would otherwise be, which could result in a decline in the value of shares of our common stock.

When we invest in debt securities, we generally expect to acquire warrants or other equity-related securities as well. Our goal is ultimately to dispose of these equity interests and realize gains upon disposition of such interests. Over time, the gains that we realize on these equity interests may offset, to some extent, losses that we experience on defaults under debt securities that we hold. However, the equity interests that 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 that we experience. In addition, we anticipate that approximately 50% of our warrants may not realize and exit or generate any returns. Furthermore, because of the GAAP requirements, of those approximately 50% of warrants that do not realize and exit, the assigned costs to the initial warrants may lead to realized write-offs when the warrants either expire or are not exercised.

 

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

During the six-months ended June 30, 2017, we received debt investment early principal repayments and pay down of working capital debt investments of approximately $338.8 million. We are subject to the risk that the investments we make in our portfolio companies may be repaid prior to maturity. When this occurs, we will generally reinvest these proceeds in temporary investments, pending their future investment in new portfolio companies. These temporary investments will typically have substantially lower yields than the debt being prepaid and we could experience significant delays in reinvesting these amounts. Any future investment in a new portfolio company may also be at lower yields than the debt that was repaid. As a result, our results of operations could be materially adversely affected if one or more of our portfolio companies elect to prepay amounts owed to us. Additionally, prepayments could negatively impact our return on equity, which could result in a decline in the market price of our common stock.

We may choose to waive or defer enforcement of covenants in the debt securities held in our portfolio, which may cause us to lose all or part of our investment in these companies.

We structure the debt investments in our portfolio companies to include business and financial covenants placing affirmative and negative obligations on the operation of the company’s business and its financial condition. However, from time to time we may elect to waive breaches of these covenants, including our right to payment, or waive or defer enforcement of remedies, such as acceleration of obligations or foreclosure on collateral, depending upon the financial condition and prospects of the particular portfolio company. These actions may reduce the likelihood of receiving the full amount of future payments of interest or principal and be accompanied by a deterioration in the value of the underlying collateral as many of these companies may have limited financial resources, may be unable to meet future obligations and may go bankrupt. This could negatively impact our ability to pay distributions, could adversely affect our results of operation and financial condition and cause the loss of all or part of your investment.

We may also be subject to lender liability claims for actions taken by us with respect to a borrower’s business or instances where we exercise control over the borrower. It is possible that we could become subject to a lender’s liability claim, including as a result of actions taken in rendering significant managerial assistance or actions to compel and collect payments from the borrower outside the ordinary course of business.

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

Courts may apply the doctrine of equitable subordination to subordinate the claim or lien of a lender against a borrower to claims or liens of other creditors of the borrower, when the lender or its affiliates is found to have engaged in unfair, inequitable or fraudulent conduct. The courts have also applied the doctrine of equitable subordination when a lender or its affiliates is found to have exerted inappropriate control over a client, including control resulting from the ownership of equity interests in a client or providing of significant managerial assistance. We have made direct equity investments or received warrants in connection with loans. These investments represent approximately 7.7% of the outstanding value of our investment portfolio as of June 30, 2017. Payments on one or more of our loans, particularly a loan to a client in which we also hold an equity interest, may be subject to claims of equitable subordination. If we were deemed to have the ability to control or otherwise exercise influence over the business and affairs of one or more of our portfolio companies resulting in economic hardship to other creditors of that company, this control or influence may constitute grounds for equitable subordination and a court may treat one or more of our loans as if it were unsecured or common equity in the portfolio company. In that case, if the portfolio company were to liquidate, we would be entitled to repayment of our loan on a pro-rata basis with other unsecured debt or, if the effect of subordination was to place us at the level of common equity, then on an equal basis with other holders of the portfolio company’s common equity only after all of its obligations relating to its debt and preferred securities had been satisfied.

 

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In addition to these risks, in the event we elect to convert our debt position to equity, or otherwise take control of a portfolio company (such as through placing a member of our management team on its board of directors), as part of a restructuring, we face additional risks acting in that capacity. It is not uncommon for unsecured, or otherwise unsatisfied creditors, to sue parties that elect to use their debt positions to later control a company following a restructuring or bankruptcy. Apart from lawsuits, key customers and suppliers might act in a fashion contrary to the interests of a portfolio company if they were left unsatisfied in a restructuring or bankruptcy. Any combination of these factors might lead to the loss in value of a company subject to such activity and may divert the time and attention of our management team and investment team to help to address such issues in a portfolio company.

The potential inability of our portfolio companies’ in the healthcare industry to charge desired prices with respect to prescription drugs could impact their revenues and in turn their ability to repay us.

Some of our portfolio companies in the healthcare industry are subject to risks associated with the pricing for prescription drugs. It is uncertain whether customers of our healthcare industry portfolio companies will continue to utilize established prescription drug pricing methods, or whether other pricing benchmarks will be adopted for establishing prices within the industry. Legislation may lead to changes in the pricing for Medicare and Medicaid programs. Regulators have conducted investigations into the use of prescription drug pricing methods for federal program payment, and whether such methods have inflated drug expenditures by the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Federal and state proposals have sought to change the basis for calculating payment of certain drugs by the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Additionally, President Trump has taken actions and made statements that suggest he plans to seek repeal of all or portions of the Affordable Care Act, or the ACA. In May 2017, the House of Representatives voted to pass the American Health Care Act, or the AHCA. As proposed, the AHCA would repeal many provisions of the ACA. The Senate is expected to consider an alternative version of the AHCA and it is expected that Congress will continue to consider this or similar legislation to repeal and replace some or all elements of the ACA. There is currently uncertainty with respect to the impact any such repeal may have and any resulting changes may take time to unfold, which could have an impact on coverage and reimbursement for healthcare items and services covered by plans that were authorized by the ACA. We cannot predict the ultimate content, timing or effect of any such legislation or executive action or the impact of potential legislation or executive action on us. Any changes to the method for calculating prescription drug costs may reduce the revenues of our portfolio companies in the healthcare industry which could in turn impair their ability to timely make any principal and interest payments owed to us.

Risks Related to Our Securities

Investing in shares of our common stock involves an above average degree of risk.

The investments we make in accordance with our investment objective may result in a higher amount of risk, volatility or loss of principal than alternative investment options. Our investments in portfolio companies may be highly speculative and aggressive, and therefore, an investment in our common stock may not be suitable for investors with lower risk tolerance.

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

If our common stock is trading below its NAV per share, we will generally not be able to issue additional shares of our common stock at its market price without first obtaining the approval for such issuance from our stockholders and our independent directors. If our common stock trades below NAV, the higher cost of equity capital may result in it being unattractive to raise new equity, which may limit our ability to grow. The risk of trading below NAV is separate and distinct from the risk that our NAV per share may decline. We cannot predict whether shares of our common stock will trade above, at or below our NAV.

 

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Provisions of our charter and bylaws could deter takeover attempts and have an adverse impact on the price of our common stock.

Our charter and bylaws contain provisions that may have the effect of discouraging, delaying, or making difficult a change in control of our company or the removal of our incumbent directors. Under our charter, our Board of Directors is divided into three classes serving staggered terms, which will make it more difficult for a hostile bidder to acquire control of us. In addition, our Board of Directors may, without stockholder action, authorize the issuance of shares of stock in one or more classes or series, including preferred stock. Subject to compliance with the 1940 Act, our Board of Directors may, without stockholder action, amend our charter to increase the number of shares of stock of any class or series that we have authority to issue. The existence of these provisions, among others, may have a negative impact on the price of our common stock and may discourage third party bids for ownership of our company. These provisions may prevent any premiums being offered to you for shares of our common stock in connection with a takeover.

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

Sales of substantial amounts of our common stock, or the availability of such common stock for sale (including as a result of the conversion of our 2022 Convertible Notes, issued in January 2017, into common stock), could adversely affect the prevailing market prices for our common stock, which may also lead to further dilution of our earnings per share resulting from the outstanding shares attributable to the conversion of the 2022 Convertible Notes. If this occurs and continues, it could impair our ability to raise additional capital through the sale of securities should we desire to do so.

We may periodically obtain the approval of our stockholders to issue shares of our common stock at prices below the then current NAV per share of our common stock. If we receive such approval from the stockholders, we may issue shares of our common stock at a price below the then current NAV per share of common stock. Any such issuance could materially dilute your interest in our common stock and reduce our NAV per share.

We may periodically obtain the approval of our stockholders to issue shares of our common stock at prices below the then current NAV per share of our common stock. Such approval has allowed and may again allow us to access the capital markets in a way that we typically are unable to do as a result of restrictions that, absent stockholder approval, apply to business development companies under the 1940 Act. Any decision to sell shares of our common stock below the then current NAV per share of our common stock is subject to the determination by our Board of Directors that such issuance and sale is in our and our stockholders’ best interests.

Any sale or other issuance of shares of our common stock at a price below NAV per share has resulted and will continue to result in an immediate dilution to your interest in our common stock and a reduction of our NAV per share. This dilution would occur as a result of a proportionately greater decrease in a stockholder’s interest in our earnings and assets and voting interest in us than the increase in our assets resulting from such issuance. Because the number of future shares of common stock that may be issued below our NAV per share and the price and timing of such issuances are not currently known, we cannot predict the actual dilutive effect of any such issuance. We also cannot determine the resulting reduction in our NAV per share of any such issuance at this time. We caution you that such effects may be material, and we undertake to describe all the material risks and dilutive effects of any offering that we make at a price below our then current NAV in the future in a prospectus supplement issued in connection with any such offering. We cannot predict whether shares of our common stock will trade above, at or below our NAV.

If we conduct an offering of our common stock at a price below NAV, investors are likely to incur immediate dilution upon the closing of the offering.

We are not generally able to issue and sell our common stock at a price below NAV per share. We may, however, sell our common stock, at a price below the current NAV of the common stock, or sell warrants,

 

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options or other rights to acquire such common stock, at a price below the current NAV of the common stock if our Board of Directors determines that such sale is in our best interests and the best interests of our stockholders and our stockholders have approved the practice of making such sales.

In connection with the receipt of such stockholder approval, we will limit the number of shares that it issues at a price below NAV pursuant to this authorization so that the aggregate dilutive effect on our then outstanding shares will not exceed 20%. Our Board of Directors, subject to its fiduciary duties and regulatory requirements, has the discretion to determine the amount of the discount, and as a result, the discount could be up to 100% of NAV per share. If we were to issue shares at a price below NAV, such sales would result in an immediate dilution to existing common stockholders, which would include a reduction in the NAV per share as a result of the issuance. This dilution would also include a proportionately greater decrease in a stockholder’s interest in our earnings and assets and voting interest in us than the increase in our assets resulting from such issuance.

In addition, if we determined to conduct additional offerings in the future there may be even greater dilution if we determine to conduct such offerings at prices below NAV. As a result, investors will experience further dilution and additional discounts to the price of our common stock. Because the number of shares of common stock that could be so issued and the timing of any issuance is not currently known, the actual dilutive effect of an offering cannot be predicted. We did not sell any of our securities at a price below NAV during the six-months ended June 30, 2017.

We may allocate the net proceeds from an offering in ways with which you may not agree.

We have significant flexibility in investing the net proceeds of an offering and may use the net proceeds from an offering in ways with which you may not agree or for purposes other than those contemplated at the time of the offering.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Additionally, we may redeem the 2024 Notes after July 30, 2017 at a redemption price of 100% of the outstanding principal amount thereof plus accrued and unpaid interest payments. If we choose to redeem the 2024 Notes when the fair market value of the 2024 Notes is above par value, you would experience a loss of any potential premium.

Our shares may trade at discounts from NAV or at premiums that are unsustainable over the long term.

Shares of business development companies may trade at a market price that is less than the NAV that is attributable to those shares. Our shares have historically traded above and below our NAV. The possibility that our shares of common stock will trade at a discount from NAV or at a premium that is unsustainable over the long term is separate and distinct from the risk that our NAV may decrease. It is not possible to predict whether our shares will trade at, above or below NAV in the future.

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

Our credit ratings are an assessment by third parties of our ability to pay our obligations. Consequently, real or anticipated changes in our credit ratings will generally affect the market value of our debt securities. Our credit ratings, however, may not reflect the potential impact of risks related to market conditions generally or other factors discussed herein on the market value of or trading market for the publicly issued debt securities.

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

Our credit ratings are an assessment by rating agencies of our ability to pay our debts when due. Consequently, real or anticipated changes in our credit ratings will generally affect the market value of our outstanding debt and equity securities. These credit ratings may not reflect the potential impact of risks relating to the structure or marketing of such debt and equity securities. Credit ratings are not a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any security, and may be revised or withdrawn at any time by the issuing organization in its sole discretion.

 

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Neither we nor any underwriter undertakes any obligation to maintain our credit ratings or to advise holders of our debt and equity securities of any changes in our credit ratings. There can be no assurance that a credit rating will remain for any given period of time or that such credit ratings will not be lowered or withdrawn entirely if future circumstances relating to the basis of the credit rating, such as adverse changes in our company, so warrant. An increase in the competitive environment, inability to cover distributions, or increase in leverage could lead to a downgrade in our credit ratings and limit our access to the debt and equity markets capability impairing our ability to grow the business. The conditions of the financial markets and prevailing interest rates have fluctuated in the past and are likely to fluctuate in the future.

Investors in offerings of our common stock will likely incur immediate dilution upon the closing of an offering pursuant to this prospectus.

We generally expect the public offering price of any offering of shares of our common stock to be higher than the book value per share of our outstanding common stock (unless we offer shares pursuant to a rights offering or after obtaining prior approval for such issuance from our stockholders and our independent directors). Accordingly, investors purchasing shares of common stock in offerings pursuant to this prospectus may pay a price per share that exceeds the tangible book value per share after such offering.

Our stockholders may experience dilution upon the conversion of our 2022 Convertible Notes.

Our 2022 Convertible Notes, issued in January 2017, are convertible into shares of our common stock beginning on August 1, 2021 or, under certain circumstances, earlier. Upon conversion of the 2022 Convertible Notes, we have the choice to pay or deliver, as the case may be, at our election, cash, shares of our common stock or a combination of cash and shares of our common stock. The initial conversion price of the 2022 Convertible Notes is $16.41, subject to adjustment in certain circumstances. If we elect to deliver shares of common stock upon a conversion at the time our NAV per share exceeds the conversion price in effect at such time, our stockholders may incur dilution. In addition, our stockholders will experience dilution in their ownership percentage of common stock upon our issuance of common stock in connection with the conversion of the 2022 Convertible Notes and any distributions paid on our common stock will also be paid on shares issued in connection with such conversion after such issuance.

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

All distributions in cash payable to stockholders that are participants in our dividend reinvestment plan are automatically reinvested in shares of our common stock. As a result, our stockholders that opt out of our dividend reinvestment plan will experience dilution in their ownership percentage of our common stock over time.

Our distribution proceeds may exceed our earnings. Therefore, portions of the distributions that we make may represent a return of capital to stockholders, which will lower their tax basis in their shares.

The tax treatment and characterization of our distributions may vary significantly from time to time due to the nature of our investments. The ultimate tax characterization of our distributions made during a taxable year generally will not finally be determined until after the end of that taxable year. We may make distributions during a taxable year that exceed our investment company taxable income, determined without regard to any deduction for dividends paid, and net capital gains for that taxable year. In such a situation, the amount by which our total distributions exceed investment company taxable income, determined without regard to any deduction for dividends paid, and net capital gains generally would be treated as a return of capital up to the amount of a stockholder’s tax basis in the shares, with any amounts exceeding such tax basis generally treated as a gain from the sale or exchange of such shares. A return of capital generally is a return of a stockholder’s investment rather than a return of earnings or gains derived from our investment activities. Moreover, we may pay all or a substantial portion of our distributions from the proceeds of the sale of shares of our common stock or from

 

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borrowings in anticipation of future cash flow, which could constitute a return of stockholders’ capital and will lower such stockholders’ tax basis in our shares, which may result in increased tax liability to stockholders when they sell such shares. The tax liability to stockholders upon the sale of shares may increase even if such shares are sold at a loss.

Our common stock price has been and continues to be volatile and may decrease substantially.

As with any company, the price of our common stock will fluctuate with market conditions and other factors, which include, but are not limited to, the following:

 

   

price and volume fluctuations in the overall stock market from time to time;

 

   

significant volatility in the market price and trading volume of securities of RICs, business development companies or other financial services companies;

 

   

any inability to deploy or invest our capital;

 

   

fluctuations in interest rates;

 

   

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

 

   

the financial performance of specific industries in which we invest in on a recurring basis;

 

   

announcement of strategic developments, acquisitions, and other material events by us or our competitors, or operating performance of companies comparable to us;

 

   

changes in regulatory policies or tax guidelines with respect to RICs, SBICs or business development companies;

 

   

losing our ability to either qualify or be subject to U.S. federal income tax as a RIC;

 

   

actual or anticipated changes in our earnings or fluctuations in our operating results, or changes in the expectations of securities analysts;

 

   

changes in the value of our portfolio of investments;

 

   

realized losses in investments in our portfolio companies;

 

   

general economic conditions and trends;

 

   

inability to access the capital markets;

 

   

loss of a major funded source; or

 

   

departure of key personnel.

In the past, following periods of volatility in the market price of a company’s securities, securities class action litigation has often been brought against that company. Due to the potential volatility of our stock price, we may be the target of securities litigation in the future. Securities litigation could result in substantial costs and could divert management’s attention and resources from our business.

We may be unable to invest a significant portion of the net proceeds from an offering or from exiting an investment or other capital on acceptable terms, which could harm our financial condition and operating results.

Delays in investing the net proceeds raised in an offering or from exiting an investment or other capital may cause our performance to be worse than that of other fully invested business development companies or other lenders or investors pursuing comparable investment strategies. We cannot assure you that we will be able to identify any investments that meet our investment objective or that any investment that we make will produce a

 

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positive return. We may be unable to invest the net proceeds of any offering or from exiting an investment or other capital on acceptable terms within the time period that we anticipate or at all, which could harm our financial condition and operating results.

We anticipate that, depending on market conditions and the amount of the capital, it may take us a substantial period of time to invest substantially all the capital in securities meeting our investment objective. During this period, we will invest the capital primarily in cash equivalents, U.S. government securities and other high-quality debt investments that mature in one year or less or use the net proceeds from such offerings to reduce then-outstanding debt obligations, which may produce returns that are significantly lower than the returns which we expect to achieve when our portfolio is fully invested in securities meeting our investment objective. As a result, any distributions that we pay during such period may be substantially lower than the distributions that we may be able to pay when our portfolio is fully invested in securities meeting our investment objective. In addition, until such time as the net proceeds of any offering or from exiting an investment or other capital are invested in new securities meeting our investment objective, the market price for our securities may decline. Thus, the initial return on your investment may be lower than when, if ever, our portfolio is fully invested in securities meeting our investment objective.

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

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

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

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

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

 

   

the time remaining to the maturity of these debt securities;

 

   

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

 

   

the ratings assigned by national statistical ratings agencies;

 

   

the general economic environment;

 

   

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

 

   

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

 

   

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

 

   

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

 

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The 2024 Notes are unsecured and therefore are effectively subordinated to any secured indebtedness we have currently incurred or may incur in the future.

The 2024 Notes are not secured by any of our assets or any of the assets of our subsidiaries. As a result, while the 2024 Notes remain senior in priority to our equity securities, they are effectively subordinated to any secured indebtedness we or our subsidiaries have currently incurred and may incur in the future (or any indebtedness that is initially unsecured to which we subsequently grant security) to the extent of the value of the assets securing such indebtedness. In any liquidation, dissolution, bankruptcy or other similar proceeding, the holders of any of our existing or future secured indebtedness and the secured indebtedness of our subsidiaries may assert rights against the assets pledged to secure that indebtedness in order to receive full payment of their indebtedness before the assets may be used to pay other creditors, including the holders of the 2024 Notes.

The 2024 Notes are structurally subordinated to the indebtedness and other liabilities of our subsidiaries.

The 2024 Notes are obligations exclusively of Hercules Capital, Inc. (formerly known as Hercules Technology Growth Capital, Inc.) and not of any of our subsidiaries. None of our subsidiaries are or act as guarantors of the 2024 Notes and the 2024 Notes are not required to be guaranteed by any subsidiaries we may acquire or create in the future. Our secured indebtedness with respect to the SBA debentures is held through our SBIC subsidiaries. The assets of any such subsidiaries are not directly available to satisfy the claims of our creditors, including holders of the 2024 Notes.

Except to the extent we are a creditor with recognized claims against our subsidiaries, all claims of creditors (including holders of preferred stock, if any, of our subsidiaries) will have priority over our equity interests in such subsidiaries (and therefore the claims of our creditors, including holders of the 2024 Notes) with respect to the assets of such subsidiaries. Even if we are recognized as a creditor of one or more of our subsidiaries, our claims would still be structurally subordinated to any security interests in the assets of any such subsidiary and to any indebtedness or other liabilities of any such subsidiary senior to our claims. Consequently, the 2024 Notes are structurally subordinated to all indebtedness and other liabilities (including trade payables) of our subsidiaries and any subsidiaries that we may in the future acquire or establish as financing vehicles or otherwise. In addition, our subsidiaries may incur substantial additional indebtedness in the future, all of which would be structurally senior to the 2024 Notes.

The indenture under which the 2024 Notes were issued contains limited protection for the holders of the 2024 Notes.

The indenture under which 2024 Notes were issued offers limited protection to the holders of the 2024 Notes. The terms of the indenture and the 2024 Notes do not restrict our or any of our subsidiaries’ ability to engage in, or otherwise be a party to, a variety of corporate transactions, circumstances or events that could have an adverse impact on an investment in the 2024 Notes. In particular, the terms of the indenture and the 2024 Notes do not place any restrictions on our or our subsidiaries’ ability to:

 

   

issue securities or otherwise incur additional indebtedness or other obligations, including (1) any indebtedness or other obligations that would be equal in right of payment to the 2024 Notes, (2) any indebtedness or other obligations that would be secured and therefore rank effectively senior in right of payment to the 2024 Notes to the extent of the values of the assets securing such debt, (3) indebtedness of ours that is guaranteed by one or more of our subsidiaries and which therefore would rank structurally senior to the 2024 Notes and (4) securities, indebtedness or other obligations issued or incurred by our subsidiaries that would be senior in right of payment to our equity interests in our subsidiaries and therefore would rank structurally senior in right of payment to the 2024 Notes with respect to the assets of our subsidiaries, in each case other than an incurrence of indebtedness or other obligation that would cause a violation of Section 18(a)(1)(A) of the 1940 Act as modified by Section 61(a)(1) of the 1940 Act or any successor provisions;

 

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pay distributions on, or purchase or redeem or make any payments in respect of, capital stock or other securities ranking junior in right of payment to the 2024 Notes, in each case other than distributions, purchases, redemptions or payments that would cause a violation of Section 18(a)(1)(B) of the 1940 Act as modified by Section 61(a)(1) of the 1940 Act or any successor provisions giving effect to any exemptive relief granted to us by the SEC (these provisions generally prohibit us from declaring any cash distributions upon any class of our capital stock, or purchasing any such capital stock if our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, is below 200% at the time of the declaration of the distribution or the purchase and after deducting the amount of such distribution or purchase);

 

   

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

 

   

enter into transactions with affiliates;

 

   

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

 

   

make investments; or

 

   

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

The indenture and the 2024 Notes do not require us to offer to purchase the 2024 Notes in connection with a change of control or any other event.

Furthermore, the terms of the indenture and the 2024 Notes do not protect their respective holders in the event that we experience changes (including significant adverse changes) in our financial condition, results of operations or credit ratings, as they do not require that we or our subsidiaries adhere to any financial tests or ratios or specified levels of net worth, revenues, income, cash flow or liquidity, except as required under the 1940 Act.

Our ability to recapitalize, incur additional debt and take a number of other actions that are not limited by the terms of the 2024 Notes may have important consequences for their holders, including making it more difficult for us to satisfy our obligations with respect to the 2024 Notes or negatively affecting their trading value.

Certain of our current debt instruments include more protections for their respective holders than the indenture and the 2024 Notes. In addition, other debt we issue or incur in the future could contain more protections for its holders than the indenture and the 2024 Notes, including additional covenants and events of default. The issuance or incurrence of any such debt with incremental protections could affect the market for and trading levels and prices of the 2024 Notes.

An active trading market for the 2024 Notes may not develop or be sustained, which could limit the market price of the 2024 Notes or your ability to sell them.

Although the 2024 Notes are listed on the NYSE under the symbol “HTGX,” we cannot provide any assurances that an active trading market will develop or be sustained for the 2024 Notes or that the 2024 Notes will be able to be sold. At various times, the 2024 Notes may trade at a discount from their initial offering price depending on prevailing interest rates, the market for similar securities, our credit ratings, general economic conditions, our financial condition, performance and prospects and other factors. To the extent an active trading market is not sustained, the liquidity and trading price for the 2024 Notes may be harmed.

 

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If we default on our obligations to pay our other indebtedness, we may not be able to make payments on the 2024 Notes.

Any default under the agreements governing our indebtedness, including a default under the Wells Facility, the Union Bank Facility or other indebtedness to which we may be a party that is not waived by the required lenders or holders, and the remedies sought by the holders of such indebtedness could make us unable to pay principal, premium, if any, and interest on the 2024 Notes and substantially decrease the market value of the 2024 Notes. If we are unable to generate sufficient cash flow and are otherwise unable to obtain funds necessary to meet required payments of principal, premium, if any, and interest on our indebtedness, or if we otherwise fail to comply with the various covenants, including financial and operating covenants, in the instruments governing our indebtedness, we could be in default under the terms of the agreements governing such indebtedness. In the event of such default, the holders of such indebtedness could elect to declare all the funds borrowed thereunder to be due and payable, together with accrued and unpaid interest, the lenders under the Wells Facility and the Union Bank Facility or other debt we may incur in the future could elect to terminate their commitments, cease making further loans and institute foreclosure proceedings against our assets, and we could be forced into bankruptcy or liquidation. If our operating performance declines, we may in the future need to seek to obtain waivers from the required lenders under the Wells Facility or Union Bank Facility or other debt that we may incur in the future to avoid being in default. If we breach our covenants under the Wells Facility or Union Bank Facility or other debt and seek a waiver, we may not be able to obtain a waiver from the required lenders or holders. If this occurs, we would be in default under the Wells Facility or Union Bank Facility or other debt, the lenders or holders could exercise their rights as described above, and we could be forced into bankruptcy or liquidation. If we are unable to repay debt, lenders having secured obligations, including the lenders under the Wells Facility and the Union Bank Facility, could proceed against the collateral securing the debt. Because the Wells Facility and the Union Bank Facility have, and any future credit facilities will likely have, customary cross-default provisions, if the indebtedness under the 2024 Notes, the Wells Facility, Union Bank Facility or under any future credit facility is accelerated, we may be unable to repay or finance the amounts due.

 

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FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

The matters discussed in this prospectus, as well as in future oral and written statements by management of Hercules Capital, Inc. that are forward-looking statements are based on current management expectations that involve substantial risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from the results expressed in, or implied by, these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements relate to future events or our future financial performance. We generally identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “could,” “intends,” “target,” “projects,” “contemplates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential” or “continue” or the negative of these terms or other similar expressions. Important assumptions include our ability to originate new investments, achieve certain margins and levels of profitability, the availability of additional capital, and the ability to maintain certain debt to asset ratios. In light of these and other uncertainties, the inclusion of a projection or forward-looking statement in this prospectus should not be regarded as a representation by us that our plans or objectives will be achieved. The forward-looking statements contained in this prospectus include statements as to:

 

   

our current and future management structure;

 

   

our future operating results;

 

   

our business prospects and the prospects of our prospective portfolio companies;

 

   

the impact of investments that we expect to make;

 

   

our informal relationships with third parties including in the venture capital industry;

 

   

the expected market for venture capital investments and our addressable market;

 

   

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

 

   

our ability to access debt markets and equity markets;

 

   

the ability of our portfolio companies to achieve their objectives;

 

   

our expected financings and investments;

 

   

our regulatory structure and tax status;

 

   

our ability to operate as a business development company, a SBIC and a RIC;

 

   

the adequacy of our cash resources and working capital;

 

   

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

 

   

the timing, form and amount of any distributions;

 

   

the impact of fluctuations in interest rates on our business;

 

   

the valuation of any investments in portfolio companies, particularly those having no liquid trading market; and

 

   

our ability to recover unrealized losses.

For a discussion of factors that could cause our actual results to differ from forward-looking statements contained in this prospectus, please see the discussion under “Risk Factors.” You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements made in this prospectus relate only to events as of the date on which the statements are made. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this prospectus.

The following discussion should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and related notes and other financial information appearing elsewhere in this prospectus. In addition to historical information, the following discussion and other parts of this prospectus contain forward-looking information that involves risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated by such forward-looking information due to the factors discussed under “Risk Factors” and “Forward-Looking Statements.”

 

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USE OF PROCEEDS

We intend to use the net proceeds from selling our securities for funding investments in debt and equity securities in accordance with our investment objectives, retiring certain debt obligations and other general corporate purposes. The supplement to this prospectus relating to an offering will more fully identify the use of proceeds from such offering.

We anticipate that substantially all of the net proceeds from any offering of our securities will be used as described above within twelve months, but in no event longer than two years. Pending such uses and investments, we will invest the net proceeds primarily in cash, cash equivalents, U.S. government securities or high-quality debt securities maturing in one year or less from the time of investment. Our ability to achieve our investment objective may be limited to the extent that the net proceeds of any offering, pending full investment, are held in lower yielding short-term instruments.

 

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PRICE RANGE OF COMMON STOCK AND DISTRIBUTIONS

Our common stock is traded on the NYSE under the symbol “HTGC.”

The following table sets forth the range of high and low sales prices of our common stock, the sales price as a percentage of NAV and the distributions declared by us for each fiscal quarter. The stock quotations are interdealer quotations and do not include markups, markdowns or commissions.

 

         

 

 

Price Range

    Premium/
Discount of
High Sales
Price to NAV
    Premium/
Discount of
Low Sales
Price to NAV
    Cash
Distribution
per Share
 
    NAV (1)     High     Low        

2015

           

First quarter

  $ 10.47     $ 15.27     $ 13.47       45.8     28.7   $ 0.310  

Second quarter

  $ 10.26     $ 13.37     $ 11.25       30.3     9.6   $ 0.310  

Third quarter

  $ 10.02     $ 12.23     $ 9.99       22.1     -0.3   $ 0.310  

Fourth quarter

  $ 9.94     $ 12.44     $ 10.23       25.2     2.9   $ 0.310  

2016

           

First quarter

  $ 9.81     $ 12.39     $ 10.03       26.3     2.2   $ 0.310  

Second quarter

  $ 9.66     $ 12.43     $ 11.74       28.7     21.6   $ 0.310  

Third quarter

  $ 9.86     $ 14.00     $ 12.42       41.9     25.9   $ 0.310  

Fourth quarter

  $ 9.90     $ 14.25     $ 12.90       43.9     30.2   $ 0.310  

2017

           

First quarter

  $ 9.76     $ 15.43     $ 14.12       58.1     44.7   $ 0.310  

Second quarter

  $ 9.87     $ 15.56     $ 12.66       57.6 %     28.3 %   $ 0.310  

Third quarter (through August 30, 2017)

    *   $ 13.50     $ 12.31       *     *     **

 

(1) Net asset value per share is generally determined as of the last day in the relevant quarter and therefore may not reflect the NAV per share on the date of the high and low sales prices. The NAVs shown are based on outstanding shares at the end of each period.
 * Net asset value has not yet been calculated for this period.
** Cash distribution per share has not yet been determined for this period.

The last reported price for our common stock on August 30, 2017 was $12.31 per share.

Shares of business development companies may trade at a market price that is less than the value of the net assets attributable to those shares. The possibility that our shares of common stock will trade at a discount from NAV or at premiums that are unsustainable over the long term are separate and distinct from the risk that our NAV will decrease. At times, our shares of common stock have traded at a premium to NAV and at times our shares of common stock have traded at a discount to the net assets attributable to those shares. It is not possible to predict whether the shares offered hereby will trade at, above, or below NAV.

 

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Distributions

The following table summarizes distributions declared and paid or to be paid or reinvested on all shares, including restricted stock, for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2015, 2016 and 2017:

 

Date Declared

  

Record Date

  

Payment Date

   Amount Per Share  

February 24, 2015

   March 12, 2015    March 19, 2015    $ 0.31  

May 4, 2015

   May 18, 2015    May 25, 2015      0.31  

July 29, 2015

   August 17, 2015    August 24, 2015      0.31  

October 28, 2015

   November 16, 2015    November 23, 2015      0.31  

February 17, 2016

   March 7, 2016    March 14, 2016      0.31  

April 27, 2016

   May 16, 2016    May 23, 2016      0.31  

July 27, 2016

   August 15, 2016    August 22, 2016      0.31  

October 24, 2016

   November 14, 2016    November 21, 2016      0.31  

February 16, 2017

  

March 6, 2017

  

March 13, 2017

     0.31  

April 26, 2017

   May 15, 2017    May 22, 2017      0.31  

July 26, 2017

   August 14, 2017    August 21, 2017      0.31  
        

 

 

 
         $ 3.41  
        

 

 

 

 

* Distribution paid in cash and stock.

On July 26, 2017, the Board of Directors declared a cash distribution of $0.31 per share to be paid on August 21, 2017 to stockholders of record as of August 14, 2017. This distribution represented our forty-eighth consecutive distribution since our IPO, bringing the total cumulative distribution to date to $13.40 per share.

Our Board of Directors maintains a variable distribution policy with the objective of distributing four quarterly distributions in an amount that approximates 90—100% of our taxable quarterly income or potential annual income for a particular taxable year. In addition, at the end of our taxable year, our Board of Directors may choose to pay an additional special distribution or fifth distribution, so that we may distribute approximately all of our annual taxable income in the taxable year in which it was earned, or may elect to maintain the option to spill over our excess taxable income into the following taxable year as part of any future distribution payments.

Distributions in excess of our current and accumulated earnings and profits would generally be treated first as a return of capital to the extent of a stockholder’s tax basis in our shares, and any remaining distributions would be treated as a capital gain. The determination of the tax attributes of our distributions is made annually as of the end of our taxable year based upon our taxable income for the full taxable year and distributions paid for the full taxable year. Of the distributions declared during the fiscal years ended December 31, 2016, 2015, and 2014, 100% were distributions derived from our current and accumulated earnings and profits. There can be no certainty to stockholders that this determination is representative of the tax attributes of our 2017 distributions to stockholders.

We maintain an “opt out” dividend reinvestment plan that provides for reinvestment of our distribution on behalf of our stockholders, unless a stockholder elects to receive cash. As a result, if our Board of Directors authorizes, and we declare a cash distribution, then our stockholders who have not “opted out” of our dividend reinvestment plan will have their cash distribution automatically reinvested in additional shares of our common stock, rather than receiving the cash distributions.

Shortly after the close of each calendar year information identifying the source of the distribution (i.e., paid from ordinary income, paid from net capital gains on the sale of securities, and/or a return of paid-in-capital surplus which is a nontaxable distribution, if any) will be provided to the IRS and our stockholders subject to information reporting. To the extent our taxable earnings fall below the total amount of our distributions for any taxable year, a portion of those distributions may be deemed a tax return of capital to our stockholders.

We expect to qualify to be subject to tax as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code. In order to be subject to tax as a RIC, we are required to satisfy certain annual gross income and quarterly asset composition tests, as well

 

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as make distributions to our stockholders each taxable year treated as dividends for U.S. federal income tax purposes of an amount at least equal to 90% of the sum of our investment company taxable income, determined without regard to any deduction for dividends paid, plus our net tax-exempt income, if any. Upon being eligible to be subject to tax as a RIC, we would be entitled to deduct such distributions we pay to our stockholders in determining the overall components of our “taxable income.” Components of our taxable income include our taxable interest, dividend and fee income, reduced by certain deductions, as well as taxable net realized securities gains. Taxable income generally differs from net income for financial reporting purposes due to temporary and permanent differences in the recognition of income and expenses and generally excludes net unrealized appreciation or depreciation as such gains or losses are not included in taxable income until they are realized. In connection with maintaining our ability to be subject to tax as a RIC, among other things, we have made and intend to continue to make the requisite distributions to our stockholders each taxable year, which generally should relieve us from corporate-level U.S. federal income taxes.

As a RIC, we will be subject to a 4% nondeductible U.S. federal excise tax on certain undistributed income and gains unless we make distributions treated as dividends for U.S. federal income tax purposes in a timely manner to our stockholders in respect of each calendar year of an amount generally at least equal to the sum of (1) 98% of our ordinary income for each calendar year, (2) 98.2% of our capital gain net income for the 1-year period ending October 31 in that calendar year and (3) any income realized, but not distributed, in the preceding years (the “Excise Tax Avoidance Requirement”). We will not be subject to this excise tax on any amount on which we incurred U.S. federal corporate income tax (such as the tax imposed on a RIC’s retained net capital gains).

Depending on the level of taxable income earned in a taxable year, we may choose to carry over taxable income in excess of current taxable year distributions treated as dividends for U.S. federal income tax purposes from such taxable income into the next taxable year and incur a 4% excise tax on such taxable income, as required. The maximum amount of excess taxable income that may be carried over for distribution in the next taxable year under the Code is the total amount of distributions treated as dividends for U.S. federal income tax purposes paid in the following taxable year, subject to certain declaration and payment guidelines. To the extent we choose to carry over taxable income into the next taxable year, distributions declared and paid by us in a taxable year may differ from our taxable income for that taxable year as such distributions may include the distribution of current taxable year taxable income, the distribution of prior taxable year taxable income carried over into and distributed in the current taxable year, or returns of capital.

We can offer no assurance that we will achieve results that will permit the payment of any cash distributions and, if we issue senior securities, we will be prohibited from making distributions if doing so causes us to fail to maintain the asset coverage ratios stipulated by the 1940 Act or if distributions are limited by the terms of any of our borrowings. See “Regulation.” Our ability to make distributions will be limited by the asset coverage requirements under the 1940 Act.

We intend to distribute 100% of our spillover earnings, which consists of ordinary income and long term capital gains, from our taxable year ended December 31, 2016 to our stockholders during 2017.

 

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RATIO OF EARNINGS TO FIXED CHARGES

The following contains our ratio of earnings to fixed charges for the periods indicated, computed as set forth below. You should read these ratios of earnings to fixed charges in connection with our consolidated financial statements, including the notes to those statements, included in this prospectus.

 

    For the six-
months ended
June 30,
2017
    For the year
ended
December 31,
2016
    For the year
ended
December 31,
2015
    For the year
ended
December 31,
2014
    For the year
ended
December 31,
2013
    For the year
ended
December 31,
2012
 

Earnings to Fixed Charges (1)

    2.20       2.85       2.16       3.10       3.83       2.97  

 

For purposes of computing the ratios of earnings to fixed charges, earnings represent net increase in stockholders’ equity resulting from operations plus fixed charges. Fixed charges include interest and credit facility fees expense and amortization of debt issuance costs.

 

(1) Earnings include net realized and unrealized gains or losses. Net realized and unrealized gains or losses can vary substantially from period to period.

 

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MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF

FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

The following discussion should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and related notes and other financial information appearing elsewhere in this prospectus. In addition to historical information, the following discussion and other parts of this prospectus contain forward-looking information that involves risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated by such forward-looking information due to the factors discussed under “Risk Factors” and “Forward-Looking Statements” appearing elsewhere herein.

Overview

We are a specialty finance company focused on providing senior secured loans to high-growth, innovative venture capital-backed companies in a variety of technology, life sciences, and sustainable and renewable technology industries. We source our investments through our principal office located in Palo Alto, CA, as well as through our additional offices in Boston, MA, New York, NY, Washington, DC, Santa Monica, CA, Hartford, CT, and San Diego, CA.

Our goal is to be the leading structured debt financing provider for venture capital-backed companies in technology-related industries requiring sophisticated and customized financing solutions. Our strategy is to evaluate and invest in a broad range of technology-related industries including technology, drug discovery and development, biotechnology, life sciences, healthcare, and sustainable and renewable technology and to offer a full suite of growth capital products. We invest primarily in structured debt with warrants and, to a lesser extent, in senior debt and equity investments. We invest primarily in private companies but also have investments in public companies.

We use the term “structured debt with warrants” to refer to any debt investment, such as a senior or subordinated secured loan, that is coupled with an equity component, including warrants, options or other rights to purchase common or preferred stock. Our structured debt with warrants investments typically are secured by some or all of the assets of the portfolio company.

Our investment objective is to maximize our portfolio’s total return by generating current income from our debt investments and capital appreciation from our warrant and equity-related investments. Our primary business objectives are to increase our net income, net operating income and NAV by investing in structured debt with warrants and equity of venture capital-backed companies in technology-related industries with attractive current yields and the potential for equity appreciation and realized gains. Our equity ownership in our portfolio companies may exceed 25% of the voting securities of such companies, which represents a controlling interest under the 1940 Act. In some cases, we receive the right to make additional equity investments in our portfolio companies in connection with future equity financing rounds. Capital that we provide directly to venture capital-backed companies in technology-related industries is generally used for growth and general working capital purposes as well as in select cases for acquisitions or recapitalizations.

We also make investments in qualifying small businesses through our two wholly-owned SBICs. Our SBIC subsidiaries, HT II and HT III, hold approximately $104.8 million and $271.5 million in assets, respectively, and accounted for approximately 5.8% and 14.9% of our total assets, respectively, prior to consolidation at June 30, 2017. In aggregate, at June 30, 2017, with our net investment of $118.5 million, HT II and HT III have the capacity to issue a total of $190.2 million of SBA-guaranteed debentures, subject to SBA approval. At June 30, 2017, we have issued $190.2 million in SBA-guaranteed debentures in our SBIC subsidiaries.

We have qualified as and have elected to be treated for tax purposes as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code. Pursuant to this election, we generally will not be subject to corporate-level taxes on any income and gains that we distribute as dividends for U.S. federal income tax purposes to our stockholders. However, our

 

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qualification and election to be treated as a RIC requires that we comply with provisions contained in Subchapter M of the Code. For example, as a RIC we must earn 90% or more of our gross income during each taxable year from qualified sources, typically referred to as “good income,” as well as satisfy certain quarterly asset diversification and annual income distribution requirements.

We are an internally managed, non-diversified, closed-end investment company that has elected to be regulated as a business development company under the 1940 Act. As a business development company, we are required to comply with certain regulatory requirements. For instance, we generally have to invest at least 70% of our total assets in “qualifying assets,” which includes securities of private U.S. companies, cash, cash equivalents and high-quality debt investments that mature in one year or less.

Our portfolio is comprised of, and we anticipate that our portfolio will continue to be comprised of, investments primarily in technology related companies at various stages of their development. Consistent with requirements under the 1940 Act, we invest primarily in United-States based companies and to a lesser extent in foreign companies.

We regularly engage in discussions with third parties with respect to various potential transactions. We may acquire an investment or a portfolio of investments or an entire company or sell a portion of our portfolio on an opportunistic basis. We, our subsidiaries or our affiliates may also agree to manage certain other funds that invest in debt, equity or provide other financing or services to companies in a variety of industries for which we may earn management or other fees for our services. We may also invest in the equity of these funds, along with other third parties, from which we would seek to earn a return and/or future incentive allocations. Some of these transactions could be material to our business. Consummation of any such transaction will be subject to completion of due diligence, finalization of key business and financial terms (including price) and negotiation of final definitive documentation as well as a number of other factors and conditions including, without limitation, the approval of our Board of Directors and required regulatory or third party consents and, in certain cases, the approval of our stockholders. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that any such transaction would be consummated. Any of these transactions or funds may require significant management resources either during the transaction phase or on an ongoing basis depending on the terms of the transaction.

Portfolio and Investment Activity

The total fair value of our investment portfolio was $1.4 billion at both June 30, 2017 and December 31, 2016. The fair value of our debt investment portfolio was approximately $1.3 billion at both June 30, 2017 and December 31, 2016. The fair value of the equity portfolio at June 30, 2017 was approximately $75.4 million, compared to a fair value of approximately $67.6 million at December 31, 2016. The fair value of the warrant portfolio at June 30, 2017 was approximately $32.5 million, compared to a fair value of approximately $27.5 million at December 31, 2016.

Portfolio Activity

Our investments in portfolio companies take a variety of forms, including unfunded contractual commitments and funded investments. From time to time, unfunded contractual commitments depend upon a portfolio company reaching certain milestones before the debt commitment is available to the portfolio company, which is expected to affect our funding levels. These commitments are subject to the same underwriting and ongoing portfolio maintenance as the on-balance sheet financial instruments that we hold. Debt commitments generally fund over the two succeeding quarters from close. Not all debt commitments represent future cash requirements. Similarly, unfunded contractual commitments may expire without being drawn and thus do not represent future cash requirements.

Prior to entering into a contractual commitment, we generally issue a non-binding term sheet to a prospective portfolio company. Non-binding term sheets are subject to completion of our due diligence and final

 

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investment committee approval process, as well as the negotiation of definitive documentation with the prospective portfolio companies. These non-binding term sheets generally convert to contractual commitments in approximately 90 days from signing. Not all non-binding term sheets are expected to close and do not necessarily represent future cash requirements.

Our portfolio activity for the six months ended June 30, 2017 and the year ended December 31, 2016 was comprised of the following:

 

(in millions)

   June 30, 2017      December 31, 2016  

Debt Commitments (1)

     

New portfolio company

   $ 336.0      $ 624.0  

Existing portfolio company

     57.1        171.8  
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total

   $ 393.1      $ 795.8  
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Funded and Restructured Debt Investments (2)

     

New portfolio company

   $ 243.2      $ 479.0  

Existing portfolio company

     93.5        181.5  
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total

   $ 336.7      $ 660.5  
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Funded Equity Investments

     

New portfolio company

   $ 3.7      $ 17.1  

Existing portfolio company

     0.2        3.1  
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total

   $ 3.9      $ 20.2  
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Unfunded Contractual Commitments (3)

     

Total

   $ 57.6      $ 59.7  
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Non-Binding Term Sheets

     

New portfolio company

   $ 70.0      $ 55.0  
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total

   $ 70.0      $ 55.0  
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

(1) Includes restructured loans and renewals in addition to new commitments.
(2) Funded amounts include borrowings on revolving facilities.
(3) Amount represents unfunded commitments, including undrawn revolving facilities, which are available at the request of the portfolio company. Amount excludes unfunded commitments which are unavailable due to the borrower having not met certain milestones.

We receive principal payments on our debt investment portfolio based on scheduled amortization of the outstanding balances. In addition, we receive principal repayments for some of our loans prior to their scheduled maturity date. The frequency or volume of these early principal repayments may fluctuate significantly from period to period. During the six months ended June 30, 2017, we received approximately $338.8 million in aggregate principal repayments. Of the approximately $338.8 million of aggregate principal repayments, approximately $72.1 million were scheduled principal payments and approximately $266.7 million were early principal repayments related to 29 portfolio companies. Of the approximately $266.7 million early principal repayments, approximately $33.5 million were early repayments due to M&A transactions for four portfolio companies.

 

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Total portfolio investment activity (inclusive of unearned income and excluding activity related to taxes payable, escrow receivables and warrant participation liabilities) as of and for the six months ended June 30, 2017 and the year ended December 31, 2016 was as follows:

 

(in millions)

   June 30, 2017     December 31, 2016  

Beginning portfolio

   $ 1,423.9     $ 1,200.6  

New fundings and restructures

     340.6       680.7  

Warrants not related to current period fundings

     0.4       0.6  

Principal payments received on investments

     (72.1     (111.2

Early payoffs

     (266.7     (324.0

Accretion of loan discounts and paid-in-kind principal

     18.7       43.6  

Net acceleration of loan discounts and loan fees due to early payoff or restructure

     (5.8     (6.3

New loan fees

     (4.5     (10.1

Warrants converted to equity

     —         0.3  

Sale of investments

     (10.2     (4.4

Loss on investments due to write offs

     (10.8     (10.0

Net change in unrealized depreciation

     (18.0     (35.9
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Ending portfolio

   $ 1,395.5     $ 1,423.9  
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

The following table shows the fair value of our investment portfolio by asset class as of June 30, 2017 and December 31, 2016:

 

     June 30, 2017     December 31, 2016  

(in thousands)

   Investments at
Fair  Value
     Percentage of Total
Portfolio
    Investments at
Fair  Value
     Percentage of Total
Portfolio
 

Senior Secured Debt with Warrants

   $ 999,813        71.6   $ 1,078,779        75.7

Senior Secured Debt

     320,340        23.0     277,509        19.5

Preferred Stock

     43,385        3.1     39,418        2.8

Common Stock

     31,931        2.3     28,236        2.0
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total

   $ 1,395,469        100.0   $ 1,423,942        100.0
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

A summary of our investment portfolio as of June 30, 2017 and December 31, 2016 at value by geographic location is as follows:

 

     June 30, 2017     December 31, 2016  

(in thousands)

   Investments at
Fair Value
     Percentage of Total
Portfolio
    Investments at
Fair Value
     Percentage of Total
Portfolio
 

United States

   $ 1,269,476        91.0   $ 1,362,223        95.6

England

     69,884        5.0     18,395        1.3

Netherlands

     20,352        1.4     20,089        1.4

Switzerland

     12,607        0.9     12,377        0.9

Cayman Islands

     12,376        0.9     —          0.0

Canada

     10,773        0.8     8,095        0.6

Israel

     1        0.0     2,763        0.2
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total

   $ 1,395,469        100.0   $ 1,423,942        100.0
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

As of June 30, 2017, we held warrants or equity positions in six companies that have filed registration statements on Form S-1 with the SEC in contemplation of potential initial public offerings. All six companies filed confidentially under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, or the JOBS Act. There can be no assurance that companies that have yet to complete their initial public offerings will do so in a timely manner or at all.

 

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Changes in Portfolio

We generate revenue in the form of interest income, primarily from our investments in debt securities, and commitment and facility fees. Interest income is recognized in accordance with the contractual terms of the loan agreement to the extent that such amounts are expected to be collected. Fees generated in connection with our debt investments are recognized over the life of the loan or, in some cases, recognized as earned. In addition, we generate revenue in the form of capital gains, if any, on warrants or other equity-related securities that we acquire from our portfolio companies. Our investments generally range from $12.0 million to $40.0 million, although we may make investments in amounts above or below that range. As of June 30, 2017, our debt investments have a term of between two and seven years and typically bear interest at a rate ranging from approximately 5.8% to approximately 12.0%. In addition to the cash yields received on our debt investments, in some instances, our debt investments may also include any of the following: exit fees, balloon payment fees, commitment fees, success fees, PIK provisions or prepayment fees which may be required to be included in income prior to receipt.

Interest on debt securities is generally payable monthly, with amortization of principal typically occurring over the term of the investment. In addition, our loans may include an interest-only period ranging from three to eighteen months or longer. In limited instances in which we choose to defer amortization of the loan for a period of time from the date of the initial investment, the principal amount of the debt securities and any accrued but unpaid interest become due at the maturity date.

Loan origination and commitment fees received in full at the inception of a loan are deferred and amortized into fee income as an enhancement to the related loan’s yield over the contractual life of the loan. We recognize nonrecurring fees amortized over the remaining term of the loan commencing in the quarter relating to specific loan modifications. We had approximately $35.3 million of unamortized fees at June 30, 2017, of which approximately $31.8 million was included as an offset to the cost basis of our current debt investments and approximately $3.5 million was deferred contingent upon the occurrence of a funding or milestone. At December 31, 2016 we had approximately $38.2 million of unamortized fees, of which approximately $35.8 million was included as an offset to the cost basis of our current debt investments and approximately $2.4 million was deferred contingent upon the occurrence of a funding or milestone.

Loan exit fees to be paid at the termination of the loan are accreted into interest income over the contractual life of the loan. At June 30, 2017 we had approximately $25.5 million in exit fees receivable, of which approximately $22.9 million was included as a component of the cost basis of our current debt investments and approximately $2.6 million was a deferred receivable related to expired commitments. At December 31, 2016 we had approximately $32.8 million in exit fees receivable, of which approximately $30.3 million was included as a component of the cost basis of our current debt investments and approximately $2.5 million was a deferred receivable related to expired commitments.

We have debt investments in our portfolio that contain a PIK provision. The PIK interest, computed at the contractual rate specified in each loan agreement, is recorded as interest income and added to the principal balance of the loan on specified capitalization dates. To maintain our ability to be subject to tax as a RIC, this non-cash source of income must be distributed to stockholders with other sources of income in the form of dividend distributions even though we have not yet collected the cash. Amounts necessary to pay these distributions may come from available cash or the liquidation of certain investments. We recorded approximately $2.5 million and $1.8 million in PIK income in the three months ended June 30, 2017 and 2016, respectively. We recorded approximately $4.7 million and $3.5 million in PIK income in the six months ended June 30, 2017 and 2016, respectively.

The core yield on our debt investments, which excludes the effects of fee and income accelerations attributed to early payoffs, restructuring, loan modifications and other one-time events and includes income from expired commitments, was 12.1% and 13.4% during the three months ended June 30, 2017 and 2016, respectively. The effective yield on our debt investments, which includes the effects of fee and income accelerations attributed to early payoffs, restructuring, loan modifications and other one-time events, was 14.9% and 14.4% for the three months ended June 30, 2017 and 2016, respectively. The effective yield is derived by

 

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dividing total investment income by the weighted average earning investment portfolio assets outstanding during the quarter, excluding non-interest earning assets such as warrants and equity investments. Both the core yield and effective yield may be higher than what our common stockholders may realize as the core yield and effective yield do not reflect our expenses and any sales load paid by our common stockholders.

The total return for our investors was approximately -2.0% and 7.2% during the six months ended June 30, 2017 and 2016, respectively. The total return equals the change in the ending market value over the beginning of the period price per share plus dividend distributions paid per share during the period, divided by the beginning price assuming the distribution is reinvested on the date of the distribution. The total return does not reflect any sales load that must be paid by investors. See “Note 9—Financial Highlights” included in the notes to our consolidated financial statements appearing elsewhere in this prospectus.

Portfolio Composition

Our portfolio companies are primarily privately held companies and public companies which are active in the drug discovery & development, software, media/content/info, drug delivery, internet consumer & business services, sustainable and renewable technology, medical devices & equipment, specialty pharmaceuticals, healthcare services, consumer & business products, information services, surgical devices, semiconductors, communications & networking, electronics & computer hardware, biotechnology tools, and diagnostic industry sectors. These sectors are characterized by high margins, high growth rates, consolidation and product and market extension opportunities. Value for companies in these sectors is often vested in intangible assets and intellectual property.

As of June 30, 2017, approximately 76.1% of the fair value of our portfolio was composed of investments in five industries: 31.5% investments in the drug discovery & development industry, 18.2% investments in the software industry, 10.4% investments in the media/content/info industry, 8.8% investments in the drug delivery industry, and 7.2% investments in the internet consumer & business services industry.

The following table shows the fair value of our portfolio by industry sector at June 30, 2017 and December 31, 2016:

 

     June 30, 2017     December 31, 2016  

(in thousands)

   Investments at
Fair Value
     Percentage of Total
Portfolio
    Investments at
Fair Value
     Percentage of Total
Portfolio
 

Drug Discovery & Development

   $ 440,099        31.5   $ 422,550        29.7

Software

     254,215        18.2     219,559        15.4

Media/Content/Info

     144,450        10.4     137,567        9.7

Drug Delivery

     122,952        8.8     109,834        7.7

Internet Consumer & Business Services

     100,705        7.2     97,047        6.8

Sustainable and Renewable Technology

     92,609        6.6     154,406        10.9

Medical Devices & Equipment

     83,933        6.0     107,695        7.6

Specialty Pharmaceuticals

     38,803        2.8     38,944        2.7

Healthcare Services, Other

     30,009        2.2     30,200        2.1

Consumer & Business Products

     22,147        1.6     42,713        3.0

Information Services

     14,722        1.1     6,091        0.4

Surgical Devices

     13,660