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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

Form 10-K

(Mark One)

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

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021

OR

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

For the transition period from:             to             

Commission File Number: 001-33723

Main Street Capital Corporation

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

Maryland
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)

41-2230745
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)

1300 Post Oak Boulevard, 8th Floor
Houston, TX
(Address of principal executive offices)

77056
(Zip Code)

(713) 350-6000

(Registrant’s telephone number including area code)

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

Title of Each Class

  

Trading Symbol

 

Name of Each Exchange on Which
Registered

Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share

MAIN

New York Stock Exchange

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

None

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

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

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

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

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

Large accelerated filer

Accelerated filer

Non-accelerated filer

Smaller reporting company
Emerging growth company

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

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

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

The aggregate market value of the registrant’s common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of June 30, 2021, was approximately $1,948.5 million based upon the last sale price for the registrant’s common stock on that date.

The number of shares outstanding of the issuer’s common stock as of February 25, 2022 was 71,692,388.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the registrants’ definitive Proxy Statement for its 2022 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, are incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K in response to Part III.


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

PART I

Item 1.

Business

2

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

24

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

51

Item 2.

Properties

51

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

51

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

51

PART II

Item 5.

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

52

Item 6.

[Reserved.]

55

Item 7.

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

56

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

73

Item 8.

Consolidated Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

75

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

185

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

185

Item 9B.

Other Information

185

Item 9C.

Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections

187

PART III

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

187

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

187

Item 12.

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

188

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

188

Item 14.

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

188

PART IV

Item 15.

Exhibits and Consolidated Financial Statement Schedules

189

Signatures

192


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CAUTIONARY STATEMENT CONCERNING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements regarding the plans and objectives of management for future operations and which relate to future events or our future performance or financial condition. Any such forward-looking statements may involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by any forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements, which involve assumptions and describe our future plans, strategies and expectations, are generally identifiable by use of the words “may,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “believe,” “intend” or “project” or the negative of these words or other variations on these words or comparable terminology. These forward-looking statements are based on assumptions that may be incorrect, and we cannot assure you that the projections included in these forward-looking statements will come to pass. Our actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including, without limitation, the factors discussed in Item 1A entitled “Risk Factors” in Part I of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and in other filings we may make with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) from time to time. Other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include changes in the economy and future changes in laws or regulations and conditions in our operating areas.

We have based the forward-looking statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K on information available to us on the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, and we assume no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements, unless we are required to do so by applicable law. However, you are advised to refer to any additional disclosures that we may make directly to you or through reports that we in the future may file with the SEC, including subsequent annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K.

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PART I

Item 1. Business

ORGANIZATION

Main Street Capital Corporation (“MSCC”) is a principal investment firm primarily focused on providing customized debt and equity financing to lower middle market (“LMM”) companies and debt capital to middle market (“Middle Market”) companies. The portfolio investments of MSCC and its consolidated subsidiaries are typically made to support management buyouts, recapitalizations, growth financings, refinancings and acquisitions of companies that operate in a variety of industry sectors. MSCC seeks to partner with entrepreneurs, business owners and management teams and generally provides “one stop” financing alternatives within its LMM portfolio. MSCC and its consolidated subsidiaries invest primarily in secured debt investments, equity investments, warrants and other securities of LMM companies based in the United States and in secured debt investments of Middle Market companies generally headquartered in the United States.

MSCC was formed in March 2007 to operate as an internally managed business development company (“BDC”) under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). MSCC wholly owns several investment funds, including Main Street Mezzanine Fund, LP (“MSMF”) and Main Street Capital III, LP (“MSC III” and, together with MSMF, the “Funds”), and each of their general partners. The Funds are each licensed as a Small Business Investment Company (“SBIC”) by the United States Small Business Administration (“SBA”). Because MSCC is internally managed, all of the executive officers and other employees are employed by MSCC. Therefore, MSCC does not pay any external investment advisory fees, but instead directly incurs the operating costs associated with employing investment and portfolio management professionals.

MSC Adviser I, LLC (the “External Investment Manager”) was formed in November 2013 as a wholly owned subsidiary of MSCC to provide investment management and other services to parties other than MSCC and its subsidiaries or their portfolio companies (“External Parties”) and receives fee income for such services. MSCC has been granted no-action relief by the SEC to allow the External Investment Manager to register as a registered investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended (the “Advisers Act”). Since the External Investment Manager conducts all of its investment management activities for External Parties, it is accounted for as a portfolio investment of MSCC and is not included as a consolidated subsidiary of MSCC in MSCC’s consolidated financial statements.

MSCC has elected to be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as a regulated investment company (“RIC”) under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). As a result, MSCC generally will not pay corporate-level U.S. federal income taxes on any net ordinary taxable income or capital gains that it distributes to its stockholders.

MSCC has certain direct and indirect wholly owned subsidiaries that have elected to be taxable entities (the “Taxable Subsidiaries”). The primary purpose of the Taxable Subsidiaries is to permit MSCC to hold equity investments in portfolio companies which are “pass-through” entities for tax purposes.

Unless otherwise noted or the context otherwise indicates, the terms “we,” “us,” “our,” the “Company” and “Main Street” refer to MSCC and its consolidated subsidiaries, which include the Funds and the Taxable Subsidiaries.

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The following diagram depicts our organizational structure:

Main Street Capital Corporation ("MSCC")

100%

100%

100%

Main Mezzanine Management, L.L.C. ("MSMF GP")

Main Street Capital III GP, L.L.C. ("MSC III GP")

Other Holding Companies*

99.6%

0.4%

1%

99%

100%

Main Street Mezzanine Fund, LP ("MSMF")

Main Street Capital III, LP ("MSC III")

MSC Adviser 1, L.L.C. ("External Investment Manager")**


*

Other Holding Companies includes the Taxable Subsidiaries and other entities formed for operational purposes. Each of these companies is directly or indirectly wholly owned by MSCC.

**

The External Investment Manager is accounted for as a portfolio investment at fair value, as opposed to a consolidated subsidiary, and is indirectly wholly owned by MSCC.

CORPORATE INFORMATION

Our principal executive offices are located at 1300 Post Oak Boulevard, 8th Floor, Houston, Texas 77056. We maintain a website on the Internet at www.mainstcapital.com. We make available free of charge on our website our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and all amendments to those reports as soon as reasonably practicable after such material is electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC. Information contained on our website is not incorporated by reference into this Annual Report on Form 10-K, and you should not consider that information to be part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and all amendments to those reports and other public filings are also available free of charge on the EDGAR Database on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

OVERVIEW OF OUR BUSINESS

Our principal investment objective is to maximize our portfolio’s total return by generating current income from our debt investments and current income and capital appreciation from our equity and equity-related investments, including warrants, convertible securities and other rights to acquire equity securities in a portfolio company. We seek to achieve our investment objective through our LMM, Private Loan, and Middle Market investment strategies. Our LMM investment strategy involves investments in companies that generally have annual revenues between $10 million and $150 million and our LMM portfolio investments generally range in size from $5 million to $75 million. Our Middle Market investment strategy involves investments in companies that are generally larger in size than our LMM companies, with annual revenues typically between $150 million and $1.5 billion, and our Middle Market investments generally range in size from $3 million to $25 million. Our private loan (“Private Loan”) investment strategy involves investments in companies that are consistent with the size of the companies in our LMM and Middle Market investment strategies, and our Private Loan investments generally range in size from $10 million to $75 million.

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We seek to fill the financing gap for LMM businesses, which, historically, have had limited access to financing from commercial banks and other traditional sources. The underserved nature of the LMM creates the opportunity for us to meet the financing needs of LMM companies while also negotiating favorable transaction terms and equity participations. Our ability to invest across a company’s capital structure, from secured loans to equity securities, allows us to offer portfolio companies a comprehensive suite of financing options, or a “one stop” financing solution. Providing customized, “one stop” financing solutions is important to LMM portfolio companies. We generally seek to partner directly with entrepreneurs, management teams and business owners in making our investments. Our LMM portfolio debt investments are generally secured by a first lien on the assets of the portfolio company and typically have a term of between five and seven years from the original investment date.

Private Loan investments consist generally of loans that have been originated directly by us or through strategic relationships with other investment funds on a collaborative basis and are often referred to in the debt markets as “club deals.” Private Loan investments are typically similar in size, structure, terms and conditions to investments we hold in our LMM portfolio and Middle Market portfolio. Our Private Loan portfolio debt investments are generally secured by a first priority lien on the assets of the portfolio company and typically have a term of between three and seven years from the original investment date.

Our Middle Market portfolio investments primarily consist of direct investments in or secondary purchases of interest-bearing syndicated loans or debt securities in privately held companies based in the United States that are generally larger in size than the companies included in our LMM portfolio. Our Middle Market portfolio debt investments are generally secured by a first priority lien on the assets of the portfolio company and typically have an expected duration of between three and seven years from the original investment date.

Our other portfolio (“Other Portfolio”) investments primarily consist of investments that are not consistent with the typical profiles for our LMM, Private Loan or Middle Market portfolio investments, including investments which may be managed by third parties. In our Other Portfolio, we may incur indirect fees and expenses in connection with investments managed by third parties, such as investments in other investment companies or private funds.

Subject to changes in our cash and overall liquidity, our Investment Portfolio (as defined below) may also include short-term portfolio investments that are atypical of our LMM, Middle Market and Private Loan portfolio investments in that they are intended to be a short-term deployment of capital. These assets are typically expected to be liquidated in one year or less and are not expected to be a significant portion of the overall Investment Portfolio.

Our external asset management business is conducted through the External Investment Manager. The External Investment Manager earns management fees based on the assets of the funds under management and may earn incentive fees, or a carried interest, based on the performance of the funds managed.

Our portfolio investments are generally made through MSCC, the Taxable Subsidiaries and the Funds. MSCC, the Taxable Subsidiaries and the Funds share the same investment strategies and criteria, although they are subject to different regulatory regimes (see “Regulation”). An investor’s return in MSCC will depend, in part, on the Taxable Subsidiaries’ and the Funds’ investment returns as they are wholly owned subsidiaries of MSCC.

The level of new portfolio investment activity will fluctuate from period to period based upon our view of the current economic fundamentals, our ability to identify new investment opportunities that meet our investment criteria, and our ability to consummate the identified opportunities. The level of new investment activity, and associated interest and fee income, will directly impact future investment income. In addition, the level of dividends paid by portfolio companies and the portion of our portfolio debt investments on non-accrual status will directly impact future investment income. While we intend to grow our portfolio and our investment income over the long term, our growth and our operating results may be more limited during depressed economic periods. However, we intend to appropriately manage our cost structure and liquidity position based on applicable economic conditions and our investment outlook. The level of realized gains or losses and unrealized appreciation or depreciation on our investments will also fluctuate depending upon portfolio activity, economic conditions and the performance of our individual portfolio companies. The changes in realized gains and losses and unrealized appreciation or depreciation could have a material impact on our operating results.

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Because we are internally managed, we do not pay any external investment advisory fees, but instead directly incur the operating costs associated with employing investment and portfolio management professionals. We believe that our internally managed structure provides us with a better alignment of interests between our management team and our employees and our shareholders and a beneficial operating expense structure when compared to other publicly traded and privately held investment firms which are externally managed, and our internally managed structure allows us the opportunity to leverage our non-interest operating expenses as we grow our Investment Portfolio (as defined below). For the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, the ratio of our total operating expenses, excluding interest expense, as a percentage of our quarterly average total assets was 1.5% and 1.3%, respectively. The ratio of our total operating expenses, including interest expense, as a percentage of our quarterly average total assets was 3.4% and 3.2%, respectively, for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020. For further information on our expense ratio refer to Note F to the consolidated financial statements included in “Item 8.– Consolidated Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Through the External Investment Manager, we serve as the sole investment adviser and administrator to MSC Income pursuant to an Investment Advisory and Administrative Services Agreement entered into between the External Investment Manager and MSC Income (the “Advisory Agreement”). Under the Advisory Agreement, the External Investment Manager earns a 1.75% annual base management fee and a 20% incentive fee on MSC Income’s pre-investment fee net investment income above a specified hurdle rate in exchange for providing advisory services to MSC Income.

Additionally, the External Investment Manager has entered into an Investment Management Agreement with MS Private Loan Fund I, LP, a private investment fund with a strategy to co-invest with Main Street in Private Loan portfolio investments (the “Private Loan Fund”), pursuant to which the External Investment Manager provides investment advisory and management services to the Private Loan Fund in exchange for an asset-based fee and certain incentive fees.

The External Investment Manager earns management fees based on the assets of the funds and accounts under management and may earn incentive fees, or a carried interest, based on the performance of the funds and accounts managed. The total contribution of the External Investment Manager to our net investment income consists of the combination of the expenses allocated to the External Investment Manager and the dividend income earned from the External Investment Manager. For the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019, the total contribution of the External Investment Manager to our net investment income was $16.5 million, $9.9 million and $11.7 million, respectively. During the year ended December 31, 2021, the External Investment Manager earned $17.7 million in base management fee income and $0.6 million in incentive fees compared to $10.7 million of base management fees and no incentive fees in 2020 and $11.1 million of base management fees and $2.0 million in incentive fees in 2019 for the investment advisory services provided to MSC Income, the Private Loan Fund and other clients.

We have entered into an agreement with the External Investment Manager to share employees in connection with its asset management business generally, and specifically for its relationship with MSC Income and its other clients. Through this agreement, we share employees with the External Investment Manager, including their related infrastructure, business relationships, management expertise and capital raising capabilities, and we allocate the related expenses to the External Investment Manager pursuant to the sharing agreement. Our total expenses for the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019 are net of expenses allocated to the External Investment Manager of $10.3 million, $7.4 million and $6.7 million, respectively.

We have received an exemptive order from the SEC permitting co-investments among us, MSC Income and other funds and clients advised by the External Investment Manager in certain negotiated transactions where co-investing would otherwise be prohibited under the 1940 Act. We have made co-investments with, and in the future intend to continue to make co-investments with MSC Income, the Private Loan Fund and other clients advised by the External Investment Manager, in accordance with the conditions of the order. The order requires, among other things, that we and the External Investment Manager consider whether each such investment opportunity is appropriate for us and the External Investment Manager’s advised clients, as applicable, and if it is appropriate, to propose an allocation of the investment opportunity between such parties. Because the External Investment Manager may receive performance-based fee compensation from funds and clients advised by the External Investment Manager, this may provide the

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Company and the External Investment Manager an incentive to allocate opportunities to other participating funds and clients instead of us. However, both we and the External Investment Manager have policies and procedures in place to manage this conflict, including oversight by the independent members of our Board of Directors.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

In February 2022, we declared a supplemental cash dividend of $0.075 per share payable in March 2022. This supplemental cash dividend is in addition to the previously announced regular monthly cash dividends that we declared for the first quarter of 2022 of $0.215 per share for each of January, February and March 2022.

During February 2022, we declared regular monthly dividends of $0.215 per share for each month of April, May and June of 2022. These regular monthly dividends equal a total of $0.645 per share for the second quarter of 2022, representing a 4.9% increase from the regular monthly dividends paid in the second quarter of 2021. Including the supplemental dividends declared for March 2022 and the regular monthly dividends declared for the first quarter and second quarter of 2022, we will have paid $33.540 per share in cumulative dividends since our October 2007 initial public offering.

On February 23, 2022, our Board of Directors unanimously approved the application to the Company of the 150% minimum asset coverage ratio set forth in Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act. As a result, the minimum asset coverage ratio applicable to the Company will be reduced from 200% to 150%, effective as of February 23, 2023, unless approved earlier by a vote of our stockholders, in which case the 150% minimum asset coverage ratio will be effective on the day after such approval. The Board also authorized the submission of a proposal for stockholders to accelerate the application of the 150% minimum asset coverage ratio to the Company at the 2022 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.

BUSINESS STRATEGIES

Our principal investment objective is to maximize our portfolio’s total return by generating current income from our debt investments and current income and capital appreciation from our equity and equity-related investments, including warrants, convertible securities and other rights to acquire equity securities in a portfolio company. We have adopted the following business strategies to achieve our investment objective:

Deliver Customized Financing Solutions in the Lower Middle Market. We offer LMM portfolio companies customized debt and equity financing solutions that are tailored to the facts and circumstances of each situation. We believe our ability to provide a broad range of customized financing solutions to LMM companies sets us apart from other capital providers that focus on providing a limited number of financing solutions. Our ability to invest across a company’s capital structure, from senior secured loans to subordinated debt to equity securities, allows us to offer LMM portfolio companies a comprehensive suite of financing options, or a “one stop” financing solution.
Focus on Established Companies. We generally invest in companies with established market positions, experienced management teams and proven revenue streams. We believe that those companies generally possess better risk-adjusted return profiles than newer companies that are building their management teams or are in the early stages of building a revenue base. We also believe that established companies in our targeted size range also generally provide opportunities for capital appreciation.
Leverage the Skills and Experience of our Investment Team. Our investment team has significant experience in lending to and investing in LMM and Middle Market companies. The members of our investment team have broad investment backgrounds, with prior experience at private investment funds, investment banks and other financial services companies and currently include six certified public accountants and two Chartered Financial Analyst® charter holders. The expertise of our investment team in analyzing, valuing, structuring, negotiating and closing transactions should provide us with competitive advantages by allowing us to consider customized financing solutions and non-traditional or complex structures for our portfolio companies. Also, the reputation of our investment team has and should continue

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to enable us to generate additional revenue in the form of management and incentive fees in connection with us providing advisory services to other investment funds.
Invest Across Multiple Companies, Industries, Regions and End Markets. We seek to maintain a portfolio of investments that is appropriately balanced among various companies, industries, geographic regions and end markets. This portfolio balance is intended to mitigate the potential effects of negative economic events for particular companies, regions, industries and end markets.
Capitalize on Strong Transaction Sourcing Network. Our investment team seeks to leverage its extensive network of referral sources for portfolio company investments. We have developed a reputation in our marketplace as a responsive, efficient and reliable source of financing, which has created a growing stream of proprietary deal flow for us.
Grow our Asset Management Business. Our asset management business provides us with a recurring source of income, additional income diversification from sources of income directly tied to invested capital and the opportunity for greater stockholder returns through the utilization of our existing investment expertise, strong historical track record and favorable reputation.  We seek to grow our asset management business within our internally managed BDC structure in order to increase the value of this unique benefit to our stakeholders.  We expect such growth to come organically through the expansion of the investment capital that we manage for third parties and the potential extension of our asset management business to new investment strategies, and potentially through mergers and acquisition activities.
Benefit from Lower, Fixed, Long-Term Cost of Capital. The SBIC licenses held by the Funds have allowed them to issue SBA-guaranteed debentures. SBA-guaranteed debentures carry long-term fixed interest rates that are generally lower than interest rates on comparable bank loans and other debt. Because lower-cost SBA leverage is, and will continue to be, a significant part of our capital base through the Funds, our relative cost of debt capital should be lower than many of our competitors. In addition, the SBIC leverage that we receive through the Funds represents a stable, long-term component of our capital structure with proper matching of duration and cost compared to our LMM portfolio investments. We also maintain an investment grade rating from Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services which provides us the opportunity and flexibility to obtain additional, attractive long-term financing options to supplement our capital structure, including the unsecured notes with fixed interest rates we issued in 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021.

INVESTMENT CRITERIA

Our investment team has identified the following investment criteria that it believes are important in evaluating prospective portfolio companies. Our investment team uses these criteria in evaluating investment opportunities. However, not all of these criteria have been, or will be, met in connection with each of our investments:

Proven Management Team with Meaningful Equity Stake. We look for operationally-oriented management with direct industry experience and a successful track record. In addition, we expect the management team of each LMM portfolio company to have meaningful equity ownership in the portfolio company to better align our respective economic interests. We believe management teams with these attributes are more likely to manage the companies in a manner that both protects our debt investment and enhances the value of our equity investment.
Established Companies with Positive Cash Flow. We seek to invest in established companies with sound historical financial performance. We typically focus on LMM companies that have historically generated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (“EBITDA”) of $3 million to $20 million and commensurate levels of free cash flow. We also pursue investments in debt securities of Middle Market companies that are generally established companies with sound historical financial performance that are generally larger in size than LMM companies. We generally do not invest in start-up companies or companies with speculative business plans.

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Defensible Competitive Advantages/Favorable Industry Position. We primarily focus on companies having competitive advantages in their respective markets and/or operating in industries with barriers to entry, which may help to protect their market position and profitability.
Exit Alternatives. We exit our debt investments primarily through the repayment of our investment from internally generated cash flow of the portfolio company and/or a refinancing. In addition, we seek to invest in companies whose business models and expected future cash flows may provide alternate methods of repaying our investment, such as through a strategic acquisition by other industry participants or a recapitalization.

INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO

The “Investment Portfolio”, as used herein, refers to all of our investments in LMM portfolio companies, Private Loan portfolio investments, investments in Middle Market portfolio companies, Other Portfolio investments and our investment in the External Investment Manager. Our LMM portfolio investments primarily consist of secured debt, direct equity investments and equity warrants in privately held, LMM companies based in the United States. Our Private Loan portfolio investments primarily consist of investments in interest-bearing debt securities in companies that are consistent with the size of the companies in our LMM portfolio and Middle Market portfolio, but are investments that we originate directly at Main Street or on a collaborative basis with other investment funds, and are often referred to in the debt markets as “club deals.” Our Middle Market portfolio investments primarily consist of direct investments in or secondary purchases of interest-bearing debt securities in privately held companies based in the United States that are generally larger in size than the companies included in our LMM portfolio. Our Other Portfolio investments primarily consist of investments that are not consistent with the typical profiles for our LMM, Private Loan and Middle Market portfolio investments, including investments which may be managed by third parties. In our Other Portfolio, we may incur indirect fees and expenses in connection with investments managed by third parties, such as investments in other investment companies or private funds.

Debt Investments

Historically, we have made LMM debt investments principally in the form of single tranche debt. Single tranche debt financing involves issuing one debt security that blends the risk and return profiles of both first lien secured and subordinated debt. We believe that single tranche debt is more appropriate for many LMM companies given their size in order to reduce structural complexity and potential conflicts among creditors.

Our LMM debt investments generally have a term of five to seven years from the original investment date, with limited required amortization prior to maturity, and provide for monthly or quarterly payment of interest at interest rates generally between 10% and 14% per annum, payable currently in cash. Interest rate terms can include either fixed or floating rate terms. In addition, certain LMM debt investments may have a form of interest that is not paid currently but is accrued and added to the loan balance and paid at maturity. We refer to this form of interest as payment-in-kind, or PIK, interest. We typically structure our LMM debt investments with the maximum seniority and collateral that we can reasonably obtain while seeking to achieve our total return target. In most cases, our LMM debt investment will be collateralized by a first priority lien on substantially all the assets of the portfolio company. In addition to seeking a senior lien position in the capital structure of our LMM portfolio companies, we seek to limit the downside potential of our LMM debt investments by negotiating covenants that are designed to protect our LMM debt investments while affording our portfolio companies as much flexibility in managing their businesses as is reasonable. Such restrictions may include affirmative and negative covenants, default penalties, lien protection, change of control or change of management provisions, key-man life insurance, guarantees, equity pledges, personal guaranties, where appropriate, and put rights. In addition, we typically seek board representation or observation rights in all of our LMM portfolio companies. Interest rate terms can include either fixed or floating rate terms.

While we will continue to focus our LMM debt investments primarily on single tranche debt investments, we also anticipate structuring some of our debt investments as mezzanine loans. We expect that these mezzanine loans will be primarily junior secured or unsecured, subordinated loans that provide for relatively high interest rates, payable currently in cash, and will provide us with significant interest income. We also anticipate that these mezzanine loans will

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afford us the additional opportunity for income and gains through PIK interest and equity warrants and other similar equity instruments issued in conjunction with these mezzanine loans. These loans typically will have interest-only payments in the early years, with amortization of principal deferred to the later years of the mezzanine loan term. Typically, our mezzanine loans will have maturities of three to five years. We will generally target interest rates of 12% to 14%, payable currently in cash, for our mezzanine loan investments with higher targeted total returns from equity warrants or PIK interest.

Our Private Loan portfolio investments primarily consist of investments in interest-bearing debt securities in companies that are consistent with the size of companies in our LMM portfolio or our Middle Market portfolio, but are investments which have been originated directly by Main Street or through strategic relationships with other investment funds on a collaborative basis. Our Private Loan portfolio debt investments are generally secured by a first priority lien and typically have a term of between three and seven years from the original investment date.

We also pursue debt investments in Middle Market companies. Our Middle Market portfolio investments primarily consist of direct investments or secondary purchases of interest-bearing debt securities in privately held companies based in the United States that are generally larger in size than the companies included in our LMM portfolio. Our Middle Market portfolio debt investments are generally secured by a first priority lien on the assets of the portfolio company and typically have a term of between three and seven years from the original investment date. The debt investments in our Middle Market portfolio have rights and protections that are similar to those in our LMM debt investments, which may include affirmative and negative covenants, default penalties, lien protection, change of control provisions, guarantees and equity pledges. The Middle Market debt investments generally have floating interest rates at the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) plus a margin, and are typically subject to LIBOR floors.

Warrants

In connection with our LMM debt investments, we occasionally receive equity warrants to establish or increase our equity interest in the portfolio company. Warrants we receive in connection with a debt investment typically require only a nominal cost to exercise, and thus, as a portfolio company appreciates in value, we may achieve additional investment return from this equity interest. We typically structure the warrants to provide provisions protecting our rights as a minority-interest holder, as well as secured or unsecured put rights, or rights to sell such securities back to the portfolio company, upon the occurrence of specified events. In certain cases, we also may obtain registration rights in connection with these equity interests, which may include demand and “piggyback” registration rights.

Direct Equity Investments

We also seek to make direct equity investments to align our interests with key management and stockholders of our LMM portfolio companies, and to allow for participation in the appreciation in the equity values of our LMM portfolio companies. We usually make our direct equity investments in connection with debt investments in our LMM portfolio companies. In addition, we may have both equity warrants and direct equity positions in some of our LMM portfolio companies. We seek to maintain fully diluted equity positions in our LMM portfolio companies of 5% to 50%, and may have controlling equity interests in some instances. We have a value orientation toward our direct equity investments and have traditionally been able to purchase our equity investments at reasonable valuations.

INVESTMENT PROCESS

Our management team’s investment committee is responsible for all aspects of our investment processes. The current members of our investment committee are Dwayne L. Hyzak, our Chief Executive Officer, David Magdol, our President and Chief Investment Officer, and Vincent D. Foster, our Senior Advisor and Chairman of the Board.

The investment processes for LMM, Private Loan and Middle Market portfolio investments are outlined below. Our investment strategy involves a “team” approach, whereby potential transactions are screened by several members of our investment team before being presented to the investment committee. Our investment committee meets on an as-needed basis depending on transaction volume. We generally categorize our investment process into seven distinct stages:

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Deal Generation/Origination

Deal generation and origination is maximized through long-standing and extensive relationships with industry contacts, brokers, commercial and investment bankers, entrepreneurs, service providers such as lawyers, financial advisors and accountants, and current and former portfolio companies and investors. Our investment team has focused its deal generation and origination efforts on LMM, Private Loan and Middle Market investments, and we have developed a reputation as a knowledgeable, reliable and active source of capital and assistance in these markets.

Screening

During the screening process, if a transaction initially meets our investment criteria, we will perform preliminary due diligence, taking into consideration some or all of the following information:

a comprehensive financial model based on quantitative analysis of historical financial performance, projections and pro forma adjustments to determine the estimated internal rate of return;
a brief industry and market analysis;
direct industry expertise imported from other portfolio companies or investors;
preliminary qualitative analysis of the management team’s competencies and backgrounds;
potential investment structures and pricing terms; and
regulatory compliance.

Upon successful screening of a proposed LMM transaction, the investment team makes a recommendation to our investment committee. If our investment committee concurs with moving forward on the proposed LMM transaction, we typically issue a non-binding term sheet or letter of intent to the company. Upon successful screening of a proposed Private Loan transaction, the investment team makes a recommendation to our investment committee. If our investment committee concurs with moving forward on the proposed Private Loan transaction, we typically issue a non-binding term sheet to the company. For Middle Market portfolio investments, the initial term sheet is typically issued by the borrower, through the syndicating bank, and is screened by the investment team which makes a recommendation to our investment committee.

Term Sheet

For proposed LMM transactions, the non-binding term sheet or letter of intent will include the key economic terms based upon our analysis performed during the screening process, as well as a proposed timeline and our qualitative expectation for the transaction. While the term sheet or letter of intent for LMM investments is non-binding, we typically receive an expense deposit in order to move the transaction to the due diligence phase. Upon execution of a term sheet, we begin our formal due diligence process.

For proposed Private Loan transactions, the non-binding term sheet will include the key economic terms based upon our analysis performed during the screening process, as well as a proposed timeline and our qualitative expectation for the transaction. Upon execution of a term sheet, we begin our formal due diligence process.

For proposed Middle Market transactions, the initial term sheet will include key economic terms and other conditions proposed by the borrower and its representatives and the proposed timeline for the investment, which are reviewed by our investment team to determine if such terms and conditions are in agreement with our investment objectives.

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Due Diligence

Due diligence on a proposed LMM investment is performed by a minimum of three of our investment professionals, whom we refer to collectively as the investment team, and certain external resources, who together conduct due diligence to understand the relationships among the prospective portfolio company’s business plan, operations and financial performance. Our LMM due diligence review includes some or all of the following:

site visits with management and key personnel;
detailed review of historical and projected financial statements;
operational reviews and analysis;
interviews with customers and suppliers;
detailed evaluation of company management, including background checks;
review of material contracts;
in-depth industry, market and strategy analysis;
regulatory compliance analysis; and
review by legal, environmental or other consultants, if applicable.

Due diligence on a proposed Private Loan or Middle Market investment is generally performed on materials and information obtained from certain external resources and assessed internally by a minimum of three of our investment professionals, who work to understand the relationships among the prospective portfolio company’s business plan, operations and financial performance using the accumulated due diligence information. Our typical Private Loan and Middle Market due diligence review includes some or all of the following:

detailed review of historical and projected financial statements;
site visits or other discussions with management and key personnel;
in-depth industry, market, operational and strategy analysis;
regulatory compliance analysis; and
detailed review of the company’s management team and their capabilities.

During the due diligence process, significant attention is given to sensitivity analyses and how the company might be expected to perform given downside, base-case and upside scenarios. In certain cases, we may decide not to make an investment based on the results of the diligence process.

Document and Close

Upon completion of a satisfactory due diligence review of a proposed LMM portfolio investment, the investment team presents the findings and a recommendation to our investment committee. The presentation contains information which can include, but is not limited to, the following:

company history and overview;

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transaction overview, history and rationale, including an analysis of transaction strengths and risks;
analysis of key customers and suppliers and key contracts;
a working capital analysis;
an analysis of the company’s business strategy;
a management and key equity investor background check and assessment;
third-party accounting, legal, environmental or other due diligence findings;
investment structure and expected returns;
anticipated sources of repayment and potential exit strategies;
pro forma capitalization and ownership;
an analysis of historical financial results and key financial ratios;
sensitivities to management’s financial projections;
regulatory compliance analysis findings; and
detailed reconciliations of historical to pro forma results.

Upon completion of a satisfactory due diligence review of a proposed Private Loan or Middle Market portfolio investment, the investment team presents the findings and a recommendation to our investment committee. The presentation contains information which can include, but is not limited to, the following:

company history and overview;
transaction overview, history and rationale, including an analysis of transaction strengths and risks;
analysis of key customers and suppliers;
an analysis of the company’s business strategy;
investment structure and expected returns;
anticipated sources of repayment and potential exit strategies;
pro forma capitalization and ownership;
regulatory compliance analysis findings; and
an analysis of historical financial results and key financial ratios.

If any adjustments to the transaction terms or structures are proposed by the investment committee, such changes are made and applicable analyses are updated prior to approval of the transaction. Approval for the transaction must be made by the affirmative vote from a majority of the members of the investment committee, with the committee

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member managing the transaction, if any, abstaining from the vote. Upon receipt of transaction approval, the investment team will re-confirm regulatory compliance, process and finalize all required legal documents, and fund the investment.

Post-Investment

We continuously monitor the status and progress of the portfolio companies. We generally offer managerial assistance to our portfolio companies, giving them access to our investment experience, direct industry expertise and contacts. The same investment team that was involved in the investment process will continue its involvement in the portfolio company post-investment. This provides for continuity of knowledge and allows the investment team to maintain a strong business relationship with key management of our portfolio companies for post-investment assistance and monitoring purposes.

As part of the monitoring process of LMM portfolio investments, the investment team will analyze monthly and quarterly financial statements versus the previous periods and year, review financial projections, meet and discuss issues or opportunities with management, attend board meetings and review all compliance certificates and covenants. While we maintain limited involvement in the ordinary course operations of our LMM portfolio companies, we maintain a higher level of involvement in non-ordinary course financing or strategic activities and any non-performing scenarios.

As part of the monitoring process of our Private Loan and Middle Market portfolio investments, the investment team will analyze monthly and quarterly financial statements versus the previous periods and year, review financial projections and review all compliance certificates and covenants. Depending upon the nature of our Private Loan portfolio investments, our investment team may also attend board meetings, and meet and discuss issues or opportunities with the portfolio company’s management team or private equity owners, however, due to the larger size and nature of our “lender only” relationship with these Private Loan and Middle Market companies in comparison to our LMM portfolio companies, it is not necessary or practical to have as much direct management interface.

We utilize an internally developed investment rating system to rate the performance of each LMM portfolio company and to monitor our expected level of returns on each of our LMM investments in relation to our expectations for the portfolio company. The investment rating system takes into consideration various factors, including, but not limited to, each investment’s expected level of returns, the collectability of our debt investments and the ability to receive a return of the invested capital in our equity investments, comparisons to competitors and other industry participants, the portfolio company’s future outlook and other factors that are deemed to be significant to the portfolio company.

Exit Strategies/Refinancing

While we generally exit most investments through the refinancing or repayment of our debt and redemption or sale of our equity positions, we typically assist our LMM portfolio companies in developing and planning exit opportunities, including any sale or merger of our portfolio companies. We may also assist in the structure, timing, execution and transition of the exit strategy. The refinancing or repayment of Private Loan investments and Middle Market debt investments typically do not require our assistance due to the additional resources available to these larger Private Loan and Middle Market companies.

DETERMINATION OF NET ASSET VALUE AND INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO VALUATION PROCESS

We determine the net asset value per share of our common stock on a quarterly basis. The net asset value per share is equal to our total assets minus total liabilities divided by the total number of shares of common stock outstanding.

We are required to report our investments at fair value. As a result, the most significant determination inherent in the preparation of our consolidated financial statements is the valuation of our Investment Portfolio and the related amounts of unrealized appreciation and depreciation. We follow the provisions of the Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 820, Fair Value Measurements and Disclosures (“ASC 820”). ASC 820 defines fair value, establishes a framework for measuring fair value, establishes a fair value hierarchy based on the

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quality of inputs used to measure fair value and enhances disclosure requirements for fair value measurements. ASC 820 requires us to assume that the portfolio investment is to be sold in the principal market to independent market participants, which may be a hypothetical market. Market participants are defined as buyers and sellers in the principal market that are independent, knowledgeable and willing and able to transact.

We determine in good faith the fair value of our Investment Portfolio pursuant to a valuation policy in accordance with ASC 820 and a valuation process approved by our Board of Directors and in accordance with the 1940 Act. Our valuation policies and processes are intended to provide a consistent basis for determining the fair value of our Investment Portfolio. See “Note B.1. — Valuation of the Investment Portfolio” in the notes to consolidated financial statements for a detailed discussion of our investment portfolio valuation process and procedures.

Due to the inherent uncertainty in the valuation process, our determination of fair value for our Investment Portfolio may differ materially from the values that would have been determined had a ready market for the securities existed. In addition, changes in the market environment, portfolio company performance and other events that may occur over the lives of the investments may cause the gains or losses ultimately realized on these investments to be materially different than the valuations currently assigned. We determine the fair value of each individual investment and record changes in fair value as unrealized appreciation or depreciation.

The 1940 Act requires valuation of a portfolio security at “market value” if market quotations for the security are “readily available.” Portfolio securities for which market quotations are not readily available must be valued at fair value as determined in good faith by the board of directors. In December 2020, the SEC adopted Rule 2a-5 under the 1940 Act, which sets forth the specific requirements for determining fair value in good faith. Specifically, Rule 2a-5, among other things, permits a BDC’s board of directors to designate its executive officers or investment adviser as a valuation designee to determine the fair value for its investment portfolio, subject to the active oversight of the board.

Our Board of Directors adopted policies and procedures pursuant to Rule 2a-5 (the “Valuation Procedures”) and designated a group of our executive officers to serve as the Board’s valuation designee thereunder (the “Valuation Committee”) effective April 1, 2021. Pursuant to Valuation Procedures we undertake a multi-step valuation process each quarter in connection with determining the fair value of our investments.

The following outlines our valuation process as established under the Valuation Procedures:

Our quarterly valuation process begins with an initial valuation of each portfolio investment performed by the valuation team consisting of several professionals who apply the appropriate valuation methodology depending on the type of investment.
Each valuation model is then reviewed by the investment team responsible for monitoring the portfolio investment for accuracy, with any recommended changes reviewed by the valuation team.
Updated valuation conclusions are then reviewed by and discussed with the Valuation Committee at quarterly valuation meetings. Valuation meetings are generally attended by the Valuation Committee, the valuation team, members of investment team responsible for each investment and members of the compliance team. Valuation models and valuation conclusions are adjusted as necessary following such meetings.
A nationally recognized independent financial advisory services firm analyzes and provides observations, recommendations and an assurance certification regarding the determinations of the fair value for the majority of our portfolio companies on a rotational basis.
After incorporating commentary by the Valuation Committee and review of recommendations provided by the independent financial advisory services firm, valuation results are finalized and approved by the Valuation Committee.

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The Board of Directors oversees the valuation process through its Audit Committee in accordance with Rule 2a-5 pursuant to the Valuation Procedures.

Determination of fair value involves subjective judgments and estimates. The notes to our consolidated financial statements refer to the uncertainty with respect to the possible effect of such valuations, and any change in such valuations, on our financial results and financial condition.

COMPETITION

We compete for investments with a number of investment funds (including private equity funds, mezzanine funds, BDCs, and SBICs), as well as traditional financial services companies such as commercial banks and other sources of financing. Many of the entities that compete with us are larger and have more resources available to them. We believe we are able to be competitive with these entities primarily on the basis of our focus toward the underserved LMM, the experience and contacts of our management team, our responsive and efficient investment analysis and decision-making processes, our comprehensive suite of customized financing solutions and the investment terms we offer.

We believe that some of our competitors make senior secured loans, junior secured loans and subordinated debt investments with interest rates and returns that are comparable to or lower than the rates and returns that we target. Therefore, we do not seek to compete primarily on the interest rates and returns that we offer to potential portfolio companies. For additional information concerning the competitive risks we face, see “Risk Factors — Risks Related to Our Business and Structure — We face increasing competition for investment opportunities.”

HUMAN CAPITAL

Our employees are vital to our success as a principal investment firm. As a human-capital intensive business, the long-term success of our company depends on our people. We strive to attract, develop and retain our employees by offering unique employment opportunities, superior advancement and promotion opportunities, attractive compensation and benefit structures and a close-knit culture. The departure of our key investment and other personnel could cause our operating results to suffer.

Our LMM business segment depends heavily on the business owners and management teams of our portfolio companies and their respective employees, contractors and service providers. In our investment process for LMM portfolio investments, the analysis of these individuals is a critical part of our overall investment underwriting process and as a result we carefully review the qualifications and experience of the portfolio company’s business owners and management team and their employment practices. We strive to partner with business owners and management teams whose business practices reflect our core values.

We strive to recruit talented and driven individuals who share our values. We have competitive programs dedicated to attracting and retaining new talent and enhancing the skills of our employees. Our recruiting efforts utilize strong relationships with a variety of sources from which we recruit. Among other opportunities, we offer selected students investment analyst internships, which are expected to lead to permanent roles for high performing and high potential interns. Through our internship program, individuals who want to become investment analysts have the opportunity to see the full investment process from origination to closing, as well as post-closing portfolio management activities. We routinely recruit from within, promoting current employees who have shown the technical ability, attitude, interest and the initiative to take on greater responsibility.

We have designed a compensation structure, including an array of benefit plans and programs, that we believe is attractive to our current and prospective employees. We also offer formal and informal training and mentorship programs that provide employees with access to senior level executives. Through our annual goal setting and performance review processes, our employees are annually evaluated by supervisors and our senior management team to ensure employees continue to develop and advance as expected. We are committed to having a diverse workforce, and an inclusive work environment is a natural extension of our culture. We also maintain a Women’s Initiative that provides employees with opportunities to network internally at Main Street and externally with other women in the financial

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services industry. Our employees have access to several programs designed to enable our employees to balance work, family and family-related situations including flexible working arrangements and parental leave for birth and adoption placement. We are committed to creating and maintaining an atmosphere where all employees feel welcomed, valued, respected and heard so that they feel motivated and encouraged to contribute fully to their careers, our company and our communities.

We seek to maintain a close-knit culture, which we believe is an important factor in employee retention, which is reinforced by our Community Building Committee. Our Community Building Committee, which is composed of a substantial cross section of employees across our organization, develops programs and initiatives that promote an open and inclusive atmosphere and encourage employee outreach with our community, in each case based upon feedback received from our employees. Initiatives generated by our Community Building Committee include employee wellbeing and engagement activities along with volunteer and donation opportunities with local charitable organizations. We encourage you to visit our website for more information about charitable organizations receiving our ongoing support. Nothing on our website, however, shall be deemed incorporated by reference into this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

We monitor and evaluate various turnover and attrition metrics throughout our management team. Our annualized voluntary turnover is relatively low, a record which we attribute to our strong corporate culture, commitment to career development and attractive compensation and benefit programs.

As of December 31, 2021, we had approximately 80 employees, 46 of whom we characterize as investment and portfolio management professionals, and the others include operations professionals and administrative staff. None of our employees are represented by a collective bargaining agreement. As necessary, we will hire additional investment professionals and administrative personnel. All but two of our employees are located in our Houston, Texas office.

REGULATION

Regulation as a Business Development Company

We have elected to be regulated as a BDC under the 1940 Act. The 1940 Act contains prohibitions and restrictions relating to transactions between BDCs and their affiliates, principal underwriters and affiliates of those affiliates or underwriters. The 1940 Act requires that a majority of the members of the board of directors of a BDC be persons other than “interested persons,” as that term is defined in the 1940 Act. In addition, the 1940 Act provides that we may not change the nature of our business so as to cease to be, or to withdraw our election as, a BDC unless approved by a majority of our outstanding voting securities.

The 1940 Act defines “a majority of the outstanding voting securities” as the lesser of (i) 67% or more of the voting securities present at a meeting if the holders of more than 50% of our outstanding voting securities are present or represented by proxy or (ii) more than 50% of our outstanding voting securities.

Qualifying Assets

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

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

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(3)Securities purchased in a private transaction from a U.S. issuer that is not an investment company or from an affiliated person of the issuer, or in transactions incident thereto, if the issuer is in bankruptcy and subject to reorganization or if the issuer, immediately prior to the purchase of its securities was unable to meet its obligations as they came due without material assistance other than conventional lending or financing arrangements.
(4)Securities of an eligible portfolio company purchased from any person in a private transaction if there is no ready market for such securities and we already own 60% of the outstanding equity of the eligible portfolio company.
(5)Securities received in exchange for or distributed on or with respect to securities described in (1) through (4) above, or pursuant to the exercise of warrants or rights relating to such securities.
(6)Cash, cash equivalents, U.S. government securities or high-quality debt securities maturing in one year or less from the time of investment.

In addition, a BDC must have been organized and have its principal place of business in the United States and must be operated for the purpose of making investments in the types of securities described in (1), (2) or (3) above.

An eligible portfolio company is defined in the 1940 Act as any issuer which:

(a)is organized under the laws of, and has its principal place of business in, the United States;
(b)is not an investment company (other than a small business investment company wholly owned by the BDC) or a company that would be an investment company but for certain exclusions under the 1940 Act; and
(c)satisfies any of the following:
(i)does not have any class of securities that is traded on a national securities exchange or has a class of securities listed on a national securities exchange but has an aggregate market value of outstanding voting and non-voting common equity of less than $250 million;
(ii)is controlled by a BDC or a group of companies including a BDC and the BDC has an affiliated person who is a director of the eligible portfolio company; or
(iii)is a small and solvent company having total assets of not more than $4 million and capital and surplus of not less than $2 million.

Managerial Assistance to Portfolio Companies

As noted above, a BDC must be operated for the purpose of making investments in the type of securities described in (1), (2) or (3) above under the heading entitled “— Qualifying Assets.” In addition, BDCs must generally offer to make available to such issuer of the securities (other than small and solvent companies described above) significant managerial assistance; except that, where we purchase such securities in conjunction with one or more other persons acting together, one of the other persons in the group may make available such managerial assistance. Making available managerial assistance means, among other things, any arrangement whereby the BDC, through its directors, officers or employees, offers to provide, and, if accepted, does so provide, significant guidance and counsel concerning the management, operations or business objectives and policies of a portfolio company.

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Temporary Investments

Pending investment in “qualifying assets,” as described above, our investments may consist of cash, cash equivalents, U.S. government securities and high-quality debt securities maturing in one year or less from time of investment therein, so that 70% of our assets are qualifying assets.

Senior Securities

Under the provisions of the 1940 Act, we are permitted, as a BDC, to issue senior securities only in amounts such that our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, equals at least 200% of all debt and/or senior stock immediately after each such issuance. However, 2018 legislation modified the 1940 Act by allowing a BDC to increase the maximum amount of leverage it may incur from an asset coverage ratio of 200% to an asset coverage ratio of 150%, if certain requirements are met. We are permitted to increase our leverage capacity if stockholders representing at least a majority of the votes cast, when quorum is met, approve a proposal to do so. If we receive such stockholder approval, we would be permitted to increase our leverage capacity on the first day after such approval. Alternatively, we may increase the maximum amount of leverage we may incur to an asset coverage ratio of 150% if the “required majority” of our independent directors as defined in Section 57(o) of the 1940 Act approve such increase with such approval becoming effective after one year. On February 23, 2022, our Board of Directors unanimously approved the application of the modified asset coverage requirements set described above. As a result, our asset coverage requirement for senior securities will be changed from 200% to 150%, effective February 23, 2023. The Board has also recommended that a proposal to approve the application of the 150% minimum asset coverage requirement be submitted for approval at our 2022 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. If stockholders approve this proposal, the Company would become subject to the 150% minimum asset coverage ratio the day after the 2022 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.

We have received exemptive relief from the SEC to permit us to exclude the SBA-guaranteed debentures of the Funds from our 200% asset coverage test under the 1940 Act. As such, our ratio of total consolidated assets to outstanding indebtedness may be less than 200%. This provides us with increased investment flexibility but also increases our risks related to leverage.

In addition, while any senior securities remain outstanding (other than senior securities representing indebtedness issued in consideration of a privately arranged loan which is not intended to be publicly distributed), we must generally include provisions in the documents governing new senior securities to prohibit any cash distribution to our stockholders or the repurchase of such securities or shares unless we meet the applicable asset coverage ratios at the time of the distribution or repurchase. We may also borrow amounts up to 5% of the value of our total assets for temporary or emergency purposes without regard to asset coverage. For a discussion of the risks associated with leverage, see “Risk Factors — Risks Related to Leverage,” including, without limitation, “— Because we borrow money, the potential for gain or loss on amounts invested in us is magnified and may increase the risk of investing in us.”

Common Stock

We are not generally able to issue and sell our common stock at a price below net asset value per share. We may, however, sell our common stock, warrants, options or rights to acquire our common stock, at a price below the current net asset value of the common stock if our Board of Directors determines that such sale is in our best interests and that of our stockholders, and our stockholders approve such sale. In any such case, the price at which our securities are to be issued and sold may not be less than a price which, in the determination of our Board of Directors, closely approximates the market value of such securities (less any distributing commission or discount). We did not seek stockholder authorization to sell shares of our common stock below the then current net asset value per share of our common stock at our 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, and have not sought such stockholder authorization since 2012, because our common stock price had been trading significantly above the net asset value per share of our common stock since 2011. Our stockholders have previously approved a proposal that authorizes us to issue securities to subscribe to, convert to, or purchase shares of our common stock in one or more offerings. We may also make rights offerings to our stockholders at prices per share less than the net asset value per share, subject to applicable requirements of the 1940 Act. See “Risk Factors — Risks Related to our Securities — Stockholders may incur dilution if we sell

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shares of our common stock in one or more offerings at prices below the then current net asset value per share of our common stock or issue securities to subscribe to, convert to or purchase shares of our common stock.”

Code of Ethics

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

Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures

We vote proxies relating to our portfolio securities in a manner in which we believe is consistent with the best interest of our stockholders. We review on a case-by-case basis each proposal submitted to a stockholder vote to determine its impact on the portfolio securities held by us. Although we generally vote against proposals that we expect would have a negative impact on our portfolio securities, we may vote for such a proposal if there exists compelling long-term reasons to do so.

Our proxy voting decisions are made by the investment team which is responsible for monitoring each of our investments. To ensure that our vote is not the product of a conflict of interest, we require that anyone involved in the decision-making process discloses to our chief compliance officer any potential conflict regarding a proxy vote of which he or she is aware.

Stockholders may obtain information, without charge, regarding how we voted proxies with respect to our portfolio securities by making a written request for proxy voting information to: Chief Compliance Officer, 1300 Post Oak Boulevard, 8th Floor, Houston, Texas 77056.

Other 1940 Act Regulations

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

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

We are required to adopt and implement written policies and procedures reasonably designed to prevent violation of the federal securities laws, review these policies and procedures no less frequently than annually for their adequacy and the effectiveness of their implementation, and to designate a chief compliance officer to be responsible for administering the policies and procedures.

We may be periodically examined by the SEC for compliance with the 1940 Act.

Small Business Investment Company Regulations

Each of the Funds is licensed by the SBA to operate as a SBIC under Section 301(c) of the Small Business Investment Act of 1958. MSMF obtained its SBIC license in 2002 and MSC III obtained its license in 2016.

SBICs are designed to stimulate the flow of private capital to eligible small businesses. Under SBIC regulations, SBICs may make loans to eligible small businesses, invest in the equity securities of such businesses and

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provide them with consulting and advisory services. Each of the Funds has typically invested in secured debt, acquired warrants and/or made equity investments in qualifying small businesses.

The Funds are subject to regulation and oversight by the SBA, including requirements with respect to reporting financial information, such as the extent of capital impairment if applicable, on a regular basis and annual examinations conducted by the SBA. The SBA, as a creditor, will have a superior claim to the Funds’ assets over our securities holders in the event the Funds are liquidated or the SBA exercises its remedies under the SBA-guaranteed debentures issued by the Funds upon an event of default.

Under present SBIC regulations, eligible small businesses generally include businesses that (together with their affiliates) have a tangible net worth not exceeding $19.5 million or have average annual net income after U.S. federal income taxes not exceeding $6.5 million (average net income to be computed without benefit of any carryover loss) for the two most recent fiscal years. In addition, an SBIC must devote 25% of its investment activity to “smaller” enterprises as defined by the SBA. A smaller enterprise generally includes businesses that have a tangible net worth not exceeding $6 million and have average annual net income after U.S. federal income taxes not exceeding $2 million (average net income to be computed without benefit of any net carryover loss) for the two most recent fiscal years. SBIC regulations also provide alternative size standard criteria to determine eligibility for designation as an eligible small business or smaller enterprise, which criteria depend on the primary industry in which the business is engaged and are based on such factors as the number of employees and gross revenue. However, once an SBIC has invested in a company, it generally may continue to make follow-on investments in the company, regardless of the size of the portfolio company at the time of the follow-on investment, up to the time of the portfolio company’s initial public offering.

The SBA prohibits an SBIC from providing funds to small businesses for certain purposes, such as relending and investment outside the United States, to businesses engaged in certain prohibited industries, and to certain “passive” (non-operating) companies. In addition, without prior SBA approval, an SBIC may not invest an amount equal to more than approximately 30% of the SBIC’s regulatory capital, as defined by the SBA, in any one portfolio company and its affiliates.

The SBA places certain limitations on the financing terms of investments by SBICs in portfolio companies (such as limiting the permissible interest rate on debt securities held by an SBIC in a portfolio company). Included in such limitations are SBIC regulations which allow an SBIC to exercise control over a small business for a period of seven years from the date on which the SBIC initially acquires its control position. This control period may be extended for an additional period of time with the SBA’s prior written approval.

The SBA restricts the ability of an SBIC to lend money to any of its officers, directors and employees or to invest in affiliates thereof. The SBA also 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% or more of a class of equity of a licensed SBIC. A “change of control” is any event which would result in the transfer of the power, direct or indirect, to direct the management and policies of an SBIC, whether through ownership, contractual arrangements or otherwise.

The SBIC licenses allow the Funds to incur leverage by issuing SBA-guaranteed debentures, subject to the issuance of a capital commitment and certain approvals by the SBA and customary procedures. SBA-guaranteed debentures carry long-term fixed rates that are generally lower than rates on comparable bank and other debt. Under applicable regulations, an SBIC may generally have outstanding debentures guaranteed by the SBA in amounts up to twice the amount of the privately raised funds of the SBIC. Debentures guaranteed by the SBA have a maturity of ten years, require semiannual payments of interest, do not require any principal payments prior to maturity, and are not subject to prepayment penalties. As of December 31, 2021, we, through the Funds, had $350.0 million of outstanding SBA-guaranteed debentures, which had an annual weighted-average interest rate of approximately 2.9%.

SBICs must invest idle funds that are not being used to make loans in investments permitted under SBIC regulations in the following limited types of securities: (i) direct obligations of, or obligations guaranteed as to principal and interest by, the United States government, which mature within 15 months from the date of the investment; (ii) repurchase agreements with federally insured institutions with a maturity of seven days or less (and the securities

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underlying the repurchase obligations must be direct obligations of or guaranteed by the federal government); (iii) certificates of deposit with a maturity of one year or less, issued by a federally insured institution; (iv) a deposit account in a federally insured institution that is subject to a withdrawal restriction of one year or less; (v) a checking account in a federally insured institution; or (vi) a reasonable petty cash fund.

SBICs are periodically examined and audited by the SBA’s staff to determine their compliance with SBIC regulations and are periodically required to file certain financial information and other documents with the SBA.

Neither the SBA nor the U.S. government or any of its agencies or officers has approved any ownership interest to be issued by us or any obligation that we or any of our subsidiaries may incur.

Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Sarbanes-Oxley Act Compliance

We are subject to the reporting and disclosure requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”), including the filing of quarterly, annual and current reports, proxy statements and other required items. In addition, we are subject to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which imposes a wide variety of regulatory requirements on publicly-held companies and their insiders. For example:

pursuant to Rule 13a-14 of the Exchange Act, our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer are required to certify the accuracy of the consolidated financial statements contained in our periodic reports;
pursuant to Item 307 of Regulation S-K, our periodic reports are required to disclose our conclusions about the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures;
pursuant to Rule 13a-15 of the Exchange Act, our management is required to prepare a report regarding its assessment of our internal control over financial reporting, and our independent registered public accounting firm separately audits our internal control over financial reporting; and
pursuant to Item 308 of Regulation S-K and Rule 13a-15 of the Exchange Act, our periodic reports must disclose whether there were significant changes in our internal control over financial reporting or in other factors that could significantly affect these controls subsequent to the date of their evaluation, including any corrective actions with regard to significant deficiencies and material weaknesses.

The New York Stock Exchange Corporate Governance Regulations

The New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) has adopted corporate governance regulations that listed companies must comply with. We believe we are in compliance with such corporate governance listing standards. We intend to monitor our compliance with all future listing standards and to take all necessary actions to ensure that we stay in compliance.

Investment Adviser Regulations

The External Investment Manager, which is wholly owned by us, is subject to regulation under the Advisers Act. The Advisers Act establishes, among other things, recordkeeping and reporting requirements, disclosure requirements, limitations on transactions between the adviser’s account and an advisory client’s account, limitations on transactions between the accounts of advisory clients, and general anti-fraud prohibitions. The External Investment Manager may be examined by the SEC from time to time for compliance with the Advisers Act.

Taxation as a Regulated Investment Company

MSCC has elected to be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code. MSCC’s taxable income includes the taxable income generated by MSCC and certain of its subsidiaries, including the Funds, which are treated as disregarded entities for tax purposes. As a RIC, MSCC generally will not pay corporate-level

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U.S. federal income taxes on any income that we distribute to our stockholders as dividends. To qualify as a RIC, we must, among other things, meet certain source-of-income and asset diversification requirements (as described below). In addition, in order to obtain RIC tax treatment, we must distribute to our stockholders, for each taxable year, at least 90% of our “investment company taxable income,” which is generally our net ordinary taxable income plus the excess of realized net short-term capital gains over realized net long-term capital losses, and 90% of our tax-exempt income (the “Annual Distribution Requirement”). As part of maintaining RIC status, undistributed taxable income (subject to a 4% non-deductible U.S. federal excise tax) pertaining to a given fiscal year may be distributed up to 12 months subsequent to the end of that fiscal year, provided such dividends are declared on or prior to the later of (i) filing of the U.S. federal income tax return for the applicable fiscal year or (ii) the fifteenth day of the ninth month following the close of the year in which such taxable income was generated.

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

We are subject to a 4% non-deductible U.S. federal excise tax on certain undistributed income unless we distribute in a timely manner an amount at least equal to the sum of (1) 98% of our net ordinary taxable income for each calendar year, (2) 98.2% of our capital gain net income for the one-year period ending December 31 in that calendar year and (3) any taxable income recognized, but not distributed, in preceding years on which we paid no U.S. federal income tax (the “Excise Tax Avoidance Requirement”). Dividends declared and paid by us in a year will generally differ from taxable income for that year as such dividends may include the distribution of current year taxable income, exclude amounts carried over into the following year, and include the distribution of prior year taxable income carried over into and distributed in the current year. For amounts we carry over into the following year, we will be required to pay the 4% U.S. federal excise tax on the excess of 98% of our annual investment company taxable income and 98.2% of our capital gain net income over our distributions for the year.

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

continue to qualify as a BDC under the 1940 Act at all times during each taxable year;
derive in each taxable year at least 90% of our gross income from dividends, interest, payments with respect to certain securities, loans, gains from the sale of stock or other securities, net income from certain “qualified publicly traded partnerships,” or other income derived with respect to our business of investing in such stock or securities (the “90% Income Test”); and
diversify our holdings so that at the end of each quarter of the taxable year:
at least 50% of the value of our assets consists of cash, cash equivalents, U.S. government securities, securities of other RICs, and other securities if such other securities of any one issuer do not represent more than 5% of the value of our assets or more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of the issuer; and
no more than 25% of the value of our assets is invested in the securities, other than U.S. government securities or securities of other RICs, (i) of one issuer, (ii) of two or more issuers that are controlled, as determined under applicable Code rules, by us and that are engaged in the same or similar or related trades or businesses or (iii) of certain “qualified publicly traded partnerships” (collectively, the “Diversification Tests”).

In order to comply with the 90% Income Test, we formed the Taxable Subsidiaries as wholly owned taxable subsidiaries for the primary purpose of permitting us to own equity interests in portfolio companies which are “pass-through” entities for tax purposes. Absent the taxable status of the Taxable Subsidiaries, a portion of the gross income from such portfolio companies would flow directly to us for purposes of the 90% Income Test. To the extent such income did not consist of income derived from securities, such as dividends and interest, it could jeopardize our ability

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to qualify as a RIC and, therefore, cause us to incur significant U.S. federal income taxes. The Taxable Subsidiaries are consolidated with Main Street for generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America (“U.S. GAAP”) purposes and are included in our consolidated financial statements, and the portfolio investments held by the Taxable Subsidiaries are included in our consolidated financial statements. The Taxable Subsidiaries are not consolidated with MSCC for income tax purposes and may generate income tax expense, or benefit, as a result of their ownership of the portfolio investments. The income tax expense, or benefit, if any, and any related tax assets and liabilities, are reflected in our consolidated financial statements.

The External Investment Manager is accounted for as a portfolio investment for U.S. GAAP purposes and is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of MSCC, owned through a Taxable Subsidiary. The External Investment Manager is owned by a Taxable Subsidiary in order to comply with the 90% Income Test, since the External Investment Manager’s income would likely not consist of income derived from securities, such as dividends and interest, and as result, it could jeopardize our ability to qualify as a RIC and, therefore, cause us to incur significant U.S. federal income taxes. As a result of its ownership by a Taxable Subsidiary, the External Investment Manager is a disregarded entity for tax purposes. The External Investment Manager has also entered into a tax sharing agreement with its Taxable Subsidiary owner. Since the External Investment Manager is accounted for as a portfolio investment of MSCC and is not included as a consolidated subsidiary of MSCC in MSCC’s consolidated financial statements, and as a result of the tax sharing agreement with its Taxable Subsidiary owner, for its stand-alone financial reporting purposes the External Investment Manager is treated as if it is taxed at normal corporate tax rates based on its taxable income and, as a result of its activities, may generate income tax expense or benefit. The income tax expense, or benefit, if any, and the related tax assets and liabilities, of the External Investment Manager are reflected in the External Investment Manager’s separate financial statements.

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

Although we do not presently expect to do so, we are authorized to borrow funds and to sell assets in order to satisfy distribution requirements. However, under the 1940 Act, we are not permitted to make distributions to our stockholders in certain circumstances while our debt obligations and other senior securities are outstanding unless certain “asset coverage” tests are met. See “Regulation — Regulation as a Business Development Company — Senior Securities.” Moreover, our ability to dispose of assets to meet our distribution requirements may be limited by (1) the illiquid nature of our portfolio and/or (2) other requirements relating to our status as a RIC, including the Diversification Tests. If we dispose of assets in order to meet the Annual Distribution Requirement or the Excise Tax Avoidance Requirement, we may make such dispositions at times that, from an investment standpoint, are not advantageous.

We may distribute taxable dividends that are payable in part in our stock. Under certain applicable provisions of the Code and the U.S. Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) regulations, distributions payable by us in cash or in shares of stock (at the stockholders election) would satisfy the Annual Distribution Requirement. The Internal Revenue Service has issued guidance indicating that this rule will apply even where the total amount of cash that may be distributed is limited to no more than 20% of the total distribution. According to this guidance, if too many stockholders elect to receive their distributions in cash, each such stockholder would receive a pro rata share of the total cash to be distributed and would receive the remainder of their distribution in shares of stock. Taxable stockholders receiving such dividends will be required to include the full amount of the dividend (whether received in cash, our stock, or a combination thereof) as (i) ordinary income (including any qualified dividend income that, in the case of a noncorporate stockholder, may be eligible for the same reduced maximum tax rate applicable to long-term capital gains to the extent such distribution is properly reported by us as qualified dividend income and such stockholder satisfies certain minimum

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holding period requirements with respect to our stock) or (ii) long-term capital gain (to the extent such distribution is properly reported 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 dividends in excess of any cash received. If a U.S. stockholder sells the stock it receives in order to pay this tax, the sales proceeds may be less than the amount included in income with respect to the dividend, 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. tax with respect to such dividends, including in respect of all or a portion of such dividend 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 dividends, it may put downward pressure on the trading price of our stock.

Failure to Qualify as a RIC

If we fail to satisfy the 90% Income Test or the Diversification Tests for any taxable year, we may nevertheless continue to qualify as a RIC for such year if certain relief provisions are applicable (which may, among other things, require us to pay certain corporate-level U.S. federal taxes or to dispose of certain assets).

If we were unable to qualify for treatment as a RIC and the foregoing relief provisions are not applicable, we would be subject to tax on all of our taxable income at regular corporate rates. We would not be able to deduct distributions to stockholders, nor would they be required to be made. If we were subject to tax on all of our taxable income at regular corporate rates, then distributions we make after being subject to such tax would be taxable to our stockholders and, provided certain holding period and other requirements were met, could qualify for treatment as “qualified dividend income” eligible for the maximum 20% rate (plus a 3.8% Medicare surtax, if applicable) applicable to qualified dividends to the extent of our current and accumulated earnings and profits. Subject to certain limitations under the Code, corporate taxpayers would be eligible for a dividends-received deduction on distributions they receive. Distributions in excess of our current and accumulated earnings and profits would be treated first as a return of capital to the extent of the stockholder’s tax basis, and any remaining distributions would be treated as a capital gain. To requalify as a RIC in a subsequent taxable year, we would be required to satisfy the RIC qualification requirements for that year and dispose of any earnings and profits from any year in which we failed to qualify as a RIC. Subject to a limited exception applicable to RICs that qualified as such under Subchapter M of the Code for at least one year prior to disqualification and that requalify as a RIC no later than the second year following the nonqualifying year, we could be subject to tax on any unrealized net built-in gains in the assets held by us during the period in which we failed to qualify as a RIC that are recognized within the subsequent five years, unless we made a special election to pay corporate-level U.S. federal income tax on such built-in gain at the time of our requalification as a RIC.

Item 1A. Risk Factors

Investing in our securities involves a number of significant risks. In addition to the other information contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, you should consider carefully the following information before making an investment in our securities. The risks set out below are not the only risks we face. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or not presently deemed material by us might also impair our operations and performance. If any of the following events occur, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected. In such case, our net asset value, the trading price of our common stock and the value of our other securities could decline, and you may lose all or part of your investment.

SUMMARY OF RISK FACTORS

The following is a summary of the principal risk factors associated with an investment in our securities. Further details regarding each risk included in the below summary list can be found further below.

Risks Related to our Business and Structure

Because our Investment Portfolio is recorded at fair value, there is and will continue to be uncertainty as to the value of our portfolio investments.
Our financial condition and results of operations depends on our ability to effectively manage and deploy capital.
We face increasing competition for investment opportunities.

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We are dependent upon our key investment personnel for our future success.
Our success depends on attracting and retaining qualified personnel in a competitive environment.
Our business model depends to a significant extent upon strong referral relationships.
Our Board of Directors may change our operating policies and strategies without prior notice or stockholder approval, the effects of which may be adverse.
We may not be able to pay distributions to our stockholders, our distributions may not grow over time, and a portion of distributions paid to our stockholders may be a return of capital, which is a distribution of the stockholders’ invested capital.

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Risks Related to our Investments

Our investments in portfolio companies involve higher levels of risk, and we could lose all or part of our investment.
We may be exposed to higher risks with respect to our investments that include original issue discount or PIK interest.
The lack of liquidity in our investments may adversely affect our business.
We may not have the funds or ability to make additional investments in our portfolio companies.
There may be circumstances where our debt investments could be subordinated to claims of other creditors or we could be subject to lender liability claims.
We generally will not control our portfolio companies.
Defaults by our portfolio companies will harm our operating results.
Any unrealized depreciation we experience in our portfolio may be an indication of future realized losses, which could reduce our income and gains available for distribution.
Prepayments of our debt investments by our portfolio companies could adversely impact our results of operations and reduce our return on equity.
Changes relating to the LIBOR calculation process, the phase-out of LIBOR and the use of replacement rates for LIBOR may adversely affect the value of our portfolio securities.
We are subject to risks associated with the current interest rate environment and changes in interest rates will affect our cost of capital and net investment income and the value of our investments.
We may be subject to risks associated with “covenant-lite” loans.
Changes in interest rates may affect our cost of capital, net investment income.
We may not realize gains from our equity investments.

Risks Related to Leverage

Because we borrow money, the potential for gain or loss on amounts invested in us is magnified and may increase the risk of investing in us.
All of our assets are subject to security interests under our senior securities and if we default on our obligations under our senior securities, we may suffer adverse consequences, including foreclosure on our assets.
We have received Board approval that will allow us to incur additional leverage, which could increase the risk of investing in our securities.

Risks Related to our Investment Management Activities

Our executive officers and employees, through the External Investment Manager, may manage other investment funds that operate in the same or a related line of business as we do, and may invest in such funds, which may result in significant conflicts of interest.
We, through the External Investment Manager, derive revenues from managing third-party funds pursuant to management agreements that may be terminated.

Risks Related to BDCs

Failure to comply with applicable laws or regulations and changes in laws or regulations governing our operations may adversely affect our business or cause us to alter our business strategy.
Operating under the constraints imposed on us as a BDC and RIC may hinder the achievement of our investment objectives.

Risks Related to our Securities

Investing in our securities may involve a high degree of risk.
Shares of closed-end investment companies, including BDCs, may trade at a discount to their net asset value.
Our outstanding unsecured notes (the “Notes”) are unsecured and therefore effectively subordinated to any current or future secured indebtedness.
If we default on our obligations to pay our other indebtedness, we may not be able to make payments on the Notes.

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Risks Related to our SBIC Funds

We, through the Funds, issue debt securities guaranteed by the SBA and sold in the capital markets. As a result of its guarantee of the debt securities, the SBA has fixed dollar claims on the assets of the Funds that are superior to the claims of our securities holders.

Federal Income Tax Risks

We will be subject to corporate-level U.S. federal income tax if we are unable to qualify as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code.
We may have difficulty paying the distributions required to maintain RIC tax treatment under the Code if we recognize income before or without receiving cash representing such income.

General Risk Factors

Deterioration in the economy and financial markets could impair our portfolio companies’ financial positions and operating results and affect the industries in which we invest, which could, in turn, harm our operating results.
We are highly dependent on information systems and systems failures could significantly disrupt our business, which may, in turn, negatively affect the market price of our common stock and our ability to pay dividends.

RISKS RELATED TO OUR BUSINESS AND STRUCTURE

Because our Investment Portfolio is recorded at fair value, there is and will continue to be uncertainty as to the value of our portfolio investments.

Under the 1940 Act, we are required to carry our portfolio investments at market value or, if there is no readily available market value, at fair value as determined by us pursuant to procedures established and overseen by our Board of Directors. Typically, there is not a public market for the securities of the privately held LMM or Private Loan companies in which we invest. As a result, we value these securities quarterly at fair value based on inputs from management and a nationally recognized independent financial advisory services firm (on a rotational basis) pursuant to Valuation Procedures approved by our Board of Directors. In addition, the market for investments in Middle Market companies is generally not a liquid market, and therefore, we primarily use a combination of observable inputs in non-active markets for which sufficient observable inputs were not available to determine the fair value of these investments and unobservable inputs, pursuant to our Valuation Procedures. See “Note B.1. — Valuation of the Investment Portfolio” in the notes to consolidated financial statements for a more detailed description of our investment portfolio valuation process and procedures.

The determination of fair value and consequently, the amount of unrealized gains and losses in our portfolio, are to a certain degree, subjective and dependent on a valuation process approved by our Board of Directors. Certain factors that may be considered in determining the fair value of our investments include external events, such as private mergers, sales and acquisitions involving comparable companies. Because such valuations, and particularly valuations of securities in privately held companies, are inherently uncertain, may fluctuate over short periods of time and may be based on estimates, our determinations of fair value may differ materially from the values that would have been used if a ready market for these securities existed. Due to this uncertainty, our fair value determinations may cause our net asset value on a given date to materially understate or overstate the value that we may ultimately realize on one or more of our investments. As a result, investors purchasing our securities based on an overstated net asset value would pay a higher price than the value of our investments might warrant. Conversely, investors selling our securities during a period in which the net asset value understates the value of our investments may receive a lower price for their securities than the value of our investments might warrant.

Our financial condition and results of operations depends on our ability to effectively manage and deploy capital.

Our ability to achieve our investment objective of maximizing our portfolio’s total return by generating current income from our debt investments and current income and capital appreciation from our equity and equity-related investments, including warrants, convertible securities and other rights to acquire equity securities in a portfolio company, depends on our ability to effectively manage and deploy capital, which depends, in turn, on our investment

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team’s ability to identify, evaluate and monitor, and our ability to finance and invest in, companies that meet our investment criteria.

Accomplishing our investment objective on a cost-effective basis is largely a function of our investment team’s handling of the investment process, its ability to provide competent, attentive and efficient services and our access to investments offering acceptable terms. In addition to monitoring the performance of our existing investments, members of our investment team are also called upon, from time to time, to provide managerial assistance to some of our portfolio companies. These demands on their time may distract them or slow the rate of investment.

Even if we are able to grow and build upon our investment operations, any failure to manage our growth effectively could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. The results of our operations will depend on many factors, including the availability of opportunities for investment, readily accessible short and long-term funding alternatives in the financial markets and economic conditions. Furthermore, if we cannot successfully operate our business or implement our investment policies and strategies as described herein, it could negatively impact our ability to pay dividends.

We face increasing competition for investment opportunities.

We compete for investments with other investment funds (including private equity funds, debt funds, mezzanine funds, collateralized loan obligation funds, or CLOs, BDCs and SBICs), as well as traditional financial services companies such as commercial banks and other sources of funding. Many of our competitors are substantially larger and have considerably greater financial, technical and marketing resources than we do. For example, some competitors may have a lower cost of capital and access to funding sources that are not available to us. In addition, some of our competitors may have higher risk tolerances or different risk assessments than we have. These characteristics could allow our competitors to consider a wider variety of investments, establish more relationships and offer better pricing and more flexible structuring than we are able to do. We may lose investment opportunities if we do not match our competitors’ pricing, terms and structure. If we are forced to match our competitors’ pricing, terms and structure, we may not be able to achieve acceptable returns on our investments or may bear substantial risk of capital loss. A significant part of our competitive advantage stems from the fact that the market for investments in LMM companies is underserved by traditional commercial banks and other financing sources. A significant increase in the number and/or the size of our competitors in this target market could force us to accept less attractive investment terms. Furthermore, many of our competitors are not subject to the regulatory restrictions that the 1940 Act imposes on us as a BDC.

We are dependent upon our key investment personnel for our future success.

We depend on the members of our investment team, particularly Dwayne L. Hyzak, David L. Magdol, Jesse E. Morris, K. Colton Braud, III, Damian T. Burke, Samuel A. Cashiola, Diego Fernandez and Nicholas T. Meserve for the identification, review, final selection, structuring, closing and monitoring of our investments. These employees have significant investment expertise and relationships that we rely on to implement our business plan. Although we have entered into non-compete arrangements with all of our executive officers and other key employees, we cannot guarantee that any employees will remain employed with us. If we lose the services of the individuals mentioned above, we may not be able to operate our business as we expect, and our ability to compete could be harmed, which could cause our operating results to suffer.

Our success depends on attracting and retaining qualified personnel in a competitive environment.

Our growth will require that we retain new investment and administrative personnel in a competitive market. Our ability to attract and retain personnel with the requisite credentials, experience and skills depends on several factors including, but not limited to, our ability to offer competitive wages, benefits and professional growth opportunities. Many of the entities, including investment funds (such as private equity funds, debt funds and mezzanine funds) and traditional financial services companies, with which we compete for experienced personnel have greater resources than we have.

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The competitive environment for qualified personnel may require us to take certain measures to ensure that we are able to attract and retain experienced personnel. Such measures may include increasing the attractiveness of our overall compensation packages, altering the structure of our compensation packages through the use of additional forms of compensation, or other steps. The inability to attract and retain experienced personnel would have a material adverse effect on our business.

Our business model depends to a significant extent upon strong referral relationships.

We expect that members of our management team will maintain their relationships with intermediaries, financial institutions, investment bankers, commercial bankers, financial advisors, attorneys, accountants, consultants and other individuals within our network, and we will rely to a significant extent upon these relationships to provide us with potential investment opportunities. If our management team fails to maintain its existing relationships or develop new relationships with sources of investment opportunities, we will not be able to grow our Investment Portfolio. In addition, individuals 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 generate investment opportunities for us.

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

Our Board of Directors has the authority to modify or waive our current operating policies, investment criteria and strategies without prior notice and without stockholder approval. We cannot predict the effect any changes to our current operating policies, investment criteria and strategies would have on our business, net asset value, operating results and value of our stock. However, the effects might be adverse, which could negatively impact our ability to pay interest and principal payments to holders of our debt instruments and dividends to our stockholders and cause our investors to lose all or part of their investment in us.

We may not be able to pay distributions to our stockholders, our distributions may not grow over time, and a portion of distributions paid to our stockholders may be a return of capital, which is a distribution of the stockholders’ invested capital.

We intend to pay distributions to our stockholders out of assets legally available for distribution. We cannot assure you that we will achieve investment results that will allow us to pay a specified level of cash distributions, previously projected distributions for future periods, or year-to-year increases in cash distributions. Our ability to pay distributions might be adversely affected by, among other things, the impact of one or more of the risk factors described herein. In addition, the inability to satisfy the asset coverage test applicable to us as a BDC could limit our ability to pay distributions. All distributions will be paid at the discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend on our earnings, our financial condition, maintenance of our RIC status, compliance with applicable BDC regulations, compliance with our debt covenants and such other factors as our Board of Directors may deem relevant from time to time. We cannot assure you that we will pay distributions to our stockholders in the future.

When we make distributions, we will be required to determine the extent to which such distributions are paid out of current or accumulated taxable earnings, recognized capital gains or capital. To the extent there is a return of capital, investors will be required to reduce their basis in our stock for U.S. federal income tax purposes, which may result in higher tax liability when the shares are sold, even if they have not increased in value or have lost value. In addition, any return of capital will be net of any sales load and offering expenses associated with sales of shares of our common stock. In the future, our distributions may include a return of capital.

We are subject to risks related to corporate social responsibility.

Our business faces increasing public scrutiny related to environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) activities. We risk damage to our brand and reputation if we fail to act responsibly in a number of areas, such as diversity and inclusion, environmental stewardship, support for local communities, corporate governance and transparency and considering ESG factors in our investment processes. Adverse incidents with respect to ESG activities could impact the

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value of our brand, the cost of our operations and relationships with investors, all of which could adversely affect our business and results of operations. Additionally, new regulatory initiatives related to ESG could adversely affect our business.

RISKS RELATED TO OUR INVESTMENTS

Our investments in portfolio companies involve higher levels of risk, and we could lose all or part of our investment.

Investing in our portfolio companies exposes us indirectly to a number of significant risks. Among other things, these companies:

may have limited financial resources and may be unable to meet their obligations under their debt instruments that we hold, which may be accompanied by a deterioration in the value of any collateral and a reduction in the likelihood of us realizing any guarantees from subsidiaries or affiliates of our portfolio companies that we may have obtained in connection with our investment, as well as a corresponding decrease in the value of the equity components of our investments;
may have shorter operating histories, narrower product lines, smaller market shares and/or significant customer concentrations than larger businesses, which tend to render them more vulnerable to competitors’ actions and market conditions, as well as general economic downturns;
are more likely to depend on the management talents and efforts of a small group of persons; therefore, the death, disability, resignation, termination or significant under-performance of one or more of these persons could have a material adverse impact on our portfolio company and, in turn, on us;
generally have less predictable operating results, may from time to time be parties to litigation, may be engaged in rapidly changing businesses with products subject to a substantial risk of obsolescence, and may require substantial additional capital to support their operations, finance expansion or maintain their competitive position; and
generally have less publicly available information about their businesses, operations and financial condition. We are required to rely on the ability of our management team and investment professionals to obtain adequate information to evaluate the potential returns from investing in these companies. If we are unable to uncover all material information about these companies, we may not make a fully informed investment decision, and may lose all or part of our investment.

In addition, in the course of providing significant managerial assistance to certain of our portfolio companies, certain of our officers and directors may serve as directors on the boards of such companies. To the extent that litigation arises out of our investments in these companies, our officers and directors may be named as defendants in such litigation, which could result in an expenditure of funds (through our indemnification of such officers and directors) and the diversion of management time and resources.

We may be exposed to higher risks with respect to our investments that include original issue discount or PIK interest.

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

original issue discount and PIK instruments may have higher yields, which reflect the payment deferral and credit risk associated with these instruments;

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for accounting purposes, cash distributions to investors representing original issue discount income are not derived from paid in capital, although they may be effectively paid from any offering proceeds during any given period; thus, although the source for the cash used to pay a distribution of original issue discount income may come from the cash invested by investors, the 1940 Act does not require that investors be given notice of this fact;
original issue discount 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 the collateral; and
original issue discount and PIK instruments may represent a higher credit risk than coupon loans; even if the conditions for income accrual under generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America are satisfied, a borrower could still default when actual payment is due upon the maturity of such loan.

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

We generally invest in companies whose securities are not publicly traded and whose securities will be subject to legal and other restrictions on resale or will otherwise be less liquid than 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. Our investments are usually subject to contractual or legal restrictions on resale or are otherwise illiquid because there is usually no established trading market for such investments. The illiquidity of most of our investments may make it difficult for us to dispose of them at a favorable price and, as a result, we may suffer losses.

We may not have the funds or ability to make additional investments in our portfolio companies.

We may not have the funds or ability to make additional investments in our portfolio companies. 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 to increase our investment through the extension of additional loans, the exercise of a warrant to purchase equity securities, or the funding of additional equity investments. There is no assurance that we will make, or will have sufficient funds to make, follow-on investments. Any decisions 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, may result in a missed opportunity for us to increase our participation in a successful operation, may reduce our ability to protect an existing investment or may reduce the expected yield on the investment.

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

Our portfolio companies may have, or may be permitted to incur, other debt that ranks equally with, or senior to, the debt in which we invest. By their terms, such debt instruments may entitle the holders to receive payment of interest or principal on or before the dates on which we are entitled to receive payments with respect to the debt instruments in which we invest. Also, in the event of insolvency, liquidation, dissolution, reorganization or bankruptcy of a portfolio company, holders of debt instruments ranking senior to our investment in that portfolio company would typically be entitled to receive payment in full before we receive any distribution. After repaying such senior creditors, such portfolio company may not have any remaining assets to use for repaying its obligation to us. In the case of debt ranking equally with debt instruments in which we invest, we would have to share on an equal basis any distributions with other creditors holding such debt in the event of an insolvency, liquidation, dissolution, reorganization or bankruptcy of the relevant portfolio company.

Even if our investment is structured as a senior-secured loan, principles of equitable subordination, as defined by existing case law, could lead a bankruptcy court to subordinate all or a portion of our claim to that of other creditors and transfer any lien securing such subordinated claim to the bankruptcy estate. The principles of equitable

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subordination defined by case law have generally indicated that a claim may be subordinated only if its holder is guilty of misconduct or where the senior loan is re-characterized as an equity investment and the senior lender has actually provided significant managerial assistance to the bankrupt debtor. 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 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.

We are a non-diversified investment company within the meaning of the 1940 Act, and therefore we 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. Under the 1940 Act, a “diversified” investment company is required to invest at least 75% of the value of its total assets in cash and cash items, government securities, securities of other investment companies and other securities limited in respect of any one issuer to an amount not greater than 5% of the value of the total assets of such company and no more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer. As a non-diversified investment company, we are not subject to this requirement. To the extent that we assume large positions in the securities of a small number of issuers, our net asset value 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 our RIC asset diversification requirements, we do not have fixed guidelines for diversification, and our investments could be concentrated in relatively few portfolio companies. See “Risk Factors — Federal Income Tax Risks — We will be subject to corporate-level U.S. federal income tax if we are unable to qualify as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code.”

We generally will not control our portfolio companies.

We 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 will take risks or otherwise act in ways that do not serve our interests as debt investors or minority equity holders. 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.

Defaults by our portfolio companies will harm our operating results.

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

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

As a BDC, we are required to carry our investments at market value or, if no market value is ascertainable, at the fair value as determined in accordance with our Valuation Procedures adopted pursuant to Rule 2a-5 under the 1940 Act. Decreases in the market values or fair values of our investments will be recorded as unrealized depreciation. Any unrealized depreciation in our portfolio could be an indication of a portfolio company’s inability to meet its repayment obligations to us with respect to affected loans or a potential impairment of the value of affected equity investments.

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This could result in realized losses in the future and ultimately in reductions of our income and gains available for distribution in future periods.

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

We are subject to the risk that the investments we make in our portfolio companies may be repaid prior to maturity. When this occurs, we will generally reinvest these proceeds in temporary investments, pending their future investment in new portfolio companies. These temporary investments will typically have substantially lower yields than the debt being prepaid and we could experience significant delays in reinvesting these amounts. Any future investment in a new portfolio company may also be at lower yields than the debt that was repaid. As a result, our results of operations could be materially adversely affected if one or more of our portfolio companies elect to prepay amounts owed to us. Additionally, prepayments could negatively impact our return on equity, which could result in a decline in the market price of our securities.

Changes relating to the LIBOR calculation process, the phase-out of LIBOR and the use of replacement rates for LIBOR may adversely affect the value of our portfolio securities.

On March 5, 2021, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority publicly announced that all U.S. Dollar LIBOR settings will either cease to be provided by any administrator or no longer be representative (i) immediately after December 31, 2021 for one-week and two-month U.S. Dollar LIBOR settings and (ii) immediately after June 30, 2023 for the remaining U.S. Dollar LIBOR settings. In addition, as a result of supervisory guidance from U.S. regulators, some U.S. regulated entities will cease to enter into new LIBOR contracts after January 1, 2022. At this time, no consensus exists as to what rate or rates will become accepted alternatives to LIBOR, although the Alternative Reference Rates Committee, a steering committee convened by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and comprised of large U.S. financial institutions, has recommended the use of the Secured Overnight Financing Rate, SOFR. There are many uncertainties regarding a transition from LIBOR to SOFR or any other alternative benchmark rate that may be established, including, but not limited to, the timing of any such transition, the need to amend all contracts with LIBOR as the referenced rate and, given the inherent differences between LIBOR and SOFR or any other alternative benchmark rate, how any transition may impact the cost and performance of impacted securities, variable rate debt and derivative financial instruments. In addition, SOFR or another alternative benchmark rate may fail to gain market acceptance, which could adversely affect the return on, value of and market for securities, variable rate debt and derivative financial instruments linked to such rates.

As such, if LIBOR in its current form does not survive and a replacement rate is not widely agreed upon or if a replacement rate is significantly different from LIBOR, it could cause a disruption in the credit markets generally. Such a disruption could also negatively impact the market value and/or transferability of our portfolio company investments. We could also be materially and adversely impacted to the extent we are unable to successfully implement an acceptable replacement rate in leverage utilized by us or if there is a prolonged period of mismatch on the interest rates on the interest rates payable on our leverage and our portfolio investments as a result of the continued publication of LIBOR. The transition from LIBOR to SOFR or other alternative reference rates may also introduce operational risks in our accounting, financial reporting, loan servicing, liability management and other aspects or our business. Further, if LIBOR does not survive and a replacement rate is not widely agreed upon, the mismatch on the interest rates payable by any leverage incurred by us and the interest rate payable on the portfolio company investments could result in a decrease in our net investment income and distributions we are able to pay to our stockholders.

We are subject to risks associated with the current interest rate environment and changes in interest rates will affect our cost of capital, net investment income and the value of our investments.

To the extent we borrow money or issue debt securities or preferred stock to make investments, our net investment income will depend, in part, upon the difference between the rate at which we borrow funds or pay interest or dividends on such debt securities or preferred stock and the rate at which we invest these funds. In addition, many of our debt investments and borrowings have floating interest rates that reset on a periodic basis, and many of our investments are subject to interest rate floors. As a result, a change in market interest rates could have a material adverse effect on

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our net investment income, in particular with respect to increases from current levels to the level of the interest rate floors on certain investments. In periods of rising interest rates, our cost of funds will increase because the interest rates on the amounts borrowed under our credit facility are floating and are not subject to interest rate floors, which could reduce our net investment income to the extent any debt investments have either fixed interest rates, or floating interest rates subject to an interest rate floor above current levels, and as a result such interest rates on these debt investments will not increase until interest rates exceed the applicable floor.

Some of our portfolio companies have debt investments which bear interest at variable rates and may be negatively affected by changes in market interest rates. An increase in market interest rates would increase the interest costs and reduce the cash flows of our portfolio companies that have variable rate debt instruments, a situation which could reduce the value of our investments in these portfolio companies. The value of our securities could also be reduced from an increase in market interest rates as rates available to investors could make an investment in our securities less attractive than alternative investments. Conversely, decreases in market interest rates could negatively impact the interest income from our variable rate debt investments. A decrease in market interest rates may also have an adverse impact on our returns by requiring us to accept lower yields on our debt investments and by increasing the risk that our portfolio companies will prepay our debt investments, resulting in the need to redeploy capital at potentially lower rates. See further discussion and analysis at “Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk”.

We may be subject to risks associated with “covenant-lite” loans.

Some of the loans in which we invest may be “covenant-lite” loans, which means the loans contain fewer maintenance covenants than other loans (in some cases, none) and do not include terms which allow the lender to monitor the performance of the borrower and declare a default if certain criteria are breached. Generally, “covenant-lite” loans provide borrower companies more freedom to negatively impact lenders because their covenants are incurrence-based, which means they are only tested and can only be breached following an affirmative action of the borrower, rather than by a deterioration in the borrower’s financial condition. To the extent we invest in covenant-lite loans, we may have fewer rights against a borrower and may have a greater risk of loss on such investments as compared to investments in loans with finance maintenance covenants.

We may not realize gains from our equity investments.

Certain investments that we have made in the past and may make in the future include warrants or other equity securities. Investments in equity securities involve a number of significant risks, including the risk of further dilution as a result of additional issuances, inability to access additional capital and failure to pay current distributions. Investments in preferred securities involve special risks, such as the risk of deferred distributions, credit risk, illiquidity and limited voting rights. In addition, we may from time to time make non-control, equity investments in portfolio companies. Our goal is ultimately to realize gains upon our disposition of such equity interests. However, the equity interests we receive may not appreciate in value and, in fact, may decline in value. Accordingly, we may not be able to realize gains from our equity interests, and any gains that we do realize on the disposition of any equity interests may not be sufficient to offset any other losses we experience. We also may be unable to realize any value if a portfolio company does not have a liquidity event, such as a sale of the business, recapitalization or public offering, which would allow us to sell the underlying equity interests. We often seek puts or similar rights to give us the right to sell our equity securities back to the portfolio company issuer; however, we may be unable to exercise these put rights for the consideration provided in our investment documents if the issuer is in financial distress.

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

Our investment strategy contemplates potential investments in debt securities of foreign companies. Investing in foreign companies may expose us to additional risks not typically associated with investing in securities of 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,

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difficulty in enforcing contractual obligations, lack of uniform accounting and auditing standards and greater price volatility.

Although most of our investments will be U.S. dollar denominated, any investments denominated in a foreign currency will be subject to the risk that the value of a particular currency will change in relation to one or more other currencies. Among the factors that may affect currency values are trade balances, the level of short-term interest rates, differences in relative values of similar assets in different currencies, long-term opportunities for investment and capital appreciation, and political developments.

RISKS RELATED TO LEVERAGE

Because we borrow money, the potential for gain or loss on amounts invested in us is magnified and may increase the risk of investing in us.

Borrowings, also known as leverage, magnify the potential for loss on investments in our indebtedness and gain or loss on investments in our equity capital. As we use leverage to partially finance our investments, you will experience increased risks of investing in our securities. Accordingly, any event that adversely affects the value of an investment would be magnified to the extent we use leverage. Such events could result in a substantial loss to us, which would be greater than if leverage had not been used. In addition, our investment objectives are dependent on the continued availability of leverage at attractive relative interest rates.

We may also borrow from banks and other lenders and may issue debt securities or enter into other types of borrowing arrangements in the future. Lenders of these senior securities will have fixed dollar claims on our assets that are superior to the claims of our common stockholders, and we would expect such lenders to seek recovery against our assets in the event of a default. We have the ability to pledge up to 100% of our assets and can grant a security interest in all of our assets under the terms of any debt instruments we could enter into with lenders. The terms of our existing indebtedness require us to comply with certain financial and operational covenants, and we expect similar covenants in future debt instruments. Failure to comply with such covenants could result in a default under the applicable credit facility or debt instrument if we are unable to obtain a waiver from the applicable lender or holder, and such lender or holder could accelerate repayment under such indebtedness and negatively affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. In addition, under the terms of any credit facility or other debt instrument we enter into, in the event of a default, we are likely to be required by its terms to use the net proceeds of any investments that we sell to repay a portion of the amount borrowed under such facility or instrument before applying such net proceeds to any other uses. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources — Capital Resources” for a discussion regarding our outstanding indebtedness.

If the value of our assets decreases, leveraging would cause net asset value to decline more sharply than it otherwise would have had we not leveraged our business. Similarly, any decrease in our income would cause net investment income to decline more sharply than it would have had we not leveraged our business. Such a decline could negatively affect our ability to pay common stock dividends, scheduled debt payments or other payments related to our securities.

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.

Assumed Return on Our Portfolio(1)

(net of expenses)

(10.0)

%

(5.0)

%

0.0

%

5.0

%

10.0

%

Corresponding Net Return to Common Stock Holder(2)

(24.2)

%

(13.9)

%

(3.6)

%

6.7

%

17.0

%


(1)

Assumes, as of December 31, 2021, $3,690.3 million in total assets, $1,805.0 million in debt outstanding, $1,788.8 million in net assets, and a weighted-average interest rate of 3.3%. Actual interest payments may be different.

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(2)

In order for us to cover our annual interest payments on indebtedness, we must achieve annual returns on our December 31, 2021 total assets of at least 1.7%.

Our ability to achieve our investment objective may depend in part on our ability to access additional leverage on favorable terms and there can be no assurance that such additional leverage can in fact be achieved. If we are unable to obtain leverage or if the interest rates of such leverage are not attractive, we could experience diminished returns. The number of leverage providers and the total amount of financing available could decrease or remain static.

All of our assets are subject to security interests under our senior securities and if we default on our obligations under our senior securities, we may suffer adverse consequences, including foreclosure on our assets.

Substantially all of our assets are currently pledged as collateral under our senior securities, including any credit facilities or notes. If we default on our obligations under our senior securities, our lenders may have the right to foreclose upon and sell, or otherwise transfer, the collateral subject to their security interests or their superior claim. In such event, we may be forced to sell our investments to raise funds to repay our outstanding borrowings in order to avoid foreclosure and these forced sales may be at times and at prices we would not consider advantageous. Moreover, such deleveraging of our company could significantly impair our ability to effectively operate our business in the manner in which we have historically operated. As a result, we could be forced to curtail or cease new investment activities and lower or eliminate the dividends that we have historically paid to our stockholders. In addition, if the lenders exercise their right to sell the assets pledged under our senior securities, such sales may be completed at distressed sale prices, thereby diminishing or potentially eliminating the amount of cash available to us after repayment of the amounts outstanding under the senior securities.

If our operating performance declines and we are not able to generate sufficient cash flow to service our debt obligations, we may in the future need to refinance or restructure our debt, sell assets, reduce or delay capital investments, seek to raise additional capital or seek to obtain waivers from the required lenders under our senior securities to avoid being in default. If we are unable to implement one or more of these alternatives, we may not be able to meet our payment obligations under our senior securities. If we breach our covenants under our senior securities and seek a waiver, we may not be able to obtain a waiver from the required lenders or debt holders. If this occurs, we would be in default under our senior securities, the lenders or debt 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 could proceed against the collateral securing the debt. Because certain of our senior securities have customary cross-default provisions, if the indebtedness under our senior securities is accelerated, we may be unable to repay or finance the amounts due.

We have received Board approval that will allow us to incur additional leverage, which could increase the risk of investing in our securities.

The 1940 Act generally prohibits us from incurring 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). However, legislation passed in March 2018 modified the 1940 Act by allowing a BDC to increase the maximum amount of leverage it may incur by lowering the required asset coverage ratio of 200% to an asset coverage ratio of 150% (i.e., the amount of debt may not exceed 662/3% of the value of our assets), if certain requirements are met.

On February 23, 2022, our Board of Directors unanimously approved the application of the modified asset coverage requirements set described above. As a result, our asset coverage requirement for senior securities will be changed from 200% to 150%, effective February 23, 2023. The Board has also recommended that a proposal to approve the application of the 150% minimum asset coverage requirement be submitted for approval at our 2022 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. If stockholders approve this proposal, the Company would become subject to the 150% minimum asset coverage ratio the day after the 2022 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. The Board values the opinions of our stockholders and will reconvene to reconsider its approval of the modified asset coverage requirements if this proposal is not approved by stockholders. There can be no assurance that the Board would rescind its approval if this proposal is not

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approved by stockholders. If this proposal is not approved by the stockholders and the Board does not rescind its approval, we will be subject to the 150% asset coverage ratio, beginning February 23, 2023.

RISKS RELATED TO OUR INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT ACTIVITIES

Our executive officers and employees, through the External Investment Manager, may manage other investment funds that operate in the same or a related line of business as we do, and may invest in such funds, which may result in significant conflicts of interest.

Our executive officers and employees, through the External Investment Manager, may manage other investment funds or assets for other clients that operate in the same or a related line of business as we do, and which funds may be invested in by us and/or our executive officers and employees. Accordingly, they may have obligations to, or pecuniary interests in, such other entities, and the fulfillment of such obligations may not be in the best interests of us or our stockholders and may create conflicts of interest.

We have made and, in the future, intend to make co-investments with other funds or clients advised by the External Investment Manager in accordance with the conditions of an exemptive relief order from the SEC permitting such co-investment transactions. The order requires, among other things, that we and the External Investment Manager consider whether each such investment opportunity is appropriate for us and the External Investment Manager’s advised clients and, if it is appropriate, to propose an allocation of the investment opportunity between such other parties. As a consequence, it may be more difficult for us to maintain or increase the size of our Investment Portfolio in the future. Although we will endeavor to allocate investment opportunities in a fair and equitable manner, including in accordance with the conditions set forth in the order issued by the SEC when relying on such order, we may face conflicts in allocating investment opportunities between us and other funds and accounts managed by the External Investment Manager. Because the External Investment Manager may receive performance-based fee compensation from other funds and accounts it manages, this may provide the Company and the External Investment Manager an incentive to allocate opportunities to other funds and accounts the External Investment Manager manages, instead of us. We and the External Investment Manager have implemented an allocation policy to ensure the equitable distribution of investment opportunities and, as a result, may be unable to participate in certain investments based upon such allocation policy.

We, through the External Investment Manager, derive revenues from managing third-party funds pursuant to management agreements that may be terminated.

The External Investment Manager earns management fees based on the assets of the funds or other clients under management and may earn incentive fees, or a carried interest, based on the performance of the funds or accounts managed. The terms of fund investment management agreements generally give the manager of the fund and the fund itself the right to terminate the management agreement in certain circumstances. With respect to funds that are not exempt from regulation under the 1940 Act, the fund’s investment management agreement must be approved annually by (a) such fund’s board of directors or by the vote of a majority of such fund’s stockholders and (b) the majority of the independent members of such fund’s board of directors and, in certain cases, by its stockholders, as required by law. The funds’ investment management agreements can also be terminated by the majority of such fund’s stockholders. Termination of any such management agreements would reduce the fees we earn from the relevant funds or other clients through the External Investment Manager, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.

RISKS RELATED TO BDCs

Failure to comply with applicable laws or regulations and changes in laws or regulations governing our operations may adversely affect our business or cause us to alter our business strategy.

We, the Funds, and our portfolio companies are subject to applicable local, state and federal laws and regulations. Failure to comply with any applicable local, state or federal law or regulation could negatively impact our reputation and our business results. New legislation may also be enacted or new interpretations, rulings or regulations could be adopted, including those governing the types of investments we are permitted to make, any of which could harm us and our stockholders, potentially with retroactive effect. Additionally, any changes to the laws and regulations

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governing our operations relating to permitted investments may cause us to alter our investment strategy in order to avail ourselves of new or different opportunities. Such changes could result in material differences to the strategies and plans set forth herein and may result in our investment focus shifting from the areas of expertise of our investment team to other types of investments in which our investment team may have less expertise or little or no experience. Thus, any such changes, if they occur, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and the value of your investment.

Failure to maintain our status as a BDC would reduce our operating flexibility.

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

Operating under the constraints imposed on us as a BDC and RIC may hinder the achievement of our investment objectives.

The 1940 Act and the Code impose numerous constraints on the operations of BDCs and RICs that do not apply to certain of the other investment vehicles that we may compete with. BDCs are required, for example, to invest at least 70% of their total assets in certain qualifying assets, including U.S. private or thinly traded public companies, cash, cash equivalents, U.S. government securities and other high-quality debt instruments that mature in one year or less from the date of investment. Moreover, qualification for taxation as a RIC requires satisfaction of source-of-income, asset diversification and distribution requirements. Operating under these constraints may hinder our ability to take advantage of attractive investment opportunities and to achieve our investment objective. Any failure to do so could subject us to enforcement action by the SEC, cause us to fail to satisfy the requirements associated with RIC status and subject us to entity-level corporate income taxation, cause us to fail the 70% test described above or otherwise have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Regulations governing our operation as a BDC will affect our ability to, and the way in which we, raise additional capital.

Our business will require capital to operate and grow. We may acquire such additional capital from the following sources:

Senior Securities. We may issue debt securities or preferred stock and/or borrow money from banks or other financial institutions, which we refer to collectively as senior securities. As a result of issuing senior securities, we will be exposed to additional risks, including the following:

Under the provisions of the 1940 Act, we are permitted, as a BDC, to issue senior securities only in amounts such that our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, equals at least 200% (or 150% if certain requirements are met) immediately after each issuance of senior securities. If the value of our assets declines, we may be unable to satisfy this test. If that happens, we will be prohibited from issuing debt securities or preferred stock and/or borrowing money from banks or other financial institutions and may not be permitted to declare a dividend or make any distribution to stockholders or repurchase shares until such time as we satisfy this test.
Any amounts that we use to service our debt or make payments on preferred stock will not be available for dividends to our common stockholders.
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.

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We and, indirectly, our stockholders will bear the cost of issuing and servicing such securities and other indebtedness.
Preferred stock or any convertible or exchangeable securities that we issue in the future may have rights, preferences and privileges more favorable than those of our common stock, including separate voting rights and could delay or prevent a transaction or a change in control to the detriment of the holders of our common stock.
Any unsecured debt issued by us would generally rank (i) pari passu with our current and future unsecured indebtedness and effectively subordinated to all of our existing and future secured indebtedness, to the extent of the value of the assets securing such indebtedness, and (ii) structurally subordinated to all existing and future indebtedness and other obligations of any of our subsidiaries.

Additional Common Stock. We are not generally able to issue and sell our common stock at a price below net asset value per share. We may, however, sell our common stock, warrants, options or rights to acquire our common stock, at a price below the current net asset value of the common stock if our Board of Directors determines that such sale is in the best interests of our stockholders, and our stockholders approve such sale. See “Risk Factors – Risks Related to our Securities — Stockholders may incur dilution if we sell shares of our common stock in one or more offerings at prices below the then current net asset value per share of our common stock or issue securities to subscribe to, convert to or purchase shares of our common stock” for a discussion of the risks related to us issuing shares of our common stock below net asset value. Our stockholders have authorized us to issue warrants, options or rights to subscribe for, convert to, or purchase shares of our common stock at a price per share below the net asset value per share, subject to the applicable requirements of the 1940 Act. There is no expiration date on our ability to issue such warrants, options, rights or convertible securities based on this stockholder approval. If we raise additional funds by issuing more common stock or senior securities convertible into, or exchangeable for, our common stock, the percentage ownership of our stockholders at that time would decrease, and they may 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.

RISKS RELATED TO OUR SECURITIES

Investing in our securities may involve a high degree of risk.

The investments we make in accordance with our investment objective may result in a higher amount of risk than alternative investment options and a higher risk of volatility or loss of principal. Our investments in portfolio companies involve higher levels of risk, and therefore, an investment in our securities may not be suitable for someone with lower risk tolerance.

Shares of closed-end investment companies, including BDCs, may trade at a discount to their net asset value.

Shares of closed-end investment companies, including BDCs, may trade at a discount to net asset value. This characteristic of closed-end investment companies and BDCs is separate and distinct from the risk that our net asset value per share may decline. We cannot predict whether our common stock will trade at, above or below net asset value. In addition, if our common stock trades below our net asset value per share, we will generally not be able to issue additional common stock at the market price unless our stockholders approve such a sale and our Board of Directors makes certain determinations. See “Risk Factors — Risks Related to our Securities — Stockholders may incur dilution if we sell shares of our common stock in one or more offerings at prices below the then current net asset value per share of our common stock or issue securities to subscribe to, convert to or purchase shares of our common stock” for a discussion related to us issuing shares of our common stock below net asset value.

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The market price of our securities may be volatile and fluctuate significantly.

Fluctuations in the trading prices of our securities may adversely affect the liquidity of the trading market for our securities and, if we seek to raise capital through future securities offerings, our ability to raise such capital. The market price and liquidity of the market for our securities may be significantly affected by numerous factors, some of which are beyond our control and may not be directly related to our operating performance. These factors include:

significant volatility in the market price and trading volume of securities of BDCs or other companies in our sector, which are not necessarily related to the operating performance of these companies;
changes in regulatory policies, accounting pronouncements or tax guidelines;
the exclusion of BDC common stock from certain market indices, such as what happened with respect to the Russell indices and the Standard and Poor’s indices, could reduce the ability of certain investment funds to own our common stock and limit the number of owners of our common stock and otherwise negatively impact the market price of our common stock;
inability to obtain any exemptive relief that may be required by us in the future from the SEC;
loss of our BDC or RIC status or any of the Funds’ status as an SBIC;
changes in our earnings or variations in our operating results;
changes in the value of our portfolio of investments;
any shortfall in our investment income or net investment income or any increase in losses from levels expected by investors or securities analysts;
loss of a major funding source;
fluctuations in interest rates;
the operating performance of companies comparable to us;
departure of our key personnel;
proposed, or completed, offerings of our securities, including classes other than our common stock;
global or national credit market changes; and
general economic trends and other external factors.

Stockholders may incur dilution if we sell shares of our common stock in one or more offerings at prices below the then current net asset value per share of our common stock or issue securities to subscribe to, convert to or purchase shares of our common stock.

The 1940 Act prohibits us from selling shares of our common stock at a price below the current net asset value per share of such stock, with certain exceptions. One such exception is prior stockholder approval of issuances below net asset value provided that our Board of Directors makes certain determinations. We did not seek stockholder authorization to sell shares of our common stock below the then current net asset value per share of our common stock at our 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, and have not sought such authorization since 2012, because our common stock price per share had been trading significantly above the net asset value per share of our common stock since 2011. We may, however, seek such authorization at future annual or special meetings of stockholders. Our stockholders have previously approved a proposal to authorize us to issue securities to subscribe to, convert to, or purchase shares of our

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common stock in one or more offerings. Any decision to sell shares of our common stock below the then current net asset value per share of our common stock or securities to subscribe to, convert to, or purchase shares of our common stock would be subject to the determination by our Board of Directors that such issuance is in our and our stockholders’ best interests.

If we were to sell shares of our common stock below net asset value per share, such sales would result in an immediate dilution to the net asset value per share. This dilution would occur as a result of the sale of shares at a price below the then current net asset value per share of our common stock and a proportionately greater decrease in 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 issue securities to subscribe to, convert to or purchase shares of common stock, the exercise or conversion of such securities would increase the number of outstanding shares of our common stock. Any such exercise would be dilutive on the voting power of existing stockholders and could be dilutive with regard to dividends and our net asset value, and other economic aspects of the 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 cannot be predicted; however, the example below illustrates the effect of dilution to existing stockholders resulting from the sale of common stock at prices below the net asset value of such shares.

Illustration: Example of Dilutive Effect of the Issuance of Shares Below Net Asset Value. Assume that Company XYZ has 1,000,000 total shares outstanding, $15,000,000 in total assets and $5,000,000 in total liabilities. The net asset value per share of the common stock of Company XYZ is $10.00. The following table illustrates the reduction to net asset value, or NAV, and the dilution experienced by Stockholder A following the sale of 40,000 shares of the common stock of Company XYZ at $9.50 per share, a price below its NAV per share.

Prior to Sale
Below NAV

Following Sale
Below NAV

Percentage
Change

Reduction to NAV

Total Shares Outstanding

1,000,000

1,040,000

4.0%

NAV per share

$10.00

$9.98

(0.2)%

Dilution to Existing Stockholder

Shares Held by Stockholder A

10,000

10,000(1)

0.0%

Percentage Held by Stockholder A

1.00%

0.96%

(3.8)%

Total Interest of Stockholder A in NAV

$100,000

$99,808

(0.2)%


(1)

Assumes that Stockholder A does not purchase additional shares in the sale of shares below NAV.

Provisions of the Maryland General Corporation Law and our articles of incorporation and bylaws could deter takeover attempts and have an adverse impact on the price of our common stock.

The Maryland General Corporation Law and our articles of incorporation 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. 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 our common stock.

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

The issuance of shares of preferred stock with dividend or conversion rights, liquidation preferences or other economic terms favorable to the holders of preferred stock could adversely affect the market price for our common stock by making an investment in the common stock less attractive. In addition, the dividends on any preferred stock we issue must be cumulative. Payment of dividends and repayment of the liquidation preference of preferred stock must take

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preference over any dividends or other payments to our common stockholders, and holders of preferred stock are not subject to any of our expenses or losses and are not entitled to participate in any income or appreciation in excess of their stated preference (other than convertible preferred stock that converts into common stock). In addition, under the 1940 Act, preferred stock constitutes a “senior security” for purposes of the asset coverage test.

The Notes are unsecured and therefore effectively subordinated to any current or future secured indebtedness.

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

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

The Notes are obligations exclusively of Main Street Capital Corporation and not of any of our subsidiaries. None of our subsidiaries is a guarantor of the Notes, and the Notes are not required to be guaranteed by any subsidiaries we may acquire or create in the future. In addition, several of our subsidiaries, specifically the Funds, maintain significant indebtedness and as a result the Notes are structurally subordinated to the indebtedness of these subsidiaries. The assets of such subsidiaries are not directly available to satisfy the claims of our creditors, including holders of the Notes.

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

The Notes may or may not have an established trading market. If a trading market in the Notes is developed, it may not be maintained.

The Notes may or may not have an established trading market. If a trading market in the Notes is developed, it may not be maintained. If the Notes are traded, they may trade at a discount to their initial offering price depending on prevailing interest rates, the market for similar securities, our credit ratings, our financial condition or other relevant factors. Accordingly, we cannot assure you that a liquid trading market has been or will develop for the Notes, that you will be able to sell your Notes at a particular time or that the price you receive when you sell will be favorable. To the extent an active trading market does not develop or is not maintained, the liquidity and trading price for the Notes may be harmed. Accordingly, you may be required to bear the financial risk of an investment in the Notes for an indefinite period of time.

A downgrade, suspension or withdrawal of the credit rating assigned by a rating agency to us or the Notes, if any, or change in the debt markets could cause the liquidity or market value of the Notes 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 the Notes. These credit ratings may not reflect the potential impact of risks relating to the structure or marketing of the Notes. 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. We undertake no obligation to maintain our credit ratings or to advise holders of

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Notes of any changes in our credit ratings. There can be no assurance that our credit ratings will remain for any given period of time or that such credit ratings will not be lowered or withdrawn entirely by the rating agency if in their judgment future circumstances relating to the basis of the credit ratings, such as adverse changes in our company, so warrant. Downgrades to the credit rating assigned to us or our securities could increase our cost of capital or otherwise have a negative effect on our results of operations and financial condition. The conditions of the financial markets and prevailing interest rates have fluctuated in the past and are likely to fluctuate in the future, which could have an adverse effect on the market prices of the Notes.

The indentures under which the Notes were issued contain limited protection for holders of the Notes.

The indentures under which the Notes were issued offer limited protection to holders of the Notes. The terms of the indentures and the Notes do not restrict our or any of our subsidiaries’ ability to engage in, or otherwise be a party to, a variety of corporate transactions, circumstances or events that could have an adverse impact on investments in the Notes. In particular, the terms of the indentures and the 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 Notes, (2) any indebtedness or other obligations that would be secured and therefore rank effectively senior in right of payment to the Notes to the extent of the values of the assets securing such debt, (3) indebtedness of ours that is guaranteed by one or more of our subsidiaries and which therefore is structurally senior to the Notes and (4) securities, indebtedness or obligations issued or incurred by our subsidiaries that would be senior to our equity interests in our subsidiaries and therefore rank structurally senior to the Notes with respect to the assets of our subsidiaries, in each case other than an incurrence of indebtedness or other obligation that would cause a violation of Section 18(a)(1)(A) as modified by Section 61(a)(1) of the 1940 Act or any successor provisions, but giving effect, in each case, to any exemptive relief granted to us by the SEC (currently, this provision generally prohibits us from making additional borrowings, including through the issuance of additional debt or the sale of additional debt securities, unless our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, equals at least 200% (or 150% if certain requirements are met) after such borrowings);
pay dividends on, or purchase or redeem or make any payments in respect of, capital stock or other securities ranking junior in right of payment to the Notes, including subordinated indebtedness;
sell assets (other than certain limited restrictions on our ability to consolidate, merge or sell all or substantially all of our assets);
enter into transactions with affiliates;
create liens (including liens on the shares of our subsidiaries) or enter into sale and leaseback transactions;
make investments; or
create restrictions on the payment of dividends or other amounts to us from our subsidiaries.

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

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

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Other debt we issue or incur in the future could contain more protections for its holders than the indentures and the 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 Notes.

The optional redemption provision may materially adversely affect your return on the Notes.

The Notes are redeemable in whole or in part upon certain conditions at any time or from time to time at our option. We may choose to redeem the Notes at times when prevailing interest rates are lower than the interest rate paid on the Notes. 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 the Notes being redeemed.

We may not be able to repurchase the Notes upon a Change of Control Repurchase Event.

We may not be able to repurchase the Notes upon certain change in control events described in the agreement under which the Notes were issued (each, a “Change of Control Repurchase Event”) because we may not have sufficient funds. Upon a Change of Control Repurchase Event, holders of the Notes may require us to repurchase for cash some or all of the Notes at a repurchase price equal to 100% of the aggregate principal amount of the Notes being repurchased, plus accrued and unpaid interest to, but not including, the repurchase date. The terms of our Credit Facility provide that certain change of control events will constitute an event of default thereunder entitling the lenders to accelerate any indebtedness outstanding under our Credit Facility at that time and to terminate the Credit Facility. Our and our subsidiaries’ future financing facilities may contain similar restrictions and provisions. Our failure to purchase such tendered Notes upon the occurrence of such Change of Control Repurchase Event would cause an event of default under the indentures governing the Notes and a cross-default under the agreements governing certain of our other indebtedness, which may result in the acceleration of such indebtedness requiring us to repay that indebtedness immediately. If a Change of Control Repurchase Event were to occur, we may not have sufficient funds to repay any such accelerated indebtedness.

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

Any default under the agreements governing our other indebtedness that is not waived by the required lenders or debt holders, and the remedies sought by the holders of such indebtedness could make us unable to pay principal, premium, if any, and interest on the Notes and substantially decrease the market value of the Notes. If we are unable to generate sufficient cash flow and are otherwise unable to obtain funds necessary to meet required payments of principal, premium, if any, and interest on our indebtedness, or if we otherwise fail to comply with the various covenants, including financial and operating covenants, in the instruments governing our indebtedness, we could be in default under the terms of the agreements governing such indebtedness. In the event of such default, the holders of such indebtedness could elect to declare all the funds borrowed thereunder to be due and payable, together with accrued and unpaid interest, the lenders under the Credit 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. Our ability to generate sufficient cash flow in the future is, to some extent, subject to general economic, financial, competitive, legislative and regulatory factors as well as other factors that are beyond our control. We cannot assure you that our business will generate cash flow from operations, or that future borrowings will be available to us in an amount sufficient to enable us to meet our payment obligations under the Notes and our other debt and to fund other liquidity needs.

RISKS RELATED TO OUR SBIC FUNDS

We, through the Funds, issue debt securities guaranteed by the SBA and sold in the capital markets. As a result of its guarantee of the debt securities, the SBA has fixed dollar claims on the assets of the Funds that are superior to the claims of our securities holders.

We, through the Funds, have outstanding SBIC debentures guaranteed by the SBA. The debentures guaranteed by the SBA have a maturity of ten years from the date of issuance and require semiannual payments of interest. We will need to generate sufficient cash flow to make required interest payments on the debentures. If we are unable to meet the

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financial obligations under the debentures, the SBA, as a creditor, will have a superior claim to the assets of the Funds over our securities holders in the event we liquidate or the SBA exercises its remedies under such debentures as the result of a default by us.

The Funds are licensed by the SBA, and therefore subject to SBIC regulations.

The Funds, our wholly owned subsidiaries, are licensed to act as SBICs and are regulated by the SBA. The SBA also places certain limitations on the financing terms of investments by SBICs in portfolio companies and prohibits SBICs from providing funds for certain purposes or to businesses in a few prohibited industries. Compliance with SBA requirements may cause the Funds to forego attractive investment opportunities that are not permitted under SBIC regulations.

Further, the SBIC regulations require, among other things, that a licensed SBIC be periodically examined by the SBA and audited by an independent auditor, in each case to determine the SBIC’s compliance with the relevant SBIC 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% or more of a class of capital stock of a licensed SBIC. If the Funds fail to comply with applicable SBIC regulations, the SBA could, depending on the severity of the violation, limit or prohibit their use of SBIC debentures, declare outstanding SBIC debentures immediately due and payable, and/or limit them from making new investments. In addition, the SBA can revoke or suspend a license for willful or repeated violation of, or willful or repeated failure to observe, any provision of the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder. Such actions by the SBA would, in turn, negatively affect us.

Each of the Funds, as an SBIC, may be unable to make distributions to us that will enable us to meet or 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 U.S. federal taxes, we will be required to distribute substantially all of our net ordinary taxable income and net capital gain income, including taxable income from certain of our subsidiaries, which includes the income from the Funds. We will be partially dependent on the Funds for cash distributions to enable us to meet the RIC distribution requirements. The Funds may be limited by SBIC regulations from making certain distributions to us that may be necessary to enable us to maintain our status as a RIC. We may have to request a waiver of the SBA’s restrictions for the Funds to make certain distributions to maintain our eligibility for RIC status. We cannot assure you that the SBA will grant such waiver and if the Funds are unable to obtain a waiver, compliance with the SBIC regulations may result in loss of RIC tax treatment and a consequent imposition of an entity-level tax on us.

FEDERAL INCOME TAX RISKS

We will be subject to corporate-level U.S. federal income tax if we are unable to qualify as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code.

To maintain RIC tax treatment under the Code, we must meet the following annual distribution, income source and asset diversification requirements:

The Annual Distribution Requirement for a RIC will be satisfied if we distribute to our stockholders on an annual basis at least 90% of our net ordinary taxable income and realized net short-term capital gains in excess of realized net long-term capital losses, if any. Depending on the level of taxable income earned in a tax year, we may choose to carry forward taxable income in excess of current year distributions into the next tax year and pay a 4% U.S. federal excise tax on such income. Any such carryover taxable income must be distributed through a dividend declared prior to filing the final tax return related to the year which generated such taxable income. For more information regarding tax treatment, see “Business — Regulation — Taxation as a Regulated Investment Company.” Because we use debt financing, we are subject to certain asset coverage ratio requirements under the 1940 Act and are (and may in the future become) subject to certain financial covenants under loan and credit agreements that could, under certain circumstances, restrict us from making distributions necessary to satisfy the distribution requirement. In

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addition, because we receive non-cash sources of income such as PIK interest which involves us recognizing taxable income without receiving the cash representing such income, we may have difficulty meeting the distribution requirement. If we are unable to obtain cash from other sources, we could fail to qualify for RIC tax treatment and thus become subject to corporate-level U.S. federal income tax.
The source-of-income requirement will be satisfied if we obtain at least 90% of our gross income for each year from distributions, interest, gains from the sale of stock or securities or similar sources.
The asset diversification requirement will be satisfied if we meet certain asset diversification requirements at the end of each quarter of our taxable year. To satisfy this requirement, at least 50% of the value of our assets must consist of cash, cash equivalents, U.S. government securities, securities of other RICs, and other acceptable securities; and no more than 25% of the value of our assets can be invested in the securities, other than U.S. government securities or securities of other RICs, (i) of one issuer, (ii) of two or more issuers that are controlled, as determined under applicable Code rules, by us and that are engaged in the same or similar or related trades or businesses or (iii) of certain “qualified publicly traded partnerships.”

Failure to meet these requirements may result in our having to dispose of certain investments quickly in order to prevent the loss of RIC status. Because most of our investments are in privately held companies, and therefore illiquid, any such dispositions could be made at disadvantageous prices and could result in substantial losses. Moreover, if we fail to maintain RIC tax treatment for any reason and are subject to corporate income tax, the resulting corporate taxes could substantially reduce our net assets, the amount of income available for distribution and the amount of our distributions.

We may have difficulty paying the distributions required to maintain RIC tax treatment under the Code if we recognize income before or without receiving cash representing such income.

We will include in income certain amounts that we have not yet received in cash, such as: (i) amortization of original issue discount, which may arise if we receive warrants in connection with the origination of a loan such that ascribing a value to the warrants creates original issue discount in the debt instrument, if we invest in a debt investment at a discount to the par value of the debt security or possibly in other circumstances; (ii) contractual payment-in-kind, or PIK, interest, which represents contractual interest added to the loan balance and due at the end of the loan term; (iii) contractual preferred dividends, which represents contractual dividends added to the preferred stock and due at the end of the preferred stock term, subject to adequate profitability at the portfolio company; or (iv) amortization of market discount, which is associated with loans purchased in the secondary market at a discount to par value. Such amortization of original issue discounts, increases in loan balances as a result of contractual PIK arrangements, cumulative preferred dividends, or amortization of market discount will be included in income before we receive the corresponding cash payments. We also may be required to include in income certain other amounts before we receive such amounts in cash. Investments structured with these features may represent a higher level of credit risk compared to investments generating income which must be paid in cash on a current basis.

Since, in certain cases, we may recognize taxable income before or without receiving cash representing such income, we may have difficulty meeting the Annual Distribution Requirement necessary to maintain RIC tax treatment under the Code. Accordingly, we may have to sell some of our investments at times and/or at prices we would not consider advantageous, raise additional debt or equity capital or forgo new investment opportunities for this purpose. If we are not able to obtain cash from other sources, we may fail to qualify for RIC tax treatment and thus become subject to corporate-level U.S. federal income tax. For additional discussion regarding the tax implications of a RIC, please see “Business — Regulation — Taxation as a Regulated Investment Company.”

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

We may distribute taxable dividends that are payable in part in our stock. Under certain applicable provisions of the Code and the Treasury regulations, distributions payable by us in cash or in shares of stock (at the stockholders’ election) would satisfy the Annual Distribution Requirement. The Internal Revenue Service has issued guidance providing that a dividend payable in stock or in cash at the election of the stockholders will be treated as a taxable

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dividend eligible for the dividends paid deduction provided that at least 20% of the total dividend is payable in cash and certain other requirements are satisfied. Taxable stockholders receiving such dividends will be required to include the full amount of the dividend as ordinary income (or as long-term capital gain to the extent such dividend is properly reported 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 dividends in excess of any cash received. If a U.S. stockholder sells the stock it receives as a dividend in order to pay this tax, the sales proceeds may be less than the amount included in income with respect to the dividend, 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. tax with respect to such dividends, including in respect of all or a portion of such dividend 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 dividends, it may put downward pressure on the trading price of our stock.

Stockholders may have current tax liability on dividends they elect to reinvest in our common stock but would not receive cash from such dividends to pay such tax liability.

If stockholders participate in our dividend reinvestment plan, they will be deemed to have received, and for federal income tax purposes will be taxed on, the amount reinvested in our common stock to the extent the amount reinvested was not a tax-free return of capital. As a result, unless a stockholder is a tax-exempt entity, it may have to use funds from other sources to pay its tax liability on the value of the dividend that they have elected to have reinvested in our common stock.

Legislative or regulatory tax changes could adversely affect our stockholders.

At any time, the federal income tax laws governing RICs or the administrative interpretations of those laws or regulations may be amended. The Biden Administration has announced a number of tax law proposals, including American Families Plan and Made in America Tax Plan, which include increases in the corporate and individual tax rates, and impose a minimum tax on book income and profits of certain multinational corporations. Any of those new laws, regulations or interpretations may take effect retroactively and could adversely affect the taxation of us or our stockholders. 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. If we do not comply with applicable laws and regulations, we could lose any licenses that we then hold for the conduct of our business and may be subject to civil fines and criminal penalties.

GENERAL RISK FACTORS

Events outside of our control, including public health crises, supply-chain disruptions and inflation, could negatively affect our portfolio companies and our results of operations.

Periods of market volatility have occurred and could continue to occur in response to pandemics or other events outside of our control. These types of events have adversely affected, and could continue to adversely affect, operating results for us and for our portfolio companies. The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant adverse effect on the U.S. economy, particularly in the second quarter of 2020. Although certain economic conditions in the United States improved in 2021, the pandemic continues to evolve, as recently experienced with the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, and risks remain with respect to local, regional, national and global markets and economies affected thereby, including the United States. With respect to U.S. and global credit markets and the economy in general, the pandemic has resulted in, and until fully resolved is likely to continue to result in, the following (among other things): (i) restrictions on travel and the temporary closure of many corporate offices, retail stores and manufacturing facilities and factories, resulting in significant disruption to the business of many companies, including supply chains and demand, as well as layoffs of employees; (ii) increased draws by borrowers on revolving lines of credit; (iii) increased requests by borrowers for amendments or waivers of their credit agreements to avoid default, increased defaults by borrowers and/or increased difficulty in obtaining refinancing; (iv) volatility in credit markets, including greater volatility in pricing and spreads; and (v) evolving proposals and actions by state and federal governments to address the problems being experienced by markets, businesses and the economy in general, which may not adequately address the problems being

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faced. The COVID-19 pandemic is continuing as of the filing date of this Annual Report, and its extended duration may have further adverse impacts on our portfolio companies after December 31, 2021, as well as the economy in general.

This pandemic has also caused, and may continue to cause, disruption to our portfolio companies’ global supply chain and business operations. In particular, shortages in commodities and materials, including shortages and reductions in allocations of electronic and other components from key suppliers, labor shortages and elevated levels of employee absenteeism, freight delays and other supply chain constraints and disruptions have significantly delayed or disrupted, and may continue to adversely impact, both our portfolio companies’ suppliers’ and third-party vendors and our portfolio companies’ ability to manufacture and deliver products and/or services to their end-users and customers. Our portfolio companies have also experienced a significant increase in commodity, parts and material component inflation in 2021 and 2022, as well as inflation in other costs, such as labor, packaging, freight and energy prices. Continued supply chain disruptions and delays, as well as continued heightened inflation, could lead to continued periodic production interruptions and other inefficiencies that could negatively impact our portfolio companies’ productivity, margin performance and results of operations, which could result in a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Although it is impossible to predict the precise nature and consequences of these events, or of any political or policy decisions and regulatory changes occasioned by emerging events or uncertainty on applicable laws or regulations that impact us and our portfolio companies and investments, it is clear that these types of events are impacting and will, for at least some time, continue to impact us and our portfolio companies; in many instances the impact will be adverse and material. Any potential impact to our results of operations will depend to a large extent on future developments and the ultimate duration and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and the actions taken by authorities and other entities to contain the spread or treat its impact, all of which are beyond our control. These potential impacts, while uncertain, could adversely affect our and our portfolio companies' operating results and financial condition.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the related disruption and financial distress experienced by our portfolio companies may have material adverse effects on our financial results, including investment income received from our investments and the underlying value of those investments. The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted the fair value of certain of our investments, including those reported as of December 31, 2021, and the values reported may differ materially from the values that we may ultimately realize with respect to our investments. We may need to restructure our investments in certain portfolio companies as a result of the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which could reduce the amount or extend the time for payment of principal or the life of our investment or reduce the amount or extend the time of payment of interest or dividends, among other things. Depending on the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and the extent of its continuing effects on our portfolio companies' operations and our operating results, any future dividends to our stockholders may be for amounts less than our historical dividends, may be paid less frequently than historical practices and may also include return of capital.

The 1940 Act generally prohibits us, as a BDC, from incurring indebtedness unless immediately after such borrowing we have an asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, of at least 200% (or 150% if certain requirements are met). In addition, the terms of our senior securities may contain similar limitations or covenants requiring our compliance with the 1940 Act asset coverage requirements, and other affirmative and negative covenants. A continued significant decrease in the value of our Investment Portfolio, due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic or otherwise, resulting in significant reductions of our net asset value increases the risk of us not meeting the required asset coverage requirement under the 1940 Act or breaching covenants under our senior securities. Any such result could have a material adverse effect on our business, liquidity, financial condition, results of operations and ability to pay dividends to our stockholders and attributes thereof.

We are currently operating in a period of capital markets disruption and economic uncertainty, and capital markets may experience periods of disruption and instability in the future. These market conditions may materially and adversely affect debt and equity capital markets in the United States and abroad, which may have a negative impact on our business and operations.

U.S. capital markets have experienced extreme volatility and disruption following the global outbreak of COVID-19 that began in December 2019, as evidenced by the volatility in global stock markets as a result of, among

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other things, uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of supply chain disruptions. Despite actions of the U.S. federal government and foreign governments, these events have contributed to unpredictable general economic conditions that are materially and adversely impacting the broader financial and credit markets. These and future market disruptions and/or illiquidity would be expected to have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows, as well as the businesses of our portfolio companies, and the broader financial and credit markets.

At various times, such disruptions have resulted in, and may in the future result in, a lack of liquidity in parts of the debt capital markets, significant write-offs in the financial services sector and the repricing of credit risk. Such conditions may occur for a prolonged period of time again, and may materially worsen in the future, including as a result of U.S. government shutdowns, or future downgrades to the U.S. government's sovereign credit rating or the perceived credit worthiness of the U.S. or other large global economies. In addition, the current U.S. political environment and the resulting uncertainties regarding actual and potential shifts in U.S. foreign investment, trade, taxation, economic, environmental and other policies under the current Administration, as well as the impact of geopolitical tension, such as a deterioration in the bilateral relationship between the U.S. and China or an escalation in conflict between Russia and Ukraine, could lead to disruption, instability and volatility in the global markets. Unfavorable economic conditions also would be expected to increase our funding costs, limit our access to the capital markets or result in a decision by lenders not to extend credit to us. These events have limited and could continue to limit our investment originations, and limit our ability to grow and could have a material negative impact on our operating results, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows and the fair values of our debt and equity investments.

In addition, the U.S. and global capital markets have in the past, and may in the future, experience periods of extreme volatility and disruption during economic downturns and recessions. Trade wars and volatility in the U.S. repo market, the U.S. high yield bond markets, the Chinese stock markets and global markets for commodities may affect other financial markets worldwide. In addition, while recent government stimulus measures worldwide have reduced volatility in the financial markets, volatility may return as such measures are phased out, and the long-term impacts of such stimulus on fiscal policy and inflation remain unknown. Increases to budget deficits, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, or direct and contingent sovereign debt may create concerns about the ability of certain nations to service their sovereign debt obligations and any risks resulting from any such debt crisis in Europe, the U.S. or elsewhere could have a detrimental impact on the global economy, sovereign and non-sovereign debt in certain countries and the financial condition of financial institutions generally. Austerity measures that certain countries may agree to as part of any debt crisis or disruptions to major financial trading markets may adversely affect world economic conditions, our business and the businesses of our portfolio companies.

Additionally, the Federal Reserve is expected to raise the Federal Funds Rate in 2022. These developments, along with the United States government’s credit and deficit concerns, global economic uncertainties and market volatility and the impacts of COVID-19, could cause interest rates to be volatile, which may negatively impact our ability to access the capital markets on favorable terms.

Deterioration in the economy and financial markets could impair our portfolio companies’ financial positions and operating results and affect the industries in which we invest, which could, in turn, harm our operating results.

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 those in which we invest, 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 decline in oil and natural gas prices 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.

Although we have been able to secure access to additional liquidity, the potential for volatility in the debt and equity capital markets provides no assurance that debt or equity capital will be available to us in the future on favorable terms, or at all.

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We may experience fluctuations in our operating results.

We could experience fluctuations in our operating results due to a number of factors, including our ability or inability to make investments in companies that meet our investment criteria, the interest rate payable on the debt securities we acquire, the level of portfolio dividend and fee income, the level of our expenses, variations in and the timing of the recognition of realized and unrealized gains or losses, the degree to which we encounter competition in our markets and general economic conditions. As a result of these factors, operating results for any period should not be relied upon as being indicative of performance in future periods.

Terrorist attacks, acts of war, public health crises 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, public health crises (including the recent coronavirus outbreak) or natural disasters may disrupt our operations, as well as the operations of the businesses in which we invest. Such acts have created, and continue to create, economic and political uncertainties and have contributed to global economic instability. Future terrorist activities, military or security operations, public health crises, 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, public health crises and natural disasters are generally uninsurable.

Technological innovations and industry disruptions may negatively impact us.

Technological innovations have disrupted traditional approaches in multiple industries and can permit younger companies to achieve success and in the process disrupt markets and market practices. We can provide no assurance that new businesses and approaches will not be created that would compete with us and/or our portfolio companies or alter the market practices in which we have been designed to function within and on which we depend on for our investment return. New approaches could damage our investments, disrupt the market in which we operate and subject us to increased competition, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of investments.

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

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

sudden electrical or telecommunications outages;
natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes;
disease pandemics;
events arising from local or larger scale political or social matters, including terrorist acts; and
cyber attacks, including software viruses, ransomware, malware and phishing and vishing schemes.

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

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

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

Third parties with which we do business (including, but not limited to, service providers, such as accountants, custodians, transfer agents and administrators, and the issuers of securities in which we invest) may also be sources or targets of cyber security or other technological risks. While we engage in actions to reduce our exposure resulting from outsourcing, we cannot control the cyber security plans and systems put in place by these third parties and ongoing threats may result in unauthorized access, loss, exposure or destruction of data, or other cybersecurity incidents, with increased costs and other consequences, including those described above. Privacy and information security laws and regulation changes, and compliance with those changes, may also result in cost increases due to system changes and the development of new administrative processes.

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

None.

Item 2. Properties

We do not own any real estate or other physical properties materially important to our operations. Currently, we lease office space in Houston, Texas for our corporate headquarters.

Item 3. Legal Proceedings

We may, from time to time, be involved in litigation arising out of our operations in the normal course of business or otherwise. Furthermore, third parties may seek to impose liability on us in connection with the activities of our portfolio companies. While the outcome of any current legal proceedings cannot at this time be predicted with certainty, we do not expect any current matters will materially affect our financial condition or results of operations; however, there can be no assurance whether any pending legal proceedings will have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations in any future reporting period.

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures

Not applicable.

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PART II

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

COMMON STOCK AND HOLDERS

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

The following table sets forth, for the periods indicated, the range of high and low closing prices of our common stock as reported on the NYSE, and the sales price as a percentage of the net asset value per share of our common stock.

Premium 

 

Premium of

(Discount) of

High Sales

Low Sales

 

Price Range

Price to

Price to

 

    

NAV(1)

    

High

    

Low

    

NAV(2)

    

NAV(2)

 

Year ending December 31, 2022

  

  

  

  

  

First Quarter (through February 24, 2022)

*

$

41.08

$

44.88

*

 

*

Year ended December 31, 2021

  

 

  

 

  

  

 

  

Fourth Quarter

$

25.29

$

46.61

$

41.35

84

%  

64

%

Third Quarter

 

24.27

 

42.81

 

40.20

76

%  

66

%

Second Quarter

 

23.42

 

43.41

 

38.14

85

%  

63

%

First Quarter

 

22.65

 

39.56

 

31.35

75

%  

38

%

Year ended December 31, 2020

 

  

 

  

 

  

  

 

  

Fourth Quarter

$

22.35

$

32.59

$

27.39

46

%  

23

%

Third Quarter

 

21.52

 

33.01

 

28.66

53

%  

33

%

Second Quarter

 

20.85

 

35.82

 

17.34

72

%  

(17)

%

First Quarter

 

20.73

 

45.00

 

15.74

117

%  

(24)

%


*Net asset value has not yet been determined for the first quarter of 2022.

(1)Net asset value per share, or NAV, is determined as of the last day in the relevant quarter and therefore may not reflect the net asset value per share on the date of the high and low closing prices. The net asset values shown are based on outstanding shares at the end of each period.
(2)Calculated for each quarter as (i) NAV subtracted from the respective high or low share price divided by (ii) NAV.

On February 24, 2022, the last sale price of our common stock on the NYSE was $41.67 per share, and there were approximately 434 holders of record of the common stock which did not include stockholders for whom shares are held in “nominee” or “street name.” The net asset value per share of our common stock on December 31, 2021 was $25.29, and the premium of the February 24, 2022 closing price of our common stock was 77% to this net asset value per share.

Shares of BDCs 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 net asset value per share or at premiums that are unsustainable over the long term are separate and distinct from the risk that our net asset value per share will decrease. It is not possible to predict whether our common stock will trade at, above, or below net asset value per share. Since our IPO in October 2007, our shares of common stock have traded at prices both less than and exceeding our net asset value per share.

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DIVIDEND/DISTRIBUTION POLICY

We currently intend to distribute dividends or make distributions to our stockholders out of assets legally available for distribution. Our dividends and other distributions, if any, will be determined by our Board of Directors from time to time. Our ability to declare dividends depends on our earnings, our overall financial condition (including our liquidity position), maintenance of our RIC status and such other factors as our Board of Directors may deem relevant from time to time. When we make distributions, we are required to determine the extent to which such distributions are paid out of current or accumulated earnings, recognized capital gains or capital. To the extent there is a return of capital (a distribution of the stockholders' invested capital), investors will be required to reduce their basis in our stock for federal tax purposes. In the future, our distributions may include a return of capital.

We have adopted a dividend reinvestment and direct stock purchase plan (the “Plan”). The dividend reinvestment feature of the Plan (the “DRIP”) provides for the reinvestment of dividends on behalf of our stockholders, unless a stockholder has elected to receive dividends in cash. As a result, if we declare a cash dividend, our stockholders who have not “opted out” of the DRIP by the dividend record date will have their cash dividend automatically reinvested into additional shares of MSCC common stock. The share requirements of the DRIP may be satisfied through the issuance of new shares of common stock or through open market purchases of common stock by the DRIP plan administrator. Newly issued shares will be valued based upon the final closing price of MSCC’s common stock on a valuation date determined for each dividend by our Board of Directors. Shares purchased in the open market to satisfy the DRIP requirements will be valued based upon the average price of the applicable shares purchased by the DRIP plan administrator, before any associated brokerage or other costs. Our DRIP is administered by our transfer agent on behalf of our record holders and participating brokerage firms. Brokerage firms and other financial intermediaries may decide not to participate in our DRIP but may provide a similar dividend reinvestment plan for their clients.

SALES OF UNREGISTERED SECURITIES

During the year ended December 31, 2021, we issued a total of 404,384 shares of our common stock under the DRIP. These issuances were not subject to the registration requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. The aggregate value of the shares of our common stock issued under the DRIP during 2021 was approximately $16.3 million.

PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

Upon vesting of restricted stock awarded pursuant to our employee equity compensation plan, shares may be withheld to meet applicable tax withholding requirements. Any withheld shares are treated as common stock purchases by the Company in our consolidated financial statements as they reduce the number of shares received by employees upon vesting (see “Purchase of vested stock for employee payroll tax withholding” in the consolidated statements of changes in net assets for share amounts withheld).

STOCK PERFORMANCE GRAPH

The following graph compares the stockholder return on our common stock from October 5, 2007 to December 31, 2021 with the S&P 500 Index, the Russell 2000 Index, the KBW Regional Bank Index and the Main Street Peer Group (as defined below). This comparison assumes $100.00 was invested on October 5, 2007 (the date our common stock began to trade in connection with our initial public offering) in our common stock and in the comparison groups and assumes the reinvestment of all cash dividends prior to any tax effect. The comparisons in the graph below are based on historical data and are not intended to forecast the possible future performance of our common stock.

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COMPARISON OF STOCKHOLDER RETURN(1)

Among Main Street Capital Corporation, the S&P 500 Index, the Russell 2000 Index, the KBW

Regional Bank Index, and the Main Street Peer Group(2)

(For the Period October 5, 2007 to December 31, 2021)

TOTAL RETURN PERFORMANCE SINCE IPO

Chart, line chart

Description automatically generated


(1)Total return includes reinvestment of dividends through December 31, 2021.
(2)The Main Street Peer Group is composed of Apollo Investment Corp., Ares Capital Corporation, Barings BDC, Inc., Blackrock Capital Investment Corp., Crescent Capital BDC Inc, TCG BDC, Inc, Capital Southwest Corporation, Fidus Investment Corporation, FS KKR Capital Corp., Gladstone Investment Corporation, Golub Capital BDC, Inc., Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc., Hercules Capital Inc., Monroe Capital Corporation, Newtek Business Services Corp., New Mountain Finance Corporation, Oaktree Specialty Lending Corp., OFS Capital Corporation, PennantPark Floating Rate Capital Ltd., PennantPark Investment Corp., Prospect Capital Corporation, Saratoga Investment Corp., Stellus Capital Investment Corp., Solar Capital Ltd., Solar Senior Capital Ltd, BlackRock TCP Capital Corp., Triplepoint Venture Growth BDC Corp., Sixth Street Specialty Lending, Inc., and WhiteHorse Finance, Inc.

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Item 6. [Reserved.]

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Item 7. 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 the notes thereto included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Statements we make in the following discussion which express a belief, expectation or intention, as well as those that are not historical fact, are forward-looking statements that are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Our actual results, performance or achievements, or industry results, could differ materially from those we express in the following discussion as a result of a variety of factors, including the risks and uncertainties we have referred to under the headings “Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements” and “Risk Factors” in Part I of this report.

COVID-19 UPDATE

The COVID-19 pandemic, and the related effect on the U.S. and global economies, has had, and threatens to continue to have, adverse consequences for our business and operating results, and the businesses and operating results of our portfolio companies. During the quarter ended December 31, 2021, we continued to work collectively with our employees and portfolio companies to navigate the significant challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic and the related labor and supply constraints, rising costs, and supply chain disruptions. We remain focused on ensuring the safety of our employees and the employees of our portfolio companies, while also managing our ongoing business activities. In this regard, we remain heavily engaged with our portfolio companies. As discussed below under “Discussion and Analysis of Results of Operations,” our investment income, principally our interest and dividend income, was negatively impacted by the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. We continue to maintain access to multiple sources of liquidity, including cash, unused capacity under our Credit Facility and, as discussed under Liquidity and Capital Resources, access to capital markets for both equity and unsecured note issuances. As of December 31, 2021, we were in compliance with all debt covenants and do not anticipate any issues with our ability to comply with all covenants in the future. Refer to “—Liquidity and Capital Resources” below for further discussion as of December 31, 2021.

Neither our management nor our Board of Directors is able to predict the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including its duration and the magnitude of its economic and societal impact. As such, while we will continue to monitor the evolving situation and guidance from U.S. authorities, including federal, state and local public health authorities, we are unable to predict with any certainty the extent to which the outbreak will negatively affect our portfolio companies’ operating results and financial condition or the impact that such disruptions may have on our results of operations and financial condition in the future.

INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO ACTIVITY

The following tables provide a summary of our investments in the LMM, Private Loan and Middle Market portfolios as of December 31, 2021 and 2020 (this information excludes the Other Portfolio investments, short-term portfolio investments and the External Investment Manager which are discussed further below):

    

As of December 31, 2021

LMM (a)

Private Loan

Middle Market

(dollars in millions)

 

Number of portfolio companies

73

 

75

 

36

Fair value

$

1,716.4

 

$

1,141.8

 

$

395.2

Cost

$

1,455.7

 

$

1,157.5

 

$

440.9

Debt investments as a % of portfolio (at cost)

70.9

%

95.7

%

93.3

%

Equity investments as a % of portfolio (at cost)

29.1

%

4.3

%

6.7

%

% of debt investments at cost secured by first priority lien

99.0

%

98.7

%

98.7

%

Weighted-average annual effective yield (b)

11.2

%

8.2

%

7.5

%

Average EBITDA (c)

$

6.2

 

$

41.3

 

$

76.0


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(a)At December 31, 2021, we had equity ownership in all of our LMM portfolio companies, and the average fully diluted equity ownership in those portfolio companies was approximately 40%.
(b)The weighted-average annual effective yields were computed using the effective interest rates for all debt investments at cost as of December 31, 2021, including amortization of deferred debt origination fees and accretion of original issue discount but excluding fees payable upon repayment of the debt instruments and any debt investments on non-accrual status. The weighted-average yield on our debt portfolio as of December 31, 2021 including debt investments on non-accrual status was 10.6% for our LMM portfolio, 8.0% for our Private Loan portfolio and 6.9% for our Middle Market portfolio. The weighted-average annual effective yield is not reflective of what an investor in shares of our common stock will realize on its investment because it does not reflect changes in the market value of our stock, our utilization of leverage, or debt capital, in our capital structure, our expenses or any sales load paid by an investor.
(c)The average EBITDA is calculated using a simple average for the LMM portfolio and a weighted-average for the Private Loan and Middle Market portfolios. These calculations exclude certain portfolio companies, including three LMM portfolio companies, three Private Loan portfolio companies and one Middle Market portfolio company, as EBITDA is not a meaningful valuation metric for our investments in these portfolio companies, and those portfolio companies whose primary purpose is to own real estate.

    

As of December 31, 2020

LMM (a)

Private Loan

Middle Market

(dollars in millions)

 

Number of portfolio companies

70

 

63

 

42

Fair value

$

1,285.5

 

$

740.4

 

$

445.6

Cost

$

1,104.6

 

$

769.0

 

$

488.9

Debt investments as a % of portfolio (at cost)

65.8

%

93.8

%

93.0

%

Equity investments as a % of portfolio (at cost)

34.2

%

6.2

%

7.0

%

% of debt investments at cost secured by first priority lien

98.1

%

95.4

%

92.4

%

Weighted-average annual effective yield (b)

11.6

%

8.7

%

7.9

%

Average EBITDA (c)

$

5.3

 

$

58.1

 

$

76.5


(a)At December 31, 2020, we had equity ownership in approximately 99% of our LMM portfolio companies, and the average fully diluted equity ownership in those portfolio companies was approximately 38%.
(b)The weighted-average annual effective yields were computed using the effective interest rates for all debt investments at cost as of December 31, 2020, including amortization of deferred debt origination fees and accretion of original issue discount but excluding fees payable upon repayment of the debt instruments and any debt investments on non-accrual status. The weighted-average yield on our debt portfolio as of December 31, 2020 including debt investments on non-accrual status was 10.4% for our LMM portfolio, 8.4% for our Private Loan portfolio and 7.9% for our Middle Market portfolio. The weighted-average annual effective yield is not reflective of what an investor in shares of our common stock will realize on its investment because it does not reflect changes in the market value of our stock, our utilization of leverage, or debt capital, in our capital structure, our expenses or any sales load paid by an investor.
(c)The average EBITDA is calculated using a simple average for the LMM portfolio and a weighted-average for the Private Loan and Middle Market portfolios. These calculations exclude certain portfolio companies, including three LMM portfolio companies, four Private Loan portfolio companies and one Middle Market portfolio company, as EBITDA is not a meaningful valuation metric for our investments in these portfolio companies, and those portfolio companies whose primary purpose is to own real estate.

For the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, we achieved an annualized total return on investments of 16.6% and 4.1%, respectively. Total return on investments is calculated using the interest, dividend, and fee income, as well as the realized and unrealized change in fair value of the Investment Portfolio for the specified period. Our total return on investments is not reflective of what an investor in shares of our common stock will realize on its investment

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because it does not reflect changes in the market value of our stock, our utilization of leverage, or debt capital, in our capital structure, our expenses or any sales load paid by an investor.

As of December 31, 2021, we had Other Portfolio investments in thirteen companies, collectively totaling approximately $166.1 million in fair value and approximately $173.7 million in cost basis and which comprised approximately 4.7% and 5.3% of our Investment Portfolio at fair value and cost, respectively. As of December 31, 2020, we had Other Portfolio investments in twelve companies, collectively totaling approximately $96.6 million in fair value and approximately $124.7 million in cost basis and which comprised approximately 3.6% and 5.0% of our Investment Portfolio at fair value and cost, respectively.

As of December 31, 2021, we had one short-term portfolio investment, which was a secured debt investment that had approximately $2.0 million in both fair value and in cost basis and which comprised approximately 0.1% of our Investment Portfolio at both fair value and cost. As of December 31, 2020, we held no short-term investments.

As previously discussed, the External Investment Manager is a wholly owned subsidiary that is treated as a portfolio investment. As of December 31, 2021, this investment had a fair value of approximately $140.4 million and a cost basis of $29.5 million, which comprised approximately 3.9% and 0.9% of our Investment Portfolio at fair value and cost, respectively. As of December 31, 2020, this investment had a fair value of approximately $116.8 million and a cost basis of $29.5 million, which comprised approximately 4.3% and 1.2% of our Investment Portfolio at fair value and cost, respectively.

CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES

The preparation of financial statements and related disclosures in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, and contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements, and revenues and expenses during the periods reported. Actual results could materially differ from those estimates. Critical accounting policies are those that require management to make subjective or complex judgments about the effect of matters that are inherently uncertain and may change in subsequent periods. Changes that may be required in the underlying assumptions or estimates in these areas could have a material impact on our current and future financial condition and results of operations.

Management has discussed the development and selection of each critical accounting policy and estimate with the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors. Our critical accounting policies and estimates include the Investment Portfolio Valuation and Revenue Recognition policies described below. Our significant accounting policies are described in greater detail in Note B to the consolidated financial statements included in “Item 8.– Consolidated Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Investment Portfolio Valuation

The most significant determination inherent in the preparation of our consolidated financial statements is the valuation of our Investment Portfolio and the related amounts of unrealized appreciation and depreciation. We consider this determination to be a critical accounting estimate, given the significant judgments and subjective measurements required. As of both December 31, 2021 and 2020, our Investment Portfolio valued at fair value represented approximately 97% of our total assets. We are required to report our investments at fair value. We follow the provisions of FASB ASC 820, Fair Value Measurements and Disclosures (“ASC 820”). ASC 820 defines fair value, establishes a framework for measuring fair value, establishes a fair value hierarchy based on the quality of inputs used to measure fair value and enhances disclosure requirements for fair value measurements. ASC 820 requires us to assume that the portfolio investment is to be sold in the principal market to independent market participants, which may be a hypothetical market. Market participants are defined as buyers and sellers in the principal market that are independent, knowledgeable and willing and able to transact. See “Note B.1.—Valuation of the Investment Portfolio” in the notes to consolidated financial statements for a detailed discussion of our investment portfolio valuation process and procedures.

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Due to the inherent uncertainty in the valuation process, our determination of fair value for our Investment Portfolio may differ materially from the values that would have been determined had a ready market for the securities existed. In addition, changes in the market environment, portfolio company performance and other events that may occur over the lives of the investments may cause the gains or losses ultimately realized on these investments to be materially different than the valuations currently assigned. We determine the fair value of each individual investment and record changes in fair value as unrealized appreciation or depreciation.

In December 2020, the SEC adopted Rule 2a-5 under the 1940 Act, which permits a BDC’s board of directors to designate its executive officers or investment adviser as a valuation designee to determine the fair value for its investment portfolio, subject to the active oversight of the board. Our Board of Directors has approved policies and procedures pursuant to Rule 2a-5 (the “Valuation Procedures”) and has designated a group of our executive officers to serve as the Board’s valuation designee. We adopted the Valuation Procedures effective April 1, 2021. We believe our Investment Portfolio as of December 31, 2021 and 2020 approximates fair value as of those dates based on the markets in which we operate and other conditions in existence on those reporting dates.

Revenue Recognition

Interest and Dividend Income

We record interest and dividend income on the accrual basis to the extent amounts are expected to be collected. Dividend income is recorded as dividends are declared by the portfolio company or at the point an obligation exists for the portfolio company to make a distribution. In accordance with our valuation policies, we evaluate accrued interest and dividend income periodically for collectability. When a loan or debt security becomes 90 days or more past due, and if we otherwise do not expect the debtor to be able to service all of its debt or other obligations, we will generally place the loan or debt security on non-accrual status and cease recognizing interest income on that loan or debt security until the borrower has demonstrated the ability and intent to pay contractual amounts due. If a loan or debt security’s status significantly improves regarding the debtor’s ability to service the debt or other obligations, or if a loan or debt security is sold or written off, we remove it from non-accrual status.

Fee Income

We may periodically provide services, including structuring and advisory services, to our portfolio companies or other third parties. For services that are separately identifiable and evidence exists to substantiate fair value, fee income is recognized as earned, which is generally when the investment or other applicable transaction closes. Fees received in connection with debt financing transactions for services that do not meet these criteria are treated as debt origination fees and are deferred and accreted into income over the life of the financing.

Payment-in-Kind (“PIK”) Interest and Cumulative Dividends

We hold certain debt and preferred equity instruments in our Investment Portfolio that contain PIK interest and cumulative dividend provisions. The PIK interest, computed at the contractual rate specified in each debt agreement, is periodically added to the principal balance of the debt and is recorded as interest income. Thus, the actual collection of this interest may be deferred until the time of debt principal repayment. Cumulative dividends are recorded as dividend income, and any dividends in arrears are added to the balance of the preferred equity investment. The actual collection of these dividends in arrears may be deferred until such time as the preferred equity is redeemed or sold. To maintain RIC tax treatment (as discussed in “Note B.9. – Income Taxes” in the notes to the consolidated financial statements), these non-cash sources of income may need to be paid out to stockholders in the form of distributions, even though we may not have collected the PIK interest and cumulative dividends in cash. We stop accruing PIK interest and cumulative dividends and write off any accrued and uncollected interest and dividends in arrears when we determine that such PIK interest and dividends in arrears are no longer collectible. For the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019 (i) approximately 2.6%, 2.8% and 2.0%, respectively, of our total investment income was attributable to PIK interest income not paid currently in cash and (ii) approximately 0.6%, 0.8% and 1.0%, respectively, of our total investment income was attributable to cumulative dividend income not paid currently in cash.

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INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO COMPOSITION

The following tables summarize the composition of our total combined LMM portfolio investments, Private Loan portfolio investments and Middle Market portfolio investments at cost and fair value by type of investment as a percentage of the total combined LMM portfolio investments, Private Loan portfolio investments and Middle Market portfolio investments as of December 31, 2021 and 2020 (this information excludes the Other Portfolio, short-term portfolio investments and the External Investment Manager, which are discussed in the “Investment Portfolio Activity” section above).

Cost:

 

December 31, 2021

 

December 31, 2020

First lien debt

 

82.5

%  

77.0

%

Equity

 

16.2

%  

19.0

%

Second lien debt

 

0.6

%  

2.7

%

Equity warrants

 

0.3

%  

0.5

%

Other

 

0.4

%  

0.8

%

 

100.0

%  

100.0

%

Fair Value:

 

December 31, 2021

 

December 31, 2020

 

First lien debt

 

74.3

%  

70.0

%

 

Equity

 

24.6

%  

26.4

%

 

Second lien debt

 

0.5

%  

2.4

%

 

Equity warrants

 

0.2

%  

0.4

%

 

Other

 

0.4

%  

0.8

%

 

 

100.0

%  

100.0

%

 

Our LMM portfolio investments, Private Loan portfolio investments and Middle Market portfolio investments carry a number of risks including: (1) investing in companies which may have limited operating histories and financial resources; (2) holding investments that generally are not publicly traded and which may be subject to legal and other restrictions on resale; and (3) other risks common to investing in below investment grade debt and equity investments in our Investment Portfolio. Please see “Risk Factors — Risks Related to our Investments” for a more complete discussion of the risks involved with investing in our Investment Portfolio.

PORTFOLIO ASSET QUALITY

We utilize an internally developed investment rating system to rate the performance of each LMM portfolio company and to monitor our expected level of returns on each of our LMM investments in relation to our expectations for the portfolio company. The investment rating system takes into consideration various factors, including each investment’s expected level of returns, the collectability of our debt investments and the ability to receive a return of the invested capital in our equity investments, comparisons to competitors and other industry participants, the portfolio company’s future outlook and other factors that are deemed to be significant to the portfolio company.

As of December 31, 2021, our total Investment Portfolio had nine investments on non-accrual status, which comprised approximately 0.7% of its fair value and 3.3% of its cost. As of December 31, 2020, our total Investment Portfolio had seven investments on non-accrual status, which comprised approximately 1.3% of its fair value and 3.6% of its cost.

The operating results of our portfolio companies are impacted by changes in the broader fundamentals of the United States economy. In periods during which the United States economy contracts, as it did due to the impact of COVID-19, it is likely that the financial results of small to mid-sized companies, like those in which we invest, could experience deterioration or limited growth from current levels, which could ultimately lead to difficulty in meeting their debt service requirements, to an increase in defaults on our debt investments or in realized losses on our investments and to difficulty in maintaining historical dividend payment rates and unrealized appreciation on our equity investments. Consequently, we can provide no assurance that the performance of certain portfolio companies will not be negatively impacted by future economic cycles or other conditions, which could also have a negative impact on our future results.

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DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

Set forth below is a comparison of the results of operations and changes in financial condition for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020. The comparison of, and changes between, the fiscal years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019 can be found within “Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” included in Part II of our annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, which is incorporated herein by reference.

Comparison of the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020

Year Ended

 

December 31,

Net Change

    

2021

    

2020

    

Amount

    

%

(dollars in thousands)

Total investment income

$

289,047

$

222,614

$

66,433

 

30

%

Total expenses

 

(106,382)

 

(84,669)

 

(21,713)

 

26

%

Net investment income

 

182,665

 

137,945

 

44,720

 

32

%

Net realized gain (loss) from investments

 

45,336

 

(115,947)

 

161,283

NM

Net realized loss on extinguishment of debt

 

 

(534)

 

534

NM

Net unrealized appreciation (depreciation) from investments

 

135,624

 

(6,082)

 

141,706

NM

Unrealized appreciation from SBIC debentures

 

 

460

 

(460)

NM

Total net unrealized appreciation (depreciation)

 

135,624

 

(5,622)

 

141,246

NM

Income tax benefit (provision)

 

(32,863)

 

13,541

 

(46,404)

NM

Net increase in net assets resulting from operations

$

330,762

$

29,383

$

301,379

 

NM

Year Ended

 

December 31, 

Net Change

    

2021

    

2020

    

Amount

    

%

(dollars in thousands, except per share amounts)

 

Net investment income

$

182,665

$

137,945

$

44,720

 

32

%

Share‑based compensation expense

 

10,887

 

10,828

 

59

 

1

%

Distributable net investment income(a)

$

193,552

$

148,773

$

44,779

 

30

%

Net investment income per share—Basic and diluted

$

2.65

$

2.10

$

0.55

 

26

%

Distributable net investment income per share—Basic and diluted(a)

$

2.81

$

2.26

$

0.55

 

24

%


NM

Net Change % not meaningful

(a)Distributable net investment income is net investment income as determined in accordance with U.S. GAAP, excluding the impact of share-based compensation expense which is non-cash in nature. We believe presenting distributable net investment income and related per share amounts is useful and appropriate supplemental disclosure of information for analyzing our financial performance since share-based compensation does not require settlement in cash. However, distributable net investment income is a non-U.S. GAAP measure and should not be considered as a replacement to net investment income and other earnings measures presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP. Instead, distributable net investment income should be reviewed only in connection with such U.S. GAAP measures in analyzing our financial performance. A reconciliation of net investment income in accordance with U.S. GAAP to distributable net investment income is presented in the table above.

Investment Income

Total investment income for the year ended December 31, 2021 was $289.0 million, a 30% increase from the $222.6 million of total investment income for the prior year. The following table provides a summary of the changes in the comparable period activity.

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Year Ended

December 31, 

Net Change

2021

2020

Amount

%

(dollars in thousands)

Interest Income

$

193,667

$

173,676

$

19,991

12

%

(a)

Dividend Income

81,153

36,373

44,780

123

%

(b)

Fee Income

14,227

12,565

1,662

13

%

(c)

Total Investment Income

$

289,047

$

222,614

$

66,433

30

%

(d)


(a)The increase in interest income was primarily due to (i) a $17.4 million increase related to higher average levels of Investment Portfolio debt investments and (ii) a $2.5 million increase related to repayment, repricing and other activities related to certain Investment Portfolio debt investments.
(b)The increase in dividend income from Investment Portfolio equity investments was primarily a result of (i) improved operating results, financial condition and liquidity positions of certain of our portfolio companies following the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and (ii) a $11.8 million increase related to elevated dividend income considered to be less consistent or non-recurring.
(c)The increase in fee income was primarily due to a $3.4 million increase in fees from origination of debt investments resulting from higher new investment activity, partially offset by a $2.3 million decrease in fees from refinancing and prepayment of debt investments.
(d)The increase in total investment income includes the impact of certain income considered less consistent or non-recurring, including (i) a $11.8 million increase in dividend income and (ii) a $0.3 million net increase in interest income and fee income related to accelerated prepayment, repricing and other activity related to certain Investment Portfolio debt investments.

Expenses

Total expenses for the year ended December 31, 2021 were $106.4 million, a 26% increase from $84.7 million in the prior year. The following table provides a summary of the changes in the comparable period activity.

Year Ended

December 31, 

Net Change

2021

2020

Amount

%

(dollars in thousands)

Employee compensation expenses

$

33,002

$

17,504

$

15,498

89

%

(a)

Deferred compensation plan expense

1,440

1,477

(37)

(3)

%

Total compensation expense

34,442

18,981

15,461

81

%

G&A expense

12,494

12,702

(208)

(2)

%

Interest expense

58,836

49,587

9,249

19

%

(b)

Share-based compensation expense

10,887

10,828

59

1

%

Gross expenses

116,659

92,098

24,561

27

%

Allocation of expenses to the external investment manager

(10,277)

(7,429)

(2,848)

38

%

(c)

Total expenses

$

106,382

$

84,669

$

21,713

26

%


(a)The increase in employee compensation expenses was primarily due to an increase in our variable incentive compensation accruals related to our improved operating results in 2021.
(b)The increase in interest expense is primarily related to increased leverage levels to support our investment activity in the year ended December 31, 2021 as compared to the prior year. These borrowings included (i) an aggregate of $500.0 million in aggregate principal amount of our 3.00% Notes issued in January and October 2021 and (ii) an additional $125.0 million aggregate principal amount which we issued under our 5.20% Notes in July 2020, partially offset by decreased interest expense relating to our Credit Facility due to the lower average balance outstanding and the lower average interest rate.

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(c)The increase in the allocation of expenses to the External Investment Manager primarily relates to the impact of the transaction in October 2020, whereby the External Investment Manager became the sole investment adviser to MSC Income and the increased assets under management by the External Investment Manager.

Net Investment Income

Net investment income for the year ended December 31, 2021 increased 32% to $182.7 million, or $2.65 per share, compared to net investment income of $137.9 million, or $2.10 per share, for the prior year. The increase in net investment income was principally attributable to the increase in total investment income, partially offset by higher operating expenses, both as discussed above. The increase in net investment income per share reflects these changes, as well as the increase in weighted average shares outstanding for the year ended December 31, 2021, primarily due to shares issued through the ATM Program (as defined in “—Liquidity and Capital Resources—Capital Resources” below), shares issued pursuant to our equity incentive plans and shares issued pursuant to our dividend reinvestment plan. The increase in net investment income on a per share basis includes the impacts of an increase of $0.17 per share due to the increase in investment income from certain dividend income activity considered less consistent or non-recurring, as discussed above.

Distributable Net Investment Income

Distributable net investment income for the year ended December 31, 2021 increased 30% to $193.6 million, or $2.81 per share, compared with $148.8 million, or $2.26 per share, in the prior year. The increase in distributable net investment income was primarily due to the increased level of total investment income, partially offset by higher operating expenses, both as discussed above. The increase in distributable net investment income on a per share basis for the year ended December 31, 2021 also reflects the impacts of the increase in investment income from certain dividend activity considered less consistent or non-recurring and a greater number of average shares outstanding compared to the prior year, both as discussed above.

Net Realized Gain (Loss) from Investments

The following table provides a summary of the primary components of the total net realized gain on investments of $45.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2021:

Year Ended December 31, 2021

Full Exits

Partial Exits

Restructures

Other (a)

Total (a)

Net Gain/(Loss)

# of Investments

Net Gain/(Loss)

# of Investments

Net Gain/(Loss)

# of Investments

Net Gain/(Loss)

Net Gain/(Loss)

(dollars in thousands)

LMM Portfolio

$

51,019

7

$

-

-

$

(10,925)

1

$

(493)

$

39,601

Private Loan Portfolio

5,547

2