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Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit

Filed: 25 Feb 21, 5:09pm

Table of Contents

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

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

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020

or

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

Commission file number: 000-55660

 

Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)

 

 

 

 

Delaware

81-3233378

(State or Other Jurisdiction of

Incorporation or Organization)

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

 

 

200 West Street, New York, New York

10282

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

(Zip Code)

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

 

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

Not Applicable

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Title of each class

 

Trading Symbol(s)

 

Name of each exchange

on which registered

None

 

None

 

None

 

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

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 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 (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). YES NO

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

 

Large accelerated filer:

Accelerated filer:

Non-accelerated filer:

Smaller reporting company:

Emerging growth company:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

As of June 30, 2020, there was no established public market for the registrant’s limited liability company units. As of February 25, 2021, there were 10,687,877 units of the limited liability company’s common units outstanding.

 

 


Table of Contents

 

 

GOLDMAN SACHS PRIVATE MIDDLE MARKET CREDIT LLC

Index to Annual Report on Form 10-K for

The fiscal year ended December 31, 2020

 

 

 

PAGE

 

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

3

PART I.

4

ITEM 1.

Business

4

ITEM 1A.

Risk Factors

26

ITEM 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

52

ITEM 2.

Properties

52

ITEM 3.

Legal Proceedings

52

ITEM 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

52

 

PART II.

53

ITEM 5.

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

53

ITEM 6.

Selected Financial Data

54

ITEM 7.

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

55

ITEM 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

68

ITEM 8.

Consolidated Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

69

ITEM 9.

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

105

ITEM 9A.

Controls and Procedures

105

ITEM 9B.

Other Information

105

 

PART III.

106

ITEM 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

106

ITEM 11.

Executive Compensation

111

ITEM 12.

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

112

ITEM 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

112

ITEM 14.

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

113

 

PART IV.

115

ITEM 15.

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

115

ITEM 16.

Form 10-K Summary

117

 

 

 

 

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CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

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

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

 

our future operating results;

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

our business prospects and the prospects of our portfolio companies;

 

the impact of investments that we expect to make;

 

the impact of increased competition;

 

our contractual arrangements and relationships with third parties;

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

our ability to make distributions;

 

the adequacy of our cash resources and working capital;

 

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

 

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

 

the impact of future acquisitions and divestitures;

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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PART I.

Unless indicated otherwise in this annual report on Form 10-K or the context so requires, references to “Company,” “we,” “us” or “our” mean Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC together with its consolidated subsidiaries. The terms “GSAM,” our “Adviser” or our “Investment Adviser” refer to Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P., a Delaware limited partnership. The term “Group Inc.” refers to The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. The term “Goldman Sachs” refers to Group Inc., together with Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC (including its predecessors, “GS & Co.”), GSAM and its other subsidiaries and affiliates. Goldman Sachs advises clients in all markets and transactions and purchases, sells, holds and recommends a broad array of investments for its own accounts and for the accounts of clients and of its personnel, through client accounts and the relationships and products it sponsors, manages and advises (such Goldman Sachs or other client accounts (including us, Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc., (“GS BDC”) and Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit II LLC (“GS PMMC II”)), relationships and products, collectively, the “Accounts”).

ITEM 1.     BUSINESS

The Company

We are a specialty finance company focused on lending to middle-market companies. We are a closed-end management investment company that has elected to be regulated as a BDC under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”). In addition, we have elected to be treated, and expect to qualify annually, as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code, commencing with our taxable year ended December 31, 2016. From our commencement of investment operations on July 1, 2016 through December 31, 2020, we have originated $2.18 billion in aggregate principal amount of debt and equity investments prior to any subsequent exits and repayments. We seek to generate current income and, to a lesser extent, capital appreciation primarily through direct originations of secured debt, including first lien, unitranche, including last out portions of such loans, and second lien debt, and unsecured debt, including mezzanine debt, as well as through select equity investments.

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

We expect to invest, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of our net assets (plus any borrowings for investment purposes), directly or indirectly in private middle-market credit obligations and related instruments. We define “credit obligations and related instruments” for this purpose as any fixed-income instrument, including loans to, and bonds and preferred stock of, portfolio companies and other instruments that provide exposure to such fixed-income instruments. “Middle market” is used to refer to companies with between $5 million and $125 million of annual earnings before interest expense, income tax expense, depreciation and amortization (“EBITDA”) excluding certain one-time and non-recurring items that are outside the operations of these companies. While, as a result of fluctuations in the net asset value (“NAV”) of one asset relative to another asset, private middle-market credit obligations and related instruments may represent less than 80% of our net assets (plus any borrowings for investment purposes) at any time, we may not invest, under normal circumstances, more than 20% of our net assets (plus any borrowings for investment purposes) in securities and other instruments that are not private middle-market credit obligations and related instruments. To the extent we determine to invest indirectly in private middle-market credit obligations and related instruments, we may invest through certain synthetic instruments, including derivatives that have similar economic characteristics to private middle-market credit obligations which we will value at market value or, if no market value is ascertainable, at fair value for the purpose of complying with the above mentioned policy. For purposes of determining compliance with our 80% policy, each applicable derivative instrument will be valued based upon its market value. We will notify unitholders (the “Unitholders”) at least 60 days prior to any change to the 80% investment policy described above.

We expect to directly or indirectly invest at least 70% of our total assets in middle-market companies domiciled in the United States. However, we may from time to time invest opportunistically in large U.S. companies, non-U.S. companies, stressed or distressed debt, structured products, private equity or other opportunities, subject to limits imposed by the Investment Company Act.

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

For a discussion of the competitive landscape we face, please see “Item 1A. Risk Factors—Competition—We operate in a highly competitive market for investment opportunities” and “Business—Competitive Advantages.”

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Available Information

We file with or submit to the SEC periodic and current reports, proxy statements and other information meeting the informational requirements of the Exchange Act. The SEC maintains an Internet site at http://www.sec.gov that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information filed electronically by us with the SEC. Copies of these reports, proxy and information statements and other information may be obtained by electronic request at the following e-mail address: publicinfo@sec.gov.

Investment Strategy

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

Investment Portfolio

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

 

 

 

December 31, 2020

 

 

 

Amortized

Cost

 

 

Fair Value

 

 

Percentage

of Total

Portfolio at

Fair Value

 

 

 

($ in millions)

 

 

 

 

 

First Lien/Senior Secured Debt

 

$

776.74

 

 

$

767.93

 

 

 

61.2

%

First Lien/Last-Out Unitranche

 

 

137.13

 

 

 

131.58

 

 

 

10.5

 

Second Lien/Senior Secured Debt

 

 

348.31

 

 

 

323.21

 

 

 

25.7

 

Unsecured Debt

 

 

5.57

 

 

 

5.15

 

 

 

0.4

 

Preferred Stock

 

 

10.41

 

 

 

10.40

 

 

 

0.8

 

Common Stock

 

 

12.01

 

 

 

18.05

 

 

 

1.4

 

Warrants

 

 

1.34

 

 

 

 

 

 

-

 

Total Investments

 

$

1,291.51

 

 

$

1,256.32

 

 

 

100.0

%

 

As of December 31, 2020, our portfolio consisted of 110 investments in 52 portfolio companies across 28 different industries. The largest industries in our portfolio, based on fair value as of December 31, 2020, were Interactive Media & Services, Health Care Technology, Health Care Providers & Services and Diversified Financial Services, which represented 14.8%, 10.2%, 8.5% and 8.4%, respectively, of our portfolio at fair value. The geographic composition of our portfolio at fair value as of December 31, 2020 was 96.8% invested in portfolio companies organized in the United States, 2.6% in portfolio companies organized in Ireland and 0.6% in portfolio companies organized in Canada.

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

 

 

 

December 31, 2020

 

 

 

Amortized Cost

 

 

Fair Value

 

Weighted Average Yield(1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Lien/Senior Secured Debt(2)

 

 

8.1

%

 

 

8.7

%

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

 

 

9.0

 

 

 

10.2

 

Second Lien/Senior Secured Debt(2)

 

 

9.4

 

 

 

10.8

 

Unsecured Debt(2)

 

 

13.6

 

 

 

18.4

 

Preferred Stock(4)

 

 

 

 

Common Stock(4)

 

 

 

 

Warrants(4)

 

 

 

 

Total Portfolio

 

 

8.4

%

 

 

9.2

%

 

(1) 

The weighted average yield of our portfolio does not represent the total return to our Unitholders.

(2) 

Computed based on (a) the annual actual interest rate or yield earned plus amortization of fees and discounts on the performing debt and other income producing investments as of the reporting date, divided by (b) the total investments (including investments on non-accrual and non-income producing investments) at amortized cost or fair value, respectively.

(3) 

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

(4) 

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

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Table of Contents

 

 

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

 

 

 

December 31, 2020

 

Number of portfolio companies

 

 

52

 

Percentage of performing debt bearing a floating rate (1)

 

 

98.8

%

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

 

 

1.2

%

Weighted average leverage (net debt/EBITDA)(3)

 

6.5x

 

Weighted average interest coverage(3)

 

2.5x

 

Median EBITDA(3)

$

45.3 million

 

 

(1) 

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

(2) 

Includes income producing preferred stock investments, if applicable.

(3) 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Portfolio company statistics are derived from the most recently available financial statements of each portfolio company as of the reported end date. Statistics of the portfolio companies have not been independently verified by us and may reflect a normalized or adjusted amount.

 

As of December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019, investments where net debt to EBITDA may not be the appropriate measure of credit risk represented 30.3% and 20.7%, respectively, of total debt investments at fair value.

Floating rates are primarily London InterBank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) plus a spread.

 

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Corporate Structure and Private Offering

We were formed as a Delaware limited partnership on December 23, 2015 with the name Private Middle Market Credit LP and converted to a Delaware limited liability company on April 4, 2016, at which time our name was changed to Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC. We have elected to be regulated as a BDC under the Investment Company Act. In addition, we have elected to be treated, and expect to qualify annually, as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code, commencing with our taxable year ended December 31, 2016.

From May 6, 2016 (the “Initial Closing Date”) through May 5, 2017 (the “Final Closing Date”), we accepted subscription agreements from investors acquiring Units in our continuous private offering of common units of our limited liability company interests (the “Units”). Investors acquiring Units in the private offering each entered into a subscription agreement (“Subscription Agreement”) pursuant to which the investor agreed to purchase Units for an aggregate purchase price equal to the portion of its requested capital commitment to us that we accepted (its “Commitment”). Each individual (a “Unitholder”) holding Units is required to make capital contributions (up to the amount of their undrawn Commitment) to purchase Units in respect of its Commitment each time we deliver a drawdown notice, which will be delivered in respect of such Commitment at least five business days (as defined in Rule 14d-1 of the Exchange Act) (“Business Days”) prior to the required funding date (the “Drawdown Date”). New Units are issued on each Drawdown Date.

Credit Alternatives GP LLC (the “Initial Member”) made a capital contribution to us of $100 on June 9, 2016 (inception) and served as our sole initial member. We cancelled the Initial Member’s interest in us on July 14, 2016, the first date on which investors (other than the Initial Member) made their initial capital contribution to purchase Units (the “Initial Drawdown Date”).

Subject to certain limited exceptions under the Investment Company Act, on each Drawdown Date, Unitholders will be required to purchase Units at a price equal to our then-current NAV per Unit as of the end of the most recent calendar month prior to the date of the applicable drawdown notice or issuance date, subject to the limitations of Section 23 under the Investment Company Act (which generally prohibits us from issuing Units at a price below the then-current NAV of the Units as determined within 48 hours, excluding Sundays and holidays, of such issuance, subject to certain exceptions).

We held a limited number of closings subsequent to the Initial Closing Date (each date on which a subsequent closing was held, a “Subsequent Closing Date”). On November 1, 2016, our board of directors (the “Board of Directors” or the “Board”) approved an amended and restated LLC agreement (the “LLC Agreement”) and approved an extension of the final date on which we would accept Subscription Agreements to the Final Closing Date.

Unitholders are entitled to receive dividends or other distributions declared by the Board of Directors and are entitled to one vote for each Unit held on all matters submitted to a vote of the Unitholders.

 

As of the date indicated, we had aggregate Commitments and undrawn Commitments from investors as follows:

 

 

 

 

December 31, 2020

 

 

 

Capital

Commitments

($ in millions)

 

 

Unfunded

Capital

Commitments

($ in millions)

 

 

% of Capital

Commitments

Funded

 

Common Units

 

$

1,097.43

 

 

$

60.36

 

 

 

95

%

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The following table summarizes the total Units issued and proceeds received related to capital drawdowns:

 

Unit Issue Date

 

Units Issued

 

 

Proceeds

Received

($ in millions)

 

For the Year Ended December 31, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 27, 2020

 

 

502,481

 

 

$

43.90

 

Total capital drawdowns

 

 

502,481

 

 

$

43.90

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the Year Ended December 31, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 22, 2019

 

 

689,032

 

 

$

65.84

 

March 28, 2019

 

 

455,946

 

 

 

43.90

 

April 29, 2019

 

 

234,200

 

 

 

21.95

 

May 30, 2019

 

 

232,747

 

 

 

21.95

 

September 20, 2019

 

 

58,300

 

 

 

5.49

 

Total capital drawdowns

 

 

1,670,225

 

 

$

159.13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the Year Ended December 31, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 21, 2018

 

 

335,966

 

 

$

32.92

 

March 28, 2018

 

 

222,135

 

 

 

21.95

 

April 27, 2018

 

 

339,498

 

 

 

32.92

 

June 28, 2018

 

 

558,772

 

 

 

54.87

 

August 27, 2018

 

 

903,600

 

 

 

87.80

 

September 27, 2018

 

 

336,610

 

 

 

32.92

 

November 13, 2018

 

 

795,162

 

 

 

76.82

 

Total capital drawdowns

 

 

3,491,743

 

 

 

340.20

 

 

Investment Period

Our investment period commenced on the Initial Closing Date and continued through May 5, 2019. Following the end of the investment period, we have the right to issue drawdowns only (i) to pay, and/or establish reserves for, our actual or anticipated expenses, liabilities, including the payment or repayment of indebtedness for borrowed money (including through the issuance of notes and other evidence of indebtedness), other indebtedness, financings or extensions of credit, or other obligations, contingent or otherwise, including the Management Fee (as defined below), whether incurred before or after the end of the investment period, (ii) to fulfill investment commitments made or approved by the Investment Committee (as defined below) prior to the expiration of the investment period, (iii) to engage in hedging transactions or (iv) to make additional investments in existing portfolio companies (including transactions to hedge interest rate or currency risks related to such additional investment).

Term

Our term will expire on May 5, 2024, subject to the Board of Directors’ right to liquidate us at any time and to extend our term for up to two successive one year periods (such term, including any extensions, the “Term”). Upon the request of the Board of Directors and the approval of a majority-in-interest of the Unitholders, our Term may be further extended.

We shall be dissolved (i) upon the expiration of our Term (as such Term may be extended pursuant to the above), (ii) at any time upon a decision of the Board of Directors, (iii) if there are no Unitholders, unless our business is continued in accordance with the LLC Agreement or applicable law or (iv) upon the entry of a decree of judicial dissolution under applicable law.

 

Our Investment Adviser

GSAM serves as our Investment Adviser and has been registered as an investment adviser with the SEC since 1990. Subject to the supervision of our Board of Directors, a majority of which is made up of independent directors (including an independent Chairman), GSAM manages our day-to-day operations and provides us with investment advisory and management services and certain administrative services. GSAM is a subsidiary of Group Inc., a public company that is a bank holding company (a “BHC”), financial holding company (a “FHC”) and a world-wide, full-service financial services organization. Group Inc. is the general partner and owner of GSAM. GSAM has been providing financial solutions for investors since 1988 and had over $1.95 trillion of assets under supervision as of December 31, 2020.

The GSAM Private Credit Group

The Private Credit Group of GSAM (the “GSAM Private Credit Group”) is responsible for identifying investment opportunities, conducting research and due diligence on prospective investments, negotiating and structuring our investments and monitoring and servicing our investments. The GSAM Private Credit Group was comprised of 28 investment professionals, as of December 31, 2020, all of whom are dedicated to the Company’s investment strategy and other funds that share a similar investment strategy with the Company. The GSAM Private Credit Group sits with a broader team known as the “GSAM Credit Alternatives Team” which has additional responsibilities other

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than those relating to the Company. In addition, GSAM has risk management, legal, accounting, tax, information technology and compliance personnel, among others, who provide services to us. We benefit from the expertise provided by these personnel in our operations.

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

All investment decisions are made by the investment committee of GSAM’s Private Credit Group (the “Investment Committee”), which currently consists of five voting members: Brendan McGovern, Jon Yoder, David Yu, Jordan Walter and Michael Mastropaolo, as well as three non-voting members with operational and/or legal expertise. For biographical information about the voting members of the Investment Committee, see “Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance—Biographical Information.” The Investment Committee is responsible for approving all of our investments. The Investment Committee also monitors investments in our portfolio and approves all asset dispositions. We expect to benefit from the extensive and varied relevant experience of the investment professionals serving on the Investment Committee, which includes expertise in privately originated and publicly traded leveraged credit, stressed and distressed debt, bankruptcy, mergers and acquisitions and private equity. The voting members of the Investment Committee collectively have over 50 years of experience in middle-market investment and activities related to middle-market investing. The membership of the Investment Committee may change from time to time.

Investment Committee

All investment decisions are made by the Investment Committee which consists of five voting members, Brendan McGovern, Jon Yoder, David Yu, Jordan Walter and Michael Mastropaolo, as well as three non-voting members with operational or legal expertise. Our Investment Committee is responsible for approving all of our investments. Our Investment Committee also monitors investments in our portfolio and approves all asset dispositions. We expect to benefit from the extensive and varied relevant experience of the investment professionals serving on our Investment Committee, which includes expertise in privately originated and publicly traded leveraged credit, stressed and distressed debt, bankruptcy, mergers and acquisitions and private equity.

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

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

Investments

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

As of December 31, 2020, our portfolio (which term does not include our investment in a money market fund managed by an affiliate of Group Inc.) on a fair value basis, was comprised of approximately 97.4% secured debt investments (61.2% in first lien debt, 10.5% in first lien/last-out unitranche loans and 25.7% in second lien debt), 0.4% in unsecured debt, 0.8% in preferred stock and 1.4% in common stock and warrants. We expect that our portfolio will continue to include secured debt, including first lien, unitranche, including last out portions of such loans, and second lien debt, unsecured debt (including mezzanine debt) and, to a lesser extent, equities. In addition to investments in U.S. middle-market companies, we may invest a portion of our capital in opportunistic investments, such as in large U.S. companies, foreign companies, stressed or distressed debt, structured products or private equity. Such investments are intended to enhance our risk adjusted returns to Unitholders, and the proportion of these types of investments will change over time given our views on, among other things, the economic and credit environment in which we are operating, although these types of investments generally will constitute less than 30% of our total assets.

 

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

On January 4, 2017, the SEC granted exemptive relief that permits us to co-invest with GS BDC, Goldman Sachs Middle Market Lending Corp. (“GS MMLC,” which merged with GS BDC on October 12, 2020), GS PMMC II and certain other funds managed by GSAM, including the GSAM Credit Alternatives Team, in a manner consistent with our investment objectives, positions, policies, strategies and restrictions as well as regulatory requirements and other pertinent factors. Additionally, if our Investment Adviser forms other funds in the

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future, we may co-invest on a concurrent basis with such other affiliates, subject to compliance with the exemptive relief, applicable regulations and regulatory guidance, as well as applicable allocation procedures.

Investment Criteria

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Our due diligence typically includes:

 

review of historical and prospective financial information;

 

review of the capital structure;

 

analysis of the business and industry in which the company operates;

 

on-site visits;

 

interviews with management, employees, customers and vendors of the potential portfolio company;

 

review of loan documents;

 

background checks; and

 

research relating to the portfolio company’s management, industry, markets, products and services and competitors.

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

Investment Structure

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

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

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

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

In the case of our secured debt and unsecured debt, including mezzanine debt investments, we seek to tailor the terms of the investments to the facts and circumstances of the transactions and the prospective portfolio companies, negotiating a structure that protects our rights and manages our risk while creating incentives for the portfolio companies to achieve their business plan and improve their profitability. For example, in addition to seeking a senior position in the capital structure of our portfolio companies, we seek to limit the downside potential of our investments by:

 

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

 

incorporating “put” rights and call protection into the investment structure; and

 

negotiating covenants in connection with our investments that afford our portfolio companies as much flexibility in managing their businesses as possible, consistent with preservation of our capital. Such restrictions may include affirmative and negative covenants, default penalties, lien protection, change of control provisions and board rights, including either observation or participation rights.

 

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

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

Allocation of Opportunities

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

We are prohibited by the Investment Company Act from participating in certain transactions with our affiliates without the prior approval of the Independent Directors (as defined in “Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance”) and, in some cases, of the SEC. Any person that owns, directly or indirectly, five percent or more of our outstanding voting securities is our affiliate for purposes of the Investment Company Act, and we are generally prohibited from buying or selling any assets from or to, or entering into certain “joint” transactions (which could include investments in the same portfolio company) with such affiliates, absent the prior approval of the Independent Directors. Our Investment Adviser and its affiliates, including persons that control, or are under common control with, us or our Investment Adviser, are also considered our affiliates under the Investment Company Act, and we are generally prohibited from buying or selling any assets from or to, or entering into “joint” transactions with, such affiliates without exemptive relief from the SEC.  

Subject to applicable law, we may invest alongside Goldman Sachs and its Accounts. In certain circumstances, negotiated co-investments by us and other Accounts may be made only pursuant to an order from the SEC permitting us to do so. Together with our Investment Adviser, GS BDC, GS MMLC (which merged with GS BDC on October 12, 2020) and GS PMMC II, we applied for and received an exemptive order from the SEC that permits us to participate in negotiated co-investment transactions with certain affiliates (including GS BDC and GS PMMC II), each of whose investment adviser is GSAM. After the date of the exemptive order, co-investments may be made subject to certain conditions, including that co-investments are made in a manner consistent with our investment objectives, positions, policies, strategies and restrictions, as well as regulatory requirements and pursuant to the conditions required by the exemptive relief and are allocated fairly among participants. As a result of our exemptive order, there could be significant overlap in our investment portfolio and the investment portfolios of GS BDC, GS PMMC II and/or other funds managed by our Investment Adviser. If our Investment Adviser identifies an investment and we are unable to rely on our exemptive relief for that particular opportunity, our Investment Adviser will be required to determine which Accounts should make the investment at the potential exclusion of other Accounts. In such circumstances, the Investment

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Adviser will adhere to its investment allocation policy in order to determine the Account to which to allocate the opportunity. The policy provides that our Investment Adviser allocate opportunities through a rotation system or in such other manner as our Investment Adviser determines to be equitable. Accordingly, it is possible that we may not be given the opportunity to participate in investments made by other Accounts.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In connection with certain of our investments, following our Investment Adviser’s determination that the appropriate portion of an applicable investment opportunity has been offered to us and other Accounts in accordance with the Investment Adviser’s allocation policy and applicable legal requirements, including the Investment Company Act and, if applicable, the terms of the SEC exemptive order on co-investments disclosed herein (collectively, “Applicable Law”), we and/or our Investment Adviser may have the opportunity to offer all or a

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portion of the excess amounts of such investment opportunity to other persons or entities. These opportunities include, for example, where our Investment Adviser has determined that while it is in our best interests to acquire the full amount of an investment available to it if the alternative is to not make the investment at all, it is further in our best interests of, due to diversification, portfolio management, leverage management, investment profile, risk tolerance or other exposure guidelines or limitations, cash flow or other considerations, for us to hold less economic exposure to the investment than such full amount. Subject to Applicable Law, such opportunities may be structured as an investment alongside us or as a purchase of a portion of the investment from us (through a syndication, participation or otherwise).

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

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


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Market Opportunity

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Competitive Advantages

The Goldman Sachs Platform: Group Inc. is a leading global financial institution that provides a broad range of financial services to a substantial and diversified client base, including companies and high net worth individuals, among others. The firm is headquartered in New York, and maintains offices across the United States and in all major financial centers around the world. Group Inc.’s asset management subsidiary, GSAM, is one of the world’s leading investment managers with 702 investment professionals and approximately $1.95 trillion in assets under supervision2 as of December 31, 2020. GSAM’s investment teams, including the GSAM Private Credit Group, capitalize on the relationships, market insights, risk management expertise, technology and infrastructure of Goldman Sachs. The GSAM Private Credit Group believes the Goldman Sachs platform delivers a meaningful competitive advantage in the following ways:

 

Origination of Investment Opportunities: Goldman Sachs has a preeminent network of relationships and the ability to provide valued intellectual, as well as financial, capital to middle-market borrowers which the GSAM Private Credit Group believes significantly enhances

 

1

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

2

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

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

 

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

 

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

Operating and Regulatory Structure

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

We have elected to be treated, and expect to qualify annually, as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code, commencing with our taxable year ended December 31, 2016. As a RIC, we generally will not be required to pay corporate-level U.S. federal income taxes on any net ordinary income or capital gains that we timely distribute to our Unitholders as dividends if we meet certain source of income, distribution, and asset diversification requirements. We intend to timely distribute to our Unitholders substantially all of our annual taxable income for each year, except that we may retain certain net capital gains for reinvestment and we may choose to carry forward taxable income for distribution in the following year and pay any applicable tax. In addition, the distributions we pay to our Unitholders in a year may exceed our net ordinary income and capital gains for that year and, accordingly, a portion of such distributions may constitute a return of capital for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

Ongoing relationships with portfolio companies

Monitoring

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

As part of the monitoring process, our Investment Adviser also employs an investment rating system to categorize our investments. In addition to various risk management and monitoring tools, our Investment Adviser grades the credit risk of all investments on a scale of 1 to 4 no less frequently than quarterly. This system is intended primarily to reflect the underlying risk of a portfolio investment relative to our initial cost basis in respect of such portfolio investment (i.e., at the time of origination or acquisition), although it may also take into account

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in certain circumstances the performance of the portfolio company’s business, the collateral coverage of the investment and other relevant factors. The grading system for our investments is as follows:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Managerial Assistance

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

Competition

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

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

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

Staffing

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

Properties

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

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Legal Proceedings

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

Our Administrator

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

Management Agreements

Investment Advisory Agreement

The investment advisory and management agreement (the “Investment Advisory Agreement”) with our Investment Adviser was entered into as of April 11, 2016. The Investment Advisory Agreement will remain in full force and effect so long as such continuance is specifically approved at least annually by (a) the vote of a majority of the Independent Directors in accordance with the requirements of the Investment Company Act, and (b) a vote of a majority of the Board of Directors or a majority of our outstanding voting securities, as defined in the Investment Company Act. The Investment Advisory Agreement may, on 60 days’ written notice to the other party, be terminated in its entirety at any time without the payment of any penalty, by the Board of Directors or by vote of a majority of our outstanding voting securities, on the one hand, or by our Investment Adviser, on the other hand. The Investment Advisory Agreement also will automatically terminate in the event of its assignment (as defined in the Investment Company Act). See “Item 1A. Risk Factors—Competition—We are dependent upon management personnel of our Investment Adviser for our success.”

 

Management Services

Pursuant to the terms of the Investment Advisory Agreement, GSAM, subject to the overall supervision of the Board of Directors, manages our day-to-day operations and provides investment advisory and management services to us. See “Item 1A. Risk Factors—Our Business and Structure—Our Investment Adviser, its principals, investment professionals and employees and the members of its Investment Committee have certain conflicts of interest.”

Subject to compliance with applicable law and published SEC guidance, nothing contained in the Investment Advisory Agreement in any way precludes, restricts or limits the activities of our Investment Adviser or any of its respective subsidiaries or affiliated parties.

Management Fee

Pursuant to the Investment Advisory Agreement, we pay our Investment Adviser a management fee (the “Management Fee”), payable quarterly in arrears, equal to 0.375% (i.e., an annual rate of 1.50%) of our average NAV (including uninvested cash and cash equivalents) at the end of the then-current quarter and the prior calendar quarter (and, in the case of our first quarter, our NAV as of such quarter-end). The Management Fee for any partial quarter will be appropriately prorated.

For the year ended December 31, 2020, Management Fees amounted to $13.43 million. As of December 31, 2020, $3.24 million remained payable. For the year ended December 31, 2019, Management Fees amounted to $13.60 million.

Incentive Fee

Pursuant to the Investment Advisory Agreement, we pay to our Investment Adviser an Incentive Fee (the “Incentive Fee”) as follows:

 

(a)

First, no Incentive Fee is payable to our Investment Adviser until we have made cumulative distributions pursuant to this clause (a) equal to aggregate Contributed Capital (as defined below);

 

(b)

Second, no Incentive Fee is payable to our Investment Adviser until we have made cumulative distributions pursuant to this clause (b) equal to a 7% return per annum, compounded annually, on aggregate unreturned Contributed Capital, from the date each capital contribution is made through the date such capital has been returned;

 

(c)

Third, subject to clauses (a) and (b), our Investment Adviser is entitled to an Incentive Fee equal to 100% of all amounts designated by us as proceeds intended for distribution and Incentive Fee payments, until such time as the cumulative Incentive Fee paid to our Investment Adviser pursuant to this clause (c) is equal to 15% of the amount by which the sum of (i) cumulative distributions to Unitholders pursuant to clauses (a) and (b) above and (ii) the cumulative Incentive Fee previously paid to our Investment Adviser pursuant to this clause (c) exceeds Contributed Capital; and

 

(d)

Fourth, at any time that clause (c) has been satisfied, our Investment Adviser is entitled to an Incentive Fee equal to 15% of all amounts designated by us as proceeds intended for distribution and Incentive Fee payments.

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The Incentive Fee is calculated on a cumulative basis and the amount of the Incentive Fee payable prior to a proposed distribution will be determined and, if applicable, paid in accordance with the foregoing formula each time amounts are to be distributed to the Unitholders. The Incentive Fee is a fee owed by us to our Investment Adviser and is not paid out of distributions made to Unitholders.

In no event will an amount be paid with respect to the Incentive Fee to the extent it would cause the aggregate amount of our capital gains paid in respect of the Incentive Fee to exceed 20% of our realized capital gains computed net of all realized capital losses and unrealized capital depreciation, in each case determined on a cumulative basis from inception of us through the date of the proposed payment.

“Contributed Capital” is the aggregate amount of capital contributions that have been made by all Unitholders in respect of their Units to us. All distributions (or deemed distributions), including investment income (i.e. proceeds received in respect of interest payments, dividends and fees) and proceeds attributable to the repayment or disposition of any Investment, to Unitholders will be considered a return of Contributed Capital. Unreturned Contributed Capital equals aggregate Contributed Capital minus cumulative distributions, but is never less than zero.

The term “proceeds intended for distribution and Incentive Fee payments” includes proceeds from the full or partial realization of our Investments and income from investing activities and may include return of capital, ordinary income and capital gains.

If, at our termination, our Investment Adviser has received aggregate payments of Incentive Fees in excess of the amount our Investment Adviser would have received had the Incentive Fees been determined upon such termination, then our Investment Adviser will reimburse us for the difference between the amount of Incentive Fees actually received and the amount determined at termination (the “Investment Adviser Reimbursement Obligation”). However, our Investment Adviser will not be required to reimburse us an amount greater than the aggregate Incentive Fees paid to our Investment Adviser, reduced by the excess (if any) of (a) the aggregate federal, state and local income tax liability our Investment Adviser incurred in connection with the payment of such Incentive Fees (assuming the highest marginal applicable federal and New York city and state income tax rates applied to such payments), over (b) an amount equal to the U.S. federal and state tax benefits available to our Investment Adviser by virtue of the payment made by our Investment Adviser pursuant to its Investment Adviser Reimbursement Obligation (assuming that, to the extent such payments are deductible by our Investment Adviser, the benefit of such deductions will be computed using the then highest marginal applicable federal and New York city and state income tax rates).

 

If the Investment Advisory Agreement is terminated prior to our termination (other than our Investment Adviser voluntarily terminating the agreement), we will pay to our Investment Adviser a final Incentive Fee payment (the “Final Incentive Fee Payment”). The Final Incentive Fee Payment will be calculated as of the date the Investment Advisory Agreement is terminated and will equal the amount of Incentive Fee that would be payable to our Investment Adviser if (a) all Investments were liquidated for their current value (but without taking into account any unrealized appreciation of any Investment), and any unamortized deferred Investment-related fees would be deemed accelerated, (b) the proceeds from such liquidation were used to pay all our outstanding liabilities, and (c) the remainder was distributed to Unitholders and paid as Incentive Fee in accordance with the Incentive Fee waterfall described above for determining the amount of the Incentive Fee. The Company will make the Final Incentive Fee Payment in cash on or immediately following the date the Investment Advisory Agreement is so terminated. Our Investment Adviser Reimbursement Obligation will be determined as of the date of the termination of the Investment Advisory Agreement for purposes of the Final Incentive Fee Payment.

Example Incentive Fee Calculations

Case #1 (5.00% return on Contributed Capital)

Assume $100.00 of aggregate Contributed Capital, with the entire amount contributed on January 1.

The Company produces $5.00 of net profit over the year (after payment of all Company expenses including the Management Fee) and liquidates on December 31, designating $105.00 for distribution and Incentive Fee payments.

Step 1: Unitholders receive distributions totaling their $100.00 of aggregate Contributed Capital. There remains $5.00 designated for distribution and Incentive Fee payments.

Step 2: Unitholders are entitled to 100% of the remaining amount until they have received a 7% annual return on their unreturned Contributed Capital, which in this case totals $7.00. The remaining $5.00 is distributed to the Unitholders in satisfaction of this entitlement, leaving no further amounts designated for distribution and Incentive Fee payments.

In this case the total Incentive Fee received by our Investment Adviser is $0.00, or 0% of the $5.00 of net profit to us.

Case #2 (7.75% return on Contributed Capital)

Assume $100.00 of aggregate Contributed Capital, with the entire amount contributed on January 1.

The Company produces $7.75 of net profit over the year (after payment of all Company expenses including the Management Fee) and liquidates on December 31, designating $107.75 for distribution and Incentive Fee payments.

Step 1: Unitholders receive distributions totaling their $100.00 of aggregate Contributed Capital. There remains $7.75 designated for distribution and Incentive Fee payments.

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Step 2: Unitholders are entitled to 100% of the remaining amount until they have received a 7% annual return on their unreturned Contributed Capital, which in this case totals $7.00. $7.00 is distributed to the Unitholders in satisfaction of this entitlement. There remains $0.75 designated for distribution and Incentive Fee payments.

Step 3: Our Investment Adviser is entitled to 100% of the remaining amount until it has received 15% of total distributions and Incentive Fee payments in excess of Contributed Capital, which in this case totals approximately $1.24. The remaining $0.75 is paid to our Investment Adviser as an Incentive Fee, leaving no further amounts designated for distribution and Incentive Fee payments.

In this case the total Incentive Fee received by our Investment Adviser is $0.75, or 9.68% of the $7.75 of net profit to us.

 

Case #3 (12.00% return on Contributed Capital)

Assume $100 of aggregate Contributed Capital, with the entire amount contributed on January 1.

The Company produces $12.00 of net profit over the year (after payment of all Company expenses including the Management Fee) and liquidates on December 31, designating $112.00 for distribution and Incentive Fee payments.

Step 1: Unitholders receive distributions totaling their $100.00 of aggregate Contributed Capital. There remains $12.00 designated for distribution and Incentive Fee payments.

Step 2: Unitholders are entitled to 100% of the remaining amount until they have received a 7% annual return on their unreturned Contributed Capital, which in this case totals $7.00. $7.00 is distributed to the Unitholders in satisfaction of this entitlement. There remains $5.00 designated for distribution and Incentive Fee payments.

Step 3: Our Investment Adviser is entitled to 100% of the remaining amount until it has received 15% of total distributions and Incentive Fee payments in excess of Contributed Capital, which in this case totals approximately $1.24. Such amount is paid to our Investment Adviser as an Incentive Fee in satisfaction of this entitlement. There remains approximately $3.76 designated for distribution and Incentive Fee payments.

Step 4: Unitholders are entitled to 85% of the remaining amount and our Investment Adviser is entitled to 15% of the remaining amount. Therefore, the Unitholders receive approximately $3.20 in additional distributions while our Investment Adviser receives approximately $0.56 in additional Incentive Fee payments.

In this case the total Incentive Fee received by our Investment Adviser is $1.80, or 15.00% of the $12.00 of net profit to us.

Board Approval of the Investment Advisory Agreement

Our Board of Directors determined at an in person meeting held on July 29, 2019 to approve the continuation of the Investment Advisory Agreement. In its consideration of the renewal of the Investment Advisory Agreement, the Board of Directors focused on information it had received relating to, among other things:

 

the nature, quality and extent of the advisory and other services provided to us by the Investment Adviser;

 

the contractual terms of the Investment Advisory Agreement, including the structure of the Management Fee imposed on net assets (including cash) and the Incentive Fee imposed on net investment income and capital gains;

 

comparative data with respect to the advisory fees and other expenses paid by other BDCs managed by the Investment Adviser;

 

information about the services performed and the personnel performing such services under the Investment Advisory Agreement;

 

comparative data with respect to our investment performance and the performance of another BDC managed by the Investment Adviser;

 

the Investment Adviser’s revenues and pre-tax profit margins with respect to its management of us;

 

any existing and potential benefits to the Investment Adviser or its affiliates from its relationship with us;

 

other potential benefits to us as a result of our relationship with the Investment Adviser; and

 

such other matters as the Board of Directors determined were relevant to their consideration of the Investment Advisory Agreement.

In connection with their consideration of the renewal of the Investment Advisory Agreement, our Board of Directors gave weight to each of the factors described above, but did not identify any one particular factor as controlling their decision. After deliberation and consideration of all of the information provided, including the factors described above, the Board of Directors concluded, in the exercise of their business judgment, that the management fees paid by us were reasonable in light of the services provided to us by the Investment Adviser, the Investment Adviser’s costs, and our current and reasonably foreseeable asset levels. The Board of Directors unanimously concluded that the Investment Adviser’s continued management likely would benefit us and our Unitholders and that the Investment Advisory Agreement should be approved and continued with respect to us until August 31, 2020; and the continuance of the Investment Advisory Agreement until August 31, 2021 was approved by a majority of the disinterested directors of the Company at an in-person meeting on November 3, 2020.

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For the year ended December 31, 2018, we paid our Investment Adviser a total of $8.37 million in fees (excluding fees that are accrued but not paid) pursuant to the Investment Advisory Agreement, which consisted of $8.37 million in Management Fees and no Incentive Fees. For the year ended December 31, 2019, we paid our Investment Adviser a total of $13.11 million in fees (excluding fees that are accrued but not paid) pursuant to the Investment Advisory Agreement, which consisted of $13.11 million in Management Fees and no Incentive Fees. For the year ended December 31, 2020, we paid our Investment Adviser a total of $13.58 million in fees (excluding fees that are accrued but not paid) pursuant to the Investment Advisory Agreement, which consisted of $13.58 million in Management Fees and no Incentive Fees.  

 

Duration and Termination

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

Limited Liability of our Investment Adviser

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

Organization of our Investment Adviser

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

Organizational and Operating Expenses

Our primary operating expenses include the payment of the Management Fee and the Incentive Fee to our Investment Adviser, legal and professional fees, interest and other expenses of Financings (as defined in “—Investment Period” above) and other operating and overhead related expenses. The Management Fee and Incentive Fee compensate our Investment Adviser for its work in identifying, evaluating, negotiating, closing and monitoring our investments. We bear all other costs and expenses of our operations and transactions in accordance with the Investment Advisory Agreement and Administration Agreement, including those relating to: (i) our operational and organizational expenses; (ii) our fees and expenses, including travel expenses, incurred by our Investment Adviser or payable to third parties related to our investments, including, among others, professional fees (including the fees and expenses of consultants and experts) and fees and expenses from evaluating, monitoring, researching and performing due diligence on investments and prospective investments; (iii) interest and other expense payable on Financings, if any, incurred by us; (iv) fees and expenses incurred by us in connection with membership in investment company organizations; (v) brokers’ commissions; (vi) fees and expenses associated with calculating our NAV (including the costs and expenses of any independent valuation firm); (vii) legal, auditing or accounting expenses; (viii) taxes or governmental fees; (ix) the fees and expenses of our Administrator, transfer agent or sub-transfer agent; (x) the cost of preparing unit certificates or any other expenses, including clerical expenses of issue or repurchase of the Units; (xi) the expenses of and fees for registering or qualifying Units for sale and of maintaining our registration or qualifying and registering us as a broker or a dealer; (xii) the fees and expenses of our Independent Directors; (xiii) the fees or disbursements of custodians of our assets, including expenses incurred in the performance of any obligations enumerated by the LLC Agreement or other organizational documents of us insofar as they govern agreements with any such custodian; (xiv) the cost of preparing and distributing reports, proxy statements and notices to holders of equity interests in us, the SEC and other regulatory authorities; (xv) insurance premiums; (xvi) costs of holding Unitholder meetings; and (xvii) costs incurred in connection with any claim, litigation, arbitration, mediation, government investigation or dispute in connection with our business and the amount of any judgment or settlement paid in connection therewith, or the enforcement of our rights against any person and indemnification or contribution expenses payable by us to any person and other extraordinary expenses not incurred in the ordinary course of our business. Our Investment Adviser is not required to pay expenses of activities which are primarily intended to result in sales of Units, including all costs and expenses associated with the preparation and distribution of any private placement memorandum or subscription agreements.

Company expenses borne by us in the ordinary course on an annual basis (excluding Management Fees, the Incentive Fee, organizational and start-up expenses, and leverage-related expenses) shall not exceed an amount equal to 0.5% of the aggregate amount of Commitments to us

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by investors. Expenses incurred outside of the ordinary course, including litigation and similar expenses, are difficult to predict and are, therefore, not subject to such a cap.

We expect our general and administrative expenses to be relatively stable or decline as a percentage of total assets during periods of asset growth and to increase during periods of asset declines.

 

Administration Agreement

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

Transfer Agent

State Street Bank and Trust Company serves as our transfer agent and disbursing agent.

License Agreement

We have entered into a license agreement (the “License Agreement”) with GS & Co. pursuant to which we have been granted a personal, non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free right and license to use the “Goldman Sachs” name. Under the License Agreement, we do not have the right to use the Goldman Sachs name if GSAM or another affiliate of Goldman Sachs is not our investment adviser or if our continued use of such license results in a violation of applicable law, results in a regulatory burden or has adverse regulatory consequences. Other than with respect to this limited license, we have no legal right to the “Goldman Sachs” name.

Regulation

We have elected to be regulated as a BDC under the Investment Company Act. As with other companies regulated by the Investment Company Act, a BDC must adhere to certain substantive regulatory requirements. The Investment Company Act contains prohibitions and restrictions relating to transactions between BDCs and their affiliates (including any investment advisers or sub-advisers), principal underwriters and affiliates of those affiliates or underwriters and requires that a majority of the directors be persons other than “interested persons,” as that term is defined in the Investment Company Act. In addition, the Investment Company Act provides that we may not change the nature of our business so as to cease to be, or to withdraw our election as a BDC unless approved by a majority of the outstanding voting securities. A majority of the outstanding voting securities of a company is defined under the Investment Company Act as the vote: (i) of 67% or more of the voting securities present at such meeting, if the holders of more than 50% of the outstanding voting securities of such company are present or represented by proxy or (ii) of more than 50% of the outstanding voting securities of such company, whichever is less.

Any issuance of preferred securities must comply with the requirements of the Investment Company Act. Additionally, the Investment Company Act requires, among other things, that (1) immediately after issuance and before any dividend or other distribution is made with respect to the Units and before any purchase of Units is made, such preferred securities together with all other senior securities must not exceed an amount equal to 50% of our total assets (66 2/3% if certain requirements are met) after deducting the amount of such dividend, distribution or purchase price, as the case may be, and (2) the holders of preferred securities, if any are issued, must be entitled as a class to elect two directors at all times and to elect a majority of the directors if dividends on such preferred securities are in arrears by two full years or more. Certain other matters under the Investment Company Act require a separate class vote of the holders of any issued and outstanding preferred securities. For example, holders of preferred securities would be entitled to vote separately as a class from the holders of units on a proposal involving a plan of reorganization adversely affecting such preferred securities.

We may invest up to 100% of our assets in securities acquired directly from issuers in privately negotiated transactions. With respect to such securities, we may, for the purpose of public resale, be deemed a “principal underwriter” as that term is defined under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). We may purchase or otherwise receive warrants which offer an opportunity (not a requirement) to purchase common stock of a portfolio company in connection with an acquisition financing or other investments. Similarly, we may acquire rights that obligate an issuer of acquired securities or their affiliates to repurchase the securities at certain times, under certain circumstances.

 

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We do not intend to acquire securities issued by any investment company whereby our investment would exceed the limits imposed by the Investment Company Act. Under these limits, we generally cannot (1) acquire more than 3% of the total outstanding voting stock of any registered investment company, (2) invest more than 5% of the value of our total assets in the securities of one registered investment company, or (3) invest more than 10% of the value of our total assets in the securities of registered investment companies in general. These limitations do not apply where we acquire interests in a money market fund as long as we do not pay a sales charge or service fee in connection with the purchase. With respect to the portion of our portfolio invested in securities issued by investment companies, it should be noted that such investments might subject Unitholders to additional expenses. None of the policies described above are fundamental and each such policy may be changed without Unitholder approval, subject to any limitations imposed by the Investment Company Act.

Private funds that are excluded from the definition of “investment company” pursuant to either Section 3(c)(1) or 3(c)(7) of the Investment Company Act are also subject to certain of the limits under the Investment Company Act noted above. Specifically, such private funds generally may not acquire directly or through a controlled entity more than 3% of our total outstanding Units (measured at the time of the acquisition).

Investment companies registered under the Investment Company Act are also subject to the restriction as well as other limitations under the Investment Company Act that would restrict the amount that they are able to invest in our securities. As a result, certain investors would be required to hold a smaller position in the Units than if they were not subject to such restrictions.

We are generally not able to issue and sell the Units at a price below the then-current NAV per unit. We may, however, sell the Units at a price below the then-current NAV per Unit if the Board of Directors determines that such sale is in our best interests and the best interests of the Unitholders, and the Unitholders approve such sale.

Qualifying Assets

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

 

(1)

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

 

(a)

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

 

(b)

is not an investment company (other than a small business investment company (“SBIC”) wholly owned by the BDC) or a company that would be an investment company but for certain exclusions under the Investment Company Act; and

 

(c)

satisfies any of the following:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

(2)

Securities of any eligible portfolio company that we control.

 

(3)

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

 

(4)

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

 

(5)

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

 

(6)

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

 

Managerial Assistance to Portfolio Companies

A BDC must be organized and have its principal place of business in the United States and must be operated for the purpose of making investments in the types of securities described in (1), (2) or (3) above under “—Qualifying Assets.” However, in order to count portfolio securities as qualifying assets for the purpose of the 70% test, the BDC must also either control the issuer of the securities or offer to make available to the issuer of the securities (other than small and solvent companies described above) significant managerial assistance; except that, where the BDC purchases such securities in conjunction with one or more other persons acting together, one of the other persons in the group may make available such managerial assistance (as long as the BDC does not make available significant managerial assistance solely

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in this fashion). Making available significant managerial assistance means, among other things, any arrangement whereby the BDC, through its directors, officers or employees, offers to provide, and, if accepted, does so provide, significant guidance and counsel concerning the management, operations or business objectives and policies of a portfolio company.

Temporary Investments

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

Thus, we do not intend to enter into repurchase agreements with a single counterparty in excess of this limit. Our Investment Adviser will monitor the creditworthiness of the counterparties with which we enter into repurchase agreement transactions.

Indebtedness and Senior Securities

As a BDC, we are permitted, under specified conditions, to issue multiple classes of indebtedness and one class of equity securities senior to the Units if our asset coverage ratio, as defined under the Investment Company Act, is at least equal to 200% immediately after each such issuance (or 150% if certain requirements are met). The Small Business Credit Availability Act modified the applicable provisions of the Investment Company Act to reduce the required asset coverage ratio applicable to BDCs to 150%, subject to certain approval and disclosure requirements and, in the case of BDCs without common equity listed on a national securities exchange, such as us, an offer to repurchase shares held by the BDC’s stockholders as of the date the requisite approval is obtained. As a result, BDCs are able to increase their leverage capacity if shareholders approve a proposal to do so. If a BDC receives shareholder approval, it would be allowed to increase its leverage capacity on the first day after such approval. Alternatively, the legislation allows the majority of the directors who are not “interested persons,” as defined in the Investment Company Act, of the BDC to approve an increase in its leverage capacity, and such approval would become effective after one year. In addition, except in limited circumstances, while any indebtedness and senior securities remain outstanding, we must make provisions to prohibit any distribution to Unitholders or the repurchase of our Units 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 its total assets for temporary purposes without regard to asset coverage. A loan is presumed to be made for temporary or emergency purposes if it is repaid within 60 days and is not extended or renewed; otherwise it is presumed to not be for temporary purposes. For a discussion of the risks associated with leverage, “Item 1A. Risk Factors—Our Business and Structure—We borrow money, which may magnify the potential for gain or loss and may increase the risk of investing in us.”

Code of Ethics

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

Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures

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

 

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

Our Investment Adviser has retained a third-party proxy voting service (the “Proxy Service”), currently Institutional Shareholder Services, to assist in the implementation and administration of certain proxy voting- related functions including, operational, recordkeeping, and reporting services. The Proxy Service also prepares a written analysis and recommendation (a “Recommendation”) of each proxy vote that reflects the Proxy Service’s application of the Guidelines to particular proxy issues.

While it is our Investment Adviser’s policy generally to follow the Guidelines and Recommendations from the Proxy Service, our Investment Adviser’s portfolio management teams (the “Portfolio Management Teams”) may, on certain proxy votes, seek approval to diverge from the

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Guidelines or a Recommendation by following an “override” process. Such decisions are subject to a review and approval process, including a determination that the decision is not influenced by any conflict of interest. A Portfolio Management Team that receives approval through the override process to cast a proxy vote that diverges from the Guidelines and/or a Recommendation may vote differently than other Portfolio Management Teams that did not seek to override the vote. In forming their views on particular matters, the Portfolio Management Teams are also permitted to consider applicable regional rules and practices, including codes of conduct and other guides, regarding proxy voting, in addition to the Guidelines and Recommendations. Our Investment Adviser may hire other service providers to replace or supplement the Proxy Service with respect to any of the services our Investment Adviser currently receives from the Proxy Service.

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

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

Our Investment Adviser has adopted policies and procedures designed to prevent conflicts of interest from influencing the proxy voting decisions that our Investment Adviser makes on behalf of a client account and to help assure that such decisions are made in accordance with our Investment Adviser’s fiduciary obligations to its clients. These policies and procedures include our Investment Adviser’s use of the Guidelines and Recommendations from the Proxy Service, the override approval process previously discussed, and the establishment of information barriers between our Investment Adviser and other Goldman Sachs’ businesses. Notwithstanding such proxy voting policies and procedures, actual proxy voting decision of our Investment Adviser may have the effect of benefitting the interest of other clients or businesses of other divisions or units of Goldman Sachs and/or its affiliates, provided that our Investment Adviser believes such voting decisions to be in accordance with its fiduciary obligations. See “Item 13(a). Transactions with Related Persons; Review, Approval or Ratification of Transaction with Related Persons.”

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

Unitholders may obtain information about how we voted proxies by making a written request for proxy voting information to: State Street Bank and Trust Company, our Administrator. Requests should be addressed to:

State Street Bank and Trust Company

Attention: Compliance

100 Huntington Avenue

Copley Place Tower 2, Floor 3

Boston, MA 02116

With a copy to:

State Street Bank and Trust Company Legal Division—Global Services Americas

One Lincoln Street, 21st Floor

Boston, MA 02111

Attn: Senior Vice President and Senior Managing Counsel

 

Privacy Principles

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

We may collect nonpublic personal information regarding investors from sources such as subscription agreements, investor questionnaires and other forms; individual investors’ account histories; and correspondence between us and individual investors. We may share information

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that we collect regarding an investor with its affiliates and the employees of such affiliates for everyday business purposes, for example, to service the investor’s accounts and, unless an investor opts out, provide the investor with information about other products and services offered by us or its affiliates that may be of interest to the investor. In addition, we may disclose information that we collect regarding investors to third parties who are not affiliated with us (i) as authorized by the investors in investor subscription agreements or our organizational documents; (ii) as required by applicable law or in connection with a properly authorized legal or regulatory investigation, subpoena or summons, or to respond to judicial process or government regulatory authorities having property jurisdiction; (iii) as required to fulfill investor instructions; or (iv) as otherwise permitted by applicable law to perform support services for investor accounts or process investor transactions with us or our affiliates.

Any party not affiliated with us that receives nonpublic personal information relating to investors from us are required to adhere to confidentiality agreements and to maintain appropriate safeguards to protect investor information. Additionally, for officers, employees and agents of ours and our affiliates, access to such information is restricted to those who need such access to provide services to us and investors. We maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to seek to guard investor nonpublic personal information. For a discussion of the risks associated with cyber incidents, see “Item 1A—Risk Factors—Operational—Cybersecurity risks and cyber incidents may adversely affect our business or the business of our portfolio companies by causing a disruption to our operations or the operations of our portfolio companies, a compromise or corruption of our confidential information or the confidential information of our portfolio companies and/or damage to our business relationships or the business relationships of our portfolio companies, all of which could negatively impact the business, financial condition and operating results of us or our portfolio companies.”

Other

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

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

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

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

Compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act

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

 

Compliance with the JOBS Act

We are, and expect to remain, an “emerging growth company,” as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, as it may be amended from time to time (the “JOBS Act”), until the earliest of:

 

the last day of the fiscal year in which our total annual gross revenues first exceed $1.07 billion;

 

the date on which we have, during the prior three-year period, issued more than $1.0 billion in non-convertible debt;

 

the last day of a fiscal year in which we (1) have an aggregate worldwide market value of Units held by non-affiliates of $700 million or more (measured at the end of each fiscal year) as of the last business day of our most recently completed second

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fiscal quarter and (2) have been an Exchange Act reporting company for at least one year (and filed at least one annual report under the Exchange Act); or

 

The date five years after the date of an initial public offering of us.

Under the JOBS Act, we are exempt from the provisions of Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which would require that our independent registered public accounting firm provide an attestation report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. This may increase the risk that material weaknesses or other deficiencies in our internal control over financial reporting go undetected. See “Item 1A. Risk Factors—Legal and Regulatory— Efforts to comply with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act will involve significant expenditures, and noncompliance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act may adversely affect us.”

In addition, Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act, as amended by Section 102(b) of the JOBS Act, provides that an emerging growth company can take advantage of the extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards. However, pursuant to Section 107 of the JOBS Act, we are choosing to “opt out” of such extended transition period, and as a result, we will comply with new or revised accounting standards on the relevant dates on which adoption of such standards is required for non-emerging growth companies. Our decision to opt out of the extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards is irrevocable.

Compliance with the Bank Holding Company Act

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

 

ITEM 1A.     RISK FACTORS

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

 

Summary Risk Factors

 

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

 

Market Developments and General Business Environment

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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Legal and Regulatory

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

We incur significant costs as a result of being registered under the Exchange Act.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Competition

 

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

 

We operate in a highly competitive market for investment opportunities.

 

Operational

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Our Business and Structure

 

Our limited Term and the expiration of the Investment Period may impact our investment strategy.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Our ability to grow depends on our access to adequate capital.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

We may experience fluctuations in our quarterly results.

 

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

 

Investors may fail to pay their undrawn Commitment.  

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Our Portfolio Company Investments

 

Our investments are very risky and highly speculative.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Our portfolio companies may be highly leveraged.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

We will have broad discretion over the use of proceeds of the funds we raise from investors and will use proceeds in part to satisfy operating expenses.

 

We may invest a significant portion of our assets in high-quality short- term investments, which will generate lower rates of return than those expected from the interest generated on our intended investment program.

 

The Units

 

Investing in Units involves an above average degree of risk.

 

A Unitholder’s interest in us will be diluted if we issue additional Units, which could reduce the overall value of an investment in us.

 

We may in the future determine to issue Preferred Units, which could adversely affect the value of the Units.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Unitholders may receive Units as distributions, which could result in adverse tax consequences to them.

 

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

 

Non-U.S. Unitholders may be subject to withholding of U.S. federal income tax on dividends paid by us.

 

To the extent OID and PIK interest constitute a portion of our income, we will be exposed to typical risks associated with such

      income being required to be included in taxable and accounting income prior to receipt of cash representing such income.

 

The Units are limited in their transferability; we may repurchase or force a sale of a Unitholder’s Units.

 

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Market Developments and General Business Environment

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

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

For example, in December 2019, COVID-19 emerged in China and has since spread rapidly to other countries, including the United States. This outbreak has led, and for an unknown period of time will continue to lead, to disruptions in local, regional, national and global markets and economies affected thereby. The global impact of the outbreak is rapidly evolving, and many countries have reacted by instituting quarantines, prohibitions on travel and the closure of offices, businesses, schools, retail stores and other public venues. While several countries, as well as certain states in the United States, have liberalized public health restrictions as to further reopen their economies, recurring COVID-19 outbreaks have led to the re-introduction of such restrictions in certain states in the United States and globally and could continue to lead to the re-introduction of such restrictions elsewhere. Even after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, the U.S. economy and most other major global economies may continue to experience a recession, and we anticipate our business and operations could be materially adversely affected by a prolonged recession in the U.S. and other major markets. With respect to the U.S. credit markets (in particular for middle market loans), this outbreak has resulted in, and until fully resolved is likely to continue to result in, the following, among other things: (i) government imposition and/or re-imposition of various forms of shelter-in-place orders and the closing of "non-essential" businesses, resulting in significant disruption to the businesses of many middle-market loan borrowers including supply chains, demand and practical aspects of their operations, as well as furloughs or lay-offs of employees (while such measures are hoped to be temporary, their impact may persist or become permanent); (ii) increased draws by borrowers on revolving lines of credit; (iii) increased requests by borrowers for amendments, forbearance agreements and waivers of provisions of their credit agreements in order to avoid default, increased defaults by such borrowers and/or increased difficulty in obtaining refinancing at the maturity dates of their loans; (iv) volatility and disruption of these markets including greater volatility in pricing and spreads and difficulty in valuing loans during periods of increased volatility, and liquidity issues; and (v) rapidly evolving proposals and/or actions by state and federal governments to address problems in functioning of the markets and by businesses and the economy in general which will not necessarily adequately address the problems facing the loan market and middle market businesses. The COVID-19 outbreak is having, and any future outbreaks could have, an adverse impact on the markets and the economy in general, which could have a material adverse impact on, among other things, the ability of lenders to originate loans, the volume and type of loans originated, and the volume and type of amendments and waivers granted to borrowers and remedial actions taken in the event of a borrower default, each of which could negatively impact the amount and quality of loans available for investment by us and returns to us, among other things. As of the date of this annual report on Form 10-K, it is impossible to determine the scope of this outbreak, or any future outbreaks, how long any such outbreak, market disruption or uncertainties may last, the effect any governmental actions will have or the full potential impact on us and our portfolio companies. Further, even after the pandemic subsides, the U.S. economy, as well as most other major global economies may continue to experience a recession, and we anticipate our business could be materially and adversely affected by a prolonged recession in the U.S. and other major markets.

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

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us. We will also be negatively affected if the operations and effectiveness of any of our portfolio companies (or any of the key personnel or service providers of the foregoing) is compromised or if necessary or beneficial systems and processes are disrupted.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The decision made in the United Kingdom referendum in June 2016 to leave the European Union (commonly known as “Brexit”) has caused, and may continue to cause, increased volatility in global financial markets, and in particular in the markets of the United Kingdom and across Europe, and may also lead to weakening in political, regulatory, consumer, corporate and financial confidence in the United Kingdom and Europe. On January 31, 2020, the United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union and the United Kingdom entered a transition period that expired on December 31, 2020. During this transition phase, the United Kingdom and the European Union sought to negotiate and finalize a new, more permanent trade deal. On December 24, 2020, negotiators representing the United Kingdom and the European Union came to a preliminary trade agreement, the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (“TCA”), which is an agreement on the terms governing certain aspects of the European Union’s and United Kingdom’s relationship following the end of the transition period. On December 30, 2020, the United Kingdom and the European Union signed the TCA, which was ratified by the British Parliament on the same day. The TCA has been provisionally applied since January 1, 2021 but cannot formally enter into force until ratified by the European

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Parliament. In the event that the European Parliament does not ratify the TCA before February 28, 2021, the relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union would be based on the World Trade Organization rules. However, even under the TCA, many aspects of the United Kingdom-European Union trade relationship remain subject to further negotiation. Due to political uncertainty, it is not possible to anticipate the form or nature of the future trading relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union. While certain measures have been proposed and/or implemented within the United Kingdom and at the European Union level or at the member state level, which are designed to minimize disruption in the financial markets, it is not currently possible to determine whether such measures would achieve their intended effects. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the extent of the impact of the withdrawal and the resulting economic arrangements in the United Kingdom and in global markets as well as any associated adverse consequences remain unclear and may lead to ongoing political and economic uncertainty and periods of exacerbated volatility in both the United Kingdom and in wider European markets for some time. The mid-to-long term uncertainty may have a negative effect on the performance of any investments in issuers that are economically tied to the United Kingdom or Europe. Additionally, the decision made in the United Kingdom referendum may lead to a call for similar referenda in other European jurisdictions which may cause increased economic volatility and uncertainty in the European and global markets. This volatility and uncertainty may have an adverse effect on the economy generally and on the ability of us and our portfolio companies to execute our respective strategies and to receive attractive returns.

Legal and Regulatory

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

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

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

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

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

Although we have elected to be treated, and expect to qualify annually, as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code, commencing with our taxable year ended December 31, 2016, we cannot assure you that we will be able to maintain RIC status. To maintain RIC status and be relieved of U.S. federal income taxes on income and gains distributed to Unitholders, we must meet the annual distribution, source-of-income and asset diversification requirements described below.

The annual distribution requirement for a RIC will generally be satisfied if we distribute to Unitholders on an annual basis at least 90% of our investment company taxable income (generally, our net ordinary income plus the excess of our realized net short-term capital gains over realized net long-term capital losses, determined without regard to the dividends paid deduction) for each taxable year. Because we use debt financing, we are subject to an asset coverage ratio requirement under the Investment Company Act, and we are subject to certain covenants contained in our credit agreements and other debt financing agreements. This asset coverage ratio requirement and these covenants could, under certain circumstances, restrict us from making distributions to Unitholders that are necessary for us to satisfy the distribution requirement. If we are unable to obtain cash from other sources, and thus are unable to make sufficient distributions to Unitholders, we could fail to maintain our RIC tax treatment and thus become subject to corporate-level U.S. federal income tax (and any applicable U.S. state and local taxes).

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

The asset diversification requirement will be satisfied if, at the end of each quarter of our taxable year, at least 50% of the value of our assets consists of cash, cash equivalents, U.S. government securities, securities of other RICs and other acceptable securities, and no more than 25% of the value of our assets is invested in the securities (other than U.S. government securities or securities of other RICs) of one issuer, of two or more issuers that are controlled, as determined under applicable Code rules, by us and that are engaged in the

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same or similar or related trades or businesses or of certain “qualified publicly traded partnerships.” Failure to meet these requirements may result in our having to dispose of certain investments quickly in order to prevent the loss of our RIC status. Because most of our investments will be in private companies, and therefore will be relatively illiquid, any such dispositions could be made at disadvantageous prices and could result in substantial losses.

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

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

Regulations governing our operation as a BDC affect our ability to raise additional capital, and the ways in which we can do so. Raising additional capital may expose us to risks, including the typical risks associated with leverage, and may result in dilution to our current Unitholders. The Investment Company Act limits our ability to borrow amounts or issue debt securities or Preferred Units, which we refer to collectively as “senior securities,” to amounts such that our asset coverage ratio, as defined under the Investment Company Act, equals at least 200% immediately after such borrowing or issuance (except in connection with certain trading practices or investments) or 150% if certain requirements are met, as described below. Consequently, if the value of our assets declines, we may be required to sell a portion of our Investments and, depending on the nature of our leverage, repay a portion of our indebtedness at a time when this may be disadvantageous to us and, as a result, our Unitholders. The Small Business Credit Availability Act modified the applicable provisions of the Investment Company Act to reduce the required asset coverage ratio applicable to BDCs to 150%, subject to certain approval and disclosure requirements and, in the case of BDCs without common equity listed on a national securities exchange, such as the Company, an offer to repurchase shares held by the BDC’s stockholders as of the date the requisite approval is obtained. Under the legislation, BDCs are able to increase their leverage capacity if shareholders approve a proposal to do so. If a BDC receives shareholder approval, it would be allowed to increase its leverage capacity on the first day after such approval. Alternatively, the legislation allows the majority of the directors who are not “interested persons,” as defined in the Investment Company Act, of the BDC to approve an increase in its leverage capacity, and such approval would become effective after one year. As a result, BDCs may be able to incur additional leverage in the future, and the risks associated with an investment in BDCs may increase.

We incur significant costs as a result of being registered under the Exchange Act.

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

The systems and resources necessary to comply with public company reporting requirements will increase further once we cease to be an “emerging growth company” under the JOBS Act. As long as we remain an emerging growth company we intend to take advantage of certain exemptions from various reporting requirements that are applicable to other public companies, including not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

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

Under current SEC rules, we are required to report on our internal control over financial reporting pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes Oxley Act. We are required to review on an annual basis our internal control over financial reporting, and on a quarterly and annual basis to evaluate and disclose changes in our internal control over financial reporting. As a result, we incur additional expenses that may negatively impact our financial performance and our ability to make distributions. This process also may result in a diversion of  management’s time and attention. We cannot be certain as to the timing of completion of our evaluation, testing and remediation actions or the impact of the same on our operations, and we may not be able to ensure that the process is effective or that our internal control over financial reporting is or will be effective in a timely manner. In the event that we are unable to maintain or achieve compliance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and related rules, we may be adversely affected.

Our independent registered public accounting firm will not be required to formally attest to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting until the date on which we are a “large accelerated filer” or an “accelerated filer” or the date we are no longer classified as an emerging growth company under the JOBS Act. Because we do not currently have comprehensive documentation of our internal control

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and have not yet tested our internal control in accordance with Section 404, we cannot conclude, as required by Section 404, that we do not have a material weakness in our internal control or a combination of significant deficiencies that could result in the conclusion that we have a material weakness in our internal control. As a public entity, we will be required to complete our initial assessment in a timely manner. If we are not able to implement the requirements of Section 404 in a timely manner or with adequate compliance, our operations, financial reporting or financial results could be adversely affected. Matters impacting our internal control may cause us to be unable to report our financial information on a timely basis and thereby subject us to adverse regulatory consequences, including sanctions by the SEC.

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

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

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

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

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

As a BDC, we are prohibited under the Investment Company Act from knowingly participating in certain transactions with our affiliates without the prior approval of a majority of the Independent Directors who have no financial interest in the transaction, or in some cases, the prior approval of the SEC. For example, any person that owns, directly or indirectly, 5% or more of our outstanding voting securities is deemed to be an affiliate for purposes of the Investment Company Act and, if this is the only reason such person is an affiliate, we are generally prohibited from buying any asset from or selling any asset (other than Units) to such affiliate, absent the prior approval of such directors. The Investment Company Act also prohibits “joint transactions” with an affiliate, which could include joint investments in the same portfolio company, without approval of the Independent Directors or in some cases the prior approval of the SEC. Moreover, except in certain limited circumstances, we are prohibited from buying any asset from or selling any asset to a holder of more than 25% of our voting securities, absent prior approval of the SEC. The analysis of whether a particular transaction constitutes a joint transaction requires a review of the relevant facts and circumstances then existing. In certain circumstances, negotiated co-investments may be made only pursuant to an order from the SEC permitting us to do so. On January 4, 2017, we received an exemptive order from the SEC that permits us to participate in negotiated co-investment transactions with certain affiliates (including GS BDC and GS PMMC II), each of whose investment adviser is GSAM, in a manner consistent with our investment objectives, positions, policies, strategies and restrictions, as well as regulatory requirements and pursuant to the conditions required by the exemptive relief. As a result of our exemptive order, there could be significant overlap in our investment portfolio and the investment portfolios of GS BDC, GS PMMC II and/or other funds managed by our Investment Adviser. Additionally, if our Investment Adviser forms other funds in the future, we may co-invest on a concurrent basis with such other affiliates, subject to compliance with the exemptive relief, applicable regulations and regulatory guidance, as well as applicable allocation procedures.

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

Goldman Sachs is a BHC under the BHCA and is therefore subject to supervision and regulation by the Federal Reserve. In addition, Goldman Sachs is a FHC under the BHCA, which is a status available to BHCs that meet certain criteria. FHCs may engage in a broader range of activities than BHCs that are not FHCs. However, the activities of FHCs and their affiliates remain subject to certain restrictions imposed by the BHCA and related regulations. Because Goldman Sachs may be deemed to “control” us within the meaning of the BHCA, these restrictions could apply to us as well. Accordingly, the BHCA and other applicable banking laws, rules, regulations and guidelines, and

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their interpretation and administration by the appropriate regulatory agencies, including the Federal Reserve, may restrict our investments, transactions and operations and may restrict the transactions and relationships between our Investment Adviser, Goldman Sachs and their affiliates, on the one hand, and us on the other hand. For example, the BHCA regulations applicable to Goldman Sachs and us may, among other things, restrict our ability to make certain investments or the size of certain investments, impose a maximum holding period on some or all of our investments and restrict our and our Investment Adviser’s ability to participate in the management and operations of the companies in which we invest. In addition, certain BHCA regulations may require aggregation of the positions owned, held or controlled by related entities. Thus, in certain circumstances, positions held by Goldman Sachs and its affiliates (including our Investment Adviser) for client and proprietary Accounts may need to be aggregated with positions held by us. In this case, where BHCA regulations impose a cap on the amount of a position that may be held, Goldman Sachs may utilize available capacity to make investments for its proprietary Accounts or for the Accounts of other clients, which may require us to limit and/or liquidate certain investments.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Competition

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

We do not have any employees. We depend on the experience, diligence, skill and network of business contacts of the GSAM Credit Alternatives Team, together with other investment professionals that our Investment Adviser currently retains or may subsequently retain, to identify, evaluate, negotiate, structure, close, monitor and manage our investments. Our future will depend success to a significant extent on

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the continued service and coordination of our Investment Adviser’s senior investment professionals. The departure of any of our Investment Adviser’s key personnel, including members of the Investment Committee, or of a significant number of the investment professionals of our Investment Adviser, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations. In addition, we cannot assure investors that our Investment Adviser will remain our investment adviser or that we will continue to have access to our Investment Adviser or its investment professionals. See “—Our Investment Adviser can resign on 60 days’ notice. We may not be able to find a suitable replacement within that time, resulting in a disruption in our operations that could adversely affect our financial condition, business and results of operations.”

We operate in a highly competitive market for investment opportunities.

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

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

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

Operational

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

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

 

sudden electrical or telecommunications outages;

 

natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes;

 

disease pandemics;

 

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

 

cyber-attacks.

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

These events, in turn, could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and negatively affect the value of Units and our ability to pay distributions to Unitholders.

 

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

Terrorist acts, acts of war, global health emergencies or natural disasters may disrupt our operations, as well as the operations of the businesses in which we invest. Such acts have created, and continue to create, economic and political uncertainties and have contributed to global economic instability. Future terrorist activities, military or security operations, global health emergencies or natural disasters could further weaken the domestic/global economies and create additional uncertainties, which may negatively impact the businesses in which we

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invest directly or indirectly and, in turn, could have a material adverse impact on our business, operating results and financial condition. Losses from terrorist attacks, global health emergencies and natural disasters are generally uninsurable.

 

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

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

Our Business and Structure

Our limited Term and the expiration of the Investment Period may impact our investment strategy.

Unless earlier liquidated by the Board of Directors or extended by the Board of Directors (and, to the extent necessary, a majority-in-interest of the Unitholders), our Term will end on the seven year anniversary of the Final Closing Date. Due to our finite Term, we may be required to sell Investments at an inopportune time, which could adversely affect our performance and/or cause us to seek to invest in loans with a shorter term than would be the case if our Term was longer, which might adversely affect the nature and/or quality of our Investments. In addition, we may depart from our stated investment objective and policies as we prepare for the expiration of our Term and distribute our assets to Unitholders.

Following the expiration of the Investment Period, we are not permitted to reinvest proceeds realized by us from the sale or repayment of any investment. Accordingly, we may be required to distribute such proceeds to Unitholders, which may cause our fixed expenses to increase as a percentage of assets under management. In addition, any proceeds realized by us from the sale or repayment of Investments could result in an increased concentration of our portfolio, which could increase the risks associated with ownership of the Units. For more, see “—Our Portfolio Company Investments—Our portfolio may be focused in a limited number of portfolio companies, which will subject us to a risk of significant loss if any of these companies default on their obligations under any of their debt instruments or if there is a downturn in a particular industry.”

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

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

Our business is directly influenced by the economic cycle, and could be negatively impacted by a downturn in economic activity in the U.S. as well as globally. Fiscal and monetary actions taken by U.S. and non-U.S. government and regulatory authorities could have a material adverse impact on our business. To the extent uncertainty regarding the U.S. or global economy negatively impacts consumer confidence and consumer credit factors, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected. Moreover, Federal Reserve policy, including with respect to certain interest rates, along with the general policies of the current Presidential administration, may also adversely affect the value, volatility and liquidity of dividend- and interest-paying securities. These conditions, government actions and future developments may cause interest rates and borrowing costs to rise, which may adversely affect our ability to access debt financing on favorable terms and may increase the interest costs of our borrowers, hampering their ability to repay us. Continued or future adverse economic conditions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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

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

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

Subject to applicable law, Goldman Sachs or Accounts may invest alongside us. In certain circumstances, negotiated co-investments by us and other Accounts may be made only pursuant to an order from the SEC permitting us to do so. Together with our Investment Adviser, GS BDC, GS MMLC (which merged with GS BDC on October 12, 2020) and GS PMMC II , the Company has received an exemptive order from the SEC that permits us to participate in negotiated co-investment transactions with GS BDC, GS PMMC II and certain other funds that may be managed by GSAM, including the GSAM Credit Alternatives Team, in the future, subject to certain conditions, such as that co-investments be made in a manner consistent with our investment objectives, positions, policies, strategies and restrictions, as well as regulatory requirements and pursuant to the conditions required by the exemptive relief, and are allocated fairly among participants. Under the terms of our exemptive relief, a “required majority” (as defined in Section 57(o) of the Investment Company Act) of our Independent Directors must make certain conclusions in connection with a co-investment transaction, including that (1) the terms of the proposed transaction are reasonable and fair to us and our Unitholders and do not involve overreaching of us or our Unitholders on the part of any person concerned, and (2) the transaction is consistent with the interests of our Unitholders and is consistent with our board of directors approved criteria. See “—Legal and Regulatory—Our ability to enter into transactions with our affiliates is restricted.”

As a result of our exemptive order, there could be significant overlap in our investment portfolio and the investment portfolios of GS BDC, GS PMMC II and/or other funds managed by our Investment Adviser. If we are unable to rely on our exemptive relief for a particular opportunity when our Investment Adviser identifies certain investments, it will be required to determine which Accounts should make the investment at the potential exclusion of other Accounts. In such circumstances, our Investment Adviser will adhere to its investment allocation policy in order to determine the Account to which to allocate the opportunity. The policy currently provides that our Investment Adviser allocate opportunities through a rotation system or in such other manner as our Investment Adviser determines to be equitable. Accordingly, it is possible that we may not be given the opportunity to participate in investments made by other Accounts.

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

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

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

Our ability to achieve our investment objective depends on our Investment Adviser’s ability to identify, invest in and monitor companies that meet our investment criteria.

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

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Our ability to grow depends on our access to adequate capital.

If we do not have adequate capital available for investment, our performance could be adversely affected. In addition, we have elected to be treated, and expect to qualify annually, as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code, commencing with our taxable year ended December 31, 2016. To maintain our status as a RIC, among other requirements, we are required to timely distribute to Unitholders at least 90% of our investment company taxable income (determined without regard to the dividends paid deduction), which is generally our net ordinary income plus the excess of realized net short-term capital gains over realized net long-term capital losses, if any, for each taxable year. Consequently, such distributions will not be available to fund new Investments. During the Investment Period, we may issue Units to subscribers, but our ability to sell additional securities may be adversely affected by a number of factors including our performance prior to such date or general market conditions. While we are permitted to reinvest proceeds realized from the sale or repayment of Investments during the Investment Period, subject to the requirements of Section 852(a) of Subchapter M of the Code and the terms of any indebtedness or preferred units (the “Preferred Units”), after the expiration of the Investment Period, we will not be permitted to do so, subject to certain exceptions. Accordingly, after the Investment Period, we expect to use debt financing to fund our growth, if any. Unfavorable economic or capital market conditions may increase our funding costs, limit our access to the capital markets or result in a decision by lenders not to extend credit to us. An inability to successfully access the capital markets could limit our ability to grow our business and fully execute our business strategy and could decrease our earnings, if any.

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

As part of our business strategy, we may borrow from and issue senior debt securities to banks, insurance companies and other lenders or investors. Holders of these senior securities or other credit facilities will have claims on our assets that are superior to the claims of Unitholders. If the value of our assets decreases, leveraging would cause NAV to decline more sharply than it otherwise would have if we did not employ leverage. Similarly, any decrease in our income would cause net income to decline more sharply than it would have had we not borrowed. Such a decline could negatively affect our ability to make distributions to Unitholders. Our ability to service any debt that we incur will depend largely on our financial performance and will be subject to prevailing economic conditions and competitive pressures.

Also, if we have senior debt securities or other credit facilities, any obligations to such creditors may be secured by a pledge of and a security interest in some of all of our assets, including our portfolio of investments and cash. In the case of a liquidation event, those lenders would receive proceeds to the extent of their security interest before any distributions are made to our Unitholders. Furthermore, the revolving credit facility with JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association (the “JPM Revolving Credit Facility”) imposes, and any credit agreement or other debt financing agreement into which we may enter may impose, financial and operating covenants that restrict our investment activities (including restrictions on industry concentrations), remedies on default and similar matters. In connection with any future borrowings, our lenders may also require us to pledge assets.

In addition, we may be unable to obtain our desired leverage, which would, in turn, affect investors’ return on investment.

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

 

Assumed Return on Our Portfolio (Net of Expenses)

 

 

(10.00

)%

 

 

(5.00

)%

 

 

0.00

%

 

 

5.00

%

 

 

10.00

%

Corresponding Return to Unitholders (1)

 

 

(20.35

)%

 

 

(11.45

)%

 

 

(2.54

)%

 

 

6.36

%

 

 

15.27

%

 

(1)

Assumes (i) $1,442.06 million in total assets as of December 31, 2020, (ii) $471.08 million in outstanding indebtedness as of December 31, 2020, (iii) $809.72 million in net assets as of December 31, 2020 and (iv) an annualized average interest rate on our indebtedness as of December 31, 2020, excluding fees (such as fees on undrawn amounts and amortization of financing costs), of 4.37%.

Based on our outstanding indebtedness of $471.08 million as of December 31, 2020 and an annualized average interest rate on our indebtedness as of December 31, 2020, excluding fees (such as fees on undrawn amounts and amortization of financing costs), of 4.37%, our investment portfolio at fair value would have had to produce an annual return of approximately 1.64% to cover annual interest payments on the outstanding debt.

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

Our Investment Adviser is entitled to an Incentive Fee from us based on our investment performance. The Incentive Fee payable by us to our Investment Adviser may create an incentive for our Investment Adviser to make investments on behalf of us that are risky or more speculative than would be the case in the absence of such a compensation arrangement, and also to incur leverage, which will tend to enhance returns where our portfolio has positive returns. Additionally, the Management Fee is payable even in the event the value of Unitholders’ investments declines.

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

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

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

Furthermore, Goldman Sachs is currently, and in the future expects to be, raising capital for new public and private investment vehicles that have, or when formed will have, the primary purpose of middle-market direct lending. These investment vehicles, as well as existing investment vehicles (including GS BDC and GS PMMC II), will compete with us for investments. Although our Investment Adviser and its affiliates will endeavor to allocate investment opportunities among their clients, including us, in a fair and equitable manner and consistent with applicable allocation procedures, it is expected that, in the future, we may not be given the opportunity to participate in investments made by other clients or entities managed by our Investment Adviser or its affiliates or that we may participate in such investments to a lesser extent due to participation by such other clients or entities.

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

We may experience fluctuations in our quarterly results.

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

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

Our debt investments may be based on floating rates, such as LIBOR, the Euro Interbank Offered Rate, the Federal Funds Rate or the Prime Rate. General interest rate fluctuations may have a substantial negative impact on our investments, the value of our securities and our rate of return on invested capital. Currently, most of our floating rate investments are linked to LIBOR and it is unclear how increased regulatory oversight and the future of LIBOR may affect market liquidity and the value of the financial obligations to be held by or issued to us that are linked to LIBOR, or how such changes could affect our investments and transactions and financial condition or results of operations. Central banks and regulators in a number of major jurisdictions (for example, the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, Switzerland and Japan) have convened working groups to find, and implement the transition to, suitable replacements for interbank offered rates (“IBORs”). The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (the “FCA”), which regulates LIBOR, has announced that it intends not to compel panel banks to contribute to LIBOR after 2021. The E.U. Benchmarks Regulation imposed conditions under which only compliant benchmarks may be used in new contracts after 2021. To identify a successor rate for U.S. dollar LIBOR, the Alternative Reference Rates Committee (“ARRC”), a U.S.-based group convened by the Federal Reserve and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, was formed. The ARRC has identified the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) as its preferred alternative rate for LIBOR. SOFR is a measure of the cost of borrowing cash overnight, collateralized by the U.S. Treasury securities, and is based on directly observable U.S. Treasury-backed repurchase transactions. In addition, on March 25, 2020, the FCA reaffirmed the central assumption that firms cannot rely on LIBOR being published after the end of 2021. However, the outbreak of COVID-19 may adversely impact the timing of many firms’ transition planning, and we continue to assess the potential impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on our transition plans. Although SOFR appears to be the preferred replacement rate for U.S. dollar LIBOR, at this time, it is not possible to predict the effect of any such changes, any establishment of alternative reference rates, whether the COVID-19 outbreak will have further effect on LIBOR transition timelines or plans, or other reforms to LIBOR that may be enacted in the United States, United Kingdom or elsewhere. Furthermore, on November 30, 2020, Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (“ICE”) announced that the ICE Benchmark Administration Limited (“IBA”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of ICE and the administrator of LIBOR, will consider extending the LIBOR transition deadline to June 30, 2023. The announcement was supported by the FCA and the Federal Reserve. Despite the announcement, regulators continue to emphasize the importance of LIBOR transition planning. The elimination of LIBOR or any other changes or reforms to the determination or supervision of LIBOR or alternative reference rates could have an adverse impact on the market for or value of any LIBOR-linked securities, loans, and other financial obligations or extensions of credit held by or due to us. In addition, if LIBOR ceases to exist, we may need to renegotiate the credit agreements extending beyond 2021 with our portfolio companies that utilize LIBOR as a factor in determining the interest rate, in order to replace LIBOR with the new standard that is established, which may have an adverse effect on our overall financial condition or results of operations. As such, some or all of these credit agreements may bear a lower interest rate, which would adversely impact our financial condition or results of operations. Moreover, if LIBOR ceases to exist, we may need to renegotiate certain terms of our Revolving Credit Facilities (as defined below). If we are unable to do so, amounts drawn under the Revolving Credit Facilities may bear interest at a higher rate, which would increase the cost of our borrowings and, in turn, affect our results of operations.

Because we have borrowed money, and may issue preferred stock to finance investments, our net investment income depends, in part, upon the difference between the rate at which we borrow funds or pay distributions on preferred stock and the rate that our investments yield. As a result, we can offer no assurance that a significant change in market interest rates will not have a material adverse effect on our net investment income.

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

In periods of rising interest rates, to the extent we borrow money subject to a floating interest rate, our cost of funds would increase, which could reduce our net investment income. Further, rising interest rates could also adversely affect our performance if such increases cause our

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borrowing costs to rise at a rate in excess of the rate that our investments yield. Further, rising interest rates could also adversely affect our performance if we hold investments with floating interest rates, subject to specified minimum interest rates (such as a LIBOR floor), while at the same time engaging in borrowings subject to floating interest rates not subject to such minimums. In such a scenario, rising interest rates may increase our interest expense, even though our interest income from investments is not increasing in a corresponding manner as a result of such minimum interest rates.

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

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

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

Investors may fail to pay their undrawn Commitment.

The obligation of Unitholders to fund undrawn Commitments is without defense, counterclaim or offset of any kind. However, if a Unitholder fails to pay any amount of its Commitment when called, other Unitholders who have an undrawn Commitment may be required to fund their respective Commitments sooner and in a greater amount (but not more than their undrawn Commitment) than they otherwise would have absent such a default.

In addition, if funding of Commitments by other Unitholders and borrowings by us are inadequate to cover defaulted Commitments, we may make fewer Investments and be less diversified than if all Unitholders had paid their contributions. Additionally, we may be forced to obtain substitute sources of liquidity by selling Investments (to the extent permitted by the LLC Agreement) to meet our funding obligations. Such forced sales of investment assets by us may be at disadvantageous prices. In addition, if we are not able to obtain substitute sources of liquidity, we may default on our funding obligations.

 

 

Our Portfolio Company Investments

Our investments are very risky and highly speculative.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

The majority of our investments are expected to be in debt instruments that do not have readily ascertainable market prices. The fair value of assets that are not publicly traded or whose market prices are not readily available are determined in good faith under procedures adopted by our Board of Directors. Our Board of Directors utilizes the services of independent third-party valuation firms (“Independent Valuation Advisors”) in determining the fair value of a portion of the securities in our portfolio as of each quarter end. Investment professionals from our Investment Adviser also prepare portfolio company valuations using sources and/or proprietary models depending on the availability of information on our assets and the type of asset being valued, all in accordance with our valuation policy.

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

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

When our NAV is determined other than on a quarter-end (such as in connection with issuances of shares of our common Units on dates occurring mid-quarter), such determinations of NAV are generally made by our Investment Adviser, acting under delegated authority from, and subject to the supervision of our Board of Directors. While such NAV determinations are made in accordance with procedures adopted by our Board of Directors, such intra-quarter NAV determinations do not follow the same procedures as quarter-end NAV determinations, such as the input of our Audit Committee or Independent Valuation Advisors, which may heighten the risks described above. However, we intend to comply at all times with the limitations of Section 23 under the Investment Company Act (which generally prohibits us from issuing Units at a price below the then-current NAV of the Units as determined within 48 hours, excluding Sundays and holidays, of such issuance, subject to certain exceptions).

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

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

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

We are classified as a non-diversified investment company within the meaning of the Investment Company Act, which means that we are not limited by the Investment Company Act with respect to the proportion of our assets that we may invest in securities of a single issuer, excluding limitations on investments in certain other financial and investment companies. To the extent that we assume large positions in the securities of a small number of issuers or industries, our NAV may fluctuate to a greater extent than that of a diversified investment company as a result of changes in the financial condition or the market’s assessment of the issuer. We may also be more susceptible to any single economic or regulatory occurrence than a diversified investment company. In addition, the aggregate returns we realize may be significantly adversely affected if a small number of investments perform poorly or if we need to write down the value of any one investment. Additionally, a downturn in any particular industry in which we are invested could significantly affect our aggregate returns. Further, any industry in which we are meaningfully concentrated at any given time could be subject to significant risks that could adversely impact our aggregate returns. For example, as of December 31, 2020, Health Care Providers & Services, together with Health Care Technology and Health Care Equipment & Supplies, represented 23.4% of our portfolio at fair value.  Our investments in Health Care Providers & Services, Health Care Technology and Health Care Equipment & Supplies are subject to substantial risks, including, but not limited to, the risk that the laws and regulations governing the business of health care companies, and interpretations thereof, may change frequently. Current or future laws and regulations could force our portfolio companies engaged in health care, to change their policies related to how they operate, restrict revenue, change costs, change reserve levels and change business practices. In addition, as of December 31, 2020, Software represented 5.5% of our portfolio at fair value. Our investments in Software and Internet Software & Services are subject to substantial risks, including, but not limited to, intense competition, changing technology, shifting user needs, frequent introductions of new products and services, competitors in different industries and ranging from large established companies to emerging startups, decreasing average selling prices of products and services resulting from rapid technological changes, cybersecurity risks and cyber incidents and various legal and regulatory risks.  

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

attempt to preserve or enhance the value of our investment.

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

We will have the discretion to make any follow-on investments, subject to the availability of capital resources and the limitations set forth in “Item 1 Business.” The failure to make follow-on investments may, in some circumstances, jeopardize the continued viability of a portfolio company and the initial investment, or may result in a missed opportunity for us to increase our participation in a successful operation. Even if we have sufficient capital to make a desired follow-on investment, we may elect not to make a follow-on investment because we may not want to increase our concentration of risk, because we prefer other opportunities or because we are inhibited by compliance with BDC requirements, compliance with covenants contained in the JPM Revolving Credit Facility or compliance with the requirements for maintenance of our RIC status.

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

We may invest, to the extent permitted by law, in the equity securities of investment funds that are operating pursuant to certain exceptions to the Investment Company Act and, to the extent we so invest, will bear our ratable share of any such company’s expenses, including

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management and performance fees. We will also remain obligated to pay the Management Fee and Incentive Fee to our Investment Adviser with respect to the assets invested in the securities and instruments of such companies. With respect to each of these investments, the Unitholders will bear their pro rata share of the Management Fee and Incentive Fee due to our Investment Adviser as well as indirectly bearing the management and performance fees and other expenses of any such investment funds or advisers.

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

 

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

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

Many of the events within a bankruptcy case are adversarial and often beyond the control of the creditors. While creditors generally are afforded an opportunity to object to significant actions, there can be no assurance that a bankruptcy court would not approve actions that may be contrary to our interests. Furthermore, there are instances where creditors can lose their ranking and priority if they are considered to have taken over management of a borrower.

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

In addition, lenders can be subject to lender liability claims for actions taken by them where they become too involved in the borrower’s business or exercise control over the borrower. For example, we could become subject to a lender’s liability claim, if, among other things, the borrower requests significant managerial assistance from us and we provide such assistance as contemplated by the Investment Company Act.

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

As a BDC, we are required to carry our investments at market value or, if no market value is ascertainable, at fair value as determined in good faith under procedures adopted by our Board of Directors. We may take into account the following types of factors, if relevant, in determining the fair value of our investments: the enterprise value of a portfolio company (the entire value of the portfolio company to a market participant, including the sum of the values of debt and equity securities used to capitalize the enterprise at a point in time), the nature and realizable value of any collateral, the portfolio company’s ability to make payments and its earnings and discounted cash flow (taking into consideration current market interest rates and credit spreads), the markets in which the portfolio company does business, a comparison of the portfolio company’s securities to similar publicly traded securities and other relevant factors. When an external event such as a purchase transaction, public offering or subsequent equity sale occurs, we use the pricing indicated by the external event to corroborate our valuation.

While most of our investments are not publicly traded, applicable accounting standards require us to assume as part of our valuation process that our investments are sold in a principal market to market participants (even if we plan on holding an investment through its maturity). As a result, volatility in the capital markets can also adversely affect our investment valuations. Decreases in the market values or fair values of our investments are recorded as unrealized depreciation. The effect of all of these factors on our portfolio can reduce our NAV by increasing net unrealized depreciation in our portfolio. Depending on market conditions, we could incur substantial realized losses and may suffer unrealized losses, which could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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

Our portfolio companies may be susceptible to economic downturns or recessions and may be unable to repay our loans during these periods. Therefore, during these periods our non-performing assets may increase and the value of our portfolio may decrease if we are required to write down the values of our investments. Adverse economic conditions may also decrease the value of collateral securing some of our loans and the value of our equity investments. Economic slowdowns or recessions could lead to financial losses in our portfolio and a decrease in revenues, net income and assets. Unfavorable economic conditions also could increase our funding costs, limit our access to the capital markets or result in a decision by lenders not to extend credit to us. These events could prevent us from increasing investments and harm our operating results.

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A portfolio company’s failure to satisfy financial or operating covenants imposed by us or other lenders could lead to defaults and, potentially, acceleration of the time when the loans are due and foreclosure on the portfolio company’s assets representing collateral for its obligations. This could trigger cross defaults under other agreements and jeopardize our portfolio company’s ability to meet its obligations under the debt that we hold and the value of any equity securities we own. We may incur expenses to the extent necessary to seek recovery upon default or to negotiate new terms with a defaulting portfolio company.

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

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

Additionally, certain loans that we make to portfolio companies may be secured on a second priority basis by the same collateral securing senior secured debt, which will be secured on a first priority basis. The first priority liens on the collateral will secure the portfolio company’s obligations under any outstanding senior debt and may secure certain other future debt that may be permitted to be incurred by the portfolio company under the agreements governing the loans. The holders of obligations secured by the first priority liens on the collateral will generally control the liquidation of and be entitled to receive proceeds from any realization of the collateral to repay their obligations in full before us. In addition, the value of the collateral in the event of liquidation will depend on market and economic conditions, the availability of buyers and other factors. There can be no assurance that the proceeds, if any, from the sale or sales of all of the collateral would be sufficient to satisfy the loan obligations secured by the second priority liens after payment in full of all obligations secured by the first priority liens. If such proceeds are not sufficient to repay amounts outstanding under the loan obligations secured by the second priority liens, then we, to the extent not repaid from the proceeds of the sale of the collateral, will only have an unsecured claim against the portfolio company’s remaining assets, if any.

The rights we may have with respect to the collateral securing any junior priority loans we make to our portfolio companies may also be limited pursuant to the terms of one or more intercreditor agreements that we enter into with the holders of senior debt. Under such an intercreditor agreement, at any time that senior obligations are outstanding, we may forfeit certain rights with respect to the collateral to the holders of the senior obligations. These rights may include the right to commence enforcement proceedings against the collateral, the right to control the conduct of such enforcement proceedings, the right to approve amendments to collateral documents, the right to release liens on the collateral and the right to waive past defaults under collateral documents. We may not have the ability to control or direct such actions, even if our rights as junior lenders are adversely affected. In addition, a bankruptcy court may choose not to enforce an intercreditor agreement or other arrangement with creditors. Similar risks to the foregoing may apply where we hold the last out piece of a unitranche loan.

We may also make unsecured loans to portfolio companies, meaning that such loans will not benefit from any interest in collateral of such portfolio companies. Liens on such portfolio companies’ collateral, if any, will secure the portfolio company’s obligations under its outstanding secured debt and may secure certain future debt that is permitted to be incurred by the portfolio company under its secured loan agreements. The holders of obligations secured by such liens will generally control the liquidation of, and be entitled to receive proceeds from, any realization of such collateral to repay their obligations in full before us. In addition, the value of such collateral in the event of liquidation will depend on market and economic conditions, the availability of buyers and other factors. There can be no assurance that the proceeds, if any, from sales of such collateral would be sufficient to satisfy our unsecured loan obligations after payment in full of all secured loan obligations. If such proceeds were not sufficient to repay the outstanding secured loan obligations, then the unsecured claims would rank equally with the unpaid portion of such secured creditors’ claims against the portfolio company’s remaining assets, if any.

Our portfolio companies may be highly leveraged.

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

 

 

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

Our investment strategy contemplates potential investments in securities of non-U.S. companies to the extent permissible under the Investment Company Act. Investing in non-U.S. companies may expose us to additional risks not typically associated with investing in U.S. companies. These risks include changes in exchange control regulations, political and social instability, expropriation, imposition of non-U.S. taxes (potentially at confiscatory levels), less liquid markets, less available information than is generally the case in the United States, higher transaction costs, less government supervision of exchanges, brokers and issuers, less developed bankruptcy laws, difficulty in enforcing contractual obligations, lack of uniform accounting and auditing standards and greater price volatility. These risks are likely to be more pronounced for investments in companies located in emerging markets and particularly for middle market companies in these economies.

Although most of our investments are denominated in U.S. dollars, any investments that are denominated in a non-U.S. currency will be subject to the risk that the value of a particular currency will change in relation to the U.S. dollar. Among the factors that may affect currency values are trade balances, the level of short-term interest rates, differences in relative values of similar assets in different currencies, long-term opportunities for investment and capital appreciation and political developments. We may employ hedging techniques to minimize these risks, but we cannot assure investors that such strategies will be effective or without risk to us.

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

Subject to applicable provisions of the Investment Company Act and applicable CFTC regulations, we may enter into hedging transactions in a manner consistent with SEC guidance, which may expose us to risks associated with such transactions. Such hedging may utilize instruments such as forward contracts, currency options and interest rate swaps, caps, collars and floors to seek to hedge against fluctuations in the relative values of our portfolio positions from changes in currency exchange rates and market interest rates. Use of these hedging instruments may include counter-party credit risk.

Hedging against a decline in the values of our portfolio positions does not eliminate the possibility of fluctuations in the values of such positions or prevent losses if the values of such positions decline. However, such hedging can establish other positions designed to gain from those same developments, thereby offsetting the decline in the value of such portfolio positions. Such hedging transactions may also limit the opportunity for gain if the values of the underlying portfolio positions should increase. Moreover, it may not be possible to hedge against an exchange rate or interest rate fluctuation that is so generally anticipated that we are not able to enter into a hedging transaction at an acceptable price.

The success of any hedging transactions we may enter into will depend on our ability to correctly predict movements in currencies and interest rates. Therefore, while we may enter into such transactions to seek to reduce currency exchange rate and interest rate risks, unanticipated changes in currency exchange rates or interest rates may result in poorer overall investment performance than if we had not engaged in any such hedging transactions. In addition, the degree of correlation between price movements of the instruments used in a hedging strategy and price movements in the portfolio positions being hedged may vary. Moreover, for a variety of reasons, we may not seek to (or be able to) establish a perfect correlation between such hedging instruments and the portfolio holdings being hedged. Any such imperfect correlation may prevent us from achieving the intended hedge and expose us to risk of loss. In addition, it may not be possible to hedge fully or perfectly against currency fluctuations affecting the value of securities denominated in non-U.S. currencies because the value of those securities is likely to fluctuate as a result of factors not related to currency fluctuations. See also “—Our Business and Structure—We are exposed to risks associated with changes in interest rates.”

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

To the extent permissible under risk retention rules adopted pursuant to Section 941 of the Dodd-Frank Act and applicable provisions of the Investment Company Act, to finance investments, we may securitize certain of our investments, including through the formation of one or more CLOs, while retaining all or most of the exposure to the performance of these investments. This would involve contributing a pool of assets to a special purpose entity, and selling debt interests in such entity on a non-recourse or limited-recourse basis to purchasers. Any interest in any such CLO held by us may be considered a “non-qualifying asset” for purposes of the Investment Company Act.

If we create a CLO, we will depend on distributions from the CLO’s assets out of its earnings and cash flows to enable us to make distributions to Unitholders. The ability of a CLO to make distributions will be subject to various limitations, including the terms and covenants of the debt it issues. For example, tests (based on interest coverage or other financial ratios or other criteria) may restrict our ability, as holder of a CLO’s equity interests, to receive cash flow from these investments. There is no assurance any such performance tests will be satisfied. Also, a CLO may take actions that delay distributions in order to preserve ratings and to keep the cost of present and future financings lower or the CLO may be obligated to retain cash or other assets to satisfy over-collateralization requirements commonly provided for holders of the CLO’s debt. As a result, there may be a lag, which could be significant, between the repayment or other realization on a loan or other assets in, and the distribution of cash out of, a CLO, or cash flow may be completely restricted for the life of the CLO. If we do not receive cash flow from any such CLO that is necessary to satisfy the annual distribution requirement for maintaining our RIC status, and we are unable to obtain cash from other sources necessary to satisfy this requirement, we could fail to maintain our status as a RIC, which would have a material adverse effect on our financial performance.

In addition, a decline in the credit quality of loans in a CLO due to poor operating results of the relevant borrower, declines in the value of loan collateral or increases in defaults, among other things, may force a CLO to sell certain assets at a loss, reducing their earnings and, in turn, cash potentially available for distribution to us for distribution to Unitholders.

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To the extent that any losses are incurred by the CLO in respect of any collateral, such losses will be borne first by us as owner of equity interests. Finally, any equity interests that we retain in a CLO will not be secured by the assets of the CLO, and we will rank behind all creditors of the CLO.

We will have broad discretion over the use of proceeds of the funds we raise from investors and will use proceeds in part to satisfy operating expenses.

There can be no assurance that we will be able to locate a sufficient number of suitable investment opportunities to allow us to successfully deploy capital that we raise from investors in a timeframe that will permit investors to earn above-market returns. To the extent we are unable to invest substantially all of the capital we raise within our contemplated timeframe, our investment income, and in turn our results of operations, will likely be materially adversely affected. See “—Our Business and Structure—We are a new company and have limited operating history.”

We intend to use substantially all of the proceeds from the offering of Units, net of expenses, to make investments in accordance with our investment objectives and strategies. We anticipate that the remainder will be used for working capital and general corporate purposes, including the payment of operating expenses. However, subject to the restrictions of applicable law and regulations, including the Investment Company Act, we have significant flexibility in applying the proceeds of the funds we raise from investors and may use the net proceeds in ways with which Unitholders may not agree, or for purposes other than those contemplated at the time of the capital raising. We may also pay operating expenses, and may pay other expenses such as due diligence expenses of potential new Investments, from net proceeds. Our ability to achieve our investment objective may be limited to the extent that net proceeds of the funds we raise from investors, pending full investment by us in portfolio companies, are used to pay operating expenses.

We may invest a significant portion of our assets in high-quality short- term investments, which will generate lower rates of return than those expected from the interest generated on our intended investment program.

From time to time, a significant portion of our assets may be invested in a money market fund managed by an affiliate of Group Inc. This investment may earn yields substantially lower than the income that we expect to receive from investments made in accordance with our investment objective. As a result, we may not be able to achieve our investment objective and/or pay any dividends while a significant portion of our assets are invested in the money market fund or, if we are able to do so, such dividends may be substantially lower than the dividends that we expect to pay when our portfolio is fully invested in accordance with our investment objectives. If we do not realize yields in excess of our expenses, we may incur operating losses.

The Units

Investing in Units involves an above average degree of risk.

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

A Unitholder’s interest in us will be diluted if we issue additional Units, which could reduce the overall value of an investment in us.

Unitholders do not have preemptive rights to any Units we issue in the future. We may decide in accordance with the process described below, to issue additional equity interests at or below the NAV per Unit. To the extent we issue additional equity interests, a Unitholder’s percentage ownership interest in us may be diluted. In addition, if such Units are issued below NAV, existing Unitholders may also experience dilution in the book value and fair value of their Units.

We are generally not able to issue and sell Units at a price per Unit below the then-current NAV per Unit. We may, however, sell Units, warrants, options or rights to acquire Units, at a price below the then-current NAV per Unit (i) with the consent of a majority in interest of our Unitholders (and a majority in interest of our Unitholders who are not affiliates of us) and (ii) if, among other things, a majority of our Independent Directors and a majority of our directors who have no financial interest in the transaction determine that such sale is in the best interests of us and our Unitholders.

We may in the future determine to issue Preferred Units, which could adversely affect the value of the Units.

The issuance of Preferred Units with dividend or conversion rights, liquidation preferences or other economic terms favorable to the holders of Preferred Units could make an investment in the Units less attractive. In addition, the dividends on any Preferred Units we issue must be cumulative. Payment of dividends and repayment of the liquidation preference of Preferred Units must take preference over any distributions or other payments to Unitholders, and holders of Preferred Units 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 Units that converts into Units). In addition, under the Investment Company Act, Preferred Units would constitute a “senior security” for purposes of our 150% asset coverage test.

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

Subject to the requirements of Section 852(a) of Subchapter M of the Code, and the terms of any indebtedness or Preferred Units, we intend to (i) distribute to Unitholders, pro rata based on the number of Units held by each Unitholder, before the end of each taxable year net proceeds attributable to the repayment or disposition of Investments (together with any interest, dividends and other net cash flow in respect

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of such Investments), except to the extent such proceeds from repayment or disposition are permitted to be, and are, retained for reinvestment prior to the termination of the Investment Period, (ii) distribute quarterly investment income (i.e., proceeds received in respect of interest payments, dividends or fees as opposed to proceeds received in connection with the disposition or repayment of an investment), and (iii) distribute substantially all of our investment company taxable income and net capital gain for each taxable year in order to qualify for treatment as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code , except that we may retain certain net capital gains for reinvestment and carry forward taxable income for distribution in the following year and pay any applicable tax. All distributions will be paid at the discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend on such factors as the Board determines to be relevant from time to time, including our earnings, financial condition and compliance with any debt covenants we may be subject to. Accordingly, we may not pay distributions to Unitholders.

The distributions we pay to Unitholders in a year may exceed our taxable income for that year and, accordingly, a portion of such distributions may constitute a return of capital for U.S. federal income tax purposes that would reduce a holder’s adjusted tax basis in its Units and correspondingly increase such holder’s gain, or reduce such holder’s loss, on disposition of such Units. Distributions in excess of a holder’s adjusted tax basis in its Units will constitute capital gains to such holder. Unitholders who periodically receive the payment of a distribution from a RIC consisting of a return of capital for U.S. federal income tax purposes may be under the impression that they are receiving a distribution of RIC’s net ordinary income or capital gains when they are not. Accordingly, Unitholders should read carefully any written disclosure accompanying a distribution from us and the information about the specific tax characteristics of our distributions provided to Unitholders after the end of each calendar year, and should not assume that the source of any distribution is our net ordinary income or capital gains.

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

Depending on (i) the laws of such non-U.S. Unitholder’s jurisdiction of tax residence, (ii) how we, the Investments and/or any other investment vehicles through which we directly or indirectly invest are treated in such jurisdiction, and (iii) the activities of any such entities, an investment in us could result in such non-U.S. Unitholder recognizing adverse tax consequences in its jurisdiction of tax residence, including (a) with respect to any generally required or additional tax filings and/or additional disclosure required in such filings in relation to the treatment for tax purposes in the relevant jurisdiction of an interest in us, the Investments and/or any other investment vehicles through which we directly or indirectly invest and/or of distributions from such entities and any uncertainties arising in that respect (our not being established under the laws of the relevant jurisdiction), (b) the possibility of taxable income significantly in excess of cash distributed to a non-U.S. Unitholder, and possibly in excess of our actual economic income, (c) the possibilities of losing deductions or the ability to utilize tax basis and of sums invested being returned in the form of taxable income or gains, and (d) the possibility of being subject to tax at unfavorable tax rates. A non-U.S. Unitholder may also be subject to restrictions on the use of its share of our deductions and losses in its jurisdiction of tax residence. Each prospective investor is urged to consult its own tax advisors with respect to the tax and tax filing consequences, if any, in its jurisdiction of tax residence of an investment in us, as well as any other jurisdiction in which such prospective investor is subject to taxation.

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

For U.S. federal income tax purposes, we will include in our taxable income certain amounts that we have not yet received in cash, such as original issue discount (“OID”), which may occur if we receive warrants in connection with the origination of a loan or possibly in other circumstances or contracted payment-in-kind (“PIK”) interest, which generally represents contractual interest added to the loan balance and due at the end of the loan term. Such OID, which could be significant relative to our overall investment assets, and increases in loan balances as a result of PIK interest will be included in our taxable income before we receive any corresponding cash payments. We also may be required to include in our taxable income other amounts that we have not yet received or will not receive in cash, such as accruals on a contingent payment debt instrument, accruals of interest income and/or original issue discount on defaulted debt, or deferred loan origination fees that are paid after origination of the loan or are paid in non-cash compensation such as warrants or stock.  Moreover, we generally will be required to take certain amounts in income no later than the time such amounts are reflected on our financial statements. The credit risk associated with the collectability of deferred payments may be increased as and when a portfolio company increases the amount of interest on which it is deferring cash payment through deferred interest features. Our investments with a deferred interest feature may represent a higher credit risk than loans for which interest must be paid in full in cash on a regular basis. For example, even if the accounting conditions for income accrual are met, the borrower could still default when our actual collection is scheduled to occur upon maturity of the obligation.

Because in certain cases we may recognize taxable income before or without receiving cash representing such income, we may have difficulty making distributions to Unitholders that will be sufficient to enable us to meet the annual distribution requirement necessary for us to maintain our status as a RIC. Accordingly, we may need to sell some of our assets at times and/or at prices that we would not consider advantageous, we may need to raise additional equity or debt capital, or we may need to forego new investment opportunities or otherwise take actions that are disadvantageous to our business (or be unable to take actions that are advantageous to our business) to enable us to make distributions to Unitholders that will be sufficient to enable us to meet the annual distribution requirement. If we are unable to obtain cash in the amount required for us to make, or if we are restricted from making, sufficient distributions to our stockholders to meet the annual distribution requirement, we may fail to qualify for the U.S. federal income tax benefits allowable to RICs and, thus, become subject to a corporate-level U.S. federal income tax (and any applicable U.S. state and local taxes).

Unitholders may receive Units as distributions, which could result in adverse tax consequences to them.

In order to satisfy the annual distribution requirement applicable to RICs, we have the ability to declare a large portion of a distribution in Units instead of in cash. The Company is not subject to restrictions on the circumstances in which it may declare a portion of a distribution in Units but would generally anticipate doing so only in unusual situations, such as, for example, if we do not have sufficient cash to meet our

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RIC distribution requirements under the Code. Generally, were we to declare such a distribution, we would allow Unitholders to elect payment in cash and/or Units of equivalent value. Under published IRS guidance, the entire distribution will generally be treated as a taxable distribution for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and count towards our RIC distribution requirements under the Code, if certain conditions are satisfied. Among other things, the aggregate amount of cash available to be distributed to all Unitholders is required to be at least 20% of the aggregate declared distribution. If too many Unitholders elect to receive cash, the cash available for distribution is required to be allocated among the Unitholders electing to receive cash (with the balance of the distribution paid in Units) under a formula provided in the applicable IRS guidance. The number of Units distributed would thus depend on the applicable percentage limitation on cash available for distribution, the Unitholders’ individual elections to receive cash or stock, and the value of the Units. Each Unitholder generally would be treated as having received a taxable distribution (including for purposes of the withholding tax rules applicable to a non-U.S. Unitholder) on the date the distribution is received in an amount equal to the cash that such Unitholder would have received if the entire distribution had been paid in cash, even if the Unitholder received all or most of the distribution in Units. We currently do not intend to pay distributions in Units, but there can be no assurance we will not do so in the future.

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

During the period when we have elected to be treated as a RIC, we expect to be treated as a “publicly offered regulated investment company” as a result of Units being held by at least 500 persons at all times during a taxable year. However, we cannot assure investors that we will be treated as a publicly offered regulated investment company for all years. If we are not treated as a publicly offered regulated investment company for any calendar year, each U.S. Unitholder that is an individual, trust or estate will be treated as having received a dividend from us in the amount of such U.S. Unitholder’s allocable share of the Management Fees and Incentive Fees paid to our Investment Adviser and certain of our other expenses for the calendar year, and these fees and expenses will be treated as miscellaneous itemized deductions of such U.S. Unitholder. Miscellaneous itemized deductions of a U.S. Unitholder that is an individual, trust or estate are disallowed for tax years beginning before January 1, 2026, and thereafter generally are (i) deductible by such Unitholders only to the extent that the aggregate of such U.S. Unitholder’s miscellaneous itemized deductions exceeds 2% of such U.S. Unitholder’s adjusted gross income for U.S. federal income tax purposes, (ii) not deductible for purposes of the alternative minimum tax and (iii) subject to the overall limitation on itemized deductions under the Code. In addition, if we are not treated as a publicly offered regulated investment company, we will be subject to limitations on the deductibility of certain “preferential dividends” that are distributed to Unitholders on a non- pro-rata basis.

Non-U.S. Unitholders may be subject to withholding of U.S. federal income tax on dividends paid by us.

Distributions of our “investment company taxable income” to a non-U.S. Unitholder that are not effectively connected with the non-U.S. Unitholder’s conduct of a trade or business within the United States will generally be subject to withholding of U.S. federal income tax at a 30% rate (or lower rate provided by an applicable income tax treaty) to the extent of our current or accumulated earnings and profits.

Certain properly reported distributions are generally exempt from withholding of U.S. federal income tax where they are paid in respect of our (i) “qualified net interest income” (generally, our U.S.-source interest income, other than certain contingent interest and interest from obligations of a corporation or partnership in which we or the non-U.S. Unitholder are at least a 10% equity holder, reduced by expenses that are allocable to such income) or (ii) “qualified short-term capital gains” (generally, the excess of our net short-term capital gain over our net long-term capital loss for such taxable year), and certain other requirements are satisfied.

NO ASSURANCE CAN BE GIVEN AS TO WHETHER ANY OF OUR DISTRIBUTIONS WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR THIS EXEMPTION FROM WITHHOLDING OF U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX. IN PARTICULAR, THIS EXEMPTION WILL NOT APPLY TO OUR DISTRIBUTIONS PAID IN RESPECT OF OUR NON-U.S. SOURCE INTEREST INCOME OR OUR DIVIDEND INCOME (OR ANY OTHER TYPE OF INCOME OTHER THAN GENERALLY OUR NON-CONTINGENT U.S.-SOURCE INTEREST INCOME RECEIVED FROM UNRELATED OBLIGORS AND OUR QUALIFIED SHORT-TERM CAPITAL GAINS). IN THE CASE OF UNITS HELD THROUGH AN INTERMEDIARY, THE INTERMEDIARY MAY WITHHOLD U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX EVEN IF WE REPORT THE PAYMENT AS QUALIFIED NET INTEREST INCOME OR QUALIFIED SHORT-TERM CAPITAL GAIN. BECAUSE THE UNITS WILL BE SUBJECT TO SIGNIFICANT TRANSFER RESTRICTIONS, AND AN INVESTMENT IN UNITS WILL GENERALLY BE ILLIQUID, NON-U.S. UNITHOLDERS WHOSE DISTRIBUTIONS ON UNITS ARE SUBJECT TO WITHHOLDING OF U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX MAY NOT BE ABLE TO TRANSFER THEIR UNITS EASILY OR QUICKLY OR AT ALL.

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

The Units are limited in their transferability; we may repurchase or force a sale of a Unitholder’s Units.

Unitholders are not permitted to transfer their Units, including a transfer of solely an economic interest, without the prior written consent of us. While we expect not to unreasonably withhold our prior written consent to transfers by Unitholders, adverse tax consequences for certain of our U.S. holders may arise if we have fewer than 500 beneficial owners of our capital stock. Accordingly, we expect to withhold our consent if any such transfer would or may result in us having fewer than 550 beneficial owners of our capital stock. Additionally, we expect to withhold our consent if any such transfer would (i) be prohibited by or trigger a prepayment under our debt or other credit facilities, (ii) result in a violation of applicable securities law, (iii) result in us no longer being eligible to be treated as a RIC, (iv) result in us being subject to additional regulatory or compliance requirements imposed by laws other than the Exchange Act or the Investment Company Act, or (v) result in our assets becoming “plan assets” of any ERISA Member within the meaning of the Plan Assets Regulation (the regulation concerning the definition of “plan assets” under ERISA adopted by the United States Department of Labor and codified in 29 C.F.R. §2510.3-101, as modified by Section 3(42) of ERISA). Finally, Units may be transferred only in transactions that are exempt from registration under the Securities Act and the applicable securities laws of other jurisdictions, and therefore investors will be subject to restrictions on resale and transfer associated with securities sold pursuant to Regulation D, Regulation S and other exemptions from registration under the Securities Act.

Any transfer of Units in violation of these provisions will be void, and any intended recipient of the Units will acquire no rights in such Units and will not be treated as a Unitholder for any purpose. Prospective investors in us should not invest in us unless they are prepared to retain their Units until we liquidate.

Under the terms of the LLC Agreement, in the event any person is or becomes the owner of Units, and such ownership would result in a violation of any of the above provisions, we may, and each Unitholder has agreed and acknowledged that we have the power to, cause us to repurchase the Units of such person, or require such person to transfer their Units to another person; provided, any such repurchase will be conducted in accordance with the terms of the LLC Agreement and Section 23 of the Investment Company Act and applicable rules thereunder.


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ITEM 1B.    UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS.

None.

ITEM 2.    PROPERTIES.

We maintain our principal executive office at 200 West Street, New York, New York 10282. We do not own any real estate.

ITEM 3.    LEGAL PROCEEDINGS.

From time to time, we may be a party to certain legal proceedings, including proceedings relating to the enforcement of our rights under loans to or other contracts with our portfolio companies. We are not currently subject to any material legal proceedings, nor, to our knowledge, is any material legal proceeding threatened against us.

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

Market Information

There is currently no public market for the Units, and we do not expect one to develop in the future.

Unitholders

As of February 25, 2021, there were approximately 1,000 holders of record of our Units.

 

Sales of Unregistered Securities

 

The following table summarizes the total Units issued and proceeds received related to capital drawdowns:

 

Unit Issue Date

 

Units Issued

 

 

Proceeds

Received

($ in millions)

 

For the Year Ended December 31, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 27, 2020

 

 

502,481

 

 

$

43.90

 

Total capital drawdowns

 

 

502,481

 

 

$

43.90

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the Year Ended December 31, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 22, 2019

 

 

689,032

 

 

$

65.84

 

March 28, 2019

 

 

455,946

 

 

 

43.90

 

April 29, 2019

 

 

234,200

 

 

 

21.95

 

May 30, 2019

 

 

232,747

 

 

 

21.95

 

September 20, 2019

 

 

58,300

 

 

 

5.49

 

Total capital drawdowns

 

 

1,670,225

 

 

$

159.13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the Year Ended December 31, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 21, 2018

 

 

335,966

 

 

$

32.92

 

March 28, 2018

 

 

222,135

 

 

 

21.95

 

April 27, 2018

 

 

339,498

 

 

 

32.92

 

June 28, 2018

 

 

558,772

 

 

 

54.87

 

August 27, 2018

 

 

903,600

 

 

 

87.80

 

September 27, 2018

 

 

336,610

 

 

 

32.92

 

November 13, 2018

 

 

795,162

 

 

 

76.82

 

Total capital drawdowns

 

 

3,491,743

 

 

 

340.20

 

 

 

Each of the above issuances and sales of the Units was exempt from the registration requirements of the Securities Act pursuant to Section 4(a)(2) of the Securities Act and Regulation D or Regulation S under the Securities Act. Each purchaser of Units was required to represent that it is (i) either an “accredited investor” as defined in Rule 501 of Regulation D under the Securities Act or, in the case of Units sold outside the United States, not a “U.S. person” in accordance with Regulation S of the Securities Act and (ii) was acquiring the Units purchased by it for investment and not with a view to resale or distribution. We do not engage in general solicitation or advertising and do not offer securities to the public, in connection with such issuances and sales.

Because the Units were acquired by investors in one or more transactions “not involving a public offering,” they are “restricted securities” and may be required to be held indefinitely. Our Units may not be sold, transferred, assigned, pledged or otherwise disposed of unless (i) our consent is granted and (ii) the Units are registered under applicable securities laws or specifically exempted from registration (in which case the Unitholder may, at our option, be required to provide us with a legal opinion, in form and substance satisfactory to us, that registration is not required). Accordingly, an investor must be willing to bear the economic risk of investment in the Units until we are liquidated. No sale, transfer, assignment, pledge or other disposition, whether voluntary or involuntary, of Units may be made except by registration of the transfer on our books. Each transferee will be required to execute our LLC Agreement pursuant to which they will agree to be bound by these restrictions and the other restrictions imposed on the Units.

Distributions

Subject to the requirements of Section 852(a) of Subchapter M of the Code, and the terms of any indebtedness or Preferred Units, we intend to (i) distribute to Unitholders, pro rata based on the number of Units held by each Unitholder, before the end of each taxable year, or in certain cases, during the following taxable year, net proceeds attributable to the repayment or disposition of investments (together with any interest, dividends and other net cash flow in respect of such investments), except to the extent such proceeds from repayment or disposition are retained for reinvestment prior to the termination of the Investment Period in accordance with “—Recycling” below, (ii) distribute quarterly investment income (i.e. proceeds received in respect of interest payments, dividends or fees as opposed to proceeds received in

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connection with the disposition or repayment of an Investment) commencing with the quarter ended December 31, 2016, and (iii) distribute substantially all of our investment company taxable income and net capital gain for each taxable year in order to maintain our status as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code for any such taxable year.

Depending upon the level of taxable income and net capital gain earned in a year, we may choose to retain certain net capital gain for reinvestment and carry forward taxable income for distribution in the following year and pay any applicable tax. Distributions to Unitholders will be appropriately adjusted for any taxes payable by us or any direct or indirect subsidiary through which we invest (including any corporate, state, local, non-U.S. and withholding taxes).

No distribution shall be made to a Unitholder to the extent not permitted under applicable law. Although we do not intend to do so, we have the ability to declare a portion of a dividend in Units.

The following tables summarize the distributions declared on our Units:

 

Date Declared

 

Record Date

 

Payment Date

 

Amount Per Unit

 

For the Year Ended December 31, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 5, 2020

 

August 6, 2020

 

August 28, 2020

 

 

$2.34

 

October 1, 2020

 

October 2, 2020

 

November 2, 2020

 

 

$3.74

 

December 30, 2020

 

December 31, 2020

 

January 29, 2021

 

 

$10.57(1)

 

 

For the Year Ended December 31, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 20, 2019

 

March 29, 2019

 

April 26, 2019

 

 

$2.53

 

May 7, 2019

 

June 28, 2019

 

July 26, 2019

 

 

$1.97

 

July 30, 2019

 

September 30, 2019

 

October 25, 2019

 

 

$3.27

 

October 18, 2019

 

October 16, 2019

 

October 30, 2019

 

 

$0.88(1)

 

October 30, 2019

 

December 31, 2019

 

January 27, 2020

 

 

$2.00

 

November 8, 2019

 

November 12, 2019

 

November 22, 2019

 

 

$3.73(1)

 

 

 

(1)

$0.09 is considered return of capital distribution.

Recycling

Subject to the requirements of Section 852(a) of Subchapter M of the Code and the terms of any indebtedness or Preferred Units, proceeds realized by us from the sale or repayment of any investment (as opposed to investment income) during the Investment Period (but not in excess of the cost of any such investment) may be retained and reinvested by us; provided that such additional amounts reinvested shall not, in the aggregate, exceed our total Unitholder Commitments. Any amounts so reinvested will not reduce a Unitholder’s undrawn Commitment.

To the extent that we retain net capital gains for reinvestment or carry forward taxable income for distribution in the following year, there may be certain tax consequences to us and our Unitholders.

ITEM 6.    SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

 

Not applicable.

 

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ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

The following discussion and other parts of this report contain forward-looking information that involves risks and uncertainties. References to “we,” “us,” “our,” and the “Company,” mean Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC, unless otherwise specified. The terms “GSAM,” our “Adviser” or our “Investment Adviser” refer to Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P., a Delaware limited partnership. The term “Group Inc.” refers to The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. The term “Goldman Sachs” refers to Group Inc., together with Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC (including its predecessors, “GS & Co.”), GSAM and its other subsidiaries and affiliates. The discussion and analysis contained in this section refers to our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. The information contained in this section should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and notes thereto appearing elsewhere in this report. Please see “Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” for a discussion of the uncertainties, risks and assumptions associated with this discussion and analysis. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated by such forward-looking information due to factors discussed under “Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” appearing elsewhere in this report.

OVERVIEW

We are a specialty finance company focused on lending to middle-market companies. We are a closed-end management investment company that has elected to be regulated as a business development company (“BDC”) under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”). In addition, we have elected to be treated, and expect to qualify annually, as a regulated investment company (“RIC”) under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), commencing with our taxable year ended December 31, 2016. From our commencement of investment operations on July 1, 2016 through December 31, 2020, we have originated $2.18 billion in aggregate principal amount of debt and equity investments prior to any subsequent exits and repayments. We seek to generate current income and, to a lesser extent, capital appreciation primarily through direct originations of secured debt, including first lien, unitranche, including last out portions of such loans, and second lien debt, and unsecured debt, including mezzanine debt, as well as through select equity investments.

“Unitranche” loans are first lien loans that may extend deeper in a company’s capital structure than traditional first lien debt and may provide for a waterfall of cash flow priority between different lenders in the unitranche loan. In a number of instances, we may find another lender to provide the “first out” portion of such loan and retain the “last out” portion of such loan, in which case, the “first out” portion of the loan would generally receive priority with respect to payment of principal, interest and any other amounts due thereunder over the “last out” portion that we would continue to hold. In exchange for the greater risk of loss, the “last out” portion generally earns a higher interest rate than our “first out” portion. We use the term “mezzanine” to refer to debt that ranks senior only to a borrower’s equity securities and ranks junior in right of payment to all of such borrower’s other indebtedness. We may make multiple investments in the same portfolio company. We expect to invest, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of our net assets (plus any borrowings for investment purposes), directly or indirectly in private middle-market credit obligations and related instruments. We define “credit obligations and related instruments” for this purpose as any fixed-income instrument, including loans to, and bonds and preferred stock of, portfolio companies and other instruments that provide exposure to such fixed-income instruments. “Middle market” is used to refer to companies with between $5 million and $200 million of annual earnings before interest expense, income tax expense, depreciation and amortization (“EBITDA”) excluding certain one-time and non-recurring items that are outside the operations of these companies. While, as a result of fluctuations in the net asset value (“NAV”) of one asset relative to another asset, private middle-market credit obligations and related instruments may represent less than 80% of our net assets (plus any borrowings for investment purposes) at any time, we may not invest, under normal circumstances, more than 20% of our net assets (plus any borrowings for investment purposes) in securities and other instruments that are not private middle-market credit obligations and related instruments. To the extent we determine to invest indirectly in private middle-market credit obligations and related instruments, we may invest through certain synthetic instruments, including derivatives that have similar economic characteristics to private middle-market credit obligations. For purposes of determining compliance with our 80% policy, each applicable derivative instrument will be valued based upon its market value. We will notify our Unitholders at least 60 days prior to any change to the 80% investment policy described above.

We expect to directly or indirectly invest at least 70% of our total assets in middle-market companies domiciled in the United States. However, we may from time to time invest opportunistically in large U.S. companies, non-U.S. companies, stressed or distressed debt, structured products, private equity or other opportunities, subject to limits imposed by the Investment Company Act.

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

For a discussion of the competitive landscape we face, please see “Item 1A. Risk Factors—Competition—We operate in a highly competitive market for investment opportunities” and “Item 1. Business—Competitive Advantages.”

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Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic

The resurgence in the spread of COVID-19 toward the end of 2020 and into 2021 has created greater uncertainty regarding the economic outlook for the near term, even as early efforts to distribute vaccines are underway. While governments and central banks continued to be aggressive in providing fiscal and monetary stimulus, the global economic recovery remains fragile. The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to affect our business, financial condition, liquidity, our portfolio companies’ results of operations and by extension our operating results will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted.

Our investment portfolio continues to be focused on industries and sectors that are generally expected to be more durable than industries and sectors that are more prone to economic cycles. Given the unprecedented nature of COVID-19 and the difficulty in predicting future government responses and restrictions, the operating environment of our portfolio companies is evolving rapidly.  Business disruption experienced by our portfolio companies may reduce, over time, the amount of interest and dividend income that we receive from our investments companies and may require us to contribute additional capital to such portfolio companies. We may need to restructure our investments in some portfolio companies, which could result in reduced interest payments from or permanent impairments of our investments, and could result in the restructuring of certain of our investments from income paying investments into non-income paying equity investments. Any such decrease in our net investment income would increase the percentage of our cash flows dedicated to our debt obligations and distribution payments to our Unitholders. As a result, we may be required to reduce the future amount of distributions to our Unitholders. We continue to closely monitor our investment portfolio in order to be positioned to respond appropriately.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Goldman Sachs has continued to successfully execute on its Business Continuity Planning (the “BCP”) strategy since initially activating it in the first quarter of 2020. Goldman Sachs’ priority has been to safeguard its employees and to ensure continuity of business operations. Goldman Sachs has a central team that continues to manage its COVID-19 response, which is led by its chief administrative officer and chief medical officer. As a result of the execution of Goldman Sachs’ BCP, the majority of its employees continue to work remotely during most of 2020 and continue to do so in January 2021. In order to re-open offices to Goldman Sachs employees after initial restrictions began to ease in the second quarter of 2020, Goldman Sachs established policies and protocols to address safety considerations, taking into account the readiness of people, communities and facilities. Over the course of the pandemic, the extent to which Goldman Sachs employees have worked from its offices has varied based on how circumstances in each location have evolved.  Goldman Sachs is in constant dialogue with key stakeholders to assess health and safety conditions across all of its office locations and to have robust procedures in place to protect the well-being of its employees, such as controls around building access, strict physical distancing measures, enhanced cleaning regimes and on-site COVID-19 testing.  Our systems and infrastructure have continued to support our business operations. We have maintained regular and active communication across senior management, the rest of our private credit group and our board of directors (the “Board of Directors”). Furthermore, we have ongoing dialogues with our vendors to ensure they continue to meet our criteria for business continuity. 

For further information about the risks associated with COVID-19, see “—Item 1A. Risk Factors” in Part II.

KEY COMPONENTS OF OPERATIONS

Investments

Our level of investment activity can and does vary substantially from period to period depending on many factors, including the amount of debt and equity capital available to middle-market companies, the level of merger and acquisition activity for such companies, the general economic environment, the amount of capital we have available to us and the competitive environment for the type of investments we make.

As a BDC, we may not acquire any assets other than “qualifying assets” specified in the Investment Company Act, unless, at the time the acquisition is made, at least 70% of our total assets are qualifying assets (with certain limited exceptions). Qualifying assets include investments in “eligible portfolio companies.” Pursuant to rules adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), “eligible portfolio companies” include certain companies that do not have any securities listed on a national securities exchange and public companies whose securities are listed on a national securities exchange but whose market capitalization is less than $250 million.

Revenues

We generate revenues in the form of interest income on debt investments and, to a lesser extent, capital gains and distributions, if any, on equity securities that we may acquire in portfolio companies. Some of our investments may provide for deferred interest payments or payment-in-kind (“PIK”) income. The principal amount of the debt investments and any accrued but unpaid interest generally becomes due at the maturity date.

We generate revenues primarily through receipt of interest income from the investments we hold. In addition, we may generate revenue in the form of commitment, origination, structuring, syndication, exit fees or diligence fees, fees for providing managerial assistance and consulting fees. Portfolio company fees (directors’ fees, consulting fees, administrative fees, tax advisory fees and other similar compensation) will be paid to us, unless, to the extent required by applicable law or exemptive relief, if any, therefrom, we receive our allocable portion of such fees when invested in the same portfolio company as other client accounts managed by our Investment Adviser (including GS BDC and GS PMMC II, collectively with other client accounts managed by our Investment Adviser, the “Accounts”), which other Accounts could receive their allocable portion of such fee. We do not expect to receive material fee income as it is not our principal investment strategy. We record contractual prepayment premiums on loans and debt securities as interest income.

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Dividend income on preferred equity investments is recorded on an accrual basis to the extent that such amounts are payable by the portfolio company and are expected to be collected. Dividend income on common equity investments is recorded on the record date for private portfolio companies and on the ex-dividend date for publicly traded portfolio companies. Interest and dividend income are presented net of withholding tax, if any.

Expenses

Our primary operating expenses include the payment of the management fee (the “Management Fee”) and the incentive fee (the “Incentive Fee”) to the Investment Adviser, legal and professional fees, interest and other debt expenses and other operating and overhead related expenses. The Management Fee and Incentive Fee compensate our Investment Adviser for its work in identifying, evaluating, negotiating, closing and monitoring our investments. Pursuant to an investment advisory agreement with the Investment Adviser (the “Investment Advisory Agreement”), Company expenses borne by us in the ordinary course on an annual basis (excluding Management Fees, Incentive Fees, organizational and start-up expenses and leverage-related expenses) will not exceed an amount equal to 0.5% of the aggregate amount of commitments to us by holders of common units of our limited liability company interests (“Units”); provided, however, that expenses incurred outside of the ordinary course, including litigation and similar expenses, are not subject to such cap. We bear all other expenses of our operations and transactions in accordance with our Investment Advisory Agreement and administration agreement (the “Administration Agreement”), including:

 

our operational and organizational expenses;

 

fees and expenses, including travel expenses, incurred by our Investment Adviser or payable to third parties related to our investments, including, among others, professional fees (including the fees and expenses of consultants and experts) and fees and expenses from evaluating, monitoring, researching and performing due diligence on investments and prospective investments;

 

interest, fees and other expenses payable on indebtedness for borrowed money (including through the issuance of notes and other evidence of indebtedness), other indebtedness, financings or extensions of credit, if any, incurred by us;

 

fees and expenses incurred by us in connection with membership in investment company organizations;

 

brokers’ commissions;

 

fees and expenses associated with calculating our net asset value (“NAV”) (including expenses of any independent valuation firm);

 

legal, auditing or accounting expenses;

 

taxes or governmental fees;

 

the fees and expenses of our administrator, transfer agent, or sub-transfer agent;

 

the cost of preparing unit certificates or any other expenses, including clerical expenses of issue or repurchase of our Units;

 

the expenses of and fees for registering or qualifying our Units for sale and of maintaining our registration or qualifying and registering us as a broker or a dealer;

 

the fees and expenses of our directors who are not affiliated with our Investment Adviser;

 

the cost of preparing and distributing reports, proxy statements and notices to our Unitholders, the SEC and other regulatory authorities;

 

costs of holding Unitholder meetings;

 

the fees or disbursements of custodians of our assets, including expenses incurred in the performance of any obligations enumerated by limited liability company agreement or other organizational documents insofar as they govern agreements with any such custodian;

 

insurance premiums; and

 

costs incurred in connection with any claim, litigation, arbitration, mediation, government investigation or dispute in connection with our business and the amount of any judgment or settlement paid in connection therewith, or the enforcement of our rights against any person and indemnification or contribution expenses payable by us to any person and other extraordinary expenses not incurred in the ordinary course of our business.

Our Investment Adviser will not be required to pay expenses of activities which are primarily intended to result in sales of Units.

We expect our general and administrative expenses to be relatively stable or decline as a percentage of total assets during periods of asset growth and to increase during periods of asset declines.

Leverage

The JPM Revolving Credit Facility allows us to borrow money and lever our investment portfolio, subject to the limitations of the Investment Company Act, with the objective of increasing our yield. This is known as “leverage” and could increase or decrease returns to our Unitholders. The use of leverage involves significant risks. As a BDC, with certain limited exceptions, we are only permitted to borrow amounts such that our asset coverage ratio, as defined in the Investment Company Act, equals at least 200% after such borrowing (or 150% if certain requirements are met). As of December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019, our asset coverage ratio based on the aggregate amount outstanding of our senior securities (which includes the JPM Revolving Credit Facility and the revolving credit facility with Bank of America, N.A., the “BoA Revolving Credit Facility” and together with the JPM Revolving Credit Facility, the “Revolving Credit Facilities”)

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was 271% and 270%. The Small Business Credit Availability Act modified the applicable provisions of the Investment Company Act to reduce the required asset coverage ratio applicable to BDCs to 150%, subject to certain approval and disclosure requirements and, in the case of BDCs without common equity listed on a national securities exchange, such as the Company, an offer to repurchase shares held by the BDC’s stockholders as of the date the requisite approval is obtained. As a result, BDCs are able to increase their leverage capacity if shareholders approve a proposal to do so. If a BDC receives shareholder approval, it would be allowed to increase its leverage capacity on the first day after such approval. Alternatively, the legislation allows the majority of the directors who are not “interested persons,” as defined in the Investment Company Act, of the BDC to approve an increase in its leverage capacity, and such approval would become effective after one year. Certain trading practices and investments, such as reverse repurchase agreements, may be considered borrowings or involve leverage and thus may be subject to Investment Company Act restrictions. In accordance with applicable SEC staff guidance and interpretations, when we engage in such transactions, instead of maintaining an asset coverage ratio of at least 200% (or 150% if the above referenced requirements are met), we may segregate or earmark liquid assets, or enter into an offsetting position, in an amount at least equal to our exposure, on a mark-to-market basis, to such transactions (as calculated pursuant to requirements of the SEC). Short-term credits necessary for the settlement of securities transactions and arrangements with respect to securities lending will not be considered borrowings for these purposes. Practices and investments that may involve leverage but are not considered borrowings are not subject to the Investment Company Act’s asset coverage requirement, and we will not otherwise segregate or earmark liquid assets or enter into offsetting positions for such transactions. The amount of leverage that we employ will depend on our Investment Adviser’s and our Board of Directors’ assessment of market conditions and other factors at the time of any proposed borrowing.

PORTFOLIO AND INVESTMENT ACTIVITY

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

 

 

 

As of

 

 

 

December 31, 2020

 

 

December 31, 2019

 

 

 

Amortized

Cost

 

 

Fair Value

 

 

Percentage

of Total

Portfolio at

Fair Value

 

 

Amortized

Cost

 

 

Fair

Value

 

 

Percentage

of Total

Portfolio at

Fair Value

 

 

 

($ in millions)

 

 

 

 

 

 

($ in millions)

 

 

 

 

 

First Lien/Senior Secured Debt

 

$

776.74

 

 

$

767.93

 

 

 

61.2

%

 

$

875.70

 

 

$

870.02

 

 

 

62.2

%

First Lien/Last-Out Unitranche

 

 

137.13

 

 

 

131.58

 

 

 

10.5

 

 

 

128.26

 

 

 

127.21

 

 

 

9.1

 

Second Lien/Senior Secured Debt

 

 

348.31

 

 

 

323.21

 

 

 

25.7

 

 

 

391.15

 

 

 

369.65

 

 

 

26.4

 

Unsecured Debt

 

 

5.57

 

 

 

5.15

 

 

 

0.4

 

 

 

4.90

 

 

 

4.88

 

 

 

0.3

 

Preferred Stock

 

 

10.41

 

 

 

10.40

 

 

 

0.8

 

 

 

15.21

 

 

 

15.95

 

 

 

1.1

 

Common Stock

 

 

12.01

 

 

 

18.05

 

 

 

1.4

 

 

 

12.01

 

 

 

12.70

 

 

 

0.9

 

Warrants

 

 

1.34

 

 

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

0.10

 

 

 

0.10

 

 

 

0.0

 

Total Investments

 

$

1,291.51

 

 

$

1,256.32

 

 

 

100.0

%

 

$

1,427.33

 

 

$

1,400.51

 

 

 

100.0

%

 

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

 

 

 

As of

 

 

 

December 31, 2020

 

 

December 31, 2019

 

 

 

Amortized

Cost

 

 

Fair Value

 

 

Amortized

Cost

 

 

Fair Value

 

Weighted Average Yield(1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Lien/Senior Secured Debt(2)

 

 

8.1

%

 

 

8.7

%

 

 

8.8

%

 

 

8.9

%

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

 

 

9.0

 

 

 

10.2

 

 

 

10.0

 

 

 

10.2

 

Second Lien/Senior Secured Debt(2)

 

 

9.4

 

 

 

10.8

 

 

 

10.6

 

 

 

11.7

 

Unsecured Debt(2)

 

 

13.6

 

 

 

18.4

 

 

 

13.6

 

 

 

13.8

 

Preferred Stock(4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Stock(4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warrants(4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Portfolio

 

 

8.4

%

 

 

9.2

%

 

 

9.2

%

 

 

9.6

%

 

(1) 

The weighted average yield of our portfolio does not represent the total return to our Unitholders.

(2) 

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

(3) 

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

(4) 

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

 

As of December, 2020, the total portfolio weighted average yield measured at amortized cost and fair value was 8.4% and 9.2%, as compared to 9.2% and 9.6%, at December 31, 2019. Within First Lien/Last-Out Unitranche, the decrease in weighted average yield at amortized cost was primarily driven by the decline in the London InterBank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”). Within Second Lien/Senior Secured Debt, the decrease in weighted average yield at amortized cost was primarily driven by one investment placed on non-accrual status. Within Unsecured Debt, the increase in weighted average yield at fair value was primarily driven by the increased market volatility, economic disruption, and

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wider credit spreads resulting from the recent COVID-19 pandemic. For further discussion of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our portfolio, please see “—Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic.”

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

 

 

As of

 

 

December 31,

2020

 

December 31,

2019

 

Number of portfolio companies

 

 

52

 

 

 

60

 

Percentage of performing debt bearing a floating rate(1)

 

 

98.8

%

 

 

98.6

%

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

 

 

1.2

%

 

 

1.4

%

Weighted average leverage (net debt/EBITDA)(3)

 

6.5x

 

 

6.1x

 

Weighted average interest coverage(3)

 

2.5x

 

 

2.2x

 

Median EBITDA(3)

$

45.3 million

 

$

40.3 million

 

 

(1) 

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

 

(2) 

Includes income producing preferred stock investments, if applicable.

(3) 

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

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

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

Portfolio company statistics are derived from the most recently available financial statements of each portfolio company as of the reported end date. Statistics of the portfolio companies have not been independently verified by us and may reflect a normalized or adjusted amount.

As of December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019, investments where net debt to EBITDA may not be the appropriate measure of credit risk represented 30.3% and 20.7%, of total debt investments at fair value. Portfolio company statistics are derived from the most recently available financial statements of each portfolio company as of the respective reported end date. Portfolio company statistics have not been independently verified by us and may reflect a normalized or adjusted amount.

Our Investment Adviser monitors on an ongoing basis, the financial trends of each portfolio company to determine if it is meeting its respective business plan and to assess the appropriate course of action for each company. Our Investment Adviser has several methods of evaluating and monitoring the performance and fair value of our investments, which may include (i) assessment of success in adhering to the portfolio company’s business plan and compliance with covenants; (ii) periodic or regular contact with portfolio company management and, if appropriate, the financial or strategic sponsor to discuss financial position, requirements and accomplishments; (iii) comparisons to our other portfolio companies in the industry, if any; (iv) attendance at and participation in board meetings or presentations by portfolio companies; and (v) review of monthly and quarterly financial statements and financial projections of portfolio companies.

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Grade 4 investments indicate that the risk to our ability to recoup the initial cost basis of such investment has substantially increased since origination or acquisition, and the portfolio company likely has materially declining performance. For debt

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investments with an investment grade of 4, in most cases, most or all of the debt covenants are out of compliance and payments are substantially delinquent. For investments graded 4, it is anticipated that we will not recoup our initial cost basis and may realize a substantial loss of our initial cost basis upon exit.

Our Investment Adviser grades the investments in our portfolio at least each quarter and it is possible that the grade of a portfolio investment may be reduced or increased over time. For investments with a grade of 3 or 4, the Investment Adviser enhances its level of scrutiny over the monitoring of such portfolio company. The following table shows the composition of our portfolio (excluding our investment in a money market fund, if any, managed by an affiliate of Group Inc.) on the 1 to 4 grading scale:

 

 

 

As of

 

 

 

December 31, 2020

 

 

December 31, 2019

 

Investment Performance Rating

 

Fair Value

 

 

Percentage of

Total Portfolio

at Fair Value

 

 

Fair Value

 

 

Percentage of

Total Portfolio

at Fair Value

 

 

 

(in  millions)

 

 

 

 

 

 

(in  millions)

 

 

 

 

 

Grade 1

 

$

 

 

 

%

 

$

 

 

 

%

Grade 2

 

 

1,117.82

 

 

 

89.0

 

 

 

1,370.03

 

 

 

97.8

 

Grade 3

 

 

138.48

 

 

 

11.0

 

 

 

30.48

 

 

 

2.2

 

Grade 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Investments

 

$

1,256.30

 

 

 

100.0

%

 

$

1,400.51

 

 

 

100.0

%

 

The increase in investments with a grade 3 investment performance rating as of December 31, 2020 compared to December 31, 2019 was primarily driven by increased market volatility, economic disruption, and wider credit spreads resulting from the recent COVID-19 pandemic, however economic indicators generally continued to improve upon the rebound experienced during the second quarter, following significant declines in the first quarter, as businesses continued to navigate governmental mandates and the government continued to maintain liquidity in the capital markets and provide fiscal stimulus to support the economy. Given the unprecedented nature of COVID-19, the operating environment of our portfolio companies is evolving rapidly. For further discussion of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our portfolio, please see “Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic.”

 

The following table shows the amortized cost of our performing and non-accrual investments (excluding our investment in a money market fund, if any, managed by an affiliate of Group Inc.):

 

 

 

As of

 

 

 

December 31, 2020

 

 

December 31, 2019

 

 

 

Amortized

Cost

 

 

Percentage of

Total Portfolio

at Amortized

Cost

 

 

Amortized

Cost

 

 

Percentage of

Total Portfolio

at Amortized

Cost

 

 

 

(in  millions)

 

 

 

 

 

 

(in  millions)

 

 

 

 

 

Performing

 

$

1,278.98

 

 

 

99.0

%

 

$

1,427.33

 

 

 

100.0

%

Non-accrual

 

 

12.53

 

 

 

1.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Investments

 

$

1,291.51

 

 

 

100.0

%

 

$

1,427.33

 

 

 

100.0

%

 

Investments are placed on non-accrual status when it is probable that principal, interest or dividends will not be collected according to the contractual terms. Accrued interest or dividends generally are reversed when an investment is placed on non-accrual status. Interest or dividend payments received on non-accrual investments may be recognized as income or applied to principal depending upon management’s judgment. Non-accrual investments are restored to accrual status when past due principal and interest or dividends are paid and, in management’s judgment, principal and interest or dividend payments are likely to remain current. We may make exceptions to this treatment if the loan has sufficient collateral value and is in the process of collection.

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The following table shows our investment activity by investment type(1):

 

 

 

For the Years Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2020

 

 

2019

 

 

 

($ in millions)

 

Amount of investments committed at cost:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Lien/Senior Secured Debt

 

$

2.53

 

 

$

327.57

 

First Lien/Last-Out Unitranche

 

 

7.96

 

 

 

4.80

 

Second Lien/Senior Secured Debt

 

 

 

 

 

34.80

 

Total

 

$

10.49

 

 

$

367.17

 

Proceeds from investments sold or repaid:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Lien/Senior Secured Debt

 

$

130.51

 

 

$

194.56

 

First Lien/Last-Out Unitranche

 

 

0.99

 

 

 

35.07

 

Second Lien/Senior Secured Debt

 

 

46.10

 

 

 

112.28

 

Preferred Stock

 

 

9.60

 

 

 

1.75

 

Common Stock

 

 

 

 

 

3.69

 

Total

 

$

187.20

 

 

$

347.35

 

Net (decrease) in portfolio

 

$

(176.71

)

 

$

19.82

 

Number of new portfolio companies with new investment commitments

 

 

 

 

 

9

 

Total new investment commitment amount in new portfolio companies

 

$

 

 

$

226.97

 

Average new investment commitment amount in new portfolio companies

 

$

 

 

$

25.22

 

Number of existing portfolio companies with new investment commitments

 

 

3

 

 

 

19

 

Total new investment commitment amount in existing portfolio companies

 

$

10.49

 

 

$

140.20

 

Weighted average remaining term for new investment commitments (in years)(2)

 

 

3.2

 

 

 

4.9

 

Percentage of new debt investment commitments at cost for floating interest rates

 

 

84.9

%

 

 

99.5

%

Percentage of new debt investment commitments at cost for fixed interest rates

 

 

15.1

%

 

 

0.5

%

Weighted average yield on new debt and income producing investment commitments(3)

 

 

10.1

%

 

 

9.0

%

Weighted average yield on new investment commitments(4)

 

 

10.1

%

 

 

9.0

%

Weighted average yield on debt and income producing investments sold or repaid(5)

 

 

8.0

%

 

 

10.0

%

Weighted average yield on investments sold or repaid(6)

 

 

7.6

%

 

 

9.8

%

 

(1)

Figures for new investment commitments are shown net of capitalized fees, expenses and original issue discount (“OID”) that occurred at the initial close. Figures for new investment commitments and may also include positions originated during the period but not held at the reporting date. Figures for investments sold or repaid, excludes unfunded commitments that may have expired or otherwise been terminated without receipt of cash proceeds or other consideration.

(2

Calculated as of the end of the relevant period and the maturity date of the individual investments.

(3

Computed based on (a) the annual actual interest rate on new debt and income producing investment commitments, divided by (b) the total new debt and income producing investment commitments. The calculation includes incremental yield earned on the “last-out” portion of the unitranche loan investments and excludes investments that are non-accrual. The annual actual interest rate used is as of the respective quarter end date when the investment activity occurred.

(4

Computed based on (a) the annual actual interest rate on new investment commitments, divided by (b) the total new investment commitments (including investments on non-accrual and non-income producing investments). The calculation includes incremental yield earned on the “last-out” portion of the unitranche loan investments. The annual actual interest rate used is as of the respective quarter end date when the investment activity occurred.

(5

Computed based on (a) the annual actual interest rate on debt and income producing investments sold or paid down, divided by (b) the total debt and income producing investments sold or paid down. The calculation includes incremental yield earned on the “last-out” portion of the unitranche loan investments and excludes prepayment premiums earned on exited investments and investments that are non-accrual.

(6

Computed based on (a) the annual actual interest rate on investments sold or paid down, divided by (b) the total investments sold or paid down (including investments on non-accrual and non-income producing investments). The calculation includes incremental yield earned on the “last-out” portion of the unitranche loan investments and excludes prepayment premiums earned on exited investments.

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RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

Our operating results were as follows:

 

 

 

For the Years Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2020

 

 

2019

 

 

 

($ in millions)

 

Total investment income

 

$

127.36

 

 

$

154.84

 

Net expenses

 

 

52.79

 

 

 

61.53

 

Net investment income

 

 

74.57

 

 

 

93.31

 

Net realized gain (loss) on investments

 

 

4.80

 

 

 

(19.16

)

Net realized gain (loss) on foreign currency transactions

 

 

0.16

 

 

 

0.12

 

Net unrealized appreciation (depreciation) on investments

 

 

(8.38

)

 

 

(18.15

)

Net unrealized appreciation (depreciation) on foreign currency forward contracts and translations

 

 

(5.27

)

 

 

1.17

 

Income tax (provision) benefit, realized and unrealized gain/loss

 

 

(0.19

)

 

 

(0.63

)

Net increase in Members’ Capital from operations

 

$

65.69

 

 

$

56.66

 

 

Net increase in Members’ Capital from operations can vary from period to period as a result of various factors, including acquisitions, the level of new investment commitments, the recognition of realized gains and losses and changes in unrealized appreciation and depreciation on the investment portfolio.

Investment Income

 

 

 

For the Years Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2020

 

 

2019

 

 

 

($ in millions)

 

Interest

 

$

125.32

 

 

$

152.23

 

Dividend income

 

 

0.24

 

 

 

0.61

 

Other income

 

 

1.80

 

 

 

2.00

 

Total investment income

 

$

127.36

 

 

$

154.84

 

 

Interest

Interest from investments, which includes prepayment premiums and accelerated accretion of upfront loan origination fees and unamortized discounts, decreased from $152.23 million for the year ended December 31, 2019 to $125.32 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, primarily due to a decrease in the size of our portfolio. The amortized cost of the portfolio decreased from $1,427.33 million as of December 31, 2019 to $1,291.51 million as of December 31, 2020. Included in interest for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019 is $1.43 million and $2.66 million, in prepayment premiums and $1.82 million and $4.66 million, in accelerated accretion of upfront loan origination fees and unamortized discounts.

     Dividend and other income

Dividend and other income for the year ended December 31, 2020 remained relatively consistent as compared to the year ended December 31, 2019.

Expenses

 

 

 

For the Years Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2020

 

 

2019

 

 

 

($ in millions)

 

Interest and other debt expenses

 

$

24.28

 

 

$

34.34

 

Management fees

 

 

13.43

 

 

 

13.60

 

Incentive fees

 

 

11.59

 

 

 

9.57

 

Professional fees

 

 

1.31

 

 

 

1.55

 

Directors’ fees

 

 

0.25

 

 

 

0.38

 

Other general and administrative expenses

 

 

1.93

 

 

 

2.09

 

Total expenses

 

$

52.79

 

 

$

61.53

 

 

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Interest and other debt expenses

Interest and other debt expenses decreased from $34.34 million for the year ended December 31, 2019 to $24.28 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. This was primarily due to a decrease in the average aggregate daily borrowings from $551.24 million to $489.24 million, which was driven by a decrease in the size of our portfolio.

 Management Fees and Incentive Fees

Management Fees for the year ended December 31, 2020 remained relatively consistent as compared to the year ended December 31, 2019.

The accrual for Incentive Fees increased from $9.57 million for the year ended December 31, 2019 to $11.59 million for the year ended December 31, 2020.

  Professional fees and other general and administrative expenses

Professional fees and other general and administrative expenses for the year ended December 31, 2020 remained relatively consistent as compared to the year ended December 31, 2019.

Net Realized Gains (Losses) and Change in Unrealized Appreciation (Depreciation) on Investments

The realized gains and losses on fully exited and partially exited investments in portfolio companies consisted of the following:

 

 

 

For the Years Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2020

 

 

2019

 

 

 

(in millions)

 

Vantage Mobility International, LLC

 

$

 

 

$

(10.24

)

Country Fresh Holding Company Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

(12.34

)

Continuum Managed Services LLC - Class B

 

 

 

 

 

2.34

 

Accuity Delivery Systems, LLC

 

 

4.80

 

 

 

 

Other, net

 

 

 

 

 

1.08

 

Net realized gain (loss)

 

$

4.80

 

 

$

(19.16

)

For the year ended December 31, 2020, net realized gains were primarily driven by our investments in one portfolio company. In October 2020, we sold our preferred stock in Accuity Delivery Systems, LLC, which resulted in a realized gain of $4.80 million.

For the year ended December 31, 2019, net realized losses were primarily driven by our investments in two portfolio companies. In May 2019, we exchanged our first lien/last-out unitranche debt in Vantage Mobility International, LLC for first lien/last-out unitranche debt, preferred stock and common stock, which resulted in a realized loss of $10.24 million. In addition, in April 2019, we exchanged our second lien debt in Country Fresh Holding Company Inc. for common stock, which resulted in a realized loss of $12.34 million.

Any changes in fair value are recorded in change in unrealized appreciation (depreciation) on investments. For further details on the valuation process, refer to “Note 2 “Significant Accounting Policies—Investments” in our consolidated financial statements. Net change in unrealized appreciation (depreciation) on investments were as follows:

 

 

 

For the Years Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2020

 

 

2019

 

 

 

($ in millions)

 

Unrealized appreciation

 

$

38.45

 

 

$

9.96

 

Unrealized depreciation

 

 

(46.83

)

 

 

(28.11

)

Net change in unrealized appreciation (depreciation) on investments

 

$

(8.38

)

 

$

(18.15

)

 

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The change in unrealized appreciation (depreciation) on investments consisted of the following:

 

 

 

For the Year Ended

December 31, 2020

 

 

 

($ in millions)

 

Portfolio Company:

 

 

 

 

Zep Inc.

 

$

16.68

 

Wrike, Inc.

 

 

6.54

 

Wine.com, LLC

 

 

5.46

 

Empirix, Inc.

 

 

2.47

 

Fenergo Finance 3 Limited

 

 

2.38

 

Diligent Corporation

 

 

1.99

 

Lithium Technologies, Inc.

 

 

(1.79

)

Picture Head Midco LLC

 

 

(2.21

)

CorePower Yoga LLC

 

 

(2.40

)

Odyssey Logistics & Technology Corporation

 

 

(3.10

)

Accuity Delivery Systems, LLC

 

 

(3.11

)

Vantage Mobility International, LLC

 

 

(6.62

)

Other, net(1)

 

 

(11.43

)

Chase Industries, Inc. (dba Senneca Holdings)

 

 

(13.24

)

Total

 

$

(8.38

)

 

(1)

For the year ended December 31, 2020, other, net includes gross unrealized appreciation of $2.93 million and gross unrealized depreciation of $(14.36) million. 

 

Net change in unrealized appreciation (depreciation) in our investments for the year ended December 31, 2020 continued to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, however economic indicators generally continued to improve upon the rebound experienced during the second quarter, following significant declines in the first quarter, as businesses continued to navigate governmental mandates and the government continued to maintain liquidity in the capital markets and provide fiscal stimulus to support the economy. Given the unprecedented nature of COVID-19, the operating environment of our portfolio companies is evolving rapidly. For further discussion of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our portfolio, please see “—Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic.” In addition, the net change in unrealized appreciation (depreciation) was primarily driven by the unrealized depreciation in Chase Industries, Inc. (dba Senneca Holdings), which was placed on non-accrual status during the three months ended June 30, 2020 due to financial underperformance and the unrealized depreciation in Vantage Mobility International, LLC, which was due to financial underperformance, partially offset by the unrealized appreciation in Zep Inc., which was due to financial improvement.

 

 

 

 

For the Year Ended

December 31, 2019

 

 

 

($ in millions)

 

Portfolio Company:

 

 

 

 

Accuity Delivery Systems, LLC

 

$

2.15

 

Country Fresh Holding Company Inc.

 

 

1.74

 

Wrike, Inc.

 

 

1.19

 

DocuTAP, Inc.

 

 

0.85

 

Yasso, Inc.

 

 

0.60

 

GlobalTranz Enterprises, Inc.

 

 

(1.15

)

Spectrum Plastics Group, Inc.

 

 

(1.81

)

Vantage Mobility International, LLC

 

 

(1.96

)

Other, net(1)

 

 

(2.04

)

Empirix, Inc.

 

 

(3.00

)

Zep Inc.

 

 

(14.72

)

Total

 

$

(18.15

)

 

(1)

For the year ended December 31, 2019, other, net includes gross unrealized appreciation of $3.43 million and gross unrealized depreciation of $(5.47) million.

 

Net change in unrealized appreciation (depreciation) in our investments for the year ended December 31, 2019 was primarily driven by the unrealized depreciation in Zep Inc., which was due to financial underperformance.

FINANCIAL CONDITION, LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES

The primary use of existing funds and any funds raised in the future is expected to be for our investments in portfolio companies, cash distributions to our Unitholders or for other general corporate purposes, including paying for operating expenses or debt service to the extent we borrow or issue senior securities.

We expect to generate cash primarily from the net proceeds of any future offerings of securities, drawdowns of capital commitments, future borrowings and cash flows from operations. To the extent we determine that additional capital would allow us to take advantage of additional investment opportunities, if the market for debt financing presents attractively priced debt financing opportunities, or if our Board of

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Directors otherwise determines that leveraging our portfolio would be in our best interest and the best interests of our Unitholders, we may enter into credit facilities in addition to the JPM Revolving Credit Facility, or issue other senior securities. We would expect any such credit facilities may be secured by certain of our assets and may contain advance rates based upon pledged collateral. The pricing and other terms of any such facilities would depend upon market conditions when we enter into any such facilities as well as the performance of our business, among other factors. As a BDC, with certain limited exceptions, we are only permitted to borrow amounts such that our asset coverage ratio, as defined in the Investment Company Act, is at least 200% after such borrowing (or 150% if certain requirements are met). See “—Key Components of Operations—Leverage.” As of December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019, our asset coverage ratio based on the aggregate amount outstanding of our senior securities (which includes the JPM Revolving Credit Facility and the revolving credit facility with Bank of America, N.A., the “BoA Revolving Credit Facility” and together with the JPM Revolving Credit Facility, the “Revolving Credit Facilities”) was 271% and 270%. We may also refinance or repay any of our indebtedness at any time based on our financial condition and market conditions.

We may enter into investment commitments through signed commitment letters which may ultimately become investment transactions in the future. We regularly evaluate and carefully consider our unfunded commitments using GSAM’s proprietary risk management framework for the purpose of planning our capital resources and ongoing liquidity, including our financial leverage.

As of December 31, 2020, we had cash of approximately $25.38 million, an increase of $7.70 million from December 31, 2019. In addition, as of December 31, 2020, we had an investment in a money market fund managed by an affiliate of Group Inc. of $122.36 million. Cash provided by operating activities for the year ended December 31, 2020 was approximately $92.22 million, primarily driven by net purchases of investments in the affiliated money market fund of $122.36 million, other operating activities of $2.49, offset by an increase in Members’ Capital from operations of $65.69 million and net sales of investments of $151.38 million. Cash used by financing activities for the year ended December 31, 2020 was approximately $84.55 million, primarily driven by proceeds from the issuance of common Units of $43.90 million, offset by net repayments on debt of $40.91 million, distributions paid of $85.37 million and other financing activities of $2.17 million.

As of December 31, 2019, we had cash of approximately $17.68 million, a decrease of $7.87 million from December 31, 2018. In addition, as of December 31, 2019, we had an investment in a money market fund managed by an affiliate of Group Inc. of $22.30 million. Cash provided by operating activities for the year ended December 31, 2019 was approximately $46.69 million, primarily driven by net purchases of investments of $26.65 million, net purchases of investments in the affiliated money market fund of $22.30 million, offset by other operating activities of $38.96 million and an increase in Members’ Capital resulting from operations of $56.66 million. Cash used by financing activities for the year ended December 31, 2019 was approximately $54.56 million, primarily driven by proceeds from the issuance of common Units of $159.13 million, offset by net repayments on debt of $62.47 million, distributions paid of $150.25 million and other financing activities of $0.97 million.

To the extent permissible under the risk retention rules and applicable provisions of the Investment Company Act, we may raise capital by securitizing certain of our investments, including through the formation of one or more collateralized loan obligations or asset based facilities, while retaining all or most of the exposure to the performance of these investments. This would involve contributing a pool of assets to a special purpose entity, and selling debt interests in such entity on a non-recourse or limited-recourse basis to purchasers. We may also pursue other forms of debt financing, including potentially from the Small Business Administration through a future small business investment company subsidiary (subject to regulatory approvals).

We had aggregate capital commitments and undrawn capital commitments from investors as follows:

 

 

 

December 31, 2020

 

 

December 31, 2019

 

 

 

Capital

Commitments

($ in millions)

 

 

Unfunded

Capital

Commitments

($ in millions)

 

 

% of Capital

Commitments

Funded

 

 

Capital

Commitments

($ in millions)

 

 

Unfunded

Capital

Commitments

($ in millions)

 

 

% of Capital

Commitments

Funded

 

Common Units

 

$

1,097.43

 

 

$

60.36

 

 

 

95

%

 

$

1,097.43

 

 

$

104.26

 

 

 

91

%

 

 

The following table summarizes the total Units issued and proceeds related to capital drawdowns:

 

Unit Issue Date

 

Units Issued

 

 

Proceeds

Received

($ in millions)

 

For the Year Ended December 31, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 27, 2020

 

 

502,481

 

 

$

43.90

 

Total capital drawdowns

 

 

502,481

 

 

$

43.90

 

 

For the Year Ended December 31, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 22, 2019

 

 

689,032

 

 

$

65.84

 

March 28, 2019

 

 

455,946

 

 

 

43.90

 

April 29, 2019

 

 

234,200

 

 

 

21.95

 

May 30, 2019

 

 

232,747

 

 

 

21.95

 

September 20, 2019

 

 

58,300

 

 

 

5.49

 

Total capital drawdowns

 

 

1,670,225

 

 

$

159.13

 

 

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Contractual Obligations

We have entered into certain contracts under which we have future commitments. Payments under the Investment Advisory Agreement, pursuant to which GSAM has agreed to serve as our Investment Adviser, are equal to (1) a percentage of our average NAV and (2) an Incentive Fee based on investment performance. Under the Administration Agreement, pursuant to which State Street Bank and Trust Company has agreed to furnish us with the administrative services necessary to conduct our day-to-day operations, we pay our administrator such fees as may be agreed between us and our administrator that we determine are commercially reasonable in our sole discretion. Generally, either party may terminate the Investment Advisory Agreement without penalty on at least 60 days’ written notice to the other party. Either party may terminate the Administration Agreement without penalty upon at least 30 days’ written notice to the other party. The following table shows our contractual obligations as of December 31, 2020:

 

 

 

Payments Due by Period ($ in millions)

 

 

 

Total

 

 

Less Than

1 Year

 

 

1 – 3

Years

 

 

3 – 5

Years

 

 

More Than

5 Years

 

JPM Revolving Credit Facility

 

$

408.89

 

 

$

 

 

$

 

 

$

408.89

 

 

$

 

JPM Revolving Credit Facility

 

50.90

 

 

 

 

 

 

50.90

 

 

 

 

Euro (“€”)

JPM Revolving Credit Facility

On November 21, 2017, Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit SPV LLC (“SPV”), our wholly-owned subsidiary, entered into the JPM Revolving Credit Facility. JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association (“JPM”) serves as administrative agent, State Street Bank and Trust Company serves as collateral agent, collateral administrator, bank and securities intermediary and we serve as portfolio manager under the JPM Revolving Credit Facility. State Street Bank and Trust Company also acts as our transfer agent, disbursing agent, custodian and administrator as well as SPV’s custodian. The Company amended the JPM Revolving Credit Facility on August 17, 2018, December 10, 2018, February 22, 2019, April 3, 2020, August 26, 2020 and November 23, 2020.

Borrowings under the JPM Revolving Credit Facility bear interest (at SPV’s election) at a per annum rate equal to either (x) the three-month LIBOR (or other listed offered rate, depending upon the currency of borrowing) in effect or (y) a rate per annum equal to the greater of (i) the prime rate of JPM in effect on such day and (ii) the Federal Funds Effective Rate in effect on such day plus 0.50%; and, with respect to advances denominated in a currency other than USD, the annual rate of interest is the reference rate then in effect for determining interest rates on commercial loans made in the applicable jurisdiction of such currency, in all cases, in each case, plus the applicable margin. The applicable margin is 3.25% per annum. SPV initially paid a commitment fee of 1.00% per annum (or 0.50% per annum during the first nine months from the date the JPM Revolving Credit Facility was entered into) on the average daily unused amount of the financing commitments until the third anniversary of the JPM Revolving Credit Facility.

The JPM Revolving Credit Facility is a multicurrency facility. As of December 31, 2020, the total commitments under the JPM Revolving Credit Facility were $468.25 million. The JPM Revolving Credit Facility also has a commitment increase option, subject to the satisfaction of various conditions, which could bring total commitments under the JPM Revolving Credit Facility to $750.00 million. All amounts outstanding under the JPM Revolving Credit Facility must be repaid by the sixth anniversary of the JPM Revolving Credit Facility, subject to a six month extension of the maturity date with the consent of the administrative agent at such time.

SPV’s obligations to the lenders under the JPM Revolving Credit Facility are secured by a first priority security interest in all of SPV’s portfolio of investments and cash. The obligations of SPV under the JPM Revolving Credit Facility are non-recourse to us, and our exposure under the JPM Revolving Credit Facility is limited to the value of our investment in SPV.

In connection with the JPM Revolving Credit Facility, SPV has made certain customary representations and warranties and is required to comply with various covenants, reporting requirements and other customary requirements for similar facilities. The JPM Revolving Credit Facility contains customary events of default for similar financing transactions, including if a change of control of SPV occurs or if we are no longer the portfolio manager of SPV. Upon the occurrence and during the continuation of an event of default, JPM may declare the outstanding advances and all other obligations under the JPM Revolving Credit Facility immediately due and payable.

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Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

We may become a party to investment commitments and to financial instruments with off-balance sheet risk in the normal course of our business to fund investments and to meet the financial needs of our portfolio companies. These instruments may include commitments to extend credit and involve, to varying degrees, elements of liquidity and credit risk in excess of the amount recognized in the balance sheet. As of December 31, 2020, we believed that we had adequate financial resources to satisfy our unfunded commitments. Our unfunded commitments to provide funds to portfolio companies were as follows:

 

 

 

As of

 

 

 

December 31,

2020

 

 

December 31,

2019

 

 

 

(in millions)

 

Unfunded Commitments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Lien/Senior Secured Debt

 

$

37.69

 

 

$

67.82

 

First Lien/Last-Out Unitranche

 

 

 

 

 

0.72

 

Second Lien/Senior Secured Debt

 

 

 

 

 

4.47

 

Total

 

$

37.69

 

 

$

73.01

 

 

As of December 31, 2020, we had aggregate Commitments and undrawn Commitments from investors as follows:

 

 

 

December 31, 2020

 

 

 

Capital

Commitments

($ in millions)

 

 

Unfunded

Capital

Commitments

($ in millions)

 

 

% of Capital

Commitments

Funded

 

Common Units

 

$

1,097.43

 

 

$

60.36

 

 

 

95

%

 

HEDGING

Subject to applicable provisions of the Investment Company Act and applicable Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) regulations, we may enter into hedging transactions in a manner consistent with SEC guidance. To the extent that any of our loans are denominated in a currency other than U.S. dollars, we may enter into currency hedging contracts to reduce our exposure to fluctuations in currency exchange rates. We may also enter into interest rate hedging agreements. Such hedging activities, which will be subject to compliance with applicable legal requirements, may include the use of futures, options, swaps and forward contracts. Costs incurred in entering into such contracts or in settling them, if any, will be borne by us. Our Investment Adviser has claimed no-action relief from CFTC registration and regulation as a commodity pool operator pursuant to a CFTC Rule 4.5 with respect to our operations, with the result that we will be limited in our ability to use futures contracts or options on futures contracts or engage in swap transactions. Specifically, CFTC Rule 4.5 imposes strict limitations on using such derivatives other than for hedging purposes, whereby the use of derivatives not used solely for hedging purposes is generally limited to situations where (i) the aggregate initial margin and premiums required to establish such positions does not exceed five percent of the liquidation value of our portfolio, after taking into account unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such contracts it has entered into; or (ii) the aggregate net notional value of such derivatives does not exceed 100% of the liquidation value of our portfolio. Moreover, we anticipate entering into transactions involving such derivatives to a very limited extent solely for hedging purposes or otherwise within the limitations of CFTC Rule 4.5.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

On January 26, 2021, Jonathan Lamm notified us of his intention to resign as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer effective March 1, 2021. Mr. Lamm’s decision to resign is not the result of any disagreement with the Company. On February 24, 2021, our Board of Directors appointed Joseph DiMaria as our Interim Chief Financial Officer and Interim Treasurer effective March 1, 2021.

CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES

Our discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations are based upon our consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”). The preparation of these consolidated financial statements requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses. Changes in the economic environment, financial markets and any other parameters used in determining such estimates could cause actual results to differ materially.

For a description of our critical accounting policies, see Note 2 “Significant Accounting Policies” to our consolidated financial statements included in this report. We consider the most significant accounting policies to be those related to our Valuation of Portfolio Investments, Revenue Recognition, Non-Accrual Investments, Distribution Policy and Income Taxes.

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ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

We are subject to financial market risks, most significantly changes in interest rates. Interest rate sensitivity refers to the change in our earnings that may result from changes in the level of interest rates. Because we expect to fund a portion of our investments with borrowings, our net investment income is expected to be affected by the difference between the rate at which we invest and the rate at which we borrow. As a result, we can offer no assurance that a significant change in market interest rates will not have a material adverse effect on our net investment income.

Uncertainty with respect to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced significant volatility in the financial markets, and the effect of the volatility could materially impact our market risks, including those listed below.

As of December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019, on a fair value basis, approximately 1.2% and 1.4%, of our performing debt investments bore interest at a fixed rate (including income producing preferred stock investments), and approximately 98.8% and 98.6%, of our performing debt investments bore interest at a floating rate. Our borrowings under the JPM Revolving Credit Facility bear interest at a floating rate.

We regularly measure our exposure to interest rate risk. We assess interest rate risk and manage our interest rate exposure on an ongoing basis by comparing our interest rate sensitive assets to our interest rate sensitive liabilities.

Based on our December 31, 2020 balance sheet, the following table shows the annual impact on net income of base rate changes in interest rates (considering interest rate floors for variable rate instruments) assuming no changes in our investment and borrowing structure:

 

As of December 31, 2020

Basis Point Change

 

Interest

Income

 

 

Interest

Expense

 

 

Net

Income

 

($ in millions)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Up 300 basis points

 

$

21.98

 

 

$

(13.11

)

 

$

8.87

 

Up 200 basis points

 

 

12.25

 

 

 

(8.74

)

 

 

3.51

 

Up 100 basis points

 

 

2.53

 

 

 

(4.37

)

 

 

(1.84

)

Up 75 basis points

 

 

0.37

 

 

 

(3.28

)

 

 

(2.91

)

Up 50 basis points

 

 

0.25

 

 

 

(2.19

)

 

 

(1.94

)

Up 25 basis points  

 

 

0.12

 

 

 

(1.09

)

 

 

(0.97

)

Down 25 basis points

 

 

(0.10

)

 

 

1.04

 

 

 

0.94

 

Down 50 basis points

 

 

(0.10

)

 

 

1.04

 

 

 

0.94

 

Down 75 basis points

 

 

(0.11

)

 

 

1.04

 

 

 

0.93

 

Down 100 basis points

 

 

(0.11

)

 

 

1.04

 

 

 

0.93

 

Down 200 basis points

 

 

(0.12

)

 

 

1.04

 

 

 

0.92

 

Down 300 basis points

 

 

(0.13

)

 

 

1.04

 

 

 

0.91

 

 

We may, in the future, hedge against interest rate fluctuations by using standard hedging instruments such as futures, options and forward contracts subject to the requirements of the Investment Company Act, applicable CFTC regulations and in a manner consistent with SEC guidance. While hedging activities may insulate us against adverse changes in interest rates, they may also limit our ability to participate in benefits of lower interest rates with respect to our portfolio of investments with fixed interest rates.

 

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ITEM 8.     CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

GOLDMAN SACHS PRIVATE MIDDLE MARKET CREDIT LLC

INDEX TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

 

 

 

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Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

 

To the Board of Directors and Unitholders of Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC

 

Opinion on the Financial Statements

We have audited the accompanying consolidated statements of financial condition, including the consolidated schedules of investments, of Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC and its subsidiaries (the “Company”) as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, and the related consolidated statements of operations, changes in members’ capital and cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2020, including the related notes (collectively referred to as the “consolidated financial statements”).  In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, and the results of its operations, changes in its members’ capital and its cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2020 in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

 

Basis for Opinion

These consolidated financial statements are the responsibility of the Company’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s consolidated financial statements based on our audit.  We are a public accounting firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB) and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

 

We conducted our audit of these consolidated financial statements in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB.  Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the consolidated financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud.  The Company is not required to have, nor were we engaged to perform, an audit of its internal control over financial reporting. As part of our audit we are required to obtain an understanding of internal control over financial reporting but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting. Accordingly, we express no such opinion.

 

Our audit included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the consolidated financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks.  Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the consolidated financial statements.  Our audit also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the consolidated financial statements.  Our procedures included confirmation of securities owned as of December 31, 2020 and 2019 by correspondence with the agent banks, portfolio company investees, transfer agent and brokers; when replies were not received, we performed other auditing procedures.  We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.

 

/s/ PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

 

Boston, Massachusetts

February 25, 2021

 

We have served as the auditor of one or more investment companies

in the following group of business development companies

since 2012 – Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC,

Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc., and

Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit II LLC

 

 

 

 

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Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC

Consolidated Statements of Financial Condition

(in thousands, except unit and per unit amounts)

 

 

 

December 31, 2020

 

 

December 31, 2019

 

Assets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Investments, at fair value

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-controlled/non-affiliated investments (cost of $1,286,255 and $1,389,030)

 

$

1,250,276

 

 

$

1,358,034

 

Non-controlled affiliated investments (cost of $5,254 and $38,303)

 

 

6,029

 

 

 

42,477

 

Total investments, at fair value (amortized cost of $1,291,509 and $1,427,333)

 

 

1,256,305

 

 

 

1,400,511

 

Investments in affiliated money market fund (cost of $144,658 and $22,297)

 

 

144,658

 

 

 

22,297

 

Cash

 

 

25,384

 

 

 

17,681

 

Receivable for investments sold

 

 

469

 

 

 

112

 

Interest and dividends receivable

 

 

11,127

 

 

 

6,199

 

Deferred financing costs

 

 

3,788

 

 

 

3,113

 

Unrealized appreciation on foreign currency forward contracts

 

 

 

 

 

45

 

Other assets

 

 

333

 

 

 

123

 

Total assets

 

$

1,442,064

 

 

$

1,450,081

 

Liabilities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Debt

 

$

471,075

 

 

$

511,988

 

Interest and other debt expenses payable

 

 

4,223

 

 

 

7,283

 

Management fees payable

 

 

3,244

 

 

 

3,395

 

Incentive fees payable

 

 

38,339

 

 

 

26,747

 

Distribution payable

 

 

113,000

 

 

 

20,368

 

Unrealized depreciation on foreign currency forward contracts

 

 

164

 

 

 

 

Directors’ fees payable

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

Accrued expenses and other liabilities

 

 

2,298

 

 

 

2,167

 

Total liabilities

 

$

632,346

 

 

$

571,948

 

Commitments and Contingencies (Note 8)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Members’ Capital

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preferred units (0 units issued and outstanding)

 

$

 

 

$

 

Common units (10,687,877 and 10,185,396 units issued and outstanding as of December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019)

 

 

1,012,430

 

 

 

966,027

 

Distributable earnings

 

 

(202,712

)

 

 

(87,894

)

TOTAL MEMBERS’ CAPITAL

 

$

809,718

 

 

$

878,133

 

TOTAL LIABILITIES AND MEMBERS’ CAPITAL

 

$

1,442,064

 

 

$

1,450,081

 

Net asset value per unit

 

$

75.76

 

 

$

86.21

 

 

The accompanying notes are part of these consolidated financial statements.

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Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC

Consolidated Statements of Operations

(in thousands, except unit and per unit amounts)

 

 

 

For the Years Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2020

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

Investment Income:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From non-controlled/non-affiliated investments:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interest income

 

$

122,757

 

 

$

149,463

 

 

$

119,694

 

Other income

 

 

1,153

 

 

 

1,966

 

 

 

1,957

 

From non-controlled affiliated investments:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interest income

 

 

2,553

 

 

 

2,765

 

 

 

1,757

 

Dividend income

 

 

242

 

 

 

614

 

 

 

340

 

Other income

 

 

650

 

 

 

29

 

 

 

18

 

Total investment income

 

$

127,355

 

 

$

154,837

 

 

$

123,766

 

Expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interest and other debt expenses

 

$

24,280

 

 

$

34,343

 

 

$

28,480

 

Management fees

 

 

13,430

 

 

 

13,598

 

 

 

9,604

 

Incentive fees

 

 

11,592

 

 

 

9,567

 

 

 

11,316

 

Professional fees

 

 

1,316

 

 

 

1,550

 

 

 

1,753

 

Directors’ fees

 

 

245

 

 

 

375

 

 

 

365

 

Other general and administrative expenses

 

 

1,925

 

 

 

2,093

 

 

 

2,049

 

Total expenses

 

$

52,788

 

 

$

61,526

 

 

$

53,567

 

NET INVESTMENT INCOME

 

$

74,567

 

 

$

93,311

 

 

$

70,199

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net realized and unrealized gains (losses):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net realized gain (loss) from:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-controlled/non-affiliated investments

 

$

1

 

 

$

(19,156

)

 

$

2,296

 

Non-controlled affiliated investments

 

 

4,800

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foreign currency forward contracts

 

 

101

 

 

 

127