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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Item 8. Consolidated Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
PART IV

Table of Contents


UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549

Form 10-K

(Mark One)    

þ

 

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

 

 

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017

OR

o

 

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

 

 

For the transition period from              to              

Commission File Number: 001-33723

Main Street Capital Corporation
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

Maryland
(State or other jurisdiction
of incorporation or organization)
  41-2230745
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)

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

 

77056
(Zip Code)

(713) 350-6000
(Registrant's telephone number, including area code)

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

Title of Each Class
 
Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered
Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share   New York Stock Exchange
6.125% Notes due 2023   New York Stock Exchange

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

None

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

       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 o    No þ

       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 þ    No o

       Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).    Yes o    No o

       Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant's knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.    þ

       Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer or 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 þ   Accelerated filer o   Non-accelerated filer o
(do not check if
smaller reporting company)
  Smaller reporting company o

Emerging growth company o

       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. o

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

       The aggregate market value of the registrant's common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of June 30, 2017, was approximately $2,056.0 million based upon the last sale price for the registrant's common stock on that date.

       The number of outstanding common shares of the registrant as of February 22, 2018 was 58,753,792.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

       Portions of the registrants' definitive Proxy Statement for its 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, are incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K in response to Part III.


Table of Contents


TABLE OF CONTENTS

 
   
  Page
PART I
Item 1.   Business   1
Item 1A.   Risk Factors   22
Item 1B.   Unresolved Staff Comments   46
Item 2.   Properties   46
Item 3.   Legal Proceedings   46
Item 4.   Mine Safety Disclosures   46

PART II
Item 5.   Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities   47
Item 6.   Selected Financial Data   53
Item 7.   Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations   55
Item 7A.   Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk   80
Item 8.   Consolidated Financial Statements and Supplementary Data   81
Item 9.   Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure   202
Item 9A.   Controls and Procedures   202
Item 9B.   Other Information   202

PART III
Item 10.   Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance   203
Item 11.   Executive Compensation   203
Item 12.   Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters   203
Item 13.   Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence   204
Item 14.   Principal Accountant Fees and Services   204

PART IV
Item 15.   Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules   205
Signatures   209

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CAUTIONARY STATEMENT CONCERNING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

       This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements regarding the plans and objectives of management for future operations. Any such forward-looking statements may involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by any forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements, which involve assumptions and describe our future plans, strategies and expectations, are generally identifiable by use of the words "may," "will," "should," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "believe," "intend" or "project" or the negative of these words or other variations on these words or comparable terminology. These forward-looking statements are based on assumptions that may be incorrect, and we cannot assure you that the projections included in these forward-looking statements will come to pass. Our actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including the factors discussed in Item 1A entitled "Risk Factors" in Part I of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include changes in the economy and future changes in laws or regulations and conditions in our operating areas.

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


PART I

Item 1.    Business

ORGANIZATION

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

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

       MSC Adviser I, LLC (the "External Investment Manager") was formed in November 2013 as a wholly owned subsidiary of MSCC to provide investment management and other services to parties other than MSCC and its subsidiaries or their portfolio companies ("External Parties") and receives fee income for such services. MSCC has been granted no-action relief by the SEC to allow the External Investment Manager to

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register as a registered investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended (the "Advisers Act"). Since the External Investment Manager conducts all of its investment management activities for External Parties, it is accounted for as a portfolio investment of MSCC and is not included as a consolidated subsidiary of MSCC in MSCC's consolidated financial statements.

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

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

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

       The following diagram depicts our organizational structure:

GRAPHIC


*
Each of the Taxable Subsidiaries is directly or indirectly wholly owned by MSCC.

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

CORPORATE INFORMATION

       Our principal executive offices are located at 1300 Post Oak Boulevard, 8th Floor, Houston, Texas 77056. We maintain a Web site on the Internet at www.mainstcapital.com. We make available free of charge on our Web site our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and all amendments to those reports as soon as reasonably practicable after such material is electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC. You may read and copy any materials we file with the SEC at the SEC's Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, NE, Washington, DC 20549. You may obtain information regarding the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. Information contained on our Web site is not incorporated by reference into this Annual Report on Form 10-K, and you should not consider that information to be part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

OVERVIEW OF OUR BUSINESS

       Our principal investment objective is to maximize our portfolio's total return by generating current income from our debt investments and capital appreciation from our equity and equity-related investments, including warrants, convertible securities and other rights to acquire equity securities in a portfolio company. Our LMM companies generally have annual revenues between $10 million and $150 million, and our LMM portfolio investments generally range in size from $5 million to $50 million. Our Middle Market investments are made in businesses that are generally larger in size than our LMM portfolio companies, with annual

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revenues typically between $150 million and $1.5 billion, and our Middle Market investments generally range in size from $3 million to $20 million. Our private loan ("Private Loan") portfolio investments are primarily debt securities in privately held companies which have been originated through strategic relationships with other investment funds on a collaborative basis. Private Loan investments are typically similar in size, structure, terms and conditions to investments we hold in our LMM portfolio and Middle Market portfolio.

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

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

       Our Private Loan portfolio investments are primarily debt securities in privately held companies which have been originated through strategic relationships with other investment funds on a collaborative basis, and are often referred to in the debt markets as "club deals." Private Loan investments are typically similar in size, structure, terms and conditions to investments we hold in our LMM portfolio and Middle Market portfolio. Our Private Loan portfolio debt investments are generally secured by either a first or second priority lien on the assets of the portfolio company and typically have a term of between three and seven years from the original investment date.

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

       Our external asset management business is conducted through the External Investment Manager. The External Investment Manager earns management fees based on the assets of the funds under management and may earn incentive fees, or a carried interest, based on the performance of the funds managed. We have entered into an agreement with the External Investment Manager to share employees in connection with its asset management business generally, and specifically for its relationship with HMS Income Fund, Inc. ("HMS Income"). Through this agreement, we share employees with the External Investment Manager, including their related infrastructure, business relationships, management expertise and capital raising capabilities.

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

       The level of new portfolio investment activity will fluctuate from period to period based upon our view of the current economic fundamentals, our ability to identify new investment opportunities that meet our investment criteria, and our ability to consummate the identified opportunities. The level of new investment activity, and associated interest and fee income, will directly impact future investment income. In addition, the

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

       Because we are internally managed, we do not pay any external investment advisory fees, but instead directly incur the operating costs associated with employing investment and portfolio management professionals. We believe that our internally managed structure provides us with a beneficial operating expense structure when compared to other publicly traded and privately held investment firms which are externally managed, and our internally managed structure allows us the opportunity to leverage our non-interest operating expenses as we grow our Investment Portfolio.

       During May 2012, we entered into an investment sub-advisory agreement with HMS Adviser, LP ("HMS Adviser"), which is the investment advisor to HMS Income, a non-listed BDC, to provide certain investment advisory services to HMS Adviser. In December 2013, after obtaining required no-action relief from the SEC to allow us to own a registered investment adviser, we assigned the sub-advisory agreement to the External Investment Manager since the fees received from such arrangement could otherwise have negative consequences on our ability to meet the source-of-income requirement necessary for us to maintain our RIC tax treatment. Under the investment sub-advisory agreement, the External Investment Manager is entitled to 50% of the base management fee and the incentive fees earned by HMS Adviser under its advisory agreement with HMS Income.

       During April 2014, we received an exemptive order from the SEC permitting co-investments by us and HMS Income in certain negotiated transactions where co-investing would otherwise be prohibited under the 1940 Act. We have made, and in the future intend to continue to make, such co-investments with HMS Income in accordance with the conditions of the order. The order requires, among other things, that we and the External Investment Manager consider whether each such investment opportunity is appropriate for HMS Income and, if it is appropriate, to propose an allocation of the investment opportunity between us and HMS Income. Because the External Investment Manager may receive performance-based fee compensation from HMS Income, this may provide it an incentive to allocate opportunities to HMS Income instead of us. However, both we and the External Investment Manager have policies and procedures in place to manage this conflict.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

       During January 2018, we made a new portfolio investment to facilitate the minority recapitalization of Brewer Crane, LLC ("Brewer"), a leading Southern California full-service crane rental service provider. We, along with a co-investor, partnered with Brewer's founder and Chief Executive Officer to facilitate the transaction, with us funding $14.2 million in a combination of first-lien, senior secured term debt and a direct equity investment. Headquartered in Lakeside, California, and founded in 1997, Brewer provides crane rental services to San Diego County and the surrounding Southern California area, offering mobile cranes, tower cranes, skilled operators, construction hoists, hauling, rigging, storage, service and repairs, and miscellaneous equipment rental.

       In February 2018, we fully exited our debt and equity investments in SoftTouch Medical Holdings, LLC ("SoftTouch"), a leading provider of home medical equipment and services, serving pediatric patients across the states of Georgia and Alabama. SoftTouch provides a broad array of medical equipment and services to chronically ill youth through its diverse product offerings, including respiratory therapy, enteral feeding,

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phototherapy, ventilators, amongst others. We realized a gain of approximately $5.2 million on the exit of our equity investment in SoftTouch.

       In February 2018, we made a new portfolio investment to facilitate the management led buyout of DMS Holdco, LLC. ("DMS"), a leading provider of omni-channel direct marketing services. We, along with a co-investor, partnered with the DMS' management team to facilitate the transaction, with us funding $27.2 million in a combination of first-lien, senior secured term debt and a direct equity investment. Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and founded in 1982, DMS develops and executes end-to-end, omni-channel direct marketing services including strategy, creative design, direct mail production/fulfillment, and digital marketing to various end markets including the FinTech, banking, telecom and technology industries.

       During February 2018, we declared regular monthly dividends of $0.190 per share for each of April, May and June 2018. These regular monthly dividends equal a total of $0.570 per share for the second quarter of 2018. The second quarter 2018 regular monthly dividends represent a 2.7% increase from the dividends declared for the second quarter of 2017. Including the dividends declared for the second quarter of 2018, we will have paid $22.530 per share in cumulative dividends since our October 2007 initial public offering.

BUSINESS STRATEGIES

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

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INVESTMENT CRITERIA

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

INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO

       The Investment Portfolio, as used herein, refers to all of our investments in LMM portfolio companies, investments in Middle Market portfolio companies, Private Loan portfolio investments, Other Portfolio investments, and the investment in the External Investment Manager. Our LMM portfolio investments primarily consist of secured debt, equity warrants and direct equity investments in privately held, LMM

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

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

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

       While we will continue to focus our LMM debt investments primarily on single tranche debt investments, we also anticipate structuring some of our debt investments as mezzanine loans. We anticipate that these mezzanine loans will be primarily junior secured or unsecured, subordinated loans that provide for relatively high fixed interest rates payable currently in cash that will provide us with significant interest income plus the additional opportunity for income and gains through PIK interest and equity warrants and other similar equity instruments issued in conjunction with these mezzanine loans. These loans typically will have interest-only payments in the early years, with amortization of principal deferred to the later years of the mezzanine loan term. Typically, our mezzanine loans will have maturities of three to five years. We will generally target fixed interest rates of 12% to 14%, payable currently in cash for our mezzanine loan investments with higher targeted total returns from equity warrants or PIK interest.

       We also pursue debt investments in Middle Market companies. Our Middle Market portfolio investments primarily consist of direct investments or secondary purchases of interest-bearing debt securities in privately held companies based in the United States that are generally larger in size than the companies included in our LMM portfolio. Our Middle Market portfolio debt investments are generally secured by either a first or second priority lien on the assets of the portfolio company and typically have a term of between three and seven years from the original investment date. The debt investments in our Middle Market portfolio have rights and protections that are similar to those in our LMM debt investments, which may include affirmative

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and negative covenants, default penalties, lien protection, change of control provisions, guarantees and equity pledges. The Middle Market debt investments generally have floating interest rates at the London Interbank Offered Rate ("LIBOR") plus a margin, and are typically subject to LIBOR floors.

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

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

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

INVESTMENT PROCESS

       Our investment committee is responsible for all aspects of our LMM investment process. The current members of our investment committee are Vincent D. Foster, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Dwayne L. Hyzak, our President, Chief Operating Officer and Senior Managing Director, Curtis L. Hartman, our Vice-Chairman, Chief Credit Officer and Senior Managing Director, and David Magdol, our Vice-Chairman, Chief Investment Officer and Senior Managing Director.

       Our credit committee is responsible for all aspects of our Middle Market portfolio investment process. The current members of our credit committee are Messrs. Foster, Hartman, Hyzak and Nicholas T. Meserve, the Managing Director of our Middle Market investment team.

       Investment process responsibility for each Private Loan portfolio investment is delegated to either the investment committee or the credit committee based upon the nature of the investment and the manner in which it was originated. Similarly, the investment processes for each Private Loan portfolio investment, from origination to close and to eventual exit, will follow the processes for our LMM portfolio investments or our Middle Market portfolio investments as outlined below, or a combination thereof.

       Our investment strategy involves a "team" approach, whereby potential transactions are screened by several members of our investment team before being presented to the investment committee or the credit

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committee, as applicable. Our investment committee and credit committee each meet on an as needed basis depending on transaction volume. We generally categorize our investment process into seven distinct stages:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

       If any adjustments to the transaction terms or structures are proposed by the investment committee or credit committee, as applicable, such changes are made and applicable analyses are updated prior to approval of the transaction. Approval for the transaction must be made by the affirmative vote from a majority of the members of the investment committee or credit committee, as applicable, with the committee member managing the transaction, if any, abstaining from the vote. Upon receipt of transaction approval, we will re-confirm regulatory compliance, process and finalize all required legal documents, and fund the investment.

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

       As part of the monitoring process of LMM portfolio investments, the investment team will analyze monthly and quarterly financial statements versus the previous periods and year, review financial projections, meet and discuss issues or opportunities with management, attend board meetings and review all compliance certificates and covenants. While we maintain limited involvement in the ordinary course operations of our LMM portfolio companies, we maintain a higher level of involvement in non-ordinary course financing or strategic activities and any non-performing scenarios. We also monitor the performance of our Middle Market portfolio investments; however, due to the larger size and higher sophistication level of these Middle Market companies in comparison to our LMM portfolio companies, it is not necessary or practical to have as much direct management interface.

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

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       All new LMM portfolio investments receive an initial Investment Rating of 3.

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

DETERMINATION OF NET ASSET VALUE AND INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO VALUATION PROCESS

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

       We are required to report our investments at fair value. As a result, the most significant determination inherent in the preparation of our consolidated financial statements is the valuation of our Investment Portfolio and the related amounts of unrealized appreciation and depreciation. We follow the provisions of the Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Standards Codification ("ASC") 820, Fair Value Measurements and Disclosures ("ASC 820"). ASC 820 defines fair value, establishes a framework for measuring fair value, establishes a fair value hierarchy based on the quality of inputs used to measure fair value, and enhances disclosure requirements for fair value measurements. ASC 820 requires us to assume that the portfolio investment is to be sold in the principal market to independent market participants, which may be a hypothetical market. Market participants are defined as buyers and sellers in the principal market that are independent, knowledgeable and willing and able to transact.

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

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

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       As described below, we undertake a multi-step valuation process each quarter in connection with determining the fair value of our investments, with our Board of Directors having final responsibility for overseeing, reviewing and approving, in good faith, our determination of the fair value for our Investment Portfolio and our valuation procedures, consistent with 1940 Act requirements. In addition, the Audit Committee of our Board of Directors periodically evaluates the performance and methodologies of the financial advisory services firm that we consult in connection with valuing our LMM and Private Loan portfolio company investments.

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

COMPETITION

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

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

EMPLOYEES

       As of December 31, 2017, we had 58 employees. These employees include investment and portfolio management professionals, operations professionals and administrative staff. As necessary, we will hire

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additional investment professionals and administrative personnel. All of our employees are located in our Houston, Texas office.

REGULATION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

       We are permitted, under specified conditions, to issue multiple classes of debt and one class of stock senior to our common stock if our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, is at least equal to 200% of all debt and/or senior stock immediately after each such issuance. In addition, while any senior securities remain outstanding (other than senior securities representing indebtedness issued in consideration of a privately arranged loan which is not intended to be publicly distributed), we must make provisions to prohibit any distribution to our stockholders or the repurchase of such securities or shares unless we meet the applicable asset coverage ratios at the time of the distribution or repurchase. We may also borrow amounts up to 5% of the value of our total assets for temporary or emergency purposes without regard to asset coverage. For a discussion of the risks associated with leverage, see "Risk Factors — Risks Relating to Our Business and Structure," including, without limitation, "— Because we borrow money, the potential for gain or loss on amounts invested in us is magnified and may increase the risk of investing in us."

       We have previously received an exemptive order from the SEC to exclude debt securities issued by MSMF and any other wholly owned subsidiaries of ours which operate as SBICs from the asset coverage requirements of the 1940 Act as applicable to Main Street. The exemptive order provides for the exclusion of all debt securities issued by the Funds, including the $295.8 million of outstanding debt as of December 31, 2017, issued pursuant to the SBIC program. This exemptive order provides us with expanded capacity and flexibility in obtaining future sources of capital for our investment and operational objectives.

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       We are not generally able to issue and sell our common stock at a price below net asset value per share. We may, however, sell our common stock, warrants, options or rights to acquire our common stock, at a price below the current net asset value of the common stock if our Board of Directors determines that such sale is in our best interests and that of our stockholders, and our stockholders approve such sale. In any such case, the price at which our securities are to be issued and sold may not be less than a price which, in the determination of our Board of Directors, closely approximates the market value of such securities (less any distributing commission or discount). We did not seek stockholder authorization to sell shares of our common stock below the then current net asset value per share of our common stock at our 2017 annual meeting of stockholders because our common stock price had been trading significantly above the net asset value per share of our common stock since 2011. Our stockholders have previously approved a proposal that authorizes us to issue securities to subscribe to, convert to, or purchase shares of our common stock in one or more offerings. We may also make rights offerings to our stockholders at prices per share less than the net asset value per share, subject to applicable requirements of the 1940 Act. See "Risk Factors — Risks Relating to Our Business and Structure — Stockholders may incur dilution if we sell shares of our common stock in one or more offerings at prices below the then current net asset value per share of our common stock or issue securities to subscribe to, convert to or purchase shares of our common stock."

       We have adopted a code of ethics pursuant to Rule 17j-1 under the 1940 Act that establishes procedures for personal investments and restricts certain personal securities transactions. Personnel subject to the code may invest in securities for their personal investment accounts, including securities that may be purchased or held by us, so long as such investments are made in accordance with the code's requirements. You may read and copy the code of ethics at the SEC's Public Reference Room located at 100 F Street, NE, Washington, DC 20549. You may obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. In addition, the code of ethics is available on the EDGAR Database on the SEC's Web site at http://www.sec.gov.

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

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

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

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

       We are required to provide and maintain a bond issued by a reputable fidelity insurance company to protect us against larceny and embezzlement. Furthermore, as a BDC, we are prohibited from protecting any

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director or officer against any liability to us or our stockholders arising from willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of such person's office.

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

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

       Each of the Funds is licensed by the SBA to operate as a SBIC under Section 301(c) of the Small Business Investment Act of 1958. MSMF obtained its SBIC license in 2002, MSC II obtained its license in 2006 and MSC III obtained its license in 2016.

       SBICs are designed to stimulate the flow of private capital to eligible small businesses. Under SBIC regulations, SBICs may make loans to eligible small businesses, invest in the equity securities of such businesses and provide them with consulting and advisory services. Each of the Funds has typically invested in secured debt, acquired warrants and/or made equity investments in qualifying small businesses.

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

       We have received exemptive relief from the SEC to permit us to exclude the SBA-guaranteed debentures of the Funds from our 200% asset coverage test under the 1940 Act. As such, our ratio of total consolidated assets to outstanding indebtedness may be less than 200%. This provides us with increased investment flexibility but also increases our risks related to leverage. See "Item 1A. Risk Factors — Risks related to our business and structure — Because we borrow money, the potential for gain or loss on amounts invested in us is magnified and may increase the risk of investing in us."

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

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

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

       The SBA restricts the ability of an SBIC to lend money to any of its officers, directors and employees or to invest in affiliates thereof. The SBA also prohibits, without prior SBA approval, a "change of control" of an SBIC or transfers that would result in any person (or a group of persons acting in concert) owning 10% or more of a class of equity of a licensed SBIC. A "change of control" is any event which would result in the transfer of the power, direct or indirect, to direct the management and policies of an SBIC, whether through ownership, contractual arrangements or otherwise.

       The SBIC licenses allow the Funds to incur leverage by issuing SBA-guaranteed debentures, subject to the issuance of a capital commitment and certain approvals by the SBA and customary procedures. SBA-guaranteed debentures carry long-term fixed rates that are generally lower than rates on comparable bank and other debt. Under applicable regulations, an SBIC may generally have outstanding debentures guaranteed by the SBA in amounts up to twice the amount of the privately-raised funds of the SBIC. Debentures guaranteed by the SBA have a maturity of ten years, require semiannual payments of interest, do not require any principal payments prior to maturity, and are not subject to prepayment penalties. As of December 31, 2017, we, through the Funds, had $295.8 million of outstanding SBA-guaranteed debentures, which had an annual weighted-average interest rate of approximately 3.6%.

       SBICs must invest idle funds that are not being used to make loans in investments permitted under SBIC regulations in the following limited types of securities: (i) direct obligations of, or obligations guaranteed as to principal and interest by, the United States government, which mature within 15 months from the date of the investment; (ii) repurchase agreements with federally insured institutions with a maturity of seven days or less (and the securities underlying the repurchase obligations must be direct obligations of or guaranteed by the federal government); (iii) certificates of deposit with a maturity of one year or less, issued by a federally insured institution; (iv) a deposit account in a federally insured institution that is subject to a withdrawal restriction of one year or less; (v) a checking account in a federally insured institution; or (vi) a reasonable petty cash fund.

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

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

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

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

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

       MSCC has elected to be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code. MSCC's taxable income includes the taxable income generated by MSCC and certain of its subsidiaries, including the Funds, which are treated as disregarded entities for tax purposes. As a RIC, we generally will not pay corporate-level U.S. federal income taxes on any income that we distribute to our stockholders as dividends. To qualify as a RIC, we must, among other things, meet certain source-of-income and asset diversification requirements (as described below). In addition, in order to obtain RIC tax treatment, we must distribute to our stockholders, for each taxable year, at least 90% of our "investment company taxable income," which is generally our net ordinary taxable income plus the excess of realized net short-term capital gains over realized net long-term capital losses, and 90% of our tax-exempt income (the "Annual Distribution Requirement"). As part of maintaining RIC status, undistributed taxable income (subject to a 4% non-deductible U.S. federal excise tax) pertaining to a given fiscal year may be distributed up to 12 months subsequent to the end of that fiscal year, provided such dividends are declared on or prior to the later of (i) filing of the U.S. federal income tax return for the applicable fiscal year or (ii) the fifteenth day of the ninth month following the close of the year in which such taxable income was generated.

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

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

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year. For amounts we carry over into the following year, we will be required to pay the 4% U.S. federal excise tax based on 98% of our annual taxable income and 98.2% of our capital gain net income in excess of distributions for the year.

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

       In order to comply with the 90% Income Test, we formed the Taxable Subsidiaries as wholly owned taxable subsidiaries for the primary purpose of permitting us to own equity interests in portfolio companies which are "pass-through" entities for tax purposes. Absent the taxable status of the Taxable Subsidiaries, a portion of the gross income from such portfolio companies would flow directly to us for purposes of the 90% Income Test. To the extent such income did not consist of income derived from securities, such as dividends and interest, it could jeopardize our ability to qualify as a RIC and, therefore, cause us to incur significant U.S. federal income taxes. The Taxable Subsidiaries are consolidated with Main Street for generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America ("U.S. GAAP") purposes and are included in our consolidated financial statements, and the portfolio investments held by the Taxable Subsidiaries are included in our consolidated financial statements. The Taxable Subsidiaries are not consolidated with Main Street for income tax purposes and may generate income tax expense, or benefit, as a result of their ownership of the portfolio investments. The income tax expense, or benefit, if any, and any related tax assets and liabilities, are reflected in our consolidated financial statements.

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

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

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

       We may distribute taxable dividends that are payable in part in our stock. Under certain applicable provisions of the Code and the U.S. Department of Treasury ("Treasury") regulations, distributions payable by us in cash or in shares of stock (at the stockholders election) would satisfy the Annual Distribution Requirement. The Internal Revenue Service has issued guidance indicating that this rule will apply even where the total amount of cash that may be distributed is limited to no more than 20% of the total distribution. According to this guidance, if too many stockholders elect to receive their distributions in cash, each such stockholder would receive a pro rata share of the total cash to be distributed and would receive the remainder of their distribution in shares of stock. Taxable stockholders receiving such dividends will be required to include the full amount of the dividend (whether received in cash, our stock, or a combination thereof) as (i) ordinary income (including any qualified dividend income that, in the case of a noncorporate stockholder, may be eligible for the same reduced maximum tax rate applicable to long-term capital gains to the extent such distribution is properly reported by us as qualified dividend income and such stockholder satisfies certain minimum holding period requirements with respect to our stock) or (ii) long-term capital gain (to the extent such distribution is properly reported as a capital gain dividend), to the extent of our current and accumulated earnings and profits for U.S. federal income tax purposes. As a result, a U.S. stockholder may be required to pay tax with respect to such dividends in excess of any cash received. If a U.S. stockholder sells the stock it receives in order to pay this tax, the sales proceeds may be less than the amount included in income with respect to the dividend, depending on the market price of our stock at the time of the sale. Furthermore, with respect to non-U.S. stockholders, we may be required to withhold U.S. tax with respect to such dividends, including in respect of all or a portion of such dividend that is payable in stock. In addition, if a significant number of our stockholders determine to sell shares of our stock in order to pay taxes owed on dividends, it may put downward pressure on the trading price of our stock.

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

       If we were unable to qualify for treatment as a RIC and the foregoing relief provisions are not applicable, we would be subject to tax on all of our taxable income at regular corporate rates. We would not be able to

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deduct distributions to stockholders, nor would they be required to be made. If we were subject to tax on all of our taxable income at regular corporate rates, then distributions we make after being subject to such tax would be taxable to our stockholders and, provided certain holding period and other requirements were met, could qualify for treatment as "qualified dividend income" eligible for the maximum 20% rate (plus a 3.8% Medicare surtax, if applicable) applicable to qualified dividends to the extent of our current and accumulated earnings and profits. Subject to certain limitations under the Code, corporate taxpayers would be eligible for a dividends-received deduction on distributions they receive. Distributions in excess of our current and accumulated earnings and profits would be treated first as a return of capital to the extent of the stockholder's tax basis, and any remaining distributions would be treated as a capital gain. To requalify as a RIC in a subsequent taxable year, we would be required to satisfy the RIC qualification requirements for that year and dispose of any earnings and profits from any year in which we failed to qualify as a RIC. Subject to a limited exception applicable to RICs that qualified as such under Subchapter M of the Code for at least one year prior to disqualification and that requalify as a RIC no later than the second year following the nonqualifying year, we could be subject to tax on any unrealized net built-in gains in the assets held by us during the period in which we failed to qualify as a RIC that are recognized within the subsequent five years, unless we made a special election to pay corporate-level U.S. federal income tax on such built-in gain at the time of our requalification as a RIC.

Item 1A.    Risk Factors

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

RISKS RELATING TO ECONOMIC CONDITIONS

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

       Although we have been able to secure access to additional liquidity, including through the Credit Facility, public debt issuances, leverage available through the SBIC program and equity offerings, the potential for volatility in the debt and equity capital markets provides no assurance that debt or equity capital will be available to us in the future on favorable terms, or at all. Further, if the price of our common stock falls below our net asset value per share, we will be limited in our ability to sell new shares if we do not have stockholder authorization to sell shares at a price below net asset value per share. We did not seek stockholder authorization to sell shares of our common stock below the then current net asset value per share

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of our common stock at our 2017 annual meeting of stockholders because our common stock price had been trading significantly above the net asset value per share of our common stock since 2011.

RISKS RELATING TO OUR BUSINESS AND STRUCTURE

       Under the 1940 Act, we are required to carry our portfolio investments at market value or, if there is no readily available market value, at fair value as determined by us with our Board of Directors having final responsibility for overseeing, reviewing and approving, in good faith, our determination of fair value and our valuation procedures. Typically, there is not a public market for the securities of the privately held LMM or Private Loan companies in which we have invested and will generally continue to invest. As a result, we value these securities quarterly at fair value based on inputs from management, a nationally recognized independent financial advisory services firm (on a rotational basis) and our audit committee with the oversight, review and approval of our Board of Directors. In addition, the market for investments in Middle Market companies is generally not a liquid market, and therefore, we primarily use a combination of observable inputs in non-active markets for which sufficient observable inputs were not available to determine the fair value of these investments and unobservable inputs, which are reviewed by our audit committee with the oversight, review and approval of our Board of Directors. See "Note B.1. — Valuation of the Investment Portfolio" in the notes to consolidated financial statements for a detailed discussion of our investment portfolio valuation process and procedures.

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

       Our ability to achieve our investment objective of maximizing our portfolio's total return by generating current income from our debt investments and capital appreciation from our equity and equity-related investments, including warrants, convertible securities and other rights to acquire equity securities in a portfolio company, depends on our ability to effectively manage and deploy capital, which depends, in turn, on our investment team's ability to identify, evaluate and monitor, and our ability to finance and invest in, companies that meet our investment criteria.

       Accomplishing our investment objective on a cost-effective basis is largely a function of our investment team's handling of the investment process, its ability to provide competent, attentive and efficient services and our access to investments offering acceptable terms. In addition to monitoring the performance of our existing investments, members of our investment team are also called upon, from time to time, to provide managerial

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assistance to some of our portfolio companies. These demands on their time may distract them or slow the rate of investment.

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

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

       We depend on the members of our investment team, particularly Vincent D. Foster, Dwayne L. Hyzak, Curtis L. Hartman, David L. Magdol, K. Colton Braud, III, Alejandro Capetillo, and Nicholas T. Meserve for the identification, review, final selection, structuring, closing and monitoring of our investments. These employees have significant investment expertise and relationships that we rely on to implement our business plan. Although we have entered into a non-compete agreement with Mr. Foster, we have no guarantee that he or any other employees will remain employed with us. If we lose the services of these individuals, we may not be able to operate our business as we expect, and our ability to compete could be harmed, which could cause our operating results to suffer.

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

       The competitive environment for qualified personnel may require us to take certain measures to ensure that we are able to attract and retain experienced personnel. Such measures may include increasing the attractiveness of our overall compensation packages, altering the structure of our compensation packages

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through the use of additional forms of compensation, or other steps. The inability to attract and retain experienced personnel would have a material adverse effect on our business.

       We expect that members of our management team will maintain their relationships with intermediaries, financial institutions, investment bankers, commercial bankers, financial advisors, attorneys, accountants, consultants and other individuals within our network, and we will rely to a significant extent upon these relationships to provide us with potential investment opportunities. If our management team fails to maintain its existing relationships or develop new relationships with sources of investment opportunities, we will not be able to grow our Investment Portfolio. In addition, individuals with whom members of our management team have relationships are not obligated to provide us with investment opportunities, and, therefore, there is no assurance that such relationships will generate investment opportunities for us.

       Our executive officers and employees, through the External Investment Manager, may manage other investment funds that operate in the same or a related line of business as we do. Accordingly, they may have obligations to such other entities, the fulfillment of which obligations may not be in the best interests of us or our stockholders. During May 2012, we entered into an investment sub-advisory agreement with HMS Adviser, which is the investment advisor to HMS Income, a non-listed BDC, to provide certain investment advisory services to HMS Adviser. In December 2013, after obtaining required no-action relief from the SEC to allow us to own a registered investment adviser, we assigned the sub-advisory agreement to the External Investment Manager since the fees received from such arrangement could otherwise have negative consequences on our ability to meet the source-of-income requirement necessary for us to maintain our RIC tax treatment. Under the investment sub-advisory agreement, the External Investment Manager is entitled to 50% of the base management fee and the incentive fees earned by HMS Adviser under its advisory agreement with HMS Income. The sub-advisory relationship requires us to commit resources to achieving HMS Income's investment objective, while such resources were previously solely devoted to achieving our investment objective. Our investment objective and investment strategies are very similar to those of HMS Income and it is likely that an investment appropriate for us or HMS Income would be appropriate for the other entity. As a result, we and HMS Income requested an exemptive order from the SEC permitting co-investments by us and HMS Income in certain negotiated transactions where our co-investing would otherwise be prohibited under the 1940 Act. The SEC granted the exemptive order in April 2014, and we have made, and in the future intend to continue to make, such co-investments with HMS Income in accordance with the conditions of the order. The order requires, among other things, that we and the External Investment Manager consider whether each such investment opportunity is appropriate for HMS Income and, if it is appropriate, to propose an allocation of the investment opportunity between us and HMS Income. As a consequence, it may be more difficult for us to maintain or increase the size of our Investment Portfolio in the future. Although we will endeavor to allocate investment opportunities in a fair and equitable manner, including in accordance with the conditions set forth in the exemptive order issued by the SEC when relying on such order, we may face conflicts in allocating investment opportunities between us and HMS Income. Because the External Investment Manager may receive performance-based fee compensation from HMS Income, this may provide an incentive to allocate opportunities to HMS Income instead of us. We have implemented an allocation policy to ensure the equitable distribution of investment opportunities and, as a result, may be unable to participate in certain investments based upon such allocation policy.

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

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

       Further, the SBA regulations require, among other things, that a licensed SBIC be periodically examined by the SBA and audited by an independent auditor, in each case to determine the SBIC's compliance with the relevant SBA regulations. The SBA prohibits, without prior SBA approval, a "change of control" of an SBIC or transfers that would result in any person (or a group of persons acting in concert) owning 10% or more of a class of capital stock of a licensed SBIC. If the Funds fail to comply with applicable SBIC regulations, the SBA could, depending on the severity of the violation, limit or prohibit their use of SBIC debentures, declare outstanding SBIC debentures immediately due and payable, and/or limit them from making new investments. In addition, the SBA can revoke or suspend a license for willful or repeated violation of, or willful or repeated failure to observe, any provision of the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder. Such actions by the SBA would, in turn, negatively affect us.

       Borrowings, also known as leverage, magnify the potential for loss on investments in our indebtedness and gain or loss on investments in our equity capital. As we use leverage to partially finance our investments, you will experience increased risks of investing in our securities. We, through the Funds, issue debt securities guaranteed by the SBA and sold in the capital markets. As a result of its guarantee of the debt securities, the SBA has fixed dollar claims on the assets of the Funds that are superior to the claims of our securities holders. We may also borrow from banks and other lenders, including under our Credit Facility, and may issue debt securities or enter into other types of borrowing arrangements in the future. See "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Capital Resources" for a discussion regarding our outstanding indebtedness. If the value of our assets decreases, leveraging would cause net asset value to decline more sharply than it otherwise would have had we not leveraged our business. Similarly, any decrease in our income would cause net investment income to decline more sharply than it would have had we not leveraged our business. Such a decline could negatively affect our ability to pay common stock dividends, scheduled debt payments or other payments related to our securities. Use of leverage is generally considered a speculative investment technique.

       As of December 31, 2017, we, through the Funds, had $295.8 million of outstanding indebtedness guaranteed by the SBA, which had a weighted-average annualized interest cost of approximately 3.6%. The debentures guaranteed by the SBA have a maturity of ten years, with a current weighted-average remaining maturity of 5.8 years as of December 31, 2017, and require semiannual payments of interest. We will need to generate sufficient cash flow to make required interest payments on the debentures. If we are unable to meet the financial obligations under the debentures, the SBA, as a creditor, will have a superior claim to the assets of the Funds over our securities holders in the event we liquidate or the SBA exercises its remedies under such debentures as the result of a default by us.

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       In addition, as of December 31, 2017, we had $64.0 million outstanding under our Credit Facility. Borrowings under the Credit Facility bear interest, subject to our election, on a per annum basis at a rate equal to the applicable LIBOR rate (1.56% as of December 31, 2017) plus (i) 1.875% (or the applicable base rate (Prime Rate of 4.50% as of December 31, 2017) plus 0.875%), as long as we maintain an investment grade rating and meet certain agreed upon excess collateral and maximum leverage requirements, (ii) 2.0% (or the applicable base rate plus 1.0%) if we maintain an investment grade rating but do not meet certain excess collateral and maximum leverage requirements or (iii) 2.25% (or the applicable base rate plus 1.25%) if we do not maintain an investment grade rating. We pay unused commitment fees of 0.25% per annum on the unused lender commitments under the Credit Facility. If we are unable to meet the financial obligations under the Credit Facility, the Credit Facility lending group will have a superior claim to the assets of MSCC and its subsidiaries (excluding the assets of the Funds) over our stockholders in the event we liquidate or the lending group exercises its remedies under the Credit Facility as the result of a default by us.

       In April 2013, we issued $92.0 million in aggregate principal amount of 6.125% Notes due 2023 (the "6.125% Notes"). As of December 31, 2017, the outstanding balance of the 6.125% Notes was $90.7 million. The 6.125% Notes are unsecured obligations and rank pari passu with our current and future unsecured indebtedness; senior to any of our future indebtedness that expressly provides it is subordinated to the 6.125% Notes; effectively subordinated to all of our existing and future secured indebtedness, to the extent of the value of the assets securing such indebtedness, including borrowings under our Credit Facility; and structurally subordinated to all existing and future indebtedness and other obligations of any of our subsidiaries, including without limitation, the indebtedness of the Funds. The 6.125% Notes mature on April 1, 2023, and may be redeemed in whole or in part at any time or from time to time at our option on or after April 1, 2018. The 6.125% Notes bear interest at a rate of 6.125% per year.

       In November 2014, we issued $175.0 million in aggregate principal amount of 4.50% unsecured notes due 2019 (the "4.50% Notes due 2019") at an issue price of 99.53%. As of December 31, 2017, the outstanding balance of the 4.50% Notes due 2019 was $175.0 million. The 4.50% Notes due 2019 are unsecured obligations and rank pari passu with our current and future unsecured indebtedness; senior to any of our future indebtedness that expressly provides it is subordinated to the 4.50% Notes due 2019; effectively subordinated to all of our existing and future secured indebtedness, to the extent of the value of the assets securing such indebtedness, including borrowings under our Credit Facility; and structurally subordinated to all existing and future indebtedness and other obligations of any of our subsidiaries, including without limitation, the indebtedness of the Funds. The 4.50% Notes due 2019 mature on December 1, 2019, and may be redeemed in whole or in part at any time at our option subject to certain make-whole provisions.

       In November 2017, we issued $185.0 million in aggregate principal amount of 4.50% unsecured notes due 2022 (the "4.50% Notes due 2022," together with the 4.50% Notes due 2019, the "4.50% Notes" and, both of these together with the 6.125% Notes, the "Notes") at an issue price of 99.16%. As of December 31, 2017, the outstanding balance of the 4.50% Notes due 2022 was $185.0 million. The 4.50% Notes due 2022 are unsecured obligations and rank pari passu with our current and future unsecured indebtedness; senior to any of our future indebtedness that expressly provides it is subordinated to the 4.50% Notes due 2022; effectively subordinated to all of our existing and future secured indebtedness, to the extent of the value of the assets securing such indebtedness, including borrowings under our Credit Facility; and structurally subordinated to all existing and future indebtedness and other obligations of any of our subsidiaries, including without limitation, the indebtedness of the Funds. The 4.50% Notes due 2022 mature on December 1, 2022, and may be redeemed in whole or in part at any time at our option subject to certain make-whole provisions.

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Assumed Return on Our Portfolio(1)
(net of expenses)

 
  (10.0)%   (5.0)%   0.0%   5.0%   10.0%  

Corresponding net return to common stockholder(2)

    (19.0)%     (10.8)%     (2.6)%     5.6%     13.8%  

(1)
Assumes $2,265.4 million in total assets, $810.5 million in debt outstanding, $1,380.4 million in net assets, and a weighted-average interest rate of 4.4%. Actual interest payments may be different.

(2)
In order for us to cover our annual interest payments on indebtedness, we must achieve annual returns on our December 31, 2017 total assets of at least 1.6%.

       Our ability to achieve our investment objective may depend in part on our ability to access additional leverage on favorable terms by issuing debentures guaranteed by the SBA through the Funds, by borrowing from banks or insurance companies or by issuing other debt securities and there can be no assurance that such additional leverage can in fact be achieved.

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

       As a BDC, under the 1940 Act we generally are not permitted to incur indebtedness unless immediately after such borrowing we have an asset coverage for total borrowings of at least 200% (i.e., the amount of debt may not exceed 50% of the value of our assets). Legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives during the 115th Congress proposes to modify this section of the 1940 Act and increase the amount of debt that BDCs may incur by modifying the asset coverage percentage from 200% to 150%. If such legislation is passed, we may be able to incur additional indebtedness in the future and, therefore, your risk of an investment in our securities may increase.

       Recent U.S. debt ceiling and budget deficit concerns have increased the possibility of additional credit-rating downgrades and economic slowdowns, or a recession in the U.S. Although U.S. lawmakers passed legislation to raise the federal debt ceiling on multiple occasions, ratings agencies have lowered or threatened to lower the long-term sovereign credit rating on the United States. The impact of this or any further downgrades to the U.S. government's sovereign credit rating or its perceived creditworthiness could adversely affect the U.S. and global financial markets and economic conditions. Absent further quantitative easing by

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the Federal Reserve, these developments could cause interest rates and borrowing costs to rise, which may negatively impact our ability to access the debt markets on favorable terms. In addition, disagreement over the federal budget has caused the U.S. federal government to shut down for periods of time. Continued adverse political and economic conditions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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

       On July 27, 2017, the United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates LIBOR, announced that it intends to phase out LIBOR by the end of 2021. It is unclear if at that time whether LIBOR will cease to exist or if new methods of calculating LIBOR will be established such that it continues to exist after 2021. The U.S. Federal Reserve, in conjunction with the Alternative Reference Rates Committee, a steering committee comprised of large U.S. financial institutions, is considering replacing U.S. dollar LIBOR with a new index calculated by short term repurchase agreements, backed by Treasury securities. 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 to replace LIBOR with the new standard that is established.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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associated with sales of shares of our common stock. In the future, our distributions may include a return of capital.

       We will include in income certain amounts that we have not yet received in cash, such as: (i) amortization of original issue discount, which may arise if we receive warrants in connection with the origination of a loan such that ascribing a value to the warrants creates original issue discount in the debt instrument, if we invest in a debt investment at a discount to the par value of the debt security or possibly in other circumstances; (ii) contractual payment-in-kind, or PIK, interest, which represents contractual interest added to the loan balance and due at the end of the loan term; (iii) contractual preferred dividends, which represents contractual dividends added to the preferred stock and due at the end of the preferred stock term, subject to adequate profitability at the portfolio company; or (iv) amortization of market discount, which is associated with loans purchased in the secondary market at a discount to par value. Such amortization of original issue discounts, increases in loan balances as a result of contractual PIK arrangements, cumulative preferred dividends, or amortization of market discount will be included in income before we receive the corresponding cash payments. We also may be required to include in income certain other amounts before we receive such amounts in cash. Investments structured with these features may represent a higher level of credit risk compared to investments generating income which must be paid in cash on a current basis. For the year ended December 31, 2017, (i) approximately 2.4% of our total investment income was attributable to PIK income not paid currently in cash, (ii) approximately 0.6% of our total investment income was attributable to amortization of original issue discount, (iii) approximately 1.6% of our total investment income was attributable to cumulative dividend income not paid currently in cash, and (iv) approximately 2.9% of our total investment income was attributable to amortization of market discount on loans purchased in the secondary market at a discount.

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

       We may distribute taxable dividends that are payable in part in our stock. Under certain applicable provisions of the Code and the Treasury regulations, distributions payable by us in cash or in shares of stock (at the stockholders election) would satisfy the Annual Distribution Requirement. The Internal Revenue Service has issued guidance providing that a dividend payable in stock or in cash at the election of the stockholders will be treated as a taxable dividend eligible for the dividends paid deduction provided that at least 20% of the total dividend is payable in cash and certain other requirements are satisfied. Taxable stockholders receiving such dividends will be required to include the full amount of the dividend as ordinary income (or as long-term capital gain to the extent such dividend is properly reported as a capital gain dividend) to the extent of our current and accumulated earnings and profits for U.S. federal income tax purposes. As a result, a U.S. stockholder may be required to pay tax with respect to such dividends in excess of any cash received. If a U.S. stockholder sells the stock it receives as a dividend in order to pay this tax, the sales proceeds may be less than the amount included in income with respect to the dividend, depending on the market price of our stock at the time of the sale. Furthermore, with respect to non-U.S. stockholders, we may be required to withhold U.S. tax with respect to such dividends, including in respect of all or a portion of such dividend that is payable in stock. In addition, if a significant number of our stockholders determine to sell shares of our stock in order to pay taxes owed on dividends, it may put downward pressure on the trading price of our stock.

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

       In order to satisfy the requirements applicable to a RIC and to minimize corporate-level U.S. federal taxes, we intend to distribute to our stockholders substantially all of our net ordinary taxable income and net capital gain income. We may carry forward excess undistributed taxable income into the next year, net of the 4% U.S. federal excise tax. Any such carryover taxable income must be distributed through a dividend declared prior to filing the final tax return related to the year which generated such taxable income. As a BDC, we generally are required to meet an asset coverage ratio, as defined in the 1940 Act, of at least 200% immediately after each issuance of senior securities. This requirement limits the amount that we may borrow and may prohibit us from making distributions. Because we will continue to need capital to grow our Investment Portfolio, this limitation may prevent us from incurring debt and require us to raise additional equity at a time when it may be disadvantageous to do so.

       While we expect to be able to borrow and to issue additional debt and equity securities, we cannot assure you that debt and equity financing will be available to us on favorable terms, or at all. In addition, as a BDC, we generally are not permitted to issue equity securities priced below net asset value without stockholder approval. If additional funds are not available to us, we could be forced to curtail or cease new investment activities, and our net asset value could decline.

       The 1940 Act prohibits us from selling shares of our common stock at a price below the current net asset value per share of such stock, with certain exceptions. One such exception is prior stockholder approval of issuances below net asset value provided that our Board of Directors makes certain determinations. We did not seek stockholder authorization to sell shares of our common stock below the then current net asset value per share of our common stock at our 2017 annual meeting of stockholders because our common stock price per share had been trading significantly above the net asset value per share of our common stock, and we do not currently expect to seek such approval at our 2018 annual meeting of stockholders for the same reason. We may, however, seek such authorization at future annual or special meetings of stockholders. Our stockholders have previously approved a proposal to authorize us to issue securities to subscribe to, convert to, or purchase shares of our common stock in one or more offerings. Any decision to sell shares of our common stock below the then current net asset value per share of our common stock or securities to subscribe to, convert to, or purchase shares of our common stock would be subject to the determination by our Board of Directors that such issuance is in our and our stockholders' best interests.

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       If we were to sell shares of our common stock below net asset value per share, such sales would result in an immediate dilution to the net asset value per share. This dilution would occur as a result of the sale of shares at a price below the then current net asset value per share of our common stock and a proportionately greater decrease in a stockholder's interest in our earnings and assets and voting interest in us than the increase in our assets resulting from such issuance. In addition, if we issue securities to subscribe to, convert to or purchase shares of common stock, the exercise or conversion of such securities would increase the number of outstanding shares of our common stock. Any such exercise would be dilutive on the voting power of existing stockholders, and could be dilutive with regard to dividends and our net asset value, and other economic aspects of the common stock.

       Because the number of shares of common stock that could be so issued and the timing of any issuance is not currently known, the actual dilutive effect cannot be predicted; however, the example below illustrates the effect of dilution to existing stockholders resulting from the sale of common stock at prices below the net asset value of such shares.

 
  Prior to Sale
Below NAV
  Following Sale
Below NAV
  Percentage
Change
 

Reduction to NAV

                   

Total Shares Outstanding

    1,000,000     1,040,000     4.0%  

NAV per share

  $ 10.00   $ 9.98     (0.2)%  

Dilution to Existing Stockholder

                   

Shares Held by Stockholder A

    10,000     10,000 (1)   0.0%  

Percentage Held by Stockholder A

    1.00%     0.96%     (3.8)%  

Total Interest of Stockholder A in NAV

  $ 100,000   $ 99,808     (0.2)%  

(1)
Assumes that Stockholder A does not purchase additional shares in the sale of shares below NAV.

       We, the Funds, and our portfolio companies are subject to applicable local, state and federal laws and regulations. New legislation may be enacted or new interpretations, rulings or regulations could be adopted, including those governing the types of investments we are permitted to make, any of which could harm us and our stockholders, potentially with retroactive effect. In addition, any change to the SBA's current debenture SBIC program could have a significant impact on our ability to obtain lower-cost leverage through the Funds, and therefore, our ability to compete with other finance companies.

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

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       On December 20, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate each voted to approve H.R. 1 (the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act") and, on December 22, 2017, President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act makes significant changes to the United States income tax rules applicable to both individuals and entities, including corporations. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act includes provisions that, among other things, reduce the U.S. corporate tax rate, introduce a capital investment deduction, limit the interest deduction, limit the use of net operating losses to offset future taxable income and make extensive changes to the U.S. international tax system. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is complex and far-reaching, and we cannot predict the impact its enactment will have on us, our subsidiaries, our portfolio companies and the holders of our securities.

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

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

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

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

RISKS RELATED TO OUR INVESTMENTS

       Investing in our portfolio companies involves a number of significant risks. Among other things, these companies:

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

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       A decline in oil and natural gas prices could adversely affect (i) the credit quality of our debt investments and (ii) the underlying operating performance of our equity investments in energy-related businesses and in portfolio companies located in geographic areas which are more sensitive to the health of the oil and gas industries. A decrease in credit quality and the operating performance would, in turn, negatively affect the fair value of these investments, which would consequently negatively affect our net asset value. Should a decline in oil and natural gas prices persist for an extended period of time, it is likely that the ability of these investments to satisfy financial or operating covenants imposed by us or other lenders will be adversely affected, thereby negatively impacting their financial condition and their ability to satisfy their debt service and other obligations to us. Likewise, should a decline in oil and natural gas prices persist, it is likely that our energy-related portfolio companies' and other affected companies' cash flow and profit generating capacities would also be adversely affected thereby negatively impacting their ability to pay us dividends or distributions on our equity investments.

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

       We invest in companies whose securities are not publicly traded, and whose securities will be subject to legal and other restrictions on resale or will otherwise be less liquid than publicly traded securities. The illiquidity of these investments may make it difficult for us to sell these investments when desired. In addition, if we are required to liquidate all or a portion of our portfolio quickly, we may realize significantly less than the value at which we had previously recorded these investments. As a result, we do not expect to achieve liquidity in our investments in the near-term. Our investments are usually subject to contractual or legal restrictions on resale or are otherwise illiquid because there is usually no established trading market for such investments. The illiquidity of most of our investments may make it difficult for us to dispose of them at a favorable price, and, as a result, we may suffer losses.

       We may not have the funds or ability to make additional investments in our portfolio companies. After our initial investment in a portfolio company, we may be called upon from time to time to provide additional funds to such company or have the opportunity to increase our investment through the extension of additional loans, the exercise of a warrant to purchase equity securities, or the funding of additional equity investments. There is no assurance that we will make, or will have sufficient funds to make, follow-on investments. Any decisions not to make a follow-on investment or any inability on our part to make such an investment may

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have a negative impact on a portfolio company in need of such an investment, may result in a missed opportunity for us to increase our participation in a successful operation, may reduce our ability to protect an existing investment or may reduce the expected yield on the investment.

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

       Even though we may have structured certain of our investments as secured loans, if one of our portfolio companies were to go bankrupt, depending on the facts and circumstances, and based upon principles of equitable subordination as defined by existing case law, a bankruptcy court could subordinate all or a portion of our claim to that of other creditors and transfer any lien securing such subordinated claim to the bankruptcy estate. The principles of equitable subordination defined by case law have generally indicated that a claim may be subordinated only if its holder is guilty of misconduct or where the senior loan is re-characterized as an equity investment and the senior lender has actually provided significant managerial assistance to the bankrupt debtor. We may also be subject to lender liability claims for actions taken by us with respect to a borrower's business or instances where we exercise control over the borrower. It is possible that we could become subject to a lender liability claim, including as a result of actions taken in rendering significant managerial assistance or actions to compel and collect payments from the borrower outside the ordinary course of business.

       Certain loans that we make are secured by a second priority security interest in the same collateral pledged by a portfolio company to secure senior debt owed by the portfolio company to commercial banks or other traditional lenders. Often the senior lender has procured covenants from the portfolio company prohibiting the incurrence of additional secured debt without the senior lender's consent. Prior to and as a condition of permitting the portfolio company to borrow money from us secured by the same collateral pledged to the senior lender, the senior lender will require assurances that it will control the disposition of any collateral in the event of bankruptcy or other default. In many such cases, the senior lender will require us to enter into an "intercreditor agreement" prior to permitting the portfolio company to borrow from us. Typically the intercreditor agreements we are requested to execute expressly subordinate our debt instruments to those held by the senior lender and further provide that the senior lender shall control: (1) the commencement of foreclosure or other proceedings to liquidate and collect on the collateral; (2) the nature, timing and conduct of foreclosure or other collection proceedings; (3) the amendment of any collateral document; (4) the release of the security interests in respect of any collateral; and (5) the waiver of defaults

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under any security agreement. Because of the control we may cede to senior lenders under intercreditor agreements we may enter, we may be unable to realize the proceeds of any collateral securing some of our loans.

       Finally, the value of the collateral securing our debt investment will ultimately depend on market and economic conditions, the availability of buyers and other factors. Therefore, 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 our first or second priority liens. There is also a risk that such collateral securing our investments will decrease in value over time, will be difficult to sell in a timely manner, will be difficult to appraise and will fluctuate in value based upon the success of the portfolio company and market conditions. If such proceeds are not sufficient to repay amounts outstanding under the loan obligations secured by our 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 company's remaining assets, if any.

       We are classified as a non-diversified investment company within the meaning of the 1940 Act, which means that we are not limited by the 1940 Act with respect to the proportion of our assets that we may invest in securities of a single issuer. To the extent that we assume large positions in the securities of a small number of issuers, our net asset value may fluctuate to a greater extent than that of a diversified investment company as a result of changes in the financial condition or the market's assessment of the issuer. We may also be more susceptible to any single economic or regulatory occurrence than a diversified investment company. Beyond our RIC asset diversification requirements, we do not have fixed guidelines for diversification, and our investments could be concentrated in relatively few portfolio companies. See "Risk Factors — Risks Related to Our Business and Structure — We will be subject to corporate-level U.S. federal income tax if we are unable to qualify as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code."

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

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

       As a BDC, we are required to carry our investments at market value or, if no market value is ascertainable, at the fair value as determined in good faith by our Board of Directors. Decreases in the market

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values or fair values of our investments will be recorded as unrealized depreciation. Any unrealized depreciation in our portfolio could be an indication of a portfolio company's inability to meet its repayment obligations to us with respect to affected loans or a potential impairment of the value of affected equity investments. This could result in realized losses in the future and ultimately in reductions of our income and gains available for distribution in future periods.

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

       Some of our debt investments will bear interest at variable rates and may be negatively affected by changes in market interest rates. An increase in market interest rates would increase the interest costs and reduce the cash flows of our portfolio companies that have variable rate debt instruments, a situation which could reduce the value of the investment. The value of our investments could also be reduced from an increase in market interest rates as rates available to investors could make an investment in our securities less attractive than alternative investments. In addition, an increase in interest rates would make it more expensive for us to use debt to finance our investments. As a result, a significant increase in market interest rates could increase our cost of capital, which would reduce our net investment income. Conversely, decreases in market interest rates could negatively impact the interest income from our variable rate debt investments. A decrease in market interest rates may also have an adverse impact on our returns by requiring us to accept lower yields on our debt investments and by increasing the risk that our portfolio companies will prepay our debt investments, resulting in the need to redeploy capital at potentially lower rates.

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

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       Our investments in foreign securities may involve significant risks in addition to the risks inherent in investments in U.S. securities. Our investment strategy contemplates potential investments in debt securities of foreign companies. Investing in foreign companies may expose us to additional risks not typically associated with investing in securities of U.S. companies. These risks include changes in exchange control regulations, political and social instability, expropriation, imposition of foreign taxes, less liquid markets and less available information than is generally the case in the U.S., higher transaction costs, less government supervision of exchanges, brokers and issuers, less developed bankruptcy laws, difficulty in enforcing contractual obligations, lack of uniform accounting and auditing standards and greater price volatility.

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

RISKS RELATING TO OUR SECURITIES

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

       Delays in investing the net proceeds raised in an offering or other capital raised or proceeds resulting from exiting an investment may cause our performance to be worse than that of other fully invested BDCs or other lenders or investors pursuing comparable investment strategies. We cannot assure you that we will be able to identify any investments that meet our investment objective or that any investment that we make will produce a positive return. We may be unable to invest the net proceeds of any offering or other capital raised or proceeds resulting from exiting an investment on acceptable terms within the time period that we anticipate or at all, which could harm our financial condition and operating results.

       We anticipate that, depending on market conditions and the amount of the capital, it may take us a substantial period of time to invest substantially all the capital in securities meeting our investment objective. During this period, we may invest the capital primarily in Marketable securities and idle funds investments, which generally consist of debt investments, independently rated debt investments, certificates of deposit with financial institutions, diversified bond funds and publicly traded debt and equity investments and may produce returns that are significantly lower than the returns which we expect to achieve when our portfolio is fully invested in securities meeting our investment objective. As a result, any distributions that we pay during such period may be substantially lower than the distributions that we may be able to pay when our portfolio is fully invested in securities meeting our investment objective. In addition, until such time as the net proceeds

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of any offering or from exiting an investment or other capital are invested in new securities meeting our investment objective, the market price for our securities may decline. Thus, the initial return on your investment may be lower than when, if ever, our portfolio is fully invested in securities meeting our investment objective.

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

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

       The Maryland General Corporation Law and our articles of incorporation and bylaws contain provisions that may have the effect of discouraging, delaying or making difficult a change in control of our company or the removal of our incumbent directors. The existence of these provisions, among others, may have a negative

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impact on the price of our common stock and may discourage third-party bids for ownership of our company. These provisions may prevent any premiums being offered to you for our common stock.

       The Notes are not secured by any of our assets or any of the assets of our subsidiaries and rank equally in right of payment with all of our existing and future unsubordinated, unsecured indebtedness. As a result, the Notes are effectively subordinated to any secured indebtedness we or our subsidiaries have currently incurred and may incur in the future (or any indebtedness that is initially unsecured to which we subsequently grant security) to the extent of the value of the assets securing such indebtedness. In any liquidation, dissolution, bankruptcy or other similar proceeding, the holders of any of our existing or future secured indebtedness and the secured indebtedness of our subsidiaries may assert rights against the assets pledged to secure that indebtedness in order to receive full payment of their indebtedness before the assets may be used to pay other creditors, including the holders of the Notes. As of December 31, 2017, we had $64.0 million outstanding under the Credit Facility out of $585.0 million in commitments. The indebtedness under the Credit Facility is senior to the Notes to the extent of the value of the assets securing such indebtedness.

       The Notes are obligations exclusively of Main Street Capital Corporation and not of any of our subsidiaries. None of our subsidiaries is a guarantor of the Notes, and the Notes are not required to be guaranteed by any subsidiaries we may acquire or create in the future. In addition, several of our subsidiaries, specifically the Funds, maintain significant indebtedness and as a result the Notes are structurally subordinated to the indebtedness of these subsidiaries. For example, as of December 31, 2017, the Funds had collectively issued $295.8 million of the current statutory maximum of $350.0 million of SBA-guaranteed debentures, which are included in our consolidated financial statements. The assets of such subsidiaries are not directly available to satisfy the claims of our creditors, including holders of the Notes. See "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources" for more detail on the SBA-guaranteed debentures.

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

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

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       Our credit ratings are an assessment by rating agencies of our ability to pay our debts when due. Consequently, real or anticipated changes in our credit ratings will generally affect the market value of the Notes. These credit ratings may not reflect the potential impact of risks relating to the structure or marketing of the Notes. Credit ratings are not a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any security, and may be revised or withdrawn at any time by the issuing organization in its sole discretion. We undertake no obligation to maintain our credit ratings or to advise holders of Notes of any changes in our credit ratings. The Notes are currently rated by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services. There can be no assurance that our credit ratings will remain for any given period of time or that such credit ratings will not be lowered or withdrawn entirely by the rating agency if in their judgment future circumstances relating to the basis of the credit ratings, such as adverse changes in our company, so warrant. The conditions of the financial markets and prevailing interest rates have fluctuated in the past and are likely to fluctuate in the future, which could have an adverse effect on the market prices of the Notes.

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

       Furthermore, the terms of the indentures and the Notes do not protect holders of the Notes in the event that we experience changes (including significant adverse changes) in our financial condition, results of

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operations or credit ratings, if any, as they do not require that we or our subsidiaries adhere to any financial tests or ratios or specified levels of net worth, revenues, income, cash flow or liquidity.

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

       Other debt we issue or incur in the future could contain more protections for its holders than the indentures and the Notes, including additional covenants and events of default. For example, the indentures under which the Notes are issued do not contain cross-default provisions that are contained in the Credit Facility. The issuance or incurrence of any such debt with incremental protections could affect the market for and trading levels and prices of the Notes.

       The 4.50% Notes are redeemable in whole or in part upon certain conditions at any time or from time to time at our option. The 6.125% Notes are redeemable in whole or in part upon certain conditions at any time or from time to time at our option, on or after April 1, 2018. We may choose to redeem the Notes at times when prevailing interest rates are lower than the interest rate paid on the Notes. In this circumstance, you may not be able to reinvest the redemption proceeds in a comparable security at an effective interest rate as high as the Notes being redeemed.

       We may not be able to repurchase the 4.50% Notes upon certain change in control events described in the indentures under which the 4.50% Notes were issued (each, a "Change of Control Repurchase Event") because we may not have sufficient funds. Upon a Change of Control Repurchase Event, holders of the 4.50% Notes may require us to repurchase for cash some or all of the 4.50% Notes at a repurchase price equal to 100% of the aggregate principal amount of the 4.50% Notes being repurchased, plus accrued and unpaid interest to, but not including, the repurchase date. The terms of our Credit Facility provide that certain change of control events will constitute an event of default thereunder entitling the lenders to accelerate any indebtedness outstanding under our Credit Facility at that time and to terminate the Credit Facility. In addition, the occurrence of a Change of Control Repurchase Event enabling the holders of the 4.50% Notes to require the mandatory purchase of the 4.50% Notes would constitute an event of default under our Credit Facility entitling the lenders to accelerate any indebtedness outstanding under our Credit Facility at that time and to terminate the Credit Facility. Our and our subsidiaries' future financing facilities may contain similar restrictions and provisions. Our failure to purchase such tendered 4.50% Notes upon the occurrence of such Change of Control Repurchase Event would cause an event of default under the indentures governing the 4.50% Notes and a cross-default under the agreements governing certain of our other indebtedness, which may result in the acceleration of such indebtedness requiring us to repay that indebtedness immediately. If a Change of Control Repurchase Event were to occur, we may not have sufficient funds to repay any such accelerated indebtedness.

       As of December 31, 2017, we had approximately $810.5 million of indebtedness, including $64.0 million outstanding under the Credit Facility, $295.8 million outstanding from SBA-guaranteed debentures, approximately $90.7 million of the 6.125% Notes, $175.0 million of the 4.50% Notes due 2019 and $185.0 million of the 4.50% Notes due 2022 outstanding. Any default under the agreements governing our indebtedness, including a default under the Credit Facility, under the Notes or under other indebtedness to which we may be a party that is not waived by the required lenders or debt holders, and the remedies sought by the holders of such indebtedness could make us unable to pay principal, premium, if any, and interest on

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the Notes and substantially decrease the market value of the Notes. If we are unable to generate sufficient cash flow and are otherwise unable to obtain funds necessary to meet required payments of principal, premium, if any, and interest on our indebtedness, or if we otherwise fail to comply with the various covenants, including financial and operating covenants, in the instruments governing our indebtedness, we could be in default under the terms of the agreements governing such indebtedness. In the event of such default, the holders of such indebtedness could elect to declare all the funds borrowed thereunder to be due and payable, together with accrued and unpaid interest, the lenders under the Credit Facility or other debt we may incur in the future could elect to terminate their commitments, cease making further loans and institute foreclosure proceedings against our assets, and we could be forced into bankruptcy or liquidation. Our ability to generate sufficient cash flow in the future is, to some extent, subject to general economic, financial, competitive, legislative and regulatory factors as well as other factors that are beyond our control. We cannot assure you that our business will generate cash flow from operations, or that future borrowings will be available to us under the Credit Facility or otherwise, in an amount sufficient to enable us to meet our payment obligations under the Notes and our other debt and to fund other liquidity needs.

       If our operating performance declines and we are not able to generate sufficient cash flow to service our debt obligations, we may in the future need to refinance or restructure our debt, including the Notes, sell assets, reduce or delay capital investments, seek to raise additional capital or seek to obtain waivers from the required lenders under the Credit Facility or the required holders of the Notes or other debt that we may incur in the future to avoid being in default. If we are unable to implement one or more of these alternatives, we may not be able to meet our payment obligations under the Notes and our other debt. If we breach our covenants under the Credit Facility, the Notes or other debt and seek a waiver, we may not be able to obtain a waiver from the required lenders or debt holders. If this occurs, we would be in default under the Credit Facility, the Notes or other debt, the lenders or debt holders could exercise their rights as described above, and we could be forced into bankruptcy or liquidation. If we are unable to repay debt, lenders having secured obligations could proceed against the collateral securing the debt. Because the Credit Facility has, and any future credit facilities will likely have, customary cross-default provisions, if the indebtedness under the Notes, the Credit Facility or under any future credit facility is accelerated, we may be unable to repay or finance the amounts due.

Item 1B.    Unresolved Staff Comments

       None.

Item 2.    Properties

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

Item 3.    Legal Proceedings

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

Item 4.    Mine Safety Disclosures

       Not applicable.

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PART II

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

PRICE RANGE OF COMMON STOCK, HOLDERS AND DISTRIBUTIONS

       Our common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange ("NYSE") under the symbol "MAIN." Prior to October 14, 2010, our common stock was traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the same symbol "MAIN." Our common stock began trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market on October 5, 2007. Prior to that date, there was no established public trading market for our common stock.

       The following table sets forth, for each fiscal quarter during 2017 and 2016, the range of high and low closing prices of our common stock as reported on the NYSE.

 
  High   Low  

Fiscal year 2017

             

Fourth quarter

  $ 41.55   $ 39.71  

Third quarter

  $ 40.40   $ 38.13  

Second quarter

  $ 40.39   $ 37.80  

First quarter

  $ 38.27   $ 35.39  

Fiscal year 2016

             

Fourth quarter

  $ 37.36   $ 32.23  

Third quarter

  $ 34.59   $ 32.61  

Second quarter

  $ 32.90   $ 30.52  

First quarter

  $ 31.46   $ 26.35  

       On February 22, 2018, the last sale price of our common stock on the NYSE was $35.70 per share, and there were approximately 312 holders of record of the common stock which did not include stockholders for whom shares are held in "nominee" or "street name."

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

       We currently pay regular monthly dividends and semiannual supplemental dividends to our stockholders. Our monthly dividends, if any, will be determined by our Board of Directors on a quarterly basis. Our semiannual supplemental dividends, if any, will be determined by our Board of Directors based upon our undistributed taxable income. The following table summarizes our dividends declared to date:

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Date Declared
 
Record Date
 
Payment Date
 
Amount(1)
 

Fiscal year 2018

               

February 20, 2018

  May 21, 2018   June 15, 2018   $ 0.190  

February 20, 2018

  April 20, 2018   May 15, 2018   $ 0.190  

February 20, 2018

  March 21, 2018   April 16, 2018   $ 0.190  

October 31, 2017

  February 22, 2018   March 15, 2018   $ 0.190  

October 31, 2017

  January 19, 2018   February 15, 2018   $ 0.190  

October 31, 2017

  December 29, 2017   January 12, 2018   $ 0.190 (2)

          $ 1.140  

Fiscal year 2017

               

October 17, 2017

  December 19, 2017   December 27, 2017   $ 0.275 (2)

August 1, 2017

  November 21, 2017   December 15, 2017   $ 0.190 (2)

August 1, 2017

  October 20, 2017   November 15, 2017   $ 0.190 (2)

August 1, 2017

  September 21, 2017   October 16, 2017   $ 0.190 (2)

May 2, 2017

  August 21, 2017   September 15, 2017   $ 0.185 (2)

May 2, 2017

  July 20, 2017   August 15, 2017   $ 0.185 (2)

May 2, 2017

  June 30, 2017   July 14, 2017   $ 0.185 (2)

April 18, 2017

  June 19, 2017   June 26, 2017   $ 0.275 (2)

February 22, 2017

  May 19, 2017   June 14, 2017   $ 0.185 (2)

February 22, 2017

  April 20, 2017   May 15, 2017   $ 0.185 (2)

February 22, 2017

  March 21, 2017   April 13, 2017   $ 0.185 (2)

November 2, 2016

  February 22, 2017   March 15, 2017   $ 0.185 (2)

November 2, 2016

  January 20, 2017   February 15, 2017   $ 0.185 (2)

November 2, 2016

  December 30, 2016   January 13, 2017   $ 0.185 (3)

          $ 2.785  

Fiscal year 2016

               

October 18, 2016

  December 16, 2016   December 23, 2016   $ 0.275 (3)

August 2, 2016

  November 21, 2016   December 13, 2016   $ 0.185 (3)

August 2, 2016

  October 20, 2016   November 15, 2016   $ 0.185 (3)

August 2, 2016

  September 21, 2016   October 14, 2016   $ 0.185 (3)

May 3, 2016

  August 19, 2016   September 15, 2016   $ 0.180 (3)

May 3, 2016

  July 21, 2016   August 15, 2016   $ 0.180 (3)

May 3, 2016

  July 1, 2016   July 15, 2016   $ 0.180 (3)

April 20, 2016

  June 20, 2016   June 27, 2016   $ 0.275 (3)

February 23, 2016

  May 20, 2016   June 15, 2016   $ 0.180 (3)

February 23, 2016

  April 21, 2016   May 16, 2016   $ 0.180 (3)

February 23, 2016

  March 21, 2016   April 15, 2016   $ 0.180 (3)

November 3, 2015

  February 22, 2016   March 15, 2016   $ 0.180 (3)

November 3, 2015

  January 22, 2016   February 17, 2016   $ 0.180 (3)

November 3, 2015

  December 30, 2015   January 15, 2016   $ 0.180 (4)

          $ 2.725  

Fiscal year 2015

               

October 20, 2015

  December 17, 2015   December 24, 2015   $ 0.275 (4)

August 3, 2015

  November 20, 2015   December 14, 2015   $ 0.180 (4)

August 3, 2015

  October 21, 2015   November 16, 2015   $ 0.180 (4)

August 3, 2015

  September 21, 2015   October 15, 2015   $ 0.180 (4)

May 5, 2015

  August 20, 2015   September 15, 2015   $ 0.175 (4)

May 5, 2015

  July 21, 2015   August 14, 2015   $ 0.175 (4)

May 5, 2015

  July 1, 2015   July 15, 2015   $ 0.175 (4)

April 22, 2015

  June 18, 2015   June 25, 2015   $ 0.275 (4)

February 24, 2015

  May 20, 2015   June 15, 2015   $ 0.175 (4)

February 24, 2015

  April 21, 2015   May 15, 2015   $ 0.175 (4)

February 24, 2015

  March 20, 2015   April 15, 2015   $ 0.175 (4)

November 6, 2014

  February 20, 2015   March 16, 2015   $ 0.170 (4)

November 6, 2014

  January 21, 2015   February 13, 2015   $ 0.170 (4)

November 6, 2014

  December 31, 2014   January 15, 2015   $ 0.170 (5)

Total

          $ 2.650  

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Date Declared
   
   
 
Amount(1)
 

Fiscal year 2014

               

Total

          $ 2.545 (5),(6)

Fiscal year 2013

               

Total

          $ 2.660 (6),(7)

Fiscal year 2012

               

Total

          $ 1.710 (7),(8)

Fiscal year 2011

               

Total

          $ 1.560 (8)

Fiscal year 2010

               

Total

          $ 1.500 (9)

Fiscal year 2009

               

Total

          $ 1.500 (10),(11)

Fiscal year 2008

               

Total

          $ 1.425 (11)

Fiscal year 2007

               

Total

          $ 0.330 (12)

Cumulative dividends declared or paid

          $ 22.530  

(1)
The determination of the tax attributes of our distributions is made annually, based upon our taxable income for the full year and distributions paid for the full year. Ordinary dividend distributions from a RIC do not qualify for the tax rate applicable to "qualified dividend income" from domestic corporations and qualified foreign corporations, except to the extent that the RIC received the income in the form of qualifying dividends from domestic corporations and qualified foreign corporations.

(2)
These dividends attributable to fiscal year 2017 were comprised of ordinary income of $2.218 per share, long term capital gain of $0.490 per share, and qualified dividend income of $0.082 per share, and included dividends with a record date during fiscal year 2017, including the dividend declared and accrued as of December 31, 2017 and paid on January 12, 2018, pursuant to the Code.

(3)
These dividends attributable to fiscal year 2016 were comprised of ordinary income of $1.911 per share, long term capital gain of $0.761 per share, and qualified dividend income of $0.058 per share, and included dividends with a record date during fiscal year 2016, including the dividend declared and accrued as of December 31, 2016 and paid on January 13, 2017, pursuant to the Code.

(4)
These dividends attributable to fiscal year 2015 were comprised of ordinary income of $2.325 per share, long term capital gain of $0.231 per share, and qualified dividend income of $0.105 per share, and included dividends with a record date during fiscal year 2015, including the dividend declared and accrued as of December 31, 2015 and paid on January 15, 2016, pursuant to the Code.

(5)
These dividends attributable to fiscal year 2014 were comprised of ordinary income of $2.083 per share, long term capital gain of $0.419 per share, and qualified dividend income of $0.048 per share, and included dividends with a record date during fiscal year 2014, including the dividend declared and accrued as of December 31, 2014 and paid on January 15, 2015, pursuant to the Code.

(6)
These dividends attributable to fiscal year 2013 were comprised of ordinary income of $1.872 per share, long term capital gain of $0.346 per share, and qualified dividend income of $0.457 per share, and included dividends with a record date during fiscal year 2013, including the dividend declared and accrued as of December 31, 2013 and paid on January 15, 2014, pursuant to the Code.

(7)
These dividends attributable to fiscal year 2012 were comprised of ordinary income of $0.923 per share, long term capital gain of $0.748 per share, and qualified dividend income of $0.054 per

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(8)
These dividends attributable to fiscal year 2011 were comprised of ordinary income of $1.253 per share, long term capital gain of $0.373 per share, and qualified dividend income of $0.069 per share, and included dividends with a record date during fiscal year 2011, including the dividend declared and accrued as of December 31, 2011 and paid on January 16, 2012, pursuant to the Code.

(9)
These dividends attributable to fiscal year 2010 were comprised of ordinary income of $1.220 per share, long term capital gain of $0.268 per share, and qualified dividend income of $0.012 per share.

(10)
These dividends attributable to fiscal year 2009 were comprised of ordinary income of $1.218 per share and long term capital gain of $0.157 per share and excluded the $0.125 paid on January 15, 2009 which had been declared and accrued as of December 31, 2008.

(11)
These dividends attributable to fiscal year 2008 were comprised of ordinary income of $0.953 per share and long term capital gain of $0.597 per share, and included dividends with a record date during fiscal year 2008, including the $0.125 per share dividend declared and accrued as of December 31, 2008 and paid on January 15, 2009, pursuant to the Code.

(12)
This quarterly dividend attributable to fiscal year 2007 was comprised of ordinary income of $0.105 per share and long term capital gain of $0.225 per share.

       In accordance with the IRC sections 871(k) and 881(e), the following percentages represent the portion of our dividends that constitute interest-related dividends and short-term capital gains dividends for non-U.S. residents and foreign corporations.

       Including the long-term capital gains discussed above, the following percentages represent the total dividends which are exempt from U.S. withholding tax.

Payment Dates
  Interest-Related Dividends
and Short-Term
Capital Gain Dividend
  Distributions Exempt
from U.S.
Withholding Tax(1)
 

2/15/2017

    59.15 %   78.09 %

From 3/15/2017 to 6/14/2017

    78.09 %   78.09 %

6/26/2017

    70.00 %   70.00 %

From 7/14/2017 to 8/15/2017

    0.00 %   100.00 %

9/15/2017

    12.23 %   58.01 %

From 10/16/2017 to 1/12/2018

    70.00 %   70.00 %

       To the extent non-U.S. resident taxes were withheld on ordinary dividends distributed, this information may be considered in connection with any claims for refund of such taxes to be filed by the non-U.S. resident stockholder with the Internal Revenue Service.

       To obtain and maintain RIC tax treatment, we must, among other things, distribute at least 90% of our net ordinary taxable income and realized net short-term capital gains in excess of realized net long-term capital losses, if any. We will be subject to a 4% non-deductible U.S. federal excise tax on certain undistributed taxable income unless we distribute in a timely manner an amount at least equal to the sum of (1) 98% of our net ordinary taxable income for each calendar year, (2) 98.2% of our capital gain net income for the one-year period ending December 31 in that calendar year and (3) any taxable income recognized, but not distributed, in preceding years on which we paid no U.S. federal income tax. Dividends declared and paid by us in a year will generally differ from taxable income for that year, as such dividends may include the distribution of current year taxable income, less amounts carried over into the following year, and the distribution of prior year taxable income carried over into and distributed in the current year. For amounts we carry over into the following year, we will be required to pay a 4% U.S. federal excise tax on the amount by which 98% of our annual ordinary taxable income and 98.2% of capital gains exceeds our distributions for

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the year. We may retain for investment some or all of our net capital gains (i.e., realized net long-term capital gains in excess of realized net short-term capital losses) and treat such amounts as deemed distributions to our stockholders. If we do this, our stockholders will be treated as if they had received actual distributions of the capital gains we retained and then reinvested the net after-tax proceeds in our common stock. In general, our stockholders also would be eligible to claim a tax credit (or, in certain circumstances, a tax refund) equal to their allocable shares of the tax we paid on the capital gains deemed distributed to them. We can offer no assurance that we will achieve results that will permit the payment of any cash distributions and, if we issue senior securities, we may be prohibited from making distributions if doing so causes us to fail to maintain the asset coverage ratios stipulated by the 1940 Act or if distributions are limited by the terms of any of our borrowings.

       We may distribute taxable dividends that are payable in part in our stock. Under certain applicable provisions of the Code and the Treasury regulations, distributions payable by us in cash or in shares of stock (at the stockholders election) would satisfy the Annual Distribution Requirement. The Internal Revenue Service has issued private letter rulings providing that a dividend payable in stock or in cash at the election of the stockholders will be treated as a taxable dividend eligible for the dividends paid deduction provided that at least 20% of the total dividend is payable in cash and certain other requirements are satisfied. Taxable stockholders receiving such dividends will be required to include the full amount of the dividend as ordinary income (or as long-term capital gain to the extent such dividend is properly reported as a capital gain dividend), to the extent of our current and accumulated earnings and profits for U.S. federal income tax purposes. As a result, a U.S. stockholder may be required to pay tax with respect to such dividends in excess of any cash received. If a U.S. stockholder sells the stock it receives as a dividend in order to pay this tax, the sales proceeds may be less than the amount included in income with respect to the dividend, depending on the market price of our stock at the time of the sale. Furthermore, with respect to non-U.S. stockholders, we may be required to withhold U.S. tax with respect to such dividends, including in respect of all or a portion of such dividend that is payable in stock. In addition, if a significant number of our stockholders determine to sell shares of our stock in order to pay taxes owed on dividends, it may put downward pressure on the trading price of our stock.

       We have adopted a dividend reinvestment plan ("DRIP") that provides for the reinvestment of dividends on behalf of our stockholders, unless a stockholder has elected to receive dividends in cash. As a result, if we declare a cash dividend, our stockholders who have not "opted out" of the DRIP by the dividend record date will have their cash dividend automatically reinvested into additional shares of MSCC common stock. The share requirements of the DRIP may be satisfied through the issuance of new shares of common stock or through open market purchases of common stock by the DRIP plan administrator. Newly issued shares will be valued based upon the final closing price of MSCC's common stock on a valuation date determined for each dividend by our Board of Directors. Shares purchased in the open market to satisfy the DRIP requirements will be valued based upon the average price of the applicable shares purchased by the DRIP plan administrator, before any associated brokerage or other costs.

SALES OF UNREGISTERED SECURITIES

       During the year ended December 31, 2017, we issued a total of 234,513 shares of our common stock under the DRIP. These issuances were not subject to the registration requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. The aggregate value of the shares of our common stock issued under the DRIP during 2017 was approximately $9.2 million.

PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

       None.

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STOCK PERFORMANCE GRAPH

       The following graph compares the stockholder return on our common stock from October 5, 2007 to December 31, 2017 with the S&P 500 Index, the Russell 2000 Index, the KBW Regional Bank Index and the Main Street Peer Group (as defined below). This comparison assumes $100.00 was invested on October 5, 2007 (the date our common stock began to trade in connection with our initial public offering) in our common stock and in the comparison groups and assumes the reinvestment of all cash dividends prior to any tax effect. The comparisons in the graph below are based on historical data and are not intended to forecast the possible future performance of our common stock.


COMPARISON OF STOCKHOLDER RETURN(1)
Among Main Street Capital Corporation, the S&P 500 Index, the Russell 2000 Index, the KBW
Regional Bank Index, and the Main Street Peer Group(2)
(For the Period October 5, 2007 to December 31, 2017)

GRAPHIC


(1)
Total return includes reinvestment of dividends through December 31, 2017.

(2)
The Main Street Peer Group is composed of Apollo Investment Corporation, Ares Capital Corporation, BlackRock Capital Investment Corporation, Capitala Finance Corp., Fidus Investment Corporation, FS Investment Corporation, Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc., Golub Capital BDC, Inc., Hercules Capital, Inc., Medallion Financial Corp., Medley Capital Corporation, New Mountain Finance Corporation, Oaktree Specialty Lending Corporation, Oaktree Strategic Income Corporation, PennantPark Floating Rate Capital Ltd., PennantPark Investment Corporation, Prospect Capital Corporation, Solar Capital Ltd., Solar Senior Capital Ltd., TCP Capital Corp., THL Credit, Inc., TICC Capital Corp., TPG Specialty Lending, Inc. and Triangle Capital Corporation.

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Item 6.    Selected Financial Data

       The selected financial and other data as of and for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013 have been derived from consolidated financial statements that have been audited by Grant Thornton LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm. You should read this selected financial and other data in conjunction with our "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and the consolidated financial statements and related notes included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 
  Twelve Months Ended December 31,  
 
  2017   2016   2015   2014   2013  
 
  (dollars in thousands, except per share amounts)
 

Statement of operations data:

                               

Investment income:

                               

Total interest, fee and dividend income

  $ 205,741   $ 178,165   $ 163,603   $ 139,939   $ 115,158  

Interest from idle funds and other

        174     986     824     1,339  

Total investment income

    205,741     178,339     164,589     140,763     116,497  

Expenses:

                               

Interest

    (36,479 )   (33,630 )   (32,115 )   (23,589 )   (20,238 )

Compensation

    (18,560 )   (16,408 )   (14,852 )   (12,337 )   (8,560 )

General and administrative

    (11,674 )   (9,284 )   (8,621 )   (7,134 )   (4,877 )

Share-based compensation

    (10,027 )   (8,304 )   (6,262 )   (4,215 )   (4,210 )

Expenses allocated to the External Investment Manager

    6,370     5,089     4,335     2,048      

Expenses reimbursed to MSCP(1)

                    (3,189 )

Total expenses

    (70,370 )   (62,537 )   (57,515 )   (45,227 )   (41,074 )

Net investment income

    135,371     115,802     107,074     95,536     75,423  

Total net realized gain (loss) from investments

    16,182     29,389     (21,316 )   23,206     7,277  

Total net realized loss from SBIC debentures

    (5,217 )               (4,775 )

Total net change in unrealized appreciation (depreciation) from investments                           

    42,545     (6,576 )   10,871     (776 )   14,503  

Total net change in unrealized appreciation (depreciation) from SBIC debentures and investment in MSCP(1)                            

    6,212     (943 )   (879 )   (10,931 )   4,392  

Income tax benefit (provision)

    (24,471 )   1,227     8,687     (6,287 )   35  

Net increase in net assets resulting from operations attributable to common stock

  $ 170,622   $ 138,899   $ 104,437   $ 100,748   $ 96,855  

Net investment income per share — basic and diluted

  $ 2.39   $ 2.23   $ 2.18   $ 2.20   $ 2.06  

Net increase in net assets resulting from operations attributable to common stock per share — basic and diluted

  $ 3.01   $ 2.67   $ 2.13   $ 2.31   $ 2.65  

Weighted-average shares outstanding — basic and diluted

    56,691,913     52,025,002     49,071,492     43,522,397     36,617,850  

(1)
Main Street Capital Partners, LLC

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  As of December 31,  
 
  2017   2016   2015   2014   2013  
 
   
  (dollars in thousands)
 

Balance sheet data:

                               

Assets:

                               

Total portfolio investments at fair value

  $ 2,171,305   $ 1,996,906   $ 1,799,996   $ 1,563,330   $ 1,286,188  

Marketable securities and idle funds investments

            3,693     9,067     13,301  

Cash and cash equivalents

    51,528     24,480     20,331     60,432     34,701  

Interest receivable and other assets

    38,725     37,123     37,638     46,406     16,054  

Deferred financing costs, net of accumulated amortization            

    3,837     12,645     13,267     14,550     9,931  

Deferred tax asset, net

        9,125     4,003          

Total assets

  $ 2,265,395   $ 2,080,279   $ 1,878,928   $ 1,693,785   $ 1,360,175  

Liabilities and net assets:

                               

Credit facility

  $ 64,000   $ 343,000   $ 291,000   $ 218,000   $ 237,000  

SBIC debentures at fair value(1)

    288,483     239,603     223,660     222,781     187,050  

4.50% Notes due 2022

    182,015                  

4.50% Notes due 2019

    173,616     175,000     175,000     175,000      

6.125% Notes

    89,057     90,655     90,738     90,823     90,882  

Accounts payable and other liabilities

    20,168     14,205     12,292     10,701     10,549  

Payable for securities purchased

    40,716     2,184     2,311     14,773     27,088  

Interest payable

    5,273     4,103     3,959     4,848     2,556  

Dividend payable

    11,146     10,048     9,074     7,663     6,577  

Deferred tax liability, net

    10,553             9,214     5,940  

Total liabilities

    885,027     878,798     808,034     753,803     567,642  

Total net asset value

    1,380,368     1,201,481     1,070,894     939,982     792,533  

Total liabilities and net assets                 

  $ 2,265,395   $ 2,080,279   $ 1,878,928   $ 1,693,785   $ 1,360,175  

Other data:

                               

Weighted-average effective yield on LMM debt investments(2),(3)

    12.0%     12.5%     12.2%     13.2%     14.7%  

Number of LMM portfolio companies

    70     73     71     66     62  

Weighted-average effective yield on Middle Market debt investments(2),(3)

    9.0%     8.5%     8.0%     7.8%     7.8%  

Number of Middle Market portfolio companies

    62     78     86     86     92  

Weighted-average effective yield on Private Loan debt investments(2),(3)

    9.2%     9.6%     9.5%     10.1%     11.3%  

Number of Private Loan portfolio companies

    54     46     40     31     15  

Expense ratios (as percentage of average net assets):

                               

Total expenses, including income tax expense

    7.4%     5.5%     4.6%     5.8%     5.8%  

Operating expenses

    5.5%     5.6%     5.5%     5.1%     5.8%  

Operating expenses, excluding interest expense                 

    2.6%     2.6%     2.4%     2.4%     3.0%  

Total investment return(4)

    16.0%     37.4%     8.5%     –3.1%     16.7%  

Total return based on change in NAV(5)

    14.2%     13.0%     11.1%     12.7%     15.1%  

(1)
SBIC debentures for December 31, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013 are $295,800, $240,000, $225,000, $225,000, and $200,200 at par, respectively, with par of $50,000 for December 31, 2017, $75,200 for December 31, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013 recorded at fair value of $48,608, $74,803, $73,860, $72,981 and $62,050, as of December 31, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012, respectively.

(2)
Weighted-average effective yield is calculated based on our debt investments at the end of each period and includes amortization of deferred debt origination fees and accretion of original issue discount, but excludes liquidation fees payable upon repayment and any debt investments on non-accrual status. The weighted-average annual effective yield is higher than what an investor in shares of our common stock will realize on its investment because it does not reflect any debt investments on non-accrual status, our expenses or any sales load paid by an investor. For information on our investments on non-accrual status, see "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Portfolio Asset Quality".

(3)
Including investments on non-accrual status, the weighted-average effective yield for LMM, Middle Market, and Private Loan debt investments was 11.1%, 9.0%, and 9.0%, respectively, as of December 31, 2017.

(4)
Total investment return is based on the purchase of stock at the current market price on the first day and a sale at the current market price on the last day of each period reported on the table and assumes reinvestment of dividends at prices obtained by our dividend reinvestment plan during the period. The return does not reflect any sales load that may be paid by an investor.

(5)
Total return is based on change in net asset value and was calculated using the sum of ending net asset value plus dividends to stockholders and other non-operating changes during the period, as divided by the beginning net asset value. Non-operating changes include any items that affect net asset value other than the net increase in net assets resulting from operations, such as the effects of stock offerings, shares issued under the DRIP and equity incentive plans and other miscellaneous items.

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Item 7.    Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

       The following discussion should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

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

ORGANIZATION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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OVERVIEW

       Our principal investment objective is to maximize our portfolio's total return by generating current income from our debt investments and capital appreciation from our equity and equity-related investments, including warrants, convertible securities and other rights to acquire equity securities in a portfolio company. Our LMM companies generally have annual revenues between $10 million and $150 million, and our LMM portfolio investments generally range in size from $5 million to $50 million. Our Middle Market investments are made in businesses that are generally larger in size than our LMM portfolio companies, with annual revenues typically between $150 million and $1.5 billion, and our Middle Market investments generally range in size from $3 million to $20 million. Our private loan ("Private Loan") portfolio investments are primarily debt securities in privately held companies which have been originated through strategic relationships with other investment funds on a collaborative basis. Private Loan investments are typically similar in size, structure, terms and conditions to investments we hold in our LMM portfolio and Middle Market portfolio.

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

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

       Our Private Loan portfolio investments are primarily debt securities in privately held companies which have been originated through strategic relationships with other investment funds on a collaborative basis, and are often referred to in the debt markets as "club deals." Private Loan investments are typically similar in size, structure, terms and conditions to investments we hold in our LMM portfolio and Middle Market portfolio. Our Private Loan portfolio debt investments are generally secured by either a first or second priority lien on the assets of the portfolio company and typically have a term of between three and seven years from the original investment date.

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

       Our external asset management business is conducted through the External Investment Manager. The External Investment Manager earns management fees based on the assets of the funds under management and may earn incentive fees, or a carried interest, based on the performance of the funds managed. We have entered into an agreement with the External Investment Manager to share employees in connection with its asset management business generally, and specifically for its relationship with HMS Income Fund, Inc. ("HMS Income"). Through this agreement, we share employees with the External Investment Manager, including their related infrastructure, business relationships, management expertise and capital raising capabilities.

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       The following tables provide a summary of our investments in the LMM, Middle Market and Private Loan portfolios as of December 31, 2017 and 2016 (this information excludes the Other Portfolio investments and the External Investment Manager which are discussed further below):

 
  As of December 31, 2017  
 
  LMM(a)   Middle Market   Private Loan  
 
  (dollars in millions)
 

Number of portfolio companies

    70     62     54  

Fair value

  $ 948.2   $ 609.3   $ 467.5  

Cost

  $ 776.5   $ 629.7   $ 489.2  

% of portfolio at cost — debt

    67.1%     97.3%     93.6%  

% of portfolio at cost — equity

    32.9%     2.7%     6.4%  

% of debt investments at cost secured by first priority lien

    98.1%     90.5%     94.5%  

Weighted-average annual effective yield(b)

    12.0%     9.0%     9.2%  

Average EBITDA(c)

  $ 4.4   $ 78.3   $ 39.6  

(a)
At December 31, 2017, we had equity ownership in approximately 97% of our LMM portfolio companies, and the average fully diluted equity ownership in those portfolio companies was approximately 39%.

(b)
The weighted average annual effective yields were computed using the effective interest rates for all debt investments at cost as of December 31, 2017, including amortization of deferred debt origination fees and accretion of original issue discount but excluding fees payable upon repayment of the debt instruments and any debt investments on non-accrual status. Weighted average annual effective yield is higher than what an investor in shares of our common stock will realize on its investment because it does not reflect our expenses or any sales load paid by an investor.

(c)
The average EBITDA is calculated using a simple average for the LMM portfolio and a weighted average for the Middle Market and Private Loan portfolios. These calculations exclude certain portfolio companies, including six LMM portfolio companies, one Middle Market portfolio company and three Private Loan portfolio companies, as EBITDA is not a meaningful valuation metric for our investments in these portfolio companies, and those portfolio companies whose primary purpose is to own real estate.

 

 
  As of December 31, 2016  
 
  LMM(a)   Middle Market   Private Loan  
 
  (dollars in millions)
 

Number of portfolio companies

    73     78     46  

Fair value

  $ 892.6   $ 630.6   $ 342.9  

Cost

  $ 760.3   $ 646.8   $ 357.7  

% of portfolio at cost — debt

    69.1%     97.2%     93.5%  

% of portfolio at cost — equity

    30.9%     2.8%     6.5%  

% of debt investments at cost secured by first priority lien

    92.1%     89.1%     89.0%  

Weighted-average annual effective yield(b)

    12.5%     8.5%     9.6%  

Average EBITDA(c)

  $ 5.9   $ 98.6   $ 22.7  

(a)
At December 31, 2016, we had equity ownership in approximately 99% of our LMM portfolio companies, and the average fully diluted equity ownership in those portfolio companies was approximately 36%.

(b)
The weighted-average annual effective yields were computed using the effective interest rates for all debt investments at cost as of December 31, 2016, including amortization of deferred debt origination fees and accretion of original issue discount but excluding fees payable upon repayment of the debt instruments and any debt investments on non-accrual status. The weighted-average

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(c)
The average EBITDA is calculated using a simple average for the LMM portfolio and a weighted-average for the Middle Market and Private Loan portfolios. These calculations exclude certain portfolio companies, including five LMM portfolio companies, one Middle Market portfolio company and three Private Loan portfolio companies, as EBITDA is not a meaningful valuation metric for our investments in these portfolio companies.

       As of December 31, 2017, we had Other Portfolio investments in eleven companies, collectively totaling approximately $104.6 million in fair value and approximately $109.4 million in cost basis and which comprised approximately 4.8% of our Investment Portfolio (as defined in "— Critical Accounting Policies — Basis of Presentation" below) at fair value. As of December 31, 2016, we had Other Portfolio investments in ten companies, collectively totaling approximately $100.3 million in fair value and approximately $107.1 million in cost basis and which comprised approximately 5.0% of our Investment Portfolio at fair value.

       As previously discussed, the External Investment Manager is a wholly owned subsidiary that is treated as a portfolio investment. As of December 31, 2017, there was no cost basis in this investment and the investment had a fair value of approximately $41.8 million, which comprised approximately 1.9% of our Investment Portfolio at fair value. As of December 31, 2016, there was no cost basis in this investment and the investment had a fair value of approximately $30.6 million, which comprised approximately 1.5% of our Investment Portfolio at fair value.

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

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

       Because we are internally managed, we do not pay any external investment advisory fees, but instead directly incur the operating costs associated with employing investment and portfolio management professionals. We believe that our internally managed structure provides us with a beneficial operating expense structure when compared to other publicly traded and privately held investment firms which are externally managed, and our internally managed structure allows us the opportunity to leverage our non-interest operating expenses as we grow our Investment Portfolio. For the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, the ratio of our total operating expenses, excluding interest expense and the non-recurring professional fees and other expenses discussed below, as a percentage of our quarterly average total assets was 1.5%. Including the effect of the non-recurring expenses, the ratio for the year ended December 31, 2017 was 1.6%.

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       During May 2012, we entered into an investment sub-advisory agreement with HMS Adviser, LP ("HMS Adviser"), which is the investment advisor to HMS Income, a non-listed BDC, to provide certain investment advisory services to HMS Adviser. In December 2013, after obtaining required no-action relief from the SEC to allow us to own a registered investment adviser, we assigned the sub-advisory agreement to the External Investment Manager since the fees received from such arrangement could otherwise have negative consequences on our ability to meet the source-of-income requirement necessary for us to maintain our RIC tax treatment. Under the investment sub-advisory agreement, the External Investment Manager is entitled to 50% of the base management fee and the incentive fees earned by HMS Adviser under its advisory agreement with HMS Income. The External Investment Manager has conditionally agreed to waive a limited amount of the incentive fees otherwise earned. During the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, the External Investment Manager earned $10.9 million, $9.5 million, and $7.8 million, respectively, of management fees (net of fees waived, if any) under the sub-advisory agreement with HMS Adviser.

       During April 2014, we received an exemptive order from the SEC permitting co-investments by us and HMS Income in certain negotiated transactions where co-investing would otherwise be prohibited under the 1940 Act. We have made, and in the future intend to continue to make, such co-investments with HMS Income in accordance with the conditions of the order. The order requires, among other things, that we and the External Investment Manager consider whether each such investment opportunity is appropriate for HMS Income and, if it is appropriate, to propose an allocation of the investment opportunity between us and HMS Income. Because the External Investment Manager may receive performance-based fee compensation from HMS Income, this may provide it an incentive to allocate opportunities to HMS Income instead of us. However, both we and the External Investment Manager have policies and procedures in place to manage this conflict.

CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES

       Our consolidated financial statements are prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America ("U.S. GAAP"). For each of the periods presented herein, our consolidated financial statements include the accounts of MSCC and its consolidated subsidiaries. The Investment Portfolio, as used herein, refers to all of our investments in LMM portfolio companies, investments in Middle Market portfolio companies, Private Loan portfolio investments, Other Portfolio investments, and the investment in the External Investment Manager. Our results of operations and cash flows for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 and financial position as of December 31, 2017 and 2016, are presented on a consolidated basis. The effects of all intercompany transactions between us and our consolidated subsidiaries have been eliminated in consolidation.

       We are an investment company following the accounting and reporting guidance in Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") Accounting Standards Codification ("ASC") 946, Financial Services — Investment Companies ("ASC 946"). Under regulations pursuant to Article 6 of Regulation S-X applicable to BDCs and ASC 946, we are precluded from consolidating other entities in which we have equity investments, including those in which we have a controlling interest, unless the other entity is another investment company. An exception to this general principle in ASC 946 occurs if we hold a controlling interest in an operating company that provides all or substantially all of its services directly to us or to any of our portfolio companies. Accordingly, as noted above, our consolidated financial statements include the financial position and operating results for the Funds and the Taxable Subsidiaries. We have determined that all of our portfolio investments do not qualify for this exception, including the investment in the External Investment Manager. Therefore, our Investment Portfolio is carried on the consolidated balance sheet at fair value with any adjustments to fair value recognized as "Net Change in Unrealized Appreciation (Depreciation)" on the consolidated statements of operations until the investment is realized, usually upon exit, resulting in any gain or loss being recognized as a "Net Realized Gain (Loss)."

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       The most significant determination inherent in the preparation of our consolidated financial statements is the valuation of our Investment Portfolio and the related amounts of unrealized appreciation and depreciation. As of both December 31, 2017 and 2016, our Investment Portfolio valued at fair value represented approximately 96% of our total assets. We are required to report our investments at fair value. We follow the provisions of Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") ASC 820, Fair Value Measurements and Disclosures ("ASC 820"). ASC 820 defines fair value, establishes a framework for measuring fair value, establishes a fair value hierarchy based on the quality of inputs used to measure fair value, and enhances disclosure requirements for fair value measurements. ASC 820 requires us to assume that the portfolio investment is to be sold in the principal market to independent market participants, which may be a hypothetical market. Market participants are defined as buyers and sellers in the principal market that are independent, knowledgeable and willing and able to transact. See "Note B.1. — Valuation of the Investment Portfolio" in the notes to consolidated financial statements for a detailed discussion of our investment portfolio valuation process and procedures.

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

       Our Board of Directors has the final responsibility for overseeing, reviewing and approving, in good faith, our determination of the fair value for our Investment Portfolio and our valuation procedures, consistent with 1940 Act requirements. We believe our Investment Portfolio as of December 31, 2017 and 2016 approximates fair value as of those dates based on the markets in which we operate and other conditions in existence on those reporting dates.

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

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

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       We hold certain debt and preferred equity instruments in our Investment Portfolio that contain PIK interest and cumulative dividend provisions. The PIK interest, computed at the contractual rate specified in each debt agreement, is periodically added to the principal balance of the debt and is recorded as interest income. Thus, the actual collection of this interest may be deferred until the time of debt principal repayment. Cumulative dividends are recorded as dividend income, and any dividends in arrears are added to the balance of the preferred equity investment. The actual collection of these dividends in arrears may be deferred until such time as the preferred equity is redeemed or sold. To maintain RIC tax treatment (as discussed below), these non-cash sources of income may need to be paid out to stockholders in the form of distributions, even though we may not have collected the PIK interest and cumulative dividends in cash. We stop accruing PIK interest and cumulative dividends and write off any accrued and uncollected interest and dividends in arrears when we determine that such PIK interest and dividends in arrears are no longer collectible. For the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, (i) approximately 2.4%, 3.6%, and 2.2%, respectively, of our total investment income was attributable to PIK interest income not paid currently in cash and (ii) approximately 1.6%, 1.2%, and 1.0%, respectively, of our total investment income was attributable to cumulative dividend income not paid currently in cash.

       We account for our share-based compensation plans using the fair value method, as prescribed by ASC 718, Compensation — Stock Compensation. Accordingly, for restricted stock awards, we measure the grant date fair value based upon the market price of our common stock on the date of the grant and amortize the fair value of the awards as share-based compensation expense over the requisite service period, which is generally the vesting term.

       MSCC has elected to be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as a RIC. MSCC's taxable income includes the taxable income generated by MSCC and certain of its subsidiaries, including the Funds, which are treated as disregarded entities for tax purposes. As a RIC, MSCC generally will not pay corporate-level U.S. federal income taxes on any net ordinary taxable income or capital gains that MSCC distributes to its stockholders. MSCC must generally distribute at least 90% of its "investment company taxable income" (which is generally its net ordinary taxable income and realized net short-term capital gains in excess of realized net long-term capital losses) and 90% of its tax-exempt income to maintain its RIC status (pass-through tax treatment for amounts distributed). As part of maintaining RIC status, undistributed taxable income (subject to a 4% non-deductible U.S. federal excise tax) pertaining to a given fiscal year may be distributed up to 12 months subsequent to the end of that fiscal year, provided such dividends are declared on or prior to the later of (i) filing of the U.S. federal income tax return for the applicable fiscal year or (ii) the fifteenth day of the ninth month following the close of the year in which such taxable income was generated.

       The Taxable Subsidiaries primarily hold certain portfolio investments for us. The Taxable Subsidiaries permit us to hold equity investments in portfolio companies which are "pass-through" entities for tax purposes and to continue to comply with the "source-of-income" requirements contained in the RIC tax provisions of the Code. The Taxable Subsidiaries are consolidated with us for U.S. GAAP financial reporting purposes, and the portfolio investments held by the Taxable Subsidiaries are included in our consolidated financial statements as portfolio investments and recorded at fair value. The Taxable Subsidiaries are not consolidated with MSCC for income tax purposes and may generate income tax expense, or benefit, and tax assets and liabilities, as a result of their ownership of certain portfolio investments. The taxable income, or loss, of the Taxable Subsidiaries may differ from their book income, or loss, due to temporary book and tax timing differences and permanent differences. The Taxable Subsidiaries are each taxed at their normal corporate tax rates based on their taxable income. The income tax expense, or benefit, if any, and the related tax assets and liabilities, of the Taxable Subsidiaries are reflected in our consolidated financial statements.

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       The External Investment Manager is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of MSCC owned through a Taxable Subsidiary and is a disregarded entity for tax purposes. The External Investment Manager has entered into a tax sharing agreement with its Taxable Subsidiary owner. Since the External Investment Manager is accounted for as a portfolio investment of MSCC and is not included as a consolidated subsidiary of MSCC in MSCC's consolidated financial statements, and as a result of the tax sharing agreement with its Taxable Subsidiary owner, for its stand-alone financial reporting purposes the External Investment Manager is treated as if it is taxed at normal corporate tax rates based on its taxable income and, as a result of its activities, may generate income tax expense or benefit. The income tax expense, or benefit, if any, and the related tax assets and liabilities, of the External Investment Manager are reflected in the External Investment Manager's separate financial statements.

       In December 2017, the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" legislation was enacted. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act includes significant changes to the U.S. corporate tax system, including a U.S. Federal corporate income tax rate reduction from 35% to 21% and other changes. ASC 740, Income Taxes, requires the effects of changes in tax rates and laws on deferred tax balances to be recognized in the period in which the legislation was enacted. As such, we have accounted for the tax effects as a result of the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as of December 31, 2017.

       The Taxable Subsidiaries and the External Investment Manager use the liability method in accounting for income taxes. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are recorded for temporary differences between the tax basis of assets and liabilities and their reported amounts in the consolidated financial statements, using statutory tax rates in effect for the year in which the temporary differences are expected to reverse. A valuation allowance is provided, if necessary, against deferred tax assets when it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax asset will not be realized.

       Taxable income generally differs from net income for financial reporting purposes due to temporary and permanent differences in the recognition of income and expenses. Taxable income generally excludes net unrealized appreciation or depreciation, as investment gains or losses are not included in taxable income until they are realized.

INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO COMPOSITION

       Our LMM portfolio investments primarily consist of secured debt, equity warrants and direct equity investments in privately held, LMM companies based in the United States. Our LMM portfolio companies generally have annual revenues between $10 million and $150 million, and our LMM investments generally range in size from $5 million to $50 million. The LMM debt investments are typically secured by either a first or second priority lien on the assets of the portfolio company, generally bear interest at fixed rates, and generally have a term of between five and seven years from the original investment date. In most LMM portfolio companies, we receive nominally priced equity warrants and/or make direct equity investments in connection with a debt investment.

       Our Middle Market portfolio investments primarily consist of direct investments in or secondary purchases of interest-bearing debt securities in privately held companies based in the United States that are generally larger in size than the companies included in our LMM portfolio. Our Middle Market portfolio companies generally have annual revenues between $150 million and $1.5 billion, and our Middle Market investments generally range in size from $3 million to $20 million. Our Middle Market portfolio debt investments are generally secured by either a first or second priority lien on the assets of the portfolio company and typically have a term of between three and seven years from the original investment date.

       Our Private Loan portfolio investments are primarily debt securities in privately held companies which have been originated through strategic relationships with other investment funds on a collaborative basis, and are often referred to in the debt markets as "club deals." Private Loan investments are typically similar in size, structure, terms and conditions to investments we hold in our LMM portfolio and Middle Market portfolio. Our Private Loan portfolio debt investments are generally secured by either a first or second

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priority lien on the assets of the portfolio company and typically have a term of between three and seven years from the original investment date.

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

       Our external asset management business is conducted through the External Investment Manager. The External Investment Manager earns management fees based on the assets of the funds under management and may earn incentive fees, or a carried interest, based on the performance of the funds managed. We have entered into an agreement with the External Investment Manager to share employees in connection with its asset management business generally, and specifically for its relationship with HMS Income. Through this agreement, we share employees with the External Investment Manager, including their related infrastructure, business relationships, management expertise and capital raising capabilities, and we allocate the related expenses to the External Investment Manager pursuant to the sharing agreement. Our total expenses for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 are net of expenses allocated to the External Investment Manager of $6.4 million, $5.1 million, and $4.3 million, respectively. The External Investment Manager earns management fees based on the assets of the funds under management and may earn incentive fees, or a carried interest, based on the performance of the funds managed. The total contribution of the External Investment Manager to our net investment income consists of the combination of the expenses allocated to the External Investment Manager and the dividend income received from the External Investment Manager. For the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, the total contribution to our net investment income was $9.4 million, $7.9 million, and $6.5 million, respectively.

       The following tables summarize the composition of our total combined LMM portfolio investments, Middle Market portfolio investments and Private Loan portfolio investments at cost and fair value by type of investment as a percentage of the total combined LMM portfolio investments, Middle Market portfolio investments and Private Loan portfolio investments as of December 31, 2017 and 2016 (this information excludes the Other Portfolio investments and the External Investment Manager).

Cost:
  December 31, 2017   December 31, 2016  

First lien debt

    79.0%     76.1%  

Equity

    15.3%     14.5%  

Second lien debt

    4.5%     7.7%  

Equity warrants

    0.7%     1.1%  

Other

    0.5%     0.6%  

    100.0%     100.0%  

 

Fair Value:
  December 31, 2017   December 31, 2016  

First lien debt

    70.5%     68.7%  

Equity

    24.4%     22.6%  

Second lien debt

    4.1%     7.2%  

Equity warrants

    0.6%     0.9%  

Other

    0.4%     0.6%  

    100.0%     100.0%  

       Our LMM portfolio investments, Middle Market portfolio investments and Private Loan portfolio investments carry a number of risks including: (1) investing in companies which may have limited operating histories and financial resources; (2) holding investments that generally are not publicly traded and which may be subject to legal and other restrictions on resale; and (3) other risks common to investing in below

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investment grade debt and equity investments in our Investment Portfolio. Please see "Risk Factors — Risks Related to Our Investments" for a more complete discussion of the risks involved with investing in our Investment Portfolio.

PORTFOLIO ASSET QUALITY

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

       The following table shows the distribution of our LMM portfolio investments on the 1 to 5 investment rating scale at fair value as of December 31, 2017 and 2016:

 
  As of December 31, 2017   As of December 31, 2016  
Investment Rating
  Investments at
Fair Value
  Percentage of
Total Portfolio
  Investments at
Fair Value
  Percentage of
Total Portfolio
 
 
  (dollars in thousands)
 

1

  $ 276,401     29.1%   $ 253,420     28.4%  

2

  $ 251,114     26.5%     258,085     28.9%  

3

  $ 342,881     36.2%     294,807     33.0%  

4

  $ 65,737     6.9%     75,433     8.5%  

5

  $ 12,063     1.3%     10,847     1.2%  

Total

  $ 948,196     100.0%   $ 892,592     100.0%  

       Based upon our investment rating system, the weighted-average rating of our LMM portfolio was approximately 2.2 and 2.3 as of December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively.

       As of December 31, 2017, our total Investment Portfolio had five investments on non-accrual status, which comprised approximately 0.2% of its fair value and 2.3% of its cost. As of December 31, 2016, our total Investment Portfolio had four investments on non-accrual status, which comprised approximately 0.6% of its fair value and 3.0% of its cost.

       The operating results of our portfolio companies are impacted by changes in the broader fundamentals of the United States economy. In the event that the United States economy contracts, it is likely that the financial results of small to mid-sized companies, like those in which we invest, could experience

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deterioration or limited growth from current levels, which could ultimately lead to difficulty in meeting their debt service requirements, to an increase in defaults on our debt investments or in realized losses on our investments and to difficulty in maintaining historical dividend payment rates and unrealized appreciation on our equity investments. Consequently, we can provide no assurance that the performance of certain portfolio companies will not be negatively impacted by economic cycles or other conditions, which could also have a negative impact on our future results.

DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 
  Twelve Months
Ended
December 31,
  Net Change  
 
  2017   2016   Amount   %  
 
  (dollars in thousands)
 

Total investment income

  $ 205,741   $ 178,339   $ 27,402     15%  

Total expenses

    (70,370 )   (62,537 )   (7,833 )   13%  

Net investment income

    135,371     115,802     19,569     17%  

Net realized gain from investments

    16,182     29,389     (13,207 )      

Net realized loss from SBIC debentures

    (5,217 )       (5,217 )      

Net change in net unrealized appreciation (depreciation) from:

                         

Portfolio investments

    42,545     (8,305 )   50,850        

SBIC debentures and marketable securities and idle funds

    6,212     786     5,426        

Total net change in net unrealized appreciation (depreciation)

    48,757     (7,519 )   56,276        

Income tax benefit (provision)

    (24,471 )   1,227     (25,698 )      

Net increase in net assets resulting from operations

  $ 170,622   $ 138,899   $ 31,723     23%  

 

 
  Twelve Months
Ended
December 31,
  Net Change  
 
  2017   2016   Amount   %  
 
  (dollars in thousands, except per share
amounts)

 

Net investment income

  $ 135,371   $ 115,802   $ 19,569     17%  

Share-based compensation expense

    10,027     8,304     1,723     21%  

Distributable net investment income(a)

  $ 145,398   $ 124,106   $ 21,292     17%  

Net investment income per share — Basic and diluted

  $ 2.39   $ 2.23   $ 0.16     7%  

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

  $ 2.56   $ 2.39   $ 0.17     7%  

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

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       For the year ended December 31, 2017, total investment income was $205.7 million, a 15% increase over the $178.3 million of total investment income for the corresponding period of 2016. This comparable period increase was principally attributable to (i) a $23.2 million increase in interest income primarily related to higher average levels of portfolio debt investments and increased activities involving existing Investment Portfolio debt investments, (ii) a $2.5 million increase in dividend income from Investment Portfolio equity investments and (iii) a $1.8 million increase in fee income. The $27.4 million increase in total investment income in the year ended December 31, 2017 includes (i) an increase of $6.7 million related to higher accelerated prepayment, repricing and other activity for certain portfolio debt investments when compared to the same period in 2016, (ii) an increase of $2.7 million related to interest income activity from portfolio companies that is considered to be less consistent on a recurring basis or non-recurring during the period when compared to the same period in 2016 and (iii) includes $1.7 million related to dividend income activity from portfolio companies that is considered to be less consistent on a recurring basis or non-recurring which is consistent with the amount from such dividend income activity in the same period in 2016.

       For the year ended December 31, 2017, total expenses increased to $70.4 million from $62.5 million for the corresponding period of 2016. This comparable period increase in operating expenses was principally attributable to (i) a $2.8 million increase in interest expense, primarily due to (a) an increase of $1.4 million on the Credit Facility due to the higher average interest rate during 2017, (b) a $0.9 million increase as a result of the issuance of our 4.50% Notes due 2022 in November 2017 and (c) a $0.5 million increase on the SBIC debentures due to the higher average balance as compared to 2016, (ii) a $2.4 million increase in general and administrative expenses, including approximately $0.6 million related to non-recurring professional fees and other expenses incurred on certain potential new portfolio investment opportunities which were terminated during the due diligence and legal documentation processes, (iii) a $2.2 million increase in compensation expense related to increases in the number of personnel, base compensation levels and incentive compensation accruals and (iv) a $1.7 million increase in share-based compensation expense, with these increases partially offset by a $1.3 million increase in the expenses allocated to the External Investment Manager, in each case when compared to the same period in the prior year. For the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, the ratio of our total operating expenses, excluding interest expense and the non-recurring professional fees and other expenses discussed above as a percentage of our quarterly average total assets was 1.5%. Including the effect of the non-recurring expenses, the ratio for the year ended December 31, 2017 was 1.6%.

       Net investment income for the year ended December 31, 2017 was $135.4 million, or a 17% increase, compared to net investment income of $115.8 million for the corresponding period of 2016. The increase in net investment income was principally attributable to the increase in total investment income, partially offset by higher operating expenses both as discussed above.

       For the year ended December 31, 2017, distributable net investment income increased 17% to $145.4 million, or $2.56 per share, compared with $124.1 million, or $2.39 per share in 2016. The increase in distributable net investment income was primarily due to the higher level of total investment income, partially offset by higher operating expenses both as discussed above. Distributable net investment income on

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a per share basis for the year ended December 31, 2017 reflects an (i) increase of approximately $0.16 per share from the comparable period in 2016 attributable to the net increase in the comparable levels of accelerated prepayment, repricing and other, unusual activity for certain Investment Portfolio debt investments and (ii) a greater number of average shares outstanding compared to the corresponding period in 2016 primarily due to shares issued through the ATM Program (as defined in "— Liquidity and Capital Resources — Capital Resources" below), shares issued pursuant to our equity incentive plans and shares issued pursuant to our dividend reinvestment plan.

       The net increase in net assets resulting from operations during the year ended December 31, 2017 was $170.6 million, or $3.01 per share, compared with $138.9 million, or $2.67 per share, during the year ended December 31, 2016. This $31.7 million increase from the prior year was primarily the result of (i) a $56.3 million improvement in net change in unrealized appreciation (depreciation) from portfolio investments and SBIC debentures, including the impact of accounting reversals relating to realized gains/income (losses), from net unrealized depreciation of $7.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2016 to net unrealized appreciation of $48.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, which includes the impact of approximately $15.0 million of unrealized appreciation in the LMM equity portfolio related to the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (see further discussion above in "— Critical Accounting Policies — Income Taxes") and (ii) a $19.6 million increase in net investment income as discussed above, with these increases partially offset by (i) a $25.7 million change in the income tax benefit (provision) from an income tax benefit of $1.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2016 to an income tax provision of $24.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, (ii) a $13.2 million decrease in the net realized gain from investments to a total net realized gain from investments of $16.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2017 and (iii) a $5.2 million realized loss on the repayment of SBIC debentures outstanding at MSC II which had previously been accounted for on the fair value method of accounting. The net realized gain from investments of $16.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2017 was primarily the result of (i) the net realized gain of $11.8 million resulting from gains on the exits of five LMM investments and losses on the exits of four LMM investments, (ii) realized gains of $9.3 million due to activity in our Other Portfolio, (iii) net realized gains of $3.0 million in our Private Loan portfolio resulting from gains on the exits of two Private Loan investments and a loss on the restructure of a Private Loan investment, (iv) realized gains of $2.1 million related to other activity in the LMM portfolio and (v) the net realized loss of $9.8 million in our Middle Market portfolio, which is primarily the result of (a) realized losses of $7.9 million on the exits of two Middle Market investments and (b) the realized loss of $3.5 million on the restructure of a Middle Market investment, with these changes partially offset by $1.5 million of net realized gains on other activity in our Middle Market portfolio. The realized loss of $5.2 million on the repayment of SBIC debentures is related to the previously recognized bargain purchase gain resulting from recording the MSC II debentures at fair value on the date of the acquisition of the majority of the equity interests of MSC II in 2010. The effect of the realized loss is offset by the reversal of all previously recognized unrealized depreciation on these SBIC debentures due to fair value adjustments since the date of the acquisition.

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       The following table provides a summary of the total net unrealized appreciation of $48.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2017:

 
  Twelve Months Ended December 31, 2017  
 
  LMM(a)   Middle
Market
  Private Loan   Other(b)   Total  
 
  (dollars in millions)
 

Accounting reversals of net unrealized (appreciation) depreciation recognized in prior periods due to net realized (gains)/(income) losses recognized during the current period

  $ (11.1 ) $ 5.6   $ (3.1 ) $ (8.1 ) $ (16.7 )

Net change in unrealized appreciation (depreciation) relating to portfolio investments

    50.6     (9.6 )   (3.1 )   21.4     59.3  

Total net change in unrealized appreciation (depreciation) relating to portfolio investments

  $ 39.5   $ (4.0 ) $ (6.2 ) $ 13.3   $ 42.6  

Unrealized appreciation relating to SBIC debentures(c)

                            6.2  

Total net change in unrealized appreciation

                          $ 48.8  

(a)
LMM includes unrealized appreciation on 39 LMM portfolio investments and unrealized depreciation on 25 LMM portfolio investments.

(b)
Other includes $11.2 million of unrealized appreciation relating to the External Investment Manager and $10.2 million of net unrealized appreciation relating to the Other Portfolio.

(c)
Relates to unrealized appreciation on the SBIC debentures held by MSC II which are accounted for on a fair value basis and includes $6.0 million of accounting reversals resulting from the reversal of previously recognized unrealized depreciation recorded since the date of acquisition of MSC II on the debentures repaid due to fair value adjustments since such date and $0.2 million of current period unrealized appreciation on the remaining SBIC debentures.

       The income tax provision for the year ended December 31, 2017 of $24.5 million principally consisted of a deferred tax provision of $19.3 million, which is primarily the result of the net activity relating to our portfolio investments held in our Taxable Subsidiaries, including changes in loss carryforwards, changes in net unrealized appreciation/depreciation and other temporary book-tax differences, and other current tax expense of $5.2 million related to (i) a $1.9 million accrual for excise tax on our estimated undistributed taxable income and (ii) current tax expense of $3.3 million related to accruals for U.S. federal and state income taxes.

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  Twelve Months
Ended
December 31,
  Net Change  
 
  2016   2015   Amount   %  
 
  (dollars in thousands)
 

Total investment income

  $ 178,339   $ 164,589   $ 13,750     8%  

Total expenses

    (62,537 )   (57,515 )   (5,022 )   9%  

Net investment income

    115,802     107,074     8,728     8%  

Net realized gain (loss) from investments

    29,389     (21,316 )   50,705        

Net change in net unrealized appreciation (depreciation) from:

                         

Portfolio investments

    (8,305 )   11,048     (19,353 )      

SBIC debentures and marketable securities and idle funds

    786     (1,056 )   1,842        

Total net change in net unrealized appreciation (depreciation)

    (7,519 )   9,992     (17,511 )      

Income tax benefit

    1,227     8,687     (7,460 )      

Net increase in net assets resulting from operations

  $ 138,899   $ 104,437   $ 34,462     33%  

 

 
  Twelve Months
Ended
December 31,
  Net Change  
 
  2016   2015   Amount   %  
 
  (dollars in thousands, except per share amounts)
 

Net investment income

  $ 115,802   $ 107,074   $ 8,728     8%  

Share-based compensation expense

    8,304     6,262     2,042     33%  

Distributable net investment income(a)

  $ 124,106   $ 113,336   $ 10,770     10%  

Net investment income per share — Basic and diluted

  $ 2.23   $ 2.18   $ 0.05     2%  

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

  $ 2.39   $ 2.31   $ 0.08     3%  

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

       For the year ended December 31, 2016, total investment income was $178.3 million, an 8% increase over the $164.6 million of total investment income for the corresponding period of 2015. This comparable period increase was principally attributable to (i) a $7.4 million increase in interest income primarily related to

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higher average levels of portfolio debt investments and (ii) a $7.9 million increase in dividend income from Investment Portfolio equity investments, partially offset by (i) a $0.7 million decrease in fee income and (ii) a $0.8 million decrease in investment income from Marketable securities and idle funds investments (as defined below). The $13.8 million increase in total investment income in the year ended December 31, 2016 includes an increase of $1.7 million related to dividend income activity from portfolio companies that is considered to be less consistent on a recurring basis or non-recurring during the period when compared to the same period in 2015, partially offset by a decrease of $0.4 million primarily related to lower accelerated prepayment and repricing activity for certain Investment Portfolio debt investments when compared to the same period in 2015.

       For the year ended December 31, 2016, total expenses increased to $62.5 million from $57.5 million for the corresponding period of 2015. This comparable period increase in operating expenses was principally attributable to (i) a $2.0 million increase in share-based compensation expense, (ii) a $1.6 million increase in compensation expense related to increases in the number of personnel, base compensation levels and incentive compensation accruals, (iii) a $1.5 million increase in interest expense, primarily due to an increase in interest expense on the Credit Facility due to the higher average interest rate and balance outstanding in the year ended December 31, 2016 and (iv) a $0.7 million increase in general and administrative expenses, with these increases partially offset by a $0.8 million increase in the expenses allocated to the External Investment Manager, in each case when compared to the same period in the prior year. For the year ended December 31, 2016, the ratio of our total operating expenses, excluding interest expense, as a percentage of our quarterly average total assets was 1.5% compared to 1.4% for the year ended December 31, 2015.

       Net investment income for the year ended December 31, 2016 was $115.8 million, or an 8% increase, compared to net investment income of $107.1 million for the corresponding period of 2015. The increase in net investment income was principally attributable to the increase in total investment income, partially offset by higher operating expenses as discussed above.

       For the year ended December 31, 2016, distributable net investment income increased 10% to $124.1 million, or $2.39 per share, compared with $113.3 million, or $2.31 per share, in the corresponding period of 2015. The increase in distributable net investment income was primarily due to the higher level of total investment income, partially offset by higher operating expenses both as discussed above. Distributable net investment income on a per share basis for the year ended December 31, 2016 reflects an increase of approximately $0.03 per share from the comparable period in 2015 attributable to the increase in dividend income that is considered to be less consistent on a recurring basis or non-recurring, partially offset by (i) a decrease of approximately $0.01 per share from the comparable period in 2015 attributable to the net decrease in the comparable levels of accelerated prepayment, repricing and other activity for certain Investment Portfolio debt investments and (ii) a greater number of average shares outstanding compared to the corresponding period in 2015 primarily due to the March 2015 equity offering, shares issued through the ATM Program (as defined in "— Liquidity and Capital Resources — Capital Resources" below) and shares issued pursuant to our restricted stock plan and dividend reinvestment plan.

       The net increase in net assets resulting from operations during the year ended December 31, 2016 was $138.9 million, or $2.67 per share, compared with $104.4 million, or $2.13 per share, during the year ended December 31, 2015. This $34.5 million increase from the same period in the prior year period was primarily the result of (i) a $50.7 million increase in the net realized gain (loss) from investments from a net realized loss of $21.3 million during the year ended December 31, 2015 to a net realized gain of $29.4 million for the

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year ended December 31, 2016 and (ii) an $8.7 million increase in net investment income as discussed above, partially offset by (i) a $17.5 million decrease in net change in unrealized appreciation (depreciation), including accounting reversals relating to the realized gains (losses), from net unrealized appreciation of $10.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2015 to net unrealized depreciation of $7.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2016 and (ii) a $7.5 million decrease in the income tax benefit from the same period in the prior year. The net realized gain of $29.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2016 was primarily the result of (i) the net realized gain of $57.5 million on the exit five LMM investments and (ii) the net realized gain of $4.2 million due to activity in our Other Portfolio, partially offset by (i) the realized loss of $9.6 million on the exit of three Private Loan investments, (ii) the realized loss of $17.0 million related to the restructuring of five Middle Market investments, (iii) the net realized loss of $4.7 million on the exit of two Middle Market investments and (iv) the realized loss of $1.6 million on the exit of a Marketable securities and idle funds investment.

       The following table provides a summary of the total net unrealized depreciation of $7.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2016:

 
  Twelve Months Ended December 31, 2016  
 
  LMM(a)   Middle
Market
  Private
Loan
  Other(b)   Total  
 
  (dollars in millions)
 

Accounting reversals of net unrealized (appreciation) depreciation recognized in prior periods due to net realized (gains)/losses recognized during period

  $ (53.1 ) $ 25.7   $ 9.5   $ (3.5 ) $ (21.4 )

Net change in unrealized appreciation (depreciation) relating to portfolio investments

    8.2     8.4     (4.0 )   0.5     13.1  

Total net change in unrealized appreciation (depreciation) relating to portfolio investments

  $ (44.9 ) $ 34.1   $ 5.5   $ (3.0 ) $ (8.3 )

Net change in unrealized appreciation relating to marketable securities

                            1.7  

Unrealized depreciation relating to SBIC debentures(c)

                            (0.9 )

Total net change in unrealized appreciation (depreciation)

                          $ (7.5 )

(a)
LMM includes unrealized appreciation on 31 LMM portfolio investments and unrealized depreciation on 27 LMM portfolio investments.

(b)
Other includes $3.3 million of unrealized appreciation relating to the External Investment Manager offset by $2.8 million of net unrealized depreciation relating to the Other Portfolio.

(c)
Relates to unrealized depreciation on the SBIC debentures held by MSC II which are accounted for on a fair value basis.

       The income tax benefit for the year ended December 31, 2016 of $1.2 million principally consisted of a deferred tax benefit of $3.3 million, which is primarily the result of the net activity relating to our portfolio investments held in our Taxable Subsidiaries, including changes in loss carryforwards, changes in net unrealized appreciation/depreciation and other temporary book-tax differences, partially offset by other current tax expense related to (i) a $1.7 million accrual for excise tax on our estimated undistributed taxable income and (ii) other current tax expense of $0.4 million related to accruals for U.S. federal and state income taxes.

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       For the year ended December 31, 2017, we experienced a net increase in cash and cash equivalents in the amount of approximately $27.0 million, which is the result of approximately $72.9 million of cash provided by our operating activities and approximately $45.9 million of cash used in financing activities.

       During the period, $72.9 million of cash was provided by our operating activities, which resulted primarily from (i) cash flows we generated from the operating profits earned through our operating activities totaling $123.1 million, which is our $145.4 million of distributable net investment income, excluding the non-cash effects of the accretion of unearned income of $17.0 million, payment-in-kind interest income of $4.9 million, cumulative dividends of $3.2 million and the amortization expense for deferred financing costs of $2.8 million, (ii) cash uses totaling $876.7 million for the funding of new portfolio company investments and settlement of accruals for portfolio investments existing as of December 31, 2016, and (iii) cash proceeds totaling $826.5 million from (a) $819.4 million in cash proceeds from the sales and repayments of debt investments and sales of and return on capital of equity investments, (b) $4.5 million related to decreases in other assets and (c) $2.6 million related to increases in payables and accruals.

       During the year ended December 31, 2017, $45.9 million in cash was used in financing activities, which principally consisted of (i) $150.9 million in net cash proceeds from the ATM Program (described below), (ii) $185.0 million in cash proceeds from the issuance of 4.50% Notes due 2022 in November 2017 and (iii) $81.0 million in cash proceeds from issuance of SBIC debentures, partially offset by (i) $279.0 million in net repayments on the Credit Facility and (ii) $148.4 million in cash dividends paid to stockholders, (iii) $25.2 million in repayment of SBIC debentures, (iii) $4.4 million for purchases of vested restricted stock from employees to satisfy their tax withholding requirements upon the vesting of such restricted stock and (iv) $5.9 million for payment of deferred debt issuance costs, SBIC debenture fees and other costs.

       For the year ended December 31, 2016, we experienced a net increase in cash and cash equivalents in the amount of approximately $4.1 million, which is the result of approximately $42.7 million of cash used by our operating activities and approximately $46.9 million of cash provided by financing activities.

       During the period, we used $42.7 million of cash from our operating activities, which resulted primarily from (i) cash flows we generated from the operating profits earned through our operating activities totaling $107.8 million, which is our $124.1 million of distributable net investment income, excluding the non-cash effects of the accretion of unearned income of $10.2 million, payment-in-kind interest income of $6.5 million, cumulative dividends of $2.2 million and the amortization expense for deferred financing costs of $2.6 million, (ii) cash uses totaling $641.7 million which primarily resulted from (a) the funding of new portfolio company investments and settlement of accruals for portfolio investments existing as of December 31, 2015, which collectively total $641.2 million, and (b) $0.5 million from the purchase of Marketable securities and idle funds investments and (iii) cash proceeds totaling $491.2 million from (a) $486.2 million in cash proceeds from the sales and repayments of debt investments and sales of and return on capital of equity investments and (b) $4.3 million of cash proceeds from the sale of Marketable securities and idle funds investments and (c) $0.7 million related to increases in payables and accruals.

       During the year ended December 31, 2016, $46.9 million in cash was provided by financing activities, which principally consisted of (i) $112.0 million in net cash proceeds from the ATM Program (described below), (ii) $52.0 million in net cash proceeds from the Credit Facility and (iii) $15.0 million in cash proceeds from issuance of SBIC debentures, partially offset by (i) $127.5 million in cash dividends paid to stockholders, (ii) $2.6 million for purchases of vested restricted stock from employees to satisfy their tax withholding requirements upon the vesting of such restricted stock and (iii) $2.0 million for payment of deferred loan costs, SBIC debenture fees and other costs.

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       As of December 31, 2017, we had $51.5 million in cash and cash equivalents and $521.0 million of unused capacity under the Credit Facility, which we maintain to support our investment and operating activities. As of December 31, 2017, our net asset value totaled $1,380.4 million, or $23.53 per share.

       The Credit Facility was amended in September 2017 to increase the total commitments to $585.0 million from a diversified group of fifteen lenders. The Credit Facility matures in September 2021 and contains an accordion feature which allows us to increase the total commitments under the facility to up to $750.0 million from new and existing lenders on the same terms and conditions as the existing commitments.

       Borrowings under the Credit Facility bear interest, subject to our election, on a per annum basis at a rate equal to the applicable LIBOR rate (1.56% as of December 31, 2017) plus (i) 1.875% (or the applicable base rate (Prime Rate of 4.50% as of December 31, 2017) plus 0.875%) as long as we maintain an investment grade rating and meet certain agreed upon excess collateral and maximum leverage requirements, (ii) 2.0% (or the applicable base rate plus 1.0%) if we maintain an investment grade rating but do not meet certain excess collateral and maximum leverage requirements or (iii) 2.25% (or the applicable base rate plus 1.25%) if we do not maintain an investment grade rating. We pay unused commitment fees of 0.25% per annum on the unused lender commitments under the Credit Facility. The Credit Facility is secured by a first lien on the assets of MSCC and its subsidiaries, excluding the equity ownership or assets of the Funds and the External Investment Manager. The Credit Facility contains certain affirmative and negative covenants, including but not limited to: (i) maintaining a minimum availability of at least 10% of the borrowing base, (ii) maintaining an interest coverage ratio of at least 2.0 to 1.0, (iii) maintaining an asset coverage ratio of at least 1.5 to 1.0 and (iv) maintaining a minimum tangible net worth. The Credit Facility is provided on a revolving basis through its final maturity date in September 2021, and contains two, one-year extension options which could extend the final maturity by up to two years, subject to certain conditions, including lender approval. As of December 31, 2017, we had $64.0 million in borrowings outstanding under the Credit Facility, the interest rate on the Credit Facility was 3.2% and we were in compliance with all financial covenants of the Credit Facility.

       Through the Funds, we have the ability to issue SBIC debentures guaranteed by the SBA at favorable interest rates and favorable terms and conditions up to a maximum amount of $350.0 million. During the year ended December 31, 2017, we issued $81.0 million of SBIC debentures and opportunistically prepaid $25.2 million of our existing SBIC debentures as part of an effort to manage the maturity dates of our oldest SBIC debentures, leaving $54.2 million of remaining capacity under our SBIC licenses. Debentures guaranteed by the SBA have fixed interest rates that equal prevailing 10-year Treasury Note rates plus a market spread and have a maturity of ten years with interest payable semiannually. The principal amount of the debentures is not required to be paid before maturity, but may be pre-paid at any time with no prepayment penalty. We expect to issue new SBIC debentures under the SBIC program in the future in an amount up to the regulatory maximum amount of $350.0 million for affiliated SBIC funds. As of December 31, 2017, through our three wholly owned SBICs, we had $295.8 million of outstanding SBIC debentures guaranteed by the SBA, which bear a weighted-average annual fixed interest rate of approximately 3.6%, paid semiannually, and mature ten years from issuance. The first maturity related to our SBIC debentures occurs in 2019, and the weighted-average remaining duration is approximately 5.8 years as of December 31, 2017.

       In April 2013, we issued $92.0 million, including the underwriters' full exercise of their over-allotment option, in aggregate principal amount of the 6.125% Notes (the "6.125% Notes"). The 6.125% Notes are unsecured obligations and rank pari passu with our current and future unsecured indebtedness; senior to any of our future indebtedness that expressly provides it is subordinated to the 6.125% Notes; effectively subordinated to all of our existing and future secured indebtedness, to the extent of the value of the assets securing such indebtedness, including borrowings under our Credit Facility; and structurally subordinated to all existing and future indebtedness and other obligations of any of our subsidiaries, including without limitation, the indebtedness of the Funds. The 6.125% Notes mature on April 1, 2023, and may be redeemed

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in whole or in part at any time or from time to time at our option on or after April 1, 2018. We may from time to time repurchase 6.125% Notes in accordance with the 1940 Act and the rules promulgated thereunder. As of December 31, 2017, the outstanding balance of the 6.125% Notes was $90.7 million.

       The indenture governing the 6.125% Notes (the "6.125% Notes Indenture") contains certain covenants, including covenants requiring our compliance with (regardless of whether we are subject to) the asset coverage requirements set forth in Section 18(a)(1)(A) as modified by Section 61(a)(1) of the 1940 Act, as well as covenants requiring us to provide financial information to the holders of the 6.125% Notes and the Trustee if we cease to be subject to the reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These covenants are subject to limitations and exceptions that are described in the 6.125% Notes Indenture.

       In November 2014, we issued $175.0 million in aggregate principal amount of the 4.50% Notes (the "4.50% Notes due 2019") at an issue price of 99.53%. The 4.50% Notes due 2019 are unsecured obligations and rank pari passu with our current and future unsecured indebtedness; senior to any of our future indebtedness that expressly provides it is subordinated to the 4.50% Notes due 2019; effectively subordinated to all of our existing and future secured indebtedness, to the extent of the value of the assets securing such indebtedness, including borrowings under our Credit Facility; and structurally subordinated to all existing and future indebtedness and other obligations of any of our subsidiaries, including without limitation, the indebtedness of the Funds. The 4.50% Notes due 2019 mature on December 1, 2019, and may be redeemed in whole or in part at any time at our option subject to certain make-whole provisions. The 4.50% Notes due 2019 bear interest at a rate of 4.50% per year payable semiannually on June 1 and December 1 of each year, beginning June 1, 2015. We may from time to time repurchase 4.50% Notes due 2019 in accordance with the 1940 Act and the rules promulgated thereunder. As of December 31, 2017, the outstanding balance of the 4.50% Notes due 2019 was $175.0 million.

       The indenture governing the 4.50% Notes due 2019 (the "4.50% Notes due 2019 Indenture") contains certain covenants, including covenants requiring our compliance with (regardless of whether we are subject to) the asset coverage requirements set forth in Section 18(a)(1)(A) as modified by Section 61(a)(1) of the 1940 Act, as well as covenants requiring us to provide financial information to the holders of the 4.50% Notes due 2019 and the Trustee if we cease to be subject to the reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These covenants are subject to limitations and exceptions that are described in the 4.50% Notes due 2019 Indenture.

       In November 2017, we issued $185.0 million in aggregate principal amount of the 4.50% Notes (the "4.50% Notes due 2022") at an issue price of 99.16%. The 4.50% Notes due 2022 are unsecured obligations and rank pari passu with our current and future unsecured indebtedness; senior to any of our future indebtedness that expressly provides it is subordinated to the 4.50% Notes due 2022; effectively subordinated to all of our existing and future secured indebtedness, to the extent of the value of the assets securing such indebtedness, including borrowings under our Credit Facility; and structurally subordinated to all existing and future indebtedness and other obligations of any of our subsidiaries, including without limitation, the indebtedness of the Funds. The 4.50% Notes due 2022 mature on December 1, 2022, and may be redeemed in whole or in part at any time at our option subject to certain make-whole provisions. The 4.50% Notes due 2022 bear interest at a rate of 4.50% per year payable semiannually on June 1 and December 1 of each year, beginning June 1, 2018. We may from time to time repurchase 4.50% Notes due 2022 in accordance with the 1940 Act and the rules promulgated thereunder. As of December 31, 2017, the outstanding balance of the 4.50% Notes due 2022 was $185.0 million.

       The indenture governing the 4.50% Notes due 2022 (the "4.50% Notes due 2022 Indenture") contains certain covenants, including covenants requiring our compliance with (regardless of whether we are subject to) the asset coverage requirements set forth in Section 18(a)(1)(A) as modified by Section 61(a)(1) of the 1940 Act, as well as covenants requiring us to provide financial information to the holders of the 4.50% Notes due 2022 and the Trustee if we cease to be subject to the reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These covenants are subject to limitations and exceptions that are described in the 4.50% Notes due 2022 Indenture.

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       During March 2015, we completed a follow-on public equity offering of 4,370,000 shares of common stock, including the underwriters' full exercise of their option to purchase 570,000 additional shares, resulting in total net proceeds, including exercise of the underwriters' option to purchase additional shares and after deducting underwriting discounts and estimated offering expenses payable by us, of approximately $127.8 million.

       In November 2015, we commenced a program with certain selling agents through which we can sell shares of our common stock by means of at-the-market offerings from time to time (the "ATM Program"). During the year ended December 31, 2015, we sold 140,568 shares of our common stock at a weighted-average price of $31.98 per share and raised $4.5 million of gross proceeds under the ATM Program. Net proceeds were $4.3 million after commissions to the selling agents on shares sold and offering costs.

       During the year ended December 31, 2016, we sold 3,324,646 shares of our common stock at a weighted-average price of $34.17 per share and raised $113.6 million of gross proceeds under the ATM Program. Net proceeds were $112.0 million after commissions to the selling agents on shares sold and offering costs. As of December 31, 2016, sales transactions representing 42,413 shares had not settled and are not included in shares issued and outstanding on the face of the consolidated balance sheet, but are included in the weighted-average shares outstanding in the consolidated statement of operations and in the shares used to calculate our net asset value per share.

       During the year ended December 31, 2017, we sold 3,944,972 shares of our common stock at a weighted-average price of $38.72 per share and raised $152.8 million of gross proceeds under the ATM Program. Net proceeds were $150.9 million after commissions to the selling agents on shares sold and offering costs. As of December 31, 2017, 1,911,356 shares remained available for sale under the ATM Program.

       We anticipate that we will continue to fund our investment activities through existing cash and cash equivalents, cash flows generated through our ongoing operating activities, utilization of available borrowings under our Credit Facility, and a combination of future issuances of debt and equity capital. Our primary uses of funds will be investments in portfolio companies, operating expenses and cash distributions to holders of our common stock.

       We periodically invest excess cash balances into Marketable securities and idle funds investments. The primary investment objective of Marketable securities and idle funds investments is to generate incremental cash returns on excess cash balances prior to utilizing those funds for investment in our LMM, Middle Market and Private Loan portfolio investments. Marketable securities and idle funds investments generally consist of debt investments, independently rated debt investments, certificates of deposit with financial institutions, diversified bond funds and publicly traded debt and equity investments.

       If our common stock trades below our net asset value per share, we will generally not be able to issue additional common stock at the market price unless our stockholders approve such a sale and our Board of Directors makes certain determinations. We did not seek stockholder authorization to sell shares of our common stock below the then current net asset value per share of our common stock at our 2017 annual meeting of stockholders because our common stock price per share had been trading significantly above the net asset value per share of our common stock since 2011. We would therefore need future approval from our stockholders to issue shares below the then current net asset value per share.

       In order to satisfy the Code requirements applicable to a RIC, we intend to distribute to our stockholders, after consideration and application of our ability under the Code to carry forward certain excess undistributed taxable income from one tax year into the next tax year, substantially all of our taxable income. In addition, as a BDC, we generally are required to meet a coverage ratio of total assets to total senior securities, which include borrowings and any preferred stock we may issue in the future, of at least 200%. This requirement limits the amount that we may borrow. In January 2008, we received an exemptive order from the SEC to exclude SBA-guaranteed debt securities issued by MSMF and any other wholly owned subsidiaries of ours

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which operate as SBICs from the asset coverage requirements of the 1940 Act as applicable to us, which, in turn, enables us to fund more investments with debt capital.

       Although we have been able to secure access to additional liquidity, including through the Credit Facility, public debt issuances, leverage available through the SBIC program and equity offerings, there is no assurance that debt or equity capital will be available to us in the future on favorable terms, or at all.

       In May 2014, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update ("ASU") 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606). ASU 2014-09 supersedes the revenue recognition requirements under ASC 605, Revenue Recognition, and most industry-specific guidance throughout the Industry Topics of the ASC. The core principle of the guidance is that an entity should recognize revenue to depict the transfer of promised goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which an entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services. Under the new guidance, an entity is required to perform the following five steps: (1) identify the contract(s) with a customer; (2) identify the performance obligations in the contract; (3) determine the transaction price; (4) allocate the transaction price to the performance obligations in the contract; and (5) recognize revenue when (or as) the entity satisfies a performance obligation. The new guidance will significantly enhance comparability of revenue recognition practices across entities, industries, jurisdictions and capital markets. Additionally, the guidance requires improved disclosures as to the nature, amount, timing and uncertainty of revenue that is recognized. In March 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-08, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606): Principal versus Agent Considerations (Reporting Revenue Gross versus Net), which clarified the implementation guidance on principal versus agent considerations. In April 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-10, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606): Identifying Performance Obligations and Licensing, which clarified the implementation guidance regarding performance obligations and licensing arrangements. In May 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-12, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606) — Narrow-Scope Improvements and Practical Expedients, which clarified guidance on assessing collectability, presenting sales tax, measuring noncash consideration, and certain transition matters. In December 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-20, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606) — Technical Corrections and Improvements, which provided disclosure relief, and clarified the scope and application of the new revenue standard and related cost guidance. The new guidance will be effective for the annual reporting period beginning after December 15, 2017, including interim periods within that reporting period. Early adoption would be permitted for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2016. We expect to identify similar performance obligations under ASC 606 as compared with deliverables and separate units of account previously identified. As a result, we expect timing of our revenue recognition to remain the same.

       In April 2015, the FASB issued ASU 2015-03, Interest — Imputation of Interest (Subtopic 835-30): Simplifying the Presentation of Debt Issuance Costs, which requires debt financing costs related to a recognized debt liability to be presented on the balance sheet as a direct deduction from the related debt liability, similar to the presentation of debt discounts. Additionally in August 2015, the FASB issued ASU 2015-15, Interest — Imputation of Interest: Presentation and Subsequent Measurement of Debt Issuance Costs Associated with Line-of-Credit Arrangements, which provides further clarification on the same topic and states that the SEC would not object to the deferral and presentation of debt issuance costs as an asset and subsequent amortization of the deferred costs over the term of the line-of-credit arrangement, regardless of whether there are any outstanding borrowings on the line-of-credit arrangement. The Company adopted the guidance for debt arrangements that are not line-of-credit arrangements for the three months ended June 30, 2017. Comparative financial statements of prior interim and annual periods have been adjusted to apply the new method retrospectively. As a result of the adoption, the Company reclassified $7.9 million of deferred financing costs assets to a direct deduction from the related debt liability on the consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2016. The adoption of this guidance had no impact on net assets, the consolidated statements of operations or the consolidated statements of cash flows.

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       In May 2015, the FASB issued ASU 2015-07, Fair Value Measurements — Disclosures for Certain Entities that Calculate Net Asset Value per Share. This amendment updates guidance intended to eliminate the diversity in practice surrounding how investments measured at net asset value under the practical expedient with future redemption dates have been categorized in the fair value hierarchy. Under the updated guidance, investments for which fair value is measured at net asset value per share using the practical expedient should no longer be categorized in the fair value hierarchy, while investments for which fair value is measured at net asset value per share but the practical expedient is not applied should continue to be categorized in the fair value hierarchy. The updated guidance requires retrospective adoption for all periods presented and is effective for interim and annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2015, with early adoption permitted. The Company adopted this standard during the three months ended March 31, 2016. There was no impact of the adoption of this new accounting standard on our consolidated financial statements as none of our investments are measured through the use of the practical expedient.

       In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-02, Leases, which requires lessees to recognize on the balance sheet a right-of-use asset, representing its right to use the underlying asset for the lease term, and a lease liability for all leases with terms greater than 12 months. The guidance also requires qualitative and quantitative disclosures designed to assess the amount, timing, and uncertainty of cash flows arising from leases. The standard requires the use of a modified retrospective transition approach, which includes a number of optional practical expedients that entities may elect to apply. The new guidance is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2018, and interim periods therein. Early application is permitted. While we continue to assess the effect of adoption, we currently believe the most significant change relates to the recognition of a new right-of-use asset and lease liability on our consolidated balance sheet for our office space operating lease. We currently have one operating lease for office space and do not expect a significant change in our leasing activity between now and adoption. See further discussion of our operating lease obligation in "Note M — Commitments and Contingences" in the notes to the consolidated financial statements.

       In March 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-09, Compensation — Stock Compensation: Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting, which is intended to simplify several aspects of the accounting for share-based payment transactions, including the income tax consequences, classification of awards as either equity or liabilities, and classification on the statement of cash flows. The guidance is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2016, and interim periods therein. Early application is permitted. The Company elected to early adopt this standard during the three months ended March 31, 2016. See further discussion of the impact of the adoption of this standard in "Note B.8. — Summary of Significant Accounting Policies — Share-based Compensation" in the notes to consolidated financial statements.

       In August 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-15, Statement of Cash Flows (Topic 230), which is intended to reduce the existing diversity in practice in how certain cash receipts and cash payments are presented and classified in the statement of cash flows. The guidance is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2017, and interim periods therein. Early application is permitted. The impact of the adoption of this new accounting standard on our consolidated financial statements is not expected to be material.

       From time to time, new accounting pronouncements are issued by the FASB or other standards setting bodies that are adopted by us as of the specified effective date. We believe that the impact of recently issued standards and any that are not yet effective will not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements upon adoption.

       Inflation has not had a significant effect on our results of operations in any of the reporting periods presented herein. However, our portfolio companies have experienced, and may in the future experience, the impacts of inflation on their operating results, including periodic escalations in their costs for labor, raw materials and third-party services and required energy consumption.

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       We may be a party to financial instruments with off-balance sheet risk in the normal course of business to meet the financial needs of our portfolio companies. These instruments include commitments to extend credit and fund equity capital and involve, to varying degrees, elements of liquidity and credit risk in excess of the amount recognized in the balance sheet. At December 31, 2017, we had a total of $118.7 million in outstanding commitments comprised of (i) 36 investments with commitments to fund revolving loans that had not been fully drawn or term loans with additional commitments not yet funded and (ii) 11 investments with equity capital commitments that had not been fully called.

       As of December 31, 2017, the future fixed commitments for cash payments in connection with our SBIC debentures, the 4.50% Notes due 2019, the 4.50% Notes due 2022 and the 6.125% Notes and rent obligations under our office lease for each of the next five years and thereafter are as follows:

 
  2018   2019   2020   2021   2022   Thereafter   Total  

SBIC debentures

  $   $ 20,000   $ 55,000   $ 40,000   $ 5,000   $ 175,800   $ 295,800  

Interest due on SBIC debentures

    10,678     10,907     9,717     7,164     6,152     18,669     63,287  

6.125% Notes

                        90,655     90,655  

Interest due on 6.125% Notes

    5,553     5,553     5,553     5,553     5,553     1,386     29,151  

4.50% Notes due 2019

        175,000                     175,000  

Interest due on 4.50% Notes due 2019

    7,875     7,875                     15,750  

4.50% Notes due 2022

                    185,000         185,000  

Interest due on 4.50% Notes due 2022

    8,533     8,325     8,325     8,325     8,325         41,833  

Operating Lease Obligation(1)

    346     749     763     777     791     4,239     7,665  

Total

  $ 32,985   $ 228,409   $ 79,358   $ 61,819   $ 210,821   $ 290,749   $ 904,141  

(1)
The interest due on the $21.0 million of SBIC debentures drawn in 2017 does not have a final rate that has been fixed by the SBA as of December 31, 2017. In March 2018, the final rate for these SBIC debentures will be determined and, thereafter, the rate will be fixed for the ensuing 10 years. For this $21.0 million of the SBIC debentures, the table above assumes a ten year fixed rate from March 2018 to maturity based on the most recent fixed rate charged by the SBA. The rates and related future interest payments for these debentures will be adjusted once the final rate is determined.

(2)
Operating Lease Obligation means a rent payment obligation under a lease classified as an operating lease and disclosed pursuant to FASB ASC 840, as may be modified or supplemented.

       As of December 31, 2017, we had $64.0 million in borrowings outstanding under our Credit Facility, and the Credit Facility is currently scheduled to mature in September 2021. The Credit Facility contains two, one-year extension options which could extend the maturity to September 2023, subject to lender approval. See further discussion of the Credit Facility terms in "— Liquidity and Capital Resources — Capital Resources."

       As discussed further above, the External Investment Manager is treated as a wholly owned portfolio company of MSCC and is included as part of our Investment Portfolio. At December 31, 2017, we had a receivable of approximately $2.9 million due from the External Investment Manager which included approximately $2.0 million primarily related to operating expenses incurred by us as required to support the External Investment Manager's business and amounts due from the External Investment Manager to Main Street under a tax sharing agreement (see further discussion above in "— Critical Accounting

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Policies — Income Taxes") and approximately $0.9 million of dividends declared but not paid by the External Investment Manager.

       In November 2015, our Board of Directors approved and adopted the Main Street Capital Corporation Deferred Compensation Plan (the "2015 Deferred Compensation Plan"). The 2015 Deferred Compensation Plan became effective on January 1, 2016 and replaced the Deferred Compensation Plan for Non-Employee Directors previously adopted by the Board of Directors in June 2013 (the "2013 Deferred Compensation Plan"). Under the 2015 Deferred Compensation Plan, non-employee directors and certain key employees may defer receipt of some or all of their cash compensation and directors' fees, subject to certain limitations. Individuals participating in the 2015 Deferred Compensation Plan receive distributions of their respective balances based on predetermined payout schedules or other events as defined by the plan and are also able to direct investments made on their behalf among investment alternatives permitted from time to time under the plan, including phantom Main Street stock units. As of December 31, 2017, $4.0 million of compensation and directors' fees had been deferred under the 2015 Deferred Compensation Plan (including amounts previously deferred under the 2013 Deferred Compensation Plan). Of this amount, $2.5 million was deferred into phantom Main Street stock units, representing 74,487 shares of our common stock. Including phantom stock units issued through dividend reinvestment, the phantom stock units outstanding as of December 31, 2017 represented 89,040 shares of our common stock. Any amounts deferred under the plan represented by phantom Main Street stock units will not be issued or included as outstanding on the consolidated statements of changes in net assets until such shares are actually distributed to the participant in accordance with the plan, but are included in operating expenses and weighted-average shares outstanding in our consolidated statements of operations as earned.

Recent Developments

       During January 2018, we made a new portfolio investment to facilitate the minority recapitalization of Brewer Crane, LLC ("Brewer"), a leading Southern California full-service crane rental service provider. We, along with a co-investor, partnered with Brewer's founder and Chief Executive Officer to facilitate the transaction, with us funding $14.2 million in a combination of first-lien, senior secured term debt and a direct equity investment. Headquartered in Lakeside, California, and founded in 1997, Brewer provides crane rental services to San Diego County and the surrounding Southern California area, offering mobile cranes, tower cranes, skilled operators, construction hoists, hauling, rigging, storage, service and repairs, and miscellaneous equipment rental.

       In February 2018, we fully exited our debt and equity investments in SoftTouch Medical Holdings, LLC ("SoftTouch"), a leading provider of home medical equipment and services, serving pediatric patients across the states of Georgia and Alabama. SoftTouch provides a broad array of medical equipment and services to chronically ill youth through its diverse product offerings, including respiratory therapy, enteral feeding, phototherapy, ventilators, amongst others. We realized a gain of approximately $5.2 million on the exit of our equity investment in SoftTouch.

       In February 2018, we made a new portfolio investment to facilitate the management led buyout of DMS Holdco, LLC. ("DMS"), a leading provider of omni-channel direct marketing services. We, along with a co-investor, partnered with the DMS' management team to facilitate the transaction, with us funding $27.2 million in a combination of first-lien, senior secured term debt and a direct equity investment. Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and founded in 1982, DMS develops and executes end-to-end, omni-channel direct marketing services including strategy, creative design, direct mail production/fulfillment, and digital marketing to various end markets including the FinTech, banking, telecom and technology industries.

       During February 2018, we declared regular monthly dividends of $0.190 per share for each of April, May and June 2018. These regular monthly dividends equal a total of $0.570 per share for the second quarter of 2018. The second quarter 2018 regular monthly dividends represent a 2.7% increase from the dividends

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declared for the second quarter of 2017. Including the dividends declared for the second quarter of 2018, we will have paid $22.530 per share in cumulative dividends since our October 2007 initial public offering.

Item 7A.    Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk

       We are subject to financial market risks, including changes in interest rates. Changes in interest rates may affect both our cost of funding and our interest income from portfolio investments. Our risk management systems and procedures are designed to identify and analyze our risk, to set appropriate policies and limits and to continually monitor these risks. Our investment income will be affected by changes in various interest rates, including LIBOR and prime rates, to the extent that any debt investments include floating interest rates. The majority of our debt investments are made with either fixed interest rates or floating rates that are subject to contractual minimum interest rates for the term of the investment. As of December 31, 2017, approximately 72% of our debt investment portfolio (at cost) bore interest at floating rates, 96% of which were subject to contractual minimum interest rates. Our interest expense will be affected by changes in the published LIBOR rate in connection with our Credit Facility; however, the interest rates on our outstanding SBIC debentures, 4.50% Notes due 2019, 4.50% Notes due 2022 and 6.125% Notes, which comprise the majority of our outstanding debt, are fixed for the life of such debt. As of December 31, 2017, we had not entered into any interest rate hedging arrangements. The following table shows the approximate annualized increase or decrease in the components of net investment income due to hypothetical base rate changes in interest rates, assuming no changes in our investments and borrowings as of December 31, 2017.

Basis Point Change
  Increase
(Decrease)
in Interest
Income
  (Increase)
Decrease
in Interest
Expense
  Increase
(Decrease) in Net
Investment
Income
  Increase
(Decrease) in Net
Investment
Income per Share