424B2 1 tm2039737-1_424b2.htm 424B2 tm2039737-1_424b2 - none - 125.7841268s
The information in this preliminary prospectus supplement is not complete and may be changed. A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with and declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission. This preliminary prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus are not an offer to sell and are not soliciting offers to buy these securities in any state where such offer or sale is not permitted.
 Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2)​
 Registration No. 333-231111​
SUBJECT TO COMPLETION, DATED JANUARY 11, 2021
PRELIMINARY PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT
(To Prospectus Dated June 21, 2019)
Stellus Capital Investment Corporation
$         
     % Notes due 2026
We are an externally managed, closed-end, non-diversified management investment company that has elected to be regulated as a business development company (“BDC”) under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). Our investment objective is to maximize the total return to our stockholders in the form of current income and capital appreciation. The companies in which we invest are typically highly leveraged, and, in most cases, our investments in such companies will not be rated by national rating agencies. If such investments were rated, we believe that they would likely receive a rating below investment grade (i.e., below BBB or Baa), which are often referred to as “junk.”
Stellus Capital Management, LLC serves as our investment adviser and as our administrator.
We are offering $      million in aggregate principal amount of    % notes due 2026 (the “Notes”). The Notes will mature on March  30, 2026. We will pay interest on the Notes on March 30 and September 30 of each year, beginning September 30, 2021. We may redeem the Notes in whole or in part at any time or from time to time, at the redemption price set forth under the section titled “Description of the Notes—Optional Redemption” in this prospectus supplement. In addition, holders of the Notes can require us to repurchase some or all of the Notes at a purchase price equal to 100% of their principal amount, plus accrued and unpaid interest to, but not including, the repurchase date, upon the occurrence of a Change of Control Repurchase Event (as defined herein). See “Description of the Notes—​Offer to Repurchase upon a Change of Control Repurchase Event” in this prospectus supplement for more information. The Notes will be issued in minimum denominations of  $2,000 and integral multiples of  $1,000 in excess thereof.
The Notes will be our direct unsecured obligations and rank equal in right of payment with all outstanding and future unsecured, unsubordinated indebtedness issued by us. Because the Notes will not be secured by any of our assets, they will be effectively subordinated to all of our existing and future secured indebtedness (or any indebtedness that is initially unsecured as to which we subsequently grant security) to the extent of the value of the assets securing such indebtedness. The Notes will be structurally subordinated to all existing and future indebtedness and other obligations of any of our subsidiaries because the Notes will be obligations exclusively of Stellus Capital Investment Corporation and not of any of our subsidiaries. The Notes will be senior in right of payment to any future outstanding series of our preferred stock. None of our subsidiaries is a guarantor of the Notes and the Notes will not be required to be guaranteed by any subsidiary we may acquire or create in the future. As of September 30, 2020, we had $396.9 million in principal amount of debt outstanding of which $209.9 million was unsecured and unsubordinated indebtedness and $187.0 million was secured indebtedness. None of our current indebtedness will be subordinated to the Notes. For further discussion, see the section titled “Description of the Notes” in this prospectus supplement.
We do not intend to list the Notes on any securities exchange or automated dealer quotation system.
This prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus, any free writing prospectus, and the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus contain important information you should know before investing in the Notes, including information about risks. Please read these documents before you invest and retain them for future reference. Additional information about us, including our annual, quarterly and current reports and proxy statements, has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), and can be accessed free of charge at its website at www.sec.gov. This information is also available free of charge by contacting us at 4400 Post Oak Parkway, Suite 2200, Houston, TX 77027, Attention: Investor Relations, by emailing us at info@stelluscapital.com, by calling us collect at (713) 292-5400 or on our website at www.stelluscapital.com (under the Public Investors section), which, except for the documents incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, is not part of this prospectus supplement nor the accompanying prospectus. See “Available Information” on page S-48 of this prospectus supplement.
Investing in the Notes involves a high degree of risk, including the risk of leverage. Before buying any Notes, you should read the material risks described in the “Supplementary Risk Factors” section beginning on page S-11 of this prospectus supplement and “Risk Factors” beginning on page 17 of the accompanying prospectus and in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, our most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, as well as any of our subsequent SEC filings.
THE NOTES ARE NOT DEPOSITS OR OTHER OBLIGATIONS OF A BANK AND ARE NOT INSURED BY THE FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION OR ANY OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCY.
Neither the SEC nor any state securities commission, nor any other regulatory body, has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
Per Note
Total
Public offering price (1)
$ $
Underwriting discount (sales load)
$ $
Proceeds, before expenses, to us (2)
$ $
(1)
The public offering price set forth above does not include accrued interest, if any. Interest on the Notes will accrue from January   , 2021 and must be paid by the purchaser if the Notes are delivered after January           , 2021.
(2)
Total expenses of the offering payable by us, excluding the underwriting discount, are estimated to be $      million. See “Underwriting” on page S-45 of this prospectus supplement.
Delivery of the Notes in book-entry form only through The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) will be made on or about January   , 2021.
Sole Book-Running Manager
Raymond James
The date of this prospectus supplement is January   , 2021

 
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Prospectus Supplement
Page
Capitalization
Prospectus
99
109
119
121
123
126
131
133
140
146
 
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147
148
161
163
168
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169
169
169
170
F-1
 
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ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT
This document is in two parts. The first part is this prospectus supplement, which describes the specific details regarding this offering of Notes and also adds to and updates information contained in the accompanying prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. The second part is the accompanying prospectus, which provides general information about us and the securities we may offer from time to time, some of which may not apply to this offering. To the extent the information contained in this prospectus supplement differs from the information contained in the accompanying prospectus or the information included in any document filed prior to the date of this prospectus supplement and incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, the information in this prospectus supplement shall control. Generally, when we refer to this “prospectus”, we are referring to both this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus combined, together with any free writing prospectus that we have authorized for use in connection with this offering.
YOU SHOULD RELY ONLY ON THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT AND THE ACCOMPANYING PROSPECTUS, INCLUDING THE DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE HEREIN AND THEREIN, AND ANY FREE WRITING PROSPECTUS PREPARED BY, OR ON BEHALF OF, US THAT RELATES TO THIS OFFERING OF THE NOTES. WE HAVE NOT, AND THE UNDERWRITER HAS NOT, AUTHORIZED ANY OTHER PERSON TO PROVIDE YOU WITH DIFFERENT OR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION. IF ANYONE PROVIDES YOU WITH DIFFERENT OR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, YOU SHOULD NOT RELY ON IT. WE ARE NOT, AND THE UNDERWRITER IS NOT, MAKING AN OFFER TO SELL THESE NOTES IN ANY JURISDICTION WHERE THE OFFER OR SALE IS NOT PERMITTED. YOU SHOULD ASSUME THAT THE INFORMATION APPEARING IN THIS PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT AND THE ACCOMPANYING PROSPECTUS, INCLUDING THE DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE HEREIN AND THEREIN, AND ANY FREE WRITING PROSPECTUS PREPARED BY OR ON BEHALF OF US THAT RELATES TO THIS OFFERING OF NOTES IS ACCURATE ONLY AS OF ITS RESPECTIVE DATE, REGARDLESS OF THE TIME OF DELIVERY OF THIS PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT, THE ACCOMPANYING PROSPECTUS, ANY FREE WRITING PROSPECTUS OR ANY SALES OF THE NOTES. OUR BUSINESS, FINANCIAL CONDITION, RESULTS OF OPERATIONS AND PROSPECTS MAY HAVE CHANGED SINCE THOSE DATES.
 
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PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT SUMMARY
The following summary highlights some of the information included elsewhere, or incorporated by reference, in this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus. It is not complete and may not contain all the information that you should consider before making your investment decision regarding the Notes offered hereby. To understand the terms of the Notes offered hereby before making your investment decision, you should carefully read this entire prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, including the documents incorporated by reference herein or therein, and any free writing prospectus related to the offering of Notes, including “Supplementary Risk Factors,” “Risk Factors,” “Available Information,” “Incorporation by Reference,” and “Use of Proceeds” and the financial statements contained elsewhere or incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. Together, these documents describe the specific terms of the Notes we are offering.
Except as otherwise indicated, the terms “we,” “us,” “our,” and the “Company” refer to Stellus Capital Investment Corporation and our consolidated subsidiaries; and “Stellus Capital Management” refers to our investment adviser and administrator, Stellus Capital Management, LLC.
Stellus Capital Investment Corporation
We are an externally managed, closed-end, non-diversified management investment company that has elected to be regulated as a business development company (“BDC”), under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). We originate and invest primarily in privately-held middle-market companies (typically those with $5.0 million to $50.0 million of EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization)) through first lien (including unitranche), second lien, and unsecured debt financing, often with corresponding equity co-investments. Unitranche structures may combine characteristics of first lien senior secured as well as second lien and/or subordinated loans and our unitranche loans will expose us to the risks associated with second lien and subordinated loans to the extent we invest in the “last-out” tranche. Unsecured debt includes senior unsecured and subordinated loans.
Our investment activities are managed by our investment adviser, Stellus Capital Management, an investment advisory firm led by Robert T. Ladd and its other senior investment professionals. We source investments primarily through the extensive network of relationships that the senior investment professionals of Stellus Capital Management have developed with financial sponsor firms, financial institutions, middle-market companies, management teams and other professional intermediaries. The companies in which we invest are typically highly leveraged, and, in most cases, our investments in such companies will not be rated by national rating agencies. If such investments were rated, we believe that they would likely receive a rating which is often referred to as “junk.”
Our investment objective is to maximize the total return to our stockholders in the form of current income and capital appreciation. We seek to achieve our investment objective by:

accessing the extensive origination channels that have been developed and established by the Stellus Capital Management investment professionals that include long-standing relationships with private equity firms, commercial banks, investment banks and other financial services firms;

investing in what we believe to be companies with strong business fundamentals, generally within our core middle-market company focus;

focusing on a variety of industry sectors, including business services, energy, general industrial, government services, healthcare, software and specialty finance;

focusing primarily on directly originated transactions;

applying the disciplined underwriting standards that the Stellus Capital Management investment professionals have developed over their extensive investing careers; and
 
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capitalizing upon the experience and resources of the Stellus Capital Management investment team to monitor our investments.
We previously received an exemptive order (the “Prior Order”) from the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) to co-invest with private funds managed by Stellus Capital Management where doing so is consistent with our investment strategy as well as applicable law (including the terms and conditions of the exemptive order issued by the SEC). On December 18, 2018, we received a new exemptive order (the “Order”) that supersedes the Prior Order and permits us greater flexibility to enter into co-investment transactions. The Order expands on the Prior Order and allows us to co-invest with additional types of private funds, other BDCs, and registered investment companies managed by Stellus Capital Management or an adviser that is controlled, controlling, or under common control with Stellus Capital Management, subject to the conditions included therein. Pursuant to the Order, a “required majority” (as defined in Section 57(o) of the 1940 Act) of our independent directors must make certain conclusions in connection with a co-investment transaction, including (1) the terms of the proposed transaction, including the consideration to be paid, are reasonable and fair to the Company and its stockholders and do not involve overreaching of the Company or its stockholders on the part of any person concerned and (2) the transaction is consistent with the interests of the Company’s stockholders and is consistent with its investment objectives and strategies. We co-invest, subject to the conditions in the Order, with private credit funds managed by Stellus Capital Management that have an investment strategy that is similar or identical to our investment strategy, and the we may co-invest with other BDCs and registered investment companies managed by Stellus Capital Management or an adviser that is controlled, controlling, or under common control with Stellus Capital Management in the future. We believe that such co-investments may afford it additional investment opportunities and an ability to achieve greater diversification.
As a BDC, we are required to comply with certain regulatory requirements. Prior to June 29, 2018, we were only allowed to employ leverage to the extent that our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, was equal to at least 200% after giving effect to such leverage. On March 23, 2018, the Small Business Credit Availability Act (the “SBCAA”) was signed into law, which included various changes to regulations under the federal securities laws that impact BDCs. The SBCAA included changes to the 1940 Act to allow BDCs to decrease their asset coverage requirement to 150% from 200% under certain circumstances.
On April 4, 2018, our board of directors, or the “Board”, including a “required majority” (as such term is defined in Section 57(o) of the 1940 Act) of the Board, approved the application of the modified asset coverage requirements set forth in Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act. The Board also approved the submission of a proposal to approve the application of the modified asset coverage requirements set forth in Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act, which was approved by stockholders at the Company’s 2018 annual meeting of stockholders. As a result, the asset coverage ratio test applicable to the Company for purposes of the 1940 Act was decreased from 200% to 150%, effective June 29, 2018. In other words, prior to the enactment of the SBCAA, a BDC could borrow $1.00 for investment purposes for every $1.00 of investor equity. Now, for those BDCs that satisfy the 1940 Act’s approval and disclosure requirements, the BDC can borrow $2.00 for investment purposes for every $1.00 of investor equity. The amount of leverage that we employ at any time depends on our assessment of the market and other factors at the time of any proposed borrowing.
We have elected and intend to qualify annually to be treated for federal income tax purposes as a regulated investment company, or “RIC,” under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code, or the Code. So long as we maintain our qualification as a RIC, we will not be taxed on our investment company taxable income or realized net capital gains, to the extent that such taxable income or gains are distributed, or deemed to be distributed, to stockholders as dividends on a timely basis.
As of September 30, 2020, we had debt and equity investments in 66 active portfolio companies with an aggregate fair value of  $622.4 million. The weighted average yield on our debt investments as of September 30, 2020 was 8.1%. The weighted average yield was computed using the effective interest rates for all of our debt investments, including accretion of original issue discount and the
 
S-2

 
impact of our loans on non-accrual status. The weighted average yield of our debt investments is not the same as a return on investment for our stockholder, but, rather relates to a portion of our investment portfolio and is calculated before the payment of all of our and our subsidiaries' fees and expenses.
See “Business” in Part I, Item 1 in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K for additional information about us and our investment advisor.
SBIC Licenses
Stellus Capital SBIC, LP (“SBIC subsidiary”) and Stellus Capital SBIC II, LP (“SBIC II subsidiary” and together with SBIC subsidiary, the “SBIC subsidiaries”) are our two wholly owned subsidiaries that each hold a license to operate as a small business investment company (“SBIC”). The SBIC licenses allow the SBIC subsidiaries to obtain leverage by issuing SBA-guaranteed debentures, subject to the issuance of a capital commitment by the Small Business Administration (the “SBA”) and other customary procedures. SBA-guaranteed debentures are non-recourse, interest only debentures with interest payable semi-annually and have a ten year maturity. The principal amount of SBA-guaranteed debentures is not required to be paid prior to maturity but may be prepaid at any time without penalty. The interest rate of SBA-guaranteed debentures is fixed on a semi-annual basis at a market-driven spread over U.S. Treasury Notes with 10-year maturities. The SBA, as a creditor, will have a superior claim to the SBIC subsidiaries’ assets over the Company’s stockholders in the event the Company liquidates one or both of the SBIC subsidiaries or the SBA exercises its remedies under the SBA-guaranteed debentures issued by the SBIC subsidiaries upon an event of default. For the SBIC subsidiary, SBA regulations limit the amount that a single licensee may borrow to a maximum of  $150.0 million when it has at least $75.0 million in regulatory capital, as such term is defined by the SBA, receives a capital commitment from the SBA and has been through an examination by the SBA subsequent to licensing. For the SBIC II subsidiary, SBA regulations limit these amounts for two SBICs to an aggregate of  $175.0 million of borrowings when it has an aggregate of at least $87.5 million of regulatory capital. As of September 30, 2020, the total consolidated balance of SBA-guaranteed debentures outstanding was $161.0 million.
Risks Associated with Our Business
Our business is subject to numerous risks, as described in the section titled “Supplementary Risk Factors” in this prospectus supplement, “Risk Factors” in the accompanying prospectus and in any free writing prospectuses we have authorized for use in connection with this offering, and under similar headings in the documents that are incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, including the section titled “Risk Factors” included in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, in our most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, as well as in any of our subsequent SEC filings.
Recent Developments
Investment Portfolio
On October 1, 2020, we received full repayment on the first lien term loan of C.A.R.S Protection Plus, Inc. for total proceeds of  $7.4 million. We also received $0.4 million in full realization on the equity of the company, resulting in a $0.3 million gain.
Unfunded Commitments
As of January 8, 2021, we had unfunded commitments of approximately $29.6 million. As of January 8, 2021, we had sufficient liquidity (through cash on hand and available borrowings under our amended and restated senior secured revolving credit agreement with certain lenders party thereto and Zions Bancorporation, N.A. dba Amegy Bank, as administrative agent (as amended from time to time, the “Credit Facility”)) to fund such unfunded loan commitments should the need arise.
Borrowings
The outstanding balance under the Credit Facility as of January 8, 2021 was $171.0 million.
The total consolidated balance of SBA-guaranteed debentures outstanding as of January 8, 2021 was $176.5 million.
 
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THE OFFERING
This prospectus supplement sets forth certain terms of the Notes that we are offering pursuant to this prospectus supplement and supplements the accompanying prospectus that is attached to the back of this prospectus supplement. This section outlines the specific legal and financial terms of the Notes. You should read this section together with the section titled “Description of the Notes” and the more general description of our debt securities in the accompanying prospectus under the heading “Description of Our Debt Securities” before investing in the Notes.
Issuer
Stellus Capital Investment Corporation
Title of the securities
    % Notes due 2026
Initial aggregate principal amount being offered
$       
Initial public offering price
    % of the aggregate principal amount
Principal payable at maturity
100% of the aggregate principal amount. The outstanding principal amount of the Notes will be payable on the stated maturity date at the corporate trust office of the trustee, paying agent, and security registrar for the Notes or at such other office as we may designate.
No established trading market
We do not intend to list the Notes on any securities exchange or automated dealer quotation system. Although the underwriter has informed us that it intends to make a market in the Notes, it is not obligated to do so, and may discontinue any such market at any time without notice. Accordingly, we cannot assure you that a liquid market for the Notes will develop or be maintained.
Interest rate
    % per year
Yield to maturity
    %
Day count basis
360-day year of twelve 30-day months
Trade date
January   , 2021
Maturity date
March 30, 2026
Date interest starts accruing
January   , 2021
Interest payment dates
Each March 30 and September 30, beginning September  30, 2021. If an interest payment date falls on a non-business day, the applicable interest payment will be made on the next business day and no additional interest will accrue as a result of such delayed payment.
Specified currency
U.S. Dollars
Ranking of the notes
The Notes will be our direct unsecured obligations and will rank:

pari passu with our existing and future unsecured, unsubordinated indebtedness, including approximately $48.9 million in aggregate principal amount outstanding of our 5.75% Notes due 2022 (the “2022 Notes”), which we intend to redeem in full using the proceeds from this offering;
 
S-4

 

senior to any series of preferred stock that we may issue in the future;

senior to any of our future indebtedness that expressly provides it is subordinated to the Notes;

effectively subordinated to all our existing and future secured indebtedness (including indebtedness that is initially unsecured to which we subsequently grant security), to the extent of the value of the assets securing such indebtedness, including, without limitation, borrowings under the Credit Facility, of which $171.0 million in principal amount was outstanding as of January 8, 2021; and

structurally subordinated to all existing and future indebtedness and other obligations of any of our subsidiaries, including the SBIC subsidiaries, which subsidiaries, as of January 8, 2021, had total indebtedness outstanding of  $176.5 million.
As of January 8, 2021, our total outstanding indebtedness was approximately $396.4 million.
Denominations
We will issue the Notes in denominations of  $2,000 and integral multiples of  $1,000 in excess thereof.
Business day
Each Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday that is not a day on which banking institutions in New York City or the place of payment are authorized or required by law or executive order to close.
Optional redemption
The Notes may be redeemed in whole or in part at any time or from time to time at our option, upon not less than 30 days nor more than 60 days written notice by mail prior to the date fixed for redemption thereof, at a redemption price (as determined by us) equal to the greater of the following amounts, plus, in each case, accrued and unpaid interest to, but excluding, the redemption date: (1) 100% of the principal amount of the Notes to be redeemed or (2) the sum of the present values of the remaining scheduled payments of principal and interest (exclusive of accrued and unpaid interest to the date of redemption) on the Notes to be redeemed, discounted to the redemption date on a semi-annual basis (assuming a 360-day year consisting of twelve 30-day months) using the applicable Treasury Rate (as defined herein) plus 50 basis points; provided, however, that if we redeem any Notes on or after December 31, 2025 (the date falling three months prior to the maturity date of the Notes), the redemption price for the Notes will be equal to 100% of the principal amount of the Notes to be redeemed, plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to, but excluding, the date of redemption; provided, further, that no such partial redemption shall reduce the portion
 
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of the principal amount of a Note not redeemed to less than $2,000.
You may be prevented from exchanging or transferring the Notes when they are subject to redemption. In case any Notes are held in certificate form and are to be redeemed in part only, the redemption notice will provide that, upon surrender of such Note, you will receive, without a charge, a new Note or Notes of authorized denominations representing the principal amount of your remaining unredeemed Notes. Any exercise of our option to redeem the Notes, to the extent applicable, will be done in compliance with the indenture, the terms of our Credit Facility and the 1940 Act.
If we redeem only some of the Notes, the trustee or, with respect to global securities, The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”), will determine the method for selection of the particular Notes to be redeemed, in accordance with the indenture and the 1940 Act, to the extent applicable. Unless we default in payment of the redemption price, on and after the date of redemption, interest will cease to accrue on the Notes called for redemption.
Sinking fund
The Notes will not be subject to any sinking fund.
Offer to repurchase upon a Change of Control Repurchase Event
If a Change of Control Repurchase Event (as defined in the section titled “Description of the Notes” in this prospectus supplement) occurs prior to maturity, holders will have the right, at their option, to require us to repurchase for cash some or all of the Notes at a repurchase price equal to 100% of the principal amount of the Notes being repurchased, plus accrued and unpaid interest to, but not including, the repurchase date.
Defeasance
The Notes are subject to legal and covenant defeasance by us. See “Description of the Notes—Defeasance” in this prospectus supplement.
Form of Notes
The Notes will be represented by global securities that will be deposited and registered in the name of DTC or its nominee. Except in limited circumstances, you will not receive certificates for the Notes. Beneficial interests in the Notes will be represented through book-entry accounts of financial institutions acting on behalf of beneficial owners as direct and indirect participants in DTC. Investors may elect to hold interests in the Notes through either DTC, if they are a participant, or indirectly through organizations which are participants in DTC.
Trustee, paying agent and security registrar
U.S. Bank National Association
Other covenants
In addition to standard covenants relating to payment of principal and interest, maintaining an office where
 
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payments may be made or the Notes may be surrendered for payment and related matters, the following covenants shall apply to the Notes:

We agree that for the period of time during which the Notes are outstanding, we will not violate Section 18(a)(1)(A) as modified by Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act or any successor provisions, whether or not we continue to be subject to such provisions of the 1940 Act, but giving effect, in either case, to any exemptive relief granted to us by the SEC. Currently, these provisions generally prohibit us from incurring additional indebtedness, including through the issuance of additional debt securities, unless our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, equals at least 150% after such incurrence or issuance.

We agree that, for the period of time during which the Notes are outstanding, we will not violate Section 18(a)(1)(B) as modified by (i) Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act or any successor provisions and after giving effect to any exemptive relief granted to us by the SEC and (ii) the two other exceptions set forth below. These statutory provisions of the 1940 Act are not currently applicable to us and will not be applicable to us as a result of this offering. However, if Section 18(a)(1)(B) as modified by Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act were currently applicable to us in connection with this offering, these provisions would generally prohibit us from declaring any cash dividend or distribution upon any class of our capital stock, or purchasing any such capital stock if our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, were below 150% at the time of the declaration of the dividend or distribution or the purchase and after deducting the amount of such dividend, distribution, or purchase. Under the covenant, we will be permitted to declare a cash dividend or distribution notwithstanding the prohibition contained in Section 18(a)(1)(B) as modified by Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act or any successor provisions, but only up to such amount as is necessary for us to maintain our status as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code. Furthermore, the covenant will not be triggered unless and until such time as our asset coverage has not been in compliance with the minimum asset coverage required by Section 18(a)(1)(B) as modified by Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act or any successor provisions (after giving effect to any exemptive relief granted to us by the SEC) for more than six consecutive months.

If, at any time, we are not subject to the reporting requirements of Sections 13 or 15(d) of the
 
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Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), to file any periodic reports with the SEC, we agree to furnish to holders of the Notes and the trustee, for the period of time during which the Notes are outstanding, our audited annual consolidated financial statements, within 90 days of our fiscal year end, and unaudited interim consolidated financial statements, within 45 days of our fiscal quarter end (other than our fourth fiscal quarter). All such financial statements will be prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with applicable Generally Accepted Accounting Principles in the United States of America (“GAAP”).
Events of default
If an Event of Default on the Notes occurs, the principal amount of the Notes, plus accrued and unpaid interest, may be declared immediately due and payable, subject to the conditions set forth in the indenture governing the Notes. The term “Event of Default” in respect of the Notes means any of the following:

We do not pay the principal of  (or premium on, if any) any Note when due and payable at maturity;

We do not pay interest on any Note when due and payable, and such default is not cured within 30 days of its due date;

We remain in breach of any other covenant in respect of the Notes for 60 days after we receive a written notice of default stating we are in breach (the notice must be sent by either the trustee or holders of at least 25% of the principal amount of the outstanding Notes);

Default by us or any of our significant subsidiaries, as defined in Article 1, Rule 1-02 of Regulation S-X promulgated under the Exchange Act (but excluding any subsidiary which is (a) a non-recourse or limited recourse subsidiary, (b) a bankruptcy remote special purpose vehicle, or (c) is not consolidated with Stellus Capital Investment Corporation for purposes of GAAP), with respect to any mortgage, agreement or other instrument under which there may be outstanding, or by which there may be secured or evidenced, any indebtedness for money borrowed in excess of $50 million in the aggregate of us and/or any such subsidiary, whether such indebtedness now exists or shall hereafter be created (i) resulting in such indebtedness becoming or being declared due and payable or (ii) constituting a failure to pay the principal or interest of any such debt when due and payable at its stated maturity, upon required repurchase, upon declaration of acceleration or otherwise, unless, in either case, such indebtedness is discharged, or such
 
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acceleration is rescinded, stayed or annulled, within a period of 30 calendar days after written notice of such failure is given to us by the trustee or to us and the trustee by the holders of at least 25% in aggregate principal amount of the Notes then outstanding;

We file for bankruptcy or certain other events of bankruptcy, insolvency or reorganization occur and remain undischarged or unstayed for a period of 60 days; or

On the last business day of each of twenty-four consecutive calendar months, the Notes have an asset coverage (as such term is defined in the 1940 Act) of less than 100%.
Use of proceeds
We estimate that the net proceeds we receive from the sale of the $      million aggregate principal amount of Notes in this offering will be approximately $      million after deducting the underwriting discount of approximately $      million payable by us and estimated offering expenses of approximately $      million payable by us.
We intend to use the net proceeds from this offering to redeem all of the outstanding 2022 Notes and repay a portion of the amount outstanding under the Credit Facility; however, we may re-borrow under our Credit Facility and use such borrowings to invest in lower middle-market companies in accordance with our investment objective and strategies and for working capital and general corporate purposes. See “Use of Proceeds” on page S-21 of this prospectus supplement.
Further issuances
We have the ability to issue additional debt securities under the indenture with terms different from the Notes and, without the consent of the holders of the Notes, to reopen the Notes and issue additional Notes. If we issue additional debt securities, these additional debt securities could have a lien or other security interest greater than that accorded to the holders of the Notes, which are unsecured.
Global clearance and settlement procedures
Interests in the Notes will trade in DTC’s Same Day Funds Settlement System, and any permitted secondary market trading activity in such Notes will, therefore, be required by DTC to be settled in immediately available funds. None of the Company, the trustee or the paying agent will have any responsibility for the performance by DTC or its participants or indirect participants of their respective obligations under the rules and procedures governing their operations.
Governing law
The Notes and the indenture will be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of New York.
 
S-9

 
Risk factors
See “Supplementary Risk Factors” on page S-11 of this prospectus supplement, “Risk Factors” beginning on page 17 of the accompanying prospectus and “Risk Factors” in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, our most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q as well as in any subsequent SEC filings.
 
S-10

 
SUPPLEMENTARY RISK FACTORS
Investing in the Notes involves a number of significant risks. You should carefully consider the risks described below, together with all of the risks and uncertainties described in the section titled “Risk Factors” in the accompanying prospectus, our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, our most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, as well as in subsequent filings with the SEC, which are or will be incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus in their entirety, and other information in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus, the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, and any free writing prospectus that we may authorize for use in connection with this offering. The risks and uncertainties described below are not the only ones facing us. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us, or not presently deemed material by us, may also impair our operations and performance. If any of the following risks actually occur, our business, financial condition or results of operations could be materially adversely affected. If that happens, our net asset value and the trading price of our securities could decline and you may lose all or part of your investment. Please also read carefully the section titled “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” in this prospectus supplement.
Risks Related to the Offering
The Notes will be unsecured and therefore will be effectively subordinated to any secured indebtedness we have currently incurred or may incur in the future and will rank pari passu with, or equal to, all outstanding and future unsecured indebtedness issued by and us and our general liabilities (total liabilities, less debt).
The Notes will not be secured by any of our assets or any of the assets of any of our subsidiaries. As a result, the Notes will be effectively subordinated to any secured indebtedness we or our subsidiaries have outstanding as of the date of this prospectus supplement (including under our Credit Facility) or that we or our subsidiaries may incur in the future (or any indebtedness that is initially unsecured as 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. In addition, the Notes will rank pari passu with, or equal to, all outstanding and future unsecured, unsubordinated indebtedness issued by us and our general liabilities (total liabilities, less debt). As of January 8, 2021, we had $171.0 million in outstanding indebtedness under our Credit Facility. The indebtedness under the Credit Facility is effectively senior to the Notes to the extent of the value of the assets securing such indebtedness.
The Notes will be structurally subordinated to the indebtedness and other liabilities of our subsidiaries.
The Notes will be obligations exclusively of Stellus Capital Investment Corporation, and not of any of our subsidiaries. None of our subsidiaries will be a guarantor of the Notes, and the Notes will not be required to be guaranteed by any subsidiary we may acquire or create in the future. Any assets of our subsidiaries will not be directly available to satisfy the claims of our creditors, including holders of the Notes. Except to the extent we are a creditor with recognized claims against our subsidiaries, all claims of creditors of our subsidiaries will have priority over our equity interests in such entities (and therefore the claims of our creditors, including holders of the Notes) with respect to the assets of such entities. Even if we are recognized as a creditor of one or more of these entities, our claims would still be effectively subordinated to any security interests in the assets of any such entity and to any indebtedness or other liabilities of any such entity senior to our claims. Consequently, the Notes will be structurally subordinated to all indebtedness and other liabilities, including trade payables, of any of our existing or future subsidiaries, including the SBIC subsidiaries. As of January 8, 2021, our subsidiaries had total indebtedness outstanding of  $176.5 million. Certain of these entities (excluding our SBIC subsidiaries) currently serve as guarantors under our
 
S-11

 
Credit Facility, and in the future our subsidiaries may incur substantial additional indebtedness, all of which is and would be structurally senior to the Notes.
The indenture under which the Notes will be issued contains limited protection for holders of the Notes.
The indenture under which the Notes will be issued offers limited protection to holders of the Notes. The terms of the indenture 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 a material adverse impact on your investment in the Notes. In particular, the terms of the indenture and the Notes will not place any restrictions on our or our subsidiaries’ ability to:

issue securities or otherwise incur additional indebtedness or other obligations, including (1) any indebtedness or other obligations that would be equal in right of payment to the Notes, (2) any indebtedness or other obligations that would be secured and therefore rank effectively senior in right of payment to the Notes to the extent of the values of the assets securing such debt, (3) indebtedness of ours that is guaranteed by one or more of our subsidiaries and which therefore is structurally senior to the Notes and (4) securities, indebtedness or obligations issued or incurred by our subsidiaries that would be senior to our equity interests in our subsidiaries and therefore rank structurally senior to the Notes with respect to the assets of our subsidiaries, in each case other than an incurrence of indebtedness or other obligation that would cause a violation of Section 18(a)(1)(A) as modified by Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act or any successor provisions, whether or not we continue to be subject to such provisions of the 1940 Act, but giving effect, in either case, to any exemptive relief granted to us by the SEC, which generally prohibit us from incurring additional indebtedness, including through the issuance of additional debt securities, unless our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, equals at least 150% after such incurrence or issuance;

pay dividends on, or purchase or redeem or make any payments in respect of, capital stock or other securities ranking junior in right of payment to the Notes, including subordinated indebtedness, except that we have agreed that, for the period of time during which the Notes are outstanding, we will not violate Section 18(a)(1)(B) as modified by (i) Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act or any successor provisions and after giving effect to any exemptive relief granted to us by the SEC and (ii) the following two exceptions: (A) we will be permitted to declare a cash dividend or distribution notwithstanding the prohibition contained in Section 18(a)(1)(B) as modified by Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act or any successor provisions, but only up to such amount as is necessary for us to maintain our status as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code; and (B) this restriction will not be triggered unless and until such time as our asset coverage has not been in compliance with the minimum asset coverage required by Section 18(a)(1)(B) as modified by Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act or any successor provisions (after giving effect to any exemptive relief granted to us by the SEC) for more than six consecutive months. If Section 18(a)(1)(B) as modified by Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act were currently applicable to us in connection with this offering, these provisions would generally prohibit us from declaring any cash dividend or distribution upon any class of our capital stock, or purchasing any such capital stock if our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, were below 150% at the time of the declaration of the dividend or distribution or the purchase and after deducting the amount of such dividend, distribution or purchase;

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

enter into transactions with affiliates;

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

make investments; or
 
S-12

 

create restrictions on the payment of dividends or other amounts to us from our subsidiaries.
Furthermore, the terms of the indenture and the Notes do not protect holders of the Notes in the event that we experience changes (including significant adverse changes) in our financial condition, results of operations or credit ratings, if any, as they do not require that we or our subsidiaries adhere to any financial tests or ratios or specified levels of net worth, revenues, income, cash flow, or liquidity.
Our ability to recapitalize, incur additional debt (including additional debt that matures prior to the maturity of the Notes) 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 market value of the Notes.
Other debt we issue or incur in the future could contain more protections for its holders than the indenture and the Notes, including additional covenants and events of default. The issuance or incurrence of any such debt with incremental protections could affect the market for, trading levels, and prices of the Notes.
There is no active trading market for the Notes. If an active trading market does not develop for the Notes, you may not be able to sell them.
The Notes are a new issue of debt securities for which there currently is no trading market. We do not intend to list the Notes on any securities exchange or for quotation of the Notes on any automated dealer quotation system. If the Notes are traded after their initial issuance, 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, performance and prospects, general economic conditions, including the impact of COVID-19, or other relevant factors. Although the underwriter has informed us that it intends to make a market in the Notes, it is not obligated to do so, and the underwriter may discontinue any market-making in the Notes at any time at its sole discretion. Accordingly, we cannot assure you that a liquid trading market will develop or be maintained 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, 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.
If we default on our obligations to pay our other indebtedness, we may not be able to make payments on the Notes.
Any default under the agreements governing our indebtedness, including a default under the Credit Facility or other indebtedness to which we may be a party, that is not waived by the required lenders or holders, and the remedies sought by the lenders or holders of such indebtedness could make us unable to pay principal, premium, if any, and interest on the Notes and substantially decrease the market value of the Notes. If we are unable to generate sufficient cash flow and are otherwise unable to obtain funds necessary to meet required payments of principal, premium, if any, and interest on our indebtedness, or if we otherwise fail to comply with the various covenants, including financial and operating covenants, as applicable, in the instruments governing our indebtedness (including the Credit Facility), we could be in default under the terms of the agreements governing such indebtedness, including the Notes. 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. If our operating performance declines, 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 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
 
S-13

 
Notes or our other debt. If we breach our covenants under the Credit Facility or our other debt and seek a waiver, we may not be able to obtain a waiver from the required lenders or holders thereof. If this occurs, we would be in default under the Credit Facility or other debt, the lenders or holders could exercise their rights as described above, and we could be forced into bankruptcy or liquidation. If we are unable to repay debt, lenders having secured obligations, including the lenders under the Credit Facility, could proceed against the collateral securing the debt. Because the Credit Facility has, the indenture governing the Notes will have, 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.
We may choose to redeem the Notes when prevailing interest rates are relatively low.
The Notes are redeemable in whole or in part upon certain conditions at any time or from time to time at our option. We may choose to redeem the Notes from time to time, especially if prevailing interest rates are lower than the rate borne by the Notes. If prevailing rates are lower at the time of redemption, and we redeem the Notes, you likely would not be able to reinvest the redemption proceeds in a comparable security at an effective interest rate as high as the interest rate on the Notes being redeemed.
We may not be able to repurchase the Notes upon a Change of Control Repurchase Event.
We may not be able to repurchase the Notes upon a Change of Control Repurchase Event because we may not have sufficient funds. We would not be able to borrow under our Credit Facility to finance such a repurchase of the Notes, and we expect that any future credit facility would have similar limitations. Upon a Change of Control Repurchase Event, holders of the Notes may require us to repurchase for cash some or all of the Notes at a repurchase price equal to 100% of the aggregate principal amount of the Notes being repurchased, plus accrued and unpaid interest to, but not including, the repurchase date. The terms of our Credit Facility provide that certain change of control events will constitute an event of default thereunder entitling the lenders to accelerate any indebtedness outstanding under our Credit Facility at that time and to terminate our Credit Facility. In addition, the occurrence of a Change of Control Repurchase Event enabling the holders of the Notes to require the mandatory purchase of the Notes will 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 our Credit Facility. Our and our subsidiaries’ future financing facilities may contain similar restrictions and provisions. Our failure to purchase such tendered Notes upon the occurrence of such Change of Control Repurchase Event would cause an event of default under the indenture governing the Notes and a cross-default under the agreements governing the Credit Facility, which may result in the acceleration of such indebtedness requiring us to repay that indebtedness immediately. If the holders of the Notes exercise their right to require us to repurchase Notes upon a Change of Control Repurchase Event, the financial effect of this repurchase could cause a default under our current and future debt instruments, and we may not have sufficient funds to repay any such accelerated indebtedness. See “Description of the Notes—Offer to Repurchase upon a Change of Control Repurchase Event” in this prospectus supplement for more information.
A downgrade, suspension or withdrawal of the credit rating assigned by a rating agency to us or the Notes or change in the debt markets could cause the liquidity or market value of the Notes to decline significantly.
Our credit ratings are an assessment by rating agencies of our ability to pay our debts when due. Consequently, real or anticipated changes in our credit ratings will generally affect the market value of the Notes. These credit ratings may not reflect the potential impact of risks relating to the structure or marketing of the Notes. Credit ratings are not a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any security, and may be revised or withdrawn at any time by the issuing organization in its sole discretion. Neither we nor the underwriter undertakes any obligation to maintain our credit ratings or to advise holders of Notes of any changes in our credit ratings. There can be no assurance that our credit ratings will remain for any given period of time or that such credit ratings will not be
 
S-14

 
lowered or withdrawn entirely by the rating agencies 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.
 
S-15

 
SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
Information included or incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus and in any free writing prospectus relating to this offering of the Notes may contain “forward-looking statements.” These forward-looking statements are not historical facts, but rather are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about us, our current and prospective portfolio investments, our industry, our beliefs, and our assumptions. Although we believe that the assumptions on which these forward-looking statements are based are reasonable, any of those assumptions could prove to be inaccurate, and as a result, the forward-looking statements based on those assumptions also could be inaccurate. Important assumptions include our ability to originate new loans and investments, certain margins and levels of profitability and the availability of additional capital. In light of these and other uncertainties, the inclusion of a projection or forward-looking statement in this prospectus should not be regarded as a representation by us that our plans and objectives will be achieved. Words such as “anticipates,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “will,” “may,” “continue,” “believes,” “seeks,” “estimates,” “would,” “should,” “targets,” “projects” and variations of these words and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements contained in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus, and in any free writing prospectus relating to this offering of Notes involve risks and uncertainties, related to the current COVID-19 pandemic and otherwise, including statements as to:

our future operating results;

our business prospects and the prospects of our portfolio companies;

the effect of investments that we expect to make;

our contractual arrangements and relationships with third parties;

the dependence of our future success on the general economy and its impact on the industries in which we invest and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic thereon;

the ability of our portfolio companies to achieve their objectives;

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

our expected financing and investments;

the adequacy of our financing sources and working capital;

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

the ability of Stellus Capital Management to locate suitable investments for us and to monitor and administer our investments;

the ability of Stellus Capital Management to attract and retain highly talented professionals;

our ability to maintain our qualification as a RIC and as a BDC; and

the effect of future changes in laws or regulations (including the interpretation of these laws and regulations by regulatory authorities) and conditions in our operating areas, particularly with respect to business.
These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond our control and difficult to predict and could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or forecasted in the forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, those risks, uncertainties and other factors we identify under “Supplementary Risk Factors” in this prospectus supplement and under “Risk Factors” in the accompanying prospectus and in our Annual Report on Form 10-K, our most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and in our other filings with the SEC.
We caution readers not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. Actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in our forward-looking statements and future results could differ materially from our historical
 
S-16

 
performance. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this prospectus supplement. Although we undertake no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise, you are advised to consult any additional disclosures that we may make directly to you or through reports or other documents we have filed, or in the future may file, with the SEC, including subsequent annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K.
 
S-17

 
FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
The financial highlights of Stellus Capital Investment Corporation for the years ended 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015 are as follows:
For the year
ended
December 31,
2019
For the year
ended
December 31,
2018
For the year
ended
December 31,
2017
For the year
ended
December 31,
2016
For the year
ended
December 31,
2015
Per Share Data: (1)
Net asset value at beginning of year/​
period
$ 14.09 $ 13.81 $ 13.69 $ 13.19 $ 13.94
Net investment income
1.23 1.42 1.21 1.39 1.33
Net change in unrealized appreciation
(depreciation) on investments
(0.85) (0.11) 1.49 (0.74)
Net realized gain (loss) on investments
1.07 0.35 0.31 (1.05) 0.03
Tax provision on realized gain on investments
(0.02)
Benefit (provision) for taxes on net unrealized gain on investments in taxable subsidiaries
0.03 (0.01)
Total from investment operations
1.45 1.64 1.52 1.86 0.61
Sales Load
(0.06) (0.09)
Offering Costs
(0.03) (0.02)
Stockholder distributions from:
Net investment
income
(0.54) (1.03) (1.20) (1.36) (1.33)
Net realized capital gains
(0.82) (0.33) (0.16) (0.03)
Other (3)
0.05 0.07
Net asset value at the end of year/period
$ 14.14 $ 14.09 $ 13.81 $ 13.69 $ 13.19
Per share market value at end of year/period
$ 14.23 $ 12.95 $ 13.14 $ 12.06 $ 9.64
Total return based on market value (4)
21.97% 8.68% 20.29% 42.83% (7.76)%
Weighted average shares
outstanding at the end of
period
18,275,696 15,953,571 14,870,981 12,479,959 12,479,961
 
S-18

 
For the year
ended
December 31,
2019
For the year
ended
December 31,
2018
For the year
ended
December 31,
2017
For the year
ended
December 31,
2016
For the year
ended
December 31,
2015
Ratio/Supplemental Data:
Net assets at the end of year/period
$ 270,571,173 $ 224,845,007 $ 220,247,242 $ 170,881,785 $ 164,651,104
Weighted average net assets
$ 259,020,507 $ 223,750,302 $ 195,211,550 $ 165,189,142 $ 173,453,813
Annualized ratio of gross
operating expenses to net
assets (7)(8)
14.11% 13.72% 11.10% 13.2% 11.16%
Annualized ratio of net
operating expenses to net
assets (7)(8)
14.11% 13.72% 11.10% 13.2% 10.78%
Annualized ratio of interest
expense and other fees to
net assets (2)
5.78% 5.51% 4.02% 4.84% 3.56%
Annualized ratio of net investment income before fee waiver to net assets (7)(8)
8.64% 10.09% 9.21% 10.71% 9.11%
Annualized ratio of net
investment income to net
assets (7)(8)
8.64% 10.09% 9.21% 10.71% 9.49%
Portfolio Turnover (5)
23% 32% 48% 16% 29%
Notes Payable
$ 48,875,000 $ 48,875,000 $ 48,875,000 $ 25,000,000 $ 25,000,000
Credit Facility Payable
$ 161,550,000 $ 99,550,000 $ 40,750,000 $ 116,000,000 $ 109,500,000
SBA-guaranteed debentures
$ 161,000,000 $ 150,000,000 $ 90,000,000 $ 65,000,000 $ 65,000,000
Asset Coverage
Ratio (6)
2.29x 2.51x 3.46x 2.21x 2.22x
(1)
Financial highlights are based on weighted average shares outstanding as of year/period ended.
 
S-19

 
The financial highlights of Stellus Capital Investment Corporation for the years ended 2014, 2013 and 2012 are as follows:
For the year
ended
December 31,
2014
For the year
ended
December 31,
2013
For the period
from Inception
(May 18, 2012)
through
December 31,
2012
Per Share Data: (1)
Net asset value at beginning of year/period
$ 14.54 $ 14.45 $ 15.00
Net investment income
1.34 1.33 0.11
Change in unrealized appreciation (depreciation)
(0.53) 0.03 (0.01)
Realized gain
0.04 0.09
Provision for taxes on unrealized appreciation on investments
(0.02)
Total from investment operations
0.83 1.45 0.10
Issuance of common shares (2)
Reinvestments of stockholder distributions (2)
0.01
Sales load
(0.01) (0.41)
Offering costs (2)
(0.07)
Stockholder distributions from:
Net investment income
(1.31) (1.36) (0.18)
Net realized capital gains
(0.12)
Other (3)
0.01
Net asset value at end of year/period
$ 13.94 $ 14.54 $ 14.45
Per share market value at end of year/period
$ 11.78 $ 14.95 16.38
Total return based on market value (4)
(13.09)% 0.42% 10.48%
Weighted average shares outstanding
12,281,178 12,059,293 12,035,023
Ratio/Supplemental Data:
Net assets at end of year/period
$ 173,949,452 $ 175,891,514 $ 173,845,955
Weighted average net assets
$ 176,458,141 $ 175,398,660 $ 173,845,955
Annualized ratio of gross operating expenses to net assets (5)(8)(10)
9.92% 8.65% 5.49%
Annualized ratio of net operating expenses to net
assets (5)(9)(10)
9.12% 7.63% 5.50%
Annualized ratio of interest expense and other fees to net assets (5)
3.01% 1.78% 0.26%
Annualized ratio of net investment income before fee waiver to net assets (5)(10)
8.40% 8.11% 4.99%
Annualized ratio of net investment income to net
assets (5)(10)
9.19% 9.13% 4.99%
Portfolio Turnover (6)
19% 41% 35%
Notes payable
$ 25,000,000
Credit Facility payable
$ 106,500,000 $ 110,000,000 $ 38,000,000
Short-term loan
$ 9,000,000 $ 45,000,943
SBA Debentures
$ 16,250,000
Asset coverage ratio (7)
2.32x 2.48x 4.57x
(1)
Financial highlights are based on weighted average shares outstanding as of period end.
(2)
The per share impact of the Company’s issuance of common shares, reinvestment of stockholder distributions and offering costs has an impact to net assets less than $0.01 per share during the applicable period.
 
S-20

 
USE OF PROCEEDS
We estimate that the net proceeds we will receive from the sale of  $      aggregate principal amount of the Notes in this offering will be approximately $      after deducting the underwriting discount of approximately $      payable by us and estimated offering expenses of approximately $      payable by us.
We intend to use the net proceeds from this offering to redeem all of the outstanding 2022 Notes and repay a portion of the amount outstanding under the Credit Facility; however, we may re-borrow under our Credit Facility and use such borrowings to invest in lower middle-market companies in accordance with our investment objective and strategies and for working capital and general corporate purposes. The 2022 Notes, which we expect to redeem on February   , 2021, bear interest at 5.75% per year and have a maturity date of September 15, 2022. As of January 8, 2021 we had $171.0 million in principal amount of indebtedness outstanding under our Credit Facility. Our Credit Facility matures on September 18, 2025, and borrowings under the Credit Facility currently bear interest, at our election, on a per annum basis equal to (i) LIBOR plus 2.50% (or 2.75% during certain periods in which the Company’s asset coverage ratio is equal to or below 1.90 to 1.00) with a 0.25% LIBOR floor, or (ii) 1.50% (or 1.75% during certain periods in which the Company’s asset coverage ratio is equal to or below 1.90 to 1.00) plus an alternate base rate based on the highest of (a) the greater of the Prime Rate and 3.00%, (b) the Federal Funds Effective Rate plus 0.5% and (c) one-month LIBOR plus 1.0%.
 
S-21

 
SENIOR SECURITIES
Information about our senior securities is shown in the following table for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012. The report of Grant Thornton LLP, our independent registered public accounting firm, on the senior securities table as of December 31, 2019, is attached as an exhibit to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part.
Class and Year
Total Amount
Outstanding
Exclusive of
Treasury
Securities (1)
Asset
Coverage per
Unit (2)
Involuntary
Liquidating
Preference
per Unit (3)
Average
Market Value
per Unit (4)
(In Thousands)
SBA Debentures
Fiscal 2014
$ 16,250 N/A(6) N/A
Fiscal 2015
$ 65,000 N/A(6) N/A
Fiscal 2016
$ 65,000 N/A(6) N/A
Fiscal 2017
$ 90,000 N/A(6) N/A
Fiscal 2018
$ 150,000 N/A(6) N/A
Fiscal 2019
$ 161,000 N/A(6) N/A
Fiscal 2020 (through September 30, 2020) (unaudited)
$ 161,000 N/A N/A
Original Credit Facility (7)
Fiscal 2012
$ 38,000 $ 3,090 N/A
Fiscal 2013
$ 110,000 $ 2,470 N/A
Fiscal 2014
$ 106,500 $ 2,320(6) N/A
Fiscal 2015
$ 109,500 $ 2,220(6) N/A
Fiscal 2016
$ 116,000 $ 2,210(6) N/A
Credit Facility
Fiscal 2017
$ 40,750 $ 3,460(6) N/A
Fiscal 2018
$ 99,550 $ 2,520(6) N/A
Fiscal 2019
$ 161,550 $ 2,286(6) N/A
Fiscal 2020 (through September 30, 2020) (unaudited)
$ 187,000 $ 2,088 N/A
5.75% Notes due 2022
Fiscal 2017
$ 48,875 $ 3,460(6) $ 25.34
Fiscal 2018
$ 48,875 $ 2,520(6) $ 25.18
Fiscal 2019
$ 48,875 $ 2,286(6) $ 25.43
Fiscal 2020 (through September 30, 2020) (unaudited)
$ 48,875 $ 2,088 $ 23.18
6.50% Notes due 2019 (8)
Fiscal 2014
$ 25,000 $ 2,320(6) $ 25.41
Fiscal 2015
$ 25,000 $ 2,220(6) $ 25.27
Fiscal 2016
$ 25,000 $ 2,210(6) $ 25.11
Short-Term Loan (5)
Fiscal 2012
$ 45,000 $ 3,090 N/A
Fiscal 2013
$ 9,000 $ 2,470 N/A
(1)
Total amount of senior securities outstanding at the end of the period presented.
(2)
Asset coverage per unit is the ratio of the carrying value of our total assets, less all liabilities and indebtedness not represented by senior securities, in relation to the aggregate amount of senior securities representing indebtedness. Asset coverage per unit is expressed in terms of dollar amounts per $1,000 of indebtedness.
 
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(3)
The amount to which such class of senior security would be entitled upon the involuntary liquidation of the issuer in preference to any security junior to it. The “—“ indicates information which the SEC expressly does not require to be disclosed for certain types of senior securities.
(4)
Average market value per unit for the 2022 Notes and the 6.50% Notes due 2019 represents the average of the daily closing prices as reported on the NYSE during the period presented. Average market value per unit for our SBA Debentures, the Original Credit Facility and the Credit Facility are not applicable because these are not registered for public trading.
(5)
Refers to short-term loans that the Company obtained from Raymond James & Associates, Inc. and repaid in full on January 2, 2013 and January 2, 2014, respectively.
(6)
We have excluded our SBA-guaranteed debentures from the asset coverage calculation as of December 31, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014 pursuant to the exemptive relief granted by the SEC in August 2014 that permits us to exclude such debentures from the definition of senior securities in the 150% asset coverage ratio we are required to maintain under the 1940 Act.
(7)
On November 13, 2012, we entered into a senior secured revolving credit agreement, by and among us, as the borrower, SunTrust Bank, as the administrative agent, various lenders that are parties thereto from time to time (the “Original Credit Facility”). We terminated the Original Credit Facility on October 11, 2017.
(8)
On September 20, 2017, we redeemed all of the issued and outstanding 6.50% Notes due 2019.
 
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CAPITALIZATION
The following table sets forth our capitalization as of September 30, 2020:

on an actual basis; and

on an as-adjusted basis to give effect to the sale of  $      aggregate principal amount of the Notes and the application of the estimated net proceeds thereof, after deducting the underwriting discount and estimated offering expenses of approximately $      million and $      million, respectively, payable by us. See “Use of Proceeds” in this prospectus supplement.
As of September 30, 2020
Actual
(Unaudited)
As Adjusted
(Unaudited)
(Dollars in thousands, except per share data)
ASSETS
Cash and cash equivalents
$ 38,618 $       
Non-controlled, non-affiliated investments, at fair value
622,438
Other assets
2,266
Total assets
$ 663,322 $
LIABILITIES
SBA debentures
$ 158,060 $
2022 Notes payable (1)
48,224
Credit Facility payable (1)
184,611
Notes offered hereby, net of deferred financing costs
Other liabilities
15,878       
Total liabilities
406,772
NET ASSETS
Common stock, par value $0.001 per share (100,000,000 shares authorized, 19,486,003 shares issued and outstanding)
19
Paid-in capital
277,117
Accumulated undistributed deficit
(20,586)
Total net assets
256,550
Total liabilities and net assets
$ 663,322 $
Net asset value per common share
$ 13.17 $
(1)
After September 30, 2020, we borrowed a total of  $23.5 million and repaid a total of  $39.5 million under our Credit Facility, which brought the total amount of indebtedness outstanding under our Credit Facility to $171.0 million in principal amount as of January 8, 2021. We intend to use the net proceeds from this offering to redeem all of the outstanding 2022 Notes and repay a portion of the amount outstanding under the Credit Facility. After giving effect to this offering and such repayment under the Credit Facility, we expect to have $      of indebtedness outstanding under our Credit Facility. See “Use of Proceeds” in this prospectus supplement.
 
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DESCRIPTION OF THE NOTES
The Notes will be issued under a base indenture, dated as of May 5, 2014, and a third supplemental indenture thereto, to be entered into between us and U.S. Bank National Association, as trustee. We refer to the indenture and the third supplemental indenture collectively as the “indenture” and to U.S. Bank National Association as the “trustee.” The Notes are governed by the indenture, as required by federal law for all bonds and notes of companies that are publicly offered. An indenture is a contract between us and the financial institution acting as trustee on your behalf, and is subject to and governed by the Trust Indenture Act of 1939, as amended. The trustee has two main roles. First, the trustee can enforce your rights against us if we default. There are some limitations on the extent to which the trustee acts on your behalf, described under “—Events of Default—Remedies if an Event of Default Occurs” below. Second, the trustee performs certain administrative duties for us with respect to the Notes.
This section includes a summary description of the material terms of the Notes and the indenture. Because this section is a summary, however, it does not describe every aspect of the Notes and the indenture. We urge you to read the indenture because it, and not this description, defines your rights as a holder of the Notes. The base indenture has been attached as an exhibit to the registration statement of which this prospectus supplement is a part and the third supplemental indenture will be attached as an exhibit to a Current Report on Form 8-K, which will be incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement, in each case, as filed or as will be filed with the SEC. See “Available Information” in this prospectus supplement for information on how to obtain a copy of the indenture.
General
The Notes will mature on March 30, 2026. The principal payable at maturity will be 100% of the aggregate principal amount. The interest rate of the Notes is     % per year and will be paid semi-annually in arrears on March 30 and September 30 of each year, commencing September 30, 2021, and the regular record dates for interest payments will be every March 15 and September 15, commencing September 15, 2021. If an interest payment date falls on a non-business day, the applicable interest payment will be made on the next business day and no additional interest will accrue as a result of such delayed payment. The initial interest period will be the period from and including January    , 2021, to, but excluding, the initial interest payment date, and the subsequent interest periods will be the periods from and including an interest payment date to, but excluding, the next interest payment date or the stated maturity date, as the case may be.
The term “business day” means, with respect to any Note, each Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday that is not a day on which banking institutions in The City of New York are authorized or obligated by law or executive order to close.
We will issue the Notes in denominations of  $2,000 and integral multiples of  $1,000 in excess thereof. The Notes will not be subject to any sinking fund.
The indenture does not limit the amount of debt (including secured debt) that may be issued by us or our subsidiaries under the indenture or otherwise, but does contain a covenant regarding our asset coverage that would have to be satisfied at the time of our incurrence of additional indebtedness. See “—Other Covenants” and “—Events of Default” below. Other than the foregoing and as described under “—Other Covenants” and “—Events of Default” below, the indenture does not contain any financial covenants and does not restrict us from paying dividends or issuing or repurchasing our other securities. Other than restrictions described under “—Offer to Repurchase upon a Change of Control Repurchase Event” and “—Merger, Consolidation or Asset Sale” below, the indenture does not contain any covenants or other provisions designed to afford holders of the Notes protection in the event of a highly leveraged transaction involving us or if our credit rating declines as the result of a takeover, recapitalization, highly leveraged transaction or similar restructuring involving us that could adversely affect your investment in the Notes.
We may, without the consent of the holders of the Notes, issue additional notes under the indenture with the same terms (except for the issue date, public offering price, and if applicable,
 
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the initial interest payment date) and with the same CUSIP numbers as the Notes offered hereby in an unlimited aggregate principal amount; provided that such additional notes must be treated as part of the same issue as the Notes offered hereby for U.S. federal income tax purposes. In addition, we have the ability to issue indenture securities with terms different from the Notes.
We do not intend to list the Notes on any securities exchange or automated dealer quotation system.
Optional Redemption
The Notes may be redeemed in whole or in part at any time or from time to time at our option, upon not less than 30 days nor more than 60 days written notice by mail prior to the date fixed for redemption thereof, at a redemption price (as determined by us) equal to the greater of the following amounts, plus, in each case, accrued and unpaid interest to, but excluding, the redemption date: (1) 100% of the principal amount of the Notes to be redeemed or (2) the sum of the present values of the remaining scheduled payments of principal and interest (exclusive of accrued and unpaid interest to the date of redemption) on the Notes to be redeemed, discounted to the redemption date on a semi-annual basis (assuming a 360-day year consisting of twelve 30-day months) using the applicable Treasury Rate plus 50 basis points; provided, however, that if we redeem any Notes on or after December 31, 2025 (the date falling three months prior to the maturity date of the Notes), the redemption price for the Notes will be equal to 100% of the principal amount of the Notes to be redeemed, plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to, but excluding, the date of redemption; provided, further, that no such partial redemption shall reduce the portion of the principal amount of a Note not redeemed to less than $2,000.
You may be prevented from exchanging or transferring the Notes when they are subject to redemption. In case any Notes are held in certificate form and are to be redeemed in part only, the redemption notice will provide that, upon surrender of such Note, you will receive, without a charge, a new Note or Notes of authorized denominations representing the principal amount of your remaining unredeemed Notes. Any exercise of our option to redeem the Notes will be done in compliance with the indenture, the terms of our Credit Facility and, to the extent applicable, the 1940 Act.
If we redeem only some of the Notes, the trustee or, with respect to global securities, DTC will determine the method for selection of the particular Notes to be redeemed, in accordance with the indenture and the 1940 Act, to the extent applicable. Unless we default in payment of the redemption price, on and after the date of redemption, interest will cease to accrue on the Notes called for redemption.
For purposes of calculating the redemption price in connection with the redemption of the Notes, on any redemption date, the following terms have the meanings set forth below:
“Comparable Treasury Issue” means the United States Treasury security selected by the Reference Treasury Dealer as having a maturity comparable to the remaining term of the Notes to be redeemed that would be utilized, at the time of selection and in accordance with customary financing practice, in pricing new issues of corporate debt securities of comparable maturity to the remaining term of the Notes being redeemed.
“Comparable Treasury Price” means (1) the average of the Reference Treasury Dealer Quotations for the redemption date, after excluding the highest and lowest Reference Treasury Dealer Quotations, or (2) if the Quotation Agent obtains fewer than four such Reference Treasury Dealer Quotations, the average of all such quotations.
“Quotation Agent” means a Reference Treasury Dealer selected by us.
“Reference Treasury Dealer” means each of any four primary U.S. government securities dealers selected by us.
“Reference Treasury Dealer Quotations” means, with respect to each Reference Treasury Dealer and any redemption date, the average, as determined by the Quotation Agent, of the bid and
 
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asked prices for the Comparable Treasury Issue (expressed in each case as a percentage of its principal amount) quoted in writing to the Quotation Agent by such Reference Treasury Dealer at 3:30 p.m. New York time on the third business day preceding such redemption date. All determinations made by any Reference Treasury Dealer, including the Quotation Agent, with respect to determining the redemption price will be final and binding absent manifest error.
“Treasury Rate” means, with respect to any redemption date, the rate per annum equal to the semi-annual equivalent yield-to-maturity of the Comparable Treasury Issue (computed as of the third business day immediately preceding the redemption), assuming a price for the Comparable Treasury Issue (expressed as a percentage of its principal amount) equal to the Comparable Treasury Price for such redemption date. The redemption price and the Treasury Rate will be determined by us.
Offer to Repurchase upon a Change of Control Repurchase Event
If a Change of Control Repurchase Event occurs, unless we have exercised our right to redeem the Notes in full, we will make an offer to each holder of Notes to repurchase all or any part (in minimum denominations of  $2,000 and integral multiples of  $1,000 principal amount) of that holder’s Notes at a repurchase price in cash equal to 100% of the aggregate principal amount of Notes repurchased plus any accrued and unpaid interest on the Notes repurchased to the date of purchase. Within 30 days following any Change of Control Repurchase Event or, at our option, prior to any Change of Control, but after the public announcement of the Change of Control, we will mail a notice to each holder describing the transaction or transactions that constitute or may constitute the Change of Control Repurchase Event and offering to repurchase Notes on the payment date specified in the notice, which date will be no earlier than 30 days and no later than 60 days from the date such notice is mailed. The notice shall, if mailed prior to the date of consummation of the Change of Control, state that the offer to purchase is conditioned on the Change of Control Repurchase Event occurring on or prior to the payment date specified in the notice. We will comply with the requirements of Rule 14e-1 under the Exchange Act and any other securities laws and regulations thereunder to the extent those laws and regulations are applicable in connection with the repurchase of the Notes as a result of a Change of Control Repurchase Event. To the extent that the provisions of any securities laws or regulations conflict with the Change of Control Repurchase Event provisions of the Notes, we will comply with the applicable securities laws and regulations and will not be deemed to have breached our obligations under the Change of Control Repurchase Event provisions of the Notes by virtue of such conflict.
On the Change of Control Repurchase Event payment date, subject to extension if necessary to comply with the provisions of the 1940 Act, we will, to the extent lawful:
(1)
accept for payment all Notes or portions of Notes properly tendered pursuant to our offer;
(2)
deposit with the paying agent an amount equal to the aggregate purchase price in respect of all Notes or portions of Notes properly tendered; and
(3)
deliver or cause to be delivered to the trustee the Notes properly accepted, together with an officers’ certificate stating the aggregate principal amount of Notes being purchased by us.
The paying agent will promptly remit to each holder of Notes properly tendered the purchase price for the Notes, and the trustee will promptly authenticate upon receipt of a company order and mail (or cause to be transferred by book-entry) to each holder a new Note equal in principal amount to any unpurchased portion of any Notes surrendered;provided that each new Note will be in a minimum principal amount of  $2,000 or an integral multiple of  $1,000 in excess thereof.
We will not be required to make an offer to repurchase the Notes upon a Change of Control Repurchase Event if a third party makes an offer in the manner, at the times and otherwise in compliance with the requirements for an offer made by us and such third party purchases all Notes properly tendered and not withdrawn under its offer.
 
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The source of funds that will be required to repurchase Notes in the event of a Change of Control Repurchase Event will be our available cash or cash generated from our operations or other potential sources, including funds provided by a purchaser in the Change of Control transaction, borrowings, sales of assets or sales of equity. We cannot assure you that sufficient funds from such sources will be available at the time of any Change of Control Repurchase Event to make required repurchases of Notes tendered. 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 Notes to require the mandatory purchase of the 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 provisions or other restrictions. Our failure to purchase such tendered Notes upon the occurrence of such Change of Control Repurchase Event would cause an event of default under the indenture governing the Notes and a cross-default under the Credit Facility and agreements governing other indebtedness, which may result in the acceleration of such indebtedness requiring us to repay that indebtedness immediately. If the holders of the Notes exercise their right to require us to repurchase Notes upon a Change of Control Repurchase Event, the financial effect of this repurchase could cause a default under our current and future debt instruments, even if the Change of Control Repurchase Event itself would not cause a default. It is possible that we will not have sufficient funds at the time of the Change of Control Repurchase Event to make the required repurchase of the Notes and/or our other debt.
The definition of  “Change of Control” includes a phrase relating to the direct or indirect sale, transfer, conveyance or other disposition of  “all or substantially all” of our properties or assets and those of our subsidiaries taken as a whole. Although there is a limited body of case law interpreting the phrase “substantially all,” there is no precise, established definition of the phrase under applicable law. Accordingly, the ability of a holder of Notes to require us to repurchase the Notes as a result of a sale, transfer, conveyance or other disposition of less than all of our assets and the assets of our subsidiaries taken as a whole to another person or group may be uncertain.
For purposes of the Notes:
“Below Investment Grade Rating Event” means the Notes are downgraded below Investment Grade by the Rating Agency on any date from the date of the public notice of an arrangement that results in a Change of Control until the end of the 60-day period following public notice of the occurrence of a Change of Control (which period shall be extended so long as the rating of the Notes is under publicly announced consideration for possible downgrade by the Rating Agency);provided that a Below Investment Grade Rating Event otherwise arising by virtue of a particular reduction in rating shall not be deemed to have occurred in respect of a particular Change of Control (and thus shall not be deemed a Below Investment Grade Rating Event for purposes of the definition of Change of Control Repurchase Event hereunder) if the Rating Agency does not announce or publicly confirm or inform the trustee in writing at its request (acting at the direction of holders of a majority in Principal amount of the Notes) that the reduction was the result, in whole or in part, of any event or circumstance comprised of or arising as a result of, or in respect of, the applicable Change of Control (whether or not the applicable Change of Control shall have occurred at the time of the Below Investment Grade Rating Event).
“Change of Control” means the occurrence of any of the following:
(1)
the direct or indirect sale, lease, transfer, conveyance or other disposition (other than by way of merger or consolidation) in one or a series of related transactions, of all or substantially all of the assets of Stellus Capital Investment Corporation and its Controlled Subsidiaries taken as a whole to any “person” or “group” (as those terms are used in Section 13(d)(3) of the Exchange Act), other than to any Permitted Holders; provided that, for the avoidance of doubt, a pledge of assets pursuant to any secured debt instrument of Stellus Capital Corporation or its Controlled Subsidiaries shall not be deemed to be any such sale, lease, transfer, conveyance or disposition;
 
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(2)
the consummation of any transaction (including, without limitation, any merger or consolidation) the result of which is that any “person” or “group” (as those terms are used in Section 13(d)(3) of the Exchange Act) (other than any Permitted Holders) becomes the “beneficial owner” (as defined in Rules 13d-3 and 13d-5 under the Exchange Act), directly or indirectly, of more than 50% of the outstanding Voting Stock of Stellus Capital Corporation, measured by voting power rather than number of shares; or
(3)
the approval by Stellus Capital Corporation’s stockholders of any plan or proposal relating to the liquidation or dissolution of Stellus Capital Corporation.
“Change of Control Repurchase Event” means the occurrence of a Change of Control and a Below Investment Grade Rating Event.
“Controlled Subsidiary” means any subsidiary of Stellus Capital Investment Corporation, 50% or more of the outstanding equity interests of which are owned by Stellus Capital Investment Corporation and its direct or indirect subsidiaries and of which Stellus Capital Investment Corporation possesses, directly or indirectly, the power to direct or cause the direction of the management or policies, whether through the ownership of voting equity interests, by agreement or otherwise.
“DBRS” means DBRS, Inc. or any successor thereto.
“Investment Grade” means a rating of BBB or better by DBRS (or its equivalent under any successor rating categories of DBRS) (or, if such Rating Agency ceases to rate the Notes for reasons outside of our control, the equivalent investment grade credit rating from any Rating Agency selected by us as a replacement Rating Agency).
“Permitted Holders” means (i) us, (ii) one or more of our Controlled Subsidiaries or (iii) Stellus Capital Management, any affiliate of Stellus Capital Management or any entity that is managed or advised by Stellus Capital Management or any of their affiliates.
“Rating Agency” means:
(1)
DBRS; and
(2)
if DBRS ceases to rate the Notes or fails to make a rating of the Notes publicly available for reasons outside of our control, a “nationally recognized statistical rating organization” as defined in Section (3)(a)(62) of the Exchange Act selected by us as a replacement agency for DRBS.
“Voting Stock” as applied to stock of any person, means shares, interests, participations or other equivalents in the equity interest (however designated) in such person having ordinary voting power for the election of a majority of the directors (or the equivalent) of such person, other than shares, interests, participations or other equivalents having such power only by reason of the occurrence of a contingency.
Global Securities
Each Note will be issued in book-entry form and represented by a global security that we deposit with and register in the name of DTC or its nominee. A global security may not be transferred to or registered in the name of anyone other than the depositary or its nominee, unless special termination situations arise. As a result of these arrangements, the depositary, or its nominee, will be the sole registered owner and holder of all the Notes represented by a global security, and investors will be permitted to own only beneficial interests in a global security. For more information about these arrangements, see “—Book- Entry Procedures” below.
Termination of a Global Security
If a global security is terminated for any reason, interests in it will be exchanged for certificates in non-book-entry form (certificated securities). After that exchange, the choice of whether to hold
 
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the certificated Notes directly or in street name will be up to the investor. Investors must consult their own banks or brokers to find out how to have their interests in a global security transferred on termination to their own names, so that they will be holders.
Conversion and Exchange
The Notes are not convertible into or exchangeable for other securities.
Payment and Paying Agents
We will pay interest to the person listed in the trustee’s records as the owner of the Notes at the close of business on a particular day in advance of each due date for interest, even if that person no longer owns the Note on the interest due date. That day, usually about two weeks in advance of the interest due date, is called the “record date.” Because we will pay all the interest for an interest period to the holders on the record date, holders buying and selling the Notes must work out between themselves the appropriate purchase price. The most common manner is to adjust the sales price of the Notes to prorate interest fairly between buyer and seller based on their respective ownership periods within the particular interest period. This prorated interest amount is called “accrued interest.”
Payments on Global Securities
We will make payments on the Notes so long as they are represented by a global security in accordance with the applicable policies of the depositary as in effect from time to time. Under those policies, we will make payments directly to the depositary, or its nominee, and not to any indirect holders who own beneficial interests in the global security. An indirect holder’s right to those payments will be governed by the rules and practices of the depositary and its participants, as described under “—Book-Entry Procedures” below.
Payments on Certificated Securities
In the event the Notes become represented by certificated securities, we will make payments on the Notes as follows. We will pay interest that is due on an interest payment date to the holder of the Notes as shown on the trustee’s records as of the close of business on the regular record date. We will make all payments of principal and premium, if any, by check at the office of the applicable trustee in New York, New York and/or at other offices that may be specified in the indenture or a notice to holders against surrender of the Note.
Alternatively, if the holder asks us to do so, we will pay any amount that becomes due on the debt security by wire transfer of immediately available funds to an account at a bank in New York, New York, on the due date. To request payment by wire, the holder must give the applicable trustee or other paying agent appropriate written transfer instructions at least 15 business days before the requested wire payment is due. In the case of any interest payment due on an interest payment date, the instructions must be given by the person who is the holder on the relevant regular record date. Any wire instructions, once properly given, will remain in effect unless and until new instructions are given in the manner described above.
Payment When Offices Are Closed
If any payment is due on the Notes on a day that is not a business day, we will make the payment on the next day that is a business day. Payments made on the next business day in this situation will be treated under the indenture as if they were made on the original due date. Such payment will not result in a default under the Notes or the indenture, and no interest will accrue on the payment amount from the original due date to the next day that is a business day.
Book-entry and other indirect holders should consult their banks or brokers for information on how they will receive payments on the Notes.
Events of Default
You will have rights if an Event of Default occurs in respect of the Notes and the Event of Default is not cured, as described later in this subsection.
 
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The term “Event of Default” in respect of the Notes means any of the following:

We do not pay the principal of  (or premium on, if any) any Note when due and payable at maturity;

We do not pay interest on any Note when due and payable, and such default is not cured within 30 days of its due date;

We remain in breach of any other covenant in respect of the Notes for 60 days after we receive a written notice of default stating we are in breach (the notice must be sent by either the trustee or holders of at least 25% of the principal amount of the outstanding Notes);

Default by us or any of our significant subsidiaries, as defined in Article 1, Rule 1-02 of Regulation S-X promulgated under the Exchange Act (but excluding any subsidiary which is (a) a non-recourse or limited recourse subsidiary, (b) a bankruptcy remote special purpose vehicle, or (c) is not consolidated with Stellus Capital Investment Corporation for purposes of GAAP), with respect to any mortgage, agreement or other instrument under which there may be outstanding, or by which there may be secured or evidenced, any indebtedness for money borrowed in excess of  $50 million in the aggregate of us and/or any such subsidiary, whether such indebtedness now exists or shall hereafter be created (i) resulting in such indebtedness becoming or being declared due and payable or (ii) constituting a failure to pay the principal or interest of any such debt when due and payable at its stated maturity, upon required repurchase, upon declaration of acceleration or otherwise, unless, in either case, such indebtedness is discharged, or such acceleration is rescinded, stayed or annulled, within a period of 30 calendar days after written notice of such failure is given to us by the trustee or to us and the trustee by the holders of at least 25% in aggregate principal amount of the Notes then outstanding;

We file for bankruptcy or certain other events of bankruptcy, insolvency or reorganization occur and remain undischarged or unstayed for a period of 60 days; or

On the last business day of each of twenty-four consecutive calendar months, the Notes have an asset coverage (as such term is defined in the 1940 Act) of less than 100%.
An Event of Default for the Notes may, but does not necessarily, constitute an Event of Default for any other series of debt securities issued under the same or any other indenture. Within 90 days after the occurrence of any default under the indenture with respect to the Notes, the trustee shall transmit notice to the holders of such default known to the trustee, unless such default shall have been cured or waived; provided, however, that, except in the case of a default in the payment of the principal of  (or premium, if any, on) or interest, if any, on any Note, the trustee shall be protected in withholding such notice if and so long as the board of directors, the executive committee or a trust committee of directors of the trustee in good faith determines that withholding of such notice is in the interest of the holders of the Notes; and provided further that in the case of any default or breach specified in the third bullet point above with respect to the Notes, no such notice shall be given until at least 60 days after the occurrence thereof.
Remedies if an Event of Default Occurs
If an Event of Default has occurred and is continuing, then and in every case (other than an Event of Default specified in the penultimate bullet point above), the trustee or the holders of not less than 25% in principal amount of the Notes may declare the entire principal amount of all the Notes to be due and immediately payable, but this does not entitle any holder of Notes to any redemption payout or redemption premium. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the case of the events of bankruptcy, insolvency or reorganization described in the penultimate bullet point above, 100% of the principal of and accrued and unpaid interest on the Notes will automatically become due and payable. In certain circumstances, a declaration of acceleration of maturity pursuant to either of the prior two sentences may be canceled by the holders of a majority in principal amount of the Notes if  (1) we have deposited with the trustee all amounts due and owing with respect to the
 
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Notes (other than principal or any payment that has become due solely by reason of such acceleration) and certain other amounts, and (2) any other Events of Default have been cured or waived.
Except in cases of default, where the trustee has some special duties, the trustee is not required to take any action under the indenture at the request of any holders unless the holders offer the trustee protection from expenses and liability satisfactory to it (called an “indemnity”). If indemnity satisfactory to the trustee is provided, the holders of a majority in principal amount of the Notes may direct the time, method and place of conducting any lawsuit or other formal legal action seeking any remedy available to the trustee. The trustee may refuse to follow those directions in certain circumstances. No delay or omission in exercising any right or remedy will be treated as a waiver of that right, remedy or Event of Default.
Before you are allowed to bypass the trustee and bring your own lawsuit or other formal legal action or take other steps to enforce your rights or protect your interests relating to the Notes, the following must occur:

You must give the trustee written notice that an Event of Default has occurred and remains uncured;

The holders of at least 25% in principal amount of all the Notes must make a written request that the trustee take action because of the default and must offer the trustee indemnity, security, or both satisfactory to it against the cost and other liabilities of taking that action;

The trustee must not have taken action for 60 days after receipt of the above notice and offer of indemnity and/or security; and

The holders of a majority in principal amount of the Notes must not have given the trustee a direction inconsistent with the above notice during that 60-day period.
However, you are entitled at any time to bring a lawsuit for the payment of money due on your Notes on or after the due date.
Book-entry and other indirect holders should consult their banks or brokers for information on how to give notice or direction to or make a request of the trustee and how to declare or cancel an acceleration of maturity.
Each year, we will furnish to the trustee a written statement of certain of our officers certifying that to their knowledge we are in compliance with the indenture and the Notes, or else specifying any default.
Waiver of Default
The holders of a majority in principal amount of the Notes may waive any past defaults other than a default:

in the payment of principal (or premium, if any) or interest; or

in respect of a covenant that cannot be modified or amended without the consent of each holder of the Notes.
Merger, Consolidation or Asset Sale
Under the terms of the indenture, we are generally permitted to consolidate or merge with another entity. We are also permitted to sell all or substantially all of our assets to another entity. However, we may not take any of these actions unless all the following conditions are met:

where we merge out of existence or convey or transfer all or substantially all of our assets, the resulting entity must agree to be legally responsible for our obligations under the Notes;
 
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immediately after giving effect to the transaction, no default or Event of Default shall have occurred and be continuing; and

we must deliver certain certificates and documents to the trustee.
An assumption by any person of obligations under the Notes and the indenture might be deemed for U.S. federal income tax purposes to be an exchange of the Notes for new Notes by the holders thereof, resulting in recognition of gain or loss for such purposes and possibly other adverse tax consequences to the holders. Holders should consult their own tax advisors regarding the tax consequences of such an assumption.
Modification or Waiver
There are three types of changes we can make to the indenture and the Notes issued thereunder.
Changes Requiring Your Approval
First, there are changes that we cannot make to your Notes without your specific approval. The following is a list of those types of changes:

change the stated maturity of the principal of  (or premium, if any, on) or any installment of principal of or interest on the Notes;

reduce any amounts due on the Notes or reduce the rate of interest on the Notes;

reduce the amount of principal payable upon acceleration of the maturity of a Note following a default;

change the place or currency of payment on a Note;

impair your right to sue for payment;

reduce the percentage of holders of Notes whose consent is needed to modify or amend the indenture; and

reduce the percentage of holders of Notes whose consent is needed to waive compliance with certain provisions of the indenture or to waive certain defaults or reduce the percentage of holders of Notes required to satisfy quorum or voting requirements at a meeting of holders of the Notes.
Changes Not Requiring Approval
The second type of change does not require any vote by the holders of the Notes. This type is limited to clarifications and certain other changes that would not adversely affect holders of the Notes in any material respect.
Changes Requiring Majority Approval
Any other change to the indenture and the Notes would require the following approval:

if the change affects only the Notes, it must be approved by the holders of a majority in principal amount of the Notes; and

if the change affects more than one series of debt securities issued under the same indenture, it must be approved by the holders of a majority in principal amount of all of the series affected by the change, with all affected series voting together as one class for this purpose.
In each case, the required approval must be given by written consent. The holders of a majority in principal amount of all of the series of debt securities issued under an indenture, voting together as one class for this purpose, may waive our compliance with some of our covenants in that indenture.
However, we cannot obtain a waiver of a payment default or of any of the matters covered by the bullet points included above under “—Changes Requiring Your Approval.”
 
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Further Details Concerning Voting
When taking a vote, we will use the following rules to decide how much principal to attribute to the Notes:
The Notes will not be considered outstanding, and therefore not eligible to vote, if we have deposited or set aside in trust money for their payment or redemption or if we or any affiliate of ours own any Notes. The Notes will also not be eligible to vote if they have been fully defeased as described later under “—Defeasance—Full Defeasance” below.
We will generally be entitled to set any day as a record date for the purpose of determining the holders of the Notes that are entitled to vote or take other action under the indenture. However, the record date may not be earlier than 30 days before the date of the first solicitation of holders to vote on or take such action and not later than the date such solicitation is completed. If we set a record date for a vote or other action to be taken by holders of the Notes, that vote or action may be taken only by persons who are holders of the Notes on the record date and must be taken within eleven months following the record date.
Book-entry and other indirect holders should consult their banks or brokers for information on how approval may be granted or denied if we seek to change the indenture or the Notes or request a waiver.
Satisfaction and Discharge
The indenture will be discharged and will cease to be of further effect with respect to the Notes when:

Either

all the Notes that have been authenticated have been delivered to the trustee for cancellation; or

all the Notes that have not been delivered to the trustee for cancellation:

have become due and payable, or

will become due and payable at their stated maturity within one year, or

are to be called for redemption within one year,
and we, in the case of the first, second and third sub-bullets above, have irrevocably deposited or caused to be deposited with the trustee, as trust, funds in trust solely for the benefit of the holders of the Notes, in amounts as will be sufficient, to pay and discharge the entire indebtedness (including all principal, premium, if any, and interest) on such Notes not previously delivered to the trustee for cancellation (in the case of Notes that have become due and payable on or prior to the date of such deposit) or to the stated maturity or redemption date, as the case may be;

we have paid or caused to be paid all other sums payable by us under the indenture with respect to the Notes; and

we have delivered to the trustee an officers’ certificate and legal opinion, each stating that all conditions precedent provided for in the indenture relating to the satisfaction and discharge of the indenture and the Notes have been complied with.
Defeasance
The following provisions will be applicable to the Notes. “Defeasance” means that, by depositing with a trustee an amount of cash and/or government securities sufficient to pay all principal and interest, if any, on the Notes when due and satisfying any additional conditions noted below, we will be deemed to have been discharged from our obligations under the Notes. In the event of a “covenant defeasance,” upon depositing such funds and satisfying similar conditions discussed below we would be released from certain covenants under the indenture relating to the Notes.
 
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Covenant Defeasance
Under current U.S. federal income tax law and the indenture, we can make the deposit described below and be released from some of the restrictive covenants in the indenture under which the Notes were issued. This is called “covenant defeasance.” In that event, you would lose the protection of those restrictive covenants but would gain the protection of having money and government securities set aside in trust to repay your Notes. In order to achieve covenant defeasance, the following must occur:

Since the Notes are denominated in U.S. dollars, we must deposit in trust for the benefit of all holders of the Notes a combination of cash and U.S. government or U.S. government agency notes or bonds that will generate enough cash to make interest, principal and any other payments on the Notes on their various due dates;

We must deliver to the trustee a legal opinion of our counsel confirming that, under current U.S. federal income tax law, we may make the above deposit without causing you to be taxed on the Notes any differently than if we did not make the deposit;

We must deliver to the trustee a legal opinion of our counsel stating that the above deposit does not require registration by us under the 1940 Act, and a legal opinion and officers’ certificate stating that all conditions precedent to covenant defeasance have been complied with;

Defeasance must not result in a breach or violation of, or result in a default under, the indenture or any of our other material agreements or instruments; and

No default or Event of Default with respect to the Notes shall have occurred and be continuing and no defaults or events of default related to bankruptcy, insolvency or reorganization shall occur during the next 90 days.
If we accomplish covenant defeasance, you can still look to us for repayment of the Notes if there were a shortfall in the trust deposit or the trustee is prevented from making payment. In fact, if one of the remaining Events of Default occurred (such as our bankruptcy) and the Notes became immediately due and payable, there might be a shortfall. Depending on the event causing the default, you may not be able to obtain payment of the shortfall.
Full Defeasance
The Notes are subject to full defeasance. Full defeasance means that we can legally release ourselves from all payment and other obligations on the Notes, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, including, but not limited to that (a) we have received from, or there has been published by, the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) a ruling, or (b) there is a change in U.S. federal income tax law, in either case to the effect that the holders of the Notes and any coupons appertaining thereto will not recognize income, gain or loss for U.S. federal income tax purposes as a result of such defeasance and will be subject to U.S. federal income tax on the same amounts, in the same manner and at the same times as would have been the case if such defeasance had not occurred (called “full defeasance”), and that we put in place the following other arrangements for you to be repaid:

Since the Notes are denominated in U.S. dollars, we must deposit in trust for the benefit of all holders of the Notes a combination of cash and U.S. government or U.S. government agency notes or bonds that will generate enough cash to make interest, principal and any other payments on the Notes on their various due dates;

We must deliver to the trustee a legal opinion confirming that there has been a change in current U.S. federal tax law or an IRS ruling that allows us to make the above deposit without causing you to be taxed on the Notes any differently than if we did not make the deposit;

We must deliver to the trustee a legal opinion of our counsel stating that the above deposit does not require registration by us under the 1940 Act, and a legal opinion and officers’ certificate stating that all conditions precedent to defeasance have been complied with;
 
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Defeasance must not result in a breach or violation of, or constitute a default under, the indenture or any of our other material agreements or instruments; and

No default or Event of Default with respect to the Notes shall have occurred and be continuing and no defaults or events of default related to bankruptcy, insolvency or reorganization shall occur during the next 90 days.
If we ever did accomplish full defeasance, as described above, you would have to rely solely on the trust deposit for repayment of the Notes. You could not look to us for repayment in the unlikely event of any shortfall. Conversely, the trust deposit would most likely be protected from claims of our lenders and other creditors if we ever became bankrupt or insolvent.
Other Covenants
In addition to any other covenants described in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, as well as standard covenants relating to payment of principal and interest, maintaining an office where payments may be made or securities can be surrendered for payment and related matters, the following covenants will apply to the Notes:

We agree that for the period of time during which the Notes are outstanding, we will not violate Section 18(a)(1)(A) as modified by Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act or any successor provisions, whether or not we continue to be subject to such provisions of the 1940 Act, but giving effect, in either case, to any exemptive relief granted to us by the SEC. Currently, these provisions generally prohibit us from incurring additional indebtedness, including through the issuance of additional debt securities, unless our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, equals at least 150% after such incurrence or issuance.

We agree that, for the period of time during which the Notes are outstanding, we will not violate Section 18(a)(1)(B) as modified by (i) Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act or any successor provisions and after giving effect to any exemptive relief granted to us by the SEC and (ii) the two other exceptions set forth below. These statutory provisions of the 1940 Act are not currently applicable to us and will not be applicable to us as a result of this offering. However, if Section 18(a)(1)(B) as modified by Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act were currently applicable to us in connection with this offering, these provisions would generally prohibit us from declaring any cash dividend or distribution upon any class of our capital stock, or purchasing any such capital stock if our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, were below 150% at the time of the declaration of the dividend or distribution or the purchase and after deducting the amount of such dividend, distribution, or purchase. Under the covenant, we will be permitted to declare a cash dividend or distribution notwithstanding the prohibition contained in Section 18(a)(1)(B) as modified by Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act or any successor provisions, but only up to such amount as is necessary for us to maintain our status as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code. Furthermore, the covenant will not be triggered unless and until such time as our asset coverage has not been in compliance with the minimum asset coverage required by Section 18(a)(1)(B) as modified by Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act or any successor provisions (after giving effect to any exemptive relief granted to us by the SEC) for more than six consecutive months.

If, at any time, we are not subject to the reporting requirements of Sections 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act to file any periodic reports with the SEC, we agree to furnish to holders of the Notes and the trustee, for the period of time during which the Notes are outstanding, our audited annual consolidated financial statements, within 90 days of our fiscal year end, and unaudited interim consolidated financial statements, within 45 days of our fiscal quarter end (other than our fourth fiscal quarter). All such financial statements will be prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with applicable GAAP.
Form, Exchange and Transfer of Certificated Registered Securities
If registered Notes cease to be issued in book-entry form, they will be issued:

only in fully registered certificated form;
 
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without interest coupons; and

unless we indicate otherwise, in denominations of  $2,000 and amounts that are multiples of  $1,000.
Holders may exchange their certificated securities for Notes of smaller denominations or combined into fewer Notes of larger denominations, as long as the total principal amount is not changed and as long as the denomination is equal to or greater than $2,000.
Holders may exchange or transfer their certificated securities at the corporate trust office of the trustee. We have appointed the trustee to act as our agent for registering Notes in the names of holders transferring Notes. We may appoint another entity to perform these functions or perform them ourselves.
Holders will not be required to pay a service charge to transfer or exchange their certificated securities, but they may be required to pay any tax (including a withholding tax) or other governmental charge associated with the transfer or exchange. The transfer or exchange will be made only if our transfer agent is satisfied with the holder’s proof of legal ownership.
We may appoint additional transfer agents or cancel the appointment of any particular transfer agent. We may also approve a change in the office through which any transfer agent acts.
If any certificated securities of a particular series are redeemable and we redeem less than all the Notes, we may block the transfer or exchange of those Notes selected for redemption during the period beginning 15 days before the day we mail the notice of redemption and ending on the day of that mailing, in order to freeze the list of holders to prepare the mailing. We may also refuse to register transfers or exchanges of any certificated Notes selected for redemption, except that we will continue to permit transfers and exchanges of the unredeemed portion of any Note that will be partially redeemed.
If registered Notes are issued in book-entry form, only the depositary will be entitled to transfer and exchange the Notes as described in this subsection, since it will be the sole holder of the Notes.
Resignation of Trustee
The trustee may resign or be removed with respect to the Notes provided that a successor trustee is appointed to act with respect to the Notes. In the event that two or more persons are acting as trustee with respect to different series of indenture securities under the indenture, each of the trustees will be a trustee of a trust separate and apart from the trust administered by any other trustee.
Governing Law
The indenture and the Notes will be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of New York.
Indenture Provisions—Ranking
The Notes will be our direct unsecured obligations and will rank:

pari passu with our existing and future unsecured, unsubordinated indebtedness, including the 2022 Notes;

senior to any series of preferred stock that we may issue in the future;

senior to any of our future indebtedness that expressly provides it is subordinated to the Notes;

effectively subordinated to all of our existing and future secured indebtedness (including indebtedness that is initially unsecured to which we subsequently grant security), to the
 
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extent of the value of the assets securing such indebtedness, including, without limitation, borrowings under the Credit Facility; and

structurally subordinated to all existing and future indebtedness and other obligations of any of our subsidiaries and any other future subsidiaries of the Company, including, without limitation, the SBIC subsidiaries.
The Trustee under the Indenture
U.S. Bank National Association serves as the trustee, paying agent, and security registrar under the indenture.
Book-Entry Procedures
The Notes will be represented by global securities that will be deposited and registered in the name of DTC or its nominee. This means that, except in limited circumstances, you will not receive certificates for the Notes. Beneficial interests in the Notes will be represented through book-entry accounts of financial institutions acting on behalf of beneficial owners as direct and indirect participants in DTC. Investors may elect to hold interests in the Notes through either DTC, if they are a participant, or indirectly through organizations that are participants in DTC.
The Notes will be issued as fully registered securities registered in the name of Cede & Co. (DTC’s partnership nominee) or such other name as may be requested by an authorized representative of DTC. One fully registered certificate will be issued for each issuance of the Notes, in the aggregate principal amount thereof, and will be deposited with DTC. Interests in the Notes will trade in DTC’s Same Day Funds Settlement System, and any permitted secondary market trading activity in such Notes will, therefore, be required by DTC to be settled in immediately available funds. None of the Company, the trustee or the paying agent will have any responsibility for the performance by DTC or its participants or indirect participants of their respective obligations under the rules and procedures governing their operations.
DTC is a limited-purpose trust company organized under the New York Banking Law, a “banking organization” within the meaning of the New York Banking Law, a member of the Federal Reserve System, a “clearing corporation” within the meaning of the New York Uniform Commercial Code, and a “clearing agency” registered pursuant to the provisions of Section 17A of the Exchange Act. DTC holds and provides asset servicing for over 3.5 million issues of U.S. and non-U.S. equity, corporate and municipal debt issues, and money market instruments from over 100 countries that DTC’s participants (“Direct Participants”) deposit with DTC. DTC also facilitates the post-trade settlement among Direct Participants of sales and other securities transactions in deposited securities through electronic computerized book-entry transfers and pledges between Direct Participants’ accounts. This eliminates the need for physical movement of securities certificates. Direct Participants include both U.S. and non-U.S. securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations, and certain other organizations. DTC is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (“DTCC”).
DTCC is the holding company for DTC, National Securities Clearing Corporation and Fixed Income Clearing Corporation, all of which are registered clearing agencies. DTCC is owned by the users of its regulated subsidiaries. Access to the DTC system is also available to others such as both U.S. and non-U.S. securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies and clearing corporations that clear through or maintain a custodial relationship with a Direct Participant, either directly or indirectly (“Indirect Participants”). DTC has a Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services’ rating of AA+. The DTC Rules applicable to its participants are on file with the SEC. More information about DTC can be found at www.dtcc.com and www.dtc.org.
Purchases of the Notes under the DTC system must be made by or through Direct Participants, which will receive a credit for the Notes on DTC’s records. The ownership interest of each actual purchaser of each security, or the “Beneficial Owner,” is in turn to be recorded on the Direct and Indirect Participants’ records. Beneficial Owners will not receive written confirmation from DTC of
 
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their purchase. Beneficial Owners are, however, expected to receive written confirmations providing details of the transaction, as well as periodic statements of their holdings, from the Direct or Indirect Participant through which the Beneficial Owner entered into the transaction. Transfers of ownership interests in the Notes are to be accomplished by entries made on the books of Direct and Indirect Participants acting on behalf of Beneficial Owners. Beneficial Owners will not receive certificates representing their ownership interests in the Notes, except in the event that use of the book-entry system for the Notes is discontinued.
To facilitate subsequent transfers, all Notes deposited by Direct Participants with DTC are registered in the name of DTC’s partnership nominee, Cede & Co. or such other name as may be requested by an authorized representative of DTC. The deposit of the Notes with DTC and their registration in the name of Cede & Co. or such other DTC nominee do not effect any change in beneficial ownership. DTC has no knowledge of the actual Beneficial Owners of the Notes; DTC’s records reflect only the identity of the Direct Participants to whose accounts the Notes are credited, which may or may not be the Beneficial Owners. The Direct and Indirect Participants will remain responsible for keeping account of their holdings on behalf of their customers.
Conveyance of notices and other communications by DTC to Direct Participants, by Direct Participants to Indirect Participants, and by Direct Participants and Indirect Participants to Beneficial Owners will be governed by arrangements among them, subject to any statutory or regulatory requirements as may be in effect from time to time.
Redemption notices shall be sent to DTC. If less than all of the Notes within an issue are being redeemed, DTC’s practice is to determine by lot the amount of the interest of each Direct Participant in such issue to be redeemed.
Redemption proceeds, distributions, and interest payments on the Notes will be made to Cede & Co., or such other nominee as may be requested by an authorized representative of DTC. DTC’s practice is to credit Direct Participants’ accounts upon DTC’s receipt of funds and corresponding detail information from us or the trustee on the payment date in accordance with their respective holdings shown on DTC’s records. Payments by participants to Beneficial Owners will be governed by standing instructions and customary practices, as is the case with securities held for the accounts of customers in bearer form or registered in “street name,” and will be the responsibility of such participant and not of DTC nor its nominee, the trustee, or us, subject to any statutory or regulatory requirements as may be in effect from time to time. Payment of redemption proceeds, distributions, and interest payments to Cede & Co. (or such other nominee as may be requested by an authorized representative of DTC) is the responsibility of us or the trustee, but disbursement of such payments to Direct Participants will be the responsibility of DTC, and disbursement of such payments to the Beneficial Owners will be the responsibility of Direct and Indirect Participants.
DTC may discontinue providing its services as securities depository with respect to the Notes at any time by giving reasonable notice to us or to the trustee. Under such circumstances, in the event that a successor securities depository is not obtained, certificates are required to be printed and delivered. We may decide to discontinue use of the system of book-entry-only transfers through DTC (or a successor securities depository). In that event, certificates will be printed and delivered to DTC.
The information in this section concerning DTC and DTC’s book-entry system has been obtained from sources that we believe to be reliable, but neither we nor the underwriter take any responsibility for its accuracy.
 
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CERTAIN U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSEQUENCES
The following discussion summarizes certain material U.S. federal income tax consequences of acquiring, owning and disposing of the Notes. The discussion is based upon the Code; current, temporary and proposed U.S. Treasury Regulations issued thereunder (the “Treasury Regulations”); the legislative history of the Code; IRS rulings, pronouncements, interpretations and practices; and judicial decisions now in effect, all of which are subject to change at any time. Any such change may be applied retroactively in a manner that could adversely affect a holder of the Notes. This discussion is limited to persons purchasing the Notes for cash at original issue and at the offering price on the cover page of this prospectus supplement. Furthermore, this discussion assumes that each holder holds the Notes as “capital assets” within the meaning of Section 1221 of the Code (generally, property held for investment). It does not reflect every possible tax outcome or consequence that could result from acquiring, owning or disposing of the Notes. For example, special rules not discussed here may apply to you if you are:

a broker-dealer, dealer or trader in securities or currencies;

a controlled foreign corporation;

a passive foreign investment company;

an S corporation;

a bank, thrift or other financial institution;

a RIC, a real estate investment trust or other financial conduit entity (or shareholder of such entity);

an accrual method taxpayer subject to special tax accounting rules as a result of its use of financial statements;

an insurance company;

a tax-exempt organization, retirement plan, individual retirement account or tax deferred account;

subject to the alternative minimum tax provisions of the Code;

holding the Notes as part of a hedge, straddle, conversion, integrated or other risk reduction or constructive sale transaction;

holding the Notes through a partnership or other pass-through entity;

a “United States person” (within the meaning of the Code) whose “functional currency” is not the U.S. dollar; or

a U.S. expatriate or former long-term resident.
This discussion also does not address the U.S. federal income tax consequences to beneficial owners of the Notes subject to the special tax accounting rules under Section 451(b) of the Code. In addition, this discussion does not reflect state, local or non-U.S. tax consequences that may apply to you based on your particular circumstances and residence. This discussion also does not address any U.S. federal tax consequences, such as the estate tax or gift tax, other than U.S. federal income tax consequences. You should consult your own tax advisors to determine the tax consequences particular to your situation, including any applicable state, local or foreign income and other tax consequences, which may result from your acquisition, ownership or disposition of the Notes.
As used herein, “U.S. holder” means a beneficial owner of the Notes that is, for U.S. federal income tax purposes:

an individual who is a citizen or resident of the United States;

a corporation (or other entity treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes) created or organized in or under the laws of the United States, any state thereof or the District of Columbia;
 
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an estate, the income of which is subject to U.S. federal income tax regardless of its source; or

a trust that (1) is subject to the primary supervision of a U.S. court and the control of one or more “United States persons” (within the meaning of the Code) that have the authority to control all substantial decisions of the trust, or (2) has a valid election in effect under applicable Treasury Regulations to be treated as a United States person.
If any entity treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes holds the Notes, the tax treatment of an owner of such entity generally will depend upon the status of the owner and the activities of the entity. If you are an owner of an entity treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes, you should consult your tax advisor regarding the tax consequences of the entity’s purchase, ownership and disposition of the Notes. This discussion does not address the special treatment under U.S. federal income tax law that could result if we invested in tax-exempt securities or certain other investment assets. For purposes of this discussion, “non-U.S. holder” means a beneficial owner of the Notes that is neither a U.S. holder nor an entity treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
Prospective holders considering purchasing the Notes should consult their own tax advisors concerning the application of the U.S. federal tax laws to their individual circumstances, as well as any consequences to such holders relating to purchasing, owning and disposing of the Notes under the laws of any other taxing jurisdiction.
U.S. Holders
If you are not a U.S. holder, this section does not apply to you.
Interest.   The following discussion assumes that the Notes will be issued with no original issue discount or a de minimis amount of original issue discount for U.S. federal income tax purposes. A U.S. holder generally will be required to recognize and include in gross income any stated interest as ordinary income at the time it is paid or accrued on the Notes in accordance with such U.S. holder’s method of accounting for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
Sale or other taxable disposition of the Notes.    A U.S. holder will recognize gain or loss on the sale, exchange, redemption, retirement or other taxable disposition of a Note equal to the difference between the sum of the cash and the fair market value of any property received in exchange therefor (less a portion allocable to any accrued and unpaid stated interest, which generally will be taxable as ordinary income if not previously included in such U.S. holder’s income) and the U.S. holder’s adjusted tax basis in the Note. A U.S. holder’s adjusted tax basis in a Note (or a portion thereof) generally will be the U.S. holder’s cost therefor. This gain or loss generally will be long-term capital gain or loss if the U.S. holder has held the Notes for more than one year at the time of such disposition. Long-term capital gains recognized by non-corporate U.S. holders are subject to reduced tax rates. The deductibility of capital losses may be subject to limitations.
Additional tax on net investment income.    An additional surtax at a rate of 3.8% is imposed on the amount of  “net investment income,” in the case of an individual, or undistributed “net investment income,” in the case of an estate or trust (other than a charitable trust), which exceeds certain threshold amounts. “Net investment income” as defined for this purpose generally includes interest payments and gain recognized from the sale or other taxable disposition of the Notes. U.S. holders should consult their own tax advisors regarding the effect, if any, of this surtax on their ownership and disposition of the Notes.
Information reporting and backup withholding.    A U.S. holder may be subject to information reporting and backup withholding when such U.S. holder receives interest and principal payments on the Notes or proceeds upon the sale or other disposition of such Notes (including a redemption or retirement of the Notes). Certain U.S. holders (including, among others, corporations and certain tax-exempt organizations) generally are not subject to information reporting or backup withholding. A U.S. holder will be subject to backup withholding if such holder is not otherwise exempt and any of the following is true:
 
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such U.S. holder fails to furnish its taxpayer identification number, or “TIN,” which, for an individual is ordinarily his or her social security number;

the IRS notifies the payor that such U.S. holder furnished an incorrect TIN;

such U.S. holder is notified by the IRS of a failure to properly report payments of interest or dividends; or

such U.S. holder fails to certify, under penalties of perjury, that such holder has furnished a correct TIN and that the IRS has not notified such U.S. holder that it is subject to backup withholding.
A U.S. holder should consult its tax advisor regarding its qualification for an exemption from backup withholding and the procedures for obtaining such an exemption, if applicable. Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Any amounts withheld under the backup withholding rules from a payment to a U.S. holder generally will be allowed as a credit against the U.S. holder’s U.S. federal income tax liability or may be refunded, provided the required information is furnished in a timely manner to the IRS.
Non-U.S. Holders
If you are not a non-U.S. holder, this section does not apply to you.
Interest.    Subject to the discussion below concerning FATCA, interest paid to a non-U.S. holder on its Notes that is not effectively connected with such non-U.S. holder’s conduct of a United States trade or business (and, if any applicable treaty so provides, is not attributable to the conduct of a trade or business through a permanent establishment or fixed base in the United States) will not be subject to U.S. federal withholding tax, provided that:

such holder does not directly or indirectly, actually or constructively, own 10% or more of the total combined voting power of all classes of our voting stock;

such holder is not a controlled foreign corporation that is related to us through actual or constructive stock ownership;

such holder is not a bank that received such Note on an extension of credit made pursuant to a loan agreement entered into in the ordinary course of its trade or business; and

either (1) the non-U.S. holder certifies, prior to the payment of interest, in a statement provided to us or the paying agent generally on IRS Form W-8BEN, or IRS Form W-8BEN-E, under penalties of perjury, that it is not a “United States person” (within the meaning of the Code) and provides its name and address, (2) a securities clearing organization, bank or other financial institution that holds customers’ securities in the ordinary course of its trade or business and holds the Note on behalf of the non-U.S. holder certifies to us or the paying agent, prior to the payment of interest, under penalties of perjury that it, or the financial institution between it and the non-U.S. holder, has received from the non-U.S. holder a statement generally on IRS Form W-8BEN, or IRS Form W-8BEN-E, under penalties of perjury, that such holder is not a United States person and provides us or the paying agent with a copy of such statement or (3) the non-U.S. holder holds its Note directly through a “qualified intermediary” and certain conditions are satisfied.
A non-U.S. holder generally will also be exempt from withholding tax on interest if such amount is effectively connected with such non-U.S. holder’s conduct of a United States trade or business and the non-U.S. holder provides us with appropriate certification (as discussed below under the caption “— United States trade or business”).
Subject to the discussion below under “— United States trade or business,” if a non-U.S. holder does not satisfy the requirements above, interest paid to such non-U.S. holder generally will be subject to a 30% U.S. federal withholding tax. Such rate may be reduced or eliminated under a tax treaty between the United States and the non-U.S. holder’s country of residence. To claim a reduction or exemption under a tax treaty, a non-U.S. holder must generally complete an IRS
 
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Form W-8BEN or an IRS Form W-8BEN-E (or applicable successor form) and claim the reduction or exemption on the form.
Sale or other taxable disposition of the Notes.   Subject to the discussion below concerning FATCA, a non-U.S. holder generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax or withholding tax on gain recognized on the sale, exchange, redemption, retirement or other taxable disposition of a Note so long as (i) the gain is not effectively connected with the conduct by the non-U.S. holder of a United States trade or business (or, if a tax treaty applies, the gain is not attributable to a United States permanent establishment maintained by such non-U.S. holder) and (ii) in the case of a non-U.S. holder who is an individual, such non-U.S. holder is not present in the United States for 183 days or more in the taxable year of disposition and certain other requirements are not met. A non-U.S. holder who is an individual and does not meet this exemption should consult his or her tax advisor regarding the potential liability for U.S. federal income tax on such holder’s gain realized on a Note.
United States trade or business.   If interest paid on a Note or gain from a disposition of a Note is effectively connected with a non-U.S. holder’s conduct of a United States trade or business (and, if an income tax treaty applies, the non-U.S. holder maintains a United States permanent establishment to which such amounts are generally attributable), the non-U.S. holder generally will be subject to U.S. federal income tax on the interest or gain on a net basis in the same manner as if it were a U.S. holder. If a non-U.S. holder is subject to U.S. federal income tax on the interest on a net basis, the 30% withholding tax described above will not apply (assuming an appropriate certification is timely provided, generally on IRS Form W-8ECI). A non-U.S. holder that is a corporation may be subject to a branch profits tax equal to 30% of its effectively connected earnings and profits for the taxable year, subject to certain adjustments, unless it qualifies for a lower rate under an applicable income tax treaty. For this purpose, interest on a Note or gain from a disposition of a Note will be included in earnings and profits if the interest or gain is effectively connected with the conduct by the corporation of a United States trade or business.
Backup withholding and information reporting.   A non-U.S. holder generally will not be subject to backup withholding and information reporting with respect to payments that we make to the non-U.S. holder, provided that we do not have actual knowledge or reason to know that such holder is a “United States person,” within the meaning of the Code, and the non-U.S. holder has given us the statement described above under “Non-U.S. Holders—Interest.” In addition, a non-U.S. holder will not be subject to backup withholding or information reporting with respect to the proceeds of the sale or other disposition of the Notes (including a retirement or redemption of such Notes) within the United States or conducted through certain U.S.-related brokers, if the payor receives the statement described above and does not have actual knowledge or reason to know that such holder is a United States person or the holder otherwise establishes an exemption. However, we may be required to report annually to the IRS and to the non-U.S. holder the amount of, and the tax withheld with respect to, any interest paid to the non-U.S. holder, regardless of whether any tax was actually withheld. Copies of these information returns may also be made available under the provisions of a specific treaty or agreement to the tax authorities of the country in which the non-U.S. holder resides.
A non-U.S. holder generally will be entitled to credit any amounts withheld under the backup withholding rules against the holder’s U.S. federal income tax liability or may claim a refund provided that the required information is furnished to the IRS in a timely manner.
Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.   Sections 1471 through 1474 of the Code and the Treasury Regulations and other published guidance promulgated thereunder (which are commonly referred to as “FATCA”) generally impose withholding taxes on certain types of payments made to “foreign financial institutions” and certain other non-U.S. entities unless additional certification, information reporting and other specified requirements are satisfied (including, in the case of a foreign financial institution, entering into an agreement to, among other requirements, identify financial accounts owned by certain of its direct and indirect U.S. investors). Failure to comply with the FATCA reporting requirements could result in withholding tax being imposed on payments of interest and sales proceeds to foreign intermediaries and certain non-U.S. holders. An
 
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intergovernmental agreement between the United States and an applicable foreign country, or future Treasury regulations or other guidance, may modify these requirements. While existing Treasury Regulations would require FATCA withholding on payments of the gross proceeds from the sale of any property that could produce U.S. source interest or dividends, the U.S. Treasury Department has recently released proposed regulations that eliminated this requirement. Pursuant to these proposed regulations, a taxpayer may (but is not required to) rely on this proposed change to FATCA withholding until final regulations are issued or until such proposed regulations are rescinded. The FATCA withholding tax will apply to all withholdable payments without regard to whether the beneficial owner of the payment would otherwise be entitled to an exemption from imposition of withholding tax pursuant to an applicable tax treaty with the United States or U.S. domestic law. If payment of this withholding tax is made, holders that are otherwise eligible for an exemption from, or reduction of, U.S. federal withholding taxes with respect to such interest or proceeds will be required to seek a credit or refund from the IRS to obtain the benefit of such exemption or reduction, if any. We will not pay additional amounts to holders of the Notes in respect of any amounts withheld. Prospective holders should consult their own tax advisors regarding the potential application of withholding under FATCA to their investment in the Notes.
 
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UNDERWRITING
Raymond James & Associates, Inc. is acting as the sole underwriter for this offering. Subject to the terms and conditions set forth in an underwriting agreement dated January   , 2021 between us and the underwriter, we have agreed to sell to the underwriter, and the underwriter has agreed to purchase from us, the $      aggregate principal amount of Notes.
The underwriting agreement provides that the obligations of the underwriter to pay for and accept delivery of the Notes are subject to certain conditions precedent such as the receipt by the underwriter of officers’ certificates and legal opinions. The underwriting agreement provides that the underwriter will purchase all of the Notes if any of the Notes are purchased. We have agreed to indemnify the underwriter against certain liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), or to contribute to payments the underwriter may be required to make in respect of those liabilities.
The underwriter is offering the Notes, subject to its acceptance of the Notes from us and subject to prior sale. The underwriter reserves the right to withdraw, cancel or modify offers to the public and to reject orders in whole or in part.
The underwriter has agreed to purchase the Notes from us at    % of the aggregate principal amount of the Notes, which will result in aggregate proceeds to us of approximately $      million, after deducting the underwriting discount and the estimated offering expenses payable by us.
Commissions and Discounts
An underwriting discount of    % per Note will be paid by us. The underwriter has advised us that it proposes initially to offer some of the Notes to the public at the public offering price on the cover of this prospectus supplement and may offer some of the Notes to certain other Financial Institution Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) members at that price less a concession not in excess of     % of the aggregate principal amount of the Notes. After the initial offering of the Notes to the public, the public offering price and such concessions may be changed. No such change shall change the amount of proceeds to be received by us as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus supplement.
The following table shows the total underwriting discount that we are to pay to the underwriter in connection with this offering.
Per Note
Total
Public offering price
$           $          
Underwriting discount
$ $
Proceeds, before expenses, to us
$ $
The expenses of the offering, not including the underwriting discount, are estimated at $      and are payable by us.
No Sales of Similar Securities
Subject to certain exceptions, we have agreed for a period of 90 days after the date of this prospectus supplement to not sell, offer to sell, contract or agree to sell, hypothecate, pledge, grant any option to purchase or otherwise dispose of or agree to dispose of, directly or indirectly, any debt securities issued or guaranteed by us that are substantially similar to the Notes or any securities convertible into or exchangeable or exercisable for debt securities issued or guaranteed by us that are substantially similar to the Notes, or file any registration statement under the Securities Act with respect to any of the foregoing without first obtaining the written consent of Raymond James & Associates, Inc. This consent may be given at any time without public notice.
Listing
We do not intend to list the Notes on any securities exchange or automated dealer quotation system.
 
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We have been advised by the underwriter that it presently intends to make a market in the Notes after completion of the offering as permitted by applicable laws and regulations. The underwriter is not obligated, however, to make a market in the Notes and any such market-making may be discontinued at any time in the sole discretion of the underwriter without any notice. Accordingly, no assurance can be given as to the liquidity of, or development of a public trading market for, the Notes. If an active public trading market for the Notes does not develop, the market price and liquidity of the Notes may be adversely affected.
Stabilization
In connection with the offering, the underwriter may purchase and sell Notes in the open market. These transactions may include short sales, purchases to cover positions created by short sales and stabilizing transactions. Short sales involve the sale by the underwriter of a greater number of Notes than required to be purchased in this offering. Covering transactions involve purchases of the Notes in the open market after the distribution has been completed in order to cover short positions. Stabilizing transactions consist of certain bids or purchases of Notes made for the purpose of preventing or retarding a decline in the market price of the Notes while the offering is in progress.
Any of these activities may cause the price of the Notes to be higher than the price that otherwise would exist in the open market in the absence of such transactions. These transactions may be affected in the over-the-counter market or otherwise and, if commenced, may be discontinued at any time without any notice relating thereto.
Neither we nor the underwriter make any representation or prediction as to the direction or magnitude of any effect that the transactions described above may have on the price of the Notes. In addition, neither we nor the underwriter make any representation that the underwriter will engage in these transactions or that these transactions, once commenced, will not be discontinued without notice.
Electronic Distribution
A prospectus in electronic format may be made available by e-mail or on the web sites or through online services maintained by the underwriter participating in this offering, or by its affiliates. In those cases, prospective investors may view offering terms online and may be allowed to place orders online. The underwriter may agree with us to allocate a limited principal amount of the Notes for sale to online brokerage account holders. Any such allocation for online distributions will be made by the underwriter on the same basis as other allocations. Other than the prospectus in electronic format, information on the underwriter’s web sites and any information contained in any other web site maintained by the underwriter is not part of this prospectus supplement or the registration statement of which this prospectus supplement is a part, has not been approved and/or endorsed by us or the underwriter and should not be relied on by investors.
Other Relationships
The underwriter and its affiliates have provided in the past and may provide from time to time in the future in the ordinary course of their business certain commercial banking, financial advisory, investment banking and other services to us, our portfolio companies or our affiliates for which they have received or will be entitled to receive separate fees. In particular, the underwriter or its affiliates may execute transactions with us, on behalf of us, any of our portfolio companies or our affiliates. In addition, the underwriter or its affiliates may act as arrangers, underwriters or placement agents for companies whose securities are sold to or whose loans are syndicated to us, our portfolio companies or our affiliates.
The underwriter or its affiliates may also trade in our securities, securities of our portfolio companies or other financial instruments related thereto for their own accounts or for the account of others and may extend loans or financing directly or through derivative transactions to us, any of our portfolio companies or our affiliates.
 
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After the date of this prospectus supplement, the underwriter and its affiliates may from time to time obtain information regarding specific portfolio companies or us that may not be available to the general public. Any such information is obtained by the underwriter and its affiliates in the ordinary course of their respective business and not in connection with the offering of the Notes. In addition, after the offering period for the sale of the Notes, the underwriter or its affiliates may develop analyses or opinions related to us or our portfolio companies and buy or sell interests in one or more of our portfolio companies on behalf of their proprietary or client accounts and may engage in competitive activities. There is no obligation on behalf of these parties to disclose their respective analyses, opinions or purchase and sale activities regarding any portfolio company or regarding us to our noteholders or any other persons.
In the ordinary course of their various business activities, the underwriter and its affiliates may make or hold a broad array of investments and actively trade debt and equity securities (or related derivative securities) and financial instruments (including bank loans) for their own account and for the accounts of their customers. Such investments and securities activities may involve securities and/or instruments of ours or our affiliates. The underwriter and its affiliates may also make investment recommendations and/or publish or express independent research views in respect of such securities or financial instruments and may hold, or recommend to clients that they acquire, long and/or short positions in such securities and instruments.
The principal business address of the underwriter is as follows: Raymond James & Associates, Inc., 880 Carillon Parkway, St. Petersburg, Florida 33716.
Alternative Settlement Cycle
We expect that delivery of the Notes will be made against payment therefor on or about January   , 2021, which will be the third business day following the date of pricing of the Notes (such settlement cycle being herein referred to as “T+3”). Under Rule 15c6-1 under the Exchange Act, trades in the secondary market generally are required to settle in two business days, unless the parties to any such trade expressly agree otherwise. Accordingly, purchasers who wish to trade the Notes on any date prior to the second business day before delivery thereof will be required, by virtue of the fact that the Notes initially will settle T+3, to specify an alternate settlement cycle at the time of any such trade to prevent a failed settlement. Purchasers of the Notes who wish to trade the Notes prior to their date of delivery hereunder should consult their own advisors.
Other Jurisdictions
Other than in the United States, no action has been taken by us or the underwriter that would permit a public offering of the Notes offered by this prospectus supplement in any jurisdiction where action for that purpose is required. The Notes offered by this prospectus supplement may not be offered or sold, directly or indirectly, nor may this prospectus supplement or any other offering material or advertisements in connection with the offer and sale of any such Notes be distributed or published in any jurisdiction, except under circumstances that will result in compliance with the applicable rules and regulations of that jurisdiction. Persons into whose possession this prospectus supplement comes are advised to inform themselves about and to observe any restriction relating to the offering and the distribution of this prospectus supplement. This prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus do not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy the Notes offered by this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus in any jurisdiction in which such an offer or a solicitation is unlawful.
 
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LEGAL MATTERS
Certain legal matters regarding the Notes offered hereby will be passed upon for us by Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP, Washington, D.C. Certain legal matters regarding the Notes offered hereby will be passed upon for Raymond James by Dechert LLP.
AVAILABLE INFORMATION
This prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus constitute part of a registration statement on Form N-2 that we have filed with the SEC, together with any and all amendments and related exhibits under the Securities Act. This prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus do not contain all of the information set forth in the registration statement, some of which is contained in exhibits to the registration statement as permitted by the rules and regulations of the SEC. For further information with respect to us and the Notes we are offering under this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, we refer you to the registration statement, including the exhibits filed as a part of, or incorporated by reference into, the registration statement. Statements contained in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus concerning the contents of any contract or any other document are not necessarily complete. If a contract or other document has been filed as an exhibit to the registration statement or otherwise incorporated by reference as an exhibit thereto, please see the copy of the contract or document that has been filed or incorporated by reference. Each statement in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus relating to a contract or document filed or incorporated by reference as an exhibit is qualified in all respects by such exhibit.
We file with or submit to the SEC annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information meeting the informational requirements of the Exchange Act. We maintain a website at http://www.stelluscapital.com and intend to make all of our annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other publicly filed information available, free of charge, on or through our website. You may also obtain such information, free of charge, by contacting us in writing at 4400 Post Oak Parkway, Suite 2200, Houston, TX 77027, Attention: Investor Relations or by email at info@stelluscapital.com. The SEC maintains a website that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information we file with the SEC at http://www.sec.gov.    Information contained on our website is not incorporated into this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus and you should not consider such information to be part of this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus.
 
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INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE
We incorporate by reference in this prospectus supplement the documents listed below and any future reports and other documents we file with the SEC pursuant to Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act, until all of the securities offered by this prospectus supplement have been sold or we otherwise terminate the offering of these securities (such reports and other documents deemed to be incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and to be part hereof from the date of filing of such reports and other documents); provided, however, that information “furnished” under Item 2.02 or Item 7.01 of Form 8-K, or other information “furnished” to the SEC pursuant to the Exchange Act will not be incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement:






our Current Reports on Form 8-K, filed with the SEC on April 21, 2020, May 18, 2020, June 26, 2020, and September 21, 2020.
Any reports filed by us with the SEC before the date that any offering of any securities by means of this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus is terminated will automatically update and, where applicable, supersede any information contained in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus or incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus.
To obtain copies of these filings, see “Available Information” in this prospectus supplement.
 
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PROSPECTUS
Stellus Capital Investment Corporation
Common Stock
Preferred Stock
Subscription Rights
Debt Securities
Warrants
We may offer, from time to time in one or more offerings, up to $200,000,000 of our common stock, preferred stock, subscription rights, debt securities or warrants to purchase common stock, preferred stock or debt securities, which we refer to, collectively, as the “securities.” Our securities may be offered at prices and on terms to be disclosed in one or more supplements to this prospectus. You should read this prospectus and the applicable prospectus supplement carefully before you invest in our securities.
Our securities may be offered directly to one or more purchasers through agents designated from time to time by us, or to or through underwriters or dealers. The prospectus supplement relating to the offering will identify any agents or underwriters involved in the sale of our securities, and will disclose any applicable purchase price, fee, commission or discount arrangement between us and our agents or underwriters or among our underwriters or the basis upon which such amount may be calculated. See “Plan of Distribution.” We may not sell any of our securities through agents, underwriters or dealers without delivery of a prospectus supplement describing the method and terms of the offering of such securities.
We are an externally managed, closed-end, non-diversified management investment company that has elected to be regulated as a business development company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, or the 1940 Act. Our investment objective is to maximize the total return to our stockholders in the form of current income and capital appreciation. The companies in which we invest are typically highly leveraged, and, in most cases, our investments in such companies will not be rated by national rating agencies. If such investments were rated, we believe that they would likely receive a rating below investment grade (i.e., below BBB or Baa), which are often referred to as “junk.”
On June 19, 2019, the last reported sale price of our common stock on the New York Stock Exchange was $14.04. We are required to determine the net asset value per share of our common stock on a quarterly basis. On March 31, 2019, our net asset value per share was $14.32.
Shares of closed-end investment companies, including business development companies, frequently trade at a discount to their net asset value. If our shares trade at a discount to our net asset value, it will likely increase the risk of loss for purchasers in this offering. 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, or warrants, options or rights to acquire our common stock, at a price below then-current net asset value per share of our common stock if our board of directors determines that such sale is in our best interests, and if our stockholders approve such sale. At our 2018 annual meeting of stockholders, our stockholders voted to allow us to issue common stock at a price below net asset value per share for the period ending on the earlier of the one-year anniversary of the date of the Company’s 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders and the date of the Company’s 2019 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, scheduled for June 27, 2019. The proposal approved by our stockholders did not specify a maximum discount below net asset value at which we are able to issue our common stock, although the number of shares sold in each offering may not exceed 25% of our outstanding common stock immediately prior to such sale. We are seeking similar approval at our 2019 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. We cannot issue shares of our common stock below net asset value unless our board of directors determines that it would be in our and our stockholders’ best interests to do so. Sales of common stock at prices below net asset value per share dilute the interests of existing stockholders, have the effect of reducing our net asset value per share and may reduce our market price per share. In addition, continuous sales of common stock below net asset value may have a negative impact on total returns and could have a negative impact on the market price of our shares of common stock. See “Sales of Common Stock Below Net Asset Value.”
Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. Before buying any shares, you should read the discussion of the material risks of investing in our common stock in “Risk Factors” beginning on page 17 of this prospectus.
This prospectus and the accompanying prospectus supplement contain important information you should know before investing in our common stock. Please read this prospectus and the accompanying prospectus supplement before you invest and keep it for future reference. We file annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information about us with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC. The SEC also maintains a website at http://www.sec.gov that contains such information. This information is also available free of charge by contacting us at 4400 Post Oak Parkway, Suite 2200, Houston, TX 77027, Attention: Investor Relations, or by calling us collect at (713) 292-5400 or on our website at www.stelluscapital.com (under the Public Investors section). Information contained on our website is not incorporated by reference into this prospectus, and you should not consider that information to be part of this prospectus or the accompanying prospectus supplement.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has not approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
The date of this prospectus is June 21, 2019

 
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ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS
This prospectus is part of a registration statement that we have filed with the SEC using the “shelf” registration process. Under the shelf registration process, we may offer, from time to time, up to $200,000,000 of our securities on terms to be determined at the time of the offering. This prospectus provides you with a general description of the securities that we may offer. Each time we use this prospectus to offer securities, we will provide a prospectus supplement that will contain specific information about the terms of that offering. The prospectus supplement may also add, update or change information contained in this prospectus. Please carefully read this prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement together with the additional information described under “Risk Factors” and “Available Information” before you make an investment decision.
No dealer, salesperson or other person is authorized to give any information or to represent anything not contained in this prospectus or any accompanying supplement to this prospectus. You must not rely on any unauthorized information or representations not contained in this prospectus or any accompanying prospectus supplement as if we had authorized it. This prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement do not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of any offer to buy any security other than the registered securities to which they relate, nor do they constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities in any jurisdiction to any person to whom it is unlawful to make such an offer or solicitation in such jurisdiction. The information contained in this prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement is accurate as of the dates on their covers. Our financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since that date. To the extent required by law, we will amend or supplement the information contained in this prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement to reflect any material changes to such information subsequent to the date of the prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement and prior to the completion of any offering pursuant to the prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement.
 
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PROSPECTUS SUMMARY
This summary highlights some of the information in this prospectus. It is not complete and may not contain all of the information that you may want to consider. You should read the more detailed information set forth under “Risk Factors” and the other information included in this prospectus and any prospectus supplement carefully.
Except as otherwise indicated, the terms “we,” “us,” “our,” and the “Company” refer to Stellus Capital Investment Corporation; and “Stellus Capital Management” refers to our investment adviser and administrator, Stellus Capital Management, LLC.
Stellus Capital Investment Corporation
We are an externally managed, closed-end, non-diversified management investment company that has elected to be regulated as a business development company, or “BDC”, under the Investment Company Act of 1940, or the “1940 Act.” We originate and invest primarily in private middle-market companies (typically those with $5.0 million to $50.0 million of EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization)) through first lien, second lien, unitranche and mezzanine debt financing, with corresponding equity co-investments. Unitranche debt is typically structured as first lien loans with certain risk characteristics of mezzanine debt. Mezzanine debt includes senior unsecured and subordinated loans.
Our investment activities are managed by our investment adviser, Stellus Capital Management, an investment advisory firm led by Robert T. Ladd and its other senior investment professionals. We source investments primarily through the extensive network of relationships that the senior investment professionals of Stellus Capital Management have developed with financial sponsor firms, financial institutions, middle-market companies, management teams and other professional intermediaries. The companies in which we invest are typically highly leveraged, and, in most cases, our investments in such companies will not be rated by national rating agencies. If such investments were rated, we believe that they would likely receive a rating which is often referred to as “junk.”
Our investment objective is to maximize the total return to our stockholders in the form of current income and capital appreciation. We seek to achieve our investment objective by:

accessing the extensive origination channels that have been developed and established by the Stellus Capital Management investment professionals that include long-standing relationships with private equity firms, commercial banks, investment banks and other financial services firms;

investing in what we believe to be companies with strong business fundamentals, generally within our core middle-market company focus;

focusing on a variety of industry sectors, including business services, energy, general industrial, government services, healthcare, software and specialty finance;

focusing primarily on directly originated transactions;

applying the disciplined underwriting standards that the Stellus Capital Management investment professionals have developed over their extensive investing careers; and

capitalizing upon the experience and resources of the Stellus Capital Management investment team to monitor our investments.
In addition, on October 23, 2013, we received an exemptive order, or the “Prior Order”, from the SEC to co-invest with private funds managed by Stellus Capital Management where doing so is consistent with our investment strategy as well as applicable law (including the terms and conditions of the exemptive order issued by the SEC). On December 18, 2018, we received a new exemptive order, or the “Order”, that supersedes the Prior Order and permits us greater flexibility to enter into co-investment transactions. The Order expands on the Prior Order and allows us to co-invest with additional types of private funds, other BDCs, and registered investment companies managed by Stellus Capital Management or an adviser that is controlled, controlling, or under common control with Stellus Capital Management, subject to the conditions included therein. Pursuant to the Order, a “required majority” (as defined in Section 57(o) of the 1940 Act) of our independent directors must make certain conclusions in connection with a co-investment
 
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transaction, including that (1) the terms of the proposed transaction, including the consideration to be paid, are reasonable and fair to us and our stockholders and do not involve overreaching of us or our stockholders on the part of any person concerned and (2) the transaction is consistent with the interests of our stockholders and is consistent with our investment objectives and strategies. We co-invest, subject to the conditions included in the Order, with private credit funds managed by Stellus Capital Management that have an investment strategy that is similar to or identical to our investment strategy, and we may co-invest with other BDCs and registered investment companies managed by Stellus Capital Management or an adviser that is controlled, controlling, or under common control with Stellus Capital Management in the future. We believe that such co-investments may afford us additional investment opportunities and an ability to achieve greater diversification.
As a BDC, we are required to comply with regulatory requirements, including limitations on our use of debt. Prior to June 28, 2018, we were only allowed to employ leverage to the extent that our asset coverage, as defined in the 1940 Act, was equal to at least 200% after giving effect to such leverage. On March 23, 2018, the Small Business Credit Availability Act, or the “SBCAA”, was signed into law, which included various changes to regulations under the federal securities laws that impact BDCs. The SBCAA included changes to the 1940 Act to allow BDCs to decrease their asset coverage requirement to 150% from 200% under certain circumstances. On April 4, 2018, our board of directors, including a “required majority” (as such term is defined in Section 57(o) of the 1940 Act) of the board of directors, approved the application of the modified asset coverage requirements set forth in Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act. The board of directors also approved the submission of a proposal to approve the application of the modified asset coverage requirements set forth in Section 61(a)(2) of the 1940 Act, which was approved by shareholders at the Company’s 2018 annual meeting of stockholders. As a result, the asset coverage ratio test applicable to the Company was decreased from 200% to 150%, effective June 28, 2018. In other words, prior to the enactment of the SBCAA, a BDC could borrow $1.00 for investment purposes for every $1.00 of investor equity. Now, for those BDCs, like the Company, that satisfy the Act’s approval and disclosure requirements, the BDC can borrow $2.00 for investment purposes for every $1.00 of investor equity.
The SBCA provides that in order for a BDC whose common stock is traded on a national securities exchange to be subject to 150% Asset Coverage, the BDC must either obtain: (i) approval of the required majority of its non-interested directors who have no financial interest in the proposal, which would become effective one year after the date of such approval, or (ii) obtain stockholder approval (of more than 50% of the votes cast for the proposal at a meeting in which quorum is present), which would become effective on the first day after the date of such stockholder approval.
The amount of leverage that we employ will depend on our assessment of market conditions and other factors at the time of any proposed borrowing, such as the maturity, covenant package and rate structure of the proposed borrowings, our ability to raise funds through the issuance of our securities and the risks of such borrowings within the context of our investment outlook. Ultimately, we only intend to use leverage if the expected returns from borrowing to make investments will exceed the cost of such borrowings. For more information about the expected amount of and costs associated with our borrowings, see “Fees and Expenses” in this prospectus.
We have elected and qualified to be treated for federal income tax purposes as a regulated investment company, or “RIC,” under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code, or the “Code”. As a RIC, we generally will not have to pay corporate-level federal income taxes on any net ordinary income or capital gains that we distribute to our stockholders as dividends if we meet certain source-of-income, distribution and asset diversification requirements.
SBIC License
Our wholly owned subsidiary holds a license to operate as a small business investment company, or SBIC. Our wholly-owned SBIC subsidiary’s SBIC license allows it to obtain leverage by issuing SBA-guaranteed debentures up to a maximum of $150 million under current SBIC regulations, subject to required capitalization of the SBIC subsidiary and other requirements. The principal amount of SBA-guaranteed debentures is not required to be paid prior to maturity but may be prepaid at any time without penalty. We believe that the SBA-guaranteed debentures are an attractive source of debt capital.
 
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Portfolio Composition
Our investments generally range in size from $5.0 million to $30.0 million, and we may also selectively invest in larger positions. We generally expect that the size of our positions will increase in proportion to the size of our capital base. Pending such investments, we may reduce our outstanding indebtedness or invest in cash, cash equivalents, U.S. government securities and other high-quality debt investments with a maturity of one year or less. In the future, we may adjust opportunistically the percentage of our assets held in various types of loans, our principal loan sources and the industries to which we have greatest exposure, based on market conditions, the credit cycle, available financing and our desired risk/return profile.
The following table provides a summary of our portfolio investments as of March 31, 2019:
As of March 31, 2019
($ in millions)
Number of investments in portfolio companies
55
Fair value(a)
$ 517.4
Cost
$ 520.1
% of portfolio at fair value – first lien debt(b)
61%
% of portfolio at fair value – second lien debt
28%
% of portfolio at fair value – unsecured debt
5%
% of portfolio at fair value – equity
6%
Weighted-average annual yield(c)
10.7%
(a)
As of March 31, 2019, $442.1 million of our debt investments at fair value were at floating interest rates, which represented approximately 91% of our total portfolio of debt investments at fair value. As of March 31, 2019, $43.7 million of our debt investments at fair value were at fixed interest rates, which represented approximately 9% of our total portfolio of debt investments at fair value.
(b)
Includes unitranche investments, which account for 20.2% of our portfolio at fair value.
(c)
The weighted average yield on all of our debt investments as of March 31, 2019, was approximately 10.7%, of which approximately 10.2% was current cash interest. The weighted average yield of our debt investments is not the same as a return on investment for our stockholders but, rather, relates to a portion of our investment portfolio and is calculated before the payment of all of our and our subsidiaries’ fees and expenses. The weighted average yield was computed using the effective interest rates for all of our debt investments, which represents the interest rate on our debt investments restated as an interest rate payable annually in arrears and is computed including cash and payment in kind, or PIK interest, as well as accretion of original issue discount. There can be no assurance that the weighted average yield will remain at its current level.
Leverage
Credit Facility.   We have entered into a senior secured revolving credit agreement, dated as of October 10, 2017, as amended on March 28, 2018 and August 2, 2018, with ZB, N.A., dba Amegy Bank and various other leaders, or the “Credit Facility”. The Credit Facility, as amended, provides for borrowings up to a maximum of $180.0 million on a committed basis with an accordion feature that allows the Company to increase the aggregate commitments up to 195.0 million, subject to new or existing lenders agreeing to participate in the increase and other customary conditions. Borrowings under the Credit Facility bear interest, subject to our election, on a per annum basis equal to (i) LIBOR plus 2.50% (or 2.75% during certain periods in which the Company’s asset coverage ratio is equal to or below 1.90 to 1.00) with no LIBOR floor or (ii) 1.50% (or 1.75% during certain periods in which the Company’s asset coverage ratio is equal to or below 1.90 to 1.00) plus an alternate base rate based on the highest of the Prime Rate, Federal Funds Rate plus 0.5% or one month LIBOR plus 1.0%. We pay unused commitment fees of 0.50% per annum on the unused lender commitments. Interest is payable quarterly in arrears. Any amounts borrowed under the Credit Facility will mature, and all accrued and unpaid interest thereunder will be due and payable, on October 10, 2021. Our obligations to the lenders are secured by a first priority security interest
 
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in its portfolio of securities and cash not held at the SBIC subsidiary, but excluding short term investments. As of March 31, 2019, we had approximately $76.1 million outstanding under the Credit Facility.
5.75% Notes.   On August 21, 2017, we issued $42.5 million in aggregate principal amount of 5.75% fixed-rate notes due 2022, or the “2022 Notes” and issued an additional $6.4 million in aggregate principal amount of the 2022 Notes pursuant to a full exercise of the underwriters’ overallotment option. The 2022 Notes will mature on September 15, 2022, and may be redeemed in whole or in part at any time or from time to time at the Company’s option on or after September 15, 2019 at a redemption price equal to 100% of the outstanding principal, plus accrued and unpaid interest. As of March 31, 2019, we had $48.9 million of 2022 Notes outstanding.
SBA-guaranteed Debentures.   Due to the SBIC subsidiary’s status as a licensed SBIC, we have the ability to issue debentures guaranteed by the SBA at favorable interest rates. As of March 31, 2019, the SBIC subsidiary had $150.0 million of SBA-guaranteed debentures outstanding.
Stellus Capital Management
Stellus Capital Management manages our investment activities and is responsible for analyzing investment opportunities, conducting research and performing due diligence on potential investments, negotiating and structuring our investments, originating prospective investments and monitoring our investments and portfolio companies on an ongoing basis.
The senior investment professionals of Stellus Capital Management have an average of over 29 years of investing, corporate finance, restructuring, consulting and accounting experience and have worked together at several companies. The Stellus Capital Management investment professionals have a wide range of experience in middle-market investing, including originating, structuring and managing loans and debt securities through market cycles. The Stellus Capital Management investment professionals continue to provide investment sub-advisory services to D. E. Shaw & Co., L.P. and its associated investment funds, or the “D. E. Shaw group”, with respect to an approximately $15 million investment portfolio (as of March 31, 2019) in middle-market companies pursuant to sub-advisory arrangements.
In addition to serving as our investment adviser and the sub-advisor to the D. E. Shaw group as noted above, Stellus Capital Management currently manages private credit funds that have an investment strategy that is similar to or identical to our investment strategy and energy private equity funds. We received exemptive relief from the SEC to co-invest with investment funds managed by Stellus Capital Management (other than the D. E. Shaw group funds) where doing so is consistent with our investment strategy as well as applicable law (including the terms and conditions of the Order. We believe that such co-investments may afford us additional investment opportunities and an ability to achieve greater diversification. We will not co-invest with the energy private equity funds, as the energy private equity funds focus on predominantly equity-related investments, and we focus on predominantly credit-related investments. In addition, we will not co-invest with D.E. Shaw group funds.
Stellus Capital Management is headquartered in Houston, Texas, and also maintains offices in the Washington, D.C. area and Charlotte, North Carolina.
Market Opportunity
We originate and invest primarily in private middle-market companies through first lien, second lien, unitranche and mezzanine debt financing, with a corresponding equity co-investment. We believe the environment for investing in middle-market companies is attractive for several reasons, including:
Robust Demand for Debt Capital.   We believe that private equity firms have significant committed but uncalled capital, a large portion of which is still available for investment in the United States. We expect the large amount of uninvested capital commitments will drive buyout activity over the next several years, which should, in turn, create lending opportunities for us. In addition to increased buyout activity, a high volume of senior secured and high yield debt was originated in the calendar years 2011 through 2013 and will come due in the near term and, accordingly, we believe that new financing opportunities will increase as many companies seek to refinance this indebtedness.
 
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Attractive Environment to Lend To Middle-Market Companies.   The current strength of the U.S. economy provides an attractive environment to lend to middle-market companies. The U.S. services and manufacturing sector continues to show strong growth and profitability, allowing middle market companies to continue to service their debt and prudently borrow to support growth initiatives and mergers and acquisitions activity. This dynamism, coupled with ample capital from private equity firms to support middle market companies, is creating a large population of credit worthy companies looking for debt capital.
Attractive Deal Pricing and Structures.   We believe that the pricing of middle-market debt investments is higher, and the terms of such investments are more conservative, compared to larger liquid, public debt financings, due to the more limited universe of lenders as well as the highly negotiated nature of these financings. These transactions tend to offer stronger covenant packages, higher interest rates, lower leverage levels and better call protection compared to larger financings. In addition, middle-market loans typically offer other investor protections such as default penalties, lien protection, change of control provisions and information rights for lenders.
Specialized Lending Requirements.   Lending to middle-market companies requires in-depth diligence, credit expertise, restructuring experience and active portfolio management. We believe that several factors render many U.S. financial institutions ill-suited to lend to middle-market companies. For example, based on the experience of Stellus Capital Management’s investment professionals, lending to middle-market companies in the United States (a) is generally more labor intensive than lending to larger companies due to the smaller size of each investment and the fragmented nature of the information available with respect to such companies, (b) requires specialized due diligence and underwriting capabilities, and (c) may also require more extensive ongoing monitoring by the lender. We believe that, through Stellus Capital Management, we have the experience and expertise to meet these specialized lending requirements.
Competitive Strengths
We believe that the following competitive strengths will allow us to achieve positive returns for our investors:
Experienced Investment Team.   Through our investment adviser, Stellus Capital Management, we have access to the experience and expertise of the Stellus Capital Management investment professionals, including its senior investment professionals who have an average of over 29 years of investing, corporate finance, restructuring, consulting and accounting experience and have worked together at several companies. The Stellus Capital Management investment professionals have a wide range of experience in middle-market investing, including originating, structuring and managing loans and debt securities through market cycles. We believe the members of Stellus Capital Management’s investment professionals are proven and experienced, with extensive capabilities in leveraged credit investing, having participated in these markets for the predominant portion of their careers. We believe that the experience and demonstrated ability of the Stellus Capital Management investment team to complete transactions enhances the quantity and quality of investment opportunities available to us.
Established, Rigorous Investment and Monitoring Process.   The Stellus Capital Management investment professionals have developed an extensive review and credit analysis process. Each investment that is reviewed by Stellus Capital Management is brought through a structured, multi-stage approval process. In addition, Stellus Capital Management takes an active approach in monitoring all investments, including reviews of financial performance on at least a quarterly basis and regular discussions with management. Stellus Capital Management’s investment and monitoring process and the depth and experience of its investment professionals should allow it to conduct the type of due diligence and monitoring that enables it to identify and evaluate risks and opportunities.
Demonstrated Ability to Structure Investments Creatively.   Stellus Capital Management has the expertise and ability to structure investments across all levels of a company’s capital structure. Furthermore, we believe that current market conditions will allow us to structure attractively priced debt investments and may allow us to incorporate other return-enhancing mechanisms such as commitment fees, original issue discounts, early redemption premiums, payment-in-kind, or “PIK,” interest or some form of equity securities.
 
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Resources of Stellus Capital Management Platform.   We have access to the resources and capabilities of Stellus Capital Management, which has 17 investment professionals, including Robert T. Ladd, Dean D’Angelo, Joshua T. Davis and Todd A. Overbergen, who are supported by eight managing directors, two vice presidents and three analysts. These individuals have developed long-term relationships with middle-market companies, management teams, financial sponsors, lending institutions and deal intermediaries by providing flexible financing throughout the capital structure. We believe that these relationships provide us with a competitive advantage in identifying investment opportunities in our target market. We also expect to benefit from Stellus Capital Management’s due diligence, credit analysis, origination and transaction execution experience and capabilities, including the support provided with respect to those functions by Mr. Huskinson, who serves as our chief financial officer and chief compliance officer, and his staff of ten finance and operations professionals.
Risk Factors
An investment in our securities is subject to risks. The following is a summary of the principal risks that you should carefully consider before investing in our securities. In addition, see “Risk Factors” beginning on page 18 of this prospectus to read about factors you should consider before deciding to invest in our securities.

We are dependent upon key personnel of Stellus Capital Management for our future success. If Stellus Capital Management were to lose any of its key personnel, our ability to achieve our investment objective could be significantly harmed.

Our business model depends to a significant extent upon strong referral relationships. Any inability of Stellus Capital Management to maintain or develop these relationships, or the failure of these relationships to generate investment opportunities, could adversely affect our business.

Our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows will depend on our ability to manage our business effectively.

There are significant potential conflicts of interest that could negatively affect our investment returns.

The incentive fee structure we have with Stellus Capital Management may create incentives that are not fully aligned with the interests of our stockholders.

We will be subject to corporate-level income tax and may default under the Credit Facility if we are unable to maintain our qualification as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code.

Regulations governing our operation as a BDC affect our ability to and the way in which we raise additional capital and, as a BDC, the necessity of raising additional capital may expose us to risks, including the typical risks associated with leverage.

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

Because we use debt to finance our investments, changes in interest rates will affect our cost of capital and net investment income.

Adverse developments in the credit markets may impair our ability to borrow money.

Most of our portfolio investments are recorded at fair value as determined in good faith by our board of directors and, as a result, there may be uncertainty as to the value of our portfolio investments.

Our ability to enter into transactions with our affiliates will be restricted, which may limit the scope of investments available to us.

The involvement of our interested directors in the valuation process may create conflicts of interest.

There are conflicts related to other arrangements with Stellus Capital Management.

If we fail to maintain our status as a BDC, our business and operating flexibility could be significantly reduced.
 
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The effect of global climate change may impact the operations of our portfolio companies.

Existing stockholders may incur dilution if, in the future, 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.
Conflicts of Interests
We may have conflicts of interest arising out of the investment advisory activities of Stellus Capital Management, including those described below.
Our investment strategy includes investments in secured debt (including first lien, second lien and unitranche) and mezzanine debt (including senior unsecured and subordinated debt), as well as related equity securities of private middle-market companies. Stellus Capital Management also manages, and in the future may manage, other investment funds, accounts or investment vehicles that invest or may invest in assets eligible for purchase by us. For example, Stellus Capital Management currently manages private credit funds that have an investment strategy that is similar to or identical to our investment strategy. Stellus Capital Management also provides non-discretionary advisory services to the D. E. Shaw group, pursuant to sub-advisory arrangements, with respect to a private investment fund and a strategy of a private multi-strategy investment fund (collectively with the D. E. Shaw group fund, the “D. E. Shaw group funds”) to which the D. E. Shaw group serves as investment adviser that have an investment strategy similar to our investment strategy. Our investment policies, fee arrangements and other circumstances may vary from those of other investment funds, accounts or investment vehicles managed by Stellus Capital Management.
In addition, on October 23, 2013, we received the Prior Order from the SEC to co-invest with private funds managed by Stellus Capital Management where doing so is consistent with our investment strategy as well as applicable law (including the terms and conditions of the exemptive order issued by the SEC). On December 18, 2018, we received the Order that supersedes the Prior Order and permits us greater flexibility to enter into co-investment transactions. The Order expands on the Prior Order and allows us to co-invest with additional types of private funds, other BDCs, and registered investment companies managed by Stellus Capital Management or an adviser that is controlled, controlling, or under common control with Stellus Capital Management, subject to the conditions included therein. Pursuant to the Order, a “required majority” (as defined in Section 57(o) of the 1940 Act) of our independent directors must make certain conclusions in connection with a co-investment transaction, including that (1) the terms of the proposed transaction, including the consideration to be paid, are reasonable and fair to us and our stockholders and do not involve overreaching of us or our stockholders on the part of any person concerned and (2) the transaction is consistent with the interests of our stockholders and is consistent with our investment objectives and strategies. We co-invest, subject to the conditions included in the Order, with private credit funds managed by Stellus Capital Management that have an investment strategy that is similar to or identical to our investment strategy, and we may co-invest with other BDCs and registered investment companies managed by Stellus Capital Management or an adviser that is controlled, controlling, or under common control with Stellus Capital Management in the future. We believe that such co-investments may afford us additional investment opportunities and an ability to achieve greater diversification.
In the course of our investing activities, we pay management and incentive fees to Stellus Capital Management. We have entered into an investment advisory agreement with Stellus Capital Management that provides that these fees are based on the value of our gross assets. Because these fees are based on the value of our gross assets, Stellus Capital Management will benefit when we incur debt or use leverage. This fee structure may encourage Stellus Capital Management to cause us to borrow money to finance additional investments. Our board of directors is charged with protecting our interests by monitoring how Stellus Capital Management addresses these and other conflicts of interests associated with its management services and compensation. While our board of directors is not expected to review or approve each investment decision, borrowing or incurrence of leverage, our independent directors will periodically review Stellus Capital Management’s services and fees as well as its portfolio management decisions and portfolio performance. See “Risk Factors — The incentive fee structure we have with Stellus Capital Management may create incentives that are not fully aligned with the interests of our stockholders.”
Stellus Capital Management may from time to time incur expenses in connection with investments to be made on our behalf and on behalf of other investment funds, accounts and investment vehicles managed
 
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by Stellus Capital Management. Stellus Capital Management will allocate such expenses on a pro rata basis according to the participation in a transaction, subject to oversight by our board of directors.
Corporate Information
Our principal executive offices are located at 4400 Post Oak Parkway, Suite 2200, Houston, TX 77027, and our telephone number is (713) 292-5400. We maintain a website located at www.stelluscapital.com (under the Public Investors section). Information on our website is not incorporated into or a part of this prospectus or any accompanying prospectus supplement and you should not consider information on our website to be part of this prospectus or any accompanying prospectus.
Recent Developments
Exercise of Underwriter’s Option
On April 11, 2019, we issued 202,149 shares of common stock through the underwriter’s partial exercise of their option to purchase additional shares subsequent to our secondary offering (see Note 4). Gross proceeds totaled $2.9 million and underwriting and other expenses totaled $0.1 million. We used the net proceeds to pay off a portion of our outstanding borrowings under our Credit Facility.
Investment Portfolio
On April 11, 2019, we invested $8.0 million in the first lien term loan of Munch’s Supply LLC, a wholesale distributor of HVAC equipment, parts, and supplies primarily to dealers and contractors. Additionally, we committed $2.2 million in the unfunded delayed draw term loan, and we invested $0.5 million in the equity of the company.
On April 17, 2019, we received full repayment on the second lien term loan of U.S. Auto Sales, Inc. for total proceeds of $4.5 million.
On April 26, 2019, we invested $10.0 million in the first lien term loan of Whisps Brands, an importer of Italian cheese and a leading cheese manufacturer. Additionally, we invested $0.5 million in the equity of the company.
On April 30, 2019, we received full repayment on the second lien term loan of Livingston International, Inc. for total proceeds of $6.8 million.
On May 1, 2019, we invested $4.8 million in the first lien term loan of Exacta Land Surveyors, LLC, an existing portfolio company. Additionally, we invested $0.2 million in the equity of the company.
On May 2, 2019, we received full repayment on the second lien term loan of Magdata Intermediate Holdings, LLC for total proceeds of $15.1 million, including a $0.3 million prepayment fee.
On May 6, 2019, we invested $7.6 million in NS412, LLC, a provider of online curricula for health with a focus on weight loss. Additionally, we invested $0.8 million in the equity of the company.
Credit Facility
The outstanding balance under the Credit Facility as of June 19, 2019 was $77.8 million.
Dividend Declared
On April 11, 2019, the Company’s board of directors declared a regular monthly dividend for each of April, May and June 2019 as follows:
Declared
Ex-Dividend
Date
Record
Date
Payment
Date
Amount
per Share
4/11/2019
4/29/2019 4/30/2019 5/15/2019 $ 0.1133
4/11/2019
5/30/2019 5/31/2019 6/14/2019 $ 0.1133
4/11/2019
6/27/2019 6/28/2019 7/15/2019 $ 0.1133
 
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THE OFFERING
We may offer, from time to time, up to $200,000,000 of our securities, on terms to be determined at the time of the offering. Our securities may be offered at prices and on terms to be disclosed in one or more prospectus supplements.
Our securities may be offered directly to one or more purchasers by us or through agents designated from time to time by us, or to or through underwriters or dealers. The prospectus supplement relating to the offering will disclose the terms of the offering, including the name or names of any agents or underwriters involved in the sale of our securities by us, the purchase price, and any fee, commission or discount arrangement between us and our agents or underwriters or among our underwriters or the basis upon which such amount may be calculated. See “Plan of Distribution.” We may not sell any of our securities directly or through agents, underwriters or dealers without delivery of a prospectus supplement describing the method and terms of the offering of our securities.
Set forth below is additional information regarding the offering of our securities:
Use of Proceeds
We plan to use the net proceeds of this offering to make new investments in portfolio companies in accordance with our investment objective and strategies as described in this prospectus and for general working capital purposes. We may also use a portion of the net proceeds to reduce any of our outstanding borrowings. Pending such use, we will invest the net proceeds primarily in high quality, short-term debt securities consistent with our BDC election and our election to be taxed as a RIC. See “Use of Proceeds.”
Investment Advisory Agreement
We will pay Stellus Capital Management a fee for its services under the investment advisory agreement. This fee consists of two components: a base management fee and an incentive fee. The base management fee is calculated at an annual rate of 1.75% of our gross assets, including assets purchased with borrowed funds or other forms of leverage (including preferred stock, public and private debt issuances, derivative instruments, repurchase agreements and other similar instruments or arrangements) and excluding cash and cash equivalents. The base management fee will be payable quarterly in arrears.
The incentive fee, which provides Stellus Capital Management with a share of the income that it generates for us, consists of two parts. The first part, which is calculated and payable quarterly in arrears, equals 20.0% of our “pre-incentive fee net investment income” for the immediately preceding quarter, subject to a hurdle rate of 2.0% per quarter for the benefit of Stellus Capital Management, and is subject to a “catch-up” feature for the benefit of Stellus Capital Management. The second part is calculated and payable in arrears as of the end of each calendar year (or, upon termination of the investment advisory agreement, as of the termination date) and equals 20.0% of our aggregate cumulative realized capital gains from inception through the end of each calendar year, computed net of aggregate cumulative realized capital losses and aggregate cumulative unrealized capital depreciation through the end of such year, less the aggregate amount of any previously paid capital gain incentive fees. See “Management Agreements — Management Fee and Incentive Fee.”
 
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Pre-incentive fee net investment income means interest income, dividend income and any other income (including any other fees, such as commitment, origination, structuring, diligence, managerial assistance and consulting fees or other fees that we receive from portfolio companies) accrued during the calendar quarter, minus our operating expenses for the quarter (including the base management fee, expenses payable under our administration agreement, and any interest expense and any distributions paid on any issued and outstanding preferred stock, but excluding the incentive fee). Pre-incentive fee net investment income includes, in the case of investments with a deferred interest feature (such as original issue discount, or OID, debt instruments with PIK interest and zero coupon securities), accrued income that we have not yet received in cash. However, the portion of such incentive fee that is attributable to deferred interest (such as PIK interest or OID) will be paid to Stellus Capital Management, together with interest thereon from the date of deferral to the date of payment, only if and to the extent we actually receive such interest in cash, and any accrual thereof will be reversed if and to the extent such interest is reversed in connection with any write-off or similar treatment of the investment giving rise to any deferred interest accrual. Stellus Capital Management has agreed to permanently waive any interest accrued on the portion of the incentive fee attributable to deferred interest (such as PIK interest or OID).
New York Stock Exchange symbol
“SCM” (common stock)
“SCA” (2022 Notes)
Trading at a discount
Shares of closed-end investment companies, including business development companies, frequently trade in the secondary market at a discount to their net asset values. The risk that our shares may trade at a discount to our net asset value is separate and distinct from the risk that our net asset value per share may decline. We cannot predict whether our shares will trade above, at or below net asset value. See “Risk Factors — Shares of closed-end investment companies, including business development companies, frequently trade at a discount from their net asset value.”
Leverage
We expect to continue to use leverage to make investments. As a result, we may continue to be exposed to the risks of leverage, which include that leverage may be considered a speculative investment technique. The use of leverage magnifies the potential for gain and loss on amounts we invest and therefore, indirectly, increases the risks associated with investing in shares of our common stock. See “Risk Factors.”
Our current borrowings include:

our 2022 Notes, of which $48.9 million were outstanding as of March 31, 2019;

our Credit Facility, of which $76.1 million was outstanding as of March 31, 2019; and
 
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our SBA-Guaranteed debentures, of which $150.0 million were outstanding as of March 31, 2019.
Distributions
We generally intend to pay monthly distributions to our stockholders out of assets legally available for distribution. Our monthly distributions, if any, will be determined by our board of directors.
Taxation
We have elected to be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as a RIC. As a RIC, we generally will not have to pay corporate-level U.S. federal income taxes on any net ordinary income or capital gains that we distribute to our stockholders as dividends. To maintain our qualification as a RIC and the associated tax benefits, we must meet specified source-of-income and asset diversification requirements and distribute annually at least 90% of our net ordinary income and net short-term capital gains, if any, in excess of our net long-term capital losses. See “Distributions.”
Dividend reinvestment plan
We have adopted a dividend reinvestment plan for our stockholders, which is an “opt out” dividend reinvestment plan. Under this plan, if we declare a cash distribution to our stockholders, the amount of such distribution will be automatically reinvested in additional shares of our common stock unless a stockholder specifically “opts out” of our dividend reinvestment plan. If a stockholder opts out, that stockholder will receive cash distributions. Stockholders who receive distributions in the form of shares of common stock generally will be subject to the same U.S. federal, state and local tax consequences as stockholders who elect to receive their distributions in cash, but will not receive any corresponding cash distributions with which to pay any applicable taxes. See “Dividend Reinvestment Plan.”
Administration Agreement
The administration agreement requires us to reimburse Stellus Capital Management for our allocable portion (subject to the review of our board of directors) of overhead and other expenses, including furnishing us with office facilities and equipment and providing clerical, bookkeeping, record keeping and other administrative services at such facilities, and our allocable portion of the cost of our chief financial officer and chief compliance officer and their respective staffs. To the extent that Stellus Capital Management outsources any of its functions, we will pay the fees associated with such functions on a direct basis, without incremental profit to Stellus Capital Management. See “Management Agreements — Administration Agreement.”
License arrangements
We have entered into a license agreement with Stellus Capital Management under which Stellus Capital Management has granted us a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to use the name “Stellus Capital.” For a description of the license agreement, see “Management Agreements — License Agreement.”
 
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Custodian and transfer agent
ZB, N.A., dba Amegy Bank, serves as our custodian and our transfer and distribution paying agent and registrar. See “Custodian, Transfer and Dividend Paying Agent and Registrar.”
Anti-takeover provisions
Our charter and bylaws, as well as certain statutory and regulatory requirements, contain certain provisions that may have the effect of discouraging a third party from making an acquisition proposal for us. These anti-takeover provisions may inhibit a change in control in circumstances that could give the holders of our common stock the opportunity to realize a premium over the market price for our common stock. See “Description of Capital Stock.”
Available information
We are required to file periodic reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. This information is available on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov.
We maintain a website at www.stelluscapital.com (under the Public Investors section) and make all of our annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information available, free of charge, on or through our website. Information on our website is not incorporated into or part of this prospectus or any prospectus supplement and should not be relied upon as such. You may also obtain such information free of charge by contacting us in writing at 4400 Post Oak Parkway, Suite 2200, Houston, TX 77027, Attention: Investor Relations.
 
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FEES AND EXPENSES
The following table is intended to assist you in understanding the costs and expenses that an investor in our common stock will bear directly or indirectly. We caution you that some of the percentages indicated in the table below are estimates and may vary. Moreover, the information set forth below does not include any transaction costs and expenses that investors will incur in connection with each offering of our securities pursuant to this prospectus. As a result, investors are urged to read the “Fees and Expenses” table contained in any corresponding prospectus supplement to fully understand the actual transaction costs and expenses they will incur in connection with each such offering. Except where the context suggests otherwise, whenever this prospectus contains a reference to fees or expenses paid by “us” or that “we” will pay fees or expenses, common stockholders will indirectly bear such fees or expenses.
Stockholder Transaction Expenses:
Sales load (as a percentage of offering price)
%(1)
Offering expenses (as a percentage of offering price)
%(2)
Dividend reinvestment plan expenses
(3)
Total Stockholder Transaction Expenses (as a percentage of offering price)
%(4)
Annual Expenses (as percentage of net assets attributable to common stock):
Base management fees
3.32%(5)
Incentive fees payable under the investment advisory agreement
2.05%(6)
Interest payments on borrowed funds
4.76%(7)
Other expenses
2.13%(8)
Total annual expenses
12.26%
(1)
In the event that our securities are sold to or through underwriters, a corresponding prospectus supplement will disclose the applicable sales load.
(2)
In the event that we conduct an offering of our securities, a corresponding prospectus supplement will disclose the estimated offering expenses. Our common stockholders will bear, directly or indirectly, the expenses of any offering of our securities, including debt securities.
(3)
The expenses of the dividend reinvestment plan are included in “Other expenses.” See “Dividend Reinvestment Plan.”
(4)
Total stockholder transaction expenses may include sales load and will be disclosed in a future prospectus supplement, if any.
(5)
Our base management fee, payable quarterly in arrears, is 1.75% of our gross assets, including assets purchased with borrowed amounts or other forms of leverage (including traditional and effective leverage such as preferred stock, public and private debt issuances, derivative instruments, repurchase agreements and other similar instruments or arrangements) and excluding cash and cash equivalents and is based on the base management fee incurred for the three months ended March 31, 2019, annualized for a full year.
(6)
This item represents the incentive fee payable to Stellus Capital Management based on the actual amounts earned on our “pre-incentive fee net investment income” for the three months ended March 31, 2019 annualized for a full year.
The incentive fee consists of two components, ordinary income and capital gains:
The ordinary income component, which is payable quarterly in arrears, equals 20.0% of the excess, if any, of our “pre-incentive fee net investment income” over a 2.0% quarterly hurdle rate, expressed as a rate of return on the value of our net assets attributable to our common stock, and a “catch-up” provision, measured as of the end of each calendar quarter. Under this provision, in any calendar quarter, our investment adviser receives no incentive fee until our net investment income equals the hurdle rate of 2.0% but then receives, as a “catch-up,” 100% of our pre-incentive fee net investment income with respect to that portion of such pre-incentive fee net investment income, if any, that exceeds the hurdle rate
 
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but is less than 2.5% subject to a total return requirement and deferral of non-cash amounts. The effect of the “catch-up” provision is that, subject to the total return and deferral provisions discussed below, if pre-incentive fee net investment income exceeds 2.5% in any calendar quarter, Stellus Capital Management will receive 20.0% of our pre-incentive fee net investment income as if a hurdle rate did not apply. The ordinary income component of the incentive fee is computed on income that may include interest that is accrued but not yet received in cash. The foregoing ordinary income component of the incentive fee is subject to a total return requirement, which provides that no incentive fee in respect of the Company’s pre-incentive fee net investment income is payable except to the extent 20.0% of the cumulative net increase in net assets resulting from operations (as defined below) over the then current and 11 preceding calendar quarters exceeds the cumulative incentive fees accrued and/or paid for the 11 preceding calendar quarters. In other words, any ordinary income incentive fee that is payable in a calendar quarter will be limited to the lesser of (i) 20.0% of the amount by which our pre-incentive fee net investment income for such calendar quarter exceeds the 2.0% hurdle, subject to the “catch-up” provision, and (ii) (x) 20.0% of the cumulative net increase in net assets resulting from operations for the then current and 11 preceding calendar quarters minus (y) the cumulative incentive fees accrued and/or paid for the 11 preceding calendar quarters.
For the foregoing purpose, the “cumulative net increase in net assets resulting from operations” is the sum of pre-incentive fee net investment income, realized gains and losses and unrealized appreciation and depreciation of the Company for the then current and 11 preceding calendar quarters. In addition, the portion of such incentive fee that is attributable to deferred interest (sometimes referred to as payment-in-kind interest, or PIK, or original issue discount, or OID) will be paid to Stellus Capital Management, together with interest thereon from the date of deferral to the date of payment, only if and to the extent we actually receive such interest in cash, and any accrual thereof will be reversed if and to the extent such interest is reversed in connection with any write-off or similar treatment of the investment giving rise to any deferred interest accrual. Any reversal of such accounts would reduce net income for the quarter by the net amount of the reversal (after taking into account the reversal of incentive fees payable) and would result in a reduction and possibly elimination of the incentive fees for such quarter. There is no accumulation of amounts on the hurdle rate from quarter to quarter, and accordingly, there is no clawback of amounts previously paid if subsequent quarters are below the quarterly hurdle, and there is no delay of payment if prior quarters are below the quarterly hurdle.
The capital gains component of the incentive fee equals 20.0% of our “Incentive Fee Capital Gains,” if any, which equals our aggregate cumulative realized capital gains from inception through the end of each calendar year, computed net of our aggregate cumulative realized capital losses and our aggregate cumulative unrealized capital depreciation, less the aggregate amount of any previously paid capital gain incentive fees. The second component of the incentive fee is payable, in arrears, at the end of each calendar year (or upon termination of the investment advisory agreement, as of the termination date). We will record an expense accrual relating to the capital gains component of the incentive fee payable by us to Stellus Capital Management when the unrealized gains on our investments exceed all realized capital losses on our investments given the fact that a capital gains incentive fee would be owed to Stellus Capital Management if we were to liquidate our investment portfolio at such time. The actual incentive fee payable to our investment adviser related to capital gains is determined and payable in arrears at the end of each fiscal year and includes only realized capital gains for the period. See “Management Agreements — Management Fee and Incentive Fee.”
(7)
Interest payments on borrowed funds represent our estimated annual interest payments based on the effective interest rate of borrowings under our Credit Facility, the SBA-guaranteed debentures and the 2022 Notes as of March 31, 2019, and assuming borrowings of $48.9 million of 2022 Notes outstanding, $150.0 million in SBA-guranteed debentures and assuming that we begin the twelve-month period with $76.1 million of borrowings under our Credit Facility and we increase borrowings under our Credit Facility in the third quarter of such period by $22.2 million and by an additional $23.5 million in the fourth quarter. Interest expense is calculated based upon the amounts outstanding on the Credit Facility bearing interest at a weighted average interest rate of 5.10%, amounts outstanding on the 2022 Notes at an interest rate of 5.75% and our SBA-guaranteed debentures bearing interest at a weighted average interest rate of 3.40%, each as of March 31, 2019. Non-use commitment fees of 1.00% related to the Credit Facility is based upon unused commitments as of March 31, 2019. The amount
 
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of leverage that we employ, and our interest expenses on such leverage, at any particular time will depend on, among other things, our board of directors’ assessment of market and other factors at the time of any proposed borrowing.
(8)
Includes our overhead expenses, including payments under the administration agreement based on our allocable portion of overhead and other expenses incurred by Stellus Capital Management. See “Management Agreements — Administration Agreement.”
Example
The following example demonstrates the projected dollar amount of total cumulative expenses over various periods with respect to a hypothetical investment in us. In calculating the following expense amounts, we have assumed that our annual operating expenses would remain at the levels set forth in the table above. The examples assume no sales load. In the event that shares to which this prospectus relates are sold to or through underwriters, a corresponding prospectus supplement will restate this example to reflect the applicable sales load.
1 Year
3 Years
5 Years
10 Years
You would pay the following expenses on a $1,000 investment, assuming
a 5% annual return (none of which is subject to a capital gains
incentive fee)
$ 99 $ 282 $ 447 $ 789
While the example assumes, as required by the SEC, a 5% annual return, our performance will vary and may result in a return greater or less than 5%. The incentive fee under the investment management agreement, which, assuming a 5% annual return, would either not be payable or would have a de minimis effect, is not included in the example. If we achieve sufficient returns on our investments, including through the realization of capital gains, to trigger an incentive fee of a material amount, our expenses, and returns to our investors, would be higher. For example, if we assumed that we received our 5.0% annual return completely in the form of net realized capital gains on our investments, which results in a capital gains incentive fee earned, the projected dollar amount of total cumulative expenses set forth in the above illustration and the capital gains incentive fee would be as follows:
1 Year
3 Years
5 Years
10 Years
You would pay the following expenses on a $1,000 investment, assuming
a 5% annual return (all of which is subject to capital gains incentive
fee)
$ 118 $ 330 $ 511 $ 862
While the examples assume reinvestment of all distributions at net asset value, participants in our dividend reinvestment plan will receive a number of shares of our common stock, determined by dividing the total dollar amount of the distribution payable to a participant by (a) 95% of the market price per share of our common stock at the close of trading on the payment date fixed by our board of directors or (b) the average purchase price of all shares of common stock purchased by the administrator of the dividend reinvestment plan in the event shares are purchased in the open market to satisfy the share requirements of the dividend reinvestment plan, which may be at, above or below net asset value.
These examples and the expenses in the table above should not be considered a representation of our future expenses, and actual expenses (including the cost of debt, if any, and other expenses) may be greater or less than those shown.
 
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SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
The following selected financial data for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014 set forth below was derived from our financial statements which have been audited by Grant Thornton LLP, our independent registered public accounting firm and the selected financial data for the three months ended March 31, 2019 and 2018 is derived from our unaudited financial statements but, in the opinion of management, reflect all adjustments (consisting only of normal recurring adjustments) that are necessary to present fairly the financial condition and operating results for such interim periods. Interim results as of and for the three months ended March 31, 2019 are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected for the year ending December 31, 2019. The data should be read in conjunction with our financial statements and related notes thereto and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” included elsewhere in this report.
Statement of Operations Data
For the three
months
ended
March 31,
2019
For the three
months
ended
March 31,
2018
For the year
ended
December 31,
2018
For the year
ended
December 31,
2017
For the year
ended
December 31,
2016
For the year
ended
December 31,
2015
For the year
ended
December 31,
2014
Total investment income
$ 13,834,929 $ 10,911,781 $ 53,266,338 $ 39,648,193 $ 39,490,197 $ 35,158,559 $ 32,324,847
Total expenses, net of fee waiver
$ 9,501,270 $ 6,436,402 $ 30,629,801 $ 21,677,433 $ 22,177,996 $ 18,611,431 $ 15,812,750
Net investment income
$ 4,333,659 $ 4,475,379 $ 22,636,537 $ 17,970,760 $ 17,312,201 $ 16,547,128 $ 16,512,097
Net increase in net assets resulting from operations
$ 10,142,443 $ 7,343,929 $ 26,194,578 $ 22,613,257 $ 23,199,062 $ 7,670,536 $ 10,179,142
Per Share Data:
Net asset value
$ 14.32 $ 13.81 $ 14.09 $ 13.81 $ 13.69 $ 13.19 $ 13.94
Net investment income
$ 0.27 $ 0.28 $ 1.42 $ 1.21 $ 1.39 $ 1.33 $ 1.34
Net increase in net assets resulting from operations
$ 0.62 $ 0.46 $ 1.64 $ 1.52 $ 1.86 $ 0.61 $ 0.83
Distributions declared
$ 0.34 $ 0.34 $ 1.36 $ 1.36 $ 1.36 $ 1.36 $ 1.36
Balance Sheet Data
As of
March 31,
2019
As of
March 31,
2018
As of
December 31,
2018
As of
December 31,
2017
As of
December 31,
2016
As of
December 31,
2015
As of
December 31,
2014
Investments at fair value
$ 517,411,814 $ 431,299,720 $ 504,483,668 $ 371,839,772 $ 365,625,891 $ 349,017,697 $ 315,965,434
Cash and cash equivalents
$ 23,843,646 $ 45,494,363 $ 17,467,146 $ 25,110,718 $ 9,194,129 $ 10,875,790 $ 2,046,563
Total assets(2)
$ 545,201,890 $ 480,943,867 $ 526,287,251 $ 400,260,855 $ 379,878,729 $ 365,368,412 $ 323,776,402
Total liabilities(2)
$ 277,402,646