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Fifth Street Finance's CEO Presents At UBS Global Financial Services Conference (Transcript)

Stocks in this article: FSC

Today, then we were a $200 million something market cap company with one credit line of $50 million. After numerous fund raises, almost all of them were accretive to book value, except for the one that generate our SBA license, which is a huge bearing for us. We’re sitting here today with $800 market cap, approximately $1.2 billion in assets with a right side of the balance sheet where the portfolio is diversified; we will talk about that later.

One thing that differentiates us against many of the other BDCs and companies that lend in our market, is we only work with private equity sponsored transactions. So private equity sponsors are clients, our shareholders of course are more important clients. And the private equity sponsors will come to us, and say we want to buy company x for $80 million, will you finance us for $40 million? We put in $30 million, and ask them to put in $10 million. That’s the typical transaction that we do.

So what does that lead us to? It leads us to a high quality portfolio, all private equity sponsored, that’s why it’s that important. When there’s a problem, you actually have a private equity sponsor with a committed fund to put more money in, to turn the company around, to manage the company. And that diversified portfolio, we received two BBB minus ratings; one recently from S&P, another fund rating a year old from Fitch. And our funding base is spread out over a syndicated facility with ING, a great $150 million line with Wells Fargo, $200 million LIBOR plus, 225 line with Sumitomo Bank. And most importantly, we’re an SBA lender.

If you’re only an SBA lender, your stock trades above 1.5 times book it seems. We are an SBA lender that trades at a discount to book for some reason. But the SBA is an amazing thing, it’s two times leverage that doesn’t count against the 1:1 ratio, because the government decides to exclude itself. The other really good thing about the SBA loan, it’s a ten-year non-recourse no covenants money with seven years cyclability. So this could be a very good revenue generator, it is okay revenue generator for us, the way we deployed it, we can talk about that a little bit later.

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