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Fifth Street Finance Corp. Releases Its Newsletter For October 2012

Stocks in this article: FSC

We are also looking to expand our sponsor outreach effort by attracting experienced professionals in our White Plains, NY, Chicago, IL and Greenwich, CT locations. The right candidates will have the backgrounds and skills to help us augment the origination platform, develop new sponsor relationships and maintain the visibility of Fifth Street's brand and awareness in the marketplace.

BDC Capital Raises Bring New Entrants

BDCs were busy raising capital with some analysts calling the September quarter a post-credit crisis record for capital raising. Investor demand for the stable yields offered by BDCs is also bringing new competitors into the market. Several new BDCs are in the queue to raise capital in public and private markets. We believe institutional quality managers with brand names using the BDC structure are a net positive for the sector, but with the barriers to entry high, we expect our competitive position will remain strong.

First Baby Bond Offering a Success

We recently closed our first baby bond offering which extends the duration of our liabilities and provides investors a lower risk way to invest in Fifth Street (because it is senior in the capital structure to our common equity). The offering was well received by investors and provides Fifth Street with $75 million in aggregate principal amount of 5.875% senior unsecured notes due in 2024.  The pricing was also in line with the top-rated BDCs.

By adding 12-year unsecured debt, we are able to reduce risk in our balance sheet by extending the duration of our liabilities to over 5.5 years. Furthermore, assets purchased with unsecured debt can be pledged to our existing credit facilities, thereby increasing our borrowing base and overall debt capacity. Adding fixed rate debt also positions us to benefit from a potential future increase in interest rates. 

Over time, we believe pricing for investment grade rated BDC baby bonds should tighten as investors demand less of a finance company premium for BDCs due to their much lower leverage than traditional finance companies. Fifth Street is applying to list the bonds on the New York Stock Exchange under the trading symbol "FSCE," and if the application is approved, expects trading in the bonds to begin within 30 days from the original issue date.

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