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Triangle Capital Corporation (NYSE:TCAP)

Q4 2013 Results Earnings Conference Call

February 27, 2014, 09:00 AM ET

Executives

Garland S. Tucker, III - Chief Executive Officer and Chairman

E. Ashton Poole - President and Chief Operating Officer

Steven C. Lilly - Chief Financial Officer and Secretary

Brent P. W. Burgess - Chief Investment Officer

Sheri Colquitt - Vice President, Investor Relations

Analysts

Bryce Rowe - Robert W. Baird & Co.

Mickey Schleien - Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc.

Kyle Joseph - Stephens, Inc.

Christopher York - JMP Securities

Robert J. Dodd - Raymond James & Co.

Troy Ward – Keefe, Bruyette & Woods

Jonathan Bock - Wells Fargo Securities

Operator

At this time I would like to welcome everyone to Triangle Capital Corporation’s Conference Call for the Quarter and Year Ended December 31, 2013. All participants are in listen-only mode. A question-and-answer session will follow the company’s formal remarks. (Operator Instructions).

Today’s call is being recorded and a replay will be available approximately two hours after the conclusion of the call on the company’s website at www.tcap.com under the Investor Relations section.

Your hosts for today’s call are Triangle Capital Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer, Garland Tucker; President and COO, Ashton Poole; Chief Financial Officer, Steven Lilly; and Chief Investment Officer, Brent Burgess.

I would now turn the call over to Sheri Colquitt, Vice President of Investor Relations for the necessary Safe Harbor disclosures.

Sheri Colquitt

Thank you, operator, and good morning, everyone. Triangle Capital Corporation issued a press release yesterday afternoon with details of the company’s quarterly and full year financial and operating results. A copy of the press release is available on our website.

Please note that this call contains forward-looking statements that provide other than historical information, including statements regarding our goals, beliefs, strategies, future operating results and cash flow. Although we believe these statements are reasonable, actual results could differ materially from those projected in forward-looking statements.

These statements are based on various underlying assumptions and are subject to numerous uncertainties and risks, including those disclosed under the section entitled Risk Factors and Forward-Looking statements in our annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012 and as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. TCAP undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.

And at this time I would like to turn the call over to Garland Tucker.

Garland S. Tucker, III

Hey, Sheri, thanks very much. I'd like to welcome everyone to this morning's call. 2013 was another very successful year for TCAP and we are pleased to have an opportunity to share our results with your today.

In keeping with our traditional format I will discuss some of our highlights for 2013, Steven will discuss our financial and liquidity position, Ashton will discuss our views regarding the overall investment market and Brent will provide an update on our investment portfolio.

I would like to start by saying that we are extremely pleased with the operating and financial results that our team generated during 2013. Triangle has operated as a public company for seven years now and during that time we have been able to provide our shareholders with consistent performance. It is our hope that Triangle has earned the reputation as a company which not only communicates a clear strategy to investors but also one that executes consistently on that strategy.

During 2013 we experienced record results with net investment income of $2.23 per share and we generated approximately $18.4 million of realized gains bringing our cumulative realized gains since the IPO to approximately $31.8 million. In addition to our realized gains we also recognize net unrealized appreciation across our investment portfolio of approximately $1.8 million. Dividends per share totaled $2.16 which represented an increase of 6.9% over 2012.

Finally we are pleased to have recently announced to special cash distributions to shareholders totaling $0.30 per share. The distributions will be paid in two equal payments of $0.15 per share in both March and June of this year and are tangible examples of Triangle’s ability to invest in high quality lower middle market companies. They also come at a time in TCAP’s investment cycle where we are engaged in the natural asset rotation of portfolio investing which occurs -- any BDC or any other asset manager experiences repayments across its investment portfolio.

We recognized that some firms may not share strategy of patience as it relates to asset reinvestment but we plan to continue to move prudently in making new investments. This strategy is certainly facilitated by the realized gains our investment portfolio has already generated, a portion of which we are now distributing to shareholders.

So as you will hear during balance of the call Triangle is entering 2014 on a very strong financial and operating footing and we will continue to fulfill our mission of becoming the premier provider of capital to companies in the lower middle market.

With that I would like to turn the call back over to Steven Lilly.

Steven C. Lilly

Thanks Garland. As most of you know we issued our earnings release and filed our 10-K yesterday afternoon after the market closed. In this section of the call I will focus first on our results for the fourth quarter 2013 followed by our results for the full year and then I will provide some color around our liquidity and capital resources.

During the fourth quarter of 2013 we generated total investment income of approximately $22 million which represented an 11.9% decrease from the $25 million of total investment income we generated during the fourth quarter of 2012. The decrease in investment income was primarily attributable to year-over-year decrease in the size of our investment portfolio which resulted from portfolio company repayments and investment realizations which generated $18.4 million in net realized long term gains during the year, as Garland mentioned.

Our total operating expenses during the fourth quarter of 2013 were $8.7 million as compared to $9.4 million during the fourth quarter of 2012. Our operating expenses consist of interest expense and other debt financing fees as well as general and administrative expenses.

For the three months ended December 31, 2013 interest and other debt financing fees totaled $5.1 million as compared to $4.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2012. The year-over-year increase of $200,000 in this category was primarily related to interest on our 6.375% senior notes which were issued in October of 2012 and the interest and fees associated with our senior credit facility which were partially offset by a decrease in interest expense related to $20.5 million in SBA debentures that we voluntarily prepaid in March of 2013.

G&A expenses for the fourth quarter 2013 totaled $3.6 million as compared to $4.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2012. The $900,000 year-over-year decrease in G&A was primarily due to decreased discretionary incentive compensation, partially offset by increased headcount and increased equity-based compensation expense. From an efficiency ratio standpoint with efficiency ratio being defined as total G&A divided by total revenues our fourth quarter efficiency ratio was 16.4%.

Net investment income for the fourth quarter of 2013 was $13.2 million or $0.48 per share as compared to $15.5 million or $0.57 per share during the fourth quarter of 2012. As Garland mentioned in his opening comments from both an investment portfolio and a net investment income perspective we are in the natural part of a U-shaped curve where we are recycling assets across our investment portfolio.

We believe these periods of asset rotation are normal aspects associated with operating a healthy BDC. And so while those of you who had followed us for quite some time know that it is our long-term objective to have our cumulative net investment income exceed our cumulative dividends paid we will naturally have periods where we under earn the dividend as we recycled certain assets within the investment portfolio.

Therefore as we said on our November 2013 earnings call on a go-forward basis we expect to under earn the dividend for the first half of this year as we continue to recycle cash into new investments and we would hope and expect to over earn the dividend during the second half of this year.

Our net increase in net assets resulting from operations during the fourth quarter of 2013 totaled $17.8 million as compared to $15.6 million during the fourth quarter of 2012. On a per share basis our net increase in net assets resulting from operations during the fourth quarter of 2013 was $0.64 as compared to $0.57 during the fourth quarter of 2012.

Our net asset value or NAV on a per share basis at December 31 was $16.10 as compared to $15.30 a year ago and $15.94 as of the end of the third quarter of 2013. The increase in net asset value during the fourth quarter was primarily due to our net realized gains and net unrealized appreciated across the portfolio which on a combined basis totaled approximately $5.1 million.

For the full year ended December 31, 2013 totaled investment income was $101 million representing almost 12% increase from the $90.4 million of total investment income during 2012. The increase in investment income was primarily attributable to increases in loan interest income, fee income and dividend income across our investment portfolio.

Our total operating expenses during 2013 were $39.5 million as compared to $32.7 million during 2012. Again our operating expenses consist of interest and other debt financing fees as well as G&A expenses. For the year ended December 31 interest expense and other debt financing fees totaled $20.2 million as compared to $16.4 million for 2012.

The year-over-year increase of $3.8 million in interest expense and other debt financing fees was primarily related to interest on our 7% senior notes issued in March of 2012 and the interest on our 6.375% senior notes issued in October of 2012 partially offset by lower interest expense related to approximately $20.5 million of SBA debentures as I mentioned earlier that we voluntarily prepaid in March of 2013.

G&A expenses for the year ended 2013 totaled $19.3 million as compared to $16.3 million for the year-ended December 31, 2012. The $3 million year-over-year increase in G&A was primarily due to increased head count, discretionary compensation related to successful investment performance and realized gains as well as increased equity-based compensation expenses.

For the year-ended December 31, 2013 our efficiency ratio was 19.1%, a level which is consistent with our past results and which we believe is among the lowest in the BDC industry. Net investment income for the year ended December 31, 2013 totaled $61.5 million as compared to $57.7 million during 2012.

NII per share during 2013 was $2.23 as compared to our NII per share during 2012 of $2.16. Our net increase in net assets resulting from operations during 2013 totaled $81.2 million as compared to $60.1 million in 2012. On a per-share basis our net increase in net assets resulting from operations during 2013 was $2.94 as compared to $2.25 during 2012. The net increase in net assets resulting from operations was primarily due to an increase in investment income and an increase in net gains across our investment portfolio as we generated $18.4 million of realized gains during the year.

At year-end our total investment portfolio had a fair market value of approximately $664 million. And as we mentioned earlier our net asset value on a per share basis at December 31 was $16.10 as compared to $15.30 at December 31, 2012 which represents an increase of $0.80 on a per share basis during the year.

Turning to liquidity and capital resources, from a liquidity standpoint as of December 31, 2013, we had approximately $133 million in cash on hand, $31 million of undrawn SBA debentures and $154 million available under our senior credit facility. As was the case in much of 2013 our continued strong liquidity position provides us with significant flexibility as we evaluate new investment opportunities during 2014.

Our liquidity of approximately $318 million totals almost 50% of the fair value of our investment portfolio, which is a healthy ratio for any BDC but which is especially strong when you take into account the long-term composition of balance sheet. As a result we believe our prudent balance sheet management and our discipline in not raising more equity capital than we have needed on a historical basis positions us very, very well in this environment.

In summary as Garland said earlier on the call while 2013 was a record year for TCAP in many regards we're also pleased that our conservative approach to our dividend policy has enabled us to be in such an enviable position as we recycle our investment portfolio and focus on taking advantage of the improved M&A investment landscape during 2014.

And with that I will turn the call over to Ashton for some comments regarding the activity and specific trends we are seeing in the investing market.

E. Ashton Poole

Thanks, Steven. On our third quarter 2013 earnings call I referenced to an improving investment environment versus the first half of 2013, characterized by an increased pipeline of opportunities and a shift back towards traditional M&A and buy-out related transactions as opposed to recapitalizations.

Fourth quarter 2013 themes were largely consistent with those of the third quarter. And given the overall positive momentum combined with what we're seeing so far year-to-date we believe 2014 will be an above average year for M&A activity in the lower middle market. In fact as a specific data point many middle market investment banks with whom TCAP has strong relationships stated their backlogs are at or near record levels. Within the private equity world we are observing more sponsor-to-sponsor transactions, limited partner pressure on legacy funds to provide meaningful cash distributions and new funds which are actively focused on making investments with the goal of locking in attractive capital structures. These trends again bode well for a healthy year of M&A across the lower middle market.

From a lending perspective while in general we've seen capital structures and average interest rates become more aggressive from the early post-recession days they are still within the boundaries of what historically has proven to be acceptable, especially in the lower middle market. However single lenders continue to be aggressive with their pricing and willingness to extend the duration of their commitments in an effort to keep yielding assets on their books.

We believe this aggression combined with the market's return to more traditional M&A and buy-out related transactions has resulted in a slight shift in profits towards two-tranche deals a structure which clearly favors TCAP's business model.

Given our positive outlook for investment activity in 2014 and beyond we are pleased to have withstood the temptation which existed during much of 2013 to participate in the debt only refinancing leg. By exercising prudence throughout last year TCAP today is positioned with abundant liquidity and a very healthy investment pipeline, which contains significant opportunities for us to make the type of investments we generally favor, that is mezzanine debt with minority equity attachments.

Looking forward the investments we generate in 2014 and beyond will become the foundation of our portfolio for years to come. Before I hand the call to Brent, let me briefly recap the investments we made during 2013. During the year we made 29 investments totaling $174.3 million, consisting of 11 new investments representing a $137.6 million and 18 add-on investments representing $36.7 million. Our new investments were tilted significantly towards the back-end of the year with substantially all of the investment activity focused during this period.

The weighted average interest rate associated with all debt investments made during the year including follow-on investments in existing portfolio companies was 12.9%, while the weighted average interest rate associated with new debt investments was 12.6%, which is almost exactly in the middle of the long term range of sub-debt pricing of 11% to 14%. Our new investments in lower middle market companies were also made at average leverage levels of approximately 3.5 times EBITDA and average fixed charge coverage levels of approximately 1.5 times, both of which are also in the middle of our long-term range of experiences in the lower middle market.

So summarize we are optimistic for a healthy M&A market in 2014 and our investment pipeline continues to build with high quality lower metal market opportunities. We remain confident in our ability to continue to make prudent investment decisions and to generate consistent attractive returns for our shareholders.

With that, I’ll turn the call over to Brent to discuss certain aspects of TCAP’s investment portfolio in more detail.

Brent P. W. Burgess

Thanks Ashton. As you’ve heard, 2013 was an excellent year for us also from a portfolio performance perspective. We experienced net unrealized write-offs across our investment portfolio totaling approximately $1.8 million and gross realized gains on investments totaling approximately $24.1 million. These long-term realized gains will significantly more than offset at $5.7 million in realized losses that we absorbed on three legacy under-performing investments. As a result of these portfolio exits we generated net realized gains for the year totaling approximately $18.4 million or $0.67 per share.

On a cumulative basis since our IPO in 2007 our net realized gains have totaled approximately $31.8 million. The weighted average IRR on our exited investments during 2013 was 21.8% and the weighted average life of those investments was 2.9 years. As of December 31, the weighted average debt yield on our investment portfolio was 14.1% as compared to 14.3% at September 30. And during the fourth quarter, our net new investments totaled approximately $24.7 million.

From a credit quality standpoint one additional account went on non-accrual during the fourth quarter in addition to SRC which we had previously announced in our third quarter earnings call in November of last year. The new non-accrual account is Minco Technology Labs, which has a cost base of approximately $5.4 million and a fair value at approximately $2 million. Our non-accrual assets as of December 31 totaled 4.1% of our portfolio on a cost basis and 1.1% on a fair value basis.

SRC, the portfolio company we discussed in our third quarter earnings call, completed its restructuring on January 9, 2014. Post restructuring Triangle is the company’s controlling investor. We are pleased with the operational progress that company has made and we expect more positive news to emerge from SRC over the next several quarters.

And with that update I’ll turn the call back to Garland for any concluding comments before we take questions.

Garland S. Tucker, III

Okay thanks, Brent. As we enter 2014 it's impossible not to look back with some degree of satisfaction on our results from the past year. We experienced record revenues, record NII per share, record dividends per share and a record amount of realized gains across the investment portfolio.

Looking forward we see encouraging signs of healthy but not irrational M&A market. We see elements affirming with regard to pricing and terms. We see credit metrics remaining in their long term norms and we see thus financial sponsors and operating companies willing to engage with one another. So all-in-all the view is a good one, not just for Triangle but also for the entire lower middle market in general. And as our view of 2014 continues to develop we are thankful to have the financial strength and committed liquidity to take advantage of what we believe will be extremely good investment opportunities over the coming quarters.

So with that operator we would like to open the call at this point for questions.

Question-and-Answer Session

Operator

Thank you. (Operator Instruction). And our first question is from Bryce Rowe of Robert W. Baird. Your line is open.

Bryce Rowe - Robert W. Baird & Co.

Hi, good morning. I wanted to direct a question to you, Garland. You noted in your prepared remarks that the $2.15 special dividend only covers the portion of the realized gains you guys recorded in 2013. So just trying to think about how the Board is thinking about distributing the balance of those gains beyond just $2.15 special dividend?

Garland S. Tucker, III

Bryce, what you recounted was accurate. The Board has taken concrete action on the $2.15 distributions and I think at this point probably all we can say is that the Board will consider as we move through the year what to do with the balance but you are absolutely right in the computation where we committed to payout $0.30, that leaves a balance we will have for consideration as we move through the year which we think is a very healthy position to be in.

Bryce Rowe - Robert W. Baird & Co.

Great, thank you Garland.

Operator

Thank you. And the next question is from Mickey Schleien of Ladenburg. Your line is open.

Mickey Schleien - Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc.

Yes, good morning. You mentioned that SRC was restructured in January. Can you tell us is that now going to be back on accrued status in the current quarter?

Steven C. Lilly

Mickey, it’s Steven. I will give just a quick answer and then Brent wants to add any additional color we’ll certainly let him do that, but when the restructuring was completed and Triangle being the company's sole outside investor we converted the debt positions that we have to equity positions in the company, so the company has a clean balance sheet upon restructuring, and then I think on a go forward basis we would take normal majority shareholder action as the credit markets deem appropriate to recapitalize the company from a debt perspective. Brent, would you add anything to that?

Brent P. W. Burgess

No, Steven, I think that captures it.

Mickey Schleien - Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc.

My next question with regards the outlook for the year, I totally agree with you that there seems to be momentum driven by M&A but we’re still seeing pretty decent levels of redemptions. Can you give us any insight into what you are expecting in terms of redemptions, prepayments in 2014 versus 2013?

Steven C. Lilly

Again Mickey its Steven I will start off and maybe Ashton can provide some additional color, to you since he's fairly close to our pipeline. But as you know historically it's very difficult for us to predict if not impossible for us to predict repayments. That being said given the accelerated level of repayments in 2013 that we experienced, especially in the first three quarters of the year I think it would be somewhat natural that we might experience a lower level of repayments in 2014 on a percentage of the portfolio basis. But at this point personally it's tough for me to say more than that but Ashton if you want to chime in.

E. Ashton Poole

I think Steven your characterization is exactly right. It’s hard to predict. I would just make the note that I think, symbolically hopefully the ship just turns here where the dynamic of improved investment environment will continue to unfold and a slowing of repayments will continue to unfold. It’s clear that we are -- and I don't think repayments are going to stop, the question is how much will they slowdown and will that be a slower rate as experienced in 2013 and our hope is that we will see an acceleration on the investment side, slowing down on the repayment side and certainly the data from Q4 if you just look at the Q3 versus Q4 trends of both investment and repayments it will certainly support that direction. So we hope to continue to see that in 2014.

Mickey Schleien - Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc.

Okay, just a couple of quick housekeeping questions. In the prepared remarks there were obviously lot of figures. I am not sure if I heard whether you announced the weighted average yield on your new investments and on the exits during the fourth quarter alone.

Steven C. Lilly

Mickey, it's Steven, the weighted average yield on new investments made across all of our investments for the year were 12.9% and that will include follow-on investments and portfolio companies as well as new investments. If you look just at new investments for the year, not portfolio company follow on investments it's 12.6. And if you look at just the fourth quarter that number would be 12.5. So as Ashton was saying the long-term norm in the industry of 11 to 14 we're almost exactly right, I mean we are right in the middle of that tailwind.

In terms of repayment across the portfolio for the full year weighted average yield of the debt repayments we experienced was 14.75%.

Mickey Schleien - Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc.

And lastly G&A was down pretty significantly quarter-to-quarter, I mean third quarter to fourth quarter, could you tell us what accounted for that?

Steven C. Lilly

Sure as we said in the prepared remarks it was a reduction in discretionary compensation which for us tends to move quarter-to-quarter to some extent. I think as Triangle, as we said may be on some other earnings call as Triangle has gotten a bit larger as a company really the better way to analyze our efficiency ratio and our specific G&A in any given period of time is really on a year-over-year basis or on a full rolling four quarter basis which I think is similar to other companies in the industry too.

You can have one time blips either up or down in the quarter but for the year we were -- our efficiency ratio was 19.1% which I think the guidance we've given historically has been an efficiency ratio for a full year period rolling four quarter period of plus or minus 20% is where we would sort of expect to operate. Does that help Mickey?

Mickey Schleien - Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc.

Yeah, I thought in the prepared remarks you were talking about year-over-year but I guess it also accounted for the quarter-to-quarter move. Thanks for your time this morning.

Steven C. Lilly

Thank you. Look forward to talking to you soon.

Operator

Thank you. The next question is from Kyle Joseph of Stephens. Your line is open.

Kyle Joseph - Stephens, Inc.

Thanks, guys for answering my questions -- taking my questions. A lot of them have been answered but I just wanted to talk a little bit about competition, you guys have talked about your 2014 outlook looking strong and that appears to be sort of demand driven, but what are you guys seeing in terms of competition and did it remain somewhat stable in the fourth quarter, are you seeing new competitors enter the market?

E. Ashton Poole

Paul, good morning, it's Ashton. Good question I think the competitive environment remains just that, very competitive. We obviously see competition from the traditional cast of characters that we often see in the market, I would say that there are four, five new public BDCs that went public this past year which have also entered the fray and obviously trying to live to their expectations with their investors. We got SBIC still being competitive and I think insurance companies have been competitive.

So I don’t think you can really pinpoint it to one particular group I think it's a holistic environment of competiveness here. And so obviously some deals you win or lose on rate only. We like to try to differentiate ourselves with our sponsor relationships and obviously we're going do our best to be competitive on rate, but there are other aspects that we bring to the table as well which often tilts the favor towards TCAP, given our history as a company and our commitment to doing a good partner, both with initial investment and follow-on investments and the fact that we stick by our equity partners in times good and bad.

So in a very competitive environment that's clear, we seem to be continuing to differentiate ourselves in being able to attract a healthy pipeline of opportunities. And hopefully we will continue to push and focus our conversation ratios will be consistent with what we've achieved in the past.

Kyle Joseph - Stephens, Inc.

Great, thanks. And do you guys have any commentary on recent S&P announcement of excluding BDC from AMCs or thoughts on that?

Steven C. Lilly

Kyle it's Steven. I think the two comments I'd make on that would be, one the single action of S&P removing one BDC from two different industries is by itself not a very material event. The fact there are more than 30 BDCs in the Russell is kind of really the question of what they do and I think the chatter that we hear is it's kind of [inaudible] and who knows on that front.

But I think the greater question in all of this is, is a BDC an operating company or is the BDC is a fund and obviously the SEC has regulated BDCs as funds under the Investment Company Act, 1940. But I think every operator in the industry whether internally managed or externally managed would submit that we are operating long-term businesses for benefit of shareholders and this is a rapidly developing industry.

And the legal orientation of how a company is structured does not really predicate how it pursues its business strategy. And that's a question that frankly Congress and the SEC will -- over time the industry needs to help them focus on maybe the more appropriate way to look at that. But specific to the S&P announcement we don't think that's very material at all.

Kyle Joseph - Stephens, Inc.

Okay. Great. Thanks for answering my questions.

Steven C. Lilly

Thank you so much.

Operator

Thank you. And the next question is from Chris York at JMP Securities. Your line is open.

Christopher York - JMP Securities

Good morning, guys. Thanks for taking my questions. Just wanted to get your thoughts on how you guys are thinking about the size of your investment platform. Do you need to expand into new geographies or to add additional investment professionals to meet your pipeline or expectations for growth in the lower middle market?

E. Ashton Poole

Hi Chris, good morning, it's Ashton, thanks for your message. I'd maybe respond in a couple of ways, if you look at and we've published this before in some of our slides, geographically where our investments fall on the United States we are about 20% in the Northeast, 20% in the Southeast, 40% in the Midwest and about 20% in the West Coast. So I'd say geographically we're actually reasonably well represented across the country. And if you checked our originators frequent flier miles they would all show many flags, all of the countries that each of those respective locales.

So I am not sure we need to necessarily expand geographically because we've done a pretty good job of making sure we're covering all of the country over the course of the company's history. With respect to the overall size and pipeline and investment team, I'd say right now we feel appropriately staffed. We actually have two new promotions in our origination team with senior executive officers. They have a lot of bandwidth and capacity, our pipeline is building.

And if you look at our investment activity, both in the Q4 quarter as-well-as the announced transactions Q1 year-to-date, I think it represents again a compilation of healthy backlog with appropriate coverage and conversion ratio. So right now I think we are adequately staffed and we're confident in our ability to continue to see the deals that we want to ultimately have an opportunity to invest in.

Christopher York - JMP Securities

That color is great, thank you. And then just I guess following-up on that what or how many investment professionals do you guys currently have on staff?

E. Ashton Poole

We have 25 employees, so 25 employees total and if you were to divide it about between deal team and finance team it’s approximately with 19 in the bids, respectively. We have three Managing Directors, we have two Principals, we have three Vice Presidents, all very experienced employees and all have been with TCAP multiple, multiple years, many since the IPO. So all very experienced professionals, all very rooted in the TCAP culture and of course the business.

Also I would say in addition to those formal titles, Garland brings origination capability as does Brent, as do I and Steven - does as well. So there are deals that come to the door that are originated through our proprietary relationships that we bring in addition to the stable of relationships that the MDs and the Principals and VPs already have as well.

Garland S. Tucker, III

Ashton I just add to that. This is Garland, I think this is important, we have a continuity through our history and our history is not that long, there is a definite thread of continuity, here we from the outset have been very committed to serving the lower middle market. And as we have grown, as Ashton pointed out geographically covering the whole country now we’ve -- I think we went probably we had a total of seven employees and we’ve grown steadily and appropriately as the size of the company has grown.

And I think importantly as we look out into the future our commitment remains very much to lower metal market we think there is -- we know it’s a big market, there is a lot of room for growth there. And as we’re able to find attractive opportunities and as we are able to continue growing we’ll certainly right size our staff and would expect to see it growing appropriately but commensurately with other opportunities we see in that market.

Christopher York - JMP Securities

Perfect. Again, that color was extremely helpful. So that’s it from me. Thanks guys.

Operator

Thank you. The next question is from Robert Dodd of Raymond James. Your line is open.

Robert J. Dodd - Raymond James & Co.

Thank you for taking the questions. Couple of housekeeping ones first, if I can Steven, on for the fourth quarter it looks like fee -- non-recurring and dividend income came at about $1.2 million. Obviously, that’s a lower number, but not surprising, I mean but a bit lower than the normal run-rate. I mean is that to use as the right kind of number for the portfolio at this size and would you expect that could grow, as you redeploy capital within the portfolio again or is there any particularly unusually low about that?

Brent P. W. Burgess

Rob, it’s Brent. It really was -- we didn’t call anything out specifically in the fourth quarter. And as you know it’s our policy when we do have elevated levels of one-time events than we call those out to the market as we did couple of times during 2013. So there wasn’t anything unusual so that’s why we didn’t make any prepared remarks about it.

In terms of what a typical number is, it’s really, really hard to give that. It’s more driven by just one-time events across the portfolio from time to time. When we look at it internally or talk about it with the Board, we take the last several quarters meaning six to eight quarters and take an average of it and think about it that way. Obviously that’s historically looking and we’re all trying to think about future.

So it’s -- I’m not sure I can give you a great answer on it, but we didn’t feel based on those comparisons to historical norms that it was out of the fairway one or the other, so where we didn’t make any comments about it.

Robert J. Dodd - Raymond James & Co.

Appreciate that. On Minco, I mean obviously it’s an asset that’s been -- call it suffering for a while and had been on the scheduled investments et cetera. Is there anything this particularly changed this quarter to drive on the normal accrual versus just monitoring? I mean obviously I’m trying to get in terms of was there a change in tone from a senior lender or anything like that in terms of working cash flow? Is that and if there was, was that an indicator of just kind senior lenders taking a more aggressive approach with struggling assets. Any color you can give us there?

Garland S. Tucker, III

Yes, fine. So I'll let Brent see, Brent is actually in a remote location today, but Brent you want to give some color on Minco?

Brent P. W. Burgess

Yeah. Sure. Robert it’s a very small business. We are actually effectively the senior [debtor] in this business, so no impact there. The company has been heavily impacted by the sequester and that’s we hope -- well we know in fact because we have a number of companies that supply primarily to the military government contractors and the fog is beginning to lift in that whole area but it’s been difficult for every company that’s a government contractor over the last year and half due to the uncertainty sequester.

So it’s continued to effect that business and so that’s really reflected in taking on accrual, we were not forced to do, so to speak by a senior lender, it was more of let’s do what we can to help preserve liquidity and incentivize the equity sponsor to put in some additional capital, so that’s the situation in a nutshell.

Robert J. Dodd - Raymond James & Co.

Okay, great. Thank you, very helpful. Just one more, you guys have been quite active, you've got $15 million deployed in traditionally relatively flat period here, how much of that is as a function of maybe spillover from Q4 versus the beginning of this ’14 deal of an increased M&A and I will be out?

E. Ashton Poole

Yeah, Rob its Ashton, great question. You know deals take on a life of your own with respect to timing and I will tell you whenever we have estimated closing dates nine out of ten times they always change. You know I would say that in 2012 as that year was coming to a close there was clearly a rush to get things done by the end of the year, that year for tax reasons where everybody felt things were changing and so there was little rush to get it over the goal line.

Obviously as I referenced on our third quarter call that impetus emphasis no longer existed in 2013 and so but I think it’s safe to say that the deals that you have seen us stretched so far year to date were clearly in the pipeline in the backlog in the Q4 timeframes. I don't want to get too specific of whether or not they were specifically meant to close in December and then got delayed or not but I can just tell you that we all can see a healthy flow of changes to estimated times for completions.

Those inputs can include a number of factors, whether or not it’s just pure scheduling, whether or not its due diligence, whether or not it's [COVs] that we need to get. You know there’s whole host of inputs that cost timings to change. So I wouldn’t necessarily say spillover because that’s not the way we look at it, we just think it’s part of the normal course of transaction closings, the life of which they take, each on their own.

Robert J. Dodd - Raymond James & Co.

I appreciate that. Thanks a lot guys.

Operator

Thank you. And the next question is from Troy Ward of KBW. Your line is open.

Troy Ward – Keefe, Bruyette & Woods

Great, thank you. Just a couple of follow ups, first of all was there any type of income reversal related to Minco this quarter with it going on non-accrual?

Steven C. Lilly

No.

Troy Ward – Keefe, Bruyette & Woods

There are no moving parts there, okay. And I may have missed this Steven but did you provide -- good color on the originations quarter-to-date, did you give any repayment activity what you see in this quarter?

Steven C. Lilly

We have not given repayment activity. We historically have not done that, Troy, we obviously pursuant SEC guidelines we give the subsequent events in terms of the new investments but repayments are just normal part of the business. So we haven’t given intra quarter updates there but I do think it’s fair to say that given the volume of investments in the first quarter it’s been a pretty good start for the year for us.

Troy Ward – Keefe, Bruyette & Woods

Okay, great and then given your target assets tend to have higher yields than many of your BDC brothers and even most of the new ones that you alluded to Garland that have come in. Can you provide some color maybe on how that changes in bank regulation might be impacting your competitive landscape versus maybe folks that are more focused on let’s say high single digit or low double digit asset you seem to be little bit higher up. And we specifically saw one bank portfolio actually get bought, do you see any types of that in your market where you have the opportunity to potentially garner some assets directly from the bank?

Steven C. Lilly

Yeah I am not sure we're going to you will see us buy a bank portfolio like one of our peers did, as announced recently. But I think to your point some of the regulations that are in the process of coming into the market are we think good for us in terms of the lower middle market, I was meeting with the senior official of Senior Bank recently. And he said in their portfolio they just really have to be [sold] three times otherwise from their perspective they've got some pretty meaningful higher capital retention rates.

And I think it things like that across the lower middle market that help us and have generated some of the statistics that we continue to like so much in terms of that risk adjusted return that's what senior lenders pricing at L plus 400 or L plus 450 for one of our portfolio companies and they are lending 2.5 or 2.75 times into the capital structure and we can come in as Ashton mentioned with a mezzanine trance priced appropriately for mezzanine and have some equity upside as well.

You're taking three quarters of a turn or another full turn of leverage it's just really nice place to be for us and it's in -- the lower middle market been very stable for us. So those credit trends are great, still very much in-line with our historical averages and so I think that the banking landscape is incrementally, I would say helping us. But the biggest driver for us has just been the reemergence of the M&A tilted sort of orientation of the market. But Ashton would you add anything to that?

E. Ashton Poole

No I think that's right Steven you characterized it appropriately. I would say big picture over the last several years we have seen the implication of increased regulation on banks where for example they've been forced to divest their private equity businesses but on the same vein there's banks also had captive mezzanine businesses that chose to keep those businesses. That's one example of where regulation forced the private equity side to go away but the banks have the ability to keep the mez businesses.

As far as opportunistically being able to acquire other portfolios that are out there, I think from where we sit there is a couple of different buckets to consider. Obviously there are BDCs out there that trade certainly south of where we do, the question is would we be able to ultimately get back up to their targeted levels of multiples and if they don't does that represent an opportunity.

Our sense has been that our best opportunity is right frankly speaking in front us with our origination activities, we tend to have a very healthy pipeline, we see a lot of transactions and we deliver high quality and we would have further make our own investment decisions as opposed to necessary acquiring a portfolio that's trading south of NAV, just typically they trade south of NAV for a reason not to say that we won't ever consider or won't ever do it, but I think our general inclination is to stick to netting of what do best such as originate high quality transactions in the low and middle market.

Troy Ward – Keefe, Bruyette & Woods

Great that's helpful thanks. And then one final one, can you just give us some insight into that we saw name change from Glencoe to Care Point this quarter this is a large investment so could you provide a little color on what's going on there?

Steven C. Lilly

Brent, do you want to give any color on that?

Brent P. W. Burgess

Yeah, just a rebranding exercise, so two businesses put together and so that's all it is, just a rebranding exercise.

Troy Ward – Keefe, Bruyette & Woods

Okay, great thanks.

Operator

Thank you. And the next question is from David [Adaki of Potent] Investment. Your line is open.

Unidentified Analyst

Hi, good morning thank you for taking my question. Just a comment and a couple of questions regarding the special dividend I think Steven you've talked about this in the past I just want to chime in that I regard specials as a good thing. I think that there is a debate out there as to whether or not you as a management team get credit for special distributions over time and I view it as anytime you are earning attractive returns on capital, if you distributing them out, and you have more gains than losses, that’s a victory for shareholders. So I appreciate you doing that.

One other thing that I, as I look at your point in this recycling of your portfolio, when you originated what is coming back at you, your cost of equity and your cost of debt were substantially higher. And I think that you’ve earned a lower cost of equity capital the right way. But if you could make the argument that you’re in a position now to consider a lower return profile investments in your portfolio because your cost of debt and cost of equity are so much lower.

Is that a consideration that you would make against the backdrop of your history of against Garland what you described is high quality loans in a lower metal market?

Garland S. Tucker, III

Of course well. Let me come in on the -- thank you for your comments on the special distribution. And only thing I would add to that is that we view the opportunity to earn capital gains as an ongoing part of our business. It’s been a factor since the very beginning even as a fund before the BDC. And it’s one of the reason we like the mezzanine lower metal market, but as a place to invest but it does give us the opportunity to have that equity upside. So even though we’re dealing with a concrete amount this year which is a very good thing, we don’t view it as a special situation that’s only applicable for 2014.

We’re very much hoping and planning for gains in the future and in terms of continued making investments with equity upside potential. So and I appreciate your comments on that.

As far as yields in the lower metal market I think our -- the starting point for us is -- obviously is one of a large number of competitors in the market, Ashton pointed out it is a competitive market. We certainly don’t get acceptable rates or the return expectations, but we very much like -- from an historical sense and as far as we can see it on the future we like the risk reward relationship in the mezzanine space and the lower metal market.

We think it’s a very good market to operate in. Certainly return expectations vary overtime and we don’t influence those but we are convinced that if we stay in that market and have a chance to explore the relationships we have with whatever the expectations are that we expect, so expect our team to originate better than average transactions there.

So I don’t think there is any feeling at our end that we want to either move more towards senior debt or move more in the equity direction. We really like the opportunity to make mezzanine investments and have equity upside. And what we’re seeing right now is at least returns appear to be very much in the fairway of what they’ve done historically, what they do. Those expectations do bounce around and we don’t get -- unfortunately, we don’t get to set those. We have to react to the market, but we continue to very much like the space that we’re investing in.

Steven C. Lilly

David, it’s Steven. And maybe I will add one thing to what Garland is saying, first agreement with what you characterized it on. If the legislation was passed, I think you can make the argument not just for Triangle but other BDCs as well that we didn't have additional leverage capacity on our collective balance sheets. And you can make an argument really kind of both ways on that if you like the markets you’re in as we very much do than you would -- could have the chance as an operator to take the additional attractively priced capital and make additional investments in your sweet spot.

There is an argument too, I think it can be promoted that would say with that incremental leverage you would be -- might consider shifting a portion of your business into what historically has been called out as a higher grade, lower risk asset class that could be mixed in with the core base business. Given that the legislation hasn't passed it's not -- we wouldn't have any firm decisions on that question but I think it is a natural question that any operator kind of thinking about his or her business would wrestle with and hopefully it falls away.

Unidentified Analyst

Great. That's really helpful to hear how you guys are thinking about your business strategically. And I wouldn't suggest that you come out of the focus on your sweet spot in fact it troubles me when I see other BDCs that are beginning to creep into new areas of lending that they have no history lending in. I think that will probably work at the easy part of the credit cycle but will probably end badly at the hard part of the credit cycle.

With that said you referenced also some of the other BDCs that are trading at much higher cost of equity and sometimes below net asset value. And I wouldn't necessarily encourage this but I just would like to hear your thoughts on it. If you are in a position of having these gains then do you have any thoughts on acquiring the equity, not the portfolios as you have mentioned a competitor recently did the equity, so that you may acquire the embedded losses within those portfolios, and that would actually make that transaction have higher utility to you guys because you are in, as you said earlier the enviable position to actually have gains in your portfolio. Is that a consideration that you think of strategically?

Steven C. Lilly

You are as thoughtful and accurate as ever in your comment and question. It is as the short answer something that we would take into account if we were considering a purchase of a portfolio or another BDC or something like that. The real benefit to a company like Triangle in operating in a position of net gains would be the all of the long-term losses and really on the excise tax is where the difference would come into play.

We pay the excise tax at the end of December or early January for the gains we have last year that we are in the process of distributing this year. But it's a multi-pronged strategy and you have known us for a long time initially when we began having gains in the -- cumulative gains in the portfolio we did a few deemed distributions as a way to kind of begin to build a better capital base for the company and also certain to rewards to shareholders not as great as just a cash distribution obviously.

But it was we felt the appropriate first step to take which now puts us in a position where we can think about the right way over a period of time as Garland laid out earlier in the call to distribute a meaningful amount of gains that we were fortunate to have last year that I guess in total would be about $0.66 a share based on today's share count and we announced $0.30 of distribution. So taking that kind of systematic approach but it is a benefit on the buy side acquiring the equity as you talked about as a third party operator.

Given that the primary benefit is in the excise tax area, it is a bit limited on a year-to-year basis but it does give you some optionality as a new owner I guess of those assets. So it wouldn't be the primary driver of the decision to buy portfolios but it certainly is one that we would take into account.

Unidentified Analyst

Okay. Great. I appreciate all your comments and your thoughts. I will leave you with this comment that maybe the whole issue around in that conclusion could be answered if the index creators just decided to include the internally managed [ones].

Steven C. Lilly

We would not oppose them. Thank you.

Unidentified Analyst

All right. Thank you.

Operator

Thank you. And the next question is from Jon Bock of Wells Fargo Securities. Your line is open.

Jonathan Bock - Wells Fargo Securities

Hi, good morning and thank you for taking my questions and Ashton what a pleasure it is to come after Dave and continue to carry his bags a little on sort of his lines of questioning because I think they are relevant. You know first it will start with repayments which kind of gets into a focus on maybe a bit more of senior secured asset class et cetera, but looking at repayment risk.

I think Ashton I heard you mention obviously the environment is more competitive, investment banks have a backlog that we have not seen in recent memory so there is quite a bit of deal flow but when I looked at the repayments just this past quarter I think they came off the books and they had yields of roughly 13.2% ish type. And if I look at assets that have at least one year of seasoning that are in excess of 15% that’s in excess of $150 million and so the question is as we get into an environment of more liquidity there is more competition in assets that are coming off the books and coming off with handles much lower than what sits on the book today.

I am trying to get a little bit more color and perhaps maybe even confidence that repayment should slow relative to last year because as I would look at it maybe that might not be the case. So what am I missing?

Steven C. Lilly

John, it’s Steven. I will start out and you may get five opinions from four people here who knows but I think the comments we made earlier in the call about repayments historically for ’13 and then a bit prospectively for ’14, is really based on the percentage of the starting portfolio that the portfolio was $707 million at 1/1/13 and the total repayments we had as a percentage was the highest we had since IPO and we all know kind of the underpinning reasons for that lots of refinancing.

In our mind we have seen a lot of the refinancing wave kind of push through and the third quarter was the transition quarter last year and the market and private equity funds are focused we think more on new portfolio company acquisitions. I think it’s an intelligent debate, I am not sure if anybody sitting here in February of 2014 can really know the answer but I think as Dave pointed out in his comments he was complimentary and we very much appreciate it that we have earned a lower cost of capital in a healthy way as a company.

And so as we look at it even though spreads are not as elevated as they were for Triangle or any other company as well they are still higher for us than they are many BDCs. The spread to our weighted average cost of debt or the spread to our weighted average cost of total capital is meaningfully higher than many BDCs and so even though we are pricing credit I guess I would say in the middle of the fairway on the total gross yield, the underlying spread is one that works very, very well for us.

Is their compression, absolutely there has been since the really low leverage and high pricing days of 2010 and 2011, no question about that. Everybody knows those were above average pricing points for folks who lend money. So we don't need those days thankfully to survive as a company. We can survive we think even in aggressively competitive market which I wouldn’t say we are in, I think we are in a typical market right now from credit on the lower end of the middle market but again that’s one perspective, might be Ashton will add few more.

E. Ashton Poole

Yeah, John it’s Ashton, a great question and the data and the facts that you point out are what they are. We obviously have no control over the reinvestments. I would just make a couple of observations though. If you look at Q4, just a couple of the selected investments that we made on the new side was 13 and 3 or 16 in total we have [Flowtown] at 13%, on the add-on side we had Slide at 12, Hattrick 14, Glencoe at 14 and IOS at 15.5 and quarter to date we have got two in 12 and two in ’13 and so I would say that if you just step back holistically you are right. There is a fair chunk up there as you talked about I think we're doing a pretty good job of putting money back to work at levels that are certainly attractive for this market and certainly within the range of historic experience for sub debt pricing and as Garland alluded to in his summary comments the environment feels like it's firming on pricing.

So I would say that we feel more encouraged today than we did three months ago about the pricing dynamics that are going on in the market. I don't want to just summarily dismiss the competitive nature of the market because as alluded to it is very competitive out there. But the pricing does feel like its firming to some degree and if you look at the actual data behind the majority of our originations the terms and the pricing are we believe on a risk-adjusted basis very attractive and consistent with where they should be for sub debt pricing.

Jonathan Bock - Wells Fargo Securities

Much appreciate it and may be just again the risk elevator really quickly and guys please correct me if I am wrong but I think we mentioned fixed charge at roughly 1.5 is that correct?

Garland S. Tucker, III

That's right.

Jonathan Bock - Wells Fargo Securities

So looking at that in light that we focus on a much like efficient portion of the market because we're dealing with smaller companies and look you guys actually have proven that this model works, so that's where we'll start with that. But looking at a fixed charge ratio of 1.5 which seems attractive, may be another discerning question people would say would be that's also benefiting from historically all-time low levels of LIBOR. And so it's not question of asset liability matching longer term for BDC portfolios, lots of people talk about that and it's important.

I am a little more interested in how the portfolio company can continue based on the fact that while we're looking at positive credit metrics on fixed charge today LIBOR let's make the assumption eventually it does go up. What happens to the underlying credit quality of the portfolio in light of the fact that we wouldn't be getting 18% returns as we were in the past may be you say 13% today but we all know we're in a much lower interest rate environment and it won't always be like this.

So may be some color around the credit risks associated with rising LIBOR on the individual portfolio companies themselves?

Steven C. Lilly

John, thank you this is Steven. Quickly I would say a point that we've made before is most of the companies in our portfolio and their pricing bank debt when they secure that then when we mentioned earlier it's LIBOR plus 400 or LIBOR plus 450 or something. In most cases there is a LIBOR for the portfolio company which is typically somewhere in the 1 to 1.25 or even 1.5 range.

And so looking at where LIBOR is today and has been for fairly sustained obviously low interest rate period, there is an ability for that to flow off before there is by a factor of between four and six times where it is today, I guess obviously on a pretty meaningful move before any of -- not any but the majority of our portfolio companies would see any impact to their interest coverage or the fixed charge coverage. So I think as investors we take a lot of security in that -- something we analyze closely, clearly. So that's a starting point, I guess I would say but going at --

Garland S. Tucker, III

In addition Jon we look at basically every investment, one of the runs we will do is to just do a run with substantially higher cost of senior debt to see how the coverage holds up. And frankly we think that's one of the pluses of being in the mezzanine space, that even though if you have substantially higher senior, senior debt cost it dose increase your coverage but we won't do a deal if it appears that the mezzanine would be shoved down into the equity situation if LIBOR doubled or tripled or even quadrupled.

So, yes it’s a theoretical concern and we agree with you at some point LIBOR has been substantially higher than it is today. And that’s the reason we’ve look at that downside run when we before -- we’ll make a mezzanine commitment.

E. Ashton Poole

And John, it’s actually Ashton. I just want to add one other point. A little bit of a nuance point from a conversation I had yesterday with the Head of a middle market investment bank that quite active in the states. And this person was making the observation that and then he was pointing to increased M&A activity for '14. And the observation was that in 2013 a lot of sponsors didn’t have the confidence to take your portfolio companies to market across our not only the absolute amount of profit that they were earnings, but also the volatility with which they were achieving the results.

And now that 2013 has come to a close there is been a another set of data points that can be applied and there is frankly better confidence that these portfolios companies are performing not only from an overall -- from a quantum of earnings but also from a reduced level of volatility.

And I raise that point because I think it helps also support the answer to your question, which is I think in general we’ve got a grouping of portfolio companies that are just frankly performing better. And so when you combine the 100 basis points that Steven talked about and the incremental headwind there plus the fact that as a general rule of thumb in the environment portfolio companies are performing better system wide. And I think it helps mitigate to some extent the concern or the question that you’ve raised.

Jonathan Bock - Wells Fargo Securities

No, much appreciated. And again more of a question that outlines the process of thoughts as much as does, I appreciate the extent of the color there and 3% is the definitely, within the rule of thumb. And then lastly and this kind of comes in more of the form of the statement, Dave took a question from me. It does relate to diversifying the business into other asset classes. Your cost of equity is more than earned and that’s as a result of the fact that you are disappointed in terms of how you raise. And that's something that we and I know many others choose to highlight so that's a credit to you.

The question is there are complements to both senior and subordinated debt and to the extent that once cost of equity can allow them to accretively invest in both areas it’s a diversifier or by definition an option that always has positive value, it’s something that we say is worthwhile and people perhaps wouldn’t take issue with focusing on lower yielding loans at most higher levels as quality. And so I think you would be in that already, but that’s just more of a broad comments. And lastly I’d say going over an hour and 15 minutes that's a credit to the interest in you guys. And so thank you for taking my questions.

Steven C. Lilly

Thank you Jon. We appreciate your questions and your comments. Thank you.

Operator

Thank you. There are no further questions at this time. I'd like to turn the call back over to Garland Tucker for closing remarks.

Garland S. Tucker, III

Okay, well thank. I’d like to thank everybody for being on the call. We appreciate your interest, your questions. We look forward to being on next quarter with you, but in the interim if there are any further questions don’t hesitate to call any of the four of us. Thanks again.

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, this concludes today’s conference. You may now disconnect. Good day.

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