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DailyFinance  Mar 12  Comment 
THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 03/12/14 -- Meaglow Ltd. (Privately Held) announces a breakthrough in semiconductor production. As computer chips become smaller and smaller, advanced production techniques, such as Atomic Layer Deposition...
The Hindu Business Line  Feb 2  Comment 
India needs to remove the ambiguity on taxation of lease transactions if the market for ‘operating lease’ is to be expanded, ALD Automotive, a global car leasing major, has suggested.
MedPage Today  Nov 2  Comment 
AUSTIN, Texas (MedPage Today) -- Survival in children with cerebral adrenocerebral adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) appeared to be improved with allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplants compared with untreated patients, a researcher said here.
The Economic Times  Oct 23  Comment 
ALD Automotive manages a fleet in excess of 8500 vehicles catering to more than 650 corporate customers in over 250 locations across India.
WA Business News  Sep 23  Comment 
Healthcare technology company Allied Healthcare Group will seek to raise $10 million as it looks to launch its CardioCel regenerative tissue patch in Europe.
Clusterstock  May 21  Comment 
The New York Times' Gretchen Morgenson asks the following question this morning: is it a coincidence that the attorney who approved tracking the Associated Press's phone calls was also involved in hacking David Einhorn's phones eight years...
Wall Street Sector Selector  Aug 2  Comment 
NYSE:PEK, NYSE:ALD, NYSE:BONO, NYSE:SHY, NYSE:IEF, NYSE:HYG
Wall Street Sector Selector  Jul 19  Comment 
NYSE:ELD, NYSE:ALD, NYSE:MINT, NYSE:SPY, NYSE:DIA
Wall Street Sector Selector  Jul 18  Comment 
NYSE:BWX, NYSE:WIP, NYSE:EMB, NYSE:PCY, NYSE:ELD, NYSE:EMLC, NYSE:ALD
Fabtech  Jul 13  Comment 
ASM International has said it has reached a new milestone with the shipment of over 500 atomic layer deposition (ALD) reactors for use in semiconductor manufacturing. According to the company it now has ALD reactors in operation at a majority...




 
TOP CONTRIBUTORS

Allied Capital Corporation (NYSE:ALD) is a business development company with $4.4 billion invested in private companies and $5.1 billion in total assets. ALD typically makes investments up to $250 million in buyouts, acquisitions, recapitalizations, growth capital and middle market debt and equity.

As a business development company, Allied Capital is required to invest at least 70% of its assets in private U.S. companies and provides investors with the opportunity to become a part of the private equity industry by issuing stock.

Allied Capital targets companies with strong cash flow and high returns on invested capital, providing debt and equity financing with senior debt loans and subordinated debt, as well as managerial advising for invested companies. The company has a low 67% debt to equity ratio, which lets it to take larger risks than other financial institutions. Due to the difficulty of evaluating the private companies it invests in, this ratio is useful in making the illiquid long-term investments Allied Capital typically undertakes.

Allied Capital relies on low interest rates to decrease the cost of loans and increase profit margins. Also, it is difficult for Allied to evaluate the companies it invests in, since there is no public information on these private companies. As such, Allied relies on its own valuation techniques to determine good long-term investments, which increases the risk involved. These long-term investments can prove detrimental to the liquidity of Allied Capital's assets.

Allied Capital's portfolio included 124 companies that generate aggregate annual revenues of over $13 billion and employ over 98,000 people.[1]

Business Overview

Allied Capital Corporation is a private equity firm that specializes in buyouts, acquisitions, and middle market equity and Long Term Debt investments in companies from various industries. Allied focuses on private middle market companies in the U.S.. [2]

Allied Capital maintains a diversified investments portfolio in companies from numerous industries, with no single asset comprising of over 4% of total assets. This diversified approach helps protect against risk and loss in any particular industry.

Allied Capital usually offers long-term investments and does not exit them until the companies are sold, recapitalized or carry out an Initial Public Offering.

Business Financials

In 2009, ALD earned a total negative revenue of $258 million in 2009. This was a huge decline from its 2008 total positive revenues of $518 million in 2008. Remarkably, ALD was able to decrease its net loss from a net loss of $1.0 billion in 2008 to $522 million in 2009.[3]

Business Segments

Business Development Company

A business development company is founded with the purpose of lending and investing in private companies. As a business development company (BDC), Allied is required to invest at least 70% of its assets in private U.S. companies. Allied Capital focuses primarily on American companies that are not investment companies. Allied also provides managerial assistance to any companies in need of it.

A business development company provides shareholders the ability to retain the liquidity of a publicly traded stock, while sharing in the possible benefits, if any, of investing in primarily privately owned companies.

Private Equity Investing

Allied Capital's primary strategy is based on making long-term investments in the debt and equity of middle market companies. These long-term investments are illiquid, since they cannot be traded. However, long-term investments can provide persistent cash flow. Allied realized $1.4 billion in cumulative net gains from its investment portfolio.

Private Finance Portfolio

Capital is generally used to fund buyouts, acquisitions, recapitalizations, growth, and note purchases. Allied Capital generally invests in middle market companies, which are those with $50 to $500 million in revenues. Industries of interest typically include business services, financial services, consumer products, and retail, among others. The corporation balances debt investments and buyout investments, and usually targets debt investments of between $10 and $150 million dollars, and buyout investments of up to $300 million.

73.3% of the private finance portfolio consists of loans and debt securities, whereas the other 23.7% consists of equity securities.[4]

Since 2001, dividends have increasingly come from net capital gains, with a decreasing amount coming from ordinary income.

Trends and Forces

High interest rates hurt profit margin

As interest rates rise, the cost of borrowing also rises. As a private equity firm, Allied Capital depends on loans in order to invest in other companies. When the interest rates are low, Allied would be able to realize greater profit margins since it would have to pay back less. As interest rates rise, Allied would see a slimmer profit margin. Lower interest rates allow Allied Capital to borrow at lower interest rates.

Uncertain valuation of assets increases risk

As Allied Capital invests primarily in private companies, there is no readily available market value for its investments. There is often no public information on these companies, and thus there is no standard method in determining the fair value of the companies. Allied relies on the Board of Directors of the companies as well as on its own employees to effectively evaluate the companies. They are also forced to obtain correct information about the target companies by comparisons with other public firms and on the basis of expected cash flow.

Long-term portfolio faces liquidity problems

Most transactions are privately negotiated and there is no established trading market. Allied's problem of illiquidity hurts its ability to get rid of debt and equity securities. Without access to equity capital, Allied's dividend growth will decrease. However, since Allied is a BDC, it is able to generate more liquidity through the sale of publicly traded stock.

High risk investments in private companies

Allied Capital invests primarily in private middle-market companies over the long term. Investing in private companies brings with it a large amount of risk. There is often no public information on these companies, and thus Allied relies on the efficiency of its own employees to obtain correct information about the target companies by comparisons with other public firms and on the basis of expected cash flow.

Competition

Below is a list of Allied Capital's main competitors. Allied Capital is generally more diverse than these competitors, and besides American Capital Strategies, Allied is the only publicly traded BDC in existence.

  • American Capital Strategies (ACAS) - invests in mid-sized companies. Provides debt-financing for buyouts, and also provides capital directly to private and public firms.
  • MCG Capital (MCGC) - a private BDC that invests in small to mid-sized companies, and deals with leveraged buyouts, acquisitions, and growth financings.
  • Gladstone Capital (GLAD) - a public investment firm that invests primarily in debt security in small and medium sized companies.
  • Capital Southwest (CSWC) - focuses primarily in venture capital and private equity investments in small and mid-sized firms.

References

  1. Allied Capital: Who we are
  2. Allied Capital Annual Report 2007
  3. ALD 10-K 2009 Item 6 Pg. 27
  4. Allied Capital Annual Report 2007
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