Investing in Business Development Companies is a way for the smaller investor to get in on the ground floor of private equity deals and venture capital opportunities. This type of company, also known as a BDC, is similar to a publicly traded private equity fund. These companies invest or lend money in smaller private businesses, with a goal of increasing sales and profits in order to sell the company or go public with an IPO.
Many private equity companies are registered as BDCs for tax advantages, since corporate income taxes can be avoided if at least 90% of profits are paid out as taxable dividends to investors. Normally, these deals are only available to major institutions and multimillionaires. Private equity companies, venture capital funds, and business development corporations are often used interchangeably.
Fortunately for the average investor, there are over a couple dozen ways to invest in these opportunities, according to the WallStreetNewsNetwork.com recently updated list of publicly traded Business Development Corporations and Private Equity Companies, most of which pay high yields in excess of 6%.
One of the highest yielding BDCs is TICC Capital (TICC), which has been paying dividends quarterly since 2004, and pays an extremely high yield of 11.6%. The stock has a price to earnings ratio of 7.6 and a forward PE of 9. Revenues for the latest quarter were up 19.4% year over year, but unfortunately, earnings were down 84.3%. This BDC funds secured and unsecured senior debt, subordinated and junior subordinated debt, and preferred and common stock of both private and public companies, specializing in technology, media, telecom, and medical equipment.
The company has invested in such companies as NetQuote, Inc., the web-based portal for insurance companies and consumers, StayOnline, Inc. a provider of wireless high-speed Internet access solutions for the lodging industry, and Ai Squared, a manufacturer of assistive technology software which makes the screen magnification program ZoomText.
BlackRock Kelso Capital Corporation (BKCC), a private equity firm founded in 2005, specializes in investing in middle market companies with EBITDA or operating cash flow between $10 million and $50 million. The firm has invested in various businesses including American SportWorks, Fitness Together, Grocery Outlet, Heartland Automotive Services, InterMedia Outdoors, Pre-Paid Legal Services, Renaissance Learning, and Sentry Security Systems. The stock trades at 12.4 times trailing earnings and 10.4 times forward earnings. The company pays a very high yield of 10.9%. Dividends are payable quarterly.
If you like monthly dividends, Gladstone Capital (GLAD) offers a very decent yield of 9.4%. Obviously, with these higher yields, you have higher risks. In addition, when interest rates rise, high yield BDCs can suffer significant drops.
If you are looking for potential high dividend investments, a list of over 25 high yield business development companies and private equity companies, which can be downloaded, sorted, and updated, is available from WallStreetNewsNetwork.com. A few of these companies pay dividends monthly and over a dozen have yields greater than 7%.
Disclosure: Author did not own any of the above at the time the article was written.